Monday, August 31, 2009

Good Morning, Inktropolis!

Fourteen gal writers united
In a blog, to which they invited
Others to turn,
To read and to learn,
And to have bookish passions ignited

And so it began...sorta.

Many moons ago after I'd commented on a Seekerville blog post, one of the Seekerville ladies (probably Tina Russo) suggested several of us who frequent Seekerville join together and start a blog. Being the opportunistic gal I am, I thought the idea was fantabulous. So I happily sat behind my computer monitor and waited for an invite.

Waited. Waited. And waited some more.

Finally I figured out if I build it they will come. Sometimes I am slow on the uptake, which is why I'm still waiting for my oldest son to give me a Facebook tutorial. By the way, did you know Cheetos contain no real cheese? Shocking, I know.

Anyhoo, I knew first we needed a foundation. So I opened my Bible and did the spiritual thing of randomly paging through it while praying for divine insight. My about-to-give-up eyes fell upon a title above a section of verses: Called to Blessing. YES!

See, not only does God call us to blessings, He calls us to bless others. The verses that followed the title spoke to my heart's desire for the group.

"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as [sisters], be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:8-9

When first asked what our purpose was, I told the gals "our focus is on sharing our passion for writing and faith and how they aren't two separate things." As you--our little inkites--get to know us through this blog, my prayer is you will recognize that focus in each of our lives. Well, at least what you can see of our lives via the internet. Please don't focus a satellite camera on my house. Who knows what my kids have left in the backyard.

So who are we? Well, in no logical or pre-planned order...
Dina Sleiman is a wife and mother of three. She loves creating and is passionate about all of the Christian arts. Her primary goal is to serve God and live a spirit-led life. She is currently seeking a publisher for her first inspirational medieval novel, Dance of the Dandelion.
A well of ink sits
Awaiting inspiration
Dip deep in the heart

Writing has become a passion for Jill Nutter who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband of twenty-eight years, two teenage daughters, her mom, and a menagerie of six pets. She's a full-time counselor and mental health advocate who loves England's Regency era, humor, mystery, and television shows such as Castle, NCIS, and Monk. Jill got hooked on Sherlock Holmes as a kid after reading, The Hound of The Baskervilles.

As a child, Jennifer AlLee lived above a mortuary and had to be very quiet when services were going on downstairs, thus solidifying her life-long love of books and writing. Jennifer now resides in the grace-filled city of Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband and teenage son. Her next novel, The Pastor’s Wife, releases in February 2010 from Abingdon Press.

A self-avowed #1 Jane Austen fan, Melanie Dickerson started writing again six and a half years ago. She has written four novels and her two medieval romances have finaled in numerous contests. Melanie is a wife and mother of two daughters. Check out her blog for reviews of the latest Christian fiction releases.

To survive high school, Susanne Dietze wrote herself and her friends into Regency-set stories where bullies got their comeuppance, dreamy boys came calling, and every day had a happily ever after. In the zillion years since then, her love of history, humor and romance has not waned, and now she writes stories in the hopes that God will use them to edify and entertain others. She lives in a book-filled house with her pastor husband and two children.

Anita Mae Draper writes romances set on the prairies. Being born in a logging camp in Northwestern Ontario, Canada seems to have instilled the spirit of adventure in her. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces at seventeen and married her hero in uniform a couple years later. Their 32 year old marriage has produced 4 kids and is still going strong. It provides lots of fodder for her books although their military days are long over. Anita started writing as a young teen but didn’t get serious about the craft until just a few years ago. Pre-pubbed, Anita has completed manuscripts in the secular and inspirational markets in the contemporary and historical genres. She is currently working on a suspense. But no matter what her genre, she always writes about romance on the prairies.

Two years ago Wenda Dottridge took down her shingle as a communications consultant to spend all her theoretical free time writing. She's married to a South African family physician and mother of a girl and two boys. After a lot of roaming about the globe and rural western Canada, her family settled in Calgary, Alberta. Not the warmest place on the planet, but close to the Rockies and charming in its own way.

