Friday, January 25, 2013

My Evening at the Chicago Tribune, Part Two

“The most interesting things in life happen 
just on the other side of your comfort zone.”

-A quote from Michael Hyatt on a video for Platform University

            I experienced this first hand Wednesday evening, as I ventured out of my comfort zone to attend a Short Story Night at the Chicago Tribune. I attended a similar event which I describe in an earlier post, but this time I went alone taking the train and cabs into Chicago at night to spend time with people who I thought would probably intimidate me. But, I wanted to be there.

When I do things like this, I realize I am still a girl from a small town who watches too many true-crime television shows. I sometimes wonder where the woman went who flew to New York City on a regular basis, hopped in and out of cabs visiting publishing houses. See my very first post.

After I worried about getting on the wrong train, not being able to find a cab, afraid someone would ask me how many books I had published and on and on, I relaxed and was totally inspired! Five writers, all past recipients of the Nelson Algren Short Story Award, were interviewed and discussed writing and the creative process. It was delightful and I related to many things they shared. I rode the train home thinking of story ideas and thanked God that he allowed me to be a writer.

Yes, just beyond our comfort zone, we can find interesting things. And, oh, yes, someone did ask me if I was a writer, and I said a resounding “Yes.”

If you want to read more about the events at the Tribune check out Printers Row.

How about you? Have you ventured out of your comfort zone and found good things?

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Top Five Blogs for Writers

      When I feel like I am out of creative steam and want to quit, I receive an email from one of the following blogs and somehow I get back on track. Although I subscribe to many (too many) blogs, these are my top five.

       I don’t believe I would be blogging if I had not followed this blog over the past ten years. Michael Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and his focus is publishing, social media and leadership. He is the author of the book, Platform, Get Noticed In A Noisy World, which I gave away on this blog.

This blog is written by Edie Melson, a writer I met through My Book Therapy (also check this out). Edie writes about various aspects of freelance writing and also gives helpful advice on social media.

Rochelle Melander blogs about writing and I have to say is one of the most encouraging blogs on my subscription list. I met her a quite a few years ago at the Write-to-Publish Conference and have been following her ever since. She is also a writing coach.

 I became aware of this blog through following Michael Hyatt. Jeff is a prolific blogger on writing, blogging and making a difference in your world. He also has some great e-books on the craft.

            I am a great believer in conferences and am on the staff of Write-to-Publish. This blog promotes Blue Ridge, but also has helpful information for writers. Speakers are interviewed who will be teaching at the conference, in addition to former attendees who share their writing journeys.

How about you? What blogs inspire you?


Friday, January 4, 2013

Christian Writer's Market Guide Giveaway




A new year is here. Many times it catches me off guard with the Christmas holidays and  the traveling to see family. I usually find myself setting goals for the year in January, which I have finally decided is okay. Living in the northern part of our country, it is cold and snowy and I want to hibernate in January with a cup of coffee, cancel all commitments, and take a breath. Of course that doesn't seem to happen.

What do I want to accomplish this year as a writer? One of the ways I determine those goals is by reading the 2013 Christian Writer's Market Guide. I received mine in the mail last week. This year's book is a much slimmer volume, but still contains great information.

To help you define your writing goals, I am giving away a copy of the guide this week on the blog. Just leave a comment by next Friday, January 11 at midnight Central Time (some tell me to remember it as Chicago time) and I’ll enter your name in the drawing for the 2013 Christian Writer's Market Guide.

Happy Writing!