Categories
Humor Writing craft

My Notorious Mind Game

Today’s Fascinating Friday post comes from Joan C. Benson. Thank you, Joan!

The quirks of this writer are about to be laid bare before the world. Oh, no! What will they think? After years of self-analysis, I reached an “Ah ha!” moment not long ago. My trick may amuse you, or even better, might help you in your creative endeavors. I hope my revelation will at least be fascinating since this is a “Fascinating Friday” post.

Have you known people who set their clocks ahead so they won’t be late? I used to laugh at this ploy. I was sure my brain would override the trick and think, “Oh, no worries. I have an extra ten minutes.” 

For the backstory to my discovery, I confess. I began as a contract writer. I was hired, mostly by educational publishers, who always seemed behind schedule. There would be scopes and sequences, outlines and projections, but the project was often behind when it began. The managers, editors, and supervisors, from my observation, lived in a constant state of stress.

As a novelist, I had no high-pressure stakes. I had learned how to keep deadlines because paychecks were tied to nailing guidelines and deadlines. I even worked ahead of schedule whenever possible. To do this, I mapped out my due dates on the calendar for each aspect of my writing. However, when I faced my own creative projects, no structure focused my writing. I lost momentum. The conclusion in this quirky story is I had to “set my clock ahead” to trick my brain! I had to devise deadlines on my own. Otherwise, every little squeaky wheel became a saboteur. 

Perhaps this has made you grimace, giggle, or acknowledge how challenging time management can be. Working from home as an author is not an easy feat when life beckons with demands. I pray this might help you in some small way. Or, give you a laugh.

Joan C Benson is a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, and author/speaker. She has been a freelance writer for over thirty years. Her debut historical fiction novel, His Gift, was released by Elk Lake Publishing in 2020. She has been published in magazines and on CBN.com. She is a blogger and you can find her at www.joancbenson.com

Categories
Humor

Water or Not?

Sandra Glahn

While I’ve often written for medical publications—both fiction and non—I am not myself a physician. But I’ve been on the receiving end of more than my share of surgeries and treatments, so I can definitely write from the patient’s perspective. When I wrote non-fiction medical information for the trade market, my editors usually viewed my “lack of knowledge” as a benefit. My ignorance meant I naturally said “miscarriage” instead of “spontaneous abortion” and  “bruise” instead of “contusion.”

But when I decided to branch into fiction to explore complex medical issues (Lethal Harvest; Deadly Cure; False Positive), I knew I had gaps in my knowledge that only years in med school, the exam room, and the surgical suite could make up for. So I partnered with an obstetrical-gynecologist. My last novel, Lethal Harvest,was a solo work of medical suspense, but he still edited it for medical accuracy.

One of the good doctor’s “catches” was my lack of knowledge about sterile surfaces. In one scene I had described a gloved-up physician, upon receiving shocking news, grasping the surgical table. But my actual-surgeon reader said, “No way. You just risked infecting the patient.”

But the doctor’s far more memorable catch was actually a typo. I meant to have my main-character physician, who was sitting in his research area, ask his assistant to bring him a glass of H2O. But I accidentally wrote H2O as HO2—hydroperoxyl radical, also known as the perhydroxyl radical. The margin note I received in response was simply this: “Congratulations. You just blew up the lab.”

 

Glahn photo
Sandra Glahn

Dr. Sandra Glahn is the author or coauthor of more than twenty books, including four medical suspense novels that explore ethical and theological complexities. Lethal Harvest, now in its second edition, was a Christy Award finalist.

 

 

Informed Consent
Informed Consent

Categories
Humor

Be Careful What You Say

Linda Rondeau
Linda Rondeau

But where’s the fun in that?

“She’s going to kill him!” my writer friend said, in a loud of enough voice and with convincing enthusiasm to be heard across the lobby while we waited for the elevator in my apartment building.

We had just returned from a brisk, evening walk while we  brainstormed her newest Christian suspense.

