Additional Information

Monday, December 17, 2012

What MY Writing Has Taught Me

Today I thought I'd share a fun little post about what I have learned from my writing this year.  Take a peek at the list below.  Then share your own learning experiences if you'd like.  Here goes:

1. The writing method I use today will be different a year from now.  It may even be different tomorrow.

2. It's okay if my story becomes something other than what I planned.

3. I need a cheat sheet at my desk for using lay vs lie.

4. Cutting words can lower the word count but can also make room for the right words to be added.

5. Revision is not a shameful word.

6. Character emotions are better shown with a balance of physical actions and internal sensations.

7. Every character has a part to play or shouldn't have a part at all.

8. Spending eight hours editing thirty pages is okay if that's what it takes to get it right.

9. Writing few words in many hours is also okay if that's what it takes to get it right.

10. My knowledge will grow beyond this list, as it should.

Hope you enjoyed.  Please share your own learning experiences below. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Assessing Your Manuscript Takes Courage

We know we need writers need courage, right? We pour our blood, sweat, and tears into a manuscript.  And when we think we have something great, we need courage to share it with others.  We as writers know this.  But you know what else takes courage? Recognizing that something we thought was great might not be so great after all.

None of us like to be in that place, that place that shows us where we messed up.  But you know what? It's a good place to be, and we shouldn't be afraid of it. 

I'm in that place now.  Rather than running away, I am embracing it.  I could cry and scream about the hours I've already put into this project.  I could stomp my stubborn foot and refuse to make corrections.  Or I could allow myself to become discouraged and trunk the manuscript.  But I believe in it.  And I love it.  I want to see it succeed.

So I will look at those errors as if they are quicksand, pulling my novel-to-be into non-existence.  I will build a stronger foundation for my story to stand on so it can't sink.  And I will do this however many times is necessary.  And that, my writing friends, takes courage.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

End of the World ~ December Blog Chain

Time for another blog chain from Absolute Write.  This month's theme is the end of the world.  After reading my attempt at destruction, check out my fellow AWers' posts linked below.  Enjoy!

They were right.  Mara hated to admit it, but they were right.  The end of the world was here.  It had nothing to do with the Mayans, but that didn’t matter.  The only thing that mattered was staying alive.

She laughed, the sound hollow to her cold ears.  Staying alive.  Yeah right.  She knelt down and braced herself against the brick wall, which was the only shelter from the sleeting rain.  Then she checked her weapon, the cold steel heavy in her hand.  She hated it.  The killing.  She was trained to be a teacher not a murderer.  But she’d already lost track of how many people she’d shot.  It was a necessity; she didn’t take any comfort from that, though.

The world was decimated from war.  The United States were no longer united; half the country had been blown apart.  The eastern coast was gone, the west shaken apart by earthquakes.  And the south had been invaded weeks ago but not by the Mexicans.  Mara wasn’t sure who was leading that charge.  She had taken refuge in the north, sure that was her best option.  But as she peeked her head around the corner, she was reminded of how wrong she’d been.  The Canadians had crossed the border to ravage what was left of the country.  There was nobody to stop them.  The commander-in-chief was killed when D.C. was bombed along with most members of his cabinet.  Those who were left had fled to who knew where.

Mara shook the icy drops of rain from her head.  She needed to get to the supply truck across the street.  She was out of food and had only a small amount of water in her canteen.  She peeked her head around the corner once more.  The two Canadian soldiers had their backs to her.  She darted across the pavement, then slid to a halt next to the passenger side of the vehicle.  Hearing no footsteps, she opened the door to rummage through the contents.  After shoving a few protein bars in her coat pocket, she filled her canteen.


 The voice startled her.  She dropped to the ground as shots rang out.  Her own gun fired in response.  Then she ran her sleeve across her face to block out the sight in front of her.  The accuracy with which she shot would make a marksman proud.  But there was no time to mourn; more soldiers would be coming.  Mara thought she could already hear footsteps.

She hurried across the street, then slid behind a dumpster while cursing the sleet covered ground.  She glanced at the sky.  Mother Nature was retaliating, trying to cleanse itself of the corruption that had overtaken the planet.  Mara wondered why the earth didn’t just open up to consume all that was left. 

Hearing voices now, she crawled to the corner before looking down the alley.  Three men stared back at her.  Heart pounding, Mara jumped up and then ran as fast as her feet would go, the men running after her.  She stumbled, then fell, before the shot echoed in her ears.  The burning in her chest spread throughout her body.  Her mind screamed for her to get up, but her body wouldn’t respond to the command.  So this was it.  The three men made their way to her; two stood a few feet away while the third stepped right next to her.  Mara’s eyes were growing heavy, but she fought to look at the man who held his gun pointed at her head.  “Why?” she asked before coughing.  Why had it come to this, to people killing each other for no reason? Mara didn’t want this; she didn’t want to die.  But she didn’t want to fight anymore either.  She wasn’t even sure of what she was fighting against.  The man knelt and pressed his gun to her forehead.  She closed her eyes and hoped the earth would somehow recover when the world war was over and spring forth life again.

Please check out the following posts below for some more good reading:

dolores haze
writingismypassion (you are here)
Ralph Pines
CJ Michaels
more to come...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't Count the Rejections

The temperature outside today is 62 degrees, which is highly unusual for a December day in my small neck of the woods in Illinois.  I'm beginning to wonder if mother nature will ever stop teasing us.  And as I sit here typing, I'm tempted to take my laptop outside because it is actually warmer out there than inside. 

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I made my first turkey.  Thankfully, I have no horror stories to share.  I remembered to remove all the junk and the neck made for a nice treat for Chip, after it was boiled of course.

This time last year I was in full query mode.  Now I'm back in beta mode, which I don't mind.  I have received some great initial feedback and look forward to getting the rest.  While I'm waiting, I'm cleaning out my email.  I have several rejections that I have left sitting, and I have been meaning to file them away for quite some time.  I think today is the day to accomplish that goal.

One final update, I will be starting a new job in the next few weeks.  I'm looking forward to it, too, because the schedule will allow me more time to write.  I'm already dreaming of everything I can accomplish...

