RYMDP cover pic 1

Raising A Young Modern Day Princess 

By Doreen Hanna & Karen Whiting

Tyndale House Publishers

September 1, 2016

ISBN:  978-1-58997-866-9

 

Authors Doreen Hanna and Karen Whiting engage parents through insightful, heartwarming and sometimes humorous stories of how, or how not to, establish the fruit of the spirit, in their daughters (ages 4-10) lives. Over 100 practical application activities are included throughout the book. A bonus addition to the book is the Dad’s Tool Box that is present in each chapter. This journey ends with a special blessing ceremony, celebrating their knowledge and the growth of the fruit of the spirit in their little lives.

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BobHostetlerBob Hostetler here, offering another prayer for writers:

Lord God Almighty, I confess that I have sinned against you through my own fault, in thought and word and deed, by what I have done and by what I have left undone.

I confess that I have too often trusted my own strength instead of relying on yours;
I have let my puny ability suffice when I could have and should have laid hold of your ready power.

I confess that I have chased after mammon, and written for mere money,
instead of seeking first your kingdom and your glory, and writing to please you.

I confess that I have been jealous of other writers and their success,
and have been ungrateful for all the kindness you have shown me.

I confess that I have taken shortcuts in my writing
and have been lazy in the hard work of planning and researching,
of editing and rewriting,
of reviewing and proofreading.

I confess that I have neglected prayer,
as if my activity is more important than yours in my writing.

I confess that I have chosen leisure over discipline,
speed over craft,
and my voice instead of your voice.

Thank you for the assurance of your forgiveness through my Lord, Jesus Christ.
_________________

Bob’s latest book is The Bard and the Bible, available now via Bob’s website or at fine Christian retailers everywhere.

In every premise, it is conflict that drives the communication forward. To prove your premise you must disprove the negation of your premise. The disproving of the negation of your premise is what actually propels your communication. If there is no negation and no conflict possible in your premise, then your communication will be stillborn, with no direction or goal. Many Christian movies fail from a lack of conflict. They should keep in mind that the world is caught in a spiritual battle; thus, conflict is both necessary and inevitable.

Drama means, “to do” or “to perform.” In performance, for every action, there must be a reaction. To illustrate this, have two friends stand five feet apart, facing each other, and ask them to tell each other in as many ways as they so desire, “ I love you” for no less than two minutes. After a very short period of time, this dialogue without conflict will become very boring. However, if you ask one to convince the other of his or her love for the other, and you ask the other to resist this advance, the dialogue will be very entertaining, and one, or the other, will have to relent, thereby establishing the premise for that brief scene as either “love triumphs over rejection” or “resistance destroys love.”

Some Christian radio and television interview programs are boring to all but a few loyal supporters, because the host avoids conflict or loses sight of the value of loving conflict. In these boring programs, the host and the guest spend all their time affirming each other so that the program remains static and uninteresting. If the host defines what he wants to discover in the interview, which is his premise, in such a way as to probe who his guest is and why the guest is there by asking the tough questions which the audience needs and wants to know, then there will be real dialogue. The interview will be interesting because there is conflict built into the program, even if only on the level of a premise such as “curiosity discovers important information.”

This conflict does not have to be mean, petty, or angry, as so much conflict is on non–religious television. The conflict can and will be loving if the tough questions which prove the host’s premise are asked in love. A thoughtful, loving host can ask tough questions in a loving way to reveal the interesting story that every guest has to tell. The conflict in the interview is merely the vehicle by which the guest proves his or her story to the host and the audience. Without a clear –cut premise, there will be no conflict, and neither the host nor the audience will have any idea what the host is trying to communicate.

There are four basic plots that categorize the primary types of conflict inherent dramatic stories: 1) Man against man, 2) Man against nature, 3) Man against himself, and 4) Man against the supernatural or sub–natural, including aliens.

These categories help us to evaluate the premise or main proposition in a story, but they may not help us determine whether the story fits the Christian worldview. Another traditional literary approach proposed by Northrop Frye[1] divides stories into five different kinds:

Mythic: The triumph of the hero/protagonist(s) by an act of God or god(s).

