Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--April 1, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction

April 1, 2013


I knew writers were procrastinators, but 25 submissions for the grandfather/father anthology on the last two days before the deadline—wow! Obviously, it will take some time to go through those and the ones I received in the days and weeks before to make the final selection. If you submitted one, you will hear from me—one way or the other…. Cross your fingers for me. Tomorrow I’ll receive a call from an editor at 2:30 Arizona time letting me know if she’s accepting a book manuscript. Will let you know next week… Thanks for your prayers for my husband Gary. He is still very weak from the C-Diff infection, but is doing better, I think. After they took him off one diuretic, he gained 8 pounds in 2 days, so they put him on another one and now he has lost 9 pounds (which he can’t afford. He’s down to 106.). He’ll have an echocardiogram tomorrow to check on the blood clot they found in the heart last September, then will have the defibrillator replacement on April 22nd.

Thought for the Day:

“Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess....I see clearly now how little I have died with you” (Henri Nouwen).

Laugh for the Day:

Husband (to wife trying on new hat): Of course you can buy it, dear. I like that middle-aged look it gives you.

Writer’s Hints:

Today we’re including a guest posting by Alyssa Avant on Organization that I know you will enjoy. Don’t miss next week’s blog on selling reprints!

Have a good week spreading the gospel

through the printed page.

Donna Goodrich

Post by Alyssa Avant:

First of all, I have learned that God is my secretary. He handles all scheduling choices. I have MY priorities, but if He says something else should take priority over those, that's what we do. In my heart, I have a list of truly important (that birthday party—things I can never get back, things I know I will regret NOT doing if I don't—that DOESN'T include marketing, websites, etc. It DOES include kids, family, friends and definitely God—which includes church and things for my kids' schools.) Then I have the urgent—things like paying bills and taxes, which there would be dire consequences if I don't get that done. Next is the cool things God lets me do—my websites, blogs, and my groups—the relationships with people who will be there on the other side as well. Under that is marketing and selling and writing. Under THAT is cleaning house and everything else.

So if I'm doing something at the bottom of the list and something higher up shows up to be done, that gets done first. Do I sometimes live with a mess in my house? Yes. But when a friend shows up at my door, the writing and marketing, etc. comes secondary to that.

Now, one thing organizationally that I do is keep two notebooks on my desk for my "list." My list is not "things I have to get done" to be worth something like it used to be. Now, it's things that need to be done or that I'd like to be done. Why do I have two? Because as I cross about 5-6 off of one, I write the new list on the other, then start fresh.

Does this work? For me, it absolutely does. I have 3 kids, a husband, 3 businesses, 3 blogs, 2 newsletters, 23 books out, a house, 2 schools...I teach Sunday school and volunteer for VBS. I would go crazy were it not for just letting go and letting God direct every day. I highly recommend becoming His best friend and trusting Him with absolutely EVERYTHING!

Visit Alyssa at:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--March 25, 2013

