Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Desires of the Heart

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
–– Psalm 37:4 NIV

When my husband and I were in missionary training, one phrase was used over and over––count for eternity. Would my life count for eternity? What was my life’s purpose? I didn’t know where God would lead us or what our ministry would be, I just knew God called us to serve Him––to take the Gospel to those who never heard the Good News. We had an eternal purpose––bringing hope to the lost, so that they could have eternal life. God accomplished His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord. “This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11 NLT). He also wants to accomplish His eternal purpose in us.

This year, my husband and I celebrated 35 years of ministry in Bolivia, S.A. where we have a children’s ministry and also minister in national churches. Over the years, we’ve had many different ministries, and God has given me one more ministry with an eternal purpose. He’s given me the privilege of writing for Him. It’s another way to take the Gospel to the world by telling of His faithfulness and love through writing words, but not just my words but His message. If it is His message I write, then it has eternal value.

More than a decade ago, I began writing stories for my grandchildren to stay in touch over the many miles between us. After a few years of honing my writing skills, God blessed me with a contract with Pix-N-Pens Publishing for my three-book children’s series, Really Rare Rabbits. When God told me to go into all the world, never did I imagine that one day I would write books that would go into all the world.

In my Really Rare Rabbit series, Fi Fi asks her brother Chi Chi, “But, what is a missionary?” So, what is a missionary? Being a missionary, I can tell you that a missionary is a child of God doing His will in a far away land, or in our own country. We are all missionaries! “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice” (Ephesians 5:1 NIV). As a dearly loved child of God, it's a joy to show God's love to others. Each day brings new challenges and new joys, and each day I strive to spread that love to a dying world to give hope of eternal life to those who trust in Jesus.

This year, my new challenge led to writing not only for children but adults also. I’m excited about my first non-fiction book releasing October 18, 2016. Dancing Like Bees is a devotional for adults of all ages. In it, I share God’s instructions for de-stressing, the delight of living for God, and bee facts that help us dance like bees––the dances of communication and community. By examining the life of bees, we see the intricate details of God’s creation that we can apply to our everyday lives to reach a peaceful and productive life while overcoming stress and achieving joy.

I love being a missionary and never thought I’d desire to do anything else––until I began to write. I’m double blessed to be called by God to a ministry in missions and writing. God has truly given me the desires of my heart.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 4

Dear Editor,
I have a book. Books are my best friends. I spend my entire day reading and talking to the characters in my head. And my goldfish, Betty. I want to be a best-seller so that someone besides my mom and my twin brother will know my name. What type of television exposure will you offer?
Herman from Hermitville

There’s no getting around it. Publisher’s don’t sell books; authors sell books. The authors are the ones who engage the people around them (whether on the Internet or in person) and interest them in their stories. People read books that they hear about, in person, from their friends much more often than those they see on a general media shout-out.

Best-sellers get to that spot by having people interested in their books. If you never talk to anyone, who will care to buy? It’s like the crowd in the middle of a power failure. They won’t know the person standing next to them has a flashlight if he doesn’t turn it on.

So turn it on! Start a book club. Online is okay, but in person is better. Visit your local library often. Join a readers’ group, an entrepreneurs’ group, a Bible study group, hobby or civic clubs. Writers are notorious for being introverts, but they must break out of their shells to engage folks who might become their biggest fans.

Get online with your passions. Search for blogs, forums, Facebook groups, and Pinterest groups that offer gathering areas for the things you love. Get involved with others, as much to have fun as anything else.

Then when you do have a book that’s ready, you have a variety of people interested in your book if only to support your dream.

My best advice: Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t only mingle with other writers. Engage!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Secret of My Birth by Harriet E. Michael

I had a very different childhood from many of you who. I was born in Nigeria, West Africa in the late 1950’s (yes, I’m that old, and I’m ok with it.) My memories of life in Africa are filled with running barefoot on hot days, the smell of the tropical rains, strange animals, that didn’t seem so strange at the time, and people with an assortment of skin colors pouring their love on me.

Joinkrama, where I was born, is located in what was then the Eastern Region of Nigeria but is today called “Rivers State” in the Niger River delta. Joinkrama is located in the small part of Nigeria that is in the tropical rain forest. It is an area of jungles. There were monkeys swinging in the trees outside of my house, elephants that occasionally tromped close enough to the village to be a danger to the villagers, and crocodiles in the river. The buildings were raised, for the occasions when the river overflowed its banks. It was in this remote part of the African jungle that I was born.

