Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Myth of the Lone Ranger Author Rachelle Gardner's Blog who just happens to be my very awesome agent. :)
How I do It Live Intentionally but with Breathing Space My agency mate, Jody Hedlund.
The Difference Between Trying and Doing Michael Hyatt shares the wisdom of Yoda.
Silencing Your Inner Critic Kathryn Lilley at The Killzone.
From Romance to Corpses by Tess Gerritsen.
A Kiss Is Just A Kiss by the awesome Julie Lessman. Okay I cheated. This blog post is from 2010, BUT heard Julie and Ruth Axtell Morren present it at The ACFW Conference in St. Louis this year.
Stuck in a Corner Martha Carr, agency mate, talks about writers block at The WordServe Water Cooler.
No Fear, No Envy, No Meanness by a mentor who knows how to make writing fun, the amazing James Scott Bell.
The Adjustable Publishing Dream by friend and agency mate Rosslyn Elliott.
The Fine Art of Choosing a Pen Name by moi. :) I thought this was probably the best post I wrote this year and because of it's nature wanted to share it with you here.
Well that's ten of my favorites. I didn't choose any of my worthy blog mates here at Just the Write Charisma because I didn't want to have to choose. That would be way too hard. It's been an awesome year and I look forward to sharing with you all and our visitors in 2012.
What's one of your favorite blog posts from this year?
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Professor Moriarity played by Jared Harris is an excellent villain.
Here's a link about Doyle's Biography A paragraph on this site reveals a lot and so much I didn't know: " The young medical student met a number of future authors who were also attending the university, such as for instance James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. But the man who most impressed and influenced him, was without a doubt, one of his teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell. The good doctor was a master at observation, logic, deduction, and diagnosis. All these qualities were later to be found in the persona of the celebrated detective Sherlock Holmes."
Also, I think he solved a dilemma that many of us struggle with. I wish it was this easy for me. He had a serious bout with the flu that nearly killed him. "When his health improved, he came to realize how foolish he had been trying to combine a medical career with a literary one. "With a wild rush of joy," he decided to abandon his medical career. He added, "I remember in my delight taking the handkerchief which lay upon the coverlet in my enfeebled hand, and tossing it up to the ceiling in my exultation. I should at last be my own master."
I love a great mystery. Is this what makes the team of Sherlock and Watson so enduring and endearing? This team goes on and on . . . why is that?
My very favorite Sherlock Holmes book and movie was and is, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Do you have a favorite?
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
How many of you remember Dead Poets Society? Look familiar? If you've never seen it, I highly recommend you watch it sometime. I was using a clip from it for one of the classes I teach at the college where I'm employed and had a whole new appreciation for the movie and for Robin Williams character. I'm going to watch the whole thing again, but be warned, it's not a comedy although there are some great lines.
As we wrap up another year, prepare to celebrate Christmas, and then kick of a New Year I'm seriously wondering about life and death and what I'll do with whatever time I have left here on this planet. Don't mean to be too serious but I have a friend who is fighting breast cancer, and a young friend who is dying in hospice from ovarian cancer. Such things make me stop and think about what I want to accomplish with the rest of my life and I know that without a doubt I want to continue to write, and I want to continue to counsel in my day job and more than anything I want to make my God proud as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and as I continue my journey.. I think my verse, my life, is and will continue to be one of encouragement.
In this clip, John Keating asks, "And the powerful play goes on. What will your verse be? "
So if I haven't gone too deep on you this close to Christmas I'm wondering, What will your verse be? Got a favorite poet? Favorite poem? Do you write poetry?
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
If you ever wanted to work on you there's also a fun book out there from the humorous Kathi Lipp titled, The Me Project 21 Days to Living the Life You've Always Wanted. The first chapter asks that all important question that has passed many of our lips, Is This All There Is?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I also like exploring a picture such as this one and brainstorming all kinds of fun and weird stuff. I'm sure you've done this or something like it. What's about to happen in this picture? Or what's just happened and is over? Are you driving a car, riding on horseback, walking, running? Maybe you are flying a new gadget from another planet? It's the year 2050 or maybe 1820? The trees are about to attack like in The Wizard of Oz or maybe someone is threatening to chop them down. Get the picture?
If you are an artist of any kind, writer, painter, cake decorator, architect, etc. Where and how do you develop your next creative project? If you've got a favorite photo or website please share your link. Let's have fun as we create our next great project.
What could she be thinking?
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
When I wrote the second novel, Chameleon, I decided to test my skills at novel building. I'm a pantser at heart. I don't know how to follow an outline and I don't enjoy the outline process. I wrote my second book by completing scenes in a a very loose format. In other words, it was nowhere near linear. However, when it came time to put this book in sequence I had a multitude of problems. Looking back, I think it was my timeline. It was not well defined and I paid the price for this in having to figure out how everything would fit and where it would fit. Chameleon is done and in my humble opinion it's going to blow your mind if others can refrain from telling you how it ends. My second editor had a lot to do with getting me and my novel grounded.
