Tag Archives: writing

The Life of an Author – Guest Posting

The Life of an Author – Guest Posting

Tadeo and stuffed Tadeos

Today I am a guest poster on Emma Right’s blog. Emma is the author of many books. Her most recent ones are a children’s series called Princesses of Chadwick Castle Adventure Series.

Emma asked me to tell about a typical day as a writer. Yikes – there is no typical day but I gave it a try.

To see more go to: In the Life of Author Janis Cox.

Blessings for a wonderful day.


Blog Hop – My Current Work in Progress

Blog Hop – My Current Work in Progress

Oh did I laugh when I read the last title of this blog hop. What is my current work? As usual I have all these ideas and no time to focus.

Here are a couple of paintings from my new children’s book.

boy-doll-Yoj-web Yoj-house


But my current work is to focus on what God wants me to do. For that reason I will be taking a month’s sabbatical starting on April 10th. Except for Sunday Stillness which I will continue to put up.

I have come to the conclusion that if I want to get any other writing done besides blogging, I need to spend time with God – serious time. At the moment I write:

Under the Cover of Prayer – this is my first love and I am struggling with leaving it for a month but know I must do so.

Family and Faith Matters – I write twice a month and think I can have those finished before I go on sabbatical.

Inscribe Online – I write once a month and think I can write that before I leave.

and my own blog – He Cares for You – Other than Sunday Stillness – it will be quiet around here.

As for ideas I have two children’s books written. I am working on the illustrations.

I have two devotionals in the works – Living Life – One Word at a Time and a book about prayer.

And we are moving back to our residence in Canada. That is always an adjustment.

So time away will be good for me. I would ask for prayer for discernment of where to put my focus.

Stay tuned and I will tell you what God tells me.

And don’t forget to take a look at my published work – Tadeo Turtle – a story for children ages 2-7. Tadeo won the best children’s book for 2013 by The Word Awards.

Tadeo Turtle isn’t happy with his cumbersome shell. He wants to be free to run and play like Sammy Squirrel. In a dream his shell falls off near a stream. He runs, plays and has fun. All of a sudden CAT appears. Tadeo can’t outrun the CAT. He hides and longs for home. He finds his shell just in time and is safe. After he awakes from his dream, he realizes that God made all the creatures with special attributes and that he is special just the way he has been made.

You can order directly from me for a signed copy and a special batik watercolour card as a gift.

Or go to Tadeo Turtle to Buy for other options.

Tadeo Turtle - Written and Illustrated by Janis Cox

Tadeo Turtle – Written and Illustrated by Janis Cox


What are my works in progress? Joining Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop. (tweet this)


Sixth in a series of a Writers Blog Hop held by Ruth Snyder. 

Our first blog hop can be found at Ruth Snyder. . Writing Goals for 2014.

Our second blog hop can be found here. Writing Tools.

Click here for the third blog hop on the topic. Hero.

Our fourth blog hop was Advice for new writers

Our fifth blog hop was What genre do you write?

Blog Hop -6

Click on the icon to read more posts on My Current Work in Progress



Watchful Wednesdays – Special Guest Robin Livingston

Watchful Wednesdays – Special Guest Robin Livingston

Today we have the pleasure to welcome Robin Livingston. I asked her to write about how her faith and her writing work together.


Where Writing and Faith Intersect

by Robin Livingston

A number of years ago I was helping to plan an event where tea was going to be served to a large number of women.  Now, I am excellent at following instructions but planning is not my forte. At the time I didn’t even drink tea. I was finding the logistics of the whole thing a bit mind boggling. When I suggested that, just to simplify things, we could use the big coffee percolator to make the tea there was a shocked silence around the table.

One of the ladies delicately cleared her throat. “You can’t make tea in a coffee percolator,” she said.

“Why not?” I asked in some confusion.

“Well, because it will end up tasting like coffee.”

Who knew? Apparently, everyone but me.

I still smile when I think of that experience and it was the first thing that came to mind when Jan asked me to share how my faith intersects with my writing. I suppose it might seem a bit odd that I would compare my faith to coffee but it makes a weird kind of sense to me.

You see, my faith has become so much a part of who I am that it affects the flavour of everything I do. The creativity that God gifts us with expresses itself in many ways but whether it is painting pictures, putting a quilt together, making music or telling stories, we all put a bit of ourselves into the things we create. Even when I am not writing about God, His influence in my life shines through the words I put on paper.

When I wrote the book Elijah’s Boy I was painting a picture of one young boy’s journey to faith during the time of the Old Testament prophet, Elijah.  My own journey to faith took place around forty years ago, not quite during the time of Ahab and Jezebel but a long time ago nonetheless. I was seventeen when I discovered God was real and that He loved me. That day marked an end of searching for me.

