Categories
Humor

The First Zip Line Ride?

Fun trivia: The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. The first person to cross it was E. F. Farrington, the Bridge’s master mechanic.
Zipline Photo
Zipline Photo
But instead of walking across the bridge, he went by zip line!
I discovered this fascinating bit of trivia while doing research for my novel, A Sicilian Farewell, part of which is set in late 19th-century Brooklyn.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is an award-winning author who writes riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. Her latest novel, IN BLACK AND WHITE, a love story about racism, released in November 2019.

Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

MaryAnn has also written THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES trilogy, a page-turning, family saga revolving around the life of Maria Landro, a woman torn between two worlds, and who must choose between them. MaryAnn’s books for children include five picture books: WHO IS JESUS?, TOBY TOO SMALL, CANDLE LOVE, THE DANDELION PATCH, and POEMS FOR WEE ONES and one chapter book: DO ANGELS RIDE PONIES?

MaryAnn lives in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They’ve been married 50 years and are the blessed parents of two wonderful daughters, a very smart son-in-law, and six rambunctious grandchildren. When not writing, MaryAnn loves to paint, play the piano, and make up silly songs with her grandchildren. You can learn more about MaryAnn at maryanndiorio.com.

Categories
Writing Business

A Chat With Cheri Cowell

Marti Pieper
Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in Mount Dora, Florida, where we’ve had lots of rain every day this week. And we’re not complaining, since drought conditions have led to increased fire danger. The subject of today’s interview, Cheri Cowell, has also had extra rain in her area. Since she’s one of my fellow Orlando-area CAN authors, when my home has rain, hers usually does, too!

Welcome, Cheri! I’m so glad to share this time together. My first question is one every author loves: Would you please tell us about your latest book, One Story, One Mission, One God?

 

Cheri Cowell
Cheri Cowell

This workbook-style Bible study is an overview of the whole Bible in two six-week studies. The Old Testament and the New Testament studies help readers see how the Bible is one story about the same God with a single mission from the beginning to the end.

Categories
Writing craft

Proofreading Like a Pro #61

kathyide

Hi! I’m Kathy Ide. In addition to being a published author, I’m a full-time professional freelance editor. For CAN, I’m blogging about tips for writers based on the manuscripts I edit.

Categories
Writing Business

Courageous

Quilting Encouragement with Mary Tatem

jamestown

When I visit the Jamestown ship, the Susan Constant, which sailed from England to land in the wilderness of Virginia, I never fail to marvel at the courage of those who left the security of a known life style for the uncertainty of how they would secure the basic necessities. The 116 foot ship bobbed over the ocean for four months with seventy-one passengers crammed into the cramped spaces. I would hesitate to travel to the Bahamas on that  little ship, let alone across the Atlantic. In May of 1607 when they disembarked on mosquito infested land, the hardships of starvation, and death challenged them. They continued to worship God in the midst of their difficulties and even built a church where they sought God’s direction in the midst of their trials. Ultimately the settlement prevailed.

 

Today people involved in some industries can feel as tossed as those explorers on the tiny Susan Constant. Writers and retailers of physical books produced on paper are among those industries where technological advances have produced the equivalent of stormy seas and unknown terrain. Other industries as well require nimble adjustments to survive change. When we visit  historical sites, we often discover the common thread of praising God in the midst of challenging situations. Those of us in industries that roll and pitch in our times, can copy our ancestors and keep a thankful spirit toward God. He is able to help us negotiate the uncharted seas. His love is greater than turbulence that tosses us around. Cling to His love and watch for his guidance and peace. Psalm 31:3, ‘For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me and guide me.’ Thank you, God, that you care about the details of our lives.

 

Mary TatemMary Tatem is an author of story based devotional books which boost your spirits. Each devotion uses the craft of quilting or scrapbooking to touch the reader’s heart and show the love of God. Her every day examples of God’s involvement in our lives provide encouragement to rely on God.  She enjoys speaking to women and inspires them to trust God and His warm love. Currently, she is using her love of story to write historical novels.

As the mother of four and grandmother of fifteen, she finds life full of inspiring stories. Join her to read about God’s work in His people.