Step in the Write Direction

March 25, 2013
(A little longer than usual; sorry!)
It’s been a crazy, tiring week. After my husband (Gary) was admitted to the hospital last Sunday for a high potassium level, they discovered he had a bacterial infection in the colon called—for short—C Diff. They put him in isolation and we had to wear gowns, gloves, etc. He came home Tuesday, but will be on the antibiotic Vancomycin for the next two weeks…In the meantime, they said the diuretic he was on for congestive heart failure—spiralactone—caused the high potassium, so they took him off that. Within the next few days he gained eight pounds, his stomach is bloated, and his ankles and right leg are swollen, so we’ll find out tomorrow what they’ll do for that…
Also, they said the C Diff was caused by the antibiotic Augmentin which he’s taken for 13 years. (He had osteomyelitis in his foot years ago and they had set an appointment to amputate, then it got better, but as soon as he went off the Augmentin, it came back, so the infectious disease specialist told him to stay on it for the rest of his life.) His primary care doctor told him Friday that when he finishes the Vancomycin, he could go back on the Augmentin…
As if that weren’t enough, Monday, April 1, he has an echocardiogram to check on the blood clots in the heart they found last September (he’s on Coumadin for that); will find out the results on April 15, then on April 22, he’ll have surgery to replace his second defibrillator which hasn’t even lasted two years. Complication from that: Normally they would just unscrew the lead wires, take out the old device, put in the new one, then rescrew the lead wires, BUT two of the three lead wires are bad and will have to be replaced. Unfortunately, one of the bad ones is the third one which requires a different surgery and a different surgeon. So he’ll be released after the first surgery, recuperate, and then go back for the second surgery. Added to all this is the fact he’s a diabetic. (Won’t even go into the other 12 diseases he has!) So—as you can guess, we really appreciate your prayers!
I’m supposed to go to Amarillo April 12 to teach at a conference on the 13th, so will have to let them know within the next couple of days if I can still make it.
Thought for the Day:
“If my life is fruitless, it doesn’t matter who praises me and if my life if fruitful, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me” (John Bunyan, quoted in The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren).
To go along with this, an unknown person said, “Never let others’ compliments go to your head or their criticisms go to your heart.”
Laugh for the Day:
From a woman in New Hampshire: “I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so this year, I decided to join a fitness club and start exercising. I signed up for an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour…but by the time I got my leotard on, the class was over.”
Writer’s Tips: (organization, continued)
After purchasing necessary equipment such as a computer, printer, and desk, below is a list of other supplies to keep on hand.
Toner—can get refilled at some office supply stores
Paper—copy paper fine (not “Xerox” paper; “Xerox” is a trade name, not an adjective).
Go in with other writers and buy a case.
Pens, pencils, paper clips
Envelopes—#10, 9x12, priority
Address labels
Scotch tape; scissors
Maps, travel brochures
Stapler, staples, ruler
Tape recorder—tapes and batteries if you’re not using digital recorder
Camera, film, batteries, memory cards
Index cards
Rubber bands
Postage, postage scale (but anything over 13 ounces has to be mailed at a post office)
Legal/steno/scratch pads
File folders
Telephone message pads
Business card holder
Telephone/address/Internet address book
A “Do not disturb/Writer at work” sign (unless they bring chocolate!)
Use this list to keep track of your writing expenses. As a writer, you are considered self-employed and will have to file a Schedule C. All of your writing and speaking income will be taxable; however, your business expenses are deductible as well. You may want to purchase two sets of supplies: one for the family and one for your office.
Have a good week spreading the gospel through the printed page!
Donna Goodrich

