Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Imagination Cultivation


Every writer, whether writing fiction, non-fiction or poetry, needs a pretty active imagination. Most of us always find ourselves observing something, or someone, and wondering what is going on behind the scene. Don't you?

Long ago and far away–when I was working in the "9 to 5" world in Las Vegas–my evening commute home was between 4:00-5:00 pm, depending on when I left the office. One particular traffic stop was the intersection of Flamingo Ave. and "The Strip" - that is, Las Vegas Blvd. South. This is one of the busiest intersections of the entire "Strip" and the traffic light was red a bit longer than normal - whatever normal is. Mind you, this was before they constructed the walkways that go over the street, so the pedestrians crossed in front of us stopped at the light.

My imagination went into over-drive as I watched people from all over the world cross in front of me. Six to eight people deep, crowded heel-to-toe as they made their way to the other corner. Some moved leisurely, some were in a hurry; some talked to companions, others were alone; some had cameras and would stop, willy-nilly, in the middle of the crosswalk to snap a picture; others were busy talking into their cell phones, gesticulating as they walked, oblivious to anyone or anything around them.

What a rich source of ideas and 'what-if's' this mass of humanity presented. Where were they from? Were they happy? What was their home-life like? What was that blonde gal saying to her companion? Did they have children? Oh, some obviously did, as they pushed strollers and carried toddlers on their shoulders.

Not all were tourists. Some were there on business, others for one of the hundreds of conventions held in Vegas annually. Some were, undoubtedly, locals doing some shopping, or going to one of the many restaurants or shows in the hotels along this famous road.

Yes, people-watching is one of the richest sources for generating ideas and jogging the ol' imagination into gear. It is also great fun.

But, there are other things to help the writer's imagination along:

1. Spend some time outdoors, communing with God. Just sit quietly and listen, feel, smell, sense what surrounds you.

2. Read. Read. Read. Get the best books written in the genre you wish to pursue, or get how-to books about your particular writing interest. Read a variety of other types of books, not just your own genre. Nothing stimulates the imagination like a good book, well written, regardless of genre. Read the classics.

3. Take time to just think. Concentrate on your inner thoughts. Make the time each day to do this
4. Listen to random conversations around you. The couple in the booth behind you at the restaurant
. The kids on the seat behind you on the plane. You may not hear the entire conversation, and what you do hear might not make a lot of sense, but this will give you a feel for the dialog, mannerisms, vocabulary that is being used.

5. Work to keep your motivation high. When things begin to wane, go out and get some fresh air, gather some fresh impressions, and then get back to work.

6. Hang on to your sense of humor! Don't allow frustration to rob you of that keen appreciation of the absurd and ridiculous. Laughter is, after all, the best medicine of all.

What about you? Writer or otherwise, what triggers your mind’s imagination?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Summer Read: Come Vote for your Fave!

Welcome to summer!

Scroll through these FIVE new reads and vote below 
for which you'd pick up first to take to the poolside.
It'll be a tough choice! But somebody's gotta do it. May as well be you!

Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon

Summer Arnet will go anywhere to capture the perfect shot that will get her marine photography noticed by the prestigious nature magazine, Our World—even diving in waters haunted by great white sharks. When a treasure hunter with a ladies’-man reputation approaches her about a sunken ship at one of her dive locations, it may be the chance she’s been looking for to launch her career…if his charming smile doesn’t derail her first.

Resilience by L.R. Burkard

In this spell-binding sequel to the post-apocalyptic thriller PULSE, L.R.Burkard takes readers into a landscape where teens shoulder rifles instead of school books, and where survival might mean becoming your own worst enemy.

A Matter of Courage by Wendy Holley

Abused by her famous husband, Irene Brennan is forced to flee to a small town in Montana, leaving everything behind. Trent is used to protecting wild animals from careless hunters, but can he protect Irene from her crazy husband?

Astray (Ariboslia Book 1) by J. F. Rogers

Troubled-teen, Fallon finds hope and family through an unwanted prophecy. In her travels, she learns about the One True God and how desperately she needs Him. Perhaps, with His help, she’ll find the way to fulfill her destiny.

