Friday, November 12, 2021

 ACFW Grand Lakes Chapter

Welcome from the water wonderland! 

We're the Great Lakes Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association. 

Writing excellent, inspirational fiction from the great state of Michigan, we are always working to glorify God the Father and Jesus, His Son in our stories. 

If you have questions, please contact us anytime at:

Or our Facebook page ACFW Great Lakes Chapter

We'd love to hear from you!

"I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever." Psalm 45:17

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Super Summer in the Great Lakes Area

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Summer in the Great Lakes area is a time to capture ideas, meet new characters...I mean people..., and read stories. 

Have you visited or plan to visit someplace special? Since we can't post pics in the comment section, describe the place for us. The describing words you use will not only take us to the place, but broaden our repertoire of words to use when we write.

What character (person) have you met this summer? This can be someone you know. Someone you haven't had a 3-D meeting with in a while. Perhaps you met a new person. Perhaps you saw someone from afar. Choose one and describe the person below. When you do, keep in mind readers most appreciate the unique description, not the mundane.

So...she had long blonde hair, wore blue jeans and a white frilly shirt might really describe a person, it doesn't do a great job of steering a mental image. 

Let's look at Scrooge. Why does everyone picture him as an old man with gray rumpled hair, a tad overweight, bushy eyebrows, and wore a tall black hat? 

This is the description Dickens used:

"a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint,... secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster."

The answer to my question above is: 

The tall black hat was commonly worn in the 1840's in London. 
He owned a business turned over to him by Marley and Marley, which we assume makes him old. 
He kept to himself, so didn't exercise much, but had plenty of money for food.

Because of what we read about Scrooge, we, the readers and movie makers assumed he must  have been an old man with gray rumpled hair, a tad overweight, bushy eyebrows, and wore a tall black hat.. 

When readers assume appearance, behavior, or action of a character, it is based on the clues given in the story mixed with what they have experienced. 
It is not based on what is specifically told in the text.

Readers' assumptions then will be tailored to their individual perspective. This can only be done when a reader engages in a story. When a reader is engaged in a story, they will want to read more. And that is what authors want.

Share a setting and/or character descriptions in the comment section below!

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Monday, March 15, 2021

2 Fab Events Coming Up!

First: March 26th Fireside Zoom Meeting for all GLC members.

Friday, March 26th Zoom Readings!

That's right! Friday, March 26th  at 7 p.m. we'll share more of our writing. We had such a wonderful time sharing last month. Great turn out. Fabulous stories! Loved seeing everyone!

Here is what we'll do.

Greta Picklesimer will send an email between 3 and 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 25th.

Rules: set your timer for 30 minutes. Open the email. Choose 1-3 prompts. Write one story, poem, article using those prompts.

You may choose any 30 minute time period that is convenient for you to open your email and write. 

Attend the Zoom Fireside Chat with your writing Friday, March 26th at 7 p.m. - don't worry if not edited!!  

We'd love to hear everyone read but understand if you prefer to listen only 😉


May 22, 2021

We will have an in-person gathering at the Bavarian Inn on May 22nd, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Debra Butterfield, Editor at Cross River Media will speak on "How to Create Captivating Characters." 

Debra will have a Q and A time after her talk AND listen to pitches!

Cost: $5.00 plus the cost of your meal.

We'd love to see the whole group there! It will be a beautiful day of great friends who love writing, fabulous food, laughing, chatting--don't miss this exciting event!!

(We will be observing any State mandates - masks when not seated, etc. Thank you for caring about others.)

Take a moment and respond in the comment section, letting us know if you can attend.


Monday, February 22, 2021

7 Best Ways To Improve Your Writing

Last Friday our chapter met for a Zoom Fireside Chat. We sat on comfy chairs and sofas. Shooed family pets and little ones streaming behind us. Wrapped our hands around a hot cup of our favorite beverage.


Listened to some of the most amazing excerpts from stories. 

Round the room we shared from our writings. 
*The settings: beautifully word painted to take us there. We smelled, felt, saw, heard, and tasted with the characters. We fell when they fell. Laughed with them. Fought with them. Cried with them. Became afraid with them.
*The teasers -- naturally, we wanted to hear more of each story. Oh the places the readers left us!! 
*The characters: snarky, handsome, kind, at-a-loss, so in need of the journey he/she was about to embark - if only we knew the rest of the story!

We feasted on fabulous words.

And left encouraged. Yes. We took a chance, hoping our friends would like our WIP and they did!

So what are the best ways to improve your writing?

1. Write.
2. Meet with other writers.
3. Share your work in a reading.
4. Take note of their comments.
      *What did they like?
      *What specifics did they give?
      *What did they not mention that you would have liked them to say?
5. Feel the encouragement. It's okay to leave happy! To smile! To remember the positive words!
6. Write.
7. Plan to meet with other writers again.

