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JPC Allen Writes

Inspiration for Beginning Writers

Book Release!

 

Not your Granny’s Christmas stories …

Step off the beaten path and enjoy six stories that look beyond the expected, the traditional, the tried-and-true.

Inspired by the song, Mary Did You Know? — a mother’s memories of events leading up to and following that one holy night. MARY, DID YOU KNOW?

A young woman seeking her own identity searches for the man who tried to kill her and her mother on Christmas Eve twenty years before. A ROSE FROM THE ASHES

Princess, tower, sorceress, dragon, brave knight, clever peasant — combine these ingredients into a Christmas-time story that isn’t quite what you’d expect. RETURN TO CALLIDORA

Anticipating tough financial times, the decision not to buy or exchange presents leads to some painful and surprising revelations for a hardworking man and his family. NOT THIS YEAR

Years ago, a gunman and a store full of hostages learned some important lessons about faith and pain and what really matters in life — and the echoes from that day continue to the present. THOSE WHO STAYED

A community of refugees, a brutal winter, a doorway to another world — a touch of magic creating holiday joy for others leads to a Christmas wish fulfilled. CRYSTAL CHRISTMAS

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Mt. Zion Ridge Press e-pub, 24 Symbols, and Kobo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured post

DSC_6334_smallWelcome to my writing pages!  The main focus of this page is to explore ways beginning writers can find inspiration.  You’ll also find information on my published works and the ones in progress. My schedule for posting is:

Monday Sparks: Writing ideas to fan your creative flame

Tuesdays and Thursdays – Writing Tips

You may also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Featured post

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: Christmas Haiku

sunrise-w3850768_1280I haven’t had a poetry prompt in awhile, so here’s one for Christmas Haiku. My haiku has seventeen syllables but not in the correct lines. Instead of lines of five, seven, and five syllables, I  have lines of five, six, and six syllables. But I thought the lines worked better than way.

When darkness descends

And seems to have no end,

The Son will rise again.

If you’re inspired, share below!

Writing Tip — Writing in Time: Winter Solstice as Writing Inspiration

summer-solstice-1474745_1280With all the frantic activity associated with Christmas in the U.S., we Americans tend to overlook all other significant dates and holidays in December. Yet the winter solstice is the reason we celebrate Christmas in this month. Both the history and nature of the winter solstice makes for a rich vein of writing inspiration.

Many ancient cultures, according to The Christmas Encyclopedia by William D. Crump, figured out which day in the northern hemisphere had the shortest amount of daylight, all without the help of computers.

Babylonians, Syrians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and pre-Christian Celtic and Germanic tribes celebrated this time of year. Egyptians commemorated the birth of Ra, the sun god. Babylonians and Syrians saw the solstice as a symbol of returning fertility to the land. During the Celtic and Germanic holiday of Yule, noisy celebrations warded off evil spirits that roamed in the darkness.

In a brilliant move of counter-programming, the Catholic Church decided to celebrate Jesus’ birth in December and compete against pagan holidays. We still use some of the pagan traditions and have given them new meanings based on Christianity, like lighting candles and decorating with evergreens.

The juxtaposition of the most hours of darkness and the happiest holiday on the Christian calendar makes a great symbol for the journey of a character. As December grows darker, the character experiences more and more adversity, hitting bottom on the day of the solstice. Then on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, hope is restored.

For speculative fiction, a villain reaches her most powerful state during the winter solstice. The hero, whose powers are at their weakest, must come up with a way to stop the villain from taking advantage of the solstice.

How can you use the winter solstice as writing inspiration?

Writing Tip — Guest Blogging

blogging-1168076_1280Today I am the guest on the blog of new author Patricia Meredith , answering her twelve Christmas questions. I’d love for you to stop by and share your opinions on such Christmas topics as what’s your favorite Christmas movie or what’s the first thing you hang on your tree.

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Christmas Story?

horse-w19244_1280This month on my blog, the theme is Christmas. Anything and everything Christmas.

For Monday Sparks, I’ll post a photo and suggest a style of writing or genre for a Christmas story. For the photo above, I chose historical fiction because it looks like sleighs are gliding ahead of a horse with a rider, who is watching them.

Here’s my version. It’s historical fiction, but as usual, I have to work in a sinister element:

With a nudge from my heel, Midnight slipped out of the tree line and onto the snow-clogged road.

Even without the heavy snowfall, I doubted Deke Black and the other man driving the sleighs ahead would notice me. They were having too much fun, singing and laughing, as the horses pulled the supplies for Old Man Turner’s annual Christmas party.

But I hung back, watching. Deke Black was my only link, and tonight was my last chance to get him to confess what he knew about Old Man Turner and the mine.

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