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Showing posts from September, 2004

My parents' visit

9/30/04 I went to Sonoma (actually, Healdsburg north of Sonoma) today with my parents, who are in town. We went to Rodney Strong and Murphy-Goode and had a great time tasting wines. I bought a bunch, so did Dad. I have to admit I sometimes felt a bit impatient with my parents, but at the same time, I want to enjoy this time I can spend with them. I don't see them often, and they're still in relatively good health, able to travel. Lord, help me to love my parents even more now, when I'm old enough to fully appreciate their company. I went running yesterday with the dog, it felt great. I've been praying for God to give me a desire to exercise. I figured, it wouldn't hurt, right? And I know God wants me to take care of my body. I've been praying for God to give me a desire for His Word, so why not something a bit more trivial? Hehe. Well, let's see how it goes. Somehow I feel that the prayer to desire His Word is more momentous than the desire to exercise. L

Talent and spirituality in my friends

9/29/04 OK, I just read Mary Griffith's blog and I am just blown away. http://rhythmsofgrace.blogspot.com/ Wow, what a woman of God. What a writer! Now that is what I'd like to aspire to in my writing--prose that just grabs you by the heart and squeezes your feelings out of you until you breathe deep and feel free, light, peaceful. See? Just reading her blog makes me feel poetic. It seems I'm just so blessed to know all these writers with incredible gifts for poetic, symbolic prose. Mary, Sharon Hinck. Their writing makes me realize how far I have to go. It keeps me humble (hopefully) and it gives me something concrete to aim for. In them, I can see the contemporary equivalent of Tolstoy, Austen, Steinbeck. Along the same lines, I IM'd with Heather tonight about the spiritual depth in our friends. Pammer is so humble, and her spiritual understanding comes across so subtly. Squirl's love for God shines through, and she affirmed to me His presence in my life. And

SHIVERING WORLD by Kathy Tyers

9/24/04 From Publisher's Weekly: In the year 2134, Dr. Graysha Brady-Phillips comes to Goddard, humanity's newest habitable world. An inherited genetic disorder promises that she will die an early death, and although her stated purpose on Goddard is to work as a soils microbiology specialist, Graysha's secret goal is to seek out the reported gene-healers known as the Lwuites for assistance. But human gene tampering is illegal, and her search for healing is soon twisted by those who would prosecute the Lwuites. Someone wants Graysha dead, however, and the planet itself is in danger of destruction. Camy here: I thought this was a terrific story. I'm very satisfied with the way Kathy Tyers rewrote her original "Shivering World." She writes so intelligently, I have to--I WANT to--read slowly to absorb and follow what's going on. She has SUCH an incredible grasp of sociology and politics and power struggles, it blows my mind. It makes the characters, the

ACRW 2004 Conference highlights

9/23/04 The conference was a terrific time. I was especially relaxed because I already had an agent, and didn't feel the urge to take advantage of the opportunity to speak to agents and editors. I sauntered into mealtimes and just nabbed a seat wherever there was space, and ended up talking to neat people. I finally met Pammer, Squirl, and Heatherdi from the Steeple Hill discussion boards. Pammer and I roomed together, and Squirl and Heather roomed together. Pamela is a wonderful woman of God. We stayed up late talking about all kinds of things, and her spiritual insight into the things I shared with her really blessed me. She's been through so much in her life already, and has such a rich and scarred past. She was like the older sister I never had. Cheryl Wyatt (Squirl) is cute and funny, and her brain is going a mile a minute. She was fun to talk to, and I hope I was able to encourage her in her writing, because she was feeling a bit discouraged by the end of the conferen

