Friday, July 29, 2016

A Busy Year for the Idaho Creative Authors Network

Whew!  It’s been a while since I have been on here! But do you wanna know why, huh? Do you wanna know why?!  This summer has been super busy with writing books and finishing books and helping others get their books out there and making the Idaho Creative Authors Network’s name known!  Those are all great things!! Do I wish there were more hours in the day and the energy to go with it? You bet I do!  But I am so thankful for the opportunities that have been presented to us this year! 

In June, the Idaho Creative Authors Network had an opportunity to be a part of the Old Fort Boise Days in Parma, Idaho. This was our first outdoor event so there was a new formula we had to create for times such as this. That is one thing we have learned as a team. We have hosted writing conferences and now there is not a lot of planning that has to go into it; it is just a formula that we plug in and each one of us knows our duties for the day and how things will be set up.   It took participating in two events (the second was the Ontario Saturday Market Author Day) for us to get that formula dialed in for outdoor situations. You have more elements to consider such as the weather (I will talk more about this in a later blog).

We were blessed this year as far as being able to make contacts and encourage others in their writing journey.   There are so many people out there that want to write but don’t know what the next step is! Our friend, Phyllis, did a great job making a board that says: We Have Answers! And yes we do!  We can help writers become authors and it is such a great feeling – for us AND them!  Our trusty right hand woman, Kimbre, came to our last event and showed us older ladies the new live stream videos you can take from your phone so we all did our first live advertisement for ICAN. What a thrill! 
Well, our year is not over. We have a lot coming up in the next  six months so get your pens and calendars out now to write these upcoming events down.

NEXT WEEK:  Saturday August 6th, the Idaho Creative Authors Network is hosting a Book Extravaganza at the Maple Grove Grange Hall in Boise, Idaho located at 11692 West President Drive from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be close to 20 tables filled with over 50 books by local authors! We have been so fortunate to have the community provide situations for us to make ourselves known that we want to give back to the author community and let them have that same opportunity. 

NOVEMBER 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. we are hosting a Holiday Gift and Book Emporium at the Cloverdale Reception Center at 1200 N. Cloverdale Road in Boise, Idaho. This is a perfect time to come and pick up some unique Christmas gifts for those on your shopping list.

NOVEMBER 5th is also our SECOND Annual Treasure Valley Writers’ Fest and Writing contest from 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the same Cloverdale Reception Center.  We have the privilege of having three special speakers: Award-winning author, Conda Douglas, will be speaking on Writing Short to Succeed, Author and Marketing Strategist, Angela Strong, will be helping us understand the Marketing process better and Senior Accountant, Jaime Redfern, will be helping us comprehend The Business Side of Writing. This is a first-class event you will NOT want to miss. Along with the speakers, the ICAN team will be sharing writing tips which will spark your interest to ask questions to our panel at the end of evening. We will have a beautifully catered meal as well as an awards ceremony for our writing contest winners. The deadline to send in your contest submission is October 1st. Visit Eventbrite  to see the categories and guidelines for the contest.  

DECEMBER 10th three of the ICAN members will be reading their children’s books at the Ontario Community Library at 388 SW 2nd Avenue in Ontario, Oregon from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Sheila Eismann will be there to read her book, The Christmas Tin. Carol Green will be reading her book, Gary Learns to Skate, and I will be there to read my new children’s book The Battle for Christmas.  So be sure to bring your children and grandchildren! 

We look forward to seeing you all and helping you along your writing journey!

Doing things the ICAN way - with a little bit of class and a little bit of style!


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Write on Schedule!

According to Merriam-Webster, any writers’ friend, the definition of schedule [noun] is: 
·                     a plan of things that will be done and the times when they will be done 
·                     a written or printed list of things and the times when they will be done. 

If you are currently working on a literary project or manuscript: 
·                     Do you have a writing schedule?   
·                     Is it written or printed out? 
·                     Which do you prefer — a certain time frame or a specific number of words? 
·                     Are you able to adhere to your schedule? 
·                     What happens when the wheels fall off your writing plan? 

