It figures. Yesterday was a chaotic day from hell and what happens?
I have an idea for a novella.
Isn't that the way? You have a day when it's all hitting the fan and suddenly your muse decides to return from it's Grand Canyon vacation, or wherever the heck he was anyway.
It actually started out as a short story. I had to take my laptop to work for a meeting and decided to write a rough draft of this vague idea I had for a sci-fi story. I spent the entire hour writing and still wasn't satisfied. It was while I was hustling through the afternoon portion of the chaos that it hit me: What I just wrote was part of a bigger story. So I dug up some of my research from when I wrote Splinter. I brainstormed. And darn if I didn't come up with an outline by the time I left for work today.
The good news is that the story is set in the Jovan system just like Splinter, so I don't need to do any additional research. Well, that I know of now, anyway. You know how things pop up as you write. But still, I can reuse a lot of it and many of the pieces are in place. I'm so excited! I think this will be my summer writing project. And you know me - I'm most content when I'm working on a writing project.
Here's the basic outline I came up with:
Prologue - History of the future
1. Jovan Council discovers a nuclear weapon has been detonated on Earth & the magnetosphere is showing signs of shifting.
2. Council reviews/debates consequences. Speculates on causes. Decides to ban further immigration from Earth due to radiation & uncertain political situation.
3. Ship openly goes to Earth to deliver sentence.
4. Return to Jovan system to confirm the mission is complete.
Epilogue - Earth's fate.
This is general and will likely be changed by the time I finish part 1. Still, it's a plan to work from, and a plan is good. Truth is, I don't even have a working title, and I'm still not sure what Earth's fate will be. I suppose it depends on whether I'm having a good day or a bad day when I get around to writing that part :)
I'd like to keep this in the range of a novella; perhaps 20,000 - 25,000 words. I'd like for it to be longer than Quarantine but not a full length novel. I need to get some more "quick reads" out there for readers. People seem to enjoy those. Since it's so short, I plan to self-publish this piece.
Of course, I'll keep you updated on my progress and will no doubt share excerpts as it progresses.
That's all today. Take care and have a great rest of the week.
OMG, Kate Middleton stepped out in her first maternity outfit
. A royal pregnancy! Is there anything more exciting?
Um yes, there actually is.
Two years ago, I wrote a blog entry titled “Things More Interesting Than the Royal Wedding” and it was probably one of my highest viewed blogs. Which surprised me, really, since it was nothing more than a rambling of things I found more interesting than royal nuptials. Still, I suppose it speaks to the point that we all have our opinions on what we deem as “interesting.” Well, now they’re expecting a baby and it’s all over the grocery store newsstands. So here I am again, this time with an entry of things more interesting than the royal pregnancy. Because I’m not a royal watcher myself, but I do have my eye on:
1. Iron Man 3.
Come on, you know you want to see it after the breathtaking spectacle that was The Avengers last summer. We all want to know what’s up in the superhero world a year after we were saved from Loki’s shenanagins with the tesseract. We also want to know what was up with that last scene. It hinted at something unpleasant coming to Earth. What was it?
2. Star Trek – Into Darkness.
It’s not just for Trekkie nerds anymore. J.J. Abrams elevated the Star Trek franchise to new heights – and popularity – with his magnificent rendition of the original crew in 2009’s Star Trek, and the previews alone make it clear that the bar has been raised. It will be a special effects extravanganza to say the least, and since Abrams rewrote the history of the Trek universe with the destruction of Vulcan in the last movie, who knows what adventures they’ll find next?
3. Fast and Furious 6.
There's nothing quite like it. The characters. The cars. The driving scenes. Wow! I wonder what the gang is up to now?
4. Breaking Bad, Season 5.
It kicks off August 11th. Can you believe it? After 4 seasons of chasing, Hank is onto Walter White being the elusive Heisenburg he’s been searching for! And this is the final season for the series, so there are no limits to where this could go by the big finale.
5. The College World Series.
It might surprise you to know that I do like college baseball, but I usually don’t start following it until we get to the regionals and super-regionals. The big questions is, how far will the University of South Carolina
go under a new coach? Ray Tanner left last season to take over as Athletic Director, but the team is still going strong. The won 2 college world series in a row and came so close to a 3-peat last year. It’ll be interesting to see how they do with a new leader this year.