Connie Marquise was born and raised in that beautiful city by the bay, San Francisco. Hooked on books (especially intrigue, suspense and romance) at an early age, she is still an avid reader in all genres. Writing has always been a passion of hers, whether it was a term paper, a letter or her personal journal. After a ten-year-plus hiatus, she is back penning inspirational romance in Henderson, Nevada, where she lives with her husband, aka her inspiration. She loves traveling, whether it is to Texas to visit her two beautiful granddaughters, to Hawai’i, their favorite vacation spot, or to new and adventurous destinations. Walking, volunteering and working with Riley, her Golden Retriever, at hospitals, convalescent homes and local events are among her most enjoyable pastimes.
D’Ann Mateer is a reader, a writer, and a freelance editor at The Writing Spa. Her favorite stories to both read and write are those that happen in another time and place from the one in which she lives. When she isn’t reading or writing, D’Ann can usually be found alongside her husband cheering their sons from the sidelines or devouring their daughter’s culinary creations.

An only child, Niki Turner found in books an escape route against loneliness, boredom, and nightmares. The Little House series, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Heidi, and the Nancy Drew collection kept her occupied. When she ran out of books to read, she realized she could get the same pleasure from writing her own stories. By high school she was tackling novels. She married her high school sweetheart in 1990 and had four children in the next seven years. The demands of parenting, homeschooling, and ministry took precedence over writing. Now, with her children in middle school, high school, and one married and in college, she has dusted off the "pen" and set to work creating inspirational fiction. "If someone reads something I've written, fiction or nonfiction, and it ministers to them in some way or brings them closer to God, then I am a blessed woman!"
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. Debra likes to write, weed, and wander and is blessed to have the best family and friends in the world. She’s thankful each day that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves, and that He has a sense of humor.

Lisa Karon Richardson and her family are missionaries appointed to
Gabon in West Africa. If her love of language had made learning French easier she would have been a happy woman, as it is she sticks with writing her manuscripts in English. For the moment she, her husband, and her two children are on leave in the United States and she is
using her time to stalk any editor or agent who might be susceptible
to a snappy tag line.

Susan Diane Johnson prefers to be called Suzie. She wishes there were more hours in the day, so she could do all the things she wants to do. She works in a hospital by day and writes Christian Women’s Fiction and Inspirational Romance by night. Since she’s unable to have as many adventures as she longs for, she satisfies herself by letting her characters have the adventure for her.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Gina Welborn does not like the family cat. She tried. Once. On the fourth Sunday of a month, but, sadly, the liking was beyond her predispostional anti-family cat vibe. When not working on her manuscripts, Gina spends her time pondering important things: what to cook for dinner, what not to feed the cat for dinner, and how to continue the ruse that she is an avid cat lover. Any non-PETA members looking for Gina can find her in Virginia with her youth pastor-husband and their five children and dog...all of whom she happily feeds and waters.

Serious Question of the Day: When was the last time you waited for life to happen, only to realize you needed to make it happen so it could happen?

Non-Serious Question of the Day: What is the color of your toothbrush, and do you always choose that same color?

Leave a comment with your e-mail address included (include spaces or brackets around the "@" sign so Net spiders, etc can't phish your address) and we'll enter you in a drawing for prize or two. Could be a book. Could be a bookmark. Probably won't be a cat, although Gina ponders...

Deadline for entry via the comment section of this post is Sept 3 at Midnight EST.


  1. I swore I wouldn't be the first to comment but I've been awake for an hour. Well. Here we are. Seems like a nice bunch of women, don't you think?

    A little odd perhaps.

    Answer: Purple and no, I take whatever color the dental hygienist hands me. I choose my battles wisely.

  2. Lordy, Deb you were up early! Yep sounds like we've gathered a feisty bunch of women. Can't wait to see what this adventure holds.

