Monday, October 18, 2010

Formatting Tips for Writers--Part 2--Word Count for your Genre and Formatting your MS

Here are some fascinating and helpful tips from an article I found at

What is the standard format for a completed manuscript?


 Word Count for first time novelist:

Adult fiction: 80,000-100,000 words.

Young Adult fiction: 40,000-60,000 words

I've been told that publishers want a product they can sell to the reading public for $24.95 each. How many adult novels are you willing to spend over $24.95 hardcover if they're only 40,000 words in length? Not many. Major publishers want 80,000-100,000 word novels because they're easier to market and sell to the reading public—a reading public who already has certain expectations about how long books should be and what they're willing to pay.

Now, just when you thought it was safe to write an 80,000-word novel, you should know that I've read that agents give some genres of fiction a bit of flexibility with length:

  • Erotica novellas/short story collections: 40,000-60,000 words
  • Cozy mysteries only: 50,000-70,000 words
  • Most romance novels: 50,000-70,000 words
  • Short Story Collections: 40,000-75,000 words
  • Historical Fiction: 80,000-140,000 words
  • Adult Fantasy: 90,000-140,000 words

MS formatting:
Layout: Double spaced.

Margins: 1.0-1.25 inch margins all around.

Font: 12 point Times New Roman.

Lots of writers say that "Courier New" is the preferred font. Courier New is known as the "typewriter-looking" font to agents and editors, and thus, suggests to them as old and archaic. They're young, and hip, and when publishing professionals claim Courier New is easier on the eyes, they say... get new glasses.

According to this article, Courier New is also the screenwriting standard and shouts, "screenwriter-turned-wannabe-novelist!" Regardless, agents think novels are pure and deserve Times New Roman, so they're sticking with TNR unless otherwise directed by agents and editors. Or unless we're suddenly born-again (not likely any time soon).

Page Numbers: Upper-right-hand corner

Header: Your last name and "tag" title should be listed in the upper-left-hand corner on every page of your masterpiece. Ex: Steinbeck/Wrath

Chapters: Each new chapter should start on a fresh page and its first paragraph should begin one-third down from the top of the page.

Title Page Format: Your title page should list your contact information, the word count of your book, the title of your book, and your name. Your manuscript's title page should have your name, address, phone number, and email address listed as five separate lines in the upper-left-hand corner of your title page


 This article was so helpful for me--probably more so than other formatting articles I've read.




Formatting Tips for Writers PART 1--Agent Query Formatting and Submission Law--WORD COUNT



I don't know about you, but word count has always been a mystery to me. I found a great website for not only finding agents and editors, but I helpful submission tips on it as well. So over the next few days, I will give you agent tips on formatting, submitting queries, synopses and completing MS to agents that I found helpful from this article. Hope it helps you, too.

How do I snail mail my query and SASE in the same No. 10 envelope?

Do I include the agency name and business address of the agent in my email query?

How in the heck do I format a synopsis, and how long should it be?

When Ms. Agent requests to see my full completed manuscript, do I really shove all 300 pages, loose and unbound, into a box and mail it off?

My goodness! Agents have heard the panic in your little voices when you email them, asking for formatting guidance. And they actually empathize with you 100%.

Let's start with a few obvious assumptions:

Obvious Assumption #1: Queries and manuscripts must be typewritten NOT hand-written.

We assume that since you are savvy enough to find our website on the internet, you are savvy enough to use a computer. Always send submissions printed out from a computer, not written long-hand, even if Sister Paula did give you an A++ for your pretty cursive back in sixth grade.

Obvious Assumption #2: When we talk about "word count," we mean the word count generated by your computer.

In MS Word, this feature is found under Tools---->Word Count. And yeah... we've heard all those crazy publishing urban legends about funky formulas for calculating manuscript word count. Our favorite? Multiplying the number of pages of your manuscript by "250"—the standard number of words on a printed book's page. Bunk. Are we still living in the typewriter age? We think not.

The 250 method is the most ARBITRARY way to calculate word count in existence. And here's an illustrative hypothetical to prove it:

You've got a 400-page novel, using Courier 12-point font. If you calculate word count based on the 250 method, your novel is 100,000 words (400 x 250).

However, if you use Courier 10-point font—for the same freaking novel—your novel shrinks to 350 pages, and so does your word count. Magically, you've reduced your novel's word count by 12,500 words (350 x 250 = 87,500 words).

