Friday, January 15, 2010

Seekerville welcomes editor Dave Fessenden & BIRTHDAY POEM GIVEAWAY

Hello all! Cheryl Wyatt here.

I'm pleased to introduce you to one of my long-time writing mentors, Dave Fessenden, managing editor of CLC Publications. In addition to being a long-time editor, speaker, theology expert, teacher and author in the publishing industry, Dave was my first Christian Writers Guild instructor and responsible for helping me build a strong foundation in craft.

So, if you don't like my's ALL Dave's fault! LOL! Well, not really but I have to blame SOMEONE. ;-)

Seriously, I learned SO much from Dave. He is a TOUGH editor but that's exactly what I needed. He was also very encouraging. He helped me see the strengths in my writing and to improve my weaknesses. I grew exponentially as a student writer under his masterful instruction. I'm very thankful for him and Jacque, his wife, for their kind words of support over my writing even to this day. Dave is currently working on writing his first fiction book! I LOVE the concept and hope to get to read it in book form soon.

By the way, if you're wondering why we're having virtual sherbert punch, comma-shaped Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings (recipes at end of post) and yummy birthday cupcakes shaped like various punctuation marks on decorative plates embossed with proofreading symbols for breakfast, TODAY IS DAVE's BIRTHDAY!!! What a gift that we're blessed with his presence today. Birthdays need presents too. So in honor of Dave, I'm giving away three prizes.

The gifts will go to the three people who write Dave the FUNNIEST birthday wishes, greetings or poems in the comments.

No more than three entries per person and each person can only win once. U.S. residents only please.

First Place will win an Emergency Editing Survival Kit which includes Band-aids, comfort candy, tissues, a funny inspirational quote, a NICE set of red editing pens (LOL) and "mystery" items in honor of the book Dave is attempting to write.

Second Place winner gets to choose any fiction or non-fiction book valued up to $20.00 from the CLC Publications Web site.

Third Place will win a signed copy of my 6h book, A Soldier's Devotion, IN STORES NOW.

Leave a funny birthday greeting and your e-mail address in the comments section of this blog by tonight, Midnight CST to be entered for a chance to win.

Now to the GOOD stuff!

Here's Dave!

After thirty years in professional writing and editing, I have stumbled upon an amazing discovery: fiction is really hard work! I’ve been doing nonfiction all my life, and it’s never been easy, but now I'm trying to write my first novel, and it feels like crawling through a drainpipe filled with quick-drying cement.

The first thought that came to mind when I encountered difficulties was to ask the published novelists I know for help. That was when I made my second amazing discovery: novelists have their own language, full of strange terminology. Oh, it sounds like normal English, at first. But then they start asking questions like, “What's your point of view?” And I usually respond, “Well, right now I'm standing at the window, looking through the trees at the train tracks.” And then they give up trying to help me.

It started out innocently enough. I had always enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle, so why not write a pastiche? (This is the fancy term that writers use when they want to hide the fact that they are stealing the characters of another author.)

I have to let you in on a secret, though: I didn’t really like Sherlock as much as his brother Mycroft, who unfortunately appears in far too few of Conan Doyle’s stories. It was decided, then: Mycroft would have to be a central character. I also wanted to set the novel in the 1920s, because I think it’s an interesting era. At first I was going to set the novel in Chicago, so I could bring Al Capone into the story, but I soon switched it to Philadelphia; since I live in the Philly area, the research would be a lot easier!

These decisions, of course, created a whole new set of problems. Mycroft is a fat, lazy, sendentary bureaucrat who rarely goes out in public. How can I legitimately have him out solving crimes, when he’s stuck on the couch? I know! I’ll get him a sidekick like Dr. Watson, to do all the legwork. But if it’s the 1920s, Dr. Watson would be getting up in years. Well, how about his son? Conan Doyle never said Watson had a son, but if you read the details of the stories it appears that Watson got married two or three times, so there must have been a kid produced at some point!

