Are you or someone you know raising a child with Autism? I recently published the second edition of my autobiography as a mother of an autistic child. My son, Benjamin, was non-verbal as a small child and was later identified as having High-Functioning Autism.
(Click the book to link to Amazon and find out more about our story.)
Here are some excerpts from the book —
“Benjamin continued to bring home daily reports day after day throughout the six months. Comments of “Benjamin does not co-operate” filled each activity page. He would come home from school so despondent every day and head straight to his room. There he played alone for the first two hours after school until he felt ready to join the family. It took my seven-year-old son that long to unwind after the stress of school. My heart ached for his struggle to just feel like a good boy…”
“He had drawn a picture of his teachers and classmates fighting, with guns. Some of them were headless, falling off tall buildings, most of them spurting blood! I was horrified when he showed me the picture. I asked him who the people were and why they were fighting. He still didn’t connect with his emotions well at this age, so I didn’t get a clear understanding of what the problem was. I just knew it was serious. This was not the heart of my little boy…”
Here are some Benjamin quotes from the book —
“I’m very good at delivering a punch line at the time it will be funniest. The problem is that I haven’t yet learned to keep my mouth shut when someone is eating or drinking.” – Benjamin
“It is because of me, but it is not my fault.” – Benjamin
Update on Benjamin
Benjamin is now a published author and speaks at churches and schools about his experience growing up with Autism. You can book him here.
Ok, granted most writers are introverts, we tend to shy away from parties or hide in a corner and hope no one talks to us. I’ve become a little more outgoing over the years but I still prefer quiet over noise. Unless, of course, I’m taking notes for a party scene in my next novel!
Invitation to a Launch Party
Fear not, this invitation is for an online party and you don’t have to talk to anyone in person or virtually, only in comments and only if you want to. Kirstie, my co-author, and I want to share our excitement with all of you on the release of our new workbook for fiction authors.
There are almost 200 pages of writing tips, information, brainstorming prompts, character building graphics, mapping graphs and tips for creating a new world, plus posters to encourage you along the way, publishing tips, marketing strategies and launch ideas. Then we go through the promotional steps you can take to grow your following, branding yourself as an author and successfully marketing your books.
The workbook fits regular copy-size pages so it’s easy to take along. So if you’d love a place to collect all your creative thoughts, plot your scenes and have it all handy in one place, this will be a great workbook for you!
I hope you can join us for the Facebook launch of THE NOVEL AUTHOR’S WORKBOOK!
Tips, Games and Prizes!
We’ll be hosting four hours of fun with writing tips, games and prizes from 2pm – 6pm, Ontario Eastern time. And there’ll be lots of chances for extroverts to interact and launch ‘Congratulations’ balloons (I just love seeing those float up on my screen!). Add yourself to the guest list!
Break into the writing realm, or boost your writing career by submitting a short piece of work to an anthology. They usually consist of short stories, poems and nonfiction ideas. It gives you the chance to work with an editor and get valuable feedback on your writing skills. Plus, you’ll meet other authors, personally or virtually, and maybe make new friends.
Find 2-3 writing groups who publish collections of work and join the groups. They’ll likely have an annual or bi-annual call for submissions for a new book.
Earlier this year I sent away five submissions altogether and was excited to have two of my pieces chosen. I write Christian Speculative Fiction and Christian Fantasy stories, so both anthologies are from Christian groups.
Anthologies make great gifts for all ages. I’m delighted to share with you the ones I”m in this year —
Want to know 5 easy ways to create an income from writing?
After two years of little in the way of sales from my first book, I was wondering if anyone actually makes a decent income from writing. I realize if I could just write more, that would increase my income, but who’s got time to write more?
Here’s how I did it – I took what I’d already written on my social media and made it into a book!
Seriously. That’s what I did. All my blogs about writing, my posts about my life, my tweets of writing tips and coaching, my pins about my interests, all became tidbits to expand and form into a book! It was a lot of fun, and I’m using these methods to write more books. So, I wanted to let you know how to use what you’ve already written and get started with that income too. Still with me but wondering how the heck I did that?
