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This is Halloween

This is Halloween

One of my favorite songs in all of its original movie glory! “I am the who when you call who’s there…”

Have a blessed Holiday my friends!

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FINISHED! Just in time to begin again…

I am FINISHED! Dragon on the Green: Stone Dragon Sage Book 3 Is DONE! This book was my NANOWRIMO last year and, after finishing it two weeks late, I was in the process of my second pass at editing and preparing the story for print when I got about a third of the way through the story and….NOTHING! Somewhere around 30-35 THOUSAND words, MY WORDS, were just gone.

I always e-mail myself a copy, my mother a copy, and my dropbox a copy PLUS backing up on a usb port or two…but we could not find a finished copy of the story anywhere at all, even though my other editors had both read the completed manuscript already. So now, almost a full year after its first completion and one hundred words shorter than the original, I have FINISHED the rewrite and first pass at editing. Tomorrow will be a push and, hopefully, I can have this sent to be published by Halloween (I promised some fans the book would be out by the end of October…foolish me!) But HEY! I’m finished!! YAY…oh wait, I finished just in time to start all over again on book 4 for NANOWRIMO! Wooooo…Those dragons had better appreciate how hard I work for them, and how much I love them to go to all this trouble without giving up on telling their story!

The voices are knocking at my inner door (I imagine it as one of those large, wooden castle doors with the little point at top, like you can see in the fairy tale movies!), I must go see if they will let me sleep tonight! Until next time, GO WRITE SOMETHING! Have a Blessed Day!

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Who are you Reading?

Who are you Reading?

This is Charlie. Charlie is an adolescent Camel. Normally, I would be taking the time to ask about your reading plans for this weekend but you know what, winter is coming soon and curling up on the couch with a good book and a blanket will seem like a little slice of heaven then. So for now, this weekend at least, go out and see something that you’ve been dying to see!
Charlie lives at Arbuckle Wilderness in Davis, Ok and he is supremely sweet! If you can’t make it down here, check around. I bet there are a few places that you never knew existed, just a short drive away from your front door. Go pet a camel and feed a giraffe for goodness sakes, you are NEVER too old to be excited about that!
Have a Blessed Weekend and GO OUTSIDE!

When Inspiration Hits:

 

You sit down in your favorite spot, hot tea, pen, and pad at the ready, or with fingers poised over a waiting keyboard, AAAANNNNDDD…Nothing.  An hour passes, you’ve refilled your drink twice, had a snack, checked your three different email accounts, and written the same sentence fourteen and a half times.  Giving up, you decide that it isn’t going to happen today and wander off with disappointment. Later, as you change the baby’s dirty diaper or are elbow deep in soapy water, BA-BAM! Inspirations hits with vengeance and the entire novel/article/blog/etc. blossoms in your mind as well planned as an English garden; but wait, no pen and paper can be found.  NOW WHAT???!?!?!?  

 

Frustrated and frazzled you race to finish the task at hand in order to get back to writing before this amazing clarity fades. Alas! By the time you get there you are once again back to re-writing that same sentence.

So, are you supposed to just jump and run from the room, leaving a naked and confused tot or a sink full of soapy shards in your wake?  Probably not. My suggestion, then, is a simple one. Hire a stenographer to follow you around, waiting for inspiration to hit. Since you have to pay them whether or not that stroke of genius strikes, make sure to get detailed lists for groceries, birthday and Christmas presents, and anything else you might want to have listed out for convenience!

 

Or, you can do what I did; become addicted to colored pens and journals, make a habit of carrying paper and pen EVERYWHERE, keep a notepad and pen in each room, carry a recorder for those times when you can’t write it out (like when driving, apparently jotting down ideas while driving is frowned upon, who knew?), and then STILL get struck by your muse while in the only place and/or time where you don’t even have your cell phone available to sneak a quick shorthand text to yourself.

So, unless you have an eidetic memory, or the ability to ignore everyone and everything while repeating the story to yourself frantically as you hurriedly drop the world and scribble it out on napkins, you are now right back to that same exact sentence yet again.  The good news is that by now, that is one DOOZY of a sentence and maybe, just maybe, that sentence can help you to coax back out that splash of inspiration you stumbled into earlier.

