How a Cat Changes its…um…Fur

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Today’s edition of Fascinating Fridays comes from CAN member Robin Currie. Thank you for bringing us your animals’ eyewitness account of the Nativity story today, Robin! I published Eyewitness Animals, Christmas Story, (Standard Publishing, now out of print) in the summer of 1997 about the Nativity story though the eyes of seven different animals who may have been there. They did not talk to humans but observed them and made internal comments. The animals all had names that described them. The usual ones were Clomper, Donkey, Wooly Lamb, and Sandy Camel. Then I added Twitter Sparrow observing angel activity in Galilee,…

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Start Your Morning Write

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Today’s timely message of encouragement comes Linda Goldfarb–CAN member, author, speaker, coach and dear friend to many who shares from the heart on her morning practice of daily writing. Thank you, Linda! I’ve written short term pieces daily for more than a decade. I began for my eyes only, as I’m a speaker who writes, you see. Until I chose to heed the Spirit to share my writings and now it seems I’ve started a fire of sorts. Not too hot for pre-believers, yet challenging, I hope, for those who have ears to hear. Here’s a taste. I pray its…

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Writing is Like Fighting…

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Happy Friday! Today CAN member Carla Hoch inspires us with writing perspectives told from a fighter’s point of view. Mohammed Ali estimated that over the course of his career he had been hit about 29,000 times. Twenty-nine thousand! Now, I don’t know how many of you have been punched in the face, but it ain’t fun. A solid punch can rock you to your core. And, after the fact, you are sore in places you never thought you’d be. Including your spirit. Writing is a lot like fighting. You pour your heart into it and sometimes the “win” doesn’t come….

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The Story Behind the Story of. . . A Pink Lady Thanksgiving

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It’s 1879, and the Oregon Trail is still ferrying emigrants west to California, Oregon, and Washington. Hundreds of covered wagon trains with thousands of people every year, all searching for something better than they left behind. The first book, Kate, is a tale of adventure and love filled with secrets, threats, and narrow escapes as Kate and Tom head for Oregon City. Now, they’ve safely put their past behind them. Or have they? Kate realizes her dream of working for the Pinkerton Detective Agency, and her first assignment is to find a local missing woman. When she begins investigating, however,…

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Inspiration in Everyday Things

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Most writers find inspiration in things they notice or read about—I’ve certainly read a news article and thought, “Hmm, that would make a good plot for a romantic suspense book.” For two of my romantic suspense stories, the general plotline has its roots in real life. I based Dangerous Christmas Memories on a short news item about two celebrities who tied the knot in Las Vegas but didn’t realize it was a “real” marriage until years later. In my story, the heroine literally forgot she had said “I do,” in Vegas, then disappeared while the hero spent years looking for…

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The Write to Expire

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The first day of the writer’s conference, my daughters and I crowded onto the elevator with several other conferees making their way to the morning keynote session. Fifteen-year-old Holly and 17-year-old Leilani were the only teen attendees that year. “I just love to see expiring new writers,” spoke up an elderly lady. She nodded and smiled at my daughters. Of course, she meant to say aspiring. Not expiring. I think. Quick-witted Holly didn’t miss a beat. “You must mean my mom.” During the process of writing 29 of my own books and many titles for clients in addition to countless…

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A Frightening Proposition

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What is your greatest fear? What would it take to face that fear, and make the shift from from fear to love? Halloween, El Dia de Los Meurtos, All Hallows Eve—these traditions offer a great opportunity to reflect on our faith walk and the extent to which we are allowing the Holy Spirit to move us away from fear into His perfect love. The journey itself could spark a great story. Anytime I notice myself living a little smaller, a little less joyfully, a little less confidently—I know it is time for me to stop, pray, and reflect. I ask…

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The Writer Who Almost Wasn’t

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Proof of God’s power and sense of humor are both evident in my story of getting published.    Readers would probably be surprised to learn that despite majoring in English Literature and graduating magna cum laude, I was too afraid to take a Creative Writing class. It wasn’t that I didn’t have story ideas—I just lacked the confidence and, I believed, the time, to write them.  (I worked full time and was convinced it would take an enormous amount of time to do it well, if I could indeed even do it.) But story ideas wouldn’t go away. And after waiting…

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Dreamy Ideas

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Where do you get your ideas? We writers know, love, and sometimes hate this age-old question. My Jo Oliver thriller series started with a desire to write compelling stories of triumph, choice, and the power of emergent faith and community. Each story was fueled by a strong character, a plot idea, or an idea of what justice might look like via a twisty series of events. And while I am playing around with my next installment, I find myself distracted by new dreams. For the past year or so, I’ve been toying with a new story that I finally had…

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There’s an App for That

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by Judith Couchman Recently I ate lunch with Heather, a former coaching client who became a friend. She talked about an app that helps her learn to write better, catching mistakes and suggesting ways to improve. I recognized Heather’s sincere desire to write well, and that impressed me. Many writers new to the craft want to skip over writing principles and dart straight to publishing and social networking. Heather felt so excited about this method for improving her manuscript, I couldn’t help but absorb her enthusiasm. Later at home, online I researched writing apps. After typing “Writing Apps” into my…

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