Monday, April 14, 2014


I know nothing about income tax except it is one of those “have to” acts of life and is often used in the same sentence as “death.” How does an author know if tax is due the government? I guess if you have very little income from your writing (as is the case with most of us), April 15 has little significance; however, my husband and I have been having our yearly  “discussion” (the word discussion is used rather lightly.)  Since I was involved with the subject, I decided to do some research about taxes for authors.  I found several fascinating web sites to share with our readers. I repeat, I know very little to nothing about taxes, but found the information quite interesting.  In my googling, I found this post by Carol Topp,CPA who has also written a book entitled  BUSINESS TIP TAXES FOR WRITERS. This website also gave several other links that were an education to me. She indicates that one of the first mistakes authors/writers make is to file their own return.   gave several good tips on those items that are deductible, particularly author advertising expenses.

How do you handle your taxable issues as a writer? Perhaps this post is rather late for this year’s filing, but a quick reading and a reminder note for 2014 might help in next year’s discussion of your tax return.  

May your income from writing in the coming year  cause you to search for this information.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Heart Tablet

Write what is in your heart, while sporting the necklace of kindness and truth. Wonder what we would write if kindness and truth were left on the jewelry box?

Thank the Lord that He will help us daily with those attributes.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

18 Things Creative People Do

18 Things Creative People Do

The Huffington Post recently ran an article titled, 18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.”  A fascinating article well worth exploring.

Researchers have been studying creative people and learning how they work. No longer is it simply right brain vs. left brain but many complex processes used for imagination.

Here are a few of the points:
·      Creative people daydream.  In fact I read the other day that writers are the only people who get to gaze out the window and call it work.

·      Creative people observe. I know for one I am always seeking a new idea, a different way to saying or describing something. Observation is a skill all writers need to hone.

·      Creative people ask the big questions. Why did that person do that? I wonder what would happen if? Have you ever consider this instead of that?   "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reasons for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity." –Albert Einstein

  • Creative people connect the dots. They see the whole picture. The article has a great quote from Steve Jobs: "Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things."
One quote in the article describes creative people having messier minds. Mmm, that may explain a lot about me. HA!

One characteristic the article didn’t mention that I have observed is that creative people like to play. We play with colors, words, and photos – whatever our tools are. We like to mix them up into new magical concoctions or dive into alien upside down worlds. We take what normal people see as one image – an ember, a rainbow, a candle – and allegorize them into concepts such as hope and love.

How do you think creative people are different? What have you observed?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Nook: Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell

James Scott Bell, writing teacher extraordinaire, presents an innovative approach for novelists in his latest book, Write Your Novel from the Middle: A New Approach for Plotters, Pantsers, and Everyone in Between.

In nine short chapters, Mr. Bell helps novelists identify their personal approach and encourages them to start with what he calls the "Magical Midpoint Moment."

As many writers know, a plotter outlines, a pantser writes from the seat of her pants, and a tweener takes a hybrid approach--partially outlining and partially making it up as she goes along.

Whatever your approach, your protagonist will almost always experience a transformational moment where she will decide to either change (either for good or ill) or will decide not to change. By identifying that moment, you can then write toward it from the beginning and from it toward the end.

Mr. Bell adds five tips to his book, including one on that difficult craft bugaboo: show, don't tell.

As I'm writing this, the ebook edition of Write Your Novel from the Middle is only $2.99 on Amazon. It's worth every penny!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Inspiration from a Writers Conference

My recent trip to Florida Christian Writers Conference at the beautiful Lake Yale (above) left me with some real gems to share.

I took Dan Walsh’s excellent workshop, “What Matters Most to Fiction Readers.” If you’re not familiar with Dan, he writes contemporary and historical novels – mostly love stories and family life dramas – for Revel. He has been called “the Nicholas Sparks of Christian fiction” and has been compared to Richard Paul Evans, author of The Christmas Box. Read more about Dan Walsh and find his blog here.

While at the conference, I also met the legendary Edie Melson. My writer friends who frequent Blue Ridge are always singing her praises, and I can certainly see why! Her bio is extensive, but suffice it to say that Edie is a leading professional in the writing industry and a sought-after writing instructor. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and a prolific writer. Her blog, The Write Conversation, is full of creativity and helpful hints.

Here are some quotes gathered from the conference, grouped by topic:

Of writing in general

“An agent thinks, ‘Is it ready?’ as he reads your manuscript.” (Dan Walsh)

“Last impressions are lasting.” (Dan Walsh)

“The camera goes as close as the close-up; the book goes into the heart.” (Dan Walsh)

“In your writing, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.” (Leonard Elmore)

On fiction in particular

“Nobody reads a novel to get to the middle.” (Mickey Spillane)

“Your first chapter sells your book; your last chapter sells your next book.” (Mickey Spillane)

“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” (Stephen King)

Writing on the internet and social media for writers

“People read 25% slower on the internet.”
“Break up info with bullet points, headings, lists.”
“Don’t use serif fonts. Use sans serif like Arial or Verdana.” (Edie Melson)

“Social media is not mass marketing. It is a return to polite society…building relationships and community.” (Edie Melson)

“Promote others over yourself.” (Edie Melson)

Probably the most thought-provoking quote for me came from Ellie Kay, a keynote speaker. She's called “America’s Family Financial Expert,” but she is so much more. Ellie is a whirlwind and an incredible speaker!

Ellie gave me plenty of food for thought with this quote:

“Leave room on your plate so there’s room for God’s best.”

If you’re like me, you leave a conference with a mind full of ideas and a list longer than your arm. It’s so hard to ferret out what to do first, or what to do at all. Ellie prompted me not to fill the plate totally, but to leave room for His leading, His call on my writing.

Hope you enjoyed my trip to Florida Christian Writers Conference vicariously.

Did any of those quotes "speak" to you? What was your favorite?