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Friday, January 29, 2010

Friendly Fridays: Celebrations & Commiserations

Friendly Fridays are dedicated to you, my friends and followers.

I want to know what's going on in your lives.
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Celebrations

What celebrations can I join in this week? If you've received good news, achieved a goal or made progress, I'd love to hear about it.

Rejoicing with my agency mates . . .

  • Jody Hedlund and Karen Witemeyer got to spend two days at Bethany House with Rachelle Gardner. I read on Twitter that Jody got to see her cover. I hope all of you had a great time. It must have been exciting to talk with the people who are working so hard to get the books ready for readers.
  • Katie Ganshert's book went out to eight more publishing houses, taking the number considering her story to nine. How very exciting, Katie! I hope you receive BIG news very soon. I'm eager to join in your First Sale happy dance.
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Rejoicing with my writer pals and blogging buddies . . .

  • Kristen Torres-Toro got moved and started her new ministry job on her 26th birthday. I'm glad to hear you've made the transition and hope you soon feel settled. And a belated happy birthday to you.
  • Terri Tiffany got a job as a social worker, one with a great salary and excellent benefits. I'm jumping for joy, Terri. I know how long you've been looking. You clung to your faith, and the Lord has richly blessed you. I hope you find the position to be one you enjoy and that your colleagues are a great group to work with.
• • • • •

Commiserations

Did you experience doubts or discouragement, heartaches or hurts, sadness or setbacks this week? If so, I want to come alongside you with sympathy and cyber hugs.


  • CJ Redwine's cat didn't survive its battle with an infection. I'm so sorry, CJ. Our pets add so much to our lives, and it hurts when we lose them.
  • Jessica Nelson and Laura Frantz aren't feeling well. I can empathize. My dear hubby shared his cold with me, and I'm writing this while dealing with a fuzzy head. Here's to restored health for us and anyone else who's battling a bug.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friendly Fridays: Celebrations & Commiserations

Friendly Fridays are dedicated to you, my friends and followers.

I want to know what's going on in your lives.
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Celebrations

What celebrations can I join in this week? If you've received good news, achieved a goal or made progress, I'd love to hear about it.

Rejoicing with my agency mates . . .

  • Dr. Richard Mabry's debut medical romantic suspense novel, Code Blue, went out to reviewers this week. I'm excited for you, Richard, because I know it won't be long until you're receiving wonderful feedback from your readers.
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Rejoicing with my writer pals and blogging buddies . . .

  • Jessica Nelson made a decision to shift her focus from historicals to contemporaries because her heart is in the contemporaries. I'm happy to see you following your heart, Jessie. I wish you much joy as you work on your contemporary stories
• • • • •

Commiserations

Did you experience doubts or discouragement, heartaches or hurts, sadness or setbacks this week? If so, I want to come alongside you with sympathy and cyber hugs.

  • Eileen Astels Watson has been battling a nasty head cold. I hope you send that pesky bug packing very soon, Eileen. I think it should be part of the Mom contract that we mothers shouldn't have to deal with being sick ourselves. How can we care for our precious children when we feel crummy?
  • Erica Vetsch, my agency mate, got braces this week and has been dealing with a sore mouth. I think it's cool when an adult can get orthondontia that may not have been possible earlier in life, but I'm sorry to hear your first week with braces has been rough. I was blessed with straight teeth, so I never had to deal with this, but my poor daughter had to have crowns put on all 28 of her teeth due to having no enamel on them, so I know from watching her 18-month mouth reconstruction process that dental pain is no fun. Cyber hugs, Erica.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekly Writing Recap: R & R


R & R.

We all need it from time to time.

I've spent a good portion of the past two weeks recuperating and recharging. Not from the holidays. Actually, thanks to the Fashion Queen, we were ready for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. She didn't want to head back to college until the tree was up with the wrapped presents under it. I was fine with that since it was much more fun to have her here to take part in the preparations.

My need for R & R stemmed from the fact that I'd spent months rewriting my story. Taking it apart, deleting 70K words, shifting the remaining ones around, adding lots of new material, putting it all together and polishing it was an intense undertaking.

Would I do it again? You betcha!

Why?

Because I learned so much about craft. Because I enjoyed watching my story improve before my eyes. And because I rediscovered the joy of writing, something I'd lost during the year of my Confidence Crisis.

