The Great Roach Hunt

“There’s a giant roach loose in our house. On an unrelated note, we have insurance, right? In case the house accidentally burns down?” That was the text I sent my husband one morning. Anyone who knows how I feel about crickets (Cricket Warfare 101: Subtlety, Sabotage, Misdirection, Psychological Warfare, Treaties and Allies) can well imagine […]


Five Favorite Heroes

“Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick. But that made no difference to what he had to do.” C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

The Heir Cover

The Imposter

The Amulet Saga Volume Two: The Traveler What Came Before: Seeing     Escape     Bandit     The Road     Beggars     Healer The City     Spy     A Place to Stay     Outlaws     The Camp      Trader The Wedding       The Third Son     The Search   The Imposter   “We’ve found her!” Ada looked up from her mug of tea at the […]


The Editing Battle

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Thomas Mann Sometimes writing feels like you’re in a battle with the blank page or in a battle with the pages of words you’ve already written. Sometimes it really feels like this: But there are also the times when […]


World Building—Creating a Culture (Part 4: Climate and Clothes)

I’m continuing my series on world building. Come check out Part One, Part Two: Stereotyping, and Part Three: Building a Religion. Climate and Clothes When building your world, especially if it extends beyond your character’s main place of residence, a map is extremely helpful. I have a rough sketch of a map that I drew […]



I couldn’t sleep last night. I knew I had to be up at five-thirty for work but I just couldn’t sleep. Anxiety overwhelmed me to the point of panic. I had so much work to do on my book before sending it off to the editor, before pitching it at the conference. I had so […]

Kids and Books

How Writing Is Like Having Children

Guest Blogger: Shannon Stewart “I know it’s better,” I sobbed to my husband over a recent revision. “But it’s not what I planned. It’s like you spend your whole life hoping your kid will like reading and all she wants to do is play sports. It’s good—I know it’s good—but it’s still hard to take […]

Location: A battlefield in Leeds
Morbidly Inclined
Oct 25, 2008
The Druidess Of Midian (Model)

Morbidly Inclined (Photographer)

The Dilemma of the Self-Rescuing Princess

Many of our favorite stories revolve around a woman being rescued by a man. Luke liberates Princess Leia from the Death Star. Prince Phillip awakens Princess Aurora. Link rescues Princess Zelda from … well, lots of stuff. We love these stories. Disney’s version of Sleeping Beauty is one of my all-time favorite movies, although if […]

the wedding

The Wedding

The Amulet Saga Volume Two: The Traveler What Came Before: Seeing     Escape     Bandit     The Road     Beggars     Healer The City     Spy     A Place to Stay     Outlaws     The Camp      Trader   The Wedding Jyn gave the call to alert the sentries to her presence. A return call sounded from the tall rocks that bordered […]



This is how I’ve felt recently, desperate to finish. I’ve had this story on my heart for a while now and in the past couple of years it’s taken off. The story has grown a wider cast, an extra world, more books. At the end of June I have an editorial review scheduled and at […]

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

Retreats Aren’t For Me

The enamel cross is my daughter’s she bought it earlier this year with her AWANA bucks. She told me that she was putting it on her coin purse so she could show everyone at school that she loved Jesus. Oh my sweet little public school missionary. I pray that I’m doing the same thing. Last weekend […]

religious icons

World Building—Creating a Culture (Part 3: Building a Religion)

I’m continuing my series on world building. Start by checking out Part One and Part Two. Building a Religion In Part One, I had an overview of different elements that go into creating a rich, round culture. Now, I’m going to break down those elements and talk about implementing each one in a more detailed […]


Horses and Mules

Bandit lowered his head and started to charge


Key Verse

  I just returned from a Women’s Retreat. One of the activities we did was stamp something significant into a key. I chose one of my favorite Bible verses, Matthew 7:14 abbreviated to MT 714. While it’s a fairly well-known verse, I daresay it’s not a popular one. “For the gate is narrow and the […]

darkness light

We Need to Look at the…Darkness…!