When I decided to put my trust in Him I embarked on a new path. I was going to spend a lifetime getting to know Him. It would be my faith journey and I never looked back. I may have stumbled on that journey from time to time, but there are also times when I’ve soared. Flat on my face or flying, Jesus keeps drawing me closer to Himself. The further along I travel, the deeper and wider my faith grows. No wonder the things I write “taste like coffee”.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me (Psalm 13:5-6, NIV).”


My faith has become so much a part of who I am that it affects the flavour of everything I do.



Robin Livingston has been a Registered Nurse, a missionary, and a teacher as well as a storyteller and writer over the course of her life so far. She has worked with children of all ages for the past 30 years. She is a member of The Word Guild and a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature in West Redding, CT.

She grew up in the mining communities of Northern Ontario and currently resides with her husband near Elora, Ontario. Her middle grade novel, Elijah’s Boy, is available through Lulu.com or you can visit her website at www.rklivingston.com . Contact her directly at robin@rklivingston.com .

Five-Minute Friday – Write

Five-Minute Friday – Write


What makes me want to write? Oh the sheer excitement to see the words come on the white page (or screen). To see what God is going to lead me to say. To help my thoughts grow my faith as I read and write His Word.

I always loved words. I took English as my major in university. But teachers either liked my writing or hated it. It hurt when they didn’t like my words and I took it personally. God has taught me not to do that now.

When I write now I try to write what He is teaching me. Last Friday the prompt was who is my hero – it was so easy – Jesus of course.

As I live, breathe and find joy in each moment writing becomes part of who I am. I love reading devotionals like Oswald Chambers, and Philip Yancey because those words stir my thinking about how I am living. Of course, the Bible is first and foremost where I get my inspiration.

Writing becomes my living and my living reflects in my writing.

I stumble, but He picks me up. I used to worry about what people would think and hesitated to put any words on paper for fear of failure. But Jesus showed me there is no fear because really I am writing for Him. If I trust Him He will give me the words that He wants me to say.

Thoughtless words cut like a sword.
But the tongue of wise people brings healing (Proverbs 12:18, NIRV).

I pray that my words bring LIFE. That’s why I write.


Writing becomes my living and my living reflects in my writing. (tweet this)

I pray that my words bring LIFE. That’s why I write. (tweet this)

Here is one of my favourite worship songs by Hawk Nelson, Words

The chorus:

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t wanna say a word
Unless it points the world back to you

Time is up: And I like that about Five Minute Friday – just let my fingers go and then the timer goes off – I am done. No editing, reflecting – just words on the page.

Can’t wait to read the thoughts of others.

Join me as Lisa Jo is having a contest to win 3 books – link your posts.

Five-Minute Fridays

Five-Minute Fridays

Want to join Lisa Jo. Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

Do You Put God First?

Do You Put God First?

by Janis Cox


I delight to do Thy will, O my God (Psalm 40:8, NIV).

As I joined a blog hop for writers, most of whom are Christians, I was surprised to find their goals were directed at doing things and not listening to the Holy Spirit first. Maybe they do listen first but didn’t write about it. I don’t know the answer to that. I truly believe that we could make such inroads into the lives of others if we would only start with God first.

My writing started after I had lived quite a few years – so maybe that is why I truly believe that God needs to be in our lives every minute. I loved how one writer put it today – that no matter what she does God is a part of it.

I always start with a prayer for wisdom, and courage both when I write and when I paint. And when I talk to someone, when something is lost, when I work on any project – just anytime.

If we claim to be Christ followers and not fans (a great resource for this concept is Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman), then why don’t we start with our Leader. Every time – could we do this?

I don’t think it matters whether we are writing Christians, or Christians writing, we need to begin with Him.

I paint my best when I don’t try hard, think too much – but when I relax, ask for His guidance and rely on Him.

As I do this more and more, I find He never leaves me – He is always there right beside me.  His love never fails.

If you are trying to do life on your own – stop and think a bit and start looking to your Creator, the one who knows you and can help you do your very best.

God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions ~ Oswald Chambers.

Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way? ~ Oswald Chambers.

Here is an acronym to help us remember: OPEN

O – Open your eyes

P – Pray first

E – Enter His Presence

N – Nearness – now you can do His will

Let’s connect with Jesus. Right now. Would you pray with me.


Lord, we want to do it our way. We sometimes think we can do everything on our own. But when we realize the path is less steep, less rocky and straighter with you, we will put down ourselves and join You in every pursuit. Help us to remember that. Help us to be followers and not fans of Jesus. In His Name. AMEN.


