WordServe News: March 2014

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

Debora M. Coty released The Bible Promise Book: Too Blessed to be Stressed Edition 9781624169885_p0_v2_s260x420with Barbour, a collection of selections from the original Too Blessed to be Stressed book.

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9780802409577_p0_v1_s260x420Roberta Kells Dorr released Abraham and Sarah with River North.

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SavedbyGracieJan Dunlap released Saved by Gracie with Authentic.

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Ken Gire released At Peace in the Storm with Bethany House Publishers.9780764208843_p0_v2_s260x420

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9781624168581_p0_v2_s260x420Paul Kent released Playing with Purpose: Baseball Devotions with Barbour.

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Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall released Mark of Evil with Zondervan.

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Ben & Julianna Zobrist with Mike Yorkey released Double Play with B&H Publishers.

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9781624166181_p0_v2_s260x420Mike Yorkey released Playing with Purpose: Racing with Barbour.

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New WordServe Clients

Shelley Hendricks signed with Alice Crider.

Leticia Yuzefpolsky signed with Greg Johnson.

Linda Znachko signed with Alice Crider.

New Contracts

Anita Agers-Brooks signed a contract with Barbour for her non-fiction project titled, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. Alice Crider, agent of record.

What We’re Celebrating!!

The Brotherhood Conspiracy by Terry Brennan is a finalist for Foreword Review’s 2013 Book of the Year Award, in the category of Action & Adventure (Adult Fiction). Foreword Reviews, the only review magazine solely dedicated to discovering new indie books, announced the finalists for its 16th Annual Book of the Year Awards. The winners will be determined within the next two months. The final announcement will be made Friday, June 27, in Las Vegas, during the American Library Association Annual Conference. There are awards in over 60 categories and cash prizes for the best in fiction and nonfiction. Here is the complete list of finalists and the listing for The Brotherhood Conspiracy can be found here.

Amy Sorrells’ debut novel How Sweet the Sound received a fantastic review from USA Today!

Set in the late 1970s and early 1980s, a time when the topic of sexual abuse was not a thing “talked about” in the media and for which victims were still too often treated as “deserving” of the crimes committed against them, this novel refuses to nicey-nice over tough and ugly realities. This story is, throughout, raw — but yet penned with a sweetness of prose that makes you want to keep reading, even when you know it would be easier to curl into a ball and weep for the brokenness of the characters therein.

Poignant switches of point-of-view between Anniston and her aunt, Comfort, show the reach of abuse within generations of the same family and stretch a reader’s heart to its limits. Simply put, it hurts to read this novel. It hurts to watch the characters go through what they do. It hurts to see family secrets exposed, revealing pain upon pain. It hurts to see them abandon true love and it hurts when they are seemingly abandoned by it — but how beautiful the pain when an ending so lovely and right redefines and redeems several futures at once.

This book will turn your emotions inside out and grip your heart with a clawed fist before pouring acid — and then balm — over the wounds. You have been warned. Now, by all means, go buy this unusually edgy and entirely moving inspirational novel and read it for yourself.

What are you celebrating on this writing journey?

Growing a Writing Garden

We writers are pioneers — with the opportunity to become heroes. 

“Do what?” you say.

Here’s how I connect the dots, or the rows, in this case.

Country Vegetable Garden

Preparing the Soil is Critical to a Bountiful Harvest

I now realize how much writing is like gardening. I grew up in the country, with parents who toiled under hot sun and long days. There were eight of us in the family, so we gardened to survive.

I can still see my mother making mud when she swiped her saturated forehead with a soil encrusted hand. “Break the ground up until all the chunks are gone, and the dirt feathers through your fingers.” Then she’d demonstrate, watching streams of brown flow into the wind.

After softening the soil, we fertilized with a mix designed to enhance growing power, making sure we didn’t scorch the tender seeds we hid beneath a blanket of dust.

Every seed looked different. We placed pods, beans, tiny black dots, and flaky wisps into the ground, then covered them according to the depth of their needs, before watering. The scent of earthy musk was strong, as wet and dry mingled.