 

Until next time, Have a Blessed Day and may your words, much like your inspiration, flow freely.

Scheduling Your Writing:

According to the ‘countdown’ app on my phone, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is currently 10 ½ days away. With this, somewhat terrifying, news in mind, I would like to take some time today and discuss the idea of scheduling your writing.

Some people swear by their schedules and lists, every detail of their days plotted down to the second, including their writing time.  Other people prefer to fly by the seat of their pants, no schedules, no lists, and no chains binding them into anything. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, so let me ask you do you, either as a rule or merely around the month of November, schedule a certain block of time for your writing?

I have three friends who do a schedule, but go about it in a way uniquely theirs. The first uses her lunch and coffee breaks at work to write out whatever idea have been floating around her brain whilst she does paperwork, this way she is able to write while the ideas are still reasonably fresh and has a little more free time in the evenings during NaNo.

Friend number two enjoys late night writing after her four children are asleep. I’m never sure how she keeps her ideas and inspirations straight and sensible in her mind, but she somehow pulls it all together.

Finally, my father (a minister) schedules part of his work day for writing. As a minister, the research and writings that he does help him with his sermons and campus ministries, and leaves time for his family when he comes home. I, on the other hand, have a daily ‘to-do’ list that includes three items which rarely change. 1) Dance with the Monkey (my daughter), 2) Work on Dragons (my book series), and 3) Work on a Blog.

Sadly, there is almost no semblance of a schedule in my life because it seems to always happen that as soon as I plan it out, something happens to disrupt that part of my day. As long as I get my writing done at some point each day, I’m happy. (Although the disruptive nature of my schedule will probably be much more frustrating in 11 days!)

However you write, whenever you write, I encourage you to keep it up! If your busy schedule is an issue, try penciling yourself in for even as little as ten minutes a day, set a timer and let yourself burst out with whatever story has been lurking behind your eyes.  Hire a babysitter or use naptimes to write, then teach the kids to clean when they wake up so that you don’t feel guilty about spacing out on chores.

Carry a tape recorder or use the app on your phone to quickly get out ideas and lines that pop into your head, you can always listen, transcribe, and edit them later.

Most of all, just make sure to take the time to WRITE. Not because of NaNo, deadlines, school, friends, or family, but because YOU want and need to write.

Good luck Authors! Have a Blessed day and, as my friends at writing.com would say, Write ON!!

Spirituality in a Modern WORLD

It’s Sunday, do you know where your preacher is? Did you get up this morning, rush everyone to get fed and then dressed in their finery so that you could go fidget together with the congregation? OR, did you do what so many others choose to do and use this day to sleep in, take a leisurely morning breakfast, and schlep around in sweats?

That’s okay, just pause in your channel surfing to listen to that televangelist for two seconds before going back to the sports game, and later you can hit ‘like’ on that picture of Jesus.

 

Now, I’m not saying that you, or anyone else for that matter, are not spiritual.  However, it is incredibly and increasingly difficult to act as Christians should, especially in a society where we are constantly bombarded with extreme immorality, poor judgment of all shapes and sizes, and just plain idiocy; AND, IT LOOKS FUN!

There are times when I am painfully jealous of the people who can schedule things for Sundays and Wednesdays without having to go around church time. In point of fact, I was one of those people for a few years. As a preacher’s daughter, I was at the building almost every day and rarely missed a meeting growing up. When I moved out, I took the opportunity to begin to stray and stopped attending regularly for a few years. It wasn’t until I found out that I was pregnant and destined to be a single mother that I began to reevaluate my life and attend services more regularly again (that kind of thing can really make a person look around and take note!) So, not wanting my daughter to lack a spiritual upbringing, I “changed the channel” and began once more.

 Sadly, there seems to be more single parents and less church attendance these days.  Someone hit the switch and when basic beliefs in general societal mores were questioned, church attendance (or even just ‘spirituality’ if you belong to something outside of the typically accepted Christian groups) took the hit.  Now it has fallen almost completely to the wayside and is no longer ‘trending’ as it was 40, or even a mere 20, years ago.  We get more upset by someone taking our controllers or cancelling our favorite show than we do about missing out on a worship service.  Don’t worry though we do have TBN on basic cable!

