Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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    • A Warm Welcome to Sarah Baughman!
      Is there a story behind your book Penelope’s Hope?As I was developing the storyline for Penelope, I was struggling personally with living in a new place and having a different schedule (working outside the home) while managing the household and our four children, all while living very far away from the place I grew up. Some days, hope seemed a long way off. […]
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      Welcome back to the Book Loft, Susan. Is there a story behind your book Renew-7 Days to a More Positive Outlook? There certainly is. Many hospice patients have shaped my life, and I wanted to share their stories. Believe me, it’s not sad or depressing. Their stories are inspirational. They have taught me to live more freely and lightly while savoring the gif […]
    • Renew-7 Days to a More Positive Outlook by Susan Rush
      Do you crave a gentle contentment that doesn’t shift with the changing tide of life hurt?  Wouldn’t it be great to navigate this tangled journey with peace in spite of suffering? For over twenty years, Susan Rush has walked alongside the dying and grieving. In Renew, she shares stories of her most inspirational patients—heroes who embraced life until their f […]
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    • FREE Kindle! To Celebrate Five Years of COTT!
      Happy Birthday, COTT! We're half a decade old!To celebrate FIVE YEARS of Clash of the Titles, we're GIVING AWAY some fun gifts. You can win books by Gail Pallotta and Lisa Lickel, or even a KINDLE FIRE!!Raffle opens right now!Closes Monday, November 30.There are several ways to enter the drawing outlined in the RaffleCopter below. Winners will be d […]
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      Congratulations toA Noble Masqueradeby Kristi Ann Hunter!Book Blurb:Lady Miranda Hawthorne may long to break free of her ladylike expectations as he approaches spinsterhood, but finding herself intrigued by her brother's new valet is more rebellion than she planned. When she accidentally begins exchanging letters with a long-lost duke, things become eve […]
    • September Releases Clash 2015!
      Welcome back to our arena! We have six authors stepping onto our sands, ready to wield their mighty pens. Please look at each of their covers and descriptions and choose which one looks most appealing to you. Which would go on the top of your to-be-read pile? Be sure to make your choice in the actual survey, as those in the comments section alone won't […]
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    • So I Failed Nano
      Hi again,It's been a long time again since I posted. Haven't done a ton of writing but I did start a new novel or novelette or series of novelettes at the beginning of the month. November is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to start a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. November isn't over yet but I know I'm not going […]
    • I'm Baack, I Think
      If you haven't noticed, which I actually hope you have, I haven't blogged for a while. Well, I needed a break. I'd published seven books in three years and I was sort of written out. I simply needed a break. So now I think the break is over. I'm thinking about writing again and have several projects in different stages of writing. They we […]
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      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
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    • Anita Estes and her forty day devotional When God Speaks
      When God Speaks--Forty Days and Nights of His Promises by Anita EstesAnita shares:          The inspiration for  When God Speaks grew out of my desire to connect women to the powerful promises of God. Told through my own stories and life experiences, my hope is to show others how God's promises can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.          […]
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      Thank you, Lisa, for hosting me! I always enjoy talking about Sassy Pants and delighting children with another story in the series!Buy Sassypants in paperback format from Amazon, $11.99, or order from your favorite bookstore.ISBN-13: 978-0996495356Can you tell us about your new book? Sassy Pants Learns About Strange Creatures Sassy Pants Learns...about stran […]
    • Book Review - All's Fair in Love and Arson by Sharon McGregor
      All’s Fair in Love and Arson Sharon McGregorPrism Book Groupc. Nov 2015novellainspirational holiday romance.99 ebookISBN 9781943104255Buy on Amazon the publisher: Bella is back at her childhood home. When her mother took a fall in the Nuisance Grounds (garbage dump) and broke her leg, Bella came back to help her and run her shop, I […]
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    • The Color of the Season by Julianne MacLean
      NOTE:  Due to a serious need to cut back on my workload, this will be my last official book review on this blog.It doesn’t seem possible that the evening can get any worse for police officer Josh Wallace after he is dumped by the girlfriend he planned to propose to, but it does.  Josh and his partner are shot while chasing a carjacking suspect. While on the […]
    • Book Review: Swept Away (Trouble in texas Book 1) by Mary Connealy
      Ruthy MacNeil is rescued by Luke Stone after she nearly drowns fording a flooded river with a wagon train. Her step family doesn’t survive and she is finally free of their mistreatment. Luke surived the horrific ordeal as a prisoner of war in notorious Anderson prison during the civil war, only to learn that his father has been killed and the family ranch st […]
    • Book Review of Everything She Ever Wanted by Ann Rule
      When Pat Taylor wed Tom Allanson he had no way of knowing it would destroy his life in just a matter of weeksIn fact, Pat destroyed a lot of people’s lives. The attractive Southern belle was spoiled by her mother and she expected to live a lavish lifestyle at any cost. Nobody crosses Pat who was fascinated with Scarlett O’Hara. Pat could pour on the charm, b […]

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘editing’

AutoCrit Editing Wizard, a useful tool for writers

Posted by April W Gardner on November 14, 2012

Last month, someone on the John 3:16 Marketing Network recommended the website Today, I looked into it, and so far, it has all the appearance of being useful tool for writers.

