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Showing posts from December, 2005

Christian Chicklit list

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.30.2005 Update 2/2006: I have a more current version of this list on my website , and I'll keep updating it there. Man, a cold hit me hard yesterday and today I’m miserable. Bad, bad coughing. I read, but it was a bad book—illogical character decisions just ruin the story for me. I think I’ll do crits today instead of writing. I keep a list of Christian Chicklit books that are out there (it’s current as of today’s date, anyway). I didn’t think it would be useful to anybody else besides me, but then someone requested Christian Chicklit titles on the ACFW loop. Some of these I’ve read. Some I haven’t, but I’ve heard about them from friends. Here it is for anybody who’s interested. It’s not in any particular order. Chicklit: THE TROUBLE WITH TULIP by Mindy Starns Clark THE WHITNEY CHRONICLES and THE MILLION DOLLAR DILEMMA by Judy Baer MADE OF HONOR by Marilynn Griffith DREAMING IN BLACK AND WHITE and DREAMING IN TECHNICOLOR (the Phoebe Grant nove

Camy’s Scrapbook

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.29.2005 Okay, I admit to procrastinating today, too. I started a new blog called Camy’s Scrapbook for all my pictures. That way, I can organize them and enable people to view them, but I won’t cause problems for anyone without high-speed internet. Carrie Turansky’s up on First Novel Journey in a great interview today. Tomorrow is a book review on WEDDED BLISS? romance anthology (review by Ane Mulligan). Writing: I’m starting to meld my heroine together more in my head. Because of the career I’m having her do, her personality needs to mesh with the demands of it. It’s a bit different from the original personality I envisioned for her. I need to do more research. Mary Griffith has a “word” for each year that the Lord gives to her. This year when I read her blog post, the first word that came to mind was PERSEVERANCE. Yikes! Lord, you gotta be wiggin’ out here. Who in their right mind wants to persevere? Hello? I envision horrible things. My new agent p

Goals for 2006

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.28.2005 Here's my new goals for 2006 Long-term goals: Complete three manuscripts by December 2006. Take my ACFW Mentoring group through my articles based on TECHNIQUES OF THE SELLING WRITER by Dwight V. Swain and critique their first three chapters by September 2006. Short-term goals: Write three short stories this year--be more prolific! Write at least one article each month. Critique one piece each week on Writing.com. Update my website each month with something new. Write in my blog at least once a week, but preferably everyday for accountability of my writing progress. Daily goals: Spend one hour each day critiquing. Spend at least four hours each day writing or researching for my ms. Spend three hours each day in marketing, website, blogging, and learning craft. Project goals: Finish first ms by April 30th, but finish first chapter to send for critique at Mt. Hermon Christian Writers Conference by March 15th. Finish second ms by August 30th.

Robin Lee Hatcher and procrastination

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.27.2005 Made mochi with Kara and co. yesterday. That was fun and yummy, although my husband was less than ecstatic over eating fresh mochi. We had a lot of fun talking and hanging out with the Kawanamis and the Cathcarts. If you haven’t already, hop over to First Novel Journey today and tomorrow for a two-part interview with agents and author Janet and Ron Benrey. I visited Robin Lee Hatcher’s blog today (she has this uber-sexy pic of a hottie I think is Ken Watanabe) and found this best-selling author PROCRASTINATING! (hanaokolele!) She’s such a sweet lady and a great author, I guess we’ll forgive her. ;) I just listened to her “Keys to Creativity” workshops on my 2004 ACFW/ACRW Conference MP3s. If none of you have that, listen to it—she gives some great exercises. Anyway, here is what she was procrastinating on: * My name ... Camy Tang * My childhood ambition ... to be a writer OR a singing idol * My fondest memory ... marrying my wonderf

Monday prayers

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.26.2005 Oops, I was too busy yesterday to do my Sunday prayers. My husband and I led music for worship at church, so we were up bright and early. Anybody have prayer requests? Leave them in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request. Not to be mean or anything, but if you don't email me or comment to update your prayer request, I'm only going to pray 3 Sundays. I've got a couple fly-by prayer requests and a growing list. Lord God, thank you for this opportunity to come before you. Thank you for Christmas, for this season to remember your love for us. Please be with Squirl in India. Continue to bless and protect her. Give Pammer your strength and peace this season, despite all her cares and worries. Please provide for her. Help the car continue to work well. I pray Julie's l

