Category Archives: characters

MONSTER TREE

Monster TreeDSC_0204

A while back I was doing yard work and noticed that a hollow hole in this tree looked like an open mouth.   Well… being me, I decided to paint this face.  I was hoping my grandson (five at the time) would get a kick out of it.  When he came over I took him out in the back yard to see my art work.  His reaction was certainly not what I expected.  He took one look then said “I don’t like it.”

“But I painted it for you.” I cried.

“Sorry, but I just don’t like it.” He replied.

Which just goes to show kids are so honest and if you don’t want the truth then don’t ask a child.

I never dreamed I’d get a chance to post it on the web but here it is.  The word this week is “Face” and of course right a way I thought of my monster tree. I hope you can see the spoof in my tree and enjoy it.  Yes, I know that art is not my talent so I better stick to writing.

Thank you for stopping by, please come back soon.  God bless.

I HAVE A NOVEL IN MY MIND

    

     I recently read an article that talked about writing being work and I have to agree one-hundred percent.  If you think writing a novel is easy then I would think you haven’t written a novel then had to rewrite it and then rewrite it again.  Writing is not a hobby or play.  It is a job just like any other career.  If you want to be successful you must take it seriously.  I must confess that I have not taken it as sincerely as I should.  I have been just plain lazy and I have no excuses that are acceptable.

     So you say “I have this great novel in my mind if I could just find time to put it on paper.”  Well, so do I and probably over a thousand others.  I know one thing for certain; as long as it stays in your mind it will never become a bestseller.  We will never “just find time” we must make time.  Remember we all get the same amount of hours in a day the difference is what we do with those hours.  How do we manage our time and why can’t we find time to write.  I can’t speak for you that is something you will have to do some soul-searching and answer for yourself.

     First, I believe that God should always come first in our life.  He should have the first and best part of our day.  Then we schedule other activities.

     I can find all kinds of endeavors to do instead of writing.  I say I love to write but now I must search myself and see if that is true.  If it is true then why don’t I make more time for it? 

  • One reason could be fear of being rejected.  If I don’t finish the novel it won’t be turned down.
  • Fear of being ridiculed; if this has ever happened to you about something you wrote whether as a child or adult then that fear is real.  You never want to subject yourself to it again.
  • Fear of not being the best.  Not everyone can be perfect and there are a lot of novels out there that lack perfection.
  • Fear of failure.  You tried writing before and your manuscripts were not accepted by a publisher.  Well you finished it didn’t you?  So you aren’t failing maybe you just need to try a different hook.
  • Pure honest to goodness laziness.  I really don’t believe this applies to many or any of us.  There is always an underlying reason for our lack of production.

            If we really and truly want to write we simply must sit down and put words on paper and forget all the other bunk.  So what if others laugh?  They ridiculed Noah and look what he did (we’re still talking about it today.)  If you must have perfection then keep writing until you achieve it.  If your fear is failure well so long as you are putting words on paper you are not failing. There are as many reasons for not writing as there are people who want to write.  Each of us must decide which apply to us and do our best to overcome whatever it is.  No one can or will do this for us it is up to us to write or not to write.  The road to being an author is not an easy one.  We hit some huge bumps along the way but we must persevere and overcome those obstacles.

     Thanks for stopping by, until next time keep writing and before you know it that novel you had in your mind will be a completed manuscript on paper.

 God bless.

 

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YEARS

         One of the things I’ve come across in my writing career is the impatience of other people; usually our loved ones (spouse, children, siblings.)  Often when we talk to them they want to know if we are still writing, where we are in the process and how much longer do we think it will take us.  This is unnecessary pressure.  It can bring our creative juices to a quick halt, or I know it can mine.  The one thing an author doesn’t need is more pressure.  However, these well-meaning souls usually have no idea what we go through.  They think we sit down at the computer and the words just flow from our fingers. Oh, if it was that easy, right?  They have no idea how we struggle to show and not tell a scene, to listen to our characters and speak through their voices not our own and so on and so on… Some have even asked “Why don’t you get a real job?”  Writing isn’t a real job?  Hello!

     When I want to tell them to back off I have to think of Noah.  Can you imagine the pressure he went through when he was building the Ark?   I’m sure that his family, like ours, wanted to know when he would finish and what he was really working on.  Maybe they accused him of wasting time.  We might take a year or so to write a novel, probably less once we get rolling, but it took him 120 years to build the ark!  To put up with people ridiculing you for 120 years had to take some strength.  Yes, of course I know that God gives us the strength to do whatever He asks us to do but that doesn’t shield us from the people who are just looking for and hoping we will fail.  Yes, He also gives us the strength and knowledge to deal with them in a way that He approves.

     Now I know that I’m no Noah but I do believe my love for writing and my God-given talent is for writing, so I have to believe that God will give me the strength to persevere and finish the novels I have started.  I need to “Trust in God with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)  This means I have to turn my writing career over to Him.  I really do try to do this.  One thing I have found that helps me is to say a prayer before my writing sessions to ask Him to write the story through me and after the session to thank Him for His help.

