Writing Stories & Walking on Water

When I first started writing, I had a character who could . . . maybe . . . walk on water. I came to realize the story line didn’t work the way I wanted and I gave that idea up. But I read the Gospel account of Peter walking on water many times. Many times. Then on Sunday morning our pastor mentioned that water walking passage in his sermon. And suddenly, I saw an entirely new (to me) aspect to those verses. When Peter doubted and began to sink, Jesus took him by the hand and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then in Matthew 28:20b he sends the eleven disciples ot to make more disciples in every nation saying, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Peter did the seemingly impossible so long as he had faith in Jesus who was with him. I don’t think Jesus was admonishing Peter so much as he was suggesting that if only Peter had faith he could do so much more. I doubt all the time. I doubt that I can meet my goals at work. I doubt that I’m meant to have a career as a writer. I doubt that I’m doing all I should for my family. I doubt that I know enough to lead Sunday School. I doubt. But what if none of that depends on me? Or rather […]

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My Muse at Work

I’m working on a new story idea–which is typically my FAVORITE part of the process. That and finally seeing a cover! Even when I think I know what a story is going to be about, it will often go off on a tangent I didn’t see coming. Thistle–my muse who lays at my feet while I write–likes to help me run down ideas. This video seems to capture the process. You often have to be incredibly persistent and just throw yourself into the pursuit of an idea with everything you’ve got. Just be grateful that when you want to dig into something new, you get to use your hands instead of your face. *Neither chipmunks nor story ideas were harmed in the filming of this video.  

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The BEST Reference Books

While you can look just about anything up on-line these days, it’s sometimes nice to have an actual book you can take down from the shelf and flip through to find what you need. That’s what I do when I want to include hymn lyrics in one of my novels. When a character sings, mentions a favorite hymn, or is touched by lyrics, I reach for my 1956 copy of Heavenly Highway Hymns from Laurel Fork United Methodist Church. By the time I was a kid in the 70s, we’d replaced the worn, softcover hymnals with foil stamped hardback copies. But, of course, no one threw away the old ones. So, probably 15 years ago, I asked for one of the 1956 copies (turns out to be the first printing). And now I treasure it. And refer to it often when working on a manuscript. The problem is, once I dip into those fragile pages, I am typically lost. On the way to Rock of Ages–#225–I stumble across #241. And I have to sing it (aloud if no one’s around). Who can resist a chorus like, “Lord, build me a cabin in the corner of glory land . . . In the shade of the tree of life that it may ever stand; Where I can hear the angels sing and shake Jesus’ hand; Yes, build me a cabin in the corner of glory land.” I can hear Smutt and Anna, Uncle Willis […]

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Christian Authors ROCK!

Being a published author is a dream come true for me. And while some aspects aren’t quite as wonderful as I imagined (book signing with two attendees anyone?), others are better. Like the way Christian authors look out for each other. I just spent several days at the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta. I was a little bit out of […]

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Books! Chocolate! Authors!

No Appalachian Thursday today. I’m at the RT Book Lovers Convention in Atlanta, Ga., enjoying time with readers, authors, and chocolate. Good times! If you’re in the area, here’s one of my events: If you’re not in the area, heads up that my first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, is FREE this week during the convention. BONUS–so are books […]

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