Wednesday, May 31, 2006



Got an email from my agent last night, and I didn't get a rejection from Steeple Hill yet. They didn't think it was strong enough to contract quite yet but they are giving me a chance to revise it and resubmit. SHEW! We're one step closer!!!!!!!!!!!

In addition to this awesome chance, the editor is being so supportive and kind and helpful. Many people, including her and my wonderful agent are offering to help me through this revision process. YAYAYAYAYAY!

The changes are MAJOR. Even removing all of the suspense elements to focus on the romance. But here's the deal. I've been targeting this publisher from the get-go. Anyone who knows me well knows how badly I've wanted to write for this house. So I wrote most of my stories with this publisher in mind.

If I don't revise=automatic rejection probably. So why would I be stubborn and dumb and have a rejected manuscript collect dust under my bed and shoot myself in the foot before I even get in the door? I'm really excited to revise this, though it's going to be a major undertaking. God and I...we're totally up for the challenge. The editor was really detailed in her request, and I think it's really doable. I love the ideas she came up with to better this story. My only disappointment was that I may not get to write for the Suspense line for awhile but WHO CARES!!!! I have a chance to revise for the Love Inspired line, and I love romance and happily ever afters. Most of my other books have suspense elements in them too. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

If I disappear for three weeks, you'll know I'm being held captive by my Delete Key. We're going to get really friendly over the next couple weeks.

Keep me in prayer and I'll keep you posted.



Thursday, May 25, 2006



WOOO WEEEE! I REALLY need to be doing some market research on other publishers and stop stalking the editors at Steeple Hill (Waving frantically to Melissa).

Robin Miller and I were discussing...well, okay, she was discussing, and I was pouting...about having to put this massive proposal together for Warner Faith Publisher since we're both finalists in our category of American Christian Fiction Writers 2006 Genesis Contest.

Anyway, the deadline is looming like a scary creature behind me, chasing me down to the wire. I really, really should have mailed it yesterday or today, but well, life happens.

Anyway, so I'm in this dillemma because the top 5 scoring Genesis manuscripts are going directly to Warner Faith's publishing board (Christian Division of Time Warner Books)for consideration. Man what an awesome opportunity. And yet my agent and I have stuff out there, one with Barbour and one with my beloved Steeple Hill.

Who I could be getting a rejection from any day now.

Or a contract. Well, revision request, then a contract if I manage to make it out of revision hell. Okay, actually, I'm certifiable, because I am really looking forward to working with my future fiction editor for revisions. I'd really love that editor to be Melissa. Sigh. I just really connected with her at the Romance Writer's of America conference in know...the one where I was running late because I got stranded in a faulty elevator at a fancy Hilton RIGHT BEFORE MY EDITOR APPOINTMENT with Nora Roberts and didn't know she and J.D. Robb was one in the same.

Anyway, I'll tell you what all this rambling babble is about. Mostly I'm putting off that stinking proposal because I REALLY WANT STEEPLE HILL TO CALL!!!! Okay. There. It's out. BUT, since the mail-off deadline is looming, and Steeple Hill just may not be the publisher God wants for me (WHAAAAAAAA!!!!!) then I need to get my caboose in gear and do some market research.

I was attempting to do a crash course today, so I could register for the ACFW conference and know which editors to sign up for appointment wise. Even though I have an open invitation from Jim Peterson of Barbour's Heartsong Presents to send him any and all things I have ever and will ever write, I haven't simply because I'd have to cut like 30 thousand words per novel. GACK. So I'm working on some Novellas to send to them because I'd really love to work with Jim and Tracie Peterson. They have such hearts for new writers, and I just love that.

I marked Tyndale off the list even though I have two requests from Lorie Popp that I never sent because we had stuff at Steeple Hill and I didn't want to push the No simsub line even though I'm agented, and the other reason is they have The Dee..and my stuff is similar to her Uncommon Heroes Series..and well...who in their right mind would compete with the wonderfully talented Dee? Not me that's for sure.