I adhered more strictly to a writing schedule after embarking upon my first western fictional novel, Book One of The Sabblonti Series titled Janzti’s Jokers.  Due to physical limitations, it was easier for me to work for a certain period of time on the days my schedule permitted as opposed to trying to set a goal of a certain number of words.  Now that I am penning Book Two of the series, I am implementing that practice as well.  Just for grins, I record the number of words on a small yellow lined tablet stored close to my computer.   

Prior to writing fiction, I authored primarily inspirational books along with some poetry.  If I had to take extended breaks between writing those genres, it did not seem like it took much to “get back in the river”, so to speak.  Experiencing quite a few interruptions or having to be absent from Jantzi Belle and the cattle crew in my fictional novel proved to be far more challenging as I would have to retrace my steps and figure out where I left off the last time my fingers touched the keyboard. 

Stephen Covey’s sage advice comes to mind, “the key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” 

I recently started blogging and have found that I enjoy it far more than I thought I would.  One thing that has kept me on track is a blogging calendar.  Businesses typically give out calendars at the beginning of each year, so I pressed one of those into service for my new found writing interest.  Granted, it’s easier to use a calendar for blogging as most posts are short and to the point.  A novel consisting of 80,000 to 140,000 words can seem far more daunting.  

Times and seasons can also affect our writing schedules.  As I am typing this, it is a glorious spring day in the mountain west complete with a gentle breeze, bright sunshine, blue sky, and the birds chirping outside my office window.  When the thermometer registers 35 degrees Fahrenheit, the wind is howling, and it’s snowing sideways, it’s much easier to sit at a computer and hammer out mega words. 

Let’s consider some things which may help to increase your writing capacity: 

·                     Determine what is your optimum time of day wherein you are most productive, and strive to use that block of time for your writing endeavors 
·                     Take a long and short look at your calendar.  Mark off some specific days that are set aside just for writing such as you would do for a doctor appointment. 
·                     Analyze your daily routine to see if you can rearrange it to carve out more time for writing.  For instance, if you have household chores or other things for which you are responsible and you normally do those in the morning, flip your schedule, and do those in the afternoon which frees up your morning to write. 
·                     Assess your writing style.  Are you trying to edit as you write?  If so, this may be cutting into your initial productivity.  Granted, there are different opinions on this matter.  Some writers deem it’s best to get their thoughts down on paper and edit afterwards whereas others edit as they go.  Different strokes for different folks. 
·                     Some authors outline their manuscript ahead of time while others bemoan even the very suggestion of such a thing. 
·                     Try talking a walk before you write to unleash the creativity within. 
·                     Mothers with young children can sometimes find another mother with young children and work out a shared arrangement to free up time for each other. 
·                     Comparing yourself to other writers and their schedules is counterproductive.  Do what works for you. 
·                     Join a small writer’s group where the members can assist and encourage you. 
·                     Book fairs, signings, and related events are wonderful incentives to help keep your writing flowing.  Endeavor to associate with writing clubs or organizations which conduct events as this will help you achieve your goal of getting your book published in a timely manner.   
·                     Reward yourself for achieving your writing goals.  This could be something as simple as a pretty bookmark, a fellow author’s book, a canister of your favorite tea, etc.  The higher end, of course, would be that trip to the Bahamas or elsewhere that you have always wanted to take.   

I would like to hear from you as to what suggestions you have for fellow writers as to how to stay on schedule, increase productivity, reach your writing and publishing goals, and live happily ever after in the process. 

Happy Reading & Writing.  Write On!

