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Monthly Archives: March 2016


Jack London

I have heard lots of would-be writers say that they would write more if they had more inspiration. They just don’t seem to know that inspiration can be as easy as breathing. Matter of fact, the word inspiration comes from a word meaning to breathe. Inspiration is life breathed creative ability.
Recently, I read that Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.”

This is what he actually said, “Don’t dash off a six-thousand-word story before breakfast. Don’t write too much. Concentrate your sweat on one story, rather than dissipate it over a dozen. Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it. Set yourself a “stint,” and see that you do that “stint” each day; you will have more words to your credit at the end of the year.”

Basically what Jack London is telling us is that we need to focus on what we are doing daily. He is saying that we shouldn’t wait for our muse but rouse that muse out of her bed chambers every morning and put her to work. (Same as we should do with an adult child who is living in our basement.)
How else can we gain inspiration or in other words breathe life into our created beings?

Jack London went on to say, “Study the tricks of the writers who have arrived. They have mastered the tools with which you are cutting your fingers. They are doing things, and their work bears the internal evidence of how it is done. Don’t wait for some Good Samaritan to tell you, but dig it out for yourself.”

An exceptional source to find these great writers is through the online website Great Writer’s Inspire by the University of Oxford at http://www.writersinspire.org/themes/
Here we have access to all the greats throughout history. As a historical romance novelist, I am able to read from the perspective of the writers of the period. If you have read any of my books, you see that I mention various works of literature and writers who were contemporaries of the characters.
As an author of this current age, however, I cannot copy the styles of the greats. In order to become a great in my own time, I must develop my own style based on contemporary novel disciplines. I learn this from more contemporary authors. More on this in next Tuesday’s post.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


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Here’s video I found that shows how to create a good garden bed similar to the method that I recommend in my book Simply Vegetable Gardening. Get a print copy of Simply Vegetable Gardening Today (click here) or if you prefer, buy an ebook version. (click here)

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


If you have looked at the various books that I have written, you’ll notice that one of my books (Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard is priced free.I didn’t price it free because it is inferior to any of the other books. It is not inferior by any means.  I am using this book as a thank-you gift to anyone who signs up for my newsletter. The purpose of giving this book away isn’t just to be giving a book away. I have very definite purposes for giving my books away.
I use this book as promotion for my other books. Inside the back of this book is list of all of my other books that I have available. Even if these readers never sign up for my newsletter, they will have access to my titles through this free book. The idea is to use the book as a promotional tool for getting people to read my books.

Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard

Another reason that I give away books is because I want as many people as possible to get the message that I have to send out about the book.
One message in my book Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard is to show that it is one way that people can deal with certain insect pests other than using toxic chemicals.
Another message in the book that I state over and over again is to use food grade diatomaceous earth rather than the type used in swimming pool filters and I explain why. I also offer other precautions concerning DE like why you should not apply DE to plant blooms as well as other precautions to use when using DE.
In the book I also tell about the characteristics about other ways that DE can be used. Did you know that DE can be used to protect food from accumulating moisture?
If you’ve already signed up for my newsletter, but have not yet received your free copy of Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard, get it here. If you have not signed up for either my newsletter or Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard, get it by clicking on this link. Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard is available in e-pub (nook), mobi (kindle) and PDF formats!

 

How Other Authors Use Free Books

There are other ways that we writers use free books. Many fiction authors write a free book for their first book in a series and then charge for subsequent books. Some authors do the same with their second book as well and use that as a hook to bring readers to their newsletters and subsequent books. This works well for authors of fiction series as long as the first two books draw the readers in, this approach can be very successful. I have not yet done this approach, but I have thought about it.