So I studied NavPress and nearly signed up for an appt with that editor (Jeff Gerke) when I realized he is also Jefferson of military action...the sort of thing I write. Dang. Mark that one off the list since I'm not going to want to be competing with an editor. Sigh. This was my near collision. Imagine what a blush and cringe that would be when I sat down to pitch my story...only to find out he writes close to the same stuff.

Darn. Why does the market have to be so saturated? OH LORD, create more shelf space for us! Thank you!

So I moved on to Bethany House but I think they take more historical romance than contemporary, but I really couldn't tell by the website.

I think it's a long shot but I signed up with Anne Goldsmith from WF simply because her guidelines were clear and seemed to match what I write.

Second choice was Westbow or Waterbrook and I am really not certain which one I ended up choosing for second choice because I finally shut my eyes and pushed a button then moved on.

Even if I'm too new of a writer to be targeting these bigger houses...I will have met the editors for future reference if I ever decide to write single title stuff rather than my beloved category stories.

Okay, I'm off to propose.....


If I don't come out in a few hours....someone please send a search party because I've obviously been swallowed up by a mean synopsis with sharp teeth and crooked sentences, or torn to shreds by a comparitive market analysis gone postal...don't're likely to blow a hole through your trachea on my behalf.

Yes, Cathy Hake, I'd rather have a root canal than write a syn..syn..shudder..s-s-s-s-synopsis.


Friday, May 19, 2006



Okay, this one's on my husband. He took the children to school this morning, and even took the two year old so I could sleep in. What a sweetie. BUT...he's not used to her being with him apparently, because he dropped one child off at her classroom then dropped the second one off....

And left the baby in the classroom with the teacher!!!!!!!!!!!

He'd sat her down unbenown to the teacher, and she'd wandered over by the toy stove behind a shelf. And since she's shorter than the shelf...the teacher didn't realize she was there!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep! Forgot all about her! ROFL!

Administration had to chase him down. They caught him nearing the exit to the parking lot saying, "Um, Mr. Wyatt...aren't you forgetting something?"

They said he blinked in confusion a few times, patted his pockets, then his eyes grew wide and he nearly died laughing. Gee whizzzz! I'm really, really glad he didn't leave her in a hot car or something. Dang! I wonder how long it would have taken him to realize what he'd done. He was in a hurry to get to work apparently, after giving me a relaxing morning...and a humor-filled evening when I went to pick the children up and found out.



Well it didn't make sense but hopefully it got your attention.

I left the phone off the hook today...well actually when I switched from landline to cordless I forgot to hang up the landline. Someone business related called my house to talk to my husband and I've told them a hundred times he can't be reached at home during the day but they keep calling anyway saying they can't get hold of him by cell phone. This wasn't an emergency call mind you. So if they can't reach him, that probably means he's in the metal pole barn and I can't reach him either because the signal won't pass through the walls. So anyway, I was having a "Calgon, take me awaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy!!" moment and acted similar to a toddler having a tantrum of epic proportions. Said, "the best thing I can tell you is to keep trying to call him ON HIS CELL PHONE." I was nice, but direct on that point. I don't want my husband to lose business because his wife is being a witch with a capital "B." So I hit "end" and stomped across the floor and slammed the beeping cordless back on the base before the battery died, spouting multiple complaints in not so Christian language about this blankety blank annoying person who keeps calling for my blankety blank husband when I've told them repeatedly he can't blankety blank be reached at home during the blankety blank day and why can't they get that through their blankety blank head and, murmuring about how I don't have blankety blank time to field blankety blank calls every five minutes and yada yada yada." Then I stop short when I realize the landline phone....which is three inches away from my fiesty OFF THE HOOK! I gasp then snatch it up and stick it to my ear.

Ugh. Same flowery elevator music in the background as when I spoke with the person before. Then a click resounded in my ear. Whoops. Oh well. LOL!

TO GET THE FULL EFFECT: Insert "Blankety Blank" with #$&(%&)#$!