How I did on my goals for 2005

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.24.2005 Well, I didn't make all of my goals from 2005, but I liked making them and having them up for me to see. How well did I do? Long-term goals: I completed only two manuscripts by the end of December rather than the three I was aiming for. Two completed mss is more than the previous year, which was one ms. Next year, I want to up the ante and write three manuscripts. I didn't come up with new Chick-Lit or Suspense series proposal ideas, although I'm working on the Chick-Lit now, it's just not finished yet. I did find two new critique partners. Short-term goals: I don't think I wrote even one short story this past year, and I was supposed to write one a month. I wanted to spend the time focusing on my novels instead. I think that's okay--short stories are nice, but I prefer the larger projects. I didn't have a goal for it, but I ended up writing several articles. Maybe I'll change this goal to articles instead. I

Cleaned my office yesterday

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.23.2005 I feel much better now that I can see the floor. Naw das wot I is talkin' about! Yim Kaimun is a young Christian woman in Singapore who emails me occasionally. She wrote this interesting article on three strong women warriors, breaking the stereotype of submissive or fantasy Chinese females. These are the kind of chickies I like to write about! My high school kids are truly nuts I might be the only one who thinks these guys are funny. Ain't No Mountain The Bathroom Door Incident Writing: Enjoying my researching. Got a bleeding crit from Robin and I looooooove it. I am totally warped.

More odds and ends

Captain's log, Stardate 12.21.2005 Prayer Line update Remember I asked my youth pastor about that Prayer Line website ? Q: My question is: Does it hurt to have someone not a Christian praying for you? I mean, if I have a Muslim praying to Allah for my knee, is that bad? A: Camy, it never hurts for someone to raise a prayer to God for someone, but a Christian must always remember that any healing comes from Jesus Christ. Sometimes, people get deceived and feel that they receive healing from a source other than Jesus (when the healing is supposedly miraculous). Camy here: I think I'll personally stick to asking close friends and my church family to pray for me. But I am also hoping to participate on this prayer site so that not only can I pray for others, but maybe Jesus can reach some of them, too. First Novel Journey : Gina Holmes interviews Jill Nelson tomorrow! Writing: I applied to teach two different Late Night Chats at the 2006 ACFW Conference in Dallas. "The

You are uniquely shaped for serving God

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.20.2005 1 Peter 4:10 (LB): God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to other God's many kinds of blessings. What abilities do you have? Rick Warren divides them into: 1) Spiritual Gifts--Holy Spirit-given, supernatural abilities. 2) Passion--the areas that move you 3) Abilities--God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. Everyone has something to offer. Every ability can be used for God's glory. What I'm able to do, God wants me to do. You are the only person on earth who can use your abilities. No one else can play your role, because they don't have the unique shape (and experiences) that God has given you. The Bible says that God equips you with all you need for doing his will. 4) Personality--coupled with your abilities, it enables you to express yourself in different ways from anyone else. 5) Experiences--family, educational, vocational, spiritual,

Odds and ends

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.19.2005 Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:22 Prayer Line How cool is this? It's a blog where you can request prayer for yourself or your loved ones. From the blog: This is a free website to request prayers, as well as to pray for others in need. All prayer requests are sent electronically to an all-denominational network of prayergivers, so that the site mimics the Duke University MANTRA project where researchers discovered that surgical patients' recovery was improved by 50 to 100 percent when prayer groups from 7 different religions prayed for their rapid recovery. More details about the Duke project appears in "Prayers at Work" on this site. Camy here: I think this is many different religions, not just multi-denominational Christian. I wonder if it hinders prayer when someone not a Christian prays for you? Hmm, I think I'll ask my youth pastor

Sunday prayer for my comrades

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.18.2005 Thanks to Mir for the coolio new word. Anybody have prayer requests? Leave them in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request. I did the worship set for my youth group last night and today my knee is throbbing, although it might be a combination of the standing last night and the torrential rains today. We're making Christmas presents today, too, so hopefully that will go well. Lord God, thank you for today and this week of our lives. Thank you for the breath and life to praise you. Thank you for the fellowship of sharing in Christ's suffering that brings us closer to you Be with Cheryl in India. Please continue to use her and the team for your glory, and protect her family while she's gone. Be with Heather in her writing projects. Please help her to fight the spiri

When is this publishing thing going to happen?

