JoAnn Reno Wray
Thanks for Your Prayers!
On October 25, 2005, I went through total knee replacement sugery on my right knee. I was only in for a 3-day hospital stay followed by about a month of home nursing care 3 times a week and visits from a physical therapist as well. Despite the fact that I was unable to take much for pain due to allergies I did fairly well although it was very rough at times.
On January 9, 2007 I had my left knee replaced. The recovery has been rough and for all those who prayed for me during the past couple of years as I continue to battle various and sundry health challenges.
On Christmas day of 2006, I had flashing lights followed by an abundance of dark floaters in my right eye. After spending eight and a half hours in the emergency room on December 29, followed by visits to an Ophthomologist on January 2 then a Retina Specialist on January 5 of 2007, it was determined I had suffered a Vitreous Detachment, but thanks be to God, no retinal tear. On September 27 I has more flashing lights and then floaters in my left eye. We were on a trip to Ohio to see family and as soon as we got back I went to see the Retina Specialist again. This time my left eye had a Vitreous Detachment with a small hole torn in the Retina. I had to undergo freezing of the eye in the office right away followed by wearing eye patches on both eyes for twenty-four hours and two weeks of rest. The freezing procedure causes scar tissue to form around the tear and anchors the retina to the back wall of the eye so vision is not lost. My vision is fine now but it was a frightening situation both times. Now I've learned it is quite likely it was caused by a muscle relaxant medication I was on at the time for Fibromyalgia symptoms! I won't be on that medication again!
The second week of November 2007 I had to undergo MRIs for two days, one on my spine, another MRI on my chest the following day, then a mammogram the day after that. It seems I still have the large cyst in my chest behind my heart and lungs inside my rib cage. It is now pressing on my spine and causing pain. The only option I have is to wait and watch because to even access the cyst would require cutting open my chest, cracking my ribs, and virtually having nearly identical surgery to open heart. I think I'll believe God instead!
I jokingly tell folks that if I get one more body part replaced I'll qualify to be the Bionic Woman. The truth is I sure wouldn't mind an advance on my new heavenly body. Meanwhile I've adjusted, learned to slow down and allow more time for projects, and feel God's presence near daily.
I sincerely thank you and offer up my prayers for you of Thanksgiving to God.
JoAnn's Teaching Slots
On Saturday November 3, 2007 I was privileged to speak at the Writers of Inspirational Novels (ACFW-WIN OK), a group in Tulsa OK that is part of the national American Christian Fiction Writers group. I taught on "Liven Your Stories with Sensory Detail." I truly enjoyed teaching this topic and it seemed to strike a chord with the writers present. The president was thrilled with the turnout (we had to bring in extra chairs!) saying that for the first time they had a record number of visitors: eighteen! I've been invited to come back and speak on the first Saturday of September, 2008 on the topic of "A Spoonful of Ha-Ha - Effective Use of Humor in Fiction."
WIN- OK WEB SITE: http://www.win-acfw.com/
Christian Writers Fellowship of Girard KS invited me to be one of two teachers at their March 31-/April 1, 2006 Called to Write Conference. I gave the opening Key Note address: "Hearing and Knowing God's Call to Write" on Saturday morning followed by four other classes on differing writing topics. Some of you joined us there. Deborah Vogts, conference director, always plans for a fun, relaxing conference jam packed with information to help writers. Called to Write takes place the first weekend in April. Consider attending this small but delightful and well-done conference.
Check out the CWF web site:
The 2006 Write-to-Publish conference was held June 7 - 10 on the campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL (Chicago suburb) and I was privileged to be on faculty. I taught a continuing class daily for "Nonbook Pros" plus an Elective Class titled, "Creative Uses for Your Poetry." I'll also serve on the magazine editor's panel, meet with writers and evaluate manuscripts. This is a big conference and one of the best in the country. There will be a stellar lineup of speakers, teachers, editors, and lots of activities from critique groups to touring publishing houses. Linn Johnson, conference director, does a wonderful job with this conference and makes sure everything stays on time and needs are met.
