Monday, October 30, 2006

CSFF Blog Tour Day 1: Dragons, Knights, and Angels

Today kicks off the CSFF Blog tour of DKA--DRAGONS, KNIGHTS, & ANGELS!

I think they've pretty much captured our attention with the name, don't you?

The first page pulls you right in with all of the fiction stories and poetry displayed and quick links to discuss them in the forums.

Mirtika Ana Schultz, the poetry editor, is the only editor over there that I know personally, though I've never met her in person. It's amazing what email, IMs and forums do for us. We can come to know people we otherwise would never meet.

Mirtika will be offering a contest at her blog during the tour. She says this:
Anyone who posts a comment under one of the blog tour posts here at Mirathon from Mon thru Wed just has to say, "Enter me into the critique contest," and that's enough to get your name in the hat. I will accept names from other blog tour blogsites. Those blog owners will have to email me the names.

Read more about it at Mirathon.
I especially like this statement from John Cooke in the DKA Vision Statement:
To my way of thinking, dragons represent the mystical, the unknown world, dangerous and magical and huge beyond reckoning. Knights represent the horizontal, selfless but moral humans fighting the good fight with feeble flesh and faith. Angels represent the vertical, messengers of an almighty God, purveyors of Providence, proof of the unprovable, denizens of a supernatural spiritual reality.
There's so much more happening this week including announcing the winners of the poetry contest. Be sure to visit the other participants.

Jim Black
John J. Boyer
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Frank Creed
Bryan Davis
Christina Deanne
April Erwin
Beth Goddard
Rebecca Grabill
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
John Otte
Jason Joyner
Oliver King
Tina Kulesa
Kevin Lucia
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Cheryl Russell
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Chris Walley
Lost Genre Guild
Speculative Faith


Thursday, October 26, 2006

P du Pig

We can always learn something no matter how old we are, even from those younger than ourselves. And if we look very closely, we can detect the signs of brilliance very early on. Such is the case with this young aspiring novelist. BTW, my son had not yet learned the word "the" and instead used "du." The title "P du Pig" translates "P the Pig."

In case you're unable to read the story, here it is, (in English):

P the Pig

P the pig went out of the mud. P the pig got lost in the woods. P the pig is sad. P the pig made a flood (of tears). The flood is dried up. P the Pig is home.

In this tale we see an action (the pig went out of the mud) and the consequence (the pig got lost in the woods). The pig's reaction produces a flood of tears. We can conclude that the flood of tears is dried up BECAUSE the pig is home.

I find it interesting that my son's focus is on the pig's emotions, his reactions to his surroundings. A character driven tale, no doubt.

I'm posting today over at Speculative Faith (The Trouble with Time Travel) and today and tomorrow at Favorite Pastimes (Studies in Medieval Women).


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My mom and dad sent me flowers!

A writing friend and multi-published author shared some advice with me: You will never forget the first time your agent or editor calls and says the magic words. . .There is no feeling like it in the world. Enjoy that for a few days. If and when those little feelings of panic start setting in, realize that it's just the emotional letdown after a few days of walking six feet above the ground. It means nothing other than the party's over and now it's time to deal with reality again.

I plan to enjoy it to the fullest before I come down to reality. I think I'm like many writers in that I loved to tell stories at a young age. Wrote many a poem especially the ever-popular teenage angst poetry. At fourteen I took a stab at my first novel. That was in the days before everyone owned a PC in their home, before Windows. Using a typewriter, I typed away at the first 25 pages of a gothic romance novel (very popular in that day). I'm wondering if I still have that stuffed in a manila folder labeled Beth's writings somewhere in my mom's house.

I can't imagine having to use a typewriter to produce a novel now. Imagine the retyping you'd have to do, much like the ancient scribes had to redo an entire page, possibly an entire book due to one mistake. When I reached 25 pages, it occured to me that I had no clue what to do if I were to finish my book. Of course, people published novels all of the time, but where did I find out how to go about it? Again, this was before the internet which has changed so many aspects of our lives and industry--especially music and the publishing world.

Though I pursued a career in computer science, I never forgot my desire to write. It seems that almost every five years I would try again, never really certain whether to write articles or attempt a novel. But God kept nudging me. First with a Bible verse that repeatedly turned up everywhere I went, everywhere I looked. There was no escaping so I embraced what I felt was God's call to write. I even received a letter in the mail from a writing course I'd signed up for. The first sentence read "Has God given you your writing verse yet?" Uncanny.

At some point five years later, I'd given up completely on the idea that God wanted me to write. I laughed out loud, scoffed even. We'd moved to Austin for my husband's job. Still, God pursued me repeatedly regarding writing. I agreed to work through a Bible study for writers by Marlene Bagnull and that's where it was confirmed to me that I should listen to this desire He'd placed in my heart. It was that year (2001) that I joined then ACRW (now ACFW) at only about 100 members. They've now grown to over 1200 members. They placed me in a critique group where I was made to submit at least one chapter a week.

One member was already an excellent writer (English major or some such thing) and I made sure to have my chocolate ice cream ready once I finished reading her critique of my work. There is almost nothing as painful as having someone rip your baby to shreds. You've poured your thoughts, yours ideas, heart onto the paper (or laptop). You're vulnerable, putting yourself out there for all to see. Then someone shreds you. I learned to develop a very thick skin if I wanted to become a writer and I made it through her critiques.

Almost all of the members of the original critique group are now published and we are still very close friends. I want to thank them for years of encouragement and support and I especially appreciate family members who believed in me and were patient with the hours I 've neglected them and spent writing instead.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Feeling so lame. .

because I haven't posted much about my conference experience. Truthfully, it's been all I can do to get my life back on track. I've been amazed at all of the awesome posts about the conference, especially over at Shannon McNear's blog. I'm not sure I could be that transparent, revealing every emotion. But I know that anyone who is able to do that is certainly an awesome writer--one who is sure to carry readers through a powerful emotional experience. I'm waiting to buy your book, Shannon!

It's interesting to step back and look at everything that we do as aspiring writers. There are the contests. . tons of contests. And conferences. Does anyone ever get published without going to a conference? Does anyone know what the stats are on that? Then there's the blogging and the newsletters. I'm not sure how much, if any, effect it all has on whether or not one gets published. I know that while I was a finalist in the Genesis, a friend who did not final landed a top agent instead. And yet another friend who did not final has manuscripts being seriously reviewed by editor's at major publishing houses. Bottom line is that we all have a different path we must take.

This week an editor contacted me to tell me the great news! They want to buy my book! What boggles my mind is that for all of these years I've been writing historicals and then this last year, worked on a fantasy. My first book sell is a contemporary romance! How funny is that? I won't post the details, of course, until I've signed the contract. But I invite you to celebrate with me nontheless.

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