Thursday, July 30, 2015

Snippet: Stupid Brave

    Mikaya watched him go.  Frustration and admiration wrestled for first place inside of her.  Justice was an idiot for thinking he could stand up to SPINDLE.  If he didn’t watch out, he was going to ruin something...or get killed….or both.  And she didn’t want that to happen.  Not to Justice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rooglewood Brainstorming Part 4

What do you want to say?

Have you thought about that?  About the lessons people will learn from reading your story?

Some morals are written out plainly.  Maybe the writer wrote the whole story about forgiveness.  Or friendship.  Or God's mercy.  From beginning to end, the story winds its way through the highlights of it's theme.

Some morals are more subtle.  What choices are rewarded in your story?  What choices gets the characters into trouble?  Who wins in the end?  Maybe not even the author knows what she is saying until it is all written.  That happens for me sometimes.

I don't see a lot of inspiring lessons in the original Sleeping Beauty tales (do you?), but I think it provides an easy base for whatever you want to say.

Which brings me back to my original question: 
what do you want to say?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Five Enchanted Roses release party

Hi, guys!  I just wanted to let you know that tonight on Facebook is the 5ER release party.  This is the second book resulting from Rooglewood's fairy tale contests.  The first was Five Glass Slippers, and it was released last year.  The third will be Five Magic Spindles, and it will be released next year (the stories are being written as we speak).

There is a giveaway as well.  You can read more about it on Anne Elisabeth Stengl's blog, here.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Snippet: Too Many

     “Did you enjoy the dancing last night?” Cordula cinched Ilona’s laces firmly.
     “I did.  I had more partners than I knew what to do with.”
     “Any of them catch your fancy?”  She smoothed Ilona’s hem with a practiced hand.
     Ilona leaned against her mahogany bedpost and played with the edge of the blue silk covers.  “Two…I think.”
     “Two!”  Cordula scowled.  “Well, you cannot marry but one.”

Friday, July 24, 2015

I'm so full of myself

Greetings, friends!
I've had a delightful week, in a house by myself with a passel of cats for company. It's a writer's dream, really. Front porch overlooking the mountains (complete with a porch swing). Silence - an introvert's retreat. Long hours to write, or simply to think. A shelf of unread books.
But now the week is ending and I'm bordering on ridiculous behavior. Seriously, you should see the string of texts I just sent. One poor recipient told me I was "punny" (which, while seeming to compliment my wit, is probably also a code for "cool it"). I don't know if I am merely overflowing with a refreshed brain or if I'm acting out to get attention due to my severe lack of human interaction over the past seven days.
Either way, I thought the best cure would be to sit down at a keyboard. And so here I am, with a purring cat in my lap, letting the tiniest bit of steam off my proverbial engine in the form of the written word. And while I'm not sure that a public blog is the best place to share one's pre-bursting moments, here I am.
Lest any of you feel a twinge of envy for my privileged life, you should know that I was not really at a writer's retreat. I was house-sitting with a myriad of duties on my plate. And, while I did get a lot of thinking done, I didn't get much writing done. However, it really is a house with a lovely porch and mountain view, and it COULD have been a writing haven.
Also, because I'm a single girl sitting alone on a porch, I gave a tiny bit of thought to what it must be like to be married without children yet. I am privileged to live with family. There's almost always someone around. But what if I were married and my husband at work? It would be kind of like this, wouldn't it?
Ah, there goes my alarm clock. Alas, I must leave you and rush off to attend to one of my duties. Farewell, friends!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Snippet: Alone

     “And who is going to be here in an hundred years to greet her?” Justice murmured.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Upcoming Events

Hi, friends!
     I'm just popping in to update you on my life.

