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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Brain Broke My Body

Yep, my brain has broken my body. My brain has been in overdrive--not allowing my body to rest. Now, I have a sore throat and fever. But that's just minor. I finally slept last night after living on 3 or 4 hours of sleep for the past three or four weeks. No wonder I feel sick!

So, where did that revved up brain get me? In regards to Clothed In Thunder, I am finally through with revising the book. I do have a hard time letting go. I continue to tweak, tweak, tweak. But I think I'm finally through.

I hope!

I have received the first proof, and my copy editor is now going through it. I'll fix the typos and then order another proof. If, by some miracle, the second proof is fairly "clean," I'll order the books for my book signing.

I do not have a time frame on when that will be, since a lot of factors come into play. Still, I'm holding out hope that I'll have the books before Christmas.

I have been bouncing off the walls!  It's exciting to have this 2nd book almost in hand.

In addition, I've also had ideas for book 3. I had always planned for In the Shadow of the Cedar to be a three book series. Now, I have a bit of a problem. I have more ideas than can be contained in book 3.

I've decided to do a spin off of the series. Ideas are still rambling around in my head, so I'm not sure what direction I will go in. And, I know, it will be 2014 before I'm able to write that spin-off series. I'm pretty sure at this point that the spin-off series will end with a book I've entitled Dying Thunder. It will take place when the guys come home from war, and I pretty much know the story line for it, including the ending. Told you my mind was in overdrive!

This then is what I plan to do in 2013--
1. Publish Conception, Moonbow, Book One (rough draft is complete)
2. Write and publish In the Shadow of the Cedar, Book 3 (working title is Thunder in the Shadows)
3. Publish Rise, Write, Shine, a book for Christian writers
4. Write the rough draft for Misconception, Moonbow, Book Two (with plans to publish it in 2014)

Tentative plans for 2014--
1. Publish Misconception, Moonbow, Book Two
2. Write and publish the first book of the spin-off series that I have not named yet. The series name will be In the Shadow of the Pines.
3. Write the rough draft for Reconception, Moonbow, Book Three
4. Write the rough draft for the second book of In the Shadow of the Pines.

If my brain continues working and my body doesn't fail me, it should be doable. We shall see.

If all goes well, by this time next year I'll have two nonfiction books and four fiction books published. Lord willing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One Step Closer

Writing of my writing may not be a good idea.

I'm afraid to say too much because I don't want people to have certain expectations when they read Clothed In Thunder. I also do not want to inadvertently "spoil" the book for others.

So, I want to tell my readers something, yet, I'm not sure how to say it. This is the best I can do:

Thundersnow was an emotionally difficult book to write. I was glad when I finished. This book, Clothed In Thunder, has been even more difficult. Much more difficult. Perhaps it's because I'm functioning on very little sleep.

However, I had an aha moment last night. One of my friends told me that I was probably processing some things that I had never processed before. And, then I knew why I was so emotional over this book.  But I can't tell you! All I can say is that some of the emotion felt by Sarah Jane came from the pain within me.

So, I'm now wondering how others will view the book? Since they did not travel my path, their assessment may be totally different than my own. We shall see!

Anyway, I am a day or so from ordering the proofs. After I get my "copy editor" to read the proof, and I make the changes, reupload, order another proof, go through the same stages again, then I will be ready to release Clothed In Thunder. How long will that take? I'm hoping only three weeks. If we're lucky, perhaps less!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

In All....

I am thankful for:

dirty clothes. It means God has clothed me.

 a dirty house. It means God has sheltered me.

dirty dishes. It means God has fed me.

friends who make mistakes. It means God is teaching me to forgive.

uncooperative family members. It means God is teaching me patience

pain. It means God has given me life.

suffering. It means God is teaching me to rely on him.

illness. It means God has forced me to be still and hear his voice.

loss. It means God is teaching me to appreciate all that I have.

In all things give thanks.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Never Doubt

I have never experienced a day like I did yesterday. Never, ever, ever, ever ...oops, too much Taylor Swift.

I've been listening a lot to Taylor, trying to stay in the mind of a teenage girl. Glad that's over with since book 2 is almost ready to release!

Back to my day, yesterday. My ideas popped like firecrackers. I jumped around the house, like a teenage girl.

