Posts filed under ‘Writing’

Do You Know This Guy?

Charlie Bear here with a Taylor’s Tips Newsletter post from Mom Peep. I like this one, cause the little guy is kind of like me.

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

I have a friend who sits in my bookcase in my office. He’s green with bright red eyes, and he’s made out of rubber.

Gumby.1

His name is GUMBY and the reason I love him so much is because he reminds me to bend, to go with the flow, to look at things in a happy way.

Like now, with the holidays approaching, it is definitely a time when we really need to be flexible, open, receptive to changes and upheaval. For instance, who is coming to dinner, who is not? How many places should I set? Will there be in-laws? Outlaws? Barely-know-you new family members?

Will they arrive on time or be late? Will dinner burn or dry out? Will I have enough gifts for everyone? Did I spend enough? Will it look like I’m cheap if I don’t overspend? What if I want to craft a gift for family instead of spending lots of money, will that go over okay? What will others think of me?

Will I get everything done? The shopping, the wrapping, the shipping, the baking, the cleaning, the ho-ho-ho-ing. Can I keep a happy attitude this holiday season or fall into a funk of not enough time and too much to do?

Gumby is all about being flexible.

Gumby

Just look at him. How could you not be relaxed? Look how happy he is. Can we be like that (at least part of the time) this holiday season? I’m going to try, how about you? Who knows where changes will take us. I plan on welcoming them all, friends, family, in-laws and outlaws. The future will take us where we are meant to go and as the days, weeks, months, and years fly by, I’m going to be a Gumby and relax and go with the flow.

Oh, and while we’re at it, what about our writing? Gumby has a friend. His name is Pokey.

Pokey

When it comes to our writing career, isn’t Pokey appropriate? Things move slowly (especially during the holiday season), so my expectations have to be pokey too. And can’t we say that we also don’t know where the publishing industry is going, who is at what publishing house, who is acquiring, who is buying, what is selling, what should we be doing in all this? We’re surrounded by changes, and that’s again where Gumby comes in.

Let’s embrace the unknown instead of fear it. Let’s welcome changes. We could waste precious time railing at the injustices in the publishing world, but instead, how about accepting it and going with the flow?

Gumby and Pokey Christmas

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Has your family asked you, “Mom/Honey/Darling, what do you want for Christmas?” And have you rehearsed your answer? “A contribution to my conference fees would be fantastic!” Start an envelope and drop in those donations (aka Christmas gifts of cash) and you’ll have the funds when you need it. See you at one (or maybe both?) of these wonderful events.

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’ll be teaching Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. There will be lots to learn, editors to meet, agents to talk to. Don’t miss it. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

Orange County Christian Writers Conference  Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. A great conference with a fabulous staff devoted to giving you the best opportunity to learn your craft.

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell My self-imposed deadline is almost here. I’ll be sending the manuscript off to the wonderful people who volunteered to be beta readers. If you are on the list, watch for an email from me soon. And know that I appreciate you!

* * * * *

5.0 out of 5 stars I just want to say I really loved the Book, November 23, 2014
This review is from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)
I just want to say I really loved the Book!!!! I did not want it to end. I love books that you pick up and start to read and by the first page you are into it, and don’t want to put it down. I could vision everything that B.J. Taylor was writing about. She has a really neat way of explaining things happening. I loved Charlie Bear’s messages too!
This book is a must have for any animal lover out there. Will make great Christmas gifts, I have it on my list.
Enjoy!!!!

* * * * * *


For Charlie Bear’s dog blog: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

To see his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs 
and on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. Have a friend who might like to receive Taylor’s Tips? It’s easy…all they have to do is send me an email that simply says, “sign me up.” Sweet as cherry pie.  lol

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

November 25, 2014 at 11:29 am 4 comments

Trick or Treat?

Charlie Bear here with a Newsletter from Mom Peep especially for Halloween.

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

TRICK or TREAT!

