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Archive for March, 2012

Have you ever picked up something you’ve written more than a year ago and read it again?

It was amazing.

After letting it sit for a year, I was shocked with how much I’ve forgotten. Once I got past all the terrible grammar mistakes I made prior to my editing education, (wow I really have learned a lot!), it was fascinating to read something I didn’t remember—yet I wrote!

It was so strange to actually critique and experience my MS like a reader. So many things were a surprise. I mean, I don’t have dementia. I do remember the large things, but there were many times I actually said to myself, “I can’t wait to see what happens here!”

Crazy, I know, but I do recommend it.

Also, I found I was confused at parts, even though before things made perfect sense. I found those holes and patched them up nicely.

I highly recommend writing, then letting it sit for a long time while you write something else. It is wonderful and so helpful! Still get as many betas as you can (you can NEVER have enough), but it’s always good to let your piece sit long enough so you can see it with fresh eyes.

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Seriously, I don’t think I picked a worse second profession for my figure. Right now I’m attempting to lose the baby weight (it seems “I just had a baby” doesn’t work as well after six months). So I’m now caught in this battle between sitting in my chair typing away furiously and lacing up my sneakers—that are still far-too white.

Writing is so sedentary. There are only a few ways that you can do it while being active, and believe me I’ve tried.

  • I’ve tried to bring a voice recorder on a walk (but that only works for brainstorming and plot outline)
  • I’ve tried to go for walks with friends that will listen to me babble on about my book (you can only do this once in a while, or you’ll find them suddenly very busy when you ask to go for the next walk)
  • I even made a shelf on my treadmill for my laptop (only works for light editing and you have to go at a slow pace)

I admit, I get manic when I get into my writing/editing groove and there is very little that can tear me away from my chair and laptop. It’s like there is this force pulling me between getting out into the world and holing up to delve into my imagined worlds. I feel guilty if I don’t sit and write for a few hours, and I feel guilty if I don’t get out and move. And unfortunately, with a five-year old and a six-month old, there’s really not a lot of free time there for me anyway.

Do you all feel this pull between your writing and staying active? How do you cope?

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SE7EN

I just figured out what *tagging* is. I’m ashamed to say someone told me they tagged me before and I just said thank you to them! Apparently, when you get tagged you have to go to their blog, follow instructions, and tag other unsuspecting campaigners.

(There really is no end to my techno-lag.)

Anyway, I’ve been tagged for the Lucky Seven Meme by Sara Flower:

The Rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating
4. Tag 7 authors
5. Let them know

This is from the third book in my reincarnation fantasy series, titled Infinite Loss.

*A little sneak peek for my readers*

I’ll let you figure out where my character has ended up while revisiting her past lives from this little sample: (Warning—my amazing editors have not slashed their machetes through this yet, so read at your own risk)

“Of course not, but when I saw her she cried, ‘I am Lakota! Otaktay’s first wife!’, and I couldn’t believe what the Great Spirit was giving me.”
I laugh and look back to see the rejoined couple but see Chase’s angry face instead. He too must realize what this means.

I turn back. “Well, then you won’t be too mad now that I saved Chayton’s life.”
He scoffs and sees Chayton up ahead, still holding his head as he rides on. “Nothing could make me happier than to have Chayton and Chase alive to watch Otaktay hand me Mika.”

I really almost cheated since this was not the most poignant moment in the following pages but rules are rules.

Now for my tagging victims (and I picked the following writers since I would love to see what they’re up too!):

Liza Carens Salerno

Cynthia

Julia King

Sally’s Scribbles

Gwen Tolios

Rana

Tina DC Hayes

You’re it!

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Yes, I have figured out how these campaigns work, and unfortunately I didn’t sign up in time to be eligible to win any places. Still, I find it so much fun and it’s so exciting to see how all the other writers handle the challenge—even though I’m not a contender.

This last challenge was a real doozy. Here are the rules taken from Rach Writes’ Blog:

Use one or some or all of these prompts

Prompt 1:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair.

