Monday, May 26, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--May 26, 2014--Have You Jumped Yet?

A Step in the Write Direction

May 26, 2014

Update: The two Step in the Write Direction books are now combined and sent to the new publisher. I was excited this last week to receive an order for 25 of the existing Student editions for a local Christian school which will use it as a text in the fall….I also finished adding discussion questions to The Freedom of Letting Go, and that has gone to another new publisher. (Note: I bought the remaining inventory which I’m selling at a reduced price. If you would like to use this in a small group study at your church, I will send you the discussion questions separately.)…The next two Mondays I’ll be in Oklahoma. I’m going to write my two blogs ahead of time and set a time to be mailed. (If you don’t get them, you know I wasn’t that smart!)… Saturday, May 31, I’m teaching at a writers’ workshop in Wagoner, OK. On Sunday, our oldest granddaughter will get her district minister’s license, and the next Saturday, our youngest granddaughter will graduate high school. Summer news: I have two daylong writers’ workshops scheduled this summer in Michigan: July 12 at Houghton Lake, and July 19 in Adrian. If you know anyone in these parts, have them email me for more information.

Thought for Today:
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
            —“Alone,” Edgar Allan Poe

Song for Today:
If we could see, if we could know
We often day,
But God in love a veil doth throw
Across our way.
We cannot see what lies before,
And so we cling to Him the more,
He leads us till this life is o’er,
Trust and obey.
            —“If We Could See Beyond Today,” Norman J. Clayton
Laugh for Today: A blonde was caught putting Clearasil around the jail. When asked why she said she had heard it prevents breakouts. (sorry blonde readers!)

Writers’ Tips: (Week #2 from my yet unpublished writers devotional book):

Have You Jumped Yet?

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first (Hebrews 3:14).

Our six-year-old granddaughter was taking swimming lessons. One requirement to receive a certificate was to jump off the diving board, but she was afraid.

Every day we asked our daughter and son-in-law, “Has Heather jumped yet?” Every day they replied, “Not yet.”

But the day finally came. Heather jumped…and jumped…and jumped.

An old adage says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I’ve often shared in workshops that I do not like freeways. I’m fine getting on where they begin, but I don’t like entering farther up the road where I have to merge with ongoing traffic.

As a writer, you have to start somewhere, so start at the beginning—with the basics. The story is told of Vince Lombardi, the renowned football coach, who gathered his players together in the locker room after a particularly bad loss. “We need to get back to the basics,” he told them. Holding up an object, he said, “This, men, is a football!”

Individuals in one writer’s group set personal goals to be met by the next meeting. One new writer proudly announced at a meeting, “I addressed an envelope.” It was a beginning!

What is the first step for you? To take an English class in night school? Perhaps a creative writing class, or a class in the specific field of writing you think you would enjoy—short stories, novel writing, non-fiction, or children’s. Maybe you need help to learn the computer. Another option is to join a local writer’s group—and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Subscribe to writer’s magazines (i.e., The Writer, Writer’s Digest, The Christian Communicator). Make plans to attend a writer’s conference.

A.A. Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame says,
            Time is swift, it races by;
            Opportunities are born and die…
            Still you wait and will not try—
            A bird with wings who dares not rise and fly.
Have you jumped yet?
Today I am going to make a start. I will:

Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich


Monday, May 19, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--May 19, 2014--Emily Akin guest blog

A Step in the Write Direction

May 19, 2014

Update: I’m very excited that I have new publishers for both A Step in the Write Direction and The Freedom of Letting Go. As I mentioned before, the Student Edition of Step will be combined with the original so there will be assignments throughout. This will be good for students, beginning writers, and advanced writers as well as it will still contain sections on sources of extra income for writers, income taxes, Microsoft Word shortcuts, etc. It will also be useful for writers groups to use as a textbook, doing the assignments as a group. The expected release date of this new book is September 2014. And the new Freedom book will also be different in that it will have discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The three chapters on letting go of worry, doubt, and fear have been combined, making this a 13-chapter book. Thus it can be used as a 3-month(13-week) small group study or, by combining the Introduction with Chapter 1, a year-long study (one a month for 12 months).