Hope everyone else is well.  Several of you just finished NaNo.  Congrats to you for tackling that challenge! I've never participated, but maybe I will some time.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sometimes We Writers Have To Change It Up

I'm happy to report I am finally getting back into a writing groove.  And it feels great! Now that I've had some time away, I have been re-evaluating.  I began querying SHARDS OF GLASS at the beginning of this year, and all I've received so far is standard rejections.  I'm of the opinion that taking a new look at the query letter or the manuscript itself never hurts, especially when no agents have shown enough interest to even offer a bit of advice.

So being of that opinion, I took a fresh look.  More than ten months have passed, so I'd say that is a sufficient break away.  The query itself isn't a problem, I don't think.  But there is one major setback.  The word count.  *sighing while wiping bitter tears*  The best fit for SHARDS is YA.  And 90K words is long.  There are exceptions of course.  But I really believe in this story and want to see it published.

I shared my struggle with this story about a year ago here.  Getting the word count down was a nightmare.  And part of my writing style is to let the story write itself.  This is where I have to change it up, hence the title of today's post. 

Last year, I tried to remove Part I in an effort to reduce the word count.  It didn't work.  The story, mainly the dynamics between the FMC and MMC, suffered.  So I put Part I back in.  However, in a more determined effort to get this story right, I have cut Part I off again.  And off it shall stay.  Making that decision wasn't easy.  I love that part of the story.  But taking it off cut my word count to the 67K range, which is much more acceptable for YA.  And now that I've come to terms with that move, the story doesn't seem to be suffering.  I'm anxious to get it in the hands of some betas though to make sure. 

I've done some more editing and revising; I had to with Part I gone.  And this evening I plan to finish editing and revising the final 40 pages.  Then I will be seeking betas.  I'll see how that goes before beginning another round of queries.  And while taking care of SHARDS, REKINDLE has been put on hold.  I'm anxious and ready to get back to it, though. 

So there's my current writing dilemma.  I'm curious about all of you.  What part of your preferred writing style/technique/etc have you had to change? Even if the change wasn't permanent, please share below. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NoMoReMo, AW November Blog Chain

This month's Absolute Write Blog Chain brings you NaMoReMo (National Mock Review Month).

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, write a mock review of a writing project that you have done or would like to do. Make sure to either give a brief, one-sentence description of what the project is or work it into the review somehow. You can review anything (poetry, prose, collected blog posts) and in any way you like (funny, serious, Dadaist).

Be sure to check out my fellow AWer's reviews.  They are posted below.  Enjoy!

Follow the Trail by C. F. Pence is the ambitious romantic tale of Adria Hall, a Bostontonian elite who flees the only home she knows after finding her fiance in an indecent position with a former friend.  Heartbroken and humiliated, Adria takes shelter in the West with long time family friends who own and run a general store.  Adria is immediately hired to help, and it is her duties at the store that bring her face to face with Drew Scott, a local cattle rancher who looks down on the inexperienced city girl who doesn't belong.  As Adria attempts to embrace a life she knows nothing about, she bonds with a girl who turns out to be Drew's sister.  In predictable fashion, Adria and Drew develop a mutual attraction as they continually stumble into each other.

Although Pence started with much potential for a good love story, the focus is lost among her attempt to bring mystery and tragedy into the mix.  Drew leaves to "follow the trail" of ruthless cattle thieves who committed a despicable murder while Adria is left behind to comfort a sudden widow.  And the trail is long.  Indeed, it is so long that it becomes hard to tell if Pence is writing a romance or a western.  Quite frankly, Follow the Trail just isn't good enough to be both. 

The writing blunders are frequent and jarring, but perhaps with more practice and a sharp pair of shearers Pence can shape this story into something worthwhile.  For now there is too much chaos, and the road to the tidy bow at the end takes too long to travel. 

Now please check out these:
Ralph Pines
dolores haze
writingismypassion (you are here)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let your voice count ~ go vote!

I'm not ashamed to admit I hate politics.  That being the case, I am so ready for this presidential election to be over.  On the flip side, I strongly believe in exercising our right (and responsibility) to vote.  I think it's a shame that so many people don't vote; many people don't think their vote will make a difference.  I understand that sentiment, but I do not agree. 

I think regardless of how we vote, we are still saying something.  And perhaps I'm too naive, but I can't help but think we can still get the attention of the candidates.  What if every person who was legally allowed to vote did, but none of them voted for the candidates presented to us? Would the candidates care? Would the two main parties care?

Of course, I can't expect people to agree with me.  There are plenty of people who without a doubt want Obama; there are people who without a doubt want Romney.  And there are still people cheering for the underdogs.  All that is fine.  Everyone has a right to choose a candidate, and the simple fact is not every candidate can be elected.

But personally I am tired of feeling like I have to vote for the candidate that isn't as bad as the other guy.  You know what that says to the candidates? They don't have to be good or preferred; they just have to win.  I think that's a shame.

I should probably point out I don't have a lot of voting experience.  This will only be my fourth presidential election.  However, I would like to point out something else: not once have I been in favor of either of the candidates presented to me.  The guy I root for never makes it far past the primaries.  Oh well.  Truthfully, that probably just means I'm in the minority.

Regardless, I will be voting tomorrow because I still have to believe that "we the people" have some control.  Hopefully, we can agree on that much.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Changes Are Coming

*Listening to the crickets and sweeping out the cobwebs*

It's been quiet here on my blog lately.  With everything going on, I needed to take a step back to re-focus.  Besides working full time and trying to write, I have been trying to help my husband with his lawn care business.  Plus we are in the process of adopting, we're getting ready to apply to become foster parents, and we buried our furry baby, Tucker, a couple weeks ago.  That was a heartbreaking experience, and we are still grieving his loss.  If you have pets, you understand.  It's been a roller coaster few months to say the least.  My head is still spinning.

Anyway, I'm not typically a fan of change.  I know, I know, this is coming from someone who is preparing for a lot of change! But sometimes change is necessary, and not all change is bad.  When I started this blog, I didn't want to set a schedule for what I would post and when.  It was easier for me to have the freedom to write about anything, whether it was writing related or about life or whatever.  However, at this point in time, having something to focus on would be better.  So I am in the process of creating a schedule for myself.  I'd like to start participating in my blog chains, also.  Currently, the only one I take part in is the one at Absolute Write.  I love it, but I'm skipping this month's.

