The Plague of a Writer

By Shawny Lou

Secret Shopper 1I penned this several weeks ago after experiencing heaviness over the characters  in my novel. It’s amazing how a fictional story can come to life and have such an affect on the writer.

If you read my personal blog, Writing in a Raindrop, it may look familiar. I posted it there soon after writing it.


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Writing, for me, is a dream come true

To share my imagined worlds with you

I’d hate to return to the nine to five

‘Cuz writing is what makes me feel alive

I take the characters from inside my mindPen on paper 2

And put them on paper for you to find

They’re funny and loving and crazy, too

Even I get surprised by the things that they do

I know when I write, it is why I was made

I’m just not complete in a “regular” trade

But sometimes I wonder how I will get through

For writing, it comes with some negatives, too

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Savoring the Tasty Morsels of a Teacher


Lauraine Snelling, offering some friendly tips to aspiring authors

Lauraine Snelling, offering some friendly tips to aspiring authors

By Mikie

“Marketing: suck it up and do it,” exclaims prolific author, Lauraine Snelling.

In last week’s Blog post, Shawny Lou wrote about the helpful tidbits Lauraine fed local artists at a recent meeting of Tehachapi Christian Artists Fellowship that Shawny Lou and I attended.

I’ll add some additional tasty morsels I ingested from Lauraine’s talk.

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Want to be a Better Writer? Surround Yourself with Great Writers!

By Shawny Lou

So, you want to be a writer? Then, surround yourself with amazing writers!

There’s talent all around us and I’ve discovered that “artist types” tend to be each other’s best cheerleaders. I can’t adequately stress the importance of sharing your dreams with other Creatives, both up-and-coming and accomplished.

Recently, Mikie DeLong Pyle and I joined a small support group for creative Christians in our area. We’re always looking for opportunities to learn and grow as we collaborate on our story, “Unsung Lyrics”, and the Tehachapi Christian Arts Fellowship (TCAF) seemed like a great group to check out!

We linked up with them just two weeks ago, but we’re already hooked. Now, we proudly call ourselves TCAF members and have already gathered valuable tips and networking relationships from the team!

Lauraine2012bLauraine Snelling – Guest Speaker

This past Monday, we had the pleasure of meeting successful author, Lauraine Snelling. To date, she’s published over 75 books, so the woman knows what she’s doing!

Just sitting beside her as she spoke, I was inspired. It was as if her creative energy was emanating through my skin. Amazing!

The stories she shared and the tips she offered were golden and are too good to keep to myself!

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Pondering Heaven

1926789_10152314855965903_899690304_n Ever ponder what awaits us in heaven? I bet most of us do at one time or another.

And what about death? What will that be like? What will you feel when your heart thumps for the last time and the soul separates from its shell?

I often say, “I’m not afraid of death, but dying concerns me.”

The notion of being “dead” is actually kind of exhilarating for me. I believe I’m going to see God and live joyfully in eternity! I’m sure I’ll have some responsibilities in my new celestial home and I’m excited to see what they might be. Whatever they are, I’m sure they won’t include stressing over my health insurance.

But that whole “dying” part. That’s not quite so thrilling. I mean, it’s got to hurt, right? And are we going to know when it’s happening or will it be more like a blink? One second, we’re mortal, the next we’re … something else?

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“Unsung Lyrics” – Travel Update!

By Shawny Lou

We’re happy to announce that we’re continuing to travel deeper into our collaborative story of “Unsung Lyrics”! The road may get bumpy at times, but its all part of the journey!

Did you know that the average novel has between 70 and 95 thousand words? From the look of things, “Unsung Lyrics” may house between 85 to 92 thousand, depending on future plot twists.

As of five minutes before this publication, the story stands at 66,214 words. We’re inching closer to the end!

If you’re familiar with James Patterson, one of my favorite writers, you understand the concept of short chapters that keep the reader hooked! I’m finding myself patterning after this talented man and thus, have already entered the “Unsung Lyrics” world of Chapter 42, A Clear Mind Holds Dark Secrets. While it wasn’t my initial plan to format the book in “Pattersonesque” tradition, it’s working well for the story so I’m just gonna roll with it!

1167229_10203202234804269_66178373_oI have to admit that I’ve struggled with these recent chapters. Not because of writer’s block. No, it’s not that at all. Instead, it’s because of Megan, the tale’s protagonist. She’s making some really dumb decisions and sinking into an emotionally dark world. Honestly, her life weighs me down and writing about it has challenged me in ways I didn’t expect. I’ll be happy when I’m finally able to pen her away from her current environment (hurry up, Chapter 46!), but then again, I already know what’s to come. Hopefully her future challenges won’t stir me up as much as her current ones are!

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“Unsung Lyrics” – Get to Know the Story!

Hi Friends!

This is Shawny Lou. Mikie and I wanted to share the synopsis of our collaborative story with you, just to give you have an idea of what’s in store!

Keep in mind that, while I am writing the novel, Mikie is adapting it into a screenplay. In a future post, we’ll show you how it works. You’ll have a chance to read a book excerpt, followed immediately by Mikie’s screenplay adaptation. It will be a unique and fun opportunity to see how the process evolves. It’s fascinating to discover the way images from a novel are converted into scenes in a screenplay!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this synopsis from “Unsung Lyrics”!

Leaves Under Blue Sky

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Our Collaboration: The Beginnings

by Shawny Lou Miller

It all started on October 9, 2013. Two casual friends got together to discuss a church topic and ended up on a life-changing journey of collaboration.

We both remember the exact moment when serendipity struck. The lighting. The temperature in the room. What was said … and how it was said.

You know those moments in life when everything around you is so vivid. They become a snapshot in your mind that will never fade.

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