Okay, going to read James and repent for my serpant mouth. GRrrr. God got ahold of my heart a long, long time ago....He'll get a hold of my mouth eventually.....there's still hope....I'm not dead yet.....


Father, create in me a clean heart. Temper my speech and tailor my heart to your liking. Help me to be mindful of what other people are going through, Lord and not just focused on what's going wrong in my day. Bless those who've bore the brunt of my verbal monsoon and heal any hurt feelings this caused. Sorry if I offended you, too, Lord. Thanks for the diffusion of humor. Thank you for grace and you love me despite my mouth. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you. In Jesus' name. Amen.


I'm diving into research for my newest WIP (Work in Progress) which is book 2 of my Navy SEAL series. I'm LOVING the title. TO GOVERN THE NIGHT. It's based on the scripture in Genesis 1:14-19. After writing several novels, I've finally figured out how I do it. My method so to speak. I HAVE to know my characters. Down to every hair fiber. What they'd keep in their purses. What their childhood was like. Wierd I know but I can't really dive into the plot without being acquainted with my main characters. I have plot snippets and a mental outline, as usual. But since most of my heros are Alpha males, and most of my heroine's are tough on the outside bombshell types, they usually never obey the plots I set out before them so I anticipate my plot will change as I get to know my characters more.


Became a board member for the Library we're opening, as did several members of the local writer's group I'm in. Interesting trying to figure out all that Articles of Incorporations stuff.

Nothing new as far as submissions. OMINOUS CODE is still under serious consideration by Steeple Hill publishers.

I received two beautiful plaques today from Colorado Romance Writer's Heart of the Rockies contest 2006. One was for 1st place in the Inspirational category (Covenant SEAL0 and the other was for third place in the Inspirational category (Stealth Surrender). I also received a three page critique of my entries from teh final judge, who is Jim Peterson of Peterson, Ink. Senior acquisitions editor from Barbour publishing's Heartsong Presents line.

His comments made me laugh out loud. His appraisal of my work was kind but honest, for which I'm thankful. He helped me see some changes I need to make and why. One part he thought I had a typo though was an intentional mistake. A character had said, "I'm deeply embedded." and the editor mentioned that should have read, "Deeply indebted," but the very next line, my hero has an internal monologue where he acknowledges CO Pike's verbal blunder. Then one judge marked the word MAROON! on my ms to Moron. But I intended it to be MOROON! because it was in reference to something on her t-shirt. It was supposed to be a display of her sarcastic humor, but that brings me to a question:

How to balance these subtle things with not RUE...or resisting the urge to explain. Because if I explain, I'm taking the reader out of the story. So I need to figure out how to execute this sort of thing better.

Interestingly, one of the scenes this editor loved, another judge hated and said I should delete it. So again, judging is subjective. What one judge hates, another will love. Then some will be indifferent. I don't change those things right off the bat. The things I do know I need to change however are things that get consistantly brought up. Such as the fact that, Oh...9 or 10 people, two of which are editors, are telling me I'm waaaaaay too technical in Stealth Surrender. So this is definitely an issue and I'll change it hands down. No question readers will have a problem with it. Jim put it nicely. He said, "You don't want to alienate or frustrate your readers." True. I don't.

I don't want to talk above them and I don't want to talk below them. So I'm heading for the delete key now.....




Sunday, May 14, 2006


I've been in the process of stepping out in obedience to God on some things, and boy it's been painful. I feel Him tugging me away from some writing and critique groups, streamlining, and redirecting me to stop volunteering and write more. I'm also facing hip surgery so I'm praying about homeschooling my children for the next year. Please pray for wisdom for me to make the right decisions. I love that God has made clear in His word that He doesn't mind us asking for wisdom, and how He freely loves to give it. So that's reassuring. Problem is, I'm a really loyal person. When I commit to something, I hate to break that committment.

