Writing Update and Pitch Wars

Screen Shot 2019-05-28 at 6.27.16 PM

It’s been months (again) since I updated, and it was unintentional. Life has a way of reprioritizing day-to-day events, and my revision process took a step to the back for a month or so.

But, I have picked it up again, and I’m nearly 66% through draft two. And, during this draft, I’m eating my words. Though I never wrote it out anywhere, I was cocky enough to think that my second draft would not drastically change from my first, but it has. I cut three semi-important characters, the entire catalyst of the story changed, and I cut thousands (and thousands) of words. I’m writing this draft nearly from scratch. I’m copying and pasting some, but even those scenes are altered from their original state. If I handed someone both drafts, the first would be a shadow of the second.

I’m also in a bit of a race against time. Continue reading “Writing Update and Pitch Wars”

Advertisements

Don’t Forget Your Reason

I finally, finally have a breakthrough in my revision process.

And, you know that feeling I mentioned that I felt like there was one more thing I needed to know, but I couldn’t quite grasp it? I think this is a big part of that.

And the crazy part is, the piece I was missing was right in front of me this whole time. It was the most obvious piece that I refused to even consider.

But first, let me back up, especially if you’re new around here. Continue reading “Don’t Forget Your Reason”

Gloppy and Me

Do you remember the version of Candyland that has the Molasses Swamp? The swamp is at the top of the board, near the bend that sets you on the last set of squares before you reach King Kandy’s castle, the ultimate destination of the game. But, before you can reach the castle, you pull the wrong card and lose a turn while you’re slumping around with Gloppy in the Molasses Swamp.

I feel like I’m hanging out with Gloppy right now.

Life has been — different — than I anticipated for 2019. When I was flying high on whizzing through my first draft last year, I anticipated being through my first round of revisions by January first. I thought I would be well through my second round now, but I’m not. I’m not even close.

Life dealt us the Molasses Swamp card in the past six months, and instead of pulling myself out and marching forward when my second turn came, I’ve sat down next to Gloppy, and I’m completely saturated in sticky molasses. I’m not wallowing like a pig would in mud, but rather sitting and staring at Gloppy, wondering how we got here and how the heck I get motivated to fight my way out. Continue reading “Gloppy and Me”

Seeking Him First

I am knee-deep in revisions of my book right now, and by knee-deep, I mean that I’ve written a lot of notes, watched a lot of videos, listened to a lot of podcasts, signed up and participated in writing challenges, and read a few books about revising a story.

But really, I’m spinning my wheels a bit and fretting and talking a LOT about my book without making significant steps forward in the revision process. All of what I’m doing now is helpful and good, but there just is not much forward momentum.

And, I hate that.

I’m a do-er. A go-getter. I don’t procrastinate. Procrastination stresses me out. I like to start a project and then finish it. Long projects (like writing a book) sometimes put me on edge, even if I live for it. I can’t just check “write and publish a book” off my list at the end of the day.

I keep sitting and stewing about the revision process, and it’s just leading me to stress.

Why can’t I get started? Why does this feel harder than drafting? Why do I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall constantly? I have a deadline, for goodness’ sake, why can’t I just get this done?!

And then God – in the nicest way possible – hit me over the head with a sack of bricks this week. Continue reading “Seeking Him First”

The Sad Loss of a Good, Long Life

I apologize in advance for the roughness of this post, but whenever I lose someone I love, I write. Below is a jumble of my processing of yet another death in our family. This is family death number eight between my husband and me in the last two and a half years. Though it was expected, it is never easy.

What is this life that we hold on so tightly to? We think we have control of our existence, but the days of our life are not ours to number. We never know how many days we will have. I’ve scrolled through Instagram this week crying and praying along with people who have newborns and three-year-olds hanging on to life. I have cried with the posts of those who lost pregnancies and infants. And, today, I’m crying with the loss of someone much older, but whose death carries the same ache.

My grandmother passed away this morning at ninety-one.