Here’s How I Used These 5 Simple Ways to Create Income From Writing
From Blog To Book – The Novel Author’s Workbook I created an Etsy downloadable 99-page workbook from blogs I’d written over the course of a year on how to write fiction, as I was doing the research. It takes the author from the beginning premise and outline of a novel, through to publishing and marketing.
From Pin To Print/Nonfiction —Hosting a Shire Party is a simple ebook about a cosplay party I had. I wrote about creating easy costumes, food, and games, as I pinned the photos from the party.
From Tweet To Tutorial – Your Write Voice For His Kingdom is a course I wrote from tweets about my workshop notes as a Christian Life Coach and writer’s coach. I coach students through the decision process of becoming a writer and how God has equipped them to write for His purpose.
From Post To Published – Life at White Rose Shire is an ebook in-progress of a collection of devotionals which I’ll be posting on my blog under a sub-heading and later publishing as a Kindle devotional book.
I wish all of you a very happy day today, be it Valentines Day, Love Day or Tuesday. I don’t for one moment profess to be an expert at any of the above (well, Tuesday I could handle, I guess), so I’m going to hand you over to the experts:
What Is Love?
For the Christ followers out there, here’re a few scripture verses from 1 Corinthians: (not only for weddings!)
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
Just a recap; this was written by Paul to the church at Corinth and is for all believers to remind them that Christ taught us to love one another. It’s a beautiful passage but it refers to the love of all people, not just romantic love. However, I still think it goes well with a couple starting a life together, don’t you?
For The Lovers
I’ve met this amazing speaker in person and had the privilege of taking a few of her classes at a writer’s conference. She’s a straight-talking Christian woman who doesn’t mince words. So if you’re looking for that little something extra today, well here’s Sheila’s award-winning book.
Good Morning, readers, and welcome to our blog on Interviewing Characters. Today I’m with Colin Wade from Singularity.
#CharacterInterview Lynne: Colin – first, let me say “happy birthday!” Colin: (Laughs) Thanks. It was quite an accomplishment for me.
Lynne: I understand you’re a pilot for Deep-Sight Space Exploration. How long have you been working for D.S.S.E.?
Colin: Not very long. I mean, I’ve been with them for a long time, in training. And I’ve done some odd jobs here and there but this is my first time doing anything this… big.
Lynne: Yes, I heard your current mission is rather ambitious. Can you explain the goal?
Colin: The mission is to study a singularity. The central point of a black hole. Research into black holes is nothing new, but this is the first time we’ve ever attempted anything this close to one. The D.S.S.E. seems to think we’ve got the technology in place to study it safely but in greater detail than we ever have before. The data we get back from this one mission should match or even surpass what would normally have taken us decades with the previous tech. It’s a good time to be in astrophysics.
Lynne: How is it going?
Colin: Slow. (Laughs) So far it’s been surprisingly difficult to find viable black holes. But it’s probably just the regions we’ve been exploring. Ang seems to think it’s just a matter of time before the perfect one shows itself.
Colin: Oh, sorry. My onboard computer – the Artificial Neuron Generator for Universal Studies. “Angus” sounds too formal, though, so I just took to calling him “Ang”. He doesn’t seem to mind.
Lynne: I see. I hear this is your first time as captain.
Colin: It’s my first time on official duty as a captain. I mean I’ve had training. I’ve done the tests. But actually sitting in the chair on a live mission is a completely different feeling.
Lynne: Do you find space to be a lonely place?
Colin: It’s certainly different. I don’t mind isolation, necessarily, but space is different from simply finding a quiet room or spending time alone in the woods. To have literally no other living being around for incalculable miles is a feeling hard to describe. Ang keeps me company, though. For an AI he’s not bad to talk to. Plus he plays music for me.
