Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
Colorado/New Mexico, 1875
The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter is book 1 in the Love in Four Corners series. Book 2, Pride's Fall by Darlene Franklin and Book 3, Almost Arizona by Susan Page Davis
Friday, December 2, 2011
"All that we behold is full I have so much to be thankful for! I know that Thanksgiving has past, and here we are at the beginning of December already, but I want to back track a bit as I am still enjoying the afterglow of my 50th birthday celebration (Nov. 16th). So if you'll allow me to reminisce, here's how I celebrated during my birthday season of blessings. . .
First of all I enjoyed a wonderful two week long road trip with my Mom in August to celebrate our 50th and 70th birthdays. It was such a special time to spend together and we did so many things including visiting lots of family. I got a ton of research done to boot. It was one of the grandest times of my life!
|Our amazing "Birthday Dinner" at the Riverwalk Restaurant |
in Yorktown, VA. Tillapia Fillet & Baked Sea Scallops
wrapped in parchment paper.
And now, my 50th year, I look forward to a new career as a published author of two books, with two more to follow the next year. I have lots to celebrate big and small in this season, and in all.
"Seeing our Father in everything makes life one long thanksgiving and gives a rest of heart." ~ Hannah Whitall Smith.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
What a year this has been! So much going on between juggling sickness (I just got over pneumonia, thus my absence once again) and loads of deadlines for my two publishers ~ bio sheets, book cover design sheets, edits/revisions, final edits (galleys) and a host of other activities. Today I am celebrating...me! It's my 50th birthday! Wow, did I really just write that? Those are a few words I'd like to edit! Actually, life is very good and I'm very content, humbled, and excited beyond belief that I have three books scheduled for release in 2012-2013.
It's been such a whirlwind that I haven't even had time to order my photos from my head shots that I had taken this summer by my talented cousin, Kristen LaValley Walters. So here I am, what do you think? Any of the pics are available in varying finishes and these haven't even had their final touches yet.
So with all this talk about edits and polishing and all of the hard work that I've been doing this year ~ my year of preparation as I've been calling it ~ I hope to spend time in my 50th year, my Jubilee year, and ask the Lord to do a little polishing of me personally and to refine my relationship with Him. So follow along, I will try to be more consistent in my posting. I'm so grateful for you all!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
At last my dear friends, I return to my much neglected blog. Thank you for your patience while I have been rather indisposed of late. I've been sequestered in a prison of my own making and hardly seen the light of day, or so it seems.
My first priority was to finish my manuscript for my novella, Carving a Future (Barbour). This is the first story in the Colonial Courtships anthology featuring the four Ingersoll brothers in Glassenbury, CT, 1752. Happy am I to say that I completed my task, or it would have been the gallows for me!
My local writers conference occurred in the midst of this writing, though I had hoped to be done with my manuscript by then, I was not. The conference was a pleasant diversion, but it did require much of my time as I was one of the conference planners. I'll be posting soon on that wonderful day that I shared with two of my favorite authors, Susan Page Davis and Ruth Axtell Morren.
During this time, I've also submitted two synopses to my agent for potential inclusion in a series, and am very hopeful about these! We also communicated about my writing goals. Did you ever notice how similar the word "goal" and "gaol", the old fashioned way of spelling jail are? There must be something to that, methinks.
I am also beginning to write my next novel, A Design for Love, for Abingdon's Quilts of Love series. My story is set in Boston, MA, 1770. And though I keep myself in chains to my writing, it is where I want to be.
And thus is the work of an author, I am finding, not always comfortable, challenging me to my limits, it seems. But it is what I have chosen, and what God has chosen for me. So, lest you think I am complaining, I am not. I am ever so grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy, and endure, this life of mine that has changed and is changing me.
“Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.”
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Donna Brennan shares Ways to Make Your Writing Stonger.
Mike Hyatt explains How to use Twitter to Sell Your New Book.
Literary Agent Steve Laube found a few useful tools that help check repetitive phrases and words in your writing in his post Every Word Counts.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
"Wear the old coat and buy the new book."
