Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Back in 2009, I decided to jump off the hamster wheel of resolutions making and breaking them tradition, permanently. I hadn't actually tried to make any resolutions for longer than I care to remember. I felt such a failure in so many ways. I would set goals, and they'd fall apart in no time at all, sometimes by virtue of events beyond my control, but more often due to self-sabotage. I needed to find a different way of looking at them, so I wanted to keep them, and remain within the realm of possibilities. It's easy to say that you want to marry and make a million dollars, but there are a lot of factors that need to be considered in that ambition, including the other people involved in such goals.

Christmas has always been a difficult time of year, for me. Pressure, stress, disappointments. Then it dawned on me that what I wanted was Christmas presents that changed me. So, now I make a short list of gifts I am going to give myself over the next year.

December 2011:

1. I allowed lack of funds to curb my Just Because It's Tuesday gifts (gifts given on any day but Tuesday for fun). I want to learn to do it without spending a lot of money.

2. Lose the fat. A friend posted a picture showing the difference between 5 lb of fat and 5 lb of muscle. It made an impression. Like most people, every day, I plan on losing weight. Some days I'm successful; some days I'm not. I'm going to try to not think of it as losing weight, but losing fat. Who wouldn't want to lose fat?

3. Kindle - I need an ebook reading device.

4. Finish two more novels, in addition to becoming, in every sense of the words, a published author. I have a lot to learn. I would also like to learn how to write articles.

5. Do more about my appearance. I know I'll feel more comfortable in social situations if I feel more comfortable with my appearance. I've allowed a lot to slide because I wanted to pretend like it didn't matter. It does.

6. I enjoy natural beauty products, especially making my own, but I haven't done much of it, ever. This year, I'm going to do more of it. I have incredibly sensitive skin, and can't use a lot of products. Natural products, I make myself, seem to be easier on my skin.

7. Continue to be a blessing.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...

The reason for the season:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6

Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thanking God...

Desert Breeze Publishing has made an offer for contracts for three books in my Endless Possibilities series.

A Promise of Possibilities -- August 21, 2012
Hidden Possibilities -- March 2013
Unexpected Possibilities -- October 2013

God bless my sister writers in the Desert Rose chapter of Romance Writers of America. Kris Tualla encouraged me to submit to Desert Breeze Publishing. I'd heard of them and had put them on my list of possible publishers. After talking to Kris, I did my homework. The more I read, the more I liked what I was reading. Then I saw this on their site: "...Christian novels with a bit more real world flair. It's not always easy being Christian, and we would like to see novels that expressed that." And I knew I was home.

I am so incredibly honored, and delighted. I'm still laughing and crying.

This is part of the email I sent out to those who have been with me through this journey from the beginning:

After submitting, I prayed that if this was to be that God would help the editor see past my weaknesses and see the strengths and possibilities. Then I prayed that if I was going to be rejected to please let it be soon so I'd know and could move on. I marked the eight-week deadline in my calendar, last night. This morning, I woke early feeling restless. I took myself for a walk, but had to come home because it was drizzling. I knelt in my morning prayers and couldn't bring myself to ask God for another breadcrumb that I was headed in the right direction, because He'd already made it so obvious. Then I popped online, and found the email (from Gail R. Delaney, Editor-In-Chief) that was sent late last night. God is good.

Happy birthday to me and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Thank you all so much for being such an important part of this exciting adventure!

All is in God's hands.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Change of pace...

When my brain is feeling overwhelmed or overworked I've found that changing tasks is helpful. So, to that end, today I made cookies and bread. I also took the eggs I bought on sale and froze them. Since I use them mostly for baking, I beat two and add a bit of sugar, then pour them in a freezer container, and into the freezer they go. If I were using them for savory foods, I'd use a bit of salt. I've read that they can be frozen in their shell, but I haven't checked it carefully. I freeze them how I use them. They should last until eggs are on sale again. In truth, it's actually a good deterrent for me. I loved fried eggs, over easy, on toast. I'm also allergic to eggs. A little cheating isn't a problem, and I even have fried eggs on rare occasions, taking allergy medicine beforehand.

Yes, I'm still feeling scattered, but I'm writing again. Learning my own technique is an eye-opening experience. Becoming properly acquainted with my creative process will reveal paths that bring greater satisfaction as I embrace the gift God has given me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Taking a deep breath...

I enjoyed a delightful chat with a dear friend this morning. Thanks, God.

My thoughts are few and scattered. It's like that after meeting a deadline, even a self-imposed one.

There are other projects to work on for a day or two, and then it will be back to completing stories. Characters are clamoring for attention. Ignoring them only makes them testy and shout louder. :-)


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No more revisions...

I went through all the required documents, today, endeavoring to make each the very best I could. Then there comes that feeling that nothing more can be done without chasing my tail. So, off it goes. Breathe in... breathe out...

All is in God's hands. Turning everything over to God is not my forte, but I am endeavoring to learn.

Tomorrow, I have plans to visit with one of my dear friends, in the morning. I'm looking forward to the gab fest. Then it will be home again and back to work. Book three needs to be finished, and there are two first-draft manuscripts in need of revisions.

Thanks to Funny Cat Photos for the heartwarming smile:


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Revisions done...

It's late at night, really late. The book revisions are done. It's as good as I can make it, though assuredly not perfect. I'll take a last look at the synopses and query letter, and then off it goes. I try not to think about that last bit.

For future reference, note to self: I need to give myself more time for revisions. I forget how much time it takes to look up words, to be sure their era appropriate, and to find the perfect words.

Reminder to self: All is in God's hands.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Revisions, revisions, revisions...

I had planned to write the post ahead of time, writing out my plan for the day. However, I've discovered that I prefer waiting until the end of the day, and then reporting what was accomplished.

More than half the book has been combed for revisions. Nothing major has been changed, but I've found typos, and corrected them. I've also added a bit more, while cutting a few things, and of course the constant hunt for the perfect words.

Blessedly, my friend Constance Wagner called, this past weekend, and helped me make several revisions that were sorely needed.

Friday, December 9, 2011

One baby step at a time...

I finished the revision of the synopsis. I've glanced over everything, and it looks like rough drafts are done all around.

Today, I start in on revisions. Everything will be ready to submit, next week. I'm not as nervous about it. I'm not sure if that's because I'm that confident in myself, feeling that fried, or blocking out all the fear and anxiety. It could be any of them or a combination of all of them. :-)

I've no doubt that I'm making some choices and decisions that may come back and bite me, but I'm tired of living in constant uncertainty. Do I believe in what I'm doing or don't I? Am I committed to what I'm doing? Am I willing to trust myself? Do I trust that God will be there for me, no matter what happens?

I'm endeavoring to answer all those questions with a resounding, "YES!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Continued prep...

Yesterday, I worked on the query letter, synopsis for the series, and the synopsis for the book, the last being the longest of the three. Completed first drafts are done for the first two, and the last is headed in the right direction. And the questions flood my mind. Is it good enough? Is it as good as I can make it? Is there something I'm forgetting?

Then I close my eyes, take a steadying breath, and remember that God planted my feet on this path. Though I don't know where it's going, He does. Even if it leads into a rocky way, God will be with me, and when I stumble He will comfort me.

Psalms 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God."

Today, I will continue moving forward. I'll finish the synopsis. I'll review what I've done so far. I'll review what still needs to be done. I have a friend calling me this weekend, to give me some input. This will be ready by next week.

Feeling inadequate. I did a search through Yahoo for my website, and could only find references through my sister's site. Not good. If I can't be found, what good is all this? Feeling discouraged. Then I did a search through Google, and there I was. I need to rethink, re-evaluate, and make some changes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Video for me....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ex33wtqnNz8

Its a 10-minute video by Diamonds And Heels. She is a beautiful, young model with severe acne, and by the time she finishes her makeup regime, you can't tell she has acne. Yes, I'm posting this on all my blogs, today. Why? Because it is a huge Game Changer for me.

I've often complained about how scarred my face is from acne. God, of course, has been listening, and apparently has decided I'm ready, even if I don't think so. God has taken away my excuse. God does that.

Now, what I haven't mentioned is how terrified this makes me. I've hidden behind the scars. People are uncomfortable looking at me. They don't want to stare, so they don't look at me at all. One cheek looks like there's a giant upside down "Y" on it. The fear has been building ever since I saw the video. Mind you, I haven't watched the whole thing, yet. I will before I post this. My stomach is rolling, as the fear has been growing.

Then Nikon Sniper posted Great Is Thy Faithfulness for the day, including this scripture:

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge--
10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

So, I guess God can handle a bit of fear and some scars, too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Took a break...

Yesterday, I helped a friend, and it helped me. I did work on my own project, starting the prep for the submission process.

I finished Cara Colter's Rescued by his Christmas Angel. It's one of my annual reads. Under the Harlequin brand it falls under Classic Romance. It was funny and heartwarming.

We'll see what today brings. Yes, I've changed when I post. I noticed all the spelling errors I had to correct, after posting, late at night, and hope to improve that little problem created by being tired. I'm also curious to see if looking toward the next day will help me plan a little better.

Yesterday wasn't one of my finer days, but then I didn't actually expect it to be. By changing up the day, I allowed for the fact that I was having a little difficulty concentrating. The project I helped on was something I could do in bits and pieces, rather than my own writing that requires solid blocks of time.

Dear God, help me to be a blessing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trying a different perspecitve...

I worry about income, a lot, for a variety of reasons. The problem is that sometimes my fretting paralyzes me. It fills me with dread, throwing doubt on my hopes and dreams.

