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Showing posts from September, 2007

Writer Mama September 30

Christina at the Writer Mama has (pardon the pun) the Mama of all Prizes to conclude her month of giveaways.

So far the number generator has hated me; perhaps today will be my lucky day!

The question:
Who do you want to thank for the writing career/journey success that you’ve experienced thus far? This can be family, friends, pets, mentors–anyone who’s made a difference. Go ahead and thank them here. An attitude of gratitude magnetizes success, in my experience. (My list is about a mile long at this point, so mind the word-count.) The answer: I would like to thank my best friends Roma and Valerie, who think I am the best writer ever!They love me and support whatever I do. I’d also like to thank my family, without whom I would not have good writing material. Other people I’d like to thank: my few but faithful blog fans, my Shepherd girls at the Women at Home Ministry, Taffy Cannon at Long Ridge for encouraging me in my nonfiction pursuits, and author Meredith Efken, for introducing me t…

Baby Steps

I applied to be in a critique group through ACFW.

Baby steps, my friends. Baby steps.

Edited to add: I was accepted and placed in a group! The rubber will meet the road soon, to borrow yet another cliche...

I need a plan

I need a plan. A writing plan. To get a novel written to submit to the ACFW Genesis contest. Or to at least have a paid critique before next September 2008's ACFW writing conference.To that end, I might still join National Novel Writing Month, but I'm not sure. It is a good goal, 50,000 words, but I've failed 3 times in the past. I'm horrible with failure.
Maybe I'm only meant to be a reader, not a writer.

Writer Mama September 26

The Writer Mama Question of the Day:

Have you ever had a short story published? How about a novel? Please describe how it feels for you when you write fiction. If you wanted to write more (or any) how would you create enough time and mental space in your already busy life to finish a polished manuscript?

My answer:

No, I have never had any of my fiction published. In fact, I've been going through a crisis of belief, if you will, that I'm even meant to write fiction. I was a part of a writer's group of mostly older folks a couple of years ago, and the one compliment I consistently had in my fiction was that I had a good grasp of dialogue.

I'd love to write more, and I'm hoping that I can learn how to carve writing time out of my busy days, and have mental space to create the stories that are running around in my head.

Lisa Tawn Bergren Blog Tour

Welcome to the Lisa Tawn Bergren Blog Tour for THE BEGOTTEN and THE BETRAYED.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the author of 28 books, with over 1.3 million sold. She is a publishing consultant, writer, Bible study leader, mother and wife. Her hobbies include travel (mostly from an armchair), reading, watching movies, cooking and exploring with her family. Lisa's most recent books include The Begotten, The Betrayed, God Gave Us Heaven, What Women Want and The Busy Mom's Devotional. She resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. To sign up for her monthly email (which includes a new, unpublished devotional) go to and join her newsletter list.

My sister-in-law LOVES Lisa's early books, and I remember enjoying them as well. She has been writing excellent Christian fiction for many years; in fact, she is one of the first authors I remember reading from Multnomah's fiction line (along with Robin Jones Gunn, one of my very faves!).

These two books which are currently on…
Wouldn't it just make all that housework more fun?!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away a pink Dyson vacuum AND Dyson is donating to breast cancer research. What a deal! So, hop on over there and register for the giveaway! Who knows? It could be YOUR husband vacuuming with the pretty pink vacuum before the relatives come to your house for Thanksgiving.....

Writer Mama September 18

The Writer Mama, Christina Katz, is giving away another book today. She so rocks! If you 'd like to know more about it, please visit her site today.

Today's question:
What’s your favorite part of the writing process? Is it the early stages–the idea stages? Is it the very early draft stages? Is it the rewriting, whether expanding or tightening? Or is it the finishing touches of formatting and proofreading and trying to make sure your writing is spot on? Or do you format early and let someone else catch your mistakes? As always, there are no “right” answers. Just your unique points of view.My answer:

I enjoy the idea and drafting stages with my own writing, but the tightening and proofreading of someone else’s writing. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not a writer, but an editor, at heart. This may stem from years of teaching writing and helping my students perfect their own work, while my own sat in unfinished bits on my computer hard drive or in notebooks on my shelf. At any rate, I bel…

The Meeting of Anni Adams, the Butterfly of Luxembourg

The Butterfly of Luxembourg
Story Recounts Metamorphosis of Survival to finding American Dream

(Holly Hill, FL) Imagine living a life of security and comfort while traveling throughout central Europe with a famous professional gymnast--who just happens to be your father--with just one twist. You were born in 1926, and at the age of fourteen your entire world changes because of the Nazi invasion. Anni Adams survives the poverty, humiliation and uncertainty of the refugee camps and eventually returns to her home, where life is not the same. She quietly resists the submissive lifestyle of the Nazi rule for four years. Here she becomes a Catholic war bride to her American GI husband, following the liberation of her country.
The Meeting of Anni Adams: The Butterfly of Luxembourg
shows how family and faith fuel Anni's survival through her evacuation into France and the years of German occupation of Luxembourg when she and her family are placed in labor camps and…

Sixpence House

This is part of the Something About Me Reading Challenge.

In Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books, author Paul Collins details his experiences in the Welsh village of Hay-on-Wye, population 1500, the "Town of Books" that boasted 40 bookstores. Collins and his author/artist wife and their young son moved to Hay from San Francisco, and fascinating is their journey and experience in this small town. Collins peppers his account with passages from obscure and often out-of-print books. He also describes the town, the houses he and his wife consider purchasing, quite a bit about British culture, and, of course, the town's most fascinating characters.

It is quite a fascinating read.

