Friday, July 30, 2021

How To Stop Getting Stuck - Four Ways I Get Through Writer's Block

Writer's block you say?

I know exactly how you feel. You're speaking beyond your roof. To the clouds. And then - whack! the clouds are gone and the roof has caved in.

Photo by Matt Artz

Now what? First things first. Pick yourself up. Writer's block happens for a reason, a least for me. 

I need to relax. 
I need to focus on something else.
I am not interested in what I am writing.
I should be doing something else.

Relaxing usually helps me. I take a break. I read. I sleep. I go outside for a walk. I breathe in and out.
When I go back to writing my mind is refreshed.

Focus. I need a break from what I am currently doing. I focus on another project that I have been putting off. I focus on a new idea - something still in the creation stage. I write nonsense. 

I am not happy with what I am writing. Maybe the writing isn't me. I pick up the book, "A Writer's Year -365 Creative Writing Prompts" by Emma Bastow. Great book to pull stuff out.

I should be doing something else like marketing. I don't want to market [necessarily] but I have a new book coming out at the end of August and I need to get the word out.

Writer's block doesn't have to stay - at least for very long.

See that hole in the roof?

When you look up you can still see the sky.

Photo by


Thursday, July 29, 2021

Getting it Done: Preparing for a Book Launch

I'm in the midst of it, a book launch like no launch I have ever done before! Book reviewers are on my list, interview opportunities, podcasts, postcards, T-shirts, prize giveaways - for the first time I will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky winner along with my book at Novels Alive, (come see me on August 23rd) guest posts galore, Kindle pre-orders, and more!

Fortunately, everything is written down and organized, though I still have layers of paper on my desk from people yet to contact or people I've contacted already.

And then there's my own blog and my monthly newsletter to keep going! 

What I haven't thought much about are book signings. With COVID still running more rampant than makes most of us feel comfortable, setting up a signing is a bit difficult, but I am planning on doing some holiday signings this year, and you need to plan on coming to the writer's conference at the American Fork Library in September. That will be the first place I will have my book - live - with an opportunity to autograph!

Book Trailer!

A big THANK YOU to those who have already joined me in this quest! 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Books - Bryce Canyon and More!

No, you haven't heard from me in a week, but my family and I have been to Bryce Canyon. What a beautiful place to get inspired! We stayed at the Evergreen.

Myself and my daughter, Tiffanie in front of the cabin.

The stairs to the second floor where my daughter and her two kids slept were an exercise in and of themselves. Fortunately, my husband and I got to sleep on the main floor.

The view from our porch, and where I wrote every morning. It was splendid! So quiet!

One of my favorite places - Mossy Creek

My family

The Hikes were worth it, though I wish I had been in better shape!

While I was on vacation, this announcement went up here!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Audio, you say? Get to know Krista Nicely

UPDATE: We are squeaky clean close to getting the audio finished! It should be this week! Don't be a stranger...

The audio narration begins today for "I Walked With Jesus: New Testament Stories of Faith and Healing From the Least of These."

Krista Nicely

Get to know Krista Nicely!

How long have you been narrating books? What do you enjoy the most about it?

I have been narrating books for a little over 3 years.  One of the things I enjoy most about narrating is the opportunity to be all the characters - the hero, the villain, the odd minor character or creature, both males and females, from the young boy to the elderly grandmother.

What is your favorite genre to narrate?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite genre. I do enjoy narrating books with an engaging story, interesting, dynamic characters. I also love a good challenge - such as learning to pronounce a few Finnish words for one book.

What is the trickiest part of narrating, perhaps something you have learned through practice?

Pre-order the eBook at Amazon

For me, one of the biggest challenges has been consistency - pacing and voice -  as narrating a single book can take anywhere from several days to weeks. When I get in my studio in the morning, which is when I typically record, I listen to some of the last recording and even read along with myself for a bit. This can help me feel the pacing as well as hear and in a way feel the placement of my voice.  This practice can help with maintaining a consistent sound from chapter 1 to the final chapter of a book.

If you could advise an author just starting in working with a narrator, what would it be? What advice would you give to a narrator just starting out?

Two things come to mind. First, make sure your book is ready for narrating and that it has been professionally edited. As a narrator, I work hard to ensure that I read the written manuscript exactly as written - preferably without errors. Also, a well-edited book is much easier to read.  And with that in mind, I would suggest that authors read their book out loud to themselves. Doing this will help them to hear the text and notice if dialogue sounds natural or awkward or even if there is a word that is overused.

Why did you decide to take on Kathryn's book?

I am always up for trying something new! This book is different from other audiobooks I have done in that it is a series of stories from the New Testament rather than a novel. Kathryn’s retelling of the stories and providing a possible backstory for familiar figures of the Bible interested me. I thought it would be a fun challenge.

Thank you, Krista!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A Tractor Named Wilbur: Friendships Last Forever

"This funny, helpful tractor will make you and your child smile. Life isn't always what you expect, but at least there are friends to help you along the way." Kathryn

A Tractor Named Wilbur: Friendships Last Forever

WILBUR is a small, shy tractor. He loves cutting the grass for Jim. But what happens when he must find a new home? Will Jim still be his friend? Who will the new owner be? WILBUR would love for you to take him home and read about his adventure. A Tractor Named Wilbur is the first in a fun series coming your way!

Get A Tractor Named Wilbur at Amazon

“What a fabulous outlook on life! Do you have a grandchild or friend who would love this story? They will fall in love with this sweet character.” ~Colleen Chesebro

“Wonderful story about a man and the tractor he loves with all his heart…. Yes, in ways it’s sad. But it does teach us—and our children—that life brings many changes, and we must try to ensure that when these changes occur, everyone is taken care of.” ~Theodore J. Cohen

“This picture book contains soft, colorful illustrations and charming dialogue. Children will learn that sometimes they must change and adapt to new situations. The book contains questions for readers to discuss with parents or teachers to maximize the lessons of the tale. Recommended to preschool and elementary school children.” ~Barbara A. Mojica

“Children will enjoy this little story about Wilbur and learn a valuable lesson about changes in their lives. They will love the colorful and sweet illustrations and dialogue that perfectly go together. ~ J. Spina

“The theme of the book is lighthearted and cheerful, making it perfect for young kids’enjoyment. ~ Literary Titan’s Reviews

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne, author


·         Mom’s Choice Gold Medal

·         Literary Titan’s Silver Medal

·         Firebird Award from Category

·         Firebird Award from Reader Category


Amazon; (Available in audible, kindle, paperback and hardcover)

Barnes and Noble:

Links to Spanish version: Un Tractor Llamado Wilbur:












Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Friends: One of the Best Things Life has to Offer

No one can walk this world alone. Not really. Friends help life to be more than bearable, but joyous. Today is one of those days when I can share with a friend and I can share with you. Take a look, especially if you're a writer and especially if you have children.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Audio Books and Miracles

Today, I had a guest post published here. The guest post? Are You an Audio Book Fan?

Well, are you?

If you're not, you might want to read this post. If you are, you might want to read it anyway. Who knows what new information you might glean.

New information abounds in the universe.

When I began to write my new book, "I Walked With Jesus: New Testament Stories of Faith and Healing From the Least of These," I had no idea that The Chosen was also in the works. But this has happened to me before, and it has probably happened to you.

When I began thinking about putting some of my books on audio, I had no idea that someone would contact me for that very thing I needed. But Nancy Peterson was also on the same page. She was thinking to start a narrating business and needed some books to read.

Consider the story of the loaves and the fishes. This story is in my new book to be released in September. When all of the people gathered to hear Jesus and they were hungry, they probably had no idea that Jesus could turn five loaves and two fish into enough food to fill the crowd with extras to spare! The boy and his family had no idea that their offering would feed so many. They were a poor family and had brought all they had to feed themselves while they heard Jesus speak. What of the five loaves and two fish amongst so many? 

A lot when you consider the power of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Get an Author or Character Interview!

Are you an author looking for a FREE way to market your book?

Do you have a terrific character from your latest book that needs to express themselves beyond your book?

Send me a note. I would love to help. Send me your contact information and I'll send you a short list of interview questions. 

I'll post the interview (author or character) along with your author photo, synopsis, book chapter, trailer, book cover, or whatever else you'd like that we can agree on. Trust me, I know how it feels to get the word out about a new book and feel as if no one is listening. 

Just give me a thumbs up here and I'll contact you. 

Your book can be traditionally published or self-published but it must a family-friendly book to be posted on this site.

Happy Marketing!


Saturday, July 3, 2021

Hybrid Publishing & Idea Creations Press: What we are – and aren’t


           Years ago, when I first began writing, I knew of only two types of publishers. Those who paid for everything (Traditional Publishers) and those who didn’t (Vanity Publishers). With all of the back talk about Vanity Publishers, especially in the 80s when I was new at writing, I figured my best bet was going the traditional route.

            I spent over eight years looking for a traditional publisher, even approaching the “Big Five”, without success. And then one day I received a return note from a local publisher. They wanted to publish my book.

            I was excited, so excited that I didn’t check out the company. I didn’t research anything, and frankly, skimmed over the contract that came soon thereafter. They wanted to publish my book! And that’s all that mattered.

            Without control over my book, I soon realized the disaster I would soon create for myself. [Keep in mind that many people go the traditional route and love not having to think through the book process and that this works for them].

            The disaster came in snippets.

            The cover was beautiful, even captivating, but did it capture what the book was about? Did it lend itself to the readership? Had the illustrator even read my book?

            Could I sell copies of my book for $18? Keep in mind that this was a soft-cover book and that the book was for middle readers.

            When the book was finally published – yes, we did go through a revision stage and I had a good editor – my book was finished. My publisher was done. Now, without knowing anything about marketing, I had to get my book into bookstores and sell the heck out of it.

            Years later, after trial and error with this book, my brother bought the rights back for me. He thought it was crazy that I had a great book with the wrong cover and too expensive. Now, owning all rights I could do whatever I wanted with it.

            Fortunately, through the years I had learned a thing or two about bookstores and marketing. The first thing I did was to change the cover. I took down the price substantially. And then I began to write more books.

            Idea Creations Press opened its doors in March of 2012, that’s nine years ago for you finger counters. We had no real plan from start to finish like some pantsters who write books, having no real plot idea. No real outline, since they’re writing by the seat of their pants. Through trial and error, however, we learned how to edit, create a great book cover, and proved ourselves worthy of an interior layout that didn’t look like a self-published book.

            Later, after I’d published a few books of my own, we helped other writers to do the same. Our company, Idea Creations Press was born. A hybrid publishing service, like those hybrid cars that use gasoline and/or an electric motor to get you to the same place, we yet differentiated from other hybrids.

            According to Car and Driver Magazine, “Sometimes the electric motor does all the work, sometimes it's the gas engine, and sometimes they work together. The result is less gasoline burned and, therefore, better fuel economy. Adding electric power can even boost performance in certain instances.”

            Idea Creations Press is more about you than it is about us, though often we are doing most of the work, and sometimes you are. But we are working together. The result is less writer burnout and a better book; one that speaks to you as well as to your audience. Having electric power in a hybrid car is kind of like sitting behind the wheel yourself, starting the engine, and traveling to wherever you want to go – instead of sitting as a passenger or running out of gas because you’ve tried to do everything yourself. At the end of the publishing road, you own all rights to your work, and we send you off with a marketing book and plenty of ideas to keep you from running out of gas or electricity – marketing is just that hard. We are the dream publisher with all of the help and services I wanted as a new author but was never able to find.

            Having said this, I want to be honest about our type of publishing.

            It isn’t for everyone.

            What Idea Creations Press is, is an opportunity for writers who want a little more control of their book to get it without having to learn and do everything within the book publishing industry themselves.

            If this sounds like a sales pitch – it is. We want your business. That is if you want to work on your book this way. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

1.      Do I need help with editing? Do I need a professional to go through my work?

2.      Do I want to help create my book cover?

3.      Do I want a say on how much my book costs?

4.      Do I want control over marketing? Am I willing to learn?

5.      Do I want to own all rights to my work?

6.      Have I written a book that conforms to Idea Creations Press guidelines? [See our guidelines at].

7.   Am I willing to do some of the work needed to produce a great book? (i.e., send over book cover ideas, write up a bio, send over an author headshot. Write up a synopsis of the book).

            A hybrid publisher is a paid-for book deal. That means you pay for the services that you want, and we help you through the process of book publishing. That means, if you need or want help with marketing, we have a service for that, too. But you will leave Idea Creations Press better prepared to sell your book – guaranteed.

            Success on the road doesn’t happen by wishing. It happens through hard work and help along the way.

Friday, July 2, 2021


I was thinking this morning about what I would like readers to know about my book - especially those readers who make it to my site through a google search, or those who continue to come to my site to see what I am up to because they are a part of my "Followers" club. And it occurred to me that either way, most, if not all of you might be wondering what to expect from the stories in this book. 
              And so here is a chapter. I hope you enjoy it.

The Centurion 

Mark 15

“What are you doing, Father?” the Centurion’s son asked. He was seven. 

