Saturday, June 24, 2017

Autumn 2017 Reading Challenge

by Andrea Renee Cox

Are you a fan of reading challenges?

In the last couple of years, I have become quite an avid fan of them. They are fantastic for discovering new-to-you authors or genres you've never tried before. The thing I really love about them is seeing which of the books in my towers and piles will work for each category.

I've finally decided to design my very first reading challenge, and you're the first to learn the categories here on Writing to Inspire.

Monday, June 19, 2017

And the Winner Is...

by Andrea Renee Cox

Last week, I asked for your help in deciding which story to work on for the rest of June. To recap, here were the choices:

Option #1
A woman wakes up in a hospital unable to remember anything about herself, but the doctor recognizes her immediately – only he doesn’t want to tell her the truth.

Option #2
Several ladies head out on a cross-country road trip, but each one’s secrets cause problems along the way.

Option #3
A former singer hides out with her daughter in a quaint horse town, but a stranded journalist thinks she could be just the story he needs to revive his stalled-out career.

Do you have a favorite in mind?

And the winner is...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Help Me Choose

by Andrea Renee Cox

Sometimes deciding what to write is hard.

I could write an entire catalogue of articles on how many times I’ve struggled with what to write about for my blog articles. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

How does one choose which story to focus on when there are a dozen, two dozen, a hundred ideas floating around in one’s mind?

Sometimes it’s really hard, and sometimes it really hurts, to have to choose. It hurts because once a writer has invested time and energy and precious brain cells building a particular story world populated by a bunch of intriguing characters that the writer begins to love, it’s really tough when a new idea comes along and begs for attention. Sometimes a writer has multiple projects, all with great settings and problems and characters and pets. The tough choice then gets even tougher, because in order to say yes to one set of characters and their world, the writer inevitably has to say no or not now to all the rest.

For this writer in particular, that’s really painful.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Compassion on the Court

by Andrea Renee Cox

Compassion on the Court
June 1, 2017

There was a moment this morning at the French Open (otherwise known as Roland Garros) that had tears pouring down my face. It was a moment in which tennis, competition, winning, losing, the seeding chart… all of that faded away and failed to matter. In this moment, one man’s heart appeared to be breaking, and the other man offered unparalleled compassion (which is understandable considering that he had been through injuries himself many times before).

Both Juan Martin Del Potro and Nicolas Alamagro were dealing with some discomfort and injuries cropping up in their second-round match today, but then things took a sudden turn. Juan Martin served, but Nicolas found himself unable to move to strike the ball. He then broke down in tears of apparent frustration. I won’t presume to know what was coursing through his mind, but I know playing in the Grand Slams is huge for any tennis player. Having to retire from a match is never easy, I would imagine, especially after pouring so much time and effort into training and fighting for each round of every tournament one competes in.
Nicolas Almagro (left) and Juan Martin Del Potro (right)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Let Them Eat Cake

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever read a book that made you crave your favorite dessert?

Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd was one of those books for me. Just thinking about it now, months after I read it, has me wishing I had some crème brûlée or some red velvet cake (two of my favorite desserts). Maybe I'll bake something delicious this afternoon.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Psst! Want to Get a Sneak Peek?

by Andrea Renee Cox

Hey you!

Yes, you. Would you like to see a little piece of my recent Camp NaNoWriMo project? Well, your wish may just come true.

This story I worked on was from an outline I drew up in only thirty minutes one afternoon. I was so surprised at how quickly my first manuscript outline came together. It was definitely God-designed, I'll tell you that. A couple of things changed along the way, as I was writing the story, but most of the outline remained intact. It's only the second time I've used an outline, but both projects didn't take me long to write, and I credit the outline and God's guidance very heavily for that.

The scene I'm about to share with you is unedited, so please forgive any typos. It may not stay in its current form once I start editing in a month or so (after I finish the first draft of another book in the series). Even so, I thought you'd enjoy getting a glimpse at my hard work from last month.

Fair warning: If you're anything like me, you might want to have some tissues close at hand when reading this snippet.

Sneak Peek!*

Monday, May 15, 2017

Forensic Faith by J. Warner Wallace

by Andrea Renee Cox

Forensic Faith inspired me. It was such an encouraging book with lots of tips and suggestions for how to increase one's faith in an evidential way that will lend itself well to leading others to explore their own faith in God. This book was hard to put down at times, and I really appreciated the passion with which the author shared his message.