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.16.2005 A woman on the ACFW email loop posted about the road to publishing being long and discouraging. I applaud her for persevering for so long, and also for being in touch with God. She asked Him if she should continue or not, willing to give it up for Him, but He's telling her to continue. What she said really resonated with me, because I actually gave up writing years ago when I felt God telling me my motives weren't right. That was a painful thing to do, but I knew He wanted me to do it--it was a VERY clear message from Him, nothing questionable about it. God let me pick my writing up again (with an aim for publication, versus just writing for me) a few years ago. I'm still unpublished, but I know this is what God wants for me now. The whole thing about writing is the waiting game, and the struggle for me not to feel jealous when people who have been writing for less time than me get that elusive publishing contract. The only thing I

ACFW Book Club

CHRISTIAN WRITERS REACH OUT TO READERS American Christian Fiction Writers Launches Book Club From airport newsstands to Newsweek, Christian fiction continues to grow in popularity, resonating with readers looking for both faith and fiction. The growth of the genre has birthed many new writers, as evidenced by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization started in 2000. Now boasting almost 1000 members, ACFW reaches out to readers as well as writers with their new ACFW Book Club. Beginning January 2006, the Book Club will offer fans of Christian fiction the opportunity to chat with ACFW authors and discuss monthly reading selections. Readers will also be eligible for monthly free book drawings. The titles chosen to kick off the club include: Ø Black Sands by Colleen Coble . Trouble in paradise. A Hawaiian romantic suspense. Ø Leave it to Claire by Tracey Bateman . Single mom tries to fix her family. Chick lit fun! Ø Outriders by Kathryn Mackel . A

Adult stem cells

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.14.2005 An adult stem cell transplant saved this man 's life. Research shows that certain isolated umbilical cord blood stem cells have many of the same properties as embryonic stem cells, disproving the "limited capabilities" reputation of adult stem cells. Now this is very interesting. An MIT professor admits that many scientists are afraid to criticize embryonic stem-cell research out of fear of reprisals. Isn't that terrible? Shouldn't scientists be able to voice their true opinions without worrying about if it will affect their grants, tenures, publications? The full interview is here . This blog post suggests a possible bias in media coverage of adult versus embryonic stem cells.

Odds and ends

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.13.2005 Sorry I didn't post yesterday, the PT kicked my butt. Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses. Got a few stem cell articles: This article discloses an amazing study where scientists were able to coax adult stem cells to change into brain, nerve, heart muscle and pancreatic cells. It was previously thought that only embryonic stem cells could be changed into these types of cell, but if adult stem cells can be used for therapy, there's no need to destroy embryos. This would also eliminate any risk of rejection of the therapy cells. This article details how researchers are working to both immortalize sperm stem cells and also possibly "push" them back into pluripotent stem cells, which is what embryonic stem cells are. This is great to show that therapies may not need embryonic stem cells. This is a totally awesome article about a drug that triples the number of umbilical cord stem cells for use in therapy. This could also lead to resear

Sunday prayer

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.11.2005 Anybody have prayer requests? Leave them in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. (Disclaimer: This isn’t to sound Holier-Than-Thou or anything like that. I don’t have very reverent prayers sometimes, but I do believe in the power of prayer to my powerful Lord.) You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request. I have caught my husband's flu, although it's only a cold at this point, as pointed out by Mir . Physical therapy is killing me but recovery is progressing well. Upper back pain improved a bit. Writing--I'll admit it, I need more discipline. I've also been convicted to rely more on God's power, and to pursue more humility (yeah, no big surprise there). Lord God, thank you for this chance to meet you here today. Thank you for the grace and the blood that makes this possible. Thanks for speaking to us thr

Adult verses Embryonic stem cells

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.10.2005 This reader's letter is how I view things. It also delves into fetal organ harvesting, which is really only a step away if people continue to support embryonic stem cell harvesting. That's the "what if?" in my suspense manuscript BITTER DRAGON . I love the news that donated umbilical cord stem cells saved this baby's life from a genetic immune disease, but I hate how they slipped in hype about how embryonic stem cells would somehow be so much better. ESCs are totally unrelated to this child's new life. How would "blank," pluripotent ESCs be superior to multipotent umbilical stem cells, which are already predisposed to become the life-saving bone marrow she needed? That's my take. The article is nice in that it shows two children being saved by umbilical stem cells. Aside: Well, I knew it couldn't last. After my husband's bout with the flu last week, I have finally succumbed--at least a little. S

