Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Freedom had some difficulties upon his (her) arrival. She got stuck on her back while her wings were drying. After kicking furiously for about 10 minutes, we decided to stick in a small pipecleaner for her to grab. She got a hold of it and we turned her over, but the damage was already done. She has a sadly crumpled wing and is not flying.
So this morning, we decided to release Chrys and Emily, but hold onto Freedom for another day in hopes that she (he) will recover. Here are some photos of the grand release.
Emily is the first out of the bungalow. She grabbed onto my finger and allowed herself to be lifted out and photographed. Isn't she gorgeous?
And here is Freedom with the crumpled wing. I think there is a lesson here, but I'm waiting until it fully plays out. My daughter was in tears this morning: "How can she be named Freedom if she can't go free?" I wasn't quite sure what to tell her. We'll be praying for the little bug, that's for sure. Hopefully we'll have good news to report tomorrow. We'll also be praying for safety for the two that have gone free. My daughter was sad to see them go. We decided it was both happy and sad. It's just like when someone we love goes to be home with Jesus. Sad for us, glorious for them.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964
Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out. ~Samuel Johnson, "Recalling the Advice of a College Tutor," Boswell, Life of Johnson, 1791
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián
I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. ~English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
I was really struggling with this recently. I was feeling down about myself the entire day. I kept praying for contentment. I kept trying to "choose" contentment. But, inside my heart I was sinking into a pity party.
That's when God showed up. He wasn't an uninvited guest, and yet I was surprised to see Him arrive. I didn't think God usually came to pity parties.
You might find this silly... I think maybe God does silly sometimes--after all He invented silly, right? But it made me smile and then laugh. Then I had to run get my camera.
In moments when I'm fretting about the cleanliness of my home, I'm going to look back on this picture and laugh. And I will remember that in the midst of a pity party -- God has a way of making His heart known, even when you aren't looking for it.
In case you can't tell, this is a picture of my bathroom faucet as it looked when I went to brush my teeth.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow
Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain
Don't be too harsh to these poems until they're typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction. ~Dylan Thomas, letter to Vernon Watkins, March 1938
Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~Isaac Asimov
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"
Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon
Monday, June 8, 2009
I am trying to follow recommendations made by two different agents and one published author to lengthen the novel to 60,000 words. Since it was 30,000 at the time, that meant doubling it. Wow. That is tough for me, since whenever I edit, I tend to go through and cut extraneous words and phrases. If it doesn't move the story along, snip. Too wordy? Clip. Lacks a point? Cut. But adding? After the story is complete? That's been a challenge.
Lately it's been like hiking a zig-zag path. I write 2500 words in one spot, cut 1200 in another. So my word count is edging up, but slowly. I keep a spreadsheet of my progress. Yesterday was a discouraging day. I worked for hours, adding whole sections, dialogue and fun historical detail. Then I went and cut a large section of backstory that didn't really move the story along. I ended up with a word count for the day of negative 425 words. Ugh. Not the direction I was wanting to travel.
And yet, as I go through this process, the story is getting edgier, tighter and more exciting. Today, I worked for another few hours and added 1,200 words. I actually added more than that, but when you calculate in the words I cut... Well, you get the picture. My total word count is up to 49,300. Only 10, 700 to go. Or as my hubbie says, add another 20,000 and then I can feel free to cut 10,000.
I am determined to get the story up to 60,000 if I have to write the last 5,000 in blood. And that might be a challenge with a laptop.
And yet, I do not want to add words just to make the story meet some pretend goal that someone set out for it. I only want to add words that strengthen the plot and the characters. Though I was hesitant to add words originally, Shaken is so much better than it was when I started the rewrite process. It has pushed me to dig deeper for this character and the plot. I am excited to see where the next 10,000 words (or 20,000 minus 10,000) takes things. It's very possible that the best parts of this story are not even written yet. And that gives me chills!
Friday, June 5, 2009
All of the Glenbrooke books take place in the fictional community of Glenbrooke, Oregon. Being an Oregonian myself, I felt right at home in this town. Waterfalls tells the story of Meredith Graham, an acquisitions editor for a children's book publisher. When Meredith meets Jacob Wilde, a movie star, she is swept off her feet, but he doesn't necessarily feel the same way. Will she ever recover her balance?
This gentle romance is full of fun and laughs. Robin Jones Gunn is talented at getting her characters into hysterical situations that lead to surprising results. Let's just say that this is the only novel I've read where one of the characters is inflatable. Don't ask -- just go read it.
Robin Jones Gunn has 70 books published (51 of which are novels) and has won three Christy awards. She is the author of the popular Christy Miller, Katie Weldon and Sierra Jensen series for teen girls as well as the Sister Chicks series for women. I have read several from each series as well as a few of her non-fiction books. I have yet to read of book of Robin's that I have not enjoyed. Her books will inspire you and stretch your faith as they entertain. It's great summer reading!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Today I want to share about a bible verse that keeps popping up in my life lately. Do you ever have that happen? It always makes me wonder if God is trying to tell me something.
It is Psalm 37:4. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Monday, June 1, 2009
I had just stepped into the shower for a refreshing morning wake-up when I discovered I wasn't alone. In the shower stall, we have one of those pressure mounted corner shelf units for holding shampoos and soaps and such. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a black critter scurry out from behind the rod on the floor.
He was very polite.
"Um, excuse me Madam, but I seem to have gotten myself in an awkward predicament. I was looking for a quick sip of water and I have now gotten myself trapped. If you could be so kind as to--"
Me: "AAAAAAGGGGHHHH! SPIDER!!!!!"
Him: Waving his legs, politely. "Um, yes, I am. But if you would just--"