Thursday, July 24, 2008

Genesis contest finalist

Time to announce that back in mid April I was notified that the first 15 pages of Kindred, which I entered in the ACFW Genesis contest (under a different title to preserve anonymity), is a finalist in the Historical category. I had to wait until July 15th, to the best of my understanding, in order to mention it on my blog. So, consider it mentioned!

The winners will be announced at the ACFW conference in Minneapolis, in mid September. Fortunately I don't have to attend in order to place. That just wasn't possible this year. But I did send in a photo and apparently my work will have a mention during the presentation of awards (whether or not I place in the top three).

I'll post about the results as soon as I have them.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to get back on track and finish this book (for crying out loud!). Hiero's death and a few other happenings this month broke my stride, but I'm working back up to normal (and hopefully above normal) production again.

I wrote 405 new words today. I consider 1000-1500 words a good day's work, when I'm writing rough draft. Plenty room for improvement here. But I'm thankful for this one answered prayer, prayed for many days now, that I would overcome my struggles and distractions, and get cracking on the new scenes in this final section. I'd like to have it finished by the time the contest finals roll around, so I can be ready to send it out to agents and/or publishers. Not sure it's going to happen now, but I'll take it one day at time. May the Lord redeem the time that was lost.

I wasn't totally unproductive while I was unable to write the new stuff. I've edited many of the existing scenes in this section. Even though it's the end of the book, some of this material is the first bits of Kindred I ever wrote, over four years ago now. That's plenty enough to time to gain objectivity, and to see just how overwritten they were.

Snip, snip... whack!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

10 Things

A writer acquaintance from the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum developed this fun meme some months back.

Then Things About Me as a Writer

1. Your genre(s)?
Historical at present, although I've written contemporary, fantasy, and one children's book.

2. How many books have you completed?
Three, and nearly finished my fourth. I've written more than half of two others.

3. How many books are you working on now?

4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?
Linear before cancer, chunk after, swinging back toward linear now.

5. The POV you're most partial to?
Third person, as deep as I can get it. Although working with first person for the first time with KINDRED has been interesting. I'd do it again!

6. The theme that keeps cropping up in your books?
The Prodigal Son, and father/son themes in general. In the two cases the son had a good relationship with his father, that father is deceased and deeply missed and his guidance still needed. I have no idea why this theme crops up so consistently, seeing as I'm neither a son nor a father. It chose me.

Another theme (the title of which I'm stealing from Beth Shope's recent post on themes--and also where I discovered the link to this meme) is Duty vs. Desire. This goes hand in hand with the Prodigal Son theme, and is particularly suited to historicals, when duty and family loyalty, honor and reputation were of great importance, more so than they seem to be today. Ian Cameron struggles with this issue throughout KINDRED, and in the end has to make a terribly difficult choice in the matter.

7. How many days a week do you write?
usually 5-6

8. What time of day do you get your best writing done?
9AM to noon. Sometimes again from 1pm to 3pm, though that doesn't happen every day. This is my schedule as long as life doesn't throw a curve ball, as it does from time to time.

9. Who are your mentors?
The good and generous writers at the CompuServe Books and Writers Forum. Among them Diana Gabaldon, Jo Bourne, Beth Shope, Barbara Rogan, Lauri Klobas.

10. Who are your favorite authors to read? (different from mentors)
Ellis Peters; Anne Perry; Francine Rivers; Tolkien; there are scads, so I'm sure I'll think of more....

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In Memoriam

We said farewell to our beloved boy, Hiero, yesterday, July 2 at 6:30pm. He was diagnosed with advanced and spreading cancer, was in constant need of pain medication and fluids to combat a sudden high fever. He was no longer eating or drinking on his own, so we were forced to make the difficult but necessary decision to end his suffering.

Hiero blessed us with thirteen years of love and laughter with his quirky ways, his hugs and his unconquerable joy of life, even in those final months when he was surely not feeling his best, but never once complained. He taught us much about love, and friendship, and selflessness, and fun. He left his paw prints all over our house... and our hearts.

We love you, Hiero. We'll be expecting a double high-five in heaven, buddy-ro.