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Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!

RD_plcs_855_513_48It is #finishstrongFriday, and I want to finish this week-long review of the Jerry Jenkin’s Writers Guild strong!  There is really so much information on this site that I could do several more posts, but I think the idea of how valuable a resource it is will be firmly established with all the information I have given you over the last five days.

I would be doing a great disservice if I didn’t share a few more things from the guild that are available to members. The final three things I want to share are

  • Manuscript Repair and Rewrite
  • Jumpstart Courses
  • Bonus Material
  • Community (Forums)

I absolutely love the Manuscript Repair and Rewrite.  In these sessions, Jerry takes the time to repair and help with the rewrite of the first pages of guild member submissions.  YES! I just said that.  Usually, there are three chosen and Jerry turns on his camera and shares his thoughts on what can help the manuscript be tightened and made better.  He walks members through his thought process in editing.  It will blow you away how much you learn as he talks through the rewrite.  This alone has taught me how to recognize things I do all the time.  Isn’t it always easier to see it in someone else’s work? Simply put, this makes you a better self-editor.

Jumpstart course break up into two categories, fiction, and non-fiction.  Jerry understands not everyone is writing fiction and he has expertise in both.  The courses are a self-study course with assignments and reading.  Fantastic place to discover the big elements of a story.  In the fiction course, there are sections to ensure you hit all these craft elements.

  • Understanding the Plot
  • Memorable Characters
  • Writing Scenes
  • Understanding POV (Point of View)
  • Understanding Dialogue

Non-Fiction elements include:

  • Becoming an Author
  • Power Tools of Non-Fiction
  • Using Fiction Techniques in Non-Fiction
  • Writing Personal Stories
  • Writing Articles that Sell
  • Marketing Non-Fiction

The Bonus Material is just that. More classes that are specific to writers and filled with goodness that may not fit perfectly into the other places on the site.

The forum, while I am not a BIG forum user I do find that there are many that use it as a place to connect with like-minded people, critique partners and just networking. It is also where you can find answers from Jerry after Office Hours has completed.  I don’t use it as much as I would like but that’s on me.

Okay, so you now have the basic goodness of what is happening over at Jerry’s Guild and I really hope you can find time to check it out before the membership closes.  I would love to see you in the guild and participating in the live classes and webinars.

Check it out here Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild.

Please note:  I have not received anything for the endorsement of this site.  I just love it and want to share it! I pay for it just like everyone else. I also do not get anything for referring you to the site, except the knowledge that I have done something nice for my fellow writers! 

The open membership closes at midnight Central time on Friday, April 6, 2018. (That’s tonight!! Seriously, it is a tool you need in your writer’s toolbox!


Here we are, my favorite thing about the Jerry Jenkin’s Writer’s Guild. Office Hours. Every month Jerry Jenkins carves out time from his schedule to address LIVE questions from his guild members.  I mean you can ask anything! Several of my own personal questions have been answered in the live portion of the webinar. Why is this so important?

Remember when I said yesterday that newbies are the best because they are not bogged down by the rules yet?  Office hours are a plethora of newbies (and not so newbies) asking questions and I am often surprised that I didn’t think to ask that question. Just like a live classroom setting offers additional learning opportunities that are not offered in a closed learning environment.  I have taken an online course in college and learned a lot, but there is something about being triggered by another student’s ponderings that can really be a learning experience like no other.

Now, of course, there is no way every question can be answered you say… WRONG! The Guild also has a forum function that allows for people that ATTEND the Office Hour section for the month.  If you post a question that is not answered live Jerry will then over the next several days answer those questions in the special forum thread set up for those office hours!  WOW!  right I told you he really cares about his members and wants them to succeed.

Something I want to point out, the events like the Master’s Classes, Online Workshops and Office Hours are recorded and available to guild members only days after they have been live.  Yes, it is a HUGE library of goodness for all things writing.  Jerry Jenkins and his dedicated crew have done an outstanding job to ensure ease of use and maximum information for members of the guild.

Jump over to the Jerry’s Guild and check it out. Don’t wait because there are not many days left for you to join.

AGAIN, no a pitch just a hope you will benefit from a great resource just like I did when I decided to take the plunge and join!

