Friday, November 6, 2015

Trials and joys of writing by Rhonda Walker

Hello readers! It’s great you could join us today. Today’s feature is a guest post by children’s and inspirational author Rhonda Walker. She’ll be talking about her upcoming release Wesley Out West and her reading and writing journey.

So pour a cuppa and prop up your feet to enjoy the read. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter contest at the bottom of the post for your chance to win a personalized autographed copy of Wesley Out West and a cute Wesley plushie!

Trials and joys of writing by Rhonda Walker

Willie Out West (2013, WestBow Press) was my first published children’s story. It was so well received that I am re-launching an updated version, Wesley Out West (2015, JLB Creatives Publishing) is in a smaller size and contains an educational supplement for parents and teachers. If you read Willie I know you will enjoy Wesley even more. The “Fun Facts” and photos of the real sea mammals are educational and enjoyable for children and adults alike. The book size is more comfortable for young children to hold and carry, and the response thus far is widely encouraging. Enjoy.

I always loved books. In seventh grade I walked every day to my little New Mexico town’s library, checking out the maximum number of books. I returned within a day, replacing those books with more. I also used my allowance to purchase every juvenile book of interest: the Hardy Boys and other popular series. I found Nancy Drew boring. During my eighth grade summer, Mother took me on a weekly trek (30-miles one way) from our mobile home in a New Mexico desert mining community into the town of Grants. There, I devoured all of the town library’s westerns (Kit Carson, etc.), mysteries (Ellery Queen, Perry Mason), and stories about Geronimo and other Native Americans.

I carried my love for reading to college and majored in English and elementary education. These classes opened a door to children’s literature that will never close.  I read almost 300 children’s books in one semester. I thank God for blessing me with a passion for children’s literature, the desire to write children’s stories (there were so many bad books, I just knew I could write better), and the desire to develop whatever ability I possessed.

In 1976, I wrote two grammar stories which, amazingly, found their way into a textbook for first graders. However, I had little faith in my ability and gave up after one failed attempt to publish. I published two women’s inspirational articles and edited several women’s church newsletters during the succeeding years, but nothing else. 

Years later I set out to discover why certain women of faith remained strong in spite of unbearable and continual trials in their lives. For two years, I interviewed women; thus was born my first book, “Beyond the Shadow is Tomorrow: Stories of Women of Faith,” published by WestBow Press in 2013. I encourage all Christian women looking for strength and encouragement to read this book. The book still brings great reviews from those seeking answers and encouragement while going through rough times, and it is still for sale through my web site or e-mail.

“Icing, Locusts & Life” is about to be released by JLB Creatives Publishing, and I am so excited. The reviews are already coming in on this inspirational book for men and women.  I encourage readers to reach out and embrace the world and its wonders. Every day is icing on the cake of our lives, no matter how bad our circumstances or how hard it is raining. Every day I have a choice to make when I get out of bed (or even if I cannot get out of bed). It is how we choose the icing of our days, light or dark, which determines how we meet the locusts that visit the beautiful fields and gardens of life.

My life is challenging, fantastic, miracle filled, and troubled—sometimes all at once. There are memories of the blessings of family and friends mixed with my own success and failure. In spite of everything a long life can deliver, I find reason every day to be grateful that God provides abundant blessings. Even with the traumas of illness, embarrassing personal failures, and sadness beyond words, there is one thing that is good: I am still alive to see it dawn a better day.

I have more children’s stories on my desk, and my first novel is begun. No one knows tomorrow’s outcome, but today has been good. Tomorrow will be white icing, no matter what the day brings.

Be blessed. What color is your icing?

About Rhonda Walker
EVERY DAY IS ICING ON THE CAKE OF MY LIFE. It is challenging, fantastic, miracle filled, and troubled—sometimes all at once. There are memories of the blessings of family and friends, successes, and failure. I live daily in grateful awareness for a God who provides abundant blessings, especially during times of embarrassing failures.

I discovered my passion for reading early in life (right after the ark anchored on a mountain top.) In 1979, when my daughters were young, I returned to college. There, English and education professors taught me some needed writing basics and opened the door to children’s thinking. In truth, though, I began writing for myself in 1975, and my style was already developed. God blessed me with a passion for reading, the love of writing, and whatever ability I possess.

With training, skills, and God’s help, I fulfilled a long-held dream of writing stories for young readers. Several years ago, two of my grammar stories were published in a Scott Foresman textbook for first graders, and plans are under way to put those stories and others into a grammar series book. I write stories to encourage enjoyment and learning through reading.

Follow Rhonda around the web
Blog: The Word Asylum

Stop by for more about Wesley Out West and great reads for ages 1 to 100!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015 is coming!

Below is the first Lake County Region NaNoMail sent out. I will be posting them here to make sure everyone gets the news about what's happening in Lake County for NaNoWrimo 2015! 
Hello Lake Wrimos!
 It’s October! Time for cooler temps, carving pumpkins and prepping for NaNoWriMo! I just wanted to make sure to send you some important information about our Lake County Region and NaNoWriMo 2015.
 The theme for 2015 is The NaNoWriMo Library! Graphics to style your Facebook and other social media will be available to download after the site wipe. Speaking of, the site wipe will take place on Monday, October 5th.
 If there are any threads or information you want to write down or copy/paste from the forums do so within the next couple of days. Don’t forget to stop by our Region Forums. I have our region set with a few starter threads for us until after the wipe. Those threads are all marked with sticky notes and will not be erased. So, go ahead and introduce yourself and your novel, share your social media links, and more.
 For those new to NaNo, the site wipe is when our marvelous NaNo Techs go in and reset the site and wipe the forums clean to make space for all the awesomeness to happen in 2015. Don’t worry, your profile and author info will be unaffected. Only a space to create your 2015 novel will be added.
Be sure to visit your Lake County Region forums and introduce yourself and your novel! 
 Dates to Remember
There are a few dates to mark down on your calendar. One very important one!
 October 13th Lake Writers Critique GroupThe new sister group to Lake Writers will be meeting on the 13th at the Hampton Inn in Mt. Dora, FL at 6:30pm. This group is a place to bring your work in progress for honest but gentle feedback.
October 14th Lake Writers Meet UpBring your writing gear to Crispers, in Eustis, FL at 6:30pm and join us in a NaNo Novel Planning Session!  We’ll chat about our projects and ideas as we help each other get ready for the big event.
October 28th NaNoWriMo 2015 Kick-off Party!Join us for a fun gathering of fellow wrimos as we enjoy our last few days of sanity before the writing begins! The party will take place at Crispers in Eustis starting at 6:30pm. Since it’s close to Halloween come dressed in costume. (optional: you don’t have to if it’s not your thing, but it sure is a lot of fun!) This is where you’ll get your official 2015 NaNoWriMo Sticker and information packet for November.
November 2015 is going to be Noveltastic with all of you participating. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones at our write-ins this year!
Just a quick sum up of all the important stuff until next NaNoMail!
October 5th Site Wipe
October 13th Lake Writers Critique Group
October 14th Lake Writers Meet Up and NaNo Novel Planning Session
October 28th NaNoWriMo 2015 Kick-off Party!
That’s all the news fit to print...this week. Happy Scribbles Wrimos!