Monday Meet: Inspiration for the Journey


She was old, round and short. Her gray hair curled around her face, a face with eyes that peered sternly at her students through a pair of black-rimmed glasses. She carried a sharp number 2 pencil with her long before I knew what a number two pencil was. On the blackboard, she produced some of the finest letters of the alphabet I had ever seen. True, at age six I hadn’t seen many, but I knew that my teacher was precise and neat. Miss Terwilliger taught me to read and to write, but she did more than that.  She overlooked my sloppy penmanship and read the stories I created. She then read aloud them to the class. In second grade, she was my teacher again, and marched me and my classmates into the third and fourth grade classroom where I read more of my stories. There was Susie Has the Chicken Pops and The Birthday Party.

Because of pencil picMiss Terwilliger, I knew I could write. She accepted every stapled stick-person-illustrated-messy-lettered story I gave her. These were not part of any assignment, just my passion coming through. Something about her made me want to share my tales. Perhaps even at a young age, I recognized that with her, my stories were safe.

All these years later when I’m asked which great author encouraged me the most in my writing, I’m not certain. But when I let my mind detour from authors and meet me in a little Victorian-style school in Kyoto, Japan, I find my answer. Miss Terwilliger taught me that I am and have always been an author.

Contributed by Alice J. Wisler


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Dairy Free Ginger Snaps

ginger snapsWhat’s a holiday without a freshly-baked cookies? Cinnamon and ginger give these cookies that extra something that will keep the family coming back for more…


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

In large bowl, place half of flour. Add brown sugar, shortening, molasses, egg, soda, and spices. Beat until thoroughly combined. Then add remaining flour. Shape into balls and roll in sugar. Spoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 37 5 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Monday Meet: Shout Out by Liz Tolsma

Andrea Boeshaar

Along the way on this journey to publication, I had a mentor that turned agent that turned friend. And the way God orchestrated our meeting was amazing.

I had been writing for a bit as well as reading plenty of Christian fiction. One day I finished a book by Andrea Boeshaar and noticed in her bio that she went to college in Southeast Wisconsin, not too far from where I live. I gathered my courage and contacted her through her website, mentioning that I was interested in writing. To my great surprise, she emailed me back and was more than gracious to me. We agreed to meet at the upcoming Write to Publish conference in the Chicago area a few months later. We actually ran into each other the first time in the ladies room. Right away, she took me under her wing. At the time, she was an agent and soon agreed to represent me.

Without Andrea, I would never have been published. Her gentle, willing-to-help spirit inspired me. She has encouraged me and cheered me on. She has prayed with me and cried with me. She has such a heart for unpublished authors and a true desire to help them get established in the publishing world. Thank you, Andrea, from the bottom of my heart, for all that you have done for me and for countless other authors and writers along the way. You have touched many, many people for the Lord. God bless you.

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Soft & Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies by Minimalist Baker

220px-Semi-sweet_chocolate_chipsI love to check out recipes by Minimalist Baker. These cookies are sure to be delicious!



  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten free baking mix*
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Add egg and vanilla and beat again until well combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add gluten free baking mix in two batches and mix again. It won’t be so thick that you can’t continue mixing it, but it should appear “doughy.”

Stir in chocolate chips, cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4-6 hours until thoroughly chilled. You should be able to roll the dough into balls before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once chilled, scoop out rounded Tablespoon amounts of dough, roll them into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to several days. Freezer for longer term storage. (They taste just as good the 2nd and 3rd day as they hold their texture/flavor well.)


Monday Meet: My Mentor

sandraSandra Aldrich’s warm smile met each person as we sat down at the lunch table.  Her eyes twinkled and her fine southern manners put everyone at ease at my first writer’s conference years ago. She graciously listened to each attendee, giving them her undivided attention as we were invited to share where we were in our writing world.

Sandra was first published when she was eight years old and said she never knew when it all began; just that she came from a Kentucky story-telling family. Her first paid piece was when she was in eighth grade from the Detroit Times. The pay was one dollar. She continued to write but didn’t publish again until she told a true story about her maternal grandmother. It was so well received that her adult Sunday school class for young couples, she decided to write it and submitted it to Moody magazine and Jerry Jenkins, the editor, liked it. He requested more work from her. Her first book was Marta Gabre-Tsadick’s story, Sheltered by the King. This remarkable woman has written 20 more and contributed to two dozen others, including seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  Years later she became a mentor for Jerry Jenkins CWG students.

Sandra is truthful; that’s what I love most about her. She’s shown genuine care for me when I’ve struggled and stumbled my way in the writing world. How? She questions and challenges me with scripture, and I understand her tough-love correction for me as a person and a writer. She’s a friend who remains consistent and I know I can contact her anytime. It’s a warm and comfortable, slipper kind of friendship which I value. Sandra has walked ahead through trials that I struggle with and is willing to pray with me and support me when life is often tough.

This lovely woman puts balance back in my life by not letting me quit my love for writing and helps focus on what’s really important on the road toward heaven.

Thank you Sandra, for being a willing servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Contributed by Paulette Harris