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December 2011

This month's inspiration comes from LouAnn Binsfeld:

Can you see it?

It happened many times while reading my Bible that I tripped upon a passage that is woven together in such a way that it caught my imagination.  Here are some examples:

·         To the sea He said, you can only go so far

·         And the once empty hills were now filled with the angels of the Lord, ready to fight the battle

·         Behold a man sitting on a red horse in the midst of many horses riding to and fro over the face of the earth

·         Apples of gold in settings of silver

·         The wayward spirit will gain understanding

·         There we sat down and wept.

·         His hair was as wool, white like snow, eyes like fire, feet of brass, His voice like the sound of many waters, seven stars He held in His hand and out of His mouth went a two edged sword.

·         Nebuchadnezzar, my servant

 Line upon line, precept upon precept, a story is built.  Open our eyes, Lord, remove the scales that blind us, that we may see the story hidden within your heart.

 As you read your Bible, what story is God awaking in your heart?

Thanks, LouAnn, for those thoughts.


THIS MONTH'S MEETING: On December 13, we'll have our annual Christmas party. Don't forget to bring your story to read and a snack to share. We'll have lots of networking time and some lighthearted activities to get us in the Christmas mood. Feedback group will still meet for critique at 5:30.

REJOICING: Remember, every month you have the opportunity to have us celebrate your writing with you. Bring your published pieces to share on the rejoicing table.

BRING A FRIEND: This is your last chance to get a free book for bringing a friend and having that friend decide to join the guild. Guests can visit one time for free, so tell your friends about your favorite writers group and ask if they'd like to check us out.

Merry Christmas from the WWCWG Leadership Team!

Michelle Rayburn


November 2011

This month's inspiration comes from LouAnn Binsfeld:

I am a people person.  I believe that God has called me to encourage people in their walk with Jesus.   As I travel or just live each day, I watch for opportunities to visit with new friends, to hear their stories.  I want to listen with my heart.  I pray that God would break my heart with the things that breaks His.

Here are some people whose lives have crossed my path:

The woman walking – Jo is her name, a story of 4 marriages to 2 different husbands, now alone.  54 years of abuse.  Now at 72, she is reunited with her Savior.  This has brought peace and confidence but also the scattered seeds of broken relationships.

His hair is long, his clothing that of a bum, carrying an army pack and boots.  One more soldier on the Greyhound bus.  He left his 2nd wife to return to the war after being shot.  He buried his twin from the same war; the scars within are many and deep.

Once a small child, lost in a Walmart store, now an adult still fighting for freedom in all the wrong directions.

WRITERS CHALLENGE: hink about your pre-ordained meetings.  Engage in the lives of the people around you.  Care.  Is God breaking your heart with that which breaks His? Write about any of these topics – what has God put on your heart today?

 Thank you LouAnn for that great reminder.

COMING UP: November 8, Julie Bowe will speak on writing for children and about her journey as a writer. See the schedule for details.

 FEEDBACK GROUP:  Come early at 5:30 on meeting night and read a portion of your piece out loud and receive helpful feedback. You can ask the group to be gentle if you're a newcomer, or ask for more critical feedback if you're ready for it. See the Feedback Guidelines for more information.

 

GUILD NEWS: We're in our fall bring-a-friend to guild challenge! If you bring a friend who is new to the guild and he or she decides to become a member, both your and your friend receive a free book from our give-away box. First time visitors get one free visit, so spread the word.

Also, don't forget to bring your published pieces for the rejoicing table this month.

CONTEST: The guidelines for our latest writing contest are online.

Blessings,

Michelle Rayburn


October 2011

This month's writer's challenge comes from Patti Nicholson:

Autumn is here!  The leaves are changing, daylight hours are getting shorter, and the temperatures are starting to fall.  Inspiration is all around us – in the colors of the leaves, in the children frolicking in the raked piles of leaves, and in the hustle and bustle of new activities. 

 Writer’s Challenge:  Is there one season that inspires you more than another?  Write about which one and why.

Thanks Patti!

COMING UP: October 11 we'll have Susan Brill speaking on "BECOMING YOUR OWN BEST EDITOR". See the schedule for details.

 FEEDBACK GROUP: Why not apply Susan's editing advice and put it to practice at the feedback (critique) group each month? Come early at 5:30 on meeting night and read a portion of your piece out loud and receive helpful feedback. You can ask the group to be gentle if you're a newcomer, or ask for more critical feedback if you're ready for it. See the Feedback Guidelines for more information.

 GUILD NEWS: We're in our bring-a-friend to guild challenge! If you bring a friend who is new to the guild and he or she decides to become a member, both your and your friend receive a free book from our give-away box. First time visitors get one free visit, so spread the word.

Also remember our brand new meeting feature "Your Turn". This is your opportunity to share with us.You can read something you wrote, share something that inspires you as a writer, tell us your story of your journey as a writer...it’s your turn, so you get to decide how to use your 5-10 minutes!

CONTEST: The guidelines for our latest writing contest are online.

Blessings,

Michelle Rayburn


September 2011

In September 2001, I planned to attend my first guild meeting. At the time, I lived about 2 hours from the Eau Claire area and I knew it would be a late night, but I was desperate to connect with other Christian writers. That morning, I turned on the news while I was working around the house. The first plane had just hit the World Trade Center and the reporters had cut to live coverage for the breaking news. I watched the announcer’s reaction when the second plane hit while they were filming coverage of the first. By noon, I knew I wouldn’t be attending my first guild meeting that night.

 It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years already since our country went through that tragedy. All of us were changed in some way by the event. Those moments that change us often inspire us most in our writing and many of us process our thoughts with our pens.

 As we begin our 2011-2012 season of WWCWG, I’m thankful for the fellowship of other writers who can’t help but put their thoughts on paper. Writers who understand my crazy obsession with words. If you know someone who shares this same passion for words, be sure to invite them to the guild.

 WRITING PROMPT: Think back to September 11, 2001. What were you doing when you heard the news? How did you respond when you found out about the attack? Write about how that event has changed you.

COMING UP: September 13 we will kick off the season with a mini conference called "A GENRE EXPLOSION". See the schedule for details.

 FEEDBACK GROUP: Need feedback on your latest writing project? Come early at 5:30 on meeting night and read a portion of your piece out loud and receive helpful feedback. See the Feedback Guidelines for more information.

 GUILD REMINDER: Have you been busy writing all summer? Don't forget to bring your latest published piece along for the rejoicing table. We want to celebrate with you.

I can't wait to see you all at the September meeting. Have a friend who hasn't ever checked us out? First time visitors get one free visit, so spread the word.

Blessings,

Michelle Rayburn

Summer 2011

We're counting down to the 2011-2012 WWCWG Season. Join us September 13, 2011 at Bethesda Lutheran Church when we launch the season with a mini conference. We have some great speakers lined up for fall. Watch for details on the site coming soon.


April 2011

This month's inspiration and writer's challenge is by Patti Nicholson.

Spring is here! For some, the season brings thoughts of spring cleaning – cleaning the house, the yard, etc. For me it also brings thoughts of thrift sale preparation. That preparation causes cleaning, sorting, and organization. I even went so far as to write down a guideline to follow to see that my preparation was completed on time. 

 During the thrift sale prep, it dawned on me that, in addition to physical cleaning, maybe I need to do some internal cleaning as well. For example, what do I need to do to get myself in the best shape possible and be pleasing to God? This could include what I put into my body (food), what I do with my body (exercise, rest), and what I put into my mind (TV, books, etc.). Am I feeding my soul (by reading the Bible)?  The list could go on and on!  And finally, what steps do I need to take to get myself to where I need to be?

 Writer’s Challenge:  Are you doing any spring cleaning, either physically or mentally?  Write about the steps you can take to bring any spring cleaning goals to fruition.

(Ahh, Patti, such a timely message. I need a good mental spring cleaning.)

COMING UP: April 12, MARY PIERCE will be our speaker. See schedule for details.

 FEEDBACK GROUP: Don't forget to take advantage of the "meeting before the meeting" to get feedback on your latest writing project. Begins at 5:30 on meeting nights.

 CONTEST NEWS: Guidelines for the SPRING 2011 CONTEST ARE ON THIS SITE UNDER "CONTEST NEWS." Entries are due at the meeting this month!

GUILD REMINDER: Don't forget to bring your latest published piece along for the rejoicing table. We want to celebrate with you. And speaking of celebrating, if you have some news about something you've published, please send us an e-mail and we'll add your good news to the celebration page of the website.

Hope to see you all at the next meeting. Have a friend who hasn't ever checked us out? First time visitors get one free visit, so spread the word.

Blessings,

Michelle Rayburn



March 2011

This month's inspiration comes from member Holly Herman.
The past several months have brought a lot of changes and challenges for me.  This led to prayer for focus, faith and peace.  The morning of February 8th I realized it had been a while since I had read, as the seal on my monthly publication was still intact.  I sat down at my dining room table, grabbed my Bible, my journal and my devotional.  I wrote in my journal before even cracking my Bible, “Don’t know why I feel such an overwhelming peace, but I do.  Thank you Lord, I know you will provide”.
I opened the “In Touch” magazine, went right to the devotionals and found the day’s date.  I couldn’t believe it!  The title, “Unshakeable Peace” was almost neon in front of me.  I laughed out loud!   Wow, He wanted me to know He was there and He heard me!  If that wasn’t enough, He wanted me to really enjoy the ride.  The devotional that night at Writers Guild was from Philippians 4:6-7, the same verse for my devotional!

