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Deadline for Submission is Today!!!!

Today is the deadline for submitting your Snow White retelling to Rooglewood Press.  If you need a link to the contest rules, here it is: Rooglewood Writing Contest.  So, even if it is last minute, get that story to the judges!
     It has been fun to see, through the blog world as well as Facebook, the rush of last-minute send-offs.  It seems that many of us didn't get our stories finished until the last minute.  Wow, what happened this year!
     The judges are already reading through the stories that have been submitted so far.  Rooglewood gives judges a checklist of things to help them gauge a story's potential to fit into this anthology.  Somewhere out there, my story is moving through the Rooglewood process.  Has it been read yet?  Did they like it?  Was it compatible with their criteria?  Did it move on to the next round of judging or was it settled into a "not-this-year" file?  I don't know!
     During the last contest, we bloggers found a way to …

Merry Christmas!!!

Regardless of what day you set aside to celebrate it, God's Son did come to earth, born as a human so He could take our place and pay the redemption price we were unable to pay on our own.
     Merry Christmas!

Ragged Nails: A Post about Artist Insecurities

Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope your holidays are bright!!!

     My contest entry has been in Rooglewood's hands for 5 days.  My mental status has gone from the over-the-top excited and relieved when I first submitted it...to a steady optimism that my story actually might have a decent chance this year...to a closed-off state where I was convinced that I didn't even need to worry about it until next April...to today.
     Today I am tore up with the certain feeling of my stories significant and amateur flaws.  Who would read this?  How can this compare to the other amazing authors chosen by Rooglewood?  What was I thinking to submit such a meager tale?
     I do this every year.  And it is a passing feeling. I know it is.  The artist cycle is something I've talked about before on this blog.  It helps to know that this is normal and that I will be excited about my story again tomorrow.
    But, oh, those other authors are so intimidating!
    How are you guys holding up?  Sti…

Fly Swift and True, My Little Arrow

Today, I did the terrifying act of releasing my story into the big, cruel world.  I sent my Snow White entry to Rooglewood Press, so it can start its journey through the contest judges.

     Ahhhh!  The exhileration. The terror.  The accomplishment.  The chance of a big crash at the end of my flight.  Wow.

     It kinda makes me want to hide my manuscript under the floor of a dungeon somewhere.
     But that defeats the point of entering a contest.  Stories are meant to be read.  And mine will be...by at least one judge.  Hurray!
      Now we get to wait until April 2, 2018 to find out which 5 stories made it into the anthology.  If you are like me, you have plenty to do between now and then. 
Laundry.  Work.  Studies.  Other writing.  Et cetera.
     But I also love passing the time with you guys.  So we'll be doing some countdown posts between now and the Winners Announcement.  And that will be fun.  Like I've said before, the comradery of this contest is my…

If It Fits, Send It In!

It fits!!! I took my big story, cut off the corners, and stuffed it down into the box labeled "20k words only." (Aka, my story has been edited to comply with Rooglewood's wordcount limit.) Hurray!

All I need to do is polish it up and send it in!

A Friday Quote: Part 18

Hello, delightful friends! 

     This is the last post of my Friday Quotes, at least for now.  Join in the fun today and let's make it a grand finale!  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  
     For this finale, I am lifting the restriction that you had to write it THIS week.  Pick any quote that you have written (preferably this year).  So excited to see everybody's snippets!

      Thank you for playing with me!!!!!

No Matter How Bad You Have It...

...There's always someone in worse circumstances.



Which I found peculiarly inspiring.

I just found out that one of my contest compatriots is also cutting words to make her manuscript fit the requirements.  Only she is cutting it down from 33k words.

Wow.

I thought that cutting from 24k was bad.

But, hey, if she can cut 13k words from her story, I certainly can stop whining about cutting 4k from mine.

Link arms with me.  We can do this.

P.S. Also, please join me in a round of applause for my compatriot.  Because she is amazing.

