Thursday, April 29, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Days 31 & 32

This is it, folks. The finish line is in sight. I told you all that this contest and this drive to keep me accountable would end on April 30th. Tomorrow is it. Deadline time.

I won't be working tomorrow, but there's a whole lotta other stuff already on my list to accomplish. I've got to make sure I get some writing in somewhere! Drastic measures must be taken between now and Midnight on Friday, April 30.

I'll post my progress.  Beyond word count, I just hope I can tell you I am at "THE END" of this book. I must plow forward and write those last true scenes.

I did write yesterday. It was fun, I had 45 minutes of free time and I used it. I actually got carried away rewriting an existing scene, but, the scene placement is helping propel the story forward. Just what I needed. An hour was upon me and I had to stop. The word count increased a little.

Current Word Count 56, 557.

I've got about 6 more scenes to write. I can do it, I just need God to carve out some time in my day, whether it be middle of the night, or whenever, to accomplish this goal. I know if this is His timing and part of His plan, then His work will be done.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring's Renewal by Shelley Shepherd Gray


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Spring's Renewal


Avon Inspire (April 2010)
by
Shelley Shepherd Gray




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold twenty-six novels to numerous publishers. She has written a seven book contemporary series for Avalon books. She also published The Love Letter, a western for Avalon. Five Star Expressions published Suddenly, You in February of 2007. This novel is a historical western set in the mountains of Colorado.



Shelley has written nine novels for Harlequin American Romance. Cinderella Christmas, her first novel with them, reached number six on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. Her second book with them, Simple Gifts won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice award for best Harlequin American Romance of 2006. The Mommy Bride, was chosen by Romantic Times Magazine as one of their TOP PICKS for May, 2008.



Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for Harper Collins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. HIDDEN and WANTED the first two novels of her ‘Sisters of the Heart’ series, were chosen to be Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/ Literary Guild Book Club. FORGIVEN, book 3, has received glowing reviews. Avon Inspire will release four novels by Shelley in 2010.



Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two teenagers, and is an active member of her church.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Tim Graber arrives in Sugarcreek to help his aunt and uncle with spring planting. At first, Tim doesn't fit in with his many cousins and their crowded lifestyle. But when he meets Clara Slabaugh, the local school teacher, he understands why the Lord brought him to Sugarcreek.



Clara is shy and quiet. Scarred from a fire when she was small, Clara has resigned herself to living alone and caring for her mother, who tells her that no man will ever see past her scars, and that Clara needs to keep teaching in order to make ends meet.



Her father passed away years ago, and her mother depends on her. But the scars mean nothing to Tim. He appreciates her quiet nature and her wonderful, loving way with children. Yet Tim has a sweetheart back home in Indiana. As these two hearts struggle to determine their path, tragedy strikes, and every other worry seems insignificant in comparison.



Though they now face a life they never imagined, will Tim and Clara have the faith to step out and risk everything for a chance at true love?



If you would like to read the first chapter of Spring's Renewal, go HERE.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Days 29 & 30

No progress on the home front...

Tonight is our ACFW W.O.R.D. meeting at Sugar Hill United Methodist Church. If you're in the area, we're planning a wonderful meeting with our guest speaker Steeple Hill Author Debby Giusti. Find out more on our website for WORD.

Oh, and I blogged Sunday on FAITH. You can laugh at this, but the Agent I mentioned in said blog post was probably notified by a google alert... and she "tweeted" about the blog post. Check out the comments section after you read about the dream... Oh, and you can laugh with me. Sometimes I forget about this vacuum of information we post to, where anyone in the world can see what you're doing.

I'll report back with a word count later... now, off to work!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



The Anonymous Bride
Barbour Publishing, Inc. (April 1, 2010)



by
Vickie McDonough








ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Award-winning author Vickie McDonough believes God is the ultimate designer of romance. She loves writing stories where the characters find their true love and grow in their faith.



Vickie has had 18 books published. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is currently serving as ACFW treasurer. Vickie has also been a book reviewer for nine years.



She is a wife of thirty-five years, mother of four sons, and grandmother to a feisty four-year-old girl. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and traveling.





ABOUT THE BOOK



How many brides does one man need?