~ Austin Phelps
Home Life in Colonial Days by Alice Morse Earle. Mrs. Earle was an author from the 19th century wrote many books on historical times, especially the colonial period most likely in an effort to preserve the history of the unique culture of the day. I first came across her original books that are non-copyrighted, transcribed and available online (Google Books and elsewhere). This 470 page 1974 reprinting of her 1898 book was only $2.
What can I say? Aren't they beautiful! These two volumes of Men, Women & Manners in Colonial Times by Sydney George Fisher, published in 1897 at the original price of $1.50 each, are in amazing condition with silver-gilt embossed covers, deckled edges, and tissue covered lithographs. Although I unintentionally purchased Vol. 2 at the cost of $21, I luckily found Vol. 1 for only $1.99 and am now delighted to have this rare set, having obtained it for about $23.
I wish I could hear authentic language from the colonial period and translate that into my writing, especially the dialect of the area of my setting. I would like to write in such a fashion, not solely, as it surely would be far too cumbersome to read, but sprinkled judiciously for effect. But since they did not have devices to make recordings back then I must rely on the language itself, and being a wordsmith I have discovered these tools — glossaries of Colonial English.
Colonial American English by Richard M. Lederer, Jr., published in 1985, is a much sought after tome filled with words and phrases that were used in America from 1608 - 1783. This may be the only books on this topic, this particular period (at least that I could find), and thus some of them went for up to $218. Since I've long considered trying to obtain this book, my purchase price of $27.99 was a bargain.
You may wonder why I invested in A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. I promise you, the term vulgar denotes unsophisticated rather than, well, raunchy. This is an edited version (1992) of English Capt. Francis Grose's infamous 1785 collection of common and slang used in the 18th century. Who knows, I might find some interesting words to use for a lower class or unsavory story character. And all for $2.99.
So there you have it . . . well, almost . . . I do have one book I cannot show you lest I give away my secret plot for a forthcoming series that I'm developing. I know, I'm so mean.
Have you found any book treasures lately? Ever?
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Although I can write HTML and plot stories in my sleep, you should just name me "Keep her out of the kitchen Carla" as I have a ridiculously difficult time managing myself in that dreaded room. But the need was so great I decided to lend a hand this time, even if cooking isn't my forte. Both my sons are excellent cooks are employed as such, the gift must have skipped a generation. My Mom was a home economics teacher for years (while they still taught that in school). I do have a few specialties. But baking cookies, not so much. I'd rather decorate them.
As I said, I do have a handle on a few recipes and I tend to stick to what I know. My family doesn't have to wonder why I serve them the same foods over and over again (though they never really get the exact same version every time). But as I tend to shy away from the kitchen and am more comfortable with pen in hand, I have generally learned to decline areas of service where I'm not gifted. But there are those times that we are compelled to help and I do so with good intentions. But this exercise reminds me that I do need to stay on task and get back to completing my novella as I'm writing on deadline. And truly, I'd rather be writing!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
- President George W. Bush,
December 11, 2001
And sometimes there are no words...but His.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Digging up Character Names
Saturday, August 27, 2011
I received the good news email on the evening of the first anniversary of my step-dad's passing. Seems like my book projects come with highs and lows, the bitter and the sweet. Within moments of reading the email, and before I even had a chance to tell anyone my head felt like it was about to explode and started throbbing most intensely. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and they suspected life threatening conditions and possible need for a neurosurgeon. After testing and bringing my symptoms under control it was determined that it must have been a strange variation of migraine combined with the intense high blood pressure. Apparently the news was too much for me! Now home, I've followed up with my doctor and am on Prednisone, yet again, and feeling much better. But the good news I received right before this episode was like a promise from the Lord that He still had work ahead for me.
So, without further ado . . .
Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton, comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan—a design for love.
|Tailor at the Margaret Hunter Shop,|
This talk about quilting makes me also think of comfortors and the comfort I received from my joyful vacation, wonderful news, and God's watchcare over me during my time of grieving and illness makes me ever mindful that "our comfort is abundant through Christ." (2 Cor. 1:5)
Friday, August 26, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Have you ever written under great difficulties?
|Laptop of the 1890's!|
Here are some excerpts from past times that testify to this fact. I hope you enjoy.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
'Writing is like flirting: if you can't do it, nobody can teach you; and if you do it, nobody can stop you.' So says the heroine of a contemporary novel, and I am bound to say that I agree with her.