WITH THIS RING, I'M CONFUSED by Kristin Billerbeck

WITH THIS RING, I'M CONFUSED by Kristin Billerbeck From the back cover: She's got the rock, so when does happily ever after kick in? At long last, Ashley Stockingdale--patent attorney, fashionista, and homeowner--can finally add "fiancée" to her spirited resume. That means the next four months will be a dizzying and decadent waltz through aisles of Vera Wang, Kenneth Cole, Sheridan sheets, Kate Spade place settings and Oneida flatware. Well...maybe not. For starters, the HR department has hired Ashley's ex-boyfriend (yet, the one who went off to India with that other woman) as the new director of software. And now her fiancé is starting to sound crazy--something about moving across country, to Philadelphia of all places. Worst of all, right before her eyes, Scarlett-I-need-some-Prozac O'Hara is hijacking her wedding plans! Life for our heroine is spinning from out of control to downright confusing. But whether she makes it to the end of the aisle or not, she&

ACL physical therapy

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.09.2005 Here's an update on my knee. I started physical therapy on Thursday, December 1st. The knee was pretty shaky but it seemed to be healing nicely. Better than my first surgery, anyway. The PT did some stretches, took some information. I was up to 95 degrees on my CPM machine. Pain of the day: The PT massaged my IT band. Know what that is? It's this muscle down the outside of your leg, but it's not the muscle itself, it's where it turns into a tendon near your knee. This IT band gets tight and the only way to stretch it is to massage it. Hard. Painfully. My second visit was on Monday, December 5th. I had been massaging my IT band like a fiend because NO WAY was I going through that kind of pain again. Pain of the day: The PT cranked my leg further in my flexion than I'd ever taken it. Ripping, tearing pain over the top of my kneecap. All that lovely scar tissue just shredding. So I went home and worked harder on my flexion

Another 15 things about books

Captain's Log, Supplemental Lynette tagged me. So I am tagged twice. But I love this particular meme so here's another 15 things to entertain or annoy you: 16) I love Levenger.com . It's a store for writers and book lovers. I spend time every month perusing their catalog from cover to cover. Pathetically. 17) Cussing in books does not bother me. 18) Sex in books does not bother me. I have read Harlequin Blazes and various erotica. GASP! And I still call myself a Christian! 19) I love ebooks because I can carry a several dozen with me in my PDA. What sane book lover wouldn't enjoy being able to effortlessly cart her books with her everywhere? 20) I recently bought 45 MASTER CHARACTERS by Victoria Lynn Schmidt because Dineen was raving about it. And I have to admit, it's a great book so far. 21) I also bought WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK because both Robin and Dineen raved about it. I'm just a lemming. 22) I am mentioned by name in SAHM I

Cussing

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.08.2005 Terry Whalin brought up an interesting discussion topic on his blog today. I've read lots of discussions on email loops with authors lamenting the fact the CBA doesn't allow cussing, despite the fact it's "realistic." Well, yeah, it's realistic. But I've also heard all the stupid reasons people return books to bookstores. You wouldn't believe what offends some people, and even worse, how some bookstores react to their griping. It's the publishers who have to deal with all this negative feedback. And if it saves them some headache to omit a few words from a book, why not? Terry discusses this with more eloquence than I. He's also an industry professional and knows what he's talking about.

Adult stem cell news

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.07.2005 When people say “stem cells,” they usually mean embryonic stem cells, which are made when an embryo is killed to harvest its stem cells. But did you know that there’s great research being done with adult stem cells? These are stem cells that are more “mature” than embryonic stem cells, but still able to form different types of cells in the body. They’re precursors for lots of tissues like liver, brain, blood, bone, kidney, heart. Adult stem cells are from the person’s own body or another donor, often from umbilical cord blood. If they’re from the patient’s own body (usually blood), there’s no chance of rejection by the immune system. Stem cells from another donor or baby’s umbilical cord blood can be rejected since they’re foreign cells. Umbilical cord blood more closely resembles embryonic stem cells (although they’re not exactly the same). The difference is that they can be harvested without killing an embryo. Here

ACL Girl's Equipment for Recovery--hot water pot

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.06.2005 Zojirushi CD-LCC30 Micom 3.0-Liter Electric Dispensing Pot I want to post a review of this terrific hot water dispensing machine. It's chilly here in northern California now, and especially since I’m home recovering from ACL surgery, I've been keeping warm by drinking tea. I drink a fair amount of tea, and so this 3 liter size water pot is perfect for myself. I typically only refill it once a day, at night before I go to bed. It has a 7 hour delay timer that I use so that I have hot water as soon as I get up. I use the hottest water setting that maintains the temperature at 208 degrees F. It heats up relatively quickly if it's left at 195 degrees or at 175 degrees to save electricity, but I'm impatient and don't like to wait. I also use it for hot chocolate, apple cider, ramen, you name it. It is very easy to refill thanks to the removable cover and removable power cord. The cord attaches magnetically, which makes plug

EVEN IN THE DARKNESS by Shirlee McCoy ebook sale!