    Answer 1: I haven't really had that problem, things may not happen, but it's not usually for lack of trying. But only because I tend to pursue the things I desire most. (This does not, sadly, include a sparkling clean house. I'll settle for ordered chaos.)

    Answer 2: Pink and silver, and no I don't have the time to worry about what color my toothbrush is, I put that energy into helping the kids decide on their toothbrushes. A much more momentous decision, believe me.

  3. Hmm, after thirty-eight years on earth I finally chose a favorite color: purple, which my current toothbrush happens to be. Maybe I should stick with it from now on.

  4. Hey, girls! Well, whenever I try to "make things happen" I usually get completely stressed and eventually end up realizing that God's in control and I'm so glad I'm not!

    Toothbrush color ... hmm ... that reminds me, I better go brush.

  5. Good morning, ladies, and congratulations on your new blog. (Thanks for the invite, Gina!)

    Was just reading last night about seizing those God moments, when He whispers a call to action in our hearts, and having the courage to run with it. I've certainly tried, but I desire to do so more consciously going forward.

    A green and white toothbrush, the one I bought for my husband, but he used my pink and purple one before I had a chance.

  6. Good point, Melanie. Yesterday my pastor's wife said that we need to stop presenting our plans to God and asking Him to bless them. Instead, we need to ask what His plans are.

    On the other hand, once we know what His plans are, we certainly need to put those into in point, researching, writing, and editing a novel.

  7. Hmmm... I'm going to have to go look at my toothbrush. I think it's green, but I can't remember. How's that for terrible powers of observation?
    This is gonna be fun, girls!

  8. Wishing you ladies the best on your new blog! Toothbrush color? Pink right now. I don't care what color though as long as no one else in my family has it! Serious question~ um probably about a week and a half ago when I realized if I wanted an agent I'd better get on the ball and start querying again. BTW I always wondered why people wrote out their emails like this!!

  9. Fun blog! Gonna bookmark it as soon as I answer . . .

    Serious -- my current take is pray, snatch the inspiration He gives me, and run. Eventually the rest of the world will catch up. =)

    Non-serious -- pink, though it's my LEAST favorite color. Came in a two-pack with a green one, and I didn't figure my hubby would approve if I left HIM with the Barbie-colored one . . . I usually go for purple or green, though.

    Roseanna at Roseanna White dot com.

  10. Serious - That's hard to answer. I determined a long time ago that I would make life happen. My biggest problem is sometimes getting ahead of God.

    Non-Serious - Red. It's my favorite color, so no matter what color toothbrushes everyone else has, they know the red one is mine.

  11. Cool stuff guys! I'm Dina's daughter Christi!
    christi sleiman

  12. Good thought PatriciaW. I'm afraid I've passed by a lot of the opportunities God has presented me with because I was either too busy, or too focused on doing my own thing. I definitely need a tune-up at times! The kind where I tune-in to God's plans.

  13. You KNOW I'm gonna expect a poem everyday now, girls.

    Love the blog.

  14. Question 1: I don't understand this question. Maybe understanding will happen here soon. I'm waiting.

    Question 2: It's pink and ... purple I think, and white. It's a very NICE toothbrush, my freebie from the dentist. I'm extremely fond of it and, considering they found no cavities, it cost $145 so I treat it better than my car...which is worth LESS.

  15. Mary, we're going to have poetry day the last Friday of each month, but I'll leave a few lines everyday in the comments if you promise to visit.

    Also, come back and visit for my review of Love Poems from God on Sept. 15. I'll definitely be quoting some awesome poetry that day.

  16. great blog, ladies! looks so good...and promises so much! i will take it on assumption that i'm entered into any and all giveaways/freebies from here on out? :)

  17. What a beautiful new blog!! Congrats, ladies!!

    Well, I've been thinking (and sorta waiting) on something to happen, but just realized I need to get my act in gear to take a few steps in that direction. And since this is still something I'm not positive about, I'm not sharing it yet. :)

    But I will share that my toothbrush is...well, it's either green or purple. Or maybe blue. My powers of observation aren't too great today, either. But those are the usual colors. And I like pink, too, but it's harder find. :)

  18. cool stuff! I am a friend and fan of Dina's and absolutely love her book Dance of the Dandelion. I was one of the first readers who also got to edit - which I love doing!

    ...which, I know, you are going to shoot me, but I noticed a couple of typos in the first paragraph up there, and since this is for readers...well, I can't help myself. "Frequent" should read "frequently" and "anyoo" in the fourth paragraph should have an "h" to make it "anyhoo," or also spelled "anywho"?

    I know! You must hate me. :) Glad you have all found each other.

  19. Good morning! I am on the way out the door to take kids to school, but had to pop in. Just brushed with my green toothbrush. I'm like Roseanna in the toothbrush department, sharing a package with hubby. Except I buy a 10-pack at Costco, pull out two at a time, and whichever color isn't pink goes to hubby.

    Dina, I have been working on the same thing your pastor discussed yesterday, discerning what God's plans are and falling into line with them, not making up my own and asking Him to bless them. It's a struggle of my will!

    Then of course, there's the work that follows. (Like the WIP sitting at my elbow...)

  20. I remember my son, many moons ago when in high school, saying, If I'm supposed to have a summer job, it'll find me. And find him, it did. He's grown to be a leader, something I'm not. I'm more of a follower, so I'm usually content to wait for life to find me. But no editors or agents have been busting down my door, so I guess I'll have to pursue them. :-)

    My toothbrush is boring white (battery operated!) with a small pink ring. Hubby's ring is green, so we can tell them apart.

    Great beginning, ladies. I look forward to the future being among such a wide variety of talent.

    nvgrams at yahoo dot com

  21. Susanne, you'll love my devo on Sunday.

    Jen, glad to see my personal editor in for a visit to Inktropolis. No wonder my agent said my novel was one of the "cleanest" submissions she's ever seen, huh. Jen's also my personal composer by the way. She does the music for the lyrics I write for my husband's work and she's awesome!

    I confess I also saw the "anyoo" but not the "frequent." I just figured it was Gina's creativity at work.

  22. Gina freely admits spelling and spell-checking isn't her spiritual gift. Do notice I fixed my errors.

    Welcome, ladies!

    I would have stopped in sooner, but I had to pick up oldest son from a slumber party and stop at Wal-Mart to (no joke) buy cat food.

    Serious answer: Read my blog post.

    Non-serious answer: I'm pretty sure it's light neon green, although I usually color-coordinate toothbrushs with my kids' favorite colors.

    On Sunday I bought Contigo water bottles for the family. Took me four hours to finally purchase them becuase I needed specific colors for specific family members. Plus I wanted the cheapest price. When one has 5 children, one must consider cost and colors. And since Lisa mentioned cleaning house, I'd better get to work.

  23. Umm, Gina meant to say spelling and spell-checking AREN'T her spiritual gifts.

    To chase a rabbit....

    How is it so many of you have NO IDEA what color your toothbrush is? My assumption is you change so frequently that you don't remember.

    Seems we need a Toothbrush Time-Out.

  24. I'm so excited to be a part of this group! Such fun (and funny) ladies who are passionate about Christ and about books and words.

    I'm with Debra on the toothbrush thing--whatever my dentist hands out!

  25. Lovely blog ladies. You've done an amazing job on the new blog.

  26. Welcome to all our visitors! I've had the chance to get to know these women over the last couple of months after seeing their names on the contest final lists. I'm blessed to be part of this because I've seen their hearts for Jesus and their desire to use their words for Him. Of course, we kid around a lot but I think you'll all be blessed from time-to-time, too.