We all have difficulties, struggles, and dark times in our lives.  We feel alone and abandoned.  With time the memory of the pain fades, but if not documented, so does the evidence of the healing or victory or, in this case, my “God Sighting.”  My journaling has given me the evidence of healing and victories in my life, the faith I need to know God is present and in control no matter how I muck it up.  If you have never kept a journal, or met with God on a regular basis, I challenge you to build your own book of evidence, your own “unshakable peace.”
(Thanks Holly, for that reminder!)

COMING UP: March 8, CHERYL FRISCH will be our speaker. See schedule for details.

 FEEDBACK GROUP: Don't forget to take advantage of the "meeting before the meeting" to get feedback on your latest writing project. Begins at 5:30 on meeting nights.

 CONTEST NEWS: Guidelines for the SPRING 2011 CONTEST ARE ON THIS SITE UNDER "CONTEST NEWS." This time, you get to write fiction, so have a blast with it! 

GUILD NEWS: We want to thank our newest board members for stepping up and being willing to be part of the WWCWG leadership team. Cheryl Frisch and Patti Nicholson, we appreciate you. Also, special thanks to Patti for editing our newsletter submissions and coordinating that. We'll see Cheryl and Patti at the registration table at every meeting.

Hope to see you all at the next meeting.

Blessings,

Michelle Rayburn


February 2011

This month's inspiration and writer's challenge comes from member Melissa Wiltrout.

Ah, February! Cardinals feasting at snow-covered feeders, shimmering frost pictures in the windows, the squeak of snow under my boots as I walk through a fairyland of sparkling diamond dust.  The cats snooze in front of the fireplace, carefree and lazy.  Skates warm on the hearth, and on the stove, a pot of chili bubbles.

Okay, now I’ll be honest.  I really don’t like February.  I had to stretch my disposition a bit to write that.  But as writers, we have a God-given opportunity to uplift others through the words we choose.  As we follow His lead, we uplift and encourage ourselves as well.

 WRITER'S CHALLENGE: Is there something in your life you detest, but could view more positively?  Write about it, first from your own negative viewpoint, then from the viewpoint of someone who loves it.  Make the two views contrast as much as possible.

(Thanks Melissa! For some reason, I'm in the mood for chili, now)

COMING UP: FEBRUARY 8, NATHAN AASENG will be our speaker. See schedule for details.

 FEEDBACK GROUP: Don't forget to take advantage of the "meeting before the meeting" to get feedback on your latest writing project. Or bring your response to the Writer's Challenge above. (See the Feedback Guidelines page for more information on how many copies to bring, etc.)

 

CONTEST NEWS: Guidelines for the SPRING 2011 CONTEST ARE ON THIS SITE UNDER "CONTEST NEWS." I hope EVERY MEMBER will consider entering this contest. Go for it!

Hope to see you all at the next meeting.

Blessings,

Michelle Rayburn


OCTOBER 2010

 

Time for Celebration

 Are we paying attention? Do we see it? Fat pumpkins, apples by the bushel, leaves ablaze against brilliant blue skies -- it's the seasonal celebration of the abundance of God's blessing.


 And on October 12th we'll be celebrating God's blessing as well as we gather for the WWCWG TENTH ANNIVERSARY GALA. (We’ll be black and white and "red" all over!)

 

We'll share friendship, music, encouragement and laughter as we rejoice together over all God is doing through our group. And of course, there will be goodies to eat and drink! 

 

Here are some optional things that will make the evening even more special:

 (1) Bring everything (yes, EVERYTHING) that you've had published in the past ten years. (If not the actual pieces, then at least a list!) We'll display it all and stand in awe!

 (2) Dress up a little, in black, white and red if you can. You can even wear your fancy clothes - it's a gala event after all!

 

Now if you don't have any fancy duds, or if the fog around your writing dreams is still clearing, not to worry. COME ANYWAY, bring your friends, and help us celebrate ten years of the WWCWG!  

 

We'll be celebrating Tuesday, October 12th from 7-9 pm in the Fellowship Hall at Bethesda (just down the hall from our regular meeting room). Follow the signs.

 

(P.S. It's a party, so guests are welcome at no charge.)

 

WRITER'S CHALLENGE: "MY TOP TEN LIST"

Write a list of the top ten things you've learned about writing - what to do or maybe what NOT to do. Make it serious or make it funny - your choice. Print it out poster style (8-1/2 x 11) and we'll post them on the wall for everyone to enjoy during the party.

 

Looking forward to celebrating together,

Mary Pierce

 

SEPTEMBER 2010

 ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS

 I stepped out of my garage the other day, just home from a week of teaching at the Green Lake Writers' Conference. I looked at my garden. The echinacea looked spent, drooping in the August heat. The last of the phlox blossoms had fallen. The heat had wilted the coleus. A dove called, mourning summer's end with me. The end of a season is always a little sad (well, maybe not the end of a Wisconsin winter), but the end of one season means another is beginning. It's all part of God's perfect plan and a reminder of His faithfulness to us, day after day, season after season.

 And so we begin a new guild year and we've got great things in the works! We'll start the year with another rousing mini-conference to get you motivated (see the schedule page) and get you published. In October, we'll be celebrating the guild's TENTH year with a very special evening of encouragement and fellowship. Wonderful programming for the rest of the year is coming together, with encores from favorites and new faces as well.

 It's a new season. It's a new start for the guild and for you.

 This year, invite a friend to come to guild with you. Who do you know who dreams of writing "someday"? Maybe this is their season to move forward making that dream a reality. Invite them to check us out!

 This year, start a critique group of your own--in person or online. Nothing like a friendly "deadline" to keep you focused and writing! (Our meeting before the meeting feedback sessions will continue.)

 New season, new start. New dreams. New goals. No time like the present to move forward!

 WRITER'S CHALLENGE: Take a moment today to think and write a little. What were the best parts of your summer? What are you looking forward to as autumn approaches? I can't wait for the orchards to open, for that first crisp morning, and this year's Minnesota State Fair. (Corn dogs--they call them Pronto Pups--for breakfast! Yes!)

 What's on your mind as you change seasons? What are you leaving behind? What are you anticipating? What new ideas is God giving you? What are you praying for?

 May God bless you as you write--for Him!

 Mary Pierce

President


MAY 2010

 This month's inspiration comes from April's meeting, where Sandi Stanton asked for ideas on breaking through "writer's block." Here is what you had to say:

 To break her blocks, Lois writes about "something unusual I observe.” Hannah and Natalie offered up several ideas: listening to classical music, looking through "story pictures" for inspiration, and reading a friend's story. (Your own problems will be resolved as you focus on somebody else's writing.)

 

Lydia turns to oil painting while Diane likes to walk and listen to praise music.

 

Melissa heads out to take her dog for a walk. Polly prefers drawing and painting. Norma's favorite block breakers are "a refreshing, soaking shower, or a brisk bike ride." (Or maybe both, in the opposite order? :-) )

 

Becky jumps on the trampoline. Techie Michelle plays "the word of the day on Twitter @define this" using the word in a sentence.

 

Deetje plans to break her next block by "scribbling ideas without my critic around." She has a special book of blank pages, just for poets.

 

Sandi summed it all up perfectly: "Awesome ideas! Thanks so much for your contributions to our evening with the guild. May God continue to bless your work for Him."

 

WRITER'S CHALLENGE: When have you been "blocked" in the past? Is there a recurring pattern? (If so, how can you avoid the same trap next time?) Make a list of TWENTY ideas you can use the next time you feel stuck.

 


COMING UP: Cynthia Ruchti (www.cynthiaruchti.com) will be teaching at the May meeting. See the schedule for details. Her debut novel, They Almost Always Come Home (Abingdon Press) will be available for sale at the meeting. (Can't WAIT to read it!)

 

CONTEST: Winners! Prizes! All at the May meeting. Don't miss it! Thanks to all who entered.

 

May God bless you as you write for His glory!

 

Mary Pierce

 


MARCH 2010

 

This month's inspiration and Writer's Challenge come from guild member Valerie Eyerly:

 

Writing as Worship

A good athlete might not give up his best event in a competition for anything.

 

But a good worshiper might. Eric Liddell, a Scottish man born to missionary parents, found a passion he indulged himself in - a passion in which he felt God's indulgence.

 

When he set off to run in the 1924 Paris Olympics, he was more than gifted enough and prepared to win. His event happened to take place on Sunday, the Lord's day, and ultimately Eric put God before even his desire to run. But when Eric bowed out, God saw this. I'm convinced God Himself arranged to have Eric's teammate give up his own 400 meter race, one held on the following Tuesday. Eric filled in, and took home gold.

 

Eric did what he did - however meaningless it seemed on the surface - for the Lord. Using the body and speed God gave him to run was a complete act of worship, and God blessed him for it.

 

How much more can we use our God-given talents and creativity as purposeful, deliberate worship?

 

WRITER'S CHALLENGE: In what ways can you find purpose, and worship Him meaningfully, through your writing? (Write about it!)

 

(Thanks Valerie. Now where is that soundtrack from Chariots of Fire...?)

COMING UP: MARCH 9th MONICA HOLTZ will be our speaker. See schedule for details. (Due to a scheduling conflict, Tim Tewalt is unable to be with us.)

 FEEDBACK GROUP: Don't forget to take advantage of the "meeting before the meeting" to get feedback on your latest writing project. Or bring your response to the Writer's Challenge above. (See the Feedback Guidelines page for more information.)  COST: one hour of your time. FRIENDLY FEEDBACK: Priceless!

