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BLOGWORDS – 22 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – KRISTEN HEITZMANN

NEW WEEK NEW FACE – GUEST POST – KRISTEN HEITZMANN

 

 

Recently I was asked to name my favorite mother character in literature. I mentally went through the zillions of books I’d read, sure that the very best mother would be difficult to single out. Imagine my surprise when I was unable to recall a single one that shone. From the evil stepmothers of fairytales, to the cold, negligent woman who dropped Heidi on the Alp Uncle’s doorstep, to the drug-addicted bring-the-bad-boyfriends-home sort of woman who impacts so many modern novels, it struck me how many mothers were portrayed as villainous.

The second most common thing I found was the missing mother. This is different from the nasty ones. She is gone due to circumstances, personal sacrifice, or death. Those of us who have lost a mother know that emptiness doesn’t end. So it’s no wonder authors choose that route.

 

No one has such an impact on our personal development as a mother does. If we have a close mother-child bond we will develop differently than if it is distant or critical. A character-building motif in stories often revolves around a difficult parental relationship or a wonderful relationship cut short. Either creates a mother shaped hole the character periodically falls into.

There are, however, some stories with great mothers. In Jojo Moyes’s One plus One, Jess is a single mother trying to make her little girl’s dream of attending a top “maths” school come true. She has collected a goth teenage son whom neither her ex-husband nor the boy’s mother wants. Her generosity (though impoverished) honesty (though cheated and deceived) and compassion (though mistreated) are a beautiful example of a mother’s heart. When she fails in one of these it becomes a lesson to her loved ones and together they make it right.

In The Monk Downstairs / The Monk Upstairs by Tim Farrington, the mother character named Phoebe sees through people’s outer clutter of faults and insecurities to the soul within. Her love is unconditional. She also has a zest for life and delights in the absurd. You can’t read her and not want to be like that.

What stands out for both these characters is their acceptance of their offspring’s natures, desires, fears, and wounds—whether children or adults. Their willingness to protect and develop without forcing their own will and desires resonates in characters like Marmee in Little Women—the Proverbs 31 idealized mother. My tomboy self preferred the story of Jo March in Little Men and her creative parenting. 😊

Charlotte Mason, a 19th century educator said, “Maternal love is the first agent in education.” I love her concept that each child is born a person, equally good and bad, full of wonder, curiosity, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Mothers should be a loving authority in the same way that our Heavenly Father is a loving authority over us.

She advocated that it was the job of especially the mother to develop the child’s will to long for the right and good and just and to train them in habits to achieve that goal. “Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than anything else, future character and conduct depend.”

As in the stories referenced above, mothers are to walk beside, not forcing an action, but allowing room for the Spirit to work in the ones God placed in her care. What an awesome, precarious, and fragile responsibility. Given all that, mothers must also tend themselves.


 

Kristen Heitzmann is the bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical novels, including Colorado Book Award finalist The Still of Night, Christy Award finalists Indivisible and The Tender Vine, and Christy Award winners Secrets and The Breath of Dawn that won both a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Award and was a finalist for a people’s choice award in the Netherlands. She is a fiction track and workshop teacher at writers conferences. An artist and musician, she’ll also be found hiking the Colorado Rocky Mountain trails near her home where she lives with her husband, pets, extended family, and wildlife.

 

www.kristenheitzmann.com

www.facebook.com/kristen.f.heitzmann

www.facebook.com/KristenHeitzmann?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/KFHeitzmann

 

 

#Blogwords, New Week New Fact, #NWNF, Guest Post, Kristen Heitzmann, Mothers in Literature

BLOGWORDS – Sunday 21 May 2017 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A GOOD WORK

FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – A GOOD WORK

 

Woke up to a lovely text from my friend this morning.

Before I was awake even.

 

What a powerful thing, to know that my friend is not only thinking of me but is praying for me even as I’m sleeping. And in this season, when things have been languishing so badly, I know Father will see me through to complete it.  All of it. Because He set me to it.

 

My writing? Yes, but not just. He began a work in me to make me who He designed and created me to be.

I am not an incomplete leftover or reject. I am a work in progress. And Father places his brush strokes with great care, He selects only the finest clay and spins the wheel just so, He chooses the word or phrase that conveys the essence simply and eloquently.

And with every brush stroke or spin or word, He is drawing me closer to Him, to His image.

And when stuff of the day threatened to overtake me, it did not because I know Holy Spirit is faithful to complete what He has begun. And the world isn’t my standard, He is. His character, His nature, His heart. And I am transformed, I am renewed.

