Monday, April 28, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction, April 28, 2014--The Stone of Procrastination

A Step in the Write Direction

April 28, 2014

Update: Good news and disappointing news this week! The good news is that I finished combining the two “Step in the Write Direction” books—the original one and the Student Edition and sent it to the new publisher last night. I’m really excited about this book as it contains all the original material, PLUS assignments all the way through so it can be used by a school or a writers’ group almost as a text. I think it will be fun for a class or a group to hear all the responses the others come up with….The disappointing news is that the publisher has decided to cancel the contract on The Freedom of Letting Go, BUT I’m praying to find a new publisher as I believe in that book and don’t think it should go out of print….Making plans now to teach at a one-day workshop in Wagoner, Oklahoma, near Tulsa on May 31st. It will be a fun day, especially since my daughter who lives here and I will then be spending the next week with our other daughter and family in Cushing, Oklahoma. (Praying for no tornadoes!)

Thought for the Day: A lot of church members who are singing 'Standing on the Promises' are just sitting on the premises. 

Song for the Day:
I recommend Jesus; He’ll carry you through.
I recommend Jesus; He died for you.
So if your skies are gray and you cannot find your way,
I recommend Jesus.
                        --Donna Clark Goodrich, © 1970

Laugh for the Day:                            Christian One-Liners

Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case. 
Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews. 
Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors. 
It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one. 
The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close

Writer’s Tips:

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1).

The Stone of Procrastination

            A little story made the rounds years ago that went like this: A man dreamed that he attended a meeting of the board of directors in hell. Satan had expressed concern that business was not increasing as fast as hoped. He asked for suggestions.
            One demon volunteered to go back to earth and tell people that there is no heaven. “We’ve tried that,” Satan said. “It doesn’t work.”
            Another offered to convince men that there is no hell. “That won’t work either,” the devil said.
            Then a clever demon in the back of the room rose. “If you let me go,” he said, “I can fill this place. I won’t tell people there is no heaven or hell. I’ll just tell them they can get right with God—tomorrow!”
            Sound familiar?
            “I’m going to be a writer—someday.”
            “I’m going to start on my book—someday.”
            “I’m going to attend a writer’s conference—someday.”
            You may be writing now, but you’re not submitting your work to editors because you’re afraid of being rejected. Or you may already be writing, but only what you want to instead of what God has called you to write. One writer friend wanted to write about her missionary experiences, while God was leading her to write about the religious cult she had left. She finally obeyed, and her book has become a best-seller.
            If you’re one who has been procrastinating, it’s time to stop talking and begin acting. These hints may help:
            1. Write your goals in detail.
            2. Write a target date.
            3. Make a “to do” list.
            4. Divide your goals into bite-sized pieces.
One pastor said that he has buried a lot of people with the music still in them. Don’t let the following be said of you:
            The greatest of workers, this man would have been
            The world would have known, had he ever seen
            But the fact is, he died, and he faded from view;
            And all that he left here, when his lifetime was through,
            Was a mountain of things he’d intended to do

                                                —Author unknown

Write down your responses to steps #1 through #4 above.
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"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"
"Healing in God's Time" (story of Dave Clark, songwriter)

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--April 21, 2014--The Stone of Discouragement

Rolling Away the Stone

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone,
which was very large, had been rolled away
(Mark 16:4).

            Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices to anoint the body of Jesus. But as they neared the tomb, they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
            Good question! How could they have known that the stone had already been rolled away?!
            Have you ever felt that a huge stone blocks your dream to be a writer? Departing from my usual blog, the next few weeks we'll discuss some of the stones that need to be rolled away in your life. (But for those who look for it, I'll include the Thought, Song, and Laugh for the Day at the end!)
            The Stone of Discouragement. Luke 3:5-6 tells the story of Peter, a professional fisherman. When Jesus told him to let down the nets, he said, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.”
            Does this sound familiar? “Lord, I went to a conference. The editors told me to send them my book manuscripts. I did, but I’ve heard nothing.” “Lord, I’ve submitted my book fifteen times, and every time it comes back with a form rejection. They don’t even tell me why.” “Lord, I sent out twelve articles a month ago and haven’t sold anything.” “Lord, I’m quitting. My nets are empty.”
            The note on this passage in the Nelson Study Bible (nkjv) says, “This is Peter’s statement of faith. The fisherman noted that he and his companions had just failed to make a catch at the best time for fishing, the evening. The circumstances were not good for a catch at the time of Jesus’ command.”
But what was Peter’s response? “Because you say so, I will let down the nets [again]” (emphasis added). And what happened? He “caught such a large number of fish that [his] net began to break.” So many fish that he had to call his partners in other boats to come and help him, and they “filled both boats so full that they began to sink” (v. 7).
            Let down your net again. Only the Lord knows what you will pull up this time!
                        Chance is always powerful.
                        Let your hook be always cast.
                        In the pool where you least expect it
                        will be a fish.


 If the stone of discouragement is blocking you today, find a scripture to hang onto and write it below.
Thought for Today: “Through prayer we can reach into the future and with loving hands touch those beyond our reach” (Brother Andrew).