     Maybe you aren’t a believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, if not praying won’t help you with your career.  But it is so easy to become a child of God. All it takes is faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ alone.  Remember God knows your heart so all you have to do is tell Him you do believe that Jesus came to earth and died as a substitute for our sins.  Sounds easy?  It is.  

     I know God gives each of us a talent to make our living but He leaves it up to us to find that talent and develop it and become successful.  God takes good care of His children but He will never give us more than we are capable of dealing with whether troubles or blessings.

     Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time keep praying and asking God what He wants you to write and keep believing.  Remember what He did for the people during Biblical times He will do for us today if we believe.  Oh the stories that I could share but I’ll save them for another time.

God bless.

FAITH IN YOUR TALENT AS A WRITER

     A career in writing can be a very lonely job.  However, it can be equally exciting; we get to see our characters grow and develop their personalities.  We get to travel places that we might only get to go in our imagination.  Being an author can also bring along fear and doubt.  We get rejections on top of rejections while we see others who don’t write as well or are at least equal with us.  We wonder “What am I doing wrong?”  The truth might be that the problem is not in your writing at all. 

     We can’t doubt and have faith all at the same time.  It is impossible!  We either have faith that God gave us our talent and we will be successful in His time or we doubt that He will do what He said He will do.  If we doubt, in essence we are calling God a liar.  He either keeps His promises or He doesn’t.  And I for one know He doesn’t lie.

     We just need to have patience and wait for His time.  Sometimes it might take days, weeks or even years but when the time is right we will see God working to answer our prayers.  This has happened to me so many times.  I once prayed for a house in a certain area.  Well we moved into an apartment and it was nice so I quit praying for the house.  A couple of years later we bought a house in the area I had prayed about.  I didn’t think about my prayer until one day I was backing out of our drive and thanking God for our home when His Spirit spoke to mine and said, “You asked for a home in this area.”  Let me tell you it floored me!!  I stopped right there and said, “Yes Lord I did, please forgive me for not thanking you sooner.”  The house was what I had prayed about a couple of years before!!  God is so good all the time.

     So talk to God and if He has given you the talent to be a writer don’t doubt your success.  It will come in God’s time.  It will be the success He has planned especially for you and you will be happy.  So now instead of worry have peace in your soul and know that God is in charge.  He is working behind the scenes when we don’t see His hand in what we are doing.  Go on and in your mind see your book on the best sellers list, see yourself doing huge book signings and start now thanking God for your success.  Is this mind over matter?  I don’t think so. Remember Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  That is a promise from God!  So we don’t need to look around at other authors and see them getting published and wonder why we aren’t.  We don’t need to worry if an agent will accept us or not. 2 Timothy 7 tells us; (For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.)  All we need to do is keep writing and trusting God.  It sounds so easy but let me tell you that you will have times of doubt.  Satan will try to whisper in your ear that you are a fool and shouldn’t believe that God is in charge but don’t you believe him.  You just keep praying and asking God what He wants you to do next and trust Him for a successful outcome.

     Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep writing and keep trusting God and believe that you are a success because God doesn’t lie.

DEVELOP YOUR OWN VOICE AND STYLE

 

     Has this ever happened to you?  You’ve been reading all the great writing instructions from Writer’s Digest and you’re all excited and think “Man I am on my way!”  Then you sit down at the computer and your mind goes blank.  It has happened to me too many times to count.  I get excited when I read the “How Tos” but it just doesn’t click with whatever article or novel I’m working on. 

     I think I finally have it all figured out.  The reason the advice doesn’t always work for me is because I’m trying to make my people (characters if you will) do what I want them to do instead of what they would normally do.  After all if these people aren’t real to you, believe me, they won’t be real to your reader.  My work flows easier when I roll with the flow.

     I know most novel writers have an outline and they stick almost strictly to that outline.  I don’t and I can’t.  First and foremost I get to know my characters.  I mean everything about them; maybe and most probably even little things that never show up in the novel but I know them.  They become real to me.  And of course I know my plot and the general gist of what is going to happen then I follow the characters.  They have taken me to some interesting places let me tell you.  They become so real to me and I look forward to sitting at the computer and seeing what is about to happen.  I love my people!!

     This might not work for you.  I believe just as we all have our own voice we all have our own style of developing our stories and novels.  I firmly say “don’t force it!”  Just find your style and voice and stick with them.  I’m southern and there is absolutely no way I could have a New England voice but I can love and develop my southern voice.  And in the same way I can love and develop my style.

Writing is a hard road to follow so we must learn to enjoy the trip.  I know how the story or novel will end but I will not coerce that end.  I write because I simply have to write and if it gets published that is a bonus.

     Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep writing and enjoy what you are writing; get to know your people and love them.  God bless.

 

 

READ

As I have said before, so many times that by now you probably know it by heart, I’m an avid reader.  I have to read!  If I didn’t have a book I would probably read labels and the small print on a toothpaste box.  I prefer reading to television.  You can blame my sister, Roser Lee, for this habit of mine.  She read to me when I was so small she could wedge me between her side and the arm of the chair.  Classics like “The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” were what she poured into me instead of fairy tales or Mother Goose Stories.  I grew up in a small town with an even smaller library and I bet I read every fiction book in that place before I moved away.  In the summer when other kids were out swimming and enjoying the beautiful, hot southern days I was in the house with my nose stuck in a book.  So I feel qualified to give my opinion on novels.

