I love choosing a new word to focus on each year. It’s amazing how one word can communicate so much. My word fits exactly where I am both in my personal and professional life and I love to explore the word in depth, as well as find verses and quotes to encourage me throughout the year.
This year will be my fourth time selecting a word as a theme of focus. Usually, I make a list, pray about it, mull it over and see which ones I’m drawn to continuously. But this year? It came up while I was reading the Story of With by Allen Arnold, and as much as I wanted to keep thinking of other words, it stuck to me like glue. Lodged itself inside my heart and left no room for discussing any other option, no matter how hard I tried.
What is the word?
Isn’t that a great word?
Just to be sure, I looked up the definition and did a quick search for bible verses and sure enough it encompasses everything I feel going into 2018.
See, I don’t want to look back. I want to focus on what’s ahead. In both my writing and my faith in God. It may be slow going at times, but it will be steady. What’s that phrase we’ve all heard before?
I’m not going to rush, hurry, stress myself out over the fact I’ve been working on my novel for over four years. It isn’t ready yet and only continuous steady work is what will make it better. I will do what I can and when it’s time, it will be time. That’s the idea, anyway. I have an entire year to keep reminding myself of this.
To help, I always select a few bible verses with my word in it. Last year’s word, strength, had an amazing amount of verses to give me encouragement throughout the year. Steadfast only has five in my NIV adaptation. And two really stood out to me:
Psalm 57:7 – My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make music (and write words—my addition).
Psalm 112:7 – He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Encouraging, aren’t they?
I’m super excited for exploring my word further. Just now, I typed in the phrase slow and steady wins the race and a whole bunch of other quotes popped up. I’ll have to go through them at a later time, but one grabbed my attention and I wanted to share:
I think I might print that one out for my entire family to see.
Oh, this year will be fun exploring #myword2018 #steadfast! You’ll see me post things to my social media related to my word, because I like to encourage others and it will help keep me on task. To be steadfast in my writing. Continuously and sure.
Have you ever considered choosing a word for 2018? I would encourage you to think about it and try it out if you haven’t. And if you have, I would love to hear in the comments what your word is for 2018.
Denise M. Colby
Although new to the writing fiction world, Denise Colby has over 20+ years experience in marketing, creating different forms of content and copy for promotional materials. Taking the lessons learned from creating her own author brand Denise M. Colby, Denise enjoys sharing her combined knowledge with other authors.
If you are interested in a marketing evaluation and would like help in developing a strategy for your author brand you can find out more here http://denisemcolby.com/marketing-for-authors/
Rain has been pouring off and on for two days. My driveway is a small pond, the backyard is more than saturated, all of our plants look perky and happy, and so am I. As long as I know that my guys are all safe, and I don’t have to go anywhere, I love a rainy day. When I was a little girl, cold rainy days meant that my mother probably had a simmering pot of soup on the stove, meatball, chicken noodle or navy bean…meatball was my favorite… and more importantly, there would be warm cookies waiting when I got off the bus from school. My boys could count on much the same when they were growing up.
It’s funny how a rainy day makes me think of my mother’s cookies, or my own little boys walking in the door inhaling deeply hoping for the aroma of their favorite chocolate chip, peanut butter or snickerdoodle cookies.
I just finished a Valentine’s novella, that will be releasing next month, and I’m working on my 1920’s historical women’s fiction novel, and even while I’m writing, food comes up. Some of my characters love to cook, others eat in fine restaurants, others eat absentmindedly at their desks while they work.
As a former food writer, it’s not surprising that I love to write about the dishes my characters enjoy…or not. Some of my favorite research is looking for recipes in antique cookbooks, new cookbooks, online or perusing restaurant menus. Old restaurant menus can give you a real taste of the times, great descriptions and even prices. And antique recipe cards or cookbooks can tell you how differently we cook today. The ingredients, cooking tools, and terminology all can be clues to the era or region of a story.
Since I love both books and cooking, I have a ridiculous number of cookbooks. I have culled the number after a couple of recent moves, but I look for them whenever I’m in used bookstores, and people often give them to me for gifts. One of my favorites is The One Maid Cookery Book, printed in London in 1913. I found this in an antique store. The minute I saw the title I knew I had to have the book. One maid, I have no maid! Oh, wait, I might be the maid!
