21 November 2016

Draft One of Book Three

Well, I did it. I am finished with draft one of book three. I typed the last scene of Incorruptible this weekend, and I am pretty happy with the results. I think my approach to this book is going to help me become a better writer. I haven't visited the beginning of my manuscript in months, so I will be able to see it with fresh eyes. It will almost be as if I am reading someone else's work--almost.

I know there will be a lot of revisions with this one. Right now it is 117,252 words and 283 pages. That is a long manuscript for me, and the story flowed out very quickly. Right now, it seems like every scene is vital to the plot, but I am sure I will find, when I revisit scene after scene, that some scenes are just not that important in propelling the action forward and will have to be deleted. I have fun with editing, so I'm not too worried.

I have also received some feedback on Vocation. Mostly, it has been positive. I feel bad in some ways because I haven't been able to focus too much on promoting Vocation. I have been trying to devote my spare time to Incorruptible. I never wanted to lose the rhythm with this book, and my diligence has paid off. Now, I can relax and take my time revising and rewriting, which will free up some time for me to focus on Vocation again. And I do have some plans for promoting book two.

This year has been an extremely difficult year, probably one of the worst I've experienced. Between my husband and me, we lost one aunt, two uncles, and two fathers. Five family members passed away, and that certainly makes you sit up and take notice of your own mortality.

The loss of loved ones has had a strange effect on my writing. I have come to realize just how important writing is to me now. It has become a form of escape, a way to deal with tragedy, and a safe zone. I am in complete control of the world I write about, when the world around me is quite uncontrollable.

The themes in my novels also help me in a very personal way. At the root of all my books is the Catholic faith, which sustains me. I've said it so many times in the last year, and I will continue to say it. If you don't have faith in God, what do you have? Not much. As I state in one of the themes in Vocation, God is never changing and constant, and in the midst of chaos, something constant can make all the difference.

Yes, it has been a sad year, but there was also joy. There is sadness for the people left behind, but there is joy for those who have moved to eternity.

When we buried my father back in April, I chose the readings for his blessing service. For his first reading, I chose something from Revelation. Here is part of the reading: He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away. 

I do believe all suffering will cease.

Thursday is Thanksgiving. I wish all my readers a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving. May God bestow many blessings on you and your family.

08 November 2016

Keep Smiling

I came across this scene, and I decided to snap a photo. I'm not sure why, but I wanted to capture the moment. The scene that caught my attention was a cart of discarded pumpkins, sitting on campus, outside the science building, waiting to be discarded. I saw it and walked by it the first day. The next day it was still there, so I snapped a picture.

After I took the photo, I studied it for a while, wondering why I wanted to snap it in the first place. Thinking about it created a range of emotions that I couldn't quite put into words.

My first impression was that everything is temporary and fleeting. Halloween was only one week ago, and these pumpkins had already outlived their purpose. I thought, couldn't whoever had placed them there wait one more week? They are not rotting. Surely, they could survive one more week. But no, they had served their purpose.

Then I thought about how they were still smiling. Carved pumpkins begin to lose their faces when they begin to rot.  But these pumpkins are still smiling--totally unaware of their fate.

Then I thought of us and election day and what our future might be and how so many people don't quite get the impact it will all have for generations to come. And they seem like these smiling pumpkins--totally unaware of their fate, trusting flawed human beings to save them.

Of course, there are many of us who put our faith in a greater Power than the Democratic party or the Republican party.

So my last thought about my photo of the smiling pumpkins is: keep smiling because God is in control.

01 November 2016

A New Project

Most people who know me know that, besides writing, I also like to crochet. I have been crocheting since I was a child, but my crochet skills really grew in my thirties when I decided to learn thread crochet to make my own doilies. That's when things really took off, and I began reading patterns. Once you learn the basics and learn how to read patterns, you can crochet just about anything.

Now that writing has just about taken over all my free time, I rarely crochet anymore. Once in a while, though, I do get the urge to make something, and usually that happens around this time--right before winter. It's nice to have a project to work on during the cold winter months when I am curled up in front of the television. I get a lot of crocheting done in front of the television.

Well, I am going to start a new project, but it is not a crochet project. 

What a lot of people don't know about me is that I can also do cross stitch. I will admit. It is not my favorite thing to do. I prefer crochet over cross stitch. However, if a project is truly motivating, I will break down and do a cross stitch pattern. I have found that very project.

I recently purchased a cross stitch pattern on Etsy, and I am gearing up to begin the project this weekend. I won't tell you what the project is yet. I will just say it fits into the theme of my writing desk. Once my desk is in place, I will hang my framed cross-stitch project on the wall above it.

Of course, that doesn't mean my writing will be put on the back burner. In fact, my writing is increasing. I am at the point in my current WIP where I have hit the stage of obsession. What does that mean? It means I am almost finished with the first draft and my momentum is increasing. I need to finish, and I can't really rest until I do. 

So hopefully, I will be able to balance my writing with my stitching.

And an update on my giveaway on Goodreads . . . As of today 90 people have entered the giveaway to receive a free, signed copy of Vocation.