Posts Tagged ‘writing’

100th Anniversary Celebration

May 21, 2013

100 years old. Quite a feat. I’m not 100, but the pioneer built Ruth Chapel in Parker, Colorado turned 100 on May 13, 2013. A community celebration sponsored by the town of Parker and the Parker Area Historical Society on May 18th featured hay rides, tours of the chapel, and refreshments of the era accompanied by music from a “brass band.”

I was fortunate to be included in the festivities and spent the morning handing out celebratory red carnations to the ladies. Also briefly neglecting my carnation duties, I had my photo taken in front of the “motor car” which added color and interest to the morning.

The story of Ruth Chapel is similar to other historic buildings throughout the West. Female residents of the area decided it was time for some childhood religious training so began a Sunday School that met in the local school in the 1880’s. Later circuit riding ministers held monthly services in the school. In the early 1900’s, the community was in need of a church. George Parker one of the co-founders of the town, which bears his name, sold the church property for $1 and later school superintendent, Dr. Heath, donated the land. The building had one paid worker, construction supervisor William Holmes; the remaining workers were local ranchers and farmers who donated their time and skills to build the small church.

It didn’t matter the religious affiliation of the worker; the community banded together to get the job done. The basement was excavated with a horse drawn scraper and local families contributed the building’s light plant and furnace.

By the 1913 completion date, Dr. Heath had passed away but the building was dedicated in memory of his daughter who had passed away before the Heaths came to Colorado. It was called the Ruth Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church.

Like all community endeavors, membership in the church waxed and waned with the area population sometimes counting less than ten attendees until the Parker community began to grow in the early 1980’s. The Methodist church out grew the building and purchased the vacant school building next door. The Ruth Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and after being purchased by the Town of Parker has become the site of small weddings and similar events.


E-books Yes or No?

July 20, 2010

Is the new trend toward e-books a good thing or a nightmare?  Right now I have mixed feelings.  Since the price of a hard copy has soared to near the $30 mark and we seem to be short of cash.  The e-book seems like a God-send.  But what about the competition?  Are we just going to see that lousy writing has a new home? Are e-books the wave of  the future or just a new garbage bin? I’m interested in some feedback folks.  I’m teetering on the brink of jumping into this new venue.

Tips on Formatting for Book Manuscripts

December 7, 2007

Manuscript format for novels or nonfiction books differs slightly from what is used for articles or short stories. Here are a few points to remember:

  1. Book manuscripts have a cover page that includes your name, address, and telephone number in the upper left hand corner.
  2. Your word count should be across the page in the upper right corner.
  3. A word of caution. Most editors are very aware of copyright status. Putting a copyright statement on the page screams amateur and puts you at risk for angering an editor. Something I would no recommend.
  4. The title of your work should be centered approximately halfway down the page. Twenty double spaces is a good guide or about 3 ½ inches down.
  5. If you wish under the title you may place the type of work (A Thriller, A Mystery, A Romance) centered on the next line.
  6. Then your name centered on the next line. If you are using a pseudonym, you need to use your pseudonym here.

The remainder of the manuscript should follow the format for shorter pieces with headers that contain your name, a shortened version of the title and page numbers. Page numbers should be continuous throughout the work. Do not re-number within a chaper.


  1. Do not bind the manuscript. Clips, comb bindings, or other bindings are frowned upon.
  2. Do not use both sides of the paper. One side, double-spaced, in a readable type font will make you a favorite with any editor.

Next time a word about plotting and storyline.

Sandy Whelchel is the author of THE NATIONAL WRITERS ASSOCIATION GUIDE TO WRITING FOR BEGINNERS, published by Rowman and Littlefield ISBN#978-1-57886-685-4

The Good and Bad News

November 19, 2007

Proper Manuscript Format

Hello Writers,

If you have been following this blog, I’ve been offering my expertise on writing and getting published. Today, I’d like to discuss a necessary writing evil for getting published. It is called manuscript format.

If you are writing to be published on the Net, this isn’t quite as important. But if you are yearning for print publication, here’s the down and dirty. A manuscript MUST be in proper format before it will be considered by a print publisher. If it isn’t in proper format, it will end up back in your envelop or as landfill.

What does that mean? Here are the basics.

  1. The manuscript must be typed, that means from your handy Mac or PC, in 10 or 12 point type in either Times Roman or Courier type. For the beginner, these two typefaces are called serif type because they have those “serifs” (any of the short lines stemming from and at an angle to the upper and lower ends of the strokes of a letter)(Thank you, Merriam Webster dictionary). San serif type (Arial) is not looked upon with a kind eye.
  2. The manuscript must be double-spaced on one side of the paper only.
  3. The manuscript should have the title centered about 3 inches down from the top for an article or short story.
  4. The first page of an article or short story should have the author’s name, address, and telephone number in the upper left hand corner and the approximate word count on the right hand corner.
  5. Most editors prefer page numbers on subsequent pages in the upper right corner with the title centered and the author’s last name on the upper left corner in a header format.

That should get you started. Next time I’ll discuss novel and book-length format.

Sandy Whelchel is the author of seven published nonfiction books and two novels. Her most recent book is THE NATIONAL WRITERS ASSOCIATION GUIDE TO WRITING FOR BEGINNERS, ISBN:978-1-57886-685-4

5 tips on Finding Time to write

October 30, 2007

Hi everyone,

Thought it might be time to weigh in on the second most asked question for would-be writers.  How to find time to write.  With our busy schedules it does seem to be a serious concern.   So here are a few tips:

1. Forget about large blocks of time.  Unless you are unemployed, you may have to resort to small chunks of time.  If you have a laptop carry that thing everywhere.  You can manage a few nice pages waiting in the doctor’s office or during soccer practice.

2. Turn off the television.  That evil one-eyed monster can consume precious writing time.  Early in my career, I worked for a newspaper.  (Deadlines required. No excuses!)  I learned to write between 8 pm and 10 pm.  After the kids were in bed.  Weaning yourself away from the TV is necessary.

3. You don’t need to write the whole novel in one session.  Remember that one page per day equals 365 pages in a year and that’s a pretty fair sized novel or nonfiction book.

4. Listen to your heart, not your detractors.  It’s easy to think you’ll never reach that goal of completing a work.  Be stupidly persistant like me.  If you want to have something published, you have to listen to that inner voice that says you can do it. 

5. Make your writing a priority.  Yes, we all have families, jobs, and a life that needs “attending to.”  But if you want to be a writer you MUST write.   Carve out some time and get busy.

Sandy Whelchel is the author of the new The National Writers Association Guide to Writing for Beginners (ISBN: 978-1-57886-685-4) as well as two recently published thriller novels, CHECK AND MATE and HIDE AND SEEK.