Stephanie Hurt – Author/Accountant/Children's Minister

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Easter Celebration Book Sale!

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Good Morning Everyone! Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter early… As you can see from the picture above, I’m having a Easter Sale of all my books on Amazon. Even the 3 book and 2 book sets are only $1 each. Of course I have to correct my Amazon pages because it only shows $1.99. I think I was half asleep when I changed the settings.

I hope everyone has a restful, fun, exciting Easter weekend. Remember to celebrate the Ressurection on Sunday and spend some time with your family. Hopefully all the kiddies will have sunny weather for the many Easter egg hunts this weekend. 

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You…


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Struggle for Writing Time!

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Do you have a hard time finding quality writing time? Do you struggle for a few minutes a day to put your thoughts and stories on paper? Does life, career and just general everyday chores get in the way? Well, if you’re a writer, it’s a real possibility that this has happened to you.

For me it’s a constant struggle. If you’re not ready to be a full time writer, then of course you have a job which takes up a lot of your weekday time. Not all of us have the luxury of writing being our full time job. That would be nice, but most writers are inevitably part time writers. But can we even go as far as calling ourselves part time writers. Let’s get real with the numbers. If you have a part time job, then it’s considered less than 30 hours a week. Most of us, me included, get less than 10 hours a week to actually sit down and write.

Oh yeah, then you have the need for quality writing time. This is time when it’s just you and your writing. There’s no outside interruptions, just you and your laptop or pad and pen, whichever is your preference. 

Do we have the obedience to make the time happen everyday? Even if you have obedience, life can take over and throw that in the trash can. Let’s be truthful, it happens, so get over it. But, does it help to set aside time. Maybe even discuss it with family and state, “This is my writing time, so don’t interrupt me for an hour or so.” *Laughing uncontrollably* Sorry, but it doesn’t happen that way. 

For me I try to schedule my writing time in the mornings after my son gets on the bus and my hubby leaves for work. It’s quiet except for the news low in the background. I also write at night as the family watches television. That way they’re into what’s on the tube while I write away. Some people ask how I concentrate with the tv in the background, well, it’s called totally immersed in my manuscript. Most of the time when I’m totally into a piece, I can get lost completely. I shut out everything in the background and it’s as if I’ve entered my characters world. If I’m having concentration issues, I just put on head phones and listen to one of my playlists. I say one of them, because it’s according to what I’m writing that decides the playlist. I have several by the way. 

So, do you struggle for writing time? How do you set your times, or does life set it for you?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Strong Characters

Good tax day morning… Let’s just say if you haven’t filed yet, you don’t have long. I’m counting down the hours until midnight. 

Now on to the post of the day. How would you rate your characters? Do you have weak ones, strong ones, or maybe those that start out weak and become strong? Well that’s the question of the day. Which characters do you consider strong?

When I get my character list together, I try to have at least one character that’s strong. Maybe they’re able to deal with any crisis or even help others deal with crisis. In my writing I try to make the strong characters inspiring. I want readers to be inspired by the strength in some of my characters. 

In Faith Through The Tears, Randy has to lean on his faith to keep strong for his two daughters. He fights with the weakness of his emotions when he loses the love of his life. But inevitably his strength pulls him together. He’s human and his strength waivers, but he does find his strength through the immense faith he has.

In Victoria, she’s the one that struggles to hold things together. Even with the Civil War all around them she keeps up her strength. But even the strongest character has weak moments. 

Then you have Lily, the main character in A Love Never Lost. She’s independent and strong willed. She knows what she wants and goes for it, even when her heart wants her to stay with Zane. Eventually her strength is tested, but she holds it together.

I love to read a romance with a strong character. It always inspires me to be stronger than I am. Do you have a character that’s strong? 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday, Monday, Monday

As I sit here sipping my 2nd cup of coffee trying to get my eyes to stay open, I notice the clouds moving in. Yep, we’re expecting rain here in the south today. I had a busy but wonderful weekend. Saturday was the Easter Egg hunt at our Church. That was really fun, but lots of work. It was worth it. Then yesterday was my hubby’s birthday. Also after Church several members (including my family) got the sanctuary ready for Easter and the Spring season. Considering our Church is three stories, yep I got my exercise. No need to work out today.

For all my American friends tomorrow is the last day of non extension tax season. That means I’ll be slammed with tax work today and tomorrow, but I’m taking the last three days of this week off. I plan to get some writing in that has been put to the wayside for the last couple of weeks. 

This is a reminder to all my writer friends. Make sure that you claimed your royalties and the expenses that you had. Don’t forget all those advertising sites, production fees, programs purchased to help with your writing, computers and printers, website fees, dues and subscription fees for all those sites you joined, and the many more expenses we writers incur in a year. If you received a 1099 for your royalties, don’t ignore them because the IRS won’t.

