Tag Archives: Northwest Christian Writers Association

God Changed my Name from Queen of @#$%

I was excited to hear  best-selling author, James L. Rubart, speak at the monthly meeting for the Northwest Christian Writers Association. Two years before he spoke about his six year journey to publication and the discouragement of repeated rejections. At that time, he urged  us to keep writing and not give up on our ambitions.  “Step through your fear, out of the shadows, and into the destiny and the light God has planned for you.”

Since then, he’s written and published books faster than I can finish a grocery list. I knew he’d be encouraging. Maybe he’d unlock the secret to getting published.  Maybe he’d shed some light on a marketing plan that couldn’t fail. Maybe he’d give tips on plotting my novel.

  I was ready to learn.

He began talking and I began typing, but it was not what I was expecting to hear.  (The italics are from Rubart’s keynote.)

The thief comes to steal and destroy, he wants to destroy our dreams and our desires.

Our desire reveals our design, our design reveals our destiny.

Do we know our names?
     Child of the King
     Heir to the Kingdom
     The one Christ died for
     Kings and Queens

We have taken on false identities that are not true, that are keeping us back.

From 8th grade I believed the lie,  "You can’t write."

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Are you kidding me? That’s a total lie.

What names have you been called?  Loser? Lazy?

Sticks and Stones

When Rubart  mentioned the names  we were called, tears instantly transported me back to the winter of 1982. Although nearly 50 years old, the wound was still raw. I was thankful I was sitting alone at the back of the room so few would witness my breakdown as I relived the painful memory he’d revived.

I’d entered the locker room to question my PE teacher about the D on my report card, figuring it  was an honest mistake.  It was one of my favorite classes taught by one of my favorite teachers.  I was good at sports and tried to be helpful and friendly during class. I  didn’t even complain when she made us run laps. Besides, it was my senior year and this grade would seriously affect my chance for Salutatorian.

I assumed I’d receive a changed grade, but she unloaded unexpected rage.  Her dirty-blonde Dorothy Hamill hair bobbed around her face, her open mouth gave me a  view usually only her dentist saw. Her tirade  ended with, “You really think you’re something! You  walk around here like you’re the Queen of @#$$%!”

The unleashed fury was so shocking, I could only escape.

I tore down the hallway, into the institutional green bathroom and  locked myself  in a stall. I crouched  on the toilet  seat so she couldn’t see my feet.  She came into the bathroom and called, “Melinda! Melinda!”  But, it was too late. The other name she used  had seared a hole into my heart. I bit my lip hard so she wouldn’t hear me cry or breathe.  When she was gone, I freely sobbed.

It wasn’t only about the grade. I had thought she liked me. I couldn’t begin to imagine what I’d done to deserve the D and her attack.  It wasn’t due to lack of effort or participation on my part.

Her hatred for me cost me my class rank,  my ability to vie for scholarships and my trust for adults. Worse than that, it branded me with a name of shame I wore for decades.

Rubart continued talking.  He told of the girls from India who were named “unwanted”  at birth but had a ceremony in to chose new names.

God is in the business of renaming. He renamed Abram to Abraham.  Sarai to Sarah.

There’s a name God wants to give you.

There’s a name He wants to erase from you.”

The fall after the name-calling incident,  I was a  typical non-Christian college freshman without parental restraint and attended  every party I could find. But I had another desire that couldn’t be quenched, to find spiritual answers to life’s questions. I began attending several Bible studies and reading the Bible daily.

The tug of war over my soul didn’t last long, I became a born-again Christian and experienced a life-change in October. The following week, I mustered up the courage to attend the Campus Crusade meeting advertised on a campus bulletin board.

Afterwards, a young man with the love of Jesus radiating on his face approached with a smile, stuck out his hand and said, "Hi, what’s your name?"

My name…my name…my name…it struck boldly and instantly in my mind. I’d been reading the verses in 2 Corinthians  that said faith made you a "new creation in Christ." I decided a new creation needed a new name.

"Hi, I’m Mindy," I said.

As I grew in faith, I realized how profound this action was. 

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Rubart continued, “ Revelation 2:17 says to him who overcomes…I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.

God loves to give names. So does the enemy.

Next week  I encourage you to get alone and silent before the Lord, and ask “What would you call me?”

Also go through the list of names you were called by the enemy and release them.  Pray over them and reject them in the Name of Jesus.The Lord is into Names.”

Rubart offered a way to transform the title of shame spewed with spittle and hatred by my high school teacher to a name bestowed in love by my heavenly Father.  I prayed.  Weeks went by.  I continued to pray and ask the Lord for a new name.

