Welcome to Psalm 98 Ministries!
Psalm 98 Ministries is a writing and speaking outreach to women’s groups, writers conferences, and Bible study groups. This ministry developed from my experiences as a Bible editor, teacher, author, and publisher.
For women’s events, I offer keynote talks, breakout sessions, and small group discussions. For writers conferences, I offer keynotes as well as craft and business-oriented workshops. For Bible study groups, I can create original material based on a requested topic or lead groups using published material.
Salt and Light: How Caring for Others Can Change Your Intimacy with God
For more than 20 years, I’ve cared for a daughter with severe disabilities. Rachel has changed my life, my faith, and my outlook on my relationships with God and other people. Yet even women who care for perfectly healthy families tell me that caregiving can crack open whole new places in your heart and mind. As I share Rachel’s story, I weave into it applications from Scripture and the wisdom learned from everyday lives in hopes of showing women how even simple tasks can open their hearts to God.
A Legacy of Faith and Love: Simple Ways to Pass on Our Gifts from God
My mother left me with a beautiful legacy of faith and needlework. In seeking someway to preserve and honor that, I wrote My Mother’s Quilts. But all of us have a legacy to leave those who come behind us, from the ways we share our faith to the gifts God has generously bestowed upon us.
Paul’s Pointers for Success: Or…why God’s Apostle Was Not the Original Male Chauvinist Pig
The life and letters of the Apostle Paul are some of the most studied sections of the Bible. Yet even scholars overlook how intensely he supported and cared about women in the faith. By taking a close look at his instructions to all believers as well as his relationships with women, I demonstrate how Paul wanted women to succeed in the faith as well as in life, and I offer four of his instructions up as examples we should follow on a daily basis.
The 60-Second Christian: How One Minute a Day with God Can Renew Your Faith and Life
In the busyness of our daily lives, most women don’t think they have time to read a devotional or study the Bible. Yet reading most published devotionals takes less than 60 seconds, and can be done at a red light, waiting on a child – or even the microwave. Let me show you – with humor and Scripture – how these one-minute breaks with God can change your day…and maybe even your life.
Other topics available by request.
Breakout Sessions and Small Discussions
Breakout sessions and group discussion are usually tailored to an event’s theme. They can be drawn from the keynote topic or developed from existing material used by the group. A few samples include:
Using devotions for in-depth Bible study
Behind the scenes of Paul’s instructions to women
The brave and beautiful women of the Old Testament
Developing a legacy of faith and family history
The spiritual gift of caregiving
Tearing Down the Walls: Busting Through Five Major Hurdles in Your Career
Every writer encounters brick walls that threaten to bring writing dreams to a screeching halt. Those brick-wall moments happen to everyone. They’re a normal part of the process. Success is often a matter of understanding how to tear those brick walls. This workshop is Q&A based, and focuses on solutions to five hurdles writers often face: the dreaded proposal, pitching nerves, fear of success and the imposter syndrome, rejection, and marketing anxiety. (novice and intermediate)
A Closer Look: How to Know if Your Manuscript Needs as Professional Editor (and How to Find One)
This workshop reviews the reasons to hire (or not) a professional editor for your manuscript, how to find an experienced editor in your field, and how and why edits are so expensive. It will explain the different types of edits, the costs, industry standards and expectations, and the advantages of having one. (intermediate & advanced)
Perfect Pitch: 10 Tips on Selling in 50 Words or Less
Ten suggestions that will help you perfect your “elevator pitch.” These will help you refine the high concept in your book and suggest ways to practice. Finally, they’ll help you eliminate those inevitable nerves when approaching an editor and make the best of your ten-minute session. Bring those pitches with you! (novice & intermediate)
10 Tips to Winning an Editor’s Heart (and Signature on a Contract)
This “Top Ten” countdown focuses on what editors and agents look for in a prospective writer’s work and attitude. Drawn from 30 years’ experience as a professional editor, this is practical advice presented with humor and (I hope) wisdom. (novice)
Why Did I Get Rejected?: A View from Behind the Desk
Editors don’t look for a reason to buy the novel you’ve struggled with for months—or years! They look for a reason to reject it. Don’t give them one. This workshop provides a glimpse from behind an editor’s desk: what they look for, why talent is not enough to get your manuscript published, and traps to avoid in such areas as format, presentation, and the development of character and story arcs. (intermediate & advanced)
Why Does It Take SO Long?: The Publishing Process from Submission to Contract
