My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words. (Psalm 45:1)

Welcome to our new blog!

Note that this blog is primarily for members of CWOSA. Only those members who have signed up as authors to the blog are able to post on this site, although all may leave comments.

You may not pass on any posts from this blog without permission of the author, but you may pass on a link if you wish to share something written.

To join CWOSA, you are required to either be a Christian writer or aspiring writer who lives in Southern Africa, or a Southern African Christian writer living overseas. If you qualify and wish to learn more, click on this link.


1. Read the topmost post, then click on "comments".
2. Read the last comment to see the most recent addition to the story.
3. Copy/past the entire story to date into a new comment box.
4. Add a further three words.
5. Click on Comment as. If you are signed in, your name will appear. Click on Publish.
6. If you're not signed in, click the small dropdown arrow, and select Name/URL. Give us the name we know you as, and click on Publish.

Remember! This is meant to be a story!
Have fun!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Give Me a Name and a Time

Marion asked, "What inspires you to write?"

I am inspired by deadlines. For that reason I usually have way more deadlines than I can cope with, and the ones that are self-imposed fall away. I have a large white board on the wall next to my computer and I write on it all the time. All the deadlines are written in blue. A quick count now tells me I have 21 deadlines! The latest one is the end of March next year - a Chicken Soup story I plan to write. But some of those 21 are multi-tasks in themselves. e.g. "Blogs" - one heading. That includes two a month on each of my two sites, plus 4-5 devotions up on ICFW (one a week) - either by me or by someone else. (Oh yes, and someone else has just asked me to do another one. Thanks Marion!)

Another multi-task is "Newsletter". That means two a month - one from each website.

Then a "teensy weensy" goal is "TOTW" - which can involve all sorts of things, like trying to figure out how to save hundreds of emails into folders.

Moving on - before I get overwhelmed. Oh, wait. I am overwhelmed.

Moving on anyway . . .

I also find a good title is important, so that I don't lose track of what I'm trying to say. I waffled about whether to sign up for the non-fiction Book in a Month challenge, until I decided on a title. Now I'm raring to go. And I've just realised that's NOT on my white board yet. Just a book in a month. Oh sigh.

In closing, my working title for November is:

A Year of My Life
Blogging Through Cancer 

The challenge is to write a whole book in a month, so I will aim to complete the book, but will only post one blog a day Monday - Friday. That means I can schedule the others to go up for the next months that lie ahead which will be a multi-function for the blogs too. After all, if I multi-task, surely it's only right that my writing has to multi-task too?

Bye for now! I have a deadline or 20 to meet.

What inspires you?

There are many things that can inspire us in our daily life. However, the question here is not directed at those things. What I’d like to know is, “What inspires you to write?” Does facing a deadline inspire you to write? Does the spurring on from a family member inspire you to write? Or encouragement from a friend? A piece of music? A certain setting? Your own private space … your writing corner?

And what does this inspiration look like?
In his book, Plot and Structure, James Scott Bell gives some useful tips on getting motivated:

·                 Write a statement of purpose and put it in a place that you can see daily. But it must be one that excites you!
·                 Have the word “Writer” printed across your coffee mug. Every time you take a sip you’ll be reminded of your commitment to write. This will not only give you a caffeine boost, but a fresh jolt of enthusiasm too!
·                 Browse the bestseller section in bookstores – look at the authors’ pics and bios, read their openings, and imagine what your face would look like on the back of that book. Think to yourself, I can do this! And then, the most important piece of advice, rush back to your office and start writing.

The next tip was the one I liked – probably because I had already been doing this long before I read this great writer’s advice. And I felt a whole lot less silly because of my approach to getting myself inspired.
·                 Find your own item of visual motivation – inspirational words taped to your computer, a photograph of an admired writer, or your own rendering of your first novel’s cover (you could even put your own critical praise on the back … and if you’re going to do that, be lavish in that praise!)

You see, after getting an idea for a book, the first thing I tend to do is come up with a working title. The next thing I always do, and this has been the greatest source of inspiration to me, is design a book cover. Yes, I know that cover will probably never see the light of day, but it is the one thing that has spurred me on to continue writing, time and time again.
Here are the covers my finished (unpublished) novels, and others that are still under construction (yes, I do tend to multitask!)


Prodigal:  My first novel – complete, but have some reworking to do.
Scarlett:  The sequel to Prodigal – about 70% complete.
The Red Floor:  My first NaNoWriMo win in 2009. Based on the story of my mother’s life. About 90% complete.
Diplomatic Immunity:  A great story line, but a difficult project. Only just started on this project that a friend and I were going to do together. This story is based on her life as a diplomat’s wife but due to the sensitivity of this project, we’re unsure how to proceed – fiction or non-fiction?
Hungry:  My second NaNoWriMo win in 2010 and my first attempt at a historical novel – about 70% complete.
Pebbles in my Pocket:  My first non-fiction project I will be attempting in November with WNFIN (which stands for Write Non-Fiction In November) – and hence, sadly, I will not be taking part in NaNoWriMo this year. Such a pity, but I can’t do them both, and this project is far more important to me.
Looking at all these covers, I feel inspired all over again. I think I might just put them all up at the same time in my writing attic … maybe that will inspire me to finish these works in progress.
Please take time to share with the group, not in a comment below, but in a separate blog, your writing inspiration/s.