Monday, July 10, 2017

Parameters of Pruning and Editing #Gardening #Bible Stories



Writing Tips

 One of the most important and least understood gardening tasks is the art of pruning. When trees, shrubs, and flowers grow rampant, they need to be judiciously cut--the key word being judiciously. Indiscriminate cutting leads to disaster. The wise gardener know when, where and how to prune without killing the plant. 

Know species. Some of my rhododendrons can be heavily pruned and still bloom profusely the next year. Others have few or no blooms for a year or two after planting. Prune after blooming.

". . . prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof," (Leviticus 25:3, KJV). 



Manuscript editing is also an art, a continuous learning process.

Several years ago, Christian author Marjorie Gordon, long-term friend and former student, received  good news and bad news. A magazine really liked her 1200 word article . . .but would only buy if it was cut in half. Marge regularly sold to a variety of magazines that required limited word counts but how could she  whack precious parts and still have a good manuscript?

I was spending the weekend with the Gordons (the one and only time.) I read Marge's article, smiled, and asked for a red pen. I had years of experience editing my own and students' manuscripts. Even so, I believe it took three eagle-eyed readings to accomplish the task. It meant cutting a lot of good stuff (sniff, sniff) while keeping the impact of the article, not an easy job.

"The rest of the story," as Paul Harvey used to say, is that the editor was delighted with the 600-word end result and bought it. Marge won favor with him as an author willing to work within his parameters. Now, years later, we still laugh about this incident and refer to it when fellow authors complain about having to cut their work.



Knowing how to successfully condense our stories, books, and articles is vital. This has served me well for years, but never more so than when writing my expanded, recently-issued Bible Stories: Creation to Revelation (100 stories).
 


The back cover copy shows this was quite a challenge.

At last . . .

Help for those searching for an easily- 
understood collection of retold Bible stories,
stories, themes, and major events.
Award-winning author Colleen L. Reece uses
simple, down-to-earth language that all ages
can grasp and appreciate.
Bible Stories Creation to Revelation is an
excellent quick-reference title and memory
refresher. A great gift, good for sermon
illustrations, family devotions, or read-aloud. 

Discover God's love, justice, and mercy 
by reliving long-ago events 
that changed life and the world forever. 

 
Note: My editor allows me to submit sample covers then works her magic. Also, to choose public domain Clipart for black and white chapter heading illustrations. Fun!

Bible Stories, Creation to Revelation




Saturday, July 1, 2017

Meet Linda Weaver Clarke


Linda Weaver Clarke
Multi-published Author

I live in Color Country, which is located in southern Utah among all the red mountains. I am the author of 22 books: historical romances, period romances, a romantic cozy mystery series, a mystery suspense series, a children’s book, and non-fiction. One of my books, Melinda and the Wild West, is an award-winning sweet romance for the “Reviewers Choice Award.” All my books are family friendly.

Lucy M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series, etc. once said, "While solitude with dreams is glorious, solitude without them has few charms." Jerome Kern wrote, "The game of just supposing is the sweetest game I know. Our dreams are more romantic than the world we see."
Perhaps the world we see is full of dirty dishes, soiled diapers, and arguing teenagers. After a big day, curl up with a book and enter the Make-Believe World of fantasy and adventure. Remember that "if the things we dream about don't happen to be so, that's just an unimportant technicality."

I enjoy writing stories that have adventure and romance with good old fashioned values. On my website at www.lindaweaverclarke.com, you may read sample chapters from my novels.

A 5-star reader review for Book #1 in the "Rebel" series states, "This book has wonderful characters and a wonderful plot. I had a hard time putting this wonderful book down. I will be reading the next book in this series."

 Synopsis for The Rebels of Cordovia:

"There was a time when swashbuckling men and brave women engaged in daring and romantic adventures, those who fought with bravery and valor. In this battle for freedom, a love story begins to blossom. Daniel, a rogue and a leader of the Freemen, doesn’t realize that the sweet feminine woman he has met and is falling for happens to be the leader of Robin’s Rebels. Realizing the importance of uniting all the rebel groups, Daniel tries to recruit Robin’s Rebels but they refuse. Now he has to find a way to convince them. When he finds out the leader is actually a woman, what will his reaction be?"
 
 Synopsis for The Highwayman of Cordovia:


The second book in the Rebel series: “With the help of a bold highwayman and a pastor’s daughter, they try to save their country from being taken over by a power-hungry leader. As they strive to stop the Kingmen and thwart their plans, Christine finds herself falling in love with Austin Knight. The only problem with their relationship is that she thinks he is her knight in shining armor instead of a highwayman. If she finds out his trade, what will her reaction be? As a pastor’s daughter, will love override her values?”