 

 

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Abraham's promise

Last Sunday we had six people at Faith in God Church. It may not seem like much until you realized the ages of the people who attended. We had a man in his seventies. He was a former pastor of the church there. He was the one who started the church a number of years back. Then there was a woman in her fifties, another which I think was in her forties, and another woman in her twenties. There was a teenage boy and a boy who was two. I forgot all about taking up an offering. I have spent so many services by myself so far that I simply forgot. I’ll have to remember next week I guess.
All those months alone during church services has reminded me about God’s promise to Abraham. God gave Abraham the word that he and Sarah were going to have a son. It didn’t happen right away, and it didn’t happen because of anything that Abraham did. Matter of fact, Abraham tried to make things happen and look at the mess he made! The son promised to Abraham is still wrestling with the son of Hagar!

God gave Isaac to Abraham in a way that Abraham had not thought possible.

 

Putting Aside My Own Preconceived Ideas

God brought me to this church in a way that I never thought possible too. I grew up thinking that women should not be preachers. I thought that perhaps I would one day marry one. My husband Jeff and I started a ministry in Doniphan, Missouri several years ago and it was a total failure. I came here because Jan and Johnny Thomlison advertised that they needed someone who felt called to pastor a church. I thought that at least there would be someone here right? That was not the case. I had visitors for the first few months but they weren’t usually during regular church services. Most services I was on my own, by myself.
It really didn’t bother me too much though. Okay, so it bothered me a lot, but whenever I would think about it and pray about it, it was as if the Lord was telling me, “Well, when people do show up, you’ll know it wasn’t you who brought them. Under no circumstances will you be sharing my limelight. Never forget this time alone in this church. When people do come, it won’t be because of one of your brilliant programs. It will be because my spirit drew them.”
That’s not as harsh as it may sound. It’s a lesson in humility really. Having humility is not about being humiliated like some people might define humility. Humility isn’t about being walked on at all, it is about submission. Humility is when we give authority over to someone else. The situation becomes their responsibility rather than our own. It means whatever happens the one in authority gets not only the glory, but gets the blame as well.

Jesus and the little child

Christ’s Perfect Submission

When I think about perfect submission, I think about Jesus in the events immediately leading up to his crucifixion. He was not tricked into going to the cross. HE CHOSE to go to the cross. He went to the cross because he knew that was what his father wanted him to do. He did it because he loved us and knew that was the only way that we would not face separation forever from the one who created us, the source of all love (including self-love).
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Passion of the Christ, the movie shows you how he submitted to physical pain, but what it was unable to demonstrate was the emotional and spiritual torture that Jesus faced at the same time. This emotional and spiritual torture that he submitted to belonged to us. Each of us owned a piece of that torture that he submitted to because he loved us.
Humility and submission is never about being less than anything. It is about allowing the Lord’s authority over us. At this church, I am happy to say that right now, God is in charge and he’s telling me that he wants this to be a youth church. He’s also telling me that it is to be a missional church. I will take more about that later. How am I going to make this happen? The truth is, It can’t make it happen. God will make it happen as I submit to him.

What God Is Asking of Me and You

Right now, it is all about keeping my personal agenda out of it. I am leaving the execution to God. Oh, I’ll do whatever God tells me to do and only what he’s telling me to do and here’s what he’s telling me to do.
1) Pray for God to reveal his direction in our lives today.
2) Meditate on his written word
3) Listen to his voice. What is he telling us?
4) Take action where he says to take action.
5) Praise him every day for leading me as he directs.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Esther_haram

Last Tuesday I shared the five causes of writer’s block. This week, I am sharing the five tools or techniques to become free of that malady once and for all.
These techniques include brainstorming, brain dumping, creating order out of chaos, writing what I know and letting the rest go for now, and journaling my demons.

Brainstorming-Discovering What You Need to Know

Sometimes we get stuck because we don’t know what to write. Often the problem is that we don’t have a problem for the characters to fix in other words, perhaps we don’t have enough conflict in our plot. In fiction, you need drama. In order to create drama in our fiction, we want a lot of such walls or roadblocks in our stories. In other words, we want to create a problem that has to be fixed during the course of the story. Without drama, there is no story, we might have a decent sent of characters or a nice little pastoral scene, but without drama, you have no story. When we get stuck, we need to first ask “do I need more drama?”. Let’s say that we are writing along and we come to a wall in the middle of our story’s journey. It is a big brick wall and we need to get beyond it in order to continue on our journey. We first start to look for a solution to our problem by looking at the obvious answers, however, we don’t want these obvious answers to be THE answer to our problem. The wall has to be too high for any one of the characters in the story to climb over. We can’t just go around it either. The ground under it is so hard that it is impossible to dig under the wall either. Staying on this side of the wall is not an option that we want to take either. There’s a man-eating lion after us and if we don’t get to the other side, we will die. So that means we have to get a little more creative. Perhaps we can get on another character’s shoulders and climb over it. No, the wall goes all the way to the ceiling. Perhaps we can dig the mortar out around the bricks and make a hole that we can go through. We don’t have time for that. There’s a lion coming to eat us. Our shovel isn’t strong enough to dig through it either. (Where did we get the shovel? I don’t know, but we tried to use it to dig under the wall and the ground was too hard). We look again at the ceiling, no, there is no vent to use to climb over the wall, but we can take our shovel and break through the ceiling. We break through the ceiling near the wall and discover that we can use the shovel to break the ceiling over the wall so that we can get onto the shoulders of the strongest person climb over the wall. As the next to the last person goes over the wall, the strongest person is fending off the lion with the shovel. We can then pull the strongest person over the wall or that person could be eaten by the lion, whichever way we plan it, but only after all this conflict can we continue on our journey.
Brainstorming can be done in a number of ways. Brainstorming should begin with a question that you want to answer. One of the dilemmas in Soldiers Don’t Cry was figuring out how I was going to end the book. Elizabeth was a Patriot and spy in the American Revolution, but the love of her life Phillip Randolph was a British officer who was devoted to the Crown. I didn’t want her to give up her ideals, but at the same time, I really couldn’t see how Phillip was going to give up his ideals and stay in America with her.
I brainstormed several ideas off the top of my head. She could go back to England with him. No, I couldn’t do that to her (I don’t think that I would not like the story if it ended that way nor would Elizabeth allow the story to end that way.) I could have him die in battle. (I couldn’t have that! The girl and the man need to be together in the end. It is after all a romance, not a tragedy.) He could determine during the battle that he wanted to be with her and stay in Boston. (He was too strong a character just to let go of his entire life and his family just to be with her.) None of those ideas seemed right, so what was I going to do?
None of those answers seemed right so I decided to get away from the writing for a while and take care of a few other projects around the house. Suddenly, when I least expected it, the answer came to me. The answer was right there at the beginning of the book and the ending practically wrote itself after that.

Doing a Brain Dump

Having too much to write about, can be just as debilitating as not knowing what to write. In this case, we have a lot of ideas about what could be done, but we don’t know which path to take so in the process we become stuck. This problem requires that we get everything that is in our heads out so that we can process the best course of action. This therefore requires a tool known as a brain dump.
To do a brain dump, try doing it in several ways. One way is to open a computer document and simply start writing (This is what I do most of the time.) If however, typing is still a chore for you, you could try writing out everything that is in your head longhand. If you would rather talk out what is in your head, try speaking into a recorder or use a software program like Dictation Naturally Speaking.
Next, just start writing and write until everything you can think of is out of your brain both things that you’re writing about in this story and perhaps ideas you have for a future stories. In addition, writing down other projects and chores that you need to do that you might have cluttering your brain. Perhaps you have bits and pieces of dialogue or ideas for an action scene. Get it all out on paper. If you have several different scenarios you might want to follow, write those down as well, even if the scenario seems ridiculous. Get it out of your head and onto paper. Once everything is on paper, you’ll move to the next tool which is prioritizing-creating order.