It's been years, but Luke Davis is back--older and wiser--and still alone. Returning as Lookout's new town marshal, Luke is determined to face the past and move on. He flippantly tells his cousin he'd get married if the right woman ever came along. But then he discovers that the woman who betrayed him is now a widow, and all his plans fall at his feet.



Rachel has carried her guilty shame for eleven years. Her marriage to James Hamilton was not what Luke or the town thought it to be. Now James is dead, and her long-time love for Luke is reignited with his return to town. So when three mail-order brides appear, she panics.



Could they possible find love a second time?



Rachel begs his forgiveness, but Luke finds he has none to give.



And then the brides arrive. Three of them--ordered for Luke through newspaper ads by his incorrigible cousins. The only place in town for them to stay is Rachel's boardinghouse. And none of the ladies is willing to let Luke go. When choosing a bride becomes a contest, the chaos that ensues is almost funny.



When the mayor forces Luke to pick a bride or lose his job, will Luke listen to his heart that still longs for Rachel or choose one of the mail-order brides?



Will Rachel find the courage to tell Luke that she loves him? Or take an anonymous part in the contest for his hand?



If you would like to read the first chapter of The Anonymous Bride, go HERE.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 25, 26, 27, 28


Are you familiar with the teacup?

Not the one you drink from, but the carnival ride, "teacup."  It may be called something else where you live. It may be called something different where I live... but I refer to it as the teacup. My daughter loves to ride it on the carousel at the mall. You sit in it and spin yourself around, as fast as you can, while the carousel is running.

This week has been one long, but good, teacup ride...

Day 25 - I don't remember if I wrote. I do remember it was my husband's 34th birthday -
Happy Birthday, Hon...  We went to dinner and got home late. The kiddos were with us and my daughter begged for a pink balloon. Of course, the restaurant had one and graciously gave it to her.

Day 26 - I don't think I wrote that day either. It seems the day was a rush from beginning to end. Thursday after work, I baked a cake for my husband's birthday, with my daughter's help. God bless my dear husband that he doesn't get caught up in the details of life. Some people may be upset that their spouse didn't do something special to recognize their birthday... and that the special something came a day late.

Day 27 - I don't think I wrote that day either. Am I repeating myself here? I do remember working until 8pm that night. I was working a later shift, so I was only supposed to work until 7pm. But when you've been up since six and running wild trying to get everything accomplished BEFORE you arrived at the office, working an hour over tends to make you feel a little put out. Oh, well, duty calls and I tend to be willing to answer that call of duty since those paychecks help put food on the table and support my writing career.

Day 28 - I didn't write today. I was back at work, anticipating a storm system that could generate a whole lotta work for my office. I did accomplish something, though. I read entries for a couple of contests I'm judging. Reading for one contest helped remind me where I've been in my writing. Reading for the other contest shows me where I want to go.

Which is why I've got to get back to writing and let everything else go for one more week!

I've been riding this insane teacup for the last four days. It's time to step off, regroup, and get back into a normal, more calm schedule.

AND FINISH THIS BOOK!!!

What have you all been up to this week?

Oh, and here's my current word count:  56,460

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blood Ransom by Lisa Harris


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



Blood Ransom
Zondervan (April 1, 2010)



by
Lisa Harris






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Award-winning author Lisa Harris has been writing both fiction and nonfiction since 2000 and has more than fifteen novels and novellas in print. She currently lives with her family in Mozambique, Africa, where they work as missionaries.



From Lisa:



Have you ever noticed how God often uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things? In writing Blood Ransom, I wanted my heroes and heroines to be ordinary people, faced with extraordinary circumstances. Chad and Natalie’s lives were changed not only through the challenges they faced, but also through their reliance on God. And when they set off on their journey to the capital to save Joseph’s family, they never imagined that God would call them to a task that was beyond the scope of their own power.



But while this story is fictional, the issue of a modern day slave trade is very real. It is estimated that there are currently more than 27 million slaves on the world today from Africa, to Eastern Europe … to the United States of America. The fact is, we don’t have to travel around the world to see people hurting and exploited. They’re real people we pass every day, living in our neighborhoods, and attending our churches and schools. They’re empty and broken, searching for freedom and hope in an often hopeless world.