 CONTEST NEWS: Guidelines for the SPRING 2010 CONTEST ARE ON THIS SITE UNDER "CONTEST NEWS." I hope EVERY MEMBER will consider entering this contest. Go for it!

 

FEBRUARY 2010

 Sheila Wilkinson offers this month's inspiration and Writer's Challenge:

 After spinning out on an icy hill, I turned around and inched my way up. Next thing I knew, red and blue lights flashed at me in my rear view mirror. Great!


 A nice policeman came to the passenger side, leaned down and said, “What are you trying to do?”

 

Hmmm. Seemed obvious to me, but the nice policeman must have been having a bad day. With a little smirky grin on my inside, I told him, “I’m trying to get up this hill.”

 

Later I thought about his question. What am I trying to do – with my life, with my time, with my writing? Is God watching me struggle? Am I losing sight of His purpose for me?

 

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What am I trying to do with my writing? Am I honoring God? How can I get back on track?”

 

A little encouragement from the policeman rescued me. Time with God and His Word can put my life back on track, and I will know what to do with my writing.

 

Writer’s Challenge: Ever lose sight of your goals? Do you remember what you are trying to accomplish? What is your focus? Write a paragraph or two about your purpose for writing.

 

Keep it close by when writing.  (Thanks, Sheila!)

 

JANUARY 2010 Happy New Year!

 This month's message and writing challenge is offered by guild member Sandra Sunquist Stanton (Thanks Sandra!):

 Writing for Healing--My Own

 

My heart and head scrambled trying to deal with tough problems. How could I share disappointing news with a family member? An impossible schedule conflict and a difficult decision hovered like vultures.  Dashing from list to chore without stopping to focus, I had little hope of even considering options.

 

Then I said a little prayer and sat down with my computer.  My spirit sighed and settled into God’s peace. My writing morphed from demanding tyrant to refuge—that fast!

 

Checking emails led to dumping my confusion, pain and concerns onto the keys. As the words strung together on the monitor my challenges melted into a manageable new perspective.

 

Writing became a healing resource, an act of worship. This time it was helping me, not any other intended audience.   Somehow, the next right thing became clear as words came together on the page—or monitor. 

 

When I’m frazzled, prayerful writing, rewriting and editing can give shape and meaning to the clouds in my mind.  My head and heart open so God can move and heal. Again, He meets my needs through his gifts.

Praise God, through Him I can now move on. Ahhhhh.

 

Writers’ Challenge:

Can you recall a time when writing restored order for you? Write about a situation that seemed hopeless, but the solution became clearer through churning words and stringing them together. 

 

Or maybe writing compounded the problem rather than solving it. Write about that journey.

 

 

COMING UP: In January, it's CHRISTMAS REVISITED. Check the schedule for details. Yes, I wrote you a poem!) Bring those Christmas hymn readings you prepared in December, and if you have a gently used book for the Christmas party book exchange, bring it along, wrapped as a gift.

 

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE BOOKS TO SELL, YOU'LL BE WELCOME TO DO SO AT THE JANUARY MEETING. (Remember to bring your own change.)

 

FEEDBACK GROUP: We WILL be meeting for feedback before the meeting in January. (See the Feedback Guidelines on this website for details.)

 

CONTEST NEWS: Fall contest winners will be announced in January. Well done all who entered!

 

 DECEMBER 2009

 This month's message and challenge come to us from guild member Becky Tidberg (Thanks, Becky!):

 I was reading a cozy mystery novel by Tamar Meyers titled Custard’s Last Stand a few months ago and laughed aloud at the following passage:

“ ‘…because writers tend to be mentally unbalanced…I read somewhere that 98% of them are nuttier than a Pay Day.’

I breathed a sigh of relief. ‘He’s not an official writer, because he doesn’t have anything published yet.’


‘That doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that he wants to get published. What kind of person expects to get paid just because they have a good imagination? Egomaniacal weirdoes, that’s who!’”

 

I must confess to being guilty on all counts. I sometimes question my calling as a “real” writer because I haven’t landed that elusive seven-book deal that would make J.K. Rowling weep with envy. Other times, I wonder if I’m being a bit egomaniacal because I would like to be paid for my current version of the great American Novel. As far as being nuttier than a Payday…I plead the fifth.

 

December is the month for dreams, for children and writers alike. So, if you’ve let yours fall behind the dresser and get a little dusty, dig it out, dust it off and edit it a little more.

 

WRITERS'S CHALLENGE: What was the last dream you had? Did it involve your children becoming aliens? Your cat learning to weave baskets? Write a short story (or essay) based on the images from that dream.

COMING UP: December 8th we'll celebrate Christmas together. Bring your prepared readings to share with the group (based on the Christmas hymn you chose).

 

FEEDBACK GROUP: We will NOT be meeting for feedback in December. We'll resume the "meeting before the meeting" in January. (See the Feedback Guidelines on this website for details.)

 

CONTEST NEWS: Fall contest winners will be announced in December and MAJOR PRIZES will be awarded. WOO HOO!  

 

See you on December 8th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

 

Mary Pierce, President

WWCWG


NOVEMBER 2009

 Guild member Tim Tewalt offers this month's inspiration and challenge:

Thanksgiving – a blessed time…. Thankful for those few extra pounds?  Did you give thanks for that bad habit?  No, these are not usually on our thankful list, but perhaps they should be.

Consider those few extra pounds. Perhaps they represent great accomplishments that were rewarded with hot fudge sundaes -- many hot fudge sundaes. 

And what of that bad habit? Could it be a blessing in disguise? While others are making up their New Year's resolution, you'll have yours all ready to go! I like to think of my bad habits as foreshadowing in a great story of miracles yet to bring glory to God above. (Perhaps God is raising an army just for that calling?  Perhaps that is why my wife is praying so much lately?)

This holiday, look for the blessings that aren't so obvious. 

Writer's Challenge: Think of Dickens and the "best of times and the worst of times." Write a piece that starts with the worst of times, planning for the sunshine to come out but holding off this conclusion as long as possible. Waiting for that distant hope may overwhelm us, if we don't remember the wonderful gift of God's only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. (P.S. If the reader isn't tearing up by the end, you need to rewrite!)

-----

Thanks Tim!

----

COMING UP: November 11th Karen Hurd will be our guest speaker. See the schedule for details.

 

FEEDBACK GROUP: Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to grow as a writer! What are you working on right now? If nothing else, bring your response to the Writer's Challenge above. Bring it to the "meeting before the meeting" for feedback.  (See the Feedback Guidelines for details.)

 

CONTEST NEWS: Fall contest entries are due at the NOVEMBER MEETING. Details are on the Contest News page.

 

See you in November. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

 

Mary Pierce, President

WWCWG

 

OCTOBER 2009

This month's inspiration and challenge come from Jennifer Taylor:

A couple years ago, I stopped at a church thrift sale. It was nearly over. What remained was mostly worn clothes, ancient knick-knacks, and old Tupperware. On one table, though, I noticed a small vase. The underlying color was off-white. It looked like the artist had set the vase upside down, dribbled aqua blue, spring green, and goldish brown paint on it, then let the colors run in tree-like lines down the sides. Finally, s/he speckled it with brown and fired it. It had started to crackle from age, but I liked it.


It now sits by my desk. I sometimes try to imagine its “life” before me. The dried-on muck at the bottom suggests it was used often. It has to have a story—all things do. Who first bought it? Why? Was the vase a treasured heirloom or a dime store buy? I’ll never know, but that doesn’t stop me from guessing.

Writer’s Challenge: Imagine the previous “life” of some object you inherited or purchased at a garage sale or thrift store and write that story down. If there are clues (such as dried-on muck at the bottom) use them to enrich the piece.

 


COMING UP: October 13th David Hanvelt will be our guest speaker. See the schedule for details.

 

FEEDBACK GROUP: We had RECORD turnout in September. Well DONE! The challenge to bring something to every meeting still stands. What are you working on right now? If nothing else, bring your response to the Writer's Challenge above. Bring it to the "meeting before the meeting" for feedback.  (See the Feedback Guidelines for details.)

 

CONTEST NEWS: Our fall contest was announced in September. Details are on the Contest News page.)

 

See you all in October. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

 

Mary Pierce, President

WWCWG

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2009

What a delight to be starting our TENTH year! 

When Beth Ellie and I started this group, we had no idea what God had in mind for the future. We both just craved fellowship with other writers. When we put the word out about this new group, we were shocked to discover so MANY others with the writing dream, right in our neighborhood.

That first meeting drew almost forty people, and we've averaged about that each year in our membership. That's AMAZING!

Over the ten years, we've said a sad farewell to several dear friends and welcomed dozens of other new friends into our midst.

And through it all, the group has maintained its mission: to provide Christian fellowship, mutual support and encouragement, practical advice, networking and training opportunities to writers and other artists seeking to honor God with their creative gifts.

This group is a gift God has given to each one of us. How has it impacted you? Have you felt the fellowship? Have you been encouraged? Have you grown as a writer? Have you been blessed?

This year, as we celebrate a decade of encouragement, I challenge each of us to continue to share what we've been given.

WRITER'S CHALLENGE: Why connect? Why is it important for writers--and especially Christian writers--to connect with others of like mind? What do we offer one another? What do we gain from gathering? What have you gained? What do you pray for our future? Write a paragraph or two on "Connection."

THANK YOU: A huge THANK YOU AGAIN to our guild board members--Jennifer Taylor, Sheila Wilkinson and Michelle Rayburn--for their tireless dedication to this group! Be sure to thank them when you see them at the meeting--and they'll have some signup sheets for special opportunities. Thanks in advance for helping us out!

