Time to Write with Bonita & Cammi

Bonita: Most of us writers think that writing, like breathing, should come naturally. But in the real world, life happens, and we wrestle with others and ourselves to eke out the time to put the words on the page.

Here are the four tips that I have implemented in my own writing to help me get the work done.

  1. Bathe it in prayer. Before I begin writing, I pray. This is a new discipline for me. Not the praying but doing it right before I begin. It has helped me to keep my focus on the One who called me and made me to write. It also serves to shift the focus from the deadline, the opinion of others, and my own feelings to the quality of the work. Just like you, I always want to do my best for the Lord.
  2. Make a plan, Stan. Yes, we must plan. Bob Hostetler shared with us at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in 2017 that he would plan as far out as forty days. By doing this, his writing was already on the planner before other things could take over. I liked his idea and started planning every six weeks in advance. Using this method, I got several articles and blogs written as well as two books during 2018.
  3. Attitude of Gratitude. Be grateful for the time that the Lord gives you to write. I am terrible about viewing this wonderful opportunity of work as a burden, but the secret is it’s not a burden. It is a gift. So, every minute you are given to use your wordsmithing skills count it as joy.
  4. All grit; no quit. Shirlee McCoy shared this on one of her Facebook posts, and I loved it. In order to write, you must determine this is your calling and nothing is going to stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Sure, there will be times that the Lord puts other things in your life that have to be taken care of, but it’s the getting back to it that makes you a writer.

May God bless all your writing endeavors this year, and remember, if he called you to it, he will equip you for it.


Bonita Y. McCoy hails from the Great State of Alabama where she lives on a five-acre farm with two horses, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who she’s had for over twenty-nine years. She is a mother to three mostly grown sons and two beautiful daughters-in-law, one who joined the family from Japan. She loves God, and she loves to write. Her blog and novels are an expression of both these passions. Drop by and visit. Facebook Author’s Page or visit her website bonitaymccoy.com .


Cammi: I am a low-tech girl living in a high-tech world, at least when it comes to writing. I keep paper and pen with me at all times. We all have our dedicated writing time, but think about the rest of your day. We have times during the day when we have a minute or two of waiting – at the doctor, at the grocery store, sitting at a restaurant. Those are great times to grab that paper and jot down ideas. Look around you and see what people are wearing, listen to what they are saying, notice what they are doing. I like to tell myself I will remember later but I know I will not!

On my last trip to the grocery store I noticed—

  1. A man checked out with 17 packages of chocolate chip cookies, 2 bags of plant food, and a spatula. I am curious! What was he doing?
  2. A pretty girl was sorting through the tomatoes. She had expensive clothes and jewelry, meticulous makeup, and manicured nails. On her wrist, she had a string of paper clips with a rusted key hanging on it. Did a child make the paper clip bracelet for her? What was the key for?

Will these characters make it into a story later? Maybe, maybe not. But I have this trove of inspiration I can draw from whenever I need it.

You won’t have time to craft paragraphs or even write in complete sentences but that isn’t what these sessions are meant to accomplish. Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times, and always having something to write on will ensure that you do not forget your ideas. You never know when a simple observation might spark a whole novel!


Daughter, sister, friend, huge nerd, procrastinator… All are words Cammi Woodall uses to describe her self. A new one she is using is writer. That is scary! Cammi is a writer. Her hands shake when she says it or writes those words.

After keeping her stories hidden away for decades, she’s decided 2018 is her year to jump out of her comfort zone and get her writing to the public.

Despite darker reading habits, a comic thread weaves its way through her fictional stories. Even in emotional pieces, her characters use humor to cope with everyday tragedies. Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying!


Click to Tweet: Will planning ahead keep you on task with your writing? Find out how Bonita Y. McCoy and Cammi Woodall keep their writing energies flowing. Time to Write with Bonita & Cammi via @InspiredPrompt #NewYearResolution #amwriting

Writing Prompt: Using the following words and phrases, create an opening paragraph for a story:

  • One black boot
  • Candelabra
  • Ficus tree
  • Crock Pot

Have fun!

