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

Monday, June 25, 2012

The ABCs of a Writing Life

Yesterday, I was reminded of this article by Thomas S. Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In it he outlines the ABCs of an abundant life. I believe these ABCs are important for an abundant writing life also.

A is for attitude. Attitude is everything. President Monson said:

So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference....We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.

So, so true. When things aren't going your way, when you feel discouraged, when writing is just plain hard work, your attitude about it  can make all the difference.

B is for believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. President Monson said:

Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.

This is so important. I know how easy it is to feel like your writing is horrible and you're just wasting your time. I know how easy it is to think you'll never achieve your dreams. I know because I have been and there and am still there often. Don't listen to the voice of doubt. You can do this. You just have to believe!

C is for courage. Writing is no job for wimps. President Monson said:

Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.

Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

"I'll try again tomorrow." I think I say that at the end of every day. Soldier on, my friends!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cover Reveal!

Here they are! Aren't they pretty? A huge thanks to Paul Browning for designing these for me. (He's good and reasonably priced, if you need a cover, let me know. I'll hook you up!)

Prequels to Defenders of the Covenant, CONSECRATED, REFUGE, and RENEGADE provide an intensely personal look at the effects of a catastrophic alien invasion on the lives of individuals pushed to limits of faith and resilience.

If you missed the announcement, these will be available as ebooks on July 21! Can't wait to share them with you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest!

In celebration of the release of Elana Johnson's second novel, Surrender, she is hosting a blogfest this week!

"Never give up. Never surrender!" That seems to be the theme of my whole life.

I could have given up on getting good grades and going to college, but I didn't and I'm glad.

I could have given up on keeping my scholarship and graduating from college, but I didn't and I'm glad.

I could have given up on my marriage a long time ago, but I didn't and I'm glad.

I could have given up on getting my novel published, but I didn't and I'm glad.

I could give up on writing or publishing any more books. There are times when I think I should. But you know what? If I've proven anything to myself, it's that I don't have to give up. I won't surrender, and I'm glad!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Exciting News!!

At least it's exciting for me. =) I hope you find it exciting too.

I am very pleased to announce the upcoming release of three novellas, prequels to Defenders of the Covenant.  These novellas can be enjoyed with or without reading Defenders, but my hope is that if you read one of them, you'll want to read them all! Here's a little about them. (The covers are being designed even as we speak. Can't wait to show them off!)

Carly Emerson never imagined she would lose her two-year old son to faceless android soldiers, nor did she ever consider that keeping her temple covenants might break her heart. When aliens attack, Carly is asked to bear a child who will be hidden in an underground refuge—without her. The grief stricken mother must make a choice: keep her covenants and die or take a chance at survival on her own.

Seventeen year old Kwetoo'unuv Walker has nothing on his mind but hunting and girls. And how to avoid getting caught skipping school. But when Earth is attacked by alien invaders and Kwetoo'unuv watches his parents die to keep him alive, life becomes much more complicated. As the world falls before his eyes, he receives a vision from the Great Wolf, Toovuts, compelling him to put aside his fears and become the man God wants him to be. Because in the coming alien occupation, strength and wisdom will be Kwetoo'unuv's only chance to survive.

When Earth falls to alien invaders, young newlywed Vivi Thayer is called to serve as a group leader in a hidden, underground refuge. There she is charged with raising a generation chosen to carry on the work of God. Facing the criticism of the other, more experienced, women in the refuge, Vivi struggles with feelings of guilt and inadequacy. When a heartbreaking loss brings Vivi to her breaking point, she must learn to accept the role God has chosen for her or leave the refuge behind forever.

CONSECRATED, REFUGE, and RENEGADE provide an intensely personal look at the effects of a catastrophic alien invasion on the lives of individuals pushed to limits of faith and resilience.

These three tie-ins will be released as ebooks on July 21st in conjunction with the Defenders of the Covenant Online Summer Pow-Wow--an all-day online party with chats, trivia questions, fun facts and prizes! (Why a pow-wow, you ask? The book has a strong American Indian element in it, though it's not really brought up much in the reviews.) More information on that as it gets closer, but put it on your calendars. You won't want to miss it!

I feel these three novellas are some of the finest writing I've done, and I can't wait to share them with you.

Have you got any exciting news to share? Let me celebrate with you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Rediscovering Joy

Hello, everyone! I had a nice week or so being unplugged. Hope you didn't miss me too much. *snicker*

It was good for me. I'll admit that May was a difficult month. Some things happened that really brought me down. I felt like a failure. Like maybe I ought to just quit. It wasn't fun. But I spent the past week getting back in touch with the things that bring me joy.

Walks in the park

                          Being with my kids

    Spending an afternoon at the swimming pool

                                        Listening to Gordon Lightfoot 

Going out with my sweetheart

                    Reading a good book

  Writing a good book

Luckily, it's June, which a much easier month to be joyful in than say, January. I really love summer. I'm feeling much better about myself and life in general.

Also, I spent a lot of time working on THIS (check it out and tell me what you think!) I'm not quite finished, but I hope it will make my website more fun to visit.

And...I have some exciting news! Which I will announce on Wednesday, so be sure to come back for that.

So, how do you find your joy?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Unplugging and a T-shirt Winner!

Well, gang, I am feeling the need to get off the internet for a week or so to work on Shattered Skies. I'll be back the week of June 11, with hopefully an awesome word count to report!

But before I go, I need to announce the winner of my Avenging Angels T-shirt giveaway.

Congrats, Michelle. Thanks to everyone who commented on the Defenders posts.

I'll see ya all on the flip side!