Guest Post

Your Words Can Be More Powerful Than Technology

Today’s guest post is by Laura L. Smith. She is a best-selling author and speaker who lives in the picturesque college town of Oxford, Ohio, where you’ll find her running the wooded trails, strolling the brick streets, teaching Bible study at her local church, shopping at the Saturday morning farmer’s market, or going on a sunset walk with her husband and four kids. Her latest title, How Sweet the Sound, dives into the power and relevance of hymns in our modern lives. She is represented by Bob Hostetler.

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My phone is great for loads of things. But every time I pick it up it feels flat, smooth and the temperature of its environment. It smells like absolutely nothing. And taste? Well, considering phones are said to have more germs than a public restroom floor, I don’t want to try. I’m guessing it’s as tasteless as it is odorless. Technology is extremely useful, but the written word has an edge over it.

I could post a picture of the black trail that winds through my nearby woods to tell you a story about my morning run. I could go a step further and post a video. Then you’d glimpse the squirrel with orange markings around his ears darting in front of me. You’d hear the echo of my feet as I jogged across the covered bridge. If we got really snazzy and put it in virtual reality, you could see the trail, squirrel, and bridge through my eyes. But as with everything digital, the viewer would miss all the tastes, smells, and physical sensations. They’d only access two of the five senses.

But writers? If we’re doing our job well, we can one-up technology by providing our readers a full sensory experience. Here are the first five minutes of my run, not in a picture, video, or VR, but simply in words.

The thick, pungent exhaust from a lone truck assaulted my nose and mouth as I stretched my tight calves in the parking lot. But once on the trail the air was crisp and fresh. I inhaled giant gulps of it, letting it fill my lungs with something clearer, purer than the circulated air from my vents at home.

The wind pricked my cheeks. Somewhere overhead, a woodpecker’s lightning-fast beak hammered a tree trunk. Looking up, I caught a glimpse of his scarlet head bright in contrast against the pale gray sky and blackish branches stripped of their leaves. Earbuds in, I pressed play on my Maverick City playlist and started moving. The piano chords and deep, soulful cadence of Dante Bowe’s voice in my ears and the air so clean it tasted like spring water propelled me forward. Soon my breathing settled into a pattern and my feet found their rhythm sinking into the soft cinder trail.

I hope you found yourself on the trail with me. That’s what writers do—invite our readers into our journeys. That could be a journey of understanding a certain theology or of a woman walking to a stream during the Civil War (either fictional or nonfictional) or a journey out of depression or debt or through marriage or adoption. No matter the journey we’re writing about, we can bring our readers along with us by offering them a full sensory experience depicted by words.

You try. What are you currently writing? Try incorporating taste, smell, touch, or all three into your article, blog post, or chapter.

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Coming Full Circle

by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Today’s guest blog is from Kim Vogel Sawyer a best-selling author whose books have topped the sales charts and won awards since 2005, when she left her elementary school teaching job to write full time. Her books have won the Carol Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Her stories are designed to offer hope and encouragement to her readers. Kim sees a correlation between the writing of a good story and God’s good plan for every life, and she hopes her stories encourage readers to seek God’s will in their own personal lives. Bestselling author Tracie Peterson says: “Kim Vogel Sawyer is an exceptional storyteller who is sure to please fans of historical fiction. Her attention to detail and love of God shines through.”

In addition to writing, Kim Vogel Sawyer is a popular speaker, freely sharing her testimony of God’s grace and healing-both physical and emotional-in her life. She and her husband Don reside in Hutchinson, Kansas, and have three daughters and four grandchildren. She is active in her church and loves singing, acting, playing handbells, quilting, and chocolate!

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In 2002, as my health was crumbling to the point that full-time teaching was no longer a possibility and I didn’t know what I was going to do, my dad–feeling as though I needed a major lift–took it upon himself to make my publishing dream come true. He sent a story I’d written, titled A Seeking Heart, to Steve Laube, who, at the time, owned a self-publishing company called ACW Press. And Steve agreed to help me get it into print.

Thus began a journey beyond the scope of my wildest imaginings.

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The Power of the Short Story

Today’s guest writer is Deborah Clack, who is a native Texan and nonrecovering chocolate addict. A high-school AP history teacher for 10 years, Deborah earned a master’s degree in education and was awarded Teacher of the Year for Arts in Education. Now she creates award-winning stories of her own with …

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Give Thanks to God

There is a verse in scripture which sets out in bold relief the great besetting problem of the human race. It is Romans 1:21: ‘for even though we knew God…we did not give thanks.’ Astonishing! How can we actually know God and not give thanks? Scarcely a day passes in which we are not deluged by at least a hundred instances of God’s goodness to us. Thanksgiving ought to be the most natural of human reflexes, as spontaneous as drawing breath.

Doubtless there are a plethora of reasons why we do not feel thankful. Perhaps business is stressful, or marriage is disappointing, or parenting is unfulfilling, or health is deteriorating, or school is unrewarding. Or maybe we simply take for granted God’s goodness to us.

How important it is, then, to rehearse frequently all that God does for us. Only then will an unending torrent of thanksgiving be unleashed from our hearts. Nowhere is God’s goodness more compellingly set out in His word. Immerse yourself in what follows, luxuriate in the story of God’s grace to you. . . and be thankful!

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Who is like the Lord our God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who is enthroned above the vault of the earth . . . and who stretches out the heavens like a curtain. How majestic is His name . . . When we consider His heavens, the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained, what are we that He should take thought of us?

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Real vs. Fictitious Settings

Today’s guest post is from our client Mindy Obenhaus. She is a three-time Carol Award nominee who writes contemporary romance. Mindy is passionate about touching readers with biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren at …

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What is Inspirational Romance?

Our guest blogger today is Angela Breidenbach. She is a Montana author & Christian Authors Network president, is the host of Lit Up! on Toginet Radio and Apple Podcasts. Angela went back to college for genealogical studies w/specialties in English & Scottish Records. She’ll graduate in 2019 as a professional genealogist. Find …

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An Author’s Journey

I wanted our agency client Scott Douglas LaCounte to guest-blog today because of the anniversary it represents (see below) and how God worked through the publishing process and journey to encourage a writer and his family.  Scott is quite modest. He is the head librarian for the Southern California Institute …

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