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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I love thinking about ideas, lots and lots of ideas. The future is only limited by your ideas. I'm thinking ahead to projects I may want to write about in the future. I'll write those down and file them away somewhere until the time comes that I need to make a decision about what I'd like to work on next. I love visiting creative websites of all types. Here's 65 that should spark something for you: 65 Very Creative and Funny Photoshopped Images

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?

Novel Building

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How do you construct your novel? I've been thinking about this more and more lately because I'm currently working on my third novel for my series. When Realms/Charisma bought the Ravensmoore Chronicles I had the first book in the series complete and I knew a bit about the other two but not that much. Of course when my first editor got hold of the novel she cut 26,000 words and I rebuilt and rewrote my book.

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.

In the January 2012 Writer's Digest article, Zachary Petit interviews 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?

Writing Your Passion

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If you're writing, I hope you're writing your passion. I don't think I really knew what my passion was for a very long time. I thought I did, but it became clearer over time that what I wanted to write was exactly what I think God wanted me to write. I was drawn to romance novels in my twenties, but it wasn't until I'd had my first child at thirty-five that I got the bug to write. I joined Romance Writers of America and I started to study the craft while I raised my children.

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.

If you are struggling right now and have a desire to write I encourage you to find a way to write your passion. If you can't afford to attend conferences maybe you can purchase on of the CD's or MP3's from a conference you'd like to attend. I buy the entire conference of ACFW every year and then I can listen to the workshops in the car as I drive to work. There are many ways to learn and a long the journey you just might find your passion. My first book. Secrets of the Heart, Book One, The Ravensmoore Chronicles can be found on this page My Books where you can read the first chapter, watch the video trailer, and read some of the reviews.

I discovered my passion which is writing novels for the Christian market. I write the books that I want to read. I've been blessed with mostly good reviews. The most current review by  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?


Friday, November 11, 2011

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A couple years ago I created this post. I've updated it to give you encouragement in the face of fear. To show how God works in our lives over the years to make a difference. It reminds me now of
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 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:
1) Patience
2) Prayer
3) Persistence


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