Lynne: Oh, really? What kind of music do you listen to?
Colin: It changes. Ang’s gotten into the habit of picking songs based on my mood. I like a lot of oldies by Sarah McLachlan and Elton John. Lately, Ang’s been playing mostly “Take Me Home” by Phil Collins. And of course, David Bowie has some good ones for my particular career choice.
Lynne: I LOVE Bowie! And yes, I suppose he does have some fitting songs. What made you choose space exploration as a career?
Colin: I never really asked myself that. But if I think about it I guess there’s a lot of reasons. The biggest attraction was probably that it’s quiet. Not that I don’t like people. I like them in small quantities. A little bit at a time, or a few people at a time. But I do my best work on my own, in a quiet room, with all of space to look at. Compared to people, astrophysics is easy.
Lynne: Do you miss home?
Colin: Oh yes. Way more than I thought I would. But they did warn me that isolation can do that.
Lynne: Is there anything you’d like to say to any friends or family back at home?
Colin: Oh geez. Well, the first thing would be to thank everyone for the razor. It’s been working like a charm. I’ll give a shout out to my mom and dad and my sis. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there on my birthday to see everyone, but duty calls. We’ll do a barbeque at mom and dad’s when I get back. I’ve been practicing. I feel like I’m forgetting some people, but whoever you are, just assume that I miss you too. I’ll see you all as soon as I get back, and thanks for all the well wishes. Ang, do you want to say anything? (Brief silence) Really? Ang just says hello. He’s being unsocial.
Lynne: Well thank you so much for doing this interview, Colin. It’s been a pleasure talking with you.
Colin: Oh, the pleasure’s been all mine. It’s been great to hear another voice.
Well, reader, that was an interesting interview. I couldn’t imagine being alone in space for months at a time. Although listening to Bowie and staring at the stars sounds very peaceful.
Which of your characters would you interview? Why did you choose that character? What would you ask them?
You can read more about Colin Wade and his extraordinary space mission in Singularityby Benjamin T. Collier.
How do we as Christ followers write fantasy without compromising our faith? If we introduce a fantasy realm with a different belief system than our own are we setting the reader up to follow a different path of faith? Can we create a new religion without selling out our own?
7 Things To Keep In Mind When Writing Fantasy As A Christian
Before you write anything and before you begin each day – pray. Pray for God’s guidance for each new chapter, each new topic and the whole book. You are writing the book, your name will be on the cover and you will receive accolades for a fantastic fantasy novel, but ultimately God is the one who called you to write it and He is your divine co-author who presented all those amazing ideas for you to write.
What’s your message? Ask yourself if your story really says what you want it to say to the reader. Stay focused on the main goal. “What are you willing to compromise? What will you commit to and honour in your life? Where will you take a stand?” – Kim Gowdy in Freedom Fighters and Truth Tellers, (published by Author Academy, 2015)
Are you portraying Christ’s character or glamorizing evil? You will need villains but try not to make them ‘cool’ in case readers desire to emulate them.
Make your villains true villains. They need to believe their actions are justified but their history isn’t an excuse for their actions. Choosing to do evil is still a choice.
If you’re writing a redemptive story – keep the villain’s past life clearly separate from their life as a new believer. You want your story to show the dramatic change Christ brings.
Don’t write any faith into your story – either your own faith or anyone else’s when you write fantasy. Maybe add traditions or rites instead, things not similar to our world. Remember Christ came for human kind because we are created in His image – Elves are not. If you want Elves to be redeemed you’re looking at allegorical fantasy (paralleling Christian truths). It can be quite tricky to write so I suggest you read a lot of allegorical works by famous authors before you attempt this. I’ve listed some below.
If you’re writing allegorically it would be really beneficial to ask a Christian allegorical writer you trust to critique your work. If you belong to a Christian writers’ group or your best friend is a pastor, maybe you can read a passage once in a while that you feel you need a critique on. Writing allegorically requires a deeper sense of your message so you may also want to consider writing a few fantasy books to get the feel of that genre before tackling the allegory part.
