Thursday, March 26, 2009

Watkins Writes for "People With Abilities"

Tonight Vicky Duffer Watkins provided illuminating insights about “why that lady in the wheelchair is smiling.”  As an active member of Jax FOB and Mandarin Toastmasters clubs and an on-line columnist for the Florida Times-Union, Vicky shared three special insights.  They included her worst fear, how to get articles published and samples of her work.

DSC04480 Vicky Watkins

Most people’s number one fear is public speaking, but at one time Vicky’s worst fear was dying.  That was before she began her spiritual walk with the Lord.  Vicky shared how she is not afraid to die; rather she has chosen salvation and walks with the Lord.  Her spirituality shines in her writing.

Vicky’s initial aspiration was to write a great American novel.  She now rights about real situations that happen to real people.  In her on-line column titled “People with Abilities,” Vicky writes about the experiences of people with disabilities.  Her articles have also been published in several magazines.


Vicky’s words of advice to aspiring authors are to “make it meaningful.”  Her person writing goal is to increase her on-line readership and write more articles.  Her secret to successful writing is to pray first!

See Vicky’s FL Times-Union column at:

By Linda Harvey, FCCW Member

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Webster Gives Insight Into Publishing

Gerard D. Webster’s new book In-Sight came out in December. In-Sight is about fall, forgiveness, and redemption.  It is for anyone who believes that a Higher Power has a hand in destiny.

Photo_031909_016 Jerry Webster cropped

On March 19, 2009, First Coast Christian Writer's member, Jerry Webster, shared his experiences in writing a novel with the First Coast Christian Writer’s Group. 

He began by telling the group, “Experience is what you get right after you needed it.”  He went on to explain that we all bring our experiences to our writing.  He said that writing a novel is like going through pregnancy:

  • Conception:  First you have the seed of an idea.
  • Growth Stage:  You start in an outline form and put words to it.  The characters begin to take over the story.
  • Giving Birth:  Finally the time comes when you share your writing with others.
  • Radical Surgery:  Re-write based on the input of others.
  • Owning Your Baby: Your book is finished.

Then the real work begins.  You look for an agent and a publisher. 


Publishing the book is not the end of the story.  You have to market the book to the world.

Jerry’s book can be found at or on

By Cheryle Touchton, FCCW Member

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Touchton's Ministry Hits Thousands Monthly

Cheryle Touchton is a writer, a traveling missionary, and a successful businesswoman.
 Cheryle Touchton
Her nickname is the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady because she travels about the country talking to people about Jesus while handing out quarters.  After retiring from a successful business career in technology, she went full-time into Christian ministry as a missionary, motivational speaker, and a writer.  She has published two books: A Pocketful of Quarters: 5 Steps to Loving God, and Pocketful of Christmas: Having a Purpose Filled Advent.

Cheryle explains The Secret To Writing as the same secret to any other successful venture.  The key is the ancient Jewish greatest commandment - the Sh'ma - "Love God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength."  To that she adds the second greatest commandment from the New Testament: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Love is the key to writing.  She states that God has given us secret Wisdom with which we can actively participate--IF we love Him.

She set out 5 steps to accomplish this:
1. Follow God - mind to mind.
2. Please God - heart to heart.
3. Embrace God - soul to soul.
4. Serve God - strength by Strength
5. Love God's children - neighbor to neighbor.

To enlarge our writing capacity, she challenged each person to seek the answers to several questions: 

  • What do you know?  What do you care about? 
  • What is your "edge" and what does it mean?
  • What delights you?
  • What life experiences do you bring to writing? 
  • Why do you write?

Cheryle's talk was jam-packed with helpful information to both aspiring and published writers; but her talk encompassed much more than just writing.  It's evident that she "walks the walk."  She spends 2 to 4 months a year on the road, dispensing quarters and Christian love to anyone she meets.  She also has a blog detailing her journeys and recieves 20,000 hits a week on her website.  To learn more about her writing and her ministry, visit her website:

by Gerard Webster, FCCW Member