Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Are You Passionate?

Three teen girls giggled late into the eve of Youth Camp. They talked of hairstyles and makeup, fashion trends and boys. Ah, yes, boys! Carly already had a boyfriend and Cyndi was too shy, so the question hanging in the air alighted upon Me.

“So who do you like?”

Without hesitation, “Richard Whisenhunt,” escaped my lips. We didn’t know each other well. In fact, he was more a friend of my brother’s than of mine, but an overwhelming peace sifted through my entire being that assured me he was It. I knew in that moment Richard would be my life mate, and the spark of passion ignited.

Twenty-five years have passed since that night, and as you can guess from my last name, I married Richard Whisenhunt. When my husband is passionate about something, he becomes almost obsessive. Take for instance, cycling.

Inspired by Lance Armstrong’s seventh Tour de France victory, Richard began road bicycling. Let me tell you that’s a world of its own, and Richard dove right in. Through trial and error, he learned proper riding techniques, assembled top performance components, and learned necessary maintenance workings. He rode with experienced riders, studied online and print tips, and asked lots of questions. Oh, yeah, and he rode (and still rides) an average of two hours a day, trekking thirty to forty miles or more each ride. Occasionally, he participates in pay or charity rides, and recently he took up racing. Riding is Richard’s passion. Through dedication to the sport, he has become confident and masterful.

My husband’s devotion to his passion has taught me quite a bit about my devotion to my own passion. To develop confidence and mastery of writing, I too must prove dedication. I have to dive right in, try and err, learn techniques, assemble components, know how to fix problems, and implement improvements. I need to study seasoned professionals, research online and print tips, and ask lots of questions. Oh, yeah, and I need to write a set amount of time or a determined number of words each day. I need to get my work out to the readers, and I need to kick it up a notch from time to time.

For nearly seventeen years, without hesitation, I’ve been honored to say, “I’m Richard Whisenhunt’s wife.” An overwhelming peace still permeates my soul in knowing he is It. I’m awed by my husband’s commitment and I’m inspired by his passion.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Revisiting the Top 10

After reading some articles that recently crossed my desk, I feel compelled to re-publish a bit of slapstick sarcasm, Top 10 Ways NOT to Improve Your Writing. While I jest, the advice is spoken in love and sincerity. I do want to enable my clients and blog readers to present the best quality material they possibly can. It's important to write with correct structure, formatting, grammar, and word usage so that errors don't detract from your message. It's never a good thing when your reader laughs at a mistake and misses the point you're trying to make.

10) Don't use a thesaurus. Go ahead and say "season" twenty times on one page.

9) Overuse the semicolon; it's such a cute little punctuation mark; and gets so little respect.

8) "Always put the period outside the quotation marks".

7) Use cute little "catch phrases" and be sure to place quotation marks around them so the reader "gets" it.

6) Devote your first five chapters to your main character's history. Don't get to the action til the reader has completely lost interest.

5) Write like you text, using hip abbreviations like omg and lol, and be sure to end each sentence with lots of exclamation points!!!!!

4) Writing long and drawn-out sentences will surely entice the reader and lead him into the story by preventing him from lifting his eyes from the page, something that would divert his attention from the intense scene being played out before him and would thus alert him to the fact that he hasn't eaten in several hours or had a drop to drink since he awoke that morning; hence, such weakness may incite hallucinations that cause him to wonder if the characters about whom he is reading are truly fictional or if they are indeed living, breathing people stalking him, hovering over his shoulder, about to throw him from the train.

3) Reciting lofty words and abstract thoughts will educate your reader and require him to utilize a nearby dictionary and encyclopedia.

2) Give your characters unique names that are impossible to pronounce.


1) Be sure to take excessive pride in every word you write, knowing each first draft is a certain masterpiece in need of no editing.

Follow these 10 simple guidelines, and you will definitely NOT improve your writing. May God grant you discernment to avoid these fatal flaws, and may you receive lots of acceptance letters!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mary DeMuth's Life in Defiance

As Ouisie Pepper’s mysterious new friend, Elijah, observes of her, Ouisie has “prisons aplenty.” To Hap’s abuse, to the knowledge of Daisy’s killer, and to alcohol addiction Ouisie remains captive. But what grieves her most is her disobedience to the Lord. The Voice beckons her to baptism, for only by dying to herself will she be set free from her burdens. But she consistently resists.

Ouisie confesses, “All I know is that someone seems to be watching me out behind the woods, Sheba’s bent on fixing me, and Hap’s not going to be thrilled with the state of the house when he gets home. It’s all too much, really. Too much for a woman to bear.” All the secrets she holds inside drag her down and hold her under. They stifle her, suffocate her hope. She fears releasing her secrets will unleash a torrent and “send [her] drowning on a river [she] never knew was there.” Ousie’s longing to make God smile outweighs her fears, though.

Justice. Finally.

Readers of Life in Defiance, Mary DeMuth’s third book in the Defiance Texas Trilogy, anguish in Ouisie Pepper’s hesitance to expose Daisy’s killer, reel from the blows of Hap’s fists, and, sighing relief, revel at her release from burdensome secrecy. Read all three in the series and find it is better to reveal truth than to live with the consequences of burying it forever.

Compensation Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for reviewing it on my blog.

This sums it up ;)

This sums it up ;)