Thought for Today: Whether your faith is that there is a God or that there is not a God, if you don’t have any doubts you are either kidding yourself or asleep. Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving (Frederick Buechner, Sermon Resources newsletter, April 26, 2014).

Song for Today:
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found.
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
            “Higher Ground,” Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Laugh for Today: Calories (noun): Tiny creatures that live inside your closet and sew your clothes a little bit tighter every night (from The Gospel Greats newsletter, 5/6/14).

Writer’s Tips: Today we have a guest blog you’ll enjoy written by Emily Akin:

No Gravatar Burpo did not want to write a book. He just wanted to get on with his life as a family man, pastor, business owner, and volunteer firefighter. It’s not like he needed anything else to do.
But, now there’s a movie based on his book, Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back. It’s the story of what happened to his son, Colton, who, at age four, suffered a ruptured appendix, infection, and surgery. He survived, but he says he went to heaven while he was in the hospital. The book has been on the New York Times best-seller list for most weeks since it was published in 2010, and in the Number One spot for some time. The movie released recently is off to a great start, too.
I heard Todd Burpo speak at Indianapolis Christian Writers Conference in 2011. He was interviewed by Don Cady of Wesleyan Publishing House at one of the evening general sessions. Burpo’s message was “Sometimes your message is so powerful that you have no choice.”
Burpo said that world’s need for his family’s message overruled all of the objections:
  • I don’t have time to write a book.
  • I don’t know how to get it published.
  • I don’t want to subject the family, especially young Colton, to the public scrutiny.
But, people kept telling him he should write a book. After months of prayer, Burpo gave God a suggestion. If  he was supposed to publish Colton’s story, God would need to send the right people to help him.
It wasn’t long before he got a call from an agent wanting to represent him and help get a book written. If you know anything at all about the publishing industry, you know that this never happens. Not only did God send help, He sent the best. Lynn Vincent, accomplished ghostwriter helped get it written, and the one and only Thomas Nelson Publishers agreed to publish it. Talk about answer to prayer!
The family never expected their story to resonate the way it has. They’ve been interviewed on many of the major TV shows.  It appears that their message is a powerful one and that the world is hungry for it.
What about you? Do you want to write a book? Do you have a story you want to tell? Whatever your situation, be encouraged by the Burpo story. You may have a message the world needs, too.
Book cover image from Thomas Nelson website:

Emily M. Akin blogs at She is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor whose work has appeared in numerous Christian periodicals. She is a regular contributor to Hometown Magazine of the Ken-Tenn Area.

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"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction--May 12, 2014--Mother's Day

A Step in the Write Direction

May 12, 2014

Update: Since today is Mother’s Day and this blog uses that theme, I’ll go ahead and send it out today instead of waiting until Monday. I’m sure this day has mixed emotions for you. You may still have your mom, but not the relationship you wish you had. Or your mom is gone and this day brings sadness. Instead of Writer’s Tips this week, I’m including a story about my mom who passed away in 1982 at the young age of 69. (If you’re a mom and haven’t had a physical checkup lately, get it! I’d still have my mom if she had gone to the doctor when she knew what it was.) Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there, and prayers for those who never had the privilege of being a mother, but who reached out in love to other children who needed it!

Song for Today:
When I was but a little child, how well I recollect
How I would grieve my mother with my folly and neglect;
And now that she has gone to Heav’n I miss her tender care:
O Savior, tell my mother I’ll be there!
Tell Mother I’ll be there, in answer to her prayer;
This message, blessed Savior, to her bear!
Tell mother I’ll be there, Heav’n’s joys with her to share;
Yes, tell my darling mother I’ll be there.
                                    —Charles M. Fillmore, 1898

Laugh for Today: A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along when suddenly a cat attacks them. The mother mouse shouts “BARK!” and the cat runs away. “See?” the mother mouse says to her baby. “Now do you see why it’s important to learn a foreign language?”