But still, the work wasn’t done between planting and harvest. It took several days before the first fledgling shoots peeked into daylight. We hunkered over the dirt, waiting to glimpse the sprouts. The first took the longest, but when it popped, the landscape was soon covered in bright green, fragile plants, all groping higher for the sun.

Kentucky Tobacco

Are You Nearing Harvest Time?

Once we saw progress, even harder work began. Hoeing, weeding, continual watering, fighting the heat of radiating summer days. Sleep. Repeat. Sleep. Repeat. While the plants slowly grew taller and thicker.

For weeks, we followed this pattern. The newness had long since worn off. We were hot. Tired. Bored. And ready for the monotony and harsh elements to end.

Until finally. Harvest time. Though it was still too early for the soothing calm of autumn winds, gleaning fruits and vegetables energized our dry spirits. We plucked juicy tomatoes, and ate them like candy. Fresh cucumbers refreshed our hot lips. We shucked silk from raw corn and popped it in our mouths. Life was good, and we wallowed in its glory. Until canning and freezing time.

Green Cornfield

What Does Your Writing Garden Look Like?

I won’t go into plucking, shucking, de-stringing, pressure-cookers, mason jars, freezer bags, or the other finger-numbing parts of putting food away for the winter. I think you get the picture. We couldn’t rush the process.

And writing connects with this scenario. So do pioneers and heroes.

Think about it. When you write, don’t you have to prepare the soil? Deal with fertilizer, but then realize it adds fodder to your crops? Don’t we seed devotions, articles, webzines, copy-writing, books, and speaking platforms?

We water, hoe, weed, and care for our tender publishing shoots.

Then we finally harvest. And we wallow in the glory of it — until we realize how much more work must be done.

Pioneer Wagon

You Are a Pioneer Who Could Be a Hero

This is where I think of pioneers. Many of us dare new territories with our messages. We explore and discover. And like the pioneers who founded America, we stake claims, work hard, protect, and we pray. Sometimes all manner of crisis, like harsh winters, droughts, prairie fires, tornadoes, and hail, threaten to destroy what we’ve built.

But like the sturdy pioneer, we must determine not to give up. This is where heroes are born. Those hardy souls who will not be moved from the place they are called. Who refuse to buckle under the bellows of the wind.

Those who know growing a writing garden is not something everyone can do. But who believe in their message, the impact, the harvest — and don’t give up. Because the honor of feeding a multitude makes dealing with every clump of dirt worthwhile. And so they hoe.

How does your writing garden grow?

Hopelessly Devoted to You

Soundtrack for Grease

I Wore My Album Out

I loved the movie Grease when I was a teenager. My cherished movie soundtrack album wore out, as needle tracks embedded themselves deeper into the shiny, black vinyl. I even played Olivia Newton John’s part as Sandy, in a condensed version with my high school mates.

In the privacy of my bedroom, and a handful of times on the stage, I belted out Sandy’s song of undying love for Danny, Hopelessly Devoted to You. With adoration pulsing through my vocal chords, I too, felt the passion of forever romance.

And today, that’s how I want to feel about Jesus. I want my heart to thump with anticipation every time I hear His voice, smell His scent, brush against His presence, taste His goodness, and see His glory. Though I tremble when I’m near Him, I want to wildly, passionately, and bravely chase after Him for more.

Sandy & Danny at Sunset - Grease

This is my Hopelessly Devotional

Like Sandy in the movie, I ultimately want to transform myself, so at the end, I look more like Him, and less like me. I want my devotion to shine from the inside out, so the whole world knows, I am hopelessly devoted to Him.

Today, I probably wouldn’t watch Grease if it weren’t for nostalgia. As I’ve grown in my desire to please God, I realize there are parts of the movie that don’t honor Him. But when I do allow myself to indulge, I see nuances explaining my draw to the magic of Grease, way back when. The same nuances draw me to intimacy with Jesus. I am hopelessly devoted.

But what exactly does devote mean? According to one dictionary, it’s defined this way. To give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause). 

This definition makes me pause. Am I giving all or a large part of my time or resources to Christ? Am I offering Him the best of my energy, talents, and love?

Often I think I do, I want to, but deep down, I know I fall short of an active, hope-infused devotion. My vocal cords aren’t pulsing with passion, the way they should.

Danny & Sandy -- Grease

Flying into Forever Romance

Thankfully, Jesus isn’t as fickle as John Travolta, when he played Danny in Grease. Christ is not impacted by peer pressure. He cares little about my outward appearance. His interest in me isn’t self-serving. He loves me enough for both of us. His desire is to meet me in the clouds, where He and I will truly fly away into our forever romance.

As I write this, I can close my eyes, and see us. Jesus and me, in a magical moment, strolling through heaven.

Danny & Sandy on the Beach, Grease

Hopelessly Devoted to Magical Moments with Jesus

I’ll cling to his arm, lay my head on his shoulder, and breathe deeply of his scent while we walk. He’ll stop and turn, so we’re face-to-face. He’ll lift my chin.

Totally engaged, I’ll get lost in His smiling eyes, while I belt out our song. He will know, I’m Hopelessly Devoted to You.

Is there a special song, movie, or memory that offers a unique vision of your intimate moments with Jesus Christ?

WordServe News: December 2012

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

As the year comes to a close, we’re so very grateful that WordServe Authors released 83 books in 2012, and signed 80 book contracts for nearly 119 books to release off in the future.

IntotheFreeJulie Cantrell had the agency’s first New York Times Bestseller in many years with her book Into the Free. It also garnered a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. A rarity.

We had several books climb over the 100,000 copy mark:

* The Secret Holocaust Diaries of Nonna Bannister, written by Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin (Tyndale)

* The Devil in Pew Seven by Rebecca Alonzo, with James Pence (Tyndale)

* My Flight to Heaven by Dale Black (Bethany)

* Edge of Apocalypse by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall (Zondervan)

* Linspired (adult and YA book together) by Mike Yorkey (Zondervan)

And we’ve had several authors show up on national shows:

* Rebecca Alonzo on Dr. Phil (twice)

* Lauren Scruggs appeared on several shows in November at the launch of her book, Still Lolo.

These WordServe authors signed their FIRST BOOK CONTRACT in 2012:

* Anita Agers-Brooks (Leafwood)
* Leigh Ann Bryant (Authentic)
* Deb DeArmond (Leafwood)
* Rebecca DiMarino (Revell)
* Jan Drexler (Love Inspired)
* Michael Hidalgo (IVP)
* Heather James (Kregel)
* Amanda Jenkins (Tyndale)
* Caesar Kalinowski (Zondervan)
* Heather Larson, with David and Claudia Arp (Bethany)
* Tracie Miles (Leafwood)
* Jerry and Caroly Parr (Tyndale)
* Christina Powell (IVP)
* Rachel Randolph, with Becky Johnson (Zondervan)
* Tina Samples (Kregel)
* Lauren Scruggs (Tyndale)
* Amy Sorrels (David C. Cook)
* Mandy Stewarad (David C. Cook)
* Janalyn Voigt (Harbourlight)
* Jeremy & Jennifer Williams (Thomas Nelson)
* Tricia Williford (WaterBrook)

These WordServe authors had their FIRST BOOKS published through a traditional publishing house:

* Julie Cantrell, Into the Free (David C. Cook)
* Arnie Cole, Unstuck (Bethany)
* Katie Ganshert, Wildflowers from Winter (WaterBrook)
* Adam Makos, A Higher Call (Berkley Caliber)
* Jay Pathak/Dave Runyon, The Art of Neighboring (Baker)
* Zeke Pipher, Man on the Run (Howard)
* Lauren Scrubbs, Still Lolo (Tyndale)
* Helen Shores and Barbara Shores Lee, The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill (Zondervan)
* Jordyn Redwood, Proof (Kregel)

So all in all, we had lots to celebrate!

New January Releases

WhatJesusSteve Addison, What Jesus Started.

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UnholyHungerHeather James, Unholy Hunger, her debut novel!

