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Showing posts from March, 2018

A Quick Update: Winners Announced!

It is late, and I need to go to bed.  But I wanted to stop by here before I go!  I had a wonderful night on the Facebook party, and I can't wait to share it all with you.

     My full reveal and what I thought about everything will have to be tomorrow.  But just in case any of you weren't able to attend the Facebook party and you are itching to are the winners!!!!

    Our very own Skye Hoeffert is a winner!  You've seen her commenting on this blog.  Skye plus Jenelle Hovde, Cortney Manning, Maddie Morrow, and Rachel Wallen created the five winners.  Congratulations, guys!!!!  I'm so proud of you!!!

     And, while I was not a winner, I did place as a finalist and a Special Unicorn, which feels like a joyous accomplishment.  So it's a happy day all around, and I'll be back tomorrow to talk about it some more.  Thank you again to everyone who cheered me on!

Yes, We're Cheating

Guess what!  The writers for the Rooglewood Press Snow White contest will get a sneak peak at the winners' list tonight. can join us! It's open to anybody who wants to join the party so head over to the Rooglewood contest Facebook page tonight at 8pm EST for our own private reveal party.  Can't wait to see you there!

     It's hard to believe this day is finally here!!!!


It's tomorrow.
     The winners will be announced tomorrow.
      We got this.  We're calm.
     Very calm.
     So calm we can hear our hearts pounding.
     It's tomorrow.

Rooglewood Countdown: 2 more days!

So, here's my last question for you guys in my "Things to Root For" series:

     What is a genre you would like to see in this year's collection?  Sci-Fi?  Westerns?  Romance?

Rooglewood Countdown: Can We Count Half-Days Now?

Today is Wednesday, and Saturday doesn't seem far away at all.  I'm starting to count by half-days now: 3 1/2 days...3 days...2 1/2 days...
      My husband's best friend, Skooter, is also a writer.  He isn't published as far as I know, but he has an appreciation for storycrafting.  I've read part of one of his stories, and it was good...good enough that I hated being left hanging when he only gave me the first 19 pages!  Aaaaaah!
      I think my husband forgot that Saturday was the big Facebook reveal party, so he invited Skooter to come over and hang out Saturday evening.
     I was one of the contestants thinking that I'd like to hide in a closet and get the news of the party by myself.  It's an introvert thing.
     But you can't very well do that when you are the lady of the house and you have guests.  Can you imagine the guests entering and asking my husband, "Hey, where's your wife?"  And he would have to answer, "Oh, sh…

An Arranged Marriage - 13

Servants and guests rushed in behind Detlef.  Ilona’s nursemaid appeared, hands shaking and terror in her eyes.  And then King Adalbert arrived.  He shoved past the gathered crowd.  His face went white when he saw the spindle.
     “Seal the castle!  Let no one enter or exit!” he shouted.  Servants rushed away to do his bidding.  “Who knows something?  Did anyone see anyone near my daughter’s rooms?”
    Guests stared at one another wide-eyed.  No one had seen anything.
    Cordula stepped forward, still trembling.  “Is is possible, sire, that Ilona is…in…the spindle?”  She wrung her hands.   “I heard such strange tales when I was a little girl.  Tales of Derwalds and…”  She burst into tears.
    The king stared at her blankly for a moment and then dismissed her with a wave of his hand.  “I have no time for peasant fairy tales!”  He turned to the other servants.  “Search the castle and the gardens.  Perhaps she merely took a stroll.”
     The queen covered her face and sobbed.
    King …

Rooglewood Countdown: 5 days!!!

So, here's my next question:

What is a gender role you would like to see swapped in the upcoming Snow White collection?

Spring Cleaning Writer's Tag

The lovely Skye tagged me in this challenge (originally created by Deborah O'Carroll). Feeling honored, I have decided to partake, although I freely admit that Spring Cleaning is not my forte.

1. Link back to the person who tagged you (which, for me, was Skye at Ink Castles)
2. Share the picture
3. Answer the questions
4. Tag 3 other writers and inform them you have (You're allowed to use carrier pigeon if preferred)

1. Dust-bunnies and Plot-bunnies: Reorganize Your Writing Goals (Or Make New Ones)
     In playing around with this blog, I looked at my WIP page, thinking I could delete some of the stories on there. And I found that I still love those stories, even the unfinished ones. See? I told you Spring Cleaning was not my thing. I'm one of those people who gets emotionally attached to the memories captured within useless objects ("oh, look, guys!!!! It's that smashed penny I picked up in the parking lot that day that we all went to Kings Dom…

Esther Ramblings

This is going to be a pretty random post - I'll warn you of that now, lol.

