Friday, December 27, 2013 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Mistakes are lessons of wisdom.
                                   - Hugh White
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 | By: The Write Way Cafe

The Write Way Café would like to wish you and yours 
a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 20, 2013 | By: The Write Way Cafe
Help someone who can't return the favor.
- Author Unknown
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | By: Lynn

Love Your Writing

It's Christmas time and I could talk about Christmas traditions, Christmas magic, Christmas spirit. The season offers a lot of opportunity for reflection.

But what I'm going to discuss is a Christmas book, The Littlest Angel, and its impact on me years ago.

According to the front page of the book, The Littlest Angel was written in 1939 at the request of Screen Guild producers, who asked Charles Tazwell to "write something" as a backup plan if one of the guild's productions fell through. The crisis that it was created to avert never happened but the story aired on a Christmas radio show. In 1946, the book was released by Childrens Press of Chicago. The story was presented in various forms over the years, from radio, to book, to magazine, to record, to a Hallmark Hall of Fame production in 1969.

A brief summary of the story:

Many, many years ago, a four-year-old boy entered heaven. From his first step into paradise he upset the heavenly peace with his behavior and fairly unangelic antics, though he tried to do what was expected of him. But mostly he missed the things on earth he had enjoyed – trees to climb, streams to fish, and caves to play in – and he longed for the sun and the rain and dark of night and light of dawn.

When he learned of the homesickness the littlest angel was suffering, the Understanding Angel sent a messenger to procure a box of the littlest angel's treasures from earth, and from then on the boy was a happy and angelic angel.

As the birth of baby Jesus approached, the heavens were excited and all angels gathered to place gifts for the holy infant at the feet of God. Even the littlest angel had found a suitable gift and placed it lovingly in the pile of gifts. But when he saw his unsightly box among the other glorious gifts, he felt embarrassed and wanted to take it back and hide it.

When God's hand moved over the selection of gifts, he stopped at the box from the littlest angel. The littlest angel was so afraid as the box was opened and everyone including God saw the gift he offered. It was nothing, he thought. It was simply a butterfly with golden wings, a sky-blue egg, two white stones, and a tooth-marked collar once worn by his dog. He was miserable. To think he'd believed these simple things would be fitting gifts for Jesus.

But God singled out his gifts as the gift that pleased Him most. And the rough, unsightly gift began to glow, rise, and shine brilliantly over the stable where the baby Jesus was born. And all men called it the shining star of Bethlehem.

The message of this book gave me a confidence boost when I was young. It came back to me as an adult, still powerful, and reminded me to be myself and not judge my writing so harshly. We writers give from our hearts and hope others enjoy the stories we create as much as we enjoy writing them. It's important to love our own stories.

I wish you all the blessing of self-actualization, free from harsh self-judgment, this holiday season. May you see the beauty in your gift.

What books have not only entertained you but given you useful insights?

Friday, December 13, 2013 | By: The Write Way Cafe
I think that sometimes the beauty in art is not in the image itself, but in the delayed reaction of the viewer. It is beautiful if it inspires deep emotions in the viewer, including disdain. And partly, too, the beauty is in the courage of the artist—the willingness to explore his or her inner world.
-Rod MacIver

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 | By: HiDee

Ten Gift Suggestions for Your Favorite Writer

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve reviewed Christmas lists from family members on an almost daily basis. Shop, and double-check the list. Shop again, and double-check the list. What can I cross off? What do I still need to find? 

It’s a stressful time for me. You see, I have a Murphy’s law kind of relationship with Christmas shopping. Family members provide their lists to make it easier, but can I find what’s on the lists? Of course not – that would be too easy! The stores either don’t carry the items or they are sold out. Hubby doesn’t understand why it takes me so long to shop. When he goes shopping, I swear the things he’s looking for just magically appear. If I wasn’t also shopping for him, I might drag him along to do all my shopping!

In case you have a Murphy’s law relationship with shopping, too, here are ten suggestions that shouldn’t be difficult to find for YOUR favorite writer! 

1. Amazon gift cards – Who can’t find something they want on Amazon?

2. Moleskin notebooks or blank journal notebooks – I was just a young girl when I received my first “nothing” book. The lure of blank pages was strong, and I filled them with poems and stories. Now I use them to jot down ideas for characters, settings, and plots.

3. Pens – Even though many people have smart phones, laptops, or iPads, I don’t know a writer who doesn’t love a good pen. Sometimes the ideas flow easier with a pen than they do to a keyboard, at least for me.

4. Post-it notes – I love post-it notes! There’s a huge assortment available: small, medium, large; yellow, pastel, or bright colors; lined or unlined. has a variety of options with fun sayings. 

5. Tote bag – I never leave home without a book, and at least a small spiral notepad and pen. Instead of cramming them in my purse, I carry a tote bag. There’s plenty of room for a larger notepad, printed manuscript pages for editing, and even my Kindle Fire. 

6. Portable hard drive and/or USB drive – We all need to back up our work. A USB drive is great for taking files between computers, but a portable hard drive is a better way to back up our manuscripts in case we have computer problems.

7. Office supplies – A calendar-style planner, file folders, pocket folders, binder clips, 3-ring notebook or binders, colored index cards, a whiteboard and dry erase markers are some of the office supplies that come in handy for writers working on their projects. 

8. Manicure – Writers’ hands get a workout, whether they type or write by hand.  A hand massage is often part of a manicure.  I never dreamed my hands could feel so relaxed, but after I used a gift certificate from a co-worker to get a manicure, I decided it was something I should try to do more often!