So it's going to be quiet for a little while longer while I switch gears even though I could probably come up with plenty of things to write about.  I spent yesterday evening on a mower with large mosquito looking bugs constantly flying into my face.  They love that tall grass.  Wow...maybe I should have participated in AW's blog chain this month.  That could be the basis of a good horror story. :)

But sometimes I just need a break.  I hope my fellow bloggers don't mind.  When I return, I should be refreshed.

Hope all is well!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

When Tragedy Strikes

"These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve." ~ President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001.

Today is Tuesday.  Eleven years ago on a quiet Tuesday morning, life as we knew it changed radically.  A sunny business day in New York became clouded as buildings collapsed.  People ran  from the rubble as fast as they could.  But just moments before the twin towers collapsed, people were running inside.

At some point in our lives, we are all faced with adversity.  Adversity.  It's a broad word that defines both minor and significant events that shape our character.  And when faced with trying circumstances, we have a choice.  Eleven years ago, when our country was attacked, there were firefighters, police officers, port authority personnel and many others who ran into burning buildings while others were running out.  And though we could say they were just doing their jobs, we need to remember that they were people; they had loved ones waiting for them, who expected them to come home when their shifts were over.  But they made a choice.

When the passengers on Flight 93 came to understand what was happening, they too made a choice.  They could have remained in their seats.  They were thousands of feet above the ground and could have decided there was nothing they could do.  They could have accepted their imminent death.  Instead, they chose to fight.

As we reflect on the events of that horrible day, let's honor those who died and remember we always have a choice regardless of the circumstances we face.  That day, as a country, we united.  Instead of giving up, we carried on.  And we will continue to do so.

From a poem I wrote for the two year anniversary:
"For all those lost or alone,
In remembrance we survive."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Seventh Day ~ September AW Blog Chain

Wow, it's that time already! The Absolute Write Blog Chain for September has begun, and it's my turn.  This month's prompt is the number seven.  *September used to be the seventh month of the old Roman calendar and its name literally means seventh "month," so this month is brought to you by 7. Write wherever the prompt inspires you, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry. Do try and keep things at a PG-13 level, though.  This month, I opted for non-fiction piece.  Actually, I'm just sharing my opinion on a particular subject.  After reading mine, please check out my fellow AWer's posts.  The links are listed below.

The Seventh Day

I think most people are familiar with the concept of God creating the earth in six days and resting on the seventh.  And one of the ten commandments is to rest on the seventh day of the week.  Now if you're not a Christian, please don't tune out.  I don't think you have to be a Christian to agree with what I'm about to say. 

We need that seventh day; we need that day of rest.  And I forget that. 

In today's society, life can become quite hectic, crazy chaotic even.  And I know for me personally, I have a difficult time making myself sit still.  And shut my mind off? Forget it.  I always have a mental list of to-dos.  While completing one thing, I'm thinking of the next dozen.  Taking an entire day and keeping it as my day of rest is next to impossible.  How can I sit still when all around me I see things that need completed? But the problem is this: I wear myself out.  I go-go-go until I can't go any more.  And then I have to take time to rest.

I don't think we were meant to keep up at the fast pace we have created for ourselves.  Almost everything I do, I do hurriedly.  I rush through one thing because I know there's something to do next.  But you know what? There will always be something to do next.  That's just life.  The important thing is realizing the world won't end if I don't get those dishes done.  Or if I don't get the laundry put away.  Or fill in the blank for the chore you do most.  My house won't fall down if I take time to relax.  And I need to remember that.

Okay, now take a look at these:
Ralph Pines
writingismypassion (YOU ARE HERE)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Step to Being a Writer: WRITE

After reading a fellow blogger's post yesterday, I was reminded of a very important rule for being a writer.  What is that rule you ask? Write! I know that isn't exactly earth shattering.  But it hit home because I have a hard time making myself sit down to write if I don't have a lot of time.  And I love to write, so it shouldn't be that difficult! But I prefer to have a couple of hours to work on a project.  If I only have thirty minutes, I typically find something else that needs done.  The problem with that is I have been extremely busy this year.  That means I haven't gotten many words down on my current WIP.  On previous projects, I've been able to complete a first draft within two months.  However, I began REKINDLE this past spring and I haven't even hit the 10K mark.

So basically, I've completely dropped the ball on that very necessary rule.  With that being said, I sat down last night and completed a whopping 300 words.  That doesn't sound like much, but it sure felt good to see the words on the screen.  And it was certainly better than seeing a blank screen!

One final note: take time to stop on over at J. W. Alden's blog where he shares a few good writing rules.  It's definitely worth the read.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Role as Consumers

I've spent a lot of time considering our role as consumers.  And by "consumer" I mean anyone who purchases books, movies, music, or any particular item from any store.  I would guess everyone fits into the category of "consumer."  What really got me thinking was the whole Chick-fil-A mess.  (There.  I said it.  I won't say it again because that's not the focus of this post, and there's no point beating a dead horse with a stick.)

I don't have an answer, but I can't help wondering how far we as consumers are willing to go to support one company or author or musician or actor/actress, etc. versus not supporting another.  For instance, if I decide to boycott every person or company that believes something contrary to what I believe, I'd probably have to carry a mile long list as a reminder of who/what I cannot see/read/listen to, etc.  And that would probably be the same for many other consumers regardless of what side of an issue they are on.

So that bring me to the next question.  Does appreciating a person's talent/ability or a store's service/items equal supporting the person's/store's beliefs? That's where the water gets really muddy for me personally.  I can recall a time when someone I know stopped watching a particular show because of something that came out about the main actress.  At the time, I thought that was rather silly.  I thought about the person I know, just because you don't support "that" doesn't mean you can't support her acting ability.  I also recall when an author came out with a particular novel and a set of people threw a fit because of the author's stance on an issue.  And again, I thought that was silly.  It was just a book.  Pure fiction.  It didn't mean anything.  Reading the book didn't mean a particular consumer agreed with the author's belief.  Yet there is an author I will not read.  There are singers I will not listen to.  There is an actor I will not watch.  And that leaves me questioning why I'm diligent about not supporting those, but I don't mind supporting others.  I'll use my religion as an example.  If I were to boycott one atheist, what would be the point if I don't boycott them all? It seems rather ridiculous to make a big stink about one and not the others.  That's just an example.