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RadicalDr. Rita Hancock, Radical Well Being

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AHigherCallAdam Makos, A Higher Call

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JustWhatDoctorRick Marschall, Just What the Doctor Disordered

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TheRiverGilbert Morris, The River Palace

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DilemmaOlivia Newport, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

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GreatStoriesJoe Wheeler, Great Stories Remembered #1, audio (eChristian)

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StinkyJoe Wheeler, Stinky: The Skunk Who Wouldn’t Leave (Pacific Press)

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New WordServe Clients

Several new clients have joined the WordServe stable with Alice Crider as their point person, but we’ll report more on that next month.

New Contracts

Christina Powell signed with Intervarsity Press (IVP) for her first book. The book is tentatively titled Question your Doubts. It explores the many roots of doubt experienced by both believers and nonbelievers, providing a corresponding response of faith from the rare perspective of a Harvard-trained research scientist who is also an ordained minister. (SF)

What can we help you celebrate?

Crafting a Writing Goal

Book Proposal Image

Words aspiring writers want to hear.

“Send me a proposal on your idea.”

When it happened for me, at a writers conference, I first went off to a private place and cried happy tears. Then reality set in.

I hadn’t written a thing. I only had an abstract idea, a desire to write, and a nudge from God. The publisher didn’t offer any guidance on how to format a book proposal; he simply told me to send one.

When I got home, I got to work. The situation called for a marriage between prayer and practical actions. Shortly after I said, “Amen,” inspiration hit.

I wrote my goal on a piece of lined notebook paper. “I Will Read 100 Books on the Craft and Business of Writing.”

I practiced while I studied. It took me almost two years to accomplish the task, but when I finished the one hundredth book, I was able to look back and see the transformation in my work. Only then did I gather enough courage to submit a few queries for articles. And though there were rejections, there was also success.

Article Queries

After focusing on the craft of writing, I invested in the business of writing. If I wanted to author books, I needed help. I networked with other professionals and listened to their advice. I attended more conferences. I hired an editor to critque my work. And I continued reading beyond my first 100 books.

Michael Hyatt

How to Write a Winning Book Proposal

I wanted to create a stellar proposal. After gleaning the best information, I practiced on my first topic numerous times. By the time I ran across Michael Hyatt’s e-books on Writing a Winning Book Proposal for fiction and non-fiction, I was ready to finalize my project.

It took another year before I harvested any fruit from my labors, but harvest I did. WordServe Literary signed me based on that original topic. The hard work of crafting a writing goal and meeting it helped my agent sell my first book, scheduled for release in 2013.

I’ve now lost count of the number of writing books I’ve read. But there are a few I refer back to time and again:

10. On Writing Well – William Zinsser

9. Story — Robert McKee

8. The Art of War for Writers — James Scott Bell

7. Bird by Bird — Anne Lamott

6. Stein on Writing — Sol Stein

5. Writing Down the Bones — Natalie Goldberg

4. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers — Renni Browne & Dave King

3. Finding Your Voice — Les Edgerton

2. Writing for Story — Jon Franklin

1. Screenplay — Syd Field

I’m a lifetime learner. Without the help of many willing to share what they learned through their books, I probably wouldn’t be writing today.

What are your goals, and what are you doing to meet them?

One of the One

Unseen Journey to Publication

Curves Ahead

It was not an encouraging statistic.

On a cool fall day, the speaker stood at the front of the seminar class and eroded my confidence with his authoritative words, “About one percent of writers succeed in getting published. Because most give up and drop out of the race.”

I’d waited until my forties to do anything with a secret desire to become a writer, so his gloomy prophecy almost made me run from the room. Thankfully, I didn’t let his statistical shadows deter me.

A Shadowy Path

Shadows Crowd the Writing Road

Instead, I silently inquired of God, whom I believed had brought me to this place, and asked what He thought about the publisher’s statement. The answer came as a whisper, “With Me, all things are possible.”

At that starting line in my writing career, I vowed, “I will allow God to make me one of the one percent who succeed.” Little did I know how I’d need my early resolve to navigate past future bumps in the writing road.

Writing Path with Obstacles

Obstacles Litter the Road

Practical applications were required to pave the way.

