Friday, July 30, 2010

Storms lead to more brainstorms...

Shuffling notes, yesterday, and following an encouraging presentation, I've discovered a need to see, overall, where the story is and where it is going. I'm not so much a planner. I know people who are and am all kinds of impressed that they have that ability. Not my gift. I'm a panster, ie, writing by the seat of my pants. I enjoy the way the story takes a totally unexpected turn. It isn't easy to surprise yourself, but in writing it's possible. It's fun. That being said, I also recognize that I can't continue to wander aimlessly through this story. A bit of direction is in order, so this afternoon's writing is to give some form to my notes.

I'm endeavoring to learn that when things happen, beyond my control and out of reach of my power to do anything, it's wise and good to turn it over to God. Not easy for someone who feels a bone-deep need to be in control.

The other day I was asked, "Do you believe you're going to heaven?" It isn't a question I contemplate often. I figure God will decide. But I was asked, so I searched my heart, and decided that yes, I do believe I'm going to heaven. Then I was asked, "How do you think you'll make it?" I'm learning to stop and think before answering a question, but the answer was right there, "Because of my Savior. Look to God and Live." Finally I was asked if there were those who would not go to heaven and why. "God is the Judge, not me, and I'm so grateful it isn't my decision." I'm learning what I believe, down to my soul. I'm at peace with it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


With more storms threatening the valley, I'm posting early today. It means shutting off my computer, so I'll be interviewing characters and taking notes and fleshing out backgrounds. During the brainstorming session the other day, I was asked what the parents did, and I realized I didn't know. How did I miss that? So time to fill in some blanks. I'm thinking it might also help with forwarding the story.

Praying for rain, but also praying that the storm isn't too severe. Never hurts to ask.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Unexpected help...

I did work on my WIP, yesterday, with help from writing friends. Thank you, Deena, Ann, Varina, and Natalie! It truly helped! And thanks to Chey for the impromptu brainstorm session and encouragement. Today, I'm adding what we brainstormed to my WIP.

As to what I'm doing with only a little work to do, I've been doing a bit of making order out of chaos. It feels good. Thanks to God for inspiration.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back to work...

I enjoyed a quiet Sunday and didn't think about writing, anything. There are several books in my TBR pile that are in various stages of reading. These are the ones I read a little at a time and then think about before going on to the next paragraph, page, chapter, depending on how much time I need to think about what I've read.

Today, it was back into the WIP and it's coming along again. Problem solved.

This was in my quotes, today: "Love and laughter, not a sorrowful resignation mark real acceptance of My Will."--Two Listeners. Turning my life over to God is scary. Really scary. I'm not very good at it, but I am working on it. This gives me something specific to work on improving.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I figured out the problem. Timing. My heroine informed me that it wasn't her timing that was off, it was mine. Now, it makes perfect sense why she's showing up in the scene. I found that this is frequently a problem. I'm frustrated with stories where the hero and heroine sit down in an expensive restaurant, have a ten minute conversation, and dinner is over. I've rarely been served in that a mount of time, let alone eating the whole meal, while talking with someone. I fret over taking too long or not long enough for an event or between encounters. An error either way can be distracting.

The bright side of missing the National Conference is that I'll have no excuse to not spend a lot more time writing. So, here's to the little bumps and bubbles God throws into life and seeing them as a blessing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another twist...

Right in the middle of my hero's introspection, the heroine showed up. What? Why? I don't know. Part of my writing time, tonight, will be spent interrogating my heroine. I have this sense that I was dragging my feet, and she grew impatient, but she needs to come up with a better excuse than "I was bored." Though, I must confess, she may be right about it dragging.

This morning, I discovered my bread-and-butter client will be out of town, all next week. Hrmph. I could have gone to Nationals, the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference, in Orlando. Now, it is within my power to pout and grouse and feel miserable or explore the possibilities God has opened before me. I prefer the sound of the latter.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A bit of review...

After the unexpected turn in the WIP, I decided I'd better review what I'd written to be certain the continuity was intact. It is. I also took the opportunity to tighten scenes as I went. I have a habit of writing as if the reader is able to see what's in my head, forgetting that if I don't write it, the reader doesn't know it.

