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Showing posts from May, 2015

Writers Block Woes

I deleted two chapters today.
I wrote them.  And then I deleted them.
They were horrible.
The problem is that I kind of know what I want to say next in my story...but not exactly.  It's like smacking clay onto a sculpture blindfolded.  You hope you hit something that feels right.
Only I didn't.  My blobs of words were far off the mark.  Blek.  I wouldn't want to read that mess.
So I have ended the day with no more words than I started with.
And I am searching my mind for some word of inspiration that keeps the day from feeling like a total failure.
The best that I can come up with is from a story about a couple of oil drillers.  The young one was frustrated after a day of drilling with no discovery of oil. But the old one was contented.  He said sometimes it is just as important to know where oil ain't.
Yep.  That's what I'm telling myself.

Only Two More Days!!!

Only two more days until Rooglewood's contest announcement.  Which means that in two days you can check back here to see the cover reveal and to find out this year's foundational tale.  All of us who have been making guesses all year will find out how close we were (or how far away!).

     And then we can all start brainstorming!

Guest Post by Emily!

Character Creation by Emily Ann Putzke
My character in Ain’t We Got Fun is Georgiana (Gi) Rowland, the older sister of Bess. Their family is struggling during the Great Depression, so Gi takes off for NYC to make a fortune and help them out. The sisters recount their adventures, joys and heartaches to each other. My co-author, Emily Chapman, and I wrote this story in letter form in January. Our characters are very different people! Here are a 5 things that helped me bring Gi to life, and give her a personality that’s all her own.
1.  Give Your Characters Flaws None of us are perfect, so our characters shouldn't be either. Gi is a fun, loyal, light hearted girl with big dreams. But she has a flaw that she struggles with throughout the entire story. Pride. She’s very stubborn, independent, and doesn’t want anything from anybody.
2. Use That Flaw to Stretch and Change Your Character Pride gets Gi in quite a few scrapes. Throughout AWGF, she’s constantly battling with it. Everytime she thi…

Epic Bible Quote Challenge

“Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17  Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”

Journaling is Like Pantsing

I'm trying to wrap my mind around my own life.  You know, first impressions can be bent into either direction.  I can see a person or a job or anything in a negative light.
You won't believe this girl I saw today.  She was the most backward tomboy I ever met...I walked into the clinic and heard a dog's heartbroken sob.  And I knew I couldn't work here. Or, as Elizabeth Bennet (in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice) said, "I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry." But where it goes from there is completely unpredictable.  I could discover that the backward tomboy made the very best friend, and, only months later, find us nearly inseparable.  The clinic could become the calling of my life.  And Elizabeth Bennet could end up knowing Mr. Darcy to be the finest man she had ever met.  Or the reverse could happen.  After all, Elizabeth also knew that she wouldn't marry Mr. Col…

Rooglewood Contest: Cover Reveal Coming June 1st

Ladies and Gentlemen,
     I will be participating in the cover reveal for the 2015 Rooglewood Creative Writing Contest.  This means that one week from today, all of you will find out which story this contest is featuring and you can start sharpening your pencils.
     Their previous contests were as follows:

Five Glass Slippers (a Cinderella retelling)


Five Enchanted Roses (a Beauty and the Beast retelling)

Check back on June 1st to see the cover for the next anthology and to discover the contest parameters for this year!

P.S. I haven't seen it yet, and I am just as eager as you are!

Upcoming AWGF Blog Tour

Hi, guys!  I'm just popping in with a quick announcement.  Next week is the Ain't We Got Fun blog tour, and we will be hosting Emily on toward the end of the week here. You can see her blog post from last Thursday, talking about her "happenings" here. I love hearing her talk about her exciting projects, and I enjoy her photos. I can hardly wait to have her on my blog next week!

Epic Bible Quote Challenge

PSALM 18:6-19
In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet.

And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke,…

Lizard Skeletons

I pulled out TCK again today.  I have 3 critiquers, and they are all moving through the story at different speeds (which is great).  One is in chapter 1, one is in chapter 3, and one is in chapter 6.
    Thanks to my critiquers, I am doing some fun things such as:
1. studying lizard skeletons
2. building better descriptions to prompt a reader's imagination
3. researching Masai lion hunters
4. adding polish to each chapter
How about you?  What are you doing in your edits right now?

About Me

If you hadn't already noticed from my excited posts, I have some new followers in the past year.  And I would like to welcome all of you and tell you a little bit about myself.

*    *    *      I am a young adult, a middle child with three siblings -- although I like to say that I have been an oldest, a middle, a youngest, and sort-of-an-only (try and figure that one out!).  I plan to live to be about 120 years old...maybe older (yes, you read that correctly).  I reside in a beautiful state with lots of trees.  I love animals, and I love to be outside.
     I have always enjoyed telling stories, and I first started to consider myself a writer somewhere around the age of 7 years old (which title, I assure you, was entirely undeserved at that point).  Honestly, I think that my craft first started showing real promise about a year or two ago.  And I still don't have anything that I think is ready to be published.
     But I will.  I am going to keep working at it, and conti…

Epic Bible Quote Challenge

Hi, everybody!
     Today is the start of the epic Bible quote challenge.  So search your Bibles for pieces that sound like part of a great story, or like epic advice, or like wisdom for writers.  Then post the quote (or a link to the quote) in the comments below.

