I Submit to You… a Productive Day


Above is the fruit of over four years of labor – the guts of Delight in Disorder: Meditations from a Bipolar Mind, packaged in an attractive black binder, with a query letter and author’s card attached to the front.  Early tomorrow morning, I will put it in the mail to Jon Pott, Editor-in-Chief at Eerdmans Publishing.

To read more, simply click on the title below…

“I Submit to You… a Productive Day”

The Need to Succeed; the Craving to Create

In my writing want to emulate Rich Mullins in his musical vocation.  Smith writes of Mullins –

HIs decision to go into the music business was not to impress people, not to make a name for himself, and not to make money. He did it so that he could minister to people, and making music was the gift God had given him to use.

To read more, click on the title below:

“The Need to Succeed; the Craving to Create”

Rich Mullins
(photo of Rich Mullins from nanonymous in Music)

Tilling the Soil and Telling the Stories

James Bryan Smith, in his book from An Arrow Pointing to Heaven: A Devotional Biography of Rich Mullins, describes the motivation Rich had to write songs –

Rich believed that the desire to create comes from God and is a duty for all Christians. ‘I think creativity is a very Christian thing. I think if we are created in the image of God that means we’re going to have an impulse to create.’

The first two things God told Adam to do were to till the garden and to name the animals. We were created to create.

To read more, click on the title —

“Tilling the Soil and Telling the Stories”

Prayer Request 9:45-9:50 a.m. (EST)

As soon as I finish this post, I will be going to Alumni Hall at Ball State University to attend day two of the Midwest Writer’s Workshop.

From 9:45-9:50 a.m. (EST), I will be doing an “agent pitch” with Amanda Lueke from MacGregor Literary.  If you should read this by then, I would appreciate your prayers at this time — that I have peace to represent my book well and that God’s will be done.

Thanks,  Tony


“Prayer” from Anna Vanover in Our Wedding

Find Who You Are Writing For

“For my first book, the target audience is primarily people with Bipolar and those who love them.  The fact that I am writing as a former pastor and exploring questions of faith may lead some to assume it would fit best in the Christian publishing world, yet I am finding as I promote the book on-line and in person that non-Christians, agnostics, even atheists become engaged in my writing.  They may not always agree, but they appreciate my first-hand perspective.”

To read more, click on the title below —

“Who Are You Writing For?”

A woman writing

“A woman writing” from Flynn “Knihova” Carson in Junk Bookshop

Preparing for the 2013 Midwest Writers Workshop

Picture0723131951_1.jpgThis image is a rather blurry photo of my new promotional cards I’m taking to the Midwest Writers Workshop this weekend. In addition to my name, contact information, and book title, there is a wonderful review from my editor, Leanne Sype which reads, “… a magnificent gem nestled within the muck and mud of uncharted territory.”  Thanks, Leanne.

I’m getting terribly excited about the workshop.  Last night I woke up after midnight and reviewed the schedule.  The sessions I’m attending include–

“Building an Author Website” — Roxane Gay

“Queries That Work” – Amanda Luedeke.

Writing Memoir” – Hank Nuwer

On Friday morning at 9:45, I’ll be making my agent pitch to Amanda Luedeke who represents MacGregor Literary.

On Saturday afternoon at 3:00, my query with be critiqed by Hank Nuwer and at 4:00, my synopsis and 5 pages of my manuscript will be reviewed by Holly Miller (faculty bios are here.)

My pastoral counselor asked me how he might best pray for me while I am at the workshop, and I want to share this with all of you who pray as well.  My prayer is that God would shine “a lamp for my feet” (to keep me from stumbling) and be a “light for my path” (to show me my next step).  I am headed into a vast wilderness and I don’t want to get absorbed by the darkness around me.  Just stay on my feet and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

Discover Your Writing Style

In his book On Writing Well, William Zinsser compares composition to carpentry.

… it’s first necessary to be able to saw wood neatly and to drive nails. Later you can bevel the edges or add elegant finals, if that’s your taste. But you can never forget that you are practicing a craft that’s based on certain principles. If the nails are weak, your house will collapse. If your verbs are weak and your syntax is rickety, your sentences will fall apart.

To read more, click on the title below –

“Discover Your Writing Style”

(image above “Carpenter” from Terry Sutherland in Fantasy Carpenter Guild)

Riding on a Roller-Coaster : A Week of Rejections

I had crashed.  I know myself well enough to know I’m at risk for sliding into a depressive episode, so rather than give into the temptation to go back to bed, I heated up a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer.  In my e-mail, I found a reply to one of my job queries that simply made my day.

Hi Tony,

You are a superman with words!

The good part: Impressive, both your proposal, your profile and all the other information. Icing of the cake — your slogan.

The bad part: Just that, by the time we did all this, we had exchanged about half a dozen of messages with some other writer.

To read more, click on the title below —

“My Roller-Coaster Week: From a Traumatic Rejection to a Terrific One”

Rollercoaster monks

“Rollercoaster monks” from Raeanne Nickerson in Love People

Finding Life (in obvious places)

This afternoon, partially inspired by Leanne Sypes’ post about her accordion-file time capsule, I dug through my big-bin of writings.  Like my mind, there was great disorder — to-do lists from last month crammed in with devotionals from 1983.  Father’s Day notes my daughters had written to me brought a smile to my face, as did love letters from my wife, but mostly I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.  I am not at all at peace with who I’ve been –  as a husband, a father, a pastor.

To cope, I retreat to my writing studio with a book I found — a book I wrote before becoming all these things, back when I was a 21-year old, single, aspiring writer totally unprepared for the war that would rage within (with mental illness), ill-equipped for responsibilities I would frantically assume.

What follows is the opening of Life (in obvious places).  It is a work of fiction, but as I do not possess a wild imagination, it is firmly based on experience.

To read more, click on the title below…

“Discovering Life (in obvious places)”

The Walk - Fallen leaves - Vincent van Gogh  -  Completion Date: 1889    Place of Creation: Saint-rémy, Provence

“The Walk – Fallen leaves – Vincent van Gogh – Completion Date: 1889 Place of Creation: Saint-rémy, Provence”

from Carlos Leiro in Van Gogh, Picasso, Joan Miro

Looking for Eulogy Notes?

This has been a great week.  It has been a blessing to read the encouraging comments friends (and others) have left in response to my story — “In the Beginning: My First Time As a Storyteller” at Midlife Collage (posted through Sunday, July 7).  There is still time to help me win the $100 top prize.  Just click on the link (above), read the story, “like” it (if you do) and leave a comment (if you are so inspired).

Meanwhile, if you’d like a taste of some of the wonderful comments I have received, click on the link below —

“Notes for My Eulogy: Comments From Friends”

#friendship #quotes

from Nicole in Love This