  • I devoured books on the craft of writing, the business of publication, the magic of marketing, and the art of building a loyal readership. (I’m still studying these necessary parts of the process.)
  • I turned off my television, powered up my computer, and started practicing what I learned.
  • I created a Writer’s Cave and pursued my passion.
  • I faced my Fears and wrote in spite of them.
  • I followed God’s lead when I wasn’t sure where to invest my talents.

    Hard to Know Where Your Writing is Going

    The Road to Writing is Often Unclear

I determined to follow and not race ahead of God.

  • When impatience threatened to devour my energy and time with tangled emotions, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that God controls my dream.
  • I sought God’s kingdom first, before the allure of writing success. Each day, I committed to read my Bible before I wrote anything.
  • I submitted my desires and said, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
  • I trusted God, as the Creator of Time, instead of sweating it when I couldn’t accomplish as much as I believed I should.
  • I wrote down encouragements, so when hardships threatened to swallow me, I had factual reminders that God created me to write. I kept the list close and read His positive reinforcements as needed.

Over time, the hours of study, priority-driven choices and submission to God smoothed the course. But I endured many personal trials along the way.

One shocking revelation brought the news that my dad isn’t my biological father. My youngest sister faced life-threatening illness. My grandson was hurt. Every day, circumstances fought to distract, but in between the upsets, I tenaciously wrote one word at a time. While I traveled tough terrain, I held onto my God-given mantra – I will be one of the one.

Cloudy Writing Days

A Straighter Road Under Cloudy Days

Eventually, the road to becoming one of the one straightened. My portfolio of articles grew, my speaking platform rose, and my writing improved. As I obeyed His voice, God cleared the way.

I’m steering toward my goal of being in the one percent of writers who succeed at their craft. My first book releases in 2013. Growth will span my lifetime, but I refuse to give up. If God says I can be one of the one, then who am I to argue? After all, He put me on the road to writing.

What gives you the gumption to speed ahead in pursuit of your dreams?

Mentored by The Best Selling Author

Best Selling Author - Anita Brooks

I had no idea what I was doing.

I went to my first writers conference with zero expectations. I simply wanted to explore this crazy dream God had planted in my heart.

At my allotted appointments, I sat across from editors, agents, and publishers and said the same thing, “I don’t have anything to pitch. I just came to learn. Can you tell me what you think I should know?”

Every person demonstrated gentle patience and gave me a huge boost of encouragement. One discussion, spurred by a workplace pet peeve, kept me awake most of the night jotting down notes.

On the last day of the conference, I knew my life would never be the same. And I was right.

I flew home feeling overwhelmed. My mind swirled with a mix of anxiety and anticipation. A professional thinks I have potential. A professional believes my differences are a good thing. A professional requested a book proposal. I don’t know how to write a book proposal.

I was a long way from being ready to submit anything, and I knew it.

When I arrived back at normal life, I needed help. But where do you turn when you live in a tiny town in the Midwest? What kind of education can you get when there’s no college close? How do doors open when you have no degree or credentials in writing?

You ask the Best Selling Author of all time for help.

Wanting to do nothing less than excellent work, I got on my knees and asked God to personally mentor me. I figured since His book, the Bible, had sold more copies than any other book throughout history, I should try to learn from Him.

My schooling took months, even into years. I turned the television off and got to work. I spent hours soaking up assigned books on the craft of writing. I practiced with devotions, articles, and blogs. I listened to the professionals He sent to help me develop better habits. Then I re-wrote my devotions, articles, and blogs. Sometimes it took many copies to get the words and punctuation just right.

I graduated to the study and practice of book proposal writing. I wrote at least three dozen drafts while my Mentor patiently encouraged me to keep trying. All the while, prayer and a listening ear helped me maintain a teachable heart.

Only three years later, I signed with WordServe. Recently, I signed a book contract for the original non-fiction idea I’d had at the conference. This may seem like a long time, but in publishing years, it’s pretty fast.

Today, I still need my Mentor. He’s guiding my mind and hands as I finish my book for publication. Because of Him, I hope to write many more.

If you’re an aspiring or experienced author, I encourage you to call my Mentor. He’s available 24/7/365. His name is God, and he turns good concepts into strong books. There’s no better Muse than the one who created your mind.

Do you have a mentor? Where do you go for guidance and encouragement?

