Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The spirit of a writer never dies; the desire is always there it just needs to be fed. If the spirit is not being fed, it is unable to work. For a writer inspiration comes in many forms, while for some it may take reading, for others it can be people watching, and for others it may be communing with nature. Find the inspiration, feed the writer spirit, avoid the negative critics, and write.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

As one might imagine, being a college student around the holidays can be a tiny bit stressful.

Being a college student taking three very different writing courses plus a science class and coming to the end of the semester around the holidays makes stress look like a walk in the park. (I am sure there are some college students or writers out there laughing, and if there are not, let me continue thinking so anyway.)

Right now, I am striving to have the Christmas spirit and also get my course work completed. So I thought up a marvelous distraction that would only require me to go to the Post Office every couple days or so. (Unless the internet really loves me and then I would need to go every day, hint.)

I would love to get writing prompts for Christmas, given that I am a writer. So, if people would like, they can send me an eCard, postcard, whichever with a PG rated picture and a brief setting or situation for a character. (I write fiction, typically of the sci-fi/fantasy variety but not too far out there.) And hey! If I get really inspired by one of the prompts I will finally get that book finished and you all will have helped, wouldn't that be great?

E-Cards can be sent to: subject: Merry Christmas Faith! (This is important so my filter will grab it instead of spam.)

Postcards can be mailed to P.O. Box 241 White Bluff, TN 37187

Thank you so much! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

When It All Gets Crazy

In the life of a college student, November can get quite nerve racking. Typically this is the time in the semester when deadlines for all the projects are approaching and midterm grades are being released. It can get rather overwhelming.

For myself it is not just about being a college student. I have a family, plus I am also involved in my church. So while it does get crazy and insane and very overwhelming, I love it.

Currently I am planning three essays for Expository Writing, a video script, a mini eBook and a Portfolio for Technical Report Writing and doing classwork for Astronomy with my college studies. At church, I have found myself involved with two friends coordinating a business expo for November 17th. Then of course family wise there is never a dull moment.

The gist of this post though is not to go on and on about how I have so much to do. The point is that with a well thought out plan it can all be done and still have time to sleep, provided you have not drank too much coffee.

The first thing I did was print out a schedule of due dates. That was scary in itself seeing in my face that a few things were due on the same day, but I would rather know that today instead of a week from now when they are expected to be turned in. The next thing I did was let my spouse know that this month was going to be crazy and I was going to need a LOT of homework time. In addition to homework time I am going to need some help with the expo too. So let's see... 1. Written Schedule.  2. ASK for HELP.

That leaves the 3.Implementation. Getting to everything and doing it. You know how long you need to put your best foot forward. Yes, life gets crazy but what matters is how you respond.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review: A Halflings Rescue

A Halflings Rescue
A Halflings Rescue by Heather Burch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this series by Heather Burch. They are written well for the young adult genre. Halflings are half angels and half human, not necessarily an original concept but not lame either. Honestly when my husband saw I was reading it he thought it was possibly part of the D&D interest.

This book is the third, technically. There was an introduction 11:15 The Making of a Halfling, this introduced us to the series and the characters. The first full length book Halflings, and then to this short. This short really has very little to do with the story as a whole, it is more as a filler to keep or generate more interest in the series. That said, I believe it has done a good job at that.

A Halflings Rescue is where the team comes together and basically works as a crime fighting group and rescue a teen celebrity. There is drama. There is intrigue. There are 'hotties'. The writing is strong. The characters have personalities and they don't get in the way of the story. The only concern might be is if you have not read the two prior books there is reference to existing issues that might confuse the reader. This will not distract you from enjoying the entire story though.

In A Halflings Rescue the team discover important information about Mandy, a starlet that is being held hostage. With the information in hand they go to the authorities and quickly find themselves in the midst of the rescue operation. Things get complex quickly, the question is are they able to pull off a rescue without anybody getting hurt? Read the story to find out! Hey, it's FREE, why not?