    As for my serious question. I've decided that yes, I sit and wait for life to happen to me every Jan and Feb. Time to hunker down, watch for snowstorms and await the new season of Masterpiece Theater. Long about spring I'm back on my feet and running.

    To our guest Jennifer - as you can see writer does not equal speller.
    Know any good editors? or is that editers? :)

  27. Hey ladies, I finally made it over! Glad to see all the activity here. Now, for the questions...

    Serious Q - My problem isn't waiting for stuff to happen, it's trying to MAKE it happen. I've just recently gotten to a place where I feel at peace when handing things over to God and saying, "Okay, in your time, Lord." This was NOT easy and I don't know how long it will last. God may have to drop another brick on my head in the future...

    Non-serious Q - Right now, the toothbrush is orange. I buy them in packs of 12 at Costco. Whatever color comes up is what I use.

    Be blessed, y'all!

  28. Hey Inkies and all you awesome visitors,

    I've never really had to wait for life to happen, but I'm swamped trying to deal with the life that does happen! :)

    The toothbrush question is perfect because I just experienced being without one for almost 24 hours. :) I went to Lake Cumberland, Ky. for some R&R with some gal pals from church. Left my orange and white brush at home and picked up a purple and white brush in Kentucky. My roomies were quite happy.

    Smile today and boost another's spirit.

  29. All this talk of toothbrushes reminds me I need to schedule fall cleanings for the family.

    Don't forget tomorrow begins our Non-Fiction Theme of the Week-ish.

  30. Serious question: Right now my task is to wait. To wait on God to take us to the next part of our lives, in His timing. So that's what I'm doing. I think being told to wait is just about the hardest task God can give us.

    Non-serious: It's purple, duh! Anyone who spends more than 10 minutes with me knows that nearly everything I own is purple. Too bad I couldn't get my laptop in purple. And yes, I always buy a purple toothbrush! I even have an eggplant purple Chevy Equinox. That my hubby picked out all by himself! I was not with him and I thought it was actually burgundy until I saw it the first time.

    Email is rachel at rachelwilder dot net

  31. I am so hyped to be a part of this new blog! Welcome fellow inkies and what did Gina call the rest of you...oh yes...inkites. LOL Different.

    Ques #1 - I've known for a long time if I wanted something to happen, I'd have to do it by myself. Nothing gets done if... oh... he he ... thought I was talking to my kids for a minute there...
    Sometimes I wait... sometimes I make things happen. It depends on what the Lord lays on my heart and how much pressure He puts on it. :)

    Quest #2 - I think it's teal and white. It's in my drawer and no one touches it.

    *sigh* It's so nice to see everyone here today.

  32. I am a reader, not a writer, but this sounds like one way to branch out. Q. 1 Probably last week when I turned 65 (I don't feel that old.) Q 2 Pink--yes, because our dentist only gives us two and my husband doesn't like pink for his. :)

  33. I pick pink because my husband's is green. He gets first grab, and he wouldn't take pink if it were the last toothbrush on the planet.

    What can I say? He's a guy.

  34. Hey blog-sisters...I'm finally here. I've been working all day, and it wouldn't be very nice to do blog stuff from work. It looks like you've had a great day.

    Serious question: A few years ago when I realized my husband had no interest in traveling, and I have a huge list of places to see. And even though I was terrified to go on a plane, I've been able to go on a vacation every year since then. I will confess I usually go by train, though.

    Non-serious toothbrush question...I like the fat toothbrushes that usually come in bright pink or lavender. I sure couldn't tell you which one I'm using at the moment, though. I think it's lavender.

  35. nifty blog - wandered here via Anita Mae's blog. (yay Anita! - i'm working on being her little mote of encouragement that isn't family related)

    on the Serious Q: I tend to wait in general - but if there's a serious itch, I'll begin scratching to get the ball rolling, so to speak)

    Fun Q: white electric with inter-changeable brush heads. blue band on the brush head I use. Not sure if hubby uses the other one. he's got two other brushes (green and blue - the blue is in the downstairs bathroom - a just in case brush? dunno)
    I like the way the circular head tickles my teeth as it spins. Is that TMI?

    the blog is officially bookmarked. looking forward to seeing how the Lord uses you ladies to inspire and bless others.

