Finalist!

I’ve always enjoyed reading historical novels. As a child I actually imagined living in the mid 1800s. My grandmother fed my imagination by supplying me with hoop skirts and costumes of the age. She also granted me endless hours typing on her electric typewriter. I fell in love with Gone With The Wind and imagined myself writing my own book one day.
I’m currently dabbling with Time Travel. I’ve renewed an old manuscript by adding the Time Travel element. I was curious to see how it would be received and I’m happy to report my manuscript The Bridge Between is a finalist in the Romance Through The Ages Contest!
The first round judges were kind and generous in their review of the manuscript. It takes time to read pages of someone else’s work and give your honest opinion. I appreciate the feedback I received and have considered it as I move forward in completing the revision.
Check back for more updates. And until then, write on!

Finalist!

I’ve always enjoyed reading historical novels. As a child I actually imagined living in the mid 1800s. My grandmother fed my imagination by supplying me with hoop skirts and costumes of the age. She also granted me endless hours typing on her electric typewriter. I fell in love with Gone With The Wind and imagined myself writing my own book one day.

I’m currently dabbling with Time Travel. I’ve renewed an old manuscript by adding the Time Travel element. I was curious to see how it would be received and I’m happy to report my manuscript The Bridge Between is a finalist in the Romance Through The Ages Contest!

The first round judges were kind and generous in their review of the manuscript. It takes time to read pages of someone else’s work and give your honest opinion. I appreciate the feedback I received and have considered it as I move forward in completing the revision.

Check back for more updates. And until then, write on!

The Reluctant Writer by Christy LaShea

The title of this post is not for my latest book. Don’t get excited for me as my writing world is as humdrum as the sand in the cracks of my driveway outside…. except, I think even the sand has some sparkly sediment to it that makes it quite interesting. If I were writing, there may be some spark in my writing world too. But, I’m not and it’s not. 

The title of this post simply represents where I am right now. I’ve got ideas in my head, but when I sit down at the computer, it just won’t happen. I spend too long wasting time on things that produce intangible things that will fade as quickly as they are written or read. I’m speaking of Facebook status messages, emails, blah, blah, blah…

So here I am, on my blog where I can whine and either you’ll read it and move on, or read it and comment. It is your choice and I’m not requiring either. 

A bit of writing-related news is that the Maggie Contest is about to draw to a close for entries. The deadline is June 10. That’s a Friday and I believe is only about 2 weeks away, or less. I would love to enter my historical. Last I heard, there were no Inspirational entries and Charlene Patterson of Bethany House is the editor who would be the final judge AND will be at our M&M conference this year. So, if you have any sort of inspirational story, I say get your entry in soon. It’s the first 35 pages, and that includes a synopsis in that page count.  The website is 
http://www.georgiaromancewriters.org/

What are you waiting on?
Please don’t wait on me… I may not happen.

So I’m thinking I will begin to post my progress again…. Writing progress that is… The good or the ugly, I will post what I’m up to. June 10 is the deadline for the Maggie. Can I have 30 pages ready to go with a synopsis?


If you want to participate, share what you will be working on…


On a side note, I learned a friend of mine gave up on contests. She was frustrated with the feedback she received and decided to start querying agents. After about 10-15 rejections out of 50 that she was planning to query, she heard back from an agent and got an offer. How wonderful for her! Waving at Melanie!


What do you think? Query, Query, Query, or do Contests, Contests, Contests to secure success?


I think the first step is writing. You’ve got to write the best book you know how.


And we all know how that’s going for me….

no more

This weekend I decided I would stop writing. For good. No more effort. No more stress…

My reasoning was that I was too stressed trying to write. I have two young children and need to devote as much time as possible to them. I decided writing needed to take a back seat, that I would get to it when I got to it. I decided I would make a better effort at putting God first in my life, then wife, then mom, then daughter, then something else…. then focus on my 9-5 job I’m not liking very much right now…. then, writing would come in at a distant 52nd place… I felt good about my decision. Already, I felt like I had improved as a mom and a wife.