ABOUT THE BOOK



Natalie Sinclair is working to eradicate the diseases decimating whole villages in the Republic of Dhambizao when she meets Dr. Chad Talcott, a surgeon on sabbatical from a lucrative medical practice now volunteering at a small clinic.



Meanwhile, things are unraveling in Dhambizao. Joseph Komboli returns to his village to discover rebel soldiers abducting his family and friends. Those that were too old or weak to work lay motionless in the African soil. When Chad and Natalie decide to help Joseph expose this modern-day slave trade---and a high-ranking political figure involved in it---disaster nips at their heels.



Where is God in the chaos? Will Chad, Natalie, and Joseph win their race against time?



Romance and adventure drive Blood Ransom, by Lisa Harris, a powerful thriller about the modern-day slave trade and those who dare to challenge it.



If you would like to read the prologue and first chapter of Blood Ransom, go HERE.

Keep Me Accountable - Day 24

Writing report:
Four hours ended up being 3 and a half once the coffee was brewed and the dishes were loaded in the dishwasher.

I just couldn't stand it anymore. I forced myself not to dive into housework, reminded myself it would be there when I was ready to tackle it and vowed myself I would return to finish it.

I rewrote an existing scene and worked on a new one. All in all, it was a productive afternoon. Yay!

Current Word Count: 56,523

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 23

If I could draw a big ZERO on this blog, I would do it. It would show how much writing I accomplished on Monday - Day 23.

But this dry spell won't last. Nope. I'm putting an end to it tomorrow.

Day 24 is full of promise... How many words can one write in 4 hours?

I'll be back to tell you all about it. I prayerfully hope this will not be an afternoon of distractions.  I pray the same for you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Sword by Bryan M. Litfin


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



The Sword
Crossway Books (April 30, 2010)
by



Bryan M. Litfin






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Bryan Litfin was born in Dallas, but lived in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, England, where he discovered that the house of his favorite author, J.R.R. Tolkien, was only five doors down from his own. Bryan still enjoys epic adventure stories, as well as historical fiction. However, most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.



After marrying his high school sweetheart, Carolyn (a true Southern belle), he went on to study for a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays.



In 2002, Bryan took a position on the faculty at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he is a professor in the Theology Department. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods.



On the morning of January 6, 2007, Bryan woke up with an epiphany. Having finished writing his primer on the ancient church, he had the idea of trying his hand at fiction. The thought occurred to him that the writer of speculative fiction typically has two options. He can create an imaginary land like Middle Earth (which offers great creative freedom but is unrealistic), or he can delve into genuine history (which is realistic, yet limted to what ‘actually occurred.’) However, if a writer were to create a future world as in the Chiveis trilogy, it could be both realistic and creatively unlimited.



This little dream stayed in Bryan’s mind while he researched how to write fiction, and also researched the European landscape where the novel would be set. He planned a trip to the story locations, then went there in the summer with a buddy from grad school. Bryan and Jeff rented a Beemer and drove all over Europe from the Alps to the Black Forest with a video camera in hand. With that epic setting fresh in his mind, Bryan returned home and began to write.



Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He is blessed by God to be married to Carolyn, and to be the father of two amazing children, William, 11, and Anna, 9. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains (which means getting far away from the Midwest – preferably to his beloved Smokies).



ABOUT THE BOOK



This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"



Four hundred years after a deadly virus and nuclear war destroyed the modern world, a new and noble civilization emerges. In this kingdom, called Chiveis, snowcapped mountains provide protection, and fields and livestock provide food. The people live medieval-style lives, with almost no knowledge of the "ancient" world. Safe in their natural stronghold, the Chiveisi have everything they need, even their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten—until a young army scout comes across a strange book.



With that discovery, this work of speculative fiction takes readers on a journey that encompasses adventure, romance, and the revelation of the one true God. Through compelling narrative and powerful character development, The Sword speaks to God's goodness, his refusal to tolerate sin, man's need to bow before him, and the eternality and power of his Word. Fantasy and adventure readers will be hooked by this first book in a forthcoming trilogy.



Visit the book website at The Sword to see amazing videos and a wealth of information about the trilogy!



If you would like to read the first chapter of The Sword, go to HERE

Keep Me Accountable - Day 22

Today was a below average writing day. Too much to do and too little time. I did manage to get a few words in...