So back to the original question.  As consumers, should we pay more attention and be more diligent about those we choose to support and who we choose not to support? Or do we just enjoy what we enjoy while recognizing we won't always agree with certain people's/companies beliefs? Perhaps it depends on your definition of "support." 

I'd love to know what others think, so leave your thoughts below!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fire and Ice ~ August AW Blog Chain

Time for the August AW Blog Chain. This month's prompt is Fire & Ice. As usual, the post can be fiction or non-fiction. For those of you unfamiliar with the chain, please read my fictional post and then take a look at what the other participants had to say. The links are listed below. Thanks!

Pain shot through her fingers as she gripped the door handle.  She let go, thankful her hands weren’t numb yet.  She rubbed them together.  Maybe there was no use trying to get out.  Even if she wanted, she’d never be able to open the door.  The freak storm which had left behind several inches of ice had her trapped.  The room she now occupied was a mere four degrees warmer than outside.  She’d never experienced such an extreme cold.  But she didn’t really mind.  The rage that burned within her was enough.  For now.

She could no longer walk, so she crawled across the floor in search of anything she could use to break a window and the layer of ice which covered it.  If she survived, her feet would be amputated because of frostbite.  Perhaps her hands would be, too.  It wouldn’t be long before she could no longer use them.  Still, she was determined.

Finally, she located a hammer and eased her way back to the window.  Her first swing barely cracked the glass.  Gritting her teeth against the pain and the cold, she swung again.  And again.  And again.  But her arms soon gave out; the ice was thicker than she thought.  Slumping against the door, she imagined him lying on the ground somewhere.  Was he suffering worse than she? She hoped so as she gasped for one more breath.  He deserved no less for leaving her to die.

Now, check out the following:
Ralph Pines
Catherine Hall
writingismypassion (YOU ARE HERE)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cross on Public Property ~ Dugger, Indiana Facing Legal Action

Stories like this both sadden and anger me.  It is another supposed violation of the separation of church and state.  It is stories like this that inspired me to start my First Amendment series, which currently is on hold.  This story is a great example of how far we as a country have strayed from the original meaning of the First Amendment. 

The article basically states that Americans United for the Separation of Church and State have sent a letter to Dugger, Indiana, population 915 as of 2011, threatening legal action and informing that the twenty-six foot tall cross located there in Dugger on public property is a violation of the Establishment Clause.  In case you're not familiar, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."  The cross was built by a private citizen at his own expense, and the town council approved the cross's current location.  The council does not believe they can afford, much less win, a lawsuit.  And because of that, there was much debate over what to do.  The council has now decided to sell the property so that the cross can remain in its current position.

I applaud them for not taking the cross down.  But they shouldn't have to sell the property to avoid a lawsuit.  No violation to the Constitution has been committed.  If this was a situation where the citizens of Dugger wanted the cross removed from public property, I would understand.  The town council acts as representatives of the citizens and should act accordingly.  From what I can understand, though, the protest has not come from the citizens.  Does that mean there are no citizens in Dugger who want the cross down? Not necessarily.

I've made no attempt at hiding the fact that I am a Christian.  And just in case you're wondering, I would not have a different opinion if the issue was an atheist sign.  For example, if a private citizen built a sign that was "anti-christian" or "anti-religion" or even representing a different religion for that matter, and the town council approved the sign being displayed on public property, and the citizens had no problem with the sign, I wouldn't object.  An atheist's rights are protected by the First Amendment just as much as the Christian's or other religious person's rights are.  If I was travelling through a town that had a sign which was contrary to my beliefs, I wouldn't even go out of my way to turn my head to prevent myself from looking at it.  The sign wouldn't threaten me or my beliefs.  It wouldn't change my view, just as a cross probably won't change the view of an atheist.  And the same goes for symbols of other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc.  If I saw a large Buddha located on public property, I wouldn't accuse the town of "establishing Buddhism."  The town would merely be using the Buddha as a representation to their religious beliefs.  And they would have that right.

This whole false concept of the separation of church and state infuriates me.  My biggest concern is that we as a people have come too far, that there's no going back to the original meaning of the First Amendment.  And before I start ranting, I better end this post.  But let me end with this:

One person's rights cannot be granted by taking away another's.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Lazy Day Saturday

I have to admit, I love lazy days.  You know the kind, the kind where you get out of bed and stay in your pajamas all day because you have absolutely nowhere to go for once.  Today is one of those days for me.  And how am I using my lazy day? Catching up on writing projects and household chores.  It's funny how such a busy day still feels like a lazy day compared to my usual schedule.  But sitting around doing nothing all day really isn't my style, so I don't really mind.  At least I get to stay home and get caught up. 

I've had a crazy busy summer so far, and my mom and I were recently talking about how fast time goes.  She goes to the Brickyard every year and always takes someone with her.  This year was my third time, and my mom and I were commenting on how we look forward to it for so long and then it's over.  We hardly have enough time to enjoy the experience.  But such is the case with everything. 

So with that being said, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my day and my weekend for that matter.  August is my least busiest month; every weekend in September is already booked.  Better enjoy the break while I can.  Have fun all!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Well August has arrived, and I'm sorry to say I haven't had much time to work on REKINDLE.  There have been too many other things fighting for my attention.  However, I am excited about a recent development in the storyline.  From the beginning, I planned on sharing the story through two POVs ~ Kallie's and Joey's.  I thought (ha ha, that's what I get for thinking) that Kallie would get more time than Joey.  But I don't think that will be the case.

Here's a very brief description of the story:

Kallie returns to town because she has finally sold her old house and needs to pack up all her stuff so she can move on with her future.  When Kallie had left town several years before, she left Joey behind to cope with a broken heart.  They run into each other early on and the story goes from there.

The development I'm excited about is this: Joey's life has been turned upside down.  The love of his life skipped town, and then he was forced to deal with another loss and his family is still trying to pick up the pieces.  I'm sensing a lot of conflict and tension yet to be written.  And that's more interesting than Kallie and her packing abilities.  Actually, she does more than pack boxes, but Joey's going to be the popular one.  So it's a shift, a big one in my opinion.  Kallie and her dilemmas are not going to be the focus of the story after all. 

Ahhh...writing.  Got to love the journey it takes us on!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2-4 Page Autobiography ~ Eek!