 

I am His, and I rest in Him.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, A Good Work, Philippians 1:3, Ephesians 2:10, Genesis 1:27, Romans 12:2, Transformed, Renewed

BLOGWORDS – 20 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE

NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE – writing recovery continues

 

Bronchitis is GONE—PRAISE GOD—and RECOVERY MODE

is now SWAMP MODE,

aka CAVE TIME

as in WRITING CAVE, which we writers are notorious for hiding out in to get some words done, as in writing.

 

This story, though, this series, is set in a tenuous, as in fabricated setting, sort of a mash up of river and marsh / swamp, otherwise known as black river which is prevalent in the South. Saisons is a town somewhere between Columbia and Charleston, along the Santee River, close enough to the ocean to host marshes.

Ergo, SWAMP MODE!! Ergo, WRITING MODE. As in #AMWRITING, gotta make some words.

 

Interviews are back with a fun feature this Thursday (contain your excitement) but Wreading Wednesdays and What’s in Your Kitchen are still suspended. RemApWriMo flopped, sort of, but I have designated June as a second chance, RemJUWriMo!

 

Did I mention, IT’S GOOD TO BE INDIE!!!

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, Swamp Mode, Writing Recovery, It’s Good to be Indie, RemJuWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, #AMWRITING

 

BLOGWORDS – Friday 19 May 2017 – FIRST LINE FRIDAY – A WRINKLE IN TIME by MADELEINE L’ENGLE

FIRST LINE FRIDAY – A WRINKLE IN TIME by MADELEINE L’ENGLE

 

 

Reading is My SuperPower

http://cafinatedreads.com  |   Singing Librarian   |   Bookworm Mama

Faithfully Bookish   |   Radiant Light   |   Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen

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https://abakersperspective.wordpress.com   |   With a Joyful Noise   |  

http://momentsdippedinink.com   |   http://cjaneread.blogspot.ca

 

 

 If you’d like to join us on your blog for First Line Fridays, shoot Carrie @ Reading is My Superpower an email and let her know!

 

 

THE BLURB:    

This is Book 1 of the Time Quintet Series

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal.

 

THE FIRST LINE:   

It was a dark and stormy night. In her attic bedroom, Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind.

 

MY THOUGHTS:    

Can’t even remember when I first read this book, but the story has stuck with me for the better part of five decades—love conquers all.

 

GENRE:

Fantasy / science fiction

 

STARS:

 All | the | stars.

 

#Blogwords, First Line Friday, #FLF, A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle

BLOGWORDS – Thursday 11 May 2017 – CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – TERESA TYSINGER

CHAT THURSDAY – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – TERESA TYSINGER

“They say “write what you know.” I’m fortunate to know grace and love pretty well – the grace of a heavenly Father who forgives me without my deserving it, and a love deeper and wider than my vast imagination can comprehend.”

 

“I yearn for connection – as I’m sure many of you do. It’s part of our make-up as human beings. True relationship building takes time and effort.”

 

rem:  Hello, Teresa, welcome to my little nest. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

TERESA:  My twin sister and I were born in Honolulu, Hawaii (father was stationed there in the Navy) and raised in Central Florida. I then spent more than ten years in North Carolina attending college and marrying my husband. We now live in North Texas with our daughter and fur baby. I work full time as a director of communications for a large church—a career I’ve enjoyed for about 14 years.

rem:  Remind me to ask for some twin antics… 😉 Tell us three things about yourself.

TERESA:

  1. On paper, I test extremely introverted, though friends would never suspect that based on my outward interactions; I must recharge with quiet alone time.
  2. My home library is pretty lean because, more often than not, I give books away to friends or family once I’ve read them.
  3. I have a master’s degree in editing and publishing but focused on book design, which led me to a career in graphic design as part of church communications. I love it!

 

rem:  Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

TERESA:  My favorite coffee drink is an iced caramel macchiato…mmm!

rem:  Caramel—sounds delectable! What’s the most random thing in your bag or on your desk?

TERESA:  There is currently a pair of my daughter’s socks in my purse. Ah, motherhood!

rem:  LOL Classic motherhood. What’s your favorite recent discovery?

TERESA:  My daughter and I love the show The Zoo on Animal Planet, a behind-the-scenes show about the Bronx Zoo.

rem:  Do you use sarcasm?

TERESA:  All. The. Time. It’s my favorite tool to get through life. Ha!

rem:  What is the first thing you notice about people?

TERESA:  Whether they are kind or not. Sometimes it’s in their eyes, and you just know.

rem:  Very true. Do you have a favorite Bible verse? And why is it a favorite?

TERESA:  I chose my life verse when I was going through confirmation in sixth grade. I think God knew then that my anxious nature would need it: “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be afraid for I am your God.” Isaiah 41.10.