Diana Gabaldon. If you don't know who she is I suggest you order her first novel, Outlander. Gabaldon's books are huge in number of pages and huge in story. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she's a pantser, yet I couldn't figure out how she writes such complicated books without an outline. She's got a method, and you'll have to check out the article for the details, but somehow she's able to keep track of everything including her timeline. She must have super powers, really!
So I'm wondering what forms of timelines do you use? Do you complete your timeline while you plot? After the novels done? What's the method to your madness? I found this Creating a Timeline and am thinking of trying it out. Got any other great sites or ideas?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I attended my first RWA Conference in 2001 in Washington, D.C. I loved it. I met lots of other writers, I'd written a complete manuscript by then and I'd started another. Then my family got blasted when my oldest child became ill at the age of eleven: Hope Through Trials. Life changed but I persisted in my hopes to become a published author. I met a dear friend, Mae Nunn through RWA and Faith, Hope, and Love, Inc.
and she eventually introduced me to The American Christian Fiction Writers who at that time where The American Christian Romance Writers. I think I've attended at least seven conferences since that time which got me through some really difficult years. Here's a picture from this years ACFW conference in St. Loius.
My Books where you can read the first chapter, watch the video trailer, and read some of the reviews.
Richard R. Blake encompassed what has become my passion. I hope you'll read all my reviews because I love it that readers take the time to post these comments.
Part of my passion includes England, it's history, landscape, and people.
The bottom line is Write Your Passion. It will take you places you never dreamed of and will help heal your heart. Are you writing your passion? How did you discover what it was?
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
The years we walked through the most difficult part of this trial I don't think I believed these words. I had hope of getting published and though most of my strength was spent in this trial I still continued to attend a conference here and there and write. Doing those things gave me a sense of balance to some extent. Hope that I wasn't letting go of my dream even though it was obvious that it was not my time to be published.
My family and I had walked through a spiritually devastating desert for eleven years. My oldest daughter had been diagnosed with a severe learning disability known as NLD (non-verbal learning disability similar to Asperger’s Syndrome). For more information you can go to http://www.nldline.com/ In addition to that she’d developed complicated depression and anxiety issues. She was eleven years old and in fifth grade. My youngest was eight at the time and so very scared about what was happening to her big sister.
This past September my oldest turned twenty-two and though the problems persist they are not nearly as severe and she was able to get her high school diploma which is a huge accomplishment. She's even thinking about the possibility of college. We learned to trust God no matter what. Without Christ in our lives, our church, and many friends, I can’t see anyway we would have made it this far. But I’m a big believer in the power of prayer and in the power of hope. I even have a carved sculpture in my office that simply says, HOPE. But I didn't always feel that way. Jesus slowly worked in me until I could let go of fear. It took a really long time.
My youngest is now nineteen and a missionary with Youth With A Mission. She did her training in YWAM Texas and chose this route rather than college for now. She's been to Guatemala, Sri Lanka, various places in the states and will be headed to two other countries next year. God is good even when our situations are not so hot.
Several years ago, Robin Lee Hatcher, recommended I buy a copy of a daily devotional originally published in1925. That devotional is titled, Streams in the Desert, written by L.B. Cowman, and updated in modern language by James Reimann. Streams in the Desert is relief for the parched soul.
One of the devotions in this book begins with Psalm 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. The first sentence: “Why didn’t God help me sooner?”
And then later the text continues:
"I once heard the following statement from a simple old man, and I have never forgotten it: "When God tests you, it is a good time to test Him by putting His promises to the test and then claiming from Him exactly what your trials have made necessary."
The text continues again: "There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is simply to try to get rid of the trial, and then to be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever before experienced, and to accept it with delight as an opportunity of receiving a greater measure of God's divine grace.
"In this way, even the Adversary becomes a help to us, and all the things that seem to be against us turn out to assist us along our way. Surely this is what is meant by the words "in all these thing we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Rom. 8:37). A.B. Simpson Page 342.
Let me say it can be very hard to learn lessons when our children are suffering. I don’t even want to think about learning a lesson in those circumstances. I just want results. Fast! But looking back over the past eleven years I have learned much. Okay, what you may say have you learned through this long, long, trial? Here’s my short list:
My long list begins something like this:
1) The need to let God work in a situation that I feel I need to control. That’s a tough one.
2) Wrestling God for a blessing and what that really means.
3) The need to REALLY take care of yourself even when things are awful because a long term illness of any kind will exhaust you as a caregiver and parent.
4) Hanging on to hope when you can’t find it.
5) Asking friends to stand in the gap and pray when you can’t pray one more word.
