Tommie Lyn



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Tommie Lyn Writes...

Posted by tommielyn on October 29, 2009 at 12:26 AM Comments comments (0)

...about company comin'.

There’s an old song that just went wafting through my brain. It’s by Porter Wagoner, titled “Company Comin’.”

And it reminded me…we’ve got company comin’ to “Tommie Lyn Writes” on Friday, August 21st. I thought I’d give y’all a “heads up” so you could mark it on your calendar (that’s day after tomorrow, by the way).

Our company will be bringing a free gift for one of you lucky readers, so be sure to check the blog on Friday to learn the details (and be in the running to win that free gift). So I’m dustin’ my blog, sweepin’ down the cobwebs, rollin’ out the red carpet, for our guest.

I’ll send out a reminder email Friday, just in case any of y’all are like me and have trouble remembering….

And don’t forget…y’all come see us!

photograph: Stock.xchng


Tommie Lyn Writes...

Posted by tommielyn on October 29, 2009 at 12:17 AM Comments comments (0)

...about growth.

Everything grows: children, puppies, vegetables, piles of dirty laundry…

One thing I’ve been dimly aware of, hoping it’s been growing, too, is my writing ability. And, yes, it has. Somewhat. It may not seem obvious to some (since my writing abilities may not compare favorably with thoseof other writers), but my expertise with using the language—with stringing words together into a vehicle that will carry the images in my mind to the minds of others—has grown.

I wasn’t aware of the extent of the improvement, the growth, until I re-read part of my first novel (the one I have to edit “one more time”) last night. And things I’d never seen before jumped out at me: awkward phrasing, redundancy, poor choice of words…you name it, the poor writing was there. I’d known it needed more work. I just wasn’t aware how much more work it needed.

Even so, I’m not devastated at seeing the lack of stellar writing, only a bit more pressured by the “mountain” of work that lies ahead (hey, I just made a pun…cool!).

Let me ask…how is your writing growing?


photograph: Bev Lloyd-Roberts via stock.xchg

Tommie Lyn Writes...

Posted by tommielyn on October 29, 2009 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

...about writing plays.

Have you ever thought about writing a play? I wouldn’t know where to start.

Back during the first ScriptFrenzy, I did write a screenplay (Crawdads and Co-Colas), and that was quite an experience. But I’ve never been tempted to try writing a play.

Until now.

My mentor, Myra Shofner, will be teaching a free (get that? FREE!) online seminar for local writers soon, “Write the One-Act Play.” Since I have so many on-going projects competing for my time and attention, I was going to let the opportunity slide by. But you know what? I can’t (…as I’ve said before, I’m a pushover when it comes to challenges…hence my participation in NaNoWriMo every year). Yesterday, I broke down and signed up.

So, for those local writers who’ve harbored a secret desire to write a play (and for those who haven’t), here’s your golden opportunity.

The Panhandle Community Theatre is planning the 2010Summer Theatre Festival which will only feature plays by area playwrights. And only writers who’ve completed the online seminar may submit their plays for consideration.

Go to for more information about the seminar. And to sign up, send an email to: writersgalleryms (at) (email address purposely mistyped with (at) instead of @ to foil bots).

The deadline for signing up is August 18th. Don’t miss it.

Image: Stock.xchng



Posted by tommielyn on August 4, 2009 at 7:33 PM Comments comments (1)

...about requests.

When a friend asks me to do something, I try to honor it, if I can. But when two friends (Liberty Speidel: Word Wanderings, and Tamera Kraft: Word Sharpeners) make the same request, I no longer merely try…it becomes imperative to make an effort to follow through. These two friends bestowed on me the “Honest Scrap” award on their blogs…which means ~sigh~ I have to share eight things about myself. (And the fact that the second invitation came today…my birthday…65th birthday at that…well, I don’t believe in omens, you understand…but….) So here goes:

1. As I said in the preceding paragraph, today is my 65th birthday. I’m now officially older than dirt.

2. I was born in Dalton, Georgia, south of Chattanooga, north of Atlanta.

3. I met my hubby at church when I was 14, experienced a classic case of “love at first sight,” and never got over it. We married four years later, when I was 18. And now, I've been married almost 46 years to my best friend and love of my life. God has blessed me.