The church I attend has a great focus on small group ministry. In a church the size of ours, it's crucial in building and maintaining relationships in the church. So it's good, but there's a painful side of that too. When you've grown close to people, then the group grows too large to be healthy and intimate, then it multiplies. It can seem like relationships are broken, but it's for the greater good. It's for the kingdom. I know God will never ask us to step away from anything, unless it's for our own good, and/or for the good of His purpose and His kingdom.

I hope this message speaks to someone today. If you're struggling with change or transition, this may be for you. It could be a relationship you know is not right, could be your choice of career, or friends. Obedience hurts sometimes, but if we could see what God sees as far as rationale and outcome, I think we'd run toward it instead of shrinking back or dreading it.

Different people step in and out of our lives in different seasons, and for different reasons. When a relationship with Jesus bonds a group of friends, nothing, not time, or space, or geographics, or revamping time committments can alter that. Remembering that has helped me in making some of the decisions to pull out of groups. I know I'm called to write. But I'm spending so much time critting, I don't have time to write. I know I'm called to write. I wasn't always sure, but I am now. I'm speaking that in faith. I'd rather run hard after God and do my best at something I believe He wants me to do, even if there's a chance I'm wrong, than shy away from doing something if there's the slightest chance He's asking me to do it. I can't worry about hurting feelings or offending. Well, I shouldn't, just put it that way. Truth is I care about what God thinks more, but I also care about what people think about God because of me. So that's what makes some of these decisions hard. But God has his reasons and I have to trust. If anyone taught me that, it was Debra Clopton. I know He's called me to write. Yes, I know I've said that three times, but there is a reason (between God and I) for that. I also know I'm called to be a lover of God and His son and His precious Holy Spirit first, then my husband and children. Then my family and church. Then my writing and my friends. The first three priorities will never change, nor the order. But at times, I think God moves the next three around, according to His focus and what He's doing in and through and to me at the time. So my heart list will always be:


Sometimes I want to put my children first, and in some cases, like abuse, yes. Definitely. But that's not my case. So please pray for the people in my life to understand as I enter this next season. Please pray that I'll spend time on what and who He wants. Not a minute more and not a minute less.

Bless you and thanks for hanging in.


Haven't heard from Melissa at Steeple Hill yet. So I'm slowly working on my proposal for Warner Faith, even though I don't really want to. LOL! I have most of it done, just polishing up. I've been tinkering with the next story in my PJ series. TGTN. Since titles aren't copywrited, I don't want to put it on a public loop, and I LOVE it. I hope they keep it when (speaking in faith!) this book is contracted.

I'm also working on the Colorado trilogy, and am going to try to get it finished pretty soon. Even though the editor said she won't be able to get to it (meaning for consideration)until Fall, you never know when a slot will open due to someone not being able to meet a deadline due to unforseen circumstances or something. So I'd feel better having it finished.

I've been craving His word like water. Thank you, Father for putting that thirst back. The desire for you and for your words are a blessing that I will never take for granted again. I'm shaking off the sand from my shoulders and my knees and dumping it from my shoes. Been in this desert wasteland far too long and it feels good to be back home. In your presence, like a refreshing waterfall. Washing. Feeding. But I pray my thirst is never quite quenched, so I run hard after you and drop the things you ask without looking back. I love you. Help me hear and obey. Help Lisa. Help the doctors to find what's wrong and heal her. Thank you for what happened two days ago. You know what that meant, now answer his prayers. You heard his heart, his fears, his vulnerability. Help him trust you. Keep the enemy away from my family. Thwart evil plans and have your way, God. Have your way in me, in my marriage, in my children, in my relationships, in my writing, in my time, in my giving, in the hearts of the people in my life.

I love you so much. Thank you for all you've given me. I'm truly humbled and awed, and thank you isn't strong enough. But I'm going to keep saying it anyway. Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you. Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you.Thank you, times a gazillion every second from now through eternity.


Saturday, May 13, 2006


I was asked to take part in a writing project at church. So I did, even though I was not at all passionate about that particular project. But I had a lot of fun working with someone who doesn't think she's a writer but I think she's a writer. Anyway, I helped her with hers....even though she really didn't need help because she has a better handle on it than she thinks. That part was fun, getting to know her. And I was humbled that they asked me to write something.