Her One and Only by Becky Wade

When NFL super star Gray Fowler is threatened by a stalker, his team hires a professional bodyguard to ensure his safety. But when Gray's "protection" turns out to be a woman half his size, he's indignant. Will Dru Porter--a former Marine and expert markswoman--prove herself worthy of the job? And meanwhile, who's going to guard Gray's heart?


If you have trouble viewing the entire survey, click here to load a dedicated page to the survey.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Featured Novel: Bitterroot Bride by Angela Breidenbach

A beautifully spun story about the power of second chances. ~ Amazon Reviewer
I loved The Bitterroot Bride! The part where she compares church
to riding a trot made me laugh out loud.  ~A. Chatman

About the book:

No one knows the real Emmalee Warren, just what they want from the infamous prostitute. Men are coming out of the woodwork to stake a claim on the miner's widow. They wanted her body before. Now they want her money. Hiring a lawyer, Richard Lewis, to save her from financial ruin might let her start over where no one knows Miss Ellie. Becoming an unknown is the only way to freedom…or is it? Can she leave her past and build a new future?


Chat with Angela:

Ques: We heard there was something special that happened to you while writing your fourth book in the historical romance series, Montana Beginnings. What was special about the Bitterroot Bride heroine for you?
Angela: Writing Miss Emmie learning to read became an amazing experience. Though I’d learned to read at four, I didn’t understand how to connect and read people until well into my adulthood. So while Miss Emmie became proficient in reading, I became proficient in relationships. She’d eat up every book she could get her hands on and studied with intensity. I did the same thing, but about relational topics.

Ques: When did you realize the parallel character arc had so much in common with your real life?

Angela: About halfway through the first draft an epiphany happened. I stopped, took a day or so to really think about my personal experience, then began an intentional focus on writing the emotional parallel.

Ques: What do you hope Bitterroot Bride does for readers?

Angela: I hope this story is both entertaining and encouraging. I’d like readers to absorb the idea that like Miss Emmie and me, if you have the desire to learn something then you can. Age doesn’t matter.

Ques: Can you tell us the titles and a little about the Montana Beginnings series?

Angela: All four titles are set in Helena, MT from 1889 – 1895. It’s right when we became a state, but mining couldn’t support us forever. The Debutante Queen introduces us to Calista who steals an orphan off the street to protect her from a cruel master. Eleven Pipers Piping brings forward the newsies, newspaper boys and orphan train leftovers, into Mirielle’s classroom. Then in Taking the Plunge, Delphina takes us back to the iconic Broadwater Natatorium as a swim instructress. Then Emmalee enters the scene as we find out how Montana chose her state flower. Each of these lovely Victorian ladies finds her true love while carving out a meaningful life in Montana’s frontier.

About Angela:
Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling author and host of Grace Under Pressure Radio on iTunes. Angela is the Christian Author Network's president. And yes, she's half of the comedy duo, Muse and Writer, on social media.
Connect Here:
Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: @AngBreidenbach

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sit With Me and Sandy Nadeau a while

It is my great pleasure to shine the spotlight today on author Sandy Nadeau, and her book Rescue Me.
Hi, Sandy, welcome to Whispers in Purple. It’s a delight to have you visit.
What five words best describe you?

Thank you for inviting me. Five words...hmmmmm. Christian, Wife, Author, Mom and Grandma.

Tell us something few people know about you.

I would eat popcorn for a meal once a day every day. If I could. Well, I could, but I shouldn't.

If you were a book, what would the title be?

God's Work in Progress

When you’re not actively writing, what do you like to do? Hobbies, etc.

We recently moved from Colorado to Texas to be near our daughter and family. Back in Colorado, I would have said: camping, hiking, day trips in the mountains, woodworking, gardening. Now, living in Texas, I would say: playing with my two grandkids (soon to be three), exploring the great state of Texas, finding new friends, camping, and then play with grandkids more.