Check full schedule, pricing, and faculty for the fantastic Write-to-Publish yearly conference held the first week yearly in June by visiting the Write-to-Publish web site. 2008 marks the 35th Anniversary of this conference and I know for a fact some wonderful surprises are planned!
Stories in a Compilations
Loved seeing my contributor's copy of Whispering in God's Ear (compiled by Wayne Holmes, published by Waterbook) with my story, "The Trivial Prayer" in it about an astounding answer to our then four-year-old daughter's prayer. The book was officially released and for sale in bookstores August 15, 2005.
My story, "Scent from Heaven" came out in the Letters to My Mother — Tributes to the Women Who Give Us Life - and Love published by Adams Media and edited by Barb Karg and Rick Sutherland, released just before Mother's Day 2007. I did a book signing and sale at a local Catherine's Store for Women invited by the store manager.
I'm currently working on a chick lit humorous fictional account of two highly competitive sisters living in 1960s rural OK. My working title is The Chicken Sisters Feud, I've had several new paying clients allow me the wonderful privilege of helping them refine, edit, and rewrite their manuscripts. I am constantly amazed at the wealth of talent and fire of ideas within the body of Christ. God did a great thing when He called some of us to be writers!
Tele-Workshop a Success!
JoAnn Reno Wray, owner of EpistleWorks Creations, and publisher of Melody of the Heart Online Magazine taught a fun Teleworkshop titled, "Tie on that Bungee Cord and Leap into Laughter - How-tos and Tips on Humor Writing" on June 10, 2004 from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT, sponsored by CWG.
Participants saved about $2.00 a gallon on gasoline! No travel! No dressing up! Guys forgot strangulation by ties. Ladies chucked those torture devices a.k.a. pantyhose! Participants were encouraged to wear robes and fuzzy slippers! JoAnn wore hers! We had a humor writing slumber party!
Interested in writing humor? You can purchase JoAnn's booklet filled with tips from Professional Humor Writers, Laugh All the Way - Bank on Your Sense of Humor. Also available is a tape of JoAnn teaching a class on humor, just check out the EpistleWorks Product page to learn more.
Tapes Now Available!
June 15, 2004
JoAnn speaking to the
On the topic of:
Here a Little, There a Little
For more Info on the FCW
Group, now solely in Tulsa, OK,
LEWIS, FCW Board Chair
JoAnn has other
teaching tapes available as well.
This Christian creative business, EpistleWorks Creations, is owned and operated by JoAnn Reno Wray in the Tulsa, OK area. EpistleWorks Creations was launched originally in conjunction with JoAnn's Chalk Talk ministry in the mid-'70s and has grown including increasing creative items and services through the years. She chose the word epistle to be included in the name because of its basic Greek meaning: God-breathed letters to many. Wanting to be a "living epistle known and read of all men", JoAnn felt this was an appropriate name combined with the words "Works" and "Creations". We are to show our faith by our works, she reasoned, and God is the author and finisher of all creation and certainly of any endeavor she would attempt. Thus was birthed EpistleWorks Creations.
In 2008, JoAnn celebrates her 34th year as a freelance writer with over 3000 articles, fiction, and poetry sold with several stories appearing in book collections. She has edited countless pages of writing for others, plus designs and maintains websites for several individuals and groups.
As both writer and artist, JoAnn has been called of God to weave these two gifts together to create items that touch the heart and turn men and women to the Lord Jesus Christ. Prices for writing, editing, and/or artwork services are reasonable. One Free book mark is offered to each e-mail address from which a request is received. It is a seed JoAnn plants in others' lives at God's direction and she takes great joy in being able to do so.
Offered services at EpistleWorks Creations by JoAnn include editing,critique, website design, email writing classes, speaking and teaching and design and printing of promotional materials such as brochures, booklets, resumes, and chapbooks. Browse through the web site and you'll find a great diversity of helpful free material and interesting products available for sale.