Since I'm nearing the end of Clothed In Thunder, In the shadow of the Cedar, Book 2, I started thinking about a storyline for the third book. My mind was blank. Since Jay wants to be a veterinarian and World War II is beginning, I did have a vague idea about war dogs, yet no story line. It seemed a hopeless, daunting task to come up with a story.

But, then, I talked to my husband, and he had some suggestions. And things just began popping. Suddenly, my story was born. Within a few minutes.

It was a moment of "wow." And, some things, that I can't share at this time because it will give away the plot, dovetail so completely with the other two books that it humbles me.

Make fun but it was a God thing. Humbling, awesome. Beyond anything I could ever have planned on my own.

Ain't God good?

One thing I haven't completely decided on is the POV character. The first two books are from Sarah Jane's viewpoint. I'm thinking now of using Zeke as the protagonist.

The popping ideas were not just about book 3. I also had ideas for my Moonbow series and more ideas for Clothed In Thunder--that I know I need to kick out of the nest

I'm reminding myself to never doubt God from whom all flows. Today I'm seeking quiet contemplation and rest.

Popping can be quite exhausting!

**Update: I've decided that book 3 will be from Sarah Jane's POV and will begin immediately after book 2. Then, there will be a spin-off series, In the Shadow of the Pines. I'll use the ideas I had on this day for that series. So, this has turned into a bigger project than I ever imagined! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Writing and Crying

 Writing is easy. You just open a vein and bleed. ~Red Smith (although this quote has been attributed to several others)

I am an emotional wreck. Writing is not for the faint of heart. I'm hesitant to write these words, because what holds true for me may not for another.

I may have failed as a writer to convey the emotions I felt when writing Clothed In Thunder.

My words are prosaic. As I've mentioned before, I suffer from some type of illness that has addled my poor brain. (I believe it came about because of a medication I was on for about twenty years--but that's just a theory.)

Writing is difficult for me. I flounder for the right word. Sometimes I actually drown in an avalanche of words. Yes, that's mixing metaphors. My normally addled brain is more addled because I have been up all night, trying to get my words to make sense.

And add to that the typing on an antique laptop. I lost maybe 1000 words or so--perhaps more when Word crashed. I had to rewrite a very emotional scene. So, I lived through that scene three times. And I opened a vein and bled.

And cried from the pain.

Of course, I cry easily. What makes me cry may not affect you. For example, this commercial always brings tears:

Thundersnow was gutwrenching for me. Clothed In Thunder is more of an exquisite pain.

I hope I have done the story justice. It is a love story. A painful love story, but a love story, nonetheless. A love story that even now causes tears to roll down my cheeks.

I hope you enjoy it.

(It may be available in three weeks or so. WATCH THIS SPACE! for updates.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Michael's Song

In Clothed In Thunder, we learn a little more about Michael whom we met in Thundersnow. And, by we, I mean me. I learn more about Michael as I wrote about him. Michelangelo said "Every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

In my writing world, the stories are there, waiting to be unearthed. The characters inhabit the very air around me and are waiting to be plucked out of the ether.

How does this work? I have no clue. All I know is that I plucked Michael, and he sits beside me as I write and reveals to me his thoughts and desires. And I would like my  readers to see him as I see him, to know him as I know him.

Maybe some will get him as I do. The ability to "discover" the "statue" hidden inside the "stone" depends on the skill of the one doing the "discovery." I'm unsure of my skillfulness. I see myself as all thumbs, tapping with my hammer at the wrong point, messing up, trying again.

So, I've tried to reveal him based on my limited skill. Hopefully, I've done enough for my readers to "get him" as I have.

The song I have chosen to represent Michael is my favorite song at this point in my life. This is not his favorite song, but it does describe some of the feelings he is trying to sort through.

And here's one he would probably like to sing to Jay:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sarah Jane's Favorite Song

I created a sound track to listen to while I'm working on Clothed In Thunder.

Jay, the main character, has issues with abandonment (as we saw in Thundersnow). The song I chose for her, and it's not one of my favorite songs, but it fits her situation, is "Glory of Love."  The guy of the song is the kind of guy she is looking for. The first stanza ends "I will never leave you alone." She longs for someone who will be with her through thick and thin. Unfortunately, it's not that easy for Jay. Or, fortunately, since we now have a story!

She wants a "hero," someone who will "fight" for her. Like most teen girls, she longs for "a knight in shining armor" who will "save the day." However, she wants more than that from her life. She has her own dreams to fulfill.