What do you say to people who ask how you come up with ideas?

I'm a writer. My brain is weird.

LOL! I think that comes with the territory, Sandy. The ‘normals’ in our lives just don’t get it. Smile

What was/is the most difficult writing obstacle you’ve encountered and how did/do you overcome it?

Facebook. Shut it off! LOL At this point since moving almost 5 months ago, it's just been hard to feel settled enough in our new house. We're close to done now, so I'm hoping I'll find my groove again and get busy.

Plotter, panster, or hybrid?

Panster . . . on a wing and a prayer

Tell us a little bit about Rescue Me. How did you come to write it?

My husband was a volunteer firefighter and also worked on the rescue squad back in our days in Minnesota. I could write a lot of books on the things that happened during those five years. I helped out on the auxiliary, so we experienced a lot of emergencies that fueled the story line.

Then living in Colorado for 30 years supplied the location ideas. Rescue Me was originally written as a novella that was grouped with three other writers. We had this idea to do a four in one series of stories about emergency workers. We tried to sell it to a few places, but never got a contract, so the four of us took our stories and went our separate ways. 

I believe three of us got contracts. But before that happened, I had to pretty much rewrite the book. It was just under 20,000 words, and I needed it longer to sell it elsewhere. Adding to the middle of a book was the hardest thing I've done yet in writing. It seemed to take me forever. While doing that, I managed to get my first book, Red Gold, published. Then Pelican Book Group accepted Rescue Me when it was finally done. Well, done is relative. Edits happen. So far, since the book released 3 days ago, I know of two people that lost sleep when they couldn't put it down, so I guess I might have successfully added.

You received an exciting endorsement for Rescue Me. Thanks for letting me share it here:
“Romance is often complicated by life and Sandy Nadeau's RESCUE ME takes the reader through the obstacles that surround two people who have been wounded by those complications. Sandy pens a beautiful story of love overcoming all obstacles and God's perfect love healing all wounds. It's my pleasure to recommend RESCUE ME.” Tracie Peterson, best-selling author of over one hundred novels including the Brides of Seattle and Lone Star Brides series
That is so special, Sandy! I know and admire Tracie. An endorsement from her is quite a feather in your cap. Makes me even more eager to read your book!  Congratulations!
Please complete the following:
  • · Book Title: Rescue Me
  • · Publisher: Harbourlight an imprint of Pelican Book Group
  • · Release Date: June 1, 2016
  • · Genre: Romance
  • · Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
  • · Target Audience: Women 25-50
· Back Cover Blurb:
First Responder Ronnie Spencer has a no-dating-firefighters rule. She lost her father to a fire, and won't risk the heartbreak of losing someone else. But when Steve McNeal returns, Ronnie's heart is tested. How can she swear off dating a firefighter when she has to work with the one man she used to love? When the unthinkable happens, Ronnie has doubts. How can a loving God allow tragedy to stalk her life again? As her faith wavers, Ronnie must decide. Will their blossoming relationship be quickly extinguished by the very thing she feared, or will Ronnie trust God and allow her heart to be rescued--even if that means giving it to a firefighter?

· Purchase Link/s:
Please enter your Social Media Links:
Sandy Nadeau loves to go on adventures, photograph them and equally loves to write about them. She and her husband did a lot of four-wheeling in the back country of Colorado for nearly thirty years. Sandy wrote a column about her community for a local newspaper for twelve years, she also has had several magazine articles published. She loves to write novels about adventure, mystery, romance, but most importantly sharing God’s love. Her first novel Red Gold, released in March of 2014. Her latest, Rescue Me, draws from their years of involvement with a volunteer fire department in MN. She is currently a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Married for 39 years, she and her husband are loving life as grandparents to their two grandchildren and recently moved to Texas to be closer to them. Travel is their favorite thing to do and they don’t get to do it as often as they’d like. Adventure awaits around every corner, over every hill and mountain.

Thanks, Sandy, for being my guest today. It’s been great getting to know you.

