Friday, October 19, 2012

Childhood Stories

Today I welcome the kindest, giving, fantastic writing teacher, and author friend: Michelle Lim. 

Enter to win a copy of Melanie Dobson's book The Black Cloister, see below.

I met Michelle through My Book Therapy. She is a regular instructor for the Monday night chats. I couldn't wait to meet this wonderful lady in person at the conference. She manned the My Book Therapy booth, reaching out to writers to encourage them. At the MBT Western Theme Pizza party she wore her duds and had fun, even took a pic with me. She is a cheerleader, a supporter, an encourager, and someone who knows how to make you smile.

I asked Michelle to share her writing journey. Here is her answer:

Childhood Stories

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you might understand how I began to love stories. Small town folk have to have an active imagination if they are going to stay busy.

As a pastor’s daughter, I spent a lot of my years in small towns. I saw the stories of families told at local cafes and the exaggerated tales of giant fish, 12 point bucks, and big foot.

People can light up the room when they tell a story. Everyone is drawn closer to hear the tale and enjoy knowing the adventures of each others lives. I lived those adventures in my imagination taking me places a young girl could never go.
Words poured out onto my journal pages full of thoughts and funny things that happened to me.

There was the time we got snowed into a hotel on the way to our cousins for Christmas and used my Dad’s fingernail clipper to take off the legs of our jeans so we could swim.

Contests for who could jump into the boundary water lake where we vacationed the earliest in May fill my thoughts of June bugs, Cray fish, and boat cushions.

Going fishing with my dad early in the morning on a glass top lake only to be startled by the angry otter that belly-flopped next to our boat. These images and sensations are as real in my mind as it was when I was there.

The environment around me sparked ideas that turned into a complete story. We all have the ability to find stories in our world around us.

Whether you are inspired by people, settings, or an amazing plot there is a way for you to find story ideas and to continue to build the conflict in your novel. That is really what my new book is about.

Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel, gives you tricks and strategies to up the conflict in your stories with new ideas and specific methods. It is designed to be a resource you pull out time and again to find a strategy to apply to your manuscript.

My ideas come from the things around me, the people, and amazing real life stories. 

What is your favorite childhood story?

Michelle Lim is the author of the new book Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel. Also a romantic suspense author whose manuscripts have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest 2012, the Genesis Contest 2011, and the Frasier Contest in 2010. Michelle is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and serves as Vice President of MN N.I.C.E., a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Thank you Michelle for joining us today. What a treat to have you with us.

To enter the contest for the book The Black Cloister by Melanie Dobson become a follower if you aren't already (see the upper right corner of this blog to join). And leave a comment. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party,, and will be announced on Monday. U.S. residents only. 


Cynthia Herron said...

Michelle, how great to see you here today! As a fellow "PK" I loved learning about your writing journey. (I also thought you were a hoot at the MBT pizza party this year. :) ) Blessings as you continue on the writing path.

Mary, thanks for sharing Michelle's journey with us.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by Cynthia.
That MBT pizza party was a blast.
Michelle's journey is an encouragement and I'm glad she could share today.

Michelle said...

Cynthia, so glad you stopped by. What a lot of fun the pizza party was. I loved getting to meet you in person.

Anonymous said...


Thank you for graciously hosting me on your blog today. I enjoyed getting to know you better at ACFW this year!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Back at you, Michelle :)

Michelle said...

For those of you who have commented, you just entered in a contest for a Free Kindle Paperwhite during my blog tour. For each comment you leave on a blog (one per blog) where I am visiting about my new book release from today on, you will get one entry in the drawing. The more blogs you comment on, the better your chances of winning. Best of wishes!

Alena T. said...

Just had to say how much I've enjoyed your book! Super tool for any writer!

Alena T.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alena! Sure enjoyed having you here today.

Michelle said...

Thanks, Alena! So glad the book is helping you as you write!

dtopliff said...

Michelle, I've yet to buy your book as they were running out at ACFW, selling like hotcakes, so I decided to wait and get back home in MN. Glad you're doing a blog tour. I enjoyed this one. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Delores! BTW, you should check out my blog today you are listed as one of the winners of a previous book giveaway by a guest author.

I appreciate the good wishes!

dtopliff said...

Mary, Like Michelle I'm also one of Susie Warren's Ponderers. I saw you at the Pizza Party but we didn't get a chance to meet. I can tell we have similar interests & possibly backgrounds. Check my children's books at though I'm doing Women's Fiction now, finaled in Genesis last year & a Frasuer Bronze Medalist this year. Will hope to meet you another time. Wishing you much success. Delores

Mary Vee Writer said...

I am honored with your visit here today and look forward to meeting you in person. Congratulations on your accomplishments, God has blessed you! I will hop over to your site. Thank you for the invite.
Blessings on your continued ministry.

Janice said...

I will have to look into getting your book. I have a few writing reference books but nothing like your book. It sounds very helpful.

I was trying to think of a favorite childhood story. I guess since it is close to Halloween I can go with this one. A group of four of us neighborhood children had a club known as the C.L.U.B. club (that is Cop Lop U Bop club). We decided to have a spook house to make up funds for our club. We fixed it up in our basement and had several different stations for people to stop at to get a fright. At one point I was touring the elderly lady neighbor through and my friend was squatting by the display of "brains" and "eyeballs" that the passerbys were to touch. It was a pot of spaghetti and some peeled grapes that could not be clearly seen in the dark. My friend was waiting out of sight in order to reach out and grab a leg or foot. When I said "Feel the brains," the elderly lady thought I said "Spill the brains," and she dumped the pot of spaghetti out on my friend's head. We have laughed for years over that incident.

I hope it brought a smile to your face, too.

Blessings, Janice

Mary Vee Writer said...

It did, Janice! Thanks for the story.

Michelle said...

LOL! What a fun story, Janice. So glad you stopped by. I hope you enjoy my book.

Latayne C Scott said...

I wrote recently about one of my favorite childhood memories. I grew up during the natural gas "boom" in northern New Mexico, and all of the kids in our neighborhood would play "gas station" and pour sand into our parents' gas tanks. Along with that memory is the recollection of how all the men in the neighborhood spent all their weekends working on their cars. I never connected the two until much later....

Michelle said...

What rich memories! Thanks for sharing them, Latayne!

Mary Vee Writer said...

What an interesting memory! What I find especially interesting is that your memory shows your family's love and understanding of a child's perspective.
Thanks for sharing.:)

Cherry said...

Michelle, I LOVE your journey:)

And my favorite childhood story is actually stories. I always loved Christmas. The atmosphere, the feeling, (then the presents, too), and our ritual. Mom sent us upstairs to our rooms, and we could only come down if the bell rang. By then, the presents were "somehow" under the tree.

Sophie T

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great memory, Sophie.
Our family did something like that too, but they used recorded bell tower bells. At the sound, the kids ran for the Christmas tree:)
thanks for stopping by, Sophie.