6. Thor 2 - The Dark World.
I loved the first Thor movie and this one looks like it’s bigger, better, and more of, well, everything. Plus, I must admit that Thor is my favorite Avenger and Loki is my favorite villain. I mean folks, watch that trailer. Is that not awesome?
7. The end of the world is just the beginning. My sci-fi novel, Splinter
, is scheduled for release through Whiskey Creek Press in November. Keep an eye on this website for information this fall.
8. The Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug. I love fantasy. I love J.R.R. Tolkein. I love The Hobbit
and The Lord of the Rings
. And I love dragons. I think you see how this equation works for me.
So sorry folks, but I just don’t have time to track the royal pregnancy. I wish them the best, but I’m far removed from that and have a life of my own to attend to. Plus, there are so many other interesting things going on and I simply have to focus my attention on what matters. In my corner of the world, anyway.
That’s all today. Take care and have a good week.
Well, I've done all I can. Move is published and as I wait for it to come through the various sales platforms there's not much left for me to do, except wait. I really can't do much until it's at least posted on Amazon, so ...
I need a break. And thank goodness I have the day off for President's Day today and can have it!
You know, there are a lot of stereotypes about writer's out there, none of which are true. For example, people assume we're rich. Oh, how I wish that were so. The truth is, the J.K. Rowlings and Steven Kings of the world are the exception rather than the rule. Most writers are writing their novels around home life and a full time job. Did you know that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein never quit their day jobs as professors? Nope, they wrote their books while working full time. It makes me feel better to know that even great writers of the past had to do it the same way I am - juggling the writing with the rest of life. Others are retired from other careers and can now write full time because they've "done their time," like P.D. James. So there's not big money in writing and even if there were enough money in it, you can't get a loan with only royalty payments coming in. Creditors want to see a steady income, a guaranteed paycheck. Plus there are other nuisances like insurance and retirement that you have to consider. So no, we aren't rich. In fact, it behooves us to have a steady job because life in the 21st century isn't friendly to the freelance lifestyle.
Another stereotype is that writing is easy. Oh, don't I wish. While story ideas do come to us easily, pulling them off is a trick. You have to make things believable, at least in theory, or readers will let you know in full surround sound stereo that "this couldn't possibly happen!" And then there go your book sales. I spent 6 months researching Splinter before I wrote the first word for National Novel Writing Month in 2010, and still had to do follow up research for rewrites and edits in later drafts. Likewise with Move - I researched and planned that novel for about 3 months before I started writing, and in fact was still doing some research as I wrote it. I had to diagram out Anywhere But Here to keep the parallel storylines straight, which was a challenge that gave me plenty of headaches. And I found myself running around and doing plenty of checking and researching while working on every draft of Blurry. I thought writing fiction would be less research than writing non-fiction, but honestly I think it's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other when it comes to research. You have to do it. You also have to keep going through to make sure you're maintaining consistency, which is an issue with anything you write. Add to that the fact that you're squeezing in writing with a full life, and no, it isn't easy. I'm lucky to have 2 hours a day to devote to writing. That's my absolute maximum, and I can't even have it every day because there are still chores, errands, home care, self care, husband care, and bird care that must be attended to. Life doesn't stop because you're writing a novel. It plugs right along, and it's very persistent in reminding you that it's there and needs tending to. Honestly, I don't know how people with children can do this, but plenty do. Where there's a will, there's a way. I make the best of my 2 hours when I get it, and I suppose they must know what blocks of time they have and how to handle them.
And the last stereotype is one that greatly amuses me. People think we lounge around the house in our pajamas, sipping coffee (or tea) and typing great prose all day. Well from the truths shared above, I think you see how that's impossible. My boss wouldn't be very happy if I lived like that because I am supposed to report to the office on Monday - Friday. My birds might like that if I took frequent play and feeding breaks, but after a while they tend to get screamy and want mommy to pay attention to them. I believe my husband and family would object to a hermit lifestyle. And even on weekends, there's always something that needs doing. Homes and cars need care and maintenance. It's like the joke running around on social media about Sunday being a day of rest - rest of the chores, rest of the errands, rest of the stuff I didn't get done Monday - Saturday! True. So true.
