Saturday, February 28, 2009

A heavy heart...

"I don't know which vehicle you're talking about." Confused hubby responds to the telemarketer on the phone line just as the chicken breasts are about to come off the grill.

"Is that the extended warranty company calling again?" I feel angst rising as I ask dear hubby. I often get these calls from this supposed vehicle warranty company. This has been going on for months, and every time I follow my way through the tedious automated system to arrive at the "remove me from the call list" option. I select the appropriate key to assure myself of never being bothered by this generic telemarketing company with no known name, at least not one they're willing to admit to.

Since there is a law in Ontario that demands companies honour such "do not call" requests, I get exceedingly peeved at each consecutive call I receive from this "unknown" company. The rare time that I managed to speak to a real person on the line, they hastily hung up on me when I suggested that they were breaking the law by continuing to harass me.

But wait. Hubby has someone, a physical person, speaking to him on the line right now. A rare opportunity. Perhaps they'll listen to him.

"Yes, but which vehicle are you asking about?" Hubbies eyes dance from mine, to our eldest daughters, then settle on the ceiling. "We have two. Which one needs the warranty extended?"

"Tell them to take us off the calling list." My tone is none to pleasant. I've had enough of this scam. It's got to stop.

"Is it the Dodge?"

What on earth is hubby doing? He's giving them personal information? Is he nuts? "They call me at least twice a week." I blurt, a decibel higher, and rising. "Tell them to take us off their call list." I pronounce each word with labored precision. I know he hears me, but hubby turns to face eldest.

"Excuse me, what is this company again? Is this for the Dodge or the F--"

"Don't give them information." I YELL. "Tell them to take us off the call list."

"I'm sorry, if you can't provide the information of what you want to cover then I'm not interested." Click. Hubby hangs up.

I go into a tirade.

Hubby shakes his head saying, "I'm sorry."

Eldest defends her daddy and deems me as totally unreasonable, and not in any kind way.

Heat rises, the stack is about to blow. I mean, how many times need I ask my husband, the man who supposedly respects me, to plainly request that we be taken off the call list? Maybe coming from a man, they'd actually have listened. Maybe if our eldest had witnessed him carrying out my request, she'd discover I was worth an ounce of respect.

How I'd be blessed by that.

Not a chilly piece of flesh on me anymore even with the minus 12 draft flowing in from the open patio door behind me. Inside me, though, now there's plenty of ice to be found in there. Major lost opportunity to rid us of these tedious, inconvenient, and most annoying repeated phone calls. And to stoke the fire, should the flame not be scorching the heavens enough, the eldest has found yet another reason to hate me.

Make note: Never lose my cool with dear hubby in front of eldest ever again.

But hubby is not a stupid man. He's dealt with telemarketers before. He knows I deal with them constantly as I'm home full time, and he knows how much they annoy me. Trust me, he knows. So why did he ignore my very CLEAR, very EXPERIENCED request?

And why have I allowed a telemarketer, a person who has no name, who knows nothing about me or my family, with the exception of the fact that we own a Dodge and a F-- vehicle now thanks to dear hubby, to ignite such upheaval in our home?

There are so very many things I should have done differently here.

For starters, the fact that dear hubby had the "no name" telemarketer stealing his attention through the earpiece should have registered as to why he wasn't hearing me. That in and of itself would have kept me from the tirade that sent our eldest into Daddy defensive mode, which ultimately ended with her disrespecting me to the point of being silenced with a grounding.

Coincidently, today is actually the first day that I didn't get a chance to read the Love Dare since starting the challenge. I had been doing so well with eldest since starting this daily ritual, and now, the one day that I didn't open with it's mighty words of wisdom, I find myself failing miserably as a mother and a wife once more.

Life is too precious to allow "no names" to steal happiness from you.

Life is too important to allow "no names" the power to set tomorrow's mood.

Eldest and dear hubby deserve better from me. I'll see to it that they get just that.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee;I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10

Friday, February 27, 2009

PD Day and Something Else, Too...

Our girls are home with school off today (It's a Professional Development Day), hubby is home taking a vacation day, and guess what?

It's my X birthday.

What do you get when you take the square root of 16, multiply it by 5, multiply that answer by 2, and add 3?

You get X.

Didn't think I'd disclose that information without working for it did you?

I wish you all a great weekend ahead!



Thursday, February 26, 2009

A God-thermometer?

Do you ever read stuff that leaps out at you as something you've got to use in one of your novels some day?

