Friday, July 30, 2010
In the last forty-seven years my husband has done very little housework. When the three babies were born and when I had had surgery was about the only times. I'm trying to teach him how to do a few things so if and when I have the knee surgery, he will be able to handle the house.
He is not a bed maker! He helped me change the bed the other day and I was so amazed that he would not stretch the sheets and blanket across the bed. I like my sheets and the one blanket to be tight, not lumpy. I kept saying, "Pull it, it won't hurt." But he still would only give it a gentle tug.
He was supposed to vacuum the living room rug two days ago, but somehow fishing gets in his way. The only way I can get him to do it is to turn on the vacuum cleaner myself and then he'll run to me, "If you wanted to done, why didn't you tell me?" I've told him for three days!
The fault is mine and his mother's. Neither of us let him do anything and now I'm paying for it. I've been telling him where things were located all this week. I hate to think he will call me in the hospital and say, "Where is that pan I like?" Or, "Where did you put the crackers?" We molly-coddle our men because that is what we think we should do, but don't.
I will come to his defense. When I can and freeze, he is right there beside me. He loves the food processor. I am so glad it is his friend. What did we do before we had them? I remember, it was the blender. He was never too attached to the blender. If my food processor went out right now, he would head to the store to get another one.
I want to get my house clean today so I will have it finished if I do have to have surgery. No more shots, ever! Tomorrow we have tickets to see Jeannie Robertson. I am so excited. I love her stand-up comedy and her talks about "Left Brain." Several of our friends are going and we will have fun. We have front row seats with another couple. I've never had front row seats before, except in high school. When your name begins with "A", you're usually in the front your freshman year.
Have a wonderful week-end.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
When I started posting, I decided I would not have a favorite author. In the last three years I have grown a fondness to several. I love, love, love the pirate books by Mary Lu Tyndall. I read one recently and I'm now reading her latest. I love DiAnn Mills, Kaye Dacus and others.
I'm beginning to grow a fondness to anything written by Susan Page Davis. Susan lives close to me and we try to go out to lunch about once a month. She gave me one of her books as a gift one time and I laid it back thinking I would read it sometime.
Since I've not felt like doing much the last few days, I decided to take Frasier Island off the shelf and read it. The cover looks very military and I had decided that I would not like it, but I'd read it anyway. Now, don't judge a book by its cover. This is a military book, but WOW what a book. I was glued to it and the ending was not what I expected at all. There is so much action and intrigue in the book and I was spell bound by it.
It's about Navy Ensign Rachel Whitney who goes to a remote island on a secret project. She is the only woman with two men and she is pretty. Of course Lt. George Hudson who is in charge of the project falls in love with her, but he keeps his distance. If you like suspense and spying, read this book. Modern day, but wonderful. I give Susan five stars. I read it in less than two days.
After reading the last book, it was hard for me to go back to the western historical that Susan writes so well. I should say "hysterical" because that is what it is. The Gunsmith's Gallantry is full of action with the Ladies Shooting Club. This is the second one in the series. I laughed and I cried at the antics of those ladies and the men around them. This is by far the best historical that I have read of Susan's. I loved it and I give it five stars. My husband said it is the best one she has ever written. He loved it also. Susan does a wonderful job on all of her books.
I'm not doing a lot right now with my knees hurting so much. Today is the best day in a long time, but it still hurts. I'm in better spirits today and I was encouraged by several at church last night. I'm going to try to write a little more today.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Last night over 1600 people met at the Carson Center in Paducah, Kentucky for the first night of a gospel meeting. The area wide churches of Christ do this each year and this year it is so good. My husband and I have know Keith Parker, the preacher, for a number of years and his preaching is still great.
Keith loosened us up by telling of his showcase win on The Price is Right. He has a snowmobile for sale and also a wave runner. Living in Tennessee, I'm sure he has no need for either, but he made it so funny the way he told it. He also inspired us all to be better Christians.
The singing is always so good in that building. Accapella music with over 1600 voices. It was wonderful! There is no sound on earth quiet like it and I know it was a sweet savor to the Lord. I felt rejuvenated and wanted to work harder doing the Lord's work. I can't wait until we all return tonight and tomorrow night for another wonderful lesson and beautiful singing.
I feel my writing is something God wants me to do. I want to show care and concern for each individual in my books, no matter how mean they are. I want to remove prejudice and hatred of others and most of all I want to show God's love to all of us.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I'm trying to get going, but not very well. Anyway, it's another day of not feeling the best. I think I just had a small panic attack, don't know for sure because I've never had one. It has passed and I'm not shaking so bad right now.
Yesterday I did get back to writing and it felt good. I corrected two chapters, one didn't have many mistakes so it was easy. I started my self-edit on the last five chapters. Finished one chapter and almost finished another one. I need to increase a few more words, but when Sandi gets through with it, there will be around 90,000. I never thought I could write that many words.
