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Viewing Blog: Jean's Encouraging Words For Writers, Most Recent at Top
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by Jean Matthew Hall
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1.

I've been negligent, I know. It's been several weeks since I posted here. I started with real determination to post twice weekly here. But LIFE keeps getting in the way of blogging. So, I'm stepping back for a few months. I am struggling at this time with hard decisions regarding the use of my time - those 24 wee hours that God gives me every day. I want to use those hours doing the work He

3 Comments on , last added: 11/30/2012
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2.

I've done it. I've registered for PiBoIdMo 2012. November is the official Picture Book Idea Month - PiBoIdMo! Yep. I'm joining a few hundred other followers of Tara Lazar's blog Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) in her challenge to come up with 30 picture book ideas in the 30 days of November. Sort of an autumn brain-storming for those of us who love picture books and aspire to see our

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3. My Gift to You, Dear Reader/Writer

I Prayed Especially For You  by Jean Matthew Hall I prayed especially for you today Not just one of those “lay me down to sleep” prayers But a heart-felt, yearning prayer. My heart stretched up toward heaven. It strained to touch the Throne of Grace, To see a wisp of God’s answer in your life.   I prayed especially for you today Not a quick “Lord, bless them”

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4. What I'm Writing

I'm not a huge fan of the World Olympics. I may watch a few minutes here or there of the televised Summer or Winter Olympics. But I'm not enamored with them. I admire the commitment, the focus, the personal discipline of Olympians, however. They all seem to live their lives from childhood into young adulthood dedicated to the single purpose of becoming Olympians - of earning the coveted medals.

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5. Another Great Writing Workshop

A couple of weeks back my writing buddy, Carol Baldwin, and I headed south to Greenville, SC, for a one day writers' workshop "Show, Don't Tell," sponsored by the Greenville Emyrs Foundation. Author Hester Bass led us through techniques used by actors to create their characters - techniques that are equally useful to writers. It was great fun and we both gained some insight into improving 

7 Comments on Another Great Writing Workshop, last added: 10/6/2012
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6.

Sometimes God tells me to do some little something, or become involved with something, that sounds small enough.   You know, small enough that I can handle it myself. Or small enough that I can squeeze it into my busy schedule. Or small enough that it won't require too much of my energy, intellect or emotion. But somehow, someway, those things seem to grow, and grow, until they become

9 Comments on , last added: 9/29/2012
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7. Words Aflame

“Give me the Love that leads the way The Faith that nothing can dismay The Hope no disappointments tire The Passion that'll burn like fire Let me not sink to be a clod Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God”  ― Amy Wilson-Carmichael   Amy Carmichael is one of a handful of women who have had a powerful influence on me. I never met Amy Carmichael, of course. Her influence on my life, like that of

9 Comments on Words Aflame, last added: 9/19/2012
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8. Writing my WIP

MANY years ago I bought an a capella CD for my (then) 12 year old daughter. She soon outgrew it but I am still enjoying it. It's energetic and fun and teaches scripture.  One of my favorite cuts is  entitled "Tag, You're It!" It bee-bops through several Bible characters who were "tagged" by God as children to grow up to become heroes of our faith. Cute and convicting! Tonight I was "tagged" by

6 Comments on Writing my WIP, last added: 9/14/2012
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9. 9-1-1

I remember. Do you? Exercise your power --  VOTE.

2 Comments on 9-1-1, last added: 9/13/2012
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10. Blogger Award

Recently my blogging buddy, Cecelia Lester, passed along to me and a few other bloggers the Liebster Award. I am such a forget ninny sometimes that I forgot the thank her for that. So, A BIG THANK YOU! to Cecelia for honoring me as one of her favorite bloggers. You can read Cecelia's beautiful, sincere devotionals at her blog, Following My King. Her heartfelt words often reach out across

4 Comments on Blogger Award, last added: 9/5/2012
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11.

Periodically I record my thoughts of and to God in a beautiful journal entitled Be Still and Know that I am God,  an Ellie Claire gift book. Recently I read this thought in that journal: "The tiniest dewdrop hanging from a grass blade in the morning is big enough to reflect the sunshine and the blue of the sky."  Those words are a lovely reminder to me that, though I am an

2 Comments on , last added: 9/1/2012
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12. Quiet Waters

Is anything as refreshing as water? A cool drink when you're dry. A refreshing splash when you're melting in the heat. A dip in a chilly lake on a summer afternoon. A life-giving drink when you're parched.  A long drink of God's gift of Living Water - Jesus Himself. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens Psalm 23: 1-2 “He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters

3 Comments on Quiet Waters, last added: 9/8/2012
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13. Top 100 Teen Books 2012

I don't write for young adults. I'm a little out of the loop, I believe. My oldest grand child is 16 years old, and an avid reader (PTL!) but I'm not into the lingo, the pop culture, the techo-activities. I remember well MY angst as a teenager. Angst over boys and dates and parents, pimples and clicks and ugly PE uniforms. But I think even the level of angst, or maybe the way contemporary

2 Comments on Top 100 Teen Books 2012, last added: 9/8/2012
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14. Good News for Writers

I have news. Good news for readers who live anywhere around or near Western North Carolina. On Saturday, September 8, 2012, I and other Write2Ignite! Team members will be leading our second A Day Apart event in Spindale, NC. And it's only $45 for the full day of write, review, critique, brainstorm, rewrite and lunch, too!  Details are here. I hope some of you will plan to join us.