All right then: Watson has a son, Thomas, who is a . . . um . . . yeah, a newspaper reporter. That’s how he uncovers these mysteries. And then he brings them to Mycroft, who solves them. But why wouldn’t he bring them to Sherlock? Sherlock has to be dead by this time, I guess. Probably Dr. Watson is dead, too, so somebody’s got to take care of poor, old Mycroft. I guess Thomas gets stuck with the job. OK, I’ve got these two together — but the original Holmes-and-Watson stories were set in London. How do I get them over the ocean to Philadelphia? Have I written myself into a corner already?

See why I say fiction is so hard? Nonfiction is a lot easier, because it really happened; it doesn’t have to make sense.

Look for my first novel, The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, to be released . . . someday.

David Fessenden
Managing Editor, CLC Publications


Cheryl back to say that I am already intrigued in Dave's story. In searching for clues for Dave's Bio, I've discovered that he has been: a publishing professional with 30 years of experience in writing and editing. He is the author of the following four books, three nonfiction and one fiction:

* /Father to Nobody’s Children, the Life of Thomas Barnardo/ (CLC Publications, 1995)
* /The Waiting Missionary/ (Christian Publications, 1995) — fiction
* /A Light to All Japan/ — children’s version (Christian Publications, 1998)
* /Teaching With All Your Heart/ (Cook Communications, 2002)

He has penned hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, edited numerous books whose titles you would most likely be familiar with. He is a regular columnist for Cross & Quill newsletter, and a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. His teaching and speaking experience includes industrial training programs, college-level continuing education seminars, and professional writing workshops. He is and has been an Independent Professional at Freelance Editorial and Publishing Consultant, Instructor at Christian Writers Guild, Freelance writer at Snapdragon Group, Managing Editor at Christian Publications, Inc., Writer/Trainer at Griffin Technology, Communications Director at Western NY Conference, UMC. His education includes: A B.A in journalism and an M.A. in religion from Evangelical Theological Seminary & State University of New York College at Buffalo. Dave and his wife have two adult sons.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! He has written award-winning devotions such as this one. titled Unsung Hero. Dave produced study guides for two titles by A.W. Tozer (published in the back of the books) and is even mentioned in Wikipedia with A.W. Tozer here. In other words, this guy's been around the industry block and knows publishing. We at Seekerville wish him the very best in his fiction writing endeavors. Live on, Thomas Mycroft! :-)

Don't forget to leave a funny birthay wish, greeting or poem for Dave in the comments! :-) If you're too shy to try, that's fine too. Feel free to comment anyway, even if it's not a birthday greeting for Dave. You may have questions about CLC Publications writers' guidelines, found here. If so, I'm sure Dave wouldn't mind answering your questions. Same goes if you're simply a reader interested in knowing what upcoming CLC titles Dave is excited about. Ask away!

Thanks for stopping by and meeting one of my best writing mentors.

Check his awesome publishing company's site out too. CLC Publications is the U.S. publishing house for CLC Ministries International (formerly Christian Literature Crusade). There are some FABULOUS books there. I highly recommend you purchase some because they are the kind of soul-satisfying reads that will live on your family's keeper shelves for generations.

Sherbert Punch recipe:
2 liter bottle of Ginger Ale
2 liter bottle of either 7 Up or Sprite
1 container of red Hawaiian Punch
1 block of frozen rainbow sherbert
Mix together in a punchbowl, serve & enjoy!

Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings recipe:
2 apples cored and sliced into 6 to 8 pieces each depending on # of rolls in tube
2 cans croissant rolls
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1 can Mountain Dew soda
Preheat oven to 350 or 375 for crispier dumplings.
Wrap 1 apple slice in each raw croissant triangle and place in 2 rows in 9X13 pan.
Melt and mix sugar, butter & cinnamon together and pour mixture over dumplings.
Pour partial can of Mountain Dew around the perimater only.
Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on whether you like the dumplings crispy or soft.
Serve alone or smothered in vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Cheryl Wyatt



  1. Dave:

    Congratulations on the 18th anniversay of your 15th Birthday!


  2. Happy Birthday Dave, you know if you lived here you would have been born on the 16th or if you Australia leaving on the 14 you would miss your birthday altogether then you dont get to gain an extra year right? anyway Happy birthday.

  3. Eeek I LOVE your idea!!! I've read all the Sherlock Holmes stories and think you've got an awesome concept. :-)

    Happy Birthday! No funny poem here, but I hope you have a great day.

  4. So what do you do with the rest of the Mountain Dew? Hmmm.

    Besides a birthday greeting,
    to Dave I must say "Geesh"
    Your talents are intriguing
    Why, you even used pastiche!

    I know, I know. stunning literature for 5:30 a.m.

    And If I'm not mistaken IT's FRIDAY!!!!! Happy birthday Dave and thanks Cheryl for sharing him with us.

  5. Happy birthday, Dave! All my clever bones are too sore from working on our house in Drexel Hill that still isn't on the market. Have a wonderful day.

  6. Dave, welcome to Seekerville, and Cheryl, thank you for bringing him here--what a fun and interesting post to bring our work week to an end!!

    Grin, LOVE your quote, Dave: "Nonfiction is a lot easier, because it really happened; it doesn’t have to make sense."

    OMIGOSH, how true is that???!!! How often is it said that real life (and nonfiction) can be unbelievable, but fiction ALWAYS has to be believable (except for Sci-Fi or Fantasy). Not always easy to do, at least for me!

    Dave, your book sounds AMAZING, and I'm not even a Sherlock Holmes fan!! But you hooked me, a diehard romance reader, with the premise, so that's saying something. But, uh, do ya think you can throw in a little lovin' somewhere for us OCRD types (obsessive compulsive romantic divas)???

    Loved the devotional, Unsung Hero, by the way!

    In closing, your birthday greetings:

    Roses are red,
    violets are blue,
    you made today special for me
    hope it is for you too!



  7. Dave.


    Welcome to Seekerville.

    Yes, I'm impressed. Yes, I will try the recipes when Mr. Atkins lets go of me, blame that on a love of really thick, creamy egg nog for too many weeks pre-New Years.


    Dave, I love the idea of bringing Mycroft alive. How fun is that??? Fiendishly clever. In honor of that, I brought some very special albeit secret food. And you have to hunt to find it, honing your detective skills.

    January instincts take us toward warmth.... So think of a warm spot in Seekerville. With spices from the Far East. And pastry-related.

    Good luck!

    And coffee. Oh mylanta, we need coffee.

    And now your birthday poem...

    (Say in rap-time)

    Yo, Dave! Happy Birthday!
    Yo, Dave! Have a happy!
    Yo, Dave! Gotcha covered!
    Yo, Dave! Thanks for comin'!


  8. There was a writer and editor named Dave
    Who is coming out of his non-fiction cave
    He'a writing a story of Watson's son's glory
    So let's send him best wishes and a wave.

    Also Happy Birthdayl

    Okay, so I'm known for being corny. But you did say write a poem and its still the crack of dawn here. LOL

    I'd offer some Krispy Cremes but Ruthy would probably eat all of them like she did yesterday.

    Thanks for joining us Dave. Have fun on Seekerville. We do like to laugh.

  9. Great story premise, Dave, and fun and interesting post. The believability factor in fiction is so important, and you are so right about how hard it is to get perfect.

    Happi birfdae, Dave, the editer!
    Hope this year's even betterer.

  10. Happy Birthday Dave!

    I have no poem skills. It would be like listening to bad karoke and begging someone to steal the microphone to throw in a puddle of water so it would short out! I'll spare you!

    Have a great day! Great post!

  11. Happy birthday Dave!

    Your book sounds great, and the method to your madness of getting the characters together and in Philly logical. I'd buy that!

    And those apple dumplings, Cheryl? They're one of the yummiest things to ever go down the gullet.

    Seekervillians, if you have never had apple dumplings, get you to the nearest grocery store and whip up a batch.


  12. Dear Dave ...

    Happy Birthday!

    Happy Birthday Dave!
    I'm in my office doin' the wave!
    Happy Birthday Brother Fess!
    Oops! I just made a mess!

    Happy Birthday Dave!
    About your book the world will rave!
    Happy Birthday Ed. Fess!
    The world will soon confess
    That your book is the bes ....t!

    John Kitchen

  13. Welcome to the party everyone! Coffee,s here, courtesy of Camy's stellar latte feller, Captain Caffiene. The whipped cream is in the shape of question marks, in keeping with our editorial theme.

