Monday, December 27, 2010
I'll announce the winner here, and when the book is out in February, I'll send a free copy to the winner. Get to posting!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Christmas has stressed me out this year. It didn't help that it occurred only weeks after we moved to a new town with a new house and new bills and new everything. I've hardly took the time to sit and ponder the true meaning of it, except for the 7-day nativity I do with the kids each year (thank you, dear friend, for that gift). We've watched a movie or two, cuddled up some, but today I realized that I've got a Savior!
Uh, yeah, you say--that's Christmas, you know, Christ's birthday. Well, I say, it's even better than that. I've got a Savior who loves me even when I burn the biscuits, even when I yell at the kids for sneezing in the cookie dough, even when I freak out because I forgot to send a card to my fifth cousin Pat, once removed. I've got a Savior who was born a perfect being into an imperfect world, who loves me despite all my imperfections.
So, I can be stressed and thankful all at the same time, and be happy that He gave me the best gift of all. He's trumped everything I can possibly buy, bake, or mold into a bundt pan. I can rest assured, that when one of the kids has a meltdown because Santa brought "Dance Dance Your Feet Off" instead of "Dance Dance Revolution", my Savior still loves me, still loves us, all of us, no matter what the season.
Now, to all my friends and fellow writers all over the world, no matter what you're celebrating or not this time of year, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and most of all a few moments of peace among the craziness to enjoy special time with family and friends. Until next time....joy to you and yours.
I bring you good tidings of great joy."
~ Luke 2:10
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Okay, so here's the deal. We (which I'm sure you understand as "I", but it makes me feel better when I include the rest of the population...you understand) are not getting fit by sitting in front of the computer eating and pecking out our next best-seller (that delusion is another thread altogether). So, we have to make some changes. It's that tired old New Year's resolution all over again. Call it "losing weight" or "getting fit" or "trying not to split our pant seams"--whatever, but the point is, we need to step it up.
Chances are we have a dusty treadmill and weight bench somewhere hiding in the basement, or hidden under clothes or our kitty's litter box, so let's get that stuff out, set it up somewhere sensible. In front of a big TV is nice. Nature lovers might want a big window where they can watch the birdies and squirrels duke it out over the stale donut remains we just threw out.
Start with something manageable--20 minutes a day. Too much? Ok, 10 minutes. And do some stretches. Throw in a few push-ups. Don't forget those neglected abs. We can sit in a chair and do ab excercises--trust me, I've done it.
To up the stakes, as one writer friend on FB suggested, for every overused word (we could also add adverbs, dangling participles, etc) that we find, the penalty is 10 squats or 10 sit-ups, the choice is ours.
So, after all this Christmas candy/cookie/sugar and trans-fat overload is complete, let's get moving. Grow as a writer in talent alone, get fit, increase the blood flow to our brains so we can peck out that next best-seller.
All right, now who's with us?
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
It was 1984. An eight-year-old me watched with bated breath as Mary Lou Retton seemed to defy gravity itself and scored two perfect 10's for her vaults in the Summer Olympics. I cheered along with the rest of the country for the little hero who could. Her performances gave us all a surge of joy, of hope that we too could aspire to great things. She made us forget for a time (not that I ever thought much of it back then) about the wobbling economy and the threat of nuclear war.
And, if there was one thing that girl could do, it was sticking her landing. A perfect ending. An applause-inspiring summation to a great show.
I struggle with endings. By the end of a story, I don't know if I'm tired of challenging my characters, or if I feel sorry for them because they've been through so much strife. But, more often than not, my endings are rushed. In my hurry to get to "happily ever after", I sometimes leave my readers saying, "Wait a minute, that was too easy" or "But what happened to so-and-so?"
Just one weakness out of many for me, but if I don't stick that landing and wrap up my endings so that my readers can snap the book shut with a feeling of warm satisfaction, then I haven't done my job as a writer. I haven't scored my perfect 10 and sent the crowd to its feet.
Where do you struggle as a writer? What keeps you from the perfect 10?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
As if history pulled me along, I headed in the direction of our old cottage. The stone foundation still stood, covered in vine and brush. I pulled back some of the growth and sat on one of the old stones. Razor climbed from my arm and sat beside me. Life had taken its toll on this place. And me. Maybe Claude had been right. Maybe I was fooling myself. I’d hoped running my father’s old business and doing an honest day’s work would absolve my sins. Forty-five years old, still young for a half-elf, but old enough to know life didn’t work like that. People reaped what they sowed. Eventually, I’d have to gather a bitter harvest.
We hunted for another hour or so, circling around in the direction of Leogard. Another rabbit ran past, and I sent Razor after it. I hurried through the bush, draeberry thorns catching my clothes. Pulling my way free, I stumbled and smacked directly into…her.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Are you all right?” I asked.
Caliphany lowered her hood and smoothed out her robes. She smiled. I admit I’d held a vague hope we would cross each other’s paths again, but I’d also told myself a woman of her class and a man of mine had no business being seen with one another. Even though I didn’t know who she was exactly, the clothes she wore told me she didn’t mingle regularly with us working classes.
She tucked some hair behind her ear and blushed. “Captain Trudeaux.”
I bowed. “My lady.”
“Please don’t bow.” She avoided my gaze and clenched her robe. “You weren’t at the docks this morning. I thought you had gone.”
Razor had started tearing into the rabbit, so I held up my finger. “One moment, please.” I knelt to retrieve him and the carcass before it was gone.
Razor eyed Caliphany when I returned to her side. “I sent my men on to Faewood. They’ll be back by the week’s end. We had some Tilliyan coffee beans to deliver.”
Her shoulders slumped. “I’ve read a lot about Tilliya Island.” Her eyes focused somewhere in the distance, and then rested on me again. “So, you’re a falconer?”
“I’m a ranger. Razor accompanies me from time to time. We sell what we hunt and gather. Sometimes I help thin out wildlife. It’s just my job.”
The words rolled off her tongue. “A ranger.”
I nodded, a bit annoyed she found my profession so curious. I killed things for a living. It was a hard, dirty job, one I was sure she could never understand. I cleared my throat. “I’m glad to see you’re in one piece, though still unescorted. Would you like me to walk you back to Leogard?”
She held up a satchel. “I’m gathering plant specimens.”
“As you wish. Well, good day then. I’ve got work to do.” I began to walk away.
“Wait,” she said.
I turned, and Caliphany approached me, opened her mouth, shut it again, and finally spoke. “I wanted to thank you for rescuing me.”
If she was any other woman, from the lower end of society, I might have thought she was flirting. “You already did, I believe, and it’s not necessary. Good day.” I tried to walk away again.
Razor screeched and puffed his feathers when I turned back around. “Easy, now. Look, Caliphany, it’s really not necessary-”
“I want you to train me.”
I stepped closer. She blushed. I wrinkled my brow and asked, “Pardon?”
The words tumbled from her mouth. “You know how to handle yourself, handle weapons. I want to learn that as well. Will you train me?”