     Here is the quote that I picked.  It is from 1 Samuel 22:2.  I love how it makes David sound like a real-life, good-guy Robin Hood.  :)

"And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men."

Stick Figure Blues

Do you ever feel like you have a masterpiece inside of you - something of grandest proportions -- but when you try to draw it, it comes out looking like a stick figure?

Epic Bible Quote Challenge

I am going to start a new quote challenge.  Who's with me!?!

     This one is Bible-based.  As you read the Bible, look for story-type quotes.  This could be some epic scene, or a word of wisdom such as would be shared by a wise character.  It could be from a story, or it could be about stories.  The purpose is to learn from the greatest Storyteller of all time -- the One who is writing the story of life.

     Every Friday for the next month, I am going to post a quote from the Bible.  To join me, search your Bible and find a good quote.  Then post it on your own blog and leave the link in my comments.  Or, if you don't have a blog, simply put the quote into my comment section.  I look forward to see what you guys find!

A Bit About the Rooglewood Contest

. One of my readers told me that she didn't know about the Rooglewood contest. So, on the chance that some of the rest of you are also new to the contest, let me share what I know about it.  This is merely for the sake of those of you who haven't heard about this before -- so that, in all fairness, you know what I know.
. Since the rules for this have not been released yet, I can only share what I remember from previous years. On June 1st, Rooglewood Press announces which fairy tale they are featuring. Writers are commissioned to write their own version, being as creative as they like, while still including enough elements of the original tale to be recognizable. Stories are to be between 5k and 20k words. The deadline for entering your name was mid-December, and the deadline for submission of the story was at the very end of December.
. The stories are judged by a panel of judges, and five stories are chosen as winners. There is a small monetary prize, but th…

What To Do When Critics Expect More Than You Can Give

I imagine at some point in everyone's writing career, a critic demands more than you know how to give.
    You create a story...slave over it in your secret writing, hate, and adore it...pour your own sweat, blood, and tears into it.  You laugh over your funny scenes, cry over the sad ones, and fall in love with your own hero.
     Then comes the day when you share it with a critique partner.
     And they hate it.
     They have a million things to say about its faults.  It's too much of this and too little of that.  It's boring/frustrating/disappointing/confusing.  Your hero is annoying.  The story moves too fast or too slow.  The writing is choppy and stilted.
     And the worst thing is... know they are right.

     But the problem is not just how much it hurts, but also that you have no idea how to fix it.  The advice of your friends sounds like Greek to you.  None of it makes sense.  And you really don't want to make sense of it.  It…

Beautiful People: Calene and Droben

Hi!  I'm linking up for Beautiful People, the monthly character questions hosted by Sky and Cait.  This month, I am featuring the two brothers from ToP.  They are supposed to be jointly ruling the country while their father is ill -- a challenging arrangement, to say the least.
I don't have pictures for them yet, so I will give you a brief physical description.  
----Calene is 35 years old, blonde hair, tall -- usually seen with a pleasant countenance or a slightly pained look (when around Droben).  
----Droben is 30 years old, dark hair, stocky -- usually seen with a scowl, amused look, or a showman's face.

1. Do they get nightmares? If so, why or what of?
Calene: Sometimes. Various themes, but one reoccurring theme involves him not able to manage the country.  Sometimes he dreams that Droben ruins everything.
Droben: He hates nightmares. He'd rather stay up late and then take sleep medicine.

2. What is their biggest guilty pleasure/secret shame?
Calene: Hmmm...I'll have …

Upcoming Contest

I was thinking today of Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her upcoming fairy tale retelling contest.  It's less than a month until she announces this year's topic, you know.  Curiosity made me pop over to her blog to see if anything new had been posted.  And it had!
      I feel a little at limbo, wanting to get my current projects to a good stopping place so I can focus on her contest when it comes out.  And I am eager to find out what this year's contest will be.  Her clues, far from helping me uncover details, have only baffled me further.  I am not Sherlock.  All my efforts to guess have been fruitless.  Apparently, I am more of a Watson; and I will sit back and wait for her to tell me what it is (all the while, admiring her genius).

      If the appeal of her contest was not enough, I am pleased to see how well the previous anthologies are doing.  Five Glass Slippers has been a top seller on Amazon and is now being translated into foreign languages.  Five Enchanted Rose…

Baker's Dozen

A Baker's Dozen, in case you didn't know, is thirteen.  And the reason that I so happily chose that as my title is because I now have 13 followers...which is huge for me.  Thank you, followers!!!!

I was reading a post by Janie today (at and really sympathized with her celebration over 5 whole interested people.  I have a relatively small following and, when I get 5 comments, I am over the moon with amazement.  It's absolutely delightful to get feedback from you guys.  And you should know that you are super-important to me.

Thanks again!

Time-Traveler Letter from 2014

Hello, everyone!  In case you haven't read the title of this post, let me inform you that this is a time-traveler letter from 2014.  In other words, you are reading this on May 1, 2015, but I am writing this a year before.  Writing time-traveler letters to myself is something I have done for years, but doing it on a blog is something recently inspired by a fellow writer who calls herself Anne-girl.
      There are a number of blogs that have been influential for me, but, as of May 2014, the top two are and  It will be neat to see whether I still follow those two writers in 2015 and who else has been influential.
     I have Dungeon completed in a draft form, and it needs to be rewritten.  The same goes for Ariana's Island.  The new project I am working on is still untitled and has been going under the name of "BB" (which isn't really a name at all but is a way I can reference it …