Monday, April 26, 2010

Writing exercises to get your fingers moving

Missing in action lately with job training and all the other things that distract a writer from actually writing. Tomorrow I leave for another week of training so more time away from my desk. But I am psyched and anxious to make the most of today and what moments I can steal away to write over the next few weeks.

I spent the weekend at beautiful Greenbo Lake State Park near Ashland, KY for the 5th annual KYOWA Dogwood Writers' Conference. Wonderful staff, lovely people, and fun writing exercises that inspired even an old dog like me. My workshop, "Breaking into the Inspirational Fiction Market" was well received, but I got a lot more out of the trip than what I gave.

For me, inspiration and motivation are best reasons to attend a conference. Teaching is great, but I need the burst of creativity you get from a room full of people as excited about writing as you are.

Monday morning, and I am ready to use the fuel from that fire to spur me to action. I have two new writing projects in mind as well as motivation to get my current project ready to send my agent in a few weeks.

You don't have to go to a conference to get inspired. Several of the writing exercises proved you can find inspiration anywhere. We played with storyboards which you can create at home out of old magazines. Clip pictures or sayings that remind you of your story and post them around your writing area. I never thought that sort of thing would help me, but I was proven wrong once again. Create two completely new characters and have them meet. You may never use what you come up with, but the exercise might help get you over a hump in your current project.

But the best exercise by far for any writer is to put your rear in the chair and get those fingers moving. This habit may take some time to incorporate into your routine, but the benefits are immeasurable.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

To celebrate the release of A Distant Melody, Book 1 in Sarah Sundin’s exciting Wings of Glory series, we’re offering one Grand Prize winner the chance to get nostalgic! A Distant Melody is in stores now. You don't want to miss this book. I couldn't put it down. I know you are going to love it as much as I did.

The Winner of our ‘NETFLIX® & Nostalgia’ giveaway will receive a vintage prize package, including:

*A 6 month NETFLIX® subscription
*$25 Starbucks® gift card
*A box of See’s Famous Old Time Chocolates®
*A jar of homemade strawberry jam
*A Big Band music CD
*A Mini B-17 Model airplane
*Vintage stationery and pen
*British specialty tea
*WWII style playing cards

To enter just click on the icon above! Contest will be live April 5th and run through April 25th!

About A Distant Melody:

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love. Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart? A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

Sarah Sundin In Sarah's words:

Although I come from a home wallpapered in books, I only briefly envisioned myself as a writer, when my sister and I co-wrote Funny Dancing Fruits and Vegetables complete with crayon illustrations.

Then I discovered science. I loved learning about the intricacies of God's creation, so I studied chemistry in college, and then got my doctorate in pharmacy—not a typical career path for a writer.

In pharmacy school, I met my husband, Dave. We settled in northern California and were blessed by three bright, funny children—Stephen, Anna, and Matthew. Then on January 6, 2000, I woke from a dream so intriguing I had to write it down. I proceeded to write a really bad 750-page contemporary Christian romance. Burn-it-when-I-die bad. But the Lord used it to call me into writing. I joined a critique group, attended writers' conferences, and joined American Christian Fiction Writers. These all taught me about the craft of writing and the publishing industry, and introduced me to writers, editors, and agents.

I first submitted the manuscript for A Distant Melody in 2003, and over the next five years I accumulated a pile of "good" rejection letters from editors and agents. Finally in 2008, a submission at Mount Hermon Christian Writers' Conference led to my first sale.

Between writing and driving kids to soccer and karate, I work one evening a week as a hospital pharmacist, teach Sunday school to fourth- and fifth-graders, and teach women's Bible studies. I enjoy speaking to women's groups and am available to speak on several topics. To learn more visit Sarah's blog, and if you are a history buff, don't miss her great blog!