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Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Poetry Release---Give Away!!

Ask Cheryl a question to be entered into the drawing for a signed copy of her new release!! Remember, not just a comment....ask a question.

Cheryl Ricker is a good friend of mine, and such a sweet person. Her first book recently released with Zondervan, a book of poetry called "A Friend in the Storm".

Cheryl Ricker is a prize-winning poet who resides in southeast Minnesota with her husband and sons.

Born and raised in Canada, Cheryl graduated from York University in Toronto with a degree in Creative Writing.

Her passion to draw people closer to God led her to Christ For The Nations Institute, Dallas, where she ministered on the streets, on stage, and in prisons.

Cheryl is passionate about helping hurting adults find hope and healing by experiencing Christ in a fresh, personal way.

While visiting a young mother with terminal cancer, Cheryl started writing comfort poetry that was turned into the life-changing gift book, “A Friend in the Storm,” recently published by Zondervan.

“A Friend in the Storm” is a healing treasury of quotes, Scripture and poetry that leads to lasting Hope.

Be sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

The author gave me a copy of this book but I've not been paid to promote or hold this contest.


Connie Stevens said...

Cheryl, can you share some of the ways God has used A Friend In The Storm to minister to someone who is hurting?

Cheryl said...

Hi Connie!

One gentlemen wrote to me that the words of one of my poems restored his faith. This made me dance because my goal is to build people's faith at a time when God doesn't make sense.

Something similar happened to a woman I know. She started going back to church after praying along with the poems that respond to Christ's loving voice.

A guy my husband works with was antagonistic toward God. When tragedy struck, he wanted a copy of "A Friend in the Storm" to give to a hurting lady he knew would appreciate it. It ended up helping him as well!

People are often encouraged by the book's poems, quotes, and Scriptures that I share on my "Fresh Air" blog and on my "A Friend in the Storm" Facebook fan page.

It's always exciting to hear from readers. I'm thrilled to hear from you too!

Thanks for your question, Connie! :))

Linda said...

Do you just decide to write a poem, or does it just flow out naturally from you?

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

Have so enjoyed following you on FB....Is it hard to blog.....God is telling me to start....any suggestions?

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great questions, Linda!

It took me a crazy number of hours to write each of the poems in "A Friend in the Storm." Thankfully, I write faster now!

The ideas usually come quickly, but it still takes time to craft truth and memorable imagery into eight short lines of soothing sounds.

I find I always write better when I pray first. Funny how that works. I tell the Lord, I want to write supernaturally (but unfortunately, that rarely means easily. :)

Cheryl said...

Thanks Linda!

I'm thrilled you enjoy following me on Facebook!

If you "like" my "A Friend in the Storm" Facebook page, you can click on the blog tap at the top, and take a peak at my blog style.

I like to blog about my poems, which I superimpose on images I buy from istock photo and the like. I keep my paragraphs short and devotional 'cause people don't have time for long blogs.

Always think takeaway. Ask "how is this going to bless my readers?" Also, grab 'em with your titles.

Perhaps you can start by blogging about your favorite Scriptures.

Another suggestion: I use NetWorked blogs and invite people to join. I also have it set up to automatically post my blogs on Facebook and Twitter.

If this sounds foreign to you, you might want to temporarily hire a techie person to get you set up. I recommend Thomas or one of his staff at Umstaad Media.

Hope this helps!

Laura Marshall said...

Hi Connie. Congratulations on your new book! Would you mind maybe sharing a short poem on here, maybe something encouraging for the upcoming new year? Also, any tips for the editing process once your material has been written? I've been struggling with this myself and would love to hear if you have any thoughts. Thanks so much,

Laura Marshall said...

Sorry, Cheryl. :)

Cheryl said...

No problem, Laura!

I'd be happy to share a couple poems with you.

"A Friend in the Storm" is a personal conversation between Christ and a hurting person, so why don't a share a poem from both points of view.



Will you love me back an hold me?
Will you trust me with your pain?
As the One who lifts the lowly,
will you let Me be your rain?