     First of all, I'm going to talk about my three ideas for the Rooglewood Contest.
     The Caver's Kiss is being reviewed, piece by piece, by a couple critique partners of mine.  They are about halfway through the story.  And they are both giving me marvelous and helpful feedback.  If you have not yet let others critique your work, I highly recommend you try.  As an author, you can see the whole picture; but a critique partner will let you know if you sufficiently portrayed that picture to a reader.
     I sent SPINDLE to a blogging friend of mine to have her read it -- not a piece by piece critique, but a whole-story, how-does-this-sound type of review.  It's the first time I've had somebody do that for me, and I'm eager to hear her feedback.  There are parts to the story that I hesitate over, and, if she falters over the same parts, then I'll know for sure we need a big rewrite.
     And AAM is sitting quietly in it's folder, awaiting edits patiently.  Its snippets (that I have scheduled on my blog) make me fall in love with it all over again every week.

     Outside of writing, I am studying in preparation for an 8-hour exam.  I turned in my paperwork (outlining clinicals I successfully completed) last week, and once it is approved they will get me a test date.  If my paperwork is approved and I pass the test, I will become licensed to practice midwifery.  I've been studying and attending births for almost 6 years.  So this is exciting for me.  My hope is that my paperwork will be approved quickly, with no problems; that I will pass the test with excellence; and that the LORD will work the timing out on everything.

     The other big thing in my life right now is making sure I am "in step" with the LORD.  Life can get busy.  We can set our own goals.  We can let ourselves act less like Jesus and more like the world around us.  But that's not the direction I choose.
     I choose to spend time in His Word.  To read the Bible -- lots of it.  To think about it all through the day.  To spend time in prayer.  To pray when I first wake up.  To pray all through the day.  To pray while I exercise.  To pray when I lie down to sleep.  To sing songs to Him.  To listen to songs about Him.  To worship Him.  To listen to Him.  To obey Him.  To imitate Him.  To walk like He would walk.
     I'm done with half-way allegience.  I'm done with distractions that do nothing but help me run faster on my hamster wheel.  I'm serious about this.  And I'm all in.

     I am currently away from home for a bit (or, at least, I was when I wrote this), and spending a Sunday far from my home church.  So I drove around on Saturday and picked a church to attend on Sunday.  There are quite a few around here, so I had to "just pick one" (when you have multiple great options, with no negative consequences associated with any of them, sometimes you have to let go your desire to plan-ahead-and-make-perfect-choices and simply pick one option and stick with it).  And then I went there on Sunday morning for church.  And again on Sunday evening for a Bluegrass jam session.  I learned some things about myself and about them that were fun and fascinating.  Maybe I'll make a post about it sometime.

     Well, that's all for now, folks.  Talk to you later!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Snippet: Bald-headed Men

“And so my royal duties call me away to dance with bald-headed men.”

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Snippet: What We Believe

    Justice slowly nodded.  “Be it fact or fiction, we all choose what to believe, don’t we?”   

    Azelle lifted her chin and her eyebrows at the same time. “And I don’t believe in SPINDLE.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Questions from Janie

So I tagged The Aspiring Bard with my questions.  And she answered them!!  Her answers were fabulous and made me laugh.  :D  And then she posted questions for the next group to answer.
Typically, you wouldn't immediately jump back into the rotation of questions, but she left it open to the public and I have nothing better to do.  So here are MY answers to HER questions:
1. What's one thing that you're good at? I can bend backwards and touch my forehead with my toes.

2. What color would you choose to describe your personality? Why?  This is a hard question.  I don't think of people in colors.  And don't colors change with mood?  Hmmm.  Let's say a dark, deep red color.  It's not flashy or in your face.  It's kind of warm and soothing.  It's the richer part of pink.  It blends in well with things and yet adds a bit of color.  It deepens frivolous colors and brightens dark colors.  How's that?

3. Dream job/occupation? Writer/mother/animals

4. List three of your current favorite books/movies.
     I see this says "3 of," implying that the list itself is quite long...which is true.