2 Comments on Good News for Writers, last added: 9/8/2012
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15. Selling Books at Christmas Craft Sales

Do you have a  box or two of your published books sitting around waiting to be turned into a little cash? Well, it isn't too early to think about Christmas! Have you considered renting a booth (or table) at a local Christmas craft show? I posted  some tips here to help make the event a success for you. HAPPY CHRISTMAS BOOK SALES    TO YOU!

2 Comments on Selling Books at Christmas Craft Sales, last added: 9/8/2012
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16. Writing as a Christian

"How can we help non-Christians understand that being a Christian doesn't mean living up to a standard of goodness, but rather means trusting a good God to do for us what we can't do for ourselves? As writers we have a unique opportunity to tell the world what it's all about. In our stories and in our characters, we can show what it really means to be a follower of Christ, and that means

6 Comments on Writing as a Christian, last added: 9/8/2012
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17. Great Writer's Conference Experience Part 3

Pat Thomas & Harold Underdown Pat Thomas Pat is the author of many wonderful picture books like Firefly Mountain, There are Rocks in My Socks, Said the Ox to the Fox, Red Sled and Stand Back, Said the Elephant. I must have read Stand Back, Said the Elephant 100 times when I taught first grade. I loved it, and so did my students! She is also an instructor with ICL. In Pat's

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18. Springs of Living Water

John 4:10 (HCSB) Furman University Campus Jesus answered, "If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would ask Him , and He would give you living water." Furman University John 10:14 (HCSB) But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again--ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water

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19. Picture Book Topics

This week I’m participating in Donna’s July Challenge on her Word Wrangler Blog. I’m supposed to come up with 15 pitches for NEW books. I have 6 so far. It’s a great challenge, I think, to stimulate my imagination, my creativity--get the ole juices flowing. I think it’s working. But I need some seeds to germinate into ideas. So, Saturday I spent time browsing my local Barnes & Noble’s.

12 Comments on Picture Book Topics, last added: 7/13/2012
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20. No Matter How Small

From Dancing on Mountains : An Anthology of Women's Spiritual Writings by Kathy Keay, pg. 126. Courage A candle is a protest at midnight. It is a non-conformist. It says to the darkness, 'I beg to differ'. An Indian Proverb: Do not be afraid of standing up for what you believe; what you do, no matter how small, will make a difference. A novel, a poem, a picture book, a song, a greeting card

8 Comments on No Matter How Small, last added: 7/13/2012
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21. The Writer's Plot Conference

I'm off this coming weekend to The Writer's Plot Writing Conference at Furman University in Greenville, SC. I am looking forward to seeing good writing friends again, and to meeting for the first time some talented people in the field of children's literature. Folks like: Writing buddies - Samantha Bell, Pam Zollman, Jean Hall Harold Underdown Edie Melson Vonda Skelton Pat Thompson Alan

9 Comments on The Writer's Plot Conference, last added: 7/17/2012
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22.

I'm on my way to The Writer's Plot Conference. Tuesday I'll post photos, ooohs! and ahhhs! Meanwhile here's a little food for thought. What do you suggest for the last line of this poem? [Yes, it's a product of my silly imagination.] My Reader He loves to jump and play and bounce She doesn’t really give an ounce For lessons to be learned Each day at school. He wants to touch

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23. A Great Writer's Conference Experience Part 1Dinner at William's

Dinner at William's Hardware Last Saturday I attended The Writer’s Plot 2012 Conference in Greenville, SC. It was a relatively small conference – just the kind I like. I know that attending large conferences gives us the opportunity to contact larger publishing houses and to schmooze with more people. But I love the opportunities to get to know the presenters and to have closer interaction

11 Comments on A Great Writer's Conference Experience Part 1Dinner at William's, last added: 7/25/2012
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24. On Pain and Suffering

"The problem of pain, of war and the horror of war, of poverty and disease is always confronting us. But a god who allows no pain, no grief, also allows no choice. There is little unfairness in a colony of ants, but also there is little freedom." Madeleine L'Engle What do you say (or write) when someone asks how a loving God can allow pain and suffering, injustice  and war? What do you

6 Comments on On Pain and Suffering, last added: 7/28/2012
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25. A Great Writer's Conference Experience Part 2

I'm back, writing friends, with more info about the workshops at The Writer's Plot 2012 Conference. Alan Gratz  Words from Alan Gratz Alan is a highly successful children’s/young adults’ author right here in the Carolinas. His presentation was fun and informative. If you ever get the chance to hear him (like at the SCBWI-C Conference this September) DO! Alan drilled into our

12 Comments on A Great Writer's Conference Experience Part 2, last added: 8/1/2012
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