An hour later, something about the current story line I’m working on popped into my head and I realized that giving up writing may not be as easy as I thought.

What I’ve decided to change is my mindset. I’d turned my writing into something that had to be done, because I wanted it to be a business venture for me. The sad fact is that it isn’t. This may never be a business venture for me. It may be a hobby until the day I die.

I joined a couple of writers organizations. I’m on a group blog that talks writing and everything else. I’ve entered/won contests. I opened Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook accounts to network with other writers, but found I can network all day long, but until I finish the book and really start querying, I have no chance. I have to turn the social media networks off to get anything done. My time is too limited to waste.

I see other people who are probably balancing as much or more than I am announce their publication contracts. I’m happy for them, but when I see the new author is someone like me, in my own rotten flesh I am jealous because I wish that were me. I can’t see the end of this road but I’m not sure I want to. What good will come if I am published? A check? Recognition? Don’t I realize that with publication comes its own set of problems? Don’t I have enough problems? Why add more?

So I have to stop writing… for the reasons to become published… for the goal of making a name for myself… I need to stop because its not helping me, its hurting me.

If I’m going to write, then it needs to be just for me.

Back to the love of writing because I’m creating a world of new problems that belong to someone else, where true loves always wins in the end, where the worst issues will be resolved and that on that last page, everyone will live Happily Ever After…..

No more effort to write for anyone else.

No more stress.

F – Flashbacks

Still blogging as part of the A-Z challenge and today’s letter is F.

The first word that came to my mind was frustrated, but I figured I’d keep this post upbeat and blogging about my many frustrations may lead me into a realm of whining and blahs that no one really wants to read about.

I’ve found that when I write, I write about things that happened to my character a month,  a year, or even longer, before the story starts. I always have to figure out what’s going on currently with the character and write good active scenes to keep the plot moving toward the resolution of the current story. However, sometimes, I will incorporate those past scenes into the current manuscript as a flashback. 

I’ve heard flashbacks aren’t so great in the minds of editors/agents.  I think with everything, if it is done well, the publishing house will accept it. If it works for the story. I haven’t found and dictating rules on the subject.

What are your thoughts? Do you like flashbacks, or tend to stay away from them?

…… One more day to leave a comment to be entered to win Meg Moseley’s Debut Novel, When Sparrows Fall. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!

E – EDITING

If you’re wondering what the crazy title of this post is about, just look at this cute little green box:

I forgot to blog about C&D, so I’m picking right up with letter E. The first thing that came to mind is Editing.

I find myself editing everything I write. From emails to friends, to text messages, to things I write at work. The only thing I haven’t edited very much lately is my manuscript. The trick there is you must write to edit.

For some writers, they find it easier to write the rough draft of the novel, then, go back and edit it. I used to write like this. But after that book took 4 years to edit, I decided I didn’t want to do that again! However, I must add, that was the book I used to learn about the craft of writing. From knowing nothing except how to form sentences and paragraphs and hope they made sense, to learning about Point of View and Scene/Sequel.

Now, I’m working on new books. On both the books, I tried the plotter approach. I worked on character sketches, outlined the book, worked on research. I started the early chapters. I even submitted one of those chapters to a contest. But, there’s a problem. I can’t get going on the story.

Am I editing as I go along?

Yes.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She did NaNo last November and had great success with it. She wrote, wrote, wrote until she reached and exceeded her goal. She took the following month to edit it. The whole process worked great for her. However, she’d also written down the scenes in order that she believed they would happen. She used note cards to guide her when she sat down to write.

I like this method. It’s a plotter/pantser approach. A happy medium.

I think when I think about a story too much, I ruin it for myself. I need to step back a decade when I was writing before I knew better. Ah, the writing was bliss back then and I was finishing manuscripts in record time.

So what about you? What do you think about editing? Do you do it as you write or write fast and edit later?

…… And if you’re interested in winning a copy of Meg Moseley’s Debut Novel, When Sparrows Fall, leave a comment letting me know – either on Friday/Saturday’s post and I’ll announce the winner this Thursday!

