Category Archives: memoirs

Heading Into Summer

Memorial Day has come and gone. The summer season is in full swing. It’s a time for pool parties, barbecues, family vacations, summer camp, and all the other fun that summer brings. It also inspires a lot of writing ideas.

What’s different about summer? What does it inspire?

Parenting

How can you help parents prepare for their children’s summer break? How can you help working parents juggle their children’s summer schedules? How can you help families build stronger relationships during the summer?

What do parents need to know about summer camp? How can they choose the right one for their child? How can you help parents prepare their children for summer camp? What can parents do if their child become homesick?

How can parents make the most of a summer vacation? How do they choose the right vacation spot for their family? How do they budget for a vacation? How do they handle a child who doesn’t want to go on vacation? How can they take creative photos that capture the essence of their family vacation?

Summer Parties

How can your readers throw a fun summer party? How can you help them cook great food? What can you tell them about decorating for a summer party? How can they help their guests have fun? How do you build relationships through a summer party?

Summer Activities

What can you write about gardening? Hiking? Bicycling? Cooking on the grill? How can you help your readers protect themselves from ticks? Mosquitoes? How can they recognize poisonous plants?

What health issues arise from summer activities? How can they prevent injuries? What do they do after they incur an injury? What about allergies? How can they keep themselves healthy in the summer?

What can you write for kids? How can you help them embrace summer activities? What stories can you write for them? What devotions can you write? What kind of personal experience article can you write? Who can you interview?

Enjoy the summer. But, always look for writing ideas. Most publications work several months out. Have fun. Gather ideas. Then, write when the weather gets colder.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 60:12

With Gods help we will do mighty things…

Psalm 60:12, NLT

What help do you need from God? How do you learn to rely on God to take care of your needs? How do you put your faith in God to take care of you? What miracles have your seen in your life? How has God helped you to do mighty things? How do you trust Him to do mighty things through you? How does He help you when you feel insignificant? How do you learn to live in His power?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, aging parents, death of a loved one, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

 

Seeds of Truth: Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged,

for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.

I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, NLT

What makes you afraid? How do you turn your fear over to the Lord? How does that help you to not be afraid? What makes you feel discouraged? How do you turn away from discouragement and focus on God? How does that help you to not be discouraged? How does God strengthen you? How does He help you when you feel weak? How does God hold you up? How do you learn to trust God? How can you live a victorious life, even when you feel weak?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article? What tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, politics, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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School Daze

hibiscusMost students are headed back to school. You can see them walking to the bus stop with the backpacks strapped on. Right now, it’s all new – new teachers, new classes, new supplies. They’re excited.

Many publications run back-to-school issues. While they put them together months ago, you can get your ideas now for next year.

For the Kids

You can write things for students that help them overcome the pitfalls of school and make the most of their school year.

What do kids need to know before they start the new school year? How can they change their mindset from summer fun to school studies? How can they approach the school year with a cooperative attitude?

How can they make lasting friendships at school? What do they do when someone doesn’t like them? How can they handle bullying? What do they do when they want to bully someone else? How can they treat their fellow students with love? How can they combat loneliness?

How can they live out their faith at school? How can they share their faith with their friends? How can they show Christ’s love to their teachers? How does their love of Christ affect the way they behave in school? How does it affect the way they study?

How can they choose clothes that are appropriate for school? What does what they wear show their commitment to Jesus?

What is the best way to handle starting in a new school? What stories can you tell to kindergarteners or preschoolers who are starting school for the first time? How can students navigate attending middle school or high school for the first time?

For the Parents

With the new transgender bathroom and locker room policy that’s come down, many parents are re-evaluating their school choices. Other parents simply want to help their children succeed in school and do the best they can do. Parents want to help their children study, choose extracurricular activities they will enjoy, make good friends and enjoy school. You can write things to help them in all these areas.

How does a parent know when it’s time to rethink school options? What are the pros and cons of public schools? Christian schools? Other private schools? Home schooling? How can parents make a decision that’s best for their child?

How can parents get involved in the policies their school adopts? How can they stay on top of what their child is learning? What do they do when their child is being taught something that is contrary to their beliefs and morals? How can parents work with the school instead of creating an adversarial relationship?

How can they help their child make decisions about which classes to take? How can they help their child follow their passion? How can they challenge their child to grow in their weak areas?

How can they help their child deal with bullies? How can they know when it’s time to step in and get the school involved? How can they help their child love their enemies?

How can they teach their child about modesty? How can they help their child live out their Christian faith in an increasingly hostile environment?

How can they help their child adjust to a new school? What do they need to know about the new school environment?

These are just a few questions to start your creative juices flowing. Look for the answers to these and so many other questions, and help provide the answers to the students and parents who read your piece.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Genesis 18:14

“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”

Genesis 18:14, NLT

What are you facing that’s too hard for you? How can you turn it over to God? What does trust look like? How do you know when God is working in your life? What helps you stop trying to fix it yourself? How do you patiently wait for God to work?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article? What tips can you offer?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, relationship struggles, school, work, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, forgiveness, unplanned pregnancy, new baby, health issues, national disasters, politics, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

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Gleaning Writing Ideas from The Ten Commandments

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, check this out: Gleaning Writing Ideas from The Ten Commandments.