Think about these things and maybe take a ‘field trip’ to services, you might like it and, even better, it may do you or your family some good.

Until next time, have a Blessed Day!

 

HEY! WHO CHANGED THE CHANNEL??

 

 

Who are you reading

http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-authors-2013

 

Normally I encourage you to go find a comfortable place and sink into a work by a favorite author. However, with National Novel Writing Month just around the corner (AHH!) I would like to take this chance to encourage you to seek out a new author, not just someone who is new to you but someone whose work has just recently become available (and not just because I am on that list!). Check out the Goodreads lists of newly published authors for 2013 or go search Amazon and find a newbie, read the authors page, and find a book that looks interesting. Not only are you going to find an entirely new world to explore, but you will also be helping out someone who may be struggling to be able to continue writing, or who may be wondering if their book even appeals to anyone besides themselves.

So go, boost an ego and discover a new world! Have a great and blessed weekend!

 

Spell Check can be WRONG

Sometimes, spell check is WRONG!!

Have you ever noticed that you can be bopping along, just minding your own business as your fingers fly across the keyboard and then suddenly…a red line underneath your heroin’s name, which is clearly NOT miss spelled.  Then a blue line, they don’t want you to separate those two words for emphasis. OR the punctuation suddenly changes on you for no good reason whatsoever. Yes, sometimes spell check can be dead wrong!

I know that for a first draft, just getting the words out while the muse is inspiring you is the really important thing…but when I’m typing and all of the sudden my computer forgets that those names are ALL for characters I’ve been writing about for the past four years, and therefore have saved to the program, it gets a little frustrating. Do you have times like this, when your story is interrupted by nasty colored lines and a snarky programmed paperclip? Just remember, you CAN ignore them!

 

Until next time: May the lines always be hidden, and your names always spelled to your liking! Have a Blessed Day!

No Excuses! OR Losing THAT before I lose “IT”

Okay, I’m just going to come right out and admit it, I’m fat. Oh not laying around in bed, unable to get up, can’t breathe, waiting to die, Jabba the Hut FAT, but I am bigger than I should be.

There are all sorts of reasons for my size, such as my inheritance of P.C.O.S. (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), a family history of diabetes and poor dietary choices, health issues after I had my daughter, knee problems from a fall (I’m a huge klutz), chronic bronchitis, asthma; on a bad day the list just goes on and on and the excuses run the gamut.

That is the truth though, all they are is EXCUSES. Reasons that I have slowly stacked up like a wall over my 28 years of life, and that I can pull out at the drop of a hat if need be.

 

Well you know what?  NO MORE!

No more excuses, no more being lazy, no more not helping because my knee hurts or I can’t breathe.  I’m done.

If I can push through obstacles, real or perceived, to write the story, crochet the pattern, make the jewelry, or play my flute, then I CAN find a way to be healthier, to not be the fat diabetic couch sitter anymore.

That hour an afternoon that my toddler sleeps and I watch television? NOT ANYMORE! Now I push through and exercise.  I don’t like the ‘chatter’ on the dvd exercise program I chose so I don’t watch it? NOT ANYMORE! Now I just put it on mute, put on the captions, stick in my earbuds, and rock out to my own music (which also seems to help keep the 1 year old asleep, since she suffers from Fear of Missing Out!)

You want to know another secret? Those crazy, annoying exercise fanatics may be right…SHHHH, don’t tell them I said that! But I am almost 2 full weeks into is and I just don’t feel right now unless I’ve done my daily exercise!  Even with the heavy cold I’ve had going on the past few days, I feel better with my workout done. Physically better, mentally better, and I am even sleeping better. You may ask, what about the breathing issues?  Oh, I drink a little coffee since there’s a caffeine in it that helps keep your bronchial passages open (so does Coke, but the calories jump by over 300 for a large Coke).

 

So what now? What about your swollen knee and foot? What if the baby doesn’t sleep? What about ALL OF YOUR REASONS?

Find a way.  Wrap your leg, Dance WITH the baby, DO IT! 

NO MORE EXCUSES!

I would love to write more for you, but it’s time for my abdominal work.  I hope this motivated you, I know it has me! Have a BLESSED Day!