Monday, June 27, 2011

Over the Edge Giveaway Winner

The winner of the drawing for a copy of Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins is Maggie Brendan.
Thanks to all who left comments.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

ACFW Members Attend Dinner; Book Giveaway

            I was part of a group of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) members from Illinois and Wisconsin who attended a book signing, on Thursday, June 16, for Brandilyn Collins, an ACFW Author and Advisory Board Member. We met at the Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, Wisconsin where Brandilyn signed her latest book, Over the Edge, a suspense novel, where the plot revolves around Lyme disease. Since Brandilyn has suffered from this disease, she shared her experience before the signing. Many local people also attended, including some who suffered from Lyme disease.

Prior to the signing, we gathered at The Chancery in Mequon for dinner and enjoyed some good food and wonderful conversation. I want to send a “thank you” out to Ben Erlichman for his work to help pull this event together. A fine time. 

ACFW Members dining in Mequon, Wisconsin

I am giving away a copy of Brandilyn’s newest book, Over the Edge. Please leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. The contest will end next Sunday, June 26.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Write-to-Publish 2011

    Exhausted, yet exhilarated is how I usually feel after a writers' conference. Being an introvert, four days of interaction, even with fellow writers, leaves me a little depleted. But, I love learning, especially about writing and the publishing industry. Over 200 conferees met at the Billy Graham Center on the Wheaton College Campus. Dr. Dennis Hensley was the keynoter and Robin Jones Gunn spoke during the evening sessions. The week ended with a banquet as Tim Shoemaker, a WTP alum, inspired us with his writing journey.
    I also want to send out a BIG CONGRATS to Pam Meyers, a friend and colleague, who signed her first book contract during WTP with OakTara. Her book is called, Thyme for Love, a romance with a twist of mystery. Pam serves as President of the Northwest Chicago Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers.

   Here are a few scenes from WTP. I have to admit, sometimes I became so engrossed in conversation I forgot the camera was in my bag!

Cleo and Millie chat about writing.


Conferees lined up to sign up for appointments.

Cynthia Ruchti, former President of ACFW

I also chatted with Carla Williams of WinePress.

Joyce K. Ellis, Assistant Director
Jane Rubietta, Assistant Director and Lin Johnson, Director and me holding the chocolate.

The class I teach, Getting the Most from the Conference


Sunday, June 12, 2011


The winner of the book giveaway is Salena Stormo. Congrats. She will receive a copy of the book: Writing So Heaven Will Be Different, 35 Years of Encouraging Stories from the Write-To-Publish Conference by Joyce K. Ellis and Tammie Edington Shaw.
Thanks to all who left comments.

I will be posting pictures this week from the Write-To-Publish Conference.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Which Writers' Conference Are You Attending This Year?

         Next week, June 8-11, I will be attending the annual Write-to-Publish Conference. I have been blessed to be on the staff of WTP for the past few years. We meet on the beautiful campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. If you are interested in attending, we accept walk-ins for the whole conference or one day, so come and join us. I hope to post some updates and photos next week.
When I return, I will give away a copy of Writing So Heaven Will Be Different, 35 Years of Encouraging Stories from the Write-To-Publish Conference.

            If you are a writer, have you decided which writers’ conference you will attend this year? I believe it is very important to attend at least one conference a year. What you will gain is priceless. If cost is an issue, see if the conference you want to attend offers scholarships, which most of them do.
Here are a few of the many benefits I have received from attending writers' conferences:
            Craft: Classes for beginning and advanced writers are usually offered so I can learn from the expertise and experience of published authors. As writers I believe we must always remain students of the craft.
            Marketing:  In the “new reality” of publishing, I understand I need to market my work and myself. Today you find classes on establishing a “platform” and social networking, along with dialogue, description and devotionals.
            Network/Fellowship: Networking is a scary word for us introverted writers, but I have found when I am among other introverts and writers, we all become a little extroverted. Just think, though, where else can you talk to other people who understand why you write. I added fellowship, for at Christian conferences (as is WTP) we have that extra bonus of connecting with fellow believers.
            Knowledge: At a conference I can learn what is going on in the publishing world. Today with e-books, traditional publishing reducing their lists due to the poor economy and magazines folding, I need to keep informed of the changes.
            Meet those in the Industry: At most conferences there are representatives/editors from publishing houses, and agents looking to represent writers. I can meet with these professionals one-on-one.

Leave a comment about why you attend a conference and be part of the free book drawing.
Again, I am giving away a copy of the book, Writing So Heaven Will Be Different, 35 Years of Encouraging Stories from the Write-To-Publish Conference, edited and compiled by Joyce K. Ellis (Assistant Director of WTP) and Tammie Edington Shaw.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Beginning of the Blog (Part Two)

            In my last post, I shared with you some of my experiences from my first trip to New York City as an art rep (see blog archive) and compared it to starting my blog. Here is the rest of the story:            

Before I faced my initial day of appointments, I had to hail my first taxi cab in the city. I stood in front of the hotel, timidly raised my arm and a cab zoomed over to the curb and stopped in front of me. I immediately stepped back and my eyes widened in surprise of the result of the wave of my hand. It was in and out of cabs and art director’s offices for the next three days.  
Before I left the city, I had received a marriage proposal from a cab driver and began giving directions to tourists (yes, geographically challenged me). One thing I will always remember is the kind art director who took an interest in me and gave me names of people to visit around the city.

                                    Photo credit: Joezachs (dreamstime)
When I arrived back at JFK Airport to catch my flight to Boston, to do the second leg of my trip, the limo driver took me to the wrong terminal. I had only thirty minutes to get to my gate, so I ran through the airport with a carry-on bag and a purse over my shoulder, dragging three portfolios. I heard a motorized vehicle behind me and soon the driver, an airport employee, pulled up beside me and asked: “Why are you running?” I told him and he said, “jump in.” I took a seat on his vehicle, barely grabbing all my stuff before being thrown back against the seat as we sped through the terminal, horn honking to clear the way. But, I made my flight.
I sometimes think about that guy in the motorized cart and he reminds me of life. Just when I think I am defeated God sends someone along or something happens to remind me, He is still there.  Those trips (yes, there were more) I made to New York were some of the greatest times of personal and professional growth I experienced. And, yes, I was able to land a few book contracts for some of my illustrators, before returning to the editorial side of the desk to pursue my own goals.
I guess we will see what cyberspace has to offer in the way of adventures!
Do you remember a time when God intervened in your life through an unexpected source?
            I’m getting ready for the Write-to-Publish Conference, June 8-11 at Wheaton College. I’ll be chatting about that next time.