Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Most of us have a lot of free time that we use unwisely. I'm guilty, so I'm preaching to myself. My work day usually starts around 8 o'clock in the mornings. I am not an evening person. Come 9 o'clock at night, I'm ready to wind down and think about bed and sleep. My mornings usually start around six each morning. I overslept this morning, but it felt so good to sleep late.

Do you schedule your day? I try to, but life always interferes sometime or other. We have to allow for those time. I schedule free time at the end of the day in case I overlap or have to run out for something. Usually, I make a list of what I want to accomplish today. Most of the things on the list are marked off at the end of the day, but sometimes I have to put a few things on tomorrow's list.

Why do I make list? I'm a list person. If I don't write it down, I don't do it. This started way back in high school. Today, I keep a date book, paper not computer. I remember things better if I take a pen or pencil and write them down. When I worked in direct sales, they taught us to fill our datebooks up as much as we could. I would have all the classes I taught listed, and sometimes there were two or three classes in a day. My datebook was filled up a month in advance. When I didn't fill my datebook, I knew my business was slipping.

The same thing happens in writing. What does your datebook look like? Do you know what you will be doing next week, or next month? How full do you keep it with projects, writing, conferences, etc.? Do you schedule when you want the book you are working on be finished? I do. The book I am working on, Susannah's Hope, will be finished by the end of August. That is critiqued, finished, polished, and ready to go.

My next book, Going Home, will be finished by October 15. It may not be critiqued, but the draft will be finished. I plan to write a chapter a day until I finish it. So far, I am on the fourth chapter. I've worked more on Susannah and a book I'm doing for church. Oh, the book for church will be finished by Friday and ready to go to the printers by the next Friday.

If I don't schedule, I don't have any free time. It is important for me to have the free time with my family and friends. Our two oldest grandchildren will be busy when school starts. Granddaughter #1 is in the band at Goodpasture Christian High School in Nashville, TN. She is a senior, and we want to see her perform as much as we can. Grandson #1 is playing football for his middle school. Grandson #2 will be playing football of some sort, so he will keep us busy. There is also band competitions we will attend. This fall will be busy and go fast.

Life moves too quickly to sit still. Make a schedule and see how much you can get done.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I just counted them, and we have seven weeks to ACFW conference in Indianapolis. I am really looking forward to it. This is a time all authors and wannabe's get together and learn more about the craft.

Each year, we select agents and editors we want to talk to. This year, I selected only agents. I need an agent before I need an editor. I've read the bios, know what they are expecting from me, and now I'm preparing what they need.

There are several things I absolutely hate to do in writing. The first thing I hate the most is to write a synopsis. .Some great authors have helped me over the last few days. The first thing to remember is to write in present tense. I always want to slide back in past tense, but I'm trying hard not to. The length differ with every agent. Some want one page, some two to three. Most of the agents I selected want two to three pages, so hopefully that won't be too hard.

The next thing I hate is the dreaded One Page. A One Page is what it says, a page with the blurb about your book, your elevator speech, and your bio with picture. I also put a picture representing the book. Mine is a mountain sunset. My One Page is finished! In fact, it is already in my folder and ready for conference.

Most agents ask for pages from your book. I need to print them out. Some agents ask for a few pages and some ask for up to three chapters. Each agent is different. That is why you must study each agent you want to see.

Most of the agents this year asked for a finished book. Some have asked for two completed books. They also ask what you are doing on social media. I do very little with social media. I do have a Facebook account and I'm on Twitter, but I don't do much with it.

One more thing I have decided to do is to write under my real name. My self-published books will still be under Katt Anderson, but I will be writing under Kathy Cretsinger for any books I get a contract from a publishing company. I'm excited about letting people know who I really am.

I have seven weeks to get everything together. I'm blessed to have a wonderful author take me under her wing. Sandra Robbins is not only a wonderful author, but also a good friend.and critique partner. She has helped me so much with my writing.There is much to do in the next seven weeks.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Last week I received A Simple Change by Judith Miller. This is the second book in her Home to Amana Series. I have enjoyed the Amana series, both the previous series and this one. The Amana Colony was an interesting place and a simple life. Judy brings it to life for us in her books.