Now, put that same novel in TNR 12-point font, and you'll shrink it even more: 325 pages. Same exact novel. Different word count of 81,250 words (325 x 250).

All we can say is, "Huh?" Based on how you format your manuscript, your word count changes? Is this not the dumbest thing you've heard since the news that Paris Hilton was going to marry a guy named Paris?

The 250 method may be how publishers calculate word count, once they've perfectly typeset your manuscript with a proportional font to include 250 words per page. But heeeello?...agents aren't publishers or typesetters.

The 250 method is not how agents calculate word count. And we care about what agents want, and agents want to know your computer's word count. In fact, once you've accepted representation, most agents nowadays (especially the younger ones) will request a digital copy of your book. And try explaining to your agent why your digital word count is only 50,000 words (Ouch!), and not 81,250 words as calculated via the 325-page, Courier-12 font, 250 method.

Obvious Assumption #3: You are writing in English.

Believe it or not, it has to be said. And unfortunately, the people who need to hear it the most probably can't understand any of this anyway.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Alternate words for...

Hi all!

I know I've written a blog on the alternate words for said before, but just had to post it again.  Also, I found some great alternates for 'good and bad,' as well as tone vocabulary (positive and negative). Hope this helps you as it did me!

Alternatives to “Said”:

(Note: I'm sorry I was unable to format the following into columns for easier reading)

added corrected insisted ranted

wept admitted cried laughed

reminded whispered answered

croaked lied replied wondered

argued crowed mentioned requested

yelled asked dared murmured

roared babbled decided muttered

sassed bawled declared named

sighed bet demanded nodded

smiled blurted denied nudged

spoke bragged ended offered

smirked bugged exclaimed ordered

snickered called explained panted

stammered cautioned expressed pleaded

stated chatted fretted praised

stuttered cheered gasped prayed

suggested chuckled greeted promised

tempted coaxed hinted questioned

told confessed informed quoted wailed

Less Common Alternatives to “Said”

admonished droned projected vocalized affirmed enjoined quibbled volunteered alleged enumerated quipped assented espoused quizzed bantered estimated rebuked bemoaned evinced recited berated exhorted rejoiced broached indicated renounced cajoled intoned retorted carped jeered revealed challenged jested scowled cited lamented simpered claimed leered speculated communicated mocked sputtered conceded needled squelched demurred opined stipulated denounced outlined stormed disclosed presented theorized drawled proffered uttered

Alternatives to “Good” and “Bad”

Words to use in place of “Good”:

excellent valuable benefit masterpiece pride gem precious jewel brilliant treasure

model prince angel beneficial profit

improve asset divine heavenly useful advantageous elite edifying genuine moderate

tiptop virtuous favorable dandy well behaved

perfect fresh

Words to use in place of “Bad”:

hurtful ill evil pest plague thorn abuse oppression persecution outrage atrocity torture mischief rotten vicious

misbehave trespass deviate decayed decomposed putrid tainted burden imperfect wicked reprehensible deteriorated corrosive

Tone Vocabulary


Positive Tone/Attitude Words

lighthearted, hopeful, exuberant, enthusiastic, confident, cheery, optimistic, loving

amused, elated, sympathetic, compassionate

complimentary, passionate, proud, sunny

bright, shining, brilliant, intelligent

whimsical, bantering, wit

Negative Tone/Attitude Words


angry, disgusted, outraged, furious

wrathful, bitter, irritated, indignant

threatening, accusing, condemnatory, inflammatory


scornful, disdainful, contemptuous, sarcastic

cynical, condescending, critical, facetious, patronizing, satiric, sardonic, mock-heroic, irreverent, mock-serious, ironic, flippant


somber, elegiac, melancholic, sad, disturbed, mournful, solemn, serious, apprehensive, concerned, fearful, despairing, gloomy, sober, foreboding, hopeless, staid, resigned

Neutral Tone/Attitude Words

formal objective incredulous nostalgic ceremonial candid shocked reminiscent restrained clinical baffled sentimental objective disbelieving questioning urgent instructive matter-of-fact admonitory learned factual didactic informative authoritative


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Instructing on Proper Grammar

Hello all. I would like to let you in on a great piece I recenty read about grammar. As writers, certainly you do not have to be told that GRAMMAR IS YOUR FRIEND.  I found this information on and I just had to share. 

