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Showing posts from January, 2005

Busy for two weeks

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.26.05 After emails from friends, IMing with Heather, and lots of prayer, I think I will try to finish the suspense in the next two weeks. If God wants me to finish it, I will by His grace (I mean, two weeks? ). If He doesn’t, I’ll figure it out soon enough. And I’ll only have wasted two weeks of time. After that, no matter what happens, I’m working on the Chicklit. Actually, since I plot best while moving, I can still plot the Chicklit while I walk at work, or when I’m doing mindless things. But two weeks is it. And if God makes it clear to me before then that it’s not His will for me to write this ms, then I might start on the Chicklit sooner. I hope I prayed about this enough. Well, I can still continue to pray. Heather had a good point. My desire to finish my suspense may be mostly my Monk-ish desire to finish things, to be perfect. I need to give that up to God. Perfection is not the issue here--God’s will is. I can’t live my l

Chicklit or Suspense?

Captain’s Log, Supplemental I just read an email from my agent. I had asked him if I should continue with my romantic suspense or go for another Chicklit, and he said he’d rather I wrote the Chicklit. So what do I do? I’ve invested so much time in my suspense, and this would be the second manuscript I’ve worked on and then abandoned in a year. I’d really like to finish something, at least to know I could do it. So far I’ve only completed the one Chicklit manuscript. I’m a bit worried I don’t have the discipline to complete another one. Or do I follow my agent’s feelings about the market? If I wrote the Chicklit, I would set it in Hawaii . I know from my own websearch that there really aren’t any Chicklits set in Hawaii , except for Sisterchicks do the Hula , which is more along the lines of Henlit. Plus there was so much editor interest in the concept of an Asian Chicklit, would I be shooting myself in the butt to not jump at the chance while it’s hot? And would I

As God pleases

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.25.05 I have been spending a short time in prayer before I start work on my manuscript, asking Him to cover me so that these words are His. I also read today in My Utmost for His Highest that I shouldn’t expect God to act or reveal Himself in certain ways, because He can do whatever and whenever He pleases. I’ve applied this to the spiritual thread in my manuscript. If I focus on putting in a conversion scene or repentance scene, I might be boxing Christ in, not allowing Him to lift Himself up in some other way. So I’m trying to keep myself open to allow Him to shine His light through this story in the way He chooses. I also printed out my goals and stuck them at the bottom of my computer monitor. I am not doing too badly. I won’t make my Feb 1st project goal, but I’ve been keeping up on my learning goals and my blog. I’ve at least worked on my short story for this month, although I haven’t critiqued enough pieces on Writing.com (I’m supp

Monday

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.24.05 I simply cannot feel the inclination to write, but that might be because I’m tired. I’ll eat dinner and then dive into it. Writing: Hopefully I’ll work long and hard on my manuscript tonight. :-) Diet: Okay, although I didn’t go walking today because I worked through lunch and then my supervisor called a meeting for 1pm , which I didn’t know about until 12:30pm . I was late to the meeting, which ran long, so I had to wait until afterward to gobble down my lunch. I tried to make my PT appointment but had too much work to do, so I ended up staying late to get the stuff done. I’m exhausted right now, eating dried apricots and not even feeling guilty.

TV

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.23.05 Well, I had to go into work today so I feel like half the day is gone, even though it only took about 4 hours from my afternoon. But now I have the evening to enjoy, plus my husband doesn’t have to work today so he’s home for once. Maybe we’ll watch a movie, or maybe those episodes of 24 that he hasn’t seen yet. I’m not that nuts about 24, only because the last two seasons haven’t really been that terrific--entertaining, but not edge-of-my-seat-I-must-watch-the-next-episode kind of exciting. I did see Battlestar Galactica last night (Tivo’d) with my husband. I probably annoyed him by commenting all the time, but I love watching that show. The fast-movement camera action wasn’t too bad for this episode. The characters are so rich, with so much internal and external conflict. Excellent writing. It’s so different from the original series. I think it’s better. Writing: I didn’t do my 100 words on Saturday :-( but I am very excited to co

