Famous to God by Emily Owen

One of the joys in my life is my nieces and nephews. An added joy is their love of books. This year, for Christmas/Birthdays, they have, almost without fail, asked me for books (I say ’almost,’ because I won’t mention the ‘unicorn that walks’ request, which bucked the trend rather).

It’s my niece’s birthday this week, and she will be receiving a Pippi Longstocking set of books. I was very delighted when she requested books I loved as a child!

The children have enjoyed books all their lives but, as they grow older, they realise that their crazy aunty, who invents songs and stories just for them, and comes up with silly jokes to make them giggle, actually, um, writes books as well.

Recently, my mum overheard a conversation between Josiah (6) and Abbie (nearly 8, see above):
J: 'Maybe we'll be famous because Aunty Memem (me) writes books.'

A: 'Maybe we're already famous because she put our names in her last book.'

(The last refers to the dedication in God’s Calling…

The voice of the Lord

The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters   
The voice of the Lord is powerful, 
The voice of the Lord is majestic 
The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightening
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert  Psalm 29: 3,4,7,8

These words were highlighted to me in March and how His voice, and the power in us, can be in writing, song or speech.I thought of the written legacy of people in the Bible.I doubt Paul and others dreamt that 2,000 years later we would still be learning from their letters.In our desire to serve the Lord He has given us the Holy Spirit and the ability to help us counteract the sin, anger, negativity and depression that abounds in our world and bring hope.
United Christian Broadcasters celebrate this year 25 years of the Word for Today (WFT) and 10 years of being on National DAB radio. What a testimony of a God who envisioned Ian Mackay to begin broadcasting a Christian message of hope from his …

On Voice by Annmarie Miles

I heard my husband speaking on the phone the other day and he used a phrase that was not his. It was something only an Irish person would say. It’s not surprising really after 19 years of marriage, some of my brogue was bound to rub off. But it got me thinking again about ‘voice.’ I felt in that moment, he was using mine.
I love spending time on voice and dialogue in my fiction. My first novel will be published soon, so rather than having to capture my characters voices in the smaller word count of short stories, I’ve been able to allow them to express themselves, and reveal themselves in their speech. One of my bugbears is speech tags and I’m always wrestling with getting the right amount in. As I mentioned, I love dialogue, and I want readers to know who is speaking, by the voice, rather than reams of he said/she said. I only use the alternative tags, such as; he shouted, she murmured, he whispered etc if necessary. I don’t use them if all I’m doing is disguising overkill in the h…

Beginners Idol? By Kathleen McAnear Smith

Beginner’s Idol? Exodus 20: other gods.
There she was, a young woman standing on a stage streamed in from Chicago to those of us gathered somewhere in Portsmouth. As I’m a Pond Person who loves UK & USA connections, and Liz Bohannon is one of Forbes Top 20 Global Speakers* I thought I might listen very carefully.
“Some of us are stuck in our overwhelming dream,” she said.
I pictured my garage stacked with unsold books.
Liz admitted she had a PASSION, an overwhelming dream of helping women in poverty in Africa.  Stirred by her faith in Jesus and a degree in journalism she had been sure that within a year of graduating from college she would be changing the world.
“ But after a few years of nothing happening,” Liz moaned, “ I was more than just a little  disappointed. Why wasn’t God doing something?” She cried out, “what needs to change?”
Liz laughed at herself, “ I finally realised that for all I wanted to help hundreds of women in Africa, I didn’t know a single woman who liv…

Conquering Insecurity (well, managing it a bit, at least!) by Georgie Tennant

We writers can be touchy sorts.  We wrestle with self-doubt and internal criticism.  We write our words, cross them out, alter them for the better - then wonder if, in fact, we’ve altered them for the worse. We compare our words to those of others and fear ours come up short.

Eventually, (especially if we’re new to making our work public), we press ‘publish,’ or ‘send,’ heart pounding and mouth dry.If we make it that far, we then spend hours, even days, living in fear of Not Being Read (capitals intended).Symptoms of this include: finding yourself unable to leave the immediate vicinity of a phone or computer; coming out in a cold sweat when the number of ‘views’ fails to move in the upward direction on each nervous click of the refresh button; and the overwhelming fear that you have inadvertently activated the digital equivalent of the Harry Potter invisibility cloak.
I know we have a number of new ‘More Than Writers’ bloggers on board (to whom we extend a warm welcome and our thanks fo…

What does our writing reveal of us? By Claire Musters

I recently attended my grandmother’s funeral, partly for my mum’s sake as she is now housebound so was unable to go to her own mum’s funeral. What saddened me most was seeing how few people were there; just me, my sister, cousins, aunt and uncle. No friends. Now that could have been due to her age, as she was 95, but deep down I knew it wasn’t. She hadn’t really had many friends, and had been a difficult character for as long as I can remember.
I think some of us were there more out of duty, and love for our parents, than because of our fond memories of her. The stark lack of people revealed much about her character, sadly…
At the start of this week I was reading Acts 6:8, where Stephen is described as a man full of God’s grace and power. It made me think: how would people describe me? I contacted the book group that I run and suggested each one of us humbly ask God what he would say about us – and accept the encouragement but also possibly the challenge about areas of our characters…

God's love letters - by Liz Carter

I came across this passage from 2 Corinthians the other day, and it made me think about how we are all love letters:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letters written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)We are letters from Christ.

That’s not always an easy thing for us to accept, is it? There are days we may feel like we are reflecting the love of God, and days where we feel like we are letters of grumpiness, misery and general rubbishness. I know that’s true for me.

As a writer, this passage speaks strongly to me of how our lives - not just our writing, but everything we do, say and think - will be a demonstration of where our hearts are. When our hearts are s…