No, it's not easy being a writer, nor is it glamerous. There have been plenty of times when I asked myself if it's worth it to invest so much into shoving this into my life, but the answer always comes back to yes. I love writing and being an author has been a lifelong dream. And while it might not live up to the nice stereotypes, it's still worth it to have my work out there for readers to enjoy. The purpose of writing is to create stories that entertain and inspire people. The Lord has gifted me with these stories and I don't want to bury my talent. I want to share it with the world.
And yes, the work is worth it.
That's all today. Take care. I hope you have a great day. Enjoy the day if you're off. I need to get out there in the world and take care of all that stuff that piled up while I was working on getting Move published. The world is out there, and it's time I got engaged in it again.
Since my last blog entry got a lot of views, I thought I'd expound on it a bit more. It seems to me that people are testy and rude these days. I know that life gets busier in the fall - school starts back up and it seems that everything else cranks into high gear this time of year. I can certainly say that the fall tends to be my busiest season, personally and professionally.
Another thing happening is that a lot of people are going through transitions right now. For example, we're in between pastors at church right now, and that's a common scenario as it seems there's been a lot of turnover with churches in our area lately. I've also heard people say they've experienced changes in their jobs due to staffing issues or other administrative decisions that have been made.
Still one more thing I'm seeing a lot of is people getting sick, and having a hard time getting better. A lot seems to be going around, and no doubt stress over it being a busier time contributes to difficulties kicking the nasties out of your system.
Folks, I get it. I really do. My iPhone calendar looks like it has chicken pox with all the dots on my schedule. I live by my reminder app more than I care for. I too have struggled with sinus problems/infections and now Rick has a virus and I wonder if it's not making it's way to me. And transitions - oh, I feel your pain. My upcoming novel, Splinter, was born of frustration over a transition in my life a while back that was very nearly more than I could take. So I do get it. But having been there, done that, and singing verse one thousand of this same old song, I can tell you one thing:
Being an idjit doesn't help.
Seriously. Stress is understandable and it's natural to get frustrated, but being mean and rude to people because you're out of patience and don't want to expend the extra energy on at least acting civil just makes it harder. In fact, it creates more problems. When you get snappy, people that might have helped you are no longer inclined to do so, and in fact they might choose to get back at you by sabatoging you or doing things that they know will make life more difficult.
Don't ask for it. And don't assume that you won't have to deal with people again, either. True story: One time early in my career, I transferred between divisions in my office. Thought I'd never see those folks from the old office again. Well, lo and behond, they consolidated two years later and every one of my former co-workers moved right in with me. I was very glad I didn't burn any bridges there! And it can happen anytime.
When I was a child, my granddaddy always told me that what goes around ALWAYS comes around. He said nothing goes unrewarded - or unpunished. "Watch your actions and words," he would tell me, "because they will come back to you. Even if you forget them, they still come back. And sometimes it takes a while but it always happens." It's a Biblical concept from Galatians 6:7 and by golly, I can't count how many times I've seen the truth of his words. Granddaddy was right and had a healthy respect for this universal truth. The problem is, too many people close their eyes to it and even when it happens, they're blind because they don't want to acknowledge that perhaps things went wrong because they were mean, or made a bad decision, or were just an idjit.
You don't really get away with anything. You may think you do. It may seem like you do. But you don't, not really. It hunts you down and gets you, many times when you least expect it. Whether you see it for what it is or not.
My point is that life is hard sometimes, but acting with discernment and widsom will help you get through those tough seasons faster and better. It won't be easy, but it will be easier than doing it the hard way by freaking out, or being mean, or rude, or shutting down. It's hard, but it's worth it.
So yes, I feel your pain. I certainly understand. But there's no excuse for being an idiot. So just don't do it and things will be alright. At least, it's easier for people to have patience and compassion for you when you act like a civilized, dignified human being - even if you don't feel like it.
That's all for today. Happy Friday tomorrow. I hope you have a great weekend.