I hate writing about myself.  I'm much more interested in writing about fictional characters with all their crazy life adventures than I am in my own.  But alas, I must write a 2-4 page autobiography.  It's a requirement for the adoption profile my husband and I are putting together.  This is the current writing project at the forefront of my mind, yet when I sit down to work on it I just stare at the blank screen.  All words elude me.  Why is writing about oneself so dang difficult?

For starters, there's thirty years of life to pick and choose from.  What do I put in? What do I leave out? How do I make it interesting so a potential birth mother doesn't pass it over? Humor is not a talent of mine, so how do I be serious without being boring? Yeah, I have no answer to that.

Perhaps I'll begin in third person; maybe that will help me view myself as a fictional character.  Except I'll have plenty of material to draw from and no need to create anything.  I can see the choices now:

I was born on such and such day in 1982 at such and such P.M. 


Carey and his sister Dawn were preparing to celebrate their shared birthday when Carey's little girl decided she wanted to take part in the festivities.  Charity came out into the world just in time to be the third member of the family with the same birthday.

Okay.  Now I'm just amusing myself and procrastinating.  But it would be much more fun to write in third person.  Just saying. :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Got a favorite writing resource?

To answer the question, I don't. Not currently anyway. I have only a few things I keep handy when writing, and I don't use them as often as I probably should. But when I do pull them off the shelf, they're not very helpful. My grammar book is a college textbook that doesn't explain anything very well. My thesaurus and dictionary don't always have the words I'm looking for. (What's up with that?)

I think it's time for some updating, hence the question. If you have a favorite, I'd like to know. I've been trying to find a good grammar book and there's so many to choose from. Perhaps it doesn't matter as long as I have one. But if you have one you swear by, post it below please.

I wish I had something to offer in return, but I don't. Instead, this is just me asking for help from all you wonderful writers. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

July Blog Chain

Time for another Absolute Write Blog Chain entry.  This month's prompt involves slavery and freedom.  My piece of fiction was inspired by a topic that is near to my heart.  I have not experienced anything like this, but I have a soft spot for children.  And the tragic fact is child abuse happens.  It goes on undetected for far too long.  So take care before reading.  There are no graphic details, but it may still be hard to read.  When you are finished, I hope you'll click on over to this month's other participants and see what they had to say.  Thanks in advance.

Mommy is very smart.  When that nice lady comes to visit, Mommy makes sure I am dressed nice and cleaned up.  I think Mommy knows what the lady is looking for and what questions she will ask.  Mommy always tells me what to say, and I know I must say what she tells me.

When the lady comes to the door, Mommy tells me to let her in.  The lady looks over me, but I know she will not see what I want her to.  Mommy is too smart.  She never leaves marks where people will see.  So I smile and tell the lady I am glad to see her.  We sit in the living room while Mommy prepares a glass of iced tea for the lady.  "How are you?" she asks me.  It's a question meant to get me to start talking.  I want to show her the bruise on my chest and tell her how much my body hurts.  And I want to tell her how much my stomach hurts, that I have not eaten in two days.  But Mommy can hear me from the kitchen and I don't dare whisper.  "Great," I reply.  My survival depends on how good I can lie.  But Mommy is the expert, not me.  My voice gives me away, and I look at the kitchen door as Mommy comes out.  She looks at me, and I know I am in trouble.  But now Mommy is smiling at the lady and talking about how proud my teachers are of me.  I don't know if Mommy is proud.  She always tells me how stupid I am.

I watch Mommy and the lady talk, and I know my time here is limited.  But I don't mind.  Because that means I will soon be free.  I will no longer be Mommy's slave to do as she commands.  And Mommy will not be able to lie.  You see, I am smart too, though Mommy doesn't think so.  And when I die tonight, Mommy will be very happy.  But tomorrow, my teacher will find a note on her desk that I left after school.  And she will know what Mommy did. 

I will be free.  And Mommy will become the slave.

Now, head on over to the following sites:
Ralph Pines
writingismypassion (you are here)
more to come...stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Writing Weakness

As writers, I think we all have strengths and weaknesses.  My strength is dialogue.  The easiest part of writing for me is writing dialogue.  However, I have a heck of a time getting the scene right.  I can picture it in my head well enough, but translating that to the page is quite a task.  Part of my problem is my tendency to type too fast.  I get excited and in a hurry, and I don't spend as much time on each scene as I should.  I know I can always fix it during editing, but it would be much easier if I allowed myself to slow down a bit.  A lot of writers set goals for themselves to write a certain amount of words each time they write; I think I might need to start limiting myself. 

Another problem I have is finding a balance.  Personally, I don't like an abundance of description in books.  I prefer just enough details to adequately picture the scene.  So that being said, I think I tend to put too little in.

So I'm curious.  What's your writing weakness? Please share below.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Busy much?

I sure am! Holy freak, it's been a crazy month! Next month isn't looking much better, and I regret that my writing has been impacted.  I'm hoping to find some time to get back to working on REKINDLE soon.  I was so excited to get started, was on my way, then life interfered.  But that happens, as we all know.  And my freedom series has been interrupted unfortunately.  I'm hoping to get that back on schedule too.  On top of all that, I need to get another batch of queries sent out on SHARDS OF GLASS.  Must find time...

In the meantime, I'd like to share some exciting news.  My husband and I have decided to adopt.  And that is partially why I've been so busy.  We are very early in the process, but the process has been started.  Prayers for this journey we are taking would be much appreciated.

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the summer.  The weather has been less than pleasant here in Illinois (hotter than blazes!), and we are badly in need of rain.  Dead grass.  Dying crops.  Not good at all for my husband's mowing business or the farmers. 

But we still feel blessed, and I hope you do too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Just Like A Scene From A Horror Movie

After a crazy busy weekend, I finally had time to sit down with a movie and relax last night.  My husband left earlier in the day to be a volunteer faculty member at church camp for the week, so I was home alone with my two dogs.  Neither of them bark often.  Sometimes when a stranger pulls into the driveway, they bark, but only if they think I don't know anybody is there.  And sometimes they bark at animals.  Chip is the only one that likes to bark at nothing.