Starting today, I'm going to try and live as if I'm going to die soon, so that money doesn't matter. This does not mean it doesn't matter if I go hogwild on a spending spree. I will continue to endeavor to be a wise steward with my sparse funds.

I know what I want to do most: I want to hunt my writing, as God has hunted me. Daily, without ceasing, without hesitation. He has sent me enough breadcrumbs to fill a bakery full of bread loaves that this is the path He wishes for me to follow. In truth, I have been pursuing my writing with everything in me, but I'm tired of the gloom that shadows the joy I find it.

May God bless you in finding your heart's desire and hunting it as He hunts you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Revisions continue....

I'm actually having fun with the revisions. I'm finding better words, and checking words that I hadn't checked before because I didn't know about the entomology dictionary.

I've been thinking about how much I appreciate my Desert Rose sisters. When things turned upside down, they were there for me. Their encouragement and passion lift my spirit and keep me moving forward when I want to quit or simply don't know what step to take next. The laughter and camaraderie are priceless. I cannot imagine my life without them. It certainly wouldn't be nearly as interesting.

Funny Cat Photos:




No matter what my questions or concerns may be, I need only ask, and someone will answer. I'm endeavoring to learn how to pass it along.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Working on revisions...

I'm almost half way through the book. Different word choices, adding, cutting; more adding than cutting, but now I have more leeway. This time, as I read through I think in terms of what I want to be there, without thought of pleasing anyone else. The book is about 260 pages, so this hasn't been a bad day's work at all. I'll be back at it, tomorrow.

Other projects were also worked on, as set by my own deadlines. I'm currently on top of things. All I can do is keep moving forward, one day at a time. I'll be turning in earlier than usual, but I think it's for the best, today.

All is in God's hands.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day Thirty of NaNoWriMo...

Since I met my goal, I didn't worry about word count, today. Instead, I focused on preparing my first book for re-admission. I understand the criticisms, and will be making some changes, though not a lot. I made it through seven chapters, so far. Five I'm happy with, and two need some tightening. I included back story that is there for me, but not needed by the reader, I think. I'm going to read and work through the whole thing, checking each chapter as I go, and then I'll back and focus on the chapters that don't work as well as they could. I can tell it's my first completed novel, and I've made a lot of progress in my writing. I'm enjoying reading it again, and cleaning up little odd bits and pieces.

I also worked on other projects. I'm still feeling a bit out of sorts. Asking God for breadcrumbs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day Twenty-Nine of NaNoWriMo...

1339 total ~ 50412 Whoohoo!! Made it!! With a day to spare!! Good, because I've had some other projects pop up in the offing, and I need to spend some time with those. I've learned I can do it, and I've learned some better ways for working that keep me in mind of how much I enjoy writing.

Attending my Desert Rose meeting this evening and had a wonderful time chatting and connecting and learning. I would never have made it this far without those wonderful, amazing women. I knew going that I wanted to chat with both Kris Tualla and Deena Remiel, and both of them were so incredibly helpful.

Thank you, God, again, for blessing me with the opportunity to associate with such remarkable people, who have taught me so much. I feel so blessed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight of NaNoWriMo...

3992 total ~ 49076 Wow... One day of trying the new method, and I doubled the number of words, in the same amount of time. Everything came so much easier. I knew what came next, and what had to be shared. It was fun. One day at a time.

Besides the current WIP, I also added to some other things I was working on. I don't know if I've ever had such a productive day. This is so thrilling. Whoohoo!

Thank you, God, for bringing into my life people that are such blessings. Please, help me to be a blessing, too.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day Twenty-Six of NaNoWriMo...

1724 total ~ 45084 For the first time, I'm more than half way through my manuscript with no idea how it's going to end. Really. I do know what comes next, and that's enough.

It's been interesting to notice that my stories struggle, until I write the material that is related to my work toward becoming healthy. Until this week, I considered all my writing interchangeable, by all accounts and purposes. It isn't the manuscripts are interlaced in ways I never expected.

Taking a deep breath, and releasing, and turning all over to God. All is in His hands.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day Twenty-Five of NaNoWriMo...

1839 total ~ 43360 Interesting. I was struggling with writing the next chapter, feeling unfocused and too easily distracted. One of my other blogs needed a post for tomorrow. I had been thinking about it all week. I knew what I didn't want to do. And isn't that the way of it? God so often asks us to do exactly what we didn't want to do. I took a couple of hours to pound it out, revise, and rewrite. Then it was done. And suddenly the next chapter started pouring onto the page, and the start of the chapter after that.

It's so very odd. I feel like a cork was stuck. Now it's out, and everything is flowing again as it ought. All is in God's hands.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day Twenty-Four of NaNoWriMo...

1736 total ~ 41521 A bit difficult to stay focused, today. But then being perfect is not the point of this exercise. It's to put the words down on paper. I have a much clearer picture of the story, and that's the idea. There's a reason it's called a rough draft.

Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope there was time to reflect on the blessings in your life.

This is my first Thanksgiving when I feel like I'm truly following my heart. I hope there are many more to come.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Twenty-Three of NaNoWriMo...

2124 total ~ 39785 Not a bad days work. I think I'll turn in a little early, and start in again in the morning. I think I've even managed to clear my head of ideas, for the moment. I know what's coming next, but I'm hoping I'll be able to leave it alone, until tomorrow.

Thank you God, for friends who remind me of what truly matters. For friends who help me sort through my crowded thoughts. For friends who believe in me. For friends who lift me. For friends who have taught me about trusting in Thee.

My treat for finishing earlier than usual tonight: Deck the Halls by Arlene James, one of my Must-Read authors.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day Twenty-Two of NaNoWriMo...

2409 total ~ 37661 It's coming much more easily now that I'm writing for me. I have two more scenes waiting to be written, but I completed one tonight, and that's enough for now.

Had a lovely chat with a relative, this evening. Though it put me behind on my writing, it cleared up a lot of things.

I write for me, but writing the best possible story is for my readers. Good to realize.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day Twenty-One of NaNoWriMo...

2026 total ~ 35252 The story is coming along. I'm not entirely certain of the details, but at this point, the goal is to finish. It won't be the first time I do revisions. In future, I want to map out stories. Yes, I want to be a planner, as opposed to a pantser. Actually, I'd like to combine them. I want a vague outline, so I have a fair idea of where things are going, but allow myself the flexibility of being a pantser. Pantser - Someone who writes by the seat of their pants. :-)

Bless Mary, the contemporary has been checked for continuity, and seems to hold together well. And she caught a few mistyped words. Thank you!

My best writing time seems to be from about 10 PM to 1 AM. Those naps are a blessing. So what do I do during the day? I catch up on blogs, review what I've written, plan and double check continuity points. For example: I realized that I'd forgotten my hero was wearing a cape, and that needed to be accounted for. In a story without magic, disappearing stuff is distracting.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day Nineteen of NaNoWriMo...

1916 total ~ 33226 Still moving along. Today was one of those days when I wondered where the story was going to go. I fretted, and then I remembered that the goal is to put the words on the page. So, I relaxed and thought, "What comes next?" Ah. I knew what came next, but then I fretted about how I should go about it. Again, the thought came to mind, the goal is to put the words on the page, so I started to write. And as so often happens, once I started writing, the story told itself, until the next chapter was finished. I may end up doing a lot of editing, but it wouldn't be the first time, and won't be the last.

Visiting family arrived, and I wondered if it would through me off track. It did, a little, but not enough to worry overmuch.

I've arranged to chat with Kris Tualla, at the next Desert Rose meeting. We joined at the same time, several years ago. She's self-published, and is working with a publisher. She writes historical romance. Her mantra is "Norway is the new Scotland." Her heroes are Norse. She was repeatedly told that no one wants to read about heroes from Norway. She didn't fit the romance "formula." So she published her books herself. Her enthusiasm and passion are inspiring and contagious.

The future is uncertain, but only to me. God knows, and He is in control, and I'm learning to trust that assurance.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day Eighteen of NaNoWriMo...

1681 total ~ 31310 Still hanging in there. I wasn't sure I was going to make it, today.

After yesterday's declaration, I wasn't surprised, today, when I opened the email from Harlequin rejecting my manuscript. I find it so amazing that yesterday I'd reached the point where I was perfectly okay with whatever happened. I've been reading up on self-publishing and exploring other publishers and beginning to think that Harlequin might not be my best choice. I'm a little disappointed... I was rejected, after all, but I know it's for the best. I was given some helpful feedback as to their reasoning, but they weren't reasons I was willing to change in my story. I also confess that I'm scared. I feel like the door has been flung open wide to the possibilities, and I'm not used to this kind of freedom. It feels good, but it's unnerving, too. Letting go of another dream, though this time I truly feel like God has something that is better for me in store, if I'll only keep taking the next step and the next step and the next step. So, do I believe Him or don't I? I believe Him. Jesus help my unbelief.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day Seventeen of NaNoWriMo...

1989 total ~ 29629 Each section of writing starts out like pulling teeth, painful, slow, unsure. Then some bit reveals itself, and it's like being shot out of a cannon, at least what I imagine it might be like to be shot out of cannon. Not on my bucket list, by the way. It's so amazing to watch a story unfold. Sometimes you know what's coming next, but a lot of times you don't. You're writing, and all of a sudden thinking, "Wow! I had no idea!" Or "I didn't know that about the hero/heroine!" It's difficult to describe what it's like to watch your characters struggle, and then they catch on for a moment. In time for another aspect of the trouble to unveil itself, and they must take what they've learned to tackle this new difficulty, which will help them continue to grow, until they reach the moment when they're both in the same spot at the perfect time.

