Saturday, August 31, 2013

Links to share...

Writers In The Storm blog shares tips for ending cheesy dialogue. I'm improving. This is helpful:

Awesome article from WITS about writing deep POV (point of view):

And a bit of encouragement for writers over at Girlfriend Books:

Donna Hatch shares a short list of Regency terms:

God bless.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My introduction to Regency Romance...

I was introduced to Historical Romances through Victoria Holt and Elizabeth Mansfield.

Elizabeth Mansfield wrote Regency, sweet Regency.

I collected all her books.

Georgette Heyer is considered the Queen of the current Regency Genre.

I was delighted to find an easy reference to her list of Regency slang:

And of course there is Jane Austen. She lived in the Regency period. What more could you ask?

If you're new to Regency and want sweet romances, these are a good place to start. I admit I'm not a huge fan of Georgette Heyer. I have trouble reading her books. I don't know why. I'm dyslexic and need a certain rhythm in the writing. Shorter sentences and paragraphs help me keep track of where I am, which is less frustrating. However, a lot of Regency authors love her.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Graduation address in 2012...

Thanks to my BFF for sharing this link with me:

I need to learn to enjoy the journey. I do, but I think perhaps I allow the worries too much attention.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Excellent short story...

I'm a Donna Hatch fan. I enjoy her books. She's also a very nice person.

I also admit I was hesitant to purchase her short story Troubled Hearts. It's short. Really short.

It is a sweet romance.

It is well crafted and worth it.

This is what I envision a short story should be:

The characters are well developed. I'm able to visualize them with ease.

There is a beginning, middle, and end. It isn't an outline of what should be a longer story. It doesn't end so abruptly I'm left with the sensation of being dumped over a cliff. The characters and setting were clear in my head. I especially loved being able to spend enough time at the end to savor it.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Public speaking...

I haven't written an entire a speech since high school. I outline and rehearse in my head.

The only speeches I've ever read were readings from Lord of the Rings at Reading Day. I carefully prepared the readings as well.

I sang in choir. I've performed in skits. I've given numerous presentations over the years.

Warning to those who know me but probably don't know this about me: You might want to avoid me the day before I give a presentation. I know I come across as snappish.

What's really happening: I'm rehearsing.

The moment I'm asked to give a presentation I start preparing. I reflect on the topic. Somewhere along the way, I will sketch out some of my ideas, but I never write anything concrete. I will research the topic and follow possible ideas.

As the time to speak approaches, I narrow down my focus to a few points. I consider various stories to share. Once I create the general outline and stories I want to share, I rehearse it in my head, over and over and over.

Am I nervous when I speak? Yes. The adrenaline is pumping. I don't mind. I don't want it every day, but once in a while allows me to conquer the fear.

And then it's done, and I pray my message helped one person.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I belong to God...

I have a negative tape in my head.

"I'm stupid. I'm ugly. I can't do anything right. I'm not smart enough, pretty enough, good enough. I'm bad. I'm worthless."

It's a lie.

It turns on when I'm tired, when I've made a mistake, when I'm discouraged. Over the years, it has grown in length and intensity.

A few years ago, the Lord blessed me with some amazing friends who helped me stop lying about a lot of things.

But the tape didn't go away.

One of those friends shared the story of her Bible study group when they read Malachi 3:3 "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

What did it mean?

One of the women volunteered to visit a silversmith.

He explained he must heat the silver in the hottest part of the fire in order to burn off the impurities. However, if left too long, the silver would be destroyed. He must watch it every moment.

How did he know when it was ready?

"Oh, that's easy - when I can see my image in it."

God places us in the hottest part of the fire to remove the impurities. He never looks away. Granted, he knows we are able to endure a great deal more than we think we can. Even so, He is there every moment, watching, waiting. He will not hold us in the fire longer than necessary. He knows we're ready when He is able to see His image in us.

This impacted me. I made many changes in my life.

