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Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Honkin' Good Walk Today

Let's see. I believe the count was 4 honks and 1 "hey sexy!". No, wait. Make that *five* honks. LOL! After work today, walked across the parking lot to Curves, left Mom my car and walked the 1-1/2 miles home. Weather is insanely mild, so I took advantage of it and got the extra exercise. Cleared my head too.

Guess I should be flattered that I can turn heads and elicit honks, even if it makes me jump and scares the bejeebies outta me. One good this is it does make me smile. Sometimes, I even wave. Could be someone I know. Just as long as they keep on driving.

Hmm, now how can I work this humorous incident into one of my books?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

How are you? Going to send that book proposal?

Yes. That's exactly what happened to me tonight. Completely out of the blue, I got an email from a friend of mine who's a multi-published author and editor for a book club in which I aspire to be published. I've already had her husband (also an editor) request the work and he's reviewing one book. Waiting to hear on that. He warned me last year that if I didn't get him what he requested, he'd send his wife after me. *g*

The email today was short and to the point. She asked how things are going with me. I wrote back and gave her the reader's digest version about my job update and how it's allowing me time to schedule my writing and get back into a routine. Then, I asked about her upcoming books this year and thanked her for asking.

A few hours later, I got a reply. She told me she had 3 books coming out this year and said she was glad things were going well and God always knows what He's doing or allowing. Her closing?

"So does this mean you're going to send a contemporary proposal to us?"

Guess he wasn't kidding about sending his wife after me. Good thing I have a rejected novella I can rework into a novel and send their way. I'm not sure I want to know what the next "nudge" will be. LOL!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Crushing a "crush"?

Ok, I know this isn't technically writing related, but I had to share...with the 4 or 5 people who actually read this thing. LOL! That's all right. I'm getting good exercise in those random streams of conscious that are supposed to be fantastic for writers. If I had more time to surf other blogs and post there, I know I'd get more hits here, but marketing right now is taking a back seat. Will try to establish a solid "blog" time by the beginning of February where I can surf and post.

Anyway, back to my original thought. Younger brother was heading out with some friends to the mall and one of them remarked about our dog. Yes, I still live at home, sort of. I rent the downstairs part of a split-level house and have my own full bath, kitchenette (minus the stove), bedroom, office and general living area. Upside is low rent. Downside? Having to endure family drama unfolding upstairs. *g*

But, tonight was great. One of brother's friends asked how old our dog was. I told him around 95 (14 in May). Friend asked me how old I was when my family got the dog and guessed around 5. At first, I thought I heard him incorrectly. But, no. He was guessing I was around 20. Wow! What a compliment! Off by a decade, but that's not too bad. Of course, considering he's 19 and has been a little "attentive", it does make me wonder. Nice guy. Good heart. Going to make a gal real happy one day. Shame I can't get men *my* age to hang around.

At least I can take comfort that I haven't "crushed a crush" with any eligible men in my least not to my knowledge. One of these days, God'll bring me my knight on his white steed...

Until then, I'll keep writing and dreaming.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Editing Woes -- Eureka moment

Ok, do you know how frustrating it is when you want to post something and Blogger is having technical difficulties? GRR! Just when I make a promise to do better at blogging, I go to blog and can't. Thankfully, today I can. So here's what was supposed to be yesterday's blog:

Any of you ever have one of those days where one fix leads to another and another until you're stuck in what seems to be a never-ending journey of revisions and corrections before you can move forward? LOL!

Well, that was me yesterday. I got a LOT accomplished, but when I went back to review since it'd been almost 2 months since I've looked at this book, I realized I had some fixes to make. When I made them, I found out they affected a previous chapter. And when I fixed that, it meant I had to alter another one. And the hero's speech...every instance of it...had to be revised to reflect his Swedish heritage. Oy! What a time I had.

BUT, the good news is that I ended up putting the spit and polish on the first 13 chapters of the book and am on my way toward the final 4 chapters. And going back to review has given me a fresh perspective as well as ability to get in the groove, applying and employing the techniques my writing mentor pointed out to me. It's so great to have a EUREKA moment. *g*

Now, moving forward isn't such a daunting task.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Jesus, Take the Wheel

Ok, I admit it. I'm a BIG fan of Country music...especially the music today. There's just something about the deep, soul-stirring lyrics that touch my heart in so many ways. Sure, there's the stereotypical songs about losing your dog, your wife, your job, and your car *g* but the songs I'm talking about are the ones that hit you right at your core.