There are two stories about my birth …
One story has it that when my mother went in labor with me, she walked down a little jungle path to the hospital with my brother and sister in tow. According to this story, my father delivered me at the hospital and then sent us back to convalesce at home. My mother was sent home on a stretcher with me in her arms, carried by four men. Seeing us carried like that, the villagers assumed we had both died and began to weep and wail! Realizing what they thought, my mother quickly sat up, smiled, and waved so the people could see she was alive. Then, she lifted me up for them to see as well. The people’s weeping turned into dancing (literally) and they followed us home in a joyful procession! –that’s one story.

But my dad told me the other story when I was a little girl.
Daddy told me that the stork was on his way to London, England—to Buckingham palace—carrying in his beak the newest member of the royal family, a little princess. (Me, of course!) Unfortunately, he developed hiccups, just as he was flying in the airspace above Joinkrama. ... I don’t know where the stork lives, but apparently to get to London, it involves a trip over the Niger River delta. Overcome by one giant hiccup, the stork did something he had never done before—he dropped his bundle!

My father told me that he just happened to be walking home down that little jungle path when a bundle fell from the sky right into his arms! He said he knew immediately what had happened! …Now, my father never explained just how he knew all about the royal family, the stork’s hiccups, and so on, but my father is a man of integrity so I never doubted his story!
“So you see” my father would conclude, “You are really a princess!”

According to the Bible, I really am a princess!! I am a child of the King!
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God, and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans 8:16-18

About the Author:

Born in Nigeria, West Africa, as the daughter of missionaries, Harriet Michael is a writer, gardener, wife of over 35 years, mother of four, and grandmother of one.

She holds a BS in nursing from West Virginia University but has discovered her passion for writing. Since her first published article in 2010, she now has over a hundred and fifty published articles and devotions.

Harriet is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Louisville Christian Writers. Her book, Prayer: It’s Not About You, a finalist in the 2011 Women of Faith book contest, is available at Amazon.

Follow her on:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Impress an Editor in 9 Steps: Part 3

Dear [insert name here],
I have enjoyed many of the books that your company, [insert company name here], has published. Since I’m so familiar with the writing that you love, I can tell that my book is tailor-made for [insert company name here]! I’ve have completed my proposal especially for you and hope to be chosen as the next [insert company name here] author.

You have a great book, you’ve studied your craft and your topic. You even know which publishers will want to see your book. Great. Just copy the letter above with the first chapter of your soon-to-be best seller a dozen times and mail it to those publishers. Done deal!


Every acquisitions editor is different. They want to see different things, and they want to see them in different ways. I know authors believe that the only reason they have different preferences is to make things more complicated, but it isn’t. One editor might prefer synopses while another wants only a short blurb. One company might ask for the dreaded chapter by chapter synopsis while someone else requires a bulleted list of topics and subtopics.

It doesn’t really matter what they request of you. Want to get on their good side? Accommodate them. Want to get a pass? Ignore their requests.

Frankly, your following the desires of the publishing company shows the dedication to your career and your respect for the company for which you’d like to work.

If an author won’t follow simple instructions written in plain English, why would the editor want to work with him or her? And seriously, the editor is choosing more than a book. He or she is choosing with whom they’d like to work.

My best advice: Set up a file for each of the proposals you want to send. Go ahead, make it a dozen, but be sure to make each one exactly as that editor instructs. There is a reason for every piece of information they’ve requested. Bottom line: Give the publisher as many excuses as you can to say, “Yes!” to your manuscript.

Oh, and if you do decide to send your proposal to several editors at once, make sure you note that your proposal is a simultaneous submission.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

New Chapter for Write Integrity Press

It's been a whirlwind month at Write Integrity Press. Here's our official press release on the beginning of a new chapter for our company.

Write Integrity Press and Pix-N-Pens Publishing announce a change in leadership. Marji Laine Clubine brings a fresh enthusiasm to the publishing companies along with a vision and strategies for growth and maintaining the high quality readers have come to expect. Tracy Ruckman, founder, will remain as Creative Director for WIP and PNP and will continue as publisher of the subsidy press, TMP Books. “It is our expectation and hearts’ desire that God will continue to use these businesses to bring glory to Himself,” says Ruckman.
With strategic planning, Clubine intends to build on the excellent foundation that has already been laid by the Lord and the companies’ founder. With a remarkable team of authors—talented, godly, and committed to prayer and to one another—potential authors will have built-in mentors and prayer warriors alongside them. New authors can also expect step-by-step guidance and encouragement with each book release. Readers will also benefit as outstanding books become available more often.
Write Integrity Press and Pix-n-Pens Publishing already hold high standards among small presses. With the refocused vision of the new leadership and the support system the team has created, the companies will continue to rise in esteem within the Christian publishing market.

The leadership and authors at Write Integrity Press continue their dedication to offering the best of clean and wholesome fiction. Check out our new website - HERE - and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay on top of our news with monthly updates.

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