For this reason- the board has set up our next meeting: Zoom Saturday, March 27 at 1:00 pm.

The focus is likened to a game. 

Greta, our president, will post three writing prompts the day before..
*When you see the prompts, set your timer for 30 minutes.
*Choose one, two, or all three of the prompts.
*Write whatever comes to your mind about the prompt. A story, a poem. A devotional. Anything.
*When the timer rings - stop writing.
*Yes. Your piece will be incomplete. That's okay. So will everyone else's. :)

You may ask, what is the game part of this writing exercise? Listening to what other writers will compose with the same prompt. You will be amazed! These games stir our thoughts. Show us how to reach outside the box. Consider new ways to convey our thoughts. 

And this is why we want everyone to play!

Mark your calendar: March 27th 1pm

Friday, January 15, 2021

Getting Together Solutions!

Although the current rules in our state prohibit meeting in restaurants at this time, there are other ways we can get together. 

We have to meet. God did not intend for us to be hermits.

And let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made the habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25

So, what are some solutions? How can Christian Writers meet at this time?

Thanks to technology, we have several ways to meet. These are listed in no particular order. I have used all and like them all.

1. Facebook Messenger Video Chat: Calls are free and so easy. Go to the person's name, or type it in the search bar, then click the little camera. Poof the call will ring!
One day I went to Facebook Messenger, clicked Greta's name and called her using the video app. Now, she happened to be at work at the time, (I didn't know), BUT later that night my Messenger brrrrringed. I looked, and there was Greta's lovely face. We video chatted for about half an hour. What a delight it was to see someone and talk with them. I also use this almost on a daily basis to visit with my three-year-old grandson.

2. Google Hangout. This is also a Video Chat. If you have Google email, down at the bottom you will see the phone You can set up a video chat by clicking on the phone.
My four siblings meet on Google Chat every Tuesday night for one hour. Each one lives in a different state, yet we are able to connect, have tea, talk about our week, laugh, chat...and oddly enough not argue like we used to as kids!

3. Zoom. Zoom is still free for the first 40 minutes. Go to and download the app. Then click "host a meeting". You can choose who to invite, what time the meeting starts, and more. Please be sure to click that you want the meeting with video so you can see each other. 

4. SKYPE. Of course there is the old stand by, Skype. I use to use that

All of these are free. All produce great quality. All will brighten your day.

There may be a Christian writer who is longing to chat with someone else. A young parent who would like to chat with another adult. A working person who would like to chat with someone who understands the crazy fun world of writing. It's no fun to be alone...

Look at the list in the left column of some of our folks. Is there someone you could chat with?

Goal: set aside fifteen minutes to be a friend to another Christian Writer between now and January 31st. THEN, tell us in the comments how it went. I have a feeling you're going to say you had a wonderful time connecting with another writer. 😎

Photo of tree take in the UP by Mary Vee

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year. New Solutions.

Happy New Year authors, writers, creators of story, poetry, devotionals, and articles for readers young and old.

Odd for this time of year, there has been very little interest in making resolutions on social media. 

Readers are looking for encouraging reads. Stories of hope. Uplifting poetry and devotionals. Articles drawing on what we can do to emerge from trials. 

1. The need is great. Your writing is important! More importantly, your writing needs to be made available to the readers either by self-publishing, or with a publisher. Perhaps this is the year several members can get their work published.

2. As writers we also need to be readers. Great ideas spawn from other ideas. Think about your writings, did the idea first come from something you read somewhere?

3. Let's support one another by reading books by authors/writers in this group. Take a moment and name your book along with the link in the comment section. I'll start here. I've read Rick Barry's books: The Methuselah Project and The Methuselah Project SOS. Next on my list is Bev Robinson's Bible Brides

The next essential step is not so much jotting a kind note to the author, although that is nice, but writing the same words as a review on Amazon or Goodreads or Bookbub.

I have THREE questions for you to respond to:

1. What book are you reading? If you aren't yet, pick one with the goal of starting it soon and indicate that one.

2. What book of yours do you recommend for others from this group to read? Don't be shy! We want to read! I'd like to recommend my book, Sylvia's Secret  link:

3. Are you conveniently receiving new posts from this blog? Sign up in the column to the left.

Shall we make a goal? 

Finish reading one book by January 31 and write a review (even a few sentences is so helpful!).

AND write (you set the word count) by January 31.

So excited to spend this year with 

Great Lake Michigan American Christian Fiction Writers.

Mary Vee,



Friday, August 23, 2019

Fun, Fellowship, and Marketing Tips in Grand Haven!

On August 10, 2019, fifteen of our members and guests gathered in the cozy Snug Harbor restaurant in Grand Haven, Michigan. There, they enjoyed a great meal and fellowship while learning more about book marketing from author Anneliese Dalaba. As usual, the event turned provided both information and inspiration!