COMING UP September 8, 2009: "MINUTE WRITE: A Mini-Conference for Writers." Can't make a conference? We're bringing a conference to YOU! We'll kick-start the year with another round of educational mini-sessions, designed to improve your writing skills, spark your creativity, and motivate you to move forward--wherever God is leading. Remember the "Curves for Writers" of the past? This time, YOU sit still and WE'LL move--through four sessions presented by your guild board members.

FEEDBACK SESSIONS: We'll continue the optional feedback sessions before our meetings, 5:30 to 6:30 pm in our meeting room. Bring something you'd like to share (and 6 copies so we can follow along as you read). This is a great way to learn and grow in a supportive and encouraging environment (and you always have the option of saying, "Just positive feedback please!" ;-) )

LOOKING AHEAD: We're bringing the Christmas Celebration back in December and in May, we're planning a HAPPY BIRTHDAY BASH! Stay tuned...

Can't wait to see you all again on September 8th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce

President

WWCWG

 

April 2009

 This month's inspiration comes from Jennifer Taylor:

 God's Footprints

 Recently, a girlfriend emailed me pictures of her ultrasound. My jaw dropped at the second image. It was the bottom of the baby’s right foot.

 I stared at the picture, amazed at the sight and at the One forming that little life in its mother’s womb. God is truly a master designer. He creates such beauty on this planet and in our lives.

 Sometimes His label is as clear as a baby’s foot or tracks in soft spring earth. Other times, when the image is blurred or the ground is parched and rocky, we have to look harder. Yet, if we take the time to search, God can show us how He forms our lives and seals us with His mark.

 Writer’s Challenge:

Recall an instance when you saw God’s footprints in your life. Were His tracks clear like those in new snow or were they nearly obscured by time and wind? How did you discover them? Share that moment in any form of writing you choose.


March 2009 

Thanks to Sheila Wilkinson for this month’s encouragement: "Mission Possible"

 I recently gave a presentation to the local music teacher’s association. (Who me? I play banjo because you can never tell if a banjo is in tune or not!) My presentation was not about teaching music. These teachers, however, hold knowledge that others yearn for. They know the whys, wherefores and how-tos of music. With decades of experience and their own creative approaches, they are sitting on a gold mine of information.

 My mission – to convince them to share what God has given them or allowed them to attain. When was the last time you encouraged a non-writer to write something? We often encourage fellow writers. But a non-writer? Think about it. Everyone is unique.

 Who do you know who tells great stories? Who travels? Who reads? Who can you encourage?

 What about you? What is unique about you? What has God given you that He wants you to share?

 WRITER’S CHALLENGE: Write a paragraph convincing someone that they should write something. This can be fictitious, but using real people and ideas may bring appreciation of our God-given uniqueness.

 Then write a paragraph from someone else’s point of view telling you why and what you should write. How do other people see you? What does God have to say to you today?

 

February 2009

Thanks to guild member Becky Tidberg for this month’s inspiration.

 I was watching “The Unit” one Sunday night and the commander of the Special Ops team was struggling with how to make their mission successful without having any casualties.  The light bulb came on while they rumbled to the scene and he told his team: “Inspiration is the momentary cessation of stupidity.” 

 I agree.  It seems that my moments of inspiration come, not when the muse is in the mood, but when I have learned something new to help me out of an area of ignorance. 

 As you think about your writing goals this month, take some time to determine where your writing weaknesses are and find a way to encourage your muse by learning something new. 

 Some ideas:

  • Pick the brain of someone who has arrived where you want to go.
  • Take a class – online or at a local college.
  •  
    Try something new:  If you’re a novelist, try writing an article.  If you are committed to non-fiction, try writing a short story.  If you love short stories, try your hand at poetry.
  • Subscribe to a craft magazine or newsletter.

 Writers Challenge (from The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer):

 You May Have Already Won

You have received a believable-looking, business-sized white envelope in the mail.  The return address is from a company called Peerless.  Printed on the envelope, in bright red letters, are the words “You May Have Already Won.”  Tell the story of what it is you may have won, or what it is you didn’t win.  Tell what you do with this envelope.

 Start with:  Life takes some funny twists and turns…

 (Thanks Becky for the great ideas!)


DECEMBER 2008 

 Thanks to guild member Ellie Paulson for offering us her insights for creating a great holiday letter:

 The holidays are upon us. There are a million things to do and plan for. Topping the list are holiday greetings to send. As writers we may feel some pressure to achieve the perfect epistle—clever and newsy without bragging.

 Think about the holiday letters you’ve received. Is there one that stands out in your mind? I hate to admit it, but wading through the endless stack of “form letters” (as my dear mother used to call them) recounting all the triumphs of each of our relatives is really boring sometimes. I usually put them aside to read later. Few are actually fun.

 This year try to create something different—positive and authentic. Here are some suggestions:

 Have each member of the family write a personal note, arrange collage style on a page and scan it. Print on Christmas computer stationery.

  • Write a letter from your pet’s point of view in his voice. For example: “Hi, my name is Rover, I’m the Jones family dog. This is what’s been going on around here this year.” Add a picture of the dog with the family.
  • If you are camera literate, show the year in pictures in a tri-fold format.
  • Try the bullet format to record highlights from the year past.
  • Add a favorite new recipe or poem.
  • Use clip art and/or favorite quotes to spice up the page.
  • A month by month calendar format works if you keep it short.

 However you do your Christmas greetings, don’t neglect your writing over the holidays. Writing is a great tension reliever and holiday stress reducer. Have a Blessed Christmas! (EP)

 WRITER'S CHALLENGE: Write the story of Jesus' birth, changing the time/place anyway you'd like. What if He was born in inner city Chicago (on Bethlehem Blvd. maybe) in 1998, or a ranch in Bethlehem, Montana in 1862, or a resort town (Lake Bethlehem perhaps) in northern Wisconsin in 1925? Where's the "manger"? Who would the "shepherds" be? The "magi"? What kind of world would He be coming to? What does your story teach you (and your reader) about the "essence" of Christmas? (MP)

 See you in January! 


NOVEMBER 2008

Thanks to WWCWG member Heather Cox for her thoughts as our guest newsletter writer this month:

 November hosts a holiday that reminds me of family time together sitting around a large round cherry table with food covering every square inch of wood. Before the turkey was carved, the cranberry sauce passed, or the mashed potatoes heaped high upon our plates, my Mom asked us to go around the table sharing our thanks. As a teenager, I rolled my eyes at this robotic exercise of thanksgiving sharing with my father our disdain for this inauthentic activity. But, in time, I've come to realize that a regular practice of giving thanks can actually change my attitude to gratitude.

 As I've tried to grow as a writer, I've struggled with finding new topics to write about or even food for thought. About a year ago, I began a practice that has greatly impacted me. Each week, I take the time to write about all the things in my life for which I am thankful. The process begins robotically: "What am I thankful for this week?" I list one, two, three items and then, before I know it, the writer in me takes over and begins to see the week with new eyes. Everything that once seemed grey and dull has now become fodder for a new devotional or an introduction for another article. A regular practice of thanksgiving not only changed my perspective, it helped my writing!

 Today, the glorious colors of fall have all faded into a dull brown and the cut corn fields and gray skies add to the general dreariness of impending winter. The snow has not yet covered the barren land with its sparkling blanket of frozen beauty but the temperatures dip low enough to keep us inside huddled by electric or gas thermostats. In these days between fall and winter, as it becomes more difficult to get outside and be active, our outlook on life can get dull and gray too.

WRITER’S CHALLENGE: Make time this week to sit down and list the many things worthy of thanksgiving and watch those grey days transform into cheery days filled with praise. Begin with a list and let it grow into a letter of praise to God for all He has given you and all He is doing in your life.

But beware, the practice of giving thanks can be habit forming and highly contagious.

Heather Cox’s writing mission is “Finding Moments for Meditation in Women's Everyday Lives.” Read more from her at her Mommy Monk blog: http://mommymonk.blogspot.com; Internet Cafe: http://internetcafedevotions.com/ and Laced with Grace: http://lacedwithgrace.com/

 

OCTOBER 2008

Maybe the most common writer lament is, “I wish I had more TIME to write!” We dream of endless free hours—days, weeks, or months—uninterrupted by the stuff of life, to ponder our prose and polish our poems. But the hard fact of writing life is that most of us experience that kind of freedom rarely, or never.

If we’re going to write then, most of our writing will have to happen right smack in the middle of the other stuff of our lives. We have time for writing if we make the most of the little opportunities that present themselves. For instance, I wrote a rough draft while watching the news this morning. (I just got so mad I HAD to write.) I outlined another piece last night while waiting for the spaghetti to cook. (Cooking counted as research for the piece about family life management.) Last week I jotted down five points for a sidebar while I waited for the dentist. (For a future piece about stress management. Fitting, yes?)

It works this way because—and here is a news flash—writers are not like other people! Other parents just watch the Little League game; you see a child leaping for the baseball and birth a poem. Other folks sit in the hospital waiting room; your hospital vigil inspires a devotional piece. While others just wait in the long gas station lines, you draft an essay while you wait.

What stuff have you got going on today? What writing notions is it inspiring? Take a few minutes--smack in the middle of it all—and capture your thoughts. A few hundred words of journaling, or an article draft, or maybe a list of five possible articles...whatever's in your life and on your mind...don't just live it. Write about it.

