5 Writing Reference Books Coming Soon

Writers are always engaged in life-long learning. Grammar rules change as do structure rules, and it is important to stay ahead of those changes as well as simply up your writing game. Here are five books soon-to-be released in December and January.

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Writer, Third Edition, Moira Allen (January 2018)

 How to Publish Your Children’s Book, Liza N. Burby (January 2018)

Daily Writing Resilience: 365 Meditations & Inspirations for Writers, Bryan Robinson (January 2018)

The Geek’s Guide to the Writing Life: An Instructional Memoir for Prose Writers, Stephanie Vanderslice (December 2017)

The Last Draft: A Novelist’s Guide to Revision, Sandra Scofield (December 2017)

And here are two from the archives that contain timeless information:

The Literary Entrepreneur’s Toolkit, Tyora Moody

Step-by-Step Author Website Workbook (The Literary Entrepreneur Workbook Series) (Volume 1)  Tyora Moody

You can order the December books and Tyora Moody’s books before Christmas as an early Christmas gift to you or another writer you love.


10 Gratitude Quotes to Share on Social Media

Automate your social media networks during the holiday season and keep your followers encouraged. Use these 10 quotations to keep people inspired and aware of your gratitude for them.

“The Christian who walks with the Lord and keeps constant communion with Him will see many reason for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long.” 
― Warren W. Wiersbe

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 
― Marcel Proust

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” 
― Maya AngelouCelebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” 
― Maya Angelou

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” 
― John F. Kennedy

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” 
― Voltaire

“The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” 
― Henry Ward Beecher

“Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” 
― Anthony Robbins

“I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” 
― Anne Lamott

Canva is a great online tool for creating lovely graphics to support your quotations. You can also try Hootsuite’s new Compose feature that enables you to use free photos that they provide.

Writers’ Prep for the Holiday Season

This is now officially the end of the year. The last quarter of 2017. How are you prepared to end this year? Have you started to organize your writing life to accommodate holiday activity? If not, here are 7 suggestions:

  1. Pull out a paper calendar and a legal pad and start a list of things you want to finish before December 31. As you finish your list, add deadlines to the paper calendar, and then to your digital calendar.
  2. Using the same calendar mark off days of unavailability. If you take the week off before Thanksgiving or Christmas, block off those days. Now you know when you will not be able to write or work on the business of writing. The same goes for holiday dinners and parties.
  3. Schedule an accountability group meeting with other writers in your area or via a conference call to see how you can assist one another in completing year-end goals. Make it the most productive meeting as possible.
  4. Write your 2018 goals in a journal or on a sheet of paper to stick in your Bible or other regularly visited place. Keep it handy and as visible as possible so that you can maintain your focus.
  5. Schedule 10-30 minutes a day to writing. Ten minutes of writing can be as gratifying as 30 minutes.
  6. Ask for help or hire a virtual assistant for a month or even per project to help you complete projects or organize for the New Year.
  7. Enjoy the holiday without guilt.

That last suggestion is a pressure-releaser. Yes, you want to write but you also want to rest, relax, and relate with friends, family, or even alone. Enjoyment is every bit as a part of the process as the process.

5 Alternatives to Working from Home

People who work for others in an office often romanticize working from home. They are also the ones who call those of us who work from home all day. They ask, “What are you doing?” And the answer is the same. “Working.” It takes a great deal of discipline to work from home. The distractions are many and peculiar. Do you need a change of environment? Here are five alternatives to working from home.

