Saturday, February 15, 2014

Through My Kitchen Window

"Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed." -P.G. Wodehouse

I began my writing adventure in June of 2009 when I attended a writer’s conference. Prior to this I had never formally written anything. I had, however, written an unpublished manuscript.

You see, some years earlier at a time of great concern for someone I loved, I started journaling my thoughts on prayer. After three years of searching the scripture and recording my findings, I had so much information that I compiled it into a manuscript about prayer. This began my quest to become a published writer. My hope at the time was to someday have my manuscript published.

So, in June of 2009, I attended the Kentucky Writer’s Conference where I participated in a wonderful workshop by Lettie Kirkpatrick Burress on freelancing small pieces. I decided to try my hand at it. I sent my 1st submission out in August and received my 1st contract in November of that same year. The money I was paid for that 1st piece covered the cost of the writer’s conference and I knew it had been money well spent.

Today I have so many published pieces that it’s hard to keep count. I have over 75 published devotions in the following publications: The Upper Room, The Secret Place, Open Windows, Reflections, and Word Aflame. I also have articles and short stories which have appeared in publications by Lifeway, David C Cook Company, Focus on the Family, Standard Publishing Company, Bethany House, and more.

But did I ever get my manuscript published? No, not yet. However, I did enter it into a national competition, the 2011 Women of Faith Contest; where it was named one of only 30 finalists out of over 750 entries. So now I have decided to self publish it as Bible Studies. I only have half the manuscript re-written as Bible studies and for sale as e-books so far. I hope in time to get the rest listed for sale too. If interested, my e-books can be found on Lulu self publishing site. Put ‘Harriet Michael Prayer Warrior Guide’ in the search on that site and you will find them listed for $2.99 each.

This summer I will reach a new high in my writing career. I have been asked to lead workshops at the Kentucky Christian Writer’s Conference in Elizabethtown, KY. Here is the link. I’m excited and humbled to have been asked and I give God all the glory.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Strange and Interesting Bible Facts

Isaiah 28:21 says, “The Lord will rise up.  He will be rousted to do His deed; strange is His deed. And to do His work; alien is His work.”(ESV) Strange & alien indeed! We often find ourselves believing that when God works, things will run smoothly, when the truth is God’s work often seems strange and alien to the way we think things should go. But the good news for writers is that God’s strange & alien work makes great stories!
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarm -leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.” These words were penned by Alisha Hoffman in 1887. Where in the Bible did Alisha get her inspiration? Where do the words, “the everlasting arms” appear? They appear in  Deuteronomy 33:27 which says, “The eternal God is a dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
The book of Lamentations is poetry based on the Hebrew alphabet, which consists of 22 letters. Chapters 1, 2, and 4 of Lamentations have 22 verses, each starting with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Chapter 3 has 66 verses with each Hebrew letter repeated 3 times before moving onto the next letter. The last chapter, chapter 5, is written free style. An interesting note: Chapters 2, 3 and 4 reverse the order of the Hebrew letters ayin and pe so only chapter 1 follows the usual sequence precisely. Why? Perhaps only God knows.
Good Advice: In Nehemiah 5:7, Nehemiah says, “And I consulted with myself...” When I first read this verse it struck me as funny. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was wise statement.  In the prior verses, Nehemiah is distraught. As he contemplates what to do about his situation, he consults with himself…good idea! Perhaps if we spent more time consulting with ourselves and less time acting without thinking, our lives would run more smoothly.