Carrie Underwood has a relatively new song that does this. For those who don't know her, she placed 4th on American Idol, behind another current country singer who placed 1st.

Here is an excerpt of a hit song she has:

Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this all on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
To save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel

...And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

(repeat chorus)

In light of my previous post, this message is right in line with the promise I've made to myself and to God. My road toward publication isn't one I'm traveling alone. It's only going to be successful if I give Jesus the wheel and let Him steer. I'll certainly do my part, but I'm along for the ride!

And what a ride it's going to be!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fresh New Year, Fresh New Start

All right, I'm back. Yes, I know it's been about a month since I last posted anything to this blog, and I've received the nagging remarks and kicks in the pants from some of you asking if I was going to blog again. Well, I'm here, and I'm going to try once again to share thoughts on a more frequent basis. With looming deadlines and a long list of tasks on my "to do" list, I won't set a frequency at this point and time. However, I will promise to make regular visits here.

Not that anyone really reads these things, but I know it'll do my own soul and spirit some good to document these random streams of conscious. In fact, I've come to realize that those who successfully document these running commentaries of their thoughts tend to be better writers. Because you get inside your own head (scary thought!) you have the ability to get inside the heads of your characters when they're experiencing a variety of situations and document their thought process in response or reaction to the events taking place.

It's one thing I've noticed in my own writing when I've gone back to make edits or received the crits back from those who have critiqued my work. Quite often, I get comments left that encourage me to include more internal thought as opposed to description. Although my ability to describe places and settings isn't strong, I do tend to lean more toward the action descriptions as "fillers" for the narrative. If I spent more time delving into the world of internal thought rather than ignoring it or pushing it aside, I truly believe my writing would improve.

It's our thoughts that push us forward or hold us back. They enable us or disable us. And God often speaks to us through them. But if we're moving too fast or involved in too many things to hear that voice inside our head (and not all those other voices writers are famous for hearing! ), we might miss out on important instruction or direction that could result in our taking the wrong path and veering off course.

I've found that it's happened with me lately. There have been times when I've pumped out the chapters and been 'in the zone' so to speak, but there have also been times when my writing tends to drag or feel like pulling teeth to get anything on the paper. When I've gone back to analyze my personal life, I see a direct parallel to how busy I've allowed myself to get and how stressed with things that really aren't of much importance in the long run. Prioritizing and scheduling for me are the only ways I can reach my goals.

Then, there's the matter of being conviced through my daily devotions. Yesterday's, for example, was about taking time to rest in God and not allowing the busyness of life to distract you. I'm drawn to being busy. It makes me feel important. It keeps the adrenaline pumping. It means I don't have to look too closely at my heart. It keeps me from feeling lonely.

Because of some experiences in my life where my self-esteem has taken a real low hit, I tend to blow through life, staying busy and active and not allowing enough time to rest and reflect. I'd rather be doing something than giving rise to my internal thoughts in reaction to a situation I'm experiencing. Because if I give in to my thoughts, I'd have to face the ugly realities of my insignificance or wrong decisions I've made in life. Or I'd end up confessing the deep down pain that exists and that I don't want to share with anyone else. And that's not healthy.

Keeping busy doesn't make those thoughts go away. It only shoves them under the rug until the time comes when the rug gets taken out to be beaten free of the dust. And the thoughts I've shoved aside are there, waiting for me. Facing them will start the path of healing and free me to pursue my goals and dreams as I truly want to do. So, I've made a commitment to myself and to God to stop running away from those thoughts and to face them instead of bury them. To start journaling here and reflecting on a regular basis.

As my devotional said, the danger isn't that I'll lose my faith or my identity; rather, it's that I'll become too distracted by lesser things that I'll settle for a mediocre version of it. I don't want that to happen. I'd rather live an abundantly blessed life, full of the richness and beauty God promises. But, I can't do that if I run away.

And now, I have some writing to do. *g*