Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first blog.
I'm excited you've come along for the ride with me, as I blog my thoughts and adventures on the way to being a published writer. Take a look around, post a comment or two, and enjoy!

20 December, 2012

Don't sit on it

A long time go I wrote a short story about people being hooked up to computers. I shoved it in my "crate of writing" never to be seen again. Then The Matrix came out. A few years ago I wrote a short about Hansel and Gretel. I put off developing it into a full script. Now Hansel and Gretel is coming out in theaters. If you have a great idea for a script, or a novel write it. Don't sit on it. When you sit on something, you are giving another writer an opportunity to take a spot that may have been meant for you. I had another idea for a movie. It was about the reality of dreams. And you know where I'm going with this one Inception. I regret not writing theses stories out and submitting them. They are missed opportunities. Stretch yourself as a writer. When you get an idea and you know it's a great idea, write it. Sit down and do it. Complete it, edit it, revise it, and send it out. At this time I have four completed screenplays (1 horror, 2 sci fi, 1 YA drama), based on topics that haven't been done before (as The Matrix and Inception hadn't been done before). I also have started the outline for a drama based on a topic that hasn't been done before. And I've completed the outline for a reboot of a mix of things from my childhood. I have a YA sci fi novel that hasn't been done before and I'm excited about it. I'm not stuffing it in the "crate of writing", I am actively engaged in writing all of these and submitting these works. December 2012 is the month of submissions for me. It's also the month of editing, and writing for me and I wouldn't have it any other way. God opens doors for us. It's important to be ready when that door opens. You still have time. Let December 2012 be your month. Don't sit on it.

18 December, 2012

God is still in our schools

God is still in our schools. In these days following the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, people are still shocked, saddened, and grieving-and rightfully so. There is one thing I would like to address. It is the term "You took God out of our schools." That is absolutely not true. See I teach in a public school and I can tell you with 100% certainty that God is still in our schools. I'm also a Christian. Does God stop at the door to my school when I head into work each day? No. He is with me. Always. What about the students that are also Christians? Does God not follow them on to school property? No. He is with them. I hear the students debate and discuss God and Jesus. I hear teachers and staff members pray and comfort one another in Jesus name. I've been on school campuses where students read their bible during a quiet lunch. Stop saying God is not in our schools anymore. Every time a believer steps foot on a school campus God is there. Don't confuse organized religion with who God is. The early believers in the book of Acts didn't have organized religion and yet God and the Holy Spirit were there with them. I may not be able to publicly display the Ten Commandments, or hold open prayer with my students but that doesn't stop me from praying for them, or loving them. If anything it intensifies it. God is very much in our schools.

04 December, 2012

FIERY FURNACE

Fiery Furnace I had a chance to go to LA for a screenwriting workshop on December 1st. I prayed about it and bought my plane ticket and paid for the course. Six days before the workshop I got an email it was cancelled. Now I had a plane ticket to LA, but I no longer had a workshop to go to. The same day I got the cancellation I got an email for a Christmas gala/fundraiser on December 2nd at the CBS studio lot. There was no indiction of what person sent me the invitation but I feel like it was God's providence that I got it. I showed up Sunday night with butterflies in my stomach, and dryness of mouth--not sure what to say or who to speak to. The host broke the ice for us. It turned out to be a wonderful evening. I connected with producers, actors, writers, and all manner of Hollywood people. It also happens that they were Christians. They encourage and inspired me and made me feel good about being a sci fi screenwriter. Prior to leaving for Los Angeles I had picked up a wonderful book by DeVon Franklin called "Produced by Faith." I highly recommend it, as it helped me see how I had pushed aside God's calling on me. What does this have to do with a Fiery Furnace? Daniel was forced to go in the Fiery Furnace. He said even if God did not deliver him, he would not worship the gold image of the king. Daniel chose to be obedient to God even though he did not know the outcome. Daniel stayed faithful. I'm choosing to go into the fiery furnace. I know what God has asked of me, and I know what my response should be. I don't know how long it will take for my screenplays to sell, or for me to get a writing assignment. I do know that I trust in God even though I can't see the outcome. You can call it faith. Faith that if I put all my focus and energy into writing for God that He will make a way. I told God I was ready to go into the fiery furnace. I didn't expect the difficulties and challenges that have happened recently that have nothing to do with my writing. I joked (partially) about taking my passport and running away. The heaviness in my heart due to the difficulties and challenges threaten to pull me away from my writing. I'm not a robot. I do have feelings, but I'm learning to do something my former advisor in grad school told me--take all that hurt and emotion and put it into your writing. Use it. She gets me, because she was right. I'm taking time to have my cry when I need to, to be angry (and apologize) when I need to, but I'm also turning off the phone and having some solid writing time. I know there are some people out there that cheered when I went in to the furnace thinking it would break me, and wishing me to fail. Yet I'm standing in the middle of those flames, radiant and unharmed with my Savior near me. Guess what? There's room in the furnace for you.