 

SEPTEMBER 2008

 Our inspiration for this year is 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV): “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful."

 Have you thought of your writing as a “trust” from God? How amazing to think that He has trusted us with this gift of creative expression.

 Years ago I was in a career crisis, trying to juggle work and family and my desire to write. My son Alex asked me an incredibly clarifying question: “Mom, who will write your stories if you don’t?”  My “stories” (articles, poems, journal entries, letters, blogs, books) are writing assignments that God has entrusted to me. And the fact is no one can write them but me.

 What writing assignments has God entrusted to you? If you don’t write them, who will?

 This is a great time of year—new school year, change of season—to focus on your writing. Will you prove faithful to the trust of God?

 WRITING PROMPT: Set the timer for 15 minutes and write a few hundred words on this idea of God trusting you (With what? For what purpose?) and how you might prove yourself to be faithful to that trust.

 What obstacles do you encounter in trying to be faithful? (Maybe those obstacles part of your “story”? How can you be faithful in spite of them?)

 May you be blessed as you pursue wholeheartedly that which He has given you to do!

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Guild Board—Sheila Wilkinson, Jennifer Taylor, and Michelle Rayburn for working hard over the summer to put together a great schedule for this guild year. Countless hours go into the planning and executing of guild functions each year. Thanks everyone!

 COMING UP: SEPTEMBER 9, 2008. Back by popular demand! We’ll kick off another guild year with CURVES FOR WRITERS –PART THREE. More exercise for your brain and your creativity with this hands-on and interactive workshop guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing! Be prepared to work your way around the four stations of the “training circuit” taught by experienced guild members.

 DUES: Dues are $25.00 for the year, September through May. Visitors may attend for $7.00 per meeting.

 MEMBERSHIP FORM: A PDF membership is available on the website. Please bring it completed with your check for $25.00 payable to “WWCWG” to the first meeting.

 FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share. (Feel free to bring what you’ve written in response to the prompt above, or something else you’re working on.)

 Can’t wait to see you on September 9th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

 Mary Pierce

 

APRIL 2008

It is coming, isn’t it? It will be here eventually, right? I’m talking about my tax refund, of course. Are you getting yours? This year most of us will be getting the extra rebate as well. So my question is this: What will you be doing with your extra money?

It’s a fun thing to ponder—the spending of a windfall. And this is where the creative mind takes over. Just imagine…

You get a letter informing you that your long-lost relative has passed away and left you a fortune. The problem is...

You receive a phone call that you have won a prize, but you aren’t sure what you’ll do with…

You check the numbers and WOW! You’ve won the lottery! You’d be happy but…

WRITERS CHALLENGE: Pick one of these story starters and give it a couple hundred words to work itself out. Make it funny or make it poignant. Write in first person or in third. Toss in a few unsavory characters and see where the action takes you. Have fun!

Bring your creation to the April meeting if you’d like to share it (optional). If you complete the challenge, you’ll be eligible for FABULOUS PRIZES!

Happy writing. And Happy Spring! (It IS coming, isn’t it? It will be eventually, right?)

//////////////

COMING UP: JOYCE K. ELLIS is back with us in April for help us understand how to “USE FICTION TECHNIQUES TO ENHANCE YOUR NON-FICTION WRITING.” Joyce, as we know, is an incredibly talented writer, editor and teacher who brings her love of writing and her sense of humor to every session. We’re delighted she’ll be with us again. (April 8th, 7-9 p.m., Bethesda, State & Hamilton, Eau Claire)

SPECIAL SESSION: Joyce will lead a special afternoon session on the day of our meeting, April 8th, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. This is your chance to get to know her, ask questions, dig deeper, and well, “pick her brain.” It’s not often a person of Joyce’s expertise is available to encourage us on our writing path. Let’s take full advantage of this opportunity! (Fee for this special session will be $25.00, payable to Joyce. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.)

WRITING OPPORTUNITIES ARE ANOTHER MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT!
We hear about market opportunities all the time and in the past we’ve sent them to everyone on the guild mailing list. We’ll continue to share this kind of information, but from now on only with paid members as another membership benefit. One paid acceptance will probably cover your dues for the year! (PAID MEMBERS: CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR MARKET NEWS.)

SPRING CONTEST: ENTRIES for the Spring 2008 contest are due at the April 8th meeting.

WRITE TO PUBLISH CHALLENGE: Those of us who attended WTP in June are so excited to go back next year! We’re issuing another WTP challenge for June 2008. Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to attend!

FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share. (Feel free to bring what you’ve written in response to the prompt above, or something else you’re working on.)

See you APRIL 8th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

 

JANUARY 2008 (Note the January meeting is on the 8th! "Early" this month!)

I refuse to do it this year! I refuse to make a list of promises I won’t keep. A list of expectations I’ll never fulfill. A list of New Year’s Resolutions. How about you?

Here is the one thing I will do, something I’ve found to be very helpful in the past. I will write a letter to myself, to be opened on December 31, 2008. In the letter, I’ll tell myself how I hope this year will turn out, the things I’m prayerfully planning to make the year a wonderful and fulfilling time.

The letter might include some “goal” type things, though it doesn’t have to. It might mention an attitude or two. (It might even—though it doesn’t HAVE to—mention my weight.)

Mostly it will be a statement of vision, of dreams, of desires. I’ll write to myself and say all the things I hope I can be saying truthfully at year’s end, when I will read the letter out loud. I might even include some prayers.

It’s so easy to lose sight of where we began, 365 days later.

WRITERS CHALLENGE: Why not, as the old song says, “Sit right down and write (yourself) a letter”? You begin with “Dear Me…”.

Bring your creation to the January meeting if you’d like to share it (optional) before you seal it up. If you complete the challenge, you’ll be eligible for FABULOUS PRIZES!

Happy writing.



COMING UP: AUGUST RUBRECHT IS BACK with us in January. An award-winning master storyteller, August will be offering an interactive workshop that he guarantees will increase our observation and communication skills. We’ll get a taste of the entertaining teaching style that delighted his classes all those years at UWEC. Join us for a great evening! (Tuesday January 8, 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Bethesda Church, State Street and Hamilton in Eau Claire. Free to guild members. Visitor fee $7.00.)

DUES: Dues are $25.00 (visitors fee $7.00 per meeting). Make checks payable to WWCWG. You can download a membership form on the website.

WRITING OPPORTUNITIES ARE ANOTHER MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT! We hear about market opportunities all the time and in the past we’ve sent them to everyone on the guild mailing list. We’ll continue to share this kind of information, but from now on only with paid members as another membership benefit. One paid acceptance will probably cover your dues for the year! (PAID MEMBERS: CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR MARKET NEWS.)

SPRING CONTEST: Details for the Spring 2008 contest are on the website. Click the link to check it out.

BOOK CLUB: NEXT MEETING is at Border’s in Eau Claire 7-9 pm on Tuesday January
22nd to discuss Mary Shelley’s classic, FRANKENSTEIN. (you can read it online at
http://www.literature.org/authors/shelley-mary/frankenstein/

WRITE TO PUBLISH CHALLENGE: Those of us who attended WTP in June are so excited to go back next year! We’re issuing another WTP challenge for June 2008. Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to attend!

FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share. (Feel free to bring what you’ve written in response to the prompt above, or something else you’re working on.)

See you JANUARY 8th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce
President

 

NOTE: WE WILL NOT MEET IN DECEMBER. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrating God's gifts to us all! See you in January.

 November 2007

I googled “Thanksgiving prayer” and came across this: “A visitor to America from outer space in late November might conclude that we worship the turkey goddess. So what is the deeper meaning of this holiday, with its sometimes conflicting themes?”

Turkey goddess? What is the meaning of the holiday? What conflicting themes do you see? Your November Writer's Challenge is to write a short story, a poem, a song, a prayer, or an essay about Thanksgiving. Make it funny, poignant, sublime or ridiculous! Perhaps you’ll entertain an alien or travel back in time. How many words rhyme with “turkey” anyway?

Bring your creation to the November meeting and we’ll share them (optional) during the meeting. If you complete the challenge, you’ll be eligible for FABULOUS PRIZES!

Happy writing.


A HUGE THANK YOU to Jerry Poling for sharing his experiences as a writer and editor at our October meeting. Jerry had this to say in a follow up email: “I enjoyed my hour with the writers group. Hopefully, I provided a little insight. If anyone there ever has any questions that I might be able to answer, please have them call me. Tell everyone to keep writing, that I really enjoyed my visit and thank them!” I hope we all appreciate the awesome opportunity it is to connect personally with editors—i.e. the people who can hire us and pay us for our writing—and to have them offer so generously to help us!)

COMING UP: MARY PIERCE on “SPEAKING YOUR HEART” (How do we talk about yours truly?) Join Mary as she shares her insights on discovering and developing your speaking niche. She’ll share her top five speaking tips for expanding your ministry and polishing your skills. Mary’s been speaking professionally since 1996, entertaining and educating community, church and retreat audiences through her multi-media presentations. Come and be inspired! (Tuesday, November 13, 7 to 9 p.m., Bethesda Church, State Street and Hamilton in Eau Claire.)

NOTE FOR DECEMBER: Due to guild leadership obligations elsewhere on December 11th, we are considering cancelling the December meeting. We’ll discuss alternatives at the November meeting.

DUES: Dues are $25.00 (visitors fee $7.00 per meeting). Make checks payable to WWCWG. You can download a membership form on the website.

