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Showing posts from May, 2018

The Road to "My Compass Home" : In the Details

One of the hardest things for me as a writer?

Picking and choosing details.

I am a very detail-oriented person and love describing things with flair and uniqueness...however, oftentimes readers just want to get to the point or maybe don't even understand what I'm getting at.  This is the stage I'm at right now with the book: the next to the last editing cycle where I spend hours deliberating on whether I should add that detail or take this one out.  I can go on for two paragraphs detailing a first kiss, or only a couple of sentences to describe an entire town: there's no in-between and I have to somehow find that "in-between."  A lot of writers are told to "show, don't tell" but I can take that out of hand a zillion times over.  I once had a professor ask me to TELL more and show less.  What you guys see is often a largely pared-down version of my writing because of those rules.

Rule of thumb: don't go into detail on one specific object for …

Week In Review: Promos, Procrastination, and Plays

Hey everyone!
First and foremost, I hope you all have a great - and safe - Memorial Day weekend!


Also...frantically, on Wednesday, I remembered the deals I wanted to offer over the holiday weekend.  Cue me racing to my computer, hoping KDP would allow me to launch promotions within such a short time frame.  Alas, everything was fine, so...

Beautiful Chaos is available as a *free* download and Everything I Never Said is available as a countdown deal. Saturday May 26th, it is available for $0.99. Sunday, it will go up to $1.99, and Monday it will be $2.99, which will be the last day of the sale.
If you're more of a paperback fan, I'm also offering sale prices for them, up until the 29th:
Everything I Never Said is on sale for $3.99
Beautiful Chaos is on sale for $10.99
Welcome Home is on sale for $5.99 (If you're anticipating the release of My Compass Home, I recommend buying the paperback of Welcome Home now so you have time to read it first!)

Before I even posted anythin…

The Road to "My Compass Home": Timing is Everything

I am excited to announce that as of 12:40 AM this morning (or last night, depending on how you look at it), I am halfway through typing the second draft of My Compass Home.  I intend to publish it the first week of July during the two-year anniversary of Welcome Home's publication, but we'll see!

It's always important to consider the timing of a series.  When is it appropriate to continue the story, and when is it a good time to stop?  Welcome Home surely could have been a standalone story, despite the fact that I wrote over 60,000 words that were never included in the story (and later got deleted with a hard drive failure *sigh*).  Knowing when a story is finished -- tastefully so -- is an important key to any series, and mine is no different.  While Lucy and Spencer's love story technically could have finished off with their engagement in the first book, there were doors left open for a good many things: Spencer's PTSD and how it would affect his new family, Lucy…

Week In Review: Finales, Come They Will

The first week free from college....
Only for a few more weeks until one of my summer classes starts up.

When my advisor told me I should take summer classes to fulfill the last two requirements for my psychology minor, I was all for it.  Relieved, even, that I could do so online.  But now that it's sunken in that I'm wasting a summer on schoolwork....Nope. 


Currently Reading: Umm...nothing much this week.  I've still been too busy.

Current Projects: I came up with some short story, novelette, and poem ideas for various projects that I only have inklings of plans for, and I came up with some fresh continuity choices for my two main series.
Current Bible Verse: Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice (alt: laugh) in the time to come.  (Proverbs 31:25, NKJV).  
And a special verse for all the college and upcoming high school grads out there: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and…

The Road to "My Compass Home": Archetypal Casting

When you're writing anything, it's important to know your characters to a certain extent.  In addition to that, knowing how your characters work together may very well save your work! 
While writing the Faith, Hope, and Love collection books, I knew that the supporting cast would be almost as important as Spencer and Lucy.  While the "background" characters come front and center in subsequent books, the bases given to them in Welcome Home provide crucial information and allows for the series to flow well.  I'm not ashamed to admit the use of archetypes when forming the characters, because many great authors use character archetypes that have arguably originated from the Bible. 

We have the "wise old man" archetype in Mr. Barnes, who is steadfast, almost a father (or grandfather) figure to Lucy when she needs it most (and will be there for Levi and Spencer as well). 

The "jester" archetype is in Levi, who was originally intended merely for comi…

Week in Review: May I Be Brief?

Just a quick post today, sorry guys...I'm  rather burnt out from this week as a whole....and I didn't  die this week, so that's a plus.  I'm officially done with my junior  year of college.

Although  I have two courses to work on this summer, it's  nice to  have a little  bit of time off anyway.  
Current Projects: the 150th anniversary play for my church...again.  Only about  3 1/2 weeks until  showtime and no I'm  not freaking out  over that at ALL...
Currently  reading: same as last week.  I have a huge reading  list for summer, but who knows if I'll get to it...
Current Bible verse: All of Psalm 23, which we've  been studying in youth group:

I'm also hoping to get my final draft of My Compass Home finished this month before proofreading and getting  it out there for the world! About time, too, since the first installment of the series was published nearly  two years ago....which is hard to believe!

What are your plans for the summer?

Call For Betas!

Hey everyone!  Instead of a post this week about  My Compass Home (which I'm too busy to write because of finals) I'm asking for your help. 

I  am currently in the process of writing a novel to submit to Hallmark Publishing, Love-Inspired, and maybe a couple of other publishing houses.  The due date for Hallmark is September 3rd --Labor Day, so I really need to get cracking on the novel.  Because of that, I am currently considering the option of having a few beta readers to look over whatever I have written by next month.  (Might be an entire first draft, might only be 70% of a draft; it depends on how quickly I'm writing.)  Obviously, I'm not entirely sure whether I'll have the book done in time for it to be looked over by beta readers, so this is just a tentative request, but here are the specs:

The specs:

Title: Winning Holly's Heart
Rough Synopsis: A young woman (Holly) runs a therapeutic riding stable and is given the option to enter a local competition for…

Week In Review: A Day Late & A Dollar Short

My apologies for not posting this yesterday, as is my routine.  I had a plethora of coursework to do, and despite having taken out a chunk of that, I'm still slavin' away today with it.  But I didn't want to leave this go any longer than necessary, so without further ado:
As of today, it's finals week, guys.
It was all of last week as well, but this is the real deal.  I had three essays for one class.  I had so many Spanish assignments I had a dream about speaking Spanish.  My psychology-statistics class was easy this week, and it's never easy.  Which means the final, obviously, is going to be treacherous.

And this week, I have at least 4 exams, 1 term essay, and some other assignments to wrap up...and the studying that comes along with it.  And this week happens to be the same week that I have CPR training re-certifications for work, the farrier coming out to trim the horses' hooves, and play practices are starting again for that 150th anniversary play I keep …

The Road to "My Compass Home": Finding Home Base

Every story needs a setting, obviously.  It needs a tangible world that the reader can comprehend and see in their mind's eye -- otherwise, the characters are just existing...somewhere.  This can also make or break a story, especially depending on your genre. 

No pressure, right?

When I began writing this series, I researched homelessness rates by state before anything else, seeing as Spencer would be entering the picture as such.  New York came up fairly high on the lists I saw on numerous websites, so that narrowed down my search criteria for the home base considerably.  The actual town was inspired by something purely awkward.

Who knew a trip to the orthodontist could spark a series?

I only went to that orthodontist once, for the initial consultation that promised straight teeth if I shaved the existing ones down and also if I yanked the ones I couldn't see out.  (Or had someone do it for me, rather.  I don't think you have many options for removing wisdom teeth.)  That …