Although most of us write FICTION, and we break many of the Grammar Rules, we still have to keep to the rules when necessary.

Here are a few important tips:

1. Do not dangle your modifiers.

No, no, no, I am not referring to your overly long beaded necklace that is dragging through your soup. Let me offer some examples.

Incorrect: While feeding the rooster, Ruthy’s new shoes became soiled with chicken poop.

Correct: While feeding the rooster, Ruthy soiled her new shoes with chicken poop.

Incorrect: After searching the house, Mary’s manuscript turned up next to her computer.

Correct: After searching the house, Mary found her manuscript next to her computer.

The point here is that the phrase that begins each of these sentences modifies the subject of the sentence. Ruthy’s shoes obviously were not feeding the rooster, and Mary’s manuscript was not searching the house. Need I say more?

2. Do not confuse possessives with plurals.

Possessives indicate possession. Plurals imply more than one. How much simpler can it be? One of the Grammar Queen’s greatest annoyances is coming upon one of those darling little carved wooden signs indicating ownership of a cabin, boat dock, or some other such charming property. Perhaps you have seen them:

The Dean’s

Welcome to the Tippens’ Cabin

Janet simply needs a sign that states this lovely home is where the Deans live. No need for the possessive form. Therefore the sign should read:

The Deans

As for Missy, she should have informed her sign maker that her sign should read:

Welcome to the Tippenses’ Cabin

Yes, yes, I know the “es” attached to Tippens seems like too much . . . something or other. But trust me, this is the correct way to imply that the entire Tippens family, not just Missy, owns the cabin (unless she spent some of her advance money without telling her husband).

It would also be correct to say:

Welcome to the Tippens Cabin

Here, “Tippens” is simply used as an adjective modifying “Cabin,” so again, the possessive form is not necessary.

3. Do not forget who is calling whom.

Now we come to the eternal who versus whom debate. “Who” is a nominative case pronoun; “whom” is a subjective case pronoun. But what you call them is not nearly as important as how you use them. To simplify, “who” performs the action of the verb; “whom” receives the action of the verb (or in other uses becomes the object of a preposition, which is a subject unto itself).

Even in my tricky little sentence above, “who” is still performing the act of calling “whom,” even though here “who” follows the verb “forget.” Any questions?

Lest we decide the Grammar Queen is becoming slightly too picky, please remember that in naturally written speech (or even in deep POV narration), it is usually perfectly acceptable for your more casual and/or less educated characters to use “who” willy-nilly when perhaps correctly they should really be saying “whom.”

On the other hand, using “whom” incorrectly usually makes even the most intelligent among us appear quite pretentious if not scathingly illiterate.

4. “I wonder” is a statement, not a question, and therefore requires a period, not a question mark.

Incorrect: I wonder where I put my glasses?

Correct: I wonder where I put my glasses.

Or in dialogue, use a comma:

“I wonder where I put my glasses,” Sandra mused.

There are certain variations of “I wonder” phrasing where different punctuation might be required, but the Grammar Queen is already tired of this subject and suggests you invest in a helpful grammar reference book such as Grammatically Correct, by Anne Stilman.

5. In a compound sentence the comma is placed before the conjunction (and, but, or), not after the conjunction.

Incorrect: Debby writes for Love Inspired Suspense but, Cara writes for Thomas Nelson.

Correct: Debby writes for Love Inspired Suspense, but Cara writes for Thomas Nelson.

6. Do not restrict your nonrestrictive descriptors, and vice versa.

Let us begin by explaining the difference between restrictive and nonrestrictive. A restrictive descriptor is essential to the meaning of the sentence, whereas a nonrestrictive descriptor, if removed from the sentence, would not affect the meaning. Nonrestrictive descriptors are set off by commas; restrictive descriptors are not.

Are we clear on this? Perhaps more examples are in order. What is wrong with the following sentence?

Incorrect: Audra’s friend, Tina, is a multiple Golden Heart finalist.

Think . . . think . . .

Alas, if we take this statement as true, it means poor Audra has only one friend, the tireless and loyal Tina. But of course, we know Audra has many, many friends. Thus the sentence should have no commas:

Correct: Audra’s friend Tina is a multiple Golden Heart finalist.

