Category Archives: Writing

Oh my goodness! Fun news!

This past weekend, I drove to Fort Wayne for my first ever local ACFW meeting.  And to accept the treasurer position.

Wow.

(For those of you who don’t know what ACFW is, it stands for American Christian Fiction Writers.)

Each state or region has their own chapter, and my chapter is the Indiana one.

I am beyond thrilled.

I met the most precious group of writers–I can’t wait to get to know them all better!

Our speaker was Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, author of over 50 books and director of the professional writing major at Taylor University. (http://www.dochensley.com)

He spoke on how to make dialogue sparkle, and he held us captivated from the moment he started speaking.

It was so good.  I encourage you to take any class of his you possibly can.

If that was a taste of the meetings to come, I cannot wait!

How it works:

  • If you are a writer of fiction–or an aspiring author–join American Christian Fiction Writers at http://www.acfw.com.
  • Yearly membership fees (as of 2014) are $65 (renewals are $45), and that includes writing classes, critique groups, writing contests, and much, much more.
  • Then go to your local chapter’s website (Indiana’s is http://hoosierink.blogspot.com) and fill out and send in an application.
  • Our yearly fee is $12, and that includes local meetings where one can connect and fellowship with other authors, as well as a chance to blog on the Hoosier Ink website, advertise your book, join a private Facebook group, and receive a bi-monthly newsletter.
  • Note: You must be a member of the parent organization in order to join the local chapter.

If this interests you at all, I encourage you to check it out!

If not, thank you so much for taking the time to read my good news.

This journey to publication is full of crazy twists and turns–I cannot wait to see where God is taking me next!

2015 is going to be a good year.  And I think I am going to highly enjoy being a treasurer.

By the way, isn’t that header picture gorgeous?  That happens to be the genius of our chapter president, Rick Barry.  If you follow the link to our chapter website, you will see the same lovely image.

Rick, thank you so much for letting me use your picture for this blog post!

My love and prayers are with you all, dear readers.

Until next time!  :)

In Him,

Michele

http://hoosierink.blogspot.com

http://www.acfw.com

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Beauty and the Beast Contest

While stalking–ahem–I mean, reading one of my favorite author’s Facebook page, I came across this lovely contest.

Of course, I had to share!

Anne Elisabeth Stengl, author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood series, is promoting a contest through Rooglewood Press.

*Side Note:  If you have never read the Tales of Goldstone Wood, stop reading this post, go get the first book Heartless, then get back to me.  You won’t regret it.  I promise.

Oh, yes.  The contest.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Go to http://www.rooglewoodpress.com/fairy-tale-collections and read the contest rules
  2. Sign and mail your entry form (and $10) by Dec. 16, 2014
  3. Write a smashing version of Beauty and the Beast between 5,000-20,000 words, any genre.  Wait, I don’t think you got that.  Any genre.  I’m kinda stoked ’bout that one.
  4. Submit your story by Dec. 31st

Voilá!

You may be one of the lucky five who get published in this gorgeous compilation!  (I mean, look at that cover!  And Beauty and the Beast?  My fave fairy tale of all time!)

I’m excited.  Beyond excited.

If you like to write, are obsessed with fairy tales, or have always wanted Beauty and the Beast to turn out just a little bit differently, I encourage you to submit your story.

I know I am.

You’ve got a month!  Go!  :)

(Yikes!  That means I’ve got a month–I’ve got to get busy!!!)

In Him,

Michele

P.S.  Check out Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s website (http://anneelisabethstengl.blogspot.com) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anne-Elisabeth-Stengl/120543861335559) or look up any of her books on Amazon.  You may just fall in love with her storytelling as I did!

Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Five Glass Slippers: A Collection of Cinderella Stories
Heartless
Veiled Rose
Moonblood
Starflower
Dragonwitch
Shadow Hand
Goddess Tithe
Golden Daughter
Draven’s Light

My Good News

Drum roll please…

At the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference this past weekend, I met with both an editor and an agent and pitched three of my novels to them.

I’ve got good news and bad-ish news.

The editor gave me her contact info and wants to see my work!