First of all, my world is covered in snow, and I'm pretty happy about it. I was a little bummed that I haven't developed relationships with sledding partners yet because I didn't have anybody to play in the snow with me. But, I went out about three times to shovel snow and clear my car, which is how grownups play in the snow anyway. So I still had fun.

Secondly, I feel like there are some things shifting in my world, and I'm evaluating where I'm supposed to be. Am I supposed to be meeting with this group of believers or that group of believers? Am I called to reach this culture or that culture? Do I work here or there?
I used to think all these big, life-altering, course-changing moments happened solely in your late teens. But I have found that they continue throughout your just don't freak out quite as much because you've seen God guide you through multiple times b…

Rooglewood Countdown: 9 days!

So, here's my next question for you:
What is a time period you would like to see in this collection?  Renaissance?  Victorian?  Revolutionary War?  Civil War?  1920s?  1960s?  Modern?

An Arranged Marriage - 12

Twenty minutes later, Detlef clasped his hands behind his back and gazed up the grand staircase.  Ilona would be coming down those stairs any minute.  And she would likely dance the first dance with Emil, since he won the fencing.  Emil was right – any attempts to expose him would be dismissed.But with his smooth, practiced flattery, would Ilona be able to see through him for herself?
    “I should have known I would find my little brother mooning about for the princess.”  The voice of his older brother, Matthias, was fondly mocking.  “You were always sentimental about her.”
    “As opposed to you, who thinks a king should have no heart.”  Detlef’s voice was tinged with bitterness.This was a long-standing argument between them.
    “It’s not that a king has no heart.  It’s that he cannot listen to it.  If I were as sentimental as you, it would throw the entire kingdom into disarray.”
    Detlef swung his leg, banging his foot against the bottom step of the staircase in a mournful rhyt…

Rooglewood Countdown: 12 days

For the next 12 1/2 days, as we do our final countdown until March 31st, I'm going to do 4 posts asking about something you would like to see in the Snow White collection.

     There are so many ways all of us, writers and readers alike, can win in this contest.  Maybe a familiar name makes it into the final five -- hurray!  Maybe a story in your favorite genre ended up in the collection this year -- woohoo!  Maybe you finally get to read a winning story about an evil king and his Snow White son -- how awesome!

     So, in celebration of all the many things we can root for, I want to know some of the things that you think would be cool to find in this year's set of winners.

     Without further ado, here is my question for the day:

What is a point of view you would like to see in this collection?  Would you like a story written from the prince's perspective?  A story from Snow White's perspective?  The evil queen's perspective?  A dwarf's perspective?  Wh…

Rooglewood Countdown: fast forwarded

Did I say 18 days?

How about 16!!!

Anyone and everyone is invited to join the Rooglewood contest Facebook page on March 31st for a very special announcement party. While the official announcement will be on April 2nd, we get a sneak peak 2 days sooner.

The party will celebrate, not only the five winners, but also the finalists and honorable mentions and perfect scores. It should be so much fun, and I can't wait to read about everybody's stories and see who won!

Furthermore, I have been assured that I don't have to keep the news a secret. So, even if you can't join the party, I can still share the exciting news with you before April 2nd.

So guess what -- the countdown just got fast-forwarded! Only 16 more days!!!

Below is some text I copied from Anne Elisabeth Stengl's post on the contest Facebook page, with the plans for the Party.
8:00 (EST) – Welcome to everyone! And probably a rehash of what to expect. 8:05—A little “speech” from me about the contests, what the…

Rooglewood Countdown: 18 days

Guys!!!  We're almost there!
     It feels like this Snow White journey has lasted forever, but did you realize that at this time last year, we had no idea that we would be writing a Snow White story?  It was June before this year's fairy tale was announced.  And then I still had to decide if I was entering and what I would write.  For several months, I puttered along on my story while life caught me in its whirlpool of busy-ness.
     Then came crunch-time for me.  I was racing to finish it, to cut it down to size, and to polish it up enough for submission.  It was December before I submitted it to the judges.
     The deadline came on December 31st, although they extended it a little bit for some people.  But that was the day that I felt like the Round One judging started for real.  So it only feels like it's been in the judging phase for 2 1/2 months.  Except that it also feels like it's been FOREVER!!!!! Lol.
     But whether it feels like forever or it has p…

