A New Idea
A warm welcome to my guest blogger, Christine Henderson, a contributing author to 21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships. She wrote “The Candy Bowl.” Find out why she gets her chocolates on the day after Valentine’s Day.
When did you start writing?
My writing began when I wrote a script for my high school variety show. In college my favorite courses were on writing, but that wasn’t my major. Then life and work got in the way until about ten years ago when I got involved with my first writers’ critique group.
What are your thoughts about critique groups?
Critique groups can be a great help or a hindrance. You need to find the right fit with people who will challenge you and not just pat you on the back. I’m currently involved with three groups: one for my children’s writing, one for my inspirational writing, and one for my romance novels.
How do you handle your daily devotional time?
Every year I like to start a new devotional guide. Right now I’m reading 5 Minutes a Day Every Day and doing the It’s Not About Me Journal. And during the day I’ll turn to the other chapters in 21 Days of Love.
What feedback have you received from people reading your story in the book?
People love the look of the book as much as I do—the beautiful embossed cover, the sculpted pages. And with the sweet stories inside, it’s like holding a Valentine’s box of chocolates in written form.
One of the nicest compliments I received from a reader on my story, “The Candy Bowl,” was that she was going to do the same thing at work to create deeper connections with her coworkers.
What is one of your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions?
Some years ago our income was really slim and we decided Valentine’s Day should be celebrated on the 15th. This gave us the opportunity to buy a pretty box of chocolates at 50% off the regular rate. We still do that. And I make our own romantic dinner at home for half what we’d spend on a dinner out. We do romantic splurges other times of the year when we need the emotional lift.
What do you love most about writing?
I have a box of short notes with dozens of story ideas that I hope to one day flesh out into full stories.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
My writing nemesis is the synopsis. Trying to compact the essence of my novel in a couple of pages, without it sounding like a book report, drives me crazy.
Tell about an experience in your past that God used to put you where you needed to be in order to do something He called you to do.
For years I taught Sunday school for junior high students and I wrote short seasonal skits, utilizing the teens and adults in the church as actors. Then we moved to a new area and attended a church that didn’t do skits or plays, so I asked how I could help in Sunday school. The director knew of my experience in writing skits. She told me they had a puppet ministry for the preschool children that needed help.
Until that time I had never written anything for young children. Writing for that age range was out of my comfort zone. However, I had said I wanted to be of service to the church and felt this was a tap on my shoulder from God. Once I started, I discovered I had a heart for writing and sharing God’s love with young children. I’ve since written dozens of picture-book stories. Unfortunately, none of them has found a home with a publisher yet. However, that doesn’t stop me from writing and sending out the stories.
What else have you written and published?
My writings have been published in Ruminate magazine, Pockets magazine, and numerous anthologies about family life—most notably in Chicken Soup for the Soul. I’ve also been featured in several editions of The Secret Place quarterly devotional guide. This summer I will have my first devotional included in The Upper Room.
Since I write in multiple genres, I’m an active member of SCBWI, RWA, and Christian Writers Group of San Antonio.
Christine Henderson can’t imagine a day without writing or at least rewriting. Her writings have been published in 21 Days of Love, Pockets magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Secret Place devotional guide, and numerous anthologies about family life. She loves writing children’s stories and is in the final edit of three contemporary women’s novels. To improve her writing craft, she is an active member of SCBWI, RWA, and Christian Writers Group of San Antonio.