The concept birthed the idea for The Silver Locket Sisterhood series. When Luck in Love was published, two of my friends gave me my own silver locket. There is a picture of me on one side and Jesus on the other to remind me I belong to Him.

At a writer's conference, (I'm sorry I don't remember who said it or it may have been a note to myself) I penned a note: They (characters) have to be willing to burn who they are in order to become who they want to be.

Was I willing?

The tape didn't go away. I've tried everything to turn it off. Prayer, scripture reading, singing my favorite hymn. Nothing worked. In fact, the tape grew louder.

I grew tired. I quit fighting. I let the tape play. It was familiar and strangely comforting, unlike the new creature I wanted to become. I didn't even know what she was supposed to look like.

Being a bit snarky, I egged the tape on.

"Is that all you've got? Can't you come up with anything else? You've plenty of practice and material, surely you can come up with worse things. You can do better."

The tape was increasingly boring, but it didn't go away.

Writers create "elevator pitches," something to tell a publisher or editor when you manage to catch a couple minutes of their time, or thirty seconds. I never developed the pitch because I sold the series without it. However, I needed something for marketing, business cards, etc.

A friend of mine loves yoga and shared an article about mantras.

Yeah, I had one of those. My tape put me to sleep at night. It was pretty long.

There was the first problem. Mantras are meant to be short, almost boring. Interesting enough to help you focus, but not so interesting it diverts your attention. It's purpose is to bring you back to center.

What was the essence of The Silver Locket Sisterhood series?

I belong to God. I am God's.

Would it work?

"You're ugly."

"Yes, but I belong to God."

"You're stupid."

"Yes, but I belong to God."

"You'll never be good enough. God couldn't want you."

"I am still God's. Should He decide to cast me off, it is His prerogative because I belong to Him to do with as He will. I belong to God."

The Savior bought me with His blood, not only on the cross but in Gethsemane, through the flogging, with the crown of thorns. He paid for me, in full. I am His.

There is no debate. It's done. Finished.

There is nothing we can do that is so horrible we can't turn back to God.

The only question is do I accept Him or turn away?

He never turns away. He is always there, beckoning, His hand stretched out, the hand where He carved His love for us.

If I turn away, I may turn back, and He is there, waiting.

The choice is mine.

He paid the price for each and every one of us.

I belong to God.

I am God's.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A few posts to share...

Writers In The Storm gave me the encouragement I needed:

Beth Trissel's blog frequently affords me lovely escapes through her words and pictures:

Want to know more about the subgenre of Romance known as Regency? Donna Hatch presents an excellent introduction to Georgette Heyer, the Queen of Regency Romance. Yes, Georgette is safe enough for young girls to read. I also enjoy Donna's books.

May God bless you and yours.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Luck in Love is a finalist... the Arianna Cover Art Awards in the Romance genre. Brava, Carol Fiorillo!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Yesterday's conversation on FB...

Benjamin: Who is this upstart?
George: My protege, Leo.
Benjamin: Indeed?
Eric: I thought only heroes hung out here.
James: They do.
Jack: Brilliant. She's created another.
Richard: He's far too young.
Fitzgerald: For now.
George: He intended to play but a small part in my story.
Leo: My humble apologies.
George: Not your fault.
Benjamin: Indeed not.
Ian: Our lady manages to create chaos all on her own.
Jack: Without the least bit of help from us.
George: I think we manage to turn her world topsy-turvy, from time to time.
James: True enough.
Eric: Turn about is fair play.
Fitzgerald: Tell us, Leo, what is your story?
Leo: I know not.
Ian: Ah, a name only.
Leo: A bit of history, but the future is uncertain.
Richard: When is it not?
Leo: I fear you'll grow quite weary of my company, seeing how as I've no destiny, so to speak.
James: Nonsense. Jack's hung about for years, and we're not tired of him.
Benjamin: Overmuch.
Jack: Hang on--
Richard: Welcome, Leo.
Fitzgerald: Indeed, welcome Leo.
Eric and Ian: Welcome.
George: I am grateful and proud you've joined us.
Leo: I thank you.
George: Jack?
Jack: Yes, yes, welcome to our brotherhood, young lion

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Posts to share...