Integrity rejection

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.21.05 I got the nicest rejection possible from Integrity Publishers. Basically saying my heroine needs more backbone, what Maass refers to as “larger than life” characteristics. Like Scarlett O’Hara, can’t get larger than life than that. After reading Maass, I’ve been realizing how my first manuscript really could use some fireworks to kick it up a notch, so Integrity’s comments aren’t that surprising to me. I’m bummed, but I’m also doing okay, honestly. The good news is that my agent didn’t dump me as the last rejection came in. He encouraged me to try something new, taking the editors’ comments into account, and assured me he’s interested in trying again. I emailed to ask him if I should continue with the Asian romantic suspense, or try another Asian chicklit. I wouldn’t mind delving into humor again, maybe with a bit of mystery woven in. But ultimately, I guess it’s what God wants me to write. I was mentioning to Sharon today t

Quiet times

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.20.05 I have been doing Kay Arthur’s Inductive Bible Study book “That I May Know Him,” studies in Philippians and Colossians, for my quiet times. I have been doing the section for Colossians but not getting a great deal out of it. It seems to be geared toward a new believer, and I’m not terribly excited about it. I wanted a study guide to take me through Colossians and the other study books I’ve used from that series have been pretty good. The one on Daniel was terrific. But I’ve been skipping a bit through this one, although I try not to. What’s my point? I dunno. I’ve also been reading through Psalms, which has been uplifting. And at night I’ve been going through “Streams in the Desert.” Wonderful devotional. I’ve felt very convicted by the reminders, thoughts, and life-lessons. It’s especially apt for believers struggling through a difficult time, it seems aimed toward that particular spiritual need. Work has been good. I

I went walking today

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.18.05 Well, I got a chance to do some walking today during my lunch break, and the knee is a bit more swollen than normal so I have to remember to ice it. It was nice to get some exercise, though. I felt healthy, anyways. I’ve gained so much weight since the surgery, it’s embarrassing. I think my attitude about work is getting better. It still fluctuates between calm and panic, but on a whole I’m more accepting of this stage in my life, that God is using it to mold me. Am I becoming more patient? I hope so. It’s nice to be busy at work, although it’s very hard to get up in the mornings. I need to marshal my energy so I have more for my writing in the evening. Writing: Got my 100 words done, but not much else. I did brainstorm a bit for my ms. I’ll have to do more today. Diet: 1400 calories yesterday, minus the exercise at PT! Today so far it’s 900 calories, but I also walked during lunch, 100-150 calories. I hope I can keep that u

MLK Day

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.17.05 You know, I read other writers’ blogs and they’re just so darn spiritual. I usually have a lot of fluff and random thoughts. Does that say something about me? I am a typical post-modern Christian, I think. Rather shallow, fast-paced, ultra-stimulated. Maybe it will help me write what will relate to post-modern Christians. I think it helps me relate to the teen girls at my church youth group. Kristin Billerbeck has agreed to be interviewed for the God’s Girls column in RubyZine . Becky asked me to do it since I know her, sort of. It’s so hard to come up with questions. I think I’d make a terrible journalist. I just went through the 5 W’s and an H and came up with a bunch of generic stuff. I think I need to give more effort to my writing. I’ve been rather lax because I think I’m entitled to it after the stress of working all day. But I should give it my 100%, because it’s something important that God has called me to. I’ll try to wor

WinterVision and reactive characters

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.16.05 I am enjoying a lazy Sunday with my dog in my office. Well, she’s sort of trapped in my office because I need to close the door to keep the heat from escaping. She doesn’t seem too upset, although if I went to the door she’d probably jump up with her butt wiggling. Today is the last day for the northern California Christian teen retreat, Winter Vision. My fellow youth group leader, David Kawaye, is the speaker for the Junior High school division. Terrific honor. I’m positive he’s done a great job this weekend. He’s already spoken at church a few times and he’s always done a great job when teaching the kids at youth group meetings on Saturday nights. There are also several cabin leaders who used to be part of our church youth group. I love how they volunteer to give up their weekend to serve this way. It makes me feel both proud and old to hear of my former youth group students being cabin leaders. I’ve been watching Battlest