4. One of the more interesting places where I’ve lived is Okinawa, Japan. Interestingly, before we got orders to Okinawa, I studied Japanese for two years.

5. I took traditional doll making classes while we lived on Okinawa and became a licensed doll maker, and I enjoy other crafts and activities of all kinds: knitting, crocheting, tatting, macrame, pattern drafting, sewing (I even sewed hubby’s Navy uniforms from patterns I drafted myself…and they passed inspection!), drawing, painting, do-it-yourself black-and-white film photography, complete with my own darkroom. I was in a singing group for several years…the Joymakers. I like collecting and polishing gemstones, panning for gold, gardening, landscaping…um…I’ll stop there…I’m getting tired just thinking about all the stuff I’ve done.

6. Hubby and I were a presenting “team couple” in Marriage Encounter for several years.

7. I owned and operated my own computer graphics/animation company, and later co-owned (with hubby) a small printing company.

8. I was valedictorian of my high school class…something I don’t like to talk about.

Whew! I did it! There ya go…the “honest scrap” about me…stuff I’m proud of as well as stuff I’m not.

Now. To drop the other shoe, so to speak…one of the requirements of the Honest Scrap Award is that you are required to pass it on to others. So, here’s the list of my unfortunate victims…er, friends:

Myra Shofner – Myraswritersgallery Blog

Sylvia Melvin – Sylvia’s Scribbles

Shellie Tomlinson - Abiding

Ginny Cruz – Pioneer Poet

Katharine Richardson – Wise Dogs

Nona King – Word Obsession

John Long – Peace Be the Journey

Ray Shoop – Ray Ray’s Blog

Posted by tommielyn on August 4, 2009 at 7:27 PM Comments comments (0)

...about disasters.


Those of us whose lives are involved in our computer usage live with the knowledge that disaster can strike when we least expect it?our faithful (or not so faithful) silicone friend can turn on us, can become an ugly, vindictive monster, wreaking vengeance on us for all the times we've railed at it for not doing what we expected. In short, it can crash. And crash hard.

My "faithful" friend, who would probably have been 97 in human years, died a couple of weeks ago. An annoyance, but not a disaster. At least, that's what I thought at the time. I'd suspected the coughing, the passing out at odd times and the slow gait at which my friend lumbered along the 'net paths, meant the end was near. So a few months ago, I bought an external hard drive, copied everything onto it, and smugly made a religion of CD file backups since that time.

I was covered.

Or so I thought.

My new silicone friend and I are making tentative forays into acquaintance and, I hope, eventually, friendship. Things haven't been as dire as I'd expected. Until this week.

A crit partner discovered three errors in my novel, On Berryhill Road. Yikes!

I loaded my page layout software, pulled out my latest CD backup of my novel files and loaded it...and discovered the font I'd used for chapter headers was not available on my new computer. Sigh. I found the online company which owns the font, plunked down my plastic and bought it. Installed it. Now...ready to go.

But, the first page doesn't look quite right. I page through the document and discover it is now only 207 pages, not the 250 pages it was originally. Huh?? How can that happen?

It can happen when the font of the body text is a different version than the one on your old computer, with different settings for leading (spacing between each line of text of a paragraph). And when the leading cannot be exactly duplicated when you load the file onto a different computer, no matter what adjustments you got problems, honey.

So now, after a search through other typefaces available to me on my new computer, I found one which will give me an approximation of the original font, and I'm going through my document, page by page, changing the font (and for those of you who've never used page layout software, this process isn't at all similar to what you can do in a word processor, which is: select all, choose font, voila!).

Yesterday and today, instead of working on my latest WIP, I'm doing monkey work. Page forward, highlight text, select font. Deselect. Page forward?..

Posted by tommielyn on August 4, 2009 at 7:24 PM Comments comments (0)

...about the power of the written word.