 

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Categories
Writing Business

God’s Smile

Quilting Encouragement with Mary Tatem

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Lifting her feet high in order to run through the loose sand, the five-year-old girl’s face broadcast her delight in seeing me. She threw her arms around my legs. I bent to plant a welcoming kiss on her blonde curls, my heart awash with love for this precious child. Our faces beamed with smiles, and both of us laughed out loud at the joy of being together. In a moment she was back playing with her beach toys, but the bond between us was reinforced by that enthusiastic greeting. Her zeal wasn’t always so exuberant, when she was younger, there were times she clung shyly to her mother’s skirts.  We grandmas love regardless of the ability of the little one to respond.

If we faulty humans can love while we wait for our grandchildren to discover we are worthy of their trust and time, how much more patience does our heavenly Father, who embodies perfect love, possess? It’s easy to run with eagerness to embrace Him with praise when He delights our heart with successful undertakings. However, sometimes we are burdened with disappointment and we fail to seek Him out or even turn away from Him. I believe God’s smile is even broader than a grandma’s when we run to Him is those times of rejection and setbacks, even in writing. Better yet, He has the power to set things right when He bends to kiss our life. He’s always ready to receive us in good times and bad.

 

MaryT_002 - Copy

Mary Tatem is an author of story based devotional books which boost your spirits. Each devotion uses the craft of quilting or scrapbooking to touch the reader’s heart and show the love of God. Her every day examples of God’s involvement in our lives provide encouragement to rely on God.  She enjoys speaking to women and inspires them to trust God and His warm love. Currently, she is using her love of story to write historical novels.

As the mother of four and grandmother of fifteen, she finds life full of inspiring stories. Join her to read about God’s work in His people.

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Categories
Writing Business

Verbs

BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

 

I write today, Lord.
I will be using words, and some of them will be verbs.

Inspire them all, God, but especially the verbs.
Hover over them.
Speak them into existence.
Breathe into them the breath of life.

All my verbs come from you.
You are my “is.”
My “am.”
My “see,” my “know.”
You are my “laugh” and “cry,”
my “wake” and “sleep,”
“shiver” and “sweat,”
“think” and “speak,”
“jump” and “skip” and “dance” and “bounce.”

There is not an action in my day,
a movement of my bones,
a breath in my breast
or a word on my tongue
that does not come from you.

Let it be consciously so in my writing today.
And at the end of my day, with the final word on the page,
pronounce it good, in Jesus’ name, amen.

TRLPLBob’s latest book is The Red Letter Prayer Life, available now via Bob’s website or at fine Christian retailers everywhere. He is also the author of “31 Ways to Pray for Your Children,” an iPhone and iPad app available via iTunes.

Categories
Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Tension And Conflict Part I

"Gail

Welcome to CAN’s new website from Gail Gaymer Martin. Today I will begin a new series on Tension and Confict which is a driving force in fiction writing. I hope you enjoy the seven articles on this topic.

The Set Up to Tension and Conflict
I recently presented a workshop on tension and conflict. The topic offers many steps to writing a good novel. I began this workshop with the basic elements needed to begin a novel because it sets up how conflict begins. Conflict is a concept you know is vital to any story. It is what drives your story and is an event that causes action between the opposition and the main character. Tension, on the other hand, is the character’s reaction to the event. This reaction arouses emotion of the character and the reader. Emotion is a must in any novel.

Vulnerable Characters
Major characters must be vulnerable. They have flaws, weaknesses, fears, and sinful behaviors which they often are trying to hide. Immediately you find tension inherent in this situation. Whenever a character wants to avoid facing a truth, tension creating emotion happens. Another side of these flaws and weaknesses might be the character’s inability or avoidance to face them. It is denial. I am not impatient. I do not look at everything in a negative way. I don’t feel sorry for myself. When you look at your own flaws, you can relate to this problem. No one wants to admit what makes them less than perfect.

Characters’ Goals
Every major character needs a goal. It is something they want to gain or something they want to avoid. They want to gain a good reputation. They want to avoid gossip. They want to find the treasure. They want to avoid being found. They want to find the killer. They want to avoid being killed. They want to find love. They don’t want to give up their freedom.