God's blessings: I didn't think I'd be able to do much writing, tonight, at least not what I had planned because of possible storms. I watched the storm's progress, and it looked like we were in for quite a bit of excitement. I enjoy storms, but they make me nervous as well. I worry about my electronic devices. I know really bad things can happen to me because they have. There was a lot of work to be done, and it had to be finished first. By the time I was ready to move onto my writing, the storm was "here." But it wasn't. The storm had split and gone around my city. I'm grateful. Another day, the storm will not pass, and that's a good thing. We need the rain. I needed this little miracle, today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Still writing...

...every day. And the WIP is becoming something I'm really enjoying, instead of something I HAVE to do because it's niggling at me all the time. Perhaps a better word would be nagging me all the time. The hero is still center stage, and I like him more and more. He brought up the scripture where the Lord tells Saul, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." How much have I been kicking at the pricks? More than I want to admit. My counselor would point to the wall to remind me that some things I try to control are truly out of my hands, but if I really I want to, then I'm welcome to bang my head against the wall because it will have the same effect.

Looking out my window, it's dead calm. Watching the weather radar, I wonder if it's the calm before the storm, literally. The sun setting in the West spotlights the palm trees across the way, while all else is in shadow. Amazing.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unexpected turns...

Once again, the WIP is continuing to take a direction of its own. I hadn't planned to focus on the hero, but he has insisted. And I'm rather pleased he did because I like what he's revealing about himself.

Also spent a bit of today working on an entirely different project. Me. Exploring what I believe. Amber Scott does a Motivational Monday, and I decided to give it a try when she suggested visualizing what I want, including what it will feel like, taste like, sound like, smell like, for ten minutes every day. I thought I should visualize being a successful writer. It simply didn't work for me. Then I decided to visualize myself as healthy. Wow. I'm endeavoring to learn to keep my mind and heart open to the possibilities because God is not limited by anything when He sends inspiration, except my willingness to receive it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amazing what a day of rest brings...

Edited a bit of the current WIP, then asked the question, "What comes next?" Not what I expected! I started writing, and it was something I hadn't even considered. There is that part of me that wants to ask, "How did that happen?" I mean, it comes back to that odd sensation of telling THEIR stories not MY stories. But it's a little weird, so it's back to the writing, and not questioning too deeply. :-) Then again, I'm not sure why I'm surprised considering the fact that the last scene included dialogue that simply showed up. I think it's been in the back of my head, literally for years, and it finally found a place it fit. Please, nobody ask me to edit it out. :-D

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day of rest...3

I'm glad I decided today was a day to rest, particularly as my mind seems to be on vacation anyway. Looking back over the week, I was able to work through some sticky spots, do some re-writing, and editing to the point where I'm quite pleased with what was accomplished.

This week, I've also made the decision to more fully hold myself accountable for my health and welfare. God gave me this body, and it is my job to give the proper care and attention. If I don't know what to do, then it's my responsibility to learn. God has blessed me with a whole world of people who are willing to share what they've learned. He has also blessed me with a brain and inspiration to recognize what will help me and what will not, not to mention the right to explore, make mistakes, and make different decisions. If God expected me to be perfect, He wouldn't have provided the Atonement.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

No storms, yet...

The storms passed to the north and south. I worked on the current scene, last night, critiquing and re-writing. Today, I picked up where I left off, and now I'm quite happy with it. I think I'm ready to move on. I'm sorting through my notes on scenes I want to include and deciding which I'll use. It's time to ask my characters "Where do we go from here?"

Interestingly enough, I'm starting to realize that very question is one I must ask myself, but I don't. I wonder why. My first reaction is that I'm afraid of the answer, but am I? Or am I selling myself short? Is it perhaps simply that I'm constantly asking the question, without conscious thought? Every day, I make so many decisions without thinking about them. I think with some decisions it makes no never mind what is chosen, but there are those key moments that lead me where I want to go or away. Making God a part of my daily life makes some of the decisions for me, and opens the way to some difficult choices because it is a choice between two good things. I have to wonder: if I don't know where I'm going, how will I know when I arrive?

