Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Writing”

Book Stuff I Like

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 Run, don't walk to get this one friends. Jonathan Acuff's Stuff Christians Like is laugh out loud funny. It takes a lot to get me ROTF laughing, but this book did it. Sometimes I would have to stop reading because I was tired from laughing! A huge thanks to Zondervan for providing me with a review copy.

Sometimes, we fall in love on mission trips even though we know we’ll break up when we get back. Sometimes, you have to shot block a friend’s prayer because she’s asking God to bless an obviously bad dating relationship. Sometimes, you think, “I wish I had a t-shirt that said ‘I direct deposit my tithe’ so people wouldn’t judge me.”

Sometimes, the stuff that comes with faith is funny.

This is that stuff.

Jonathan Acuff’s Stuff Christians Like is your field guide to all things Christian. In it you’ll learn the culinary magic of the crock-pot. Think you’ve got a Metro worship leader-Use Acuff’s checklist. Want to avoid a prayer handholding faux pas? Acuff has you covered.

Like a satirical grenade, Acuff brings us the humor and honesty that galvanized more than a million online readers from more than 200 countries in a new portable version. Welcome to the funny side of faith.

Being convicted has never been so much fun.

Here is an interview with Jonathan on writing:

How did you get involved in writing?
A teacher in the third grade laminated some poems I wrote and I fell in love with it then.

What was the most difficult aspect of the writing process?
Finishing a piece. Starting is so much easier.

What did you enjoy most about the writing process?
The brainstorming part. 

How do you find time to write?
I get up at 5AM before anyone in my family is up.

What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author?

Pick a time to write and then do it. Don’t debate whether you will write each day, just write. 

Click the cover to purchase Jonathan's book at Amazon.


Cecil Murphey Appreciation

June has been declared Cecil Murphey appreciation month. He has written or coauthored more than 100 books including the New York Times best- seller 90 Minutes in Heaven

I love his books but appreciate his teaching most of all. I'm in an online Writer's Group where Cec is a moderator. In the interest of keeping my inbox clean, I delete hundreds of emails per month from that loop. But not the ones from Cecil Murphey. I keep those carefully stored and read them at least once a week. 

You see, he took the time on several occasions to respond to my writing personally. I have been most encouraged in my career, by him. He speaks about allowing God to hold his hands and pour into him, and as the Father of Writing, Cec turns around and freely pours himself into hundreds of writers. 

You know that question people love to ask, "If you could meet anyone who would it be?" My dream is to meet and take a class from Cecil Murphey. (Number two is to meet and sing with Phil Vassar, but I digress.)

I'm so honored because in July, Cecil will be writing a guest post here at Krellfish. I will also be reviewing his latest book, When A Man You Love Was Abused.

Thank you for everything Cec, you are deeply appreciated.

CecMurphey_2
 

Live Well Write Well

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There is definite truth to the "write what you know" mantra. We are honest, less tempered, free and wise when we write uncensored from personal experience. 

When we dream out loud or even privately in a journal, if we haven't lived, there is an arrogance and hollow ring to our writing. 

But the fountain which comes from the pen of an authentic writer, is the beauty of a life worth living.

Good writers live well so they will write well.

3 Little Pigs ’10

 Three Little Pigs 2010

                  Pigs
today don’t understand the importance of constructing their own lives.
Everything is prepackaged and they don’t even have to think for themselves
anymore. The lasting impact is still the same though; pigs that don’t build
their own “houses” can end up homeless on many fronts.

                  The
first little Piggy went to the virtual market and constructed a life and home
on the World Wide Web. The materials were not only cheap, they were free and
his life was easy to build. When the wolf named Reality stopped by and huffed
and puffed, the first piggy’s fake world disappeared. He had no friends and
nowhere to go. He had no job, nowhere to live, no life. So he went to live with
his brother, the second little pig.

                  Pig
Number Two had been given everything all of his life. This little piggy stayed
home. He never had to work, study or train to be anything more than the son of
two pigs. Father Pig had given Pig Number Two an expensive house and then
suddenly passed away, leaving massive debt behind. When a wolf named Bill came to huff,puff and collect; the house only shook at first, but eventually collapsed and the pigs lost
everything. Since neither brother had any skills or life, they had to
go to their youngest brother, the Third Little Pig.

                  Now
the Third Little Pig was at a time in his life, when every day as he drove
from work he happily shouted “whee, whee, whee!” all the way home. This little
pig had built his house and life on a rock, out of bricks. Of course these
materials were costly and more difficult to come by, but the third pig
understood the dangers of wolves and shifting sand.

                  When
the Wolf’s wind blew, as it always does, the third pig’s house could not be
shaken. This made the wolf angry, so he climbed on the roof and tried to enter
the house through the chimney. The house had been converted to gas however, so
the defunct chimney was boarded up. The wolf couldn’t get in. Unable to climb down, the wolf stayed on the roof, screaming to be let in. His screams scare off evil predators who heard the three pigs were all under one roof, waiting to
be eaten.

    The third little Pig is a good pig and allows his brothers to live with him. Obviously he isn't married, nor does he hope to be anytime soon. He forces both his brothers to maintain jobs and to contribute to the monthly expenses.

     Many years later they thank their brother for not throwing them to the wolves and for giving them a true second life.

Ak 2008

Some Conference Highlights

This past weekend was the 10th Anniversary of the Christian Writer's Guild Writing for the Soul Conference. It was tremendous.

A couple of highlights:

Max Lucado was the keynote one evening. He reminded me that I will never write better than I live. I want to be a good writer. I better live well.

Phil Vischer surprised me with his powerful story. He created VeggieTales in 1990 and has a new company called Jellyfish Labs. The real story however, is in the way God moved in his life. Reaching a place of utter brokenness, Phil is now able to integrate faith in a fresh and authentic way, through his new company. I encourage you to check out his story, you'll be glad you did.

And a classic Audra moment:

At dinner one evening I sat next to a Neurologist, who was accompanying his writer wife. I let 30 minutes go by before asking if I could get his opinion on a medical question. He welcomed my question and I launched into Landon's story of his severe head injury. I threw out all my big terms: post traumatic memory loss, post concussive syndrome, etc. I wrapped up with, "So in your opinion is it normal for him to have these headaches for so long?"

"I really couldn't say, that's out of my area of expertise," he said.

"But you're a Neurologist."

"I'm a Urologist."

I died a thousand deaths.

"Well, you'll be happy to know my son's urine is a pale yellow, he seems really hydrated. . ."

Brand Marketing 101 with WD-40

Marketing genius John S. Barry of WD-40 has passed away at the age of 84. When the product was created in the 50's, Mr. Barry marketed WD-40 and made it into a timeless product that no one could do without. Here is an excerpt of some of his best practices, taken from a New York Times article by Douglas Martin.

"Mr. Barry brought marketing coherence and discipline to the company. He spruced up the packaging and increased the advertising budget, but most of all he pushed for distribution. He emphasized free samples, including the 10,000 the company sent every month to soldiers in the Vietnam War to keep their weapons dry.

Within a little more than a decade, Mr. Barry was selling to 14,000 wholesalers, up from 1,200 when he started.

MORE FROM NYTIMES.COM

He kept tight control of the product. When Sears wanted to package WD-40 under its own label, Mr. Barry said no. When another big chain wanted the sort of price concessions to which it was accustomed, he refused.

He pushed to get WD-40 into supermarkets, where people buy on impulse. He also began an aggressive effort to sell WD-40 in foreign countries.

“We may appear to be a manufacturing company,” Mr. Barry said to Forbes, “but in fact we are a marketing company.”

 7 tips to best market your book or your brand from Mr. Barry's innovative marketing of WD-40.

  •  Bring coherence and discipline to your company, even if you represent the sum total of employees
  •  Make your packaging sizzle 
  •  Take dollars from somewhere else to increase marketing budget
  • Make distribution your top priority
  • Give thousands of free samples of your product (Book excerpts, e-books)
  • Keep tight control of your product. Writers, this doesn't mean self-publishing. It means thoroughly reading and negotiating your contracts with editors, agents and publishers.
  • Aggressively place your product in stores where people make impulse buys. Work hard to get your product into International markets.
  • Realize that you may "appear" to be manufacturing something, but at the end of the day you are a marketing company.

Fountain Hills, AZ Writer’s Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Jewell Johnson                            
(480) 836-8968

tykej@juno.com

 

Fountain Hills Christian Writers’ Group Offers Mini Writers’ Conference


(

FOUNTAIN HILLS

,

Ariz

, Feb. 14, 2009) – The Fountain Hills Christian Writers’ Group offers a one-day conference designed to improve marketable skills and promote community among beginning and seasoned faith-based writers.  The event will be held at First Baptist Church of Fountain Hills, 10215 N. Saguaro Blvd. (85268) on Friday, March 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Topics include:

  • Finding 101 Things to Write About
  • Determining Your Area of Expertise
  • Autobiography–Writing your Own Story
  • Six Things to Remember When Writing Fiction
  • Creating Unforgettable Characters

 

Floyd Allen, freelance writer, educator, novelist and seminar speaker will teach all five classes. Former editor of Impact Magazine and Phoenix Spirit Newspapers, Allen is currently an adjunct faculty member at American Indian College and feature writer for The Greater Phoenix Christian Chronicle. He has written four novels, more than a dozen novellas and hundreds of magazine articles

 

Lunch will be served. There is no charge for the meal, but donations are welcome.

 

COST:  $10.00 includes all five sessions.

 

 

Pre-registration is requested.  Registration for lunch must be made by 3/11/09.
To register call
 (480) 836-8968

Weiner Dog

    Author Jennifer Weiner has a great section on her website. She talks about becoming a writer and the road to publication. Number six on her list is quite interesting and I think is possibly the missing ingredient in my writing career. She says that if you want to be a writer, you need to, of all things, GET A DOG. Gasp.

   " Being a dog owner requires a similar form of discipline. You wake up every morning. You walk the dog. You do this whether you're tired, depressed, broke, hung over, or have been recently dumped. You do it. And while you're walking, you're thinking about plot, or characters, or that tricky bit of dialogue that's had you stumped for days. You're out in the fresh air. Your legs are moving. Your dog is sniffing the butts of other dogs. It gives you a routine, a physical rhythm, a loyal companion, and a way to meet new people when you're in a new place. It gets your body used to doing the same thing at the same time – and if you're walking the dog for half an hour at the same time of every day, it's an easy step to go sit in front of the computer and create for half an hour at the same time every day. So go to your local pound or rescue organization, and get a dog. Trust me. You'll be glad you did."

Oh Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer. Anyone that knows me, knows that this isn't a possibility.  I'm the anti-animal person. I can't even keep a Webkin or my iFluff Pandy alive on my iPhone. It's hopeless. My discipline will simply have to come from another source.

But for the rest of you, take her advice. Head out this weekend, rescue a dog and become a writer. The world will thank you.


 

Base Runners

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After completing my first novel during NaNoWriMo in the month of November, I've returned to some of my writing fears. It's weird, but they were right where I left them, waiting for me like an old friend, ready to crush me. It seems they are never going to go away. So, I will have to chose daily, to not be in that relationship anymore.

I've been afraid that the ideas won't come, the "right" audience won't be interested and that my efforts will result in, well, a whole lot of nothing.

Yet, I really want to be in the game. This past weekend I remembered that you've got to swing the bat if you want to play. I've been yelling "Put me in Coach!" from a couple miles south of the field. 

As I sat this weekend in front of a full view of the Las Vegas strip, the words and ideas began to pour forth. I stepped up to the plate and created my book proposal. Chapter outlines and everything.

It's good to realize, I don't have to hit it out of the park.  

Our world simply needs more base runners. And I'm just the woman for the job.


Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Nano_08_winner_large  Well this is the biggest badge they offer. I'll probably make myself a button or a sash and wear it through the first of the year. That will cover three airports and three states.

Actually I think my family is probably over this now. They have been so supportive and my amazing husband has gotten me through the critical times, when I thought I had nothing else to write about.

I'm in Washington DC and just might have to settle for  yelling that I'm a NaNoWriMo winner from the steps of the Capitol Building, tomorrow. Listen for me across the United States at noon ET. Because if you can't tell, I'm pretty happy about finishing my first book.

Special additional thanks goes to Dr. Rus, my friend Marinaand all my friends who kept up with my word count, asked about my progress and generally cheered me on. I'm grateful for your kindness and support!

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