WRITING

DSCN2431

The Onion once had an article about the Fonty Awards (for best typeface) that I giddily thought was real for days. When I realized it was a joke, I retreated to my office and refused to come out for a week, eating nothing but Ho-Ho’s and Ruffles potato chips, washing them down with gallon-size bottles of Starbucks Frappuccino. Such is the life of a naive proofreader with no real hobbies.

But, sometimes proofreaders secretly want to be writers. In my case, it’s not so secret. During the many years I’ve spent behind the scenes in publishing, I’ve also been writing (and then editing myself to death, but that’s a story for a different website).

My writing epiphany came in 2004, the first year I participated in National Novel Writing Month. Each November since then, I’ve written a 50,000-word piece of fiction in 30 days. Give me a ridiculous deadline, and I’ll stoop to it.

That yearly foray into insanity has become the backbone of my novel writing, forcing me to write the bulk of a novel in that single month. Then, in theory, I use the rest of the year to finish it. (In theory. I’m a little bit behind.) The addition of a deadline, even a silly one, has helped me evolve from laboring over a short novella for 15 years to working through an entire novel nearly every year since 2004.



PUBLICATION

 

May 2018:
Secret Agent Manny
Novel: Humorous Fiction, Parody, Satire

September 2017:
Train of Thought: Travel Essays from a One-Track Mind
Humor: Part travelogue, part memoir, part angst

June 2015:
The Scarlet Letter Opener  (The Red Ink Mysteries #1)
Novel: Cozy Mystery

June 2015:
Gray Area
Novel: Women’s Fiction

June 2013:
Fork in the Road … and other pointless discussions  
Second collection of humor essays

June 2010: 
Head in the Sand … and other unpopular positions
Collection of humor essays

October 2009:
Reprint article
“E-vangelism and a Guy Named Jim” appears on Kyria.com:
http://www.kyria.com/topics/missionallife/outreach/evangelismandguynamedjim.html?start=1

September 2009:
“Don’t Be a Digital Dinosaur”
Interviewed James Watkins for The Upper Case,
newsletter of the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Association
http://www.jameswatkins.com/digitaldinosaur.htm

April 2009:
Article “E-vangelism” appeared online at Today’s Christian:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/storiesofhope/sharingthefaith/onlineevangelism.html

April 2008:
Devotional: Daily Devotions for Writers, Infinity Publishing. (January 27 entry.)

December 2007:
Article sale: “Gigabytes and God” to Today’s Christian

June 2007:
Article sale: “Yore Spell-Checker Stinks” to Spirit-Led Writer


 

AWARDS


June 2011:

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily humor writing contests


April 2011:
1st Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Blog Entry
“It’s Alive!”

2nd Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category:  Memoir/Creative Nonfiction
“Mercy Is Born”

November 2010:
National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Closed Corridors” (50+K words)

June 2010:
1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily faculty roast contests

April 2010:
2nd Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Light Poetry
“O Sing of Spring!”

1st Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Story Beginning
“Reunited States”

November 2009:
National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Reunited States” (50+K words)

April 2009:
1st Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Story Beginning
“The Scarlet Letter Opener”

November 2008:
National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Societal Smackdown”  (50+K words)

June 2008:
1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily faculty roast contests

2nd Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Personal Experience Feature
Title: “Men, Manna, and God”

3rd Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Humorous Poetry
Title: “Household Chores”

April 2008:
1st Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Story Beginning
Story Beginning: “Mrs. Needlemeier’s Novel Idea”

Honorable Mention
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: “I Knew I Was a Writer When…”

November 2007:
National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Mrs. Needlemeier’s Novel Idea”  (50+K words)

June 2007:
1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Adult Fiction
Title: “The Scarlet Letter Opener” (chapter 8 in a cozy mystery)
This win entered me into the St. Davids Hall of Fame for the Adult/Young Adult Fiction category.

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Personal Experience Feature
Title: “Gigabytes and God”

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily faculty roast contests

April 2007:
Honorable Mention
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Childhood Memory
Title: “The Skating Rink”

November 2006:
National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Black and White and Blood All Over”  (50+K words)

June 2006:
1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Humor
Title: “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cement, But Were Afraid to Ask”
This win entered me into the St. Davids Hall of Fame for the Humor category.

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily faculty roast contests

April 2006:
2nd Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Story Beginning
Title: “Good Men Doing Nothing”

February 2006:
Top 4 Runner-Up
Operation First Book contest (sponsored by Tyndale House and Christian Writers Guild; judged by author Jerry Jenkins)
Title: “Do-It-Yourself Widow”

November 2005:
National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Black Soul Choir”  (50+K words)

June 2005:
1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Humor
Title: “Dear Santa”

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Adult/Young Adult Fiction
Title: “Do-It-Yourself Widow” (chapter 1)

2nd Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Personal Experience Feature
Title: “Pennies in the Couch”

Several 1st Place honors
Daily faculty roast contests

November 2004:
National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org)
Title: “Do-It-Yourself Widow”  (50+K words)

June 2004:
2nd Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Humor
Title: “Tightening Your Belt”

Honorable Mention
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Adult/Young Adult Fiction
Title: “Gray Area” (chapter 6)

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily faculty roast contests

April 2004:
Top 20 Semifinalists
Operation First Novel contest
(sponsored by Tyndale House and Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild)
Title: “Gray Area”

June 2003:
1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Adult/Young Adult Fiction
Title: “Gray Area” (chapter 4)

1st Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Humor
Title: “Rash Behavior”

3rd Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Category: Personal Experience Feature
Title: “Gullible’s Travels”

2nd Place
St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference
Daily faculty roast contests

April 2003:
1st Place
Mercer One-Day Writers Conference
Category: Life-Changing Moment
Title:  “Say ‘Ahhh!'”

September 2000:
1st Place
BrassRing.com’s online national essay contest
Category: Humor and Technology
Title: “Brave New World, Scared Old Mom”

Junior High School, circa mid-1970s:
1st Place
Two winning limericks on potato salad for a local deli company
Used in two separate local radio ads
Yes, I’m serious.  Potato salad.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.