Ok everybody, I'd like to offer up the entry I promised a week ago about writing advice I do take. I may be a rebel and I certainly insist on doing things my way, but there are some things that are actually good tips. For example:
1. Identify a ninch market to target. The most common mistake writers make is aiming at an audience that's too wide. I know that targeting, say, women in the 20-45 age range seems like a good idea, but the fact is that the wider your target, the less likely you are to hit it. This isn't the firing or archery range - it's reality, and reality means that, unless you're a celebrity, it's really best to find a small segment to serve, and build from there. Anybody can be a one-hit-wonder. It takes more to build up an audience - and a reputation - from the ground up, and this is more stable. That doesn't mean that your hands are bound - simply that you focus on a certain demographic. for example, I write across a number of genres, but I focus on ebooks. So my writing is more suited for young to middle age adults that are tech savy and very "plugged in." And from here, I hope to conquer the world.
2. Set aside time to write. You have to, or everything else in life will take over. And let me be very frank with you: People in general think that writing is easy and that there's nothing to it. Nothing can be further from the truth, and you and I know that - but we all know that there are lots of people that have opinions about things they really know nothing about, and this is one of them. Only you know how much time and effort it takes to brainstorm, plan, research and write that dream novel. Others can support you, but unless they're writers, they have no idea what it's like, so you're going to have to put your foot down and make this work if you're serious about it. And when it comes to scheduling that writing time, you can have some flexibility in there. For example, I simply can't say I'll write for 2 hours every day. With my lifestyle, that's not gonna happen (we discussed that about a week ago, and how all hell broke loose when I tried that one time). But I can say I'll write after work two nights this week, or I'll take my laptop to work and write on 1 lunch hour, or I'll do 2 chapters next weekend. That's doable. So make a schedule that fits best with your life and stick to it. And don't worry - the schedule can change, as long as you have some time penciled in for "writing" every few days.
3. Use technology to your advantage. You have to. Anybody that knows me will tell you that my 2 best friends are my smartphone and my laptop. As I said in So You Want to Be a Writer, the days of slipping a beautifully handwritten manuscript over the publisher's transom are over. Everybody expects typed submissions, and they're increasingly requesting that they be submitted digitally with explicit formatting instructions. Everybody expects you to have an email address, blog and website. Everybody expects you to be on social media - Facebook or Twitter at a minimum. You can say "I don't do computer!" and "I don't need all that high tech mess!" all day, but foresake these, and you foresake an audience. This is the twenty first century and it's not going away - in fact, all of life is shifting in that direction. So do yourself a favor and accept that if you want to be a writer, you have to snuggle up with technology.
4. Educate yourself. I said in my entry last week that I don't really have to means to attend conferences, but I have studied up on the craft of writing. I've read books on how to write, brushed up on grammer rules, familiarized myself with the publication process, and even took a couple of courses by computer. There are many ways to learn, and it's wise to take advantage of every opportunity you can.
5. Remember that your editor is your friend. So is everybody in the publication process, from the submissions editor to the graphic artist to the sales and publicity staff. Be kind, accept their guidance, and establish good working relationships with everybody. Remember, they have faith in your writing and they're trying to help you as an author. Help and support them as publishers by being kind and easy to work with - and saying "thank you" a lot.
6. It's all about the readers. We write because we love it, but we pursue publication because we hope o ur stories will entertain, inspire, and bring joy to readers. If you're doing this for any other reason, examine your motives.
7. Don't give up. Dry spells happen. I'm getting published now, but did you know that I went through a 3 year dry spell before I got my book contracts for Blurry and Anywhere But Here last year? That's right - I had absolutely nothing published in 2007 - 2010. I even had a contract for Quarantine fall through in 2009 when the publisher offered me a contract, then filed for bankrupcy before it ever went to print. But I'm glad I didn't give up, because I wrote both of those books and Splinter during that time frame, and now 2 of those books are published and I just signed a contract to publish Splinter through Whiskey Creek Press. And I self published Quarantine because I couldn't find any other publisher willing to take on a novella, so I finally decided to quit looking, do it myself, and move on to promoting my work and producing new work. Writing, like anything else in life, has it's ups and downs. And like everything else, you have to ride out those waves and learn from your experiences to break through to success.