 Visit Sheila's blog, Sheila's Segacious Stirrings and find out more about  Sheila and her books at

Friday, April 1, 2016

Guest Blogger Introduction - Sheila Eismann

Meet Guest Blogger, Sheila Eismann, third in her family lineage of five female authors, speakers and poets, who endeavors to be an encourager with a sense of humor. Sheila's newest release, Jantzi's Jokers, is her first work of fiction, Book One of The Sabblonti Series. The Sabblonti cattle empire, run by matriarch, Jantzi Bell, fights for survival when life takes a drastic turn after Jantzi receives a late night visitor. Other books by Sheila are: Heart to Heart from God's Word - Daily Encouragement for You which doubles as a yearly devotional and prayer journal and Stirrings of the Spirit, which chronicles ten true life stories of God's miraculous intervention in the lives of many people. These are showcased along with Sheila's other literary works at and

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Secrets Kept

By JoEllen Claypool

Brown like muddy water, churning under
trampling feet,
Causing minds to race in circles;
“What’s the truth today?”
The heart struggling to keep beating,
Pumping blood hard as every vessel desires to shut
Wondering, always wondering.
Nowhere safe to cry.
Nowhere safe to turn.
Put on a smile,    SECRETS  KEPT
Keep moving,   SECRETS  KEPT
Breathe . . . . . Breathe . . . . . Breathe . . . . .


Colors of Life


Life starts out white, clean and pure
Adding more colors as we journey and tour.
Yellow colors fun filled days,
Warming our hearts like the sun’s beautiful rays.
Blue brings me peace, when I see cloudless skies
Those days are just for me and my spirit flies.
Green fills my senses like fresh cut grass;
Renewed, life seeming as smooth as glass.
Pink is soft like quiet times at home
Enjoying the silence and letting thoughts roam.
Red is busy, ferocious and mean.
When I am seeing red, there’s always a scene.
Black engulfs us in our darkest hours;
No escape, no light, anxiety towers
Gray comes, the darkness is leaving.
Giving me hope and keeping me believing
That happier times again I will hold.

The rainbow of life supplies me with gold. 

By JoEllen Claypool

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Let Them In

By JoEllen Claypool

When life brings us down,
When nothing seems right,
We become convinced
Life’s only a fight.

We feel we don’t count.
We think we don’t matter.
Wonderin’ where we fit in
Just makes us sadder.

But then someone smiles.
They try to reach out.
They try to teach us
What love is about.

We reject them at first.
We don’t want to trust.
But to change our life,
We know that we must.

We must let them in
We must take a chance.
Perhaps life is not
A fight but a dance.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


We were singing a song in church last Sunday. It is not one I am particularly fond of. I know, that sounds sacrilegious, doesn’t it? I smiled as they congregation started singing it, I closed my eyes, and focused on the words.   By the time we were done singing, I was praising God in my heart for the message he had given to me through that song. 

It was calling women from the church to minister to broken hearts, assuring them of God’s healing power!  It reminded me of the impact we can make for God’s Kingdom in the lives of other women. As a pastor’s wife, I see many hurting women walk through the doors of the church. I see how overwhelming life can be for them. They need a listening ear, someone who can show them where the healing begins.

This section of scripture has proved itself true over and over in my life. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7(KJV) Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

I have been able to recognize that the reason I have gone through certain tribulations was so that I could be equipped to help women who have come across my path that are going through the same situation.  I was able to relate to them on a more personal level. I was able to encourage them to keep going and that they were going to be victorious in the end! We all need to be encouraged.

I was having a hard time understanding verse 6 wondering how  our affliction could be for the consolation and salvation of others until I had dinner with a new friend one night. She had been in a horrible car accident when she was a teenager. I asked her if she had ever asked God, “Why?” Without hesitating, she told me that she hadn’t ever questioned it and later found out that because of her story, other people came to salvation. It all came together!  My husband has reminded me a couple of times through our trials that people would be watching how we would react. That seems like a lot of pressure at times, but when you consider how it may impact another person’s life and walk with God, it is worth being under that pressure.

Make an impact in your own sphere of influence! Lately God has given me the awesome opportunity of making an impact in the lives of children, many of them little girls (our future women. I love that God has given me the privilege of being able to introduce these little ones to the Lover of their souls and look forward to watching them grow so that they can their faith with others!


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