It’s Halloween. Time for pumpkins carved and lit from within standing guard outside of doorways, and gourds on the table in wicker centerpiece baskets ushering in fall colors and cooler weather.

pumpkins

There’s also spidery cotton batting, pulled thin and wispy, stretching over mailboxes and bushes and trees. Rest in Peace signs are stuck into the ground in front of homes. Ghosts and goblins are on many commercials. The holiday is in full swing with Haunted Houses, Fright Nights, and SpookFests.

skull

Aaaahhhh….Halloween. Can I share a secret with you? I don’t like Halloween. Oh, I like the candy distribution part when the little kids come to the door dressed in their favorite costume and they squeal, Happy Halloween to me.

kids trick or treat

I like watching the moms and dads steer them around the neighborhood, protecting the little ones so they don’t trip over their own feet because the eye-holes on their costume aren’t big enough and they are trying to look into their pumpkin to see what candy they just got. I like watching their orange plastic pumpkin fill up with goodies and how happy they are with their bounty.

What scares me are the big, tall, masked trick or treaters who come to the door. They fill the doorframe, stick out their white cotton pillowcase, and in a deep, baritone voice say, Trick or Treat. Most of the big kids are fine, and I even know some of them (without the masks and ghoulish faces), but they scare me nonetheless.

kids big trick or treat

Why? Because I’m easily scared. I have to cover my eyes, or close them, when a commercial comes on television about an upcoming movie like Edward Scissorhands, or Fright something or other. I don’t know the names of the movies (remember…I don’t watch). Anyway, I’m not a big fan. But if you are, great! I have friends who LOVE Halloween, so I say, “Enjoy the holiday.”

But here’s the thing…just because I don’t like the ghosts and goblins and the stuff that it all represents in the horror movies, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the soft side of the day (the little kids, the candy, the pretty orange pumpkins).

So what is it about something that scares you that you can turn into something not so frightening? Ever have an attack of the heebee-jeebies about submitting your work? Worried that the novel you want to write won’t ever make it past the dark confines of your home office or if it does, are you afraid it might be….oh, that awful word…rejected…? Stepping out of our comfort zone can be very scary.

Maybe we can work at it together. Let’s try taking baby steps. Let’s submit to a place we’re comfortable with, and then to one other that we’re not so sure about. Let’s write that novel or nonfiction book and pray hard about whether it should be published and when. I’ll peek through the fingers laid across my eyes the next time a commercial is on for a horror movie, at least for a moment or two. And maybe we’ll both realize that it’s not as scary as we thought and that we are tough, and we can handle it, and that we are becoming stronger every time we step out of our comfort zone.

Deal?

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

P MS to a T: the winning formula for writing nonfiction short stories that sell I’m deep into writing the book, pouring all of my heart into putting into print what I have been teaching for years: how to write inspirational, personal experience stories that sell. With 40 stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, many dozens more in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and numerous other publications, I’m proud to say I’ve helped many a writer become published by using this formula. Some of you already know it!

BETA READERS WANTED:
At the end of November, I will be looking for Beta Readers to read the book before it comes out in print. What’s a beta reader? It’s someone, like you maybe, who likes to read, can take a manuscript and follow the instructions for what to look for, and to be critical without being hateful. You’d receive a Word document from me with the track changes feature turned on and you’d make your comments right into that document. I’m looking for a ten-day turnaround once I get the document to you (so that could possibly mean between Dec. 1st to the 10th. If you think that might work for you, kindly let me know. I’d really like at least a few of you who have NEVER heard of the formula to read the book to be sure it is well written and easily understood. Email me at bj@bjtayloronline.com if you’d like to be considered as a Beta Reader. And thank you!

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal I’m hopeful you are keeping this conference on your radar. I’ll be teaching two classes: Writing for the Guideposts Contest and Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. When I have a big dollar goal, I break it down into little dollar goals (like save $25 this month, $25 next month, etc.). I put the money in an envelope marked “Conference” and I don’t touch it until I have to pay the conference fees. Do you want to be there? Start saving now. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle).

Orange County Christian Writers Conference Same here. Looking to enhance your writing and your writing career? There will be LOTS to learn. Check it out and start saving now. The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California.

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A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Paperback)

5.0 out of 5 stars unwanted animal to find that perfect “forever home” October 8, 2014

By Jeanne Pallos (Laguna Niguel, CA)

B.J. Taylor’s writing touched my heart in the deepest places. Her writing is so descriptive and pulled me right into the story. She is a talented and gifted writer. For anyone who loves animals and longs for every unloved, unwanted animal to find that perfect “forever home,” this book is for you. Bless B.J. and her husband for believing in Charlie Bear and having the patience to help him to overcome his fears and issues to become a wonderful family member.