My favorite quotation is found on page 4, attributed to Temple Bar magazine:

We may, in fact, divide our fellow-creatures into two branches--those who read books and those who do not.

I chose this book because it was one on my friend Natalie's list. Nattie chose this book as one that described a pa…

Book to Movie #2: Shopgirl

Shopgirl is a novella by Steve Martin, and also a movie written and produced by Steve Martin. Yes, that Steve Martin!Why Shopgirl? Well, I've read some of Steve Martin's nonfiction, and I have wanted to read his foray into fiction for a long time. Just never got around to it, I guess.

The book is short at 130 pages, and it reads quickly as most novellas do. The story is simple: Mirabelle (the shopgirl of the title) works at the glove counter at Neiman Marcus, a seldom-frequented section of the store next to couture. She lives her quiet, dare I say mundane life, until a few things happen: she meets Jeremy at the laundromat, and she meets Ray at work. The story is how these two very different men interact with Mirabelle, and how all three characters change.

The story is written in present tense, which adds a sense of immediacy (it could be happening right now). I couldn't help but hear Steve Martin's voice in my head as I read (even though I read before I saw the movie, …

Wild Rose by Ruth Axtell Morren

Wild Rose by Ruth Axtell MorrenHistorical Inspirational RomanceWild Rose is a love story between a poor young woman and a former sea captain. Geneva lives on the edge of the town of Haven’s End, dresses in men’s clothing, and works hard to support herself by fishing and selling garden vegetables. Captain Caleb Phelps has been wrongfully accused of a serious offense in his hometown of Boston, so he moves to Haven’s End to begin a new life.The two forge a friendship based on gardening advice and reading lessons – and eventually they grow closer together. However, will her past and his prevent them from having a future together?One of the strengths of this book is the strong sense of place that permeates its pages. Through the lovely descriptions and dialogue of the locals, the reader really gets a feel for this quaint seaside village in Maine. Another strength of the novel is the characterization. None of the characters seem unrealistic; rather, they are just like people in real life: m…

Writer Mama September 11

Once again, a contest piece for the great Writer Mama giveaway:

Who are your top three writing role models? They can be living or dead. Known or unknown. Personal acquaintances or folks you honor from afar. Tell us who they are and why they inspire you.

1. Nicole Johnson. Her book Fresh-Brewed Life truly inspired me in many ways. I was inspired to keep a journal, and that in turn inspired me to be a writer in more than just name only.

2. Madeleine L'Engle. She wrote the stories she wanted to write, and she did not give up. Her book on the artistry of writing is truly inspiring. The world is a sadder place without her in it, but I'm sure heaven is awash with her stories now.

3. Susan Meissner. She's a busy minister's wife and mom of four kids, and yet she finds time to write novel after novel. Her stories are full and rich, the thought-provoking kind, the kind that stay with you in your mind for days and days.

Writer Mama September 8

Once again, a Writer Mama contest piece.

Are you a “practicing writer”? What does the description mean to you?

Absolutely yes, I am a practicing writer. I especially love essays, if only because of the fact that the French verb “essayer” means, in essence, “to try.” I am trying. I am practicing. I am doing. I may fail horribly, but if I don’t try, I’ll never succeed. In fact, I’d waste my life wondering if I could have, rather than knowing that I have “essayed.”

Writer Mama September 6

Once again, linking to the Writer Mama blog and her back-to-school giveaway!

Today's question:

Go straight to your most discouraging (or discouraged) moment as a writer. Can you describe, not just the situation but also the feeling that went along with it? And then, in the next breath, can you go straight to your most encouraging (or encouraged) moment as a writer and describe the situation and the feeling that went along with it?

My answer:
My most discouraging moment was when my on-spec article for a popular Christian women’s magazine was rejected, with absolutely no explanation as to why. Was it the writing? The subject matter? The length? Me? I had no idea, but I took it completely personally and to this day have not rewritten nor resubmitted this article for publication, even though the story needs to be told. I felt sad, horrible, awful, and small when I read that rejection letter.
My most encouraging moment was when I *was* published. A short piece I dashed off in a fit of creat…

Writer Mama Giveaway September 5

Writer Mama's question for today:

Today’s question: Divide your life story into periods as suggested in today’s book. What titles for those periods could serve as “working titles” for you? Feel free to share a bit about what your title means…or not. It’s totally up to you.
Birth to age 8 - The California Years
Age 8-10 - The Iowa Years, or How we Survived Living Among the Cornfields
Age 11-17 - The St. Louis County Years, or The Longest Stretch of Time I've Lived in One Place
Age 18-21 - The College Years: Making Lifelong Friends, Reading, Dating, Growing Spiritually
Age 21.5 - Marriage to my Best Man Friend!
Age 22-23 - The Seminary Years, or How I Typed All of Hubby's Master's Papers on an Apple IIc
The Pastor's Wife Years:
Age 24-26 - The Rural Grad School Years, or How We Lived in a Town of 95 while Finishing Our Master's Degrees
Age 27-37 - Childbirth, the toddler/preschool/grade school years
Subsets: Learning to Deal with Other Mommies, Raising C…

Writer Mama Giveaway September 3

Today's question for the Writer Mama giveaway:

What’s your biggest block or fear about editors when it comes to submitting your writing for consideration? (And if you don’t have blocks or fears about editors any longer…how did you rise above them?) Inquiring minds want to know.

I have the fear of rejection. I have been brave enough to write the article of my heart, and my first real query was accepted on spec. I sent my article, and it was rejected. It hurt so badly to have it rejected, because I thought this was IT. THE article I felt would be MY niche. MY story. ME. The rejection felt like a slam against not only my writing, but the experience about which I'd written. It hurt. That article languishes away on my hard drive, even now.