27 October, 2012

Practice

I think everyone has heard the term "practice makes perfect". Yet how many writers actually take that saying to heart? Being a writer is a lot like being an Olympic athlete. You have to practice daily. When you don't win a match, you go back and review the footage. I.e. you look back over your work. You see where it didn't work and you keep at it. Writing is such a personal thing, but so is being an Olympic athlete. You have to practice, you have to read up on your craft, you have to study the competition, and you cannot give up. Well you can give up, but I'm assuming you don't want to. Let me encourage you to keep at it. I love writing. I live and breathe it. In about a month, I will have a chance to meet with some executives and talk about my work-my screenwriting. I want my writing to be the best it can be so my time after my day job is filled with learning more about screenwriting, reading screenplays, and writing. A big portion of that time was taken up by writing my thesis for graduate school. The good thing that came out of the thesis, is I'm better at research, and I've gotten used to writing for six hours straight, each weekend day. As I put aside my thesis (leaving only minor editing), I'm excited to get back into my writing. I sat down Monday and wrote out a page full of log lines. Out of seven, four were viable, and I will begin working on one next week. Exciting times ahead.

03 October, 2012

Back

Back with a vengeance, Or a purpose. There is a line that must be crossed for true change to happen. You have to want it, and you have to be angry. Angry at where you are. Angry enough to say forget this. That's my tip for today. I'm back. Yes. It feels good. Where have I been? Life events took precedence. Was I still writing? Oh yes. And submitting screenplays and novels and working on a thesis and figuring out what I'm passionate about writing, and job change and yeah. I've been writing. What am I working on now? Well I've got one script that's making the rounds. Hope they love it. I've got two other completed scripts in the wings. I just finished writing a beat sheet for another sci fi screenplay. It's got some comedic elements in it. One thing I've realized from audience feedback of short scripts and skits that I've written, is that I do know how to write funny. That also means I'm going to write a comedy after this screenplay is written. It would be crazy for me to ignore my comedic talent. What else am I working on? Finishing a thesis for graduate school. 30 pages. Rough draft is done, so I just have some polishing to do. What else? Editing one of my novels, and started a fourth. I'm taking my time writing the fourth one. One thing I've come to realize is that writing is not like making caramel--you want to take your time. It won't burn. It will actually be better. Plus I want to finish editing the three prior novels and get them out in the market place. What else? Pilot for a TV series. Phew, Desiree, you say. That's a lot of writing. I see all this and get excited. I've been reminded of how much I love writing, and how cranky I get when I literally have no time to do it. It's not a pretty picture. There's not enough chocolate in the world to assuage me when I can't write, and I'm not pleasant to be around until I get some writing done. On that note-I'm back on the iPad writing tonight.

12 July, 2012

Blades of Grass

I'm at Hamline this week for my Mfa residency. Almost done--with the residency and with the program. I'm going through a lot of changes in my life. Changes in my career, my location, my direction. Add to that mix being in graduate school and you have a recipe for stress-induced hysteria. Thankfully that didn't happen but I did do something else. Hamline has amazing landscaping. Everywhere you go are towering trees, beautiful flowers, wild herbs, and rabbits. I went to a quiet place on campus. You have to walk on the grass to get to it. As I sat on the bench I looked at the wildflowers, and the waterfall and did something I haven't done in a long time. I took my shoes off and lay my feet in the grass. If you're not a nature person its okay. I think this will still make sense. I am very much an outdoors person. I own two pairs of hiking boots to prove it. Yet I have not been hiking or spent any considerable time outdoors in over a year. A part of who I was I just ignored because I was so busy. When my feet touched those blades of grass I almost cried. No. I did cry. I missed that feeling. I realized I had not only ignored the outdoor person in me, the real me, but in doing so I had hurt my writing. The thing about writing is that you take experiences, and observations and you put them into what goes on the page. If you deny part of yourself, or you deny yourself the chance to have observations and experiences, then your writing becomes flat and lifeless. My feet soaked up life and renewed purpose from those blades of grass. I made a promise to myself. To remember who I was. To do what I needed to do to have more moments like that. Still with me? What if your a blades of grass person, but thoses around you aren't? They're concrete people. They see the forest and shriek. You see the forest and imagine all the elves, and unicorns that must live there. Don't worry. Love them as they are. They should love you as you are. If not, don't worry. Be true to you. Gently remind those naysayers that God created you this way and lace up your hiking boots and hit that trail. Go write an adventure.