Anyway, last night I was on the couch watching my movie when Tucker began barking in the front living room.  Wondering who in the world would be coming to my house at such an hour and keeping the lights off, I got up and went to the front room.  A brief glance out the window assured me nobody was there.  But since I had no idea what else Tucker would be barking at, I went to the dining room and snuck a peek out that window.  Still nothing.  Then I went to the kitchen.  A peek out that window revealed nothing out of the ordinary.  But then, just as I was about to turn away, a sound came from behind me.  I turned, and the pantry door was opening.  So I did the only logical thing.  I flipped the light switch and yanked the door open.  Nobody was there, of course.

I never did figure out what Tucker was barking at.  But if I had to guess, I'd say he probably saw the thieving creature that helped itself to a free meal by chowing down on seven of my chickens the night before.  I know it came back last night because this morning my tomato plants were dug up.  I may need to stand sentry with the .22 tonight.

Hope everyone else had a nice, uneventful weekend. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

3. Our Founding Fathers

1. The First Amendment
2.1 Beginning of a Nation
2.2 Beginning of a Nation

One argument that frequently comes up during debates about the separation of church and state is that the Founding Fathers of the United States were not Christians.  I cannot say that I agree.  There is plenty of evidence to indicate many of the Founders were in fact Christians.  When considering the Constitution, is it necessary to know what the Founding Fathers believed? I think so.  But at the very least, knowing the backgrounds of the men responsible for bringing forth our nation can’t hurt.

In a letter to his father, John Quincy Adams wrote, “My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ.”  See the eighth quote.  Robert Treat Paine, signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated (shown here), “I desire to bless and praise the name of God most high for appointing me my birth in a land of Gospel Light where the glorious tidings of a Savior and of pardon and salvation through Him have been continually sounding in mine ears.”  Benjamin Rush, also a signer of the Declaration, relied upon the blood of Jesus to cleanse him from his sins.  Roger Sherman, signer of the Declaration and the Constitution, believed in God and believed God to be Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  John Witherspoon, yet another signer, declared, “If you are not reconciled to God through Jesus Christ…you must forever perish.  See page 286, last paragraph.  These are just a few select examples.

Furthermore, Abraham Baldwin and Joel Barlow both served as Chaplains in the American Revolution.  And interestingly, at least forty Founders were involved in a Bible society. (Barton, David, Original Intent, pg. 145-149)

For more evidence regarding the Founding Fathers and their belief in God, you can also review these statements and the last will and testaments of several Founders.

I would encourage everyone to seek out original statements and writings that were made by our Founding Fathers in order to determine their beliefs.  Don’t take my word for it.  Based on the information we have available to us, which is much more than I can list in a blog post, I believe the Founders never intended for people to be prohibited from practicing Christianity outside of their homes.  And yet, people have been prohibited on numerous occasions.  Even worse, based on today’s idea of the separation of church and state, it appears the United States has gone from a country that freely embraced Christianity to a country that supports Christianity’s regulation.  If you do not believe Christianity is or has been regulated, stay tuned.

Next week, we’ll look at:

4. The Supreme Court

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June's Absolute Write Blog Chain

Today's post is part of the Absolute Write June Blog Chain.  This month's prompt is about weird worlds.  Take a look at my piece of fiction below, and then take a tour of my fellow AWer's blogs to see their awesome work.

Luc punched the seat in front of him and cursed.  “Where’d you learn to drive?”

Daemon, the driver, was still reeling from the collision with the golden sign and took a moment before speaking.  “The glare blinded me, boss.”

Both climbed out of the vehicle and glanced around.  Luc didn’t recognize the lush valley.  The stillness was eerie and so unusual, so weird, but with a tint of familiarity that he couldn’t explain.  “Do you at least know where we are?” he asked while rubbing his sleeve as if the sunlight would soil his suit.

A brief hesitation was met with a slap to the back of Daemon’s head.  “Sure, boss, sure.”  Working a kink out of his neck, Daemon added, “It’s just over that rise there.  It’s got to be.”

Luc wasn’t about to go traipsing through thick, green grass.  There was no telling what kind of filthy creatures could be lurking there.  And the sunlight was already forcing his temples to pound.  “Then get to it! I’ll be waiting.”  He took his place in the back seat and closed his eyes.  His nap had been interrupted, and he was hoping for a few more minutes of rest.

Knowing better than to disobey, Daemon trudged along the frightening landscape.  He’d never seen such bright colors.  Green grass went on for miles and tickled his feet.  The clear blue sky held no clouds.  And the sun.  It burned his skin, but not like the piercing burns he was used to.  Hoping he hadn’t botched the job too bad, he made his way over the rise and shielded his eyes with his hand.  Then he screamed.

Seconds later, Luc was jerked awake by a tug on his arm.  “What now?” He set his piercing eyes on his driver who was now kneeling on the ground and gnashing his teeth.

His body trembling, Daemon pleaded for mercy.  “I’m sorry, boss.  I didn’t mean to bring us here.”

Luc jumped out of the vehicle.  The sound of a heavily clad army filled the air.  A trumpet sounded.  He ran to the front of the car for a better view of the sign that had fallen to the ground.  The glare remained, but he was still able to read the bold letters.  HEAVEN.  Luc’s eyes widened until they were ready to pop out their sockets.  Turning and pointing his gnarled finger at Daemon, he yelled, “You damned fool! Get us back to Hell!”


Hope you enjoyed.  Now check out the following:

writingismypassion (YOU ARE HERE)
Nick Rolynd
more to come...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

In Memory...

I'm taking a break from all things writing this week, so there will be no post tomorrow.  My freedom series will resume Friday of next week.  My mother-in-law lost her battle with cancer two days ago, and I'd like to take a moment to make a tribute.

In honor of:

February 15, 1962 - May 29, 2012

Remembered most for the love she had for her family.  The picture below is of my husband and his mom, and it was taken on her 50th birthday.

She is resting with Jesus now.

Monday, May 28, 2012

All Gave Some...Some Gave All

Today's post is in honor of all the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.  The freedoms we have came at a great cost.  The number of lives lost throughout the history of our country is staggering and worth reflecting upon.  And we can't forget about all those who made it home; many of them returned with physical and mental scars that cannot be erased.

The sacrifice our soldiers make, along with their familes, is extreme.  And though there are many reasons why people choose to serve in the military, the fact remains that they are fighting on behalf of the rest of us who choose not to serve.  There was a time when I considered joining the Air Force or the Navy.  Admittedly, I was too scared.  I was very insecure and lacked self-confidence, and the thought of going away to a place where I would know nobody and would have no idea what to expect terrified me.  I don't offer that as an excuse; it's just the truth.