Friday, July 16, 2010


With potential storms in the forecast, this evening, I'm posting early. I'll either work on the computer, my personal preference, or on paper, if the storm actually blows in. I'm continuing the current scene, at this point.

Word to the wise: It's been six years since lightening struck close to home, and the charge blew up the processor in my computer. If I'd unplugged it, maybe it would have been all right, though I don't always remember to disconnect the cable to my modem, which was also fried. An experience that is still fresh in my mind. A mixed blessing as well. I'd only owned the computer a year, but I really didn't like it. There is that part of me that wonders if God was answering my prayers of frustration. I could have done without all the drama. Yes, I was hysterical. Not one of my finer moments, and definitely not a particularly strong example of faith. Granted, I was seriously stressed, as my job was at stake. I was richly blessed. I remember that even better. My heart still swells at the thought of the miracles that happened in my life in that turbulent time. So, when I hear someone say that anger and frustration are bad emotions and I should avoid such unpleasantness, I question and have to say no, that's wrong. The joy and peace God blessed me with because of loving friends was all the greater because I was lifted from the darkness of despair to the light of love.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another day and no further along...

I re-read the most recent scene and though I like it overall, it's lacking, so I've spent the afternoon (after the pay-the-bills-work PTBW was done) re-writing. No, not re-writing but filling in details, making it more "real."

Perhaps I should mention that I have completed one book, already. It's an inspirational historical novel, in need of some serious re-writing. I think it's biggest flaw is point of view. Unfortunately, my tendency to jump around was painfully emphasized in print.

Which brings us back to the current WIP. Trying to keep to one point of view (POV) at a time in a section means I'm re-reading and re-evaluating, asking myself questions like "What the hero/heroine really think that? Or is that something the other person would do? Would they really be able to 'see' that?" I've always hated it when the POV person seems to be able to magically read the mind of the other person in the scene. Stop it! So, I comb my writing carefully now, for stray bits of displaced magic.

The miracles God provides may seem like magic, at times, but I hesitate to call it that, lest it be misconstrued. One of my favorite quotes is "Fill your pockets full of miracles." It's been a long time since I took that challenge. Maybe it's time again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Delightful surprise...

Woke this morning with edits in my head and the continuation of the scene written yesterday, without all the nagging and grumbling. :-) I'm pleased with it.

My gratitude to another friend, who investigated how to permanently post my abbreviations and their meanings, then shared it with me. Done.

I could never accomplish what I have without an enormous amount of help from many wonderful people. The world is full of amazing people. Thank God I've been blessed to know so many.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


What do you do when you've already worked on another project, earlier in the day, and then your bill-paying work runs long, and you decide enough is enough and it's time to relax? I thought I'd catch up on a bit of reading, but what do I hear nattering in my head but my the hero and heroine from my current WIP whining, "You can't simply leave us here, in this horribly awkward situation. You promised, last night, you'd figure a way out. So, what's up? You have to help us..." And on and on and on. Fine. They are now written out of their awkward situation, and funnily enough, they're quite happy, until tomorrow, anyway. Try to take a little break and end up busted by my characters. It's embarrassing, being called on the carpet by your characters. Worse, I suspect it will happen again. *sigh*

God provided a gorgeous sunset, tonight, one of those priceless gifts. Learning to be grateful is also a gift, one I'm endeavoring to cultivate.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Onward and upward....

I did a bit of re-writing on the current WIP and it works better now. While I was working out the conflict issue with my current WIP, I found myself writing snatches of dialogue for a new WIP involving one of the characters in the current WIP. Yes, it can be incredibly confusing. And people wonder why writers seem so eccentric. How do I ever explain about the sister of the hero, who has decided to tell me more about her life, and because she's talking, her hero has presented himself to give his support, and the background info is helpful -- to a point -- but isn't pertinent to the current WIP, but in order to get it out of my head, I have to write it down because her voice simply grows louder and louder, demanding attention, and I'm unable to continue with the current WIP until I at least start her story, so she'll give me a little peace, maybe... you get the picture. It's difficult enough feeling crazy without anyone suggesting I am because they don't "get it." Odder still is the reminder that God blessed me with this gift. God has a sense of humor, no doubt about it.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day of rest...