Please note:  I have not received anything for the endorsement of this site.  I just love it and want to share it! I pay for it just like everyone else!

The open membership closes at midnight Central time on Friday, April 6, 2018.

Life-Facebook-Status-23753-statusmind.comI have found in all things in ones life the only way a person can improve is to take the time to humble themselves and realize no one, save God, knows everything.  You can always learn from others no matter how small the lesson.  A humble learner will be successful in the whatever endeavor they take on.

When I was working in the Paper Arts industry full time, and I was devoted to teaching people new techniques and traveled all over the United States teaching and loving every moment of it. I was considered an expert in my field. I am proud of that, but I can tell you more time than not, in a class I would have a person that was new to paper arts ask a question or do a “step” in a different way and I would be amazed and left asking myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  Newbies are the best because they are not bogged down by all the rules!

I share all this in the week of Jerry Jenkins Guild because today one of my favorite aspects of the guild released a new Master’s Class.

Jerry understands one perspective is not nearly enough for those learning the craft.  He also recognizes others in the field that are experts and he allows his guild members to have the advantage of his connections.  In the Master’s Classes, some industry experts share some valuable information.  Here are a few of the professionals a member of the guild has to access in the Master’s Classes:

  • Living Intentionally with Laura Casey
  • Writing Blunders and How to avoid them with William Nobel
  • Revise your Novel with Gabriela Pereira (yes, I have a writer’s crush.)
  • Effective Outlining with the true master of outlining K.M. Weiland (another crush)
  • Plot Skeleton with Angela Hunt
  • Going Deeper with Chris Fabry

All these and many more Master’s Classes are included in the guild membership!  Don’t get me wrong, I know it sounds sales pitchy, but it’s not a pitch.  I care about your writing career, I do! I don’t look at others success as a competition but as a blessing!  I want all my writing friends to succeed far beyond their hopes and expectations. This is why I am trying to share the resources that are in my humble opinion worth your time, money and effort.  Jerry Jenkins Guild is one of the best investments I have made into myself and my writing career.

there are only a few days that you have an opportunity to join the guild.  Again, I am not paid or compensated in any way for what I have posted, have no agreement to have any compensation or whatever for my endorsement.  I just really think everyone can benefit from the things on this site. I have waited for the guild to open again before posting my review simply because that would be super lame to tell you how awesome it is and you not be able to join. I really set my life goal to not be lame, so here we are!

Find Jerry’s Guild here. 

The open membership closes at midnight Central time on Friday, April 6, 2018.

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Yesterday, I gave you the calling to the guild and now I want to break down some of what I have enjoyed as a member of Jerry’s Guild.  There is a reason that DIY MFA says you need mentors, you do!  One of the things about this guild is you get the expertise of a seasoned writer, Jerry Jenkins.  He has many books published and I love that he always is keeping me current on trends in the writing/publishing world.  A very gracious and giving mentor.  I am astounded at the time and energy he personally puts into his guild members.  What better mentor?  One that actually cares about you becoming what you are meant to be!

One of the things that moved me to sign up all those months ago during my trial period was when I found the section of the site that is filled with what are called “Live Online Workshops”.  I watched just one of these sessions and literally took four full pages of notes.  I think that says a lot about the value in just that one class.

I wanted to share just FIVE of the twenty-five titles of the workshops. These are always being added to as well.

  • How to Create a Memorable Lead Character (1hr 12 min)
  • How to write a Resounding Ending (1hr 29min)
  • Dialogue that Grabs Your Reader (1hr 32 min)
  • Show, Don’t Tell: How to finally master this Cardinal Rule (1hr 27min)
  • Nailing the First Five Pages  (1hr 28 min)

Now, I have taken part in a lot of classes and listened to a lot of webinars on the craft, the guild workshops are some of the very best I have ever experienced. The best part, I can watch these at my convenience.  I usually set aside an hour or so every couple of weeks to enjoy learning from a seasoned writer.  TALK ABOUT A MENTOR!  I can go back and watch them as often as I need, pause to take notes so I don’t ever miss a thing.