* * * * * *

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

October 28, 2014 at 9:28 am 7 comments

Give ’em…

Charlie Bear here.

Ever hear the expression…let them eat cake? Where the heck did that come from?

happy birthday dog wagging tail

Or how about this one…Give ’em what they want.

That one pertains to Mom Peep. She learned this little lesson (maybe not such a little lesson) a long, long time ago. Here’s what happened to her.

John Gray had just released Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and was looking for ordinary people to tell him how his book had made a difference in their lives as a couple. Unpublished, full of hope, but not optimistic, Mom sent in her five pages of manuscript, single-spaced.

When a letter arrived from his editing staff asking for permission to publish her work, she was on cloud nine.

Cloud Nine

She couldn’t believe it! How did she make it past all those who submitted? She knew the answer. She used the terminology from the first book John Gray wrote and she made references to his techniques.

She gave him what he wanted.

Her happiness soared even higher when the galley of her work arrived by Federal Express. This was the stuff she’d read about that happened to other writers. Not to her!

get-published

Mars and Venus in Love was soon released. She still can’t believe she’s in that book. Her. Little ‘ole her. He didn’t pay her a dime. He didn’t give her a byline. But hey, she knows she’s in there, and that’s what matters.

B.J.Taylor 2008-3

It’s been a long time since that first “sale,” and she’s been published numerous times since then (some of them have even paid her…good thing, so she can buy me more treats). Sometimes, she said, it’s been hard to keep going. But she knew that if John Gray liked her writing, then maybe she could make it out there. She didn’t get paid in cold hard cash, but she got something even more valuable. A boost to her ego. A lift to her self-esteem. Those things were worth more to her than a fistful of green dollars that she would have blown in a fast food restaurant or the nearest grocery store.

That first sale was priceless.

* * * * * *

So there you have it. How Mom Peep learned to “Give ‘Em What They Want.”

Have you learned this? Maybe in writing, maybe in your job in sales, maybe as an employee, or in your work in public relations? Tell us how this has worked for you.

Wiggles and Woofs,
Charlie Bear

http://www.bjtayloronline.com

October 21, 2014 at 9:54 am 12 comments

Sweater Weather and You…

B.J. here with a special…

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

It’s October. Time for sweater weather (some of you already have sweater weather), pumpkin seeds for roasting and munching (my favorite part of carving), ghosts and goblins hanging from the trees (they’re already here and scare the dickens out of Charlie Bear on our walks).

How was your summer? Do you remember the Summer Challenge?

SUMMER STRATEGY 1  2  3

  1. PLAN –
    Dream in Clouds
    Pick 3 things to accomplish.
  1. PREPARE –
    Things to Do
    Gather the materials you need ahead of your work time.
  1. PERFORM –
    Energizer Bunny
    Get busy when a window of time opportunity opens.

How did your Summer goals go? Did you hit the target bulls eye every time or were you just a bit off the mark?

target with many arrows

Here were my goals and how I did this summer:

  1. Chicken Soup entries. My goal was to submit two stories. Done. Did that.
  2. Blog Posts. My goal was to write them in advance and have a few in the pipeline for when I was super busy. Done, but not to the extent I wanted. I still struggle with time management and sometimes I’m ahead on my blog posts and sometimes I’m behind.
  3. Outline upcoming book. I’m about halfway there. I have the structure, chapter headings, some chapters written, the forward, and I’m working on more each week. So I’d say my goal was halfway met.

How about you? Did you achieve all your goals? Some of them? Reply back to me and let me know how your summer challenge shook out. And if you want to, let me know your fourth-quarter goals. Mine? Sort of the same, with a little twist.

goals people

Sweater Weather Goals:

  1. Chicken Soup entries—submit two by the end of December.
  2. Blog Posts—write at least four in advance of needing them.
  3. Write complete P MS to a T book by the end of December.

I’m not afraid to say I didn’t quite make a goal. The key for me is to regroup, restructure my writing time, and rethink what is important. As the holidays approach, family is most important so I’m going to work on achieving my three goals WAY before a fun December. How about you?