The way Jancey tells the story in her own word is both simple and entertaining. Maybe I love the simple way of life too much, but this book made me feel at home with the Amana people. This is both entertaining and a little mysterious. I was rooting for Jancey and Ritt all the way through the book. Below is the cover and  the blurb. I hope you enjoy it. I give it 5 stars. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.

Joining the communal society of the Amana Colonies isn't what Jancey Rhoder planned for her future, but when unforeseen circumstances force her family to make some difficult decisions, she chooses to give up her teaching position in a Kansas City orphanage and move with her parents to Iowa. 

Her besotted suitor, Nathan Woodward, isn't at all happy about the move and is determined to get Jancey to change her mind. And Jancey herself isn't sure what she's gotten herself into when the simple life of the Amana Colonies means she'll be assigned a job and may have to give up teaching for good. Will Nathan woo her back to the city, or will she be forever changed by the mysterious events and new relationships that await her in the quiet villages of the Amana Colonies--and decide to make this unique place her forever ho

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Personally, I hate change. I hate to have to learn to do something new. I want things to go on the way they have always gone. I don't like to learn new things. Maybe it's my age, I don't know, but I want things to stay the same way.

Lately the publishing industry has changed. It's been a gradual change, but it is definitely there. Publishers now want more contemporary books. I love the historical and western books, but I may have to change and learn to like contemporary.

My favorite next to historical/western is suspense. I love a good mystery, always have. I grew up with Nancy Drew books. I think I read all of them and through the years, I've owned a few. My favorite reading place was on my bed, curled up in a ball. I'd read until I fell asleep. My greatest pleasure was finding out who did it before the book ended.

Today I love to read several good suspense books. Most of what I am reading today is a contemporary suspense. At the present, I'm reading a book by Judith Miller. It's her latest one about the Amana Colony, A Simple Change. I should finish it this week-end and I hope to have a review next week.

With all of this change, what am I doing? I'm having to adjust and change with it. The book I am working on right now is a suspense and it is set in this day and age. I'm not very tech savvy, so I'm having to learn about new gadgets. I have made my heroine a little old fashioned. Like me, she likes to write things down with pen and paper. Everyone talks about putting all of their appointments on their cell phone, but I can't do that. I have my trusted Day Timer that I have had for twenty years. It still works and I can go back and check entries with just a turn of the page. My heroine will do the same thing.

Have your reading habits changed in the last year? Are you good at adjusting to change? I"d love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Now that the book for the church is almost finished, just another page and pictures to add, I am about to get back on track. My fiction book needs to be finished, and I need to get synopsis' ready for a couple more. I'm ready to get back into Susannah and finish all the corrections.

Before ACFW conference, I need to lose weight. A bunch of weight! My doctor has been on me pretty hard and I've tried, but never could get down to 1200 calories a day. Years ago I joined SparkPeople. I looked them up again and rejoined. The hardest thing I have done in a long time is to get down to eating like I should. The past week has been murder, but I'm finally in the groove of eating smaller portions and better food. So much of the food we eat is not good for us. I haven't eaten out in over a week. Cooking at home is less calories, and I know what I am cooking.

This morning I worked out on the Wii for thirty minutes. I love doing the exercises, and I can keep focused. I do ten minutes of Yoga, and twenty of walking and step-exercise. By warming up with Yoga, I am able to do the other exercises with out my knees and hips hurting. Then I feel invigorated to write. It also helps my attitude.

How am I doing? I've lost two pounds. That's not much, but I have less to lose before September. Several things are coming up in the future, so I know I'll need encouragement. It's going to be a busy August and September, but I know I have the determination to stick to this. When I lose the thirty+ pounds I need to lose, I may decide to go on to lose about ten pounds more. I also need to learn to keep my body at that weight. I don't want to go back to being fat.

