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Who can be a writer?

Anyone with a story to tell and a good title.

My nieces are writers. They dictate their stories to me. The youngest wants me to turn hers into movies. She writes horror stories at the ripe old age of five. Her latest story is called Waves of Darkness. I thought the title was brilliant(she came up with it all by herself). The story is about a monster in the waves at the beach.

My Daddy had an idea for a book he was going to write, but then he had to change the title.

The original title was Why Man Will Never Go To the Moon.

The new title is Why Most Men Will Never Go To the Moon. (Any publishers out there want to offer him a  book contract?)

At some point in time we all get rejected by someone, whether it is by a book editor, a literary agent, a job interviewer, a love interest, etc.

I’ve been rejected multiple times for my book manuscripts. See my post Missing the Mark on my first rejection.

Don’t get discouraged about rejections. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a second chance. I was given a second chance by that same publisher in 2007 at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference.

I sat down with Nick Harrison from Harvest House (my first rejection) for a 15 minute pitch of my ideas. He asked to see a sample of my writing.

Just before leaving for the conference I stuffed in my bag three chapters of one of my works in progress, so I handed him those pages. This had not been run by any critique partners so it was a rough draft. I should have been embarrassed to hand it to him.

He read the first page and turned to the next. I’ve heard many times that editors know from the first page whether it is something they are looking for in a manuscript, so I was thrilled. Then he turned the next page and the next. He asked a question about the plot of the story.

Then he said, “You’ve broken one of the cardinal rules of writing.”

My heart sank. I wondered what I did wrong.

He said I didn’t lead with the protagonist, but that I did it well.

I broke a major rule in writing fiction, but I did it well! I couldn’t have been more flattered.

He wasn’t interested in that story, but wanted to know if I had others. And boy did I. He probably regretted asking that question. I turned my notebook toward him where I had written down about 50 book ideas — all in various degrees of completion, some just a one sentence idea.

He wanted me to send him my Regency proposals. Unfortunately, those were the one sentence ideas.

I came home and worked on a contemporary piece that I had gotten some interest from other editors at the conference and was subsequently rejected by them.

An opening paragraph for the regency came to me one day so I wrote it down and haven’t stopped writing on it yet. I have written 75 pages on it and hope to write 15 pages today. See my post Writing the Breakout Novel.

I heard Mr. Harrison will not be attending the conference this year, so I plan to get it completed before the conference and send it to him. I think he is my dream editor.

The point of this blog is to say that you may be rejected, but keep working.

In all liklihood I’ll be rejected by Harvest House again, but that will not stop me from sending in my story, Absalom’s Beauty.

Note: How did I start the book where I broke a cardinal rule of writing? Here is the first sentence:

“Will you be my Daddy?”

(and believe it or not, this is a military/suspense/romance)

“Live Long & Prosper” was theVulcan greeting used by Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), the Science Officer onboard the starship USS Enterprise on the sci-fi series STAR TREK/NBC/1966-69.(Info taken from: )Long before Star Trek, the concept of Live Long and Prosper existed– although not in those exact words.  In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses speaks to the people he has led out of slavery in Egypt. In chapter 5, verse 33, he tells them that if they walk in the ways of the Lord God, then they will have a long life and it will be well with them.

Had the writers of Star Trek taken their phrase from the Bible? I don’t know. But I know this, I believe my biggest inspiration for fiction ideas come from the Bible.

If you want to be a writer and you want ideas, read the Bible. I think you’ll be surprised how many concepts you see in works of fiction have actually come from its pages.

Here’s a challenge to those who believe the Bible is nothing but fiction–read it. What are you afraid of? If it is nothing but fiction, then you have nothing to worry about, do you?

Deuteronomy 5:32-33 (New International Version)Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

32 So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. 33 Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

I read the small print at the bottom of my Bible as I read in Deuteronomy 4 that there wasn’t a word for “religion” in the Old Testament. Worship was an attitude of the mind or was an act of adoration and not ritual.

Sometimes our attending church or “worship” services becomes an act of ritual instead of an act of adoration. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes (if I’m honest, most times) I go because of the ritual. It is what I, as a Christian, do. I do it because that’s the way I was raised.

 Instead, I need to go to adore the Creator of the universe and the One who took the punishment for the sins I have committed.

As I go to church next Sunday, I should say, I’m going to the adoration service instead of worship service.

Deuteronomy 4:19-20 (New International Version)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.


I’ll start posting the NIV version. This is what I found:

The NIV®, TNIV®, NIrV® may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio) up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for more than 25 percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

The sad truth is that I would probably not be a writer if I didn’t have a computer. You see, I’m lazy, and the retyping you’d have to do to get a almost perfect page on the typewriter would be way too much work.

So these are the items I find I must have to write (Bad excuses for not writing if I didn’t have them handy)




Computer(truly this is the only item I need, since I can get the Bible at, the Thesaurus can be found at and the dictionary can be found at

Starting any project should begin with prayer.


The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

Saturdays are my main writing workdays.  I’m working through the Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook with my writing group at the Summit Church.

I’ve completed through chapter 4 of the workbook and I’m amazed at how answering the questions has allowed me to focus on the plot of my work in progress.

I was able to come up with a title – Absalom’s Beauty, a Regency Romance for the Christian market.

FYI– Absalom is a horse, not a main character.

Please post a comment on what you think of the title.

Page count: 65

But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.     2 Samuel 14:25

  Watch this movie trailer.

Are you brave enough to be a rebel? Have you thought about what it would cost you if you were?

Jesus was a rebel. He said things like:

Matthew 10:34
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Luke 12:53
The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

There are scientist in this world that are being ostracized by the scientific community because of their belief in “intelligent design” as opposed to Evolution and Big Bang. Those scientists are rebels.

For standing up for their beliefs some have lost friends and even jobs.

Are you willing to stand up for your beliefs?

Matthew 10:33
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

This is the promise Jesus gave to us rebels:

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

In keeping with my goals for 2008, I completed reading the following for the month of January(If I read 4 books a month, then I’ve exceeded my goal of 40 books a year):

The Lady and the Cad by Tamela Hancock Murray – A Heartsong Presents Christian Romance. I chose this book because the hero’s name is Cecil and that’s my Daddy’s name. Actually, I chose it because I would like to target the Heartsong line for my Christian Romances and it’s a regency historical and that is what I’m working on now. I enjoyed this story–one of a sinner redeemed.

Leviticus – I decided to include the books of the Bible I complete as well. I’m reading from the Archaeological Study Bible that I received this year for Christmas. If you’re interested in what the Bible says about Tatoos, incest and what to eat read this book of laws. See my post Life is Like a Box of Chocolate Insects.

Numbers – Interesting things happened in this account of the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. The Israelites were counted. Spies reported. A donkey talked (and this was before Shrek). The Israelites grumbled. A hired gun couldn’t curse them.

Numbers 23:8 (King James Version)

8How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?

Numbers 23:22 (King James Version)

22God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

Numbers 24:17 (King James Version)

17I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
I think this might be my favorite:

Numbers 23:26 (King James Version)

26But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the LORD speaketh, that I must do?

Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie – see my post The Agatha Christie Code.

I’m working through Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook with my writing group at the Summit Church in Durham, NC.

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