Heroic: The triumph of the hero/protagonist(s) by his or her own means.

High Ironic: The triumph of the hero/protagonist(s) by a quirk of fate.

Low Ironic: The failure of the hero/protagonist(s) by a quirk of fate.

Demonic: The defeat of the hero/protagonist(s) by evil, demons, et cetera.

A story that fits the Christian version of the traditional mythic story, where the God of the Bible or Jesus Christ helps the hero or protagonist overcome his or her antagonist, is a story that fits the Christian worldview. A story, however, where the hero or protagonist—especially a Christian one—is defeated by demons is probably not a story that Christians should want to see because it contradicts the biblical worldview.

Beyond the basic story types, there are various themes.
The eight basic themes are: Survival, Redemption, Revenge, Betrayal, Coming of Age, Love and Romance, Mistaken Identity, and “Fish Out of Water.”

To be continued…

Please read HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL) for a complete guide to filmmaking.

Pieper1

Marti Pieper

Happy end-of-August from lovely little Mount Dora, Florida, where the dwindling days of summer yield temperatures in the lower rather than the higher 90’s. Today, I’m delighted to introduce to you my friend, author Christine Lindsay, who lives a few thousand miles north of me in beautiful Canada. I say “friend” because, although we have yet to meet in person, she and  I have interacted quite often via the Christian Authors Network. I’ve come to appreciate Christine a great deal, and I know you will, too. Let’s get right to our time of Q & A.

Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay

Welcome, Christine! How many books do you have published, and what are a few of your latest titles?

I’m totally floored with praise—for God—that at this time I have seven titles published. One of these seven is only a short story, but the rest are full-length historical novels, of which my British Raj Trilogy has won some nice critical acclaim, and also the most recent historical romance Sofi’s Bridge. But the true-life story that inspired all of my fiction and speaking is the most recent release (this month) of my nonfiction book Finding Sarah, Finding Me. 

Small size Finding Sarah Finding Me girl (1)Congratulations on that special new release. You were last featured on the CAN blog in 2013. What are the chief lessons you’ve learned about the writing life since then?

That my career is in God’s hands, and no amount of fretting or pushing on my part will make it happen. The Lord has timed my career to fit my personal life. There have been times when my own life has made writing impossible, such as these past six months. They have been the craziest busy I’ve ever been with selling a house, moving, my youngest son’s wedding, a new granddaughter, and in the middle of all that I’ve tried to promote the two books that came out this year. Read More →

Bob HostetlerI am no marketing genius, and though I’ve written forty-five books, I still have much to learn about author and book publicity. But I recently felt like I got something right with the book launch for my latest book, The Bard and the Bible: A Shakespeare Devotional, a book of daily reflections drawn from a quote from Shakespeare and a verse from the King James Version of the Bible (which were both created in the same period, country, and city).

The Bard and the BibleGo where people are

I’ve done many book signings, and while some went better than others, they were far more stressful than successful. I hated having to call in favors and twist arms to get people to come to the book signing. Yuck. But for the launch of The Bard and the Bible, I thought, Why try to get people to come to me when I could go to them? What that meant for a book that draws from the works of Shakespeare was getting permission to schedule my launch events at free “Shakespeare in the Park” performances near my home. I first contacted the theater company to make sure they had no objection, and then sought permission from venues that were hosting two of the events, on a Friday evening and a Saturday afternoon). Not only did both venues say “yes” (after all, the more people who come to the performance, the better exposure for them, right?), but they gave me prime real estate to set up a book table, hand out flyers, and give away free stuff related to my book. Since hundreds of people attend these free performances, I had a ready-made crowd of people who presumably were already interested in my subject.

Of course, it wouldn’t have worked as well if my book were about quilting or zombies. In such cases, of course, it would make sense to plan a book launch at, say, a craft fair or Comic-Con. It takes off so much pressure, instead of trying to attract people (or force them) to come to your event, to simply go where your “tribe” is already gathered.   

