Monday, November 19, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction--November 19, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction
November 19, 2012

Not much new to report. Excited about the Grandmother, Mother, and Me anthology coming out this week. It was a lot of work, but the book contains such neat stories, poems, and recipes, it was all worth it! Now I’m beginning to receive submissions for the Grandfather, Father, and Me book. If you’d like guidelines, email me at:
I have two proofreading jobs here—321 and 303 pages, and two editing jobs—125 and 150 pages, so looks like this will be a busy week. The hospital where our two children work serve a free Thanksgiving for employees, families, and hospital visitors. My husband can’t walk to the cafeteria, so when our children get off work at 4:30, I’ll meet them and we’ll bring our plates home to celebrate. Praying you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Thought for the Day:
Mary Hollingsworth tells a story about the noted director of biblical epics, Cecil
B. DeMille. When they began working on the movie Ben Hur, DeMille talked to Charlton Heston—the star of the movie—about the all-important chariot race at the end.
He decided Heston should actually learn to drive the chariot himself, rather than
just using a stunt double. Heston agreed to take chariot-driving lessons to make
the movie as authentic as possible. Learning to drive a chariot with horses four abreast, however, was no small matter.

After extensive work and days of practice, Heston returned to the movie set and
reported to DeMille. "I think I can drive the chariot all right, Cecil," said Heston, "but I'm not at all sure I can actually win the race."

Smiling slightly, DeMille said, "Heston, you just stay in the race, and I'll make
sure you win."

Those are the words of God to everyone through a time of tumultuous change: "John,
Mary, Heather, you just stay in the race, and I'll make sure you win." Look for
God's hand. If you cannot see it in the event itself, look for it in the aftermath
when you are putting your life back together. I promise you, God's hand will be
there. (King Duncan, Collected Sermons,

Laugh for the Day:
"What happened to you?" asked the bystander of the man lying on the sidewalk outside of the beauty parlor. The man shook his head groggily and rubbed his bruised chin. "Well, the last thing I remember was my wife coming out of the beauty salon. I took one look at her and said, 'Well, honey ... at least you tried.'"
Reader’s Question:
Question: “I’ve been reading your devotional book 100 Motivational Moments for Writers and Speakers and I see where Betty Steele Everett sold over 4000 manuscripts. Does she have a secret to share?”
Reply: I met Betty once years ago. She sold around 2000 manuscripts the first time, and then sold them again and again as reprints. Truthfully, that’s how most Christian writers make money by selling reprints. I’ll cover that in a later blog.
Interviewing Hints (continued)
10. Writing Spin-Off Articles
Ask the subject if he or she belongs to any religious or educational organizations and, if so, do they have a publication you could submit related stories to?
11. After the Interview
Write your article as soon as possible after the interview while details are still fresh in your mind. I often send a rough draft to the interviewee if the editor allows it. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is a courteous gesture if you have the time, and especially if you’ve included quotations and statistics you want to verify. Send the subject a thank-you note and a copy of the published article.
12. Conclusion
The most important thing to remember in interviewing is that you’re a Christian first, a writer second. The best rule to follow is the Golden Rule. One author in a book on interviewing says that you get your best interview when you’ve turned off your recorder.
This is the same person who says you get your best quotes when the person says “This is off the record.” I don’t agree. When the subject tells me it’s off the record, it’s off the record; we shouldn’t even have to be told that. We should have an inner sense that tells us when the person is sharing something not for publication.
Treat your subject as you’d like to be treated, and you’ll be welcomed back for a second interview.
Remember, “We are called to write and we will be responsible at the Judgment for the people we could have helped but didn’t because we didn’t write what God laid on our hearts to write” (Harold Ivan Smith).
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

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