Closing Comments on Indie Publishing

August is at an end. Can you believe it? Looking back over the month, we’ve shared our stories, interviews, comments, and suggestions about Indie publishing. If you’ve read our posts this month, tell me, what stands out to you? What helped you most? Inspired you?


To wrap up the month, we’d like to hear from you—our readers. Share a short comment about your own “Indie” journey, tell us what you liked best from our posts, or if you still have questions, ask us. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find out for you.

Our greatest desire is to be of help to you along your writing journey. Be encouraged to prayerfully consider your next steps. Your dreams are important, so don’t rush it, and don’t cut too many corners.
Writing Prompt: Just for Fun – Write a haiku about the above photo. Don’t know how? Here’s a helpful post from Creative Writing Now: How to Write a Haiku

Throughout the month of September, we’re going to talk about “Working with the Industry.” I hope you’ll join us.

Click to Tweet:  To Indie publish or not? Your dreams are important, so don’t rush it, and don’t cut too many corners from Betty Owens – @batowens via @InspiredPrompt #IndieAuthors #SelfPub

1st Saturday Extra: It’s More Than Sales

By Sandra Ardoin

Phyllis Keels

When I was first asked to share about an author who made an impact on me, several came to mind. I wasn’t sure which person to choose.

Did I write about how Dee Henderson introduced me to the O’Malleys and taught me that Christian fiction can be both exciting, suspenseful, and heart-touching?

Did I write about becoming absorbed by Tamara Alexander’s gentle writing voice and how it made me long to write like her? Did I mention how she brought her research to life through story and all I learned of those who “lived” in a previous century?

Did I discuss the many critique partners, editors, and mentors who have helped me to see where I need to improve my writing and what works or doesn’t?

In the end, I’ve chosen to tell you about my friend, Phyllis Keels. Phyllis and I went to the same church and discovered we both had a love for writing. I’d been looking for a local Christian critique group to attend and hadn’t found one, so she and I decided we would become our own group—or duo.

When we were both pretty green in the ways of novel writing, we met at the library in a tiny tutoring room and shared our stories with the intention of teaching one another. As with most critique partners, she had special talents and I had others.

For Phyllis, I emphasized the need to put her characters through the wringer. She wanted them to look perfect, be perfect, and always prevail. You see, like so many authors and readers, Phyllis considered her characters as friends, and she hated making them suffer as much as she hated seeing real friends suffer.

As for me, she’d say, “I want to see the poetry.” She wanted to read the beauty of description in my stories, not “just the facts, ma’am.” So, I learned how to use more similes and metaphors. I learned how to let a train’s engine drag “its cars down the track like a caterpillar dragging its body along a tree limb.”

We had fun in those hours and, one night, attracted too much attention. I think I was in elementary school the last time I’d been shushed by a librarian. Of course, that brought on more giggles.

Phyllis’s talent for whimsical drawings were showcased when she illustrated a couple of children’s books. She wrote Emma and the Paper especially for her dad. She used her fur baby, Emma, as the main character in the story. Her charming watercolors also illustrated Kimberly Rae’s book When I’m With Jesus: For Any Child with a Loved One in Heaven.

And Phyllis was a fount of spiritual knowledge, willing to share it with whomever crossed her path. She learned much of it from her mama and daddy. In fact, several times, she wrote the narrative for the church choir’s Christmas and Easter programs.

In my opinion, Phyllis’s greatest talent rested in non-fiction and her ability to share the gospel through her blog posts and devotions. God used her posts to show His love to all readers, but especially those in the midst of grief. It became her ministry after experiencing her own tragedy. At book selling events, I’d see her sympathize and empathize with people who were going through tough times, often gifting them one of her books if she felt it might help.