6) Finding peace in the Word, on a walk, in prayer, or in "being still."
Through all our trials as a family Christ has always been there for us even when we didn’t know it or feel his presence. Think about your trials and your “dry times.” What was it that you thirsted for? How did God provide?
Every morning on my way to work I pass a fountain that says: “Thirsty and ye gave me drink.” I roll my window down and listen to the calm of the water. It’s really nice when I get a red light and can enjoy it for a minute longer. As we dwell in this month of thanksgiving I ask that you would thank God for the many blessings that he bestows upon each of us each day even when we are unaware of them. I also ask that you pray for my family as we enter a new phase of our journey together. We treasure every prayer.
How has God shown you hope? What scripture strengthens your spirit? What song brings encouragement?
This weekend we went to a Casting Crowns concert: Come to the Well Tour. The words to this song that hit home.Lyrics to Set Me Free
Monday, October 31, 2011
I think I'll get one of those red bands to wrap around my head for inspiration at the keyboard.
So don't be surprised if you don't see long blogs on here this month. I'll show up every week and let you know how it's going. If I get the urge to blog about something really cool you'll see that too. But for now, I feel the need, the need for speed.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The first night we went to the author reception at The Mercantile Library. I've lived in Cincinnati for thirty one years and I had never been in that library. The library sits on the eleventh floor and you can get a pretty good idea from the link what it looks like. I wanted to curl up in one of the big chairs and read a book. Knowing that I was going to be at this huge event the next day I really had to push myself to socialize. I'm more introverted than extroverted so I have to make sure I get alone time to energize or power up.There wasn't a big author turnout, but a lot of library people who worked hard to put this event together showed up.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
My first historical romance, Secrets of the Heart, Book One in the Ravensmoore Chronicles, released in May 2011 and will take you on a journey where some of the aspects of mental health and mental illness are explored in England during 1817. The more I researched for this book and my next, with the current working title of Chameleon, the more fascinated I became. Of course the treatment of mental illness was in its infancy in those days and the days prior to that. Many thought mental illness was due to demon possession. The archaic methods of treatment were barbaric for centuries.
If you would like to explore more about the fascinating facts of this institution please follow this link. http://www.bethlemheritage.org.uk/VisitingBethlem/
What book or movie influenced the way you think about mental illness?
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
None of us can really control anyone else. We can guide and give advice. We can encourage and nudge, but we can't make anyone do anything. Rather than trying to control others I'd recommend you look inside yourself to explore what it is that frightens you. Here's a list of things I've wish I could control:
- The safety of my family.
- The raise I get every year if I'm fortunate. :)
- How many people buy my books.
- How many people like my books.
- How much I have to pay in taxes.
- An attitude change
- Talking out problems with others
- Setting boundaries
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
I have the honor of signing at The Logos Christian Bookstore in Alexandria, Kentucky on October 8th. Click Here for directions. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity and plan on enjoying myself immensely. Do I want to sell some books? Of course. But more than that I want to talk to readers of Christian Fiction and maybe even some readers who've never read a Christian novel. I love finding out what people are reading and why.
I've always been in awe of the readers who are so very gracious that they choose my book among all the book choices out there to read. They encourage me by purchasing my book and in turn I hope I encourage them with my words. I hope I encourage them by escaping into the past with me to discover faith for the future.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
We all need to take time out now and then and invest in ourselves. That investment can take many different forms: a new website, a new computer, craft books, spending time with crit partners, and sometimes attending a conference among many other things.
Don't go to conference expecting to sign with an agent or be offered a contract. These things can happen, but you're letting yourself in for huge disillusionment and disappointment if that's why you plan to attend.
Do plan to meet with editors and agents and pitch your stories. You never know what will come of a meeting, but go to grow. Ask the experts questions that will help you get better at your craft and gain confidence among those who have been helping writers for a long time.
Don't be shy. Or don't let your shyness prevent you from taking risks. Say hello. Introduce yourself. Make friends and make the most of it.
Do take advantage of the many opportunities that present themselves. Schedule appointments that are important to you, attend workshops you think will help you grow, do something totally unplanned. By that, I mean you may have planned one thing, but a little voice whispers to you that you need to go do that something you didn't consider earlier. That may be one of your divine appointments.
KEEPING YOUR SANITY
I learned a long time ago that even if I attend conference it's worth getting the MP3 because of what I've discussed above. You just can't do everything and be alert to learning all the time. Sometimes you have to go take a nap, go outside and walk and get some fresh air, do something unexpected and fun with friends, talk to someone over coffee instead of going to a workshop. Then you can listen to the MP3 another time and pace your learning so you can have more time to think about a subject and review.
- I attended as a published author and got to wear my Author ribbon.
- I met with my agent (Rachelle Gardner) for the first time since my book published.
- I saw my book selling in the bookstore.