I know most people unrelated to us would look at that number and say a trite “well, she lived a good long life.” And, while that’s true, that doesn’t ease the ache of the vacuum she left behind. My grandpa tonight won’t think “at least she had a long life” as he lays down in a bed void of the one he’s been married to for well over sixty years. It doesn’t ease the pain for my dad or his brothers who have yet another family member to say “goodbye” to in less than two years. Any loss in life is hard, even as Christians. We have the hope of heaven and the knowledge that we’ll see our loved ones again someday, but we still have to soldier on and pray that the Holy Spirit comes and fills the void our loved one has left.

I am not sad for my grandmother’s sake. She is freed from a body that ailed her for years, and she is in Heaven meeting our Savior and reuniting with her son she has yet to see whole. No, on this day, she has shed the skin that we live our lives fighting against and gets to live in whole peace and happiness. For the Christian, “to die is gain.” My grandmother has gained so much today, even while we mourn what we have lost. Continue reading “The Sad Loss of a Good, Long Life”

The Book: Your Questions Answered

As a little tribute to finishing the first revision reading of my book, I wanted to address two questions that have come up several times during the process of my writing.

1. Why does your book focus on “subtle” sexual and gender harassment and not the “big” topics of sexual harassment and assault?

When I first started writing A Sacrificial Justice, I wasn’t even going to include sexual harassment of any kind. I wanted to make the entire story about the experience of a whistleblower without diving into the issues that come with sexual harassment. I tend to avoid hot-button topics when I can because I hate conflict. The problem was, as soon as I started writing the book, the sexual and gender harassment became integral. I couldn’t tell the story without it because both my sister’s experience and my own experience included it, so it became a large part of the story. Continue reading “The Book: Your Questions Answered”

Be Strong and Courageous and Other Impossible Things

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

As a child, I was a performer, despite being so shy that my mom tells me I never spoke to my kindergarten teacher. But, I loved singing and acting. I was the first to volunteer for any church play or solo. I starred as Mary in a church program when I was nine and had several solos. I loved it.

But, as I got older, something crumbled in my confidence, that continued to crumble as the years went on. I still tried out for solos in middle school and landed a handful. I even tried out for a solo my freshman year of high school, but I didn’t get that one. By junior year, I was in my school’s large concert choir, but when it came time for our one-on-one midterms with the choir director I opened my mouth to sing, and all that came out was a squeak. (My choir director was not happy, and she told me in no uncertain words.) I managed to scrounge up enough courage to pass that midterm, and I somehow managed to slip into the audition-only chamber choir my senior year.

Continue reading “Be Strong and Courageous and Other Impossible Things”

A Writing Life Update, and a Title

This is a long overdue writing update (I think the June 1st entry was my last actual update), so I have lots to fill you in on (especially if you don’t follow me on Instagram).

First off, I finished my first draft on July 29th, almost exactly five months after I started. That in and of itself felt like the biggest accomplishment and the most anticlimactic moment of this whole process. Finishing the first draft meant I got the bones and a little meat down, but there is still so much work to do. My celebrating lasted all of twenty minutes before I realized what was before me work-wise. Continue reading “A Writing Life Update, and a Title”

Her Story is Valid

I’m taking a deep breath when I write this and praying that everything I write here is heard with the heart I intend.

Let me start out by saying: this is inspired by the Kavanaugh hearings, but it’s not really about the Kavanaugh hearings. Many people I know are taking staunch sides on that hearing, and I can’t. In fact, I didn’t listen to the hearing for a few reasons: 1) I have no tried and true way to discern who is right or wrong in this situation, and 2) I think it is abhorrent that a sexual assault case is being “tried” in a political and public “court.” I think the whole case was mishandled, and my heart hurts for all the victims in this case.

This post is not about politics. This post is about the problems in our society that the Kavanaugh case brings up. This is about us. All of us. Continue reading “Her Story is Valid”

The MacBook

This is a story about a new MacBook. But, this is also a story of so, so much more. I won’t rewind too far, just to February, right around the time I started this blog. I knew I was supposed to write something, but I didn’t know what I was going to write. In fact, I was procrastinating on writing, and I decided to gather supplies. In my mind, I needed software (Scrivener) and I needed hardware (a laptop). We have a very nice desktop, but I convinced myself that I needed to accomplish 99% of my writing at a coffee shop. In fact, I had amassed Starbucks cards and squirreled them away for the sole purpose of using them for weekend writing sessions. Continue reading “The MacBook”