January 29, 2010

Fat Friday & Focus


I gained another 1.4 pounds. I know that's not much, but these little pesky pounds are adding up. As I left Weight Watchers last night, I told my friend that I just can't keep paying to gain weight. I've got to focus harder on the goal. I've got to keep my sights on prize and take steady steps to achieve it. Sure, it will be slow going, but anything worth pursuing takes time.

So it is with writing. Writing is definitely not a quick and easy road. Writing takes a lot of time and a lot of sweat. From what I hear, also a lot of tears. It takes a lot of focus. Sure we get distracted, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize of publication and take those steps to reach that goal.

I'm reading a non-fiction book that talked about risk. Reaching our potential for God is all about risk. It takes a great amount of faith to be all that God has intended us to be. Peter risked much when he stepped out of the boat to walk on water to Jesus. Sure, he took his eyes off Jesus and promptly sunk, but you know what? HE WALKED ON WATER! He was able to see and know that with God all things are possible. He knew without a doubt God could enable him for any purpose God called him to.

If we are called to write, if writing is a God given passion within us, then we can rest assured that He will enable us to write for His purpose. So dream big. Write with passion. Learn all you can. Get those words down on paper. Sure, we may falter. Sure, we may loose our focus at times. But each word we write is a step on the faith journey.

Let your journey be filled with joy, knowing that you risk much in stepping out in faith to reach your God-given potential.

Happy writing this weekend! (or happy editing, as editing is what I will be doing!)


January 27, 2010

Are You At War?


I'm reading The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. Oh.My.Goodness! This is such a good book. What I like about it are the short chapters, full of words that motivate and inspire. It is based on the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu, written well before Christ. Sun Tzu wrote about war and the tactics and strategies needed to win wars. Well, that is what Bell's book is, but for writers regarding the writing life.


It is divided up into three sections:

1. Reconnaissance: about the mental game of writing.

2. Tactic: about the craft of writing

3. Strategy: about the business of writing (publishing)


Today I want to add a few of my favorite quotes from the first section, Reconnaissance.


"The writers of great books zealously learn the craft of their profession so they can release the power and depth of their imagination and experience." p. 11


"Every moment spent whining about your writing career is a moment of creative energy lost." p. 27


"Determine that you will act as if you had no fear. Act as if you are a successful writer. Don't do this with arrogance, but with determination." p. 30


"Finish your novel, because you learn more that way than any other." p. 65



Aren't those great quotes? Seriously, this book is a MUST for every writer. It is not a "how to" book, but a book that fills in the gaps and highlights the important stuff for writers. There is so much good stuff in this one!




January 25, 2010

Awards & Happiness

I've received some blog awards the past couple of months and have lagged behind in sharing them. So here we go...





I was given the Inspiration Award from Jeanette Levellie at Audience of One . Thank you, sweet friend!











I was given the From Me to You - Picasso Award from one of my critters, Courtney Reese, at Work In Progress. I'm supposed to list 7 random facts about me...

  1. 1. I have to read every day. I can't go to sleep if I don't read at least one chapter of a good book.

2. I love gummy bears and worms. (That's not a secret, because even Keli Gwyn KNOWS!)

3. I do not like to be late and I don't enjoy waiting on others who are late.

4. I have found I edit better with jummy bears by my side and in my mouth.

5. I'm 5'9" and love to wear heels. I don't feel frumpy like I do when I wear flats.

6. I toured Paris in one day. (And I definitely need to go back and do it slower!)

7. I can't stand hair that is not attached to a person. It creeps me out.








I was also given the Happy Blog Award from Diana Paz at Writing Roller Coasters and from Tiana Lei at Spilled Ink. This is where I list 10 things that make me happy!





1. Worshipping God.




2. My children...silly though they may be.



3. Coffee with fat-free vanilla caramel creamer....YUM.






4. Thunderstorms, rainy days, and clouds in the sky.





5. Reese's!!!! Chocolate and Peanut Butter together is a piece of heaven.




6. Going to the movies, especially with buttered popcorn!




7. My love affair with the written word.




8. Writing!!!

9. Gummy bears (and worms)


10. Candles! (especially during a rainy day!)




I am going to break the rules and not pass these awards on. Please forgive me. So many of you have these already and truly, you all deserve them! You are awesome!
***I'm excited about some of my future posts! I have been reading The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell and it is sooooo good! It is a must for all writers! I hope to share some of the things that have stood out to me as I have been reading it. Mmmmm, it's good!
Have a great day!


January 18, 2010

Unplugging


Yes, it is Unplug Week in the Blogosphere and I am going to participate. No new blogs, no Twitter, *gasp* and no internet (well, maybe a little). I need to hunker down and edit, edit, edit.


