Monthly Archives: June 2012

From the Idea Garden – Colorado Fires

Colorado is burning. Homes are destroyed and people are evacuating, leaving their treasures and memories behind.

How can you share their stories? What stories of courage can you tell? What stories of faith can you share? What miracle stories can you tell? How did people see God work? How did the many Christian ministries in the area respond? How can you use these stories in a personal experience piece? In a meditation/devotional? In poetry? In a how-to article? How can you tailor these stories for a denominational publication? How can you write a news piece on this tragedy?

Wedded to War – The Book and the Inspiration

Jocelyn Green’s new book, Wedded to War, is due out in stores in July. It’s the first in a four-book series entitled Heroines Behind the Lines.

I asked Jocelyn where the idea for the series came from and what inspired her. Here’s what she said:

“My story ideas for the entire four-book series of Heroines Behind the Lines came directly from the research I did for my newly released nonfiction book, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front. Each of the four books I’m writing focuses on a different aspect of the Civil War where women influenced either the course of the war or the people who fought in the war.

“Wedded to War is about pioneer nurses. I was hooked on the subject after reading the book Women at the Front by Dr. Jane Schultz. Then I made a trip to Gettysburg and had the privilege of reading 150- year-old diaries, letters and journals from women who had nursed there. One of the women was Georgeanna Woolsey. When I returned home, I learned everything I could about her. The research about that young woman (28 years old when the war began) inspired my main character, Charlotte Waverly.”

Until Thursday, June 28, you can download Wedded to War for free. Click here for information on where to download the book:  Wedded to War.

I will review the book in the next month or two. But if you download it, please tell us what you think.

© Deborah Christensen

Raking Up Writing Ideas from the Fatherhood Backyard

For some reason, we treat Father’s Day differently than we do Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s because dads are different from moms. Dads are doers. They’re not as sentimental about Father’s Day as moms are about Mother’s Day. We still share special memories on Father’s Day but they’re more likely to be of doing yard work, watching baseball or barbecuing together.

Personal Experience Pieces

How did you celebrate Father’s Day? What made it special for you as a dad? How did you honor your dad? How can you share these things with your readers?

Are you a new dad? How does that change the way you view Father’s Day? Are you a grandpa? How does that make Father’s Day unique for you? If your dad is no longer with you, how does that change Father’s Day for you?

God gave dads a special role in a family. What did you learn about God from your dad? What did you learn about strength? Leadership? Courage? Perseverance?

How-To Articles

What did you learn about being a dad from your own dad? What did he do right? What mistakes did he make?

How did your dad give advice? Did you always follow it? How does he guide you when you need to make a decision? Do you feel free to share your life concerns with him? How did you build trust with your dad so that you could go to him for advice? How did you learn to trust his wisdom?

How easy is it for your dad to say “I love you”? How do you show your dad that you love him? How do you show your own children that you love them?

If your dad is no longer with you, how do you cope with his loss? How did you learn to live with that loss? How do you honor his life?

You can use your writing to help other dads and children work through these issues.

Other Writing Avenues

Fiction is always a good way to work through or honor your relationship with your dad. How can you use your experiences in fiction?

Children’s stories usually need a well-written dad character. How can you create a character who is modeled after your dad?

Poetry, too, offers an outlet to expressing the father/child relationship. How does your relationship with your dad inspire your poetry? What about your relationship with your children?

Father’s Day is fertile ground for ideas for meditations/devotionals. How is God like a father? How does God father you? What does that mean for your everyday life?

Our relationship with our dads can be complicated. But, it also offers fields of writing ideas—both positive and negative—that we can gather into a piece that will inspire others.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth – Romans 10:9

…if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9, NIV

What is your salvation story? How can you use that in a how-to article? Personal experience piece? Meditation/devotional? Fiction? Poetry? Children’s story?

Random Trails

Here’s some good advice on how to cultivate ideas.

6 Ways to Never Run Out of Ideas | Rachelle Gardner.

Marking the Milestones – Birthdays

I celebrate my birthday tomorrow. It’s not one of the big birthdays but it’s a milestone in my life. Why? Because birthdays give us an opportunity to evaluate our life and plan ahead for the next year. Because birthday celebrations with family and friends create memories.

In my family, we sing the birthday song three times. It’s a tradition. First, we sing the familiar song. Then, we sing “God bless you today. God bless you always. God bless you and keep you another year through.” Finally, we sing the song again, except this time we sing it very fast. It’s a tradition that I treasure.

Unwrapping Writing Ideas

How do you celebrate your birthday? What traditions do you keep? What memories do you have of past birthdays? When you were a child, what did your parents do to make it your special day? How does your spouse and/or children do that for you now? What part does your extended family play in your celebration?

What is the most memorable gift you received? Who gave it to you? What did it say about your relationship with that person?

Did you ever dread a certain birthday milestone? What painful memories did you experience with past birthdays? Are there empty chairs at your birthday celebrations? What memories do you have of the people who used to fill them?

How can you share these insights in your writing?

Personal Experience and How-To Articles

Birthdays provide a lot of material for personal experience pieces and how-to articles. What did you learn about God’s guidance and plan for your life? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about relationships? What did you learn about celebrating the milestones in your life?

How do you create memories for yourself? How do you learn to celebrate with others, even when you feel tension with them? How do you embrace your birthday instead of running away from it?

Fiction and Poetry

Incorporate your own story into your fiction. Your unique birthday traditions will add color to your fiction.

Your insights and the emotions that revolve around birthdays will enhance your poetry. Draw on them. Birthdays may seem like a mundane topic but you can look deeper.

Mark the birthday milestones in your life. And while you’re celebrating, glean some writing ideas.

© Deborah Christensen

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