Writer’s Tips:
My Heritage

One of my earliest recollections is of Mother getting my two brothers, my sister, and me—the youngest—ready for church every Sunday morning and walking over a mile to the country bus stop.

Sunday meant a day in town. After our morning church service, we would go to a small restaurant for "dinner," then upstairs over the restaurant to a mission for an afternoon meeting. Sunday night found us back in our own church for the evening service. Mother never subscribed to the theory that if children are made to go to church when they're young, they won't want to go when they're older.

When I was seven years old we moved into town. Ours was the "Kool-Aid" house on the block. All the neighbor children were welcome to join our family activities: singing around the piano, experimenting with an erector set, putting jigsaw puzzles together, and answering questions out of a quiz book. At the end of the evening, my mother always offered cocoa or popcorn.

I remember when Mother sold that house. From the proceeds, she bought my two brothers horns, and I received the accordion I had wanted for so long. Wanting her children to be musical, she took in ironings to pay my brothers' five-dollar band fee each semester.

My mother was a woman of prayer. One night our cupboards were empty and my mother did the only thing she knew to do—pray. Within an hour, a friend came by with some money she had owed my mother for babysitting from several years before. It had just "come to her mind" that evening. She was going to bring it by the next day, but something urged her, "No, take it tonight." She arrived before the grocery store closed.

Her prayers also extended to her children. She constantly warned me about dating someone outside our faith, and I remember coming home one night from a date and finding her asleep on her knees.

Mother was "Mom" to a lot of other children and teens who felt they could talk with her about their problems. When I was younger, I was jealous of sharing her attention, but as I grew older, I was proud of having a mother my friends liked.

It wasn't long before the family circle grew smaller. The three older children married, and I moved to another state where I met a seminary student and we became engaged.

On the day of my wedding, as Mother helped me button my long white gown, she expressed disappointment that she could not buy me an expensive gift. But I told her then, and many times afterward, she gave me the finest gift a daughter could ask for—the heritage of a Christian mother.

 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"
"Motivational Moments--100-Plus Devotionals for Writers and Speakers" (bought up remaining inventory; half price)
"Healing in God's Time"
"Preparing Your Heart for Christmas"
"Ohio Cookbook"
"Michigan Cookbook"

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Step in the Write Direction, May 5, 2014--The Stone of Defeat

A Step in the Write Direction

May 5, 2014

Update: Another interesting week! I’ve found a new publisher for The Freedom of Letting Go and have bought out the remaining inventory from the original publisher. So—SALE! Marked down from $15 to $10, plus $3 s&h. This is a talk I give at different functions and the people seem to like the book also. (See web site for chapter titles.)…Finished combining the two editions of A Step in the Write Direction and that is also at the publisher’s….Ended up taking my husband, Gary, to the ER Saturday night with chest pains and shortness of breath (he has a defibrillator) and they admitted him for 24 hours for observation. While there they also took an echogram and we have to make an appointment to get the results of that….This is a busy month. Have about 9 or 10 doctor’s appointments between my husband, me, and my sister (epidurals and eye surgery for her), then get ready for trip to Oklahoma May 29th with youngest daughter to visit other daughter and family, and to teach at a Christian writers’ workshop in Wagoner on the 31st. (See schedule at end of this blog.)

Thought for the Day: When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there (unknown). 

Song for the Day:
No one understands like Jesus;
When the days are dark and grim.
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus;
Cast your ev’ry care on Him.
            —John W. Peterson, “No One Understands Like Jesus”

Laugh for the Day:
"What's this, honey?" said the groom to his new bride, as he looked at the food on his plate.
"Devil's food cake," she replied.
"I thought you were making angel food cake," he said.
"I was, but it fell."

Writer’s Tips:                         The Stone of Defeatism

“It is interesting to note how the news of the outcome of the battle of Waterloo was communicated to England. The message was sent by rider, by ship across the English Channel, and then by semaphore from ship to shore. The message had four words. Only the first two were communicated because a heavy fog descended suddenly. What got through was only, ‘W-e-l-l-i-n-g-t-o-n  d-e-f-e-a-t-e-d.’