TGIF

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.14.05 I’m feeling terrible today. I’ve had a cold all week but today I have a pounding headache in addition to my sore throat and cough. On a positive note, my friend Pammer had a cyst removed without problems. Yay, praise God! My Quiet Times have been good. I think I am even starting to gain a little patience. Work is fine, although I still would rather be writing, but I’m starting to see how God can use this time and this experience to mold me into a servant He can use. And if that’s His agenda, I’m all for it. Writing: I had a good time Wednesday night reading Maass and tweaking my storyline. I especially worked on how my setting can become a vital part of the storyline. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it--a setting should be like a crucial character in the story. The plot or the characters wouldn’t be the same if the story were set somewhere else. But yesterday I forgot to do my 100 words, and I spent the ev

A new short story

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.12.05 I started on a short story yesterday. I’ve had the idea for a while but never started it, for some reason. I was reviewing my goals for 2005 and remembered that I wanted to write one short story a month. I also wanted to try the Club 100 for Writers, and write 100 words a day. That’s difficult to do when I’m plotting a novel, but I realized I could start my short story and do 100 words a day that way. So far, I’ve gotten a pretty good scene set up (although I get the feeling it needs pizzazz) and I’ve written 422 words, 267 yesterday and 155 today. I never realized how easy it is to get 100 words written. Of course, I’ll probably end up cutting half of it, but it’s writing invested in this story idea. It’s 422 more words than I had before! Work is going well. My new supervisor is fair and my project is straightforward. I found out I’m quite underpaid for some reason. My coworkers are speculating it’s because the company that owns us

Finished Voyager

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.11.05 Well, I finally finished Star Trek Voyager! I loved this series, it was fabulous. Granted, some episodes had phenomenal writing and acting while others sucked rocks, but on a whole it kept me riveted. The end was rather abrupt, I would have liked to see what the main characters’ receptions and reactions were like when they stepped foot on Earth again. Work has been rather good. Not very busy, nor very stressful. Well, except for today when my manager called me in just to see how I was doing, and also to let me know that my new project is High Profile and Very Important. Meaning, if I screw up, the company Directors will see and be upset. Greeeeeeeeat. No, that doesn’t increase my stress levels at all... But my new supervisor is good, and I have other Research Associates who work under him. We form a team, rather than before when it was just me under my old supervisor. It’s nice to be part of a team like that, I feel supported by my

TGIF

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.07.05 Today went well at work. I finished a coworker’s stuff so that she could leave early to be home with her son, who was sick. I also helped another coworker (the one who’s going to join my group at the end of the month) and spent a nice time talking with her. It felt good to do something versus sitting around trying to look busy. I am feeling better about work. Another coworker told me today that they all thought I wouldn’t return to work, after my bad experience under my supervisor. It felt kind of nice to be able to joke about it, and also to know that others could see what a rough time I was having, that it wasn’t my imagination. But I’m very glad it’s the weekend. I’ve been praying God will help me to enter this weekend and find the rest I need, not to worry about work next week. Last night’s devotional mentioned how God doesn’t show us a clear path ahead of us. Instead, He clears the path for us as we walk forward. I want to live

Lazy

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.06.05 Lord, forgive me for being lazy. I really didn’t want to be at work today, and I don’t want to do my new project even though it’s a new supervisor and there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m just lazy. Please work in me, help me to have a better attitude. I want to work with all my heart for You. Thank You that I could leave early. Please help me to get a lot of writing done tonight, and to get to bed early. Thank You that my husband came home (relatively) early yesterday and we spent some quality time together. P.S. Heather, thanks for checking up on me yesterday, that was really sweet of you. It’s true I’m not into warmy-fuzzy-frou-frou-huggy things, but your love for me makes my day brighter. Writing: Read more of Maass’ book, worked on my wip, but no pages yet. I’ll need to revise anyway. Diet: Yesterday, I did okay, maybe 1700 calories. Today, by the end of lunch I was already at 1400! It was the free pizza at work