Gary Thomas, in his book called Sacred Marriage, provides plenty of material for a Christian romance writer to incorporate in his/her stories, not to mention how valuable his teachings are to our very own real-life marriages.

But, in my reading wonderful phrase had me automatically thinking of a scene in one of my novels that could really use this particular concept he presented.

Our spouse can act as our God-thermometer.

Thomas's theory is that when Christians are distanced from God they tend to not love their spouse as fully as they ought to. It's in these "shriveling faith patches" (that's my words, not Gary Thomas's) that our relationship with our spouse tend to deteriorate.

Makes total sense to me, as God and His Son, are the only true examples of unconditional love. So the further we digress from Their truth, the more difficult it will be for us to love unconditionally and abundantly.

Thomas goes on to say that because of this correlation, we can really think of our spouse as our God-thermometer. When the marriage gets a little chilly, it's one indicator that some evaluation of our faith journey is in order. What an awesome way to sanctify your marriage--look at it as a God-thermometer!

It's just like one of my critique partners God-incidence scene that struck me as so memorable. Such a simple, quaint phrase, but it holds a whole lot of meaning.

A God-thermometer--What scenes do you envision coming out of that phrase in your Christian romance? Doesn't it even make you think of the needed rise and fall of conflict within your work? What a creative measurement to use!



Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First Day of Lent

Our lives are really in God's hands...

That's the theme of our Church's At-Home Lent resource guide for 2009. What a great feeling to know that my writing, along with every other aspect of my life, is in God's most capable hands.

But what a burden it is, too.

It means I have responsibilities to carry out His requests of me. I'll be the first to admit that I fail God more than I please. How fortunate for me that the season of Lent gives an opportunity to please our Heavenly Father forty times over.

Have you picked something to sacrifice for Lent? Something that will help you draw closer to God during the next forty days of Lent? Perhaps you've given up watching a t.v. show to spend time studying your Bible or to read a book that helps define God's truth. Have you decided to give up a certain food and instead donate it to a local food drive for the next forty days? Making your sacrifice someone elses gain.

Is there, perhaps, something writing related that you are lifting to the Lord during this time of Lent?

Whatever you plan to do for God during this time, may God be pleased, and may you find a closer walk with Him in carrying out your plan.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Makes A 5-Star For You?

When you read a story, what determines if it deserves the optimal 5-star?

I've been reviewing books for a while now. Haven't written very many reviews as of late due to time constraints and, well, also the fact that they aren't that easy for me to do. It takes a lot of energy out of me to write a review that I feel is worthwhile posting anywhere. If I can offer a 4-star or 5-star rating for a review for a particular book, then I'll attempt to write one at some point for the author to help them with marketing. Either posting on Amazon, sending in for the Afictionado Ezine, or just posting here on my blog.

But I've been seriously considering that I've been way to easy on some reviews in the past. Have you found that you get pickier the more books you read? Apparently I have.

For me, I've decided that if I don't experience at least three out of the following four effects from a read, I'm not giving it a 5-star. The criteria I'm referring to is:

1) a good laugh (and I mean I physically laugh out loud),
2) get choked up (crying would be the ultimate, but rarely does that ever happen),
3)actually feel or can picture vividly a setting or experience described in the book,
and lastly,
4)it makes me challenge a preconceived perception of a life situation or belief in such a way that I grow as a person from the read.

I've read lots of books that get 2 out of the 4, but not many get three, and I can only think of a few of Karen Kingsbury's books that have hit all four (she is one amazing author who owns emotion in her writing).

So what about you, what do you look for in the ultimate read?



Monday, February 23, 2009

Dialogue or Exposition

What's your favorite to write?

I have to say dialogue for me. It's so much more fun to write. Think about it. How many times have you been caught wishing you had some grand one-liner to bounce back with?

Well, with writing, you can take all the time you want to craft that perfect response to the most annoying character in your book. You can even rewrite it over and over again and no one will know how long it took you to single in on that one amazing come-back.

What about you? Given the option, would you pick dialogue or exposition to craft? And why?



Friday, February 20, 2009

An Interesting Revelation

As I work my way through the daily Love Dare challenges, my whole family being the subjects for these instructions on learning to love unconditionally, I discovered that with my husband, I always have the “honeymoon” stage of our relationship to fall back on when we hit a challenging mogul. Memories of when all was wonderful provides a framework to find balance. But with my children, there isn't such an "all rosey" memory lane to grab hold of and bask in for just a little while. Not really.