Prompt 2:


Prompt 3


Prompt 4


Prompt 5

 

Do one or more of the following:

1. Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)
2. Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
3. Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)
4. Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts
5. Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

 

Here’s my go at it.

 

Hero

As I watch from a bridge where seagulls soar,
the sun-kissed children searching rocky shore,
a squeal spins me to a red coat flashing by,
after an orb-like ball the wind let fly.

The small boy’s parents, busy with friends,
neglect to see the ball roll off the bridge’s end.
Luring the boy after, beneath my frozen stare,
the flash of red splashes—a dreadful water pear.

Darting to the edge, I barely take a breath,
don’t calculate the jump, don’t even think of death.
The water much further, more time regretting the fall,
pieces of me scream and shatter, as I hit the liquid wall.

The spot of red floats beneath, the glue-water hard to stir,
I reach the boy and struggle, up under the bridge in a blur.
Against a rusted support, I tiredly slump and stare,
at the red river trickling, from my leg’s deep tear.

The boy lets out a panicked cry,
as the water drips from his hair to his eyes.
“You’re safe now.” I try, searching for aid,
as a flash sparks before us—a glimmering cascade.

A tunnel of living light—heaven’s hall,
a knowing tear burns…I didn’t save us after all.

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Sara Flower is not only a fantastic blog writer, she is now a published author! I couldn’t wait to read her debut Christian Fantasy novel, By The Sword, and I’m so pleased to tell you about it.

Description (from Amazon):

Seventeen-year-old Talya’s main goal is to bring down the Malinorian Empire. And Jalarn, the empire’s prodigy general, is at the top of her list of enemies to kill. Not only has Jalarn murdered Talya’s king, he’s almost killed her. Twice.

But things don’t go as Talya planned when a visiting prophet sends her on a mission to the highly feared Hunter Forest. It is there that she must gain the allegiance of the forest’s inhabitants before Jalarn and his men do.

Then, memories of a haunting vision resurface when Talya comes face to face with Jalarn. She makes a rash decision that sends her down a path she never imagined she would follow.

By The Sword is a captivating novel that takes you on a journey (literally as well as spiritually). The main plot consistently fuels the story while the momentum of the subplots keep the pages turning. Since this is the first Christian Fantasy novel I’ve read, the storyline intrigued me. I was amazed by the wonderful detail of the powers of the dark side as well as how, through the powers of prayer, miracles occurred. Given the heavy religious undertones that takes place midway through the book, I predict it might only appeal to readers with Christian beliefs, as the title of the genre reflects. Aware of this before reading, I was so surprised and compelled at the descriptive, haunting scenes of the lure and practices of the Dark Prince. Truly frightening and authentic.

Flower creates strong, tangible characters with realistic motivations. I originally was worried about the stereotypical ‘strong female warrior’, but I was incredibly relieved how realistic the action scenes were written. I found Tayla’s actions during battle very credible, especially for a slight girl. The battle scenes were exceptionally well written and did not feel overdone. The writer also did a good job introducing each main character slowly and carried a lesser developed cast to aid with subplots. My favorite character was Jalarn. He has deep, deep layers and I found his actions and thoughts compelling and plausible. There was no part in the book where I felt comfortable setting it down, and the writer is adept at leaving each chapter on a cliffhanger. She then transitions beautifully to another POV in the novel without losing pace. I was very satisfied with the ending as a standalone, yet the possibility of a sequel exists (and I hope she writes it!)

Since I’ve never read another work of Christian Fantasy, it’s hard to judge if this is original, but I was deeply engaged by this subgenre of fantasy. It was so interesting to see how the usual good and evil sides of fantasy play out with the specifics of the Devil and Jesus Christ. I realized while reading this that most of your high fantasy—although they use imagined names for lords of good and evil—are basically depicting earthly religious struggles after all. I highly recommend this book to Christian readers and to others interested in learning more about the Christian Fantasy genre.

I was hoping I would enjoy Sara’s book as much as I enjoy her blog, and I am so happy to say she did not disappoint. She has done all the revising, editing, and formatting required of an author and has delivered a professional and captivating product. You can purchase By The Sword here.

Great job, Sara!

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