- Went out to dinner with my agent and fellow agency mates.
- Video-taped interview for Christian Retailing and also completed video-tape for sales department at Realms/Charisma.
- My agent received the Agent of the Year Award and I was there to witness it. :)
- I took breaks and took naps.
- God had grown me over many years.
- I'd presevered and I'd presevered some more.
- I listened and watched for God moments.
Was it worth it? Yep.
Did you go? Have you gone in the past? What made it worth it for you?
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
If you are experiencing a difficult time in your life, or you know someone who is, this is a great book to use while you work your way through painful situations. I don’t say that casually. I’m employed as a full-time counselor for nursing students and have a master’s degree in social work, and I believe this book is a valuable tool for anyone.
Stormie O’Martian discusses how we learn to walk with our heavenly father. This hasn’t always been easy for me because I didn’t grow up having a father in the house, so it was hard to learn to trust God when my earthly father had abandoned me. Perhaps some of you have faced the same experience. Once in awhile I still need a reminder that God is there, and providing just enough light so I don’t get overwhelmed.
I love the image of just enough light because it helps me focus on what I can do today and encourages me not to look too far ahead. It reminds me of the scripture: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:33-34.
The Prayer Light in each chapter is a prayer related to the chapter. For instance, on page 36 following the chapter on, Refusing to be Afraid of the Dark, the prayer begins with “Lord thank you that because I walk with you I don’t have to fear the dark.”
Footlights provide a list of several scriptures that shine light on the chapter subject, i.e., Isaiah 50:10.
Stormie offers a study guide at the end of each chapter which is very helpful for further study and insight.
The Bottom Line: If you’re walking in a dark place, a little light will help you find your way.
Have a great week!
Monday, September 12, 2011
I'm blogging on this topic at the WordServe Water Cooler on Monday. Here's the link: Energize Your Marketing Strategies. Come on over and join the conversation.
I'm also preparing to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis. It will be a bit easier this year since I don't have to schedule an editor appointment and I'm blessed to have an awesome agent, Rachelle Gardner. Rachelle just happens to be one of the agents nominated for Agent of the Year. It will be so much fun to cheer her on.
So even though I don't have to worry about appointments I do have to think about what will help me as I attend workshops and the continuing education programs. Here's a look at what I'll be doing.
- Getting in early to spend some time with friend and roomie, Vicki Cato.
- Looking forward to visiting with my agent, WordServe authors, and other buddies.
- Looking for other authors who might be able to endorse my next book, Chameleon.
- Attending The Early Bird The Moral Premise
- A Kiss Is NOT Just a Kiss presented by Julie Lessman and Ruth Axtell Morren
- The Vise, the Rachet and the Hammer-Suspense so Good it Hurts presented by Kristen Heitzmann
- Sometimes It’s Better to Tell than Show, Level: D, Presented by Erin Healy
I'm also looking forward to a Mentor Appointment. Don't know who I've been assigned to yet but I think it's a great way to grow.
Conference is always a growth experience. God sometimes plans things we would have never dreamed of and it's wise to be open to a change in plans. If you're going I suggest you be flexible, sleep when you get tired and take advantage of worship opportunities.
What are you looking forward to?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I'm strong like a rope because I'm:
We all have strengths and weaknesses. The problem blooms though when we stop being aware of these issues and allow them to take over our daily routine. If you are facing an ordeal, like climbing your own personal rock wall then some of these things may help:
If you live in awareness then you will realize when you are off course.
Take time to re-focus your thoughts. This may come in the form of connecting with God in prayer and in the Word.
We frequently hold our breath or don't breath deeply when we're stressed out or experiencing anxiety.
B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Take a few minutes to monitor your breathing.
So what's one or more of your strengths? Weakness? How do you challenge your weakness? How do you capitalize on your strengths? Is there something you've learned along the way that has brought you through a difficult time?
Monday, August 22, 2011
It's going to be a fun week. I've got two main blog posts this week. On Monday, August 22nd I'll be blogging and doing a book giveaway at International Christian Fiction Writers Blogspot and on Tuesday I'll be blogging about The Fine Art of Choosing a Pen Name at the new WordServe Water Cooler.
Come join the fun and find out more about my passion for writing novels set during England's Regency era. As one of my Amazon reviewers, Lisa Richardson said: "It's tempting to try to cram all regency romances into a single box. But Jillian Kent's Secrets of the Heart isn't concerned with the typical backdrop of balls and arranged marriages . . . Toss in a mysterious woman who won't speak, a creepy lunatic asylum, and the labyrinthine mind of a dangerous opponent and you have a story that draws more from Jane Eyre than Jane Austin."
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I"m blogging about Bedlam/Bethlehem Hospital at Just the Write Charisma this week. Please stop by and leave a comment there or here. I think you'll your find this post very interesting.