The same is true when mentioning a spouse:

Incorrect: One day Myra hopes to meet Pam’s husband Orlando [name changed to protect the innocent].

We know for a fact that Pam is not a bigamist, which means we must insert a comma in the above sentence so that it reads:

Correct: One day Myra hopes to meet Pam’s husband, Orlando.

And one more example, this time regarding restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses:

Incorrect: The avid fan, who accosted Glynna at her book signing, was quickly wrestled to the ground by Cheryl.

It should be clear to anyone who has read Glynna’s books that she has more than one avid fan. Therefore the sentence above should contain no commas.

Correct: The avid fan who accosted Glynna at her book signing was quickly wrestled to the ground by Cheryl.

Hope this helps!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Great Website for Online Coupons!

I have been using this website for years when purchasing items online.  There are even some printable coupons.  You may already know about this one, but here it is:

Great website!  Enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Simple Spiced Zucchini Bread

Okay, what do you do when you have zucchinis taking over your counterspace?  I've fried them and roasted them, but I needed some other way to eat them.  I've not always been a big fan of zucchini bread, but when I baked this one over the weekend and tried it, I had to share the recipe!  It was so delicious and moist.  (If you have some new recipes on cucumbers that would be great, LOL!) 


3 cups of all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground all-spice
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 medium (2-3 cups) zucchini, chopped finely (I used my food processor)--you can shred yours, but I prefer smaller pieces
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)--I don't like nuts in my bread and it still came out super moist!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom only of 2 (8x4-inch) loaf pans, set aside.
2. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and all-spice in large bowl, set aside.
3. Cream suger and butter together.  Add one egg at a time.  Add vanilla.  Continue to beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture.  Continue beating until well mixed.  Mixture will be thick.  Stir in zucchini and nuts.
4. Spread batter into prepared pans.  Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pans.  Remove from pans.  Cool completely.  Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Write On Con, August 10-12, 2010

I found a cool conference called Write On Con held Tuesday-Thursday, August 10-12 that is entirely online--and it's FREE!  Has anyone heard of this?

Researching Agents

How does a writer go about finding an agent. Here is a short list of sites Author Jill Corcoran compiled for the SCBWI Agent Workshop she held in Bakersfield, CA last fall in 2009:

Websites for researching Agents:

Other Blogs that might be helpful--

Check out the agent (or publisher) before you query:

Preditors and Editors:

There are lots of agent interviews, vlogs, blogs, twitters, etc all over the net. Google them and have fun researching.  You can find them on author's websites as well.

Hope this helps!

I found this information on Jill Corcoran Books' blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaching Your Child the Golden Rule

I never really thought about the Golden Rule before I had children. I mean, I was nice to others, in hopes that they would be nice to me in return, but I never really put much thought into it. Then, I sold skin care products for awhile where their motto was “Live by the Golden Rule.” So, there it was again. Still, I didn’t really take heed to it. That is until I had kids.

Watching my children grow-up, I saw just how important it was to live by the Golden Rule. Not only did they watch what I did, but how they treated others became very important to me. I want my kids to respect others, treat others like they would want to be treated and be compassionate. I can’t tell you how important it is. It kills me when my children are mean to each other, let alone other people. I am constantly telling them how they should treat others.

I believe that if we treat others rudely, it will come back to bite us in the rump - what comes around, goes around, that sort of thing. Well, as my child got older, I learned that he was a bully in kindergarten and then, in first grade - this tiny, little kid was being mean to other children in his class and didn’t care at all. I had talks with him, and he’d promise to be nice, but then he’d go back to school and change. When he went into third grade, mind you, he was still small for his age. Suddenly, he was coming home from school, crying, saying that he was getting picked on. Of course, I kept what I was really thinking it to myself. I didn’t tell him that I thought how he treated others in the past was coming back to haunt him. Instead, I turned it around and made him see how horrible it made him feel. Anyway, lesson learned, thank goodness.

It’s hard as parents to watch our children go through tough times, but sometimes these times are good learning tools. I still tell my kids about the “Golden Rule.” I just hope they become good citizens when they grow up.