So there you have it - seven tips that I use in my own endeavors to writing and publishing. I hope these are helpful and inspirational to you, and they give you a framework for defining your own path to success.
That's all today. Take care and I hope you have a good week.
Hi everybody! I know I promised to do an entry on writing advice I usually take, but I've had quite an active week. I signed a contract with Whiskey Creek Press to publish Splinter, the sci-fi apocolyptic novel I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in 2010, I had an author interview at Realmantic Moments, and I wrote 6 chapters for Move, my mystery novel-in-progress. I also had a meeting yesterday and wound out behind the computer a lot today catching up on things, and frankly, my wrist hurts. It actually locked up on me at one point before I left work - scary. It passed and I'm ok, but I think it's best that I don't push my luck too much.
I did want to blog, though, so I decided to offer you another excerpt from Move. I hope you enjoy it - and don't worry, I will give you that writing advice in an entry in the near future. But for now, enjoy more of my novel in progress and this song, which I believe sums up how Ruby Josen, my protagonist, is feeling about life.
“Cheyenne, is now a good time to talk?” Ruby asked, poking her head around Cheyenne’s office door.
Cheyenne picked up the clock on her desk that read five o’clock in bright red numbers.“Is the office locked up?”
“I locked the office. I believe the intern is still in the graphics room printing materials for tomorrow’s meetings, but she can get out when she needs to.”
“Very well,” Cheyenne said, waving to the chair across from her desk. “Have a seat.”
Ruby sat. “I’ll get right to the point. Denise called me last night and said you were telling everybody that hair clip they found at Detective Wesson’s murder scene is mine.”
Cheyenne set her jaw. “I don’t recall ever saying that.”
“Detective Barnes called me an hour later and said the same thing Denise told me. She said you called her Monday evening and told her I was wearing a hair clip just like that Friday at work.”
“Well, Denise told her it was my hair clip.”
“Denise said you had a hair clip like that. There’s a difference between saying someone had a clip like that and that they were wearing one found at a murder scene later that evening.” Ruby paused. “Why would you do that, Cheyenne? Why would you try to get me in trouble with a detective investigating two murders?”
“Because you were wearing that clip Friday.”
“Really? Because I looked through my entire apartment and I didn’t find it.”
“Well, of course you wouldn’t if it were left somewhere else.”
“Why are you doing this?
“Trying to get me in trouble? I don’t understand. What did I ever do to you?”
Cheyenne stared out the window but didn’t comment.
“Cheyenne, we used to get along so well. You even offered me a reference for the executive secretary position last winter.”
“I never …”
“Yes you did, Cheyenne, yes you did. Then Millie got the job and you changed. You turned cold toward me and I don’t understand why. What happened? Did Millie turn you against me?”
“I knew it!” Cheyenne said, jumping from her chair. “You resented her because she beat you out of the job. I knew …”
“You don’t know anything!” Ruby shouted, jumping from her chair. “And I obviously don’t know you. What’s happened to you Cheyenne? You’ve been so bitter the past few months. Ever since …” She paused. “Your husband left.”
“How dare you,” Cheyenne screamed. “How dare you pass judgment on me.”
“You’re the one trying to throw me under the bus in a murder investigation. You never answered my question. Why did you tell Detective Wesson that Swiss Army Knife was mine? Why did you tell Detective Barnes the hair clip was mine? Why Cheyenne? Why are you acting like this?”
“Because I have to tell them something or I’ll be the prime suspect!”
Ruby stared at Cheyenne. “So you get them off your case by putting them on mine. Some friend you are.”
“We were never friends, Ruby. Get that right. You’re my employee. And you’d better get yourself straight, or you won’t be anymore.”
“Is that a threat?”
Cheyenne leaned her arms on her desk. “That’s me saying outright that you haven’t been the same since we hired Millie for the executive secretary position last winter. The quality of your work has declined and you’ve done nothing but whine and complain ever since she came to work here. I know you resented being beat out of that job, but grow up, Ruby. This is reality and we don’t always get what we want. A lot of life is taking the hand you’re dealt and doing the best you can with it. I suggest you do that, or it might not go well for you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ruby asked, leaning on the desk and matching Cheyenne’s stare.
