Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Reading List

Are there certain books that you read every Christmas? I try to read a new Christmas book every year, but I always make time to read A Christmas Carol~my favorite. I will admit to also watching numerous movie adaptions of the book. No matter if Scrooge is a man or woman, it's always a good story.

I also like to write Christmas stories. I don't mean for it to happen, but it seems like all of my work includes something about Christmas. Do any of you write Christmas stories?

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lost in the Past

I'm still here and still writing. I've been working on some articles as well as doing research. Research takes so long, but I love reading all the information.

I've also been helping my mom with some genealogy. We've been 'stuck' on several families for years~and are still mostly stuck, LOL! But it's a lot of fun to work on our family's background.

I'm also discovering that doing genealogy is a great way to find names for my characters. People had some very interesting names in the 1600-1800s! I find myself drifting off into histories of families that are not even related to me, just because I'm interested in their 'stories'. In it's own way, genealogy is blending in with my research very nicely.

I hope all of you are having a good week and enjoying your writing.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We celebrated Labor Day with a few family members at Petit Jean State Park. It was a beautiful day and perfect for a hike.

After the refreshing three day weekend, I'm ready to get back to doing some research, as well as working on a current WIP. What are your writing plans for the week?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day

I hope all of you have had a wonderful 3-day weekend. We took off for a state park this morning and spent some time with a few family members.

I opened my email when we got home (I've been ignoring it all weekend) and discovered that I won a free e-book from Lynette Bonner~Rocky Mountain Oasis! Now I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks Lynnette!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beautiful Sunday

My manuscript is completely revised, minus the last few lines. Those always give me trouble. It's like I want it to end perfectly and just can't think of how to word it. But it will be finished by tomorrow morning, as that is when I have set my goal to send it in. I'm excited about this venture and more than a little nervous!

Are any of you ready to send anything out?

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Keep Laughing

Writing can be a sometimes fun, exciting, lonely, or frustrating activity. Some days nothing seems to go right no matter what we try. So, it should make all of us feel better to know that the most famous beagle in the world, also a struggling writer, can identify with all of our emotions:).I've had this book for a few days and have enjoyed it very much. I also love the fact that so many famous authors took the time to write a few pages addressing some of Snoopy's problems and share their own solutions to them.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It's so hard to believe that August is here. Summer is passing by so fast. It seems that it was just June a week or so ago.

My rose campions (pictured above) are still blooming! They are only supposed to bloom in early summer, but the grouping of them I have in a shady area are still giving me pretty flowers.

I've almost finished with my book revisions and the partial to be sent in is complete. I'll be sending it next week.

I also have another project ready to send in to a contest. It will be mailed later this week. I'm hoping for a couple of good critiques from this contest.

I hope all of you are enjoying these warm days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Do you ever feel like you're not making much progress when you do revisions? Several times these past couple of days, I've felt like our kitten~that maybe things would be better if I'd just crawl under the table:)

Maybe it is because this is an older project and I'm not really involved with the story like I was when I was writing it. Also, my writing style has changed some since I wrote this book.

Fortunately, by the end of the day, I started getting more 'in the groove' of the story and things are going a little faster.

Sometimes, we just have to make ourselves sit down and start working on a writing task--even if we don't feel like it. Otherwise, it gets easier and easier to leave it undone. I've been guilty of this at times.

Is there anything special you do to get yourself started working on a project that you've set aside?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another Contest

Spacecoast Authors of Romance is sponsoring a writing contest. You don't have to send in your entry (snail mail) until September, so you have plenty of time to get your entry in order if you want to participate. All the details are at SpacecoasT Authors of Romance.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I had good news and bad news from an editor that recently reviewed a romance I wrote several years ago. The bad news. . .too passive, too many uses of 'had'.

The good news. . .if I revise, she will look at it again. So, that is what I'm busy doing~a little at a time. I find that if I take it in small increments, it is easier to spot all the past tense areas.

Part of me is a little confused at the current words that we must avoid using. Some of my favorite novels and favorite authors seem to use the words 'had', 'said', and 'was'.

