Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Glorious Progress

Hubby's been working on our upstairs, and is he making progress. My beautiful, lovely, gorgeous walk-in closet is the same as done. Doorway needs trim and that's it.

I couldn't wait; had to move my stuff in it. Sigh. I totally love it!!!!

He put tons of hanging room: for all sorts of clothes. I have a belt hanger and lots of shelf spaces for shoes and my bags. PLUS, I have shelves to store things. Carpet and a wall ironing board.

Who could ask for more?

He's started on my book shelves now and then my desk. My own perfect space to write and whatever. Then . . . someday, it'll all be done.

Glorious progress!

Quote:
The world is round, and the place which may seem like the end, may also be only the beginning. --Ivy Baker Priest


Blessings!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Promised You . . .

Did you read the interview with Linore Rose Burkard I posted? Did you get her book?

Well, here are some reasons I like her writing:

  • She thumbs her nose (my wording) at the rules. What I mean is, she uses omniscient viewpoint liberally in her book and does it well. That is a no-no in the CBA writing world. At least for most people. You've got to be "big" to get away with it. You've got to know what you're doing.
  • Her characters are real. When you read her book, you can see Charles and Julie Forsythe--the parents--and their concern for their still unmarried (and her "fanciful notions") daughter. You can see Ariana in all her youthful escapades and Mr. Mornay in his delightful (to the readers) boredom with society and his disdain of all the fawning mothers with eligble daughters. Aunt Bentley and her determination to do the "right" thing even when its a bother, adds flavor to the whole book.
  • Too, Linore uses authentic descriptions and words that carry you straight back to the regency period.

A new author, look for "Before the Season Ends" from Harvest House. You'll not be sorry if you like good historicals.





Quote:
Face what you think you believe and you will be surprised. --Wm. Hale White


Blessings

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Updating and All That Stuff

I'm trying to keep my head above water. Really.
I didn't shout this out because I wasn't sure where I was going to go with it--and still don't know.

But . . .

I was sort of promised an offer of a book contract. A small traditional press, yes, but a traditional press. A reputable one.

This was for one of my romances and I'm pleased.

But . . .

not sure YET exactly what to do. Diana (agent) and I talked about it. We reached a mutual decision. Now we'll see where that leads. More later when I know something.


And . . .

I've been editing and editing and editing and . . . well, you get the gist, of my historical suspense. I have wonderful critique partners that slash (ouch) and suggest (yes!) and brainstorm (what a help) and encouragement (ah, yes!). So with all these suggestions, I've gone over the whole manuscript at least FIVE or SIX times. I'm just about done. Maybe one more time skimming.

Then I'm sending it to Diana so she can start the rounds with publishing houses.

On my contemporary suspense: She's sending it to some more houses. We'll see where that goes. She says, it's just a matter of finding the right editor at the right time. Sigh.

I've suspended work on my cozy mystery because of all the editing, plus I hear that CBA publishing houses are not receiving anything in that genre right now. We'll see about that. Diana suggested I turn it into a suspense. Brooding on that one.

I did three chapters on the second book in my contemporary suspense series, but am cutting a lot of that and practically starting over.

I'm also anxious to get going on the second book in my historical suspense.

I have another one hubby and I are collaborating on that I need to work on.

I'm also musing on a short story that I've kept in mind that will take place in the early 1900's. A hobo story.

And I could always work on my "hitman" story. Don't you wonder what that's about?

Then I need to perhaps expand my romances.

Wouldn't you say I've got plenty to keep me busy?

Love ya all!





Quote:
I know so many writers who are a hundred times better than me and have longer, greater ideas than mine, but they gave up; they stopped. The biggest talent you can have is determination. Do you use the writing process as your ongoing excuse to keep exploring the world, meeting people, and learning things? If you can do that, then the writing itself will be its own payoff and reward. --Chuck Palaknuik

Blessings!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Chilling Story . . .


Read on for a story that caught my attention when a dear friend sent it to me this week.



AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY EVENING HYMNS,
THE CHURCH'S PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP,
WALKED OVER TO THE PULPIT AND,
BEFORE HE GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE EVENING,
HE BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST MINISTER
WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD
THE CONGREGATION THAT THE GUEST MINISTER
WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
AND THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS
TO GREET THE CHURCH AND SHARE
WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE.

WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP
TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN TO SPEAK.

'A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON
WERE SAILING OFF THE PACIFIC COAST,' HE BEGAN.
'WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM BLOCKED
ANY ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE.
THE WAVES WERE SO HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH
THE FATHER WAS AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR,
HE COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED.'

THE OLD MAN HESITATED FOR A MOMENT,
MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH TWO TEENAGERS
WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SERVICE BEGAN, LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.

THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY,
'GRABBING A RESCUE LINE, THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE
THE MOST EXCRUCIATING DECISION OF HIS LIFE:
TO WHICH BOY WOULD HE THROW THE OTHER END
OF THE LIFE LINE. HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO
MAKE THE DECISION. THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON
WAS A CHRISTIAN AND HE, ALSO, KNEW THAT HIS
SON'S FRIEND WAS NOT.
THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION
COULD NOT BE MATCHED BY THE TORRENT OF WAVES.

AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, 'I LOVE YOU, SON!'

HE THREW OUT THE LIFELINE TO HIS SON'S FRIEND.

BY THE TIME THE FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND
BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT, HIS SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK OF NIGHT.

HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.

BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE SITTING UP
STRAIGHT IN THE PEW, ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT OF THE OLD MINISTER'S MOUTH.

'THE FATHER,' HE CONTINUED, 'KNEW HIS SON WOULD
STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS AND HE COULD NOT
BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON'S FRIEND STEPPING INTO
AN ETERNITY WITHOUT JESUS.. THEREFORE,
HE SACRIFICED HIS SON TO SAVE THE SON'S FRIEND. '

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE SHOULD
DO THE SAME FOR US. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WE COULD BE SAVED.

I URGE YOU TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO RESCUE YOU AND
TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE HE IS THROWING OUT
TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE.'

WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND SAT BACK DOWN
IN HIS CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END. HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL.

WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN'S SIDE.

'THAT WAS A NICE STORY,' POLITELY STATED ONE OF THEM,
'BUT I DON'T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC FOR A
FATHER TO GIVE UP HIS ONLY SON'S LIFE IN HOPES
THAT THE OTHER BOY WOULD BECOME A CHRISTIAN.'

'WELL, YOU'VE GOT A POINT THERE,' THE OLD MAN REPLIED, GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE
BROADENED HIS NARROW FACE.
HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS AND SAID,
'IT SURE ISN'T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT?
BUT, I'M STANDING HERE TODAY TO
TELL YOU THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF
WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP
HIS SON FOR ME.

YOU SEE...
I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON'S FRIEND.'





Quote:
Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatique. --Andre Gide


Blessings

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Book Give Away!!!!

Check it out! My friend, Peg, has got a great blog (with different participants, including ME). She's extended the giveaway for

"The Bishop's Daughter" by Tiffany L. Warren

I haven't read it, but if Peg's got it on her blog, I'd say it'll be worth reading.

Here's her blogspot. Go, go, go! Deadline for comments is Tuesday, January 20th. A good way to get a free book!

Her address:
http://tinyurl.com/a4smog


Have fun!


Quote:
Well done is better than well said. --Benjamin Franklin


Blessings!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Review of Before the Season Ends
by Linore Rose Burkard


England, 1813
Romantic woes at home send Ariana Forsythe to her Aunt Bentley's town house in the fashionable Mayfair district of London. There she finds worse troubles than those that prompted her flight from home. Under her aunt's watchful eye, Ariana is soon steeped in high society--and at odds with Mr. Phillip Mornay, London's current darling rogue.

Then, unexpectedly, rumour of a scandal changes Ariana forever. Her faith and her future are at stake in an unexpected adventure that gains even the Prince Regent's attention.

Will Ariana's faith survive this test? And what about her heart? For it is Ariana's heart that most threatens to betray the truths she has always believed in. When she finds herself backed against a wall, betrothed to a man who cannot share her faith, how can it ever turn out right?

Ever yearn for the writing of a classic?
Ever wish you could pick up a book that transports you
right into the era without all the modern day worry of rules?

From the first sentence, Linore captures a regency flavor that has the reader hungering for more. The characters are vivid and individualistic, each giving the reader a reason to root for him or her. Her spiritual touches set the tone for a new, exciting novel that will refresh the spirit.

Young, independent Ariana is determined to do things her way. Her parents have their own ideas of what’s proper for their beloved, yet odd, daughter. Aunt Bentley is incorrigible, but just the person to bring out a properly bred daughter. Enter Mr. Mornay, the darling of society.

Jaded, moneyed, handsome, and bored, he’s in the perfect attitude to be waylaid by an expected sensation from the country.

Altogether a lovely book that has made my list of favorites.

Harvest House, Publisher

Happy Reading




Quote:
By asking for the impossible, we obtain the best possible. --Italian proverb


Blessings!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Writer to Reader: Blog Launches Monday, January 12, 2009

Writer to Reader: Blog Launches Monday, January 12, 2009




This is a fantastic website. If you're interested in checking out new inspirational books that are out, keeping up on your favorite authors, or would like to WIN books, follow this blog! Peg's a great friend and an excellent writer. Good job, Peg, with your debut blog!!!
Linore Rose Burkard . . .

visits today!

Folks, you're going to enjoy this book. Don't walk, but run out to get it. Tomorrow, I'd like to talk about why this book "works" for me. Today, just sit back and enjoy an insight into this author's writing life.



Linore, what drew you to writing Regency Romance novels?

Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen books gave me a love for the period, and there weren't any Christian regencies to be found. I wanted to change that.


Where did you find your inspiration for Ariana and Phillip?

I'm not sure. I think they're both amalgamations of people I've read about and known.


What do you think we could learn today from how society operated in the Regency period?