God has been leading me along for a very long time. I do not know what the future holds, but I do know God holds it in His capable hands. With all my heart, I believe He set me on the path I'm now traveling, and I have reached that moment when I feel confident enough in Him and myself to expect Him to protect me. Not in the way many people think, expecting Him to smooth the way and make everything better. No, God's way is not the easy way. I expect God to lift me when I fear and tremble, to help my unbelief. I trust that He will give what is needed, not what I demand, but that does not bar me from asking, remembering to add "Thy will not mine." I know His way is the only way to true peace and happiness, no matter it will be paved with tears and pain, but it is only for a little while. And He is there to weep with me. He will not abandon me, ever. I may turn my back from time to time in a childish snit, but He is always right there, waiting for me to turn back and reach for His outstretched hand, a hand that is scarred with His everlasting love for me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Sixteen of NaNoWriMo...

1847 total ~ 27640 Simply amazing. It's easier to write new chapters than to edit material that's already written. I need to remember that for future stories. I'm not a linear writer. Sometimes a scene pops into my head, and I write it and will slip it in where it belongs when the right spot pops up. I usually write the last chapter long before I reach it. That being said, it's a lot of work when I'm having to double check continuity from new material to old material that is finally being worked into the story. That being said, I'm discovering that my editing is best done during the earlier parts of the day, while actually writing tends to occur after 10 o'clock at night. There's something about the quietness of the time that helps my mind settle into the story. No interruptions, no distractions. I've learned to take 1-2 hour naps in the middle of the day, so I don't become sleep deprived. It doesn't always work, but it's a better schedule than I've ever enjoyed before. It takes a while to form a habit, and this one is still in the training stages. It does seem to be working well for me. (I'm also listening to Christmas music while I write. :-) )

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day Fifteen of NaNoWriMo...

1773 total ~ 25793 Whoohoo! Past the halfway mark.

Had an unsettling experience, this evening. My internet went out, and my computer was soooo slow. Uh oh. God bless my computer, all my friends live here and so does my heart's work. Called my sister, but she wasn't close to her phone. It's okay. It was comforting to know that she would call back when she could, even if that wasn't until tomorrow. She was there. Then I called my internet company. Oh. They were out and working to resolve the problem. What a relief. It wasn't my computer. I figured out why it was so slow: My poor computer was desperately trying to find the internet connection that wasn't there, so everything else was put on hold. I unplugged the internet, and did my writing. I'm so grateful for the internet. There were words I needed to check, and no way to do so. Wrote them down to check once the internet was back. And obviously, the internet is back, up and operating, because here I am. :-) Thanks God!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day Fourteen of NaNoWriMo...

1713 total ~ 24020 Did a quick read through and light editing of the contemporary manuscript, and sent off to my continuity editor. Thanks, Mary! Worked on Book 3, and finished another chapter. It was one that was already written but needed to be edited for change in content to match previous material that hadn't been there when it was first written. I've reached the material that was originally the start of the book, but since has become the middle of the book. There's a bit more that's already written, but I'm looking forward to when I'll be adding straight new material. It's a bit difficult keeping track of what's already been written and making sure there are no continuity blunders. Now, to allow myself to unwind, and sleep.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day Twelve of NaNoWriMo...

2258 total ~ 22307 I'm not sure how good today's chapter is, but it moves the story forward. The next part is already written, but will now need some serious editing. That being said, the word total will still need to be met. I can to do this. I'm simply in awe of what this month has been like for me, what I've accomplished. My dreams hinted at this possibility, but I'm not sure I actually believed in myself or my ability. Granted, I haven't sold anything yet, but I'm hopeful, and I'm not giving up. I will do what I may, and turn what is beyond my abilities over to God.

Thank you, God, for the amazing friends You have brought into my life. They lift and inspire and encourage in countless ways and so often precisely when I need it. All things are in Your capable hands, and I am learning to trust the truth of that.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day Eleven of NaNoWriMo...

2559 total ~ 20049 Back working on book 3. And it's coming along. Funny. I was worried when I had only written 600 words, with another 1000 words to got. Not a problem, it seems. This has been the most incredible writing experience. Thanks, God.

Veteran's Day. Thanks to the military men and women who have served and are serving.

I saw this on FaceBook, by Jennifer Hartley, and it touched my heart:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day Ten of NaNoWriMo...

2127 total ~ 17490 Oh, wow. It's done. And I am so happy with it. I'll do a proof, quick revision this weekend. Then I'll send it to my continuity editor, and go from there. THIS is what God has been waiting for me to do. And it's only the beginning. So many stories are waiting. What a joy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day Nine of NaNoWriMo...

1787 total ~ 15363 Another chapter done, and only one more to go. Wow. How did that happen? One word at a time. This is fun. God is good. I ask for reassurance, and He sends it. I ask for a plan, and He inspires one. It frequently isn't what I first envision, but it is always better than anything I might have planned anyway.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day Eight of NaNoWriMo...

1716 total ~ 13576 The book is drawing to a close. It's ever so much better than I ever thought it would be or could be. It will be ready to query in a week or two, maybe sooner. If no one wants it, I'll self-publish. I already know that the time frame might be considered a difficult sale, but it's right for the story. It's in God's hands, and I'm learning to trust Him.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day Seven of NaNoWriMo...

1942 total ~ 11860 I did a lot of cutting and revising from the previous version. POV was a struggle for me in my early writing. Sometimes it would change from paragraph to paragraph. In this MS, I had been thinking that I wanted the hero to share his dark secret last, but as I made cookies I mulled it over. It occurred to me that the healthier of the two would be the one to spill the secrets first. So, today, it's done. This has been an amazing learning experience.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day Five of NaNoWriMo...

1942 total ~ 9918 I don't usually keep up the blog on the weekends, giving myself a break, but with the goal this month, it's better I hold myself accountable. So far so good. This has been a challenge, and a joy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day Four of NaNoWriMo...

2239 Total ~ 7976 I wasn't sure I was going to make it, today. I checked to see if I'd made the work count if I divided the last the last three days over the four days. I was short. So, I buckled down, and started writing. No matter how awful I feel or how out of sorts I am, once I start writing, I forget everything but the story. Thanks God.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day Three of NaNoWriMo...

1811 total ~ 5737 Amazing. Simply amazing. I've tried to do this for the last few years, and never managed to come even close, not even the first day. Then again, I've never truly believed in myself as a writer. Now, when doubt slips in, I remind myself that if I'm serious, then I need to act like it. I'm learning. I will become better with practice. Thanks God, for hanging in there with me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day Two of NaNoWriMo...

2209 total ~ 3926 Another day, so far so good. The story has taken a few twists and turns I didn't expect, but I'm finding I like this process. One day at a time. Trusting God isn't easy. It takes a leap of faith. God's way is not the easy way, but I know it's the only way to know true happiness. I'm so grateful to all the angels God sends into my life to help me when I'm struggling and feeling overwhelmed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day One of NaNoWriMo...

1717 A good start to the month's challenge. Whoohoo! I've also figured out the rest of the story; I simply have to write it. Ha! It sounds so easy... maybe it is when you give into the story, and let it take you where it will instead of trying to control it. I sometimes, frequently, have a difficult time believing God has blessed me with such an amazing gift. And it's fun!

Monday, October 31, 2011

NaMo...

No, I'm not officially participating. The stress wears on me. The requirement is to write 50,000 words of a new novel in 1 month. I don't need to start another novel. I need to finish two that are already started. Instead of thinking in terms of a new novel, I'm going to think in terms of the average word count a day: 1667. I know I'm able to write 1,000 words a day. This will be a challenge to increase that total. That's 12,500 words a week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

More additions...

I cut a lot, and shuffled a lot, and added a lot. I'm relaxing a bit in my writing, and discovered that I do my best writing at night, late. I'm going to have to figure out how to work this, so I'm not wearing myself out. It's more difficult to work with material that's already there, deciding what to keep and what to move and how to re-write those pesky POVs. Suggestions that I start over, I've considered, and then I start reading what's there, and it's good stuff. It needs work, so now I'm doing the work. We'll see where it leads.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Another chapter...

The POV is straightened out, and the next chapter is ready to be tackled, when I'm more awake, tomorrow morning. I'm learning a lot in this whole process, including that my writing has improved a lot in the last several years. Good to know.

I enjoyed a wonderful break with a dear friend, today. It says a lot that I was still able to meet my word count. Whoohoo! I also managed to work on a few other projects, and do a bit of my PTBW. I am blessed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm learning...

I pushed to meet my 1,000 word goal, and revised several chapters of the current WIP. According to the word count, it was only 1,000 words added, but a lot of re-writing was done, as well as some cutting and rearranging. I'm much happier with how it's reading, now.

Today, I read an interview with Diana Duncan, and it was the encouragement I needed to keep believing in myself. Not that I claim to be the writer she is, but she knows what it is to struggle, and she stuck to it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A great day...

Now, looking at the numbers, it doesn't look like I've done much; however, I completely re-wrote a chapter, putting it all in one POV, and started on the next.

Tonight, I attended my Desert Rose meeting, where Mary Wine was a guest speaker. She attended in Victorian Garb and though the title of her program was "The Secret Life of Underwear," she shared the history of clothes and how and why they changed. It was fascinating.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm slow...