Give me a desire for Your Word

9/21/04 Got back late Sunday night from the ACRW conference in Denver, CO. Terrific time. I finally got a chance to meet Heather Tipton, Cheryl Wyatt and Pamela James, whom I met on the Steeple Hill discussion boards and have been IM'ing the past year or so. I also met Ziongirl (Julia), Margaret Daley, Marta Perry, Jaen (Janet Spaeth) and Dream from the Steeple Hill boards. We had a great time at the House of Windsor for lunchtime tea. I'm still composting my conference experience, I'll post it later. Had a good quiet time today. Thank You, Lord, for what You're teaching me. I pray, Father, that You will give me a desire for Your Word. I want to crave it. I want it to be utterly precious to me. Ephesians 4:1-6: A church saved through the same Savior, the same death and burial, the same resurrection power. A church acting as a unit, empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit. "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." I need

Pray and let God worry

9/15/04 Today at work I was called on in a meeting to present results, which I wasn't expecting. But more than that, I had been so busy doing hoodwork and benchwork that I hadn't spent enough time looking at the data to observe trends and formulate my own conclusions (in conjunction with the conclusions my supervisor makes). I floundered through the presentation of the data, and later talked with my supervisor. I asked her to allow me more time away from the hood and bench to let me look over the study results. She completely understood my desire and hopefully I'll be able to understand the studies better. My friend Pamela James (www.pamela-james.com) IM'd me last night and we chatted. She told me about a quote from Martin Luther, I think: Pray and let God worry. That's a terrific quote. Every time I started feeling anxious today, I remembered that and started praying. Too often I forget to pray. Now why is that? Shouldn't that be the first thing I do? I need

Star Trek Voyager

9/14/04 Great news today from Sharon Hinck--while her proposal for "Crouching Children, Hidden Laundry" was turned down by one house, another was fired up to read the entire manuscript. I'm so glad for her, she's worked so hard the past few years to perfect her writing and keep everything in God's hands. She's a marvelous woman of God. I'm so thankful God introduced us at Mt. Hermon. I need to get writing done today. Once I do that, I'll treat myself to my latest DVD from Netflix. I've been renting the discs from the first three seasons of Star Trek: Voyager and thoroughly enjoying it. Since I've been studying plotlines and character development, I've been noticing how the writing on Voyager keeps to a rather high standard. Characters are much more interesting than Next Generation, a bit more complex and 3-dimensional. Storylines have clear disasters that box the characters in, requiring the lead character for the episode to make some sor

www.camytang.com

9/13/04 Well, I just finished my website: www.camytang.com. Whew, what a lot of tedious work. It's not as cool as when my friend Jude Chau did it for me, but until she opens her StudioLacquer web business again, I'm stuck with Geocities. I'm very thankful that my friend Steve Lee had his graphic designer friend create my graphic from the picture of my mon, my Japanese family crest. It turned out terrific! Two more days, and then I'll be flying to Denver, Colorado for the ACRW conference. I'm very excited. I'm especially looking forward to meeting Pammer, Heather and Squirl, my friends from the Steeple Hill eHarlequin discussion boards. I need to put together my pitch for my series. I'll get a chance to practice with Meredith and her other mentees on Thursday, I think. Better get crackin'!

Six month mark

9/9/04 Six month mark was yesterday. Nothing happened, but I did realize on Tuesday night that I've usually been able to trust God in times of anticipation--when I needed a job right out of college, when I needed housing, etc. My trust has been nearly absolute in those times--I've felt very much at peace, not stressing or worrying. But recently, the type of trust I've needed has been in hardship, and it's been a struggle the entire way. The peaceful trust I had in anticipation disappears in hardship, which may be God trying to tell me something, don'cha think? I read from Jeremiah 32:17-25 today, and it reminded me of God's incredible power, might, majesty and sovereignty. I think of Him as my friend, so often I forget that He's Almighty God. He knows everything and He has a great purpose for me. I have to believe He will make clear to me what He desires. I need to be still more often, to remember that He is God.