Guest Blogger: HG Ferguson “Wᴇ Nᴇᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ Lᴏᴏᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ Lɪɢʜᴛ” has become sort of a rallying cry in some circles of those who write Christian speculative fiction (hereafter called spec fic). It has generated the obligatory “buzz” in the blogs and on its face, appears quite admirable. Its proponents maintain that since we are […]

The Camp 2

The Camp

The Amulet Saga Volume Two: The Traveler Seeing     Escape     Bandit     The Road     Beggars     Healer The City     Spy     A Place to Stay     Outlaws The Camp The heat from the lowlands didn’t dissipate until they were far up into the mountains. Rose wiped sweat from her brow with a cloth Myrta handed her. The cart they […]

Author's Journey

Character Crafting Quandary

Character Crafting Quandary

Guest Blogger: J.E. Lowder In my third book, When Kings Clash, I encountered a snag when re-writing the prologue from omniscient narrator to third person limited viewpoint. How do I introduce a new primary character without revealing his identity and background? The obvious answer was to tell his story through the viewpoint of another person, but this too was a […]

Christian SpecFic

Christian SpecFic Shut Out … Again

Christian SpecFic Shut Out … Again

The Florida Christian Writers Conference is next weekend, and I’ve had that old, familiar experience: I look through the list of agents and editors, hoping there will be someone I can meet with. But it happened again, same as always. This one’s looking for romance, suspense, and historical. That one’s looking for Amish, contemporary romance, […]

Creative Nook



The Amulet Saga Volume Two: The Traveler What Came Before: Seeing     Escape     Bandit     The Road     Beggars     Healer The City     Spy     A Place to Stay Outlaws Taurin stretched. The girl, Rose, knew her healing arts. He felt better than he had before the injury. He watched her in the corner, trying desperately to match the […]

Critical Views

Sacrifice On the Altar of Ego

Sacrifice On the Altar of Ego

I love Carolyn Arend’s “Altar of Ego”. It’s a song whose lyrics I need to think about often. Last week I was thrilled with the response to my post about the emphasis placed on motherhood and being a wife especially within the church. I started with five words that define me and ended with a question […]

Guest Blogs

What I Learned From Cutting 70,000 Words

What I Learned From Cutting 70,000 Words

Guest Blogger: Shannon Stewart The second draft of my first YA novel was 165,000 words long. I swore up and down that not one word could be removed without damaging the entire story. *snort* Then I began seeking publication. The more I read from YA publishers and writing blogs, the more I became convinced that […]

Life and Such

Make New Friends

Make New Friends

Remember that childhood song about making new friends and keeping the old? Silver and gold. That’s been me recently. We started a new small group at beginning of the academic year. It’s the second one we’ve been in since moving here. Some of my closest friends in my town came from our first group. I knew all of […]

Marketing and Promotion

Called 2 Speak – Profession and Vocation

Called 2 Speak – Profession and Vocation

What makes you want to speak out? I’m proud to be part of the Blog Hop promoting A Time to Speak. This hop is to spread the word about Nadine Brandes’s new dystopian novel, A Time to Speak, releasing October 16th. It is also to encourage myself and others to speak out for our passions and against injustice. I […]

News for Writers

Crosshair Press Open for Submissions

Crosshair Press Open for Submissions

Guest Blogger: Amy Davis The Crosshair Press founding team members are Amy Williams, Katie Morford, and Amy Davis. Our respective backgrounds include copywriting, journalism, copyediting, and missionary work, and a plethora of random things like insurance, plumbing, and research. The idea of Crosshair Press hatched around a restaurant breakfast table in Wichita, Kansas, over toast […]

Our Faith

My Favorite Holiday

My Favorite Holiday

  There’s a difference between favorite celebrations and holidays. My favorite celebration is probably Christmas followed by Halloween. But that’s from the context of cultural and secular fun. Gifts, food, movies, traditions, candy, and costumes. Even this weekend, the most fun part was celebrating my daughter’s eighth birthday with her first sleepover and doing all […]

Random Things

Ten Tolkien Quotes for your Writing Wednesday

Ten Tolkien Quotes for your Writing Wednesday

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”