Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, August 27, 2010

Forgetting About It

I have this uncanny ability to forget about my submissions.  Well, I don't forget about them exactly. I just send them out, make a note of the market's stated response times, and then I just let it fall out of my head. When the proper amount of time has passed, a little alarm goes off in my head. "Have you heard from X market yet? Maybe you should have heard from them by now." I don't always act immediately on the little mental reminder. Usually another week or two will pass and I'll think. "Oh, yeah. Maybe I should check on market X. I haven't heard from them yet." Then I'll go and check their return times again. Check the Black Hole. Worry that maybe I missed an email somewhere. Maybe contact the market if enough time has passed. Maybe just let it drop out of mind again.

This ability makes waiting that much easier. I'm not all tense and worried about my submissions all the time. (Only sometimes.) It can also shoot me in the foot, though. Like a story I just this week started thinking I should have heard about by now. I double-checked when I'd submitted it, and it was a sufficiently long time ago to get me to check the market again. I found it the magazine had shut down. Grrr. Guess I should have checked earlier. Anyway, the story is off to another market and put safely out of mind again.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rainy Day Blogfest (Oops)

Hey, look at that! I hit 250 followers. Sweet! I love you guys! Welcome to the Writing Chair. It's comfy here.

Today, Christine H over at The Writer's Hole is hosting the Rainy Day Blogfest. I signed up to participate, but I forgot until the last minute, and then I couldn't find any rainy scenes that I felt like sharing. *blush*

I do love the rain. I love the comfortable twilight of a gray sky and the sound of the rain on the roof. I love the powerful beauty of lightning and the sound of thunder rumbling through me. It reminds that there are bigger things than me in the world. I love the sweet, sharp scent of a rain shower. I love sitting in a tent in the mountains playing cards while the rain pounds outside. I love the clean air and the rainbows when the sun comes out. I live in a desert and every drop of rain is precious.

So, go check out the other entries in the Blogfest, who are hopefully less flaky than me. (So sorry!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hidden Sun Blog Tour: My Review

I'm reviewing another book today. The Hidden Sun by J. Lloyd Morgan.

From the back cover:

The kingdom of Bariwon is at a crossroads. Ever since Eliana was born, she has been primed to become the kingdom's leader. But she is not to rule Bariwon alone. A contest of sorts, called the Shoginoc, is to be held when Eliana turns twenty one. The victor gains the right to marry Eliana and become king of Bariwon. Rumor has it that the favorite to win the Shoginoc is Daimh, son of malevolent Governor Abrecan. However, Eliana has fallen in love with her personal guardian, Rinan. She is torn between renouncing her title to be with the man she loves or marrying to keep the kingdom out of the hands of those who would rule it unjustly. A plan is hatched to keep her in power while allowing her to marry Rinan, but little does she know the impact this deception will have on everyone in Bariwon for years to come. 

Political intrigue and conspiracy abound in the medieval kingdom of Bariwon. At first, because of the medieval setting I guess, I was expecting a fantasy. The Hidden Sun is not a fantasy, but there is plenty of action, intrigue and romance here. Morgan does a great job of creating believable, quirky characters that you can easily fall in love with (or hate entirely, in the case of the villains). I found myself a little disappointed to find that the book was not entirely about Eliana and Rinan, but instead deals with the long-term effects of their choices. My disappointment faded with the great characters and exciting plot, however. The story held my interest all the way through. Unfortunately, there are a number of typos in the text, but I was able to overlook that and enjoy the story. I loved Morgan's use of symbolism dealing with rain, clouds, sunshine, light and darkness. The ending was sweet and satisfying.

The Hidden Sun is a good read for all ages, and contains no objectionable material.

You should also check out J. Lloyd Morgan's website. It's really fun. The book trailer is a hoot and you can find a pronunciation guide and fun "secrets" of The Hidden Sun, as well as the author's blog.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for my participation in the blog tour. This did not affect my review. I was asked for an honest opinion and I that's what I've given.