WRITING OPPORTUNITIES ARE ANOTHER MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT! We hear about market opportunities all the time and in the past we’ve sent them to everyone on the guild mailing list. We’ll continue to share this kind of information, but from now on only with paid members as another membership benefit. One paid acceptance will probably cover your dues for the year! (PAID MEMBERS: CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR MARKET NEWS)

BOOK CLUB: Much to our dismay, NOBODY showed up at Border’s on the 4th Tuesday last month for the book club. We’ll be rethinking this one. Your feedback is needed. Thanks!

WRITE TO PUBLISH CHALLENGE: Those of us who attended WTP in June are so excited to go back next year! We’re issuing another WTP challenge for June 2008. Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to attend!

FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share. (Feel free to bring what you’ve written in response to the prompt above, or something else you’re working on.)

See you November 12th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Thanking HIM for all of YOU,

 Mary Pierce
President


OCTOBER 2007

Gorgeous, isn’t it? The colors, the sounds, the smells. I’m talking about football, of course. The green and the gold (or maybe it’s blue and gold, or red and white, or even (gasp) purple for you), the crowds and the cheering, and maybe the brats on the grills of the tailgaters.

Football is like writing. We suit up, hit the field and we get everything lined up. We sense the tension and then—SNAP—and we’re off and running. We give it all we’ve got and then—OOF!—we’re tackled.

Isn’t that just how writing is? We go, go, go toward the goal, and then someone, something, stops our forward progress, knocks the wind out of us, and down we go.

The important thing in football is the important thing in writing as well, and it’s simple: when you get knocked down, get up again.

Today, get up. Regardless of what’s knocked you down, get up. No matter how many times you’ve been “pre-accepted,” get up. Keep pressing on.

 The goal is clear—write for all you’re worth for the glory of the One who has called you.

Get up. Get writing.

OCTOBER WRITERS CHALLENGE: (Back to where you thought we were going in the first place.) Get writing: write a descriptive paragraph (100 words or so) of a fall scene—trees, colors, landscape kind of thing. Here’s the challenge. You cannot use any of the following words: tree, trees, leaf, leaves, branch, branches, trunk, trunks, red, orange, brown, yellow, or blue. Happy writing.

Remember to enter your name for the prize drawing at the next meeting if you complete the writers challenge. Bring yours to share with the group if you’d like.

THANK YOU to all who participated in the September CURVES PART 2, which was a great kickoff to what promises to be a great year of learning and challenge. Thanks also for the wonderful feedback on your membership forms. Bless you for encouraging all of us in leadership. We thank God for you!

COMING UP: OCTOBER 9, 2007 Jerry Poling will be with us to share his experiences as a writer and editor. Twenty-five years with the Leader-Telegram, Poling has authored three books and co-authored two others. His freelance work has appeared in numerous publications.

Be sure to bring your checkbook. He’ll have his books for sale—great gifts for those “hard to buy for” guys in your lives! (Tuesday, October 9, 2007 7-9 p.m., Room 305, Bethesda Church, State St. & Hamilton, Eau Claire)

DUES: Dues are due. (How redundant can we be?) In our quest to provide quality programming, and to remedy the budget busting of last year, we’ve raised the annual dues to $25.00 this year. Visitors may attend once (lifetime) for free and then $7.00 each meeting. Thanks for your support! (Checks payable to WWCWG. You can download a membership form on the website.)

WRITING OPPORTUNITIES ARE ANOTHER MEMBERSHIP BENEFIT! We hear about market opportunities all the time and in the past we’ve sent them to everyone on the guild mailing list. We’ll continue to share this kind of information, but from now on only with paid members as another membership benefit. One paid acceptance will probably cover your dues for the year!

WRITE TO PUBLISH CHALLENGE: Those of us who attended WTP in June are so excited to go back next year! We’re issuing another WTP challenge for June 2008. Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to attend!

FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share. (Feel free to bring what you’ve written in response to the prompt above, or something else you’re working on.)

See you October 9th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce
President


SEPTEMBER 2007

I love the inclusiveness of this year’s inspiration verse from 1 Peter 4:10: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms."

Each one of us has received a gift, perhaps several. Each one of us has a call to serve others with our gift. And in doing so, God’s grace is administered.

In thinking about creative gifts, we writers tend to think of the big gifts—the mega best selling book that changes the course of history. (Remember the woman in Atlanta who brought about the criminal’s surrender after reading Purpose Driven Life?) Or the authors of perennial best sellers that continue to touch hearts decades after they were written. (C.S. Lewis, Oswald Chambers and Andrew Murray spring to mind.)

Most of us aren’t in that “circle.” What about you? According to our verse, you have gifts and God wants to use you! What gifts have you received? How are you using your gifts to “serve others”?

WRITING PROMPT: Grab your journal, set the timer for 15 minutes and write a couple hundred words on the subject of “gifts.” Recount the ways God “administers His grace”--to you, to your family, or to the world--through your creative efforts. You might begin, “I have a gift for…”

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Guild Board—Sheila Wilkinson, Jennifer Taylor, Deb Genskow, and Sharon Spencer for working hard over the summer to put together a great schedule for this guild year. Countless hours go into the planning and executing of guild functions each year. Thanks everyone!

COMING UP: SEPTEMBER 11, 2007 KICKOFF CURVES FOR WRITERS – PART TWO.

You asked for it and you’ll get it! We’ll kick off the guild year the way we ended in May with CURVES FOR WRITERS – PART TWO. More exercise for your brain and new challenges to your creativity with this hands-on and interactive workshop guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing! Be prepared to work your way around the four stations of the “training circuit” (15 minutes each) taught by your guild leadership team. (Tuesday, Septermber 11, 2007, 7-9 p.m., Room 305, Bethesda Church, State St. & Hamilton, Eau Claire. Workshop is free to paid guild members. Visitors may pay $7.00)

DUES: In our quest to provide quality programming, and to remedy the budget busting of last year, we will be raising annual dues to $25.00 this year. We are also raising the visitor fee to $7.00 each meeting. Thanks for your support!

MEMBERSHIP FORM: A PDF form will be emailed to you separately. Please bring it completed with your check for $25.00 payable to “WWCWG” to the first meeting.

WRITE TO PUBLISH 2008 CHALLENGE : Those of us who attended WTP in June can't WAIT to go back next year! We’re issuing another WTP challenge for June 2008. Maybe this is YOUR YEAR to attend!

FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share. (Bring what you’ve written in response to the prompt above, or something else you’re working on.)

See you September 11th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce
President
 

JULY 2007

 "Summer time, and the livin' is easy...the fish are jumpin'..." and the Guild Board's been plannin'!

 The Guild Board met last week to start planning for the 2007-2008 year and we are excited about the coming season! We decided to add two new features to our guild website. You'll see a "Celebrations" page, where we'd love to post YOUR good news! And we've added a "Resources for Writers" page where we welcome your book reviews, recommendations for online resources, or other useful information. 

 A sneak peek at the schedule for next year is also on the website, though we are just now contacting speakers so the details are pretty sketchy. Due to the HUGE positive response in May, we've decided to kickoff the year with another "CURVES FOR WRITERS" with new topics. Spread the word.

 That's it for now. May God bless you all with a restful or productive summer...or BOTH...according to His perfect plan!

 Summer blessings,

Mary

 

MAY 2007

I’m thinking today about our inspiration verse for this past year: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17 NIV). Bible scholar Matthew Henry said this about our work: “Here is the character of a good work: it is done through God. Our works are then good when the will of God is the rule of them and the glory of God is the end of them; when they are done in His strength and for His sake.”

It’s so easy for me to focus on the “business end” of writing and speaking—the publication credits or the income (or the elusiveness thereof). It’s so easy to look at others and envy their “success” and become impatient with my own progress. I lose sight at times of God’s “big picture” for me—that my work is only “good” work when done in His name and for His glory.

How have you done this year? Have you been working through God, with the will of God ruling your work and the glory of God the goal? Have you worked in His strength and for His sake this past nine months? When have you been certain you were working in the name of the Lord with gratitude, i.e. “good work”? What was the result (visible or hoped for)?

When has your work been the opposite (perhaps with selfish motivations or trying to force your own results)? What was the outcome for you or others?

God has called us to do “whatever” we are called to do for the sake of His kingdom. Who knows what small act of obedience on our part will be magnified by Him to change lives for eternity! May He bless you with insight and peace as you write, prayerfully submitting your work to Him. “Lord, to You I submit…”


THANK YOU to Randy Mortenson, our April speaker, for the delightful time and for such refreshing honesty! What wonderful things can be accomplished with prayer, patience, a laptop and coffee. (Landon #4 will be out in June and #5, the last of the series, will be out in October.) May God continue to bless Randy and Betsy, their ministry and their family. Thank you for coming!


CONTEST: The entries are in. The results are being tabulated. Join us in celebrating the Spring Contest WINNERS at the May meeting.


COMING UP: On MAY 8, 2007 CURVES FOR WRITERS WORKSHOP. Exercise your brain and your creativity with CURVES FOR WRITERS, a hands-on and interactive WORKSHOP that will get you fired up for a productive summer. Be prepared to work your way around the five stations of the “training circuit” (15 minutes each) taught by your guild leadership team:

STATION 1: FLASH WRITING: How to Draft An Article in 3 Minutes (Mary Pierce)

STATION 2: POV: Pinning Down Your Point of View (Sheila Wilkinson)

STATION 3: WRITING TIGHT: How to say what you want to say in as few words as possible, in other words how to omit needless words (ha!) (Sharon Spencer)

STATION 4: DECODING THE MARKET GUIDE: Getting What You Write Into the Right Hands (Deb Genskow)

STATION 5: DEVELOPING DIALOGUE: Crafting Conversation in Your Writing (Jennifer Taylor)

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn in this mini-writers conference setting on Tuesday, May 8, 7-9 p.m., Room 305, Bethesda Church, State St. & Hamilton, Eau Claire.

