Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Make Friends Monday

First of all, I'm quite aware that it isn't actually Monday, but I really am running about a week and a half behind, so here we go. Tristi started a feature on her blog where she highlights some of her blogging friends every Monday. It is a great way meet new people and learn a few interesting things about them. She mentioned me here. Tristi is a wonderful person and friend. I met her several years ago at a writer's conference and have always been impressed with her great attitude. She is a wonderful person who always cheers the rest of us on.  Here is a little more about Tristi:

Tristi Pinkston has been blogging since 2006.  On her main blog, ( she covers everything from writing tips and the life of a published author to kid funnies, spiritual thoughts, and embarrassing moments.  She also has a weight loss blog, one for writing challenges, another for her fictional characters … and she lost count of how many others she has.  You can find the links for them on her sidebar.
Tristi is the author of five published novels and a whole kit ‘n caboodle of unpublished novels.  Right now she’s focusing on cozy mysteries, although she has written historical fiction in the past and plans to write more in that genre.  She works as a freelance editor, online writing instructor, and a virtual book tour coordinator.  She loves taking long naps, being charmingly annoying, and watching good movies.  She’s a Mormon, a homeschooler, a Cubmaster, and most of the time, a headless chicken.

If you've never met her, pop on over to her blog. If you do know her, head on over and say hi, she would love to have you.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Just Wait Until You See Amazing

Yesterday I played the piano for my daughter when she sang in church. She has had a sore throat and cold over the last week, and as we were practicing Saturday night she was concerned that her voice would crack and she wouldn’t do as well as she usually does. Still, she was confident that she would do fine. Her vocal teacher told her that she already has “very good” down pat and now she has to work on being amazing. But even if she has a less than stellar performance, as long as she puts in her best effort, the audience will still love “very good”.

How often do we do something well, but won’t share with others because it isn’t amazing? When working on a manuscript, I can edit for months and still feel like the words just aren’t cooperating with me. The temptation to hide it in a drawer and never let anyone see it is always there, yet I know that letting the story molder away in a corner defeats the purpose. I write for others. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing something that flowed from my pen has touched someone’s life and got them thinking. That hidden away manuscript doesn’t help anyone, especially me.

I often have to bite my tongue when someone tells me about a scene in my book that they particularly loved. So often the first thoughts in my mind are how I could make it better, because let’s face it, nothing is perfect. When I step back and think about the comments I’ve received, I realize that the stories I tell can touch people’s lives despite their imperfections.

It’s like my daughter’s singing. To most of us, her voice is amazing – clear, sweet, strong. Yet she hears the word that didn’t come out exactly right or the note that didn’t get held as long as she wanted.  Despite still having much to learn about the voice and how to use it, she always brings a wonderful spirit into the room when she shares her talent. The rest of us wish we could sing as beautifully.

It’s interesting being imperfect. There is always something new to learn, a different technique to try, a mistake to fix, and a new skill level to reach for. I think if I wrote the perfect book every time, the process would lose something and become boring. For me, part of the joy is the learning I do along the way. I keep reminding myself, if our audiences love our “very good,” just wait until they see amazing!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Catching Up

Life has been so hectic and doesn't seem to be settling down. Here is the abbreviated version:

1. Canadian Thanksgiving was this week. We had a lovely dinner with lots of extended family at our home. Everyone contributed so there wasn't too much work for anyone. Great food and great company made for a wonderful evening.

2. My mother and step-father are staying with us for a few days. They are visiting from Arizona and have been with us a week. I haven't seen my mom in two years. Arizona is such a long distance, so it is hard for us to get down there and hard for them to get up here. We've been having a great time visiting, although my work is really falling behind.

3. We've had to hire a tutor for one of the children. When it became obvious that extra help was needed we made the decision to spend the money even though we didn't know where it would come from. Less than twenty-four hours later, I received a phone call from the school offering me a two month position, filling in for someone who is taking medical leave. It is definitely one of those tender mercies. I'm so grateful to know He watches over our needs.

4. NaNoWriMo is coming up quickly. With the new job and everything else I have to work on, I'm not sure I'll be signing up, but I haven't entirely ruled out the possibility yet.

5. My oldest daughter informed me the other day that there is a formal dance coming up at the school. Out school usually holds one formal dance during the year, but in the last few years I've noticed they are planning more and more. Of course this means that she needs to find a dress. Because she is a difficult size to find and the local shopping is incredibly limited, I have some sewing to do. It'll be fun if I can just get her to decide what she wants.

6. My office is almost finished and as soon as I put the final touches in, I'll post pictures. I'm very happy with how it turned out, although the project did remind me that I don't really enjoy painting. I'd much rather do my creating with words or with a needle and thread.

7. So far the reports I've been getting on Finding Rose have been positive. I'm getting many requests for the second book.

8. And that all leads back to the writing. The next story is almost entirely plotted. I have a little research to finish up and then I'll get it all on paper. I'm excited about the story and some new characters who have taken up residence in my mind.
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