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal I was just asked by the conference director for a description of the classes I like to teach and I had two responses: Writing for the Guideposts Contest or Making $$$ Selling Inspirational Short Stories. The conference director was going to pick one. He emailed and asked if I’d teach both. I said YES! Do you want to be there? Start saving now. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle).

Orange County Christian Writers Conference This was a great conference in 2014 with new directors and people in charge of the event. It ran smoothly and met the needs of writers looking to enhance their writing and their writing career. The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. Come on down!

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances (Kindle Edition)

Beautifully Written!

By Gloria J. Field “V-Star girl”

Definitely worth reading. Beautiful story, well written. Buying copies for friends to enjoy this Christmas. Highly recommended for you, too.

* * * * * *

Want to hear Charlie Bear’s “voice”? www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Here’s his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

P.S. You can forward this email to your friends and if someone wants to sign up, all they have to do is send me an email that simply says, “sign me up.” Super easy!

B.J. Taylor

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

October 1, 2014 at 9:24 am 6 comments

Did You Enter and Were you Wondering?

Charlie Bear here to introduce you to Mom Peep again. Here’s her important post, especially if you entered the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest. Did you?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

What happens when a writer enters a contest and doesn’t win? One of two things occurs.

The writer digs deep, looks at the possible reasons why (we’ll analyze those below), and tries again.

or

The writer folds up into a shell, depressed, angry, confused, and never submits another piece of work.

Which writer are you?

I attended a class on writing for Guideposts in 1997. In 1998 I sent in my story to the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest. I thought I had it down. I was confident. But I wasn’t chosen.

sad face

There are many reasons an entry doesn’t make “the cut.” In the case of the Guideposts contest, they receive thousands of entries and they run the contest only every other year. Look at those odds. On top of that, there are many good stories out there. Many good writers. It’s a daunting task to the editors to choose only 12 people.

When I didn’t hear anything in 1998, I knew I didn’t make it. (They don’t contact the thousands of people who submitted unless they are chosen.) I was sad, but not entirely depressed. Heck, I was up against staggering odds. So you know what I did? I took the same story, yes, the same story, and reworked it, revised it, looked at it with a critical eye to see what they were printing in their magazine, how my story might fit, how I could make it better. Then I rewrote it. Put a different title on it. Chose a different editor to address my cover letter to, and sent it out again in 2000. Again I didn’t hear. In 2002 I did the same thing to the story. Didn’t hear again.

By 2004 I must admit that all that reworking, revising, reshaping, turned me into a better writer. I had attended workshops on how to write personal experience short stories every year since 1998 and I cut my teeth on the art and craft of an inspirational short story by submitting numerous times to Chicken Soup. And I was accepted over and over again. Huh, I thought, I’m making it here, why not there? I didn’t give up. I kept on writing for Chicken Soup, other magazines and anthology publications, even the local Orange County Register, and in 2004, I submitted that same story again to the Guideposts contest.

After trudging out to the mailbox one August day in 2004, I came back into my garage holding an oversized blue and white envelope that said Guideposts in the upper left-hand corner. I stood in front of my washer and dryer, ripped it open, and read the words, “We’d like to invite you to join us at the Writers Workshop in Rye, New York…..” You should have seen me. Oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh. That was all I could say. I was a babbling mess. It took eight years, but I was finally chosen and now I’m a Guideposts writers workshopper. Can you just imagine the thrill?

winner on billboard

The rest is history. I have written many stories for Guideposts, Angels on Earth and other publications in addition to now having published 40 stories in the Chicken Soup line of books, an inspirational book titled CHARLIE BEAR, a compilation of heartwarming stories in SUNNY SIDE UP, and my agent is working on selling my first fiction book (hint: it’s about a young woman searching for love and the capricious and unruly dog that helps her find it). And I’m not stopping there. I have many more stories within me.

Do you think YOU should give up? Absolutely not.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Did You Enter the Guideposts Contest? A reader asked the question on the Guideposts blog on Aug 24: Will there be a general announcement on your website when the winners have been chosen and notified?

  • And a reply from: bleveridge on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 9:32 am:
  • The winners were chosen and notified last week. Their names will be announced in a future issue of Guideposts.