An Arranged Marriage - 11

The time allotted after each tournament for the women to dress for the evening ball was far too much for the men.  Detlef found himself stiff and starched for the night and with half an hour to spare.  He strolled out into the gardens, losing himself in his thoughts.
     Left to their own devices, his legs carried him toward the swing.  When it was only one bend away, he quickened his steps.  
     But as the bend in the path brought him face to face with the swing, it revealed the coveted spot to be already occupied…by Emil.  The blonde-headed young man lounged across the swing without respect toward its owner.  His winners laurel hung casually over one foot.  He lifted his head at Detlef’s approach, and a smirk covered his face.
    “How is your leg?”  His voice carried the sound of suppressed laughter, and his eyes mocked Detlef.
    Detlef ran his eyes over Emil, measuring him.  “I have something to say to you, and I may as well say it now than later.”
    Emil lifted one eyebrow …

Don't Run Away -- I'm Still Here

Greetings, my friends!  I am playing around with new blog designs.  So pardon my mess while I figure this out and experiment with ideas.  Things are looking different, but this is still me.       I am open to feedback if you see something you like or something you don't like about the way the blog layout is changing.  :D

Rooglewood Update

We interrupt your regular programming to bring you this important announcement!  Anne Elisabeth Stengl has finished reading all the finalists and honorable mentions!  And, what's more, she has selected her Top Ten which she will now take to the Rooglewood Team.  And, even more than that, she thinks she knows which 5 will be chosen!!!       How exciting is that?      And, for the record, one of the 5 that she thinks will be chosen was not a finalist but an honorable mention.      It's just barely more than 1/2 a month until the winners are announced.  So this is perfect timing for them to wrap up loose ends and get the announcements ready.  And, even though these last 3 weeks may seem like forever, it really isn't that much longer to wait.      I have had times, over the past 2-3 months, when I was exhilarated over my chances of winning and times when I was quietly despairing over my chances of being relegated to a "no, thank you" pile.  I have to say that w…

Rooglewood Countdown: 25 days: 5 Tag Lines

If you read the back of the Five Glass Slippers collection, you will find this intriguing collection of tag lines:

"What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball?  Or when the slipper fits...but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she's a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?"      I don't know about you, but that paragraph of five tag lines were incredibly captivating.  I couldn't WAIT to read those stories.

     So here is a fun game for you.  Think about the Snow White collection of 5 winners.  Imagine yours is one of them.  What question could you pose to make people want to read your story?

     Then, think about 4 other ideas that sound cool.  Put…

Congrats, Melinda

Head over to Speculative Faith to congratulate Melinda K Busch for winning the 2018 Spec Faith Winter Writing Challenge and to read her entry.

     This means that I didn't win, but I can't say I'm too disappointed.  I made it into the finalists and that is a fun reward.  And I have to admit that I was rooting for Melinda's story to win because I liked it so much. a way, it feels like I won because my favorite story won.

     A big thank you to everybody who participated and for those of you who voted for me.  I appreciate it so much!  And maybe I'll try this one again when she hosts her next challenge.  I'll keep you posted!

     Thanks again!  And congrats, Melinda!!!

An Arranged Marriage - 10

Detlef swung his arms, trying to release the tension.The fencing tournament was nearly over now.He unsheathed his sword and turned it in his hand, watching the way the blade flashed in the light.Only once more must he put it to the test before he was crowned as victor.In the ring, Emil and a foreign lord battled for the right to face Detlef.
Detlef eyed the skilled way Emil handled his sword.His rival would be a difficult opponent, and Detlef had more than one reason for wishing to defeat him.Emil was all smiles and politeness in front of the princess, but he had been a far different man when the royal family was out of sight.It made Detlef’s stomach knot to think of the princess falling for the worthless flatterer.
Detlef’s eldest brother, Matthias, jogged by.He scowled at Detlef.“I would be in the finals instead of you if that monkey hadn’t cheated.” He shot a look of disgust at his last opponent, then shifted his gaze back to Detlef, looking him up and down.“Never did think you were …

Rooglewood Countdown: 32 Days: Breathe