Wednesday, January 31, 2007

C'MON DOWN, YOU'RE THE NEXT CONTESTANT....

Remember that show? I think it's still on, but I haven't watched it years. (Maybe it's because I'm SO not a shopper!) Anyway, I think I'm going to enter the Genesis contest~my first REAL writing contest.

**OK, I entered a Writer's Digest contest when I first started writing. Surprise, surprise, I didn't win. And I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my submission--a short story about a kidnapped woman locked in a trunk--stank.**

This time I have a decent story to submit, I think. What I'm looking forward to most is the feedback. (Question: why is feedback so addicting? It's a strange kind of rush, and I totally like it, even when it's not all positive.)

How many contests do you enter each year? Besides the Genesis, which contests do you feel are valuable to enter?

Monday, January 29, 2007

THE END

The two sweetest words on the planet. Ahhhhhh...what a wonderful feeling Saturday morning when I was able to tack THE END on my WIP. Sure, my book is imperfect, needs a few scenes added in the middle, and some general plumping up, but it's done!

Here's the tough part: the last sentence. I never can come up with a great last sentence to leave the reader saying, "WOW!" First sentences are my forte, last sentences...not so much. Maybe something will hit me during revisions.

In other news: I've lost 15 pounds. WOO-HOO. Well, that is I had before the weekend. Monday morning I usually spike a little, but for the most part I'm half-way there.

In more completely unrelated news: Remember the post about my LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD addiction? Well...the other day I was straightening the baby bedroom and they have the Fischer Price Little People videos. My husband walks in and sees those on a shelf, points to them and says, "Aren't you getting a little carried away?" HAHAHA, he thought they were LP,BW videos. Just had to share that one with you!

So back to what I was talking about a few paragraphs ago: how do you come up with last lines? NEED HELP.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


If the Shoe Fits


From the back cover:

Men are like shoes--the best ones fit perfectly
In all my thirty-five years, I, shoe designer Rochelle Gardner, have never had so many men interested in me! My teen son's dad is back in my life after suffering from amnesia (yes, really.) The church deacon has had his eye on me for years (and never said a word). And the young waiter (from the restaurant I've visited for singles' events) is trying to steal my heart. I've been struggling with my faith, trying to figure out which man God has chosen for me and wondering if I have the courage to step forward, on my not-so-pretty feet, to accept love. It's almost too much for the Sassy Sistahood to handle, but my girlfriends always have my back!


My take:


Author Marilynn Griffith has done it again! If the Shoe Fits is the second book in the Sassy Sistahood series, and I enjoyed it as much as the first. Shoe designer Rochelle Gardner is surrounded by imperfect people (not unlike the real world!) and must go to the deep places to deal with her feelings and her life situation. This book brings out spiritual truth with gentle humor, and doesn't back down from real-world problems. The ending took me by surprise (which is hard to do!) and shocked my Type-A sensibilities. You'll have to read the book to find out why!

Here's a side note that surprised me even more: Marilynn Griffith has SEVEN children. SEVEN! She must be a busy woman! To find out more, click here. And to order the book click here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

FINAL SURGE

You didn't think I meant to talk politics here, did you? (Although I could because I am a political junkie, after all!) LOL, actually, I'm talking about my WIP.

I had so much fun writing the climax of my book the other day--I was squirming, thankful that I wasn't my heroine. I seriously couldn't wipe the goofy grin off my face as I typed away. THEN...

...I hit a brick wall. After getting to the good part, creating the perfect (or as close to it as I can come) black moment...I stopped. Dead in my tracks, pardon the cliche. Now I need that final burst of energy to help me get through to the end, to tie up the loose threads, to give my poor heroine some kind of resolution. (And if she's lucky, the guy!)

Do you ever find it difficult to eek out those last few pages? Or am I just a dork? (If you opt for "dork," please be kind and humor me.)

Monday, January 22, 2007

To Market, To Market....

There's been a ton of buzz lately about marketing for writers. I have to admit that even though I'm unpublished I got caught up in it! The ACFW course this month is focused on marketing, and of course, The Mad Genius Writer launched with great marketing ideas.

Last week I started thinking hard about who my target audience is, and you know what? It's women like me! I'm a 30-something housewife, and previously had 10 years of experience in the corporate world. I enjoy reading about marrieds or singles, and I like spending time cruising the net. I read widely, but mostly Christian books. While I relish the time I spend reading and writing, my family comes first.

