Archive of ‘Writing With…’ category

Punctuation: Annie Dillard

Drummer Boy

Image via Wikipedia

Learn punctuation; it is your little drum set, one of the few tools you have to signal the reader where the beats and emphases go. (If you get it wrong, any least thing, the editor will throw your manuscript out.) Punctuation is not like musical notation; it doesn’t indicate the length of pauses, but instead signifies logical relations. There are all sorts of people out there who know these things very well. You have to be among them even to begin.  Annie Dillard


Are You Being Transformed?


And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18


“Chew your way into a new world.

Munch leaves.

Molt. Rest. Molt again.”

 Amy Gerstler, Advice from a Caterpillar


What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach


Beautiful photographs by our friend Patricia Hunter

Are you different today than you were yesterday?  Are you being transformed?

Laurie and Betsy

Writing Sisters

Are You Afraid to Write?

Flower photo

Flower photo (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

Why do we fear writing? I have a friend who writes beautiful poetry and hides it in a box under her bed.  There is in each of us a desire to be known that is in conflict with a fear of being known.

I read one time that flowering in a plant is not optional.  It is a survival mechanism.  Plants that do not flower die without giving life.

If you are a writer you are called to share.  If you are not a writer you are still called to share.

Our stories connect us and give life to the next generation.

“I not only have my secrets, I am my secrets. And you are yours. Our secrets are human secrets, and our trusting each other enough to share them with each other has much to do with the secret of what it means to be human.” 
— Frederick Buechner

Be bold. Share your stories today.

What’s under your bed?

Laurie and Betsy

Writing Sisters

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5: 14-16

How to Read a Book

Library Way is a two block stretch of sidewalk along 41th St from Grand Central Station to the entrance of the magnificent New York library building.  Embedded into the sidewalk are ninety-six bronze plaques, quoting forty-five different writers. Here’s one we like.

Books eaten2

Taste, chew and swallow something wonderful today.

The Writing Sisters


Writing with Collaboration

Three-strand twisted natural fibre rope

Three-strand twisted natural fibre rope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other?  They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.”  The Pursuit of God  A. W. Tozer

A cord of three strands is not easily broken

Ecclesiastes 4:12

Writing can be a solitary experience but writing to be read involves community.  Community means collaboration.  For us collaboration comes in the writing process, two writing one book. Collaboration also comes in working with a writing group, an agent, an editor, a publisher, a book designer, an illustrator and book seller, even a reader.

 Writing involves community.

For us, we had to have unity in faith to have unity on the page.  In collaboration there will be differences of opinion, which are good and bring growth and depth to the work.  It is in the resolution of the disagreements that our faith is exercised. We decided that we would never go forward in any area of writing or publishing without agreement.  We begin each writing session with prayer and are constantly submitting the work to God.

 Staying in harmony with God keeps us in harmony with each other.  As we constantly try to align our work with God’s will we align ourselves with each other.

Who is a part of your writing community?  How do you stay on same page?

Laurie and Betsy

If you would like to follow along the progress our book, The Shepherd’s Song, and be part of our prayer support you can sign up here:
Subscribe to our newsletter


Something New: A Contract!


Watch! I’m about to carry out something new! And now it’s springing up— don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the wilderness and paths in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Why are we so happy? We’re signing a book contract! After years of publishing children’s books we are publishing our first adult novel, The Shepherd’s Song. The publisher: Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books. Many thanks to our agent, Greg Johnson at WordServe Literary Group.  We are excited! Time for the happy dance! Stay tuned …

If you would like to follow along the progress of the book and be part of our prayer support you can sign up here:
Subscribe to our newsletter

Thanks to our online writing community for support and encouragement.  We continue to share the journey!

Laurie and Betsy

Writing Sisters

Writing: Are We There Yet?


Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will direct your paths.  Proverbs 3, 5-6

The first book is finished and published but soon euphoria gives way to doubt.  What is next?

You make the New York Times Best Seller List.  Can you do it again?

You celebrate a great review.  What if the next book fails?

There is a hopelessness that descends when we begin to think that anything is ever finished in this life.  

Joy in writing comes when we learn to accept the goodness in the process.  The journey of a writing life comes with growth and creativity, relationships, successes and failures.  It is about  the long haul.

It is about the road – not the destination.

Enjoy this day of writing.

Laurie and Betsy

The Writing Sisters

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness,

not health, but healing,

not being, but becoming,

not rest, but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it,

the process is not yet finished, but it is going on,

this is not the end, but it is the road.

All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”

Martin Luther


Anticipating Fullness

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee. Israel’s Strength and Consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art; Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.” Charles Wesley

A lovely post by our friend, Gwen.

Writing With Boundaries

Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.”  Knowing where boundary lines are is important.  I have to set boundaries in my writing life or I would never accomplish anything.

When I had young children I would mark out time on my calendar for writing.  It was easy to say no to requests to do other things, even other important things, when I had a boundary in place.

Life is full of good opportunities, but what about the best opportunities.  We have to decide on our boundaries before someone else decides for us.

“What are you doing tomorrow morning?” someone asks.  You planned to write, so why do you say,“Nothing”?  Then your time is filled with the plans of others.

Jesus is a great role model for setting boundaries.  He set boundaries with the Pharisees and with his family when they tried to stop his ministry. He drew a line with the money changers at the temple and with Peter when Peter tried to keep him from the cross.

Protect what is important.  Set your boundaries.

Bottom line: setting boundaries requires being able to say “no”.

Can you say “No”?

Laurie and Betsy (Samson and Venus)

“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”  Nehemiah 6:3


Mother’s Day

Although she won major book awards, the Newbery Medal, National Book Award, the Edgar, and others, to us she was “Mom”.  She loved us, cared for us, encouraged us and sacrificed for us.  She taught us to sew, helped with homework projects, and let us have lots of pets.

Our mother, Betsy Byars, also passed on to us a love of reading and writing.  In our early years she read to us; in our elementary years she sought our opinions on manuscripts and now in our adults years we don’t share a meal where the discussion doesn’t turn to books.  In fact, our first collaborative book with Mom was born over a BBQ dinner where we spent the evening talking about books while sucking sauce off our fingers – a great night indeed.

We have been blessed with a dynamic and energetic, yet sensitive and thoughtful mother who has given us much.  Today we thank God for our mother.

Laurie and Betsy

Writing Sisters

1 2 3 4