Rediscovering the Joy of Writing

This past week I had the privilege of both attending and teaching at Write!Canada.

I had tons of fun hanging out with my editor and my agent

my agent Steve Laube
My agent Steve Laube and I, goofing around for the camera before the awards gala. BTW, Deadly Devotion won the suspense category!

and old friends and new friends, and despite entering this new week severely sleep-deprived because of it, I have an I-can’t-wait-to-write-today anticipation that I haven’t felt in weeks, maybe months!

Fellowship with fellow writers and awesome classes can do that, but a huge part of the credit goes to Ted Dekker’s inspiring keynote address and class.

Okay, I honestly don't know why I look a tad spaced. He's not the least bit scary.
Okay, I honestly don’t know why I look a tad spaced. He’s not the least bit scary.

I have to admit that the last Dekker book I read was Three. The plots started getting too dark for my comfort level, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from his talks. But wow, I am so glad I didn’t miss them!

He was so open and honest, talking writer to writer.

We learned about his childhood on the mission field in Indonesia and at boarding school, and his rocky journey to publication, and the new fears and struggles that came with sudden success. Too often our identity is wrapped up in our job or our children or spouse or in what we accomplish instead of in the Father and what he’s done for us.

Then he shared a proverb about a person who climbs a rope to get away from the tiger chasing him, only to be faced with a second tiger at the other end of the rope and two mice nibbling through the rope.


He likened the tigers to our fears and how if you’re focused on them you won’t escape the fear and see the beauty around you…the strawberries.

He admitted that he often needs to consciously let the fear fall away before he begins writing each day and remind himself that the accuser is the one telling him he doesn’t love this.

When we let go of the fear & the lies, rivers of living water–creativity–can flow.

sandcastleHe likened our stories to sandcastles and authors are like kids playing in the sand.

We’re having fun making stuff up. If we don’t like it, we can wipe it away and start over. Change the story.

So go have fun and build a sandcastle!


Tiger image courtesy of anankkml /
photo credit for sandcastle: KenC1983 via photopin cc





Happy Memorial Day Weekend & Another Giveaway

I don’t live in the US, but any excuse for taking a day off a giveaway will do. 🙂

Well, that and because I’m up to my eyeballs preparing powerpoint slides for the classes I’m teaching at Write!Canada in a couple of weeks.

Actually…having waaaay too much fun picking fun pictures to liven up the lessons. Like this one on how to write romantic suspense:

AgentHe looks like a go-to kind of guy when you need to get out of a dangerous situation. The kind of guy who’d take a bullet for you, or…at least for the president. 😉

And if you happen to live near Southern Ontario and love to write, you can still register for Write!Canada.

June 12-14, 2014
June 12-14, 2014

Giveaway Opportunities for Blind Trust

Ending Sunday evening –

Ending May 30th in AM –

Ending June 17th – for Goodreads members –

How to Make Money


Wow, did that get your attention? 😆

Yes, that’s what Canadian money looks like, now, courtesy of the Bank of Canada website. This past week I had fun blogging at International Christian Fiction Writers about what I learned about counterfeiting while researching for Blind Trust.

For example…

Did you know that new photocopiers and printers are designed to lock up if you attempt to copy money?

A number of years ago a kid in Canada did it successfully and passed the bills off at school (before our money went plastic), but one of the blog readers confirmed that yes, photocopiers freeze up. She’d tried copying a bill for a play prop…or so she claimed. 😉


You can read the whole post here:

Have a great week!

Your Turn:

Could you help me with my class prep for a Fictions Basics? If you’re a writer, what was the one element of craft you learned that leapfrogged your writing forward? For everyone…what makes you put a book down and not pick it up again? Thanks so much!


Random Thoughts

Guelph Bible Conference CentreDoesn’t this gorgeous setting remind you of the grounds you see in movies of an English asylum where patients can convalesce in a serene setting?

That impression crossed my mind while enjoying these very grounds last week at Write!Canada–an annual conference for Canadian Christian writers. Considering everyone there was a writer and therefore a little crazy…after all, we hear voices in our head, and apparently that’s not normal ;-)…the comparison to an asylum made me smile. 

While at Write!Canada, I chatted with many writers about their novels, and one surprisingly common issue I found was that many couldn’t tell me (at least not immediately) what their hero or heroine’s external goal for their story was. The answers often veered toward the internal and spiritual things the characters needed to learn, a very important story thread, but one that unfolds within the context of the main character pursuing an external goal. Right?

The same is often true in REAL life. Isn’t it?

Without a defined goal, we can wander aimlessly.

Of course…defining the goal doesn’t miraculously reveal the path we should take, merely the destination. 

It also gives us a starting point. A purpose. And God meets us there.

One of my favorite Bible verses is “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” 

It reminds me that I may not know the path, but I know the destination and God will show me the way. It also aptly expresses my experience with each novel I write. My characters often don’t follow the path I first imagine…or the one they do!

Your Turn: If you haven’t already, set a goal for yourself today. And then start. If you have a story of how God has been revealing a path in your life, please share.

For writers: I’m at Seekerville today sharing a tip on how to choose your character’s greatest strength and weakness.