But I come from a family with a strong military history.  I have cousins, distant cousins, grandparents, great uncles, etc. that were brave enough to serve.  My step-dad served, also.  And I have friends and people I went to school with who served or are currently serving.  My husband's family has service men and women, also.

Don't we all know somebody in the military? Please honor them today.

Happy Memorial Day.  God bless!

Friday, May 25, 2012

2.2 Beginning of a Nation

Continuing from last week:

The people’s belief in God was evident in their principles of education. A law in Connecticut ordered parents to teach their children to read English so that the children would be able to read the Bible.  Additionally, a requirement for studying at Harvard included that students were to study their Bibles and seek God through prayer. In 1790, it was added that students were to attend worship services also.  Yale, too, required students to read their Bibles and pray.  And Princeton, Dartmouth, and Columbia each had similar requirements.  You can see here for evidence.  Those rules indicate the importance of religion in early American education.  Check this site for more interesting facts regarding religion in early America.  Religion was not something the people were indifferent to.

As previously mentioned, the people wanted assurance that their religious rights could not be infringed.  Therefore, of the first thirteen states, all had state Constitutions that declared the people had a right to the free exercise of religion.  Delaware and Pennsylvania even required a religious oath be taken by government officials.  Also, Delaware, New Jersey, and North Carolina’s constitutions stated no religious sect could be established in preference to any other.  South Carolina went even further by declaring that there is one God and that the Christian religion is the true religion.  And Rhode Island's preamble states, “We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.”  This state also recognized the people's right to freely worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.  Links to each individual state constitution can be found at the end of this post.
When people debate the idea of separation of church and state, an argument is typically made that America was never a Christian nation.   That argument has been enough to convince others that religious practices should be prohibited in public settings.  However, that argument is misleading.  Perhaps the government was not designed to be a “Christian government,” but the people were initially a Christian people who wanted protection to practice their religion without interference.  Founding Father John Jay wrote a letter to John Murray reflecting on the morality of war.  In the letter (see page 376), John Jay referred to our nation as a “Christian nation.” 

Additionally, some people have used the Treaty of Tripoli to indicate our nation was not intended to be Christian.  So let's review.  President George Washington sent delegates to negotiate a treaty of peace with the Muslim Barbary Powers.  At the time, American merchant ships were being destroyed and American seamen were being captured because the Barbary Powers were warring against what they believed to be a Christian government.  The Powers were all too familiar with the Christian government of England, which had a hatred of Muslims.  The Powers viewed America as being the same of England.  However, America was nothing like England.  The people were a Christian people, but the government was not a “Christian government.”  Going back to the First Amendment, we have to remember the whole purpose of the Establishment Clause was to prevent a government mandated religion.  There should be no surprise, then, that the Treaty of Tripoli stated, “…the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…” (Italics mine).  Religious rights were intentionally left to the individual states.  Therefore, the Treaty could not allege that the federal government was a Christian government. 

Advocates of the separation of church and state further argue that John Adams believed the world to be a better place without religion.  Where does this thought come from? A letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson contains the following: “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!” However, this phrase has been taken out of context.  By reading the entire letter, one would find the following paragraph: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it! But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly.  Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.”  In the letter, Adams was venting his frustration about the religious bickering that went on between Lemuel Bryant (a parish Priest) and Joseph Cleverly (a Latin schoolmaster).  The last line clearly states John Adams’s belief that religion is important to society.  See here for the full correspondence between Jefferson and Adams. 

I have seen nothing to indicate the Founding Fathers intended to keep religion out of the public, so how has the Supreme Court so often come to the conclusion that religion should be removed from public settings? It comes down to the idea of the separation of church and state.  Before I turn to the Supreme Court and the decisions they have made against religious practices, I will offer evidence to the Founding Fathers’s religious views next week.

And don’t forget, you can click on the following links to review the first thirteen state constitutions.

Coming up next week:
3. Our Founding Fathers

Monday, May 21, 2012


This ornery one is Chip.  He was a year back in February, so he is still very much a puppy.  And he acts like it, although you can't tell it in this picture.


This is Tucker! He turned ten back in March.  He's our baby.  It took me a while to get this photo.  Who knew a webcam would freak him out. :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

2.1 Beginning of a Nation

1. The First Amendment

In last week's post, I stated that the early settler's believed in God.  So let's take a moment to go back a bit further in time in order to review evidence for that statement.  In Christian Life and Character of Civil Institutions of the United States, Benjamin Franklin Morris declared, "We have a noble nation, full of the evidences of the moulding presence of Christian truth, and of the power and goodness of Divine wisdom is rearing up a Christian republic for all time." (See preface).  In that same book, Morris offers the following:

~In New Jersey, the people were determined to carry on Godly government. (pg. 90)
~In Delaware, the Christian colonization began in 1638 after a royal member of a Sweden family decided to "aid in the Christian settlement of the New World." (pg. 91, 92)
~Virginia began in 1607 after King James granted territories and acknowledged that the work performed there would be aided by the propagation of the Christian religion. (pg. 92)
~Maryland was settled in 1632 by Lord Baltimore who hoped to further the Catholic religion.  Lord Baltimore was granted a charter because of his "...laudable zeal for extending the Christian religion...."  Additionally, when Lord Baltimore's brother, Leonard Calvert, arrived in Maryland, he erected a cross and took possession for "our Lord Jesus Christ...." (pg. 94, 95)
~South Carolina's beginnings were due to the Christian religion. (pg. 96)
~In North Carolina, the settlers were of various Christian sects who were seeking refuge from Virginia's strict Catholic laws. (pg. 98)
~Georgia received its beginning in 1732 when James Ogelthorpe landed with several emigrants to further his Christian motives. (pg. 101)

Morris goes on to say that in Massachusetts and Connecticut, all free people and civil rulers had to be in communion with the church so they could promote the Christian church. (pg. 106)

Several state charters confirmed the settler's desire to uphold the Christian religion.  For example, the Virginia charter stated that the people came to America to bring the “Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true knowledge and worship of God.” 