Kingdom Purpose – What On Earth Are You Doing Here?
We’re not content to merely exist – we want to matter in this world. So how do we figure out what our own life means? If we’re not a famous evangelist or humanitarian, what’s our purpose for being here?
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” – (Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, 1:11-12 MSG).
We are all unique individuals, with our own unique qualities and our own unique assignment from God. He gave us all the attributes we’d need to do His work here and feel His pleasure in our completed assignment. Take a look at a picture of space.
The God who created the earth and all those amazing nebulas and supernova, dark matter and pulsars, created you and me unique and in His image to be family in His name!
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago”. – (Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, 2:10 NIV).
Whatever God has laid on your heart He has given you the ability to do. What has your heavenly Father asked you to undertake on His behalf in this kingdom on earth?
You can find my 22-page mini-course, Your Write Voice For His Kingdom, on the sidebar of the Homepage.
Donna Dawson now publishes under the name of Donna Fawcett, but some of her earlier work was published under Donna Dawson. It’s under this name I discovered a book titled, Rescued. I was captivated by the story from the start with the characters and how their lives initially were so different but eventually came together in an astounding decision to rescue a baby’s life. This story fascinates and compels at the same time. I was challenged to think, “What if…?”
“What if there was a solution to abortion? What if pro-life and pro-choice could join forces to see the war over the issue end? Is it possible?”
Here’s the synopsis:
“Daphne Barrie is pregnant. Unless she aborts, she will die.
Charlene McTaggart can’t conceive and badly wants a child. Dr. Jason Steadman goes against those who would do all they can to stop a unique procedure from being performed. A procedure that will save an embryo, prevent a death and give an infertile woman a chance at motherhood”.
This book will leave you asking the same question, “What if…?”
You can read the first few pages, Donna’s author bio and a list of other books written by her by clicking the book link to Amazon.
Dec 4th Well, here I am with my NaNoWriMo winner’s certificate! I started out on November 1st with a rough idea for a story, but I hadn’t done the outline or decided on character names or anything. When they said, ‘Write an entire novel in a month”, I took it rather too literally and hadn’t prepared anything! Along the way I discovered I needed an outline. All I had was a beginning idea and an ending. I had no middle. The middle is the entire story – what was I thinking?! But I read a very important coaching tip and decided to just keep that front and centre as I plodded on; Just Write. I tried to ignore the editor in me who sounded a lot like my English grammar school teacher, and I wrote, and wrote, and wrote… The final day I was so tired, but as I neared the finish line I was super excited to see the prize so close. I watched the word count click 49, 999 – 50,000. I felt like I’d run a marathon, but I stayed awake long enough to print out my certificate. It’s a great feeling, to reach the finish line in whatever you set out to accomplish, whether it’s a novel or a new recipe for chocolate brownies.
When I got to the middle part of the novel I just kept going. I started researching names at first, for my main characters, but the rest of them in the middle got the first name that came to mind – just write! Some of them will need to have a name change as I revise, or I’ll find myself in trouble with the first name of an antagonist being someone I know! It’s funny how that works. As they say, “Don’t tick me off. I’m a writer and you may end up in my next novel – and I may just kill you”. The plot unfolded all on its own and my characters became real. For my first try at fiction, I am actually proud of my attempt. It will have to wait for now, though.
The novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo is one of a series of novels I’ll be publishing starting in Spring 2016. Before this book is published, I hope to have two more short non-fiction works published and a fantasy. So maybe, if God has this in His plan as I see it in mine; I’ll have this novel published just in time for the next NaNoWriMo.
Thank you to all who supported me through this endeavor, especially my family who ate goodness-knows-what some nights, lots of fast ‘food’, had to put up with dirty dishes in the sink all month, and me endlessly talking about NaNo. You’re all the bestests!
Signing off on my NaNoWriMo posts till next year. God Bless,