So the big question is...what would reach a woman who is like me, but might not be a writer? Since I currently hang out at writerly-type sites, where else might someone like me be? The answer: homemaking sites.

You see, I am a homemaker by choice. I enjoy taking care of my home and family (although the last several weeks of sick family was incredibly tough, and I'm not THAT nurturing, LOL!) I've learned a ton about homemaking since I decided to be a SAHM, and I think I'm ready to share that information and reach out to others like me. I'm starting a blog with that focus in mind, and eventually an e-zine or newsletter. At first the idea was to do this as a marketing technique to build an audience in advance, but after a hard weekend at home, wrestling with myself over dumb stuff, I realized there are others out there who may need this type of encouragment/fellowship/motivation.

I'll still be posting here regularly, and I think I'll post on the new blog once or twice weekly. The new blog is Honey Do--which happens to be part of the title of the book I'm working on now. Is it a coincidence that the books I write deal with homemaking, and/or professional women in transition? I suppose it's the good ol' write what you know thing!

What types of marketing/networking do you do?

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Arms of Deliverance


From the back cover:


Katrine, a Czech Jew, is so successful in her attempt to pass as an Aryan that she finds herself dating a Nazi officer. Having convinced him of her genetic purity, the officer sends her to stay at a Lebensborn home--a Nazi breeding program in which children are raised and indoctrinated by the state.


Meanwhile, rival American reporters Lee and Mary land assignments on the frontlines of war-torn Europe--Lee joins troops sailing for Normandy, while Mary's destiny lies in the cramped quarters of a B-17 bearing down on Berlin. Before the presses roll, their lives will be indelibly marked by a caring American navigator, brave French resistors, and a maniacal Nazi officer. Arms of Deliverance is a story of unexpected redemption.


My take:
I sacrificed sleep to read this book! (Translation: this book is awesome!) Author Tricia Goyer takes the reader to places beyond textbook history. The portrayal of the role of women in the 40's is fascinating, and I loved following each character confront the stereotypes of the day. And the inside look at the Nazi breeding program is chilling and adds a new dimension to the horrors of WWII.


This book has given me a new appreciation for our people in uniform and the fears they face daily. That is the most important reason I'm thankful I read this book. You can purchase a copy of the book here, and visit Tricia Goyer's blog here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Don't Say the "P" Word!

You know exactly which "P" word I'm talking about. Dare I say it aloud (or online, as the case may be)?? Are you ready? All together now... One, two, three...

PATIENCE!

Ouch. That hurt. A few of us have been talking about patience while waiting to hear back on manuscripts. When I first sent out proposals I was determined not to panic, but to wait calmly and with hope. And I did that, at first.

I didn't panic when the rejections came rolling in because we know it's part of life. Then, I got a request from a highly respected agent to see my full manuscript. I'll admit to getting chills when I read the letter.

Now, I wait. I'm not twiddling my thumbs, though, but instead I continue to write. I wish I could STOP thinking about my book languishing at the bottom of a pile on a desk somewhere--or worse yet, lost in the mail. But I can't let it go! The mailman is my best friend. I jump at the sound of the phone. I'm a wreck. I'm anxious to hear back on it even if it's a rejection. I hold out hope that it will come with a few constructive comments, regardless.

(I think my panic was sparked yesterday when a big box arrived on my doorstep. It was a box I'd sent to my nephew a few days before Christmas. Yep, things actually DO get lost in the mail. That would be the worst thing--having my book stuffed in a dark corner of the post office. Eek!)

Tell me, how do you pass the time (other than writing) while waiting to hear back on your work? Please, help me stop being so fidgety.

Monday, January 15, 2007

BIG THEOLOGICAL QUESTION...

Some days I long for Heaven more than others. (You know the kind of days I'm talking about--overflow of bills, telemarketers, icy roads, blah blah blah...) I'm not a theologian, but I know that when we're in Heaven we'll be praising God, fellowshipping Him with one another, and serving one another. (I'm assuming the same goes for the Millenium??) So here's my big theological question:

Will we also have time to read?

Yes, I'm talking about good clean fiction. All the wonderful books in my TBR pile that I wonder if I'll ever get to. There are so many books that I want to read but simply cannot...unless someone can find me a really good speed reading course. (Suggestions...anyone...Bueller?) Is it wrong for me to hope that we can set aside a bit of eternity for reading and a bubble bath?

And here's part deux:

Will we still be writing?

Please, someone give me the scoop as you understand it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


A Pagan's Nightmare



What a book--this is the first time I've ever found myself cheering for a pagan. I'm not kidding. Also, this is one of the only story-within-a-story books where the alternate story was just as interesting as the framing story.