With a scholarship to Columbus College of Art and Design in 1969, JoAnn Reno Wray set out to fulfil ar lifelong dream to be an artist. She never dreamed that God would use her artistic talent combined with her love of words to minister for many years as a Chalk Talk Artist and in creating graphic art designs and printed promotional material for Christian businesses and ministries. She has combined her art talents with her love and gift for writing since 1974.
In 1997 Wray won a T-shirt Design contest sponsored by SPR for Tulsa's Corporate Challenge. In 2000 she designed the T-Shirts for Mend Crisis Pregnancy's annual Walk for Life. She sells her illustrated poetry and bookmarks at her web site EpistleWorks Creations as well as providing links, information, and instruction for Christians who write.
In 2001 JoAnn launched Melody of the Heart Ezine - an online magazine aimed at women from 30-65 plus as a publication of EpistleWorks Creations. The magazine, a paying market for writers, features inspirational, true stories, devotionals, how-tos, cooking, crafts, personal experience and humor all designed to bring God's joy to lives. Currently the ezine is getting about 135,000 hits per month.
JoAnn's training and education in writing includes courses in fiction and nonfiction offered through Writer's Digest, the Professionalism in Writing School, Tulsa Community College, and other independent college classes in journalism. Her constant study of the craft of writing includes reading and learning from the top magazines on the topic including: Writer's Digest, The Writer, Writer's Journal, Writer's Market, The Christian Writer's Market Guide, Cross and Quill and many others. She also has schooled herself with countless books on writing and owns a vertiable library of books on the subject and various aspects of freelance writing.
A member of Christian Writers' Group (CWG), Laughter Crafters - an online group for humor writers, The Writers' View, Christian Writers' Fellowship International (CWFI) and Fellowship of Christian Writers (FCW), JoAnn daily interacts with fellow writers and editors. She served as editor for FCW's monthly 10 page print newsletter, The Ready Writer, from 1996 - 2001. She continues her duties as a board member of FCW and Editor of their monthly Email Newsletter, Ready Writer Light which includes different content from the print version. She is also the Web Master and Editor of FCW's online, Ready Writer Online. Currently, JoAnn also writes a column for The Ready Writer called "Managing the Marketing Maze" tracking guidelines, contests, and resources for Christians who write. From early 2000 through the January/February issue of 2002, JoAnn was the regular Marketlines columnist for Cross & Quill, CWFI's Newsletter.
Since 1974, JoAnn has attended numerous writing conferences where she won several first and second prizes in competitions. At the 2000 Colorado Christian Writers' Conference she sold nine articles to various publications. At the 2001 Write-to-Publish conference in Wheaton, IL she served on the magazine editor's panel promoting and representing her new internet magazine, Melody of the Heart Ezine. Her experience also includes teaching classes in writing and newsletter creation at School of the Local Church, part of Grace Fellowship, Tulsa, OK.
JoAnn's other experience includes being business columnist for the monthly newspaper, Tulsa People in its premiere season and writing articles for Tulsa Kids. For several years, she served first as Assistant Editor and reporter for Grace to You and Editor plus reporter for Expressions Newspaper, an All-Tulsa Church publication. At this time JoAnn also serves as web master for Glory House Web Site (Glory House is a Christian-based homeless shelter for women in Tulsa OK directed by Katy Jones) as well as editor for the quarterly Glory House Gazette newsletter.
JoAnn's publishing credits include (but aren't limited to): Ideals, Learning Magazine, Living Streams, Cross & Quill, IDEALS, The ShallowEND, TruthExposed.Com, At the Fence Ezine which featured JoAnn's Story "Romantic Details", Woman's Touch, plus Lifeway Publications - Journey and Mature Living. Her articles for writers appear regularly in such publications as The Christian Communicator, Cross & Quill, E-Dedicated Author, The Ready Writer, WriterSpeaker.com, Fellowscript, Oregon Christian Writers' Newsletter, and Writer's Exchange.