Happy DANCE!!!  :)

She had judged part of Zombie Takeover for the IFWC contest, loved the story, and wanted to know where it was going and how it ended.

After a beautiful discussion, she didn’t know if she could sell my zombie story with the current Christian market, so she encouraged me to take it to another publishing house she thought would fit my manuscript much better.

She asked to see Lady Assassin and was intrigued by Wisdom and Folly until I told her I had been posting it chapter-by-chapter on my website.

Unless I pull it, completely rewrite it, and post no further chapters, no publishing house will look at a work that has been posted freely for anyone to read.

I have prayed and searched my intentions, and I’m certain God wanted me to post it.  Free.  For anyone to read.

Reaching one person with the boundlessness of His love is worth never making a dime on Wisdom and Folly.

God gave it to me.  It’s His story, not mine.

But if He wants me to change what I’m doing–focus on publishing it instead of posting it–I want to know.

So I’m waiting on Him.  (And seeking advice!)

I digress.

The agent.

I pretty much bombed that pitch session.  I’ve been trying not to beat myself up over it.  It is what it is.  God knows what I need, and He’ll do what’s best for me, even if it’s not what I want.

She kindly listened to my lame pitch.  The zombie story interested her (the other two did not) but she said the same thing the editor did.

She didn’t know where she could take it that’s accepting zombie stories in today’s market.

She gave me some awesome tips, wrote down a couple of YA novels to read that had made it big in the Christian fantasy genre, and gave me the names of publishing houses that accept “out there” stories, no agent necessary.

She gave me her card–probably cause I was staring longingly at it–and told me to contact her when I write another book.

Not exactly how I pictured that meeting ending, but I am trying so hard to focus on the positive, not the negative of not getting signed.

So, I will let you know what the editor thinks of my work!  And if any of the publishing houses they both suggested are interested in my stories!

Oh yes!  I also handed Zombie Takeover to Dr. Dennis E. Hensley to be professionally edited.

I want the publishing houses to see my best work, polished, refined, plot holes destroyed, and singing “pick me!”  :)

I also have contacted (a while ago now) a magnificent artist on deviantART to design a cover for me if I decide to self-publish.

And oh, the conference was too wonderful for words.

I plan on going next year with another manuscript, pitch perfected, ready to snag an agent (if I don’t already have one by then!)

That’s my story so far on this incredibly long road to being published.

I have submitted my manuscript to Enclave Publishing–formerly Marcher Lord Press–and am trying to stay busy these eight, long weeks of waiting for their response.

I’ve got decisions to make, more queries and proposals to send, and I’m going to wait patiently on the Lord!

He has given me this dream–I will do my part then wait for Him to bring it to pass!

Love and hugs to you all–thank you for sharing this spectacular journey with me.

God bless!

In Him,

Michele

Thoughts on Chapter Seventeen

 

This was a rough chapter to write.

As concerned as I was about the last chapter–adding romance to the story of Wisdom and Solomon–this chapter should have been a breeze.

Not so.

Chapter Seventeen was the toughest to write in the entire history of Wisdom and Folly (ahem, only seventeen weeks, but it seems like I’ve been doing this for a lifetime!)  I simply did not want to write.  At all.

I procrastinated until I knew I couldn’t a second longer, then prayed.

“God, you know I don’t want to do this.  If you want this chapter to be written, you’re going to have to help me want to do this!  Give me the words!  Lead me!  Guide me.  Help me.”

God whispered into my heart, “Start with Wisdom crying in the streets.”

Cool.  Awesome.

But guess what?

I still didn’t want to do it.

I really thought that overpowering feeling of “I can DO this!!!” (with a Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor grunt) would sweep me away and start adrenaline pumping as I typed a thousand words a second.

Nope.

I had to make myself sit there and write the blasted thing.

And even then I posted it a day after my self-imposed time limit.

I just had to share what I learned from this seemingly insignificant moment in my life.

Sometimes God answers my prayers, but I have to force my lazy butt to do my part in making it come to pass, even if I don’t want to.

So, there you have it!  Another lesson learned in this grand journey to publication.

I cannot wait for the day when I get to hold my precious baby–my book–in my hands.