So for those of us wondering, we have our answer. But do not give up hope for the future. Please enter again. I know it hurts to not be chosen, but please be excited along with me for Judy, an attendee at the FCWC earlier this year who attended my class on the P MS to a T formula. She entered the Guideposts Writers Workshop Contest and won! I am thrilled for her and for all of you who did your best with your submission. I applaud you all. Now go forward and revise for the next time!

Thank you! To everyone who responded to my question on whether I should write the book on how to write inspirational short stories using the P MS to a T formula, I humbly thank you. I hope to have it out within a few months. I want it to be good, very good, so that many of you can enjoy the success, thrill, and reward of seeing your work in print.

Orange County Christian Writers Conference The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. This conference was packed with writers and full of enthusiasm in 2014. Jump-start your writing for 2015 by attending.

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’m excited to be on faculty and look forward to teaching and meeting with writers. Put this one on your calendar. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Bear has a good home., August 3, 2014

By sara sara

“I did like the book. B.J. Taylor has a lot of patience and I’m so happy Charlie Bear got a good home. I passed the book on so someone else can enjoy the story.”

* * * * * *

Want to hear Charlie Bear’s “voice”? www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Here’s his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

August 26, 2014 at 9:38 am 8 comments

A Call-Out and a Question…

Charlie Bear here with Mom Peep’s monthly newsletter. I like this one. Practical, sound advice and even a question for you. Here it is:

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Hey there readers! I have a call-out and a question. Which would you like first?

We’ll go with the call-out. Chicken Soup for the Soul is looking for stories for a new book. I’ll bet you can find a story to wrap around one of the suggested topics listed below, can’t you?

Chicken Soup for the Soul: HOPE & MIRACLES

Here’s what the call-out said, direct from the editors of Chicken Soup:

There are events that happen in our lives that we cannot explain and that cause wonder and astonishment. These events give us hope for a better future, for the resolution of our problems, for miracles. We invite people of all faiths to share their true stories of how their lives have been transformed by wondrous events.

We want this book to be for everyone — whether religious or secular. We are looking for personal stories about your feelings of expectation and hope and the extraordinary events that have happened to you. Why did these things happen? Were they answered prayers? Did your positive attitude give you hope for better things to come? Did you find something you had lost long after you had given up hope of finding it? Did something good happen when only bad was predicted? Share your awesome stories about how good things happen to good people!

Here are some suggested topics:

  • Power of prayer
• Messages from loved ones who have passed on
• Dreams and premonitions
• Guardian angels
• Mysterious helpers
• Divine intervention
• Miraculous healing
• Unexplained happenings
• Visions and revelations
• Everyday miracles
• Signs and wonder
• Any other stories about hope and miracles

Please remember, we no longer publish “as told to” stories. Please write in the first person. Do not ghostwrite a story for someone else unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the “Comments” section of the submission form. If the story was published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO OUR WEBSITE. Select the Submit Your Story link at the bottom of the page and follow the directions.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS OCTOBER 30, 2014.

Did your antennae peak when you read the part about making $200? How about the 10 free copies of the book? Awesome to give as gifts, right?

Okay, so that’s the story call-out. Now my question. Those of you who have attended one of my classes have probably heard me teach the P MS to a T formula for how to write inspirational short stories that sell. Lynne Leite attended my class “Writing Personal Experience Stories that Sell” in 2011, wrote a story for Chicken Soup, submitted it, but didn’t get picked to be in that book. Buuuuuttttttt….she didn’t give up. She submitted another story for another book, and that story was chosen and published. Hooray! Lynne was a published Chicken Soup author and made $200 bucks and 10 free copies of the book.

But Lynne didn’t stop there. Using the formula from my class, Lynne went on to sell 8 more stories to Chicken Soup over the next 18 months. Awesome? Yes!

P   MS   to   a   T
the winning formula for writing inspirational short stories that $ell

Besides Lynne, this formula has helped many others to sell stories to Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. I’m considering putting the formula into a small print and e-book for sale on Amazon or at the conferences where I speak. Would that be something that would interest you? Kindly email back with a “reply” so I know if I should begin to put my teachings into written form. I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Personally, I have 40 stories accepted and published by Chicken Soup, plus numerous stories in Guideposts, Angels on Earth, and other publications.

We all love to write (well, most of us…some are not writers, but that’s okay too). Wouldn’t it be nice to make money in the process of sharing our passion? I would love for you to wave a check above your head when you become a published author and grin as wide as the sun with happiness and pride.