In July, 1999 JoAnn was featured as Poet of the Month at the Christian Ezine, Candlelight Magazine. Candle Light also featured, in a recent issue, JoAnn's article on how-to stop Email rumors titled, "Rumor Mill at Warp Speed." A Story about her son's miraculous healing from testicular cancer, Nothing Too Hard, was published at the ezine, worthfinding.comand was included in a book released by Pasternoster Publishers in October, 2001 in England titled HEALED - Personal Stories of God's Strength through Weakness authored by best selling author, Richard Daly. Another story called, "My Greatest Writing Assignment" was included in the 2001 release of Stories for Spirit-Filled Believers (Chris Bolley/Starburst Publishers). Two of JoAnn's poems appeared in the premier issue (February 2000) of Adoration, A Journal for Christian Poetry. She served as past Editor for Blue Skies, a newsletter for Cancer Patients of LaFortune Cancer Center in Tulsa for which she received an award. Read about more current writing credits at JoAnn's Writer's Corner Page. There are just too many periodicals to list now in which JoAnn's articles, stories, poems, columns, and other specialized writing have appeared. She will update the list from time to time and start rotating some of her credits.
JoAnn conducts Email Writing Classes, each with six lessons, for a reasonable fee to interested students. These classes include:Writing & Marketing Devotions and Slash & Burn: Self-Editing for Writers - That Red Pen is Your Friend.
WORKSHOPS which JoAnn teaches include these topics (and others):
• A Spoonful of Ha-Ha — Effective Use of Humor in Fiction
These include online workshops she has done at Christian Writers' Workshops as well as classes
taught on a national and local levels at writing conferences, churches, and writers' groups.
Would you like JoAnn to come and teach
at your writers' group or conference?
Contact her through the special form at the
EpistleWorks Creations Contact Page
See Photos of JoAnn doing her program,
"No More Writers' Block - Create a Bottomless Idea File!"
February 8 at the Tulsa meeting of
The Fellowship of Christian Writers.
Since late 2004, JoAnn fell and caused injury to both knees that made two knee replacements necessary, caused a grapefruit sized cyst in her chest, and broken a tooth off. She then suffered a variety of other health issues. Recovery from the knee surgeries proved much more difficult than anticipated. Now she is getting back to what she calls a "semi-normal" state and working hard on her freelance writing, editing, and artwork and websites. She launched a blog, Epistles from the Heart, in August of 2007. You can visit there and read stories of inspriation, devotions, and humor. In March 2008, she received notice of a story acceptance for a book of encouragement to writers to be published by Wine Press and due out in early June of 2008.
Currently JoAnn works, on average, from four to six hours daily on the redesign and relaunch of her online magazine, Melody of the Heart . She hopes to upload it and have a gala re-launch in the second quarter of 2008. Being unable to publish the magazine has been a major frustration to her and she asks everyone to pray for her and the writers, as well as for God to bless with financial backing and advertisers to get the magazine back online in fulll swing once again.
In 2005, JoAnn was on faculty for the September, North Texas Christian Writers Conference near Dallas, TX. as well as a faculty member at the Write-to-Publish conference the same year. In 2003 JoAnn served on the faculty of the Mid-Atlantic Christian Writers Conference held in Gaithersburg MD and at the Write-to-Publish conference on the campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton IL (near Chicgao). She taught classes, served on the magazine Editor's panel, met one-on-one with writers, led critique groups, and evaluated manuscripts at these conferences.
For more info on products and helps for writers, see the Writers' Corner Page. Or check other pages for the illustrated, matted and framed original Poems JoAnn creates. Also available are JoAnn's line of illustrated, laminated Book Marks, perfect as witnessing tools or a small gift from the heart. Iron-on T-shirt Transfer Designs are available to create your own unique T-shirt for "witness wear." To write JoAnn with specific questions, use the form on the Contact Page.
MORE INFO at EpistleWorks Creations'
WRITERS CORNER PAGE
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