Remember a few posts back where I talked about predicting what was going to happen next? That didn't happen with this book, not once. I couldn't have predicted the ending if my life depended on it. Ray Blackston did a good job keeping me in the dark!

Larry Hutch writes a book about a Pagan stranded in a world full of Christians. Ned, Larry's agent, is sure the book will be a hit, but his wife takes opposition with the project. Characters in Larry's book bear a striking resemblance to the people in Larry's life, and expose a man's search for the Truth.

You can visit Ray Blackston's site here, and pick up a copy of the book here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

NEW FAVORITE REALITY SHOW

Reality TV rocks. What is it about unscripted life that glues me to the television? Not sure I can answer that, but I wanted to tell you that I have a new favorite:

LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD

It's a darling (did I really use that word?) program about the Roloff Family--a family of six where both parents and one of the children are little people. I love watching this family navigate a world that's not always accomodating to them, and seeing them overcome every challenge. I especially appreciate Amy Roloff as a mother of four, who handles her family, farm, and every day life without griping. (~OK, I know they edit these shows, but still!~)

Take away value of the program: if they can live successfully with their additional challenges, what have I got to complain about? Also, per my last post, I don't know what's going to happen next, LOL!

Warning: this show is highly addictive--even my family is hooked. Check it out, you might be inspired, too!

Monday, January 08, 2007

WALKING SPOILER

This weekend my husband and I rented Little Miss Sunshine. Just like so many otherwise good movies out there today, this one had too many swear words--but that's not important right now. During a critical scene in the movie, my mind kicked into writer-mode, and I shouted, "OH, they are going to (blah blah blah)!" My husband shoots me THE LOOK--the look that says, "Quit telling me what's going to happen!" But sure enough, I was right.

Two weeks ago I guessed certain parts of Lady in the Water, the M. Night Shyamalan movie. It happened again last night while we were watching Brothers & Sisters on ABC. (Seriously, it's a wonder that my hubby will watch anything with me now!)

I know I need to keep quiet during a show, lest my husband muzzle me. But really, I'm tired of knowing what's going to happen! I'd turn off the writerbrain if I could, but my mind is whirring all the time now, trying to stay one step ahead of the movie/show/book.

Believe me, I don't always guess right, but I get close more often than not. I miss the days of being surprised. I did read Blind Submission, by Debra Ginsberg this weekend, and didn't figure out the ending until, well, the end. And that made it fun. (It's a humorous story about a literary agency--riddled with swear words and some s-e-x, but otherwise a good read if you get the chance.)

How do you turn off writerbrain so that you can be surprised while you watch/read?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

BIG DILEMMA

"Big" might be an exaggeration, but I had a dilemma this Christmas vacation, and I'm betting that some of you had the same one.

I'm shopping in Walgreen's for last-minute Christmas paraphrenalia as I am prone to do, when an woman meanders down the aisle toward me. I didn't take special note of her, I politely nodded, then she greets me like a long lost friend, by name!

I quickly look over her a little more closely: early to mid fifties, dark hair and eyes, slower walk. Still...nothing. She proceeds to ask about my daughter--also by name--curious as to how old she is now.

OK, so far I've got a physical run-down, and the fact that she knows both me and my oldest daughter by name, and hasn't seen my daughter since she was small. I throw in a comment about how well my parents are doing, and nothing registers on her face. Hmm...not a friend of my parents.

I rack my brain to think of who this woman is, and how she came to know us. Church? Old jobs? Long lost college roommie? I'm out of options here people! Then it gets worse...

Her daughter walks up with cart in hand, accompanied by a tot. "You remember my daughter, don't you?" the nice woman asks me.

Here's where I went wrong. I said, "Yes! Hi! How are you?" I am but a sinner, saved by grace. I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by confessing that I hadn't a CLUE who they were. (Thankfully, her daughter looked at me with a blank face, so I totally wasn't the only one!) I continued to play along, asking about the rest of the kindly woman's family, and what else is going on in her life.

If I had even half an ounce of courage I would have said, "I'm sorry, I've forgotten your name," right when the conversation started. But I'm a weenie. There you have it.

So the next time the kindly woman sees me about town, I still won't acknowledge her first (she was wearing a hat and coat, and without those I don't even have a fat chance!) and she'll think I'm a total snob. I'm not, I just have a really bad memory.

What would you have done? Please, someone confess that you would have taken the same chicken way out that I did!
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