One Sunday I sat in the pew warmed by the words of faith  and worship that swirled around.  In prayer, I released burdens to the Lord  I’d carried way too long.

My new name settled around me like a mantle of peace, a covering of love.

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BELOVED

I’m no longer a teenager named in hatred by a teacher for reasons I’ll never discover, I’m a woman loved and named  by Someone who died for me for reasons I’ll never fully comprehend.

The wisdom Rubart shared that evening wasn’t what I’d expected, but it was exactly what I needed.

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In each of his books, Rubart’s characters undergo serious transfomations as they replace lies from the enemy with truths from God’s Word. You’ll be enthralled not only with the fast-paced action, but with the spiritual awakening within your own heart.

James L. Rubart on Pinterest

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For more encouraging Christian posts, check out these Linkup Parties.

Making your home sing MondaysWHWButton#2

How to Get Your Novel Published

 

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When Gina Holmes published her debut novel, Crossing Oceans, she received high praise from prolifically published authors and won awards. From her website we’re told this novel “was a Christy and Gold Medallion finalist and winner of the Carol Award, INSPY, and RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice, as well as being a CBA, ECPA, Amazon and PW Religion bestseller.”

 

Crossing Oceans      Dry as Rain   Wings of Glass

Sound like a dream come true? Yes.  But a dream that came with a price. A price she was willing to pay.

Gina Holmes personifies patience and diligence.  If you’re holding onto that dream you’re going to be discovered as a writer and be immediately launched into fame, sit down right now. This news will be hard for you to take. She had to work at her writing.  Yes, she is gifted, talented and called to write, but she says it took ten years to get her first novel published. Notice I said first novel published.  It was the fifth novel she wrote. Learn from her experience in this video below.

“Write and Get Your Novel Published” by Gina Holmes

(More videos by Gina found here.)

Dreams happen while you’re sleeping.  Dreams come true when waking moments are filled with the sweat equity required to perfect your abilities.

Athletes exercise.
          Scholars study.
                    Scientists experiment.

Why do writers think we can write right on the first try? As Gina pointed out, it takes four years to get a college degree, shouldn’t it take at least that long to learn the craft of writing?

I made it easy for you to

follow Gina’s advice.

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  “Get yourself to a writers conference!” 

Although most writers desire to be published, that isn’t our main purpose for writing.  We long to encourage and help people with the words birthed through our own pain and experience.

Darkness hates light and by sharing our experiences even under the guise of fiction, we are able to minister to those who are travelling the path we’ve already come down. By exposing our own sins and secrets, we are able to understand and sympathize in a way those who haven’t gone through what we have can. More than that, we are allowing others to share their struggles and find healing and support.” Gina Holmes

To have our healing words read, they have to be published.
To be published, they have to be written.
To be written, we have to put our butts in that chair.

We’re only one page a day away.

I Scribble on My Walls

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When I first moved into my office a few months ago, now don’t go hating me now ‘cuz I have an office, seven people had to move out for this luxury to happen, I had this crazy desire to write on my walls. I took over two decades off from writing to raise kids who wrote on my walls, it’s now  my turn.

I don’t mean literally, after all, it took two coats of primer and two coats of gray to cover up the bright blue color chosen by the child we moved to the basement.

But, the need to see my projects and lists of things to do all at once was almost overwhelming.

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This was my first project and the four sections work very well.  I’m loving this.  But, it wasn’t enough.

My urge to scribble was greater than Harold’s – you know the kid with the purple crayon?

I wanted this 15 paned door from Craigslist, but didn’t get to it in time. I had to make-do until I could invent something cool for outlining a big project.

The light bulb moment occurred while shopping for toilet paper in Costco.  I know, toilet paper usually only inspires men, but I had an epiphany while grabbing the huge pack that would last a bachelor a year and my family a month.  I know that because last time I bought toilet paper I asked the bachelor next to me how long his package would last, while envying the amount of free time he had not buying toilet paper on a regular basis.

Can you imagine not having anyone use the last square and not tell you?  Can you image not having someone hanging the toilet paper the wrong way? Not having anybody unroll an entire roll just because they could?  Yea, I agree, that guy is deprived, right?  Anyhoo, back to the scribbling light bulb moment.

In between each row of the massive packages of toilet paper are wonderful brown pieces of paper.  I started grabbing the extra paper and rolling it up.

My ten year old daughter was horrified.  Yes, she is at an age where her mommy now embarrasses her at times.  “You can’t take that!”  she said. In her mind, entering double digits a few months back raised her rank in life, which now apparently includes the ability to advise her mother.