Being the Sabbath, I decided to take a rest. I know that my subconscious will continue to work, but giving my mind a break from the daily cares allows me to re-evaluate my priorities and plan changes, if necessary. It's only been one week since I officially started this adventure, and I know I've made progress, in several areas of my life.

Lesson learned: Not long ago, I began adding lavender to my pancake mix, first out of curiosity and then because I really liked it. This morning, I forgot. I was nibbling on my test pancake and thought it terribly bland. The second pancake was already cooking. Instead of simply accepting the lack, I hurried and added a bit to the rest of the batter. Delicious! It's all right to change things part way through.

And: One of my nieces helped me experiment with makeup and hair styles. She possesses an innate talent for fashion from the top of her head to her toes that eludes me. We didn't do anything major or what I would consider alarming. It was the little things she taught me how to do that made me feel like I could manage this outward change. Little things make a difference.

God provides all that is good in life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Houston, we have a problem....

As I worked on my WIP, today, I learned something disconcerting. I finished an emotional scene, and was writing a relaxed scene, only to feel like it was dragging. It dawned on me that there has been no conflict between my hero and heroine. None. Eureka! Aha! The proverbial light bulb! Oh, no! I hate conflict. I like my hero and heroine. Maybe they're a little too perfect. Well, now what? I quietly put the thought on the back burner. At least, that was the plan, except that with my new determination to move forward that is no longer an option. Standing still opens the door to the risk of being run over by Life. Best to keep moving. So, I've spent the day mulling over possibilities. I haven't actually created a solid plan, yet, but I'm not allowing it to hold me back either. It might be time to ask them, again, "What's next?"

It isn't easy turning one's life over to God. It's quite frightening. He does not see this Life as we do. I see this moment, a coming together of all the past moments, and struggle to hope for the future. However, God sees it all, past, present, future, all at once. This whole life thing isn't about Him testing me. He already knows. I call this the Abraham/Isaac principle. God knew what Abraham and Isaac would do, when asked to make that horrible sacrifice. Abraham and Isaac needed to know what they would do. God knows what I will do. He knows me from the beginning. I have forgotten. I need to remember. Life is about remembering who we are.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life happens...

Managed to finish all my work, that's the pay-the-bills work, and then had unexpected company of the good variety. A thoroughly enjoyable evening, but not much time for writing. No excuses. I'd been worrying about determining what time of year it is. Now it's decided. Also accomplished a bit of editing. Every little bit is another step forward.

A quote for the day: "All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." ~ T.E. Lawrence

Scripture for the day: Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

So far so good...

I've spent some time editing and adding to the current WIP. It really does help to ask, "So what comes next?" I'm also a little surprised by how much it helps to know that I have to post progress here, every day.

I also worked on another project, adding notes to the main document.

I've also started investigating different Christian/Inspirational publishers, gathering names and checking what their word length requirements are.

Walking, this morning, at a local park, a little duckling was wandering alone by the lake. I could hear an adult duck quacking, but the baby seemed confused. I couldn't leave it alone, but the next thing I knew it was following me. No good. What could I do? Three other ducklings appeared from under an overhang. With a little coaxing, our lost duckling found his way to the edge and dropped in. Suddenly, the awkwardness disappeared, as well as the distress, as he was re-united with the others. God sends unexpected helpers to watch over us and coax us, even when we don't realize we are lost.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Long day of work...

The pay-the-bills type of work took much longer than planned, today, but that happens. I usually write off anything else, but with redefining my priorities, not writing wasn't an option. It merits attention, every day, because I truly enjoy it.

I fixed that little bit, from last night, I wasn't happy about. Funnily enough, I'd forgotten about asking the characters "What comes next?" Silly of me. As soon as I asked, the heroine was more than happy to set me straight.

