Compel Training 101 Session 2

Empty cookbookI have to admit that while I have had the desire to write for many years I have no formal writing experience and I’ve never taken any creative writing courses. What I do have is a passion to learn and a desire to string wonderful words together into beautiful images that you my readers can see in your mind and feel as if you are right there in the moment.

Recently I joined Compel Training  and am learning so much about the craft of writing. I hope to post a tidbit of valuable information from each teaching I view.

The most recent teaching I watched was how one author does some pre-work before she begins writing by asking herself these questions:

  • Who am I writing to?
    • While we may want to reach a wide and varied audience, who is that one person you really want to reach? This helps to keep us focused on our topic.
  • Is there a specific situation, problem or idea I want to address?
    • Choose one topic and stick to that.
  • What is the practical application?
    • How can my readers apply what I have to say to their life?

After the pre-work move to the crucial first sentence which should be a sentence that draws your readers in and causes them to want to read your words. The following are some crucial first sentence guidelines.

  • Is my first sentence on point?
  • Don’t get off topic.
  • Don’t make it all about me.
  • Don’t send your readers to a buffet line by giving  your reader too many things to think about.
  • Don’t cause your reader to lose hope.

Finally, here are some examples of crucial first sentences.

  • Admission of your own failure.
    • When I left for work this morning I forgot to turn the crockpot on. Surprise! Dinner wasn’t ready.
  • A question that draws others in.
  • A surprising statistic.
  • A counterintuitive thought.
  • An invitation to imagine.

I hope you have found these thoughts and ideas helpful!


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Never Forget And Always Remember

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Photo Credit Dr. Dick Foth

Have you ever seen this on the back of a fire engine and wondered what it meant? Certainly KEEP BACK is a warning but what about 343 FEET?

Last month I was in D.C. visiting our oldest lovebug and I had the opportunity to attend Theater Church. If I had a bucket list, visiting Theater Church would be on my list. I learned about Theater Church about four years ago after reading Mark Batterson’s book on prayer titled “Circle Maker.” Mark is the lead Pastor and there are eight locations and almost all meet in an actual theater.

Four years ago my daughter was just starting her Freshman year at American University in D.C. and after reading “Circle Maker” I began praying that God would lead her to one of the Theater Church locations. Fast forward to late last year, my husband and I were having our weekly phone date with our lovebug and she tells us that she and some of her friends had gone to a church that she liked and began telling us about this church. When she had finished I said, “That sounds like one of the churches Mark Batterson planted, he is the author of “Circle Maker.” She responded, “Oh yeah, they had his book in the lobby.”  Thank you Jesus.

The Sunday I attended they were just starting a 13 week series titled, “Long Story Short” and I have been following along each week. Because they have a preaching team each Sunday a different Pastor gives the message. The Sunday I was there Mark Batterson gave the message. Two items checked off a bucket list I don’t have! Thank you Jesus.

The message from Sunday March 26, 2017 was given by Dr. Dick Foth and was about warnings. The theme of his message is the one who warns you is the one who loves you. In preparation for his message Dr. Foth took pictures of warning signs. When he saw the above picture on the back of the fire engine he went to the fire house and asked if he could take a picture. He also asked why 343 feet was added to stay back. He was told that on September 11, 2001 343 firefighters lost their lives that day and we will always remember.

Precious One, NEVER forget and always remain connected to The Vine.


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Theater Church


Writers Training


I am a member of COMPEL Training

 I just joined a wonderful online community called COMPEL, with the tagline, “COMPEL is a membership site for writers who want to write words that move people.” It is a training and equipping website with so many helpful features, including creativity, craft, coaching, conversations and community. This weeks teaching is titled, “ADDED VALUE: KEEPING THE HEART OF YOUR WRITING OTHERS-CENTERED”, which can be downloaded to watch or as a pdf to read. There is so much valuable information on this website and I can’t wait to dive in and start learning even more!

The website states that open registration begins March 27, 2017 – April 2, 2017 but I was able to register today. Here is a link to Compel . I encourage you to take a look!

Happy writing!


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That Woman

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When I was in Jr. College, MANY years ago, I had taken a basic business class. I was also working at a bank. During the first part of this class the professor was teaching us everything we didn’t know about a check. The kind we use to write to pay for things; in some instances I still do, before our ATM cards became our go to form of payment.

The professor began asking “Do you know where the ABA number is?” “What does the number after the slash of the ABA number stand for?” “Why is it important to write out the amount and draw a line or xxx’s after the amount to the end of the line?”  As you can guess I had all the right answers and at the time I enjoyed every minute of it because I was being heard. Not only that, I was THAT WOMAN being heard!

A few years ago as I was preparing to give a message at church God gave me an epiphany about being heard and why I felt for so many years that I was unheard. He reminded me that when I was five years old my little Italian paternal grandmother called me, in English, a language she swore she didn’t understand and could not speak, a talking machine! How I had bought into that lie of Satan at an early age and believed it well into my adulthood. The truth is God called me to a speaking and teaching ministry. He called me to be heard!

This morning as I was working on a study from the book of Nehemiah, I came to the place where Nehemiah had to respond to the question of the King of Persia about why he was so sad. The author asks, “Of what was Nehemiah afraid?” Then asks participants to list the first few fears that come to mind about living a gospel inspired life.

Before I had time to think words flew from pen to page and I had used the entire side margin with my response.

Almost immediately after becoming a born again Christian God gave me a new passion for prayer and a burden for the spiritual health and growth of the Body. For many years I have lived from a spiritual perspective with Holy Spirit giving me His view to encourage and give hope to others. To come alongside others and inspire them to fall in love with Jesus and to know how important it is to stay connected to Him, especially through reading and studying his word. But, sometimes, many times, I feel like ‘that woman’

So, what is my fear of living a gospel inspired life? Being THAT WOMAN! Ha! Guess what God is doing in his perfect timing and sovereignty? RESTORING me!

That Woman is who God called me to be and I am loved eternally by my King!


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This Is The Day


Sometimes God uses the words to a song and they become a song of deliverance!

Happy Friday and Happy St. Patrick’s day to all of you from this full blooded Italian gal!

The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV