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

Friday, October 26, 2012

This could change everything!

As I have mentioned before, I desperately want to shorten the time it takes me to write a novel. I am hoping to start in November and write a novel in 100 days. Isn't it interesting how the universe seems to put things in your path just when you need them most? Yesterday, I read a blog post (actually two) from Melanie Bennett about how she significantly increased her word count without spending more time writing. She referred me to a post by Rachel Aaron about how she went from 2K to 10K per day. (Per day! And here I'm aiming for 1K per day. Baby steps, right?) Her triangle is so simple and yet amazing. Knowledge, time, and enthusiasm.

I found both posts hugely inspirational. I think this could really change my life. I am so excited to try. Go read them and tell me what you think!

Now for a couple of announcements.

Photo by Julien Tromuer
Five more days to enter the short story contest! The entries are starting to flow in and I am so excited to read them. If you're thinking about submitting, please do. Any genre, under 7500 words. Go for it! Deadline is October 31.

 My short Christmas story, "Broken Things" comes out in the anthology Checkin' It Twice on November 15! Yay! I've been interviewed over on the Checkin' It Twice blog. Come read about my love affair with all things Christmas.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Write?

It's a question I've been asked many times.

Photo found here
Why do you write?

I think there are many answers to that. I write because I enjoy it. I love to create characters and plots. I love to connect with readers. I like to daydream. I want to develop my talents. I feel like it is an important part of my life.

I don't really have to answer that question for myself anymore. I've got lots of reasons. I think a better question is

Why do we need writers?

Does the world need writers? I sure hope so! There are enough of us out there.  But why does the world need writers, really? Particularly writers of fiction?

Storytelling is as old as humanity. I've heard it said that fiction is the truest form of writing, because in story, we are really telling the truth about ourselves and our lives.

I think we need writers to help us see ourselves as we really are. But I want to hear your thoughts.

Why do you think the world needs writers?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Next Big Thing Blog Chain

I was tagged for this fun blog chain by David West at Nephite Blood, Spartan Heart. I get to talk about my WIP, or one of them anyway. So here goes!

What is the working title of your book? Shattered Skies. I got that from the hymn "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise" from the line that says, "Ere long her king will rend the skies..."

Where did the idea come from for the book? It's the third in the series that begins with Defenders of the Covenant. (The second is called The Ransomed Returning.) I just put all my characters into another crazy, difficult situation to solve. I came up with a villain I really love--a woman who is passing herself off as a goddess and trying to take over the world. I also wanted the main characters to continue to grow and change.

What genre does your book fall under? LDS science fiction adventure.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I really have no idea. I'm not all that familiar with actors names. Angelina Jolie might be good for the false goddess. That's kind of how I picture her. Only bald...

What is the one sentence synopsis for the book? Ha ha. I really haven't come up with one yet, so here goes. When a terrible illness and a beautiful goddess threaten the peace across the world, Derek Halstead and the rest of Zion must once again rise to the challenge. (Wow. That's bad. I'll have to work on that one.)

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Neither. I assume it will be published by my current publisher, Walnut Springs. I don't have an agent.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Fifteen months. I'm hoping to shorten that for my next project.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Is it bad that I can't think of any? My genre is not that big. But really it has the same elements as any sci-fi adventure novel, just with religion added in too.

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? It's the last of the series and wraps up all the characters' stories. I am so going to miss them when it's all said and done!

Now to tag some others!

TM Hunter at The West(ern) Chronicles
Terry W. Ervin II at Up Around the Corner
Jackee Alston at Winded Words
Tyrean Martinson at Tyrean's Writing Spot

And anyone else reading this who wants to participate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Than Words

I'm a word lover. So are you, I think. I love the nuances of meaning and the subtle connotations. I love word origins and derivations. I love the way they sound rolling off my tongue and the way they look written on the page. I love to string them together to make something magical. I'm guessing you love that too.

So, why then, am I so caught up in numbers so often?

Numbers like blog comments, Facebook likes, page views and followers. Numbers like sales ranks and reviews and ratings, and now the worse yet, Amazon's author ranking.

I feel like I'm living in a Max Lucado storybook where we all get numbers stamped onto our foreheads so we can be sure and now exactly where we stand in comparison to everyone else. I don't even know why these numbers mean so much to me, but it sure is easy to get caught up in them.

I don't like it. I don't like the way it makes me feel.

My self-worth is not defined by an Amazon ranking or the number of comments on a blog post.

My success as a writer is not defined by how many books I've sold. (Maybe in some ways it is, but not in the ways that I am going to use to determine my success.)

I'm finished with those numbers. I am who I am. I've done what I've done. And I think I have a lot to feel good about. So do you.

I'm not paying attention to those nasty numbers anymore. Let's surround ourselves with beautiful words instead.

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Cartoon Makeover!

I won a cartoon makeover from the talented Sarah Anderson!

Cartoon Me

Cool, huh? Sarah is fairly new to the blogging world, so why don't you hop over there and make her feel welcome by following her blog!

Thanks a million, Sarah!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Being a writer is not easy. It's hard to find the words to recreate the story living in your heart. It's hard to cut out a little piece of your soul and lay it bare on the page. It's hard to put it out there for the world to mock. It's hard to get rejected over and over again and still keep trying.

Believe me. I know. It can be lonely, frustrating, discouraging and downright heartbreaking.

You have to be strong.

But if there is one thing I've learned in my life, it's that we are stronger together than we are alone. We need each other. We need someone who understands what we are going through. Someone who has been where we are, or is going where we want to go.

So, thank you my writing, blogging, facebooking, tweeting friends. Thank you for being my strength when I struggle. Thank you for sharing your own journey. Thank you for standing with me. I couldn't do it without you!