    Ruthy, I'm still lookin for that food! Nice job hiding it.

    Good to see some new faces here. Thanks for dropping in. I'm sure Dave's going to be pleasantly surprised when he pops in.

    (This must be sung loudly and in public and to the tune of Ruthy's rap)

    Happy Birthday to a man
    Maniacally cackling
    Sharp red pens in both hands
    As he stands
    Over Cheryl's terrible
    Run-ons and dang
    Dangling Modifiers
    Like a dentist's pliars
    Pulling rotten words out
    That's what gooder fictchin
    Writting is all about

    He he.


  14. Well, that was an entertaining read for the am.

    From the Philly area. What could be better, really? We love Philly at my house. Talented wonderful people live in Philly.

    Happy Birthday Dave.

    Birthday greetings to you,
    From the heart of Seekerville
    May your mystery be a hit
    And all your dreams come true.

  15. Welcome to Seekerville, Dave! Fun to hear how you "found" your story. Sounds great! Love the way you think. And your assertion that fiction is really hard work.

    Cheryl, I've got to try your apple dumpling recipe. Sounds easy and delicious. Perfect!

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Wishing you happy birthday
    Sucess with your mystery too.


  16. Happy Birthday, Dave! Hope you have great success with your fiction writing. I always laugh when people say, "Oh, I think I'll write a book." They seeme to think it's as easy as folding the laundry. If that were only true.

  17. My goodness, you people and your stunning, deep poetry...well, I'm just all choked up.


    Welcome, Dave!! And happy birthday.

  18. By the way, Jenny, I LOVE your new photo!!

  19. Hi Dave,

    Being my boss, you have contributed a great deal to my editorial journey as well, for which I'm thankful! I've learned a lot - about copyright laws, contract details, punctuation, Al Capone and Bugsy Malone (and other equally important historic figures). Your novel idea is very creative and very you!! Although my tastes lean more toward your other novel idea about Mother Olivia's home for orphans. :)

    Here's a birthday limerick:

    There was an eDITor named Dave
    Who about old gangstas did rave.
    His birthday is cause
    To eat cake, and pause
    To tell him he's everyone's fave!

    Thanks, Dave, for all you do for others. :)

  20. It's so great to see folks who know Dave stopping in and giving birthday greetings. Thanks, Jacque, for co-conspiring with me! ;-)

    Someone go wake Dave up...or drag him out of that pub board meeting. He's missing his own party. LOL!


  21. Editor Dave is a year older.
    Writer Cheryl he did mold her.
    Now Seekerville and I am feting him over:
    May Dave's royalty and support checks gather like flies on a cake.
    May his aches and pains disappear like taxpayer dollars on the Democrats' take.
    May he finish his fiction before wife Jacque says, "Move to a nursing home make."

  22. Yes, Dave, we novelists speak in code.




    COD -- oops, that's the postal service, isn't it?

    But you seem like a bright guy. I bet you catch on fast!

    Hope your birthday is fun, fun, fun!

  23. Mrya! I thought you wrote POV, STD!!! (Thought you were starting a rhyming poem!) LOL!!

  24. Cheryl prompted us to write
    About a birthday bright
    For friend to all named Dave.

    He blogs now on Seekerville.
    So all the way from Crossville,
    I'm happy to send him a wave.

    We met through the Guild
    Where Dave helped us build
    Dreams come true for our books.

    He hacked and he slashed
    (But did not often trash)
    To shield us from agents' dirty looks.

    He is no fool,
    He's jumped in the pool,
    And is finding the water quite warm.

    It could have been silly,
    But he's decided on Philly,
    So there will be no cause for alarm.

    We read with great glee
    There'll soon be a mystery,
    About a speakeasy and a man named Thomas.

    We look forward to that day,
    When we can all say
    It's in print!!

    And to that we say "CHEERS!
    Lay it on us!"


    Happy Birthday Dave!
    You are a blessing to so many,
    Thanks for being part of my life!!!

  25. Thanks, everyone, for the gracious comments --- and the sometimes strained rhymes. A couple are on the edge of sanity, which seems appropriate.

    Based on your comments, I'll say in my book proposal that I've got 21 guaranteed sales so far.