So states Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler, the author of an 1905 article in The Writer, a popular Boston literary magazine which commenced publication in 1882 and is still being produced. I get such a kick out of reading old writings — illuminating society of past times, yet sometimes resonating with the thoughts we have today.
As the article continues I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did for both advice and humor.
To those who feel that they cannot write now, but some day hope they will, I can only give the celebrated advice of Punch "to persons about to marry"— "Don't." If you feel that you can help writing, by all means do help writing, and turn your thoughts and your wishes in another direction.
"Mute, inglorious Miltons," believe me, are very rare birds indeed. As a rule genius — like murder — "will out." I fear I have not much patience with those people who are convinced that they could have done some great thing if circumstances had been different. Circumstances have very little to do with the question. These persons could have done some great thing if they themselves had been different, I admit; but that is the only "if" they can lawfully plead.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Make a Way by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman (Streams in the Desert)
"I will make all my mountains a way" (Isa.49:11).
God will make obstacles serve His purpose. We all have mountains in our lives. There are people and things that threaten to bar our progress in the Divine life. Those heavy claims, that uncongenial occupation, that thorn in the flesh, that daily cross--we think that if only these were removed we might live purer, tenderer, holier lives; and often we pray for their removal.
"Oh, fools, and slow of heart!" These are the very conditions of achievement; they have been put into our lives as the means to the very graces and virtues for which we have been praying so long. Thou hast prayed for patience through long years, but there is something that tries thee beyond endurance; thou hast fled from it, evaded it, accounted it an unsurmountable obstacle to the desired attainment, and supposed that its removal would secure thy immediate deliverance and victory.
Not so! Thou wouldest gain only the cessation of temptations to impatience. But this would not be patience. Patience can be acquired only through just such trials as now seem unbearable.
Go back; submit thyself. Claim to be a partaker in the patience of Jesus. Meet thy trials in Him. There is nothing in life which harasses and annoys that may not become subservient to the highest ends. They are His mountains. He puts them there. We know that God will not fail to keep His promise. "God understandeth the way thereof and knoweth the place thereof. For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven"; and when we come to the foot of the mountains, we shall find the way.--Christ in Isaiah, by Meyer
"The meaning of trial is not only to test worthiness, but to increase it; as the oak is not only tested by the storm, but toughened by them."
Saturday, July 30, 2011
|Silverton, Colorado. A scene like one found in|
The Shadow Catcher's Daughter.
After many years of trekking through the wilderness climbing toward the goal of publication I at last found myself reaching the summit. My debut novel was set to release in January 2012. Many of you have heard the announcement that came last week that Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents line is closing December 2011. Yes, my first book was set to release the following month.
Naturally, I am very disappointed that The Shadow Catcher's Daughter has hit this road block. But I prefer to think of it as a bend in the road. As I continue to press on to completion (copy edits, etc.) with an uncertain destination, I'm reminded of the many times that I've had to keep moving forward under similar circumstances. If I allow my doubts and fears and other discouraging thoughts to assail me I have no chance of discovery along the path nor the potential opportunity that may await. I believe there is a plan for this book and the timing has been at God's discretion all along. So, I'm going to trust him for it. And even though I cannot see what is around the corner, I know I am on the right path. I'll continue on this journey through the struggles and the joys.
I do look forward to May 2012 when Carving a Future, my novella in Colonial Courtships will be released. So my debut, although not a full novel, will come a little later. As for now I am busy writing the novella and getting a few proposals ready to submit. Moving forward with hope not in my expectation, but in God's plan.
but the LORD determines his steps."
Friday, July 29, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to His children."