Prioritizing-Creating Order

This is related to doing your brain dump. Here you will be taking what you dumped from your brain and prioritizing things that you need to do as well as organizing aspects that you want to include in your story. Look over what you have dumped from your brain and decide what you will do with it. Take your chores and tasks that are unrelated to writing and put them aside. Decide which ones you can do today and which ones you can’t and then just leave them to handle after your writing session. Take the stuff that you thought about for other projects and put them aside on another document deal with later. What are left should be ideas that you have only for this writing project. Organize the material that you have in front of you into your manuscript. If you have several ways that you could take a scene, look all of your options and decide which ones are the most genuine to the characters but at the same time create the most conflict. Combine ideas to create additional drama when possible. Now pop the information that you organized from your brainstorming into your story outline.
If you don’t have one, create a simple outline of your story. I usually use Chapter numbers as my outline number and then describe what is happening in each chapter. I write the first draft of my novels during NaNoWriMo, so at the beginning of that month I write the chapter numbers up to 30. Next, I determine and describe what I think I will be writing in each chapter every day. Then the theory is that I will write the number of words that I need to write in the chapter that day (1667 average). Don’t worry that you don’t know what could happen at every juncture of the book. Just write what you know.
What I really like about using the chapter system that I use is that I don’t have to write exactly what happens next in the story. I can write what I know about the story instead. This way I don’t have to stop. I can keep writing and keep the story going. This also gives my subconscious something to work on while I am not sitting at my desk and putting words to digital memory. I am confident knowing that my mind cannot stand having something that is not completely connected. My mind will continue to work on connecting the dots until it has all of the pieces put together.

Journaling your Demons

Another tool that I use to break though writer’s block is journaling my hurts, fears, sorrow, and anger. If something happens that has me so emotionally disconnected to the story that I can’t write another word about this silly story, I sit down and write about what is bothering me. I just spill my guts of the word vomit onto the page. I say exactly how I am feeling and what I want done about it. I allow my emotions to take control and I let it all out. Later, after I have calmed down, I look at what I have written and try to find a way to incorporate that burst of emotion into my book. In my first book, an emotional issue related to my husband and I losing our jobs, our car, and our house became fodder for what I call Drusilla’s “to be or not to be” scene in When God Turned His Head. From the incident, I created some great internal drama. Why waste good conflict?

Now It Is Your Turn

Having these tools in my writer tool box maintains my ability to write day in day out. How about you? Do you have other tools that help you keep your writing momentum?

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

 


This is not what readers of fiction want from their authors. They want stories that they can relate to.

 

 

Now this is more like it. . .

 

Which is more interesting and engaging. Yes, the second is more engaging. People want story, they want to be able to connect with the story emotionally.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


What Does Math Have to Do With Writing Fiction?

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The other day I was on a group page on Facebook and one of the other members of the site put up this math problem: 3-3×6+2=??
Many of the writers on the site got the answer wrong because they did not follow the order of operations. Some even tried to argue like there were a variety of possible answers. The reason that many writers don’t get it is because math is often not the strong suit of a writer.
If I would have presented the problem as a story, more of the writers would have been correct. What if instead of using that mathematic sentence, I would have presented the same information this way. I had three dollars in the bank, I then bought three packages of pencils for six dollars each and then put two more dollars into the bank? How much money would I have in the bank?
The answer to both the mathematical sentence and word problem is the same -13.
So what does math have to do with fiction and nonfiction writing? It has everything to do with understanding methods involved in successful marketing.

How to Market Nonfiction

The way to market nonfiction is done the same way that we market anything. We find our target audience. We find a need and we show the buyer that we offer the best product at the best price. We then fill that need.
If we’re selling books about gardening, we go where the gardeners are. If we are selling books about writing, we go to where other writers hang out online. If we’re selling books about any kind of widget, we go online to the place where buyers of that widget are.
It’s a numbers game. We go where a large number of our audience hangs out and we educate them about what we have and we pitch our product. People buy or don’t buy based on the product on whether or not you are seen as an expert on that subject.
Finding ways to sell my nonfiction is easy. I write online articles. I have gone straight to stores that sold other things related to the books I wrote and most immediately bought at the store. Not so much that the store was out a lot, but enough to make it worth my time. I made potentially enough to make a living if I wanted to hustle that way.