In the company’s own words, “The AutoCrit Editing Wizard is an instant book editor. With the click of a button it shows you the problems in your manuscript.”

Copy, paste, click “analyze.” That simple.

The free version analyzes 1,500 words each day. It will check for overused words, sentence length variation, and clichés and redundancies.

The paid version increases word count to 3,000 per day and adds on repeated words and phrases, phrases summary, pacing, dialog tags, initial pronouns, readability, and homonyms. The repeated words and phrases alone is worth the $47/year!

I put the first scene of my latest novel through the wizard. Mind you, it had already undergone four critiques, but I was still shocked at what the wizard caught. It’s mostly nit-picky stuff, but since I’m a nit-picky author, AutoCrit has potential to become by bestest buddy.

With a 30-day money back guarantee, it was a no-brainer to fork over $47, but I plan to test-drive it hard over the next month!

Swing by there now and pop 500 of your latest words into the wizard. Just for fun. Then come back and let me know what you think!

April W Gardner is an award-winning author and the founder of Clash of the Titles.

Posted in Authors, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Market Mondays – Nuke the Slush Pile! with Jim Pence

Posted by Lisa Lickel on June 13, 2011

This month I’m delighted to welcome James H. Pence (he’ll answer to Jim), fellow author, visionary chalk artist, and gifted with a honey voice that will melt your socks, who has agreed to share his talk from the QuadCities Christian Writers Conference 2010. Take it away, Jim!

Nuke the
Slush Pile, Part 1

By James H. Pence

If you’ve been writing for any length of time, you know what the “slush pile” is. It’s that gargantuan pile of query letters and unsolicited  submissions that clutter editors’ desks. In other words, if you’re a new writer who is trying to break in, the slush pile is your competition. Of course, in today’s world of e-mail and electronic submissions, the slush pile tends to be more “virtual” than physical, but nevertheless, it’s there and it’s real.

I remember back when I was an unpublished writer, I read a short newspaper item that described the odds against getting a book published. I didn’t save the article, so I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I do remember that they were very discouraging. Something like only one in 10,000 manuscripts submitted to conventional publishers ever makes it to print.

I posted this statistic to an online forum for writers, and someone responded, “If those are the odds, why should I even try?”

Why, indeed?

Picture yourself standing before an editor’s desk, clutching your query, proposal, or manuscript in your trembling hands. On this editor’s desk is a pile of ten thousand manuscripts. I don’t know how big a pile that would make, but I imagine that 10,000 manuscripts would probably bury the desk, if not the editor.

You humbly place your envelope on to the pile, hoping that it doesn’t trigger a fatal avalanche. Nearby you hear the muffled voice of the editor calling out to you. (You can’t see her because she is indeed buried under the pile of manuscripts.)

“Thank you for your submission,” she says. “I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

As you leave the office, the editor’s administrative assistant takes a sip of his latte and says, “You know, only three of those manuscripts will be chosen.”

Your heart sinks as you wander out of the publisher’s office and into a rain-soaked street. The dark clouds mirror your depression.

“Why did I even bother?” you wonder aloud. As your day ends, you seek out a local Starbucks and quietly wonder if you should change
careers and become a barista.

Okay, okay. I know I’m exaggerating. But almost all of us have felt that way at one time or another. What if I were to tell you that you don’t need to worry about the odds? What if I were to tell you that there is a not only a way to improve the odds, but to “nuke” the slush pile and get it out of the way entirely?

Am I guaranteeing you will be published? No.

I am saying that it is possible for you to significantly increase your chances, bypass your competition, and get noticed by editors.

That’s what we’ll be focusing on over the next three weeks. Hopefully, by the time you’re finished reading through these blog posts, you’ll have a plan of action that will move that slush pile out of the way forever.

We’ll get into the specifics of how to nuke the slush pile next week, but here’s a little tidbit to whet your appetite:

You remember that pile of 10,000 manuscripts that has buried our poor editor?

At least 90% of them are unpublishable.

Now your odds are only 1 in 1000.

See you next week.

Bio: James H. Pence is a full-time freelance writer and the author of six books. His latest book (a collaboration with Stephen Arterburn), is titled The Encounter and is set for publication by Thomas Nelson, Publishers in November. You can learn more about James at his

web sites: and

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »


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