    If I started a blog with the novel as a topic, would anyone be interested? Cheryl, you did something like that, didn't you? How did that work out?

    Oh, and if you want to know where I was all morning, I was working at my desk. Somebody has to hold down a job here!


  26. Thank you all for making Dave's birthday so special for him. It's been an interesting and wonderful adventure being married to this man for 30+ years. (He wants me to mention that he is also handsome and ...humble???)

  27. Happy Birthday Dave. I will not amuse you or the rest of the readers of this sight by attempting poetry. However, my wish for you is that this next year will be as delicious as the cake we are about to devour!!!

  28. First, I love Sherlock Holmes. Second, I love the intrigue around Al Capone. I've actually stayed at the Elms in Excelsior Springs, MO where Capone hung out, as did Harry Truman. It was cool to walk around where the speakeasy had been, now it's a pool (in the basement). There's some really cool history there.

    I've no hope of winning a prize,
    my poetic attempts would roll your eyes.
    So I'll just say,
    hope you have a blessed birthday.

    Happy Birthday, Dave. And, you should check out the Elms. It's a nice little getaway and very cheap in the month of March. It's where my writer's group goes for their retreat each year.

  29. Happy Birthday Dave! Wishing you the very best in this new endeavor. Debi and Glen :)

  30. The Philly equivalent of Al Capone was a guy named Boo-Boo Hoff, "the king of the bootleggers."

    Cheryl, is there a way to put a photo on here? I've got one of Boo-Boo --- I think he's the guy they modeled Yogi Bear's buddy after. He was kind of the opposite of Capone; rather than showing how tough he was, he tried to be low-key and played the innocent. He work a bow tie and a straw hat, so that he looked like a tenor in a barbershop quartet.


  31. Dave! You're alive. Wahoo! LOL.

    E-mail me the photo of boo-boo and I'll paste it into the end of the post.


  32. Jacque! Glad you could join us.


  33. Myra,

    I've been wracking my brain for an hour and I STILL don't know what SDT is.

    I know what BS is...LOL.

    Too much Back Story dump in too short a time. My first novel had ten pages of backstory in a twelve page chapter. LOL! Sigh.


  34. Happy Birthday, Dave!

    I interview Dr. Shahin (My Enemy, My Brother...) a couple of months back. CLC Publications/Publishing has a great authors.

    Blessings on your special day.

  35. The diary in the loft
    Tells the tale of Mycroft
    He was fat and lazy
    But he wasn’t crazy

    He solved those crimes
    Reported in the Times
    An unsung hero
    But his fame was zero

    He wouldn’t take the credit
    Said he didn’t need it
    So like it or not
    The glory went to Sherlock.


    “I tell you Mycroft, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

    “And I tell you Sherlock, the truth is this: as long as there is one creative writer left alive, you will never be able to eliminate all the impossibilities’.

    “You think too much Mycroft. You need a Zorba.”

    “Zorba is taken and so is Watson."

    “I love you so much as a brother, dear Mycroft, that I have something for you in my cornucopia.”

    “That cornucopia is making you dopier.”

    “In this cornucopia is a ticket to Philadelphia.”

    “Why would I go there when I could go to Blackpool?”

    “Because there is going to be a war with much blood, sweat, toil, and tears.”

    “And where did you hear this?”

    “From Conan Doyle.”

    “And what does Jay Leno say?”

    “Happy Birthday, Dave!


  36. I'm not funny...I'm gonna come right out and say it. Actually, I think I can be funny when I'm not trying to be funny, but when I have to be funny (for let's say a prize!) I can't be funny! So in that case....I hope you had an AWESOME day!!! It's probably winding down now(maybe it's not, who am I kidding?! I don't know...), but I still wanted to wish you a happy birthday. Besides instead of hearing a funny happy birthday, I'd think that you'd wanna hear something like "I can't wait to read your book when it comes out" which is a direct quote from ME! Lol...but that's just my opinion...

    Cheryl!! I feel like we've been talking so much lately... *grin* *hugs* I am incredibly stressed right now with school, college(s), finals(next week, iuncluding a THREE DAY calculus final!! ughhh!), and scholarships! Lol! But on the bright side, I've gotten to talk with you : )

    Guess what, I got accepted to Plymouth University!!!! Woohoo!!!

