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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Farming ... Er ... Writing Life

I have a drive—the drive to always improve. I’m never satisfied with my writing life.

That doesn't mean I’m not happy with my writing, but there's always room for improvement.

I dunno. I guess that's just part of my personality. I'm never completely content with my sales, my reviews, or the writing itself. I always think they can be more! And it’s true … they can be.

Writing is like farming. Neither writers nor farmers can control all that happens. Farmers can cultivate, plant, prune, and fertilize and then it's out of their hands. The type of soil, the amount of moisture falling from the sky, or the destruction of the crop by pests are mostly (totally?) in God’s hands. The harvest is dependent on more than their efforts, no matter how skillful they might be.

And so it is with writers. We prepare to write, “the cultivating,” by learning our craft, reading widely, and gaining knowledge and world experience. We then write, “the planting.” After the rough draft, we edit our work, “the pruning.” And then we get input from others, beta readers, editors, perhaps even publishers, “the fertilizer.” Once our book is published, we writers must step back and await the harvest. We have done all we can do and now external factors come into play.

Writers, like successful farmers, must learn to be stoic, patient in times of drought, persevering when locusts devour their plants, and grateful, no matter the harvest. 

To persevere, to be contented in their profession, farmers must learn to operate on an even keel, just as writers need to learn to be neither hyped when success comes nor depressed when sales drop.

And I'm not so much interested in money or success as I am in leaving something my ancestors can be proud of, something that will bring a smile to someone's face, something that will help someone overcome a bad time.

And so I will be like the farmer and continue to plant, continue to toil, and learn to be stoic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review of Secret Voices by Lynn Donovan

Secret Voices, by Lynn Donovan, is the third book in the Spirit of Destiny series.
Keisha Moore has heard voices in her head since she was a child. Instinctively, she knew people would call her crazy if she ever mentioned them. They remain a secret, a secret intertwined with her mother and father’s past. However, when the life of her fiancĂ©, Clifford, is threatened, only the voices offer the help she desperately needs. Will anyone believe the voices are real?

Secret Voices is a Christian paranormal. Many Christians will be uncomfortable with the “voices” communicating with the main character. Others will realize this is paranormal/fantasy and is not to be taken literally. I read it as a paranormal and do not expect more realism than I would find in a book about vampires, zombies, or werewolves. So, the strange voices did not bother me.

However, an aspect that did disturb me was the characters’ attitudes toward abortion. It seemed as if some were advocating it, one so far as seeing it as God’s will (if I remember correctly). I’m not sure that was what Ms. Donovan was trying to convey. If she meant that we should forgive and forget the past, I wholeheartedly concur. Honestly, I do not think that the author is a proponent of abortion, although it may seem that way at first glance.
The characters were well developed. Clifford is not your normal male love interest, and his uniqueness was intriguing. Overall, I enjoyed Secret Voices.
It is available for pre-order here: Secret Voices. Check out Lynn Donovan’s Amazon author’s page for more information!