RSS

Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Little Things

ID-100147715

Image courtesy of Just2shutter/freedigitalphotos.net

Last week was spring break for our kids. Hubby took a couple of days off from work, and we enjoyed some local activities as a family. We checked out books and movies from the library and took advantage of the three warm days we had. Winter seemed to last forever in Indiana this year. The sunshine and fresh air were the perfect cure for our cabin fever.

One evening, I met hubby outside and asked if he’d like to take a walk. The sun was lowering, the temperature was perfect, and the crickets and spring peepers (the Hoosier name for frogs) played a soothing melody. Hand in hand, we walked down our country road, gazing across our acreage, and spoke of all the things we’d like to do around the farm. We counted our blessings, talked about how fast the kids are growing and our parenting concerns. We also soaked up the sounds of nature and just relished each others presence without words.

As we returned to the house, I realized how important it is to take a walk with your sweetheart. It may be considered old-fashioned or something best done in the dating stage, but truth is it’s timeless. Couples have partaken in the simple gesture for centuries. It’s romantic, rejuvenating, and free.

Fifteen years, and there’s still no one I’d rather walk this road with than him.

As the cool days and nights transition into warmer ones, I challenge you to take half an hour away from your tablet, cell phone, and other distractions, and take a walk with your sweetheart.

CandicePortraits009-XL

~Candice Sue Patterson writes contemporary romance and is the author of Bright Copper Kettles and Silver White Winters. Both eBooks are free for a limited time at Pelican Book Group.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Candice Sue Patterson

 

Tags: , ,

Only One

nikki_hermitageHave you been to The Louvre? The Hermitage? These buildings are–and contain–fantastic art treasures.

I was blessed to visit The Hermitage in St. Petersburg two years ago. What sights I beheld! Crouching Boy by Michelangelo. Madame Trabuc by van Gogh. A knot lodged in my throat as I stood before one masterpiece after another. The culmination of the tour? Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son. I viewed it and wept.

My son, a senior in college, will visit The Louvre later this year while studying abroad. I’m thrilled for him, and only a little jealous that he’ll see the Mona Lisa before I will. Since he knows how much I love art, he sent me a photo yesterday, claiming he’d just seen the Mona Lisa . . . and taken a picture with her:

Apparently, we have a version of La Joconde at his college. Would you believe the medium is gum? Post-chewed gum.

As for the subjects in this photo . . . They’re both interesting. But the one on the left is an adaptation. The one on the right is an original.

You’re an original, too! We’ve been fashioned by the Master, and we’re on display for His glory.

But now, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You our Potter, and all of us are the work of Your hand. ~ Isaiah 64:8

 

~ Jericha Kingston

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 27, 2015 in Jericha Kingston, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Do Your Thing, God

Don't Worry. I've got this.Do your thing, God

I do it to my fictional characters all the time. They have their goals, and I thwart them at nearly every opportunity. And then I whisper in their tiny, fictional ears, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”

But we’re not fictional characters, and when we need something, it’s real. I’ve made requests of the Author of life, only to have Him do something completely different, all the while whispering, “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.” But like my characters, I don’t always hear Him.

When my husband was out of work about ten years ago, I prayed that God would give him a job. And then I outlined the type of job he should get, how much it should pay, and where it should be. I was very specific about what kind of boss I wanted Eddie to have and what kind of company he should work for.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to be specific about what you want. But these kinds of prayers can lead to problems. When Eddie would get an interview with the right company—according to my specifications—I’d get my hopes up, sure this was going to be the job. And then when he didn’t get it, I’d be disappointed and feel like God had let us down. When he had an interview with the wrong kind of company, I’d hold my breath and pray he didn’t get a job offer he wasn’t supposed to take. I was so sure I knew what was best.

The older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know.  I’m a little like the characters in my books. They can only see the page they’re standing on. I might be real, but my “wisdom” is so limited, my foresight so flawed, I can barely predict dinner. And now with three teenagers pointing out my shortcomings, I’m more aware than ever of my personal limitations.

Tweet this: God doesn’t need my input. He’s got this. 

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that God doesn’t need my input. I have goals for my life. But he has plans for eternity. I want something here and now. He wants to grow my character and my faith. He wants me to pray and trust Him, and when I start to worry, he wants me to pray again. He doesn’t want me to fix it—whatever “it” is. He doesn’t need me to come up with multi-layered strategies. He just wants me to trust Him.

What happened with my husband’s job? He got a job offer from a friend who owned a new, very small company, and I worried. A decade later, the business is going strong, and I know that the job was exactly God’s plan for Eddie. Like my characters, I couldn’t see beyond that page of the book. But the Author knew what He was doing all along.

