Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reluctant Knight is due...

...this Saturday. It's coming along. I always feel the tug of a deadline. Up until the moment I send it in, I find something to change in the hope of improving it.

It's Wednesday night, and a storm is moving in. Not helpful. Storms are distracting.

God is in control. He knows me. He knows what I need. He knows I've lessons to learn.

From the look of it, on the weather station, it's taming a bit.

The storm dissipated, leaving me free to write uninterrupted. Thanks God.

This was posted on FB, and it is pretty accurate. It also makes me laugh.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sneak peek...

I shared this on FB, last week. I wanted to thank those who follow my author page. Richard Carrington is the hero of this story. He was introduced in "Unexpected Possibilities," a friend of James Thorn. What I didn't mention is that Sinclair simply showed up, as so many of my characters do. Never planned on him. Not sure if he has a more significant role at some later date. He's a prideful, stubborn man, but I like him.

A sneak peek at "Reluctant Knight" (unedited):

To what do we owe this attack of nerves?" Sinclair's gaze drifted to where Richard rubbed at his middle. "Ah. She's going to learn of your perpetual itch and weak stomach. Awkward when you want to be her knight in shining armor."

"A bit melodramatic?" Richard stretched his fingers. "A few hundred years too late for knights."

"Every man needs to be the knight in shining armor to the woman who holds his heart."

"Who said she held my heart?"

"Another weakness."

"I beg your pardon?"

"Lying to yourself. Might want to leave that trait in this room when you walk out the door. Glaring does not intimidate me."

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sharing Links on Saturday...

"The Rainey View" shared a link to an article about how babies learn rhymes in the early part of the third trimester, yes that's before the baby is born. How cool is that?

Over at "homemade. homegrown. beautiful life," Cynthia shared bits and bobs. The one that caught my interest was rose beads. I've never heard of them. I've hated to see the roses outside my window simply fall apart. Now I have something to do with the petals.

"The Writer's Refuge" is one of my must read blogs:

A bit of inspiration from Patricia Johns:

God bless.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Worth Dying For...

Jesus died for me.

I've said this all my life. I believe it, mostly.

As a survivor, I deal with things like C-PTSD, health problems, mental and emotional messes, but the struggle I worry about most is my spiritual health. The others are all survivable. Losing my spiritual health isn't.

Jesus died for everyone. He didn't make any exceptions. He never said, "I died for everyone, except Laurel." Never. He offers the gift freely to everyone, including me.

Not everyone will accept the gift. Their choice. They were given that, too. The right to choose.

Many have died for their faith. Now, in the Middle East, Christians are being crucified, beheaded, sold into slavery, because they refuse to renounce their faith.

I ask myself if I would be so brave, so steadfast. I want to believe I am. It has not been required of me.

What has been required of me is to live for my faith.

Am I willing to live for my faith?

I look at the scale and see the weight climb. Am I living for my faith?

I'm ashamed to admit I'm allowing the stress and other temporary problems in my life to reign over me, to hold more importance than my desire to live for Jesus.

I have moments, of course, when I allow my light to shine, when I choose Jesus over my weaknesses.

I'm an imperfect Christian.

I'm learning to live for Jesus. I make mistakes, and yes, Jesus gave me the gift of forgiveness, too. My Savior paved the way for me, taught the path to choose, and led by example. He provided the way to change my life, if I'll only follow.

I'm recommitting to not only being willing to die for Jesus but willingly living for Jesus.

The dawning of a new day.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Favorite Book...

At the conference, I was asked to chose my favorite of all my books. It's a bit like asking a parent which child is their favorite. At the time, I chose Tarnished Knight. Jack, the hero, appeared a few years before his story. I wrote a few paragraphs to an unknown stories simply to remove the scene from my head. Shortly thereafter, he showed up in one of the hero conversations.

April 27, 2012

Luck: Where's Laurel?
Matthew: Is she missing?
Luck: I haven't seen her for a week.
Matthew: *smirks* She finished rough edits for our story, last night. Mayhap she needs a break.
Luck: She needs to do some serious edits on our story.
James: Why are you complaining? At least she's finished your stories. We're still waiting for our HEA.
Jack: HEA?
James: Happily Ever After.
Jack: Stop complaining. At least you aren't stuck in the first chapter, wearing a kilt.
*snickers all round*
Jonathan: Stand down, gentleman, our fair lady is attending her first writers' conference.
Jack: Do we need to mount a rescue mission? I'm a fair hand at those.
Jonathan: *one brow raised* No. This is a long-expected party.
Luck: She's at another Lord of the Rings conference?
Jonathan: *huffs* No. A writers' conference.
Luck: Tolkien was a writer.
Jonathan: You're hopeless.
Luck: No, I'm not quite finished, and it's unsettling. Wipe the smug look off your face. We don't want to hear about your story being with the editor.
Jonathan: Life is good, gentleman.
Matthew: She's worked hard. She needs a rest.
Jack: *whispers* I peeked at the schedule. It is many things, but restful isn't one of them.
Jonathan: It will be a change, for her, and she'll return soon, fresh, and inspired.
Matthew: So, we wait?
Jonathan: We wait.
Luck: God bless.

I'd attended the Desert Dreams Conference hosted by Desert Rose, a chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Looking back, I think it's interesting that this is the first of the conversations to fit this format, which the gentleman have insisted be used ever since. Bossy characters.

Jack evolved and changed and evolved again. He even spent a brief period as a hero in a time-travel romance. Perhaps I'll share what little I wrote of it, sometime, as it will never be more than the page or so I jotted down to remove it from bouncing around in my head.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Of Heroes and Heroines

Researching my own writing style I'm hoping will help me become a better writer as I improve by recognizing what works for me and what doesn't.

Heroes: They appear as they will be by the end of the story. I have to deconstruct them, find out how they became heroes. I've been surprised more than once. The biggest surprise was Benjamin Grace's Possibilities. As I learned his story, I wanted to dump him in the trash more times than I can count. Reading his transformation still makes me cry.

Heroines: They show up at the beginning of their journey and honor me with the opportunity to watch them grow and become who they're meant to be. I didn't like Cassandra Reluctant Knight when I met her in Unexpected Possibilities. She wasn't a nice person. It was tempting to dump her, but she needed to tell her story.

A bit like the above picture, all my characters begin out of focus. My responsibility is to sharpen the view and make them clear for the world to see. I pray I do their stories justice.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What's my favorite writing music?

I enjoy listening to The Lord of the Rings' musical score by Howard Shore. I was given the opportunity to attend a lecture he presented, twelve years ago. It is always a joy to listen to someone share their passion. He's a gifted composer.

Sometimes I listen to Pandora, mostly my Christian Contemporary station. Sometimes, I listen to K-Love. I've subscribed to several music stations on YouTube. My favorite artists are Casting Crowns, Matthew West, MercyMe, Chris Tomlin, Mikeschair, Mandisa, Toby Mac, and others.

Music engages every part of the brain. I know it influences my moods.

Then there is this kind of music:

The rustle of leaves. The patter of rain. The rush of wind. The flash of lightning and crash of thunder.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

"Old Fashioned"

I bought the DVD and watched it this past weekend. What a romantic movie!

The hero and heroine are flawed. In their own ways, they're both stuck in a pattern of attempting to not mess up while struggling to move forward. There are surface differences between them, but they share commonalities on which they're able to build.

Clay's aunt was priceless. His friends give a wide range of personality types; people at different places in their journey. Each plays a part in influencing who Clay is and ultimately influences Amber in who she chooses to become.

I saw myself. I've some changes to make.

This is the kind of romance I want to write.