“That’s all the relay saw on the tower of Winchester Cathedral, and all he could do was pass on the sad news. England lived in disappointment for 24 hours. Then the fog lifted, and the whole message was completed: ‘W-e-l-l-i-n-g-t-o-n  d-e-f-e-a-t-e-d  t-h-e  e-n-e-m-y’.”

Are we living today with only half a message when God wants to give us all His promises? Are we living in defeat when God wants to give us victory? Bertha Munro, in her book Truth for Today, says that “More than conquerors isn’t just barely squeaking through. It’s victory with a margin.”

We say, “I can’t write.”
God says, “I’ll help you.”

We say, “I don’t know where to send my manuscripts.”
God says, “I’ll provide you with markets.”

We say, “I’m afraid of being rejected.”
God says, “My Son was rejected also.”

We say, “I feel so alone.”
God says, “I’ll surround you with mentors who will be glad to share their knowledge and encouragement.”

Stephen Arterburn, talking about David facing Goliath, says, “David believed with God’s help Israel would prevail. His perspective was certainly different from that of the others. He could have said, ‘Goliath is so big. I can’t win!’ Instead he said, ‘Goliath is so big—I can’t miss!’”

God did not design us to be losers. He made us to be winners!

Think of a subject you’d like to write about and jot down an outline for a book or article.
Oklahoma Conference

To anyone in the Tulsa/Oklahoma City, here is information on a one-day conference I’ll be teaching at Saturday, May 31.

The Successful Writer Conference
Hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Writers of Tulsa, OK
and Impact Church of Wagoner, OK

May 31, 2014 Conference Schedule

 8:00  –   9:00 a.m.       Registration – Book Store Open

9:00  –  9:30 a.m.         Welcome – Introductions -- Devotional
 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.       Keynote Speaker: Donna Goodrich
                               What Field of Writing are You Best Suited For?                                

 Fiction, Nonfiction, Newspaper, Humor, Puzzles, Children, Interviewing, Personal Experience, Devotionals.
10:20 – 10:30 a.m.       Break
10:30 – 11:20 a.m.       Elece Hollis—                                              Gina Conroy—
                                     Crafting Great Stories                                  Top 10 Mistakes New Writers Make
11:20 – 11:30 a.m.       Break
11:30 – 12:15 p.m.        Donna Goodrich—Writing Life-                  Sharon Gibson—Overcoming
                                     Changing Devotionals                           Writing Roadblocks                  Differences between Devotionals
and Fillers. Similarities, Format, Assignments.
12:15  – 1:00 p.m.        Break for Lunch
Afternoon Schedule
1:00  –  1:50 p.m.         Donna Goodrich—Where to get                  Diane Whisner—Cover Art &
                                     Ideas. Marketing                             Interior Design
                                     Marketing—articles, books.            
                                     Where to start.
  1:50 – 2:00 p.m.         Break
   2:00 – 2:50 p.m.        Rebecca Currington—Work for                   Gina Conroy—Follow Your
                                    Hire How-Tos                                                  Dreams           
                                                                                                        How to get motivated to write.
   2:50 – 3:00 p.m.        Break
   3:00 – 3:50 p.m.        Therese Stenzel – Writing                            James Tate and Elece Hollis—
                                      E-Books for Fun & Fortune                        How to be a Poetic Genius
  3:50 – 4:00 p.m.           Break
  4:00 –  4:30 p.m.          Roger Huff—How-tos of Self
  4:30 –  5:00 p.m.          Closing—Donna Goodrich—The Freedom of Letting Go

Chery Lambert Elliott – Representative for Sweetwater Still Publishing, Siloam Springs, AR will be available to answer your publishing questions. If you would like to have an appointment to speak with her at the conference, please sign up at the registration table when you arrive at the conference on Saturday Morning, May 31, 2014.

 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"