One of the most powerful elements in human interaction is the word. And more specifically, the written word. Our modern world, with its technological advances, would not be possible without reams of written information, inscribed one word at a time. And God chose the medium of the written Word to communicate His will to man, to record what He wanted man to know about Himself.

When I express myself through the spoken word, I don't always do a good job of getting my ideas across. But when I write down what I want to say, I have an opportunity to evaluate my words, to pick and choose which will carry my meaning best, which will transfer the ideas and images in my mind to the minds of those who read my words. I can hone my message until the meaning is as clear as I'm capable of producing.

Since the written word has the potential for great influence, I believe it behooves us as writers, the wielders of pens (or computer keyboards), to make use of every means to hone our abilities. And I believe it's good to be reminded occasionally of our potential influence and the responsibility that comes with it.

Posted by tommielyn on August 4, 2009 at 7:21 PM Comments comments (0)

...about conferences.

Last Thursday, another member of the Panhandle Writers Group and I traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama to attend the 2009 Southeastern Christian Writers Conference. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I looked forward to attending the conference sessions, plus, I would have an opportunity to display and sell copies of my three published novels. Exciting!

I'll have to tell you...I was blown away.

The SCWC is the oldest writers conference in the country, and I found that fact alone impressive. But after being there just a few hours, I saw why it has been around so long. The workshops were well-planned and designed to inspire Christian writers and equip them with practical information they need to succeed. And every effort had been made to make the conference a positive and valuable experience for attendees.

Even more impressive, though, is the fact that the conference owes its existence to the loving ministry of one family: the Sloans. David and Joanne Sloan, their children and grandchildren worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth-running event.

I'll have more to say about this wonderful experience in future posts. For now, I just want to say, "thanks."

Posted by tommielyn on March 5, 2009 at 8:32 AM Comments comments (2)

...about self-publishing.


The publishing industry is changing. Most of us who write (and want to share our words with readers) are aware of this fact. And we are aware the probability of breaking through the "newbie barrier" and entering the Golden Land of acceptance and contracts is highly unlikely except for a very few.

So, what does a writer do if, like me, she is older than dirt and time is running out? I want to share my stories, want to see others read and enjoy them. Of course, that may or may not happen after I'm gone. But, selfish as I am, I'd like to be around to see it.

And so, while I will continue querying for some of my novels, I will usher the others into print myself, after I've washed behind their ears and combed their hair, of course.

...And Night Falls is the first to go out the door into the world. I published it on CreateSpace in February, and now, I'll begin a new phase in my life Maybe I'll have something to say about marketing soon....

Tommie Lyn writes...

Posted by tommielyn on August 17, 2008 at 9:48 AM Comments comments (0)

...about expansion.

Have you ever tried to stretch something to proportions it wasn't supposed to attain?

Like, stretching one biscuit to feed four people? Or, stretching a pair of size 12 jeans to fit a size 16 body?

That's the situation I've dealt with over the past few weeks. I finished my 20,000 word paranormal novella, Tugger's Down. Great. But then, two test readers told me I must expand it to full novel size.


Have you ever tried that? It's excruciating.

After much mumbling, hair-pulling and tears, my poor novella has attained a size of almost 40,000 words. Not nearly enough. But I had to take a break from the torture, so I'm currently editing two other novels I finished (finished? ha!) last year.

Writing is fun. Rewriting, editing, stre-e-e-e-tching, is for the birds...

Tommie Lyn writes...

Posted by tommielyn on June 7, 2008 at 4:33 PM Comments comments (0)

...about challenges.

What is there about a challenge that makes it irresistible? Wish I knew. Because I fall prey to every challenge that comes along. NaNo. Mini-NaNo. ScriptFrenzy. You name it, I have to take it on.

Recently, a friend in my critique group issued a writing challenge: write a 20,000 word novella, either romance or mystery, in 10 weeks. Very doable.

So I set aside my work on Deep in the Valley and Scribbles (yet again) to take up the challenge. As of now, my paranormal romance novella, Tugger's Down, stands at just over 17,000 words.

Take heart, Niall and Bridghe, Meg and Johnny -- I'll be getting back to you soon...