...which is frustrating. I did manage to rewrite a chapter of the WIP. The original, again, was from several POV, so I had to re-work it so it made sense. That's always more of a struggle than I like to imagine it will be, as I don't want to lose what's there. Sometimes, there's nothing for it but to cut what doesn't work anymore. And sometimes, it requires writing it from a different POV, but that also means making sure that the POV will work. I also did some scene re-arranging and a bit of research. Other projects were worked on, as well.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This is fun...

The rewrite is starting to move along. I started on page nine and finished on page twenty-four. I've made up for all the stuff I've cut by adding new material that I hope works for the story. I have a clearer idea of where the story is going, and the hero and heroine meet much earlier, maybe not early enough, but one step at a time. A few other things were also worked on, today. It feels good. I'm thinking and considering a number of different things, and turning much of it over to God. Prayer is such a comfort.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

More re-writing...

I expanded some of the material, and cut more. It's better. I also worked on another project for a while. And PTBW was finished in good order, today. It's been a productive day, though the numbers don't show it. That's okay. I'm learning so much.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back to Monday...

I re-wrote chapter two, and realized that my hero and heroine are not meeting soon enough, so it's time to rethink and re-plot, a bit. It's a good story. I've learned a lot since I first started it. It's worth saving. Re-writing is necessary for a better story, and I'm fine with that.

Found myself able to go back to book 3, recognizing the need to explode the last scene I wrote. It's amazing to realize my understanding of the process is expanding, because I'm working with several manuscripts at once. Though the stories are quite different, they reveal clues that are applicable to all, the need to explore the inner workings of the characters, the need for details like sight and smell and touch and hearing.

And the project continues. I'm learning a lot about myself. Hopefully, my journey will help someone else.

Several of my friends are doing random acts of kindness, tomorrow. I haven't decided yet what I want to do... actually, I did it. It required a bit of planning, writing a thank you note that will hopefully arrive tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stuck... but not for long...

I was growing frustrated with all the POV problems, so I pulled out another partially finished manuscript. There were only a few POV glitches, and all were easily fixed. I don't know what I'll work on tomorrow. I'll decide when it arrives. I am finding that my writing is coming more easily when I simply allow myself to follow where my thoughts go. I woke up thinking about today's manuscript, and rather than continue to struggle with the one from yesterday, I'm letting it rest (not for long) while I let my brain work through a different problem. The success seems to be multiplying. Then again, I've only been experimenting with the new routine for a few days. We'll see what happens long term. I also worked on a couple of other projects. A good day's work.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Taking a break...

I needed a different perspective, so I pulled out a half completed contemporary manuscript and started working. I haven't opened it in over four years. First I went through and checked for continuity and viability. Now, I'm editing, cutting extra material that doesn't move the story along. When I was reading I recognized my old problem with POV, so I'm going to need to make some decisions about who has the most to lose in each chapter.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The right word...

I didn't add much to the WIP, but I did find some better words. The project had some editing and rearranging done. All is in God's hands. When I feel frantic and out of sorts, I question everything I do. When I turn to God and offer Him my trust, calm permeates every corner of my heart. You would think it would be easy for me to trust God, and yet worry seeps in with annoying regularity. And here is the reason why Jesus teaches to pray always. :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No much added...

The brain has been on vacation, but that should be over soon. Though I haven't written much, I have been mulling over the story. I've a basic outline, but I need to fill in quite a bit. A bit of editing was accomplished, today.

Sometimes, the goal is to make it through the day. I made it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not a lot added...

However, did you know that "ouch" is documented from 1837? Alas. I have to figure out something for my book set in 1817. "Ow" is used as an exclamation of surprise in the 14th century, but as an expression of sudden pain it doesn't show up until 1919. Hrmph doesn't show up at all, and harrumph doesn't show up until 1918.

Tolkien used things out of their proper timeline, but I'm not Tolkien. For example, he describes the dragon firework as sounding like a steam engine. It's a fantastic, clear image, but it only makes sense to me as a reader, not for the time frame, as Lord of the Rings is mythical, pre-history. He does have a gift for painting a picture with words.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Busy work day...

Though I spent most of the day on PTBW, I couldn't resist pursuing what I knew came next in the WIP. Now, I can call it a day, or at least begin to unwind. Never have I been so content to put in 12-16 hour days. True enough, a lot of that time is spent thinking, working through the plot, backstory, details that will never make it to the page, but fill out the story in my own mind, so I'm able to tell a richer tale. I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good work...

It never ceases to surprise me how much easier it is to write more when I stop trying to shut out one book in favor of another. This past weekend, I finally gave in and worked on an upcoming manuscript. I had several ideas I wanted to explore. Since then, I've added quite a bit to the current WIP, with a clear plan of what comes next. The creative imagination is an interesting occurrence.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Review and edit...

I worked on several projects, including book 3. I went back and read through the last scene I wrote, and did some editing. Then I started working on the next scene.

After the power outage, last night, I'm finding it difficult to concentrate. Lack of sleep is not helpful. Back at it, tomorrow.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Not much writing...

...was accomplished, today. Not necessarily a bad thing. I had a delightful chat with a very dear friend. We spent quite a bit of time talking writing. Sometimes, it helps to talk things through, solidifying ideas and concepts. A lot of my "think" time is spent fleshing out my characters. It may never make it into the story, but helps me recognize what matters in the story and what is extra information.

Other writing was accomplished, which is also taking a clearer form.

God is good.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Another scene...

...completed, in book 3. I worked a little on book 5 as well, and the project. It is such a relief to be able to put the stories in my head on paper. The books I've read over the years have helped me in so many ways, from choosing what I truly like and love and learning how to set boundaries. I'm so grateful for writers who share their stories. I hope my stories help someone, too.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stormy weather...

Every time I go to open a document, I hear thunder. So, it's late in the evening, and I'm calling it quits. I'll work on book 2, tomorrow. I did a lot of planning for book 5 (I can't seem to keep the hero out of my head), and I started the next scene in my head. I'll type it in, tomorrow. I worked on the project. More thunder, again. So, off I go. I must admit that storms are a bit of a trial. I endeavor to trust God, but memories of my computer processor exploding during a lightning storm are still pretty vivid, and it's been 7 or 8 years.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Editing - done...

The whole of the day was spent finishing the first round of editing for book 2. Whew. Now, I'll put it away for a week or two. Then I'll open the document again and do another edit.

I added a bit to book 3 over the weekend.

Other projects are also progressing.

My brain is fried, in a good way. :-)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Back in the fray...

I worked out a bit of the timeline, and am moving forward once more. I discovered something unexpected: the villain of book 3. I knew he was there, but I didn't know who he was or how he would appear. Now, I know. In truth, I had thought it might be a her, and it's true enough that she isn't particularly pleasant, but she's small potatoes in comparison. A good bit of writing done, today.

Several other bits of writing were done as well. I'm learning so much. When I look at things in the context of what I'm able to learn from them, they take on a different appearance than I ever anticipated. I'm reminded that God's ways are not our ways.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A bit muddled...

There are days, and this is one of them. I spent most of my writing time working on clearing up details, and expanding what it already there. There is a scene coming, and I haven't decided how it fits in, yet.

The projects continues.

Again -- it seems every day -- I wonder what I'm thinking, and then I begin writing, and peace envelops me. All is in God's hands.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Good bit of work...

The writing is coming more easily for book 3, now that the timeline is settling. Of course, there are still changes being made as the characters reveal themselves. And a new character showed up! I had no idea he would be in the story. I don't know if he'll ever have a story of his own, but I do like him. He isn't developed much beyond a couple of sentences, but I suspect he's going to grow in importance.

The project is also moving forward. I was a little worried about where it would go from here, but that question was settled today.

I'm endeavoring to write in my heart that I am God's and I trust Him. I'm working on it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cleaning up...

Today, I cleaned up chapter 1 of book 3. With the new information I'd gleaned, this past weekend, there were a lot of things that needed to be explained, clarified, and changed. I'm much happier with it. I also needed more detailed information on a Sunday service, for chapter 2. Thanks to ((Mary)) for talking me through. Lots of notes, and I'll tackle chapter 2, tomorrow.

And the project is moving forward. I'm learning a lot about myself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Back on track...

This past weekend, as I did some brainstorming, I realized that much of what I'd written for book 3 wasn't the beginning but toward the end. Chapter 1 stays, but the rest comes later. So I started a new chapter 2. This feels so much better.

Editing is coming along on book 2. My reader is finding a few typos, and making some great suggestions to make the story better. I'm also going through and cutting adverbs, either by choosing different words or cutting out the word. Sometimes, it seemed necessary at the time, but it isn't.

The project also continues. It's been a productive day. I'm so grateful for the inspiration and encouragement God gives me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rethinking...

I don't seem to respond well to overt pressure. The number of words I'd hoped to add is nowhere near the mark. That being said, it hasn't been unproductive. In fact, today, I realized that I'm rushing to the point of losing the story. So, I stepped back, pulled out the paper and pen, again, and fine tuned my heroine. She needed some necessary changes, because she simply wasn't right the way she was coming out on the page. There are a lot of things that fit, but there were little things niggling at me. Then I opened the document, and started at the beginning, carefully combing through the story, line by line. In the fourth paragraph, I realized that my POV was confusing, but couldn't figure out how. I've spent the last three hours fighting with it. Then it jumped out at me as if it were in glaring neon lights. One sentence in the paragraph switched from her POV to mine! Eep! A bit of rewriting, and what a difference!

New goal: Write as much as possible every day, keep track of the word count, and trust myself. And no beating up on myself.