Current Word Count 55,280
Target Word Count 60,000

Hope you all had a better writing weekend. Let me know! I haven't had time to respond to comments, but I appreciate reading the progress you are making, or what you are doing to overcome a slack day.

Waving to Rebecca... I will post about the writing workshop soon!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 21

Today I'm headed to the Georgia Romance Writer's workshop Break Into Fiction.

Workshops and writer's meetings usually inspire me to write more, to be excited about my story. So far today, I haven't written anything new. I've got to hurry off and print off the "homework" for the workshop.

But you know me and meetings. Hopefully I will stay focused and glean all the good writerly information I can from this workshop. However, if I begin to drift off into day dream land, I pray, I will be thinking about the new scenes I need to write and maybe, if I'm really bold, I'll just write those new scenes in the middle of the workshop.

Hopefully, osmosis will kick in and some of the great info I expect to get out of this workshop will sink into my sometimes thick skull.  I'll let you know.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Keep Me Accountable - the 20th day

I took my laptop with me today, eager to work on new scenes.

Nothing done. Zilch. Nada.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - the 19th day

Today I was at home with my son yesterday, but had to take him to the doctor. I managed to pick up about an hour of writing while he slept. Major accomplishment since I didn't think I'd get any writing done.

I love being at home, with my baby boy, but would rather the reason was something other than the little guy was sick!

Somehow, through revisions and writing a quick new scene, I've added words...

Current Word Count 55,098.



Hip-HIP-HOORAY!!!

But.... I'm still not done. Soon. It'll happen soon!  How about you?





******************** Join me in this writing rally!!! **********************

If you would like to help keep me accountable and be entered in my contest for a $10 Starbucks gift card + a special surprise from me, leave a comment here. The winner will be announced at the end of this contest April 30. If you go to my post on FAITH you'll see I've posted instructions for the contest. I blog every Sunday on FAITH and will give a weekly update there as well. So those Sunday comments also count toward the contest.

But Only Blogger comments will be counted... Facebook comments don't count.

Thank you for your support!

Keep Me Accountable - Day 18 - addendum

No writing today. Filed Taxes. Ugh. Totally depressed about this. The taxes, that is.

Can't let this NO WRITING thing continue... I'm praying Day 20 will be more productive. 

Who wrote today? Who revised? Who just read or brainstormed? Let's hear all about it!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sworn to Protect by DiAnn Mills



This week, the




Christian Fiction Blog Alliance




is introducing




Sworn To Protect
Tyndale House (April 2010)




by
DiAnn Mills






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Award-winning author, DiAnn Mills, launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.



DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels.



Six of her anthologies have appeared on the CBA Best Seller List. Three of her books have won the distinction of Best Historical of the Year by Heartsong Presents. Five of her books have won placements through American Christian Fiction Writer’s Book of the Year Awards 2003 – 2007, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Awards finalist in 2008.



DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope and Love, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also a mentor for Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild.



She lives in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn and her husband have four adult sons and are active members of Metropolitan Baptist Church.





ABOUT THE BOOK







Border Patrol Agent Danika Morales sends illegal immigrants back to Mexico; a job she's paid dearly for. Her husband, Toby, was murdered two years ago trying to help and his murder's never been solved. Now a string of attacks and arrests leads her to believe that someone from McAllen profits from sneaking undocumented immigrants into the country and somehow this illegal activity is tied to her husband, Toby's death.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Sworn To Protect, go HERE.



Watch the book trailer video:



Keep Me Accountable - Day 18

I wanted to help start your day with a pretty sunset taken on Lake Lanier in Georgia.

Waving to my sister in law, Kari, who is celebrating a birthday today. She works near the lake and can probably enjoy a scene like this from her office. Happy Birthday, Sis!



Yesterday was a no writing day. Not because I didn't want to write, but sometimes, business and responsibilities take over.

That's okay. Today will be a better day. It's back to my normal routine. Like a child, I do better when my normal routine isn't interrupted.

I only have 12 days until my deadline day of April 30. I wanted to have the book finished and pretty much edited by then. I'd better stomp the proverbial "gas" on this one then, as my time is quickly running out!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 17

Monday was a beautiful, pollenated day, yet I didn't get any additional writing done after the morning hour. But thank God for that morning hour!