With that gentle inspiration from a loving God, who gave me the stories to tell, I came to an understand that part of my struggle as been the ever present fear. Any writer will tell you of the angst involved in sharing their work, their babies. Their stories are a part of who they are. It matters not that they haven't physically lived every word they pen; they have lived it in their mind and heart, and poured it onto the page. To read a book is to share the thoughts and dreams of another human being. Best not to think too much about it. It says a great deal about a writer's ability to overcome the fear of rejection or ridicule, to lay before the world their inner workings.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today's accounting... practice

I hope that soon I'll feel comfortable changing that title. For now, I need to remember to be accountable. So, here I am. I added more to the current WIP. I wrote a bit of dialogue by hand last night, and I typed it in, this evening. I've started on the next scene, but it doesn't feel right. I'm endeavoring to let myself think more about the story.

Another writing project, still in its earliest stages, earned a bit of my time. I transferred some hand written notes into the note gathering document. Funny, or not, I had been able to write some of the things out by hand, but couldn't type them into the document.

Last year, I think, I read Karen E. Peterson's Write. 10 Days to Overcome Writer's Block. Period. One of the most important things I learned was that it was important to feel safe writing. Safe is not something with which I'm well acquainted. That being said, I'm tired of waiting to feel safe so I can write.

This is where I am learning to allow myself to trust God. Not that I trust Him to keep me safe. He hasn't in the past. But I am learning to trust that God is in control. I do whatever and all I'm able, then turn it over to God. After that, I remind myself that God is the one in control anyway. I believe He expects me to use the brain He gave me, but my arrogance shows through when I pretend I am in control. Believing I was in control has brought a lot of heartache, but turning over control scares me silly. I recognize that this is where faith comes in. If one knows, then faith is unnecessary. Throughout the scriptures, the importance of faith is reiterated, again and again, so God clearly thinks faith is pretty important. The only way to cultivate it is to practice it, so here I am practicing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Abbreviations and today's accounting...

Abbreviations that will help in future posts...

WIP - Work In Progress which I'll probably use the most.
MIP - Mess In Progress which I won't use often, though I imagine there will be days.
LOTR - Lord of the Rings, an undeniable influence in my life for good.

I edited my current WIP and added the next scene. Didn't expect that. But I'm happy with the work accomplished. I also did some outlining and wrote some questions to ask my hero. The heroine has a dog, but I haven't decided if the hero does, too, or not.

Sharing with a dear friend that I worry about doing right by the characters, she reminded me that not doing anything is definitely not doing right by them. I have to remind myself that I'm allowed to be wrong and rewrite. Leaving the story untold is worse than telling it wrong.

Nora Roberts said, "The most important thing in writing is to have written. I can always fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank one."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

It seems a fitting day to make my own Declaration of Independence. I choose to leave the past behind, learning from it but no longer allowing it to rule my future. I choose to explore the gift of words God has given me, more fully. I choose to learn to overcome the fear that holds me frozen too often. I choose to accept each day as a gift to draw nearer to God and the amazing people I encounter every day. I choose to embrace the adventure God offers me in the life He has given me.

Beginning today does not mean I will succeed instantly in all these new things, only that I will step into the days to come with a deeper, more deliberate, conscious effort to adhere to my new commitment. Many years ago, I accepted my Savior's Atonement for me, but I also realized then that it would be a constant, daily battle to fully embrace that precious gift. A gift I am given every day I acknowledge my Savior's sacrifice.

So now I embark on an adventure that has called to my heart most of my life. I don't know where it will lead me in the end, but it seems to me that God is more interested in what I learn along the way. Today, I choose to share the ongoing process of creating a writer, me. I am accountable to God for what I do with what He has given me. Here, I will mark my progress. I will endeavor to keep an accounting, every day. I've chosen the Safe Harbor theme because God is my Safe Harbor. No matter what comes my way in life God is always with me. I pray I offer hope and shore up faith because being Christian doesn't mean life is all sweetness and nice; sometimes, our faith and hope are the only things between us and the abyss. God bless.