You see, I've known each of them from the day of conception. I've loved them and nurtured them even before I ever laid eyes on them, or got to hear their soft cooing baby chirps, or take in the wonderful scent that only clean babies have. In amongst all of those warm fuzzies, though, I dealt with morning sickness, uncomfortable somersaults beating at my ribs and bladder, years of nighttime feedings, diaper changes, nursing scary fevers, and so much more, all interwoven with the "honeymoon" niceties of getting to know my little cherubs.

There's absolutely no clear delineation of a "honeymoon" stage when it comes to our children. We've loved them in complete truthfulness, full disclosure, all their lives.

That made me think--is that why we don't divorce our children? Are our expectations of our children more Godly, more realistic, than that of our spouses because of the history between us?

Is it those who put too much merit on the "honeymoon" stage, rather than use memories of it to help calm the waves, that succumb to falling out of love with their spouse? How is it that we can continue to love our children through the toughest of circumstances, but yet with the one we chose to love, honour, and cherish till death do us part, many allow themselves a way out?

As I struggle with the tragedy of divorces mounting all around me, I have to ask, what separates the survivors from the succumbed?



Thursday, February 19, 2009

A New Appreciation

Every day God surprises me with some new enlightenment. Isn't that awesome!

As I've stated here in the past, I write in complete silence, or nothing would get entered on my keyboard. Noise is way too distracting for me, be it the t.v., music, or the family interacting. Any auditory sensation prevents words from jelling within my head it would seem. Being that I'm a major multi-tasker in all other aspects of my life, I admit, this has baffled me for a very long time.

But it never really bothered me before because I'm not a slave to t.v., and music has never appealed to me much, either. And when the family is home, I ought to be interacting with them anyway, so this "silence needed scenario" has helped me keep my priorities straight, thankfully.

Lately, however, I've discovered an artist whose music ministers to me and I find myself wanting to hear the songs 24/7. This totally amazes me. Almost to the date, I've spent the last thirty-four years of my life with very little interest in music, Christian or otherwise, and now all of a sudden I crave time to listen to it.

Every song in the John Waller The Blessing soundtrack ministers to me, but two in particular seem directly related to my writing.

From Something Big: "It's time to dream big dreams...those who love You wanna do something so big it's destined to fail without You, Lord...something so great it takes a miracle to do."

and from While I'm Waiting:

"I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait."

Each of these songs speaks of the importance to give it all to God. Expect nothing in return but a closer walk with Him, and He will use our words, our meticulously crafted stories and articles, to His Glory, as He sees fit. He is the only One who can create a miracle out of our daily grind, no one else can. Working for Him need be our only concern, because without His presence in our work, no matter what the struggles we go through to get the words on the page, they will mean nothing without His hand in it. Obediently, we must serve Him, worship Him, and give it all to Him. Whether or not we see how He uses our work isn't to be our concern. Being obedient to Him is.

Of course, I knew all this already. To have it bundled so neatly within a wonderful melody that refreshes my soul at the push of a button, though, is a wonderful blessing to me.

My prayer for you today is that you may find a song that reaches out and ministers to you abundantly.



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Learning from the Opposite Sex

Do you ever have difficulty getting the males POV in your stories to sound like, well, a male?

Are you joining me in raising your hand? Sadly, I bet there are a great many of us who are still working on this aspect of fiction writing. Writing the opposite sex's POV well isn't easy!

I recently read the novelization of the screenplay Fireproof, written by Eric Wilson. I zoomed through this book. His dialogue tags took a bit of getting used to (often presented before the actual dialogue), but the pacing in those action scenes was bang on. Wilson's use of short, intense sentences matched the snap, crackle and pop head on.

But what most intrigued me about this story is how Wilson revealed Caleb Holt's character. He came across as a definite man. The internal thoughts, even thought process of Caleb Holt was all man. Strategically placed, a key sentence here and a telling phrase there sprinkled testosterone evenly throughout this novel, and that's what stood out for me as I read from a "writerly" perspective.

Have you read any books with an emphasis on romance written by a male that you'd recommend to writers trying to sharpen their male POV skills? I could use a few more examples to study.

Also, for those who are interested in reading the book, Fireproof. It's a great addition to the movie. After seeing the movie three times, the book still reads fast, and reveals a whole lot more than you might catch in the theatrical presentation. There are added subplots, expanded subplots, and I especially appreciated how the book resolved the boat sacrifice. If you're a fan of the movie, the book won't disappoint. At least it didn't me.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Day in Ontario & Winner

Congratulations to the winner of Devotions for a Sacred Marriage goes to Jessica Nelson. Please send me your snail mail address so I can get this book out to you.