Anita Brooks - Best Selling Author

God’s Story – The Best Selling Book of All Time

WordServe News: May 2012

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

Proof by Jordyn Redwood (Kregel)

Dr. Lilly Reeves is a young, accomplished ER physician with her whole life ahead of her. But that life instantly changes when she becomes the fifth victim of a serial rapist. Believing it’s the only way to recover her reputation and secure peace for herself, Lilly sets out to find–and punish–her assailant. Sporting a mysterious tattoo and unusually colored eyes, the rapist should be easy to identify. He even leaves what police would consider solid evidence. But when Lilly believes she has found him, DNA testing clears him as a suspect. How can she prove he is guilty, if science says he is not?

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New WordServe Clients

Judy Gordon Morrow is a lifelong lover of words and has published poetry, articles, song lyrics, and devotionals. Her first book dealt with pregnancy loss, followed by nine gift books. In her prior “word-lover jobs,” she served as a school librarian, newspaper copyeditor, and nonfiction editor at Multnomah Publishers. She speaks at events for women and writers, sharing her passion for the Word and words. Judy is called Mom by three sons and two daughters-in-love and Grandma by one (soon to be three). Judy lives in a charming mountain community in northeastern California, where she savors small-town living. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

New Contracts

Anita Agers-Brooks, a debut author, signed a contract with Leafwood Publishers for her non-fiction book titled First Hired, Last Fired: How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Anita manages approximately seventy employees at one of the largest river resorts in the country. She speaks annually at the National Professional Paddlesports Conference and also teaches at their national business school. She is a speaker for the National RV and Campground Association and the Missouri RV and Campground Association. Anita is a speaker on circuit with Stonecroft Ministries, an international speaking ministry for women, and a member of the National Association of Christian Women in Business, Women in Business, National Association of Women Business Owners, and the Christian Writers Guild. She is a graduate of Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers Seminar and is a certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, and Personality Trainer. Check out her blog at www.freshstartfreshfaith.wordpress.com.  (Agent: Barbara Scott)

What We’re Celebrating!!

Pamela Binnings Ewen’s book The Moon in the Mango Tree published by B&H has won the Eudora Welty Memorial Award given by the prestigious American League of Pen Women in their 2012 Biennial Letters Competition. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Barbara Scott and Sarah Joy Freese attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference this month. Both Barbara and Sarah met with some aspiring writers, several editors, and current WordServe authors. Barbara presented two workshops at the conference including How to Impress an Agent and Branding. Marlene Bagnull, the conference director, is such a blessing to authors, editors, and agents. Although the days were long, the experience really served as a ministry to all who attended.

What can we help you celebrate this month?

How Input Affects Output

I felt it sneak around the edges of my concentrated efforts. My lashes blinked faster. My lids now fought when I struggled to lift them off my eyes. A light sheet of brain-fog settled over my mind.

Afternoon fatigue had arrived. And it threatened to keep me from writing the scene on the screen before me. How would I finish without falling asleep?

Too often, I fight a common battle when I finally get a few snippets of time to write. But instead of grabbing a caffeine loaded, sugared up, fattened calf kind of snack, I’ve found a few quick solutions that allow me to treat my body with the respect it needs to function at optimal efficiency.

1) Eat nutritious vegetables or fruit. In particular, I’ve found the following have fabulous energy boosting properties for my body chemistry. Literally within seconds, I can feel a renewed focus and am able to write well. My faves include, red, orange, or yellow peppers, V-8 juice, grapefruit, oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers in vinegar, cantaloupe, and celery.

Fruits & Veggies Energize Writers

Fresh Veggies and Fruit Energize

2) Get out in the sun. A few minutes of vitamin D rich sunlight is just the ticket to get my blood pumping and my thoughts racing.

Vitamin D Wakes Writers Up

Sunlight – Natural Inspiration

3) Drink water. When writing, we often don’t want to interrupt our thoughts, so dehydration is a big problem for many writers. Most people assume they need caffeine when exhaustion strikes — in reality, dehydration is often the culprit behind your fatigue. Science shows that water wakes us up.

