May 29, 2009

It Just Ain't Happening!

You know the days...the weeks...where you plan and you have every expectation, but it just doesn't happen? Well, this is my week. I had planned to post about Secondary Characters from Donald Maass's book, Fire in Fiction, but couldn't pull it together.

Yeah, I know I am taking the time to post here, right now, but this doesn't take any forethought and planning. This was the last week at the elementary school where I work. Can anyone say ChAoTiC? My goodness, between the parties, the awards assemblies, and the parents coming and going, I thouht I would just drop dead at the end of each day. No thinking going on in this head, for sure.

Of course, it doesn't help that amid all this hustle and bustle, I have a son graduating this weekend! Yep. I've been preparing for a reception for him after the graduation Sunday afternoon and have another reception to go to tomorrow. Did I mention I have to go to work tomorrow morning to wrap things up with the teachers? On Saturday? Sigh...

All this to say, next week I will have some good posts to give you. First, my thoughts on Donald Maass's Secondary Characters chapter, and then I will give away a copy of Julie Lessman's, A Passion Most Pure!!!! Oh my, what a lovely book, indeed!

p.s. I wanted to pull out the cranky pants this week, but refrained....for the most part! I did whine juuusstt a little bit though!

May 26, 2009

Awarded The Lovely Blog Award

I was awarded this One Lovely Blog Award by Lynnette Bonner, who has a wonderful, writing tip-filled blog called Writer's Journey. Isn't that just lovely?

Now it is my turn to award this to 10 blogs that I follow. In no particular order:

1. Jody Hedlund's On The Path blog. She is a double finalist in the 2009 Genesis, just snagged an agent, and has a blog filled with great advice and thought provoking posts. And she is sooo nice!

2. Keli Gwyn's Romance Writers on the Journey blog. Keli interviews romance writers in all stages of writing, newbies and multi-published. She has guest bloggers and has alot of book give-aways. And she is sooo nice!

3. Jill Kemerer's blog, who blogs on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays to get writers fired up! And she is sooo nice!

4. Katie's fun blog, Brain Throw Up, who is getting short stories published and has alot of intersting things to say! And she is sooo nice!

5. Krista's Reflections is a great blog with alot of personality. Krista has a dream and shares her journey to reach that dream. And she is sooo nice!

6. Jeanne, The Character Therapist, has a fabulously informative blog called Mind Healing Fiction (In Progress) Jeanne has the unique ability to be a therapist for your characters, helping you to develope your characters into a more believable hero/heroine/or "bad" guy. And she is sooo nice!

7. Jaime's blog, The Jaime Reports, is a beautiful blog with book reviews, giveaways, and general writing tips and musings on the writing journey. And she is sooo nice!

8. Jessica's blog, BookingIt, is such a delightful blog full of writing tips and fun quips about her writing journey. She loves to have fun and it shows in her blog. And she is sooo nice!

9. Susan Reinhardt's blog, Christian Writer/Reader Connection, where she does book reviews, has author interviews, and book giveaways. She is a lovely, gracious lady and gives so much of herself on her blog. And she is sooo nice!

10. Jeanette Levellie's blog, Audience of One, is a wonderful and encouraging blog full of her journey in writing for the ONE who really matters. She's a sweetheart! And she is sooo nice!

Whew! I wish I could give everyone an award, but I can't even though you all deserve one!

I've been reading through Fiction of Fire by Donald Maass and I will post on Thursday about his thoughts on secondary characters. Very interesting stuff.



May 19, 2009

A Week of Pure Passion


There is a fantastic book giveaway contest on My Friend Amy's blog. She is calling it A Week of Pure Passion, to highlight and promote Julie Lessman's fabulous books, A Passion Most Pure, A Passion Redeemed, and A Passion Denied.

I have to sadly confess (gasp, an adverb!) that I have not read any of these books. I know, I know, it's shocking. But I DID win A Passion Most Pure on Susan Reinhardt's blog and should be receiving it early next week!!!

I've been told the sigh-producing and heart-thumping romance in these three Christian books is breathtakingly fantastic. I can't wait to see for myself.

So hop on over for a chance to win one or all three or even a critique by Julie Lessman...for you writer's out there!


May 17, 2009

Featuring My Youngest

I've talked about two of my kids so far and felt it was time for the youngest, my baby. Why is it the youngest always stays young in a momma's mind? This young man is now a teenager, 13, and at 5'10' has passed me up in size. Well, maybe height, definitely not weight.

My youngest is a gentle soul, kind and compassionate. He never has needed a whole lot of correction. I don't know if that is because he learned from his siblings what NOT to do, or if, after rearing 3 others, was just too tired. Who knows? But he has been an easy, non-complainer kid, who goes with the flow and takes whatever.

Being a teen, he is into video games, but has recently become an avid reader. (Yea!) He loves to play basketball and has developed some good skills and is really fun to watch.

He is one of those kids who is invited over and parents say he is one of the nicest kids ever. I've been told by parents that my son is the only one who can get along with their kids. Maybe that's because he is unflappable and can take just about anything that comes his way. He can take it without retaliation. I know in time he will learn what to let go and what to take a stand on.

I am proud of this young man and who he is becoming. He has given his heart to the Lord and has many traits that ring of being a Christ follower and for that, I am thankful. May God continue to strengthen him and lead him. May the Lord provide good friendships that will help keep him on a good path.

