The Whisper

When someone whispers, they are usually close to the listener. The message can be an important secret or sweet-nothings shared by lovers.

The whisper is a more intimate communication than a boardroom discussion or a classroom lecture. It's not something strangers would normally share.

I love knowing that the God who created the universe has made it possible for us to hear His whisper. For more information on intimate communication with God, read today's post on my Seek God With Me blog.

I love being close enough to God to hear His whisper.

My Goals

My writing goals are as big as mountains to me, so I look at accomplishing my goals as if I were mountain climbing.

Since it’s a good idea to review goals from time to time, I wanted to share some goal-setting, or mountain climbing, tips.

Don't ever go mountain climbing alone. With God as your guide, you’ll know what to pack, when to call it a night, and how to prepare for the next day.

Be a list maker. Create routines, but stay flexible. Constantly make changes to the plan in order to get the important things done.

Keep an adventurous attitude. Don't get bogged down in how long it takes to accomplish a big goal. Notice the little joys along the way. Feel the wind in your hair. If this task is worth doing, it's worth enjoying.

Don't look down until you get where you're going because you might get disoriented or too scared to continue. Focus on the task at hand and always do your best. Take safety precautions. The armor of God will work.

Keep a record of your journey's highlights. That will remind you of how hard you've worked to get where you are and will keep you from giving up.

When you get to the top, take a picture. That will remind you that you made it once. Have that picture handy when you start up that mountain again.

It Happened One Night, 1934

Clark Gable, as down and out newspaper reporter Peter Warne, happens to get on the same bus as a millionaire’s daughter who has run away from her father. Claudette Colbert does an excellent job as Ellie Andrews, the spoiled rich girl.

Ellie wants her father’s approval of her marriage to King Westley, his competitor. Her father is against the marriage and can’t make Ellie listen to reason. When she hops a bus to escape her father and his private detectives, she finds a seat next to a newspaper man who can keep a secret.

When Peter finds out that this is the scoop he’s been waiting for, he has to protect the girl – and protect his story from getting out. The closeness brings the couple together, but they keep many things from each other.

Because of one of his hottest scenes, Clark Gable angered underwear companies when he unbuttoned his shirt, revealing his bare chest. This started a trend of men not wearing an undershirt.

It was funny to me that Peter happened to have a rope to raise a blanket that would become a wall as sturdy as the walls of Jericho. What a hero! And how convenient that the rope was exactly the right length!

I love how Ellie finds out that Peter truly loves her and what she does about it. I always think of Julia Roberts when I see that scene.

According to, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert both wanted to make this film as quickly as possible, and then move on to something else. No one anticipated that this would be the first movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert), Best Director (Frank Capra), and Screenplay.

After watching this movie, see if you can pick out who resembles “Looney Tunes” characters Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, and Pepe LePew.

The American Film Institute ranked this movie as the #46 Greatest Movie of All Time. Personally, I would rank it higher.

Point of View

Being a writer, I enjoy reading books that have high quality writing. I've read plenty that didn't. My favorite books show the protagonist's heroic qualities without slapping the reader in the face with writing that says, "Look at all the big words I know. Look at this one particular detail that isn't really as important as I'm making it seem. Look at how I can hop from head to head and tell what everyone in the room is thinking - all in the same scene."

I keep learning how to improve my fiction as I go. A good resource for fiction writers is a site I found recently called MY BOOK THERAPY.

Rachel Hauck and Susan May Warren contribute their ideas and experience to the blog. Examples from their books help readers understand the day's lesson better.

Yesterday's post started a discussion on Point of View. This is a topic that many beginner writers really need to study. I've read novels that try to bring emotion to the story by sharing what both characters in the scene are silently feeling. It's distracting. I didn't finish reading one story (I don't remember who the author was) because of all the head-hopping. When the hero gets to finish his thoughts without being interrupted by the heroine's thoughts, I'll keep reading.

My Book Therapy explains what to look for. I'm looking forward to more of this valuable resource.


Today on my Seek God With Me blog, I asked some important questions about how we act when we speak to God.

Imagine yourself in front of your best friend, the leader of your nation, and God. With whom can you speak most easily? What does your body look like when you address them? Does that ease with which you speak say anything about your relationship with those people?

I challenge you to take a look at your prayer posture. Check out the blog.

Warning: Frustrated Writer

My critique group recently finished reading my completed 80,000 word novel. Their comments were very helpful, but I still have a lot of work to do on it.

I actually felt pretty good about it until I got the judges’ comments from the Genesis contest. The judges read fifteen pages and gave their opinions. Although my best marks were for inspirational (spiritual) elements and the hook and POV, it seems I didn’t sufficiently grab the interest of one of the judges.

The reason I'm not upset (frustrated, but not upset) about one low score is simply that contest judges are exactly like people in bookstores. Not everyone who enters a bookstore is going to leap for joy when they pick up my book. There are many genres and styles of writing so that everyone can find what they like, but not everyone will like the same thing.

I've heard a lot of encouraging comments about my stories, but I still want to polish my manuscript to the point that it's unforgettable - in a good way. One day that same judge will pick it up and finish the whole book - and hopefully enjoy it.