  36. Whoo-hoo!!! Great blog! And such a fun place to be. Congrats, ladies, on your debut!!!

    Toothbrush? I usually pick blue -- my fav color.

    Waiting for life to happen? You mean when I'm trying to make the plot for a story come together? The one I'm working on now has me pulling out my hair. I'll be bald by ACFW!

    Hope to see you all in Denver!

  37. Nice blog. Cool ladies. I'm a friend of Gina's. She often keeps me feeling pretty sane whenever I hear about her five kids and keeping them all going.

    Serious Question: Way too many to list. However, a pattern I've noticed is that I usually wait for something to happen when I am afraid to do something I know I should but really don't want to do. So, I stew and fret and refuse to sleep. And windows and doors open and I get knocked on the head several times until I finally give up and say "Okay, okay, I hear ya God." Then I go do it and it's never as bad as I think. Too bad I rarely remember that the next time. :)

    Non-serious: Toothbrush is blue and purple now, and it is my usual choice if it's available. Though occasionally I go for green to be different. Even though green is my favorite color I don't often choose it for my toothbrush.

  38. Congrats on a great blog. I will be sure to visit it often.
    serious: Actually I feel like I have do something to make his plan for me work, but can't figure out what he wants me to do, keep feeling like I am being told to wait patiently. Waiting is not my best thing.
    Non Serious: I use a childs toothbrush, they fit these plastic teeth better and I just grab the first one on the hook, current one is red and yellow crayola.
    Will you be inviting people to become members?
    Lois Perepelitz
    Coronation Alberta, Canada

  39. Living in two places for such a long time began to "tell" on us. Taking a step of faith in the direction that the Lord seemed to be leading has helped us to realize that things begin to happen in our lives AS we are "living and moving and having our being" just as much as in the "be still and know" times! We now live on a small farm. Surprise, surprise!

    My toothbrush is a lovely shade of turquoise, but I just choose what I like when I buy!

  40. Anita Mae's blog prompted me to come and take a look. You have made a wonderful start. Such enthusiasm and creativity. I'm sure I will be a regular visitor.

    My 94-year-old mother's favourite joke is to ask: "Do you know what makes God laugh?" Answer: "Tell him your plans."

    But who's to say how our plans were initiated in the first place? I believe we have to work with the talents we have been given. As long as we do that, God won't laugh.

    Serious Q: My most recent point of decision happened eight years ago. I had retired hoping to finally find time to fulfil my dream of writing, we moved to another province, and my husband died -- all within five months. For a time, the stress quotient of that year caused me to freeze with uncertainty. But I didn't wait around for long. I realised that it was up to me to find out if I was really supposed to be a writer, which in turn would set my course to move on to a new chapter in my life. When my writing life began to develop, I found that I had indeed turned the next corner.

    Non-serious Q: My travel toothbrush is always blue, and because I'm not at home right now, I can only say I think my regular toothbrush is also blue, because that's the colour I always intend to buy.

    All the best with your new blog!

  41. Forgot to include my email address:


  42. Beautiful blog! I'm so excited to subscribe! Blessings on you all!


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We, the ladies of Inkwell Inspirations, would love to give free stuff to everybody. Since we can't, we will often have a giveaway in conjunction with a specific post. Unless otherwise stated, one winner will be drawn from comments left on that post between the date it was published and the end of the giveaway as determined in the post. Entries must be accompanied by a valid email address. This address is used only to contact the commenter in the event that he/she is the winner, and will not be sold, distributed, or used in any other fashion. The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. NO PURCHASE, PLEDGE, OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. ALL FEDERAL, STATE, LOCAL AND MUNICIPAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.