The Lord took no pleasure in my broken neck. Like any father who has compassion on his children, it pained his heart to see me hurt. Yet at the same time, it pleased the Lord to permit my accident. My spinal cord injury was something he sovereignly designed in and for his good pleasure. God's ways are so much higher than ours; He has the capacity to look at the world through two lenses -- through a narrow lens and a wide angle one. When God looks at a painful event through a narrow lens, He sees the tragedy for what it is. He is deeply grieved. In Ezekiel 18:32 He says, "I take no pleasure in the death of anyone." God feels the sting in His chest when a child dies of cancer or a husband is killed in an accident. However, when God looks at that same event through His wide angle lens, He sees the tragedy in relation to everything leading up to it,as well as flowing out from it. He sees a mosaic stretching into eternity -- it is this mosaic with all its parts, both good and evil, which brings Him delight.In the span of a single verse, the Bible asserts "the Lord brings grief," yet "He does not willingly bring... grief." God tried this out on Himself. He willed the death of his own Son, but He took no delight in it. God saw how Jesus' death would demonstrate His incomprehensible mercy, as well as bring His people to glory. God often wills what He despises because -- and only because -- He has a wide angle view on the world.
Lord, too often I have only a narrow-lens view of my world -- give me your perspective and may I rejoice in the beautiful mosaic I will one day understand.
Monday, July 25, 2011
"It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, who's first book was published at age 65.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Things on my agenda include:
- Planning the MFCW conference for October 8th. So excited that Susan Page Davis will be our speaker and both she and Ruth Axtell Morren will be conducting workshops. Oh, and I'm doing a workshop, too!
- Critiquing some chapters for my crit partner Susan Page Davis on her novel which is the 3rd novel in our Love in Four Corners series with Darlene Franklin (bk 2) and moi (bk 1).
- Finishing up my revisions for my publisher on said bk 1, The Shadow Catcher's Daughter.
- Catching up on Website projects for a surgeon and several authors.
- Baking Snickerdoodles. Yes, I confess.
- Planning my vacation for next month. Road trip!
Here's an awesome video about developing your pitch for an agent or editor. It's a real hoot, but I promise you'll learn something from it if you pay attention!
Monday, July 11, 2011
The episode make me think about the things I hide. Words, sometimes. I've hoarded special words and phrases or ideas that I want to use in my writing, not sure if I should use them with this project or save them for another. I hid my writing away for years, not wanting anyone to see a word I wrote and if they discovered something before I was ready I panicked. Then when I take out my stash of notebooks full of my writing I am overwhelmed with what to do with them, where they fit into my current publishing plans, if at all. Hiding my words, my writing, has been a problem for me in the past. I'm still a little shy about it, but I have been finding my courage over the years through blogging, and taking the risk of putting my words out there for public viewing. It has really built my confidence. So I'm going to take a lesson from Dasha and ignore the dust bunnies, disregard the imitation/insignificant toys, and just play with the real thing/what has true merit. Most importantly not hide my words, or hide behind them anymore.
Do you hide your words, your writing? What do you do to help build your writing confidence? Is there anything in your stash of writing that can be pulled out and shared with others? What are you waiting for?
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Over the past three weeks I've been recovering from pneumonia. It has been a horrible ordeal and I'm glad that I'm finally better. I can breathe. I also can take a deep cleansing breath as I move on to the next stage of my life, leaving behind the part-time job that I've held for the past four years. I enjoyed working for Literacy Volunteers, an excellent organization that helps adults improve their literacy skills. But over the past year or more it was becoming increasingly more difficult to manage because of my chronic migraines. At the same time I went through my step-dad's terminal illness and death, and have experienced the hard work and joy of making progress with my literary career, and also continued with occasional freelance website development projects. Over the past six months I have been wearing more hats than I was comfortable with and my author activities have become increasingly more demanding. It was all so chaotic and felt overwhelming at times, and totally went against my grain as someone who is a planner and likes a more peaceful life. So as I considered transitioning away from some of my tasks I've sought to define where my time and energy would be best spent.
Now I'm happy to say that I'm officially writing full-time which to me means that is where my primary focus remains. This is my time of preparation for my books that will release next year and there is so much to do. I'm also continuing to do freelance work as a website developer and graphic designer, as I have had increased opportunity to continue with that work. I also plan to revamp my own online presence through my website and create promotional materials.
My opening hook for this new chapter includes my questions about how best to prioritize my projects and reorganize my life. I also will attempt to find some answers to some of my health issues. So I prayerfully devote this exciting new time to the Lord and seek his leading in the story He is telling of my life.
What is happening in the current chapter of your life? Are you at the beginning, middle, end?