I’ve been nominated for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award by a writing friend, Jodie Wolfe. Jodie and I met through the Craftsman’s courses with the Christian Writer’s Guild. I was pleasantly surprised to find an email in my inbox this morning saying she had nominated me.
I love the way Jodie encourages readers with her true-life stories and book reviews. You should check out her blog at Digging For Pearls (http://diggingforpearls.blogspot.com/) and her updates and features here (http://www.jodiewolfe.com/).
There are some rules with this nomination. The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2. Put the Award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the ten questions sent to you.
4. Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5. Nominate five blogs.
Thank you for nominating me, Jodie. I’m honored and very humbled. Here are Jodie’s questions, along with my thoughts.
1. What do you find most challenging about your day?
As a parent and writer, it’s all about juggling. The hardest part is planning for life’s unexpected u-turns once in a while, or making sure I can be there fully for my energetic boys after a long day stacking up words in creative ways to help kids and moms find a touch of beauty in their lives.
2. What is one thing you love about yourself?
I love that I’ve become more resilient and less fearful as time has gone by. The trials we’ve had as a family have really shaped me and helped me to become closer to God rather than further away. I love that our family sticks together through thick and thin. But I love having fun, too, and part of being resilient is finding ways to have joy on good and bad days.
3. What is one thing you wish you could change about yourself?
I would like to be more of a night person. I write in the early hours of the day, and my husband is a night-owl so sometimes meeting up can be tricky. But every time I try to convert, it wipes me out. Guess I’m just meant for the sunshine!
4. What would a ‘dream day’ look like?
I’ve had tasters of dream days already so I’d love to expand them. I’d love for my book(s) to be popular with kids and resonate not only as great adventures but also with deeper characters that help them face into, rather than run from, life’s challenges. So hearing from readers that they faced a bully or peer pressure and walked away would bring a smile to my heart. I’ve also had interest from prominent people with my books so having one turned into a movie or something amazing would be very dreamy. Most of all, ten years from now, I’d love for them to help kids and encourage them to reach for the stars in their own lives, too. Getting to watch that happen would be pretty incredible. Right now I get to do this with my coaching and speaking, too. It’s wonderful to have your difficulties transformed into writing or encouragement to help someone else, wherever that happens.
5. Name five praises from the past week. (I know, it’s not exactly a question) 🙂
Five praises would include gratitude for my family and faith, amazement watching doors open already for the manuscript, thankfulness for great reviews from my kid readers, happiness with people in media giving strong positive feedback and recommending I cast a wide net with the novels. It’s almost knocked me off my chair a few times in amazement to see what possibilities lay ahead if we just keep moving forward in faith. Oh, and having kids run up to me and hug me, saying they loved my book is pretty awesome too!
6. What is your current writing project?
Here’s a one sentence description of my upcoming middle-grade novel, a fractured-fairytale/fantasy that’s just finished and off soon to agents for placement:
When a deaf twelve-year-old girl hears strange voices from another realm in her hearing aids, she gets entangled in a jewel mystery that threatens all. It’s Narnia meets Frozen with a gem twist.
As a wildfire survivor, I also blog regularly about living a resilient life and coach others in their difficulties to find shortcuts through challenging times.
7. What is your favorite aspect of writing?
Sharing Aha’s! Aha’s are those moments when a big truth in life fits into a small word-picture, like an image online or the perfect poem. Capturing a description perfectly or sharing an idea or phrase that impacts someone in a lasting way is a pretty terrific secret weapon to have. I think of an archer, ready to load their arrow at a moment’s notice. The more you write, the better you are at hitting the target. And there’s always room to learn more and improve.
8. How many years have you been writing?
My first poem was called My Skylight and was published in grade-school, discussing magical things the stars did when I looked through it at night. I had great teachers in high school and pursued my degree in journalism/public relations from Baylor University in large part due to the English classes I had early on. I was in corporate writing with Ernst and Young and other companies for six years, where I managed large writing and publicity projects, wrote proposals, edited and authored fifteen monthly newsletters, and wrote advertisements and copy for corporate videos. Then I became a graduate gemologist and a mother. After I had “the big idea” for these novels, I’ve studied and taken classes to polish my skills writing for children for the last seven years. All together, that’s about seventeen years of experience.
9. How long have you been blogging?
I’m relatively new to blogging, as I started last October, 2014. But I love connecting with people online and sharing snapshots of insight that they connect with. I can’t wait to launch my kids website later this year and connect more with teens and tweens there, too.
10. What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?
I’d like to share gifts that were given to me by C.S. Lewis and Corrie Ten Boom and others—the ability to touch the intangible understandings in life and find courage from others’ struggles. When I studied C.S. Lewis’ work in England for several months, it was life-changing. The way he described big subjects with words lit a fuse of creativity inside that’s never really been quenched by life’s circumstances. I’d love to give practical lessons for conquering fears and help tweens, teens, and their parents reach their potential in life. Whether it comes from my fiction, inspirational, or nonfiction work, just giving nuggets of wisdom that I’ve gained through trials by fire, literally, I hope to bring others a smile and point them to the true Creator that can bind any wound and heal with eternal hope.
Tricia Goyer (http://www.triciagoyer.com/blog/) for her incredibly inspirational posts, that help me be a better parent, wife, writer, blogger, and person.
Tina Russo Radcliffe of Seekerville (http://seekerville.blogspot.com/). After I met Tina on an airplane returning from American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference last year, I also got to meet everyone on Seekerville, a wonderful place to be encouraged as a writer. I also was on the blog in January, and recommend it highly for any writer.
Marcia Ramsland of The Organizing Pro (http://organizingpro.com/). Marcia has done everything from helping me with transitions after the fires, to organizing my office life, and encouraging me to constantly improve as a writer, speaker, blogger, and life coach. Her regular tips on organizing actually change lives for the better.
Edie Melson of The Write Conversation (http://thewriteconversation.blogspot.com/). Edie’s publishing tips have been invaluable to me in writing my proposal and launching my website. I also met her through ACFW and anything she does online is always of value to her readers, helping them to press on.
Ellie Kay of Living Rich For Less (http://elliekay.com/wpress/). Ellie helps military families and inspires everyone to live frugally and reach their potential with any opportunity. Her encouragement to me at the San Diego Christian Writer’s Conference last fall helped me press on and reach out to others needing hope.
Here’s my questions for you all:
1. What first inspired you to write, and what keeps you writing on the tough days?
2. Each of you is a visionary in your own right. What breathes new life into your work and helps you create innovative ways to inspire others?
3. How do you hope to grow in the next five years? What new direction do you see your work and writing taking?
4. What piece of advice was the most helpful for you early in your career? How has it been a linchpin, or key area of focus, for you and helped you stay true to yourself or your calling?
5. What advice should you have never listened to early on? How did you grow from the experience?
6. If you could spend a day with a character from any novel or biography you’ve read, who would it be and what would you do together?
7. Name five things in your writing “bucket” list that you hope to accomplish some day.
8. If you could write fiction, what five locations would you put in your books and why?
9. Who are the people in your life that keep you going and encourage you to press on?
10. How has writing changed your life?