Tomorrow I will share more of the great reasons to be a part of this guild! I mean other than we can be guild members together! So go check it out.

Jerry’s Guild. com


Please note:  I have not received anything for the endorsement of this site.  I just love it and want to share it! I pay for it just like everyone else! 


Opportunity knocks, and sometimes it comes from a herald.  TODAY, I am that herald!   First, let me apologize for posting late today because honestly, the holiday weekend got away from me.  I know you’d think all that time to write, wrong!  I was busy living a family life and it was awesome.  Now that the weekend is over, I checked my emails last night and found out something awesome is happening this week and I HAD to share it with my peeps!

This week Jerry Jenkins is opening up his Writer’s Guild and I had to share it with you.  I want to share more about this site but time is literally of the essence and this site is a fountain of knowledge.  I am not kidding. Over the next few days, I will also share some of the benefits I have enjoyed over the last several months and hopefully encourage you to join me as a guild member

You can check it out and there is only a week it is open to new members.  I joined after missing an opportunity to join and regret that I didn’t act on it right away!  More information to come on the fun stuff we do at the guild.

The door is open right now to go check it out.  Here is the link to Jerry’s Guild


Please note:  I have not received anything for the endorsement of this site.  I just love it and want to share it! I pay for it just like everyone else! 


IMG_20180329_160748Okay, kids, I’ve completed DIY MFA.  I have read through commencement. While this is not a blog that really focuses on book reviews, however, this book is worth more than one blog post but many.   If you want some of my thoughts on other books I read you can friend me at Goodreads (click here). I review pretty much every book I read there.

I want to put up a disclaimer before I begin, I personally purchased this book.  TWICE!  I originally bought it as a Kindle edition which was fine, until, I started to realize how much highlighting I would be doing.  I like to write and make notes in my craft books and quickly (by page 16) realized I needed the paper copy.  I also discovered that power-reading through this book would be a disservice to myself. I read the first chapter and decided to slow down, take notes and investing in the book (and author) would be to my benefit, therefore that is what I did.  I have over forty pages of notes not to mention the notes in the margins of the book.  YES!  There is that much goodness in this book.

This book is not just a book, but a must-have manual for everyone that is a writer wants to be a writer is thinking about writing a blogger or anything to do with writing.  YES!  It is that good. (FYI redundancy, in this case, is warranted).Why am I singing the praises of Gabriela Pereira’s DIY MFA?  Let me just list a few things.

  1. This book is not just pages of droning on about how to perfect a system, but instead a plethora of ideas on how you hone YOUR OWN system.
  2. It is not a book that only focuses on one or two aspects of the writing, but instead, it is a great overview of what it means to be a writer.
  3. It is not just a book, it is a community.  Once you begin the journey into the DIY MFA you will never be alone again.  The community that surrounds this book is outstanding.
  4. The book digs deeper into the uncomfortable things writers often struggle with and offers real solutions and suggestions to make the reader a well-rounded writer.
  5. The manner in which the information is presented is digestible to even the most sensitive. Filled with great ways to remember and visuals that will stick with you.

NOW, is this an actual MFA?  Of course not, it does, however, give people that don’t have the time or finances an opportunity to learn some of the things that are taught in MFA programs.  It is up to the reader to do the work.  Complete the exercises, read and expand on what you learn.  If you have never read and analyzed a short story, do the ones in the book then go get more and see how deeply it can help you break down elements of writing.

Please do yourself or the writers you know a HUGE favor, pass on this post!  This book changed my writing and improved my idea of what it looks like to be a writer, not a hobbyist!

To summarize, ten of ten, will read again, HIGHLY recommend.  Here are some links for this book

  1. Find the book DIYMFA here.
  2. Find the webpage for DIYMFA here.
  3. Find the Facebook page for DIYMFA here.
  4. Find the Facebook for DIYMFA WordNerds Unite here.



free_books_onlineOh yeah, I have been meaning to add this to my blog if for no other reason but to give you a chance to get some awesome books for free or very low prices.  I mean what better gift can a person share with another than a free book!

There are a few companies that offer to send you a newsletter every day with the opportunity to get ebooks for free.  I wanted to share a few with you. The first one I found was BookBub.  Once you set the books you like to read they send you at least one in every newsletter that is free.  I have been able to acquire several surprising good books through this newsletter.  You can find BookBub HERE.