No matter what I do, let me ask God to be a part of it.

Are you a fan of Jesus or a follower of Him?


Janis Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.

Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild and Inscribe Writers Fellowship.

What Writing Tools Do You Use? – A Blog HOP

What Writing Tools Do You Use?

Second in the series of a Writers Blog Hop held by Ruth Snyder. 


Our first blog hop can be found at Ruth Snyder. Here we were asked our writing goals for 2014.

Our second blog hop can be found here.

Don’t forget to join my Newsletter and receive a free copy of the first chapter of Living Life – One Word at a Time. See the right sidebar for instructions.


I am very old fashioned when it comes to my writing. I sit in an easy chair, under a good light. I have a snack, hot tea and a glass of water beside me.

Then I open my Bible, a devotional or a good Christian book. After reading each book something usually triggers a response and I write it down by hand in my paper journal. Many times these thought turn into posts on the spot. Sometimes I go back to my journal and write from the prompts I have jotted down.

I haven’t joined the Scrivener (a writers’ program for the computer) fan club, or other writing programs. I tried Evernote and just didn’t see the point. I just can’t connect as well to my thoughts without a pen in my hand. But that is not to say that they won’t work for you, so I have given the links.

Even as I write this blog post I am writing in my notebook first.

There have been exceptions. When I wrote for 5 minute Fridays, I would type directly into my blog post.

So my tools to write: PEN and PAPER

Once I have my thoughts down on paper, I either transfer to my blog, editing as I type, or write in Word, once again editing as I go.

Recently I have decided to switch from Word to Pages (on my MAC) because it allows me to save directly into an epub format. Therefore creating an ebook will be easier. That will save a tremendous amount of time.

I can’t wait to read what other writers will be saying in their blog post.


http://wp.me/p2yfqH-1fA Join me on a Blog Hop with Ruth Synder @wwjdr #ICwriters. Today – What Writing Tools Do You Use? (Click to Tweet)

Click on the Blog Hop to see how other writers answer this question.



What Are My Personal Writing Goals for 2014? – A Blog Hop

What Are My Personal Writing Goals for 2014? – A Blog Hop

I am joining a number of writers in a Blog Hop. This is the first week. Ruth Snyder is running the hop and you can find our first Links on Ruth’s Blog. Every other Monday we will continue the blog hop. I hope you join us in writing and/or reading the posts.

I would encourage you to sign up for my monthly newsletter. Receive a free ebook – Living Life – One Word at a Time. See the Sidebar for instructions.


Thanks for the template to Melanie at Only A Breath.

My writing and my artwork twirl together. As I am led in one area the other one seems to follow.

Goals and plans are made but must remain open to God’s leading. I have tried writing schedules and except for my morning times, something always seems to interrupt them.

Being retired (read realignment), means my time is my own (not) – or should I say it is God’s time. As He inspires me and as He leads me I follow.

But here are some of my writing dreams:

      • to pray, to read, study, and listen to God
      • to relax and enjoy this experience
      • to continue to let God lead me
      • to publish more books
      • to find a rhythm to posting my blogs: I write on these sites, Under the Cover of Prayer, Family and Faith Matters, and Inscribe Writers Online
      • to tackle social media and get control of it so it doesn’t control me
      • to actually paint the illustrations for 2 books

Each year I try to find One Word for the year that God has given me. In 2012 it was TRUST. In 2013 it was LIVE.



After much prayer, study and listening I have decided that this year will be the Year of FOLLOW.

God has the plan
I will listen to Him. (click to tweet)

Relationship with Jesus is the key
It is not about me. (click to tweet)

TODAY. The Word tomorrow is not in the Holy Spirit’s vocabulary. When Jesus calls us to follow, He means right now. He means today. ~ Kyle Idleman from Not a Fan (click to tweet)

I want to be ready to say, “Yes, Lord.”

My goal for 2014 is to be a Christ Follower. (click to tweet)


Watchful Wednesdays – Opportunities

Watchful Wednesdays – Opportunities

Twice this week I was offered an opportunity to guest post. I realized for the first time that I really like to write. I will write about anything where the Holy Spirit gives me a prompt.


The first one Angelview Inspirations was about perseverance. Sharon Kirby wrote a comment on that post.

You know, most of the time when I hear that word, I think of trudging along in spite of circumstances – mostly with an exhausted spirit, and a disgruntled attitude. However, I think you’re right.

Perseverance is a process.