Writers In The Storm Blog continues the series on Literary Executors. I need to think about this and make a decision.

Jennifer M. Eaton is sharing some great tips on improving writing:

Over at The Writer's Refuge, yes, it's like this:

God bless.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Short lesson on coconuts...

The Philippines may be the main source of coconut for the world, but I lived in Thailand, so my experience is centered there. In fact, the site below doesn't even mention Thailand.

Sorry, no pictures. The internet, however, is full of them. What they look like isn't nearly as important as knowing what's what.

Nasty lesson learned: Coconut milk is not the water inside the coconut. The liquid inside is coconut water. Blech! At least, I didn't like it. I dislike bitter, and coconut water is bitter.

Coconut meat is the white stuff on the inside of the shell. I've seen it in chunks and didn't see the purpose since it ended up grated anyway. Finally, there is the ever popular shredded or flaked. Sometimes it's sweetened and sometimes it isn't. The difference is noticeable, at least to me.

Coconut milk is all the liquid squeezed from the coconut meat. I still don't care for it straight, but I do like it mixed half and half with my lactose free milk. I use it in the place of milk in most of my cooking and in my frozen banana and powdered breakfast drink shake. I want to try coconut milk whipped, something I've pinned on FB. :-)

Coconut oil is my new favorite wonder home use product. I use it with a touch of butter (for flavor) when I make grilled cheese sandwiches. Coconut oil has so little flavor it's negligible. It's a little more delicate than butter, so also burns easily. I wouldn't use it for frying, but then I don't fry. Really. I'm terrified of being burned. Me and irons have had too many run ins. I do use coconut oil in the place of the butter in my box cake mix enriched recipe. I've tried trading it for the butter in my chocolate chip cookies, and it didn't go well. I use it on my skin instead of lotion or moisturizer.

Cool site featuring coconuts:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rough around the edges...

Fitzgerald: Our lady appears a bit rough around the edges.
Eric: More like rode hard and put away wet.
Ian: I beg your pardon?
Jack: Horse jargon.
George: My fault.
Benjamin: What did you do?
George: Woke her at two.
Richard: This morning?
George: My most humble apologies.
James: No, George, it's my fault.
Eric: Actually, it's mine.
Jack: This should be good.
Fitzgerald: Explanations, gentlemen.
George: She's researching Waterloo.
James: She's been editing.
Eric: She wrote my story in one month.
Ian: She only writes one or two thousand words a day.
Eric: Not this time.
Jack: Do tell.
Eric: Five thousand words a day and then a complete rewrite.
Ian: She learned something new about herself.
Fitzgerald: She's created a new best to beat.
Benjamin: Shhh.
Fitzgerald: What?
Benjamin: She'll hear you.
Ian: Of course, she'll hear. She isn't deaf.
George: What are you prattling about, Benji?
Jack: Benji?
Benjamin: Stubble it, Jack.
Richard: Gentleman, it behooves us to help not hinder.
Ian: What may we do?
Fitzgerald: Encourage her competitive spirit.
Benjamin: I fear she'll wear herself out.
Richard: It is our duty to ensure she does not.
Jack: Encourage her without browbeating her.
Richard: Do you not see the irony of such advice from you?
Jack: I've not harried her of late.
Eric: It's true.
James: She's settling into a routine.
Jack: She is accepting she is a writer.
Fitzgerald: Now if she'll only give my cohort a name.
James: Here we go.
Jack: At least it wasn't me, this time.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sharing links...

Anne Gracie shares a Regency Slang Quiz. I earned 80%. I need to read more Regency. What a pity.

Patricia Johns shares a fun weekend, including pictures:

Beth Trissel shares a bit of an old family cookbook. I love cookbooks, and a cookbook with history is a treat all its own.

God bless.