My counselor tried to explain something I needed to work out: "There's this boss who is always criticizing the employees, telling them how bad they are, reprimanding them for every little infraction. This boss never lets up. There's always some way things could have been done better, faster, smarter. This boss even calls the employees nasty names. Why would anyone want to work for such a cruel and brutal boss? Especially when there's this other boss available. This other boss is gentle and patient. This other boss expects the employees to accept personal responsibility, but recognizes the value of each employee. This other boss encourages and acknowledges and rewards a job well done. Which boss would you rather work for?" Funnily enough, at the time I thought: I'd know how to respond under the rotten boss, but not the good boss. Then my counselor asked, "When are you going to fire the rotten boss and let the good boss take over?" I stared at him, and then blinked. Then it dawned on me that he was talking about me! I'd learned the unkind lessons so well I was still practicing them! He wanted me to learn a healthier way. Then he took it one step further: God isn't a mean boss. Jesus asks us to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. That's not the guidance of a mean boss. I'm still struggling to be a good boss to myself. It isn't easy since the old methods were beaten, literally and verbally, into me. But with Jesus as my teacher and guide, I will learn to be a good boss.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some days...

...the thought of crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over my head seems like the best possible plan for the whole of the day. My thoughts are scattered, but the day wasn't a complete loss. I found and corrected some details in what I have written so far in book 3. Though not many words were added to the document, I spent quite a bit of time with pen and paper. This is a good day for that kind of thing. Whenever I feel stuck, going back to writing by hand seems to open the flow of creativity. It also appears that I've reach that point in my writing when I've written enough of the beginning to want to know where it's going, and the ending is starting to form. It needs to be written, and then I'll go from there.

I'm taking some emotional risks with the project, and it makes me nervous, uncertain, a little afraid. But I've promised myself to be courageous, so I'm taking the risk. All is in God's hands. I pray my awkward stumbling is used for good.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Helpful blog...

Today, I checked out Abby Fowers' blog, Something To Write About. Today's post was titled I Hate Adverbs. She included a handy-dandy adverb diagram. And I realized how many adverbs I tend to use. I spent the day searching the first half of book 2 for "ly" words. Some I deleted because they were filler. Many I was able to switch a few words, but sometimes I had to re-write several sentences. Between The Project, the editing of book 2, and some of the details I added to book 3, I wrote over 1,000 words. I'll be able to stay on top of the book 2 edits now. I have to remind myself that first drafts aren't meant to be perfect. They're a good starting point.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Only 1,000 added...

Though I only managed to add 1,000 words to book 3, I'm not unhappy with my progress. I realized that I have reached that point when I have to shift from writing linearly to writing scenes. It actually frees up my creative process, when I no longer require myself to stick to a straight line. I've also made some decisions about the plot, what needs to be there and directions that simply will not work for the story.

More editing was done for book 2, and The Project continues. As long as I'm writing, all is right with the world. I feel at peace, and am more than happy to leave what I cannot control in God's capable hands. Otherwise, I fret. I know that God is in control, but I wonder what else I could be doing, should be doing, need to be doing.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It works...

I'm not perfect about turning off the internal editor, but I'm doing better. And it shows. The goal currently stands at trying to add 1,000+ words a day, but this week I'd like to add 10,000, over the whole week. Today, I added 1,300. I'll need to do better, tomorrow. I'm learning. Other projects are also moving along.

I'm endeavoring to trust God to take care of those things that I cannot. I'm especially working on: Thy will, not mine.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Turning off...

...the internal editor isn't easy, and yet it's vitally important when first writing the story. Finding exactly the right word won't matter if the whole story isn't told. I don't know if I'll have to work at turning off the internal editor each day, or if I've managed to do so for a while.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And so it goes...

When I look at my word count for book 3, today, it looks okay, but it isn't quite true. I moved an entire section from book 3 to short story 4, and a whole section to the notes of book 1. It simply doesn't fit anywhere. Maybe a later book... I'm not going there, right now. LOL! Chapters 1 and 2 are finished, and much of chapter 3, and chapter 4 is started and outlined in my head. I'm stopping now in favor of an earlier bedtime. I'm endeavoring to learn how to take better care of myself, that includes eating healthy, exercising healthy, and sleeping healthy.

Who am I that God is mindful of me? I am His.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And so it begins, again...

Book 3 and chapter 1 is done, I think. Chapter 2 will be tackled, tomorrow. I'm becoming more familiar with my own writing style. I like to make chapter 1 and 2 as good as I'm possibly able. Everything goes from there. A few other scenes are briefly outline, already. It takes a little time to become comfortable with my new characters, to where I feel like I know them well enough to share them properly. I'm looking forward to this story unfolding.

When I'm writing I feel more at peace with God, and His plan for me. I'll repeat this often. Somehow I seem to lose sight of it every morning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A little more each day...

More of The Project is filled in. Another chapter of book 2 is edited. And more has been added to book 3. I've also worked through some details, like the heroine's age, a few dates, and how to present them. I think chapter 1 is done, which introduces both the heroine, and the hero through the heroine's eyes. Chapter 2 is the beginning of the story from the hero's point of view.

I'm endeavoring to trust in God and His plan for me.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A good day...

I worked on The Project, for a while. Thanks to my reader's help, some excellent editing has been done of book 2. I also added to book 3. I'd worried a bit, because my brain is still only partly engaged... hmmm... I made bread, today. I don't know what it is about baking, but it helps me with my writing. Both are gifts from God. I would not have survived my life without God. The gifts remind me of God's goodness and awareness of me. He thought me good enough to entrust me with abilities that are suited to me. Making bread feeds the body. Writing feeds my soul. Both help me not simply survive but thrive.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 ~ Remember Always

Never forget.

My heart whispers that God sent angels. The God who is aware of a single fallen sparrow did not abandon His children in their hour, their moment of need. Jesus, who endured Gethsemane, the betrayal of his friends, the mock trial, the lashing, the crown of thorns, and the Cross on Calvary, suffering and dieing for the sins of the World, understands injustice, cruelty, being alone, to a depth we will never comprehend. He loved us so much He was willing to go through it all, even if it had only been required for one soul. He endured for all. No matter how alone we feel, God weeps with us, as only a Loving Father could. He understands perfectly. The purpose of life isn't to avoid pain, but to grow through the pain, closer to God, closer to the light He intends us to be to the world, living light, shining with His Love for the World.

So many souls went Home to God, and so many more have been required to continue on in this life without those precious ones. And despite the horrible evil that occurred, so many people chose good, chose courage, chose strength, chose compassion, chose love. So many people chose to be a light of hope in the darkness. Darkness does not extinguish light; light pushes away the darkness. In a darkened room, with a single candle, the only way to extinguish the light is to blow out the candle. The dark cannot overcome the light, unless we allow the light to be put out.

I choose the Light.

I choose to remember the brave men and women and children of 9/11.

I choose to honor the memory of all those who have lived and those who died endeavoring to do what's right and good.

I choose to be a better person because I know the stories of brave souls I have never met.

I will never forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Research...

I've spent the day looking up material and brainstorming about where the plot will go and when. I've started outlining and the first two chapters. It's a stormy day, so the computer has been off for a while, in deference to the lightning. I'm feeling a bit scattered, anyway, so it feels like God is reminding me to step back and look at things differently from time to time.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A bit brainless...

There are days like this. I'm not beating myself up over it. I've learned that if I'm brainstorming it's better to use unlined paper. If I'm writing an outline, then it's better if I used lined paper. It's important to recognize how one's own creative process works, and not try to fit into some preconceived mold.

Editing continues on book 2.

The Project also continues.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Characters... can't live with 'em....

As I struggle to work on book 3, with James, Jamie in book 5 keeps needling me. I'll be doing research on James, and Jamie will ask, "Well, what about..." Is it to help James? Oh, no! Jamie wants to know more about his back story. No matter how many times I tell him to wait his turn, he nudges me with another question. I've tried putting him off, and stalling with other things, but as soon as I turn my attention to writing again, there's Jamie. "What about me?" No matter how often I promise I'll not forget him, he is wholly unwilling to wait quietly in the wings. Maybe I need to bargain with him... I'll give him equal time... Ah, the insanity of being a writer... :-) It's fun. Really, except when the characters are being pesky... like Jamie... LOL!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A little bit of everything...

I've started mapping book 3 and book 5, which will follow the short story that I also spent a little time expanding. Book 5 isn't part of the first three, but does have a character that was introduced, only briefly in book 2. It's stand alone. I love series that have characters from other books. It's like an inside joke. My dear friend also edited the first two chapters of book 2. I love working with her. She notices little things that add so much to the story. She'll request something that I think can't work, and I'll explain why. Somehow, in the process I figure out how to make it work. Thanks God.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Always more to do...

Book 2 is off to my first reader. I had planned on taking a break. I did; yesterday. Today, I had stories running through my head, again. Yes, stories, as in plural. I had two ideas, book 3 and another. So, I took up pen and paper, and jotted down the ideas, including a bit of brainstorming. This whole week will be spent on prepping for book 3, but I'll not ignore any other ideas that come along. The joy of having a writing notebook, a place to keep all the ideas.

The Project is also moving along, and I'm learning a lot from it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Editing has begun...

I've only edited the first few chapters, and made some corrections and additions. I've been a bit scattered, today, so I hope I concentrate better tomorrow. I accomplished quite a bit in everyday things that needed doing. Maybe having those things out of the way, no longer worrying about needing to do them, will help me focus. We'll see.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Draft one is complete...