Goals fall into three other categories: possession, relief, or revenge. The character wants to possess wealth, charm, good looks, success, love. The character wants relief from fear, loneliness, hatred, domination, pain, sorrow. The character wants revenge for a loss, betrayal, lie, robbery, prejudice. You can add to the list with your own ideas that fit under possession, relief or revenge. Keep these ideas in mind as you create goals for your characters. Make sure the goal has issues that will create conflict.

The Hook
Every novel needs a hook, a premise that draws the readers in and an event that makes them curious or ask questions. A hook is introduced when something happens. It can be the result of a new character entering the scene, receiving a letter or phone call, being offered a proposition, reading something in a newspaper, or a character’s startling statement. Whatever it is, the thing that happens is best when it adds surprise, makes the readers ask questions, or creates an emotion that pulls the reader along.

Next, the “happening” creates opposition to the character’s goal. Opposition is conflict. Well-known writer, Dwight Swain, in his book, Techniques of the Selling Writer, says that conflict can:
• Hinders
• Complicates
• Blocks
A goal is hindered when another conflict or another goal gets in the way, especially a goal that must be reached before the larger goal is accessible. Complications can involve an accident, another person demanding time or energy, a new piece of information that changes the direction of the goal. Finally goals can be blocked when someone gets there first or when someone removes options. I’m sure you can think of many other things to add to this list.

The next article will cover the Nature of Conflicts.

 

Categories
Speaking

Becoming an Expert

 

  "Day

Cheri Cowell here:

Do you consider yourself an expert? As a speaker and writer, like it or not, we are seen as experts. Wearing the expert mantle takes some getting used to, but if we want to carry the message that's been placed in our hearts into a world full of 'experts' on just about everything, we need to get comfortable fast. Here are some things to consider in hanging out your expert shingle.

Categories
Encouragement Inspiration for Writers

Sailing to the Shore of Success

"Author,

“Did you want a four or a seven-day Caribbean cruise?” the travel agent asked.

What a choice. Even one day on that luxurious cruise ship is enough to make me salivate with excitement. But recently, unfortunate cruising events broadcasted by the media brought that thrill a notch down.

Many feel pity for those passengers who found a nice cruise turn to a crazy nightmare. But when sailing in our own ship to success, the fate isn’t much different.

Categories
Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Five Keys to Triumph Over Internet Insanity

 

"Author,

Anybody out there dizzy like I am? Are you being bombarded by offers, suggestions, advice, luring seminars, and workshops—all to expose your writing, enhance marketing efforts, and boost sales?

Confessing…I’ve been caught in the gotta-try-that frenzy. Most of us are dashing here and there, hoping to get that platform built. Eager to get our books promoted. Trying to get that door to open, one that will make our work soar to the top. Trying to book that big speaking engagement. Trying, trying till we collapse into bed, our head exploding with endless possibilities—too many to try. And some, too expensive to accept.

So, what to do? How to dodge the firing of internet luring? I just came up with five practical steps, simple to follow. And with a bit of diligence, they will bring serenity to the internet insanity.

1. Begin the day with prayer for God’s wisdom—abundant wisdom to choose, evaluate, and discern.

2. Be careful. Is the offer sounding too good to be true? It probably is.

3. Be prepared. Is the lure touching your emotions with wording: “only three spots left; act now and save…offer only today.”

4. Be bold. Check out input from trusted fellow authors and speakers. They will share their experience, giving valuable insight.

5. Be faithful and embrace this truth: in the midst of endless offers, God offers His grace to accomplish what we cannot.

At the end of the day, you can put your head on the pillow of peace, and having made Godly-wise decisions, your heart will echo, “All is well with my soul.”

Janet

"Judson

 

Cheering you on to experience life, harvest its lessons and share their outcome.

Although blind, Janet Perez Eckles inspires you to see the best in life. With her #1 Amazon best-selling release, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta, she inspires you to look beyond a complicated world to find the simplicity of God’s joy and success.
www.janetperezeckles.com