One of the biggest criticisms I have read about this series is that the 'angels' are to pretty and it has tones of 'Twilight'. The issue with that is that these books are based on biblical accounts of angels and in that instant, they are beautiful. I look at it as they are attractive but not to the point that EVERYBODY is swooning over them. Other than that, this series is YA, that is teen. The series is written for entertainment.

Read this one and the other two, then get Guardian.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So Many Directions!

This school semester has me excited. I was very concerned that having three writing classes would drive me insane, and it still may by the time finals get here, but right now I am enjoying it.

Each class is very different from each other.

Technical Report Writing is focused on the ins and outs of writing reports and doing projects. The focus is become efficient at writing the reports that will be needed in a professional environment. The benefit of taking this class and the benefit of being a Professional Writing Minor is that regardless of what career I pursue, I will be able to write virtually any report that would be needed.

Expository Writing or as the professor is lovingly calling it Advanced Composition it is as it is called. This class is concentrating on the way we write an essay, specifically we are writing about the Shakespearean Sonnets to develop our writing skills further. I look forward to this as I love Shakespeare. I look forward to diving in to the essays.

Feature Writing is writing feature articles for a newspaper. My topic has leaned towards advocacy and congenital heart defects. Knowing my heart and passion on this I am excited to use the education to benefit the awareness of a topic I love.

The thing is, while all three classes seem to be going in different directions they are actually working together. Each class has something that can be used in the other. Thankfully at the moment the classes are working together instead of against each other.

Now if only the forth class would benefit the writing classes it would be perfection.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Smell of New Books...

Ahhh. the smell of new books... the joy of brand new pencils and brand new erasers. Makes my heart skip a beat. (Seriously it does, I am quirky like that.)

I am beginning my fourth year of college Saturday. Technically it is my senior year, but due to hour classifications I just miss the requirement and I am classified as a junior. That is okay. I am perfectly fine with that aspect.

Little bit of writing going on?
This semester has me both overly excited and balled up into a tangled up mess with my schedule. I will be finished with all of my core classes after this semester. YA!! However, that means it is time to get down to the nitty gritty in my main classes. Which, because I am a Web & Print Journalism major with a Professional Writing minor you might guess that there could be a little bit of writing involved in the last three semesters of my college career. This makes me excited. Yet nervous.

In prior classes I have been able to dominate with my ability while not putting forth a whole lot of effort. I know this semester while REQUIRE me to work ahead of time and to put forth GREAT effort. It means I will need to study and that I will need to not procrastinate. Plus I need to not get caught up in my one core class that does not involve writing. While I do need to put forth effort, there is danger of me falling in love with it too much. My fourth class this semester is Astronomy, it has always been a fascination for me. 

So, for those interested. My schedule:

Online Classes this semester are...

Feature Writing (Half Semester)
Astronomy & Astronomy Lab

On Campus this semester are...

Technical Report Writing (M W F)
Expository Writing (M W F)

As I said, lots of writing. I know it will involve me doing lots of research too. As I said, I am excited and nervous. Plus the Tech Writing professor has an opportunity that sounds intriguing. I just can not wait to get the syllabus for the classes.

Have a good day!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Forbidden

Forbidden by Ted Dekker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I ordered this book on pre-order and could not wait for it to come in. Alas, when it did I had several other books sitting on my nightstand waiting to be read (not to mention a semester of school work). Reading Forbidden was put off until about a month or so ago.

I am unsure if my expectations were so high that the beginning chapters of Forbidden dragged a little slow or if they really did take a little work seducing me into the story. I am the first to admit that I have been insanely busy and have possessive kitties that want my time and discourage reading, so it was not completely the book’s fault.

The story is based around a new world order where a virus or genetic alteration has occurred and the only emotion left is fear. There is a “Order” that is religious in nature that everybody has to follow or the government is going to come after you. In the midst of all of this an old man is running from the Citadel guard and meets Rom. He tells Rom he knew his father and his father didn’t die but was killed and it was because of this package and he was part of this group called the Keepers. The old man tells Rom he must take the package and find somebody else. Before Rom can get much more information the guard finds them and capture the man. They kill him in front of Rom and then start chasing Rom.

