Sending out a Christian Wave upon a Secular Sea

What’s In Your Tool Kit?

What’s In Your Tool Kit?

Essential Tools Every Writer Needs

Monday, June 6, 7 PM, Prayer & Praise Christian Fellowship, Woodstock, GA 30189

Bryan Powell

Bryan Powell

Join Author Bryan Powell, President of the Christian Authors Guild, as he shares some new and nifty apps aspiring writers should be familiar with.

 Some of the “tools” Bryan will be demonstrating on the big screen include Fiverr, Google Earth, Google Maps, White Smoke, and AutoCrit. Attendees may bring personal laptops to this class for a more interactive experience. 

This is a class you do not want to miss!

Help spread the word about this informative class. Tell a friend. Bring a guest. It’s free!

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Conference Set For August 18-20

ConnectingOrganizers have set the date for the 2016 Atlanta Christian Writers Conference to be held at the Radisson Atlanta NW Hotel  in Marietta, Georgia. The dates are August 18-20.  A lineup of quality speakers, class leaders, editors, and more is being firmed up. Check back often to this site for conference updates.

Join us for a special Saturday morning mini-conference called Coffee & Quill on April 16. This inspirational and motivational conference is for all aspiring writers and an opportunity to share with visitors what the Christian Authors Guild is about. The event is free and brunch is served.

Finding Another Person’s Voice by Bryan Powell

journal

 

Much has been written about finding your “voice.” You can attend a writer’s conference and learn how to reach deep within yourself, discover the real you and express it in cogent terms.

But how many of us have found someone else’s voice? How many of us have been charged with the responsibility of expressing another person’s thoughts without tainting them with our own?

Recently, I had the privilege of doing just that.

By divine appointment, I was given an older gentleman’s journal. As I sat and read it and later interviewed him, I discovered he had a story to tell. He had a message to give us. Like a canary, held captive within a cage of flesh and bone, his spirit yearned to be set free. However, with his limited vocabulary and lack of skill, it languished, thinking it would never take flight. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to  set it free. When that happened, his voice echoed throughout the pages of his story, and it rose to new heights.

The more I studied his life, the more I saw his motivation and message. I discovered his love and passion, his goals, his dreams and yes, his weaknesses and failures.

He taught me two important principles that guided his life. The first one; God can use a person for His glory no matter how unskilled that person is. This simple man took faith’s baby steps and soon found manly strength to run the race, keep the faith, and win the crown.

The second guiding principle was a bit harder to find, yet it was there. He said, “Find people smarter than you to do the things you don’t want to do and hire them.”

That was his message and his motivation. He spent his life finding jewels in the rough and developing them, polishing them, getting them ready to take his place. And by doing so, he built people and a fortune. 

From his humble beginning as a dirt farmer in central Georgia during the Depression years to the present day, he invested his life in helping people reach their potential.

The benefit to me was that I was privy to those formative years through his journal. I watched him grow to manhood; I grew with him, I hurt with him and even loved with him. I heard his voice, captured his thoughts, emotions, his heart. For those precious hours in which I labored over the text, I became this man. And so will you when you invest the time to get to know the person you are writing about.

So the next time you undertake a story: fiction or non-fiction, biography or historical, get to know your character. Plunge deep into the well-spring of creativity or reality and discover their voice. In so doing, you may find your own.

Writing Short Stories by Cynthia L. Simmons

Woman writing

What’s Your Story?

 

How would you like to be able to say that you’re an award winning author? It’s a great testament to your writing ability. This year CAG offers a nonfiction article contest and a short story contest at our Coffee & Quill mini-conference.

How do you write a short story? First you need an idea. You might take your idea from something that happened to you or something you wish for. Either way, you must develop a plot, which is a sequence of events in which the characters experience a serious problem.

Start by introducing your characters. For instance, you could have an overworked mother and an active toddler. Describe them a little so your audience gets interested and then present a problem. Show just how frazzled mom is in light of the child’s energy.

Next add rising action. Make something happen that creates tension. Your mom could get a phone call from an old friend that absorbs her attention. While she talks, the curious child waddles out of the room exploring. Even the thought makes my skin prickle.

Make sure your level of anxiety rises as you relate each event in the story. Your readers will yawn and wander off if your toddler climbs into his crib. Should your toddler probe an electrical outlet with his fingers and then discover a nail file, your readers wouldn’t put the story down. Think of ideas to keep tension rising.

