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Monday Writing Update

Pages written = 6 Total pages = 96 And that’s probably going to be it for October on “A Hunger So Deep.” In light of the notes I received on my first chapter of “The Lotus Leaf Effect” it’s time for some heavy revising! I’ve reworked the first three chapters and have cut eight pages so far. I probably need to cut more, but I’m trying not to get too crazy. It’s funny, when I sent my pages to Jamie, I wasn’t at all sure what she would find to criticize (constructively, mind you!). And now that I have her notes, it’s all so obvious. Do we really need a three-paragraph description of making apple butter just because Ella ate some on a biscuit? No, we do not. I keep reading and asking myself if each action, description, conversation, etc. advances the storyline. Or am I indulging myself in some nostalgia? Here’s the problem with writing what you know–ready? You probably know way more than anyone else cares to know. Edit! Filter! Weed out! And the funny thing is, I’m enjoying this. I thought it would be hard to cut, but when it’s making the end product so much better, it feels really good. Back to it.

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If You Need Help–Ask for It

So I heard back from the editor in Tennessee and I’m so excited! She didn’t have terrible things to say about my writing overall–not too much passive voice or telling rather than showing. Basically, she thinks the problem is that my story moves too slowly. And I see what she means. I need to amp up the action (no car chases, maybe less wandering about the farm thinking and setting the scene). And I need to get a little more of my own passion into my words. This is BIG STUFF I’m writing about, the characters need to take things a little less in stride, maybe. So, I’m going to go over the notes several times, hash out some new directions and edit, edit, edit. Then I’ll work up the nerve to pull publishing house editor #3 out of my back pocket and try again. Pray that I don’t get in a hurry or jump the gun. Check out Jamie Chavez if you need some professional writing help–her link is on the right side of the page. A charming and kind lady with great tact and more than a little insight into the Christian publishing business.

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Do you know you’re own faith?

The Associated Press put out a story a few days ago with the headline, “Survey: Americans Don’t Know Much About Religion.” The survey was conducted by the Pew Forum. Atheists and agnostics scored highest, with an average of 21 correct answers out of 32. Twelve of the questions were about Christianity and on those, Mormons scored the highest. While I hardly think this is representative since they surveyed 3,412 Americans (out of 300 million), it is thought provoking and might spur you to learn a little more about your own faith if not all faiths. What I found most interesting about the results, though, is that only 23% of those surveyed knew that a teacher can use the Bible in class as an example of literature. The misconceptions about “seperation of church and state” are frightening. Two things to remember: 1) That phrase came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson–not the constitution; and 2) Jefferson was talking about keeping the state out of churches, not the other way around. Curious to test your knowledge? http://features.pewforum.org/quiz/us-religious-knowledge/index.php And here’s the article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39397251/ns/us_news-life?gt1=43001

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Wasting Time

So when you’re waiting it can be tempting to do things that waste time. I consider watching television almost always a waste of time, but I do it anyway. I’m hooked on HGTV and FoodTV, although I don’t care for all the competition shows. And there are a couple of weeknight series that pull me in. Yesterday began the new season of NCIS, a favorite of mine. Gibbs, Abby, Ducky, Tony, Ziva and Tim–I’ve missed them! It’s like sitting down to eat ice cream from the carton when no one is looking. Q4U – What are your favorite ways to waste time?

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Monday Writing Update

This week: Pages written = 9 Total pages = 90 When I log into my blog there’s a “Blog Stats” link that let’s me see how many visitors I’ve had each day. In these early stages getting more than 10 is pretty great (thanks mom!). Earlier this week I had 78 visits in one day. Wow! Who could all these people be? Is word getting out about my fabulous blog if not my fabulous books? I was feeling pretty good. And then I found the random “spam” posts. I had been visited by a web crawler. Programs are designed to search for and collect e-mail addresses that can be spammed and to post random ads in the comments sections of blogs. Ah well. A reminder that quality really is better than quantity. Thanks to those of you hanging out here with me while I write–you are much appreciated.

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Unexpected Detours

I had a flat tire yesterday. And, of course, I was on a four-lane highway traveling about 60 when the car began pulling strongly to the left and I got a funny sinking feeling on that side. I pulled off, peeked out and sure enough the left front tire was flat, flat, flat. I left a message for the friend I was meeting for lunch and then called a co-worker for help–I was only 5 minutes from my office. I know how to change a tire–dad made sure of that. But it’s been more than 10 years since I actually did it! For example, did you know that the jack is actually tightened into that little cubby on the side? You have to loosen it just to get the jack out. And people make fun of me for making sure the car booklet is in the glove box before I buy a used car. I had things well on the way when my co-worker arrived and was gracious enough to lie down on the side of the road to position the jack correctly. We changed to the spare and then I headed for the tire shop where I bought my still nicely treaded tires. They patched me up and sent me on my way–no charge. All in all, this turned out to be a one-hour, unexpected side trip in my day. I missed lunch with my friend, but I found out […]

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Just Try It

I finished the second of two books I didn’t think I’d like yesterday. And I liked them both. “North River” by Pete Hamill is about a doctor in Depression-era New York who comes home one day to find his daughter has abandoned her child on his doorstep. The doctor is haunted by the disappearance of his wife and his horrible memories of the recent World War. He’s also threatened by what amounts to the local mob. I didn’t think this sounded particularly cheerful. But it’s actually a lovely, sweet story with charming characters and a just-right ending. I really liked it and would highly recommend it. The second book I thought I would like initially. It’s “The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters” by Elisabeth Robinson. After reading the title and the jacket I was very interested. Then I flipped the book open and realized it’s entirely composed of letters, notes, memos and e-mails from the main character to the people in her life. Yuck. How good could that be? Turns out it was pretty great. And I have to admire a writer who can develop  strong characters that we only meet through another character’s point of view. Bravo! It’s about a woman who’s trying to produce a major movie while her sister is battling leukemia. Fun Hollywood insights and poignant family scenes. Yummy! Ironically, both of these books were sent to me by my mother. You know, the […]

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