Please comment with something like a “yes, write it” or whatever you would like to tell me about this idea. Thanks!

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

Orange County Christian Writers Conference The 2015 conference will be held on Friday, April 24 (5:30–9:30), and Saturday, April 25 (8:00–5:00). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. This conference was packed with writers and full of enthusiasm in 2014. Maybe plan on attending to jump-start your writing next year?

Northwest Christian Writers Renewal May 15-16, 2015 in Redmond Washington (near Seattle). I’ve accepted the invitation to be on faculty and I am very excited. Put this one on your calendar. www.nwchristianwriters.org/renewal

* * * * *

A review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

A review found “helpful” to people per Amazon:
0 out of 5 starsFull of surprises…just like Charlie Bear
By L. Frankel

As someone who has been ‘mom’ to two rescued dogs, I approached this book with curiosity and to be honest, a bit of skepticism. Would the author be honest about the ‘see-saw’ of emotions adoptive owners go through? The many “did I make a mistake” moments? Would she understand that, over time, it is the “peeps” (as Charlie Bear likes to say) who have been rescued, as much as our animals? B.J. Taylor managed to convey these truths and many more, while taking us on an engaging and tear jerking ride. I felt as though I was on the ride with her and Roger as they embraced their newest love and grieved their departed (and soon to be departed) loves. I never expected the story of a challenging rescue dog to be so multifaceted but Ms. Taylor exceeded my expectations as she told the story about Charlie Bear’s impact on an entire family. This should be on every animal lover’s ‘must have’ list when they are wondering what to read next and it is a ‘no brainer’ choice when looking for a great gift.

* * * * * *

Want to hear Charlie Bear’s “voice”? www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Here’s his photo shoot for the Guideposts story:
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K

bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.
bjtayloronline.com
www.
bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

July 30, 2014 at 11:37 am 4 comments

Do You Have One?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…by B.J. Taylor

Dear Friend,

Summer is here and with it comes all kinds of fun: outings to the park or the beach, movies, picnics and BBQs, vacations and lazy days. That’s all great, but I’d like to propose a SUMMER STRATEGY for those who want to get something accomplished while still having fun in the sun.

Here’s the 1  2  3

#1 PLAN

pen and paper

Pick just 3 things you want to accomplish this summer. For me, I want to: 1) write and submit two Chicken Soup stories, 2) outline my next nonfiction book so I can begin the writing this fall, and 3) write 6 blog posts so I have a short stack of go-to’s when I’m busy. What THREE things do you want to do this summer? Write them down.

#2 PREPARE

bird on nest

Look at your three. What do you need to gather to make those happen? I asked myself these questions: Do I know what two Chicken Soup books I want to write for? Have I looked at the website to see the story call-outs and deadlines? Do I have 3 x 5 cards for outlining (maybe different colors for multiple POVs)? What blog post ideas interest my blog readers? I need to gather all of my materials ahead of my work time. Do you know what you need so you are prepared?

#3 PERFORM

Perform goals

You planned and prepared, now perform. Take each of your plans and break it down. Look at your calendar. When can you work? Take a Saturday morning or a Sunday afternoon, or an early morning before the kids get up, or late at night when everyone is in bed. You prepared for it, you have all your supplies, so when you find that two-hour window, get busy and get going.

Do you remember what it’s like to have that sense of accomplishment when you do something? Doesn’t it feel good? If you allowed for relaxation time, refreshing weekends, maybe even reading a much-desired book, you’ll enjoy the performance and achievement of your goals so much more. As the summer progresses and you cross first one plan off your list, and then another, look down the road at yourself. Are you beaming with pride? You should be.

Let me know your PLAN for the summer. I’d love to share in your excitement. Just reply to this email or comment on Facebook. We can all encourage and support each other.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

P.S. If you want to subscribe to the once-a-month unobtrusive email format of this newsletter, just go to my website and insert your email address right on the home page. http://www.bjtayloronline.com

What’s Going On:

Family Fun – I came back from Wisconsin with visions of my Great-Granddaughter Aubree in my head (and in my cell phone photo gallery and on my digital camera). She’s precious, sweet, and adorable, and all the accolades I lay on her would never match up to how much I love her. I’ll bet you have loved ones you find precious too. It’s what makes life worth living.

