This Writer’s Journey

Writing is a journey, one I truly love and enjoy, but it can sometimes feel rather lonely. Hour after hour, alone, at the computer, pouring your heart and soul into each word. But I’ve learned I’m not alone, in fact, I’ve been blessed to be in contact with some amazing people, both writers and non-writers.

I want to share a bit of that with you. Each week I’ll be spotlighting someone I’ve come in contact with during my journey. Thanks for stepping along side of me—all of you—during this exciting time!~~~

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I met Michelle Sutton back in September 2008. I was attending an ACFW chapter meeting and she was the guest speaker. Social Media was the topic. She has a busy blog—er—a busy FEW blogs and was active on Facebook and Twitter.

She was funny, knowledgeable, and really engaging. I absorbed every word she said. It was then that I jumped in—feet first—with the blogging, Facebook, and Twitter.

What I remember most is how encouraging she was. Patient, too, because I had more than a couple questions to ask since I was such a newbie.

It’s been fun to watch her as her career has begun to take off. She’s written tons of books and it seems like she’s got a new one coming out every time I turn around. LOL. I’m glad our paths crossed. Thanks for your support, Michelle.

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Previous weeks: Nicole Bart, Coleen Coble, Diana Sharples

This Writer’s Journey . . .

Writing is a journey, one I truly love and enjoy, but it can sometimes feel rather lonely. Hour after hour, alone, at the computer, pouring your heart and soul into each word. But I’ve learned I’m not alone, in fact, I’ve been blessed to be in contact with some amazing people, both writers and non-writers.

I want to share a bit of that with you. Each week I’ll be spotlighting someone I’ve come in contact with during my journey. Thanks for stepping along side of me—all of you—during this exciting time!

~~~

Previous Weeks: Nicole BaartColeen Coble.

Today we have Diana Sharples.

Remember when I’d mentioned I joined ACFW and jumped into a critique group? Well, Diana Sharples got to be the first writer to read my work.

Poor girl.

I look back now and shake my head wondering how she made it through that dribble. While reading my first chapters, she had to be thinking, “Oh my, this girl is clueless.”

Yeah, well, I was. Heck, I didn’t even know what Point of View (POV) meant let alone how to do it.

But you know what I’m most thankful for? That she took the time to read my work and make all the comments she did. It was the best critique I could have ever asked for.

Goodness that girl knows the craft!

Anyway, she was so supportive in her suggestions and feedback. But the fact that she stepped up to the plate and told the truth is what I respect.

I won’t lie. It stung. I’m not a cyborg, impervious to pain, but her words spurred me on. I could have chosen to walk away thinking, “Oh, this is too big. I’m not supposed to be a writer. I can’t do this.”

But I didn’t.

I still have that crit to this day. I’ll never trash it, because it shows me where I’ve come from. And I’ve come a long way. I get better and better with each novel, and I’ve always kept Diana’s first critique in the back of my mind. When I help new writers, I often share my experience with them to let them know they, too, can move forward. Just need to be open to feedback and suggestions—well, and learning more about the craft!

I thank Diana for her honesty and her wisdom. She’s so smart and talented. I’m happy our paths crossed.

ACFW Conference:

Okay, the ACFW conference rocked. Did you go? Have you heard about it? Maybe heard more than you wanted about it? LOL.

I traveled up to Denver with Pamela Tracy.

Somewhere in Utah.

Somewhere in Utah.

Our adventure to Denver began Wednesday the 16th. We drove a bunch of hours up to Denver.

It was a blast hanging with Pamela.

Still in UT.

Still in UT.

We saw some fantastic views through Utah. Never been to Moab so that was cool as well.

Once we arrived, I was on the go non-stop. Classes by stellar faculty such as Donald Maass, Margaret Daley, Natasha Kern, and so on. I got several brain cramps with all the information I took in.

But that’s good. Can never stop learning the craft, right?

Thought I’d share a few pictures from the fun.

Gwen, Lynn, Rosslyn, Anne. Online friends of mine I finally got to meet!

Gwen, Lynn, Rosslyn, Anne. Online friends of mine I finally got to meet!

Me and a new good friend, Frank.

Me and a new good friend, Frank.

Me and Michelle Sutton

Me and Michelle Sutton

Avily, JC Lamont, and me.

Avily, JC Lamont, and me.

We got to get dressed up for an awards banquet, so that was fun!

We got to get dressed up for an awards banquet, so that was fun!

Krista, me, and Avily.

Krista, me, and Avily.

Ben and Lynn

Ben and Lynn

Okay, our room was as far as it could be from the elevators. It was crazy! That's Avily way, way, way down there.

Okay, our room was as far as it could be from the elevators. It was crazy! That's Avily way, way, way down there.

Pamela won Book of the year:  Short Contemporary Suspense- Broken Lullaby by Pamela Tracy

Pamela won Book of the year: Short Contemporary Suspense- Broken Lullaby by Pamela Tracy

My crit partners Diana and Ann

My crit partners Diana and Ann

Okay, that’s probably enough with the pictures, huh?  I couldn’t help myself. It was such a great experience. So, if you went, what’d you think? Any special memories?

SARA MILLS

I belong to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)  I found ACFW through a fellow writer, Nicole Baart just about a year ago. I’d just started my writing journey and didn’t know where to begin. She led me to ACFW. Since then, I’ve connected with so many writers. It’s a little family.

So, when Sara Mills’ story came up, I had to share.

Sara’s husband died suddenly of a massive heart attack just a couple weeks ago. He was forty years old.

Yep, you read right.

Forty.

He left behind young children and his wife, Sara. I hope you click over to Cara’s blog because she posted an interview with Sara.

I never personally met Sara. But, like I said, ACFW is a little family, and I feel like my heart has been ripped out as well. So, if you pray, pray for her and her family through this tough time.

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miss-fortuneMiss Fortune: By Sara Mills / Moody Publishers

In 1947 Allie Fortune is the only female private investigator in New York City, but she’s kept awake at night by a mystery of her own: her fiancé disappeared in the war and no one knows if he’s still alive. Until Allie finds out, she will have no peace. When there’s a knock on her office door at four in the morning, Allie suspects trouble as usual, and Mary Gordon is no exception. Mary claims someone is following her, that her apartment has been ransacked, and that she’s been shot at, but she has no idea why any of this is happening. Allie takes the case, and in the process discovers an international mystery that puts her own life in danger.

Meanwhile, the FBI is working the case as well, and she is partnered up with an attractive, single agent who would be perfect for her under other circumstances-if only she knew whether her fianci was still alive.

miss-match Miss Match: By Sara Mills / Moody Publishers

FBI agent Jack O’Connor receives a letter from Maggie, a woman he used to love, saying she’s in trouble in Berlin. The FBI refuses to get involved, so Jack asks Allie Fortune to help him investigate. Allie and Jack pose as a missionary couple who want to bring orphans back to the United States.

A child finds important documents that everyone in the city – Soviets and allies alike – want for themselves. Maggie refuses to tell Jack what the documents are, saying if things go wrong, they are better off not knowing. Through the course of the search, Allie’s past is brought back to her, half a world away from home

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Bless you, Sara. We’re prayin’ for ya!

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