     Facing the Giants
     Faith Like Potatoes
     Journey of Natty Gann

     Oliver Twist
     Spike of Swift River
     Bob, Son of Battle

5. List three of your all-time favorite books/movies.
     I'm changing this to authors and I am restricting myself to three.  And I'm not saying God because He is too great to be included in a common list.
     Charles Dickens
     Louisa May Alcott
     James Herriot

6.What plot elements/themes/characters endeared those six to you?
     I love stories with many threads that all come together (Dickens).
     I love ordinary stories about home life and daily struggles (Alcott and Herriot).
     I love the way Bob, Son of Battle made me see villains as real people.
     I love stories that inspire me to walk closer with Christ.
     I love heroes that arise from reluctant but capable sources.

7. List three of your favorite bloggers.
How about five? and

8. What specific elements/content motivated you to follow and engage with those blogs?
I like the way they view the world and share it.  They have a way with words that captures me in a way I can't quite describe.
Then, in addition to that, I love the wit, humor, and "epicness" of Janie.
I love the sweet, pleasant, live-for-Jesus atmosphere of Joy.
I love the medical student aspect and the witness of God aspect of Katherine Sophia.
I love the everyday-life, family love, historical enthusiasm, and full-of-life flavor of Emily.
And I love the encouraging-people's-talents and I-give-you-just-enough-info-to-make-you-hungry-for-more skills of Anne.

9. Frequent, short blog posts or less frequent, more in-depth posts?
Hmmm...maybe a mix.  I sometimes don't feel I have time for long posts.  But sometimes I get tired of the "fluff" of little posts.

10. What is one Bible verse or quote that has encouraged or challenged you recently?
1 Corinthians 12

Monday, July 13, 2015

SPINDLE reviewers

Greetings, my blog friends!

     I finished the first draft of SPINDLE, which is my sci-fi dystopian Sleeping Beauty retelling.  And I would love some feedback on whether or not it is worth pursuing with edits.  Are any of you interested in reading it for me?  It is only 13 pages long.   Leave me a comment below.

     Or email me at

                                                                                  Thank you!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Snippet: Self-seeking Princes

     Ilona pursed her lips, suddenly sober.  “I’m afraid I shall be dancing with a great many self-seeking princes over the next few days.”

Thursday, July 9, 2015

K.M.Weiland and Jurassic Park

I read a post today by K.M.Weiland about compounding conflict in your story, and it was brilliant.  (If you want to read it yourself, check out this link: ).  She used the Jurassic Park movie to illustrate her point.

     As a disclaimer, you should know that I have not seen this movie myself.  As a warning, you should know there are semi-spoilers written below.

     We have all probably guessed that at some point in this movie, dinasaurs are on the loose trying to eat people.  But you probably also know that at the beginning of the movie, the dinasaurs are safely contained.  And we can surmise that something happens to set the dinos free.

     The point that K.M.Weiland made in her post is that it is not ONE thing that sets the ball in motion.  There are multiple conflicts that coincide to make a big impact.  And we can create that in our own stories to add complexity.

     For example, in Jurassic Park: Our main characters are on an island with dangerous dinosaurs.  There is a massive storm approaching the island.  A disgruntled employee makes a move to shut down the control center and fences so he can steal something and escape.

     Do you see how that makes the story so much bigger?  And more real?  And you can build these layers of conflict as a foreshadowing of what is about to happen.

      I can't even tell you how my mind is blowing.  It's like KABOOOOOM!  And I'm so excited by this.  It's perfect and it all fits together and things happen and...ahhh!  I just love it.  This is one of my favorite things about story telling -- when you have multiple layers and tastes of foreshadowing that all come together in a big way that surprises the reader and yet feels so RIGHT at the same time.  Squeal!  I love it.

      Okay, I'm done raving now.  Go check out K.M.Weiland's post.  Have a great Thursday!

Snippet: Artificial Life

    “Is that all you live for here?” Justice looked from one face to another.  “Day to day, you can’t wait to get out of bed and go to the spa again?  Entertainment and comfort from one minute to the next?”