Nothing on the Agenda for Now – So how is your summer stacking up? I have my projects and open prayer time for God to drop in whatever he feels is right for me. How about you?

* * * * *

Looking for a few good….reviews! We haven’t had a review of Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances since February.

Is anyone reading the CHARLIE BEAR book? We’d love it if you’d post a review on Amazon. Charlie would give you a woof/woof and a paws-up! And I’d say a big thank you!

* * * * * *

Charlie Bear loves to speak (through his Mom Peep of course). Sign up here to get free posts of Charlie Bear’s blog musings: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

Want to see him in his photo shoot for Guideposts?
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

He’s also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

Without shame, Charlie says: Check me out! I have a H A R D C O V E R book! You can find it here: http://amzn.to/11uOka6

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

June 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm 2 comments

Here it is!

And it’s no April Fools!

Charlie Bear here. This is the real deal, brought to you by Mom Peep, B.J. Taylor, who writes for Guideposts magazine. She loves what she does…writing, speaking, teaching, sharing emotional stories that encourage others. She just finished writing a book that is in her agent’s hands to look at. I’m sooooo hopeful for her because my buddy, Rex, has a part in it–he was my mentor dog when I was first adopted into my home here.

Anyway, if YOU want to try out for the Guideposts writers workshop contest, and possibly win a spot in the week-long retreat like Mom Peep did in 2004, check this out:

GP 2014 Workshop Contest 001

If you can’t read it too well, email Mom Peep at bj@bjtayloronline.com and ask her to sign you up for her Taylor’s Tips Newsletter. The entire guidelines will be there, in bigger, better, bolder letters!

I want to wish you all tons of blessings as you craft stories for the contest. What’s better than sharing yourself with others? And the Guideposts magazine reaches millions of readers. Woo hoo!

So get going. Start writing. No excuses.  ; o )

Woofs and Wiggles to you,
Charlie Bear

http://www.bjtayloronline.com

April 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm 8 comments

Ever Feel that Pre-Trip….?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

Do you ever feel that “pre-trip rush” that happens when you get so excited about where you are going, who you are going to see, what you are going to do?

MH2013 002

Marilyn, Lisa, Rick, Marci, B.J., Wanda at 2013 Mount Hermon Writers Conference

That happens to me when I go on vacation, travel to Wisconsin to our family reunion, or journey to a writers conference. The weeks before are filled with packing, planning, preparing workshops and outlines. I’m giddy and thrilled to be visiting with loved ones, having special one-on-one time with my agent, or meeting with writers whom I enjoy supporting and encouraging.

MH 2013 Night Owl on Chicken Soup with B.J. Taylor
Mount Hermon 2013 Class on Writing for Chicken Soup for the Soul

Then what happens? I come home. And the “post-trip blues” hit. I miss the long days and longer nights of talking and sharing. I miss my arms wrapped around my loved ones and writers who need a hug. I miss it all.

What I don’t miss are the frantic runs through airports when flights have been cancelled. Or when the plane needs to be de-iced before takeoff or I get the middle seats all the way from point A to point B. Ahhh….but I can handle all those things, when I know the treat, the reward, is right on the other side.

Family Fun Dells Aug 2013 (158)
Family Time at Wisconsin Dells 2013

When the “pre-trip rush” gets your adrenaline going, enjoy every moment of the preparation, planning and being there. And when the “post-trip blues” threaten to rain on your joyful memories, remember the thrill of happiness, and then get right into preparation and planning for the next trip. It helps me every time!

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Going On:

What Just Happened? I had the BEST time at the Florida Christian Writers Conference. It was so laid back, so much fun (even a karaoke night! You would not find me singing…but I loved hearing others!), wonderful support staff, fabulous conference directors (thank you, Eva and Mark), fabulous writers who shared their passions. It was a joy to be there. Keep it in mind for 2015. If you put away say $25 a month between now and then in a special envelope in your desk drawer marked “For My Writing Passion”…you’d save up a nice chunk to pay your way. As Nike says: Just Do It! You’ll be glad you did. www.floridacwc.net