Then they didn't use it. LOLOLOL!

Talk about humbling. Sigh. But I love the idea of a women's eletter. If you've done this at your church, let me know what worked and what didn't. Now when I submit something I'm going to be totally paranoid.

I think I'll stick with fiction, thank you. LOLOLOL!

Okay I confess I was a little irritated for the first half of the day....not because I think my writing is that good but because it took a LOT of time and I hate wasted time. Especially when it's time away from my children. But maybe it wasn't wasted. God knows. But He's not tellin' me. LOL! I just have to be very strict with my writing time otherwise my girls have cyber rivalry and tell me they think I love the keyboard more than them.

So I'm praying for God to show me what to cut out so I can make a fool of myself if they ask me to submit something again. EEEEEK. LOLOLOL! But this time, I'm not spending 14 hours on it. LOLOLOL!

Sigh. Rejected by my own church. Hmmm. That happens quite often come to think of it. Just when I think I'm something, God topples the pedestal. LOLOL! Okay I'm making myself out out to be prideful but actually that's in jest. It rattled my comfort level just admitting to people at my church that I've been trying to learn how to write. And in fact, I didn't admit it at first, my husband blabbed it because he was proud of me. What a sweetie. He already has me on the NYT Bestseller list.

Maybe I'll live in bliss awhile longer and let him retain his delusion that I'm something. At least someone out there believes in me. Tee hee. Oh and of course my mom and dad are pretty proud of my accomplishments. And you know, they get most of the credit as well as God, since they all encouraged me to chase this silly dream.

Sometimes it's like blowing bubbles as a child. You blow them and it's wondrous to see the glistening orbs floating with irridescent rainbows all around you. Then you extend your hand to brush your finger along one....and....

Pop. What a let down! LOLOL!

Yep. Writing is like that sometimes. And by the way, I do love my home church, even if they did reject me. ROFL! Not that I'm holding a grudge or anything. 14 hours....GRRRRRRRRRR! WInk. Wink.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Writing News:

Covenant SEAL came in third place. First time I've placed third, and though it feels like I came in last for the world to see, last year I didn't final at all in this contest. So I should just stop sulking. LOL!

I had a wonderful phone conversation with my agent yesterday, and I just want to say how thankful I am for her. She's so supportive and one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Visit her agency at

And her author website at

In addition to being a stellar agent, she's a wonderful author. I especially like her historical romances.

My friend, Camy Tang, just got a three book contract with Zondervan. Check out her website and congratulate her. Camy amazes me with all she does.

My friend Pamela James is finishing up her story this month and getting ready to submit. She's been so diligent in polishing that story and I pray her efforts are rewarded.

My friend Heather is so close to finishing her ms that she could sneeze and hit The End. I'm so proud of her. She builds excellent blogs and hopefully websites soon.

We make up the Fab Four of

Check out our reviews!

Personal News:

My surgery has been moved to July 31st, so I have a couple mroe weeks to lose weight. I'm kind of bummed because that means I probably could have gone to RWA but I trust that God knows what He's doing.

I've grafted myself back in my home church after hibernating for a couple of years. It feels good to be obedient.

I had a wonderful and surprising phone call from one of the OB employees I used to work with. She said, "I get so lonely for you sometimes." And I cried the rest of the day thinking of how special her words were and how she touched my heart. I miss the people and confess I've not done a very good job of keeping in touch. I tend to neglect my friendships and I am cutting back on stuff so I can focus more on people instead of things. I just want my life to matter. I just want the love of God to reach through me and my talents and touch deeply and irrevokably the hearts of others. I want God's will and purpose to be fulfilled in me and through me. Mostly,

I want people to know Him. I want quality stories with impact. I want everything I spend time doing to matter. Even if it's taking a drink of water to a child. That's where I am right now. And it matters. It matters to them and it matters to God. I love the freedom that comes with a relationship with Him. I love His forgiveness and grace, and that as much as I don't want to look back at my life with regret, He doesn't want that for me either. So I love how He keeps me in line by gentle nudges when I get off track. Okay and when I get waaaay off track, his nudges are a tad more jarring. But I'm thankful for a soft heart that longs to hear and obey. He is good. And I can't wait to see what He has in store.


