Ask @stephiekehr:

What is the name of your book/story/whatever it is? What do you teach? Why do you teach? Do you ever get super lonely even when there are plenty of people around, just no one wants to talk to you? How do/should you handle it? What inspires you? When you lose someone you love, what do you do?

My book is called *Reaching Home.* I teach creative writing, and I teach it because I enjoy it and I need a job. :) Uhm, sure, yeah, I've had that happen before. Usually I talk to God and read the Word and I feel a whole lot better. Well crafted writing inspires me. And when I lose someone I love, it helps me to write about it.

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Since you have fought (and still do) with Lyme Disease, what encouraging words would you give to those who are suffering with other diseases?

Wow. Well, first of all - if you are suffering from another disease, you should hit me up so I can encourage you personally. :) Hm. 1) find Jesus. 2) Stay in the Word constantly -- whether you're reading it or listening to pastors preaching the Word. Have it with you all the time, and have it in your head, ready to fight the enemy's lies. 3) Choose joy. In your walk and in your talk. Joy is a journey - don't expect it to be there immediately and without work. Work at it. 4) Find godly people in a similar situation to encourage you. Emphasis on *godly*. You need people who will pound scripture in your head. 5) Don't hide it. Use it. I don't mean by blurting it to the world. I mean by platforming it. God's given you a tool, right? Don't watch as it goes by. Answer someone when they ask a question. Use it to encourage others, to build people up, and use it to further the gospel.

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How do you usually begin your writings, does an idea come to mind, or do you have to think about what you are going to write?

That's hard to answer. It really depends on what I'm writing. If it's an article or short story, coming up with material is a lot simpler. Usually I just wait for the Lord to speak, and then format and write it. If it's a book....I get ideas for books all the time, in the every day things I do. But just because it's an idea...doesn't mean I'm going to actually write it. The qualifications for an idea I use would have to be 1) something I could write. Sci-fi, for example, is not my forte. 2) It has to be something I'm overly excited about. 3) It has to be something God is speaking and 4) There has to be a message to the idea that I want to get out through the form of a story. If a book fits all those qualifications, I spend a couple of months outlining, changing, plotting, formatting, and creating the story around the idea. Then I write it. After that, 4-6 months are devoted to editing.

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