So today, rather than outlining my solutions, I try to hand Him my needs and say, “Do your thing. Perform a miracle. I trust you with this.” Is it easy? Not always. Has God ever let me down? Not once.

How has God answered your prayers in ways you didn’t expect?

DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her first two books were Faith House and One Christmas Eve. Her third book, Finding Amanda, will release this spring. Robin works as a freelance editor at Robins Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Sign up for Robin’s newsletter at robinpatchen.com and receive a free e-cookbook and excerpts from her next novel.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Robin Patchen

 

Tags: , ,

Author Chat with Dina Sleiman

DinaSleimanQPQ – Welcome to the Quid Pro Quills, Dina!

DS – Hello and thanks for having me today.

QPQ – Tells us about your new release, Dauntless.

DS – Dauntless is a YA inspirational medieval adventure/romance and the first book in my series, Valiant Hearts. It’s the story of Merry Ellison, left on her own after her family was killed in a struggle against the King of England. Merry will go to any length to save the outlawed children of Ellsworth from the treacherous King John.

Dauntless – #newrelease medieval adventure/romance by Dina Sleiman #amreading Tweet This

QPQ – Writing for YA can be tough. What inspired you to take this project on?

DS – I’m so thankful for this opportunity to create strong and courageous role models for young women. I feel that all too often Christian girls are sent mixed messages. “You can be whatever you want to be, but you should be…” (Insert small box of your denominational choosing here.) I want to inspire young women to be all that they can be and empower them to reach their full potential in Christ.

QPQ – Excellent goal! What type of heroines are you creating for these role models?

DauntlessDS – A young woman who is feminine and strong, vulnerable and tough, gentle and passionate. She is fearless, intelligent, and full of life. A heroine who contains within her both the tender beauty of a blossoming flower and the fierceness of a lioness. One who uniquely reflects her creator God and is willing to pursue her dreams with all her heart. A woman who is open to love, but not defined by a man.

QPQ – That last part is so important to convey to our young women. Too many times we see young women who run into trouble because they don’t feel complete without a boyfriend. Bless you for telling these kinds of stories. What else do you have in store?

DS – In book 2, Chivalrous, (Available for pre-order, releasing in September 2015) Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight, but such cannot be her fate, even in the Camelot inspired region where she dwells. Meanwhile, her father intends to use her as a marriage pawn.

In book 3, working titled Relentless, Rosalind goes on crusade in search of redemption. I just started writing this one, and it will be fun to see where this story takes me.

QPQ – These all sound like great stories. Let’s post a few places where readers can connect with you and your books.

DS – I hope you will consider giving my Valiant Hearts Series a try, or perhaps purchasing it for some special young woman in your life! And please join me on my Valiant Hearts blog to stay in touch. You can also find me on Facebook and Goodreads.

QPQ – Our readers can view my 5-star review of Dauntless on my blog, The Sheepish Scribe.

Dina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, won an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Selah Awards. Also look for her novels, Love in Three-Quarter TimeDance from Deep Within, and her Valiant Hearts series with Bethany House Publishers. Dina serves as an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire Publishing as well, and she loves to teach at writers conferences throughout the US.

~ Pegg Thomas

 
10 Comments

Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Author Chat

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Upcoming Writers Contests!

FWF Photo

Tethered by Letters’ Spring 2015 Short Story Contest

We are currently accepting short stories of any genre ranging from 1,000 to 7,500 words. The short story contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Five finalists will be considered for subsequent journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.

Deadline: May 31, 2015

Prize: $500 and publication in the quarterly journal

Entry Fee: $15 per entry

URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Contact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com

Tethered by Letters’ Spring 2015 Flash Fiction Contest

We are currently accepting flash fiction submissions of 55, 250, or 500 words in length. The flash fiction contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL online monthly feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.

Deadline: May 31, 2015

Prize: $150 and publication in the quarterly journal

Entry Fee: $7 per entry OR $15 for three entries

URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Contact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com

Tethered by Letters’ Spring 2015 Poetry Contest

We are currently accepting poetry submissions of all genres and styles—from traditional form to free verse. Length requirements are no more than three pages per poem, single-spaced with double spacing between stanzas. The poetry contest winner will be published in F(r)iction. Three finalists will be considered for subsequent quarterly journal publications or a TBL online monthly poetry feature. Each finalist will also receive free professional edits on their submission. International submissions welcome.

Deadline: May 31, 2015

Prize: $150 and publication in the quarterly journal

Entry Fee: $7 per entry OR $15 for three entries

URL: http://tetheredbyletters.com/submissions/contest-submission

Contact Info: Joe Reinis, jreinis@tetheredbyletters.com

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize Call for Submissions 2016

The University of Pittsburgh Press announces the 2016 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for a collection of short fiction. The prize carries a cash award of $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. The winner will be announced in December or January. No information about the winner will be released before the official announcement. The volume of manuscripts prevents the Press from offering critiques or entering into communication or correspondence about manuscripts. Please do not call or e-mail the Press.

