Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ACFW Conference Pics

Photo one: Brandilyn Collins (left) and Kjersten Nickleby (right)
Photo two: ACFW PowerPoint Screen w/ scripture verse
Photo three: Kim Vogle Sawyer, Pamela James aka Pammer, Cindy Woodsmall
Photo four: Cynthia Hawkins aka Syn, Pam James, myself
Photo five: Lena Nelson Dooley with her mentees

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I O U PICTURES seems Blogger's being a bugger right now. It won't let me upload more pics. I will try again later. SORRY! They WILL come. Keep checking back.

Thanks all!




Welcome all!
Today, as part of the American Christian Fiction Writers' Conference Blog Tour, I'm blogging about conference stuff.
I've gone to several ACFW conferences and have come back from all of them changed. I thought I was going to a writers' conference...but God tricked me. He brought me there for a spiritual overhaul as well. I have always come home from the conferences knowing God better, and having more clear direction for my spiritual life, and for my writing.
The first year I went, I went with my own agenda. I spent all that money to go, so I thought I needed to attend every single minute of every workshop. I wanted to meet with as many industry professionals as possible and pitch my stuff to them. I didn't leave God a lot of room in my schedule to work His appointments in. My appointments went horrid. I left most of them crying. LOL!
So at the end of the second day, I knew something was wrong. My brain felt like a soppy sponge that couldn't possibly hold one more drop of writing craft information. A natural introvert, my body felt battered by sensory overload.
I found the prayer room and honestly sought God. In the midst of Him loving on me with a strong sense of His presence, I felt Him ask: Now, are you willing to stop striving and to give up your own agenda for mine?
Oh. Duh. No brainer there. :-)
When I left that prayer room, things changed. God literally ran me into people and people into me who later had profound impacts on my writing career and keeping my heart right during the process.
The best advice I can give? Is what I've been given by others:
1. Go praying like breathing.
2. Go with a heart to serve others.

3. Give God room to work. (meaning don't fill all of your minutes with activity.)
4. Expect God to work in you, and not just about writing. Expect to meet Him there.
My first conference was "all about me."
Every conference since has been "all about Him and others." I refuse to have my own agenda. I volunteer heavily. I pray for as many people as I can get my hands on. I interceed for the hotel staff, conference staff, editors, and agents, authors and newcomers. I perform random acts of kindness that only God and I know about.
I've come away from them with more requests than I could count, a first place Noble Theme award, a first place Genesis award, and some of my closest friendships that have deepened to this day. I got to be immersed in worship of my King, and received profound direction for my writing. I've met industry professionals who've influenced and grown my faith as much as my writing. I go with a heart to serve and love it. I am changed and humbled by it.
Last year's conference was really hard on me. God totally flipped things around. I was in a wheelchair following a major surgery due to a medical misdiagnosis. I had to be served. Believe me, I'd rather be put in a position to serve! It's HARD needing help. I HATE having to depend on others. But God used that time to cause me to have to depend on Him and others to chip away at another sort of pride. The self-sufficiency kind. Every year I have received promises from God at the conference that have shaped my life.
Last year, on the drive to Dallas, I felt like God told me (about my hard season of pain, surgery, two years of intense physical therapy) "You've been faithful, and you're on the verge of a new season. You've been through a blistering cold winter and it nearly took you out, but you remained faithful even when you didn't feel faithful. Now, watch the new thing spring forth. Winter is past. Spring is coming."
Imagine my surprise when I get to the conference and realize the scripture theme is Isaiah 43: 18-19 "Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." NAS BIBLE.
Days after coming back from that conference, I received a book contract with Steeple Hill...the publisher of my heart.
So I would add to the advice above:
Go seeking Him. Come back with His promises. Go with a heart to worship. Be ready to come back transformed.
Ask Him what He wants for you at the conference, and for your writing. Then sit back and let Him work and lead you.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
Here are some fun pics (in following posts) from years' past.

Cheryl Wyatt   Gal. 2:20   Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008
A SOLDIER'S FAMILY~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Mar. 2008

Click on the conference link. I tried to add it, but Blogger's being a bugger.

Hope to see you there, September 20-23, 2007 in Dallas, TX.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Hey all!