And may God give me wisdom to lay out a path for him to see God more fully and fall completely in love with the One who holds him in the palm of His hand.


May 13, 2009

I've Been Interviewed!

I am thrilled to say that I have been interviewed by Keli Gwyn on her blog, Romance Writer's on the Journey. She is such a generous encourager and has wonderful interviews of writers in all stages of their writing journey. I don't know that I have anything worth sharing, being so new to the writing journey, but who knows, you might learn something new about me!

Come check out the interview and leave a comment for a chance at winning a $15 gift card to either Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, or Sees Candies.

Click on the link here or on the link in the first paragraph.
http://romancewritersonthejourney.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/meet-writer-sherrinda-ketchersid/


May 12, 2009

To Giggle Or Not To Giggle

I like to laugh. Alot. And I am lucky that I have married a really funny guy. One that can put up with my goofiness. I've always been a shy, quiet kind of girl, but once you get to know me, I come out of my shell and can be "real", at least the real me, the silly me.

So here I am, writing a medieval novel, and I keep wanting to put funny stuff in it. The thing is, it just doesn't seem to fit at times. I keep writing things that crack me up, but later think it would be better served in a contemporary setting. So I am filing those away for future works, while trying to find a balance of fun and with the flavor of the medieval times. Surely, though, they had funny people back then, right? People are people, no matter the era. There had to be some Jerry Lewis or Jim Carey types back then!

All that to say, I hope some of my humor...my fun side...comes through my writing. I want a light hearted read, entertaining and engaging. Nothing deep for me, just a happy romp back in time.

So, does anyone out there write funny stuff? If not, what do you write?


May 09, 2009

Got Fire?


I recently won The Fire In Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques To Make Your Novel Great by Donald Maass on Novel Journey. I am not rushing through this book, but am trying to savor and soak in all he has to teach. I thought I'd share with you some of the things I am learning as I read through this amazing book. You definitely need to get this book. It will be a great tool in your writing arsenal.


In the Introduction, Maass speaks of the myth that writing is magic. Not so, says he! Too often multi-published authors will sometimes spit out a not-so-fantastic novel. Do they get in a rut? Do they lose their muse? Or do they lose their passion?


Maass offers the point that passion can be harnessed and used as a tool. Passion happens when an author makes every word come alive and add spark each and every page. It can be learned.


Mass boils down the problem to the basic reason why some authors lose that fire, that passion. From his experience, he sees two types of authors. There are the Status Seekers and the Storytellers. Hard to distinguish at first, the types emerge as the journey progresses.


Status Seekers want to be published. Storytellers do too, but a Status Seeker will not devote all his energies in making the best book possible. He will do all he can to figure out how to get published; how he can do this or that to make it acceptable, how to find the right formula for success, etc.


Storytellers want to spin the best story possible. While they might not like the waiting that comes with submissions, they persistently push forward to become the best writer they can be. Sure, they may want the process to be faster, but they focus on their writing. My favorite line in this intro is this:



"Storytellers look not to publishers to make them successful, but
to themselves."


Storytellers want each and very one of their books to be better than the one before. The are constantly looking to make the great story.


It made me wonder what I am? I think maybe a little of both at this point. What about you?




May 07, 2009

Adverb Murderer

I've been going through some of my first chapters in my WIP to kill of the adverbs (among many other things that need fixing!). As I go through, sometimes it is near impossible find a better way of expressing what that one little adverb says. I want to leave it. I really, really want to leave it!

I try to rearrange the sentence, experimenting with different words and phrases and realize after a LONG amount of time spent on it, I really like the adverb best.

I am reading one of my favorite authors, Lynn Kurland. Her new book, Till There Was You, is full of adverbs. Seriously, it has many, many -ly adverbs. I wonder if it is because she is a multi-published best selling author that allows her to get by with that. It doesn't distract me from the book (well, since I am reading this one critically, it does) and it even adds to the flavor of it, if I were to be honest.

So my question is this, do you leave adverbs in because you like them? Or do you ruthlessly cut them out. Oh wait, let me rephrase that... Or do you cut them out like a maniac, murdering them them one by one?


May 03, 2009

Happy Dance Days


I am reading The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg as a devotional reading during my quiet time. It has been such a blessing and a perfect addition to my Bible reading.


I was struck by the chapter on The Discipline of Celebration. How often do we go through each day, struggling to get things done, hurrying to complete the next task on the list, going through the motions of life? Too often, if you are like me.


God calls us to be like Him and He is a God of joy. He is a Rejoicer. He is a Happy Dancer! And I bet He can bust a move, don't you think?


It's hard to find the joy sometimes in seasons of trial and pain, but we can become joyful people. "True joy...comes only to those who have devoted their lives to something greater than personal happiness." It is in His strength that we learn how to be joyful. We can discipline ourselves and learn to see the joy.


A few weeks ago, there were certain things that really drained all joy out of me. It was affecting my attitude. It was even affecting my writing! How could I write romantic, loving scenes when I was so sad, so mad, and so frustrated?


It was around that time I quit getting on the computer in the mornings before work and devoted more time with God. (Now don't think you have to do this, because it was what God was calling me to do to get my attention.) It was then I began reading this book. And it was then I started to learn how to do the steps of the Happy Dance.


Now I try to have a Happy Dance Day every day. Why don't you give it a try? For those of you who write, it just might make your writing sing! Or maybe to even dance!


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