What’s Coming? The Orange County Christian Writers Conference, that’s what. It will be held April 25-26, 2014 with new directors, new staff, a well-thought-out website, and a great team of people (count me in). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. Are you ready to learn? www.occwf.org

* * * * *

A recent review from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

5 out of 5 stars – January 26, 2014 by “vincerine1987” (Pinelands of New Jersey)

Get a box of Tissues …

Then plan on an all night read through …
I love animal stories to begin with …
This little pup will pull @ your heart strings …
& just maybe teach a thing or two …

* * * * * *

Sign up here to get free posts of Charlie Bear’s blog musings: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

He’s a little munchkin, and a bit of a ham, too. Here’s the furry monkey in his magazine photo shoot and the story in Guideposts.
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

Not one to slight his fans, Charlie Bear is on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

Without shame, Charlie says: Check me out! I have a H A R D C O V E R book! You can find it here: http://amzn.to/11uOka6

B.J. Taylor
bj@bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

March 4, 2014 at 9:06 am 6 comments

For a Purpose?

TAYLOR’S TIPS for a more productive you…

Dear Friend,

“God created man on purpose – and for a purpose.”

Who said that? The wonderful and wise Zig Ziglar.

Zig Ziglar

So here is a list of my purposes:

Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend, Charlie Bear’s Caretaker, Grandmother, Boss (at work…lol…not at home), Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (yup, that is at home), Great-Grandmother, Financial Guru (household checkbook stuff), Main Nest Fluffer and Fixer

Those are all GREAT purposes, but I think Zig meant something a little bit more lofty. So here’s what I have determined to be my purpose:

WRITER  — Ta da! I said it.

Snoopy

I’m a storyteller, a lover of words that help people, an inspiration I hope to those who read the true stories I write, and an entertainer to those who pick up my novels and get lost in the lives of the characters as they journey toward happiness.

What is YOUR purpose? Have you figured it out? I think you might know what it is by this one truth: when you are doing it, you lose all sense of time, all sense of self. You become so lost in your passion that your purpose feels effortless (well, maybe not all the way effortless, but worth it every step of the way). Am I right?

I’d love to hear what your purpose is, to celebrate it with you.

Hugs and love, and blessings on your work.

Follow your dreams…
B.J.

What’s Happening:

Can you come? FCWC is almost here! So many dedicated professionals are eager to provide YOU the best writers’ conference experience ever. I’ve heard from a few of you that you will be there. Hooray! I can’t wait. www.floridacwc.net  Dates: Feb. 26 to March 2, 2014

The End of April is Shaping Up Nicely! The Orange County Christian Writers’ Conference will be held April 25-26, 2014. It has new directors, new staff, a well-thought-out website, and a great team of people (including me…blush, blush). Location: Trinity Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, California. Is it time for a jump-start on your writing career? www.occwf.org

* * * * *

A recent review from: Charlie Bear: What a Headstrong Rescue Dog Taught Me About Life, Love, and Second Chances

5 out of 5 stars  January 10, 2014

By JH

I finished reading Charlie Bear this morning. It was a wonderful compassionate book. We too have lost many pets who have been our only children for 47 years and counting. I cried when Rex was put down. It was all too real as I remember well the time I held our beloved cat Speckles when the vet gave her the injection. She was purring down to her last breath. It was as if she told me “It is okay Mama. Thank you for loving me enough to let me go and for giving me a wonderful earthly home.” Speckles was a feral cat that we tamed but who won our hearts and gave so much more to us than we could have ever given to her. Thank you, B.J., for sharing your heart feelings in this book.  It really did my heart good.

* * * * * *

Charlie Bear loves wiggles and woofs. Sign up to get free posts of his blog musings at: www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com.

He’s a little munchkin, and a bit of a ham, too. Here’s the furry monkey in his magazine photo shoot and the story in Guideposts magazine.
http://www.guideposts.org/inspiration/pet-stories/learning-to-love-charlie-bear

Not one to slight his fans, Charlie Bear is on Facebook: www.facebook.com/charliebearwigglesandwoofs
AND
on Twitter: @CharlieBearY2K.

Without shame, Charlie says: Check me out! I have a H A R D C O V E R book! You can find it here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/11uOka6

www.bjtayloronline.com
www.bjtaylorblog.wordpress.com

February 12, 2014 at 1:41 pm 2 comments

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