Monday, May 08, 2006


I've been pressing in more. Gotten my passion for His words back, so I've been immersed in it more. Not just non-fiction devotionals and stuff, but the actual Bible. We had a womens day conference at church yesterday and it went awesome. God began giving me a heart for womens ministry several months ago, and it was that time that I realized they're probably the reason He's calling me to write.

I'm praying for my sister. She's sick and they can't find what's wrong with her. Please pray for her. Her name's Lisa.

I've been mentally plotting TGTN book. I'm SO excited about these characters and this story. But before I can dive into that, I have to get my Warner Faith Proposal together for teh Genesis contest in case I end up being one of the top five. OF course, if my dream publisher...Steeple Hill...would offer me a contract then they'd save me the trouble of going through the torture. LOLOL! I so suck at proposals.

I'm synopsis challenged. If you struggle with the link to the right that says, "Camy's story sensei." She's a great structural editor, and can do a fab job looking over your synopsis and stuff.

If you still need to get your manuscript in order, I suggest Robin Miller's Critique also at the side.

Tiff Miller at Eagle Designs took over my website when Misty refocused on her writing...go Misty!!! and I will have her link up shortly, but you can engine search it online. She's done celebrity websites and stuff. She's so nice and helpful and doesn't make fun of me because I don't know the difference between an ISP and a frisbee.

I'm struggling to find time to write. I'm overloaded with crit groups, and I know God's calling me into mentoring. Please say a prayer for me that I'll know where to borrow time from. God and my family comes absolutely first. I've already given up TV and IM. WAAAAAAAAAA! And I only check my email once a day. I went digest or no mail to most of my online writing groups.

I've had two pubbed authors offer to endorse my books! That was an answer to prayer.

I've had several friends get multibook contracts recently, and several other friends received rejections. That's so hard because they are ALL good writers. I think God's timing has a lot to do with it. I don't understand, I just wish there were more slots available. More openings. Rejection is hard, but something every writer goes through. Take my word for it, it's disheartening. But instead of looking at it like rejection, I try to have the mindset that it's redirection. Either this isn't the right house for me, or the right readership base, or my writing isn't there yet. EEEK I hope that's not the case. But even still, I don't think people should ever stop learning or improving.

Some friends and I started a book review blog. Check it out at

Lena Nelson Dooley and Vickie McDonough and I just mailed off the trilogy for consideration to Barbour Publisher's Heartsong Presents. That could take 18 months to a couple years to hear back so we basically send it and forget about it. A Colorado historical...the one that replaced the New Mexico one. GOOD news is, I can still use the New Mexico one, target it to the new historical line at Steeple Hill.

Ominous Code is still under consideration at Steeple Hill publishers.

Ambient Betrayal...well we retracted that one after two years of not hearing back since my writing's gotten stronger since then. Two years, standard wait for some publishers. Editors are very, very busy people. Some people follow up after like, three months of not hearing back. Not me. I don't say a word until at least 6 months. I feel to be considerate is just as important. Of course it's okay to follow up...just don't be psychotic about it...or I can pretty much guarantee you'll get a quick answer...and probably not the one you wanted. Editors aren't just looking for good stories...they want authors they can work with without pulling their hair, or poking their eyes out with the red pen.

Okay, hardly anyone uses red ominous pens anymore but you get the point.

I got to help a friend at church work on an article for our women's eletter. All three of our articles got rejected, but oh well. LOL! I just hate the time I spent away from my kids while working on that which irritated me at first, but I think it was harder on my friend because she'd never written anything for submission before. But the good thing that came out of it was I think it showed her she really can write. She's an avid journaler, and I think that's sometimes a sign of a writer. She has a strong voice and uses active verbs, creates excellent imagery with words, so I hope she doesn't give up.