Even though I’m frustrated with my interesting (but perhaps flawed) first novel, I know how to pick myself up and move on. This week’s plan is to prepare my next manuscript for my critique group. I love the accountability in my group. They make me work.

Persistence is absolutely essential in publishing, I’m told.

I'm working on it.

Reading the Classics

Thanks to C. J. Darlington, I've found a site that will send classic literature to my email inbox for free.

Daily has a long list of books in several categories. I happen to be interested in reading the classics. The books' pages are divided up into many sections which they send out to subscribers a section at a time. Some books are sent free, and some are sent for a fee.

This is a great way to make sure we get our daily dose of heroes. I'm often reading and reviewing books for friends, but many of the classic, time-honored heroes haven't yet crossed my desk.

I know we can just go to a library and check these books out. But do we?

Email is my friend. Thanks C. J.!

Compassion and Guidance

Raising kids is never easy – even for the most patient of parents. But God knows how we feel and can fill us with His strength. He is able to supply all our needs. Yes, even our parenting needs.

For more on how God’s compassion and guidance helps us in our journey, go to my devotional blog, Seek God With Me.

God Helps Novelists

What are Christian novels?

Are they stories about Christians? Are they stories by Christians?

I believe that the best Christian novels tell of God's love in a creative way so as to engage the reader with an exciting story while allowing God's voice to be heard.

Really, only Christians can write Christian novels. Who else would know God's tenderness? Who else would know the gentle correction of a heavenly Father? In a relationship with God, you get the benefit of having God on your side, ready to help you stand when you fall.

Novels of any kind are always better when God is allowed to help out in the creative process.

For more on God's help check out my Seek God With Me blog.

Surface Relationships

Sometimes, the world can be a very cold place. If all you have are surface relationships with people who speak to you in their business voice, it’s time to put some effort into building meaningful relationships.

You’re not alone. Most people go through their routine every day without a thought as to how they will affect anyone. They have a job to do. There are bills to pay. Appointments to keep.

When was the last time you parked your routine on the side of the road and got out to help someone? It takes a little determination to deviate from the usual when you have a lot on your schedule. Your sacrifice of time to benefit someone else may change their life.

It’s time for you to be someone’s hero.

It’s always those unexpected moments that turn into golden opportunities. They wreck your schedule, but not your life. Those opportunities will separate those who plan to do good deeds from those who actually do good deeds.

If, after your coffee, you have nothing better to do than earn a paycheck, keep an eye open for those opportunities. They’re out there.

Begin by asking yourself what you've done recently that will have a lasting effect.

If you have kids, a daily dose of loving encouragement and simple active listening has more of a long-term affect than you may realize. Of course the same holds true for any relationship you value.

The habit of meaningful conversation will help your efforts to better your relationships with your kids or anyone you love. Improving your relationships is a great investment of your time because people are worth every minute you spend on them.

College Road Trip

I took my daughter to see College Road Trip with several of her friends. She's watched Raven-Symone on TV and loved her in this movie. We laughed later about the "I know" moments.

Raven plays high school student Melanie Porter who has decided where she'll go to college. Her policeman father has a different college in mind. He wants her close so he can keep his eye on her. Dads are usually protective of their daughters, but this guy goes a few steps beyond normal dads.

Melanie has to learn to get along with her father during the drive to the college of her choice. Of course, the conflicts that arose made everyone in the theater laugh.

Melanie's father is played by Martin Lawrence. He looks like he's having a great time in the role too. He does a great job of playing both the hero and the villain. As a hero, he shows the deep love of a proud dad. As a villain, he tries to make things happen his way without listening to his daughter. Through their struggles against each other, his heroic qualities win out.

It's a sweet father-daughter movie which makes the point about doing all you can to keep that family relationship strong.

What Have You Done Lately?

I know we're all very busy. We must balance our time between our work and school and family and friends. Somewhere in there we try to find time for a relationship with God.

In Matthew 25:37-40, Jesus tells us to spend time ministering to the needs of others as if they were Jesus Himself?

Isn't this just another entry in our already full calendars? A time drain?


If we can find time in our busy schedule to break from our routine and give the simple (yet very valuable) gift of time to a local ministry, not only will we be changed in our effort to bless someone else, but we'll also take a step closer to God in the process.

It's His hand that works the healing in our hug. If we withhold our hugs, we're withholding the touch of God from someone who desperately needs it.

Check out Seek God With Me, my devotional blog, for an example of kids helping kids see the love of God.

The Villain

My completed novel is looking for a nice publishing house to call home. Until then, I'm still finishing the others.

Meanwhile, I ran across a funny name decoder site that let me put a picture to my completed novel's villain. Now this picture is of a monster, but my villain is human. Well, when you read the story, you might say that he's a human who is also a monster.

Anyway, when the name decoder put the word CHEERLEADER in my villain's name, I realized that in her young years, my heroine was definitely a cheerleader. How funny that I didn't know that until I found out that my villain was a ravenous, intimidating, cheerleader-harming abomination from the ruined dungeon.

Ravenous, Intimidating, Cheerleader-Harming Abomination from the Ruined Dungeon

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