Here is an excerpt from this week’s chapter:

 

“Listen to me! How long will you love ignorance? How long will you wallow in the grime of your sins, refusing freedom? If you follow me, I will pour out my spirit on you, and you will have blessings you never even dreamed were possible. Why won’t you listen? Why do you refuse my blessing? Heed my voice! Listen, and live!”

Wisdom heard a snicker behind her and whirled around.

“Well, hello there, big sister.”

Wisdom’s eyes shot to the roof of the nearest building. Folly leaned against a wall—a room built on the roof—with her arms crossed and one ankle looped over the other.

Wisdom’s mouth fell open. Seriously?

Folly dropped lightly to the ground and strutted forward, posing to show Wisdom all sides of her garish outfit.

Black leather corset, leg-hugging shiny black pants, boots that came past her knees and spiked into claw-like heels. How could Folly walk in those things? She certainly couldn’t fly.

“You like?”

Wisdom shook her head.

“No.”

Folly’s full lips turned down in a pout, and she shrugged, straining her overabundant cleavage.

Wisdom wanted to toss a shawl around her shoulders. A prayer shawl.

“It won’t be the fashion for a few more centuries—quite a few more centuries, actually—but I like it.” A wide grin replaced the pout. “I like it very much.”

Wisdom spun away from her, refusing to be drawn in. Folly had a reason for being here, and she had no intention of finding out what it was.

 

To read further, click the link below, or go to “Chapter Seventeen” under my “Wisdom and Folly” tab at the top of the page.

In Him,

Michele

http://love2readlove2write.com/?page_id=342

Heart on Fire by DaniaArts on deviantART.com  http://daniaarts.deviantart.com/art/Heart-On-Fire-348484727

Disclaimer for Wisdom and Folly, Chapter 16

I feel today’s chapter needs a disclaimer.

(Warning: Spoiler Alert!  Read chapter 16 first if you don’t want to know the plot beforehand!)  :)

This legend comes from the Book of Wisdom, or the Wisdom of Solomon, an apocryphal, biblical-era book supposedly written by Solomon about the angel Wisdom. In it, Wisdom is sent to Solomon, and he falls completely and irrevocably in love with her. He then plots how to petition the throne room for her to be his wife.

I had a really hard time reconciling this to Scripture, but, I figured, as long as I didn’t change anything clearly written in Scripture, I could have some fun with it!

The first half of the Book of Wisdom is about Wisdom and Solomon, and the second half is a tangent about God’s people doing wrong.

I am seriously upset with the author for not finishing Solomon and Wisdom’s story. What did God say when Solomon asked for her hand? I mean, did He just laugh? Did Solomon really think God would be fooled by his pious prayer into giving him an angel for a wife? Where was your mentor to rein in your tangent?!? Seriously, people.

Also, there is much controversy that surrounds Genesis 6:1-6.

I have read varying accounts of the interpretations of this Scripture—that the “sons of God” mentioned were angels, marrying daughters of men–humans. Giants and “mighty men…men of renown” came from the union, gripping the pre-flood earth in bondage to unscrupulous and evil creatures.  Referred to by many as “Nephilim.”

The other side—well, one of them—is that the “sons of God” refer to Seth’s godly lineage, while the daughters of men refer to those from Cain who rejected the Lord.

I have chosen the interpretation that makes for a more fantastical story, but I am mixed about what really happened myself.

Anyway, I absolutely had to write this, because, well, what if? What if Wisdom was an angel God sent to Solomon to teach him how to be wise when he prayed his infamous prayer? What if he did fall in love with her?

What was Solomon’s number one weakness after all? Women. (He did have over 900 wives and concubines, ya know.) So this took my crazy imagination somewhere else…what was your first love like? Did it influence all your other loves? I know mine did.

What if Solomon falls in love with Wisdom, he knows he cannot have her (even though he tries everything he can to get her) and every woman after that is his way of trying to capture what he so loved about Wisdom?

Do I think it really happened that way?

Nope.

Is it one of the things I might ask when I get to heaven?

Maybe.

Ok, most definitely, yes.

Does it make for a good story? I don’t know. You tell me. :)

In Him,

Michele

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