Eligibility

1. The award is open to writers who have published a novel, a book-length collection of fiction, or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. On-line publication and self-publication do not count toward this requirement.
2. The award is open to writers in English, whether or not they are citizens of the United States.
3. University of Pittsburgh employees, former employees, current students, and those who have been students within the last three years are not eligible for the award.
4. Translations are not eligible if the translation was not done by the author.
5. Eligible submissions include an unpublished manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 typed pages. Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic) makes it ineligible.
6. Stories or novellas previously published in magazines or journals or in book form as part of an anthology are eligible.

Dates for Submission

Manuscripts must be received during May and June 2015. That is, they must be postmarked on or after May 1 and on or before June 30.

Send submissions to:
Drue Heinz Literature Prize
University of Pittsburgh Press
7500 Thomas Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please e-mail info@upress.pitt.edu

Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

A $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf will be awarded to the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre.

The next prize will be awarded to a manuscript in progress. We request that authors send a long sample from their manuscript, as well as a description of the work, as detailed below. We expect that we will work with the winner of the prize and provide editorial guidance toward the completion of the project. The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize emphasizes innovation in form, and we want to see projects that test the boundaries of literary nonfiction. We are less interested in straightforward memoirs, and we turn down a large number of them every year. Before submitting your manuscript for the prize, please look at the books previously published as winners of the prize for examples of the type of work that we are seeking.

Brigid Hughes, founding editor of A Public Space, will judge the prize. The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize seeks to acknowledge—and honor—the great traditions of literary nonfiction. Whether grounded in observation, autobiography, or research, much of the most beautiful, daring, and original writing over the past few decades can be categorized as nonfiction. Submissions to the prize might span memoir, biography, or history.

Eligibility: Any writer who has published at least one previous book (in any genre) and resides in the United States is eligible. We will consider one submission per person. Graywolf’s editors and the prize judge reserve the right to invite submissions. Agented submissions are also welcome. Manuscripts submitted for previous years’ prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically requested by Graywolf’s editors or the judge.

Timeline: Only electronic submissions will be considered. The online submission manager will be open for Nonfiction Prize submissions during the submission month only. The last submission month for the prize was May 2014. The next submission period will be posted once that announcement has been made.

DeadlineAnnually in May. Follow this blog and stay updated on the Graywolf Press 2015 submission period and further announcements on more upcoming writers contests.

Kara loves to read and write supernatural suspense thrillers and is an ACFW Genesis 2013 Finalist in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller BlogPhoto Resizedcategory. But Kara also loves to share stories about God’s love, mercy and faithfulness.

Kara will share more books and thoughts about faith and God’s unending mercy in bi-monthly posts on this site.

She’ll also keep you updated on the newest releases in Christian fiction and upcoming writing contests.

To contact Kara, email her at fictionwithfaith@gmail.com or by choosing one or more of the below links:

@KaraHunt2015 on Twitter

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Simple – Right?

custom_mouthguard

I’ve recently had to purchase a mouth guard because I grind my teeth at night. I thought it would be a simple fix… buy the thing, wash the thing, pop the thing into my mouth at night so I could sleep and not have an aching jaw and spasming nerve pain in my head.

Simple, right? (It even said “simple” on the box.) Tweet This

One look at the lengthy set of instructions, however, and I had the inkling all would not be well. This was confirmed a short time later amid boiling water, timers going off, wailing for hubby to help, a mad dash for the bathroom mirror, more wailing for hubby to please come now, and then a redo of the whole process, now with the added pressure that it could only be attempted twice. By the time it was all said and done, I was ready to swallow the thing whole.

Why, then, would I put myself through this ordeal?

The answer to that is the only really simple thing. Pain. The nerve pain in my head was unbearable. It felt as though electric currents were ripping along my scalp, sometimes every thirty seconds. (The boiling, wailing, etc., now seem a minimal problem, yes?)

Despite the pain, or perhaps because of it, I’m reminded of God’s goodness and how much He’s given me. It’s moments like these that I’m grateful, more than ever, for my wonderful husband who truly is my knight in shining armor, and for loving children who, every time I gasped and clutched my head, went racing for paper and crayons to make me get-well cards. Most of all, I’m grateful for my Heavenly Father whose love and mercy are never ending, and who sometimes allows a little discomfort so my eyes will be opened to just how richly He’s blessed me.

Marge Wiebe

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2015 in devotion, Marge Wiebe

 

Tags: , , ,

Image

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day 2015

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Holiday Greeting

 

Tags: