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Guest Michelle Lim: Letting Your Spouse Live Their Dream

I’m excited to host Michelle Lim again. She was a guest blogger in June with her post Couches Are For Sitting: Resolving Marital Arguments Before Bed. Michelle blogs today as a published author of the fantastic Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel. She and I have been craft partners for a couple of years now, and I simply can’t write without her. She’s the most amazing brainstorming partner I’ve had. 

Michelle is a romantic suspense author whose manuscripts have earned recognition in The Rattler Contest 2012, the Genesis Contest 2011, and the Frasier Contest in 2010. Michelle is the Brainstorm/Huddle Coach at My Book Therapy and serves as Vice President of MN N.I.C.E., a local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. Check out her blog at: http://thoughtsonplot.wordpress.com/.

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Lisa, thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog. For those of you who don’t know, Lisa is my craft buddy and cliff whisperer. Whenever I am on the edge she pulls me back with calm reason and encouragement. We all need that kind of a friend. 

My husband and I met at church more than twelve years ago, little did I know that he would become my greatest fan. When we got married I knew that he loved me and I loved him, but inspiring me to dream is another thing all together.

As most couples starting out, we didn’t have much money and time was a tight commodity. Instead of demanding a Martha Stewart kind of wife, he’d cook and grab take out all the while encouraging me to pursue my dreams.

Back then I didn’t even know that I was a writer. I spent time singing and writing songs, teaching in public school, writing curriculum for school and children’s ministry. I didn’t know I was a writer, but the opportunity to explore the things I loved brought me to writing.

One day as I came home from teaching a story began to form in my mind. What did my husband say?

“Get it written.”

Not, oh isn’t that nice. The challenge that if I wrote it, he would read it became an inspiration for me. So, I started to write having no clue about the writing craft. If I quit, he would tell me to get back to it.

Then came a delightful distraction. Six pounds and nine ounces of distraction, followed by three more miraculous blessings with just a dash of surprise thrown in along the way.

You’d think my writing days were over for a while and they were for a bit. A five year old and three under the age of three depleted most of my brain power, not to mention my sleep. I don’t regret a single minute.

Then the day came when my husband asked me why I hadn’t written in a while. I looked at him…was he serious? Let’s just say that was a bit humorous. Yet, he dug deep and saw an ache in me that I hadn’t recognized.

Once again, I began to write. As money became available, even if we had to scrape it from the bottom of the barrel, he would send me to a writer’s conference with the glib comment, “Its tax deductible isn’t it?”

This September I held my first book in my hands for the very first time. It wasn’t just my sweat and talent that brought me there. The book belonged as much to my husband as it did to me. In encouraging me to chase my dream, he showed me a whole new depth of love. The kind of love that didn’t let me give up. He invested time and money into my dreams and what does he have to say about it now?

“When are you going to become a New York Times Best-Seller?”

My first response is to laugh, but then I realize he isn’t kidding. No matter where this journey leads, I belong to a family of dreamers because I have a husband who believes anything is possible from those he loves.

For those of you who haven’t heard, during my Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel Tour I’m having a drawing for a Free Kindle Paperwhite. For each different blog I visit that you comment on during my tour, you get one entry. Each day I will post any new tour locations on my blog. The final day to enter is this Friday, November 9th. The drawing and wrap up party will be on my blog next Tuesday, Nov. 13th.

To purchase Michelle’s book, go here: Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel

“Michelle recently helped me brainstorm Silent Night, my new Rock Harbor digital novella coming at the end of next month. Her brainstorming prowess amazed me! I loved her new book, especially the chapter on secrets.” ~Colleen Coble Award Winning Author

Michelle Lim has captured and applied all the powerful My Book Therapy techniques—and more— into this must-have book that guarantees an author the tools to create a riveting and unique story. This resource will be dog-eared, highlighted, and always within reach as I create my stories. ~Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author and founder of My Book Therapy.

“Michelle encapsulated some workable, practical, yet energizing techniques to help spark that all-important conflict and tension in our stories. I especially appreciated the buffet of ideas that showed how a combination of tips could bring about a tailor-made solution to a lack-luster character, scene, or plot.” ~Cynthia Ruchti Multipublished Author, speaker, and writing instructor.

Your Turn: How does your spouse, family or friends support your dream?

Lisa Jordan
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Guest Blogger Michelle Lim: Couches Are For Sitting – Resolving Marital Arguments Before Bed
I’m so excited to have Michelle Lim, my brilliant critique partner, as my guest blogger today. 
 
Michelle started writing as a journalist for a college newspaper. She was a category finalist in the Phoenix Rattle in 2012, a Genesis semi-finalist in 2011 and a bronze level finalist in the MBT Frasier Contest in 2010. She has completed three romantic suspense novels. She currently serves as Brainstorm/Huddle Coach for the My Book Therapy and coordinates the Genre Java Column for the Voices e-zine. Michelle and her husband Hui Hong are the proud parents of four rambunctious children who keep their life full of laughter and suspense. To learn more about Michelle, visit her wonderful blog Thoughts on Plot
 
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The people you love are the ones that have the greatest potential to make you crazy. Who else knows how to annoy you without even trying? 
 
Toilet seats, laundry, mowing the lawn, garbage disposal…all things that bring out the worst in us. How is it that leaving the toilet seat up can create a war so intense that it leads to arguing about mothers-in-law and mortgage payments? 
 
Thankfully there are Valentine’s Day, Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays. Chocolate, roses, and a beautiful restaurant. All have a way for making the small things unimportant. We are reminded of how much we love one another and learn to act on it.
 
Being in love is wonderful and terrible all at the same time. Building forever takes a lot of work and somehow people forget to mention that in the midst of all the happiness.
 
My husband and I have been married for twelve wonderful years. We’ve had ups and downs like everyone else, but we see that we are building forever, not just attempting to make each other happy.
 
Marriage is meant to last forever, but we often sabotage our efforts with short term dynamite. Dynamite can demolish what you are building together.
 
So what is the dynamite in marriage? Anger and resentment demolish relationships like dynamite does buildings. We are going to get angry with each other once in a while. But there is a difference between getting angry and letting things simmer til they get to boiling range in the aftermath.
 
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. (Ephesians 4:26–27
 
Bottom line:  COUCHES ARE FOR SITTING!
 
What do I mean? Once you have disagreed with one another, you shouldn’t choose to separate and let your anger fester. 
 
No sleeping on the couch. Is the couch that evil? No, but it is a symbol of your inner turmoil and choice to hold on to your anger. Don’t go to bed angry with each other.
 
You may not agree and not everything can be solved in a short time, but commit to one another that you will work it out when you’ve had some time to think about it. Communicate that you still care for one another.
 
Remember that you are building forever. 
 
Your turn: What tips do you have for resolving arguments in your marriage?
Lisa Jordan
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