As you ask Me worthy questions,
do you hunger for My way?
As your true and healing Answer,
will I have your final say.

My point of view:


I cried out in my waiting room
for hope to wake me up.
Abased, I paced in wonder,
"When would grace replace my cup?"

In a moment I stopped trying
as I lay there, calm and still.
That's the day I finally found Him,
waiting for my dying will.

Cheryl said...

Laura, you asked for tips on the editing process.

In a nutshell: Go through it with a red pen, crossing off as many adverbs and weak words as you can.

Underline places where you use the passive voice, and try to change them.

Rewrite your piece from different points of view. The best point of view is often the one where you can extract the most emotion.

Read it aloud or have someone read it aloud for you. There's also software available that does this.

A lot of people find it's helpful to get a critique partner or attend a writer's conference like "Mount Hermon" or "ACFW".

You'll learn a lot and have an chance for a professional to critique your piece. Not only that, buy you might even find an interested editor or agent. :))

Happy editing!

Trinity Rose said...

Greetings Cheryl,
I love poetry. Would love to read your book. My question, Do you find Minnesota much different than Canada? My sister and her family live in Minnesota.
Happy New Year!
Trinity Rose
wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Cheryl said...

Another blog suggestion for Linda:

Close your blog post with a good question to encourage comments. As you see from Miralee's blog... good questions really open it up! :))

Cheryl said...

I'm glad you like poetry, Trinity.

Music, psalms, and poems reach the heart and emotions. In "A Friend in the Storm" it worked well to include Scripture and quotes alongside the poetry. That way I can also reach the mind and spirit too.

As far as Minnesota verses Canada where I grew up....

The summers are close to the same in temperature. The winters are usually equally harsh - accept this year. Minnesota beats Canada for harshness. The 40 inches of snow we got in December caused a lot of damage to people's homes, including ours.

It's always nice to live near family. That's priceless.

The best place to live is where God calls you to live... I've lived in different parts of Ontario, B.C. Texas and WA before moving to Minesnowta so my husband could work at the Mayo Clinic.

This was kind of a fun question, eh? I hope it helps.

Miralee Ferrell said...

I'm so tickled at all the great questions (and answers!) you've posed for Cheryl. We'll keep this going another couple of days before drawing a winner. Thanks, gals!!


Amy Deardon said...

We are so distracted, but eventually, always, face these end-of-life issues. The important question in this life is, how do we respond to God? Your poetry is a beautiful voice, and I hope it speaks to those hurting. Thank you.

Cheryl said...

Thanks Amy!

I'm thankful to God for all the positive feedback about the quotes, Scripture and poetry speaking to them.

Since Jesus speaks so lovingly and patiently with them, "A Friend in the Storm" makes people more open to trust Him in the midst of their storms.

I appreciate that you stopped by!


barbjan10 said...

We all need healing, sometimes many times during our lives including myself. It would be an honor to read Cheryl's poetry and to use her words in prayers for others. Have you attempted to write fiction novels? Have you written stories through poetry? It is so kind of you to offer your special book for the giveaway. I also appreciate the chance to win Chery's helpful and loving book. I hope I do win.

Grace & Peace,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Miralee Ferrell said...

Amy Deardon won the free copy of Cheryl's book. Congratulations, Amy!!

Miralee Ferrell said...

Because I didn't hear from Amy I'm having to draw another winner. Linda, you won a copy of Cheryl's book, and I'll need to hear from you within the next 3 days with your mailing address. I'll drop you an email, as well.
Thanks everyone!

barbjan10 said...

Hello Cheryl, do you have a favorite among your poems? Is that favorite poem published in your book? You are very blessed through the Holy Spirit to draw hurting and faithless people to your poetry. I'm curious about your book's content for personal reasons. It would be a privilege to be able to use your poetry during my prayer time. I've been looking for such a book to use during my devotions. Do you plan to write a book about how your poems have drawn people to the Lord? I'll stop with the questions now and wait for your answers. I'm so glad to have met you on Miralee's blog. I pray you'll continue to serve the Lord with your words.

Sharing His Faith,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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