UPDATE: WRITE TO PUBLISH. Ready to make this investment in your future? Our very own Michelle Rayburn and Cynthia Ruchti will be leading worship at WTP. And guild cheerleaders Jane Rubietta and Joyce Ellis help run the conference, so we’ll be among friends. Gather your courage, your ideas, and your dollars and join us! TO REGISTER, go to www.writetopublish.com

If you’re still mulling the idea and would like to hear why and how we decided to go, ask: Sharon Spencer, Sandi Stanton, Deb Genskow, or Mary Pierce.

FEEDBACK (CRITIQUE) OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share.

See you May 8th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce
President
Western Wisconsin Christian Writers' Guild

 

APRIL 2007

Tis the season for rebirth and sometimes rethinking...

I read a story recently about a man who was an engineer. He and his wife were, he said, working toward the American dream. He had sensed God calling him to the seminary but he resisted the call with the excuse that he had a family to support. At a church conference, the man heard God’s Spirit saying clearly, “Give your children to ME, and then you’ll be free to follow me… NOW!” He realized he had been miserable pursuing that worldly “dream.” Trusting God, he enrolled in seminary, feeling peace and joy as never before.

Another man, also a seminarian, after a year in school, sensed God releasing him from his call. He left school. He’d been miserable. Following God’s redirection gave him joy.

God calls. God releases. If God has called you to write, what’s holding you back? What's your excuse? Or maybe you sense a change in ministry direction right now. Is it time for a different dream?

What is God calling you to today? What is He releasing you from? Write a bit—two lists perhaps—beginning with “God is calling me to…” and “God is releasing me from…”. May He bless you with new insights as you pray and write.


THANK YOU to JANE JEFFRIES for her thought-provoking presentation in March. What a challenge we have to bring truth into the arts. Thanks to Jane for inspiring us to prayerfully
COMING UP: <<<<>>>>>

On APRIL 10, 2007 R.K. (Randy) MORTENSON, author of the acclaimed LANDON SNOW series for young readers, will be our guest. Randy is a Navy chaplain and attended UW-Eau Claire. Come and be inspired.

Young writers and readers are welcome to come and meet the author.

NOTE: FOR THIS TIME ONLY we’ll be asking a cover charge of $5.00 for all visitors ($2.00 for under 16). (Tuesday, April 10th at Bethesda, State & Hamilton, Eau Claire, 7-9 pm, Room 305.)


>>>>> CONTEST ENTRIES DUE IN APRIL<<<<<<

ENTRIES for the Spring Contest will be collected in APRIL. This contest will have two options: “Creative Non-fiction” and “Flash Fiction.” (Contests are open to paid guild members only.)


UPDATE: WRITE TO PUBLISH. Ready to make this investment in your future? EIGHT WWCWG members have declared themselves ready and will be in Chicago June 6-9 (traveling on Tuesday June 5 and return June 10.

Our very own Michelle Rayburn and Cynthia Ruchti will be leading worship at WTP. And guild cheerleaders Jane Rubietta and Joyce Ellis help run the conference, so we’ll be among friends. Gather your courage, your ideas, and your dollars and join us! TO REGISTER, go to www.writetopublish.com.

If you’re still mulling the idea and would like to hear why and how we decided to go, ask: Sharon Spencer, Sandi Stanton, Deb Genskow, or Mary Pierce.

FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share.

Happy Resurrection Day, eveyone. HE IS RISEN!


MARCH 2007

GREETINGS, FRIENDS

I’m thinking today about the story Cindy Puent told us in February, about the woman who removed her shoes as she served on the Sunday worship team to remind herself that she was on “holy ground.”

Have you ever thought of your writing “space” as “holy ground”? With pen in hand, or hands on keys as the case may be, we answer God’s call and enter into His presence. Our writing place is a worship place.

One writer I met describes her writing ritual of lighting a candle and keeping it burning while she writes (long-hand on yellow pads). The candle reminds her of the sacredness of the place where her writing heart meets God’s as she worships through her work.

Another writer describes standing at the door to her office each morning and praying on the armor of God (from Ephesians 6) before she enters her sacred space, knowing that to write for the Lord is to invite battle with the enemy.

Perhaps you’ll write today on these ideas: Where is “holy ground” for you? How do you enter your sacred space? How do you prepare your heart? Your mind? The space? When, where and how do work and worship intersect for you?

May God bless you as you explore His holy ground.


THANK YOU to CINDY RUCHTI for the laughter and the love in February. What a delightful and inspiring look at the life of King David, and his “artist heart”! May God continue to bless Cindy and her ministry among us in writing, radio and worship (and Write to Publish), and may she be inspired with great murder mystery plots!

COMING UP: MARCH 13, 2007 A CALL TO ARTS! JIM AND JANE JEFFRIES are back! Writers and producers, this dynamic couple (www.jestscripts.com) return to the guild to share their passion to inspire more Christians to be involved in the arts. The Jeffries have been writing and producing madrigal dinner medieval dinners for ten years. Don’t miss the inspiration...and the fun!

>>>REMINDER- CHANGE OF LOCATION FOR MARCH: We will meet in the YOUTH ROOM at Bethesda, next door to the usual spot, for MARCH. (State & Hamilton, Eau Claire, 7-9 pm)

CONTEST: ENTRIES for the Spring Contest will be collected in APRIL. This contest will have two options: “Creative Non-fiction” and “Flash Fiction.” Details available at the meetings. (Note: Contests are open to paid guild members only.)

UPDATE: WRITE TO PUBLISH update: Ready to make this investment in your future? EIGHT WWCWG members have declared themselves ready and will be in Chicago June 6-9 (traveling on Tuesday June 5 and return June 10.

Our very own Michelle Rayburn and Cynthia Ruchti will be leading worship at WTP. And guild cheerleaders Jane Rubietta and Joyce Ellis help run the conference, so we’ll be among friends. Gather your courage, your ideas, and your dollars and join us! TO REGISTER, go to www.writetopublish.com.

If you’re still mulling the idea and would like to hear why and how we decided to go, ask: Sharon Spencer, Sheila Wilkinson, Sandi Stanton, Deb Genskow, Deetje Wildes or Mary Pierce.

FEEDBACK OPPORTUNITY: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring 8 copies of your piece for the group to read along as you share.

FEBRUARY 2007

FROSTY GREETINGS ALL!

What better way to spend these frozen hours than reading? (Well, writing would be better, but reading is so much less risky...)

Yesterday I laughed out loud as I read (for the fourth time in six years) Stephen King’s On Writing, as he explains his feeble childhood attempts at story writing: “When you’re six, most of your Bingo balls are still floating around in the draw tank.” I laughed because he captured the essence of “sixness” so perfectly. I’m inspired because I remember—not at six, but a little later—writing my first stories. (Most of my Bingo balls, however, were still floating well into my forties…)

On a recent Border’s binge, I picked up a few more writing books that might become favorites. The 3 A.M. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform Your Fiction offers some stretching. I only write file cabinet fiction, but I can’t pass up a writing exercise. The Writer’s Portable Therapist is like creative rehab in a book. (Will the therapist offer a cure for my book-buying obsession? I hope not.)

And at the same time, I’m reading the next book in a mystery series, just for fun.

It’s a balanced reading diet: books that stretch me in the craft, books just for fun and books that inspire me to keep doing what God has called me to do. (Sometimes I can find it all inside one cover, and from the most unlikely authors.)

What are you reading these days? How balanced is your reading diet? Revisit your old favorites, yes, but this month, add something new. Try reading poetry, or suspense, or romance. Identify a new area to explore in science or history or politics. Challenge your mind and stretch your imagination. Then write something new—a suspense scene, a snippet of romantic dialogue, an op-ed piece, or a poem. Let your new reading transform your writing. (You might end up with a flash fiction or creative nonfiction contest entry!)

Balance your diet. As writers, we are what we read.

THANK YOU to Dr. August Rubrecht for the entertaining and educational session in January. We’re so grateful for his gifts of humor and story weaving, as well as “that mischievous impulse to say something serious.” We’ll look forward to having Dr. Rubrecht back in the future to enlighten and challenge us again.

COMING UP: FEBRUARY 13, 2007 Cynthia Ruchti presents THE HEART OF A WRITER. King David served as writer, worshiper, and warrior. All three aspects of his life made him a writer "after God's own heart." Join us as we are challenged: “Will the Lord claim the same about us?” Cindy is a writer and radio producer. Her HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME radio broadcast (www.heartbeatofthehome.org) is heard on 26 stations across the country (WHEM 91.3 FM, 9:03 a.m. weekdays). Come and be blessed!

CONTEST: Details for the Spring Contest were distributed in December. This contest will have two options: “Creative Non-fiction” and “Flash Fiction.” Details available at the meetings. (Note: Contests are open to paid guild members only.)