We are enjoying a long weekend here in Ontario. Today is Family Day. Yesterday we started celebrating early by going out to see a movie, Paul Blart Mall Cop. What a hoot! All five us enjoyed it thoroughly--not bad considering we range from ages 11 to 43. It gave us all a great laugh, mindless night out.

Today I've got the wondrous task of playing Sing-It on the Wii with my family as one of our family events for the day. I keep telling them that I'll flap my lips, even use my vocal cords, but calling what comes out of me singing is a very long stretch. I am NOT a singer. I'm sure my scores will be horrendous. Honestly, I think they're putting me up to this to humble me a little more. Either that, or they didn't get enough laughs last night at the theatre.

We'll follow the Wii games with a fruit and chocolate fondue, dinner, and a sitting of a taped Mentalist and NCIS. Popcorn will probably be a part of this as well.

So what do you guys do with your families for bonding time?



Friday, February 13, 2009

Taking The Challenge

A few days ago I blogged about the movie Fireproof. The concept of this movie has invaded my mind ever since seeing it. So much so that I just had to physically hold and peruse the Love Dare. I couldn't wait the long weeks ahead until my ordered copy arrived in our post office box. Impatience, unfortunately, is one of my many less-than-desirable virtues.

So off I drove in my wonderful new minivan (which my amazing hubby purchased for me and my family recently) to get my eyes on a copy displayed in a local Christian book store. Lucky for me they had several copies, paperback and the imitation leather version which I have on order. The actual DVD of the movie, however, was sold out. Twice already. They're waiting on the arrival of their third shipment.

Anyway, I wanted to start this love dare challenge immediately, so I made note of the first couple weeks worth of dares to hopefully take me to when my very own (at a reduced price) copy arrives from Amazon. (Don't worry, I did purchase a couple CD's and the actual Fireproof novel from the store in said visit, so they did get a good sale out of my impatience, too.)

I decided right away that my whole family could benefit as being recipients of the love dare carried out by me. For the most part my impatience, quick to anger, yadda, yadda, yadda, is turned on my three independent, out-to-teach-their-mom daughters, not my hubby, really. Though I have a feeling as I progress through this challenge I may be very enlightened! Actually, I pray that I am. As all my family, hubby and daughters deserve to live with a better, more Christian-centered me, and that's exactly what I hope they receive through my carrying out this challenge.

Yesterday the dare basically boiled down to "be nice". The whole, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

I've never been so silent in my life.

Just kidding!

But I did catch myself a couple times with my oldest daughter and quickly altered my responses to fit into the realm of "being nice". When she complained about something that I have absolutely no control over, like it not being a snow day once again, and had the nerve to blame said fact on me. Instead of straightening my back and spitting back a nasty "grow up", I commiserated with her. Really, I wasn't in the mood to make yet another set of lunches, either, so we did have something in common. If you can't fight 'em, join 'em, seemed to work, and suddenly I was no longer the perpetrator of her miserable start to her day, after all. And what could have gone on as a negative pre-school morning, was nipped in the bud by my awareness of the day's challenge, and we parted amicably, opposed to miserably, as could very well have been the case.

Not a bad start to this challenge I'd say!

Blessings to All!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Christian Romances--Are they worthy of the Christian preposition?

"'s important to remember that the very concept of "romantic love," which is so celebrated in movies, songs, and cheap paperbacks, was virtually unknown to the ancients." from Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, Pg. 13

Being a Christian Romance writer, the "cheap paperbacks" got to me in this statement as Gary Thomas is an author deserving respect, I believe.

This author, Gary Thomas, based his books Sacred Marriage and Devotions for a Sacred Marriage on the following powerfully, insightful question: "What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?"

The profoundness of this concept has made me stop and really question if I'm depicting my "Christian Romance" stories in a biblical sound way. Have I put enough emphasis on the spiritual growth thread in my stories? Is the concept of a SACRED LOVE exemplified in my stories, or is romance dust, which is easily displaced like the real thing, sprinkled too liberally on my pages?

As a Christian writer I know that I have the responsibility of using the stories God gives me as a ministry for Him. Yes, I write to entertain. People read fiction for entertainment, do they not? So clearly, if I feel called to write Christian fiction, then entertaining must be a part of the package. But I must always remember to entertain within the confines of God's truth. Being certain that my stories depict God's love as far surpassing romantic allure is a must, and yet I need to do this in an entertaining way so that people will read it to actually gain some spiritual growth through it.