I compiled the blog posts on the Ten Commandments, added more information and questions, and provided checklists for each commandment. This ebook will help you use the life-changing commandments to inspire your writing.

Plowing Together: In the News – Please Comment

The news has been popping over the last several days: Brexit, Orlando terror attack, Benghazi report. How do you use the news to inspire your writing? How do you allow news reports to inspire you beyond the actual news stories?

Please comment. You may inspire someone else.

Gold in the Theme Lists

yellow irisSometimes, I get stuck. I stare at the blank computer screen and I don’t know what to write. What does a particular publication want? What do they need?

But, I’ve discovered a goldmine. Many publications produce theme lists with deadlines. A lot of these publications are Sunday school take-home papers or devotional publications. They often tell you what Bible verses they want you to focus on. Some even provide guidance on the direction they want you to take.

Even if a publication doesn’t produce an actual theme list, they may follow an editorial calendar. Or, you may notice that they consistently do topics. For example, a publication may run a “Back to School” issue every summer. Almost all publications do a Christmas issue.

When you read a theme, think of stories from your life that you can tell. If the theme is lying, can you offer an appropriate story with powerful take-away value? What tips and advice can you offer? How can you write about it in a poem – if the publication accepts poetry?

A theme list may even provide inspiration for your writing outside of the publication. Think bigger than just that one outlet. Take the “lying” example. What does it inspire for your fiction? What nonfiction can you write for other publications, inspired by this theme?

Pay attention to theme lists and consistent topics. These can inspire your writing. It doesn’t guarantee publication but it helps you target the publication and give them what they need.

© Deborah Christensen

Seeds of Truth: Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3, NIV (1984)

How do you commit the things in your life to the Lord? How does that affect your decisions? How do you know if the Lord is leading you in a certain direction? What do you do if you don’t want to follow His leading? How do you repent from refusing to follow His leading? What does a committed life look like?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, relationships, school, career, work, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, health issues, anxiety, finances, prayer, etc.?

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The Guiding Presence of Dads

dadMy dad is 86 years old. He was born on the day the Stock Market crashed in 1929. My grandparents lost everything and gained a son on the same day.

Last Sunday was Father’s Day. We attempted to go to his favorite restaurant but there was almost a two-hour wait. So, we went to another local restaurant. It was just fun to spend the day with my parents. My dad has slowed down. He walks with a walking stick. But, I’m blessed that he’s still with us.

What Does Father’s Day Mean to You?

Father’s Day means different things to different people. Some people feel blessed by the relationship they have with their dad. Others fight the painful memories. Still others don’t even know who their dad is.

What does Father’s Day mean to you? How can you share your story about your relationship with your dad? What has that relationship taught you? What takeaway value can you give your readers?

What tips or advice can you offer to your readers about building a healthy relationship with their dad? How can you help others forgive their father? How can you help them celebrate their dad?

How can you help children of abusive fathers find godly father figures for their life? How can you help them heal? How can you help bad fathers repent of their sin and become the dads God intended them to be?

Helping Dads Be Better Dads

You may know some news dads. Some of your readers may be new dads. What can you write to encourage them on their dad journey? How can you prepare them while their wife is pregnant? What do dads need to know about every stage in their children’s lives?

How can they make decisions with their wife about discipline? Schooling? How can they choose the appropriate technology for their children: computers, tablets, smartphones? What do they need to know about the most current social media? How can they protect their children from the predators that prowl social media?

How can a dad help his daughters become true women of God? How can he help his sons become true men of God?

How can dads teach their kids about God? Work? Family? Finances? Love? Choosing the right spouse? School? Making decisions? Finding God’s will? Forgiveness? Serving others? Patriotism? Marriage? Prayer?

The Spiritual Side of Dad

What does the Bible say about dads? What guidance does it offer to fathers? How can a dad depend on God to help he be the dad God wants him to be? How can he pass on his love for God to his children? How can he create a godly home? What is his role in the spiritual life of his children?

The Love of Single Dads

Through divorce or death, some dads become single dads. What is their role in the lives of their children? How can they build quality relationships with their children? How can they prevent custody battles from destroying that relationship?

What happens when remarriages, step-children and children with the new spouse come into the picture? How can a single dad maintain strong relationships with his children?

 

Dads are essential in the lives of their children. They love and guide their children. As writers, we can write personal experience and how-to pieces to help them. We can write devotions to help them on their spiritual journey. We can write poetry to celebrate them and include godly father-characters in our fiction. Interview inspiring dads and tell their story. Think back to your favorite Father’s Day memories and write about them – even if they took place just a few days ago.

© Deborah Christensen

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