Thursday, February 20, 2020

2020 Calendar

Here's a quick heads-up as to what will be going on this year with ACFW Indiana. We now have our speakers and guests in place. March and June venues are established.

AND...ACFW has given us a new email address: We will keep the gmail account open for a while, but please start using the new address.

You can check for updates on the calendar at our Upcoming Events page right here or on our Facebook page, ACFW Indiana Chapter. If Upcoming Events does not show up on the sidebar of our Hoosier Ink home page, please let me know ( The little stinker keeps disappearing on me!

 A Year in a Writer's Life

ACFW Indiana 2020 Calendar
All Meetings will begin at 11:30 a.m. and finish by 3:00 p.m. 

March 14 - CANCELLED 
Abbey Downey
Preparing for Contests”
Sirloin Stockade
Marion, Indiana

June 20 - NOW an Online Event! 
Agent Critique Panel
“The Slush Pile Revisited”
J.M. Hochstetler, Tisha Martin, Alyssa Roat
Visit our Upcoming Events page for all the details! 

August 22
Rachael Phillips
“Preparing for Conferences”
North Indianapolis

November 7
Jill Williamson live streamed
Avon or ? (If anyone who lives further north can host this meeting through their church, please contact Linda at:


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Next Fifteen Minutes

Time management.

I used to be so good at it. Not lately. And I know why. I no longer have daily deadlines.

As a  teacher, my day was laid out for me. My lesson plans had to be executed in specific time slots. Since I knew my exact time frame and what I needed to accomplish, I was excellent at meeting the requirements.

By the time I retired, I was ready for the freedom of my own schedule. I was ready to write for the glory of God! I could write in the morning. Or write in the afternoon. Late night hours were especially productive. For a while.

I am not good at time management.

A hundred distractions a day draw my attention away from the words on my screen. I’m like a kitten following the red dot from a laser pointer. (Right now, rain is tapping on the window. I like the sound of rain. It’s gentle, a premonition-of-spring type of rain, not a gully-washer. Maybe I’ll get my umbrella and—see what I mean? I’m chasing another red dot.)

Back to my original problem. Should I blog? Should I write a short story? Should I polish the first few pages for submission to a contest? Should I get a drink of water? Or tea? Should I write the newsletter for Hoosier Ink? Should I begin revisions on Book 2 in World Without Sound? Should I go to the gym? Should I write the outline for my next series? Should I?—I can’t stop chasing those red dots all over creation!

I’ve tried making lists. This is a good thing to start with. Unless I don’t follow the list…
Susie May Warren has a terrific organizational tool through My Book Therapy where I can write down all kinds of writing-related tasks. I’m terrified I’ll spend my days filling in all those pristine blanks and running out of time to do what I planned.

I need help in knowing where to start.

Which task is most important to God? I’m thanking Him for the sermon my pastor preached a few weeks ago. He took the mystery out of “What is God’s will for my life?” 

The gist of the message: “What does God want you to do in the next fifteen minutes?”

Most of us, can answer that question. We can figure out priorities for the next fifteen minutes. We know what will please God in that next quarter hour.

I am getting better at managing my days. After every task, I look at the next fifteen minutes. If no outside forces have already determined the subsequent task, I take time to ask God, “What do You want me to do?” 

A few moments of re-centering my soul with Him, and I have my answer. I can focus. I begin the next task. When that annoying laser pointer bounces a light across my concentration, I send a quick appeal to heaven. The red dot blinks out. 


Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.
Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft.
A wife, mother of three, grandmother to seven, Linda regales the youngest grandchildren with “Nona Stories,” tales of her childhood. Maybe one day those stories will be in picture books!
Where Linda can be found on the web:

Saturday, February 1, 2020

If Only I Had Time...

Happy Leap Month! Every four years, this month brings the gift of an extra day. It’ll seem like any other Saturday and we will manage to fill it with the tasks we normally undertake on that day—washing laundry, vacuuming carpets, etc.—so it may pass without special notice. But make no mistake, the 29th is a day we normally wouldn’t count in the year.

We think we don’t have enough time to do what really matters to us, but in fact we do because we make time.  Clocks, schedules, and calendars direct our days—but who made them? Who set those alarms? Who agreed to those deadlines? We did.

The same is true of February 29. We made the day. And when it rolls around, we’ll decide how to use it.

If we can give ourselves a day, why not an hour? Why not use that hour for our own purposes, as we do with the extra day we’ll give ourselves four weeks from now?

Here's a Leap Year proposal: When you find yourself thinking, “If only I had the time…,” give yourself that time and use it for your personal priorities. Writing, for example.

Joe Allison writes both fiction and nonfiction, and has been a member of the Indiana chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers since 2010. He lives in Anderson, IN, with his wife Maribeth and daughter Heather.