That said, I don't intend to repeat the the process. Even though I gained a great deal as a result of my experience and don't regret the time, effort and fortitude it took to take my story apart and put it back together again, I realized there's a better way.

And what's that?

Plotting.

It may be hard to believe, but detail-oriented person though I may be, I wrote my first five plus stories as a pantser. Next time, I'll be working from an outline and will know where I'm heading before I begin, what the major turning points are and how to move from one to the next. This isn't to say that being a pantser is a bad thing. I'm merely saying that method of writing doesn't work for me. It leads to more work.

So, what have I been doing? Catching up on the many things I'd let slide during the months of concentrated effort. Lining up some wonderful guests for my other blog, Romance Writers on the Journey. Editing my critique partner's Regency Romance. Having fun with my hubby and helping him celebrate a milestone birthday. And getting excited about my next story. The characters are chatting away, and I'm taking notes.

• • • • •

If you're a writer, do you tend to be a seat-of-the-pants writer or one who prefers to plot a story before you begin?

When you complete a major project, what do you do to recuperate and recharge?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friendly Fridays: Celebrations & Commiserations

Friendly Fridays are dedicated to you, my friends and followers.

I want to know what's going on in your lives.
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Celebrations

What celebrations can I join in this week? If you've received good news, achieved a goal or made progress, I'd love to hear about it.

Rejoicing with my agency mates . . .

  • Erica Vetsch had a great week. She launched her new website, received the bookmarks for her second book, The Marriage Masquerade, and finished her latest story and got it off to her writing partners. Way to go, Erica! What an awesome week. And I know next week will be fun because I'm privileged to have you as my guest at Romance Writers on the Journey on Thursday.
  • Jody Hedlund received the second round of revisions from her editor. She did so well on her first set that she has very little to change this time. Congrats, Jody! I knew you could do it. I feel certain you'll get this round done in short order and hear high praise from your editor.
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Rejoicing with my writer pals and blogging buddies . . .



  • Lynn Rush took first place in a contest called Write Your Name Across the Sky, which is sponsored by The Book Boost. Her prize is publication and a year of promotion. In addition, she signed with TribeLit. Mega congrats, Lynn! What a week you've had. Bet you haven't put any wear on the soles of your shoes. I'm so happy for you. Enjoy the thrill!
  • Sherrinda Ketchersid spent a week on a Treehouse Getaway with her hubby celebrating their 25th anniversary and had a great time. Welcome back, Sherrinda. I'm glad you and your very own hero were able to enjoy a week together in such an awesome setting. What wonderful memories you must have.
  • T. Anne Adams hired a writing coach and feels very blessed. Yay for you, T. Anne! I hope the collaboration works well for you.

• • • • •

Commiserations

Did you experience doubts or discouragement, heartaches or hurts, sadness or setbacks this week? If so, I want to come alongside you with sympathy and cyber hugs.

  • Rachelle Gardner, my agent, ended her query hiatus and dealt with a full email inbox that, according to her tweet on Twitter, took her the entire day to process. I can't imagine how demanding the life of a literary agent must be, but you do a great job for your clients, Rachelle, and still offer so much to the writing community at large. I'm impressed and appreciative.
  • Dr. Richard Mabry, my agency mate, is awaiting the first reviews of his novel, Code Blue, which has gone out to reviewers and potential endorsers. I feel for you, Dr. Mabry. I trust, though, that very soon you'll have more wonderful reviews than you ever thought possible.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friendly Fridays: Celebrations & Commiserations

Friendly Fridays are dedicated to you, my friends and followers.

I want to know what's going on in your lives.


Celebrations

What celebrations can I join in this week? If you've received good news, achieved a goal or made progress, I'd love to hear about it.

Here's some good news I discovered while visiting blogs, reading tweets and stopping by Facebook this week.

From my agency mates:

  • Katie Ganshert – Katie’s revisions are going well. I’m glad to hear you’re making progress, Katie. Here’s to even more.
  • Dr. Richard Mabry – On December 17, Dr. Mabry published a blog post sharing the news that he received a contract for his second and third novels in his Prescription For Trouble series. Even though my shout out is late, I offer my congratulations. What wonderful news!