“You and Denise quit pointing the finger at me, and I’ll quit pointing the finger at you. Simple as that.” Cheyenne pulled herself up straight. “And you might even keep your job, if you stop being a thorn in my side.”
“I’m being a thorn? What have you been?”
Cheyenne smiled bitterly. “What I have to be to survive.” She looked at her clock. “I have to pick up my son. We’re done here. Get out of my office and get your attitude right before you come in here tomorrow. Am I clear?”
Ruby stood.“Explicitly,” she said, storming out of the office, knowing what she had to do next.
Poor Ruby! This is probably what she played on her iPod next:
I recently heard a sermon on BBN about how the Book of Nehemiah shows 4 ways the devil trys to stop people from doing God's will. They are derision, discouragement, destruction and division. I think this is pretty accurate. After all, God doesn't attack us. He usually changes our circumstances and/or prompts a change of mind and heart within us if the intervention is Holy and an effort to put us on a right path. I believe my story from yesterday's entry showed this at work. There were no attacks in that situation; simply changing circumstances which eventually lead me to a change of heart. Certainly I could have continued to pursue an advanced degree in a different program, but the experience shifted my desires to other areas. In fact, I felt strongly prompted to pursue writing after this incident and I had an experience last year that showed all 4 of these steps at work to divert me from what I felt prompted to do.
In April 2010 I had an idea for an apocolyptic sci-fi thriller novel. I had just completed the manuscript for Anywhere But Here, and frankly I was surprised to have an idea for another novel so soon after completing one. I'm usually exhausted and novel ideas come, at best, every 2-3 years. I was excited to already have another potential project, so I immediately dug in and began writing the first chapter of this new piece. Frankly, it was the only excitement I had in the area of writing. I hadn't had anything published in over three years, and a contract that I was offered a year earlier fell through when the publisher filed for bankruptcy (see discouragement and destruction at work). This lack of success had caused enthusiasm to wane over my writing, and people that had been so excited when I published Battleground Earth in 2004 had now dismissed my writing as nothing more than a "nice little hobby" (see derision at work). Through this dry period I did pray about whether it was a sign to stop writing and move on, but the ideas kept coming and I continued to feel compelled and prompted to continue writing, even if the stories never made it any further than my hard drive.
My progress didn't make it past the first chapter, though, because I got tendinitis in my right wrist. It took about 8 weeks to heal. During that time I had to keep my typing to a minimum. I prayed and felt that I should use the time to research and further develop this novel. In fact, I decided to use the entire summer for this task and to enter this novel idea in the 2010 National Novel Writing Month challenge for 2010. That gave me 5 months to research, brainstorm, outline, and prepare to write the rough draft of the novel, and it would finally give me a chance to enter this writing challenge that I'd had my eye on and thought about entering for many years.
I tentatively call the tendinitis a destruction attack on me. I say "tentatively" because I am aware that the tendinitis was caused by typing at work all day and then coming home and typing at night to write Anywhere But Here, so the injury was a result of actions that I knowingly and willingly took.It was just the timing of the injury and the fact that my left wrist wasn't hurt at all that made me suspicious.
I proceeded with my plan and come November 1, 2010 I was ready to start on the novel. I was fully healed and had plenty of notes ready to go. I made great progress for the first few days. I was going through a major life transition at the time from major changes in my personal and professional life, but I felt that I was on a right path. In fact, writing Splinter for NaNo felt like a claim of independence; like a way of saying this is my life and I'm taking it and putting it together my way. It was a personal victory for me.
Unfortunately, the devil had his last punch to pack, and he gave me a wallop right when I didn't need it. It was at that time that other people in my life decided that they had a whole lot of problems with all of these changes, and it was time to do something about it. Tempers exploded and I saw sides of people that I had known for years that had never come out. They weren't angry at me, but since the change was centered around me then I was viewed as the linchpin of it all, and they saw me as the one to "make things right." They were mad at circumstances, mad at situations, and yes, mad at one another. I tried to soothe them, but tempers raged on. I even pointed out, as gently as I could, that they were reacting violently to things that usually didn't bother them, or were minor irritations. Occasionally they would stop, look stunned, say "you're right, that's wierd," then proceed to keep screaming about everything wrong with the world. Most of the time, they said I was crazy and needed to do something about things NOW. (See division at work.)