WRITE TO PUBLISH: We put out the challenge last spring to save up your pennies (well, dollars are needed actually) for the WRITE TO PUBLISH conference in Chicago in June. The dates: JUNE 6-9 with plans to travel on Tuesday, June 5 and return Sunday June 10. So far EIGHT guild members are committed to going. (DO I HEAR TEN??) Our very own Michelle Rayburn and Cynthia Ruchti will be leading worship at WTP. And guild friends Jane Rubietta and Joyce Ellis help run the conference, so we’ll be among friends. Gather your courage, your ideas, and your dollars and join us! For more information: http://www.writetopublish.com/

REMEMBER: If you want to receive feedback on your work, come early (5:30 p.m.) to meet with others. Bring copies of your piece for the group.

See you on February 13th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce

  

JANUARY 2007

The ball drops in Times Square (And a giant peach drops in Atlanta? Where will it end?) and our thoughts turn to the New Year and 365 fresh days filled with possibilities. Something in the New Year inspires a burst of energy and fresh resolve to finally, once-and-for-all, (this year FOR SURE!) change our lives, lose that weight, get that exercise, get organized, read our Bibles more diligently, pray more passionately, and write more profitably… Regardless of what you call it—whether you make resolutions or do New Year Goal Setting—what’s on your list for 2007?

 I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent too many Januaries making that list, and too many Februaries (or January fifths) frustrated and discouraged.

 

But this year really is different, because I don’t have a list for 2007. In fact, I no longer have a “To-Do List” at all! What? No “to-do” list? Can it be? YES! “What do I have to DO?” is no longer part of my thinking! I’ll share a little of this “TO-DO-FREE LIVING” with all of you during the January meeting Writer’s Boot Camp segment.

In the meantime, stop thinking about what you need to DO this year, and think and pray about what you really WANT out of this year. Ask the Lord to show you His perfect will for this time—that is, the results HE wants to achieve through you. (Maybe write a few hundred words beginning with, “WHAT I WANT IS…”)

May you be blessed with new perspective. Happy New Year!

Speaking of blessings, THANKS AGAIN to all who participated in the December meeting! The season was more wonderful because of all of you!

COMING UP: JANUARY 9, 2007 STORYTELLING WITH STYLE. Laugh and learn with UWEC English professor and storyteller AUGUST RUBRECHT. Born in the Ozarks and a featured teller at regional and national events, Rubrecht tells funny stories most of the time, but admits that once in a while he “cannot resist the mischievous impulse to say something serious.” Come and learn how all kinds of stories can be turned “to serious purposes.”

CONTEST: Details for the Spring Contest were distributed in December. Copies will be available at upcoming meetings.

See you on January 9th for the storytelling fun. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce

President 


NOVEMBER 2006

Thankful Greetings to All

I am so very thankful for carpal tunnel. Don't get me wrong; I wasn't always thankful for it. Last year, with my fingers twitching, I was not thankful. Last year, when I woke in the middle of the night with my hands afire, I was most assuredly not thankful. Last year, when numbness in my hands caused me to drop things, I was definitely not thankful.

But now, today, with the surgery done and the healing accomplished, with full use of my hands--better than ever actually--restored, I am thankful.

Thankful for the surgeon's skill, so swiftly snipping and stitching. Thankful for the TLC of the nursing staff at the hospital. Thankful for the OR nurse who insists she doesn’t remember me on Valium, serenading her with “Me and Bobby McGee” ala Janis Joplin. Thankful for my family, serving me as I healed.

Thankful, most thankful, to God, for taking away my hands and my ability to write for a time. My wrists bound in ice, I had no choice but to "shut up" and listen for awhile. I'm thankful I did for God had some things to say to me--significant things He’d been saying for a long time. Some things I hadn’t wanted to hear. Other things that blessed me profoundly.

Isn't that just how we are? So busy running and doing and going, so busy writing and producing and marketing; so busy thinking and talking and everything else that the still small voice is drowned in the clamor.

And now we head into the busiest time of year. Have you listened lately? Why not take some time—an hour, a day, or maybe even a week—to “fast” from writing? Just sit and listen.

"I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people..." (Psalm 85:8)

May you find peace and may your heart be filled with praise to God the LORD in this season of thanksgiving.

THANK YOU: Thank you to Karen Olson for delivering the goods once again! The Mosaic of Creative Non-Fiction was another information-packed and encouraging presentation. May God continue to bless Karen's writing and her life, expand her writing horizons and bring success beyond her wildest dreams. Thanks, good and faithful friend, for blessing us once again!

COMING UP: NOVEMBER 14, 2006 GOOD REPORTING=GOOD WRITING. UWEC associate professor of journalism JAN LARSON focuses on how the interviewing and research process strengthens the end writing project. An award-winning journalist educated at Stanford and Columbia, Larson’s journalism career includes editing and reporting for newspapers across the nation and a nine-year stint as a contributing writer to American Demographics, a national business magazine. Come and be challenged!

CONTEST: Details for the Spring Contest will be coming in December.


OCTOBER 2006

Writing is a solitary pursuit, isn't it? Pretend we are face to face, let me be your "coach" for just a moment, and hear me say, "CONGRATULATIONS!"

What for, you ask? Here is what for: CONGRATULATIONS for answering God's call to write. CONGRATULATIONS for making time and space in your life and your schedule for creative expression. CONGRATULATIONS for joining the WWCWG. CONGRATULATIONS for obeying God and letting Him lead you into the joy of living in the center of your gifts. Is there any great fulfillment?

Our inspiration verse for the 2006-2007 guild year is a favorite of mine: "Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17 NIV).

CONGRATULATIONS for asking God to reveal what "whatever" means in your life for now. CONGRATULATIONS for taking a step--just one, however small it may seem, in the direction He is leading you. You are "doing it."

CONGRATULATIONS for persisting, despite the obstacles, despite the demands for your time and attention, despite the distractions, rejections and frustrations.

CONGRATULATIONS for feeling your fear and writing anyway.

Writing is a solitary pursuit, yes, but we are never alone. Let my "CONGRATULATIONS" lift you today as you listen for God's whispered, "Well done...well done...well done..."

THANKS! WOW WOW WOW! That's all we can say about Jane Rubietta's time with us on September 12. WOW and THANK YOU to Jane for answering our invitation to come so far to share her heart and her gifts with us. Those who attended the small group session that afternoon came away inspired and motivated, goals in hand and vision clearer. And during the evening session on our calling as writers, the Holy Spirit was so present and active. We shared Jane's love of the Lord and her love for writing, didn't we? May God continue to bless Jane and Rich and their ministry, "expand their territory" and cause thousands more to be blessed in turn. (And we'll see Jane in June at Write to Publish!) 

COMING UP: October 10, 2006 "THE MOSAIC OF CREATIVE NONFICTION" with our very own KAREN J. OLSON. What is creative nonfiction? Writer, speaker and columnist Karen J. Olson discusses the roles of research, the rules of the genre and the use of fiction techniques in writing creative nonfiction. Olson writes the “Just a thought …” column for the Quality of Life Times and the column “Life on the Exceptional Side” for Family Times. She also writes for the national magazine and book market. Don't miss the fun! (Tuesday October 10, 7-9pm at Bethesda, State & Hamilton, Eau Claire)

CONTEST: Details for the Spring Contest will be announced in December.

That's it for this time. Be encouraged and may God bless your writing for Him!


SEPTEMBER 2006

Glorious End of Summer Greetings, Everyone!

 "Time in the summer does not seem to move; instead, time collects, or perhaps it might be better said to pool. One of the spiritual lessons of summer is just that: to allow time to pool. To stop long enough to see what lies around us, rather than to be always merely glimpsing. " (from "Summer: A Spiritual Biography of the Season")

Does that describe your summer? Time "pooling"? Stopping long enough to "see"? That wasn't my summer. "Hurried" is one word that comes to mind.

"Tumultuous" is another. Also "itchy." Don't ask. Let's just say I'm not sorry to see summer ending.

What three words would you use to describe your summer? Try a twist on the old "What I Did Last Summer" theme topic: "What I WISH I'd done this summer..." or "What I DIDN'T do this summer..." or "What I'll NEVER DO AGAIN after last summer..." (That's where "itchy" comes in.)

Take your pick. Any of those may lead you into a spiritual life lesson and something to share with others. Who knows? Your summer reflections, regrets or resolutions might encourage someone else to savor the season next year.

(Maybe the readers of a national magazine! Write it now so you'll be ready to market it next month.)

Try a rough, rough draft of a couple hundred words starting with, "My summer was..."

 

COMING UP: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 is our kickoff meeting for the year and what a privilege it is to have JANE RUBIETTA presenting, "CALLED TO WRITE."

Jane is an accomplished writer with ten books and hundreds of articles and she's an international speaker and retreat leader. Assistant Director and Manuscript Coordinator for Write to Publish in Chicago, Jane has such passion for the Lord and for using words to touch others -- you will be inspired! (Tuesday, September 12, Bethesda, State Street and Hamilton, Eau Claire, Room 305, 7-9 PM)

(THANKS TO THOSE WHO SIGNED UP FOR THE EARLY SESSION WITH JANE: You'll receive details in a separate email.)

 ADVANCE NOTICE: Jane will have her books and CDs for sale at the meeting. (Great Christmas gifts!) Checks or cash only please. Check her website (www.abounding.org) for more information.

 ******SPECIAL NOTE FOR TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12: COME EARLY. For our kickoff meeting, plan to arrive a little early for registration and mingling. The door will be open at 6:30, coffee will be ready, and we will be starting promptly at 7:00 so we can give Jane as much time as possible.**********

We're looking forward to a great guild year with all of you. Bless you for your support and friendship.

See you on the 12th. Meanwhile, may God bless your writing for Him!

Mary Pierce, President

 Western Wisconsin Christian Writers' Guild