     I’ve just finished “Stolen Prey” by John Sandford.  I believe I have read almost, if not all of Sandford’s “Prey” novels.  He can really spin a tale.  I’ve watched Lucas Davenport develop his detective skills and grow his family over the years.  This character almost seems real to me.  “Stolen Prey” is a wonderful, well written novel in a style that is strictly John’s.  If you want a good read without all the erotica then I recommend his novels.  I suggest you start with the first of the “Prey” series and watch Lucas develop from novel to novel.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

      Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep reading and remember you don’t have to be a great writer to be an avid reader but you must be an avid reader to be a great writer.  God bless

Why Do We Write

  I’m alive and kicking but the weather we’ve had the last few days left me with no desire to be on the computer.  I preferred to sit on either my front or back porch and watch the leaves shiver and the wind make the huge limbs dance.  It is an awesome sight and very peaceful.  I also love to sit there and watch it rain.  True every now and then the wind would whip a mist my way but that’s a small price to pay. But now I’m back in the office.

     The manuscript is going well.  As a matter of fact so well that I was up until five o’clock this morning working.  You know how those days are when everything is falling right in place and all the characters are taking over and showing you what they want to do and how they want to act.  You keep working and completely forget about time.  This is one of the reasons we write.  Oh yeah, we also enjoy the other times but there are times when I just can’t seem to get it right, when I want the character to do what I want him/her to do instead of what they would usually do in said situation; times when I try to force the story.  Let me tell you those are not fun and you darn well know how much time you have struggled.  But we keep writing because there is something deep inside that tells us to write and we can’t resist.

     When did you realize you had the “Writer’s Bug?”  I was still in middle school and I knew as sure as I was born that I had to write.  Granted what I wrote back then wasn’t even good enough to be called trash.  But I kept at it and as the years passed I got better and better.  Then I got married and had two wonderful sons and caring for my family pushed my writing to the back burner.  But the desire was still there.  Once you realize you have the bug it never leaves.

     I was and am also an avid reader.  As I’ve said before I believe you don’t have to be a writer to be an avid reader but you must be an avid reader to be a good writer.

     I believe God gives each and every one of us a talent then He leaves it up to us to find and perfect it.  My talent is writing and I thank God for it.  I’m still working on the “perfect” part but I’m enjoying the trip.

     These are my thoughts for today.  Thanks for stopping by and until next time keep writing even if you are in the slump period.  We must take the bad along with the good.  God bless.

Path to Tomorrow’s Memories

          Thank God I am over the SNAG and back on the path to finishing my Southern Drama manuscript “Tomorrow’s Memories.”  (Of course we know that my agent might have me change the name in the end but that’s it for now.)  It felt so good to sit at my computer and work for hours yesterday.  No, I probably won’t write 100,000 words in a week like Emily Guido (you should check out her blog at http://emilyguido.com).  I found it interesting. 

     Now I just have to set my schedule so I get in my gardening (that’s my psychiatrist.) I love being out there just me and God.  I talk to Him a lot when I work.  Anyway, back to the schedule, I need my time for the gym and of course my writing.  I figure it is just a matter of planning to get everything in.  I know I used to write when I worked a full-time job.  Of course I didn’t work in my garden as much.  What ever!!  The main thing is I’m back and I’m excited about it.  The characters of Tomorrow’s Memories were glad to see me.  I am now on a roll and can’t wait for everything to come together.  Yes… yes I know, after it is written there will be rewrites on top of rewrites but don’t remind me of that now, just let me bask in the fact that I am over the snag.

     Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time stay safe and keep writing.  Remember only writers truly understand writers. My husband said he doesn’t know if you have to be insane to be a writer or insane to live with one.  Whatever!  God bless.

Is Being An Author All In The Mind

     You can call yourself an author even if you have never published one single word.  But does that make you an author?  I suppose in this world where we live you can call yourself anything you want but it simply does not make it true.  Then I ask myself “Where does being an author begin?”  It does not start with education because you can spend years in school studying the art of writing and still not put a story to paper.  I believe being an author starts in the mind.  I know it did for me.  Even when I was a little girl I wanted to write novels.  I was and still am an avid reader which I think is important to being a good writer.  You can be a reader without being an author but you can’t be an author unless you are an avid reader.  My love for the art grew in my heart and mind.  True, then you need an education so you can prefect the art but it must first start in your mind.  The plots for my novels start in my mind then grow in my heart.  I know and love my characters which I also feel is important.  I’m so excited about the Southern Drama I’m working on but I’ll leave that for another blog.  I want the world to know the people in my novels.  You can’t just sit down and write a novel; you must think about it.  You must glen every bit of knowledge you can about the people in your novel.  And where does that knowledge come from?  Your mind, no one else can give you the answers.  So, being an author is all in the mind.  Some say it is a lonely career but it is also exciting to watch your novel take form and grow as your characters become real to you.  If they aren’t real to you, trust me, they won’t be real to you readers.

Thanks for stopping by.