I'm not sure I can write without using these words some of the time. Yet, someone pointed out that one rather famous Christian author avoids the word 'said' at all costs.

For years, I have read that the use of a lot of dialogue tags instead of just 'said', is the mark of an amateur writer. Have the rules changed? Or are the rules just different for the Christian writing market?

Do you believe that this is just a trend~or is it here to stay?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Juggling Projects

Today, Rachelle Gardner has an interesting post about working on more than one book at a time. She wonders if it is possible to do your best work when you are focused on more than one book.

I have to admit that find myself juggling several projects at once. I don't know if my mind just won't stay focused on the one project, or I'm too impatient.

I do know that I enjoy working with different ideas and putting one WIP away for a day or two sometimes gives me time for new thoughts on the work.

Is this something that most of you do? Or, can you keep your focus on just the one book and get it completed?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where do most of your writing inspirations come from? I think I find them almost everywhere. The news, an incident in a television program, different events, a phrase from a conversation with a friend, etc.

A couple of months ago, we attended a Tales From the Crypt event at a cemetery in a larger town north of us. It was a lot of fun to 'meet' these people from the past, and something I really enjoyed since I've been working on an idea for a historical novel.

I'm also enjoying the research I've been doing for this novel. I love the internet, but I also love books~being able to hold them in my hands and snuggle back into my favorite chair. I suppose you can do that with a lap top and surf arount the internet~but somehow, it's just not the same:).

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Writing

My writing seems to have slowed down lately. There have been a lot of interruptions, as well as chores that need done around the house. I'm blaming some of my lack of production on the oppressive heat. We are having the sort of temperatures that we usually have in August! Guess summer decided to start off with a blaze!

The main WIP that I've been trying to complete is over three quarters finished~so I should be able to wrap it up in another month. If I get with it and actually do some writing! I have another WIP that I started in first person, but now I'm debating on changing it to third. I'm not very experienced in first person and I spend a lot of time worrying about using past, present, and future tense.

Is first person a problem for any of you? Do you know of any easy 'tricks' to keeping yourself in the correct tense?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Looking through my small 'how to write' library, I realize that I don't have as many books about the craft of writing as I had thought. There is a small assortment of very out of date books from the early 1980s that I probably need to get rid of. I'm sure that Christian publishing has gone through some changes since then.

I think that my favorite, the one I go to over and over again is, Writing the Christian Romance, by Gail Gaymer Martin. I've seen many reviews for this book, all of them positive and I could see why after my first glance.

Have any of you purchased the The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Fiction, by Ron Benrey? I've been considering it, but I don't know anyone else that has read it.

What other books would any of you recommend as important for your Christian writing library?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The summer has brought a lot of projects other than writing for me. I've been catching up on some painting in the house, gardening, and just general trying to get some things organized. Nevertheless, I am trying to get in some writing each day.

A few months ago, I mentioned that my daughter and I were entering the ACFW Genesis contest. We were anxious to get our scores back, and a little bit nervous when they arrived!

First, let me say congratulations to all the winners and finalist. Although we did not final in the Contemporary Fiction category, it was an interesting experience for both of us.

Like many others that I've read about, our scores were certainly a 'mixed bag' of results. We had one rather high score, a medium score, and a low score.

Only one of our judges gave any sort of identity--free lance editor. The other two were silent on their qualifications.

The high score we received is nice. We love it. But, I also wonder if that judge gave mostly high scores. The comments were rather sparse and mostly complimentary.

The low score? Well, I don't think that judge really 'got' the story. He/she suggested that our characters needed more quirkiness. Maybe this judge thought we were trying to write chic lit, or comedy. Then again, maybe that is what readers want today. Quirky characters are okay, but personally, I don't want them in all the books that I read or write.

The middle score is the one that we've taken the most notice of. He/she gave us compliments on our writing style and advice on how to 'tighten' up our story. This judge took the time to mark lines and areas of the partial manuscript. We felt like he/she really read what we wrote and understood what we were writing. We feel like this judge's comments alone made our entry worthwhile and we are already talking about entering again next year.

How have most of you felt about the scores you've received from writing contests? Do you think they are fair, do the judges 'get' what you story is about in the sparse amount of pages you send in?