Have a super week, full of productivity and JOY!


January 15, 2010

Fat Friday & New Resolve


It had been four weeks since I weighed in. Being the holiday season, and then going on my 25th anniversary trip, did not help my weight loss focus. So today I stepped on the scale boldly, knowing it would not be good, and knowing that it was enough that I had returned to the WW meeting for a fresh start. Yes, I gained about 4 pounds, but that's okay. It could have been worse, I suppose!

So here's to a new start.

And who doesn't love a new start?! Everyone loves new beginnings. There is something fresh and energizing about starting anew on any given project. Maybe you are starting a new diet. Maybe you are getting an exercize regime going. Maybe you are beginning a new WIP or starting to do your revisions. All these beginnings give energy and new focus to our lives.

Sometimes when I begin to focus on one area of my life and get disciplined (doing anything with passion does take some discipline to keep going!), it seems to transform other areas of my life. Some of that excitement transforms other areas in my life like a chain reaction. Focusing on eating right spills over and makes me want to incorporate some exercise into my life. No...not like running and sweating (I hate to sweat), but taking the stairs when I can, or parking far away from the store so I can get some walking in. It's all good, this chain reaction thing!

So what beginnings or new starts spill over into other areas for you?


P.S. I just got my copy of The Husband Tree by Mary Conneally in the mail today and I am sooooo excited! I can't wait to read this book!!!! I just wish I could sneak it into work tomorrow. :)


January 13, 2010

Critiquing Does Help!


I am in the midst of editing my first finished novel and have joined a crit group to get some feedback on my work. Can I just say that everyone should have other sets of eyes look at their work at some point? Yes, indeed, you definitely need other people to help you learn how to make your book better.

I've been through my novel a few times, but am so new at this revision thing, I'm not great at finding problems. So it was a humbling experience to see all the issues brought up when the crits came back. These ladies were kind and encouraging, but my face did burn with embarrassment when I saw the stupid mistakes I had made.

Hhmmm, you mean I never realized that a knight would question why a teenage boy couldn't ride a horse? Hel-lo! Why would a knight agree to take on this boy (which is really an escaped woman from a convent) as his squire and teach him how to ride? And why would this knight blindly accept the fact this boy can't ride a horse? Why, indeed?

Grrrr...I felt really stupid.

But you know, I was so glad to have it pointed out to me. I needed someone to show me what was wrong, so I could make it better! Isn't it amazing how you can justify the things you write, while unknowingly open up huge plot holes in the process?

Or maybe you don't write stupid things like me.

But if you have, would you mind sharing? What silly things have you written that you later caught in your editing, or were pointed out to you by others?

Come on, make me feel better!


January 11, 2010

Treehouse Getaway


I had the best time EVER at the Lofty Lookout Treehouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas! Seriously, it was the most relaxing, most indulgent place I've stayed....ever. Part of the reason was that, being January, many of the restaurants and shops were closed for the winter season.


Don't get me wrong, we found some excellent places to eat some delicious food, but there wasn't much going on around town. We ended up in the treehouse, watching movies, reading books, watching the birds, and taking naps. It was just what we needed.

It was very cold while we were there, with a few inches of snow on the ground. But, I have to say that the floors in the treehouse were HEATED and I could walk around barefoot and be warm! We lit fires in the pretty fireplace and enjoyed getting away from the hustle and bustle of life.


I think going in the fall would be a wondrous time to go back! Up among the vibrant, colorful leaves on the trees in the fall would be the time to go. Ahhhh....another year, perhaps.


So as you read this, I will be at work, trying to catch up on a week's worth of work. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things, but it's not likely. Goodness, I've been off for three weeks straight and it will take a day or two to get back in the groove of insanity.



If I don't respond to all your comments, you will know that I just collapsed in bed early, okay? Am I whining? I promised to not pull out the cranky pants, so I better slap a smile on my face!



Yall have a great day!

January 04, 2010

My 25th Anniversary!


Tomorrow is my Silver Wedding Anniversary. You heard right! It's my 25th anniversary! Impressive, I know. And I am really feeling older now. More mature, right? *snort*

I met my husband, John, when I was 17. I had graduated high school, and moved to Houston, Texas to attend a Bible school that was affiliated with his chuch. (His dad was the preacher.) I moved there two weeks before I turned 18.

On my 18th birthday, John presented me with a dozen roses. Well, that was that, and we began dating. We dated for a year and he proposed on my 19th birthday, down on the beach at Galveston. Very romantic. We were married 4 months later, which I know is way too fast!

