Wednesday, October 22, 2014

East Texas Christian Writers Conference

Don't miss out on great speakers and two days of workshops! The annual East Texas Christian Writers Conference is this weekend, Oct. 24, & 25, 2014, held at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.

Hope to see you there this weekend! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More Blessings!

I'm so excited for my friend and collaborator, Kristen Clark, whose new book, "Beginning a Woman of Worth: Creating a More Confident You", won a Gold Medal in the 2014 Readers' Favorite Intl' Book Award Contest for Biblical Counseling! Visit her website at htpp://www.BecomingaWomanofWorth.com to see what all the excitement is about. Also, stay tuned for her next book, due out in Dec/Jan and featuring one of my own stories! I can't wait. More to come.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Common Sense

Common Sense
     I received this as an e-mail and had to share!
>
> An Obituary printed in the London Times.....
>
> Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
>
> - Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
> - Why the early bird gets the worm;
> - Life isn't always fair;
> - And maybe it was my fault.
>
> Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
>
> His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
>
> Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
>
> It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
>
> Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
>
> Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
>
> Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
>
> Common Sense was preceded in death,
> -by his parents, Truth and Trust,
> -by his wife, Discretion,
> -by his daughter, Responsibility,
> -and by his son, Reason.
>
> He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
> - I Know My Rights
> - I Want It Now
> - Someone Else Is To Blame
> - I'm A Victim
> - Pay me for Doing Nothing
>
> Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
>
> If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Are You A Predictable Writer?

Are You A Predictable Writer?

by Lynn Hobbs
How often have you started reading a book and quickly figured out what would happen next? Ho-hum…how boring. Interest is lost, yes, but any reader will notice a predictable pattern after several similar books by the same author.
Some refer to these as cookie cutter books. The villain is introduced on page six. Female doesn't like the male. Conflict is introduced. Female now loves male. Conflict resolved. Happy ending. No imagination. No spontaneity. No original ideas.
Example # 1: Villain is a male neighbor in a large city, female is a single Mom. Conflict is unpaid property taxes. Female interacts with sharp spoken neighbor…maybe at a town hall meeting against higher taxes. She falls in love with him, and his new comforting ways. Taxes are reduced and payment plan is secured due to this neighbors help. Dating begins…
Example #2: Villain is a female office worker in a small town, male is a single Dad. Conflict is gossip about the many fired sitters for his child who is horrible out in public. Office worker encounters male at a grocery store and in talking, develops a natural interest for him. She recommends her mother as his new sitter. Dating begins…
Change of scene, yes. Change of male and female roles, again yes, but way too predictable.
Ever stopped reading a book that lost whatever originally sparked your interest? It is disappointing. Maybe the author got caught up in beautiful language describing some countryside for several pages. Or possibly, too many step by step details of daily events. The fewer words used to describe anything, the better. It creates an important scene that pulls us in as readers. As a writer, you certainly don’t want to be known as being predictable and having a story that rambles on and on, pointlessly.
Anyone can use help, and we are never too old to stop learning.
You will find me first in line to purchase an exceptionally good ‘How to Write’ book with helpful hints. I am thankful for the author who shares tried and true writing methods that worked for them. I like structure, but at the same time, spontaneity is a must.
If you haven’t read “Scene and Structure” by Jack M. Bickham, please do so. You are in for a treat! I highly recommend this book. He gives great information on the elements of fiction writing.
Last year, a writer friend of mine, stopped writing her second novel. She was severely critiqued for her first novel…so the sequel came to a screeching halt.
She had not followed the procedure recommended by her writing group. She did not insert important information on certain pages of her romantic comedy.
A year later, after rewriting her first novel, that had great reviews, it was republished. She continued the sequel.
“How to Write” books and writing groups are most helpful. Learn from them but be careful, don’t lose your voice. Your best effort displays your own personality in your writing.
Hidden CreekLynn Hobbs is the author of the Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga from Desert Coyote Productions.
Book #1: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, awarded 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2013, Texas Association of Authors.
Book #2: River Town, 1st place, Religious Fiction, 2014, TAA.
Book #3: Hidden Creek.
You can find Lynn on Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Twitter: @LynnHobbsAuthor
http://www.LynnHobbsAuthor.com
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Priority of Time

I am honored to have my post published on (Jim) James R. Callan's blog. Jim is a fellow member of North East Texas Writer's Organization, and recently received Life-Time membership. Enjoy my post on Priorities!

Priorities

hobbs - 2Today’s guest blogger is Lynn Hobbs, an award-winning author.  She writes about the importance of setting priorities if you are to achieve anything.  She is the author of the powerful faith and family saga the Running Forward  Series.  The first two books have already gathered in several awards.  The third book in the series is being considered for an award in 2015. Stay tuned.
 Priority of Time
     Plan on writing daily? Certain time selected? Too often best intentions fall by the wayside. Daily interruptions are unavoidable, but can be managed stress free. It is your choice. Jump in and deal with the problem. Learn from it and continue.
     Thirty-five years ago, my sons were six and nine years old. During that year, I completed three queen size quilts by hand. How? I sewed during my quiet time at the end of the day… after they were in bed. Yes, I worked full-time. Yes, I worked all night …and yes, I looked forward to this special time.  I considered patterns, material, and what would be appropriate for whom. A relaxing and rewarding project, the quilts are still in my family today. I am a positive person. Make time for what you want to complete.
     As a writer, I experience the same principles and find myself reversing interruptions. Now, I interrupt planned tasks with my writing. Ideas flowing, keys clicking away as I type…yes, that prescription refill I called in can wait until tomorrow. I’m not going to stop and drive twenty miles one way to purchase it. One of the best time savers is to avoid as much time-consuming travel as possible. Once again, priority matters.
     For nearly two years I drove over an hour and a half, one way, to writer’s meetings twice a month. Another was over two hours away. Two others twice a month were local. Add time on the road spent driving to critique meetings, workshops, conferences, etc. and your priority’s change. Sometimes it is necessary to say no. Residing in a rural area, I still cultivate my writing craft, but it’s accomplished more often online. What about the people? With social media, established friendships made at the meetings aren’t lost, they grow. Of course, nothing can replace the personal time spent during one on one with readers. Speaking engagements, book signings, marketing and writing time are increasing as my hours become more flexible.  
     One of the best online sites I use is at Writers Digest: click on the link and discover what a wide variety of information is available. http://www.writersdigest.com/?et_mid=673384&rid=239434618
     A helpful site for critique is: http://www.critiquecircle.com/
     Another critique site is www.constructivecritiques.com Karlyn Thayer, an experienced editor, and writing instructor offers a free critique of your novel or short story up to 1,000 words maximum.
     Your time is valuable. I have found the old cliché to be true, ‘you cannot please everyone.’ Hobbs-Hidden Creek Front Cove-aI have learned that one size fits all… does not apply to writing. Progress is measured differently by many. Stay true to yourself and your goals. As a published Christian fiction author, my goal to give readers a clear understanding of a Christian viewpoint by the actions of my main character was realized in The Running Forward Series; a powerful faith and family saga. Book one: Sin, Secrets, and Salvation, won 1st place in Religious Fiction for 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors. Book two: River Town, won 1stplace for Religious Fiction with the same organization for 2014. Hidden Creek, concludes the series, and yes, it is being considered for their 2015 contest.
     Writing methods and the industry change daily. Set priorities will not only be beneficial to your writing, but will establish a more rewarding experience.
     JIM:  Thanks, Lynn, for reminding us to set priorities.  Visitors, if you have a moment, leave Lynn a comment on how you set your priorities to find time for what is important to you.  Thanks.