From there on the story just gets better and better. There is death, life and love. Did I mention there is also a creepy evil guy that wants to be ruler of the world and he is willing to do anything to get there? Perhaps even kill his entire family?

Needless to say, even though the book is less than 400 pages and it still took me a month to read it. I highly suggest you check out Forbidden if you are a fan of Ted Dekker. Or if you like the darker side of fantasy or sci-fi. If you look for it, you can find Christian themes. That is after all, Dekker’s style. And for fans of the Circle series, there is a connection.

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Not Singing Your Own Praise

I ran across this scripture the other day. I feel led to share it merely for what it says.

Proverbs 27:2 HCSB - Let another praise you, and not your own mouth- a stranger, and not your own lips.

As a writer that is attempting to be independent, it is very easy to have egotistical thoughts and to praise myself. This can be a curse of social marketing your own brand. While the reason I found the scripture was not to keep myself grounded, it is why the Lord let me find it. I love how the Lord does that.

In my life there have been times that I have been asked why I am not published already and my reaction is dependent on how I am feeling that specific day but it falls in one of two categories: a) elated, on top of the world, head swollen, egotistical, best darn writer this side of the moon. b) I STINK, I cannot write, I am horrible, etc, etc, etc.

Fact is neither of those two categories is correct. For the fact that I can write a sentence or even a paragraph with proper grammar and minimal mistakes, I would say verifies that I am at least a notch above horrible. (Yes, you can laugh, sneer, gag, whatever.) The other side of the coin is that there is always room for improvement, which proves the other category erroneous too.

Thus, we run into balance. Yin and Yan, black and white, yes and no, good and bad, balance. Also reminds me as a writer that in order to write, I have to read. That sounds like another post.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Tisket A Tasket a pretty little Snippet? huh? LOL

Okay, so rhymes may not be the best way to get attention.

On the Facebook Page, a week or so ago I asked if my friends/fans would be interested in a one shot/short story off of an old manuscript. There was some interest. So I have been working on one.

It is not a lot but it gives you a little introduction. I have toyed with putting it on here or not, but I think with what I am going to share it will be okay. TO give a little bit of lead in... we come in as the protagonist is returning to her childhood home after being gone for several years. It is an unexpected return.

The mountain scene before them was one that Chenoa would never tire. The rolling blue mountain tops with the burning sky behind them soften by the haze that danced in and out between each ridge.
This journey home was different. Today had an ominous presence about it that she could not place.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
Chenoa looked over to the intruding voice, she had almost forgotten he was even there. "I'm sorry, guess I was just thinking about that letter."

There will definitely be more to come, as I am continuously working on it between moments of being a mom and a wife. Let me know how you like it. Do you like it? I know there is not much there, but for an introduction, does it grab you? Are you like me and wondering what was in the letter?

Talk to me, I love interaction.

Friday, June 15, 2012

REVIEW: Illusion by Frank Peretti

IllusionIllusion by Frank Peretti

Review by Faith Tilley Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book overall. That said, it was not what I expected from Mr. Peretti. Mind you, I became a fan of his with "This Present Darkness", "Piercing The Darkness" and "The Oath".

Illusion is a love story. A beautiful one at that.

There is some hard reading in parts, but I believe that is more of an issue with Mr. Peretti wanting to make sure the description is "just so" or that the reader has a specific understanding. I myself like to let my imagination flow and picture things so when I get to those parts I skim if I can. (I am being honest here, and there was very little of that)

I liked the creativity of the plot line and the resolution. It made for an intriguing story that was hard to put down. I even teared up when I got to the end of the book and realized it was over.

Magician Dane Collins loses the love of his life in a horrific auto accident and barely knows which way is up after he is discharged from the hospital. He finds himself closing on the property that the couple were planning to buy in Idaho and is merely going through the motions of daily living. That is, until he meets a young woman in a shopping strip who's voice and mannerisms remind him of his precious Mandy. It is not just Dane that is trying to figure out his feelings and understand what is going on, this young woman herself is a mystery. The young woman is herself misplaced out of time from the 70s and has found herself in "present day" (2010 in the book).