Monday, August 16, 2010

From My Heart to Yours

Do you think that it's possible that strangers like us could be friends in just a moment or two? For just a brief time could we open the doors of our hearts like old friends do?...Well, I'd like to find a way to open the doors from my heart to yours. Yes, I hope that we can find a way to open the doors from my heart to yours. --Michael McLean

I guess I'm feeling a little sentimental today. My follower numbers keep on creeping up, and that makes me happy. :) I do feel like all of you who stop by the blog and maybe leave a comment are my friends. That's why I love blogging so much. I sure like reading your blogs too. It's nice to have those connections to each other. It's nice to not be alone. When I started this blog almost two years ago, I didn't really know who would read it. I just wanted somewhere to talk about writing because I had a lot to say and didn't want to bore my family with it on the family blog. Of course, my family reads this blog too, for which I am grateful. I sure didn't expect to have so much support and so many new friends.

So, what I'm trying to say is thanks to you all for opening up the doors to your hearts just a little and letting me have a peek inside.

Friday, August 13, 2010

All I Wanna Do is Write Some Books Before I Die

A few months ago, one of my son's friends posed the question, "If you only had a week to live, what would you do?" The first thing that popped into my head was, "Finish my novel." Now, seriously, if I really only had a week left, I wouldn't worry about the novel, right? I'd spend my time with the people I love. But when the people I love went to bed, then I'd finish my novel. I mean, if I've only got a week, I'm not going to waste any time on sleeping!

That little thought came back to me when I was deciding what to work on now that I've finished the Christmas story. See, I have these two novellas I want to write. They will be companions to my novella, "Consecrated." That novella is a prequel (I really hate that word, but that's what it is) to my novel, Defenders of the Covenant. The novel I finished earlier this summer is a sequel to it. And the thing is, I haven't sold Defenders of the Covenant yet. I realize I could be completely wasting my time by creating an entire flipping series based around this novel that I haven't sold. But you know what? I don't care.

The thought came to me that if I were to die tomorrow, what would I regret not having written? I'm not trying to be morbid. But when it comes to living each day to the fullest, well, there are things I think I want to say. Stories I want to create.

So, I'm starting on the first novella tonight. It's titled "Renegade." I'm excited.

What about you? Do you have something you would regret not writing while you still have time?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't Touch That!

No one, and I mean no one, is allowed to touch my notebook. The mere thought of someone looking at my notebook makes me break into a cold sweat. When someone glances at my notebook or worse tries to touch it, I will throw myself across the top of it screaming, "No! Don't touch it. Don't read it!" I feel like I'll die of embarrassment if anyone gets a hold of it. Like it was my private journal or something. Really, I fear anyone reading it will think it's stupid. They'll think I'm stupid. Of course, it's only my family who would ever be in a position to touch the notebook anyway, and I know they don't think I'm stupid. I still can't stand the thought of any of them reading my notebook.

Once, the story is done, though, and all typed into the computer, I do a complete flip-flop. Then I can't wait to have someone read it. I almost feel like it isn't complete, it isn't real, unless someone's eyes besides mine have seen and acknowledged it. It's quite a weird shift and it drives my poor husband crazy when first I'm all, "Don't look!" and then, "Read this right now!" Sorry, my love. It's one of the hazards of being married to a writer, I guess.

What about you guys? Do you mind if people read what you're still working on? Are you crazy like me?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Me on I Need Friends Friday

Today, I'm Sarah M. Eden's guest for the return of I Need Friends Friday. Go check it out, and make me really happy by leaving a comment!

Monday, August 2, 2010

What a Rush!

I set a goal at the beginning of July to write a Christmas story by the end of the month. July turned out to be pretty busy is a fun, summery kind of way. I plugged away on the story, though and late Saturday night, the last day of the month, I finished it!

I absolutely loved the thrill of starting and finishing something all in one month. I could get addicted to this. The story is called "Living Water," and I feel pretty good about how it turned out. I once heard Orson Scott Card describe writing a story as crossing a lake. With a novel, you can take a row boat. You can stop and fish. You can enjoy the scenery and take your time. With a short story, you have to get in a motor boat and cross the lake just as fast you can. That's sure what it felt like to me this time, and it was fun.

So, although I plan to write novels for sure, I will never give up the short story. It's such a rush!

P.S. Tyrean Martinson was kind enough to give me her Blessed Blog Award. Thanks so much! I have been truly blessed by her blog as well. Go check it out and read her daily 365 Days of Blessings posts if you want a great reminder of all we have to be thankful for. Thanks, Tyrean!