Friday, August 31, 2012


Well I feel stupid. Since my last posting I've written all of, like, five sentences for my inn scene. How sad is that? But I guess I can't just dive into it, so I'm trying view the scene as if it were a movie (which is how I usually do it anyway; now I'm just seeing the IMAX version). It kind of makes me wonder, though: is the scene so significant that I have to take a few days to think it through? Hmm...


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

To Deepen the Heart and Commit A Crime

So I'm writing a scene between one of my favorite characters and another guy. Thus far, the guy asked to look at a wound on the girl's ankle while she held a hunting knife firmly in her hand. She had stolen the knife and had been keeping it tied around her ankle, but she didn't have the sheath, so when she would sleep or walk, the knife would cut into her skin. Anyway, so this guy says the wounds are too "scabbed-over" to treat effectively with any kind of homeopathic medicine, so they're just kind of sitting there, enduring the silence. Then he complements her on her hunting skills, and she relates how she learned most of it on her own, but her father taught her certain things, like archery. It's a very touching/revealing scene because the character (the girl) is extremely reclusive, so the fact that she is talking to this person so freely without feeling conflicted or saddened is a huge step for her.
So that's that scene. But now I want to write this other one for the same story, just between three different characters, all of whom are crucial to the story itself. The first two, twin sister and brother, live with an innkeeper and his wife (very Les Miserables, don't you agree?). The brother is trying not to anger the innkeeper as the latter has a short temper. The former is sent to wait on a customer, who upon seeing him finds him very mysterious indeed. (Think of the scene in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring where Frodo glances over to the corner and sees Aragorn, cloaked with his face hidden in darkness, the embers in his pipe illuminating his eyes briefly as he waits.) What I'm getting at is the sister is blamed for a crime she didn't commit and she and her brother flee with this Aragorn-like traveler. What I'm stumped on is the crime. What should it be? The story is set practically in the Dark Ages, so stealing is too hum-drum. Murder?... Eh, maybe. Heresy! Ooh, possibly. Maybe witchcraft, but probably not. Ooh, ooh, ooh! She should be blamed for causing a plague or blight in the village and the brother and traveler rescue her at the last minute, making them immediate fugitives!
Ah! I must go. I must write!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Visually Striking

YES!!! I finished the second installment of one of my books, thus proving that it can be a series! I'm so happy I feel like I can fly! Now on to the third installment. I'm thinking of setting it in El Salvador. There's a little girl there who I think would make a wonderful protagonist. She's very sweet, probably about seven or eight, but she suffered from some kind of seizure when she was about a year old, and it caused her to go blind. I think, because the quasi-antagonist is visually striking, it would give a different spin to the whole thing. But I'm still kicking around ideas. Maybe I'll set it in Ireland. Yeah, that'd be pretty sweet. :-)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What Did I Do Today?

I will finish my next story today. I will. Even if it keeps me up all night, this is going to happen.
Wish me luck!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things to Ponder

I've just gotten over a nasty and annoyingly uncomfortable stomach sickness, one of those kinds where no matter how you twist or bend you can't quite get comfortable. Anyway, some friends of ours came over the other night to have dinner, but Karen, who is a published author, was wanting to talk to me about my writing. It was a very long night but filled with great conversation -and a few tears on my part- and I was able to learn a lot, even in those few hours. Yet still these thoughts haunt me. What if nobody like my writing? What if I can't support myself? It terrifies me to chew on these thoughts, though I know I can't ignore them. They're like the IRS.
One question Karen asked me, one I had kind of expected, was who my audience was. Who am I writing for? I told her, as I tell pretty much everyone, that I am my audience. I write for me, things I would want to read. But then she hinted to something interesting, that so many books which are deemed "great books" were usually meant for a specific person. And honestly I can't recall ever turning to the first page and seeing something like, "I dedicate this book to myself, without whom it would never have been written. Thank you, Self." So as I write, I try to think, who is this for? Is it for my parents, my best friend, my niece, my brother? I don't know.
Another thing Karen suggested, which has helped with her books, is using personal experiences. Here is where the tears started and I won't say why, but for some reason I feel uncomfortable using my experiences. It's like broadcasting a page in a diary to the entire world, too personal. I wonder if it's something I have to get over. I can't see many experiences worth writing about, but maybe it is because I am too familiar with them. I've danced at the same studio since I was five and there have definitely been some crazy times there, but they seem to be the things only people at the studio would understand. We clap and groan when this particular person goes down the floor because her poise is so evident that it's impossible for her to look bad doing something. And another person, we say she has "magic taps" because her tap shoes make a nice, clean, crisp sound, not the dragging metal against wood most everyone else is used to. But these are things I've grown up with, things I'm accustomed to, the sounds and the people. How can I incorporate that so others will understand or see the irony?
Most of my immediate family is in or has been in the medical field, and trust me, you would not believe some of the stories they'll bring home. Still, these stories seem only funny to us because of how they relate to some other event or movie or quote we all recognize. I guess it's just something I have to pray about. Lord, help me get passed this... funk. Please guide me.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Something to Bless You