It's been fun, Peg. Thank you. Blessings to you.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Featured Novel: The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola

The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola, was the first book I've read from this author. It will not be my last… it is very well written and at times, you won't want to put it down. Looking forward to reading more of this talented author! 

~P. McGuire

The Babel Conspiracy 
by Sylvia Bambola

About the Book:

The Babel Conspiracy is a tale of intrigue and love. Two women engineers struggle to develop the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft amid ever intensifying global terrorism and muddled personal lives. Trisha Callahan has an abiding faith in God, and “those roots of middy blouses and pleated skirts, prayer books and incense-filled churches went deep.” This faith is tested when she finds herself in love with a married man. Audra Shields sees herself as a modern Lady Chatterley, “liberated but not forsaking breeding, intellect, or femininity.” When she becomes involved with a dangerous stranger, she begins to question her lifestyle. 

Both women try sorting out their personal problems while racing the clock to finish a project fraught with sabotage and murder. And who’s behind it all? When the Department of Homeland Security and the Mossad finally figure it out, the answer surprises everyone.


What readers are saying:
“It has been quite a long time since I have read a book such as this one, one so pertinent to today's landscape of life. The author has written an excellent novel that could have been pulled from tomorrow's headlines - from both political and scientific advancement points of view. . . . I highly recommend this book for those who love intrigue, suspense, fiction, and a little bit of romance. The book is well paced, has plenty of action, and good character development.” Rachel Helms

“The Babel Conspiracy by Sylvia Bambola is a very thought provoking novel about the way that things could be in the U.S. in the near future. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord and pray for America in these perilous times. The characters were well developed and the story shows God's love and redemption.” Linda Rainey

About the Sylvia Bambola:

Sylvia Bambola is the award winning author of eight novels, including Rebekah’s Treasure (2015 CSPA Book of the Year/Christian Historical Fiction) and The Salt Covenants (2015 Reader’s Favorite

Bronze Medal Winner/Christian Historical Fiction). A resident of Florida, she teaches women’s Bible studies and has two grown children.

Where to find Sylvia:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Getting Acquainted with author Grace Marshall

I am so pleased to introduce a "new to me" author, Grace Marshall. Perhaps she's new to you, as well. So sit back with your beverage of choice (mine's coffee!) and enjoy getting to know her.

 First, a little about Grace personally . . .

Grace Marshall is the author of the “Horse Haven” series as well as Person of Faith; she has also contributed several articles to newspapers. She enjoys hanging out with her dashing husband, J. Lindsey Marshall, their saucy cat, Amerigo Vespucci, and their playful Mastiff puppy, Mini. 

Grace loves all animals but especially horses. She has lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Tennessee, and currently resides in the Missouri hills. She believes in living life to the fullest and can’t wait to see where God will take her or have her write next! 

See more about Grace on her website http://www.wordsbytwo.com

Welcome, Grace. It's such a pleasure to have you here today. So, let's get started.

1.) Why do you write?

Mainly because I want to help people. I want to show or talk about morality in a world where reality can be dire, but God is in control. I want to make people laugh, love, cry, and hope.

2.) Where did inspiration for your latest book come from?

The story idea came from my own life. I grew up in Wisconsin and moved further south while I was in High School; I currently live in Missouri. I never lived on a ranch but did have horses for a few years, and have volunteered at horse ranches. I drew from those experiences and No Pizza Delivery? was born!

3.) Tell us about something crazy that you’ve done or would love to do?

I want to go sky diving so badly! I think it would be such a freeing feeling! Plus, I am scared of heights so I think the feeling of your heart in your throat as your adrenaline rushes through your veins and you fall freely would be a real rush. My husband says that I can’t go, but I’ll work on him, and maybe one day I’ll get him to do it with me. ;)
4.) Are you a plotter or a pantser?

It depends on how much coffee I’ve had and the work at hand. If I just have a general idea of what I want to accomplish I just start, sometimes I want to get something specific across and I create an entire outline, and sometimes an idea just strikes me and I sit down and see what comes out. I would say that when I write as a pantser I tend to have more fun.