            “I am getting the crosses loaded,” he replied.

            “Who will die?” the boy asked.

            The Centurion looked down at his son. He was a good boy, but he was always asking questions. And this question was harder than most.

            “A couple of criminals,” he replied. “And a man named Jesus.”

               “Jesus. I remember him.”

            “You do?”

            “Why him, Father?”

            The last cross thudded into the wagon. It would be unloaded tomorrow, early at the Praetorium, ready as requested.

            “There are many who do not believe the things he says,” the Centurion told his son honestly.

            “Do you, Father?”

            The Centurion reached for his son. “Yes, I believe so,” he said.

            “Then you must do something, Father, you must save him.”

               Save him?

            He was an officer currently stationed in Jerusalem and had eighty soldiers under his command. But his voice did not overshadow that of the chief priests. He was not above Pilate. Or even, the people.

            No. This man the Jews called Jesus would soon be taking his last breath. And he could do nothing.

            Barabbas, the criminal, had been chosen for release instead of the good man, the kind man, the man who'd healed his very own servant and caused the blind to see.

            The morning came soon enough, it was clear and beautiful, and as he led Jesus into the Praetorium, the great hall, he thought again of the words of his son. He assigned one of his soldiers to clothe the man in purple as he watched. A crown of thorns was woven and pushed into his head by yet another. Jesus did not cry out.

            He’d crucified many before Jesus. But not like this. Never – like this.

            Jesus had been spat upon. Hit and whipped until the flesh of his back lay open in ribbons. And when a soldier under his command took the purple robe off of him, Jesus was pushed through the doorway; past the stable and the kitchen, to the central road where he would walk to his death.

            “Hail, King of the Jews!” He had spouted the words along with the rest of them. Yelled them out as if he was nothing.

            And he had worshiped him – mocked him – in order not to be singled out.

               The cross-beam was heavy, too heavy. Even he – had struggled to unload it from the yard at the Praetorium.

            The crowds were large. The yelling, the noise, ran through his ears. He could not think. He watched Jesus’ feet. He watched him walk the road and its stone path, slick from many travelers. He watched his sandals, the back of his heels, the way he stepped – firmly. As if he hadn’t been beaten, as if – he was a king.

            The way was not flat. Stairs came and went, and people, so many people breathing and watching and speaking when they might have been silent. Tears. He saw the tears. The silence of some as they watched him. As he followed behind him.

            Archways, so many archways above him. Like so many rising suns. The sheep gate. Dark tunnels, and windows with people peering from their depths. Watching – whispering about the man who would soon die. The path was narrow, like the minds of the people when it came to the teachings that they would not receive.

            Jesus collapsed, the beam thudding to the ground. Everyone stopped. Voices halted. A man passed by. He knew the man and stopped him with his hand.

            “Bear his cross,” he demanded.

            The man, Simon by name, the father of Tobias and Rufus, stopped.

            “I have just left Cyrenaica,” he said. “I am tired.”

            “Bear his cross.”

            The centurion knew the man to be thoughtful, if not a bit eccentric. And he was well-built; strong. He was tired, but he could carry the cross.

               Simon pulled the beam to his shoulders, looking at him only once as he did so. His eyes had softened. A look came from the eyes of Jesus, a look the Centurion couldn’t quite place. And then it came to him.

            Years ago, when he was stationed in Capernaum. When his servant was sick. He could not work. And the Centurion had been in the marketplace, taking care of some skirmish he could no longer remember when he saw him. 

            “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented,” he’d said, though others stood nearby, including some of the apostles.

            Jesus had said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

            His heart had pounded. Jesus, in his home? “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof,” he’d said. “But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goeth; and to another, ‘Come’ and he cometh; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he doeth it.”

            Jesus had watched him. He’d looked into his eyes. “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel,” he’d answered, placing a hand on his shoulder. His words as well as the gesture had surprised the Centurion. 

            “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”

            Finding a soldier to take his place, if only for a short time, he’d journeyed home only to find his wife crying.

            “Come! Come!” she called to him, pulling him by his robe. He’d removed his helmet. His wood staff was laid quickly on the table. “Our servant is healed!” she continued. His children had looked on, their eyes wide and bright; the son of questions, and his two daughters – one and two years older, smiling widely.

            The bed where the servant had lain for weeks and had writhed within was empty. Following his wife out to the stables, he’d met the servant amidst his duties, and they had spoken for a time.

