Sunday, August 22, 2010

Personal Narrataive writing led to Discovery Channel, August 25, 2010

Shockingly diverse kindergarten group in ParisImage via Wikipedia
Lorilyn Roberts, author of Children of Dreams, adopted two children at risk. Lorilyn wrote about the healing of  her older daughter, Manisha, in the book.
Now, Manisha's story will be featured on Animal Planet's "Monsters Inside Me" on Wednesday August 25, 10-11pm EST. The episode number is 210, currently called "Shape Shifters." Adjust for your time zone. Manisha had an "incredibly inspirational adoption and healing from a devastating illness." Read the story of two adopted daughters in Lorilyn's book, Children of Dreams, and also catch Manisha's story on Animal Planet, 10-11 EST, evening of August 25 (Wednesday). If you can, plan to record this program if you will not be at home, or if you wish to save it. Writers of personal narratives usually write books for publication to rejoice, to help others, to encourage different actions, and to make a record for the future. This kind of writing is one of the most challenging. I have known Lorilyn Roberts via e-mail for a few years, and have enjoyed getting to know this remarkable writer, mentor of other writers, and mom. Lorilyn also works as a Close Caption writer.

Children of DreamsSearch for Children of Dreams 

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Write What You Know - the Satisfaction of Writing for State Magazines

Our State
North Carolina monthly
Magazine writing is not everyone's cup of tea, or glass of tea. But I find some state magazines are beautiful and interesting to behold, read, and save. It's worth it, to consider writing for state magazines that accept freelance inquiries and article ideas.  

 "Write what you know" is a reliable maxim for writers. And right now, state magazines are on my mind. Why not, if you have not already, get copies of your state's magazine? Start at your local library, if possible. You might even subscribe.

If there is not a regional or state magazine to advertise the good things about your state's past, present, and future, AND you have writing OR editing experience, why not start one? Get some supporters together and advertisers, and make a small beginning based on what you can handle now, and grow with it. 

The marketing people at NC's  Our State magazine honored a request from a subscriber, one of my brothers, to send a sample copy to me in Maryland, where I'm a long-time transplant from NC. (Maryland topography reminds me of North Carolina, with its mountains, Piedmont, and ocean; plus (ahem), Maryland has the Chesapeake Bay, which I enjoy as much as childhood memories of Wrightsville Beach.)

If other state magazines could be equally hospitable to a request such as my brother's, and send free copies now and then, recipients should find a public way to brag on them, don't you think? So, here's a tribute to the state magazine of my birthplace, the Tar Heel State, North Carolina. 

Are you proud of your state's magazine? If yes, why not let them know? You might even develop an article idea and inquire about submitting it to them as a freelancer.

Note: I rated the NC magazine #1 for a reliable pattern of interesting articles/series and its gorgeous graphics/layout, in print and on-line. I have rated the MD magazine, of my second "home state," #2, because it could improve its on-line presence with support links and other outreach features that boost NC's "Our State" on-line. I'd like to rate your state's mag, on-line.~ J Purcell, blog manager

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Automatic Navigation and Life

We have cell-phone navigation, as well as a new Garmin gizmo that will accompany us via air to Idaho and then by rented car to a ranch in Montana, where we will enjoy several days. Then, back to Idaho, relying again on both the cell phone Navigator program and Ms. Garmin. We expect gorgeous scenery as we go through mountain passes and other as-yet-unseen territory.

I have a neighbor who is writing an extensively-researched book about Sacajawea and another woman of her time. Wait till I tell her that we will be in Sacajawea territory! Sacajawea was a woman who lived her unique life according to the times she had to deal with and the God-given inner light that she applied to her path.

Life is not navigated automatically. We need reliable, tried-and-true signposts and light posts along the way. Each one of us, being unique, can nevertheless rely upon the same light: the light of God. For he made us to be different, to be individual, to be unique. Some people try to live their parents' lives, or the same life as a hero. But God intended for us to live this one life that is ours, distinctively and uniquely. We work it out, as a ship works out its passage to unknown places. Can we imagine Columbus and other explorers traveling beyond the known? Yet, each relied upon the same kinds of instruments, reliable indicators like stars, constellations, moon, and sun.

I am glad we are unique. I am glad that, however unknown we are to others, we are known and valued by God, who loves us. Now, let us live by faith the life that God the Father and Son, with the Holy Spirit, has put into us, to live uniquely! Our writing can then find its own, non-robotic way. Different, yet meaningful, wherever we are, wherever we travel. 

The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BORN TO WRITE - Betsy Tan, Guest blogger

Author of The Calling
Were you born to write? Do you have what it takes to be a serious writer? By this I mean, a writer who crafts her writing like an art piece, not one who just slaps words together in a meaningless way devoid of any message.

If you were born to write you would be filled with a sense of urgency, an insatiable desire to share your outlook on life or even about material things. You would have a deep passion but you put this passion on paper in a creative way, not, for instance, by using exclamation marks every two sentences.

You are so convinced that what you are writing will change some one's life path that you may agonize for days to find words with the greatest impact. This "magnificent obsession" will drive you on to get your writing published, one way or another.

Whether or not you make any profit out of it will not matter, and you would even consider self-publishing. Suddenly you realize you love those strangers who will be your readers, and are thus willing to offer up your writings as a financial sacrifice. When you have reached this stage, you will be able to say, "Money or not, I was born to write." ###

"Born to Write" was originally published in OQ: Opinari Quarterly, Issue #3_2010. Betsy Tan is a regular columnist for OQ. She lives in the northwest USA. Opinari Writers Network (OWN) is happy to show her book, The Calling, available through bookstores and on-line booksellers.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Lord Ashley, Charles Gutzlaff, and biographer A. J. Broomhall on China

Cover of China's Millions for 1885
Cover of China's Millions for 1885 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prayer to begin, prayer to accompany and prayer to close any undertaking for His service is the secret of all prospering in our ways. --Lord Ashley, UK  Parliament, 1800s, a turbulent century of British-China tea trade, diplomacy, and foreign influences. 


 A. J. Broomhall's biographical work is a series I recommend, on the lives of missionaries to China in the 19th century. The series introduced me to Charles Gutzlaff, also a writer and an outstanding and controversial 19th century German missionary to China and Macao

Leben Des Kaisers Taokuang: Memoiren Des Hofes Zu Peking Und Beiträge Zu Der Geschichte Chinas Während Der Letzten Fünfzig Jahre (German Edition)Nineteenth-century China, Catholics, German, British and American protestants, European diplomats and civil servants before and into the 1800s... their story deserves attention in the history of the ever-changing China. Very different people and paths converged there in the 1800s. They were present in somewhat safer port cities where the "barbarians," as the Chinese called the British and all foreigners, docked East India and other ships. A few ventured north into areas unknown to foreigners, where foreigners were odd sights for Chinese in remote places. Everyone, the century was a dangerous one due to internal upheavals and power grabs and challenges.

For his series on mission personalities in China, A.J. Broomhall applied solid research efforts and avoided putting halos on heroes. Charles Gutzlaff wrote from direct experience before his death on Macao. 

Source of prayer quote: Broomhall, A. J., Hudson Taylor & China's Open Century; Book One: "Barbarians at the Gates," Hodder and Stoughton and The Overseas Missionary Fellowship, page 267. First published 1981.
Gutzlaff, et al. on China-see cover image above-is available in German and English.
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