I've had many requests (THANK YOU!!!!) for info about when my books are coming out. Rather than send individual emails (because I'll undoubtedly forget someone) announcing it, I'll be sending out a reminder to my newsletter subscribers. I'll only post a few times a year, so you don't have to worry about your Inboxes being bombarded.

If you'd like to sign up, visit my website at Cheryl Wyatt Website.

Scroll down until you find the link that says, "Join the Cheryl Wyatt~Author Mailing list." That allows you to sign up for my newsletter.

Thanks so much!



Sunday, June 17, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Double Crit Editorial Services



Double Crit Editorial Services

~specializes in polishing fiction book proposals~


Double Crit is a unique freelance editing service that offers high-level critiques of fiction book proposals from two experienced editors.  Whether a writer is preparing for a conference or getting ready to submit their manuscript to editors and agents, Double Crit can help.

Double Crit is here to help with book proposal formatting, query letters, synopses and story structure as well as the first thirty pages of the manuscript.  They can assist with the opening hook, back-cover copy, active and passive voice, showing vs. telling, character development, spiritual threads, and point of view.

Double Crit sharpens proposals to double your edge in the publishing world.

Double Crit Editorial Services is the brain-child of Ronie Kendig and Sara Mills.  Ronie and Sara were brought together as friends and critique partners because they are both represented by the same agent.

Through networking with other writers, Sara & Ronie saw a gaping need for high-level editing services for writers who want to attend writers conferences with proposals that are polished and ready to impress. Thus, Double Crit was born.

 A great book proposal can open publishing house doors for a writer, and Double Crit can to help you to tighten your proposal to sharpen your edge in the publishing world .


Contact Double Crit:

Cheryl Wyatt   Gal. 2:20   Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008
A SOLDIER'S FAMILY~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Mar. 2008


Hello all,

As promised, here are some examples of how I cut nearly 7000 words from my manuscript. I will paste the original passage, then follow it with the cut version in bold. you can see how by simply rearranging sentence structure, or choosing one strong word in place of three weak ones, etc, can tighten writing and bring your count down.

Also, a couple of you unsubscribed after yesterday's post, saying "Blog is no longer relevant." Since I don't wanna lose readership, I'm putting a question out there for you guys who are my faithful readers....what kinds of things do you want (or not) to see on the blog?

I'm trying to determine if my blog readership is mainly friends/family, readers, writers, none of the above. LOL!

Please let me know in the comments what you enjoy (or not) about this blog. THANKS FOR YOUR READERSHIP! I appreciate you all very much!

Now...back to our regularly scheduled examples of cutting:
He went back to his workout.
He resumed his workout.

He tugged a pair of binoculars from...

He tugged binoculars from....


Chance gave him the okay signal with his fingers

Chance signaled "okay" with his fingers


Then a sweet, female twangy voice came through the line.

Then a sweet female voice twanged through the line.


It hit Chance out of nowhere. He realized if he had his pick, it's be Bitsy.

Realization hit chance out of nowhere. If he had his pick, it'd be Bitsy.

(Not only did we cut words here, we got rid of an indeterminite "it")

He handed his plastic drink cup to Bitsy to hold.

He handed his cup to Bitsy.

Whenever you see RUE in your ms from a judge or critiquer, it means to "Resist the Urge to Explain." Obviously we know why he's handing the cup to her. We need to resist the urge to explain stuff like this to readers because most will "get it" without having to be told.


"Sure." Chance stood, dreading this. He handed his plastic cup to Bitsy. "Be right back," he told her.

"Sure." Chance stood, dreading this. He handed his plastic cup to Bitsy. "Be right back."

Here, I omitted the tag (he told her) at the end because I already had an action beat there, denoting the speaker. We really don't need to use both. And I really didn't need to put "really" in this sentence to get the point across. LOL! Find your trigger words and be ruthless. :-)

Bits tried hard to ignore the eyes following her and Chance as they wove their way through the crowd which was packed like sardines.

Bits ignored gazes tracking her and Chance as they wove through the crowd, packed like sardines.


"Not according to police, Chance. Of fifty plus bystanders, he paramedic told us there was only one other man who went in the water to help you and Nolan, and he was an off-duty fireman."

"Not according to police. Of fifty bystanders, only one other man went in the water to help you guys."

As you can see by the above example, one way to cut word is remove most of the proper names in dialogue. In actual speech, people don't say one another's names every other sentence. LOL! I understand this is a technique writers use to let readers know who's speaking. But if you've denoted the speaker properly by action beats or distinguishing dialogue, you won't need to say their name unless absolutely crucial to the dialogue stint.


I also went through and did a word "find" on "that" "so" "just" "finally" and "gaze" since I tend to overuse those.

AND, I nixed all unnecessary words. You may have to make more than one pass to tighten the writing. It's best to set the story aside and let it gel awhile. That way, when you look for places to cut, you'll have a fresh perspective on the story. For example, when I went back through the ms with another pass, I trimmed more from places I'd already cut. One example: the passage, "Chance signaled "okay" with his fingers" became Chance signaled "okay." Most readers will get that he signaled with his fingers. The only other way he could have signaled "okay" would be to say it, in which case I could have written, "Chance mouthed, "okay."

Hope this helps! There are a gazillion examples, but this will hopefully give you some ideas for when you go to trim your own stuff.

Cheryl Wyatt Gal. 2:20 Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008
A SOLDIER'S FAMILY~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Mar. 2008

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Our loss is Heaven's gain. Though saddened by the death of Ruth Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham, I realize she's in a better place. Last I'd heard she slipped into a coma and passed away sometime later.

I found out about her death on someone's post on This person also mentioned in her blog about how Ruth had a tough time when Billy would be gone so much, traveling and ministering. She often stayed home with the children and times were sometimes hard for her. But she kept an open Bible in nearly every room in her home and when she'd have a moment to slip away from the children, she'd immerse herself, if even for a few seconds, in God's word.

This got me thinking about my own life and how, ever since I got married and started a family, it's been so hard to maintain the quantity of time alone with God and His word that I had when single. I'm glad for Ruth's legacy. She probably has no idea...or maybe she does much impact her struggle and creative solution to fulfilling her hunger for God's word would have on my generation.

If you're a busy mom who longs for Bible time, maybe print out scripture cards and leave them everywhere in your house. I do. Some people don't have a Bible for every room, so that would be an alternative for quiet moments to drink of Him and His promises. If I did it more, I'll bet I'd be a better, more patient mother for it. LOL! I just want my heart to return to the place where it lives and breathes for God and God alone. I love my family and friends, but God is everything to me. I know He's always with me, but because of life concerns my heart is not always with Him. But I do know that even giving one of my children a drink of water pleases Him. I'm called to be a mother, I'm called to my children.

I talked to a friend today whose grandmother fell (on a medical scooter) down some stairs. A horrible accident in which the scooter then landed on her after her head hit the door at the bottom. I pray for Nana, and hope she lives. My friend was talking about how she wished she would have taken her children to see Nana more. This struck a huge chord with me because I had a friend who recently buried her 12 year old daughter. She said her only regret was having had her daughter sedated during a two hour transfer from one hospital to another.

Two hours of regret. And my friends says she'd give anything to have those two hours back with Emily.

Man, I've volunteered for so much this year that I realized at Em's funeral that I'd have about a year of regret if something happened to one of my children. The thing is, I prayed about what to take on and I said no to a lot. I think people think because I left my nursing job to stay home with my children (did you hear that? TO STAY HOME WITH MY CHILDREN!) that I have all the time in the world to help them. I also know God has called me to write.

One of my deepest prayers for this life has always been that when I stand before God on the other side of it, that I wouldn't have one single, solitary regret. My heart yearns to do only what God has planned for me in this life, in every minute.

So next year, I'm pulling out of all volunteering. Don't ask me, don't even think about asking me because my answer will be no.

My children have felt neglected and my writing has suffered. And most certainly my time with God has. Sister author Debra Clopton's testimony branded in my mind the importance of obeying when God calls us away from something.

So if you noticed I've pulled away from a lot of online groups, you'll know why. It's out of obedience. God knows what is ahead and while I do not live my life in fear but in faith, if I end up with regrets, it's no one's fault but my own.

Okay, rambling post over. This is a head's up. Whatever it is you need...ask someone else. I've served my time. LOL! Honestly, I felt honored and grateful to give back to the writing community. Next year, I'm going to streamline even more and not volunteering for anything unless God boots my caboose into it. So unless you're God....don't ask me to volunteer for nuttin' honeys. I luvs ya but my house is cluttered and my commas are tripping all over themselves. I gotta refocus, declutter, simply, obey.



Condolences to the Graham family.