From my blogging buddies and writer pals:

  • Cindy R. Wilson Cindy has completed her proposal and is ready to begin querying. Yay for you, Cindy! I hope the requests start pouring in.
  • Krista Phillips – Krista shared the news that she’s expecting her fourth child. Wow, Krista! How exciting. Hope the pregnancy goes well.
  • Laura FrantzLaura completed her read of the galleys for her second book, Courting Morrow Little. Way to go, Laura! I’m looking forward to reading Morrow’s story.
  • Lynn Rush – Lynn finaled in the paranormal category of The Launching a Star contest and received a request for a full from the editor who served as the final round judge. Congratulations, Lynn! I hope the request leads to even more good news.
  • Sherrinda Ketchersid – Sherrinda and her hubby celebrated 25 years of marriage by staying in a treehouse. Happy Anniversary, Sherrinda! I hope your time in that unique location was wonderful.


• • • • •

Commiserations

Did you experience doubts or discouragement, heartaches or hurts, sadness or setbacks this week? If so, I want to come alongside you with sympathy and cyber hugs.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weekly Writing Recap: Amazing Writers

I love reading the work of amazing writers.

This week I've been privileged to enjoy the work of five different writers. One is my Pixie pal CJ Redwine, whose stories I help edit. (2008 GH finalist = Pixie.) In describing her stories, amazing could be considered an understatement. Her Voice is unlike that of any other writer I know. Creative. Clever. Comical. I couldn't write like her if I tried. Frankly, I'm not that quick-witted, and I'm certainly not that funny. CJ tells an action-packed, tremendously entertaining story that keeps me scrolling as quickly as I can. I feel certain that one day soon her stories will be on the shelves, and I've no doubt scores of readers will be posting glowing reviews.

Reading contest entries is like tearing open the prize in a box of Cracker Jack™, a special treat my dad used to bring home for my sisters and me. As was the case back then when I ripped open that colorful envelope, I never know what to expect when I open a contest entry.

This week I got a sneak peek at the creations of four entrants in a contest I judged. I marveled at their creativity. All show promise as writers, and I look forward to the time when I can tell each of them I enjoyed their work back in the days before they were published.

One of these writers did something that rarely happens when I read an entry. I was swept into the story and forgot to judge it. I read for sheer pleasure. The writer pulled me in so fast my internal editor shut down. In order to complete the score sheet, I had to go back and read the piece more slowly. Even then, I savored the wonderful writing and forced myself not to break one of the Commandments, the one that begins "Thou shalt not covet . . ." God didn't happen to finish with ". . . another writer's Voice," but it would have fit. Reading that entry was like tearing open that little prize package and finding a treat far better than I'd expected.

In between my reading and editing, Gwynly and I helped the Fashion Queen celebrate her 19th birthday on January 1st. Yup! We had a New Year's baby. It's hard to believe our one and only has begun her final year as a teen. Then again, it's hard to believe I passed the half-century mark last summer. Where did the years go?

As is the Fashion Queen's tradition, she was up early to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade with bleary eyes. The phone rang near the end of the telecast. I assumed it was a birthday call for her. Nope. It was the historical category coordinator for The Emily. V&V finaled again. I really didn't expect it to do so since this contest doesn't have an inspirational category. I entered this contest anyway because they take sub-categories into consideration, among them inspirational. I thought it might be fun to see how my story would do outside its usual genre. Guess it has wider appeal than I thought.

All in all, it's been a fun week, and the year is off to a great start. I look forward to working with my agent and getting V&V revised and ready for submission. I also look forward to hanging with you, my blogging buddies, and sharing in your happy dances. And I can dance. Just ask my cats. I've sent them flying numerous times this past year as I shook my booty of your behalf.

I wish you all the very best in 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friendly Fridays: Celebrations & Commiserations

Friendly Fridays are dedicated to you, my friends and followers.

I want to know what's going on in your lives.

My apologies for not posting last week. I was still floating after receiving my amazing Christmas present. (See previous post.)
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Celebrations

What celebrations can I join in this week? If you've received good news, achieved a goal or made progress, I'd love to hear about it.

I visited blogs and read some great posts, but since things are quiet in the blogosphere during the holiday, I didn't find any nuggets to share with you. However, I feel certain good things took place as you spent time with family and friends. I'd love to hear about a special moment that touched your heart.

• • • • •

Commiserations

Did you experience doubts or discouragement, heartaches or hurts, sadness or setbacks this week? If so, I want to come alongside you with sympathy and cyber hugs.

The holidays can be a tough time for those who've experienced loss or are going through a trial. If you had a less than Merry Christmas and feel comfortable sharing about it, I'd like to offer you an ear and a cyber shoulder.