So writers of Christian romances, I ask you: How do you include the sacredness of true love in your novels while providing just enough of the "feel good" romantic elements to entertain us earthly beings?

GIVEAWAY: Remember the "Valentine Draw" currently running on my blog. Click on this line for more info.



Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quirks Anyone?

One way to liven your prose is to give your character's some very real quirks that make them stand out--seem all the more real AND interesting!

What quirks have you given your story characters that say "come, stay a while, and get to know me". How did you present those quirks in your story in an effective way?



GIVEAWAY: Remember the "Valentine Draw" currently running. Click on this line for more info.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Having heard about this new release through a couple of blogs, I visited Rogers Video and picked up a copy to see what all the hype was.


Okay, I totally agree that some of the acting (from some of the volunteer supporting actors) could have used further coaching/training, but the story IS amazing, regardless! And with a second pass through the acting follies seemed far less intrusive. The main character played by Kirk Cameron, best known for playing Mike Seaver on Growing Pains does a great job as Caleb Holt, the fire captain with a need for an awakening on the home front. An awakening he gets when he agrees to carry out a 40-day Love Dare that his father sends him to be completed before filing for divorce.

Okay, I'm in no way pondering divorce from my dear hubby, but after seeing this movie and hearing about this challenge, I want to take the 40-day Love Dare. Not only for the enrichment it can provide our marriage, but for the spiritual growth I'm sure it will bolster. What an amazing concept!

As an aside here, I have to tell you about something that happened at church yesterday. Yes, I do believe it may be related to the impact that Fireproof had on my dear hubby the night before.

Setting the scene: Phil and I most often sit up in the balcony of our small country church for Sunday service, mainly because we often arrive late (we much prefer the original start time and seem to be sticking with it despite the ramifications), and as a bonus of sitting upstairs, the pastor never picks on anyone sitting way back and up there when she takes a notion to include unsuspecting members in her sermon. A huge bonus for me.

Well, yesterday, our pastor barely warned that she was going to pick on a few people by asking them directly what they were passionate about. Of course, me feeling confident that I was very safe sitting up there in the balcony didn't concern myself with being pinned with the question to share aloud. I just automatically thought justice/fairness/equality, the usual things that stir my ire if I see an unbalance anywhere.

But after the picking was done, and yes, the balcony was safe once again, doesn't my wonderful hubby turn to me and say: "If asked, I was going to say Eileen."

Now I can't say for certain if that wonderful gesture by my amazing hubby was a) due to watching Fireproof with me the night before and he gleamed something valuable from it, too, b) the honest truth, with or without watching the movie, or c) his way of trying to provide a funny for the congregation that Sunday morning. Though I suspect it was a mixture of all three, c) probably rated the highest, but it certainly made me think once more of the impact watching Fireproof had on me, and yet my first response to Ellie's question wasn't "Phil", so now more than ever, I do believe I need to take the Love Dare Challenge.

What about you? Are you interested in it?

Here's a link to learn more about the movie and the 40-day Love Dare. (Just click on those previous bolded words for the link) Once in the link, click on the available trailers of the movie. I laughed and laughed at the second trailer available. It's called Fireproof in 60, and fast forwards through the movie with some major tweaking to give you the just of the story in 60 seconds, but man it comes off way too comical for how serious and emotional the actual movie is. But great for a good laugh. Also, visit for more information on the movie and Love Dare concept.



Friday, February 6, 2009

What's The Most Romantic Story You've Ever Experienced?

Since my Valentine Giveaway kicked-off yesterday, I thought it appropriate to talk Romance today.

So, I'm curious, what is the most romantic story you've ever experienced? I say experience because it could be one that happened in real-life, one that you've read, or one that you've seen on T.V. or the big screen. But for it to be awarded the "MOST ROMANTIC" in your opinion, it must have been experienced. Right?

Thinking of such things is great fodder for writers, especially romance writers. I've got a few picks that come to the top of my mind, each for a different reason.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Book and Movie Versions) for the tortured soul aspect, and because Darcy needs Elizabeth, and vise-versa!

The Story of Us (A movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis) for the "reality" factor, and that I totally believe growing old together is the absolute greatest gift God can give a couple.


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Book and Movie) for young love surviving and prevailing, and the "growing old together" factor, of course.

I would love to hear what comes to your mind? And remember, if you want to be entered to win the couples devotional: Devotions for a Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas, leave your e-mail addy and "Valentine's Draw" within your comment.



Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Valentine's Day Giveaway

I've been thinking about the arrival of Valentine's Day 2009 and wondering how I can celebrate this occasion with my blog readers. My husband, Phil, and I started working our way through this fabulous devotional that Phil happened by during one of his hunts. We started the year-long weekly devotions the first week in January this year, but I think it would be equally appropriate to begin such a worthwhile endeavor on Valentine's Day, too.

Gary Thomas's Devotions for a Sacred Marriage is a little hard-cover book that includes a year's worth of weekly devotions for couples. Each devotion is appreciatively concisely written (one to three pages maximum) and delves into thought-provoking, God-enriching, and marriage-sanctifying topics such as: The God-Centered Spouse, Growing Old Together, The Gift of Fear, Soul Mate or Sole Mate?,..., and Oasis of Sanity to name a few of the fifty-two weeks topics presented in this devotional treasure.

If you are interested in winning a copy of this couples devotional book, please leave a comment with your e-mail address (please use spaces or brackets to discourage cyber misuse) in any of my posts from now until Feb. 14, 2009 and please include the phrase "Valentine draw" near your e-mail address so I know you're interested in the drawing.

You may enter multiple times, but only once per post. But you must include "Valentine Draw" and your augmented e-mail address in each comment you wish to use as your entry/entries, or a ballot will not be created. This may seem finicky, but I want to be certain that only people really wishing to win this awesome devotional are entered into the drawing. It's too valuable to be shelved!

I ordered two extra copies today, one for my niece whose wedding is coming up, and one for this drawing. Amazon says they are in stock, so I should receive the copies in plenty of time for the drawing.

Good luck to everyone!



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Come Visit Me...

Over at Writers' Rest today.

Ever got caught in the character description dump while writing or reading? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this over at Writers' Rest.

Be sure to stop back in tomorrow. I'm starting another giveaway--just in time for Valentine's Day. Details are already scheduled to post early tomorrow morning.

Have a Great day!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Waiting for the Uumph.

Not sure I spelt that correctly, but have you ever dilly-dallied for so long that you crave a little uumph? A shove into productivity?

Sometimes it comes in a stern talking-to from someone you love and respect. Sometimes it comes from a flippant, hurtful comment by a loved one. And sometimes it just evolves from the seemingly never-ending struggle to succeed. And other times it comes from discovering a little nugget hidden in someones blog post.

I've been going in circles with altering the opening of my original novel--the novel that made me want to become a writer in the first place. Dreamer, I've always been, but until I wrote that first story in twenty-seven days I'd never really thought of embarking on a writing career. Anyway, I read a post yesterday that sparked an answer to how I could fix that opening. Plain and simple, I need to do a POV shift. Now, why didn't I figure that out months ago?

I'll probably never know. But just maybe it's God's way of teaching me patience and perseverance. It's all in His timing, after all. (An I'm in no way implying that I think this fix will make my ms ready for the market, just that it's one more challenge I've personally met on this very long journey.)

So now that I have something to work toward, I'm back into novel #1 with a vengeance, no more twiddling my thumbs on this one. Tell me, what fixes, simple or otherwise, have you come across that give you that burst of energy to start climbing again?



Monday, February 2, 2009

Keeping the Interest

As my family travelled to Toronto for a pre-SuperBowl party yesterday we put the movie Seabiscuit on to view in our van. We've watched this DVD many, many times, but even though we knew exactly what was coming next, all five of us were still entertained by it. Why, I kept asking myself?

Because we cared about what transpires in the story.

But, we already knew what was going to happen even before the next scene came into view, so why the desire to run through it all over again-- without fast forwarding?

For the emotional impact, perhaps?

Yes, I believe that's the answer. If I think of all the movies that I love to re-watch even after I know them scene by scene in my head, they all spark some deep emotional response in me. Now, in the movies, you get the added benefit of music and visuals helping to pull those emotional strings from the viewers. But in writing, authors only have words to work with.

So how do we writers make our words draw an emotional response worth revisiting?

One way is subtexting. One of my blog friends, Jessica, has posted on this very subject over the past few days. Check out the link she directed her visitors to: Subtexting.

Not only can subtexting, if used properly, evoke emotional responses from our readers, but it definitely aids in characterization, and makes dialogue enjoyable and entertaining to read. If we go by the advice of "multitask your words", then subtexting certainly makes sense. It's well worth the effort of mastering not only to create an emotional read, but a concise one, too.

Hope we all have a productive, great Monday!