14 June, 2012

Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury passed away last week. He was 91. He accomplished more in his 91 years than dozens of people do in their lifetime. Why? He believed in himself. He was a writer who never went to college. A writer that crossed multiple formats to include short stories, novels, radio, tv, and film to name a few. If you're not sure you can do it look at his life's work. I first discovered Mr. Bradbury in elementary school from a teacher reading several of his short stories to us. It wasn't until I hit sixth grade and was unleashed on the school's library that I found the amazing world of science fiction. I was fortunate to have a librarian that didn't restrict me to reading books at my "grade level". She encouraged me to read any and everything. I started in the A's--Asimov. Then I moved to the B's-Bova, and then I found Bradbury. A man that could write a story about something as common as a paper clip and hook you until the end. At home watching Ray Bradbury theater helped me see the connection between the written word and screenplays. I started writing short stories. I would look at everyday objects just like Mr. Bradbury did, and write stories about them. This bled over into my art, as I would draw or paint items, but in each painting or drawing if you looked close enough you would see something else hidden within. I don't know how many times he was rejected by publishers, or panned by critics. I just know that at the age of 10, he took painfully shy girl and introduced her to the wonders of not just science fiction, but to writing as well. And for that I am deeply grateful. His death was a blow to me. This man who I had never met, but shaped my life just the same. Thursday I sat down with a piece of paper and thought about him. And a story began to take shape, of a young girl living in a post apocalyptic world.

12 June, 2012

Catching up

Sitting in a Dunkin Donuts. Not my usual one. Had to travel out of town. Man they know how to make a good cup of coffee. Nothing against Starbucks-which has my favorite-cinnamon dolce latte, or Gloria Jeans with their caramel latte, or Tom Tom with their caramel latte. Almost completed revisions on my first novel. As in, I stripped it down to mere chapters and paragraphs and edited it with a fine-tooth comb. I can truly sit back and say wow! It's a novel that hooks you and keeps you turning pages. Plus it's nice that I'm not the only one that thinks so. Published authors agree. It's going to be a busy summer, and gladly so, in my writing world. I'll be finished revising the first novel by the end of this month. July will see work on revising my second novel-stripping it down like I did the first one, and since I've got my summer off, I'll be working on finishing another science fiction screenplay, and starting a new sci fi screenplay. Science fiction is raking it in at the box office, but I'm not writing to the market. Science fiction is my niche. It's present in my other screenplays, novels, short stories, skits, books on my bookshelves, movies I own, subject I teach (science). I am quite the expert at it. Do I write in other genres? Yes. I'm quit adept at drama, fantasy, and horror. People really like my horror. Tell me it scares them, in a good way. Not a your weird and should seek professional help way. Time to go. We'll chat again soon.

25 May, 2012

Away for awhile

Away for awhile.  Somehow managed to injury my eye. The situation got worse and I was restricted from any reading or writing. my eye is up to 90% improved and I am thankful for that.   I left off holding that stone marked faith, while facing the biggest Goliath in my life. That also coincided with when my eye got injured. Unable to do anything that I loved. Spending most of my days with two pairs of sunglasses and an eye patch on-evenings in complete darkness, it gave me a lot of time to reflect.  Was I still on the right track? Would I be afraid to follow my hearts desire/God's prompting? Could I ignore the jeers and discouragement thrown at me by those who should know better?  What happened? I forgot who wad standing beside me-Jesus. Got caught up in the cares of the world.  Jesus puts his hand on my shoulder. Tells me to steady my aim and let it fly. I do. Direct hit to the center of Goliath's forehead. He goes down. I'm free.

21 April, 2012

Stones

Read a church sign on the way to work the other day. It said "Every Goliath has a stone." You remember how David killed Goliath with a single stone from his sling shot. Here was this massive giant, towering over David. David used his faith in God to walk out on the battlefield and face the giant without sword, or shield, or armor-just a stone.

Each of us has battled or will be battling Goliaths in our own personal lives. My greatest Goliath has been fear. I think the greatest thing fear excels at is causing me to be indecisive. Should I do this? What if I do and then X happens? What if I do and I should have picked Y? Sound familiar to you? Yeah, I'm tired of that recording playing in my head. How do I defeat the Goliath? Hebrews 11:6 talks about faith and God. The thing is, I don't have just one stone. Jesus has unlimited stones and He's standing right beside me with the first dozen or so.

Reach in the bag and pull one out. It reminds me of a perfect piece of coal. Why coal? It was one of the "rocks" I used to collect as a child.
I'm in the process of doing deep editing in one of my novels. I have cut entire scenes, I have added action where it needed to be, and I have added depth. It was good before, and I got positive reviews to that effect, but I want it to be great.

Put the stone in my sling shot that says on it "I can do this. I can have a successful career as a writer." Goliath is down. Uh oh. Here comes his twin brother. And he's twenty times the size of the other. He's got two heads, arms the size of buildings, and clubs in each hand. His breath is like month old used baby diapers, and his eyes are yellow. He fingers end in razor like nails that drip poison. And he wants me to stay put.