Once again, I prayed about the situation and this time, I had what can only be called a divine inspiration: Don't worry about anything else; just finish that rough draft as quickly as possible. Ignore everything else until it's done and deal with people once you get this story, which has been percolating in your head for months, out of the brain and onto the hard drive. Until then, reality can wait.
That's exactly what I did. I quit socializing, cleared my calendar, only did the bare essentials, and pounded away at that manuscript in every free minute I could squeeze out of my days. I amazed myself by finishing a 51,000 word first draft of Splinter by November 15.
A funny thing happened when I cautiously re-emerged back to reality. World War 3 hadn't broken out, and nobody had killed anybody else. In fact, all those tempers quieted. Most of them slunk away in silence, but a few did express shock and dismay at their behavior. They couldn't believe they had reacted so violently to things that were nothing more than minor irriations and didn't understand. I knew exactly what it was. Satan lit them with some hell fire to stop me, but when I wasn't there to burn then it was useless so he took it from them. I could have easily stayed angry at them and cast blame and judgement, but I realized it as an attack of division and didn't want to allow it to succeed on any level. It was hard, but I made an active decision to forgive and let it go.
I'd like to say that the devil just went away after that, but the truth is that I faced similar attacks every single time I worked on Splinter. Every rewrite, every edit, every proofread it happened. People saying they couldn't believe I was still at it when I clearly wasn't going to get published again. Illness, computer problems and yes, those tempers did flare back up every single time. But you know what? I prayed for protection, I persevered, and with the Lord's grace and help, I finished the manuscript last month. It's in the submittal process now and I pray that protection and help continue to bring it to publication.
Another thing did happen in the wake of all of this. I was offered e-book contracts for Blurry and Anywhere But Here, finally ending a 4 year publication dry spell. I also got several flash fiction pieces and a couple of short stories posted online, and that success gave me the confidence to self publish two more pieces: Quarantine, a suspense novellette, and Resonance, a horror long story. Thanks be to God that the opportunities offered by e-publishing took me from “a nice little hobby” to being an Independent Author!
The point of this story is to show that you will come up against opposition when you try to do God's will by finding your authentic self, but the rewards of perseverence are great. Prayer is absolutely essential - in fact, it's key. I think you see in my tale that prayer is how I channeled the Lord's power into my life. Through it, He provided me with wisdom, healing and protection. I can tell you for a fact that if He will do it for me, He will do it for everybody. God is no respector of persons. If you love and trust Him, He will provide, protect and comfort you.
I know it's discouraging to find you'll have to fight the devil to be who you were made to be, but the fact is that you're going to fight him no matter what you do. Satan will taunt you whether you do what he wants or not, so you might as well claim Christ's victory and piss off the devil every chance you get. Because face it: With Satan you can't win, but with Christ you can't lose. That is the most universal truth there is.
Thanks for sticking with me through 2 life tales. I hope that my experiences have given you insight for your own life and perhaps inspiration for dealing with situations that you face. Take care and keep fighting the good fight.
Next time: Personality Quirks - What's Sin, What's There For a Reason.
Howdy ho, folks, and I hope this entry finds you in the middle of a good and productive week. I’d like to open by welcoming many new people that I’ve connected with in recent days: Friends on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and anybody that graces my Author Page on Amazon.com, where this blog has a feed. Some are old friends from days gone by and some are fellow writers or connections with writers. I welcome and thank each and every one of you. Thanks to all of you for the connection, friendship and support!
In honor of my recent book release and new connections, I’d like to dedicate this blog post by sharing a bit more about myself with you. Here we go!
Want to know what inspired Blurry
? Nightmares. That’s right, the novel came about based on dreams I had about being in high school in college while Rick (my husband) and I built our house in 2007. Some say that dreams of school days represents a subconscious desire to return to a simpler time in life. Maybe, but I weaved a heck of a tale from those
I’ve actually been writing for over 10 years. I started out as an inspirational writer and published a Christian book titled Battleground Earth – Living by Faith in a Pagan World
in 2004. It’s still for sale on www.publishamerica.com
and on Amazon.com . Unfortunately, my muse for the inspirational work went dry so I switched to fiction. I read an article on CNN about the rise of E-publishing last summer and decided that perhaps that would be more appropriate for my fiction work, so I dusted off a few manuscripts and now, here we are.