5.) What would you say to offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author?

Never give up! Study, read, write, learn, and repeat. Every really successful author I’ve researched was rejected many times before someone went with his/her story. Some were even rejected a thousand or more times before someone went with it. Keep trying, “no” is part of the growing process.
6.) Which authors have had the most impact on your writing?

Authors of the Bible, their timeless truths through God’s leading inspire me daily. Mark Twain was one of the reasons I decided I wanted to be an author because he showed me authors can make a difference in people’s minds.  C.S. Lewis and Alexander Dumas are also sources of inspiration and aspiration.
7.) What are you working on now? 

I’m currently working on the second book of the “Horse Haven” series, that book is titled Unexpected Allies and Recurring Warts. It includes a spunky kitten on a daring rescue, a neglected mare full of love, and boys that recur like warts, which make Ruth’s life far from boring. It is scheduled to release this September.
8.) What do you feel is the most challenging part of the process?

Marketing and promoting the book! I have been in sales in the past, but I’m somewhat introverted and never enjoyed it that much. Besides, I don’t like to brag on myself or my work, and prefer to let it speak for itself. I try to remind myself that that’s not what I’m doing, I’m just bringing information of my books and me to those who might be looking for it.
9.) Give us an insight into your main character. Why is he/she special?

The main character Ruth, has some personality quirks based off of one of my sisters. She always made everyone laugh with her honest and snarky comments so I modeled Ruth after that. Throughout the story I thought, ‘How would my sister react to this,’ and tried to incorporate that into the story. I hope it brings laughs to my readers as she has always brought laughs to me!
10.) Tell us about your featured book and why readers might enjoy it?

No Pizza Delivery? is the first book in my “Horse Haven” series. Ruth is a relatable character that faces life’s challenges, including manure, oversized saddles, and frustrating boys, with humor. She is a Christian teenager who moves from Wisconsin to Sainte Genevieve, Missouri with her family where her father wants to start a horse ranch, but Ruth finds she knows less about horses than she presumed. Ruth also discovers there is a different culture in southeast Missouri, and has to cope with living in the country as well as losing her friends. I believe readers will find a place to laugh and grow within the pages of the book.

Thanks you, Grace. TThis has been a fascinating visit. I'd be honored if you'd come back to Whispers in Purple when your next book comes out!

God Bless!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Spotlight on author H. L. Wegley

The Story Behind the Against All Enemies Trilogy, by H. L. Wegley

Though their ancestors were German, my grandfather and grandmother lived in the Volga River area of Russia where they were persecuted by the Bolsheviks in the early part of the Russian Revolution. When this group of early communists killed my great-grandfather for not giving them his crops, the rest of the family fled back to Germany and continued on to New York, seeking freedom. Like so many immigrants of the early 20th century, they literally kissed the ground on Ellis Island.

Like my grandparents, I love this country. But we have strayed far from the intent of our founding fathers, men who crafted a constitution explicitly designed to keep us from tyranny. It is now possible for the executive branch to consolidate sufficient power for a corrupt, tyranny-minded president to seize complete control of the nation. But, after seizing control, could a president actually retain it, indefinitely? Why or why not? I’ll leave that as a homework exercise for those who read book 1, Voice in the Wilderness.

Book 2 in the Against All Enemies series, Voice of Freedom provides my thoughts on how we might re-establish the rule of law and prevent future centralization of power in any one branch of government.

Book 3, which I’m currently editing and polishing, is a prequel that deals with immigration issues and drug cartel operations, but does so with a much different focus than anything you will read in the media.

There are three aspects to each novel in this series. First, the stories are fast-paced, intense, action-packed thrillers told in a clean manner—PG to perhaps PG-13 for a little violence but with nothing graphic. Second, there are many political and philosophical asides to each story that make them political thrillers with rich content, content that might not sit well with folks who think Karl Marx was spot on as an economist and/or philosopher. And third, each story has a strong romance thread that is tightly interwoven with the politics and the thriller-level action.