SO much for me saying I love hard critiques. LOLOLOL! I just got a packet back from a contest I'd entered many, many months ago.

Sigh. judge attacked ME and not my writing. Said the opening wasn't plausible.

HELLO! I based it on a TRUE STORY....something that really did happen to me! Only I changed a couple details but yes absolutely it is plausible. This is one of those situations where I wish I could go argue with that judge. LOLOL!


Testing. One. Two. Testing.

OKay, so when I wrote that contest comment post....I was definitely NOT saying I embrace STUPID comments from judges. Or when you know they're just being totally opinionated, and it has nothing to do with your story, or the craft. Those crits go through the shredder...and I enjoy every second of seeing those pages get crossripped to shreds.

Then to make me feel even better, I put them in the concrete ditch outside my yard and I BURN them.

Speaking of, one day I was standing at the top of the concrete ditch, burning credit card trash, and my shoes slipped on the tiny gravel lining the top of the ditch. The more I tried to backpeddal with my feet, the further I slipped. Then boom, I land on my butt, and I'm up to my ankles in FIRE! I scramble out of the ditch, after slipping back down in a couple times because it was steep, I managed to get out. Hands bleeding from the scrape. The soles of my dress shoes (I know, dumb) melted off so you couldn't see the tread. And, well, we don't want to talk about what happened to my butt. Not a pretty sight. My neighbor leaned out the door, "You okay?"

I'm sitting in the road kicking my burning shoes off, "Yep. Fine. Just trying to set myself on fire is all."

She blinked four times, drew her brows together, went back in and closed her door.

Sigh. At least our fire chief lives down the street. LOLOL!

EEEK. How embarrassing.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Not me. God. I had the extreme privilage of being able to coordinate some writing contests this year. Up until last year, I'd only been an entrant. Then close to the end of the year, I was asked to judge. Since then I've judged several and you know, I had no idea HOW HARD it is. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but you want to be honest. Correction, you HAVE to be honest...or it's not doing the entrant any good.

That said, I'm really, really glad I've gotten some really scathing contest remarks. It's kept me mindful as I've made comments. As I've been praying for the entrants in the contests, I felt like God's been teaching me stuff. Stuff about my writing. Stuff about my heart. Stuff about my own responses to critiques. They say you have to grow a tough skin in order to survive this industry. But I'm not sure how exactly that happens. Maybe a combination of things helps. Maybe we grow immune to harsness, and actually, I've come to crave harder critiques from people who are brutally honest and don't hold back. Whammo. They let me have it. But these are people close to me who KNOW writing. I crave positive comments less, whereas before, I thrived on them. Oh, I still love them, but I'm learning to love the hard stuff more. And I'm just now beginning to really appreciate some of the really hard stuff I heard in the very beginning of this road when I KNEW NOTHING of the craft of fiction. Didn't know there was an art to crafting stories. I guess I just assumed that if you managed to finish a book then someone would buy it. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

In the beginning, those hard critiques made me cry, they made me mad at the person who was honest, because of course I thought they had to be wrong. How I wish I would have embraced those comments more instead of jerked back away from the sting. How I wish I would have thrown myself into what they were trying to get across instead of running as fast as I could. I so respect those people now and it's been interesting fielding comment concerns from the entrants I consider in my charge as coordinator. It brought back memories, and made me realize that I think God probably has alterior motives for each of us in this journey to publication. I think He's more concerned with the journey than the destination. I think contests and critiques are as much a test of our wills, our perseverance, our motives, and our hearts as they are a temperature check and gauge of where we are at this present time in the craft of writing.

I don't want this to be all about me. My ulterior motive for this convo is to get you guys talking. How do you deal with hearing hard things about your writing? How have you built your tough skin? What sort of critique do you find most helpful? The gentle easy ones which surround suggestions for change with positive comments...known as the sandwich method? Okay, talk away! I'm interested in knowing your thoughts on this.