Taken from one of my blogs:

Finding a Literary Agent

I found his website, and wondered if anyone has used it?  It seems like a good one.  It asks for a fee, but it doesn't keep you from seeing what each agent is asking for.  Plus, I use Writer's Market to find updated informating on writing the best query.  I think we should all get together and do a query workshop/critique.  I think that's my hardest part of writing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Example of Good Hooks

Okay, okay, so thinking in detail on a Friday is a bit much....especially if I am going to start Tips Tuesday, but I found this tip and had to share.  If you are going to query or go the conference you'll want a Good Hook for your book.

Here are several examples of Good Hooks:

Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman. A high school underdog’s tarot card readings become strangely accurate.

As You Wish by Jackson Pearce. A teen falls in love with the genie sent to grant her three wishes.

Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix centers on a young TV star who can hear whatever anyone in the world says about her.

DupliKate by Cherry Cheva. An overscheduled teen starts seeing double: suddenly there are two of her.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer centers on a matchmaking barista who links up her friends based on their coffee orders.

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev centers on a girl who lives in a magical theater inhabited by characters from every play ever written.

Ex-mas by Kate Brian. Two teens embark on an unexpected vacation when they learn that their younger siblings have gone off to save Santa.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown. Valerie’s boyfriend opens fire in the school cafeteria, killing students who were on a list she unknowingly helped create.

I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb. A boy discovers it’s easier to make a fortune and dominate the world than convince his classmates to like him.

Legacy by Tom Sniegoski. A teen discovers his deadbeat father is actually a superhero.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey tells of an orphan who is an assistant to a doctor specializing in monster hunting.

Nelly the Monster Sitter by Kes Gray, illus. by Stephen Hanson, introduces a girl who “monster sits” after school.

Powerless by Matthew Cody. A boy learns that his friends are superheroes who mysteriously lose their powers when they turn 13.

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund offers a fantasy about killer unicorns and the teenage girls who must hunt them down.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Sam spends his summers as a human and winters as a wolf.

The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow by Tim Kehoe, illus. by Guy Travis and Mike Wohnoutka. A boy who creates his own toys has a chance encounter with an eccentric toy inventor.

Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser. High school students mysteriously disappear after being mentioned in a blog.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Realizing What's Important.

Over the weekend, we had my grandfather's 88th birthday party.  Before the party, I was stressed beyond belief.  Checking off my list, I was trying to make sure I had everything including enough food, drinks, etc. I had reserved the shelter house, but was worried that it wasn't big enough. Then, the morning of, I sat on the couch with my coffee to watch a Berenstain Bears cartoon with my kids. The episode was about appreciating the company you're with, not the food. How true! It touched me.  It made all my stress seem ridiculous.  I stopped stressing and the party turned out great. It's amazing how God reaches us, and gets us to realize what's important in our lives! Even if it is through a cartoon--lol!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fun Puzzle Monday!

Who said Mondays can't be fun? Check out this puzzle. My score wasn't so hot, I think I did it in 7 minutes! YIKES!

Click to Mix and Solve

Creating a blog--and getting someone to read it!

Blogging can be daunting--how in the heck do other writers find things to write about on a regular basis?  And more importantly, how do they followers?

Well, I've been writing for awhile now.  But I hear that actually "writing" isn't enough.  I have to get my name out there.  I've learned that most unpublished and published writers have a blog.

Getting a blog is really easy.  Coming up with a design is fun.  Just make sure you create something that is unique to you--something completely your style, not someone else's. 

Through it's FREE! 

There are lots of ways to get out there, and I'm still learning.

Now, getting followers is the hard part. 

How do you get followers?

1. Follow other writers, especially ones in your genre. 

You can find other writers by becoming a member of your specific genre.  For example, I am a member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers.)  Also, get a writer's group together in your area can help you get local followers that way.  I've linked my email to other blogs, and find blogs through their links as well.

2. Post comments on other blogs.

Don't just post your blog URL, actually read their blog and make real comments!

3.  Advertise your blog.

Advertising on networking sites like Facebook, Twitter (twiends), MySpace, Digg and others can really get your blog out there.  When you create your own site, then you can link your blog to them.  

4.  Check out the blogging professionals. is a great website for blogging tips and helpful resources.  I found, but you have to pay $5.95/month.  They give great tips as well!

5.  Go to Writer's Conferences and hand out your business card with your blog URL on it.

Going to conferences is a great way to meet other writers!  I may never have become a ACFW member if I hadn't met the VP of my chapter at a conference.