  

The final title in the series is now available for preorder and will be released August 21st. Linda is having a Book Giveaway, which will last until Aug 21st: Every visitor will receive 7 EBOOKS FREE if they preorder the Historical Romance: The Fox of Cordovia. For these promotional giveaways, go to https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com.

Synopsis 

“In this swashbuckling romance, a sinister plot has just been uncovered and its up to a former patriot and a young nurse to discover who is behind it. Caroline is engaged to the future mayor of Laketown, a man of influence and greatly respected. But all that changes when she overhears a conspiracy behind closed doors. After being discovered, she runs for her life. Caroline needs to report her findings, but whom can she trust? When she asks Jesse Conover for help, the adventure begins.”


Linda's Best Advice to Writers


My advice to all writers is to make sure you do your research on the time period you’re writing about. If you’re writing about the past, don’t use modern words. Find out what kind of clothes they wore and what kind of etiquette was accepted. If electricity didn’t exist, then what did they use? When I did my research for The Rebel Series, I learned some interesting facts about lamplighters. The city is careful about who they hire because lamplighters also act as night watchmen and need to be trustworthy. I learned that the job is usually handed down from father to son and kept within the family. I love doing research.



Linda's books available at


Blog where she interviews authors: lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com
Blog where she talks about her books at Linda Weaver Clarke.Wordpress.com


Here are two trailers for readers to watch so they can "feel" what  the books are about. 
 
The Rebels of Cordovia

The Highwayman of Cordovia

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Memories, New and Old

Families are Forever #Families #Children

 I am blessed to be part of a family that both loves each other, and enjoys spending time together. 

 

Yesterday 16 of our 17 family members met in the tree-shaded backyard of the home my brother and his wife purchased more than 40 years ago. Tiny trees have become towering giants that shade the spacious green lawn and a multitude of shrubs and flowers. First generation children are now parents: the oldest grandchild just graduated from high school.

Laughter and shouting filled the air from a rollicking Capture the Flag game and brought back  memories of other such gatherings. Slippy slides. Hide-and-seek. Tag. Tree climbing in the big maple Some games in which I took part for years but am now content to be a cheering spectator. Other events and moment that stand out.

Why does our family remain close in spite of distance and the demands of busy lives?

Family values. We are all unique but share a common heritage born of centuries old traditions. Retelling of happenings from the "olden days" never grow stale. One Thanksgiving when the power went out and we waited for the turkey to cook on a barbecue, my mother (in her 80s) related stories from her past--including being chased by a cougar on a Thanksgiving decade earlier. It was later agreed the candle-lamplight celebration was one of the best holidays ever.


Playful KidsEveryone is important--youngsters are not left out. I've never before seen 9 Capture the Flag participants who range from 17 (2), 15 (2), 13 (1) 11, (2) down to a 7-year-old, and an almost-9-year-old. Yet it is typical of a family that is proud of everyone's accomplishments and loves sharing details of what is happening in each person's life.


Family support.  

 When I was a skinny, scrawny 11-year-old and my 6-year-old brother was even skinnier and scrawnier due to having three childhood diseases one following another. a bully at the bus stop told him, "I think I'll slap your face." 

No you won't." I said.

"Then I'll slap you." Great. She could easily wipe up the ground with me. But no way was she going to hit my still-puny little brother.

WHAM.  I staggered then managed a feeble slapi n return. . Good thing the driver showed up just then

* * * 
 
 Five years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, my first concern was how to tell my family. We'd already gone through it with my brother and sister-in-law. The words of a niece forever remain in my mind: "We've done it before. We can do it again." Supported by faith, family, and friends, came through so well that my top-notch doctors and nurses still call me their miracle patient.

Family humor 

Laughter is a priority in our family. We recall silly things from the past, and get many a chuckle from the current generation's contributions. Certain comments stand out such as the beautiful summer day in 2011 when we did a balloon release at a military cemetery in honor of my brother's passing. 

Floating BalloonsAs the sky filled with the colorful tribute I told my 10-year-old great-nephew, "I'll bet Grandpa is up there saying thanks for the nice weather for this."

His quick reply is one of my most treasured memories. " I think he's sayng thanks for the balloons."

I am thankful for the precious gift of memories that allows us to look to the future but remember the past. God willing, we will have many more family celebrations . . . times to reflect and rejoice, to laugh together and sometimes cry. These are the golden ties that bind families and generations together. and help provide stability in a this often topsy-turvy world.