Another is The American Woman’s Cook Book edited by Ruth Berolzheimer, and published by Garden City Publishing Company in New York, 1943. This book was left behind in a house my husband and I rented years ago. It’s filled with information on table setting, entertaining, menu planning for every day, holidays, or a limited budget. The pictures are wonderful and set a real flavor for the time.
The rain seems to have slowed outside, and my husband and youngest son will be home soon. I think I’ll go get something warm in the oven. Today I think I’ll go with the chocolate brownies that are loved by Lucy, the main character in my Valentine’s romance #PleaseSayYes.
What are your favorite food memories? Do you use food to set the scene or add to the story when you write? When you read do you skip the food descriptions or do they speak to you? Can you be found sitting in the bathtub reading a cookbook like a novel? Or maybe that’s just me…
My husband, Will Zeilinger, also a published author, and I decided to come together and write a 1950’s hard-boiled mystery, the Skylar Drake Murder Mystery series.
Without organization, nothing, and I mean nothing, would get done!
Though we each bring different things/skills to the table when it comes to writing, I am the one who seems to get the organization together. During the early life of the novel, we start off brainstorming. No idea is too “outrageous” or “stupid” to write down. This includes characterizations, character names, background, and their part in the story.
From there come several plots and subplots. An in-depth discussion of each follows. We then find the main plot that may even be several subplots melted together. This comes about over several meetings, we try to limit them to five. If we need more than five meetings to get any one of the issues resolved, something is usually wrong with the characters, plot or subplots and we revisit it by going back through prior meeting notes.
Each meeting needs to have a specific purpose. Agendas are a great way to keep the discussions on track. When writing mysteries, like we do, this is an absolute must. We keep copies of all meeting agendas and decisions which helps with future reference, especially when we are stuck and can’t remember why we made the decision we did.
From this point, we set a timeline for when things need to be completed. If we do not meet a timeline that is a warning to get going and focus.
The results? SLIVERS OF GLASS, STRANGE MARKINGS and DESERT ICE. Our fourth book in the series, SLICK DEAL, will be released in February 2018…and yes, we’re still married.
Janet Elizabeth Lynn
Ready to get your writing organized in 2018?
OCC/RWA’s February Online Workshop is Scrivener A to Z: Version 3, Mac Only with Rebeca Schiller. The class runs from Feb. 12 to March 9, 2018.
About the Class:
You’ve heard from other writers that Scrivener, the writing app, is the next best thing to coffee and chocolate. So you’ve downloaded it, tried to follow the tutorial, and you still can’t figure out the very basics of how to create a folder or a document.
Scrivener A to Z is a step-by-step guide with that will cover all the flexible and powerful features of this application. In this class, students will have the opportunity to learn how to use the newest features in the new upgrade–Scrivener 3. Students will receive daily instruction with easy to follow steps and illustrations on how to create folder and documents, navigate the Binder, writing and formatting in the Editor, how to create story boards in the famous Scrivener Corkboard, detailed outlines in the Outliner, and much more.
Instruction includes only the Mac version. Basic knowledge of MAC OS is required.
About the Instructor:
Rebeca Schiller is a freelance writer and the online editor of HAND/EYE Magazine. She discovered the magic of Scrivener via a friend’s Facebook update and photo of the Corkboard. Since October 2010, she’s been using both versions of Scrivener and avoids writing anything in MS Word (like this bio). She is the creator of the Simply Scrivener blog and writes about her writing trials and tribulations at RebecaSchiller.com. Rebeca is currently working on a novel.
This is a 4-week online course that uses email and Yahoo Groups. If you do not have a Yahoo ID you will be prompted to create one when you join the class, but the process is not difficult. The class is open to anyone wishing to participate. The cost is $30.00 per person or, if you are a member of OCCRWA, $20.00 per person.
Enrollment is a two-step process. In Step 1, you ask to Join the Yahoo Group. Step 2 is your payment via PayPal.
Sign up at http://occrwa.org/classes/feb-online-class/
Happy Holidays to all!
OCC/RWA Online Class Coordinator