Several of these tips came from a great blog,

Do you have any other tips that have worked for you?

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone had a nice holiday!

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Thought We Were Eating Healthy

My family and I are very active – snow skiing, boating, golfing, swimming, bike riding – you name it, we do it. Eating fruits and vegetables has always been important to us, so I’ve always had a variety of foods around the house. I want my family to be as healthy as they can be. Consuming our vitamins through food, that’s what I’m aiming for. But who isn’t?

Well, like many people, I thought we were eating healthy.

I started learning more about the food I was giving to my children – and was horrified to find out how much pesticides, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives, and the list goes on, that is actually in the foods we consume everyday… I became utterly sick. Instead of healthy food, I was filling our bodies with toxins? That’s when I became angry. (I can handle it if it was just me, but when it comes to my kids, I’m like a lioness.) Angry at our country for allowing the use of these poisons to be put into our food supplies. Sure, I understand the need to multi-produce, but at what expense? Or should I say whose expense? The rate of cancer is skyrocketing. Autism and other neurological disorders are at an all-time high. Don’t get me started on ADHD! Now I understand why.

That’s when I started putting two and two together.

There has to be some link between food and diseases.

I had to make a choice. Choosing an organic and all-natural lifestyle was something I had to do – for my family.  We started about three years ago with the birth of our third child. It helped that my friends were sharing their stories about organic living, especially where to find the best and cheapest places to buy. If you watch sales, use coupons and shop around, you really can find good deals. Stores are always running sales on produce. Generally, the organic fruits and veggies do not last as long as conventional foods, therefore they need to sell faster. Most organic producers have online websites that promote coupons. Utilizing them can add up. As far as shopping around, in my area, there are several different stores that sell organic foods and products. Yes, it takes time to go into more than one store, but it saves me and my family money in the long run. I’m busy with a toddler and still do it.

I hear it all the time, “I can’t afford organic food.” Well, organic food is more expensive than conventional foods, but when you cut most of the junk food out like my family did, we found out that we really weren’t spending that much more. Before we changed to organic food, we bought fresh produce, but we also had our shopping cart filled with an assortment of junk food. Now my cart is filled with healthier options – mostly organic.

Not only did we change to organic food, we use environmentally safe, non-toxic house cleaning supplies, soaps and beauty supplies. I can feel good about what my children are exposed to day after day. There are other reasons for choosing organic, besides its health benefits. My skin is simply glowing (my secret, I use organic coconut oil as a moisturizer.) I used to have eczema on the back of my arms – it’s gone! My husband’s face used to break out with pimples, his skin is clear. I feel like I have more energy. I get over colds faster. My allergies are better. I could keep going….

Someone once said organic food doesn’t taste as good. The funny thing was this statement came from someone who didn’t eat organic food. It’s true. Some of the ingredients in certain products do taste different – unrefined, unprocessed, fresher – but better. I assure you, your taste buds will adjust to the missing aftertaste of MSG and fake sweeteners.

I’m not selling a weight loss program, but losing weight is just one benefit to eating organic. It makes sense. Without all the hydrogenated junk and Trans fats, your body will be able to process foods naturally, and get rid of the unnecessary fats that it doesn’t need.

Only health nuts buy organic, right? If I’m considered a health nut, then I’m flattered.  I’m not saying that my family and I don’t splurge here and there, or that we don’t go out to a restaurant from time to time, we just try to make sure the majority of our food consumption is organic.

A little warning to you: There is one downfall to using and consuming organic products, you will never want to go back to conventional. The fresh taste, among the health benefits, can’t be replaced with anything else.

My article can be found at

Monday, June 28, 2010

Alternate Words for Said

Often times, when we write, we tend to overuse the word 'said.' However, I feel that writers who use other words tend to prove their inexperience. So, be careful.  Don't tell, but show! 

But if you need another word for 'said' here's what I found.