Sarcasm and Ink - part 3

It was almost dawn when the prince let her go.Rayen wiped the weariness from her eyes and headed straight to the bakery. Coups or no, her family still had to eat.But just as she reached the door, a figure stepped from the shadows.It was Danwell.
“You did it.” He murmured, admiration in his voice.“Targallin is on our side. Help is coming from the East.The prince will be overthrown.Our people will have a chance of survival.”
Too exhausted for sarcasm, Rayen pushed open the bakery door and donned her apron.“I’m glad.”
Danwell followed her.“I was wrong to doubt you, little badger.I’m honored to have you on our side.”
Rayen glanced at her finger.The inkstain had almost faded.“My ‘sweetness’ and your ink.”She rubbed her finger thoughtfully.“Watch them change the course of a nation.”

Love/Hate Woven Stories

I've spoken before about how I love woven stories.  That's one reason I love Charles Dickens -- he weaves so many threads, all inter-twining, into his final masterpiece.

But editing such a story is a nightmare!

I just deleted 5 entire chapters from my Snow White retelling.  But that means I have to read through every single other chapter, deleting threads that are no longer relevant. 
--Those deleted chapters were foreshadowed and hinted at, random objects were put in place for later use, the first half of humor was layed out so you would laugh when you read the chapter. 
--And then, once the chapter itself was deleted, the hints that were hidden in the deleted chapter are gone, so your later chapters are lacking the foreshadowing, hinting, placement of objects, et cetera, that would have been wrapped up in that chapter. 

     No scene is one layer.  You have your primary objective but a million other tiny things are happening.  And cutting the threads makes the whole story…

A Friday Quote: Part 17

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote.  I have been doing it since the first Friday in August.  I was going to stop in November, but I'm going to do one last one next week.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D  Next week will be the last one!!!!
     Enjoy!

Sarcasm and Ink - part 2

Rayen pulled her apron off and dusted flour from her leggings.The letter in her boot poked at her leg – a constant reminder that she had a purpose awaiting her.“I’ll be back by dawn,” she said to the baker as she folded her apron and laid it over the counter.
He nodded without a word.
The rattle of the carriage caught up with her on the way home.Was this the summons that she was waiting for?Rayen paused as it stopped beside her.It was the same royal carriage that had first discovered her nearly six months before.Then, it carried the prince.Today, it carried only his manservant, Callun.
Callun swung down as soon as the carriage stopped.
Rayen surveyed the carriage in scorn.“Rather late in the evening, isn’t it?Has the prince no concept of beauty sleep?”
“As fiery as ever, I see.” Callun bowed.“But the prince wishes to see you at once, regardless of the hour.”
Rayen curled her lip and crossed her arms.“Tell him no thanks.I have an early day tomorrow.”
“With all due respect, I fear you have no…

A Friday Quote: Part 16

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

I DID IT!!!!!!

I finished my first draft.
    Boy is it rough.
    But it is done, and I can hardly believe it.
    Seriously, I was starting to think that I would never finish this story.
     I'm a little overwhelmed with the editing now required.  The deadline still looms dauntingly before me.
     But, hey!  I thought I wouldn't make it this far, and yet here I am.  Who knows what can yet be accomplished?

A Friday Quote: Part 15

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Sarcasm and Ink: Part 1

The inkwell tipped, sloshing two spatters of black liquid onto the desk.Rayen impulsively reached forward, dipping her forefinger into the puddle.It turned her fingertip black.She wiped her thumb across it, watching the ink spread from thick to thin.
Danwell looked up from the letter he was writing.Light from the candle flickered, casting threatening shadows against the wall.“This is not a mission for a child.”
“I know.” Rayen raised both her eyebrows, daring him to make the response she knew was coming.
“Then stop sticking your fingers in messes like a 4-year-old.” He folded the letter with crisp precision.From a drawer, he pulled a stick of sealing wax.For a moment, he held it over the candle.Then he let a drip fall onto the folded letter.
“Aren’t you going to stamp it with your royal seal?” Rayen let her sarcasm fall heavy on the word “royal.”
“Anonymity is best in our line of work.” Danwell passed the letter, sealed but unstamped, to Rayen.He stood to his feet and ran his fingers throu…

A Friday Quote: Part 14

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

A Friday Quote: Part 13

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Friendships

Moriah has cut herself off from all friendships. That's partly her fault and partly the dwarves'. But she's at a point in the story where she realizes she can't do this on her own anymore.
This means she is about to make some new friends and, perhaps, rekindle some old ones.
But what if the things she feared... The things that kept her from forming friendships for so many years... What if they come true after all.
Then what?
Does that mean she should never have friends?

A Friday Quote: Part 12

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Hang in There, We Can Do This

I have been tempted to quit.  How can I finish this story in time?
     And I'm not the only one.  Thanks to Facebook I know several writers, with promising stories, who have decided not to enter this year.  Maybe they got discouraged.  Maybe other areas in their life took over.  Maybe they decided to finish their story and pursue another venue of publication.
     Those other stories sounded intriguing.  They had a chance of winning.

     But so does mine.

     Hang in there, Esther.  We can finish this story.

A Friday Quote: Part 11

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Twelve Truths: The Answers to the Guessing Game

Hello, friends!

A week ago, I posted a guessing game with 10 truths and 2 lies about myself, and I challenged people to guess which was which.  Today, I give you the answers!




1. I am married.


     It's true!  I am pouring my love and passion and prayer into my marriage, and seeing it blossom delightfully.



2. I am 5 ft 3-3/4 inches tall.


     Nope.  Guess again.



3. My mother self-published a book when I was a child.


     That one is true!  It is called Bring Them Up.

4. I have read Plenilune by Jenny Freitag.


    True.  I like the "bigness" of Jenny's writing style.  And I relate to her main character more than I usually relate to female protagonists.




5. I wear glasses.


     Yep.  It's not exactly a super-power.  But...almost.



6. I ran over a toad with a car.


     Sad day!  I was still a new teenage driver.  It was a lovely summer night -- still cool from a passing rain shower.  The windows on my car were open.  The tires made a lovely swishing sound on the damp r…

A Friday Quote: Part 10

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Ten Truths and 2 Lies: A Guessing Game

Greetings, gang!  I stole another idea from Scattered Scribblings.  She played a game of 10 truths and 2 lies, where she posted 12 things about herself, 10 of which were true.  And all of her readers got to guess which ones were lies.

Want to play?

Okay, here are 12 things about me:

1. I am married.

2. I am 5 ft 3 3/4 inches tall.

3. My mother self-published a book when I was a child.

4. I have read Plenilune by Jenny Freitag.

5. I wear glasses.

6. I ran over a toad with a car.

7. I love the sound that crickets make.

8. Clear blue skies are my favorite.

9. I like dark green colors.

10. I am a midwife.

11. I used to live in Alaska.

12. I love to eat spinach.

Leave your guesses in the comments below! Which are true and which are false?  I can't wait to see what you know about me!

And, if you want to play this on your own blog, leave me a link in the comments below so I can come guess on your page!

A Friday Quote: Part 9

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Is that a catastrophe happening, way over yonder?

The next scene in my story is meant to be an important one.  Readers get to meet the dwarves in their own evil lair.  My heroine is tormented for their selfish purposes.  Big scene.

     But when I started writing it, it looked incredibly detached and boring.  "Yeah, look over there.  See those dwarves by the table?  They are tormenting our heroine.  Very sad.  The cottage is cute, though."  The scene just wasn't working.  And my story has been sitting in stasis awaiting inspiration.

     Last night, I flopped on the floor to daydream and snuggle my dog.  For a while, I let my mind wander here and there.  But gradually I came to my senses and realized that the first thing I felt on "awaking" was the hard floor.

     Suddenly, I was Moriah, regaining consciousness.  Hard floor.  Noises.  Light.  Hands on my hair.  And the scene came alive for me.  I could hardly wait to get up and start writing again.

     So, if your scene is too detached, try lying on the…

Flash Fiction Contest winners will be announced soon!