 

rem:  And that’s what His presence is all about, peace. What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?  How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

TERESA:  I believe Christian fiction is only different from secular fiction in that it sheds light on the only true conflict resolution: God’s grace and salvation. This can be really subtle, yet poignant in well-written Christian fiction. For me, writing has become my sacred time with God. It’s when I feel the closest to him—like he’s my co-author.

rem:  Ooohhh, I love that—He’s your (our) co-author! When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you? Your fiction pet peeve?  

TERESA:  I guess my pet peeve would be characters who are too perfect or whose lives are hard to relate to. I want to read stories about characters I can see myself and my own struggles in. I am really drawn to stories with a strong sense of place. Setting is really important to helping me experience the story.

rem:  Like mine in the swamp???  wink wink… Which is more important: plot or characters?

TERESA:  I think the two go hand in hand; one can’t survive without the other.

rem:  Seems to be the consensus. What would you do if you weren’t writing?

TERESA:  Something else creative. In the past I’ve enjoyed crafts and home decorating.

rem:  Yes, well, home decorating, Interior Designer here—you’re speaking my (other) language! LOL What are you reading right now?

TERESA:  Nothing!  This book launch has taken so much of my time. My pile of books to read is tall!  I particularly can’t wait to open up The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson.

rem:    NO | KIDDING! What do you munch on while you write?

TERESA:  Usually just coffee. If I have snacks around me, I’ll eat too much!

 

rem:  Tell us a little about your writing journey.

TERESA:  I started writing Someplace Familiar over three years ago for National Novel Writer’s Month, a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Since then, it’s been through so many rewrites and edits to get to where it is today.

rem:  Ah yes, good ol’ NaNoWriMo! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
TERESA:  Because of my full-time job and motherhood duties, I don’t really have a set routine. But when my husband is off on a weekend, I most enjoy camping out at my local coffee shop. I’ve been known to have a 6+ hours writing marathon when I can find the time. Otherwise, it’s a few hours a night after my daughter goes to bed if I’m not too tired.

rem:  Wait, is a mom ever not tired??? What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

TERESA:  TIME (see above answer). In an ideal world, I’d love to write full time. Since that’s not my current reality, I am learning to be kinder to myself. I try and focus more on what I can do and not on what I can’t. My number one priority is my daughter and husband, so the writing comes second. I pray a lot about finding contentment in every day, trusting that God is there always.

rem:  And Father honors those priorities. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

TERESA:  Creating, for sure!  There are no rules when you’re just writing ideas down. The story feels more alive to me in that phase. Editing can be very satisfying, but it doesn’t feel as organic to me.

rem:  I love the way you said that! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

TERESA:  I most enjoy the outlet it gives me to create people and worlds that only exist in my head. I’m also learning how amazing it is when readers are moved by my writing. The best feeling!

rem:  So true! I’m like a little kid when people tell me their (ahem, positive) response to my stories! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

TERESA:  Since I’ve decided to self-publish, the hardest thing is having to manage all of the moving parts on my own. It’s overwhelming some times. The easiest part is having a lot of friends who’ve done it before and are more than willing to help. The author community is really incredible!

rem:  I hear tell, though, that trad pubs have to manage much of it on their own anyway… What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

TERESA:  I’d tell new writers to not think too much (just write!), read all you can (about the craft of writing and books in your genre), and realize that you’re not alone (all writers have been where you are; reach out if you need help).

rem:  I so love the connections and camaraderie amongst fellow authors. How do you choose your characters’ names?

TERESA:  This is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. Sometimes, it is as simple as choosing a name I personally like. Other times, especially with last names, I research common names to the region the book is set in.

rem:  And let’s not forget when they introduce themselves… no name selecting involved. Do you think of the entire story before you start writing?

TERESA:  No! At least in the case of Someplace Familiar, I really wrote as it came to me. That was a good approach for my first book, but I think for future books I will do a little more outlining so it goes faster.

rem:  Ah, you “pantzed” it! KUDOS Your debut novel comes out the 30th of this month. Tell us about it.

TERESA:  Someplace Familiar is my debut contemporary southern romance novel. Here’s a short description:

Artist Livy Johnson needs a fresh start. That’s what a broken heart and forgotten dreams can do to a person. On little more than a whim, she reclaims her grandmother’s old home in quaint Laurel Cove, North Carolina and vows to restore its original charm. When she literally collides with childhood friend, Jack Bowdon, Livy wonders if she’s back for an entirely different reason.

Jack can’t believe his childhood crush is back. As the owner of Bowdon’s Supplies, and once again the town’s most eligible bachelor, he offers to help Livy with repairs. Together they embark on the project—and an undeniable whirlwind romance.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. Together they must find a way to survive the destructive pain of their pasts and ultimately discover God’s grace waiting to renovate their hearts.

rem:  Sounds delightful! Can’t wait to read it! What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?