In Phyllis Keels, I saw the value of poetry, following God’s will, and viewing a reader as more than a customer. So, with this post, I hope I’ve honored my friend on the cusp of the one-year anniversary of her presence with the Lord where she now rejoices with her father, daughter, and sister.

Phyllis’s books remain on Amazon. If you need encouragement, please check them out.

Click to tweet: How an author inspired me. Phyllis’s greatest talent rested in non-fiction and her ability to share the gospel through her blog posts and devotions. #faith #amreading


Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. She’s the author of the heartwarming novella, The Yuletide Angel and the award-winning novel, A Reluctant Melody. Rarely out of reach of a book, she’s also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

Visit her at http://www.sandraardoin.com. Subscribe to receive updates and specials. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub.


A Reluctant Melody

Kit Barnes’ drinking ruined more lives than his own. Now sober, he wants to make amends by opening a mission for drunkards. The most suitable location belongs to Joanna Cranston Stewart, a love from his sordid past and the one person he hurt the most.

A pariah among her peers, Joanna is all too eager to sell her property and flee the rumors that she sent her late husband to an early grave. But she will let the gossips talk and the walls of her rundown property crumble around her before she’ll allow Kit back into her life. 

When a blackmailer threatens to reveal her long-held secret, she must choose between trusting Kit or seeing her best friend trapped in an abusive marriage. 

Will Joanna risk another betrayal? Or will she find a way through the pain of the past to love and trust again?

Nonfiction: Inspired from Conception to Publication

Covering the nonfiction genre in one post is impossible. Instead, I chose to encourage and inspire you to seriously think about nonfiction. So let me ask you…

books, NarniaAre you a fiction writer or a nonfiction writer? Regardless, did you know that you can use fiction techniques to create a gripping story? For instance, nonfiction writers begin with voice, use compelling dialogue, and include a beginning, middle, and ending to ensure their readers an unforgettable experience.

Now, that I have your attention, here are different ways you can distribute your writing.

Magazine Articles
Do you know how to plant a perfect garden, repair a broken household sink, or cook mouth-watering apple pies? Well then, why not turn all your hard-earned wisdom into an article.

Newspaper columns
Are you a news junkie? Traveler? Foodie? Photographer? Newspapers are always looking for local talent. Share school activities, church socials,  neighborhood street parties, your destinations and experiences.

Anthology
If you’re not ready to tackle your own book, why not collaborate with other writers. Chicken Soup for the Soul is a perfect example of collaboration. Submit your story, and if chosen it’s published as part of a collection. Be sure to check their guidelines before submitting.

Books
This includes memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, self-help, travel guides, cookbooks, photography, and devotionals, just to name a few.

As you can see, there are many aspects to consider. Let’s take a moment and talk about the writing process.

Getting Started

journaling.jpg

Ideas– Everything begins with an idea. The problem is we may lose the inspiration if we don’t capture the moment. Always carry something to catch the unexpected. When I don’t have pen and paper, I use my phone (Samsung Note 5). It has a pen (And you know how much I love pen and paper). Or if I can’t write, I can record my thoughts using the recorder app.

Research-How will you gather your info? Consider using interviews, online articles, library visits, or an experiment in your own kitchen. No matter where your investigation leads, record and date your facts. This will save you hours of time and frustration when you begin writing.

Write-Look over your notes. Decide what you will say and in what order you will say it. Write the article without editing. Read it. Edit. Revise. Rewrite. Repeat until it’s the best it can be.

Submissions-Finding a place for your story can be harder than writing your story. But there are a few books that can help you find a home for your idea. The 2018 editions of The Christian Writers Market Guide and  Writers Market Guide are treasure troves of potential publishers.

In today’s world, we have so many options in publishing. Why not take a chance? Spread your wings and ride the wind. Who knows where the gusts will take you!

Writing Prompt: Take one of your ideas and think it through from conception to publication. Make a to-do list and check off each one as you finish it. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Click to Tweet: Why not take a chance? @InspiredPrompt @GailJohnson87 #writetip #nonfiction