    That was just a side note... *grin*

    Ummmmm....I'm stalling now...this is my break from scholarships...can't believe I'm actually doing scholarships on a Friday night : / Please write back to me so I can take ANOTHER break!!!!! *wink!*

    Talk to you soon!!

  37. Thanks Missy, its taken Christmas eve where I met a friend for a meal.
    figured it was time for an updated one.

  38. Chuck M from old CPI

    I did not know your birthday was a head of mine in the month of January. But you will have to stand in line a few more years to catch up to mine.
    I thought I would send you this silly poem to celebrate the day.

    David, David you are the man,
    when you had a thought
    you would stop and stand,
    and we all wondered
    what you would say,
    but then the thought would go away.

    But that is now alright
    since you have grown old.
    You are like the rest of us
    if the truth be told.

    Happy Birthday Dave


  39. Great post, Dave.
    Your Birthday??? Oh boy.

    I do not like birthdays FOR ME
    I do not like them, no siree.
    They bring more wrinkles to my face
    and add more pounds in every place

    I do not want them on a plane
    or in a pool or near a train
    but in the box, i do not mind
    Godiva chocolate, anytime

    I do not like birthdays, you see?
    I do not like them, no siree.

    But Dave, you say birhtdays are swell?
    You like those birthdays very well?
    And you would have them with a mouse,
    but you prefer them in your house.

    And in the box you hope to see
    Dave-flavored Sherlock- mystery!!

    So happy birthday, many more
    I know you have great things in store
    With books behind and books in press
    For your birthday, I wish the best

  40. Btw, I just finished the Journeyman course in May. It was a great experience.
    It's where I learned to rhyme like Dr. Seuss ;-)
    No, i think that comes with having kids...and working with kids...and teaching kids...

    Happy birthday.

  41. Way to GO HANNAH!!!

    oh, btw, here's my addy:

  42. January birthdays are proper & prim,
    My husband and I are among them.
    We also share the same day,
    So hope yours is hip hip hooray!

  43. This has been so much fun. Some stiff competition out there. HOW will you EVER decide?!
    Fun fun fun!
    This is only the 2nd contest ever for me - the first was 5th grade and I WON!
    If you can believe it, I wrote on deep sea fishing.
    (If you knew me now, you'd understand that "ha"!)
    Lovin' this site - keep them coming!
    So the Journeyman course was good then Pepper? Figuring it is - just need to set aside the time.
    Bye all!

  44. I'm not as verse clever as our friends, but I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday, Dave!!

  45. Thanks Pepper : )

    I'm very excited about it! I've been accepted at 3/4 and waiting to hear back from that 4th school...

  46. "Elementary," my dear Dave,
    Is what fiction really is
    It's back to school for you
    Hitting London's pave*,
    Twisting plots and diving into stew.

    Your premise is a winner
    My favorite kind of character
    That I read over my dinner
    And I have nothing to rhyme with character.

    As you can see,
    I'm the worst at poetry
    So I'm ending this torture
    In honor of your birthday!


    Happy birthday, my friend and greetings to Jacque, too!

  47. Dear Dave,

    I have been away from my e-mail for a couple of days and just now saw Jacque's link to the wonderful Seekerville page (I've bookmarked it!). Sorry I missed your birthday.
    Here is a belated rhyme:

    Dear Dave,
    Your birthday came.
    Your birthday went.
    Your birthday poem was never sent.
    Here's one now,
    So please don't cry--
    Just accept belated greetings from
    Your ducky friend, Vie!

    Sparkles to you (and Jacque, too), dear friend!
    --Vie Herlocker

  48. Crystal...LOL! Your poem cracked me up. Loved it! Loved all of them really!

    My husband and teen nieces judged the entries. Here are the winners:


    I'll be contacting you all soon to obtain your addresses so I can get your gifts to you.

    Thanks for participating and for helping to make Dave's day special.


  49. Renee and Charles, I need your e-mail addresses so I can obtain your mailing addresses to get your gifts to you.

    E-mail that info to me at anavim4him[@] Remove brackets. I tried clicking your blog links but there's either a dead page or no address anywhere on site.

    Thanks all!