The first draft, beginning to end, is done. For the next two days, I'll read through it, to see if it holds together, see if there's anything missing, and probably add more. But, for all accounts and purposes, it's finished. And yet, it isn't. Funny, as I write each book, the story doesn't really end in my head. I still imagine the rest of their lives, though not in the same detail as when I write the initial story. It's like the characters become a part of me... well, they actually are a part of me. I want them to be happy and fulfilled. One of the nice things about writing is that I'm able to do exactly that, give them a HEA.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A little more time...

First draft of the WIP is closer to being done. I'll finish it, tomorrow, and then do a cursory edit, before sending it on to my reader on Saturday. I realized that there were some points that needed to be added, for better continuity. Done. A good day's work.

I also finished reading Carla Capshaw's The Champion. It's book three of a Steeple Hill Historical Romance, set in Roman AD. This one is in AD 84. I've never been a particular fan for this time period, but Carla tells a wonderful story, and the details are fascinating. I'm only sorry it's ended.

The Project has become more personal. Though I'd once thought of publishing it, I'm now more concerned about what I will learn. It's a challenge.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost there...

The first draft of the WIP is almost finished. I'm leaning toward the minimum word count of 70,000 words, considering the fact that when I did the deep edit of the previous WIP I added 5,000 words, so had to cut 5,000 words. I really don't want to go through that again. I'll pass the WIP along for an edit complements of a discerning eye. While it's going through editing, I'll do brainstorm and research for book 3. It's a joy.

The Project continues.

Desert Rose was interesting. The Table Topic I attended was on the Citizens Police Academy that some police departments offer. It sounds intriguing. Someday, I'd like to participate.

God doesn't care what happens in our lives nearly as much as He does about what we do with what happens in our lives.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Listening...

I need to learn to be better at listening to those pesky nigglings. The ones that keep elbowing me that something isn't quite right. I fussed over book 2 all weekend, and accomplished very little. Last night, I went to bed with the determination to work on an outline, summarizing each chapter with a single sentence and setting the dates, which won't be used but very generally, but they give me a timeline. I discovered a chapter that looked like it was in the wrong place, and then realized that my word choices had been all wrong. I corrected those, and now it fits as it ought. The outline isn't complete, but I'm back to where I was dithering at the end of the day on Friday. Now, it makes a lot more sense. The scene definitely wasn't finished yet. It made absolutely no sense going into the next chapter, so today is filling in those necessary details required in order to move on. Thanks God. I truly could not do this without God's promptings and nudges.

The Project continues along. I'm adjusting and reworking it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another bump...

I only added 500 words, but I've hit another spot that needs fleshing out. I'll work on it, next. I was going to take a short break, but the story is too much in my mind. I'll put it away, until tomorrow. The dark moments are coming, and they need to be given the time and attention due them.

Nothing is impossible to God.

The Project is coming along, not quite in the manner I had first anticipated, but I think it's the proper beginning for it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thanks God...

The scene had far more in it than I imagined, at first. I added 2100 words, and some surprises to me. I'm always amazed by what is revealed as I write. I had an event that needed to be seen from the heroine's point of view. I'd already written a version for the hero. That's it. That's all I knew about it. Then I started writing, and I learned quite a few unexpected things about the heroine, things that needed to be shared, but I hadn't done so yet. This was the perfect spot. I also learned a few new things about the hero.

The Project is well underway, now. It's taking its own shape.

My prayers are with all those who are in the path of Hurricane Irene.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Figured it out...

Writing has been a struggle, today. I did a bit of editing of what I've written lately, and fussed over the next chapter. It simply wasn't right. I did other things and kept coming back to it, with the same sense that something wasn't right. It's late, and I'm headed to bed, but at least I've figured it out. It's where I'll start tomorrow. I'm missing an entire scene. Tomorrow will see it done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Hopeful Day...

God works in mysterious ways. The last week or two, I've corrected a few minor errors in PoP. Word choices I realized weren't right for the time, including one I found as I corrected another. God inspired was the only way they were found. Today, as I picked up work, the office manager and I joked about needing more money to pay the bills. My heart whispered that I needed to truly trust God, so I said, "I'll sell my book, and be able to pay my bills fine." No, I haven't sold my book, but I have been asked for a complete manuscript. Done. I'm hopeful.

I also worked on the WIP, today. I didn't add a lot of words, but I neatened and tightened two chapters. They're much better now, and I feel better about moving on to the next chapter.

There's still homework to do for my synopsis class, but there's also still time to do it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pleasant surprises...

I'm reaching parts of the WIP that were written at the beginning. It's always fun to reach sections of the book that seem new, simply because I haven't seen them for a while, and enjoying how neatly it dovetails into the story.

My homework was done on time, this weekend. It was fun. Laurie wanted some brainstorming done. I didn't feel it would be particularly helpful for the current story, since it's almost complete, so I delved briefly into the next book. Laurie had warned that it was difficult to stop once you started. She wasn't kidding. Like Lays potato chips: You can't eat just one.

I'm learning how to use pages on my blogs. The more I learn, the more comfortable I am with the process.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Still making progress...

I didn't add a lot of words, today, but I needed to rewrite a scene written long ago. It was originally intended for much earlier in the story, but was pushed back and pushed back, until it no longer quite fit. However, it contains pertinent information, so I needed to decide how to re-write it. I'll need to do an edit, next, but the re-write is done.

Homework is done, and I even ended up doing some brainstorming for book 3.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Adding more...

I added another 1,600 words, comprising mostly of one scene, an important scene that's been waiting to be written for a long time. It's been a single sentence for a long while: Nan is dismissed. Yes, that started the addition of 1,600 words. I'm quite pleased with the outcome. It's a bit strange to realize that I have less than 15,000 words to finish the manuscript. It's a joy.

My synopsis class has been a huge help.

I can do this.

With God, all things are possible, even what seems impossible.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Coming along...

Completed an important scene, today. It wound up much longer than I anticipated, but I'm much happier with it now. I'll edit it, tomorrow. I added about 1,600 words. I want to continue to do this, increasing the number of words added a day. If I truly want to pursue this, then I need to stop holding myself back. I admit that I'm afraid of failing. What if I throw myself in wholeheartedly, and nothing comes of it? I was going to say that I've done it before and failed, but I'm not sure I've ever wholeheartedly thrown myself into anything. I tend to always hold at least a little bit of myself back. Or is that simply a habit from previous disappointments? I don't know. There's so much of my life I don't remember, for good reason. That being said, I'm trying to live in the here and now, fully, wholly, so I'll endeavor to do so. Today was a good day, by the end. Thanks to inspiration and God-given friends.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good work done...

Another 10 pages edited, and over 1,400 words added to the current WIP. Homework done. The Project taking shape. Thank you, God, for a bit of inspiration. Only God would nudge my mind with the realization that my completed manuscript was missing a detail, and where it belonged. Done. God also blessed me with wonderful friends who lift me up, encourage me, and strengthen my faith in God's loving plan for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday already?

Don't you hate it when you look at the date and realize it isn't what you thought? Somehow a day has been lost, and it cannot be retrieved, because it actually wasn't.

I was struggling with a difficult scene, a turning point. I searched my Bible for the right verse, and found several I liked, but none quite fit. I had looked at the Book of Common Prayer, 1662, available online, hoping for inspiration, but couldn't find the study schedule. I explained the problem to God. That little niggle in my heart suggested that I check the 1549 version. And there was the schedule. More importantly, there was the inspiration I had been searching for, an apt fit for the situation, I think. We'll see what my first reader thinks; she has a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't.

Editing continues, clearly, and more words are being added. Thank you, God, for all the help.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moving forward...

Edited/added another 15 pages. Added almost 1,000 words. It was a good place to stop. The scene was more difficult than I'd originally planned, but it's right for the story.

I'm staying on top of my homework, so far, and learning a lot. The Project is also coming along.

All is in God's hands. I try to remember that, but frequently find myself worrying anyway. It isn't that I don't trust God's plan for me, but more along the line of trusting myself to be listening and obeying. I'm so grateful that God has blessed me with such wonderfully supportive and encouraging friends.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another amazing day...

I worked on homework for The Project, for several hours, this morning, with only a little progress, but it was good. I worked through a few problems I was having.

Fresh bread was another accomplishment. I was more careful about the amount of flour, and this batch was better. The pop and squeak when kneading is one of the things I really love about making bread. Enjoying the smell and the taste goes without saying, I think. :-D

Well over 1,000 words were added, today. Though it looks like I only worked on four pages, almost all of those four pages was new material. A lot of information was revealed. I may have to change it, later, but for now, at least it's in, because it is information that has to be shared sooner or later.

I pray for those who lost loved ones, this past weekend. May God bless our military and those who love them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The good days continue...

After baking my favorite chocolate chip cookies, the rest of the day was open to some needed catchup and writing. Another 1,000+ words and 15 more pages added and/or edited. I'm so grateful for the friends God has brought into my life. They lift me and inspire me. I pray God blesses them as they have blessed me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another good day...

My homework is done for my online class. The Project was given an update. I enjoyed the effects of yesterday's experiment with cooking and writing, and decided to try it again, today, by baking three batches of biscotti. Making my own baking powder, I've discovered I need to use it right away, or it clumps. It was a fun exercise. One batch had almond flavoring, with chocolate chips. The second had dried lavender flowers and chocolate chips. And the third had lemon flavoring and chocolate chips. I also needed to use up the chocolate chips. :-) That being said, it took longer than I anticipated. It was evening before I was able to start my writing. I was sure I wouldn't be able to fulfill my 1,000-word goal. I did it. Thank you, God.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All is in God's hands...