Each novel contains the story of one of the three main couples in the series. Book 1, Voice in the Wilderness, features Brock Daniels and KC Banning, who have known each other since they were kids. Because I’ve known my wife since we were about 3 or 4 years old, this was a fun story to tell—how a childhood friendship develops into something much more.

Book 2, Voice of Freedom, was more challenging in that I wanted to show how God brings people together such that their relationship can shape and mold them into the people He intended them to be. This story pits a missionary kid who thinks she’s a pacifist, Julia Weiss, against warrior and Army Ranger, Steve Bancroft, a weapons sergeant, a man highly skilled in the art of blowing up things and shooting people with virtually any weapon used by any military in the world. Water and oil? Maybe … but maybe not.

Book 3, Chasing Freedom, is a prequel that takes place 4 years before book 1. It tells the story of Jeff and Allie Jacobs, a couple already married in book 1. Jeff, a disgraced US Olympic gold medal contender in the decathlon, must rescue Alejandra (Allie) Santiago from a drug cartel which is labor trafficking her. Jeff, a strong Christian, wants to regain his honor, while Allie needs to find God. What they both find is plenty of danger from cartel thugs and from the volatility of US immigration courts.

With Against All Enemies the reader will get thrillers gritty enough for a guy but not offensive to women readers. That was my goal and, so far, the reviews say that the stories have hit the target.

Back-Cover Blurb for Book 2, Voice of Freedom:

All eyes are on America as the nation writhes under a tyrant’s grip.

Six Americans who spawned a resistance movement against tyrant Abe Hannan, are hiding on the Israeli coast. Steve Bancroft, an Army Ranger protecting the other five Americans, is drawn to Julia Weiss, who reminds him of the twin sister who died under his protection. Julia, a petite woman with strengths that belie her stature, has horrific images of war etched on her mind, making Steve the kind of person her pacifist thinking rejects.

President Abe Hannan, in a stalemate with the insurgents, gambles to crush the heart of the resistance, Brock Daniels, KC Banning, and their four friends, in a winner-takes-all battle determining the future of America. If Steve and Julia survive, can they overcome the demons from their past and find hope for their future?

Voice of Freedom is an action-packed political thriller set in the immediate future, a story spanning the globe from Israel to Canada and from Washington DC to Oregon, a story for the time in which we live, a story of faith, hope, courage, and love.


H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for 20 years before retiring near Seattle. He is a multi-published author with a 4-book inspirational thriller series, 3-book political thriller series, 2 nonfiction books, and several more novels on the way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Step Out in Faith: A Devotion by Judy Davis

Step out in Faith, by Judy Davis

"Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality (faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.)Hebrews 11:1 AMP

I love to read about the women whose faith in God made a difference in their life. One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Ruth. The book of Ruth is more than a beautiful love story. It’s about an attractive but lonely widow who steps out in faith and, through perseverance and endurance, achieves the seemingly impossible. Her life is changed dramatically from poverty to abundance. How can this happen? Ruth chose to leave her home, the country of Moab, and follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, to the land of Israel, God’s chosen people.

As Naomi was leaving, both daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, followed her; however, Orpah decided to return to Moab. Ruth couldn’t wait to arrive in Israel. She had seen the love of God’s people and faith had risen in her heart to turn from everything unlike God. Even though Naomi tried to change Ruth’s mind about going, Ruth told her:

“Where you go, I will go and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16

When they arrived in Bethlehem, Ruth immediately went to work as a gleaner, gathering crops that were left by the reapers. Not long after she started working in the fields, she noticed Boaz, the owner of the fields. Each day he would speak to the field workers, always leaving with a smile. His way of saying thank you was, “May the Lord be with you.”

After Ruth told Naomi about Boaz, she was surprised to hear he was a relative. According to Jewish custom, a relative was expected to marry the widow of the deceased.

Boaz began to notice what a hard worker Ruth was. He also saw her sincerity and integrity. Love began to work a miracle in Ruth’s life. Because of her kindness and willingness to give of herself, God blessed her. It was not long before Boaz, a mighty man of God, fell in love with Ruth.

