7 Quick Takes – Interview with Audrey Wick, Writer [vol. 20]

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I enrolled in my local junior college as a petrified, fresh-off-of-homeschooling college freshman. My first semester, I met Audrey Wick, who taught Grammar & Rhetoric (ENG 1301 – or 101 for you four-year folks.) I didn’t know it, but I’d lucked into not only a wonderful semester, but a 14 years-and-counting friendship. Over my college career, I took two more classes from Audrey – American Lit II and Pilates – and loved every minute of them. When I found myself in my crisis pregnancy, she was pregnant with her little boy, and she was encouraging and understanding when I began the fall semester at 38 weeks pregnant. She’s really a one-of-a-kind college instructor, and I hope my kids will have the privilege of taking one of her classes in the future!

Besides the encouragement and grace extended to me, she has taught me much about writing prose, specifically the importance of cohesiveness, word choice, and engaging your audience.  Her own writing has been published in several regional newspapers and even college literature textbooks. I’ve enjoyed following her writing career over the years. So, I was THRILLED when she told me early this year that her new book, Finding True North, had found a publisher and would be released this spring! I greedily devoured the story about a newly single mom living in a small town in Texas, and the relationships in her life.  I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting, which was truly representative of what I know small town life to be like. I also appreciated reading about the protagonist’s struggle with the emotions, developments, and decisions that came about as a result of her divorce and the fears and uncertainties around beginning a new chapter in her life. I think it was a nice dose of perspective for me as a married woman, giving insight into what challenges my divorced friends and family might be facing. And that, in turn, gives me a place to start in my encounters with these members of the Body of Christ.

My daughter Elizabeth (11) has recently discovered a love for writing stories. She has gobbled up a few books written to help young writers, notably Writing Magic and Writer to Writer by Gail Carson Levine (she wrote Ella Enchanted!) She still had some questions, though, so we thought it would be fun to ask them of Audrey – a published writer with a kiddo the same age as Elizabeth. Without further ado, here are Elizabeth’s questions, Audrey’s answers, and then a few of my own questions for her about how we as parents can encourage our young writers. Enjoy!

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Elizabeth: How can I grab the reader’s attention in the opening part of my story?

Audrey: Openings should hook the reader, and one way to do that is to start in the middle of the action. Dialogue can be a powerful way to accomplish this. If the audience can hear your characters and experience the action, they might be hooked!

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7 Quick Takes – Friday Faves [vol. 19]

It’s been a hot minute since I participated in 7 Quick Takes with Kelly, but there are a few things I’ve been loving lately that I wanted to share. And? I’m douple-dipping today and linking up with Big White Farmhouse for Five Favorites!

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http://www.christianstudytools.com/2016/05/bookmarks.html?m=1

These free bookmarks from Christian Study Tools & Art. We have printed several different styles on white cardstock. I love them, my kids love them, and they’re free. My favorites are the ones that say “Do More of What Makes You Happy Holy” and this quote from St. Catherine of Siena, but there are so many gorgeous ones to choose from!

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7 Quick Takes – Making the Transition to Work from Maternity Leave [vol. 18]

 

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I’ve officially been back at work now for 3 weeks after having a glorious nine week maternity leave. Since I’ve made this transition four times now (I wasn’t working hen I had my eldest), I’ve come to realize there are several key components that help make this change easier. They have worked for me, and I’m sharing them in hopes they might help you too!

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 Ask for help. Do you have a friend or family member that offered to bring you a meal when the baby was born? Or who said, “Let me know if you need anything?” Don’t deny them the opportunity to be Christ to you. Instead, call or text and ask them to bring you a meal or invite them over for some laundry fun that first week you’ll be back at work. Transition is never easy, and you can use the extra support. Truly, people who want to help will help, they just often don’t know what would be the most helpful for YOU. So, instead of smiling and nodding and insisting that your fine, ask them to step up. And DON’T feel guilty about it. You’d happily help them out if the roles were reversed, right? RIGHT.

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7 Quick Takes – Top Seven Posts OF ALL TIME [vol. 17]

7 Quick Takes

I’se gonna have a nice, new, purty, and well-researched 7QT for y’all this week, but um…I have no brain left. This week alone, I’ve been swamped with the first day of school, an oral challenge test at the allergist’s (YAY! ELIZABETH CAN NOW HAVE PEANUT BUTTER!), teaching an Essential Oils 101 class, class registration for my fall semester, planning tomorrow’s Blessed Is She Brunch here in Houston, and a whole host of other items. SO…instead of a well-manicured, witty post, you get… CAJUNTEXASMOM’S TOP SEVEN POSTS OF ALL TIME (ok, so the blog’s only 14 months old. But still.) OF ALL TIME.  And, to create suspense, I will list them in countdown order, AND will include an update about each post!  Whoo. Hoo.
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7 Quick Takes – Playing Catch-Up! [vol.15]

7QT hosted by This Ain't The Lyceum

One of the hazards of being a work-outside-the-home, sole-breadwinner mom is that sometimes, ye olde blog has to take a backseat to that alternate universe I live in called “Real Life.”  What has had me so distracted that I haven’t popped in over here in a long while?  Well, I’m glad you asked!
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