And rather than a destructive windstorm that serves only to erode us, it’s more like a chisel in the hand of a master sculptor. (tweetable)

God uses our perseverance to work on our character. And so, the longer we persevere, the more we’ll look like Him. That IS a lifelong process, but worth it for the joy that awaits.

Then another opportunity at Grace Thorson’s blog –

Grace reminded me that I love poetry and I shared one of the first poems that I wrote while questioning God about everything – and how He showed me exactly Who He is.

Follow the link to read my post called How Writing Changed My Life.

I love opportunities – to meet new people, to try new things, to stretch the mind God has given me.


Thank You, Lord for opportunities. May I always move towards them when you give me a nudge. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

What opportunities has God been giving you? I would love to hear from you.


I read this wonderful post on the Inscribe Writers Online blog by Bryan Norford. Sometimes we feel inadequate in our writing. Bryan sets it straight – we can feel that way and still write well. How? Read his post.


by Bryan Norford

What's Up God?

I have previously commented here and elsewhere on the tension between commitment and inspiration: we are often committed to writing when we don’t feel inspired. Depending on our temperament, it can be the difference between light and darkness.

We need to be careful how we think of inspiration. Inspired work is not necessarily easy. Inspiration may simply be an idea requiring a further ninety per cent perspiration to develop. Conversely, apparently mechanical writing often initiates inspiration as it progresses.

While most people may use the idea of inspiration in its mundane sense—an easy flow as we write—the Christian considers its fundamental meaning: drawing upon the wisdom of the Spirit.

  All Christian writing—fiction as well as non-fiction—
depends on God’s wisdom to infuse it. (tweet this)

To read the rest of the article please follow Bryan at Inscribe Fellowship Online. Find out how Christian writers are driven to prayer each morning.


The Next Big Thing?

I have been tagged by Jayne Selfauthor of Death of a Highland Heavyweight and Murder in Hum Harbour.

Here are my answers to the questions:

  1. What is the title of your book? 

My new book, Tadeo Turtle, has just been launched. Although I haven’t seriously considered the next book I did write a poem (maybe for the next book) about how Tadeo becomes very shy and withdrawn and he retreats into his shell. However some readers of my first book want a story about CAT. So I will have to see where I am led. 

Tadeo Turtle – Written and Illustrated by Janis Cox

2.  Where did the idea come from for the book?

I journal every morning. One morning after reading Scripture and contemplating how special we are to God – this poem (the one in Tadeo Turtle) started to come to me. I quickly wrote down what I heard. I liked it. So I started to paint pictures of turtles, and other animals. From there it came together and turned into a picture book with my watercolours as illustrations.

3.   What genre does your book fall under?

The book is an illustrated children’s book for ages 2-7 (but my grandson is having it read to him and he is only 8 months old).

4.   Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Now that is a funny question. I would make Tadeo Turtle into a cartoon with my watercolour characters coming to life. I can see Sammy Squirrel scampering from tree to tree while little Tadeo dreams of being able to do such a thing. I would have Morgan Freeman as the voice of Tadeo.

5.   What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Tadeo Turtle longed to be different but through an exciting adventure he learns to accept how God has made him.

6.   Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This book is self-published through Word Alive Press. They also do the marketing to over 5000 schools and libraries and bookstores in Canada. Would I go with an agency for the next book? Not sure. I had such freedom of expression using Word Alive. They helped with the font and making the names of the characters in capitals and colour. But I continued to have artistic control. Not sure if I could give that up.

7.    How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

What can I say – It took one morning… it is not War and Peace. However, the rewrites, editing and painting took many more months.

8.   What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I have always loved picture books. I loved reading to my children, discussing the pictures, and having them make stories to go with the pictures. Picture books are great jumping off points for literacy for children. My three favourite picture books are – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl , The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl and Deegie and the Fairy Princess by Ruth Rempel (and I still have a copy of this one).

9.   Who or what inspired you to write this book? 

I must say that God inspired me – not only in the creation of this story but the production of the watercolours. These are the best pictures I have ever painted. And I love the way God has led me to reach out to others and tell them that they are special too. Being in the Word – reading the Bible every day – keeps me inspired to tell more and more people about who Jesus is and how we can get to know Him better.

Is Tadeo worried about CAT?

10.    What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

From the comments that I have heard I think that children and parents will like the activities at the back of the book as well as a free online curriculum available. I have heard many compliments about the watercolours too. It has been said that “Tadeo Turtle’s gleeful personality is sure to win the hearts of children.” (Glynis Belec) 

And now I tag:

Kimberley Payne who has a new book called – Trees of the Book

Janet Stobie who has a new book called – Fireweed

Eunice Machett who writes as Whirling Words