"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction, March 18, 2013

Step in the Write Direction
March 18, 2013
The virus has been hitting our family: first our daughter, then my husband, then our son. Hope it’s over for now! (Definition of virus: what the doctors call it when they don’t know what it is!)…Sunday: My husband got worse and went out to Urgent Care today. Because of a dangerously high potassium level (supposed to be 3.5 – 4.5 and his was 6.2), they sent him to E.R. with orders to admit him. Doctor said this high level could kill him. It affects the heart, also the kidneys, and because he already has a bad heart and diabetes, it worried them. They’re taking all kinds of tests, so we should know more tomorrow. Father/Grandfather Anthology: If you sent in a submission this last week and haven’t heard from me that I received, two of the submissions disappeared into no-man’s land, so please resend them. Deadline is March 31st. Books: My three gift books and another picture book were rejected last week (rejected means “pre-acceptance"), so will get them out in the mail again I hope this week. Publisher is still considering another book I submitted.
Thought for the Day:
In the biography of Leonardo da Vinci, Antonio Vallenten tells of a time when the great artist was at work in Milan on his famous painting of the Last Supper. Da Vinci spent many hours meditating in the chapel of the monastery where he was working. The monks resented these "idle periods" and accused the artist of wasting time. But da Vinci defended these periods of reflection by saying, "When I pause the longest, I make the most telling strokes with my brush." (Robert A. Beringer, Turning Points, CSS Publishing Company). Your writing time isn’t wasted when you’re cleaning, taking care of your family, taking a walk, or just thinking. Sometimes that’s where you’re getting your best ideas.
Laugh for the Day:
Eighty-two-year-old Morris went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm. The doctor said, “Morris, you’re really doing great, aren’t you?” Morris replied, “Just doing what you said, Doc. ‘Get a hot mama and be cheerful.’” The doctor shook his head and said, “Morris what I said was, “You’ve got a heart murmur; be careful!’”
Writer’s Tips:
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. (Author Unknown)
Organization: F.A. Rockwell defines an expert as “someone who knows no more than you do, but who has it better organized and uses slides.” Successful writing requires organization. For me that means at least one four-drawer file cabinet. I did give in and put all my manuscripts—sold and unsold—on a CD, with a copy in a fireproof safe and this emptied two drawers. For my posterity, however, I printed off copies of each one and put them in notebooks divided into nonfiction, fiction, devotionals, poetry, and so on. And I still keep paper submission records, even though I include that information on the CD with each manuscript.
One writer friend subscribes to Carbonite, a software program that automatically and securely backs up the contents of your computer for an annual fee. Even if your computer is stolen, Carbonite has it all. (See for more information.)
I also keep idea folders. When I get more than one idea on the same subject, I give it a tentative title and a folder. Then when I find more material relating to that theme, or I have time to work on that particular manuscript, everything is in one place. You can also scan this information into a computer file.
And I keep files of quotations and articles. I read the newspapers with a pen and scissors, and as soon as I clip something, I immediately put the source and the date at the top. These clippings can be scanned onto a CD or into a file, but I like the idea of going through the folders looking for a specific illustration. Whenever I do this, I always get ideas for other writing.
More tips next week. This is also included in my book A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers. See description on my Web site:
Have a good week spreading the gospel through the printed page!
Donna Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
March 11, 2013
Another busy week—a 400-page typing job and a 300-page proofreading job, plus preparing several income taxes. (I once owned and operated a tax business with 208 customers; have only around 20 now.)…I mentioned earlier about my writer friend Judy having hip replacement surgery. That evening another writer friend Betty fell and broke her hip and elbow. The next week still another writer friend fell and broke her elbow and wrist. I didn’t know being a writer was so dangerous!....Received my advance last week on my upcoming book Rhyme Time Bible for Little Ones. Will let you know when this is available. It will be a great gift for your children, grandchildren, and friends’ children….March 31 is the deadline to submit stories, poems, and recipes for the grandfather/father anthology. If you haven’t received guidelines, email me today at:
Thought for Today:
The worst thing is never the last thing. God is already working on Plan B even as Plan A lies in shambles around our feet (John Claypool).
Laugh for Today:
I remember, I remember
Incidents of days long gone;
I recapture every moment
As I ramble on and on.
But my tales would be more pleasing
And I'd never be a bore,
If I only could remember
Whom I told them to before. — Paul Tullen
Writers’ Tips:
A clarification on last week’s blog:
A reader wrote and asked if the phrase “Used by permission” on Scripture credit lines means you have to write for permission before using.
Answer: No, you don't have to ask for permission. That just means you are granted permission to use up to that many words without actually getting permission.
Also she wondered why in the credit line I typed "verses marked NIV," showing NIV in all caps, but later said to use the small caps.
Answer: If you’re using the abbreviation in a sentence, you use all caps, but if you're using it as a reference, i.e., John 3:16 niv, then you use small caps.
More Tips:
I’d like to thank Reg Forder, editor of The Christian Communicator, for permission to use the following from Sally Stuart’s column “Write Answers” in the March 2013 issue. TCC is the only magazine for Christian writers and contains excellent articles, plus up-to-date market news. If you’d like to subscribe, email Reg at:
Q. What kinds of complaints do you hear from editors concerning the submissions they receive?
A. Here are a few of the most common complaints:
1) Writers have not seen or read the publication or, for books, have never read a book from that publisher.
2. Writers have not read, not have they followed, the writers guidelines (usually available on the website).
3) Manuscripts have too many errors. It’s obvious the writer has not proofread the final copy.
4) Writers do not recognize or write to the needs of the editor’s target audience.
5) Writers insist the manuscript was fully inspired by God and the editor is not to change one word.
6) Writers have read the guidelines but indicate they are sending a manuscript they know doesn’t fit because it will be too good for the editor to turn down.
* * *
Thanks, Sally! Readers, make sure after you’ve worked hard on your manuscript that you don’t make any of the mistakes above.
That’s all for this week. Have a good week spreading the gospel through the printed page!
Donna Goodrich
A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers
The Freedom of Letting Go
Healing in God’s Time—story of Dave Clark, songwriter
Preparing Your Heart for Christmas
Editor of: Celebrating Christmas with…Memories, Poetry, and Good Food
Editor of: Grandmother, Mother and Me…Memories, Poetry and Good Food

