Had And Has

Do you struggle with verb tense in your writing? Today’s featured post deals with this topic.


I received this note from a reader:

My friends and I consider ourselves to be pretty good English speakers. But, when and where to use has and had has us beat. Can you assist?

The verb to have ranks right up there with be and do as far as the variety of ways in which it is used.  I’m guessing that the reader is referring to the use of has and had in their role as auxiliary or helping verbs. Click here to learn more.



Confused About ‘Ence’ And ‘Ance’?

Have you ever wondered which way to end a word with either ‘ence’ or ‘ance’? Today’s featured post helps to dispel some of the mystery.


A reader asked if there were some easy-to-remember spelling tip for dealing with words ending in -ence and -ance.

Both endings derive from Latin nouns.

Words from Latin nouns ending in -entia affluence from affluentia, “abundance” audience from audientia, “a hearing” benevolence from benevolentia, “good will” continence from continentia, “self-control” diligence from diligentia, “accuracy” Click here to learn more.


Lessons from the Promised Land – Believing Promises

Joseph’s Bones

I was privileged enough to spend a couple days in the West Bank. Although we were not allowed to enter the city because it was controlled by the Palestinians, we were able to peer down from the mountaintop into the city of Shechem.

Below us lay the ancient remains of the original town. Within those remains lie the bones of Joseph. Joseph, the son of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his brothers, then cast into prison.


Much could be said about this man, but the point I’m focusing on in this blog is that no matter how much the chips were down Joseph kept an unwavering faith in God. He believed God was working for good no matter what his present circumstances were.

Eventually, God elevated him to second in command of all Egypt, and he understood there was no reason to be bitter against his brothers for their betrayal because God allowed it for a higher purpose.

Put simply, Joseph was a man of faith. As Joseph grew near to death, he believed the promise that the Lord had made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He knew someday the Jewish people would return to the land of promise.

Genesis 50:25 says Joseph made the sons of Israel promise to take his bones with them whenever that day came. Three to four hundred years later, as Moses led the children of Israel from Egypt, the bones of Joseph was carried with them.

After forty long years of wandering in the desert, the children of Israel entered the Promised Land and Joseph’s bones finally found their final resting place.

Rarely do our expectations for the future pan out as we planned, but take heart. Have faith in God. He is at work, and that is something you can hang your hat of faith upon.

A Diamond in the Rough,


Making A Difference

How has your day been going? Have you ever wondered if what you are doing makes a difference? This inspiring article is so encouraging.


“Don’t worry what you could do if you lived your life over; get busy with what’s left.” Amish proverb

Can one person make a difference? Even a woman who might be, say, considered a wee bit elderly?

Consider Victoria Williams of Richmond, California. Eleven years ago, when Victoria was 77 (did you catch that? She was seventy-seven years old!), she saw a need in her community for a weekly soup kitchen. She knew she was a good cook, but she would need some qualifications to serve others. So she took the required courses for food safety and preparation and got to work. Click here to learn more.


Lessons In Story

It is important to include a lesson in our novels. What is the character supposed to learn by the conclusion of the book? What can the reader take away from this story that will help her in life?

We end with a strong takeaway.

When we choose to tell a story, unless we’re doing it only for entertainment, we give our readers something to make them ponder—even if they ignore the meaning.

Novelists of earlier times often addressed readers and told them the message they wanted them to grasp. As a child, I enjoyed Aesop’s Fables because each story ended with a lesson for life. Click here to read this helpful article.



I hope you all enjoy this inspiring article.


Many writers start terrific stories by asking a simple question: What if?

“What if?” leads novelists down the merry story path, scene after scene, chapter after chapter. Those words ignite fiction magic.

Anything can happen.

As you assess your writing for the year ahead, “what if” can also bear fruit in a practical career way. That question can identify crucial actions to move your writing forward. Click here to learn more.


Lessons from the Promised Land – Tel Aviv

Can a nation be born in a day?

A study of Israeli history going back a mere one hundred years will tell you that God is still the miracle worker of the Old Testament. Ancient prophecy foretold that Israel would be reborn as a nation in one single day and yes, in 1948 Israel was voted into nationhood in a single day by the world community.

As I sat in Israel’s modest Independence Hall, not the grand halls of the U.S. but a converted house, I relived the prophecy fulfilling moment, and couldn’t help but see the hand of God. Moments after Israel became a nation, her enemies and neighbors vowed to push this fledgling nation into the sea.


Somehow, sixty-five years later she has overcome the odds. The day Israel became a nation she had an air force consisting of just two small planes but was immediately plunged into war. There is no other explanation for her continued existence other than a God who lives and who still works miracles.

Many are the stories where God has saved this nation against all odds. Take heart. Give your situation to God and He will work things out for you, too.

A Diamond in the Rough,