We have four wonderful children, one beautiful daughter-in-law, and one fat cat.(not so pleased about the cat) We've lived in 2 states, 4 cities, and have been at 6 churches.

Life has been full of blessings and I am forever grateful that God led me to a wonderful man whose laughter lifts my heart, whose faith keeps me grounded, and whose love holds me close.

I will be unplugged this week since my husband is taking me to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to stay in a treehouse! I told him I would leave the laptop at home, but would take a book or two...or three. Here is a link to see the treehouse we will be staying in! The Lofty Lookout Treehouse.

So have fun this week without me. I know I may have withdrawals being away from my laptop that long, but I am looking forward to the rest, relaxation, and being with my best friend in the world.


January 02, 2010

My NoKiss Blogfest Scene

So today is the day of The No-Kiss Blogfest, hosted by Frankie. My best no-kiss scene from my WIP is the scene I posted for the Kissing Day Blogfest, but this one gives a hint of a wannabe kiss.

To set it up...Medieval England...Malcolm and Jocelyn were forced into marriage and he is trying to woo her and yet give her room to learn to love him on her own terms. They have just come back from a ride where Malcolm inspected the fields (where he almost kisses her in the stable...my scene from Kissing Day) She asks him to come to the dinner feast and he does. They are seated at the head table in the Great Hall of the castle and his men and other guests are eating at tables around them.

“You complained not once while waiting for me to finish with the field workers.” He shook his head in wonder.

Jocelyn frowned. “You think me impatient?”

Malcolm shrugged. “It seems you have a short memory, my dear lady.” He smiled, as she drew herself up straighter on the bench. She was so predictable. “You forget how you groaned at the slowness of your sword lessons; you whined at each and every delay on our journey to Ramslea; and you heaped your frustration upon me when things did not happen in a timely manner—at least timely in your eyes.”

Malcolm put a finger to the full lips ready to refute his words, and he let his finger trail the edges of her lips. He leaned in close and watched with satisfaction as her eyes grew wide, and her chest rose with the breath she held fast.

“But you surprised me today,” he said in a soft voice. “You said not one impatient word, and you brought me water to quench my thirst.”

His finger moved from her lips and gave in to the temptation to caress her smooth, rosy cheek. “And I have been thirsty of late.”

How he wanted to drink from those lips once again. He watched, captivated, as her lips parted and her teeth caught the crimson swell of her lower lip.

A roar of laughter shook his thoughts free, and he pulled back and blindly grabbed for his drink. He glanced toward his rowdy men and wished he hadn’t. They stared at him with daft grins on their faces, and Ian had the gall to waggle his brows at him.

If he weren’t here at Jocelyn’s request, he’d haul Ian out to the lists and give him a lesson in respect and deference for his lord.

But he was at this feast for her. For his lady.


*********************

And now for one of my favorite clips of an almost kiss! Lois and Clark in Smallville have really been heaping on the tension this year! *heaving huge sigh* Enjoy!




So there you go, my contribution to the No Kiss Blogfest! Head over to Frankie's blog and enjoy all the fun no/almost kissing scenes!


January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!


After reviewing the past year, I’ve have decided on my goals for the New Year. Breaking it down in several categories, here they are, in no particular order.



PERSONAL:

1. Have a family over for dinner and games once a month. (I need to get to know people better in my new church.)
2. Lose 20 more pounds and keep going to Weight Watcher Meetings.
3. Remember friends’ birthdays better. (Keep birthday gifts and cards on hand!)
4. Read: In different genres. Six non-fiction/motivational/inspirational books. The Bible in a different translation.
5. Take my vitamins regularly. (I’ve already been accomplishing this one with the help of Gummy Vitamins! YUM!)
6. Leave my Cranky Pants in the closet and wear my Fun Pants more!

WRITING:

1. FINISH EDITING MY WIP!!!!! I will accomplish this before anything else!
2. Learn to write a synopsis.
3. Learn to write a query letter.
4. Enter 3 or 4 contests.
5. Begin AND FINISH the first draft of my next book.
6. Read 3 Writing Craft books.
7. Break the habit of using exclamation points so much. (See #1 Writing Goal)

So there they are--my lofty goals for the year. I am sure I won’t meet all of them, but if I don’t reach for something great, then I will never attain greatness. Not that I want to be great, mind you, but I’d like to feel successful in life.

May the New Year bring you joy and peace. May your fingers fly fast and furious over your keyboards and may God your minds with an abundance of creativity.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Reminder: The NoKiss Blogfest is tomorrow over at Frankie's blog. Sign up to post your almost kiss scene or just go throughout the list to read them.


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