Hydration Hydrates our Brain Cells

Water Wakes Writers Up

4) Take a nap. Though I fight it, sometimes a ten minute nap works miracles. A few moments of shut-eye gets me going again. (I find I need to set the alarm on my phone, so I can actually nod off. Otherwise, my fear of over-sleeping keeps me from getting the rejuvenating rest I need).

Naps Help Writers

Nap Time for Writers

5) Go for a walk. I plan this powerful method of staying alert into my writing schedule. It’s part of the formula I follow to get words on the page. Having an intended break gives me something to look forward to and pushes me past the humps. A good walk gets my blood flowing, my muscles heated, my cells active, and my thoughts fired up.

Walking Wakes Writers Up

Walking Stirs Creativity

6) Take prayer and Bible reading breaks. A few minutes spent with the Master Author infuses me with energy and inspiration. Nothing like purpose to light me into action.

Prayer and the Bible Inspires Writing

Pure Inspiration

Before fatigue wraps itself around me like a constricting serpent around its prey, I need a plan to fight back. I find the list above gives me exactly the input I need to affect my output in positive ways.

Here are some other great tips to help you battle afternoon fatigue.

What ways do you battle exhaustion when it threatens to hinder your writing?

Print on Demand: Edison Style

Thomas Edison Typewriter

Edison’s Keyboard

Steam swooshed onto the platform as the metallic black-horse eased to a stop in Detroit. 

The clunky train rocked The Grand Trunk Western Railway passengers in their seats. Cargo slid in the holding bays.

A twelve year old boy steadied himself against precious equipment, secured in the baggage department. Coins jingled in his near-full pockets. The odor of hot ink and ironed paper mixed with burnt coal.

And the train wasn’t the only thing rocking. The innovative boy smiled while he tallied sales of The Grand Trunk Herald. Demand for his real-time newspaper was on the rise.

Thomas Edison birthed a fresh era of news publishing in 1862. He sold the voice of his original publication by the copy, or for a mere eight cents per month, by subscription.

In the volcanic and news-hungry climate of Civil War America, Edison hit on a popular niche. For the first time ever, passengers could devour the contents of a paper written on a moving train. A pre-pubescent Thomas couldn’t know he would soon change the culture of a publishing world.

Recently, I visited Thomas Edison’s Winter Home in Fort Myers, Florida. It was there I learned the factual details of my embellished account above. But it made me think about the culture of American publishing during that time of war, financial upheaval, and emotional decision-making. Not so different from today.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Edison Winter Estates Entrance Sign

So it makes me wonder, if we were to rewind time, how would people in Edison’s time react to things we take for granted today? Could the folks living in that era have imagined CNN, the Internet, texting, social media, online videos, and other forms of immediacy news?

But I also reflect on those businesses who felt threatened by the young, creative upstart. They probably didn’t appreciate what they viewed as infringement on their market. Did they make changes in their own processes, as a result of the Edison transformation?

And how does all of this affect us as professionals, and the aspiring, in a writing world today?

What does the future hold for those of us impassioned to share a message through words? I believe young Edison provides a stellar example of how to face adversity. Thomas didn’t bemoan the times.

He exemplified a brilliant mind who took action where others surely complained. He paid attention when people expressed frustration. He heard those who wished to know what was going on in the war and in other parts of the country.

He turned ordinary news into newsprint customers couldn’t wait to buy.

Thomas Edison refused to let a depressive environment get him down. In today’s volatile publishing market, it’s a lesson we can learn.

No one knows exactly what tomorrow’s finished books will look like. Print on demand is making waves. But Edison’s style reminds us to keep our ears, minds, and eyes open. After all, what we do today may impact people one hundred years in the future.

Like passengers in Edison’s era, we may be readers, writers, editors, or publishers. But we all ride toward the same end. The enjoyment of great books. We can bemoan rocking motions, temporary stops, and a change in the news, but we can’t prevent innovation.

We have a single choice if our destination is writing for publication–climb on, and try to enjoy the ride.

Can you hear the whistle? The train is preparing to leave the station. All aboard!

What innovative ways might our books reach readers’ hands in the future? Those of us who author, how can we help publishers invent new ways to sell our books?