Friday, May 1, 2009


I wanted to be sure and say "congratulations" to Janet. Her short story, The Old Santa Hat will be published in the Christmas Traditions book. It will be out in September. Good job, Janet!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Still Writing

Hi Friends~I hope all of you are doing well. I've been absent from this blog for a few months. I haven't meant to let it go so long--but spring has managed to get in the way!

We have been working on our square foot gardening, as well as trying to keep up with the rapidly growing grass. We have had a 'well-watered' spring, so far, and all the green stuff appreciates it.

I had some good news today~another publisher requested to look at the first book that my daughter and I wrote together. We're a little excited about it! I still have another one out with another publisher, so I'm hopeful for that one, as well.

I trust all of you are having a wonderful spring!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Writing, Writing. . .

I have been doing quite a bit of writing lately, as well as some research. I'm still working on two projects for contests. My youngest daughter is co-writing one of the projects with me, which makes things go a little faster!

I've noticed that several magazines have gone out of business lately, and I'm wondering if the book publishing world is suffering any consequences of this bad economy. Have any of you heard anything?

Happy Writing!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I have a lot of unfinished projects in my life. Some have to do with decorating my home, some are paper projects, such as getting pictures in albums or scrapbooks, and some are writing projects.

Right now, I feel like I have too many projects in the works. My 'polishing' on my manuscript is almost done, so it will be in the mail next week. After that, I will feel a little more relaxed--maybe!

Last year, I planned to enter the Hillerman writing contest, but never finished. This year, I hope to get my manuscript off to the judges a month earlier than the deadline.

What about you? Do you juggle a lot of projects at one time, or do you mostly stick to one until it is finished?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday News!

Some great news arrived in the mailbox today. An editor has asked to read my entire manuscript! I've been doing a happy dance all day! Now, I have to get to work giving a last bit of polish to the story before I send it off.
I had a different editor request a full manuscript of my first book. It was ultimately turned down~so I've been here before. I'm hopeful that this time I may get a different result.
I hope all of you are having a wonderful, productive day!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Christian Mystery, Suspense and Romance

This post on the Women of Mystery web site mentions a contest for those of you that write any type of mystery. I have an unpublished piece that I am editing. I am thinking about submitting it, but I'm starting to feel a little pressured by all these contests. Still, I'd like to get my work 'out there'. There are details on the Kiss of Death website.

Happy writing.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Have You Heard?

Barbour's Mystery Book Club is closing. It seems that the bad economy has touched them, too. This is the post that Joanne made on Friday:

This is a big disappointment to me, as well. As a writer of Christian mysteries, this puts even more limitations on where an unagented writer can submit. It's not that I'm giving up~I enjoy writing too much.

But it seems like a set-back, of sorts. I do write romance, so I can keep submitting to Barbour through that section. I've always loved Barbour. They are such a personal, friendly company and I wish the best for their publishing house in the future. And maybe, just maybe, their mystery line will make a come back!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Writing Contests

Are any of you thinking of entering the 2009 ACFW The Genesis contest? I have been a member of the ACFW for a few years, but I've never entered the contest before.

The Genesis is a contest for unpublished writers, open to ACFW members only. You are required to enter the first fifteen pages of your manuscript, plus an optional one page synopsis of the book. There are ten categories, so there is a category for almost everyone. You may submit more than one manuscript but there is a separate fee for each entry. The 2009 guidelines have not yet been posted, but the moderator informed members that the guidelines would be very similar to 2008--which included a $35 fee per manuscript entry.

My youngest daughter and I (we will be entering as co-authors) have a WIP that we think may be good for the Contemporary Romance category. We know this category will probably have the most competition, but we do feel it is a good story and it's a little different from the usual romance plot.

Here is the link to the 2008 contest (it should be updated in a couple of weeks for 2009).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are you writing now? I have a hard time getting back into any sort of writing schedule after a long break.

I am slowly making some revisions on a project I hope to send out in a couple of weeks. By next week, I hope to finish a short story I've had on the back burner for a while. Still, it's a very sluggish kind of start.

What about you? Is is easy for you to jump back in after a break?