Inspiring You Challange – The Final Day

If you’ve tried to reach me and landed at Go.Daddy.com, please forgive, I’m trying to make some changes here… I should know not to start any remodeling until after the guests leave…

Today is the last day of the challenge, so everyone who participated, please confirm were you are with your goal…

My challenge was to start a new book. Goal Accomplished. Never mind that Chapter One looks horrendous. A lot of revisions needed her.  My challenge also included to have the rough draft completed by October 31st.
Ouch! Goal Not Met.

I did learn that I did not have a good enough handle on my characters. I also had not done enough research on the issues I plan to address through these characters. It seems I wanted to write about people I didn’t know all that well. Back to the drawing board….

Here are some of your stated Challenges:

~Dianna – wanted to get through revisions on her completed book as much as possible.
~Lindi – wanted to write 1,000 words a day.
~Rebecca – wanted to have 50,000 words of new text written by today.
~Mindy – wanted to have 12, 000 words written for the month.
~Cindy – wanted to have 45,000 words written by the end of the month. (I think Cindy met her goal!!!)
~Eva – is currently working on revisions to a completed book.
~Sherrie – was working to mail out a proposal and looking to begin a new book.

Check In time ladies… How have you done?  If you accomplished your goal, a gift card will be awarded to you, for thanks in helping me remain accountable. For those of us who have not reached our goal, never fear, in Scarlett O’Hara’s words, “Tomorrow is another day…” 

I am going to continue to post progress on my blog as much as possible. I invite you to return and keep me updated on your own progress. Thanks to all who have participated!

Inspiring You – Day 14

What’s In A Name?

A lot, as far as I’m concerned. You see, I’d come to almost the end of plotting my story, but there were a couple of main characters that I had not named yet.  I really wanted to begin Chapter 1, but I could not let myself take that step without completing the final steps of the story. 

I love baby name books. I discovered these books long before I became a mom. These books give you the first name, the name’s origin and its meaning. For me, the meaning of a name matters. Sometimes, the meaning doesn’t make sense in relation  to my character.

For my current book, I have a villain. I tried to think of all the names that I wasn’t fond of, but when I’d think of a name, I’d think of someone in the world I’d heard of that had done something good. Well, that crossed out the use of that particular name. I searched the baby name book and found the first name Holt. Its meaning is “wood.”

When I think of “wood” I think of someone trying to drive an axe through it. I think: sturdy. Tough. There are many good things I associate with wood, but for this story, I needed this character to have been around for a long time, to have always been tough and for my hero to become very angry with the character of Holt. Who knows, I may have a scene where my hero is driving an axe through a log of wood. No one would understand that underlying meaning except me, and those of you reading this post. Hmmm… sounds like a possible scene.

What about you… Do you put a lot of thought into choosing a name for your character? What tools do you use?  Perhaps if you give me the name of one of your characters I can bring you their meaning in the comments section of this post.

p.s…. My current word count is 4,302!  I’m excited that I accomplished more during lunch yesterday and wrote more again this morning. Thank you to all of you for keeping me accountable!

Inspiring You Day 5

I can’t believe we’re on day 5 already! 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get much writing done today. I enjoyed the day playing with my children and helping my husband on a project. We started the day at church. I was amazed by the passion our pastor conveyed when he shared about a new outreach he’s leading us toward. It’s all about helping those that are in our neighborhood… those just beyond our backdoor. Very eye-opening.

My daughter sat with us in “Big Church” today and did really great. She was well behaved, colored during the sermon and stood and sat when the rest of us did. She’s only 5, but I can tell a huge change in her. Still, I look at her and I’m amazed at how fast she’s growing up.

Back to writing… I’m continuing to think through the story. I decided that I may go ahead and write a major scene that’s been on my mind. This is jumping waaayyyy ahead, but I must remember I can perfect the scene in revisions that come later.

I hope you all got something accomplished today. My word count remains the same. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even open the document today.  I know Dianna is feeling under the weather. I pray she’s back behind the keyboard soon.

This week, along with writing more on this new story – I hope to have a proposal completed and mailed to a perspective agent on a prior story. What about you, anything you’d really like to finish this week?