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.05.2005 Well, there’s something weird going on with blogger—maybe it got hacked?—so I’m writing this blog hoping it’ll get posted today. I just bought Shirlee McCoy ’s romantic suspense EVEN IN THE DARKNESS in ebook format on Fictionwise.com . They’re holding a sale this week, so it’s only $3.45 for Fictionwise club members, and $3.85 for everybody else. I love ebooks—I carry several dozen around in my PDA—so it was like an early Christmas present to buy this novel. I usually read ebooks on my PDA rather than on my computer. It’s especially nice to read an ebook in the car while waiting for my husband or something like that, cuz I can read my PDA in the dark, since it has a backlight. I’m totally excited about this story, which is set in Thailand. Shirlee always writes with such flair and grit. It’s refreshing. Writing: Off to do crits for my crit group meeting tomorrow. I’m way behind.

MADE OF HONOR by Marilynn Griffith (excerpt)

Made of Honor by Marilynn Griffith Once, twice, ten times a bridesmaid! I, Dana Rose, do solemnly swear to say "I won't" the next time someone asks me to be in their wedding party. My weak will has gained me a closet full of unflattering bridesmaids' dresses in various sizes to accommodate my ever-fluctuating waistline. As if that isn't enough, the past is paying me a most unwelcome visit (my prodigal brother, my back-stabbing sis). Then there's Mr. Practically Perfect, the ex who not only married someone else, but opened the business of our dreams -- right across from my new shop! It's no wonder I've got problems! I'm thankful I've got my friends, the Sassy Sisterhood, to rely on . . . The Sassy Sisterhood: They get by with a little help from their friends. Excerpt of chapter one: CHAPTER ONE I'm turning into a Chia pet. With legs. Little children are starting to toss dandelions when they see me. The

Sunday prayer

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.04.2005 I’ll continue Mary Griffith’s blog tour tomorrow with an excerpt from MADE OF HONOR. I missed church today because my husband is sick and my leg is still too delicate for me to go out. So how about Sunday prayer? Anybody have prayer requests? Leave them in the comments and I’ll be praying this week. This isn’t to sound Holier-Than-Thou or anything like that. I don’t have very reverent prayers sometimes, but I do believe in the power of prayer to my powerful Lord. You don’t have to be Christian to leave a prayer request. If you’d rather not advertise to everyone on the blogosphere, just leave an unspoken prayer request. For me, my upper back has been killing me because I’m so uneven from not being able to put my full weight on one leg. I’m also going to add Squirl’s missions trip to India during the month of December, Pammer’s disappearing time, Heather’s new book projects, Dineen's distracted writin

Interview with Mary Griffith, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 12.03.2005 Mary is such a cool chick. She wrote such wonderful things about me on her blog . :) :) :) :) :) I was telling Heather tonight, There's so much negativity in the world, that when something comes along warm and fuzzy like a mink coat, just snuggle up. The mink coat isn't big enough for my inflating ego, though. ;) If you get a chance, please pray for my upper back. I'm so lopsided because I can't put all my weight on one leg, so it's throwing my back out of whack. I'm hoping to be able to drive soon so I can make the long trek into Sunnyvale to my chiropractor. Oh, and kudos to my lovely wonderful sister Dineen who's been driving me to my PT appointments until then. :) Back to the interview! Since I'm a writer, I just had to pick Mary's brains about her writing style. You know, hopefully some of that genius will rub off. Writer questions: CT: What is your most memorable moment as a writer? M

Interview with Mary Griffith!

Captain’s Log, Stardate 12.02.2005 I got a chance to catch up with debut author Marilynn Griffith on the eve of her novel’s release. MADE OF HONOR is a sassy urban Chicklit published by Steeple Hill Café line, and it’ll be in bookstores on December 27th, although us Chicklit fans have already pre-ordered our copies from Amazon.com. :) Reader questions: CT: Us married people love to write about singles. Why do you think that is? What do you want to say to that demographic? MG: It's funny, isn't it? Well for one thing, I think it takes a few years to be able to look back on part of your life with any perspective. While I might have had something snarky to say when I was 20, marriage and several more years of living helped me to understand things that I missed while I was living it. Also, since I married young, many of my friends were still single. I don't really have anything to say to singles except that I respect them for living godly when i