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Glimpses into Jean's Writing Life April 2021

I appreciate your prayers greatly. I didn't send out a Newsletter in May because my personal life kind of exploded. My son-in-law, Phil, died unexpectedly in April. It caught all of us off guard. As soon as I received the call I packed up and headed for my daughter's home in NC. I did my best to minister to her and her children, and to Phil's family for two weeks. Lots of cooking, cleaning and laundry with four kiddos in the house. Drove three hours to the cemetery. Spent time individually with the grandchildren listening to their hearts. These situations are never easy. I do hope that I was a help to them.

During the second week my laptop decided to die. That was another ordeal. When I returned home I took it to the shop that always works on it. That was a very frustrating experience. We were also having major issues with recordings we made of our Write2Ignite Picture Book Master Class and couldn't make them available to the folks who had paid for them. Pile those technical issues on top of my already-emotional state and, well, I had myself a nice little meltdown that lasted a few days.

Sometimes I have to be reminded that I am NOT Wonder Woman. I'm human and frail. I have to be reminded that God has EVERYTHING under control. And, that I do NOT.

Thank you for praying faithfully for me. I ask you to add my daughter, Tabitha, to those prayers, please. She is walking through the valley of grief.


From God's Word

Matthew 4:3-5 NIV

3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

I've been hungry for a long time. Not for physical food. I am blessed to always have plenty of food to eat. Too much, actually. No, I've been hungry for the Word of God. But, I've noticed over the past year or so that I've allowed myself to be happy with just "snacking" on it. Reading a few verses each morning and then zipping through my prayer time. It isn't satisfying.

A bag of chips or a cupcake may taste great and keep me from feeling hungry for a while. But it doesn't last long. In an hour I need another snack. However, if I sit down to a beautiful roasted chicken breast, a baked potato slathered with butter and sour cream, some green beans or roasted Brussels sprouts, maybe some fruit on the side, I not only feel full after eating it all, I am satisfied until breakfast the next morning. It's not just filling, a meal like that is satisfying and meets my body's nutritional needs, too.

I'm hungry for the meat of God's Word. Picking and snacking on it are just not doing the trick for me. I enjoy my pastor's sermons. I learn from the other ladies in my Sunday school class. But I need to grab a knife and fork and dig into God's Word for myself. I wouldn't fare very well if I ate food only on Sundays. I don't do well with studying God's Word only on Sundays either.

I'm in the middle of a Life Way study by Lisa Terquist on some of the Old Testament Kings. I'm learning some valuable things. And I'm hearing God's voice. But I want more!

I've decided to join a Bible Study Fellowship class this fall. I hope it will give me the meat of God's Word and the structure I need to feast faithfully. And, I hope to make new friends. That would be an amazing plus--kind of like that cupcake, but after a hearty meal.

What's your relationship to God's Word? Are you devoting daily time to reading, studying, praying and applying it to your own life? I hope so. Would you share with me any Bible study materials or programs you use? I'd appreciate it!


A Little Something for Writers

Two very useful websites for those who write for children OR adults:

Blogzone by Nancy Sanders https://nancyisanders.wordpress.com/

50 Writing Tools http://www.poynter.org/2006/fifty-writing-tools-quick-list/76067/

News from Jean's Writing Life

I'm still researching and learning to write nonfiction picture books. Biographies, really. I've been researching a scientist who spent her adult life studying fleas. (Yes, fleas.) a WWII heroine, a female biochemist. I have rough drafts of their stories, but still trying to make them more pertinent, more saleable.

I'm also writing and submitting some stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul books. It's fun to write them and affirming if they get accepted. Plus--they pay real money if they print them. That's a plus for my budget.

I have a blog post on the www.Write2Ignite.com blog coming July 1.


Kentucky Christian Writers Virtual Conference

Last weekend I assisted with the virtual Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. So many faithful people have worked together to pull this off. The Lord has been in it, but it takes work--lots of work to bring all the plans, people and details together. I spent lots of time in front of my laptop Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And it was worth it! What an amazing conference. We are praying that next year we can hold a live, face-to-face Conference. But for now, PTL for Zoom!

Our keynote speaker was Michelle Medlock Adams. She spoke on J-O-Y. Her keynotes were greatly inspirational. Before the Conference I devoted time to praying for the speakers, for Michelle, for the KCWC Committee members, for the technology and for the attendees to be blessed. I shamefully confess I didn't pray for God to bless ME during the Conference. It never occurred to me to ask. But God blessed me anyway. He reminded me of so many things I have forgotten in my relationship to publication and my relationship to Him.

I'm truly glad I attended.

W2I Picture Book Master Class April 24, 2021

Master Teacher Laura Sassi

Wow! What a terrific day we had. Laura is a skilled teacher as well as a fantastic author. Judging from the comments we received every participant was inspired to jump back into the game, gained new knowledge and encouragement for trying new formats and ideas when writing PB manuscripts. I hope you can join us for our next Master Class on Writing for Young Adults with Tessa Emily Hall on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
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