            “There is warmth in my heart. A Glowing,” the servant had said as he touched his chest. “I am healed…”

            The walk was slow, labored, and the voices only increased as Jesus made his way to Golgotha. The place of the skull.

            The place frightened his children. His wife. And he – he was tired. It was his duty, and yet… The dark face in the rock above them threatened as he approached. Where evil resided, goodness would die. This was what he knew. The man named Jesus was good. Because of the miracle. No, because of the faith he’d offered before the miracle. Yes, and Jesus’ power, these three had healed his servant.

            Jesus was exhausted. The Centurion could hear his breath, shallow and labored, he could see the sweat dripping from his back. He could smell it.

            And they were here, near the base of the hill, near where the people usually shopped for food or other goods. They were here for a purpose. To see Jesus crucified. Many looked afraid.

            He had told his wife, his children, to stay home. It would not be good to see this. Even seeing the thieves would spin tales of death for months to come. He would not allow it.

            They did not come.

            But he was here. Here.

            It was not his duty to drive the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet. No. But he ordered it. He almost – felt it. He heard the tears, the laughter, the voices in prayer – in hate.

            No, it would not be long now.           

            Jesus was lifted up.

            The women cried at his feet. His mother. His friends. His apostles. The wailing broke through the clouds and continued to the heavens.

            He could not breathe.

            The superscription read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. Just like that. No one cared about the thieves hanging next to him. No one even looked. What they cared about was getting something to take home that Jesus had owned. His clothing. His robe. His sandals.

            He wanted none of it.

            But questioning eyes probed.

            “Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself, and come down from the cross,” a man said, passing by the cross.

            “He saved others; himself he cannot save,” a chief priest mocked.

            “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe,” a woman spit.

            “Save yourself, and us too,” the thieves on either side chided.

            Still, there was something in the air. Something that wrapped around Jesus that he could not see… He felt it. Something like… light.

            Amidst the darkness, the thick darkness that was suddenly covering Golgotha, the Centurion felt it. It was the sixth hour, an hour not typical for darkness, and he was not afraid. Something had happened to him.

            For three hours he stood in the darkness, feeling the light, and while others railed at Jesus, he felt only peace. At the ninth hour, Jesus spoke.

            “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The words whirled into the air and found a place inside the Centurion’s heart.

            Was Jesus forsaken?

            He looked up at the skies. A single tear dripped down his cheek. His son’s words echoed inside his soul, “You must do something, Father. You must save him.”

            “Behold, he calleth Elias,” one of the women said.

            A soldier ran, passing him quickly on the left. In his hand was a reed. “Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down,” he said.

            The Centurion knew what was in the reed. Wine and myrrh to deaden the pain. He also knew that Jesus would not take it. It was His time, and He would die.

            For him.

            For all of them.

            Jesus cried out. His voice was loud. His head, once erect, fell to his chest.

            A thunderous noise met his ears. The rain pelted his cheeks, washing away the lone tear that had stopped there. The ground heaved. Fear filled the skies as the women who loved him best held one other.

            The Centurion was still standing. It was not like him to kneel on duty. He looked up again, searching the heavens.

            “Truly this man was the Son of God.” The words were spoken. They filled the air, his soul. He knew that God had heard him.

            A soldier near him scoffed. He could hear his anger above the rain, the thunder, the shuddering of the ground. But the man’s words of hate no longer mattered.

            Only this.

My next book is already in the works: Old Testament Stories of Faith and Healing From the Least of These. MY QUESTION: WHAT STORIES HAVE MEANT THE MOST TO YOU THROUGH THE YEARS FROM The Old Testament? 

Help me get a jump-start on the next book by letting me know below. If I use your story idea, I'll send you a free book. (only one story per person, please, and no duplicate stories).

Thursday, July 1, 2021

New picture book by Melanie Kae Edgmand


Published by Idea Creations Press

Get Pouncer at Amazon
eBook currently available
paperback coming soon

I have loved animals and books since a very young age. While I had friends that I would often play with, reading and taking care of my cats is what most shaped my life.  If I could not be found with kitties, my parents would find me on a bed with one leg hanging over the other reading a book. And I would regularly take my favorite books to my parents or grandma to read with.

As I grew older, I began to write to help me understand the world around me. This became especially important when I was diagnosed with a learning disability at 12 and Bi-polar at 19.  To this day I love books; I love reading, and I love cats.  I try to look at the world as a cat does: no race, no gender, no affiliations. Just people with feelings and trials that can become friends.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Melanie