Twenty-three pages edited, and over 1,000 words added. A productive day. The first 52 pages, which is about a third of the book, is done.

I was worried about being able to accomplish what needed to be done in my writing, today. Recently, I read a post on creativity. It started me thinking. I remember reading somewhere, sometime, about creativity leads to creativity. If you're struggling in one area, then work in another, and it will open the way to greater creativity. I discovered I was out of bread, so I baked a couple of loaves. A missing paragraph in The Project composed itself in my head as I kneaded the bread. Once the bread was baked, and the needed paragraph added, I was able to turn my full attention to the WIP. Thanks God.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jumping back in...

I'm working on The Project, and I'm working on the re-write of what I have of the WIP. Interesting to me is that I have a much deeper sense of it being "right." The characters feel more real and settled. The things that need to be filled in seem clearer. So far, I'm able to edit about 14 pages in a day. I think that will improve as I become more comfortable with the process. I took years with the last manuscript, and this one I'm trying to finish in four months. We'll see how I do. I feel blessed. Each and every time I find myself worrying about my life and where it's going, I begin writing, and the fears fall away. My life is in God's hands, and He is mindful of me. I suppose tackling my writing is sort of like telling the mountain to move, and then it does, one word at a time.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A busy day...

I spent part of the day working through the emails from my PRO class, making little changes to the website for The Project.

For Laurie Schnebly Campbell's online synopsis class, I've read through all the day's emails. I plan to do my homework tomorrow. I have until Monday.

I looked at English mansions, online. It's helpful to have a bit of reality to fuel the imagination. Some of them are truly beautiful.

The continuity correction is well underway, on my WIP. I'm more than half way through what was already done, again. I see things here and there I'm not sure I want to keep. However, I'm endeavoring to teach myself to not fret over every word. This is the first draft, and it isn't even completed yet. Good editing will clean it up. Considering how much editing I did on the last manuscript, I really need to forge ahead and finish this. The first complete draft will be done by the end of the month.

God has richly blessed me.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Amazing God breeze...

I've been fretting about the lack of progress on my current WIP. Last night, my sister popped in. I told her about what I was working with, and blessedly she pointed out a problem I hadn't even imagined. More re-writing. What a blessing that I hadn't done more! Or I'd be correcting even more. Thank You, God.

There's a lot on my plate, for the next week. Today, I found out my PTBW will be "suspended" for a week, as my client goes on vacation. Another unexpected blessing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Catching up...

I'm behind on my word count; however, I corrected a continuity problem, and it's taking time to read through what's already written. When I'm trying to figure out how to spell angel, as opposed to angle, I figure it's time to put it away and start over, tomorrow.

It's been a very productive day. I worked through more of the website lessons, for The Project. I also did my assignment for the synopsis class. I learned a lot, today. I also finished a book I was reading for one of my Desert Rose sisters.

The weather was supposed to be clear all week. Surprise. A storm is blowing through, so I think I'll take the evening to catch up on some reading. I'm still endeavoring to trust that God has a plan in mind. I love Cheryl Wyatt's "Wings of Refuge" series. One of the books focused on the message that God's way is not the easy way. It struck a chord with me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Variety is good...

I spent several hours, today, going through the PRO lessons that had been offered online regarding building a website, with WordPress. Cynthia D'Alba and Gwen Hernandez taught it, back in April, but I wasn't ready to tackle it yet. I saved the emails, and I'm now working through the class. I'm pleased with the progress.

As to the WIP, the writing as slowed, but I'm not worried. I discovered a believablity problem, so I've done some re-working of the story, which, of course, required editing throughout. It's funny how little details suddenly become huge, glaring problems, but once the tiny change is made, it's barely noticeable again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Feeling a little like Peter...

Last January, I began wondering if my job was going away. Losing my job has been a constant worry, for me. In February, my main client laid me off. I wasn't devastated. It was Jesus on the storm-tossed Sea of Galilee, beckoning me to come to Him. I stepped out boldly, trusting that Jesus would not ask me to do anything I could not feasibly do, even if I did it badly and even if I failed in the attempt. He asked me to take the step, and I took it. Last June, I sent in my query, and when the mail came, today, still with no reply, I began to wonder: What if it was lost in the mail, on the way there? What if it was lost in the shuffle on someone's desk? What if it was lost in the mail coming back? A viable possibility considering the fact that I had received in the mail, last Saturday, a letter I was supposed to have received more than a week before. As my worries circled and spiraled, a gentle prompting so clear and so strong it felt like it had been spoken in my heart: Are you going to trust Me, or not? As simple as that. So, I put my worries away, and say, "Yes, Jesus, I trust You. Wherever You lead, I will follow, no matter how much I stumble and fall along the way. I will always rise and follow."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Move along...

I've completed over 50,000 words of the current WIP. I'm breathing a bit easier. One-third left to go. I'm so grateful to God for His love and patience. He eases my fears and worries with peace and inspiration, and remarkable friends. I am blessed.

When I wonder if my life is of value, God reminds me that it is. Jesus Christ died for me. I have not been asked to give my life, rather I am asked to LIVE my life. I fear I may be a poor example of a Believer, but I'll never stop trying.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Harrumph...

I finished my PTBW in a timely manner this morning, and thought, "Wow! I have the whole day to write!" I opened the document, and scrolled down to page 51, to pick up where I left off, last night. And sat and stared at it. Something was wrong. I didn't know what. It read fine, but something wasn't right. I worked on my WordPress site for The Project. I looked at the WIP. It was still wrong, and I still didn't know how. I caught up on blogs and FB. I looked at the WIP. And yes, it was still wrong, and I still didn't know how. I read another book. Four hours, and it finally dawned on me. Page 51 expanded on a couple of minor characters, and I realized that they hadn't been mentioned in a passage earlier where they HAD to be. I went back and corrected the continuity problem. YAY!! Now, I want to turn off everything, curl up with a book, and go to sleep early. I think, maybe, I will, and then I'll start over, tomorrow, fresh.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The day turned out all right...

I'm questioning my current path, as I often do, and then I started working on the WIP. I only added about 680 words, however, those words were added to the first 51 pages of the current 118 pages, as I edited and fleshed out scenes. I think those 51 pages are quite readable now, and don't feel like there are missing pieces. Tomorrow, I'll continue the process.

Part of the day, I worked on creating a web presence for The Project. I'm terrified about that plan, and yet I feel compelled to continue.

Faith in God is not easy, but God never promised easy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Discouraged...

Yesterday, nothing was coming. I've been struggling for the past few days with where to go from here. I've hit almost 50,000 words, 2/3 of the way through, and I didn't know where to go. Today, I realized, finally, that I have quilt blocks that need to be sewn together. I have the central story written, whole scenes in their proper places, but with holes between them. I started sewing the blocks together, and discovered new characters that are more fun than I expected. I also need to remember that when I have a really bad night's sleep, it takes me two days to recover. Hopefully, if I remember, I won't be quite so hard on myself when I seem to have the concentration of a flea. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Not a lot of writing...

...at least not that I can easily track. I worked on the backstory, realizing that there was information that needed to be shared, eventually, not in detail, but other things in the story are dependent on the information. I carefully edited chapter one of both The Project and the WIP. I also thought I'd try my hand at a short-story challenge. I'm not sure I have the capability to tell a good short story, but it doesn't hurt to try. Nothing says I have to actually submit my efforts. LOL! We'll see how I do.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back in...

Added over 1,000 words, today, mostly exploding scenes. Funnily enough, I worked on the last chapters. The last book's final chapters were so difficult to write, and this one has been so more satisfying. As I write final scenes, I discover details that need to be covered earlier in the book, and voilĂ , middle sections are filling in, bit by bit. I'm nearing the 50,000 word mark. I'm also working on other projects as well. And PTBW is also being done, though it isn't really paying all the bills, but every little bit helps. I feel so blessed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A bit of fun...

My current reading material consists of Dick Couch's The Warrior Elite: The Forging of SEAL Class 228 and Kim Watters's Home Sweet Home. Kim's hero has a sister who makes candles for a living, and I thought, "Ooooo I'd like to do that." My very next thought was, "Until a story started percolating in my brain," which would be as soon as I had a spare bit of space in my head. Anytime I'm doing something that requires little thought, story ideas pop in for a visit, where they're mulled, shaped, and discarded or further developed.

I've had a terrible time concentrating, today. There are days like that. I'm doing some editing, and a little adding, but not much. I've also been working on some other projects that seemed to crowd out everything else. Back at it, tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not bad...

I only added a little over 500 words, but I cleaned up quite a bit. As I worked on editing, I discovered a problem with what I like to think of as time warping, and I really dislike it in a historical novel. It's fun in science fiction, where it belongs. One of my characters knew too much for the time period, so I re-wrote it with material that would fit the time and place. It did lead to a bit of fun between the hero and heroine. We'll see how it goes once the story is finished.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good work, today...

More than 1200 words added, and another 10 pages edited. I can see at least one place that needs expanding, but I'm not quite sure how so that it works in the story. The scene needs to reveal information and/or move the story along. It does that in a minor way, at this point. I'll think about it, and go back to it, in a bit. This is so much fun. Thanks God for the joy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Still progress...

Only added 750 words to the WIP, but also edited 16 more pages. Continuity was also more carefully worked through, so the time line is better, clearly. In addition, I worked on The Project, editing the first chapter. A good day's work.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not quite the same progress...