(And no, this picture isn't the lake or anywhere near my home... just a few hours south in Florida. My husband took the shot while on his fishing excursion last year. It's a sunrise and I was in the mood to share a photo with you :)

Yesterday was a day full of accomplishments... It started off getting up early enough to work on the book. The rest of the morning I took care of business that had been lingering and had put off for too long. The rest of the day was standard work stuff for my employer. The evening was filled with family business.  Getting up early and starting the day with writing is what I prefer because then I am free to spend the day as I need to.

This morning, however, I've been fighting to wake up and plan to work midday on the book. Being up all night with two kids who are both suffering from a cold or an allergy to all that blooms wears me out.

Yet I can't keep quiet about how excited I am about my progress. I'm further with this storyline, further in following the outline I've prepared, than ever before. Still, I have about 8 scenes to write to really complete this.

Eight is a liberal number. I figure I will need to expand those scenes to make the story better and slide into "THE END" mode as a baseball player slides into home plate.

Current Word Count 54,938 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you all know, Target Word Count is 55,000 - 60,000

SO CLOSE!!!

I'm gonna make it this time and so are you! Keep plugging away!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 16

Just a quick post this morning... I was able to get up early and write a new scene! Woo-Hoo! With the scenes I added I had already written and this brand new scene, my current word count is 53,769.

How's your progress?

Wildflowers of Terezin by Robert Elmer


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



Wildflowers of Terezin
Abingdon Press (April 2010)
by



Robert Elmer






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Robert Elmer is a former pastor, reporter and as copywriter who now writes from he home he shares with his wife Ronda in northern Idaho. He is the author of over fifty books, including eight contemporary novels for the adult Christian audience and several series for younger readers. Combined, his books have sold more than half a million copies worldwide. Like his popular "Young Underground" youth series, Wildflowers of Terezin was inspired by stories Robert heard from his Denmark-born parents and family. When he's not sailing or enjoying the outdoors, Robert often travels the country speaking to school and writers groups.







ABOUT THE BOOK



When nurse Hanne Abrahamsen impulsively shields Steffen Petersen from a nosy Gestapo agent, she’s convinced the Lutheran pastor is involved in the Danish Underground. Nothing could be further from the truth.



But truth is hard to come by in the fall of 1943, when Copenhagen is placed under Martial Law and Denmark’s Jews—including Hanne—suddenly face deportation to the Nazi prison camp at Terezin, Czechoslovakia. Days darken and danger mounts. Steffen’s faith deepens as he takes greater risks to protect Hanne. But are either of them willing to pay the ultimate price for their love?



To read the first chapter of Wildflowers of Terezin, go HERE.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Check out my progress on FAITH

Today I blogged on the F.A.I.T.H. blog. Check out my progress and leave me a comment as to how you are doing. Are my posts helping to keep you accountable? Have you started recording the progress on your manuscript? I love hearing from my readers. Have a great week!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - the 14th day

Day 13 was a zilch day. Didn't get up early enough, didn't get anything accomplished during midday and didn't get anything done that evening.

Day 14 is looking brighter. This morning I've edited a previous chapter and continued to plot to the end of the book.

My friend Belinda uses a chart with her story plotting. Belinda, feel free to speak up here and talk about how you are a pantzer.

Being a pantzer writer means its difficult to plan your chapters ahead of time. I started off as a pantzer writer, but am trying to plot more ahead of time with my stories. I think it may be a good thing to get that first draft down on paper as quickly as possible. That rough first draft that you write as a free flow, as the mood hits, as your muse guides you, can bring about some really great lines and may be a true version of how your voice comes across in your story.

However, be ready to revise. For me, the first draft wasn't long enough. Character development wasn't strong enough. In that first draft I was just getting to know my characters. Their motivation was one dimensional. 6 years later, I have revised and revised. I've cut out thousands of words that were merely backstory.

It's this book that I have used to learn the craft, to de-clutter the story. I hope in the end it is all I have hoped and prayed for...It is in these revisions where I changed my pantzer ways and moved across the wall to becoming a plotter, a planner.

