journey, purpose

Fat Friday & Focus

I gained another 1.4 pounds. I know that’s not much, but these little pesky pounds are adding up. As I left Weight Watchers last night, I told my friend that I just can’t keep paying to gain weight. I’ve got to focus harder on the goal. I’ve got to keep my sights on prize and take steady steps to achieve it. Sure, it will be slow going, but anything worth pursuing takes time.
So it is with writing. Writing is definitely not a quick and easy road. Writing takes a lot of time and a lot of sweat. From what I hear, also a lot of tears. It takes a lot of focus. Sure we get distracted, but we have to keep our eyes on the prize of publication and take those steps to reach that goal.

I’m reading a non-fiction book that talked about risk. Reaching our potential for God is all about risk. It takes a great amount of faith to be all that God has intended us to be. Peter risked much when he stepped out of the boat to walk on water to Jesus. Sure, he took his eyes off Jesus and promptly sunk, but you know what? HE WALKED ON WATER! He was able to see and know that with God all things are possible. He knew without a doubt God could enable him for any purpose God called him to.

If we are called to write, if writing is a God given passion within us, then we can rest assured that He will enable us to write for His purpose. So dream big. Write with passion. Learn all you can. Get those words down on paper. Sure, we may falter. Sure, we may loose our focus at times. But each word we write is a step on the faith journey.

Let your journey be filled with joy, knowing that you risk much in stepping out in faith to reach your God-given potential.

Happy writing this weekend! (or happy editing, as editing is what I will be doing!)

craft, writing, writing books

Are You At War?

I’m reading The Art Of War For Writers by James Scott Bell. Oh.My.Goodness! This is such a good book. What I like about it are the short chapters, full of words that motivate and inspire. It is based on the book The Art of War by Sun Tzu, written well before Christ. Sun Tzu wrote about war and the tactics and strategies needed to win wars. Well, that is what Bell’s book is, but for writers regarding the writing life.

It is divided up into three sections:

1. Reconnaissance: about the mental game of writing.

2. Tactic: about the craft of writing

3. Strategy: about the business of writing (publishing)

Today I want to add a few of my favorite quotes from the first section, Reconnaissance.

“The writers of great books zealously learn the craft of their profession so they can release the power and depth of their imagination and experience.” p. 11

“Every moment spent whining about your writing career is a moment of creative energy lost.” p. 27

“Determine that you will act as if you had no fear. Act as if you are a successful writer. Don’t do this with arrogance, but with determination.” p. 30

“Finish your novel, because you learn more that way than any other.” p. 65

Aren’t those great quotes? Seriously, this book is a MUST for every writer. It is not a “how to” book, but a book that fills in the gaps and highlights the important stuff for writers. There is so much good stuff in this one!

happy

Awards & Happiness

I’ve received some blog awards the past couple of months and have lagged behind in sharing them. So here we go…

I was given the Inspiration Award from Jeanette Levellie at Audience of One . Thank you, sweet friend!

I was given the From Me to You – Picasso Award from one of my critters, Courtney Reese, at Work In Progress. I’m supposed to list 7 random facts about me…

  1. 1. I have to read every day. I can’t go to sleep if I don’t read at least one chapter of a good book.

2. I love gummy bears and worms. (That’s not a secret, because even Keli Gwyn KNOWS!)

3. I do not like to be late and I don’t enjoy waiting on others who are late.

4. I have found I edit better with jummy bears by my side and in my mouth.

5. I’m 5’9″ and love to wear heels. I don’t feel frumpy like I do when I wear flats.

6. I toured Paris in one day. (And I definitely need to go back and do it slower!)

7. I can’t stand hair that is not attached to a person. It creeps me out.

I was also given the Happy Blog Award from Diana Paz at Writing Roller Coasters and from Tiana Lei at Spilled Ink. This is where I list 10 things that make me happy!

1. Worshipping God.

2. My children…silly though they may be.

3. Coffee with fat-free vanilla caramel creamer….YUM.

4. Thunderstorms, rainy days, and clouds in the sky.

5. Reese’s!!!! Chocolate and Peanut Butter together is a piece of heaven.


6. Going to the movies, especially with buttered popcorn!


7. My love affair with the written word.

8. Writing!!!

9. Gummy bears (and worms)

10. Candles! (especially during a rainy day!)

I am going to break the rules and not pass these awards on. Please forgive me. So many of you have these already and truly, you all deserve them! You are awesome!