Marketing Fiction

Just as you don’t ask a group of writers to solve math problems, fiction cannot be marketed effectively using this method either. You don’t just take your books to other writers because those other writers are trying to sell their books too. You might exchange books for reviews, but these people are only part of your target market. You don’t want to take your book just to avid readers either. These people are only part of your market. If you want your book to go viral, you have to take your book to everyone who wants to buy your book.
The idea is to create buzz about your fiction book.
So far what works best for me in selling my fiction is to show up at a marketing event and talking with people and selling them—not e-books but paperback copies. But this means taking a whole day on the road and hauling heavy boxes of books around the country. Surely, there is a better way! Also it means that if I am selling my books in states other than my own, I have to get

So that brought me back to selling books at local festivals. Not only will I be selling my books at local festivals, here in Missouri, but I were be going for a class reunion in June and selling my books there.
Finding other ways to sell my fiction has been more of a challenge. Anything that I have done regarding PR has done little to nothing to sell my books. I have been to two book signings at two bookstores and at neither did I sell a single copy even though both were widely publicized.
So what do I do? According to Kristen Lamb, author of The Rise of the Machine, she said that what I need to do engage other writers and avid readers, but that I need to spend more time on social media with the goal of getting to know more people and letting them know about me and my characters.
Collecting names for my newsletter alone has helped me gain some sales. I connected with friends who said they had meant to buy my books but had not yet done it and then did after conversing with me on FB messenger. I talked at length with a number of people who agreed to join my newsletter to learn more about my books. I am building a list of readers who want to read not just any book, but a book that one of their friends wrote.
In the process of building my list someone interviewed me, two agreed to do reviews and another asked me to do an article for their website about an “authorly subject”. I wouldn’t have found these opportunities if I had not asked for their email addresses in the first place. More importantly, I reconnected with people that I had not spoken with for quite a while. That’s the best part of marketing fiction, getting to converse with people from not only all over the country, but the world as well. Marketing Fiction is no numbers game. It is all about building relationships.

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Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


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Since I took over as pastor of Faith in God Church, attendance has been near zero week in, week out. The church was dead to the point that I spend many Sundays and most Wednesdays conducting services by myself. Not good for someone who suffers self-esteem issues, anyway, right?
What that time alone did however, was drive me to my knees. In the process of talking with God I learned one very important fact. If the church was going to grow, it wouldn’t be me doing it. Should I quit I asked The Creator. He said no. The verse kept coming to my mind, “Except the Lord build the house he who labors labors in vain.” And Paul’s statement, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” And “Except the Spirit draws him, no one can enter the kingdom of God.”

Don’t you care, God?

I quickly realized that it wasn’t me who was in charge of making things happen around here. It was the Holy Spirit who would draw people to my church.
So my prayers went from-What am I supposed to be doing?-to-What are you doing God? Why are you not moving here? Don’t you care that people are dying and going to hell? Don’t you care that your reputation is on the line if this church fails?
The hardest part was that my estranged husband, the one who emotionally and physically abused me, who moved an atheist into what had been my bed was financially doing well and said he was happy. He said he felt sorry for me and wouldn’t want to be in my shoes.
I realize that I don’t know the outcome of all this. I realize that God knows what he’s doing even though I don’t understand any of the whys that are put in my path. I know that God loves me and he loves my husband too. He even loves that atheist and if all this eventually brings her to her knees, then maybe it will all be worth it in the end. I pray that is true. This world is a small

In the Darkest Hour

Last week, three nights in a row, the Lord gave me his answer in the darkest hour of the night. The first night he told me that he wanted to do a new thing with the church here. He said that he wanted to reach the younger generation that was not being reached by the churches in this area. He said he wanted youthful music played by young musicians and vocalists. He wanted a youth pastor here, and he wanted a children’s ministry.
I thought that’s all fine and good, but I am none of those things. He said that it was because I was willing to get out of his way and let him do what he wanted to do here. He said that he wanted the torch to pass from one generation to the next, but the older generation had not prepared the upcoming generation to take over so the churches around here were dying. My job was to make certain that torch was passed.
The following night God woke me again. This time he gave me the name of two people to contact to pray with me about what God wanted to do here. I asked him if he wanted me to contact several other people that I knew and he said, no, just contact the ones I told you. So I did. The first one agreed to pray and the second (who was on the church board) gave me permission and agreed to pray specifically for a youth pastor, someone to head the children’s ministries and about getting a Christian Rock Band organized.
The next night, again he woke me. This time he gave me another name to contact. I contacted her and she immediately said that she would agree to head up the children’s ministry. She is substitute teacher (Means that she has a clear background check). Later that day, another woman called and said that her family would be here for services on Sunday morning. In one week, two families have agreed to come.

