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Showing posts from July, 2005

RWA National Conference

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.31.2005 WARNING: BOOK-LENGTH TALL TALES Just got back today from RWA National Conference held in Reno , Nevada . Good conference, although a bit overwhelming because of the sheer number of people--around 2,200 attendees. I drove up with Marilyn Hilton , who's in the ACFW San Jose group, and her friend Anne Kim, a technical writer who used to work with Marilyn and lives in San Jose as well. Anne writes Asian Chicklit, with a bent toward Mainstream Literary fiction. We had a real "Thelma and Louise" weekend, the three of us. The drive to and from Reno went quickly as we talked. We met up to eat meals together and somehow never had a problem finding three seats at the tables despite the large number of attendees. I couldn't imagine going to National by myself. It was fun to laugh and exchange opinions. I met up with one of the "Fab Four," Cheryl Wyatt . It was great to talk to her again. I me
Me and Cheryl Wyatt (two of the Fab Four)
Me, Shelley Bates (RITA Winner!), and Marilyn Hilton (Thelma & Louise cohort!)
Me and Sophia Nash (RITA winner!)
Me and Kathryn Caskie (isn't she gorgeous in her dress?)

Lifting up Christ

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.18.2005 One thing has pervaded my writing the past few days, and that is my " Mission " verse, John 12:32: "I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me." The Greek says "lifted up from the earth" or lifted onto the cross. But I like to also see the further implications of this: With Christ's sacrifice, he'll draw people to himself. Meaning, if I "lift him up," or if I emphasize aspects of Christ's sacrifice in my writing, he'll draw people to himself. I'm rather post-modern in that I'm not comfortable with blatantly evangelical fiction, although I realize there is a place and an audience for it. I prefer showing what a true Christian would be like--flawed and struggling. Stumbling and learning. Stubborn, humbled, and then lifted up. That's what my Christian walk is like, and I relate to characters with the same. So the past few days, I've been rethinki

Marketing overload

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.11.2005 I'm taking an online marketing class and it's a bit overwhelming. There's so much information and so many options for a writer, whether Introverted or Extroverted, whether pre-published or multi-published. What's most overwhelming is the realization of how much extra work goes into marketing a book. Just ONE book. I couldn't imagine trying to market two books of two different genres like some authors do. There's so much I need to learn, like how to write a press release for my book, how to write an informative article on a topic touched on in my book, how to find various media avenues for my book. Aack! I would consider a publicist's fee as money well spent. One great thing is that the instructor gave me some terrific ideas about places to submit articles about my book and the topic it touches on, embryonic stem cells. These are ideas I would NEVER have thought of myself. Thinking like

Blessings

Captain’s Log, Stardate 07.10.2005 I was reading in Relevant magazine today about how the editor was listening to some gospel music that seemed to emphasize the blessings of God over the worship itself. God does shower blessings in abundance, but the editor wanted to reinforce the walk over the gifts received. It makes me wonder if I am too focused on those blessings I hope to receive from God—namely, a writing contract. Preferably (!) this year. Sure, I hope to serve God with my book, to lift up Christ so He can draw my readers to Himself (John 12:32 ). But what about the getting there? How can I serve God during the getting there? I need to think and pray about this. I know God can use me wherever He feels like it, but I should be focused on being used where I am, rather than striving for something I hope to do for Him. I am really not there yet—not in the mindset of salting the table I’m at. Today at service I was really aware of the presence of God, m

Fear

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.09.2005 Okay, I should be writing but I'd like to share this. The past three days I did some intense praying about my job. My friend Marilyn Hilton pointed out something I hadn't realized I was doing--praying out of fear. Fear that I wasn't hearing God. Fear that I hadn't truly submitted myself to Him. Fear that I was worshiping my own desires as idols. Fear that I would choose a course out of His will. Fear that I'd disappoint Him. The funny thing is, a few months ago my friend Sharon Hinck noticed I was doing the same thing--praying out of fear. I honestly didn't think I was fearful. But maybe it's that I don't have a complete understanding of God's LOVE. Not that I could ever truly understand His love, but maybe I don't even have a grasp of the finger of His love I could comprehend. The past few weeks, God has been revealing to me just how much He really does love me--me speci

Noble Theme contest semi-finalist

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.04.2005 Happy 4th of July! I got a nice surprise--my suspense manuscript, BITTER DRAGON is one of the top ten semi-finalists in the Mystery/Suspense category of the ACFW Noble Theme contest . I don't know when they make the cut for the second round finalists, or how many manuscripts will make it, but the last round will be judged by an editor from a major Christian publishing house. Also, several of my friends were in the top ten in their categories: Pamela James , romantic suspense Cheryl Wyatt , contemporary romance Eileen Key , mystery/suspense Robin Miller , mystery/suspense Dineen Miller , mystery/suspense Paula Moldenhauer , general fiction L.S. King , Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lynette Sowell , Sci-Fi/Fantasy and mystery/suspense We are having a lazy Independence Day. My husband is smoking a pork shoulder in his home-made smoker, but something happened to the hot plate and it's malfunctioning. I

COW CRIMES AND THE MUSTANG MENACE by Sharon Dunn

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.03.2005 COW CRIMES AND THE MUSTANG MENACE by Sharon Dunn From the back cover: Investigating a series of bizarre ranch thefts, dealing with the expectations of a Betty Crocker mom, and entering a recipe in the Potato Festival cookoff, have Ruby Taylor in over her flaming red head. When an outsider turns up dead, it’ll take more than a steaming mocha espresso—and her unpredictable yet intriguing Wesley—to save Ruby from the danger. Camy here: Once again, Ruby Taylor saves the day with her unique brand of strength and sass, flavored with the bittersweet of her inner fears and insecurities. It all makes for a very likable, sympathetic character. I thought that this book sparkled with more humor than the other two. Ruby’s sarcasm knows no bounds, and some scenes border on slapstick. In contrast, this book also seemed to delve deeper into the intricacies of a relationship between a godly man and woman. Ruby faces her

DEAD OF NIGHT by Brandilyn Collins

<br> Captain's Log, Stardate 07.03.2005 DEAD OF NIGHT by Brandilyn Collins From the back cover: All words fell away. I pushed myself off the path, noticing for the first time the signs of earlier passage—the matted earth, broken twigs. And I knew. My mouth turned cottony. I licked my lips, took three halting steps. My maddening, visual brain churned out pictures of colorless faces on a cold slab—Debbie Lille, victim number one; Wanda Deminger, number three . . . He’d been here. Dragged this one right where I now stumbled. I’d entered a crime scene, and I could not bear to see what lay at the end. . . . This is a story about evil. This is a story about God’s power. A string of murders terrorizes citizens in the Redding , California , area. The serial killer is cunning, stealthy. Masked by day, unmasked by night. Forensic artist Annie Kingston discovers the sixth body practically in her own back yard. Is the location a ta

Nothing much again

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.02.2005 I have to work on the 4th, so it's not that terrific a holiday for me. But the good news is that my supervisor is allowing me to take a comp day (for the holiday) as one of the days I'll be missing for the RWA conference. That way, I only burn two vacation days instead of three. Work isn't bad, but it's not writing. I really have been praying for patience and contentment, really truly. It's just that on weekends, I sit down and spend time at the computer, I stay up late writing, and I moan and groan that I can't do this all the time. I've been trying to use this time to learn to write efficiently, to deal with stress, to discipline myself. So I suppose it's all good. Writing: Did some today. Novella slowly shaping up. It's all garbage, but I'm entitled. :) I'll fix on the rewrite. For now, I just have to get words on the page. Yikes! I forgot to write my Write Time column fo