First day back at work

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.05.05 My first day back at work wasn’t too bad. There really wasn’t anything for me to do except read a few papers and attend group meeting, so that was nice. I might be switched to a new group, but I feel bad because that means someone else must work for my supervisor. A girl from another site is coming to work for my group at the end of January, and she’s really nice, but I think they might shaft her and make her work for my supervisor. Problem is, a few years ago she worked for my supervisor at the other site and was really stressed out, just like me. But she isn’t as insistent as I am so I don’t know if people knew there was a problem. I wonder if she would speak up if she discovered she’d be working for her old supervisor. There must have been a good reason she wanted to transfer out of her old group, so I wonder what the other site supervisor is like. Anyway, the other people at work were really sympathetic towards me because they h

Last day of freedom

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.04.05 In my quiet time today, I read through Colossians chapters 2 and 3. What stands out is the newness I have in Christ, that enables me to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It is hard to bring my heart to this place, it can only be God working in me to do it. He also reminded me to be thankful. And it’s true, things could be so much worse. I’m so ungrateful sometimes. I’m very thankful that I am healthy and not in any pain from the surgery. My husband has a job that’s somewhat steady even if the hours are horrendous, but he’s working with people he likes and he gets paid overtime for those long hours. My dog is healthy and happy. Our house is in decent shape, and so far, we’re able to make the mortgage each month. I have encouraging cyber-friends (even though-- ahem, Heather --some of them are a bit cyber-hug-happy. ;-) Just kidding, hun). My car is in good shape and I am able to drive. I have today

2005 Writing Goals

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Since it’s the start of 2005, here are my writing goals. I want them posted here for accountability: Long-term goals: complete three manuscripts by December 2005 come up with one new multiple-book Chicklit series proposal and one new multiple-book Romantic Suspense series proposal find at least two more critique partners Short term goals: write one short story each month critique at least one piece each week on Writing.com critique crit partners' pieces every two weeks update my website at least once a month with something new and exciting (at least to me! LOL) Write in my blog at least once a week, but preferably everyday for accountability of my writing progress Daily goals: at least one hour of writing each weekday, two hours each Saturday, Sunday as a day of rest Project goals: finish current ms by February 1st (it’s what I’m shooting for, but I just realized I need to overhaul my storyline) polish Romantic Suspense s

Prayed for patience

Been trying to keep the spiritual warfare at bay. At random moments, I’ll start to panic or feel depressed and I’ll have to stop and pray. It’s been a constant battle against these emotional attacks, and surrendering myself to God over and over again. I am so tired and frustrated. But I did pray today for trust and patience, so I must be making spiritual headway. I know God would not have put this desire in me to write if He didn’t intend to do something with it, and although I may have to learn patience (how I hate that word, LOL), I am hoping He will allow me to write full-time someday. The thought of working (especially at this company) for another year or two is depressing, but I have to trust God’s plans and timing, and pray for deliverance. Yesterday I started reading Maass’ "Writing the Breakout Novel." It’s been very enlightening and motivating. He lists ways to make the novel more dramatic, more colorful, more enticing to a reader. It’s basically the

Psalm 37

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.02.05 Psalm 37:1-8 (NIV) Do not fret because of evil men Or be envious of those who do wrong; For like the grass they will soon wither, Like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; Trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, The justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret when men succeed in their ways, When they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; Do not fret--it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, But those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. I go back to work in three days. I am reading Psalm 37 today, and felt such despair because I can’t make

Writing Time Log

Captain’s Log, Stardate 01.01.05 I just learned on my writer’s discussion loop that writers should document the amount of time spent writing each year. Apparently the IRS requires at least 500 hours spent on writing for you to qualify as your own business. So I started a writing time log. How fortuitous that I learned this today and can now start documentation for 2005. I hope I have enough hours for 2004. My husband and I went to Sportmart to take advantage of a 25% off coupon, but I went primarily to look at exercise bikes. The cheaper ones tended to feel more flimsy, while even the expensive ones didn’t always have a comfortable seat. One upright bike felt very sturdy, but the recumbent seat is better for my back, and my husband's too. We could both use an exercise bike, actually, but I don’t know if my husband would actually use it. I’m hoping I would actually use it! He’s not completely sold on the idea. My knee felt really good while I was on the bikes a