Asking For Your Prayers

Please pray for continued growth in this church. If you live in this area or know of anyone who may have the calling of youth pastor or feels called to use their Rock Band in Christian worship, contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


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We have all heard that procrastination, frustration, and perfection are all causes of writer’s block, but in fact, they are only symptoms of the problem. More important than knowing that we are distracted, overly focused on a specific part of the project or that we are frustrated with the project for an unknown reason, we do better to get to the root causes of those obvious signs that something is stuck in our writing process.
I have come up with five basic causes of writer’s block.

1) Myth of Waiting for Inspiration

One reason is that many people have the misconception that you have to always be inspired to write. The truth is, writing is work. As Thomas Alva Edison once said, “Genius is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration.”
As writers who may have been at this a while, it is not necessarily that easy. Sit in the chair and the words will come. That might have work with fans to Kevin Costner’s movie Field of Dreams, but this is no fictional movie. Giving proper and space is only part of the solution. Even with proper space and time, the writing process may not work when a writer has a serious case of writer’s block.
Waiting for inspiration is like waiting for a fly to land on your nose. It may or may not happen any time soon, however, the fly comes a lot easier if you bait your nose first with honey. Yes, you’ll have a sticky nose, but the flies will come. Inspiration comes more easily when you’ve primed the word pump. This is why writing prompts are so effective in bringing out our muse.

2) You Don’t Know What to Write

You have reached the point in the writing process you hit a glitch for which you don’t have an easy solution. This can cause the symptom of procrastination. It can also cause the symptom of perfectionism. You keep working over the same territory of your manuscript again and again because you don’t know where to go from here.
When you see yourself where you don’t know what to write, look for what is information is missing and keeping you from going forward.

3) Information Overload

Just as not having enough information to move forward can cause you to get stuck, having information overload can also cause writer’s block. You have so much information in your head that you don’t know where to start or you start something, only to stop in the middle of the process because you have so many ways that you could proceed that you are stuck.
This was a problem I had when I first started writing. I had so many ideas that I didn’t know which idea I should follow. What if this idea turned out to be a dead end? Rather than muddling through the pile of ideas, I would get stuck. I decided to do it later. Later, didn’t come for a long, long time.

4) Life Getting In the Way

Too many things to do that do not involve writing interfering with your writing process can also be a reason for writer’s block. It’s the idea that life gets in the way. The cure for this is better organization and focus. Setting aside time to write every day, even just fifteen minutes per day can help keep this cause of writer’s block at arm’s length.
Again, this is another reason for having a writer’s block. This reflects the idea of “doing it tomorrow” and then dreading the tomorrow that never comes.

5) Real or Imagined Fear

Cause five: of writer’s block that I have identified is fear (real or imagined) It can be of the subject matter or it can be caused by something in your real life environment.
In some cases, you might determine that fear of a subject means that it might be necessary to let the project go. Other times it might mean that you should square your shoulders and move on into the project with your head held high and your weapons ready for battle. However, most often, our fears are not real, but are imagined. We make the issues about the book and not what is really bothering use, but is about how we think about our own abilities to write the book.
We also are afraid how what we are writing will be received by our audience and in the process we freeze. It’s like being on the stage during a rehearsal and freezing because someday an audience will eventually see what we have written. It makes no more sense for us writers than it does for an actor on stage.
Simply understanding these causes of writer’s block may be enough for some people to overcome this malady, however, next week we will dig deeper and examine some of the solutions to the problem of writer’s block.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .

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