I only added 300 words, today, but I've done a careful read-through of the first 16 pages of the current 104. I discovered details I'd forgotten that will need to be verified and worked into the continuity of the rest of the story, as it currently stands. I feel like the work was good. I hope to pick up the pace. Today was not one of my better days. I had a rough night's sleep, and a bit of trouble concentrating. With storms moving in, the headache is a bit plaguesome. It could be worse. It has been worse. So, I'm hopeful for better work as I become more accustomed to my new schedule that I created for myself. God is good.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another 1000+ words

I once again penned the outline, trying to give myself a sense of the overall story. I've filled in all the partially written sections that were inserted to remind of things that needed to be part of the story. Now, it's time to start at the beginning and checking for continuity and flow, making sure things make sense. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up the 1000-words-a-day, but I'll not stop making the effort. I'll take it a day at a time, and see where it goes. I'd really like to pick up the pace of my work, but I also want to make sure I acknowledge that I'm putting far more into my work than I ever have before. All is in God's hands.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A bit of fun...

Another 1000 words + 1. I met the goal by fleshing out two different sections. It's such an amazing experience to write this way. I've never been so consistent. I don't feel like I should be doing something else. I truly feel like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing right now. Oh, and I've stopped writing from the end to the beginning, and I'm currently filling in from the beginning to the end. It's fun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And so the story grows...

Another 1000+ words. I spent the morning outlining what was already written. Then I worked on the time line. Some sections needed to be moved. One of them was moved several times before I found the right spot for it. As it turned out, that's the scene that was exploded, today. I work on remembering to show not tell. As a side note, I once again found myself struggling with words I couldn't use! What a blessing writer Diane Gaston shared the online etymology dictionary.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Still moving foward...

Today, I added another 1,000+ words. This time it wasn't a single scene but fleshing out several scenes. Some were picking the right words, and some were sketching a general idea for fleshing out later. Again and again, I wonder if I'm crazy, and then I start writing and everything in my heart settles.

"Step into the darkness, in faith. God loves you."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Still moving along...

It's so exciting to see the story unfolding. I'm still holding to writing over 1,000 words a day, but Sunday. I try to make it a day of rest, though I find I'm unable to stop the ideas niggling, so I pull out pen and paper, jot it down, and add to the document the next day. I'm endeavoring to take to heart God's admonition to rest on the Sabbath.

The Project is ready for a thorough re-read through, from beginning to end. I haven't done that since I've shared it with my readers. I made changes one chapter at a time, without looking beyond the chapter I was working on, because it's too easy for me to become distracted.

TIP: From Barbara Kingsolver, guest at Writers In The Storm blog: Don’t wait for the muse. She has a lousy work ethic. Writers just write.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Still working backwards...

Another 1,300+ words added. I'm now more than half way through the maximum number of words. The new scene is one I never anticipated adding, and yet it's necessary for the plot and setting. Simply amazing. God is good.

Trivia: My favorite music for writing is the score to Lord of the Rings.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And so it continues...

Another 1,000 words; half way for the minimum number of words, but I know myself well enough to anticipate exceeding the minimum by the time I'm finished. I'm still working scene by scene from the end to the beginning. I don't know why I find this less stressful and far less troublesome, but I do. The Project's new chapter has been shared with three of my five readers. I hope to have The Project finished by the end of the summer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's growing...

I've now completed half my required word count for book two. I hope to complete it by the end of this month. I'm still writing over 1000 words a day. Outlining the book, last night, was productive. I moved a scene, and then exploded a couple of scenes. I'm still writing from the end to the beginning. I don't know why, but it's easier for me. I've done some work on The Project and blogs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another unexpected turn...

The beginning is finished, I think. The end is finished, I think, and there are bits and pieces throughout the middle. Interestingly enough, I'm actually writing the rest of this story backwards, from the end to the beginning. It's currently easier to wonder how I reached a point in the story, and write the what-happened-before. I also worked on The Project's new chapter, and a couple of other things. I'm meeting my word goals for the WIP and then exceeding it with all the other writing. I also completed my PTBW. And it's only 6 o'clock in the evening. I've written an outline of what I have written for the WIP, and I'm going to work on that this evening. I need to do a little shuffling of a few of the scenes, then tomorrow I'll be working on expanding, or exploding scenes, as one of my friend's describes it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

I was delayed posting, thanks to thunderstorms, but none the worse for wear. It was a productive day, and that needs to be celebrate! I added over 1400 words to the WIP. I added a new chapter to The Project. I've started my own Declaration of Independence. It's more work than I anticipated. And I added a bit to the future short story. I also emailed with friends and had a delightful chat with my younger brother. I read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, part of my tradition for the day. I'm so grateful to live in a place and time when so many opportunities are available. God bless all those who value freedom.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lucky thirteen...

I added only thirteen words, today, but it's nothing to complain about. I talked with a dear friend about the storyline, and I rearranged bits already written to properly fit the outline. Next, to continue filling in what is there, now that I have a much better idea of the story as a whole, and the time line. What a blessing to have friends who ask questions that are pertinent, allowing me to clarify the story in my own mind, making the telling easier. We talked of other things besides my stories, of course. A day well spent.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Still cleaning up...

Didn't meet my 1000 words, again, but did add about half of that, and am 1/2 way through editing what is there. Had several continuity glitches that are now straightened out. I've also added a character, and shuffled and reworked several characters. There are things I truly love about this story, and things not so much, but I'm learning and making it better every day.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Worrying with faith...

I worked on my budget, today. Like many people, right now, I'm struggling. My main source of income laid me off, at the beginning of the year. I decided to put my faith in God and pursue what I believed He had laid on my heart. It's been six months. I wonder if I've missed opportunities, because I've turned down a couple of potential offers, though none of them were sure. I felt I should focus on my writing. It seemed the timing was perfect. My savings is dwindling, slowly but surely, so I asked God for a breadcrumb as I drove home from dropping off work, with no work to pick up, today. It isn't that I don't trust God, I do. However, I'm not as good at trusting myself. In truth, I prayed for God strength my weakness, to help my unbelief. My blog hasn't been accessible since last night, so I thought I'd check again. Here it is, and this quote appeared in one of my widgets: "Rejoice at your weakness. When you are weak I am strong. Strong to help, to cure, to protect." --Two Listeners

Thanks God for yet another breadcrumb.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Missed the goal, today...

...but not unhappy about it. I only added 100 words or so. However, I re-arranged sections that no longer fit where they were. I also added a character who had been missing, not intentionally, but simply overlooked, and necessary. Every English manor needs a butler. Clearly, this one doesn't play a huge role, but it would be noticed if he weren't there. Now, he is. I also shuffled some maids, and their roles in the house. The changes smooth out some rough edges, and answer some questions. I will add more, tomorrow. With neatening up those few details, more of the story is surfacing. It's amazing. I feel so blessed. Thanks God. And The Project is off to another reader.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Surprise...

As I picked up work, this morning, I found myself wondering how to work out a snag in the story. I returned home with a firm idea, and started typing. I needed to complete my work for the day and used it as a break between writing sections. By the time I finished, I'd added over 3,700 words to the WIP and more to the short story. It's so exciting to see the stories reveal themselves.

Tonight, Desert Rose had their monthly meeting, and I had the opportunity to chat with new members and share my wonderful experience with the chapter's Mentor Program. I'm so grateful for this remarkable group of women, mostly, and appreciate their support and encouragement. I don't think I would have made it this far without them. God sends blessings, and it's often in the form of individuals who share our journey, even if only for a few moments.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Still on track...

I added over 1,200 words to the WIP. I also finished editing The Project. It's ready for the next reader. And I added more to the short story. For a grand total of over 3,000 words added, today. Wow. I could not do this without God's encouragement, lifting me every day.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Unexpected turn...

I added another 1200 words, but I lost 1500 words. However, I'm not beating myself up over that. I took those 1500 words and slipped them into a short story I have in mind. The scene simply no longer fit the current WIP. Rather than try to force it in, I'm letting it go. Once again, I wondered if I could possibly find all the words I needed to add to meet my goal. Little by little, they appeared, and then suddenly there were more. It occurred to me, today, that this WIP is one-third done. A part of me wonders, "How did that happen?" But I know: One word at a time. Thanks God for all the encouragement.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Well, that was unexpected...

...which suits the working title of my current WIP. I added over 1,000 words to The Project, with lots of re-writing. I also added almost 1,600 words to the WIP. I may have written the end. I'm not sure yet. There's still a lot to add and fill in, but it's coming along, better than I expected. God is able to accomplish so much more in our lives than we ever could, when we are willing to turn our lives over to Him.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Interesting...

I only added 1,144 words, today, to the WIP. However, I also worked through half the edits for The Project, which added almost 800 words, along with some serious re-writing. I'm not changing my goal to write 1,200 words; it's a goal, and I'm headed in that direction. I hadn't planned to write one of the near the end scenes, but it's what ended up coming out, today. This is such an amazing experience. Thanks God.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Amazing...

Today was another day when I wondered where the story would go. I had other things on my mind. I pulled up the document, but nothing came to mind, all day long. Then, this evening, something clicked, and I typed away. Once again, I exceeded my thousand-word goal. I'm thinking I need to up it, a little. I'm actually typing between 1,100 and 1,200 words. Maybe what I'll do is pursue this week by week. This week, the goal is to write 1,200 words a day. Can't hurt to try. God is good.