Charting the progress of the story - charting where I've been and where I'm going isn't easy. It takes time. But it has helped me over these last few weeks when I hit a wall. It helps me overcome whatever is holding me back.

Along with completing the chart this morning, editing a previous chapter, I moved several scenes into the current document, my "deadline draft."

So my word count grew considerably!!!

Current Word Count 52,385 

Now I'll be honest with myself and you... this will continue to go up and down as I get closer to the finish line. By moving existing scenes from a previous revision into this new one, I am planning the road ahead. I'll stay flexible as I move forward, understanding change is a good thing.

How about you? What are some techniques you like to use when crafting your story?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - the 12th day

Ack! No writing today. And, I lost some words in edits. (I edit as I go along, then go back again and edit more.)

***
Current Word Count 42,470... The goal is still the same. To finish the book!!
***

But I had an enjoyable lunch hour with a great friend. Margaret is actually my brainstorming buddy. We don't brainstorm much now, though. We don't see each other as much.

About 7 or 8 years ago, Margaret and I decided to get fit and we started walking after work. Our offices are barely a block from each other and the area is full of sidewalks in a park-like setting. When you walk with someone, you talk. The more we talked, the more I realized I missed writing. I had stopped writing when I entered high school. Traded the pen for the stage and loved every minute of drama class. Yet being an actress wasn't practical and when I met the love of my life, I decided I didn't want to go to New York or Hollywood as I planned. (Thank God!)

Anyway, Margaret and I would meet after work, walk a couple of miles, and talk up whatever story I had in my head. She was my very first reader and continues to be a person I trust with my stories, even in their young stages. She's an avid reader of more than romance, so her opinion matters a lot.

Who is your biggest supporter?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - the 11th day

Last night I told my husband I only had approximately 18,000 more words to write to reach my goal.

He rolled his eyes. "It took you 6 years to write this much! How long will it take to finish?"

Tsk, tsk... he tries but he doesn't understand.

The story 6 years ago is dead. Dead!

This one is alive and well, although it's been revised so much it's.... never mind. We won't go there.

Ah, I'm starting to pick at my hair. It is time to shut down and go into the land of Nod.

But before you say goodnight, share your progress... the good and the bad. It all counts here...


Current Word Count 42,882
Target Word Count   60,000

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



She Walks in Beauty
Bethany House (April 2010)
by



Siri Mitchell






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.



But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.



Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.







ABOUT THE BOOK



For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor.



Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.



Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries.



When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.



If you would like to read the first chapter of She Walks in Beauty, go HERE.

Keep Me Accountable - Day 10

Today has been a beautiful day in Georgia. The hood of my car looked like it had snowed - snowed pollen that is!

My allergies haven't kicked into high gear yet and I'm looking forward to the weekend when I can plant some flowers to take us into summer.

Every year about this time, when the tulips and jonquals are blooming, I wish I had planted bulbs the autumn before.

Don't you hate that... wishing you had done something but never getting around to accomplishing the task. I've found out, if I approach goals one by one, work a little at a time, things will be accomplished.

So little by little, the laundry has been washed and folded and put away. Bills are getting paid. Dishes are being cleaned. The house is nice and quiet...

Am I too drowsy to work on my book? It is close to 11 pm... I doubt I will get any more done tonight. Mornings are my most productive hours... this work thing just keeps getting in the way of my writing productivity...

Here's where I am today - and a BIG THANK YOU - to everyone who continues to check in with me daily to let me know how they are doing as well as cheering me on. Journalling the progress for this book is really helping me stay on task.

Current Word Count: 42,645
Target Word Count: 60,000




******************** Join me in this writing rally!!! **********************

If you would like to help keep me accountable and be entered in my contest for a $10 Starbucks gift card + a special surprise from me, leave a comment here. The winner will be announced at the end of this contest April 30. If you go to my post on FAITH you'll see I've posted instructions for the contest. I blog every Sunday on FAITH and will give a weekly update there as well. So those Sunday comments also count toward the contest.

But Only Blogger comments will be counted... Facebook comments don't count.

Thank you for your support!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 9

Ah, Monday... It was too beautiful to go to work.

But I had no choice.

What happened on days 7 and 8? Well, like I said, I had egg hunts and birthday parties, family dinners and long drives up into the mountains. It was a glorious weekend and it wore me slap out.