Most publishers are asking for between 90,000 to 100,000 words on a manuscript and I am trying to comply. It has finally popped into my head what I am supposed to be doing. Janice Thompson had a class the other night on Passive vs Active Voice. That opened my eyes so much, even though she had told me that several years ago. It finally sunk in.
My biggest problem is Point of View. I have been letting it slip lately. I know what I am thinking but sometimes I let someone else slip in when I put it in the computer. I have to watch that. That's taken a little rearranging of sentences. It's working and all coming together.
The book I am finishing is Callie's Mountain and the next is Susannah's Hope. I need to get a name for the third. It will be set in Tennessee and it is pre-Civil War. In one of the last two will be a story about the Trail of Tears. I didn't know I lived close to where the Indians were marched to Oklahoma. There are several preserves or parks around here and I'm anxious to go in the fall to see some of them.
I've been thinking about a name for the last book and so far nothing has hit me. Callie and Susannah came as a shock when I named them. The names felt so right. I know the titles will be changed when it's published, but I hold those names so dear. Callie is such a pretty name to me and Susannah Cole was one of my husband's ancestors. Please give me suggestions for this last book.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Yes, today is a much better day. I knew when I passed up my road turn, twice, that I was not myself. Then when I found out I didn't have the strength in my leg to brake, I was in trouble. How unusual for me not to be able to slow down to turn into my driveway. So far it looks like a better day today. I still hurt, but not as badly.
I have a full day ahead of me today. I want to find time to write and finish editing my last five chapters. I know I have talked about this book so much, it seemed like it would never be finished. But I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
I knew nothing about writing when I began this book four years ago. In that time, I have taken classes and gone to conferences. It has been a wonderful experience. I am so anxious to get it published and to say I have accomplished something. My friends I have made on this journey are truly phenomenal. It is so good to know writers. We all look at things differently than others.
We look at things that can be used in a book. Everyone you meet could be a character in a book. Don't let them know it at first. But think of the people you know. We know one little feisty lady of 92, who is a hoot. She still drives, but I don't like to get behind her, and she lives by herself, has a very good mind and is so energetic and fun. I need to find a place to put her. I love her so much.
My grandchildren could make a very good book. A little of my youngest grandson is in this book. He is so funny. Little David is so much like my Grayson. I don't have much in it about him, but you'll see the playfulness when you read the book.
Today I am also changing the new frozen food from my small freezer to the large one. I had my husband pencil me in for the morning. this is not a fishing day. So we will have fun. This afternoon is going to be an afternoon of writing, I hope.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
You may ask, why was yesterday so different from any other day? It was a day to act on a decision I made a couple of weeks ago. Here's the story.
About ten years ago a arthroscopic surgery on both my knees, and I was told I would have to eventually have complete knee replacements in the future. Oh, well, the future seemed to be a long way off. When my knees started hurting more a couple of years ago, I just ignored it and thought by taking Tylenol I would get better. Didn't work, so I took something stronger. I don't like the idea of being on narcotics, so I made the decision to call an orthopedic surgeon and make an appointment. That was yesterday.
When the tech took the x-rays, she asked me if I was opposed to surgery. My reply was a resounding, "No." After an x-ray of my hips, because sometimes knee pain can be related to your hip sockets, we went to an exam room and she went to get my husband.
In came the doctor. The sweetest and kindest doctor I have ever met, except one. His hands were so soft they could have held my knees all days. He was so gentle and caring. Enough about Dr. Patel. Now the diagnosis. He showed the x-rays to my husband and myself. My knees are pretty bad, no cartilage. He suggest cortisone shots in both knees.
In the past I have not reacted well to cortisone shots, but they have improved since my last one. I'm usually sick, but this time it was not bad. The most pleasant thing is that I lost two pounds of fluid over night. That made up for the pain.
It takes about thirty minutes to get from the doctors office to our house. I was nauseas a couple of times on the road, but just uneasy. Do I need to share that? Think not. Oh, well, I just did. When I got out of the car and my husband unlocked the door, put his hand on my back and I fell flat on my knees. I thought I was going to pass out. I lay there and cried, thinking about what I might have done to my poor knees.
Today, I am sore and I still hurt a little on the inside of my knees. I am pretty disoriented today and making a lot of mistakes, but I think I will get through it.
Well, that's my tale of woe. Hope you days have been better than mine. My life is a book.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Yes, I am enjoying my writing. It still gives me the same feeling that it did when I started writing several years ago. Now, I am enjoying networking with authors.
Yesterday, two authors that I respect and enjoy being around, met me for lunch. I think we talked for almost three hours, but it was wonderful and I learned so much from them. You gain so much when someone can talk to you about the hurdles you will face, especially if they have been there before.