Trophy squirrel killed in Texas

Okay, I have NO idea where this came from since it was forwarded to me by one of my dear (and slightly sarcastic! ) friends. But since my nickname is "Squirrel" I'm not sure if I should be honored or offended. LOLOL!

It actually made me laugh really hard. Enjoy!

Squirrel-The Undead One

Saturday, June 02, 2007


As always, write a 500 word scene using one of the three Scene Starter Sentences. Be sure to use at least 5 of the 10 Prompt Words below. Email your story to me IN THE BODY OF AN EMAIL please. No attachments.

Deadline for entry is the last day in June. Winner will be notified the first week in July and will receive a new Steeple Hill release of their choice. All entrants will be entered in the annual contest that runs 12 months.
Winner of the annual contest will receive a (paid for by me) six month subscription to any Steeple Hill line of their choice through the Harlequin Book Club.

The annual contest ends this September. Then I will take a three month hiatus off and start another annual contest with monthly prompts resuming in January of 2008. Prompt contests will then run Jan to Jan.

Entrants retain all rights to their work. I do not publish or post them anywhere. Those are Da Rulz.

Below is this month's Story Starter prompt:

Scene Starter Sentences:

"How did it happen?"

The _________slipped from her arms. (fill in the blank with a word of your choice)

"We're trapped!"

Prompt Words:


Email all entries to anavim4him @ (lose spaces before and after "@" sign)

Happy Writing!



Okay, a good friend of mine accidentally reminded me that I never finished the fugitive post.
Well, here's what happened:
I was driving home from my grandmother's house late at night with my three kids in the car with me. They were in meltdown mode because of the late hour. They started screaming the instant I pulled out of my grandmother's driveway, and didn't stop until I pulled into my driveway about 20 minutes later.
Well, halfway through the trip, I turned my radio up kind of loud because I already had a migraine, and somehow, listening to loud rock wasn't as hard on my headache as three screeching kids right behind my ears. The music helped some, but not a lot, so I kept asking them to please stop screaming. They would NOT and because of the two lane road and late hour I didn't feel I should pull over. So I just drove through the screams, and tried to tune them out. One of the children screamed at me to turn the music down because it was loud and hurting their head. Well, wanting to use this as a teaching opportunity, I (in my stubbornness of not liking to be told what to do, especially at high volume) said, "No. Since you didn't listen to me when I asked you for the last two hundred times to please be quiet so I can concentrate on driving, then no. I am not listening to you and turning down the radio."
Wellll, the screaming got louder so I put one finger in my ear and started the, "La-da-da-da-da=I-can't-hearrrr-youuuuu----" thing. Ever done that?
Anyway, so car full of children screaming, I'm wanting to get home, I have my pointer finger jabbed into my middle ear, and I'm HUMMING louder than the pretty loud radio.
And apparently didn't realize my speed, nor that the police officer in our town had been following me from the edge of town doing well more than 20 over.
So we pull in the driveway and I STILL have no idea about the officer until EVERYTHING in the car got pindrop quiet.
One child goes, "Um....moo-oomy? Are you goin to jail?"
I'm like, "Jail? What?" Then I see red strobes in my sideview mirror....and the not so happy town officer stalking to my car.
"YOU!" he said. "That was YOU back there? I clocked you going 65 in a 30. What in tarnation is going on?" Then he leans in the window, looks back to where two of the three are STILL screeching their lungs up. He raps his knuckles on the window and says, "Never mind. I think I know. Just slow down and be safe."
HOW EMBARRASSING. He was really nice, but ALL my neighbors saw him pull me over....IN MY DRIVEWAY.
The funniest part of all this is the day before this, I had just gone on a major rant to my husband for going like ten miles over the speed limit...I even said I was going to start praying God makes him get pulled over if he doesn't stop his incessant speeding. ROFL!
Hm....I'm wondering just whose side God's on anyway. Humpth!
All kidding aside, It IS scarey to me that I had NO idea I was going that fast. NO idea a police car (WITH FULL LIGHTS AND SIRENS ON!) followed me for MILES and I didn't know it until my child asked me in a fearful voice  if I was going to jail.
Oh, and apparently, said child didn't believe ME because she then asked the cop, "Hey, you takin' her to jail?"
So that's my fugitive moment.
I've obeyed the speed limits since. Honest.