A list of alternate words for SAID in alphabetical order:

• Accepted, Acknowledged, Admitted, Agonized, Agreed, Announced, Answered, Appealed, Articulated, Asked

• Barked, Bawled, Beamed, Begged, Beckoned, Bellowed, Beseeched Blubbered, Blurted, Bossed, Breathed

• Called, Cautioned, Chimed in, Chortled, Chuckled, Comforted, Concurred, Confessed, Confided, Consoled, Continued, Countered, Cried, Cried out, Crooned, Crowed

• Declared, Demanded, Dictated, Drawled

• Emitted, Empathized, Encouraged, Entreated, Exclaimed, Explained

• Faltered, Finished, Fumed

• Gawped, Giggled, Glowered, Grieved, Grinned, Groaned, Growled, Grumbled

• Hesitated, Hollered, Howled Implored, Informed, Inquired, Insisted, Interjected, Invited, Implied

• Jabbered, Joked

• Lamented, Laughed, Lilted, Leered Mimicked, Mocked, Mourned, Murmured

• Observed, Offered, Ordered

• Pleaded, Preached, Prodded, Professed, Proposed, Protested

• Quaked, Queried, Quipped, Quivered, Quizzed

• Raged, Ranted, Rejoiced, Rejoined, Remarked, Remonstrated, Repeated, Replied, Requested, Responded, Retorted, Roared Sang out, Scoffed, Screamed, Seethed, Shrieked, Shrugged Shuddered, Sighed, Smiled, Smirked, Snapped, Sneered, Snivelled, Sobbed, Speculated, Spoke lightly, Spoke tightly, Stammered, Struggled, Suggested, Swore, Swooned, Sympathized

• Taunted, Teased, Thundered, Touted, Trembled

• Uttered

• Voiced,

• Wailed, Wept, Whispered

• Yawped, Yelled, Yelped

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What a Weekend!

I've had a busy weekend--between running for ball games and camps, I can't remember what the term TGIF means! I don't know about you, but my days seem to all run together. Half the time, I don't even know what day it is! LOL!

So, where am I finding time to write? Who knows. Only the Good Lord knows. But sometimes I get a moment, it's very rare, especially during summer break, but I do get a moment to write. If I didn't write, I'd probably go insane. If I'm not already!! Ha!

I only write when my kids are doing something productive (or napping). It's hard when I get in the middle of a scene, and my character(s) just won't let me stop writing, but someone needs me--from breaking up an argument to combing hair--but I stop. I love being a mom first. That's definitely what defines me. Not my writing.

Tell me your story. When did you start writing? Why? How do you find time to juggle life and write?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ten Things You Should Know About Writers

1. We aren't eavesdropping. Linguistic training is a part of our job. We listen to speech patterns so we can effectively write dialogue beats.

2. Yes. We do have to check Twitter, Facebook and Seekerville hourly. It is essential to stay up to date on the ever changing publishing world.

3. It is normal for writers to speak in the third person present tense. Deal with it.

4. Don't ask if we're published yet. Or if we've published anything you might have read. Trust me, it only makes us cranky.

5. As a general rule, writers are not interested in your brilliant idea for a best-seller that we can write for you and then split the profits.

6. We believe there are dumb questions. Where do you get your ideas is right up there at the top.

7. Our favorite words are not The End, they are, I want to buy your book.

8. For every ten words we write we delete six. We get goosebumps when we write the perfect sentence.

9. We are unable to watch a film with out analyzing the plot elements per the Heroes Journey. (Ordinary World, Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call...)

10. If you see us sitting in front of the computer/laptop staring at a blank screen for long periods of time without moving, we are still writing. Do not interrupt.


Monday, June 14, 2010

The Seekers

I just found a blog through my Midwest ACFW group called The Seekers. With contests, publication, writing and apparently everything in between--it's a great place to converse with other writers and possibly get published.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I just became a member of the ACFW, American Christian Fiction Writers, and I am so glad I did. I am hoping to join the ACFW Midwest Chapter. Looking forward to hopefully attending the ACFW conference.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good Guy Series

It's hard being a kids, as you can see. I'm misunderstood, have been since I was three!

I am currently looking for an agent/publisher for my inspirational children's book series, Good Guy. So many children's books portray only "good" characters. Meet Good Guy...He just can't seem to behave himself, no matter how hard he tries. Through this comical, inspirational, rhyming children's series, you'll find Guy running from his mommy in stores, learning sisters don't fly, trying to free animals at the zoo, and misbehaving at preschool. At the end of every book, Guy is punished by timeout. While sitting, he learns valuable lessons on his own, such as the Golden Rule, Love your Neighbor (including your sister and teacher,) and Love the Lord with all your heart, among other heart-felt important messages for preschool-age children.