BobH1Strike a theme

Once I knew my book launch would be held at a performance or two of Shakespeare’s plays, I shopped around for a costume so I could dress as the Bard. This was harder than I expected; shopping online is a gamble, and I didn’t want a cheesy costume. But I eventually found out (by asking friends on social media for tips) about a wonderful consignment and costume shop just forty-five minutes from my house. A full costume (including hose and shoes) cost a pretty penny (nearly $400!) but I got the look—and the quality—I wanted. I even grew a mustache and beard after Shakespeare’s style, much to my wife’s chagrin.

Costumes aren’t the only way to strike a theme, of course. Posters and banners can be affordably printed these days. If your book is a historical novel, set your theme to fit that period. If you’re launching a cookbook, set up a tasting. If it involves an airplane, make available a paper-airplane-folding station. Think in terms of what will grab people’s attention and draw them to your table, booth, or display.

BobH2Spread the word

Knowing I would have a ready-made crowd at my book launch events took off a lot of pressure in trying to attract a crowd and persuade family and friends to come. Still, I planned my publicity efforts a couple months in advance and used email, website, social media, and affordable paid advertising to let as many people as possible know about the events. I also coordinated with staff at the venues hosting the events, who kindly included my participation in their mailings and other publicity for the events—without charge. I asked specific friends in the area to help me spread the word by sharing and retweeting my announcements, and took care to thank them for their efforts.

These days, of course, you have to be careful not to overload people’s Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds with blurbs about your book launch, but today there are more ways than ever to spread the word economically and effectively.  

BobH3Hedge your bets

When I first consulted the “Shakespeare in the Park” schedule for my book launch, I had many performances to choose from. I also know that Friday and Saturday evening shows are better attended than others, but nearly all of the venues are outdoors, which means they are “weather permitting” venues. I did not want my book launch to be rained out. However, I noticed that the Friday after my book’s official release date was in a favorite venue of mine, a beautiful vineyard setting about thirty minutes from my home—and an indoor matinee was being offered the next day! Plus, the Friday performance was Macbeth, while the Saturday offering was Romeo and Juliet. I figured even if Friday’s performance was cancelled, scheduling an indoor venue for the next day was one way to hedge my bets, so to speak. And since they were two different plays in separate parts of the city, I hoped that there would be little—if any—overlap in the crowds (and I was right). Another way I hedged my bets was to enlist my wife and daughter to man the book table so I could be free to wander, hand out printed materials, and engage people’s curiosity (or pity).

Your circumstances will certainly be different. But you can still hedge your bets by thinking through, “What happens in case of rain? Sickness? Traffic? Lost shipments?” and so on.

BobH4Give stuff away

One reason book signings can be such a drag is that most people entering a bookstore don’t already know you, but they know you’re hoping to sell them something. But one way to defuse that dynamic at a book launch event is to make it clear you’re giving away stuff—at least some stuff. On the table at my book launch I placed a placard stating, “THESE ITEMS FREE—prithee, help thyself.” On that end of the table was Shakespeare-related merchandise (bookmarks, postcards, etc.) . . . and varieties of Smarties candy (because Shakespeare was a “smartie,” of course, and because chocolate candy melts in August heat). I also made sure my hosts and the director of the play received free copies of the book because, well, one thing could lead to another. I also handed out several hundred full-color cards with the book cover on one side and “fun facts”—along with the book’s landing page web address (www.bardandbible.com) on the other side.

One of my regrets is that I didn’t give away more stuff—and that I didn’t advertise a drawing in exchange for email signups. Next time.

There is, of course, much more I could say, and my efforts were far from perfect. But they did make “much ado” about The Bard and the Bible, so all’s well that ends well.

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Bob Hostetler (www.bobhostetler.com) is a self-confessed Shakespeare nut, award-winning writer and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His 45 books include the historical novel, Northkill, and the one-year devotional, The Bard and the Bible. Bob and his wife, Robin, have two grown children and five perfect grandchildren.