Song for Today:
   When I am burdened, or weary and sad,
   Jesus is all I need.
   Never He fails to uplift and make glad.
   Jesus is all I need.
            ("Jesus Is All I Need," James Rowe)

Laugh for Today: A lion comes across two men, one reading and the other writing. The beast pounces on and devours the reader but ignores the writer. Why? Because, as everyone knows, a writer cramps while a reader digests. (Reader’s Digest, 04/14/ p. 104).
Donna Clark Goodrich

"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--April 14, 2014--Beginning and ending sentences

A Step in the Write Direction

April 14, 2014

Update: Are your taxes done? (Remember, I have a list of tax deductions for writers. Just email me at: I used to have a tax business with over 200 clients. Now just have 15 or 20, so have 3 to finish today….Last week was an especially good week: Found a large sum of money I lost…A publisher found 5 of my Rhyme-Time Bible Stories for Little Ones that had been lost (I couldn’t believe I didn’t have them on my computer OR a hard copy)…The editor said they’re also interested in a puzzle book I sent…Found a folder for a client I had mislaid (the folder, not the client!)…Have a new proofreading client (a TV evangelist who has sent me 4 jobs so far)…And sold an exercise bike I had for sale….BUT the best news is that I had the best week I’ve had in almost a year healthwise. Had the church pray for my COPD a week ago Sunday. Up until that time I was having 2 or 3 coughing spells a day—sometimes as long as 1-1½ hours. Have only had a few since then, and one was at a baseball game in windy weather. Thank You, Lord!

Thought for Today: “There’s a tendency to...make God a cosmic Santa Claus, always jolly, perennially upbeat, never displeased, never angry, But (sometimes) I  am not in the mood for a laughing Santa Claus. I need a God bigger than that, someone who can understand my pain....”
Rick Hamlin, 10 Prayers You Can’t Live Without, 128.

Song for Today:
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
            Annie Johnson Flint, “He Giveth More Grace”

Laugh for Today: The wealthy man's will was being read and the relatives all listened expectantly, especially his playboy nephew.  Finally the lawyer said, "And to my nephew, Charlie, whom I promised to remember in my will, 'Hi there, Charlie.'"

Writer’s Tips:

Avoid Beginning Sentences or Paragraphs in a Row with Same Word
You can find examples of this every morning in the obituary section. Try your hand at rewriting the following paragraph (see sample at end of blog):

She was born in Jackson, Michigan. She moved to Arizona in 1969. She was a proofreader for the Arizona State House of Representatives. She was a former associate editor for a trade magazine. She was on the advisory board of American Christian Writers.

Try Not to End Sentences in a Row with the Same Word

When I worked for a newspaper, the editor had a rule that we couldn't begin or end more than two sentences in a row with the same word. This is a good rule to follow.

(Rewritten paragraph): A native of Jackson, Michigan, she moved to Arizona in 1969 where she was a proofreader for the Arizona State House of Representatives. She was also a former associate editor for a trade magazine, and served on the advisory board of American Christian Writers.

Note: All the writer’s tips I include every week can be found in my book A Step in the Write Direction which is now on sale for $15 plus $3 s&h (normally $24.95) as I have a new publisher and am combining it with the Student Edition. See more on my web site.

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"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"
Michigan and Ohio cookbooks
"Healing in God's Time"--story of Dave Clark, songwriter

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--April 7, 2014--Using Pronouns

A Step in the Write Direction

April 7, 2014

Update: There’s an old saying, “We get too soon old and too late smart.” In other words, we’re never too old to learn—or relearn—a lesson. This was brought home to me last week when a dear friend was tearfully sharing a problem she was facing. I immediately came back with a similar problem I had faced in the past. Later I emailed her and apologized, and she replied, “We all have stories to share since we've all been through so much but sometimes we don't want to hear; we just want to unburden our hearts.” I’m praying that God will help me to truly listen and concentrate on what a person is saying instead of just thinking about what my response will be!

Thought for the Day: One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody's reply was "I agree with you. I don't like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?" The lady replied, "I don't do it." Moody retorted, "Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it." (James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited [Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.] p. 178.)

Song for the Day:
Come ye weary, heavy laden, lost and ruined by the fall;
If you tarry till you’re better, you will never come at all.
Let not conscience make you linger, nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth is to feel your need of Him.
Joseph Hart, 1759, “Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy”

Laugh for the Day:
How’s Business?
“My business is looking better,” said the optometrist.
“My business is down in the dumps,” said the garbage man.
“Mine is rolling in dough,” said the baker.
“My business has sunk to a new low,” said the deep-sea diver.
“My business is going up and down,” said the elevator operator.
“My business is sick,” said the doctor.
Jokes—Hours and Hours of Great Laughs, Michael J. Pellowski, compiler (New York: Waldman Publishing Corp., 1980), 105.

Writer’s Tips—Using Pronouns
Weak:   “She and her brother were always been close. Before her brother married, they did
everything together, went places together. Then her brother moved out of state and she went to college, and everything changed.”
Better:  “She and her brother were always been close. Before he married, they did everything
together, went places together. Then he moved out of state and she went to college, and everything changed.”

Whenever you use a pronoun such as “they,” “he,” “it,” etc., make sure the reader knows who or what the pronoun is referring to.
• “Linda says that her mother always gives her children too many presents.” Whose children is the mother spoiling?

“It’s” only needs an apostrophe if used as a contraction, not in possessive:
The dog lost its bone.
I’ll be glad when it’s (it is) payday.

 I or me?
John, Eunice, and I were all sick.
Father sent for John, Eunice, and me. (To determine which one should be used, delete “John, Eunice, and” and see how it reads as “Father sent for I.”)
We or us?
We girls will be waiting for you. (Delete “girls” and it reads okay.)
He waited for us girls. (Delete “girls” and it reads okay.)

 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"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"
"Healing in God's Time"--story of Dave Clark,songwriter 
"Preparing Your Heart Christmas"--31 Advent devotions