As the two are drawn together and Dane can just not get past the fact that this young woman strangely resembles a young Mandy, the mystery begins to unfold as questions are asked and the story unfolds.

I do miss the entwined biblical message in the book as I have grown accustom to from Mr. Peretti, but that does not distract from the writing and story.

Mr. Peretti has spun a tale that grabs the romantic at heart and also those that love a good mystery.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Write Daily

There is a common prescription by many who write that you must write daily. I used to scoff at this. The reason I would scoff is because I was already writing something daily at that time and could not imagine dedicating an hour or two to concentrate on more writing.

And then things changed.

And I stopped writing for enjoyment.

Now, my creative muse does not like to come out and play. Now, I find it difficult to write just to write daily. I have lost my edge when it comes to writing, I believe.  Since I went back to school, my writing has turned to academic and while I enjoy the research that goes into it, my true enjoyment has diminished.

This of course requires a change.

In order for change to occur, there must be inspiration and motivation. This is where my struggle resides. While I am in school I have dedicated my energy to academics. For some this may be a non-issue, for myself this has become a hurdle that must be overcome.

So I am challenging myself over my summer break to WRITE DAILY. This should not be too difficult for me as I am in the process of relaunching a website that is in desperate need of content and edits. However, I need to work on creative writing also. I hope to update about once a week with how I am progressing with writing daily.

Do you have tips or tricks to keep yourself writing daily?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Finding the Way

 "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11(NKJV)

As my journey unfolds I tend to get overwhelmed or even distracted. I see friends that write that just in the last year wrote a novel and have begun the query process while I am in school and juggling motherhood. Then I see friends that have been writing for years and have yet to submit a single query. It can get very disheartening.

For me though, I know that my path involves getting my B.A. in writing. I have my suspicions as to why. God has this funny way of planning things out for us so that if we are in His will things work out pretty good. And I am not sharing this to be all righteous and holier than thou, its just that so many times things look hopeless and just as many times God has pulled me and my family through.

It is my belief that the Lord has me on this path that I am currently on to teach me the diligence and discipline that is needed to be a consistent writer. Does this mean I will be a best seller? Maybe. Does this mean I will get rich? I do not know. I do know is that the Lord will provide my needs.

See, ever since I was a child it has been my desire to be a writer. A published writer that is successful. God is providing me a way for that to happen and I am following that path. I believe this because the Lord gives us the desires of our heart.

"Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4 (KJV)

For me I have to not focus on what others are doing in relation to myself. I need to focus on what God is doing in me. I know it will take time. And that is okay. The first step is to start.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Waiting to Get There

For the last several months I have been telling myself to just wait until May, wait until May. Once we get to May the busy-ness of school will be behind us and then the focus of writing will be ahead.

Ya, right.

May has brought field trips, migraines, forgotten appointments and pure chaos. So I find myself waiting...

But in that wait I realize, there is nothing stopping me from writing. So what if it's not at a cute little coffee shop with my laptop with me looking important? There is nothing wrong with having my tablet (or paper and pencil) in the car with sweats on at whatever sport practice the kids have going on. (And that allows a free edit when I type it up!)

It doesn't have to be perfect when I write and I can get there now. Like right now while I'm waiting for the dog to get done at the vet.

The lesson learned? Don't wait.

How many opportunities pass us by because we are waiting for the "perfect" moment? There is no perfect moment. There will always be something than can get in the way if you let it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Meeting Frank...

I had the pleasure of meeting an author I have respected for the vast majority of my life and dare I say most of his career. I am trying not to get all fangirl like about it, but I really do look up to this author. His books opened a genre of fiction to me that as a Christian, I did not know was possible to be a part of.

The author that I admire so much is Frank Peretti.

I met Frank at the book signing he did in Nashville for the recent release of his new book Illusion. Before the signing, there was a question and answer session that I found very candid and rich in information. He gave tips on writing and expressed what he felt made a good book/story. While several things he stated I had heard before, there were a few things that were new and freshly stated.

The most important thing I took away is, when writing you have to get to the plot quickly then develop the characters while getting to the climax. Other than that, the hero always has to solve his/her own problem it can not solve it self and it can not be fixed by others.