The path of a manuscript from the moment it arrives on an editor’s desk through a contract offer. Bonus: Advantages of seeking a traditional publisher. (novice)
Get Out of the Dumps! Turning Backstory into Character Development
“Too much backstory in the first chapter.” It’s the response every author dreads. It’s the one sure-fire way to get a book rejected. Backstory, everyone says, should be delivered with an eyedropper throughout the text. But HOW do you do that when so much information is necessary for the reader to understand what’s going on? This class breaks down what a backstory dump looks like and offers three main solutions to using “what came before” to support the plot, development the main characters, and provide motivation for supporting characters. (novice & intermediate)
A Cut Above: Taking Your Craft to the Next Level
Intended as a small, continuing class over several days, this workshop is an intense, interactive practicum for troubleshooting plot and character development. Participants should have a finished manuscript and specific questions about criticisms they’ve received or changes they want to make. They must be willing to share details in a classroom setting. (intermediate and advanced)
What DO They Want? – That Vital First Page
You can sell your book with the first page. A look at how editors review a new manuscript, what really gets their attention, and tips on crafting the first page. (novice & intermediate)
Tag, You’re It: Crafting Dialogue to Reveal Character
“He Said/She Said” should describe a book’s conflict, not the repetition of annoying dialogue tags. The way a character speaks should be as individual as a fingerprint. This session covers 5 tips to intensify a character’s voice and syntax as distinct as their actions.
(novice & intermediate)
A Lady to Love: Turning Your Heroine’s GMC into an Irresistible ARC
This advanced craft workshop takes an intensive look at the character development that will turn your heroine from engaging to unforgettable. Participants should have completed at least one novel. They will be asked to bring a description of an unforgettable heroine from the movies. Workshop tasks include filling out a character sheet for their own heroine and providing sample dialogue and descriptive passages from their novel. (advanced)
A Gentleman to Admire: Turning Your Hero’s GMC into an Unforgettable ARC
This advanced craft workshop is a companion to “A Lady to Love,” and focuses on character development tips that will turn a hero from enticing to cherished and extraordinary. Participants should have completed at least one novel. They will be asked to bring a description of an unforgettable hero from the movies. Workshop tasks include filling out a character sheet for their own hero and providing sample dialogue and descriptive passages from their novel. (advanced)
Shoot Someone: Ten Tips on Turning Your Middle from Muddle to Magnificent
Every novelist struggles sooner or later with a “middle malfunction.” This session features work-horse tips and writing exercises for revitalizing a droopy middle or jumpstarting a stalled one.
(intermediate & advanced)
Marathon: Finishing Your First Draft in 30 Days or Less
If you’ve ever thought, “I can write better than that!” then this workshop is for you. A lot of people have great ideas and start a book, but never finish. Some even enter “book in a month” contests, then stall out after only a few chapters. This workshop will provide readers interested in writing as well as experienced authors the guidelines necessary for finishing the first draft of a novel in 30 days or less.
Cinderella vs. Trinity: Two Sides of the Same Heroine
Ten reasons that Cinderella and Trinity (from The Matrix) aren’t that different and how those similarities can turn a heroine into a character that will win the hearts of readers and editors alike.
Deconstructing Paul: What God’s Apostle Can Teach Writers about Writing
Paul’s passion for his subject, his attention to details, and his awareness of his audience can be a primer for excellent writing. The class will focus on the four Ps of Paul’s letters: Passion (Love your art), Perfection (Know your craft), Pitch (Know your audience), Persistence (Never give up).
God as Jigsaw: Putting a Writing Career Together with God’s Pieces
Using my own wide and varied writing career as an example, I draw on Scripture and the practical side of publishing to show how God’s path for us as writers is almost always unexpected and difficult, although there’s a tremendous beauty in the result.
Tearing Down the Walls
A writer is an entrepreneur, and like anyone starting out in business, we will encounter brick walls that threaten to bring a halt to our work and our dreams. Those brick-wall moments happen to everyone. They’re a normal part of the process. Success is often a matter of understanding how to tear those brick walls down so they become much less intimidating. Instead of stopping us cold, they often become something closer to speed bumps.
A Legacy of Writing and Faith
Writing is more than a calling, more than a career. It’s also our legacy. As is our faith. This keynote address the ways we can honor both the past and the future with the work we are doing today.