The second book newsletter I have found to be very good is The Fussy Librarian.  I have discovered that this site/newsletter seems to be a bit more spot on my interest.  They also offer not just Kindle ebooks but Nook, Kobo, Google Play and Apple.  (Not all these options are available for each book.  It depends on the publisher/author.) You highly recommend if you like to read, then you should give these free or low cost eBooks a chance.  You can find the Fussy Librarian HERE.

One more I have just recently started is BookGorilla.  I find this one a bit lesser as when you sign up you have the option to sign up for “ALL” of a genre.  This means if you like a book about religion, you will get EVERY book on religion.  It can cause you to struggle to wade through books you may not normally read.  They do however offer a large number of books each day.  They do also offer books about writing and publishing, which I do not think the other two do. You can find BookGorilla HERE.

There are several others I am sure.  These, however, are consistent in finding books that I enjoy.  Great writers are great readers.

sentence-structureI heard a sentence today that I am sure has never before been spoken or written.  “My Oreo muscle is strained.”  Of course, I laughed, loud and long.  I felt the tears in my eyes as I digested that sentence.

When I was in college I read something about language that piqued my interest and has forever stuck with me.  I believe it was Noam Chomsky, known to some as the Father of modern linguistics, that described a unique phenomenon about language. The concept simplified is at any given time there will be groups sounds will form words that will be brought together to create something that no other person has ever said or written.  Language is unique in this property.  It will forever allow for absolute freedom.

As a writer, this excites me.  It’s what allows me to create on the page a group of words that can evoke imagery that will create lovely things for my readers.  My sentences may not always be completely unique, however, my stories are.  Often when writing, I may type out a set of words and smile knowing there is a good chance this sentence has never been seen/read before.

When you are writing, even if only on a post for social media, enjoy that you may be creating that unique group of words that form a sentence that has never before fallen on the ears of man.  Cool huh?


You know that feeling you get when something comes together and just goes perfectly?  I do.  Sunday night the performance of “Life Begins After Coffee” a drama for stage went just about perfect!  The actors all in place, the music was sensational, cues were hit just right and most of all, people were transformed into the little world that I wrote.  They joined the characters as they opened up a story I wrote.  The night ran smoothly and the people I spoke with after the show were all very complimentary. I found myself empowered and a little overwhelmed by the accolades.   It is excited friends to see something you put so much work into coming to life.

If ever I was discouraged in my writing, Sunday night I found my “why” again.  It is because I love to engage people in the story.  To share the little peeks into the worlds that exist in my mind.  I know the blogging professionals tell us to shy away from too much talking about our personal feelings but I am bursting with excitement at the thought that I wrote this play and it was performed and everything went so dang well!  Thank you for sharing in my joy today friends.  Let me encourage you, writer, blogger, the student of the written word,  teacher, random human, whatever brought you to my little corner of the world.  The feeling of a realized dream is worth the hard work.   I want you to reach down on those days you are struggling, find the “why”  then go make it happen.  If I can do it, so can you!  Everyone is given one life to live, and it should be filled, every moment of it, with the thing God put in your soul.  For me it is writing, you may be a painter, or an accountant, a stay at home mom/dad, all your dreams are valid.  Dig deep and make yours a reality.  YOU CAN!

10267732That’s right friends.  It’s almost April and that means spring time.  Spring means fresh air and even better, FRESH ideas!  What better way to get your writing juices flowing this spring than to do it with friends.  April 1 is not just Resurrection Sunday but the first day of camp!  CAMP?!?  Yeah, camp.  Well, writer’s camp.  Check out Camp NaNoWritMo.

You may know about NaNoWritMo (National Novel Writing Month) which occurs in November every year, but the forces behind NaNoWriMo are not stagnant the rest of the year.  They continue to inspire and provide great things for writers and educators alike all year long.  I am excited because this is my first year taking part in camp!  If you are in need of encouragement and maybe even a little peer pressure to get to your writing, check them out here.  Let me know if you join and maybe we can be in the same cabin!