TERESA:  Laurel Cove is inspired by the small town where my best friend grew up. I fell in love with the place while attending college in the mountains, so it’s been a real treat to introduce readers to a similar quaint and charming town. I think readers will also enjoy the story of renewed hope in love as our main characters work together to restore Gram’s cottage.

rem:  How fun is that! And I love the mountains. Tell us about why you wrote this book.

TERESA:  I felt called to write a story of redemption and grace—both grace we can receive freely from God and the grace we can extend to others. Other than that, writing this book was really to prove to myself that I could do it.

rem:  Well done. Please give us the first page of the book.

TERESA:

Not much had changed about Laurel Cove, North Carolina in the ten years since Livy Johnson had last visited. Driving down Main Street, it was every bit as charming and picturesque as she remembered. American flags blew in the breeze in front of old store fronts. Two old men in overalls leaned lazily on the back end of a rusty pick-up, probably shooting the breeze. 

A red traffic light.

Livy’s foot slammed against the brake pad, lurching the car to a stop about a foot into the quiet intersection. The cracking of wood behind her seat could only mean one thing. Her easel had broken. How was she going to get back into painting without the easel she’d used since art school? What a great start to her new beginning.

With no traffic waiting, Livy steered the car left as the light turned. She needed no GPS to find the Laurel Cove Inn, a short, steep climb off Main Street. The car came to a much gentler stop in front of the grand white building sitting at one edge of the town square. Livy’s muscles ached from the five-hour drive from Raleigh as she stepped from the car and stretched her arms toward a cloudless sky. The building was every bit as beautiful as she remembered.

The sight of a man looking down from a second-story window of the inn pricked at her insecurities. A gasp of cold, crisp mountain air stung her throat as her hand rubbed at the heat rising up her neck. Her eyes cut to the hood of her car, its engine still pinging as it cooled. The uneasiness of being watched eclipsed the serenity of her surroundings. She’d come to Laurel Cove to hide from her problems, yet someone had already found her.

Don’t be ridiculous. It wasn’t like she was hiding. Plus, everything, and everyone, she remembered of Laurel Cove was good. Curiosity pulled her eyes back to the window. The man’s tall figure filled most of the space between the frame. Flat palm facing out, he nodded in her direction.

 

rem:  Well, I’m right there with her in Laurel Cove, and now m’wanna read the whole thing! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

TERESA:  I hope readers see that no love story is perfect and without obstacles, but can be breathtaking and inspiring all the same. Jack nor Livy are perfect; they each struggle with forgiveness, insecurities, trust, etc. I hope readers see themselves in these characters and that they, too, find hope within God’s grace.

rem:  God’s grace indeed, wonderful. Thank you so much for chatting with us at my little nest today! And welcome to the world of author hood!

 

https://teresatysinger.com/

https://teresatysinger.com/newsletter/

https://www.facebook.com/teresatysingerauthor/

https://twitter.com/tmtysinger

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TeresaTysinger

https://www.pinterest.com/teresatysinger/

 

 

“… if my writing can speak of these sorts of grace and love to others – maybe even you – then what a gift it is, indeed.”

 

 

#Blogwords, Chat Thursday, Author Interview, Teresa Tysinger, Someplace Familiar

Source: Wednesday Wisdom – MELODY

BLOGWORDS – 17 May 2017 – NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE

NEW WEEK NEW FACE NEW MONTH NEW ME – SPECIAL EDITION – SWAMP MODE – writing recovery continues

 

Bronchitis is GONE—PRAISE GOD—and RECOVERY MODE

is now SWAMP MODE,

aka CAVE TIME

as in WRITING CAVE, which we writers are notorious for hiding out in to get some words done, as in writing.

 

This story, though, this series, is set in a tenuous, as in fabricated setting, sort of a mash up of river and marsh / swamp, otherwise known as black river which is prevalent in the South. Saisons is a town somewhere between Columbia and Charleston, along the Santee River, close enough to the ocean to host marshes.

Ergo, SWAMP MODE!! Ergo, WRITING MODE. As in #AMWRITING, gotta make some words.

 

Interviews are back with a fun feature this Thursday (contain your excitement) but Wreading Wednesdays and What’s in Your Kitchen are still suspended. RemApWriMo flopped, sort of, but I have designated June as a second chance, RemJUWriMo!

 

Did I mention, IT’S GOOD TO BE INDIE!!!

 

 

#Blogwords, Special Edition, Swamp Mode, Writing Recovery, It’s Good to be Indie, RemJuWriMo, Seasons, The Long Shadows of Summer, The Tilting Leaves of Autumn, #AMWRITING

 

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