So, while longing for someone to rescue her, she also wants someone to support her in her dreams. Yeah, like most teen girls, she's not sure what she wants!

The other songs I play for her character are from Taylor Swift, the quintessential teenage girl. I won't inflict those on you. Although some are easier to take than others, I have to limit the number of times I listen to them. (Sorry, Taylor.)

So, here's what I imagine would be Jay's favorite song if she lived in the 80s.

Tomorrow I'll share the song I picked for Michael.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I decided the music for my book trailer was too sad. I found something more upbeat. See what you think--

Saturday, November 10, 2012

How to Kill 30 Million People

As Christians we are to emulate Christ. He offers total forgiveness to those who sin IF we repent of our sins.

We as his followers should also offer total forgiveness and treat others as if they never have sinned. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.

I did things in the past that I am sorry for today. Here's just one example--a teacher I didn't like was disciplining a student in my high school sophomore English class. The young man slapped her. (To those who have rosy views of schools from 40 or 50 years ago, I hate to disillusion you. Schools had problems then also.)

I laughed along with the rest of the class. You see, I went along with the crowd. Of course, that's minor. I did many much worse things.

I never had an abortion, but I could have. When the court ruled in 1973 on Roe v. Wade, I was twenty. Before that time I remember friends who tried to abort babies themselves. Roe v Wade was heralded as a way to protect women--to stop them from getting botched abortions. And I understand that. I don't agree with abortion, but I understand why some would choose that route. When you are alone and scared and society disapproves of pregnancy outside of marriage (which seems to no longer be the case), I can understand why some would want the relatively easy way out.

Understanding, however, is not condoning.

To the millions of women who received abortions, how do we as Christians respond? We forgive. If you are one of the women who opted for an abortion, how do you respond? You forgive yourself.

And, then, we, as Christians, do more. We offer help and assistance to those who find themselves pregnant with no place to turn. We open our homes to the unwanted babies.

And, we let our voices be heard. As I've said before, very few people are actually pro-abortion.  
The vast majority of people are pro life.
Don't believe me? If you don't, answer this question--Do you wish your mother had aborted you? What? No? Then you are pro life.

Think what the over 30 million babies who have been aborted would say IF we could ask them this: Are you glad your mother chose to abort you? 
What do you think the answer would be?

So-called Christians have been wrong in the past by attacking women seeking abortions (and continue to be wrong today if they are still doing this). Instead, we should offer support, money, care, time, whatever we have to help them make it through a pregnancy they do not want. We are called to be ministers, servants, slaves to God.

What do you think he wants you to do for the mothers and their unwanted babies? What do you think he wants you to do to stop our pro-abortion president?

Over thirty million voices silenced forever. Do you choose silence?

Let's be the voice for those whose voices have been silenced forever.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Cover

I've been working on the book cover for Clothed In Thunder. I'm happy with this one. I think! I hope!

Monday, November 5, 2012

“Ruined” and Enduring

We have a mission. God has given each of us a ministry. We must allow God to accomplish his will through us if we are to please him.

Last week I used these verses in my post: As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.~2 Corinthians 6:4-10

As God’s servant, I must commend myself in every way—beginning with endurance. Writing is my mission. To fulfill my mission, I have to endure. I have to work and continue to work and work some more, resisting the calls of the world. I don’t know how other writers feel or how they go about their writing. With me, I must focus. I have to block out all but my writing. I have to write with blinders on.

And, sometimes, I’m made to feel guilty for that. There are many good things I could be doing and yet I forgo them to write. My house could be cleaner, my meals could be tastier, my mind could be happier, but I have to decide—which is more important? Will my legacy be a clean house? a great cook? the best Tetris player? Or, will my legacy be words that touch hearts—not only touch, but heal as my byline above says.

Perhaps I could have more pets, horses, cows, a boat for the lake. Yet, with those things come an investment of time—not to mention money. Even with caretakers, decisions have to be made that pull me away from my mission. I prefer to keep my life simple, to focus on God’s will for my life, to use me and all that I have to serve God and then endure to the end. At the end of my life, find myself, and all that I possess, used up to serve God.

I choose to streamline my possessions, my activities, my entire life so that I may narrow my focus to please the only one who matters, my Savior and Lord.

I choose to live with blinders on.