Sunday, June 30, 2013

Step in the Write Direction--July 1, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
July 1, 2013
Update: A good week; not so rushed for a change. Most of it was spent on last minute details of father/grandfather anthology—double-checking spelling of names in bylines and bios, sending list of email addresses and bios to publisher, making table of contents, final proofing, and then SENDING ENTIRE MANUSCRIPT TO PUBLISHER!! All that’s left to do is send him pictures for cover and let him make selection….Not sure what to do next. Have caught up on some housecleaning and filing, and have a 204-page book to proofread, due July 9. JULY? Where did the rest of the year go? It can’t be half over already!...BREAKING NEWS: Just heard that 19 firefighters died while fighting a fire in Yarnell, Arizona, and 250 homes destroyed. All one crew! Pray for their families. Such a tragedy!
Thought for the Day:Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek" (Mario Andretti).
Laugh for the Day: Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem and they give him $50." The second boy says, "That's nothing. My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song and they give him $100." The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!"
Note re: last week’s blog: Donna, I really agree with you on the "money/success thing." I got an email a couple weeks ago from a man who bought a copy of Listen To HIS Heartbeat. He said that he retired and moved to FL. He got away from church, reading his Bible, and praying. He was walking in depression. One day he saw my book in a box and picked it up. After several days of using it as a daily devotional, he is now in a good church, reading his Bible, praying, helping others and happy in the Lord again. He thanked me for sharing my life and writing my book. If that doesn't motivate me to write....nothing will! (Linda Etter, Adrian, Michigan)
Writer’s Tips: Hints on Endnote Format
Sample endnote: Goodrich, Donna Clark. A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers (Eunumclaw, WA: UpWrite Publishers, 2011), 49.
* You don't need a comma between the name of the book and the parentheses with the publishing information.
* When you repeat a source in the SAME chapter, you don't have to repeat the publishing information. Give all the information in the first endnote, then if you quote that source again in that chapter, just give the last name of the author (or the book, if it’s a commentary, i.e., Exodus 20:16, The Life Application Bible), and the page number. If this source appears in ANOTHER chapter, then repeat the publishing information.
* When you repeat the same source immediately after the first citation, all you need is the word Ibid. If it’s a different page number, then Ibid. 34. Note: Usually you don’t need page or p. before page number; however, follow the style guide of your publisher.
* When you give a web site, delete the hyperlink (the blue line and underline beneath it). You can do this one of two ways: Either highlight it and right click, then when a menu drops down, click on Delete Hyperlink. Or you can highlight and click on Ctrl u (this deletes the underline). If the blue remains, then go up to the big A on the toolbar; click on the small symbol next to it and a box of colors will come up. Click on the black. This will get rid of the blue.
*Difference between footnotes and endnotes: Footnotes appear at the bottom of the page; endnotes at the end of the book, although some authors place them at the end of each chapter.
Send any questions you would like answered to me at:
Have a great week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich
  "A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--June 24, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
June 24, 2013
Update: Not much to write about this last week—just finishing up the father/grandfather anthology! All it needs is one final reading, and sending in the pictures for the cover that contributors have sent me, and let the publisher make the final selection….What’s next? Publisher suggested a “dog anthology,” and another reader suggested a “marriage” one. I think that would be fun. Stories about dating, the wedding ceremony itself, and the marriage—humorous, touching, serious, etc. Will see what the publisher says….Still waiting to hear about the 2 gift books on friendship and motherhood. If they’re accepted, they’ll have to be doubled….I’m going to take some snippets of my caregiver book to my critique group this week….Prayers going up for my friend Judy Robertson who is saying good-bye to her husband of 53 years Jim in hospice anytime. She’s a member of our critique group….And will be saying hello to our daughter Wednesday who is returning from a 3-week vacation in Oklahoma…. Writer’s Tip is short this week, but I feel it’s important!
Thought for the Day:
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes—
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Laugh for the Day: The professor marked the test so strictly that he took off points for having
periods upside down.
To Make You Think
1) How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get cat gut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel’s hairbrush made of? (Answers next week, along with more questions)
Question from reader: Is it okay to ask God for success in your writing?
I think to answer that, you have to define "success". If you’re talking about monetary success, why not? If He's given you the talent and you want to make a living using that talent, then why not ask Him for success? I hear so many Christian writers especially say, “I don’t care if I get paid. I just want to spread the gospel.” True, that should be our main motive, but the Bible says "a workman is worthy of his hire." On the other hand, sometimes success is defined as how your writing changes people's lives. When I had an article in Decision magazine on how I finally let of my mother 11 years after she died, one man—who had lost his wife 9 years before and who had been bitter at God—wrote thanking me for the article and closing his letter with, "And now I can go on with my life." To me that was worth more than the check I received. Also, a reader of my “Freedom of Letting Go” book wrote, “I hate your book and I love your book,” then she shared how it helped her let go of some things that were hindering her walk with the Lord.
I think the biggest thing is to pray before you write, pray while you're writing, pray about the market(s) you send your manuscript to, then, if it sells, pray for your readers.
Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--June 17, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction

June 17, 2013

Update: Whoops! Had this done last night and forgot to send it!! It’s been a good week—no illnesses, no hospitalizations....Finishing the father/grandfather anthology. Sent edited copies out to contributors and got all back; just a few changes. (Thanks!) Now to print complete copy and do final proofreading. It’s due at the publisher’s the end of June ….A thought to pass on (time for confession). I was upset at my husband one day this week and gave him the silent treatment for a few hours. Later, when I apologized I realized 1) how childish I had acted, and 2) I could never get those hours back. (I hope God reminds me of that the next time something happens!)

Thought for the Day:

Slow Down With Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be. (Richard Rohr)

 Laugh for the Day:

A confident little boy was practicing baseball. He said: "I'm going to be the greatest baseball player in the world!" Then he threw the ball up and made a huge swing and missed. He picked up the ball again, said: "I'm going to be the greatest baseball player in the world!" threw the ball up, took a great big swing, and missed again. Once more, he said: "I'm going to be the greatest baseball player in the world!" threw the ball in the air, made his biggest swing yet, and missed the ball yet again. He raised both his arms and cheered: "Hooray! I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!!" (from Sheila Heil Gospel Greats newsletter, June 4, 2013).

Question from Reader: You said we could use only one line of a song. Does this mean all songs, or are there some we can use more of, without having to get permission. I have some songs I want to use in my devotional book and now I’m not sure if it’s okay.

Answer: Do you have those songs in front of you, and can you see the copyright notice at the bottom of the page? They may be in what is called "public domain." Sally Stuart says to take the present year, subtract 75 (which would be 1938) and if the copyright date is before then, it's okay. Even if it's in public domain, however, you should use a footnote or an endnote as follows: "When We All to Heaven," Eliza E. Hewitt, 1851–1920.

Or, if there is a copyright notice, use the following format: "Have Thine Own Way, Lord," Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934. Copyright 1907. Renewal 1935 extended by G.C. Stebbins. Assigned to Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

If the copyright date is after 1938, the name of the publisher is probably listed and you find their address on Google to write for permission. (I have a sample of a permission letter I can send you if you need it.)

If you're not using a lot of the song and can't get permission, there are still two things you can do: 1) Just use the title as that can’t be copyrighted, or 2) paraphrase the words. For example, in my book The Freedom of Letting Go, I wanted to use the words of Bill Gaither's song "We Have This Moment Today," but I was sure I couldn't get permission from him, so I just wrote "Bill Gaither tells us that our yesterdays are gone and our tomorrows may not come, but we still have today."

Hope this helps.

Have a great week spreading the

gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--June 10, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction

June 10, 2013

Update: This has been a good catch-up week! Last Sunday my sister left for her summer cottage in Michigan and will be gone until September, and on Tuesday our youngest daughter left to visit her sister in Oklahoma for 3 weeks, so it’s been quiet here. No one to go out to lunch with. But it’s given me time to finish the father/grandfather anthology. Have finished the sections on “Like a Father/Grandfather” and “Grandfather,” and am now on the Father section. Hope to be finished and to the publisher’s by the end of the week. Had a huge problem when I accidentally deleted many emails with photos that contributors had sent for the anthology cover. But, thank the Lord, AOL came through and retrieved all my emails for the past 7 days! …. Not sure what I’ll do after I finish this book. I’m still thinking seriously of a book titled Devotions, Prayers, and Practical Hints for Caregivers, with an emphasis on the practical hints as there are already many devotional books out there for caregivers. Will do what God leads me to do.

Thought for the Day:Do little things as though they were great, because of the majesty of Jesus Christ who does them in us and who lives our life; and do the greatest things as though they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence” (Pascal, Pensees, 553, Section VII).

Laugh for the Day: (why commas are important): Seen in print: We spent most of our time sitting on the back porch watching the cows playing Scrabble and reading (from Sheila Heil Gospel Greats newsletter, June 4, 2013).