Ruth proved love could lift one out of a life of misery. Love can shed its light, like a sunbeam, on all that it touches. When she stepped out in faith, leaving her home, family and friends behind, her life could never be the same. It is faith that moves the hand of God.

Materially, Ruth had nothing; yet, she had so much to give. She gave up everything when she followed Naomi to Israel. She gave a labor of love when she went into the fields to glean what the reapers had left behind.

And because Ruth gave of herself, God multiplied it back to her in a way she could never have dreamed. God made her name honorable throughout the end of the ages. For after her marriage to Boaz, she had a son, Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David, the ancestor of Jesus Christ. What greater honor could one receive?

Thought for the Day

Faith moves mountains


Dear Lord, we come boldly before the King of Kings seeking you with all of our heart. Help us today to move forward having faith to believe with you all things are possible. Amen.

Cross references:
  1. Isaiah 1:18 : S 1Sa 2:25; Isa 41:1; 43:9, 26
  2. Isaiah 1:18 : S Ps 51:7; Rev 7:14
  3. Isaiah 1:18 : Isa 55:7
Judy Davis has been writing for Christian publications for over 30 years. Her 12th book - Scripture Woven Prayers was published last year. Judy and her husband Colin are planning to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year. They are retired and enjoy traveling and visiting their grandchildren. Judy writes a blog on her website http://happynewyoujudypdavis.com.

© Judy Davis

Monday, June 6, 2016

Filling in the Sensory Blanks ♦ From the Peg Board

Almost every writer is familiar with this famous quote. You’ve probably heard it too.
Filling In The Sensory Blanks

Writing is as much about the five senses as it is about proper grammar, punctuation and characterization. You know: Sight. Sound. Touch. Smell. Taste. When writing fiction, in particular, these senses come into play frequently, or at least they should.

Smell and taste are closely related, so if you can't use one effectively, use the other. I'm going to approach the use of these senses in two different ways. The first is the obvious... that of the actual senses.

Example: "Lightning struck the tree outside the house last night during a thunderstorm."

Dull. Factual, but dull. This is 'telling' rather than 'showing.' We can rework that sentence to *show* what happened using at least two of our senses.

"The bolt of lightning zig-zagged from the dark sky, permeating the air with an acrid odor that stung the nostrils. It
split the stately old oak with a sharp crack, as the thunder boomed its accompaniment directly overhead."

Okay, that added a lot more words to the paragraph, but do you notice the difference? Now you are actually right there in at that moment, seeing, hearing and smelling the violence of the storm.

This next comparison is called 'general' versus 'specific.' 
Some simple examples:

The bird flew away == The Hummingbird zipped from flower to flower.

Jackie smelled something delicious == Was that spicy smell
cinnamon and raisins?

A lot of snow fell == Great drifts of snow had swirled up into high-pointed peaks.

The parade was colorful and exciting == Goosebumps appeared on my arms and shivers ran up my spine as I watched the Color-Guard march by with our flag proudly held high.

You get the idea. So, let's have a little fun with 'ordinary' and 'colorful.' 'General' and 'specific.'

The following exercise is a short list of ho-hum, hum-drum, ordinary, general words. Take a few minutes and see if you can find a more colorful or specific word to take it's place . . . two, if you can.

The first column is the ho-hum; the second two are colorful and specific, in either order. Try to make your second choice even more different. The first two are examples for you.

No, you don't have to answer these in the comments section, though it would be fun if you choose to do so. ☺

bird Oriole fledgling
red scarlet flushed
look (verb)
light (adjective)

I hope this gives you some ideas about using your sensory perceptions to better effect in your writing. It's crucial for fiction, but it is valuable for almost every type of writing.

Your senses of observation of a scene when reporting will make your story more alive, vividly painted for the reader.

How-To articles, same thing. Make that craft something someone wants to make because it sounds so lovely, useful, or however you intend to present it.


© Peggy Blann Phifer, 6/6/2016