How can you talk for three hours? Well, writers are usually gabby people. We work by ourselves and when we get together with another writer, we talk up a storm. It was wonderful to get to talk about these things. We, as writers, need to network.
One thing I have done is to sign up for internet classes given by authors. I get to know that author more through their classes. Camy Tang has some very good writing classes and they are inexpensive. Janice Thompson does also. I would suggest taking any classes by an author. They are where you want to be. Not all do this, but you can find some. To me, they explain things better than a book does.
Tuesday night I sat in on a webinar with Janice Thompson. She had a class on Show, Don't Tell -Active vs. Passive Voice. I needed that. It was free and wonderful. She explained so many things that sounded reasonable. She also offers classes at www.freelancewritingcourse.com. I think that is the correct address. If not, try www.janicethompson.com.
I just completed a course one-on-one with Camy Tang. Camy writes suspense with an Asian twist and she is crazy, so much fun to be around. I've told you before that I took the Synopsis class. Oh, the dreaded synopsis! I hate them, but now I don't mind doing them.
Need to get busy. Have a good day.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I finished Ozark Weddings by Janice Thompson and Anita Higman. That sounds like I didn't like it, but I did.
There are three stories in the book, Larkspur Dreams, The Love Song and Castles in the Air. All three are set in Arkansas and they are well written. It tells how peoples lives are changed by meeting and getting to know other people. Isn't that like life? So many people we don't really know, but when we do get to know them, our lives are changed. That is what makes life interesting.
Another thing I am doing this month is Novel Track with American Christian Fiction Writers. We are supposed to write every day and keep a count of our words. So far I am at 3,000 words, but I don't like my story. It feels strained and not me, so I think I will can it and start something else. I wanted to write a mystery, but I don't know if I'm ready for it yet. I want to solve it before it begins.
When the next six chapters are edited, Callie's Mountain will be completely finished. I'm doing a little changing that will make it better. I would like to see it finished and start looking for an agent. There are more two books in my head and I may start writing on them.
If you are a writer and have not read Chip MacGregor's blog on Voice, please go to his website and read it. www.chipmacgregor.com. It is so good. I had an editor take my voice away and put their voice in. I almost stopped writing because I hated what I was writing the way they wanted me to. Then another editor read a chapter and told me it was not my voice. I was new in the business and didn't know a lot about editors.
Thanks to my current editor, my voice is back loud and strong. My manuscript is much stronger and more me. They say your personality comes out in your book and anyone who reads one of your books knows it is you. We'll see about that.
Today I'm going to try to start another book and see if I like it any better. I need to do a chapter synopsis before I start.
Friday, July 2, 2010
This week finishes up my class with Camy Tang on Synopsis. Wow, what a class! I found out so much about writing in that one class than I have learned in all my classes put together. Camy tells you how to put a synopsis together to go to an agent or publisher and how to write a book from a synopsis.
I hate to leave Camy. It has been so good. I've written a synopsis on a book I want to write next. She showed me so much about Christian writing and CBA. If you want to learn how to not dread this process of writing, take her course. It's a one-on-one and she is wonderful giving you feed back. She has several other classes and work sheets you can purchase. I really feel I got my money's worth on this one.
Are there any writers doing Novel Track? I've signed up but have never heard from anyone. That's a little discouraging. I like to write 2,000 words a day when I'm writing, not editing. This seems like a good idea to write with everyone. I hope it works out soon. I guess I need to look at my spam mail to see if anything is there.
Ballgame season is over for our grandchildren. We went last night for the two youngest. They lost and our oldest grandson had a game out of town and he lost. Two of them have tournaments, but with church camp the same week as the tournaments, they won't be playing.
I have more things to get finished this morning and write this afternoon. My days are busy.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
We've been back to Tennessee and we own less property now. We sold two rental houses and about 4.25 acres. That was such a relief. I hate renting property. It is such a headache.
These last renters were the worse I have ever seen. They either didn't pay their rent or it was always late. I'd tell them it was late and here would come the excuses. If anyone ever need excuses for a book, I have a long list and some of them are unbelievable.
They are finally out and I almost wanted to help them pack, well not really. It was sad to sell the property that had been in our family for almost 200 years, but I know we made the best decision. Our place is here closer to our children.
Last night in our Wednesday night class, we talked about providence. How God worked in ways that were not miraculous, but now we can see how he cared for his people. I believe He still does that today. God is so good to take care of us if we believe His word and obey it. I've made so many friends, especially in the writing industry, because I have taken the opportunities presented to me. If I never took these opportunities and risks, would I be where I am today? I don't think so. Writing is a lonely business and I have made so many friends through my writing. I am thankful for everyone of you.