Connecticut's charter states, "...whereby Our said People Inhabitants there, may be so religiously, peaceably and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderly Conversation may win and invite the Natives of the Country to the Knowledge and Obedience of the only true GOD, and He Saviour of Mankind, and the Christian Faith, which in Our Royal Intentions, and the adventurers free Possession, is the only and principal End of this Plantation;"

Delaware's charter states, "BECAUSE no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship: And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits; and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare..."

Georgia's charter states, "...we do by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, grant, establish and ordain, that forever hereafter, there shall be a liberty of conscience allowed in the worship of God, to all persons inhabiting, or which shall inhabit or be resident within our said provinces..."

Maryland's charter states, "Whereas our well beloved and right trusty Subject Caecilius Calvert...being animated with a laudable, and pious Zeal for extending the Christian Religion..."

Copies of the original thirteen charters can be found here at the Yale Law School website. 

Interestingly enough, the majority of charters that mention religion declare that Christian people will not be prejudiced against.  This suggests that the people were concerned that the government would treat them in a negative manner based on their religion.  By the time America later declared independence from Great Britain, religious views hadn't changed.  The Declaration of Independence was signed by fifty-six men on July 4th, 1776.  When those men placed their signatures on this document, they agreed “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  Although Patrick Henry was not one of the signers of the Declaration, he is considered a Founding Father.  He announced, “There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations…” See here for that quote along with several others he made regarding religion.  Also, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, queried, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” 

Considering all this information, is it any surprise that the citizens of the new nation wanted assurance that the government would not interfere with their religious beliefs and that their rights would not be violated? This is the reason the Founding Fathers included religion in the First Amendment.  The Establishment Clause and the Exercise Clause were only meant to prohibit any laws from being made that would violate the religious rights of the people.  Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has used the First Amendment to do the opposite of what the Founding Fathers intended.

Next week, I will continue with the:

Beginning of a Nation

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Accepting Constructive Criticism

My writing philosophy is this: anyone can write.  However, not everyone can write well and tell a good story while doing it.  Writing takes a lot of work.  And one of the things a writer must be is objective.  Let's be honest.  We love our stories and our characters.  However, we can't let our feelings overpower our objectivity.  This is especially true when it comes to critiques.

I recently blogged about the novel I am working on titled REKINDLE.  As I began writing, I felt the need to get the story set up properly.  Thinking I was off to a great start, I continued with the story.  But something felt off.  I couldn't put my finger on it, but I was not connecting with Kallie at all.  Joey's scenes were going great, though.  So each time I sat down to write, I would edit and add some more.  I'd do the same thing the next night.  And the next night.  With just over 8,000 words (four chapters), I stopped.  I couldn't go on.  I am not one of those writers who can "get the story down and edit later."  Yes, I edit when I've got my first draft done, but I can't keep writing when I know something is so terribly wrong.

So what did I do? I posted my first chapter at Absolute Write.  After receiving some awesome advice, I deleted the first couple pages.  I didn't even try to edit; I just took them out completely.  I did revise the new opening scene, and guess what? The story reads better.  It's not burdened by an unnecessary opening.  I can connect with Kallie much better.  And now I can continue.  With a few minor revisions to the remaining pages, I'll be on my way.

I could have reacted differently.  I could have insisted that the opening was necessary (I loved the first paragraph!) and tried to edit.  I could have pleaded my case and tried to figure out something else.  But I didn't.  Instead, I looked at the story objectively and acted accordingly.  And that is necessary for all writers to do.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Three Nominations!?!? *Honored*

What an "awarding" weekend it was.  I received my first ever blogger award, and then I received another.  And then I received a second nomination for one of the awards.  So I'm feeling pretty good, but don't worry; I won't let it go to my head.  To give credit where credit is due:  randi leeKatharina Brendel, and Julz Perri ~ You girls rock!

Now to share the details.

First award (nominated twice):  SUNSHINE AWARD

Thanks to randi lee and Katharina Brendel for this one!

The way the award works is this: you copy the above award picture into a post and link back to the person who gave you the award.  You then must either answer ten random questions or give seven random facts about yourself.  Then spread the award along to ten other bloggers by tagging them!

So I am going to answer ten random questions.

1. Pantser or Plotter? More of a pantser, I guess.  But that doesn't mean I don't plan or plot anything ahead.
2. Do you listen to music while writing? Absolutely.  Mostly country music because it matches my moods and the moods of my characters the best.
3. What genre do you write in? Romance mainly.
4. Books on writing you recommend? Haven't read any. *blushing in shame*
5. Which are your favorite authors? Louis L'Amour and C. S. Lewis today.
6. How long have you been writing? Off and on for 17 years (since Junior High).
7. What is your favorite part of the writing process? Since I'm more of a pantser, my favorite part is watching the story develop as I write.

8. How do you capture ideas when you are on the go? I keep a notebook with me at all times.  I jot down anything that comes to me.
9. How do you handle bad reviews? With a grain of salt.  And chocolate.  Chocolate fixes everything right?
10. Worst writing mistake you make: Comma usage.  I often second guess myself and take out more of them than I should.

Who am I going to nominate for this award? These awesome bloggers:
Carissa Taylor
Lady Dae
Mary E Quigley
Author Alden
Sincerely Sarah
Avery Olive
Diane Carlisle

Okay, I didn't get to ten, but that's because lots of love has been spread.  In other words, the people I would nominate have already been honored! :)


The rules of this award are simple:
~Thank the person that nominated you.
~Share seven things about yourself.
~Nominate seven other versatile bloggers.

So a huge THANK YOU to Julz Perri for this honor.

Now let's see if I can come up with seven random facts.
1. My favorite colors are purple and blue.
2. I hated my red hair as a child.
3. I once had an invisible friend named Spotty. 
4. I sing along with the radio while driving down the road, but I probably look like I'm talking to myself.
5. My favorite cerel is Fruity Pebbles.  I could eat the whole box in one day!
6. My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip ~ Breyer's is the best.
7. The first time my husband told me he loved me, I told him not to tell me that.  (We'd only known each other for a month! But now we've been together for 12 years.)

And without further ado, I'd like to nominate these wonderful peeps for the Versatile Blogger award:
Christy Kate McKenzie
S. P. Clark
Sincerely Sarah (yep, this one too!)

Three instead of seven.  Ditto what I said above!