Cosmo

9/6/04 Finished chapter one last night. The end has more emotion than the beginning, and I'm wondering if that's what is making the scene lack zing. I'll have to look at it again and see. Maybe I can change things in the beginning so that Lex has more at stake, feels more anger or humiliation or whatever it ends up being. Since this is a sort of "first date" scenario, and I wanted it to be absolutely horrible for the heroine, I had to come up with the worst things to happen. So I Googled "what not to do on a first date" and it came up with tons of hilarious--and frightening--articles. "Research" for a novel is a blast! I also realized that the language of many Cosmo articles reflects the current culture. It was refreshing to read the terms being used, how some have changed and some have not, and some new ones that are rather clever. I think I need to read these articles--hooey as some of them are--if only to keep up with the "language t

Getting Into Character

9/5/04 FOUR PAGES YESTERDAY! Praise God! Dude, praying WORKS. ;-) Well, the scene still isn't stellar, but at least it's moving forward. It totally helped to put more effort into visualizing the minor character. I know the heroine relatively well, but since the minor character she talks to is so amorphous, I couldn't make him a concrete tennis partner, he kept dropping the conversational ball. Once I began to visualize him in my head as a more real person, it became easier. I didn't need to develop a Goal/Motivation/Conflict for him, but just seeing his mannerisms and face in my mind's eye helped me to write dialogue and action choices consistent with his character. I made reservations today with a hotel in Monterey for Thanksgiving weekend. The hotel allows dogs, so we'll be able to spend a great time with our dog Snickers while we celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. It's technically December 1st, but Thanksgiving holidays the weekend before is a conv

Youth group tonight

9/4/04 We had youth group tonight. I admit I was tired, lazy, and didn't want to go, but after I got together with the high schoolers for small group time, I was glad to be there. I enjoy asking them questions, pushing their limits, making them think. Many of them have gone to church all their lives and give pat answers, and I enjoy making them dig deeper, think harder, reflect on what they truly believe. Sometimes I go off on tangents--like I did tonight--but I do hope I helped them understand the bigger picture of what being a Christian is about. I'm working on chapter one. A part of me is frustrated, because I feel like I'm trying too hard to be witty, original, entertaining. But shouldn't the first chapter sparkle? Except that it doesn't. What's lacking? I'm reading GETTING INTO CHARACTER by Brandilyn Collins and it helped me visualize the minor character much better, add cohesion to his actions. But the scene still falls flat. Compared to Trish's

RETRIBUTION by Randy Ingermanson

9/3/04 I just finished RETRIBUTION by Randy Ingermanson . Absolutely riveting. His action races along and his prose is so engaging that I couldn't put it down. I felt as if I, too, were sucked into the world of first century Jerusalem. From the back cover: Jerusalem, A.D. 66 The City of God seethes with rage against imperial Rome...and, in an act of unspeakable brutality, Rome takes deadly retribution. War looms on the horizon--but one woman already knows the outcome... Transported from the far future, Rivka Meyers has made her home in Jerusalem with her husband and fellow time traveler, Ari Kazan. But in a turbulent age, Rivka's foreknowledge of history is a heavy responsibility. She knows Jerusalem will be destroyed--and that a prophet will warn the fledgling church to flee the city. Is Rivka herself that prophet? And if so, will the people heed her warning? Rivka's fears deepen when Jewish zealots demand Ari's help to design weapons of war. Ari faces the impo

I did some writing tonight!

9/2/04 I did some writing tonight! Well, technically, this morning. Ooooh, that feels good. It's so much easier to write in the late evening than any other time, but usually I can't stay up this late because of work. Since I have to go into work on Monday (Labor Day), I got tomorrow off. My supervisor was really nice about it. I don't have the novel fully outlined yet, but I spent some time scripting the next few scenes in my scene spreadsheet before I jumped into chapter one. The spreadsheet made it so much easier to see at a glance what the pacing would be like if I added this scene, or that scene, or rearranged scenes, etc. I initially had the book start with an IM conversation, but that would lead to too many slow-moving scenes and I wanted to start the novel out with conflict. So the big humiliation scene starts the wip, and the IM conversation will be placed in a little later. That makes things work out very well, actually. It's so nice to get back into writing