The climax of the story will be the moment of highest tension. For instance, imagine a damp nail file moving closer to the outlet. Hearts will be pounding.

The resolution comes at the end of the story when you resolve the problem. Your mother could scream and dash into the room, pulling the child away just in time.

Here’s a sample story using my illustration:

Unable to Rest

Bridget sank onto the bench in the kitchen and sat Benjamin down. Her back ached, and her legs wobbled like jelly. All afternoon she had shopped with her sister for wedding clothes. It was the least she could do since their mom died several years ago. A girl shouldn’t do that alone.

Her son’s energy got the better of them both. If only her two-year-old couldn’t move so fast and so constantly.

“Woo-toot. TOOT. TOOT.” Benjamin held up a pretend pipe to his mouth as he marched about the kitchen.

His mother winced and reached for him. “Not so loud, son.”

He side stepped her arms and headed for the stool, which stood by the cabinet. “Wanna cookie.”

“No. No cookies before dinner. Benjamin Charles Fox, stop climbing now.” She hauled her body up to grab the squirming child off the counter top. “You’re going to fall.”

Once back on the floor, the youngster ran in circles flapping his arms. “I be a bird, momma.”

“What a nice bird you are.” She ran a hand along her neck and angled her head to release tight muscles.

The phone rang, and Bridget grabbed it. “Sophie! I haven’t heard from you in ages. Sh-Sh. Mommie’s on the phone talking. Quiet, Benjamin!”

The energetic child barely escaped her grasp. But the room grew quiet in his absence.

“What? You’re dating someone?” She leaned against the cabinets. “Wonderful. And you said you could never marry. Pshaw! I knew that was silly. Tell me what he’s like.”

Ten minutes later she put down the phone and glanced about. Her heart slammed against her chest. “Benjamin?”

Her eyes darted under the table, by back door. Nothing. She hurried into the living room and her whole chest threatened to explode. There, by the couch, sat Benjamin. He held a nail file in his mouth and pulled it out, as if showing it to her. It was dripping with saliva. He leaned forward and slammed it on an electrical outlet, getting closer and closer to the pair of holes she knew carried electrical current.

“No! Don’t!”

Her legs flew across the floor toward him. She grabbed his body and pulled him away, just before he got the file into the outlet.

He screamed.

Her heart racing, she collapsed on the floor, clutching her son, who wailed in protest. ‘No, no! Never touch those. They will burn. Bad.”

She closed her eyes and sang softly in his ear. How could he have gotten into trouble so fast? I can’t rest for a moment.

 

In summary, as you prepare to write, be sure to add the elements of a story: introduction, problem, rising action, climax, resolution.

 

Is Scrivener Right For You?

CAG+assorted+book+signings+2010Do you have ADD, only little bits of time to write, or are you struggling to put all your thoughts together? Then Scrivener – a software for writers – is for you.

Nadine Blyseth, gives a special presentation on her favorite writers tool. She says, “And no, I don’t get a commission for selling the product. I just want to share what has helped me so much to have one e-book, Fool’s Bling, and its follow-up, True Gold (available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble).

On youTube check out what Scrivener can do for you.

 

CAG Spotlight with Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is the CAG Spotlight for November 2011. Jennifer is an author, speaker and publicist for Hartline Literary Agency. Her website is http://jenniferswriting.blogspot.com/

Interview by Cindy Simmons.

CAG October Spotlight

Interview with Candy Arrington

CAG Spotlight–Cindy Sproles

CindySprolesSpiritual life coach, Cindy Sproles is this week’s CAG interview.

 

 

Podcast Spotlight-Edie Melson

Cindy is hosting Edie Melson for this week’s CAG Spotlight.

Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for life’s stories. She loves to share her 16+ years experience in the field of writing through mentoring and teaching others. Her first foray into professional writing was as a technical writer in the 80’s. From there she quickly moved into freelance writing and editing, a perfect fit for someone who loves new challenges. Hundreds of articles and devotions, including those for Focus on the Family, CBN.com, Crosswalk.com and Christiandevotions.us, have flowed from her pen to her audience. Visit her site at http://www.ediemelson.com/

Podcast with Jennifer Slatterly

jennifer_slatterlyJuly 2011 Podcast

This month’s podcast is with author Jennifer Slatterly.

Jennifer has written for Granola Bar Devotions, Afictionado, Bloom, the Breakthrough Intercessor, and the Christian Fiction Online Magazine.
  
Jennifer’s website