9. Chocolate or favorite beverages – What better way to bribe the muse when she’s not cooperating?

10. Time – Every writer wishes for more time to work on their projects. In lieu of buying a gift, what can you offer your favorite writer to give her more time? Does she have kids? Offer to watch them for a couple of hours so she can write uninterrupted. No kids? Offer to run errands for her while you're our running your own. 

These suggestions are all a few of my favorite things. What would you add to the list?
Friday, December 6, 2013 | By: The Write Way Cafe
It is always your next move. 
                         - Napoleon Hill
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with Christi Caldwell

Today, the Write Way Café welcomes Christi Caldwell.

How did you come to be a writer?
I had to write a story in 5th grade for a statewide test. I wrote this vivid shipwreck story. I still remember the day my teacher called me up. His mouth was hanging open. He held the paper up and said; “this is amazing”. To me, however, it wasn’t work the way that my peers had seen it but rather, fun. From that moment on, I began writing story after story in my room about  imaginary worlds.

That said; as an adult, it has been a journey into finding the confidence to put my work out there to the public. One of my critique partners, a dear friend, and brilliant author said to me; “I’m going to give you a kick in the pants. It’s time you publish all this great work you have.” So, I am.

Your memoir is very honest and engaging. What did you draw from to share your personal story?
Actually, Uninterrupted Joy never started out as a memoir. I began journaling so that my future child or children would understand what my experience to bring them into this world was like. When I  learned I was infertile, I had a million questions for my mom about her reproductive years and she really didn’t have any information for me. I remember thinking that I wanted some kind of document so that my children could not only learn from, but share in the experience that went into bringing them into this world. My intent in writing changed upon my son’s birth when I learned he had Down syndrome.

What were your goals in sharing your experiences?
Oftentimes, moms and dads of children with special needs are put on this pedestal and made to feel saintlike. I remember when my son was born, crying. A lot. And so many people made me feel guilty for crying and being angry and afraid. I wanted to share my experience so people realize that it’s okay to feel those sentiments; that most (if not all of us) have been there--but the important thing is to not get dragged down in despair. You have to dig deep within yourself and find purpose and determination to give your child every imaginable opportunity.

What kinds of things do you consider your best supports in writing this book and others?
My husband is the key support that allows me to even sit down and write. Being a full time teacher and mother, there would be no time in the world for me to pursue my dream as a writer unless my husband allowed me to do so. He has become the full-time cook and household cleaner just so I can write. And there are so many times when he’ll send me away for a night to a hotel so I can do nothing but write, eat, and sleep.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them?
I had made the decision to publish Uninterrupted Joy several years ago…but things held me back from doing so. The memoir is a very candid look into my personal life and my relationship with friends and family members. For a long time, part of me balked at sharing such intimate details. I began blogging over at Lady Scribes where I freely wrote about my fertility struggles and the joy in raising my son, so gradually, I began to feel more comfortable in sharing the part of my life that is represented in Uninterrupted Joy.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
Not to sound cliché (which means I’m about to be cliché), I look back at my journey to motherhood and marvel at my evolution as a woman. Before I was pregnant, I believe there was an element of naivete that went with my dreams of being a mother. I imagined it wouldn’t be hard. Silly, I know, right? But when the struggle to become pregnant is so hard, you can’t imagine anything being more difficult.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world, and about people in general?
The memoir really forced me to look at myself and the person I was. It highlighted a great deal about my strengths, my weaknesses, and my relationship with others. It is hard to have to confront the reality that before my son, I was not nearly as good a person as I thought I was. That is probably one of the hardest things for me as a mother to a child with special needs.

What are you working on now?
My usual genre is historical romance set in the Regency time period. Believe it or not, I’m working on two full length novels both belonging to different series. I feel like it’s wrong of me to admit that! The first series I’m working on is The Broken Betrothal Series. Book 1; Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride will be released in February.

In addition to that series, I’m working on book 2 in my Brethren of the Lord Series which is kind of a Jane Austen meets Bourne Supremacy. Book 1, Mistress of Deception is complete and I’m nearly finished with Book 2…which is as of now, untitled!

What is one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn?
Hmm…after writing Uninterrupted Joy, I kind of feel like I’m an open book! LOL Sorry for the poor, intended pun. Since the year I concluded my memoir, I underwent eight more rounds of fertility treatments and am now miraculously pregnant on my tenth and final IVF cycle. I’m having two little girls who have been giving me a whole lot of trouble already!

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
My dream job has always been being a mother. I’ve been so blessed to finally be a mother…that if I wasn’t a writer, there is nothing else in the world I would rather do than be home with my child and future children.

CHRISTI CALDWELL blames Judith McNaught's "Whitney, My Love!" for luring her into the world of historical romance. While sitting in her graduate school apartment at the University of Connecticut, Christi decided to set aside her notes and pick up her laptop to try her hand at romance. She believes the most perfect heroes and heroines have imperfections, and she rather enjoys torturing them before crafting them a well deserved happily ever after!

Christi makes her home in southern Connecticut where she spends her time writing her own enchanting historical romances, teaching history, and being a full-time wife and mother!

You can find Christi at:
Twitter:  @ChristiCaldwell

Uninterrupted Joy
Memoir: My Journey through Infertility, Pregnancy, and Special Needs
-- January 2014

Forever Betrothed, Never the Bride 
-- February/March 2014

Links to buy Christi's current work:

A Season of Hope --Regency Christmas Novella

Winning a Lady’s Heart (A Danby novella) -- Available Now

Author's Note: This is a novella that was originally available in A Summons From The Castle (The Regency Christmas Summons Collection). It is being published as an individual novella.