Writer’s Tips: A reader sent me a children’s book a friend of hers had self-published. I read it and sent the following suggestions. If you’re thinking of writing a children’s book, this may help. (I might mention that the only children’s books I’ve sold so far is a devotional book for 8-12 year olds back in the middle 70s and a few months ago I sold a book titled Rhyme-Time Bible Stories for Little Ones, 12 Bible stories all in poetry.) Here are the hints:

* Go to the children’s section of a local bookstore or library; look for books aimed at this age, and see who the publisher is. Then go to their Web site and look for their guidelines on how to submit. The bookstore owner or children’s librarian can be a help in this too.

* Get a copy of the Writer’s Market from the library (don’t know if you can check them out or not, but if he’s going to do a lot of writing, he should buy one. An alternative to buying a new one is to go to a used bookstore and see if they have an older copy), and look at the publishers who publish children’s books. This book doesn’t have room to give a lot of information so, again, he’ll want to get their Web site address and look up the guidelines.

* Attend a conference with children’s book editors on the faculty and make an appointment with one or more. Because some publishers don’t accept anything unsolicited, often this is the best bet.

Other Hints on Writing for Children:

* The biggest thing to consider when writing for children is to zero in on the age you want to write for. Years ago (especially with religious publishers) it was broken down into preschool, kindergarten, primary, junior, and teens. Now it’s 2-3 year olds, 4-5, 6-8, 8-11 (’tweens), junior high, and senior highs.

* Get to know children this age and their vocabulary. Writer’s Digest has a book out (don’t know the exact title right now, but it’s something like Children’s Word List and it gives the vocabulary for each grade). This doesn’t mean you can’t add new words and give their definition in a glossary or in the context.

* Read your manuscript to that age group and get their response. When I wrote a children’s mystery book (still unpublished; needs a lot of work) to my then 10-year-old granddaughter, she protested, “Grandma, kids my age don’t talk like that!” Good to know!

* And lastly, READ as many books as you can in that genre—not to copy other authors’ writing style, but just to see what publishers are buying now.

I have a whole chapter on Writing for Children in my Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Book for Christian Writers. A student edition with assignments is also available.

                                              Have a good week spreading the

gospel through the printed page!

Donna Clark Goodrich

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--June 3, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
June 3, 2013
Update: Sorry this is late today. Helped get my sister off to her cottage in Michigan for the summer, and our youngest daughter will be leaving for a 3-week visit with our other daughter and family in Oklahoma tomorrow. They’ll both (my sister and daughter) be in Oklahoma City around the same time, and there is a 40% chance of more tornadoes there, so we’re praying for safety….Praise that our daughter’s family stayed safe last week. Tornado went 26 feet over their house (they sent pictures)….Praise also that my husband’s MRSA is all cleared up….Got a new computer last week with Word 2007. I had 2003, so am still negotiating the new tool bar…Also got a new phone that takes pix, texts, etc., but don’t have it activated yet….My daughter took me through the low-carb book she has (she’s diabetic). It’s pretty easy: 2½ lbs. down this week, about 13 to go….Accepted the invitation to teach at the CLASS conference in Albuquerque October 15-17. Will teach “Writing and Selling Your Poetry” and “Where to Get Ideas.” If they have space, will also teach “10 Hints on Selling Your First Book.” (Any of you live in that area and know any inexpensive, good motels?)
Thought for the Day: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts” (Winston Churchill).
Laugh for the Day: A man received a call that his mother-in-law had passed away while visiting the Holy Land. “We can bury her here for $200,” the caller said, “or we can ship her home for $3,000.” “Ship her home,” the son-in-law replied. “Are you sure?” the caller said. “You want to spend $3,000?” “Yes,” the son-in-law insisted. “One person you buried there arose after three days, and I don’t want that to happen to my mother-in-law.”
Question: How do you format a Table of Contents with the leader dots?
The following information (for Word 2007) is from Elizabeth Boston’s “Ask the Computer Lady,” a very helpful weekly newsletter. You can subscribe by going to: .
“Go through your document and find each chapter heading and any sub-headings that you want to be included in your table of contents. Highlight each heading, and click on the “Heading 1” style in the ribbon. If you are going to have sub-headings in each chapter, use “Heading 2” for those sections. If you don’t like the default settings for Heading 1 and Heading 2, just right click on the icon for each heading, and click “Modify…” to change the style.
“Once you have applied that formatting to each heading, click in the front of your document where you want the Table of Contents to be located, click on the “References” tab in the ribbon, then click on the “Table of Contents” icon in the ribbon. Select the style of TOC that you want, and click on it. Word will automatically build your Table of Contents. As you continue to work on your document, you can update the TOC by simply clicking on the “Update Table” icon.”
* * *
You can find more information on creating a Table of Contents at another source:
Have a good week spreading the gospel
through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich