Please Forward My Mail …

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moving on is hard

Moving on is a hard thing to do. The crew here at Inspired Prompt has grown to be a tight knit community, and we are all sad to see a good thing come to an end.

However, you can’t stand still and move on.

So, I want to extend my thanks to so many of our group who have encouraged and helped me along the way.

To Jennifer and Betty and Gail, I want to say well done. The blog has changed and grown to reach a wide audience of both readers and other writers. You have helped not only our own members grow in their writing, but you have also challenged others in the writing community to seek excellence in their craft.

To all the authors we have interviewed on Three Questions Wednesday, I want to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and inspiration with us. And a special shout out to the ladies who have handled these interviews over the years. You rocked it.

To the other writers in the crew, thank you. I have learned so much from you and have enjoyed getting to know you over the last few years.

For sure, this is not good-bye forever. I know I’ll see you on Facebook and other social media platforms and maybe even at conferences. I will expect a hug.

And then to the readers, the ones for whom we write, I want to say that you have made it all worthwhile. Sharing your comments and giving encouragement, meant so much to me. You are why we do what we do.

So instead of saying good-bye to all the readers, I’m going to leave you my forwarding address. www.bonitaymccoy.com

Please feel free to come visit me anytime. There is a place for you to sit and rest and read a free chapter. Then you can go over and take a peek at the summer recipes, and then if you’d like, you can sign-up for my free newsletter that fills you in on what craziness is going on in my corner of the world.

Again, thank you for letting me be a part of something unique and wonderful.

God’s many blessings,

Bonita Y. McCoy

What’s new?

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By Bonita Y. McCoy

This month with the world going crazy, the Inspired Prompt crew decided to give our readers an update on what’s new with us.

Here’s what the next few months hold for me if everything goes according to plan:

  • I hope to attend the Killer Nashville Conference, August 20-23 in Franklin, Tennessee. This conference is a great time for me to learn more about writing cozy mysteries especially now that I have a series put out by Winged Publications. Book one of the Amy Kate Mystery series, Twisted Plots, is out, but I am in the middle of writing book two, Family Twist.
  • I’ve also entered this conference’s competition, The Silver Falchion Award. I may not win, but it’s a personal victory because I defeated the fear factor and did it.
  • The other conference I am hoping to attend is The Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat which has been moved to October. I love this retreat because it fits me so well. It’s low-key, full of worship, and the food and people are awesome.

Writing and Publishing:

  • My North Alabama Word Weavers International group put out a thirty-day devotional called Coffee With God which if you know me is a great match. Big coffee drinker.
  • Also, in March, I published the second in my Sawyer Sweet Romance series, Seeds of Love. This story took several rewrites to get the heroine just so. But the story turned out better than I could have hoped and now, I’m truly thankful my Beta readers and editor worked with me to make it a sigh-worthy romance.
  • My other projects on my bulletin board are Merry Christmas Mix-up and Billionaire Cowboy Next Door. To say I’m learning the value of faithfully showing up each day to write is an understatement.

Thanks for checking in with me. I hope the craziness in your own world is balanced by some time with God and keeping in touch with those you love, even if it’s over the internet or by phone.

 

Read a copy of Seeds of LoveSeeds of Love_ebook

Bonita McCoy 2018

 

Bonita Y. McCoy hails from the Great State of Alabama where she lives on a five-acre farm with two cows, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who she’s had for over thirty years. She is a mother to three grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law, one who joined the family from Japan. She loves God, and she loves to write. Her articles, devotions, and novels are an expression of both these passions.

Drop by and visit her Facebook Author’s Page or Instagram page or visit her website bonitaymccoy.com where you can find her books, blog, and all the other things she might be doing.

Sign up for her newsletter and stay in touch. Click Here

When You Have to Start All Over, Again!

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Photo by Steve Johnson

Writing is not for the faint of heart. As writers, we know from the onset of any new project that the first draft will not be perfect. Actually, it will be far, far, far from perfect. We expect rewrites, revisions, critiques, and edits, but what happens when you spend years on a story just to come to the conclusion you need to start over, again?

One key to sustaining a writing career is perseverance. You can’t give up. Every writing project is different, some come easy and some … well, they can leave you in tears.

In my own experience, I spent ten months working on a second book in a series only to have my Beta readers tell me they didn’t like my heroine at all. She came off as harsh with a chip on her shoulder.

I spent the next two months trying to figure out what was wrong with her and how to fix her.

When I finally diagnosed the problem, I realized that I needed my one character to be two. This meant most of the scenes were either rewritten or taken out altogether.

By the time I finished, I had physically taken the book apart scene by scene, rearranged the sequence of events, added a character, and wrote the necessary new scenes.

As I endeavored to complete this fourteen-month quest, I thought my eyes would cross from the amount of time I spent looking at the thing.

However, the end product exceeded all my expectations. The story flowed so much better, and the romance between the hero and heroine bloomed beautifully. The happily-ever-after caused a slight sigh to slip from my lips when I did the final read through before sending it to the editor.

But the only reason that story exists is because through God’s grace and a push or two from friends, I persevered.

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photo by Pexel

Here are a few tips that helped me when I had to start all over, again that I’d like to share with you.

  1. Pray. This is the one essential. Give your feelings of frustration to the Lord and let Him fill you with His peace. He has answers.
  2. Talk with other writers. They can encourage you with their own war stories. You’ll be surprised by how many authors go through this, and all are willing to share their experience and how they handled it with you.
  3. Seek out books on revision. First Draft in 30 Days by Karen S. Wiesner has some excellent advice and worksheets to step you through the process, and I am sure there are others out there that can work for you.
  4. Call a friend. Ask a friend to act as an accountability partner to keep you from quitting. Frustration and the feelings of defeat can pull you down, making the task in front of you seem impossible. A friend holding you to your goal of finishing can be a great motivator. Plus, they can act as your cheerleader along the way.

Did I enjoy starting all over again on that fifth draft? No.

But am I glad I did it? Yes.

Just know, every writer experiences the ups and downs of emotions as they meet the challenges set before them in their writing journey. The difference comes in how you persevere in those challenges.

Remember, crying is allowed, as long as you move forward once you’re done.

Click-to-Tweet: “…every writer experiences the ups and downs of emotions as they meet the challenges set before them in their writing journey.”

Writing Prompt: Sarah shut her laptop, fighting back the tears. The critique pointed out all the bare places in her manuscript. Beef it up was the consensus. For whatever reason, the story didn’t work.

O Romeo, How Many Are There of You?

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Love, Love, Love.

It’s floating all around us this February, and here on Inspired Prompt, the crew is looking at some of the best love stories ever written.

For me, the one that rises to the top without question is Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Now, you might call “Foul, sweet writer. ‘Tis not a novel nor a book. You, fiendish foe.”

And I would answer, “Tis true, but no sweeter love hath any two, then Juliet and her Romeo.”

Though a tragic play, the story of Romeo and Juliet has been reproduced in books, movies, and television shows throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, making it one of the most popular and beloved plots of Shakespeare.

A few of the more popular versions from the past of the Romeo and Juliet plotline are West Side Story, When You Were Mine, and Love Is All There Is.

More modern versions include Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Shakespeare In Love which talks about the writing of the play, and Warm Bodies which turns the issue of the feuding families into the issue of zombies and humans.

Not to be outdone by the zombies, even the animated world has a version of this play called Gnomeo and Juliet.

Some of the best-loved TV series have also done their own take on the Romeo and Juliet plot including Still Star-Crossed, Bones, and Castle. If you watch for it, you can find it in most series at least once if not as two teenagers in love from feuding families, then the classic Hatfield and McCoy type of scenario. Where Pa would never allow it.

According to the International Movie Database, there are thirty-four movie adaptations alone of Shakespeare’s tribute to young love. What a story!

So, in true Shakespearean form, I will leave you with this thought:

“A glooming peace this morning with it brings;

The sun for sorrow will not show his head:

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;

Some shall be pardoned and some punished:

For never was a story of more woe

Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

Prompt: Bernice sighed as she read over the playbill. She wanted to see Romeo and Juliet so bad she ached. It had been the last play that they had seen together.

Click-to-Tweet: #Love. It’s floating all around us this February, and here on Inspired Prompt, the crew is looking at some of the best love stories ever written. A classic look at love via @InspiredPrompt #ValentinesDay2020

Walking Into 2020

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photo by Alexas Fotos on Pixabay

This year, 2020, I am challenging myself to walk for at least 20 minutes five times a week.

I came across this idea through a podcast I listen to called Happier with Gretchen Rubin. This podcast contains life hacks, practical ways to manage time, and ideas for living a happier life.

Now, I am not new to walking. In fact, years ago, too many to claim, my doctor told me that I had high cholesterol and I needed to start exercising. He suggested walking. At the time, I had small children, so taking the kids for a walk a few times a week was easy to add to my routine, and they loved the adventure.

Then while the kids were growing up and going through those wild but wonderful teenage years, my reasons for walking changed. My motto became “not for vanity, but for sanity.” My few minutes walking through the neighborhood or meeting up with a friend at the walking track gave me perspective and made me recognize that my need for exercise went beyond the physical to the mental.

Now as a writer, my need to move has increased tenfold. My sedentary job pushes me to keep up my walking in order to maintain good health, but I have also discovered when I exercise my creative juices flow more readily, giving me inspiration and new ideas. Once again, my reasons have gone beyond that of the physical and mental to include the creative.

So, when I heard this podcast, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and accept the Walk 20 in 2020 challenge. I would increase the number of days I walk from three to five and see how the Lord uses this investment of time in my life.

If you have been feeling the nudge to get more active, I would challenge you to join me in my quest for twenty minutes of walking five days a week, and to entice you, I want to leave you with five great reasons to be a walker:

  1. Walking clears your mind and ups your creativity by 60 percent according to a Stanford University study.
  2. It gives you time to pray and think.
  3. It reduces your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and stroke.
  4. It strengthens your bones and muscles.
  5. It improves your mood and leaves you feeling happier.

With all these benefits, you might want to give walking a try and walk into the New Year knowing you’re doing something worthwhile for your mind, body, and spirit.

“But they that wait for Jehovah shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings of eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (ASV).

Prompt: The bells chimed midnight. Carol couldn’t wait to begin her new project. She loved the clean slate of a whole new year in front of her.

Click-to-Tweet: Five great reasons to be a walker – Bonita McCoy in Walking into 2020 via @InspiredPrompt