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--March 4, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
March 4, 2013

Better late than never, I guess! A happy birthday today to my sister! Enjoyed lunch with her at the Cracker Barrel. It’s been a busy week with a 160-page proofing job, a 400-page typing job, and another 300-page proofing job. Got the 160-page one done; the other two have to be done by Friday (the reason for this being late). Excitement today: Received the advance on my Rhyme Time Bible Book! Finished a gift book for fathers that I’m taking to my critique group tomorrow....I don’t know what’s happening with my writing friends: One from our critique group had a hip replacement, that night another member of the group fell and broke her hip, then a few days later a member of my second critique fell and broke her elbow and wrist. Guess I’d better be careful!

Thought for Today:

One of the sanest, surest and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others. —Archibald Rutledge

Laugh for Today:

God came to a husband and said that He noticed that this man was a very good husband and wanted to grant him one wish for being so responsible. The man thought for a moment and said, “I would like for you to build me a bridge from southern California to Hawaii.” God very quickly said that was an impossible engineering feat, but since I can’t give you that wish you may have another one.” After a moment’s thought the man asked God, “You might help me understand my wife more.”
Writer’s Hints:

Credit Lines for Bible Translations
Verses marked kjv are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
Verses marked nkjv are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by
Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Verses marked niv are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. niv®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
Verses marked amp are taken from The Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962,
1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Verses marked rsv are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture verses marked nrsv are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible,
copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the
Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
If taken from the New American Standard Bible (1995 Edition): Verses marked nasb are taken from the New American Standard Bible ®, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (
If taken from the New American Standard Bible (1977 Edition): Verses marked nasb are taken from the New American Standard Bible ®, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (
Verses marked tlb are taken from The Living Bible, Copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189 USA. All rights reserved.
Verses marked msg are taken from The Message. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson
1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing
Verses marked nlt are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©
1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL 60189
USA. All rights reserved.
Verses marked cev are taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society. Used with permission.
Verses marked tev are taken from the Today’s English Version, Second Edition, Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. The tev is now the Good News Translation (gnt) and permission should read as follows: Verses marked gnt are taken from the Good News Translation—Second Edition © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.
Verses marked ncv are taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright ©
1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, Nashville, TN 37214. Used by permission.
Verses marked asv are taken from the American Standard Version of the Bible.
Verses marked Weymouth are taken from the Weymouth version of the Bible.
Verses marked Young’s are taken from the Young’s literal translation of the Bible.
Verses marked Phillips are taken from J.B. Phillips: The New Testament in Modern English,
Revised Edition. © J.B. Phillips 1958, 1960, 1972. Used by permission of Macmillan
Publishing Company.
Verses marked “Phillips” are taken from The New Testament in Modern English, copyright
© 1958, 1959, 1960 J.B. Phillips and 1947, 1952, 1955, 1957 The Macmillan Company,
New York. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Verses marked neb are taken from The New English Bible, copyright © Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press 1961, 1970. All rights reserved.
These are the most common. If you would like credit lines for other versions, email me at: (These are also included in my book A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers.
Have a good week spreading the gospel through the printed page!
Donna Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"