A neighbor entered the area just as my friend finished illuminating her plot and announced the crux of her heroine’s dilemma. The poor man’s eyes bugged. I can only imagine the thoughts going through his mind. “What have I just overheard?”

We reassured him we were not grandmotherly-type terrorists, nor were we plotting a horrendous murder … well  … we were plotting a killing … a literary one. We gave him our business cards and did our best to explain that writers are insane, but we are normally harmless.

A writer needs to be  careful where they verbalize their story ideas or add explanations to their contrivances. Fortunately, our neighbor did believe us and didn’t report us to local law enforcement.

While on a group trip to a Christian women’s event, I gave an explanation to a devotional I wrote that expounded my extreme dislike of Lima beans. I did so dramatically, miming my explanation … “They stick in my throat and make me choke.” An illustration to point out the negative impact of crammed religiosity in our children.

A few minutes later, we stopped to eat at a Cracker Barrel. The waitress efficiently and politely informed our group the vegetable of the day was Lima beans. We burst out laughing.

I gave the girl an extra tip with my explanation for our rudeness.

Yes, a writer’s life is never dull. A funny thing always happens on the way to and from our manuscripts.

 

Rondeau-Prayed-for-Patience-Book-Cover-Dec-2019
I Prayed for Patience Book Cover

Categories
Writing Business

Tips From the Pros: Anne Greene

ALT="Davalynn Spencer"Greetings from Colorado where spring has finally sprung! Today I’m happy to introduce author Anne Greene for her encore visit to CAN.

Welcome, Anne. How many books do you now have published? So far I have six books published. I also have nine novellas, all in boxed sets as well as single books.

Categories
Writing Business

Tips from the Pros: Cara Putman

Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin! I’ve just come home from the fabulous Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and now it’s back to work. But today’s work is fun! I get to interview a very special friend, novelist Cara Putman. Cara shares my love for World War II, and we were co-authors for Where Treetops Glisten. She also puts her background as a lawyer to use in mysteries and in her latest novel, Beyond Justice, a gripping legal thriller.

Cara, how many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

Cara Putman
Cara Putman

I currently have 25 books out or in process. My latest book is Beyond Justice, and then I have several with Guidepost mysteries as well as Where Treetops Glisten and Shadowed by Grace.

Categories
Writing Business

Tips from the Pros: Liz Tolsma

Marti Pieper
Marti Pieper

Greetings from Marti Pieper in charming Mount Dora, Florida, where we haven’t quite decided if we’re ready for warm weather or not. I do, however, have a warm conversation to offer you today with delightful novelist Liz Tolsma. Welcome back, Liz, to our CAN blog. Let’s get started with the official interview.

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I have six. My most recent are “World’s Greatest Love” in the Rails to Love novella collection, and “A Match Made in Heaven” in the Matchmaker Brides novella collection.

Liz Tolsma
Liz Tolsma

Congratulations! You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

Writing has its ups and downs, its busy seasons and its lean times. You don’t know when you’ll get your next contract, and sometimes, even having a contract is no guarantee your book will get published. But God is faithful, and He provides

That’s a great reminder for every writer—and every Christ-follower. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about promotion since then?

That I know very little about promotion. The landscape is always changing. There’s always something new out there, and it’s next to impossible to keep up with all the trends. I’m working on focusing on a couple of things and doing them well, and trying not to stress about all I don’t know.

Categories
Writing Business

Tips From the Pros: Susan G. Mathis – Encore

ALT="Davalynn Spencer"
Davalynn Spencer

Greetings from the unseasonably warm Front Range of Colorado. I’m happy to welcome another Coloradan today for her encore visit, author Susan G. Mathis.

Susan, it’s good to have you here again. How many books do you have published and what are some of your latest titles?

I currently have five published books. My debut novel, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, just came out, and I’m excited to turn my attention to writing historical fiction full-time.  My journey has been multi-faceted, and I consider my writing as ministry.