Yep, slap out. No writing accomplished whatsoever... Just time to look back over my notes and do some emailing brainstorming with my crit partner. Dianna knows the story as well as I and she never fails to remind me what direction I was headed in when I got distracted and took a detour.

So the laptop went with me to work today and at lunch I revised a chapter and added a scene I'd written weeks, no maybe months, ago...

I love doing that... finding a scene that I wrote a long time before and discovering it has its place in the story afterall. It's like a God moment. You didn't know it at the time, but the good Lord had put that scene in your head. You couldn't use it right away like you thought, and that can be disappointing. But it's so thrilling when you find you're able to use it later and it fits perfectly.

Current Word Count: 40,777
Target Word Count:  55-60,000

******************** Join me in this writing rally!!! **********************

If you would like to help keep me accountable and be entered in my contest for a $10 Starbucks gift card + a special surprise from me, leave a comment here. The winner will be announced at the end of this contest April 30. If you go to my post on FAITH you'll see I've posted instructions for the contest. I blog every Sunday on FAITH and will give a weekly update there as well. So those Sunday comments also count toward the contest.

But Only Blogger comments will be counted... Facebook comments don't count.

Thank you for your support!

Sixteen Brides by Stphanie Grace Whitson


This week, the



Christian Fiction Blog Alliance



is introducing



Sixteen Brides



Bethany House (April 2010)



by



Stephanie Grace Whitson






ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four home schooled children Nebraska history.



She was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year.



Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends.



Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.



ABOUT THE BOOK



In 1872, sixteen Civil War widows living in St. Louis respond to a series of meetings conducted by a land speculator who lures them west by promising "prime homesteads" in a "booming community."



Unbeknownst to them, the speculator's true motive is to find an excuse to bring women to the fledgling community of Plum Grove, Nebraska, in hopes they will accept marriage proposals shortly after their arrival! Sparks fly when these unsuspecting widows meet the men who are waiting for them.



These women are going to need all the courage and faith they can muster to survive these unwanted circumstances--especially when they begin to discover that none of them is exactly who she appears to be.



If you would like to read the first chapter of Sixteen Brides, go HERE.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 6

Friday, Friday, I'm so glad you're here...

Well folks, brainstorming in a meeting that has nothing to do with the subject of my current manuscript worked wonders. I can't brainstorm in every meeting that I attend and I wouldn't dare try it. I appreciate my job and do want to stay on top of the ever-changing changes that take place there.

Still, multitasking on occassion never hurt anyone and in fact has helped me...

Thanks are due my hubby for entertaining our sometimes high maintenance 5 year old last night for an hour. In that hour, I was able to stroke out a few pages of notes within the body of the manuscript. As a result, my word count is back up to 39,559. Yay!

I'm counting those notes as words because those will help me remember where I wanted to go and I will delete the brainstorming words as I form the new scenes. These fluff words are a general guideline I want to follow, a map that's going to lead me to the end.

Let's keep up the postive outlook. We will see "the end" to our manuscripts and will then revise more or prepare them to be mailed.

How are you all coming? What are your plans for the weekend?


******************** Join me in this writing rally!!! **********************

If you would like to help keep me accountable and be entered in my contest for a $10 Starbucks gift card + a special surprise from me, leave a comment here. The winner will be announced at the end of this contest April 30. If you go to my post on FAITH you'll see I've posted instructions for the contest. I blog every Sunday on FAITH and will give a weekly update there as well. So those Sunday comments also count toward the contest.

But Only Blogger comments will be counted... Facebook comments don't count.

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Keep Me Accountable - Day 5

Just a quick note as I head off to start the day...

I managed to brainstorm the last Act of the book in a meeting yesterday. Nothing like multitasking. I listened to the meeting and absorbed what I needed to, while pounding out a good strategy for my characters and their journey.

This morning, I had to delete another unneeded scene. The word count is less, but it will rise again in the next few days as I write these new scenes I planned.

Current Word Count: 39,001
Target Word Count: 55,000 - 60,000 (I'm going loosey-goosey on my numbers. Wiggle room is never a bad thing when it comes to writing.)

Hope everyone has a productive writing day!

Finalist!