  1. Your local library system. One or multiple branches of your local library system offer a meeting room. Sign up for it. Sprawl your computer and papers all over a table and work away. See if your library permits snacks and coffee or tea. Be comfortable but also work with little to no distractions for a few hours.
  2. Universities and colleges. There are hundreds of makeshift and actual workspaces available to the general public at colleges and universities. They have libraries with relatively strict quiet policies. Some have study and meeting rooms. Atriums and student centers make great places to work undisturbed. Just remember to have your own access to Wi-Fi for the internet.
  3. Seek a co-working space. Many major cities and even smaller ones offer co-working spaces that rent by the month, week, and day or by the hour. Here are a couple of national chains. Regus, WeWork, and WorkBar.
  4. Rent space from a small business. See if someone is willing to rent you an unused office sporadically or regularly. Independent business people could easily welcome another way to reduce their costs while providing you with space.  
  5. Coffee shops and bookstores. Both tend to have public wireless to access the internet. Coffee shops have beverages and snacks, and some bookstores also have both. Workspaces are generally first-come-first-served but the environments can be relaxing and friendly to being productive.

Getting out of the house can be good. In fact, it is good for a change in perspective and even work habits. Do you have a favorite alternative to working from home? If so, tell us in the comments.

Countdown to 2018: What’s on your to-finish list?

We all looked up and it was October. Where did the time go? Where it always goes… It just moves right along with or without us. Time generally drags us right along with it, and if we are not careful, it will drag us to a place of unfinished business. What’s on your to-finish list?

Here are ways to take inventory of your unfinished business:

  1. Put you on your calendar. Make time to go sit somewhere in solitude until you write a list of things you’d like to accomplish before January 1, 2018.
  2. Put you on your calendar. Sit down or stand up or move to work towards completing your project or projects five minutes a day until December 31, 2017.
  3. Put you on your calendar. Plan at least two activities that are about you and your unfinished business. Do you need to go to your city’s business center to apply for a license? Do you need to visit a library to schedule a book chat? Do it. Do at least two things that move you forward.
  4. Put you on your calendar. Use Pinterest or a piece of tag board and create a vision board for that unfinished business. It doesn’t have to be involved and overly detailed. It just has to be enough for your focus to be sharpened to finish 2017 well.
  5. Put you on your calendar. Make a date with at least two friends who are also struggling with unfinished business, and plot how you can help one another meet your goals.

The key to finishing 2017 well: Put you on your calendar.

October: National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence affects us all in some way or another, indirectly or directly. While we are all aware of it, there are nuances that often go overlooked in our fiction and non-fiction writing. Here are seven ways you can blog or write about domestic violence that could bring more awareness to its profound effect on our lives.

  1. Domestic violence and the children of victims. How do children process what they witness?
  2. Domestic violence and the increase of cases involving teenagers in relationships.
  3. Domestic violence and the costs of leaving and the costs of staying.
  4. Domestic violence and how women plot their exits.
  5. Domestic violence and men who suffer abuse from their wives and partners.
  6. Domestic violence and religion.
  7. Domestic violence and getting involved in the life of a victim who is a relative, close friend, or a work friend.

There are so many stories to be told that involve domestic violence. You can even find articles online to post on your social networks that bring awareness.

There are ways to discuss it in writing that can change a life. Perhaps you know someone who received the courage to leave an abusive relationship because of something they read, if so, share in the comments.

Writing Sensation October 2017 – Vanessa Fortenberry

Welcome back!

We are almost at the end of 2017, and I’ve enjoyed having guest authors share their information on my blog site. Today, I am presenting another talented author, who is releasing a new book in October. Please check out Vanessa Fortenberry’s website and social media sites.



A music teacher, turned teacher-librarian and reading teacher; Vanessa Fortenberry is a true Georgia Peach having lived in the Atlanta metro area all her life. Inspired by her grandson, Vanessa wrote the “award-winning finalist” children’s verse story, Mama, I Want to See God published by Boutique of Quality Books (2014). This story is the first book in the series, Families Growing in Faith and is about a child who desires to connect with God. Daddy, I Want to Know God, launched October 1, 2017, is a story that speaks to the leadership of fathers as they teach their children spiritual truths while allowing them to experience God for themselves. When not working on a writing project, Vanessa enjoys singing for the Lord, teaching Sunday school, and baking homemade goods for her loved ones. To learn more about Vanessa and her other writing endeavors, please visit her website. www.vanessafortenberry.com.



Check out a preview of my book on BookGrabbr:

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