Hope everyone has a blessed Monday and don’t forget to smile today, it’s your day so make it over the moon!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Friday morning…keep the coffee coming

Well tax season is almost over for the most part. Only 5 days left of the regular season and boy am I ready for a break. I have all of these characters screaming in my head to be released, but time just hasn’t permitted much writing time this week. I walked into my house last night at 8:35 and grabbed a ice cream bar, then collapsed on the couch. I never even picked up my laptop.

As a writer we need to have that time to let the characters spinning in our head to express themselves. They tend to get really noisy when we don’t. As I laid my head down on the pillow last night, my characters were screaming in my head. Somehow, I guess through exhaustion, I pushed them into a quiet space and gave them a time out. I did promise them that starting Wednesday they’d have full reign.

So, as I sit here giving myself a little social media time, I also sip my 2nd cup of coffee. The day is starting off as a gorgeous, sun filled day. I’d love to just grab my laptop, find a shady spot in my yard and write the day away, but taxes are calling. 

Hope everyone has some really great plans for the weekend. As for me I put on my Children’s Minister hat tomorrow. It’s our annual Easter egg hunt. I can’t wait. I get so excited for the kids. I remember so vividly how much fun that egg hunt was. But as soon as I get home it’s back to tax returns, yep it’s that last few days crunch time. Hey, not complaining, that’s what I went to college to do, right? Ok, so I have to keep reminding myself of that. But it would be nice to just sit down everyday and write. Sales have got to get better before I do that :)

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The delete button is painful…

Ok, how many of you have had to hit the delete button? If you’ve ever worked on a computer you’ve eventually hit the delete button. Some of you are probably wondering what I’m talking about. Well, for a writer, delete can be a dreaded, horribly painful button. Your finger hovers over it fighting with you not to do. Your finger screams “NOOOOO”, but eventually you force it to do what you’ve told it to do.

Now, let’s get past my dramatic description to the meaning of this post. I was working the other day on one of my books when I hit a brick wall. The unfortunate thing about this brick wall is it was very high and wide, no way around it. Suddenly the story just ended suddenly. What do you do when you hit that dreaded brick wall in a story? Is it too early to end the story, or do you just end it there?

Well, in some instances the story just ends there, but what happens when you know the story needs to go further in this book? If it’s a part of a series, well you just start the new book on the other side of the wall, but if it’s a stand alone, well, you’ve got to get past that wall. But how?

I sat staring at my screen, unable to think about the inevitable. After much thought and wondering what happened, I finally took a look at my outline. I was confused because it was going along so well and then I ran smack into a wall. Why? Then as I read down the many lines of my outline I realized what I’d done. Duh!!! Ok, so I’m blonde, I’m given at least one, maybe two blonde moments in a day. What I’d done was skip a couple of pivotal story line turns. For some reason I’d totally jumped over some very important happenings in the book. I’d actually skipped several chapters. 

You may be saying, how on earth did you do that? Well, if you’re a writer you may be saying, yep, been there done that. That night I didn’t start writing until late in the evening after a long day of tax return preparation. I was exhausted and just wanted to get lost in my manuscript. That’s the problem, I got lost in my own manuscript. Sometimes when you’re really tired, you just need to step back and do something else. Maybe design a cover or work on some character descriptions, but beware if you step into a manuscript.

I had to delete three chapters, yes you read it right, three whole chapters. I’d totally skipped several chapters of important parts that would lead correctly up to the end of the book. My brain had literally skipped some of the main plot rendering parts of the manuscripts. As I read through what I’d typed it began to become obvious. All I could do was delete.

You may be asking why I didn’t copy the work and then paste into the end after I entered the needed work. Well, the ending I’d typed did not actually go along with the missing work. That’s another reason I map out the work that comes into my brain. If life steps in and walks all over my memory, well then I have some reminders written into the outline. It totally saved the manuscript. Needless to say, it will take a little longer to finish, but at least it will be complete as it should be, not just a quick ending to the story.

So, a little piece of advice. If you need some help with your manuscripts flow, sit back and take a deep breath. Then try out an outline, it really saved me this time and definitely saved the story.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Do you dream about your books?

I can’t help but smile when I ask this question. As a matter of fact I dreamed of one story line last night. When my alarm went off this morning I was working on the turn that one of my books is taking. What’s funny is in my dreams the turn was easily taken, but when my fingers hover over the keys sometimes it’s more difficult.

My newest book “Finding The Right Time” came to me in a dream. I could see the start and finish clearly. The middle was a little fuzzy, but I knew how it would start and eventually how it would end. What’s frustrating is I usually wake up before the books finish.

In my dreams I can see my characters clearly as though they’re real. Well, in a sense they are real to me and I want them to be real to my readers. If I don’t bring about a realness of my characters, how can I expect my readers to make a connection with them. So when I dream of my characters I try to jot down every detail I remember when I wake up.

It’s crazy how the writer’s mind works. I think a writer has a extra brain cell because our brains work over time. 

Have you dreamed up one of your books before? Tell me about it, I’d love to hear the story.

As always, good writing and May God bless you…

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