England in the 1800s is a world away from the 21st century. Times have changed, but people haven't. Men and women of the time were concerned with their appearances, their finances, their futures, finding the right spouse, and so on, just as we are, today. How they went about pursuing these ends is where all the difference lies, however, and this is precisely where the interest and adventure opens up for writers.

Bringing to life the means and methods of everyday life and timeless concerns from the regency. It is fun and enlightening as a glimpse into the past, but readers can also identify with the basic human need to be genuinely loved for oneself, no matter the setting or time period, and to be certain of one's convictions concerning life, eternity, and faith.

Having said that, it is good to remind modern readers that valuing one's purity can be mainstream, as it was then; or that the struggle to find a true love and a sense that one's life has value, has always been a human issue.


What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

I hope my readers will feel as though they've been transported to the Regency for a good, satisfying visit; While they're visiting, they'll be reminded that God is involved in their life, and that happy endings are possible for everyone.


Any Regency romance is going to be compared to Jane Austen's novels ~ how are your books similar / different?

I don't think most regencies are written with this comparison in mind at all. However, other people say my book is "Austen-like." That is a huge compliment, and one I would love to live up to. The sequel, The House in Grosvenor Square, is releasing in 2009.


Do you have more Regency novels planned?

My editor and I are tossing around ideas right now. I do have a few more regencies in mind.


What are you working on at the moment?

A sneak peek, please.I'm exploring whether to do a third book in the Regency Series, which at present is comprised of Before the Season Ends, and The House in Grosvenor Square. Book three would begin about five years later (about 1818) and follow the lives of a number of people who were introduced in the first two books. I would also probably introduce one new couple.


Do you ever bang your head against the wall from the dreaded writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?

I do something else. If I can't write a scene for a book, I can always write an article. I can update my blog. I can't really force a scene when it isn't coming; I find that getting busy and doing something else is the best thing I can do for the book and for me (rather than beat myself up). One thing about having an online presence today is that there is never a shortage of tasks to be done, including a great many writing tasks. Since I write historical (regency) romance, there are always tons of subjects I can research and write about, putting them into articles for my ezine, or out there on the web.


Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters, or a host of other problems. What's the most difficult part of writing for you (or was when you first started on your novel journey)?

I think for me the biggest challenge was to believe that I could write a novel in small increments. As a mom of five, four of whom are still home year-round (one is in college), having frequent interruptions is a fact of life.

Writing takes a concentration so deep so that when I first started doing scenes, I would find myself getting woozy after standing up. I was shocked at the level of exertion it took to use my brain that hard, I guess! It happens less now--I guess I've grown accustomed to it. And I've learned to appreciate those small blocks of time. Ten minutes in a waiting room can yield a part of a scene I couldn't get done at home. Every little bit counts. I don't despise small beginnings.

There are times when I'm in a deep level of involvement with a story or a character, and then getting interrupted can break the mood; but I'm getting better all the time at picking up where I left off, no matter how deeply I've got to dive to get back into the character or situation. For people like me with busy households, this is a must-have ability. I believe it can be the difference between making that deadline or not.


How did (or do) you climb out (overcome it)?

If I do get stuck at some point in the plot, I let it simmer in my mind. I also exercise--for some reason, when I am physically active, my brain gets going in a way that doesn't always happen when I'm sitting with my laptop before me.

Swimming and doing the treadmill (walking) almost always result in wonderful new ideas I just can 't wait to get on paper. Sometimes, I've even had to stop walking and run to the pc just to get the idea down so I don't forget. By the way, I always pray for the right idea, too. There is no better writer than God.

The second "nifty" way to solve a plot (or other) problem in a book is to let it sit awhile without reading it. When you come back to it after a long enough interval (as long as you can give it) solutions just present themselves. I find the same thing happens to me with crossword puzzles--if I'm stuck, I put it down and when I come back to it--even an hour later--the word is there. So the key is, give yourself permission to take a break.


Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins, or do you have to tweeze each word out?

In general, I write more than I need and later have to cut back. I don't use a word count, but I may set a goal of one chapter a day or two chapters for a busy week.

Other times, I don't think in terms of chapters at all, just events. I may break an event down into four scenes, say, and so my goal for that day will be to get the whole event on paper. In other words, finish the four scenes.

Life changes so rapidly with the children, that for me, a hard and fast writing goal just wouldn't work. And, I focus on results, not time spent. Instead of, "Now I'll write for three hours," I say, "Now I'll have this or that happen to a character, or, 'I'll show a different side to this person." When I have accomplished that goal, no matter how long it took, I feel satisfied, and only then.



Quote:
The future comes one day at a time. --Dean Acheson


Blessings

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I Wish For You . . .


My Wish for You in 2009
May peace break into your house
and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans
become a magnet of $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline
and may laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires
and may happiness slap you across the face
and may your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address!

In simple words . . .
May 2009 be the best year of your life!!!


Quote:
Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow. --Yiddish proverb


Blessings

Story Sparks and Six Authors: Featuring Amber Schamel Today!

Welcome to the Story Sparks multi-Author Blog Tour. Between  May 21-26, 2018,  where readers get a chance to enter and win ebooks from s...