The Youth Group at my church recently got back from a missions' trip to El Salvador. For those of you who don't know, El Salvador is a small country in Central America. I went there with a different group in February, but this.... This is a brief slideshow, just a taste of what the Youth Group did down there, and it is by far one of the most amazing presentations I've ever seen.
In case the link doesn't work, please go to Youtube and check it out. Type "El Salvador 2012 Calvary Full Gospel Youth Group Mission.wmv" into the search engine.

Here is the video of our mission trip to El Salvador in the beginning of July. To view presentation select full screen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


So here are my top five reasons why summer is not my favorite season:
1. The bees.
2. Dance season has ended, creating large gaps in my day.
3. The bees. I truly detest them.
4. Though I make resolutions for myself (like to exercise more) I can never keep them and it kind of gets on my nerves.
5. Despite doing a bunch of laundry and some grocery shopping, I don't like feeling like the surmount of my day depends on how well dinner turns out. (At least I got to do some writing tonight. :-) )

Here are my top five reasons why I DO like summer, because it's always easier to complain then compliment, and I'm really working on that:
1. The warmth, a usually welcome change from the monotonous cold or shifty spring season.
2. Because there's nothing quite like taking a walk in a good neighborhood at ten a.m. with a toddler, well, toddling along by your side.
3. You won't find such vivid colors in the frosty beauty of December.
4. Swimming!
5. Summer is one of those seasons that gives you time to reflect. Spreading out a picnic blanket on a grassy hill, laying down with your arms folded contentedly behind your head, staring up at the sky and just letting your mind drift. I think that's my favorite part, the drifting. What can come of our drifting from thought to thought but utter release and pleasure in that the Lord has granted us a season of beauty where we can admire His work, His incredible imagination? Huh. Have you ever thought about that? God has a great imagination! How else could He come up with... well, everything!

I guess there's more good to say about summer than bad. How refreshing.


Book Series

Question: Why are book series so popular? Is it the suspense you get when you reach the last page, the last word, and know you simply have to read the next installment? My friend Karen Vogel, an excellent writer, writes Amish Fiction, which seems to be in vogue, and all her stories save two books thus far are in installments, about thirty pages each or so. Believe me, they are worth the purchase, for she fills each page and paragraph with truths, lessons, and wit which we can all relate to in one way or another. I've never read Beverly Lewis or Suzanne Woods Fisher, but Karen ties in all these wonderful concepts and parallels them with classic literature, like Pride and Prejudice, The Secret Garden, and Mansfield Park, to name a few.
But back to the thing about series.... I have nothing against them, I'm just curious to see what people say. Is it the writers? I wonder if it is easier to write in segments because then you can focus on certain things and hone your story's focus with each tidbit. Consequently, I think that tactic also makes the series longer if they're, say, condensed into a single volume, but I don't mind lengthy books. In fact I prefer them. Still haven't tackled either volume of Les Miserables but I'm gearing up to it. The musical is wonderful.
What do you think? Are you as a reader or writer attracted to series? Why or why not?