I'm still pounding away at my draft for the Rooglewood contest.  And the deadline for submission is still 3 months away.  So I'm excited about nearer milestones...Savannah's flash fiction contest.  The deadline for entering is today, and she's announcing the winner on Saturday.

     Maybe it's an unhealthy use of adrenaline, but I get excited about these contests.  They play in the back of my mind, even on humdrum days.  Like the old-timers, plodding away in poverty and dreaming of their ship coming in, I perform my routine tasks and go to work with this little secret tingling in the corners -- "I could win a contest on 9/30."

     I haven't won a contest yet.  With the crash that follows such a high of anticipation, you might be surprised that I still enter them at all.  But the improvement in my writing skills each time makes it worth the effort, according to the logical side of my brain.  And the thrills of hope are sufficient to counter-act …

A Friday Quote: Part 8

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

The Reluctant, Dutiful Wife

I have a confession to make.

     I was grumpy.

     I was so excited about the opportunity to do a Word War.  It's something I have never done before.  But the idea of sitting down with a community of writers, pounding out material for your manuscript, and then sharing how far you got just sounded amazing.

     And maybe it isn't amazing.  I used to want to ride a school bus.  And I wanted to ride it so bad that, when I finally got the chance, the smell of sweaty socks and stale kiddy perfume was sheer delight.  But I'm sure that people who HAVE to ride the bus are not nearly as enamored with it.

    But, be that as it may, when I realized that I actually got the chance to do a real, live Word War, I was ecstatic.  The night of the War, I sat down and started typing.  Ready, set, here we go!

     And then my husband called.

    And he needed to tell me about his day.

     And I missed the rest of the Word War.

     I was so disappointed.  But the dutiful part of me k…

A Friday Quote: Part 7

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

All the King's Horses and All the King's Men

(Encouragement for the writer in the editing phase)

    No, no, no, no!  It's okay!
     It just looks bad.  See these broken pieces?  They are supposed to be like that -- don't cry.
    Do you know why this is good?
     Because this is how you make it better.
     It's a piece of art.  The broken pieces catch the light better.  And you can rearrange them into the most stunning visuals and thrilling patterns.  With the bits like this, we'll make a picture that will take people's breath away.


     That's why we sent our story to the beta readers in the first place, remember?  Here.  Take the  pieces.  It's going to be amazing.  I can't wait to see!

A Friday Quote: Part 6

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

Visiting Another Blog + Flash Fiction Contest

I stopped by Savannah's blog yesterday and found that she is celebrating her 1-year anniversary of blogging.  Hurray for her!  It's a grand accomplishment, and I feel like she has done better in her first year of blogging than I have in almost 4 years.  If you haven't been to see Scattered Scribblings, it is worth checking out.  I enjoy it.

     As part of her celebration, she is hosting a writing contest.  The rules are simple.  The wordcount must be between 500 and 2,000 words, the word "ink" must be somewhere in the story, and you must submit it by September 26th.

     As most of you know, I have been working on a Snow White retelling for the Rooglewood writing contest.  In fact, I worked on it for a while yesterday.  And then, yesterday evening, I saw Savannah's short story writing contest.  And I decided that it would be refreshing to write something different for a little while.

     I stayed up far past my bedtime.  Once I got started, I didn'…

A Friday Quote: Part 5

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!

A Friday Quote: Part 4

Hello, delightful friends! 

     I am continuing my fun event.  It is called A Friday Quote, and I shall play this game every Friday from August through November.  Here's how it works:

IN THE COMMENTS BELOW:       Post a quote of something YOU wrote THIS week. Or Something you edited this week (of something you previous wrote).
    Don't make the quote too long because I don't want you to spoil your story.  Probably 5 sentences or so would be a good amount.  But that is a guideline and not a rule.
     You don't have to participate every week.  But you can participate any week that you write.
      And it will be so much fun to see everybody's quotes.
     And, for me, it will be a reward for writing this week.  :D
     Enjoy!