***I’m excited about some of my future posts! I have been reading The Art of War For Writers by James Scott Bell and it is sooooo good! It is a must for all writers! I hope to share some of the things that have stood out to me as I have been reading it. Mmmmm, it’s good!
Have a great day!

unplug

Unplugging

Yes, it is Unplug Week in the Blogosphere and I am going to participate. No new blogs, no Twitter, *gasp* and no internet (well, maybe a little). I need to hunker down and edit, edit, edit.

Have a super week, full of productivity and JOY!

beginning, discipline, personal, weight loss

Fat Friday & New Resolve

It had been four weeks since I weighed in. Being the holiday season, and then going on my 25th anniversary trip, did not help my weight loss focus. So today I stepped on the scale boldly, knowing it would not be good, and knowing that it was enough that I had returned to the WW meeting for a fresh start. Yes, I gained about 4 pounds, but that’s okay. It could have been worse, I suppose!

So here’s to a new start.

And who doesn’t love a new start?! Everyone loves new beginnings. There is something fresh and energizing about starting anew on any given project. Maybe you are starting a new diet. Maybe you are getting an exercize regime going. Maybe you are beginning a new WIP or starting to do your revisions. All these beginnings give energy and new focus to our lives.

Sometimes when I begin to focus on one area of my life and get disciplined (doing anything with passion does take some discipline to keep going!), it seems to transform other areas of my life. Some of that excitement transforms other areas in my life like a chain reaction. Focusing on eating right spills over and makes me want to incorporate some exercise into my life. No…not like running and sweating (I hate to sweat), but taking the stairs when I can, or parking far away from the store so I can get some walking in. It’s all good, this chain reaction thing!

So what beginnings or new starts spill over into other areas for you?

P.S. I just got my copy of The Husband Tree by Mary Conneally in the mail today and I am sooooo excited! I can’t wait to read this book!!!! I just wish I could sneak it into work tomorrow. 🙂

critique group, critiquing, editing

Critiquing Does Help!

I am in the midst of editing my first finished novel and have joined a crit group to get some feedback on my work. Can I just say that everyone should have other sets of eyes look at their work at some point? Yes, indeed, you definitely need other people to help you learn how to make your book better.

I’ve been through my novel a few times, but am so new at this revision thing, I’m not great at finding problems. So it was a humbling experience to see all the issues brought up when the crits came back. These ladies were kind and encouraging, but my face did burn with embarrassment when I saw the stupid mistakes I had made.

Hhmmm, you mean I never realized that a knight would question why a teenage boy couldn’t ride a horse? Hel-lo! Why would a knight agree to take on this boy (which is really an escaped woman from a convent) as his squire and teach him how to ride? And why would this knight blindly accept the fact this boy can’t ride a horse? Why, indeed?

Grrrr…I felt really stupid.

But you know, I was so glad to have it pointed out to me. I needed someone to show me what was wrong, so I could make it better! Isn’t it amazing how you can justify the things you write, while unknowingly open up huge plot holes in the process?

Or maybe you don’t write stupid things like me.

But if you have, would you mind sharing? What silly things have you written that you later caught in your editing, or were pointed out to you by others?

Come on, make me feel better!

anniversary, personal, treehouse

Treehouse Getaway

I had the best time EVER at the Lofty Lookout Treehouse in Eureka Springs, Arkansas! Seriously, it was the most relaxing, most indulgent place I’ve stayed….ever. Part of the reason was that, being January, many of the restaurants and shops were closed for the winter season.

Don’t get me wrong, we found some excellent places to eat some delicious food, but there wasn’t much going on around town. We ended up in the treehouse, watching movies, reading books, watching the birds, and taking naps. It was just what we needed.

It was very cold while we were there, with a few inches of snow on the ground. But, I have to say that the floors in the treehouse were HEATED and I could walk around barefoot and be warm! We lit fires in the pretty fireplace and enjoyed getting away from the hustle and bustle of life.

I think going in the fall would be a wondrous time to go back! Up among the vibrant, colorful leaves on the trees in the fall would be the time to go. Ahhhh….another year, perhaps.
So as you read this, I will be at work, trying to catch up on a week’s worth of work. Hopefully, I can get back into the swing of things, but it’s not likely. Goodness, I’ve been off for three weeks straight and it will take a day or two to get back in the groove of insanity.

If I don’t respond to all your comments, you will know that I just collapsed in bed early, okay? Am I whining? I promised to not pull out the cranky pants, so I better slap a smile on my face!

Yall have a great day!