I’m publishing another novel titled Anywhere But Here
in April 2012 and I have another novel in progress. It’s a sci-fi apocalyptic thriller titled Splinter
and I do hope to publish it.
The birds outnumber the people in my house. To you new folks, Rick and I have three birds: Two sun conures named Zack and Chloe and a budgie named Oliver. We lovingly adopted Zack and Chloe and rescued Ollie – the principal at one of the schools Rick works at found him in the school yard. And of course, being bird people, well, we wound out with Bird #3. Hmm. Do you think Ollie was really a rescue, or part of Zack and Chloe’s clever plan to shift the balance of power in our home from human to avian?
By the way, the birds have their own website. Rick started a test site when he was designing the church website. When he was done with it, he told me to do what I wished with it. So many people ask me about the birds that I decided to redo the website as theirs. You can check it out at http://conurecorner.weebly.com
. It also includes some silly stories I wrote inspired by each bird.
I don’t have one kind of music I listen to, as it depends on my mood. But you absolutely cannot borrow one CD. It’s Cold’s “13 Ways to Bleed On Stage” from 2000. I know, that dark stuff isn’t like me at all, but it’s catchy and I love it! My favorite songs:“Just Got Wicked,” “End of the World,” and “Bleed” (truly a ballad appreciated by all bleeding artists).
Movie that came out of left field and smacked me thissummer: Thor
. That movie was awesome.
Movie that was better than I expected: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.
Folks, it was a bloodbath! And about time that people started whopping up on one another! That was too long in coming.
Movie that wasn’t what I hoped: The Green Lantern
. I hoped for less personal angst and more intergalactic warfare from my favorite childhood superhero.
What was as good as I expected: The series finale of Smallville
In case you didn’t notice, I really like science fiction and fantasy. Suspense is also high on my list. Romance is near the bottom. I’ve given it a chance and frankly, it’s unrealistic. I’ve been married for 13 years, folks, and I know the reality of romantic relationships.
I don’t watch much TV, but I will make time to watch one TV show, and that’s Supernatural
. I sure hope Bobby, Sam and Dean find a way to reign Castielle in, or at least beat the crap out of him in Season 7. After that finale, Cas could use a good whopping.
I don’t like having my picture taken. That’s why I don’t have many pictures posted. I don’t think they look like me. And I don’t own a video camera either.
Pink is my favorite color. My laptop, my iPod Touch cover, several of my purses, and most of my clothes are pink. Yellow is my second favorite color, with purple as close third. I don’t care for brown or orange.
I like purple nail polish, strappy sandals in the summer, and hiking boots in the winter.
I think Walmart is the fifth level of Dante’s Inferno and that everybody needs to get off the cell phone while they’re in there. It doesn’t help and that line to the outside world is a false sense of security. If you’re in Walmart, you’re still in Hell. I feel like I pay for those low prices with a piece of my soul every time I go there.
I don’t have kids, but my first job was working in a 2 year old room for a daycare. So whine at your own risk because I know how to deal with tantrums “professionally.”
I don’t lead or follow. I just go along my own way. And that drives some people absolutely batty!
We built in the woods and truthfully, I feel safer there than I did in a neighborhood. If I hear a noise outside at night, it’s likely wildlife doing what wildlife does and that’s normal. If I heard a noise outside at night in a neighborhood, that was nothing but people creeping around – and why were they creeping around at a late hour when they thought nobody was aware of it?
Speaking of living in the woods, we’ve disproved a few old wives tales in the nearly 4 years since we moved out there. Snakes don’t writhe until sundown if you kill them, especially if they’re hacked into 4 pieces. An owl hooting doesn’t always mean death is coming, and they won’t stop hooting if you turn your pillow over (they don’t know or care that you did it). You can’t overwater anything in sandy soil. And a yard light out doesn’t scare much of anything.
Well, I think that’s enough for this time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this silly list of trivia and that you’ll visit this site often to keep up with my continuing adventures in publishing and in life. Enjoy the rest of your week.