Categories
Marketing

Tips from the Pros: Ginny McCabe

Greetings from central Florida and the lovely town of Mount Dora. Although we’re not snowed in like some parts of the country, we’ve had colder nights this week than we have during much of the winter. (I don’t want to inspire coveting, so we won’t mention how “low” our temperatures have dropped).

I have the privilege today of introducing you to experienced author and journalist Ginny McCabe. Ginny has lots to share, so let’s get started.

Welcome, Ginny! How did you get into writing?

From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I have spent much of my professional career in full-time positions in news, marketing and media relations with news organizations, in radio and publishing. I earned a journalism degree from Cincinnati Christian University and had some tremendous mentors, but I learned early on the value of being a go-getter and a disciplined, well-rounded writer.

In becoming a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist, it comes down to my faith, God’s hand on my life, the unconditional love and support of my family and friends mixed with hard work, talent, dedication and perseverance.

How many books do you have published? What are a few of your latest titles?

I have authored five books and collaborated on four additional titles. Secrets Young Women Keep (Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins), a CBA bestseller and an ECPA Silver Medallion winner, and Rich Chick (Amazon) are a few of the latest titles.

How did your first book come about?

Some Kind of Journey: On the Road with Audio Adrenaline (Standard Publishing) was the first book project I had the privilege of being a part of. It was an MTV Real World kind of an experience from a Christian worldview. A group of us—an editor, myself as an author/journalist and several photographers/videographers—went on a road trip with Audio Adrenaline. We also took a handful of college students from across the country—Chad, David, John, Lisa, Rachel, Scotia and Vicki—and talked about real-life issues like the church, dating and more, which are covered in the book. We went from a golf course in Columbus to the inner-city streets of Chicago and onstage in Minneapolis—and experienced a week of what’s it’s like to be in a popular Christian band.

The editor, Dale Reeves, knew I had experience writing about the arts, entertainment and music, so he asked me to be a part of it. A lot of book projects have come about as a result of relationships as well as my talent and level of experience. Dale was also my youth minister when I was a teenager. He introduced me to Christian artists like Keith Green and Michael W. Smith. Christian music has been instrumental in my faith journey, so this book is deeply meaningful to me on many levels.  

Categories
Writing Business

Tips from the Pros: Katrina Cassel

Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the honor of interviewing scuba-diving, ukulele-playing author Katrina Cassel, who writes nonfiction for girls and preteens. Because if you write for children, you have to stay young at heart!

Katrina, how did you get into writing?

Katrina Cassel
Katrina Cassel

I always enjoyed writing but never thought it could be a career, so I went into teaching. But moving around with my Air Force husband meant trying to recertify in different states, so instead I worked more on my writing. Then with all the changes in education it was no longer “fun,” so I never went back to teaching but focused on raising our children and writing. (I have eight children—two by birth, one step and five adopted, three of whom are from Haiti).

Categories
Writing Business

Tips from the Pros: Dr. Lainna Callentine

Sarah Sundin
Sarah Sundin

Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Well, this is a fun interview for me. As a pharmacist dragged into writing by the Lord, I enjoyed reading Dr. Lainna Callentine’s story—a pediatrician dragged into writing by the Lord. Hmm. Dr. Callentine uses her background in medicine and homeschooling to teach anatomy and physiology to children—and now she has a series of books for children on these subjects.

Dr. Callentine, how did you get into writing?

Dr. Lainna Callentine
Dr. Lainna Callentine

I never had an interest in being an author. Crazy, right? This is not the way most authors typically start off an interview. It was not on my radar. I always had a love and a passion for science. I felt called to be a doctor at the tender age of four years old. I spent many days in the hospital as asthmatic child. Suffering from severe asthma kept me in the mix of medical professionals. I would watch the doctors and nurses care for me, and it inspired me to want to be a children’s doctor. God has been so gracious to allow me to care for the most amazing patients as a pediatrician.