Now that I've confessed my problems, it's all out in the open, and I am ready to write. Susannah, here I come to correct, edit, and get you finished. The next book is pulling me to write it. Can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The one thing I hate about writing is editing. I put it off as long as I can, but I can only put it off so long. Then it roars it's ugly head, and I have to do it. That's where I am right now. So, how am I doing?

Not too good. At least not for me. One thing I see in my writing is the lack of deep POV. My critique partner has helped me and I am doing better. I'm trying to get down to the deep thoughts of my characters. When you write, you don't write, "Jack threw the ball to Jane and Jane caught it." Instead you write, "Jack picked up the ball, rolled it in his hand and decided to see if he could make Jame miss the catch. If he could throw it out of her reach, it would show her that boys were better at sports than girls. He gripped the ball, lifted his arm, and let the ball fly with all his strength..
"Jane wondered what was taking Jack so long to throw the ball. It was just a little softball, why did he have to hesitate to throw it? Finally, she saw it sail through the air. She lifted her baseball mite to the right and the ball landed in the middle of her glove. She shook her hand to relieve the pain of the hard ball pelting her glove. Did he do that on purpose? Surely not! He was her friend, but she caught the fastball."

That makes the story different from a simple ball throwing session. It was competition between the two. Jane was better, and she knew it. We had more of her thoughts. Inner thoughts are what keeps a story moving. I used to read a book for the joy of reading. Now I read a book to see how other authors write. I see a lot of deep POV. It is hard to do and I felt very self-conscious at first, but I am getting over that. The love story should have a lot of deep thoughts. Does she want him to kiss her? Does she wonder what his lips will feel like? Is he invading in her space? Is she shy? Has she ever been kissed? Then he wonders if he is rushing her. Does she want him to kiss her? How does he feel about her? There are so many questions to answer. There are different questions for the man and the woman. After all, we never see things the same way.

When I edit my rough draft, I try to see the story as a movie. In a movie, you don't have inner thoughts. It has to be seen. So there are more pictures to paint in the story. I have a hard time painting the pictures. I get caught up in the story and forget the details. Details like deep POV are important. Remember to put them in.

I'm being called to finish the edit. I think it's boring, but it has to be done.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


I like to ask this question occasionally. It helps all readers to know what we are reading. So, besides the Bible, what are you reading?

I started Footsteps by DiAnn Mills yesterday. It is a book that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I started reading DiAnn's sweet western books years ago. After I had a couple of her classes, I learned to really love her writing. Footsteps is an older book, but the writing is very good. It's a suspense about a father who abducts his children. The wife/mother did not know there was a problem in the marriage until the abduction. I know this happens. The wife was like a trophy wife, always the perfect everything. I have a hard time putting the book down.

Before that I read a couple of Marta Perry's mysteries,Invisible, a Ivy Malone Mystery and Hide In Plain Sight. I must say they were both good and funny. I loved the Ivy Malone Mystery. I guess I can identify with her, LOL meaning Little Old Lady.

I try to read a Kindle and then a paperback/hardback. I love to have the Kindle when we travel because my Bible is on it, and I only have to take one thing.

Another book I am reading is Convicted by Dr. Brad Harrub. This is a slower book. It is about creation vs evolution and very well written. Brad is a medical doctor, preacher, creationist. He's visited my nephew in Scotland and seen his dinosaur egg. Anyone who tells me they love my nephew and his wife are friends for life. We enjoyed having Brad in our home.

Now, what am I writing? A book about the church we attend. The congregation will be 125 years old in September. It began in September, 1888 in a small community called Glade. The history is amazing, and I am enjoying putting it together. I do cheat because one of the other members has written the book, or a collection, and I am transferring it to book form. I hope to be finished by the end of this month. I'm copying pictures, so it will be very nice.

The other thing I am working on is a Romantic Suspense that I started as my first book years ago. It's had several beginnings and endings, but I've finally settled on a good plot. I would like to have it pretty well done by ACFW conference. I'm enjoying reviewing the book and finding new turns in it. No names yet, but it will be a fun book set in this day and age, cell phones, computers, etc.

So, if you are a writer, what are you doing? If you are a reader, what are you reading? Have a great day!