“Yes, I can! It’s going in the garbage or the recycle.”  The look on her face showed I hadn’t proven I wasn’t a thief.  “If it makes you feel better, I will ask if I can take it.”

Her conscience was soothed, but not her humiliation.  She tried to walk farther away from me, while I tried to keep the paper rolled up in my cart in between all the cases of beans and chicken broth and tried to not run over anybody because of my blocked  vision.

Exasperated, she finally rolled them up and tucked them under the bottom of the cart.  I could hardly wait to get home and thumbtack it to my walls, using my Grandma’s Thumbtacks, of course.

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Thanks to Costco toilet paper display, I had creativity at my fingertips. The Post-it notes worked well and I was able to organize and reorganize my explosion of random thoughts.

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Eventually, the mess became a rough outline for several  books.  The first in a series,   “The Christian Writer’s Coach: How to make the most out of writers conference”  will be published in about a month by the Northwest Christian Writers Association. I’m so excited!

Since unsolicited manuscripts are no longer accepted by the majority of agents and editors, you need to attend a writers conference to make the initial contact with those people that can make all your publication dreams come true. NCWA had a passion to write a book to help writers before, during and after attending a writers conference. Stay tuned.  I’ll letcha’ know when you can buy it.

The toilet paper paper worked, but I still had one more idea to try. It was supposed to look a little neater.  But, as you can see by the above picture, I’m not a tidy writer.  I think I’m a Type A organized person, but I think I’ve been lying to myself for years.  This is the real me.  I might even put this picture on Pinterest in rebellion against all those offices that look like an staged magazine setting.

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I laminated sheets of gray paper and taped them to my walls.  I write with dry erase markers and erase with rubbing alcohol. The little felt erasers on the end of the markers don’t work.

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The Type A side of my office. Where I sit and relax to read, when I’m not writing.  It’s also where my kids come and sit to talk while I’m writing.  Since I have a double-digit daughter and a bona-fide teenage son at home, I don’t mind.  It means we’re still on give-mom-advice speaking terms. 

They can sit, they can talk, and they can root around for my secret candy stashes.

They  just can’t scribble on my walls.

It’s my turn.

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? Do you storyboard? 

? How do you like to organize your jot  scribble stage of writing?

? Has anybody tried IdeaPaint for writing on walls?

Keep Love Alive

 

I didn’t  buy When Love Dies:How to Save a Hopeless Marriage by Judy Bodmer for me. I bought it because I’m an elder’s wife and I thought it would be a good tool for the occasional marriage encouragement we do  with couples.

I was also curious. I know the author, Judy,  as we’re both members of the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association.  She’s a director for the annual Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal and I’ve been privileged to volunteer alongside her for several years. She’s an amazing older woman I’ve grown to love and admire.  On the occasion I’ve  watched Judy and her husband work together, I’ve seen their mutual admiration, respect and affection and thought, "Judy? Really? She had marriage troubles? And she’s willing to admit it?"

Christians don’t always do that. Sometimes we put on our church clothes and our church words and play a part. We don’t always delve into personal lives the way we should for mutual encouragement and burden-bearing.

Do you know anyone you could walk up to right now and truly confess what you’re going through? Would you get the spiritual wisdom you need? Would your confidence be kept?

Judy caught my heart, by opening hers. She graciously combines the wisdom of human experience and the wisdom from her study of the Word of God. Through the printed page, she is the wiser, older woman your heart has been longing to know.

I made the mistake of reading this on an airplane with only half a package of travel tissue, ya’ know, those little ones you carry in your purse, but the tissue is folded up so much, that by the time you get it all the way unfolded, you need more than one?

When Love Dies

I began taking notes of her admonitions and I knew I would be reading this book again.  And again….and again…

There isn’t any marriage that’s at a state of  perfection and doesn’t need encouragement.  I wasn’t packing the suitcase on the way out of the door, but I learned how to keep it from getting to that point.

But, this book doesn’t relate to only marriage, it relates to ANY relationship you have. When you see the word “husband” just substitute the name of anyone you are struggling with.

Like she was peeking through the dirty windows of my heart, Judy describes the Symptoms of An Unforgiving Heart, p. 41

1. Blowing up over seemingly small things

2. Sarcastic remarks that are meant to hurt

3. Talking about your husband to others

4. Criticizing

5. Correcting

6. Unexplained headaches, stomach problems, fatigue

7. A bout of tears for no apparent reason

Though the book is written at a time when her marriage was struggling, it could be read by newlyweds to keep themselves from getting to that point.  It could be read by happily married couples, to have an even better marriage.

I didn’t buy When Love Dies for me, but it was exactly the book I didn’t know I needed to read.

It also might also be the book you didn’t know you needed to read.

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Despite trying for days to use one of those fancy blog give-away plug-ins, I couldn’t figure it out. Crying face We’re still going to do the old-fashioned way this week.

My giveaway will be open from Wednesday, February 13th at 5am Pacific time until Monday, February 18th at 12:00pm.

There are three ways to enter. You may enter three times if you qualify for each of the three different options.

1. Leave a comment on this blog about something you do to keep love alive in your marriage. We all could use the encouragement! Include your email address.

and/or

2. Like my Mindy Peltier Author image42 page. Click on the FB icon to find me. Return to this  blog  post and leave a separate comment letting me know you did this. (All new followers will get credit for this, even if you liked me before the give-away.) Include your email address.

and/or

3. Become a follower of this blog if you aren’t already. Look for this image_thumb3_thumb and fill out your email address. Leave a comment letting me know you are a new follower. Include your email address.

 

MANDITORY! You must leave your email address with each entry.  I can’t find you without it.  Entries without email addresses will be deleted.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I appreciate all my followers and visitors!  May you always find encouragement for the journey when you visit here.

Has Love Found You?

I first heard the name Ocieanna Fleiss at  monthly meeting for Northwest Christian Writers Association two years ago.

But, we weren’t rejoicing over publication of her Christian fiction romances, we were praying in fear and trembling for her life.  This beautiful, young, healthy mom of four went into cardiac arrest while watching television with her husband a few days prior.

Just like that, her heart stopped.

The news stopped our hearts.

Our president, Gigi, led us in prayer.  We learned later how many people across the world were praying at the same time for the same thing. A miracle.

Ocieanna Fleiss–had a 5% chance of survival

We selfishly did not want this woman to leave this earth, her family, her friends, her ministry.

 

 

Love Finds You!

I didn’t know at the time, she was writing this book with Tricia Goyer, another talented young writer. This obviously means the Lord answered our prayers for Ocieanna’s healing, because the book was recently published. I was thankful to be asked to be a member of their launch team.

 

 

 

 

 

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I opened the book as soon as the mail arrived.  I began reading.  I stayed up way too late.  Yep, that’s me the very next morning, finishing the book in my PJ’s.  Yes, you are so astute, they’re on inside out.  Thanks for also noticing I didn’t even comb my hair. Good thing you can’t smell my coffee breath.

Priorities, girls, priorities!

I’ve had a few personal hardships in my life, especially in the past year.  I can’t read floofy books from authors that don’t understand the deep trials of life. They gotta’ give me something I can use to keep living, breathing and believing.

Ocieanna won me over as a friend and sister in the Lord because of her sensitivity and faithfulness to the Lord.  Yet though He slay her, still she trusts Him.

She won me over as an author because her writing touches the agonies of my heart.

p. 26, “Some scars weren’t visible, but the pain was the same.  She should have remembered that. Remembered that when tragedy hit, the ripples went far, as each absorbed a small part into itself.”

 

Women also need to be reminded the first true love they need to find is the love of our Savior.  Then their heart is ready to seek and keep the love of a godly man. Their hearts  need healing to find love; they need love to find healing. 

This is the journey Ginny takes in Glacier Bay, Alaska, entwined by old letters to the similar journey of an early pioneer, Ellie.

 Glacier Bay Collage

Warning:
Do not read this book without time, Kleenex and coffee. Once you start, you will NOT want to put it down. Sleep becomes optional.

 

And if you really want to lose more sleep because you can’t put down a good book once you start it, follow these two amazing friends and writers to

LFY Montana

Montana, yea, my home state! and

LFY Washington

Washington, my current home.

(Click on any book to buy on Amazon and read reviews.)

 

I’m giving away a free copy of Love Finds You in  Glacier Bay, Alaska  with a random drawing.  Chocolate may or may not be  involved.  I like to keep women in suspense.

How to win:

1. Leave a comment and your email address.  I’d love to know if you’ve read these authors before.

2.  To increase your chance of winning this book, follow this link  to find other bloggers who are hosting give-aways.

Terms and Conditions:

My drawing will be Friday, January 11th at noon, Pacific time.  Check back to see you if you the blessed winner!

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I pray each of you may have your heart nestled safely in the love of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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I’d love to have you join me as I write through life’s journey.  Click  imageon the sidebar and provide your email address to become my newest friend and follower. Thank you!