In my heart I know it's time to move on, to leave the state I'm living in and move to a place that is more me. I've found a place that fits me like a well-worn slipper. I've visited, and whenever I have to leave I'm sad. When it's time to come back to this city, I'm jumping up and down in excitement. It's a city that took me by complete surprise with its friendly folk, and humongous lakes, independent bookstores, and Highlander Grogg coffee. (As I write this I'm smiling ear to ear).

But Goliath's twin brother is Causing me to fear leaving. Has me frozen in fear. Jesus doesn't even bother looking at him. He hands me a stone, tells me He will always be with me and to not fear. I look at the stone, it says "FAITH". And yet I hesitate to put the stone in the sling.

What if it doesn't kill this Goliath? What if what Goliath 2 is saying is true? What if leaving is the greatest mistake? Shouldn't I listen to others who seem to always know what I should do, where I should work, where I should live, who I should date?

Or should I be listening to the one person who paid the ultimate sacrifice for me, has no hidden agendas, and stands by my side every time a Goliath shows up. Do you know Him? Hs name is Jesus.

So what did I do? I haven't done it yet? I'm standing with the stone Jesus gave me in my hand to either slay or run away from the largest giant in my life.

14 April, 2012

So I bought an IPad

Yes, the title is correct. I bought an iPad. It was for my nine day trip to Los Angeles last month. I had a choice: lug six pound Frankenstein laptop around on the subway and for dozens of city blocks, or switch to an iPad. And no it's not the iPad 3. I waited until Apple announced the new iPad and bought the iPad 2 for $100.00 less. Then used the $100.00 to buy a keyboard case. Because when you type 85 or so words per minute, it's much faster on a real keyboard rather than a touch screen. I'm at about 50 wpm now as I type this on the touchscreen.

My thoughts about my iPad? His name is Herman. Yes, I named my iPad. I love him. I can't understand why I didn't get one sooner?
In LA I finished the last 65 pages of a screenplay on it via a great program called Celtx. I also worked on my Mfa papers. I wrote a critical paper, and did novel revisions via Apples's Pages product. I watched ABC TV on the plane to catch up on Once Upon A Time, and I listened to hours of music. And less I forgot to mention, submitted two of my screenplays to a manager, and a few queries to lit, and screenplay agents. All on the iPad.

Imagine going from carrying at least ten pounds of laptop, cord, mouse, flashdrive, notebook-to one iPad, and case that may have weighed four pounds total.

The only thing I didn't count on was my iPhone 3G being jealous. I used to write alot of my blogs on him. Plus I never gave him a real name. Shame on me. While I was in Hollywood one day my phone battery died. I plugged him in and in the morning he would not turn on. Yep he was mad at me. I prayed and then I remembered the trick-push the home and on button at the same time. Lesson learned.

Since I've been back home, I still use my iPad for writing. I haven't uploaded all my writing to my iPad yet, I still us Frankenstein laptop. I think he enjoyed the break from me.

04 April, 2012

What does Holy Week have to do with my writing?

Holy Week is what Christian's call this week, as we take time to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us-His death on the cross.

Last night at church, I had the opportunity to go through the Stations of the Cross. In a room, they had set up 8 different stations for you to read a devotion, pray, and reflect on the hours leading up to Jesus's crucifixion.

Powerful and moving yes. Humbling and convicting yes. Renewal yes. Freedom yes. If your church or a church in your area (google it), offers this experience please take the time to do it. Even if you're not a believer. If you've ever been curious about Christianity, the Stations of the Cross is your perfect introduction. No one hovers over you, or even speaks to you. It's just you, the objects in front of you, and your guide book. But it's definitely an experience you don't want to miss.

Much went on within me as I walked through the different stations. One thing I will share has to do with my writing.

Hollywood is a funny thing. It doesn't exactly cater to Christians. Many movies coming out of there are definitely not for a believer, but I want to be a screenwriter. How do I write screenplays for Hollywood without selling myself out-losing my identity as a believer?

I don't focus on the end result. Meaning, I don't focus on the paycheck (meaning my paycheck. I still focus on the cost of producing a movie based on my screenplays because that's just practical business sense).

If I'm not focused on making tons of money, then if someone asks me to change my screenplay, take God out of it, I can refuse. I'm free to write what God has called me to write, and to write what I am deeply passionate about.

Not all my screenplays carry a direct Christian message, but all are written for everyone-believer and non-believer, even the Christian ones.

I look at what's going on in the world around me through my Christian eyes and a screenplay comes out.

Also, I look at the fantasy and sci fi and historical fiction, movies, and tv shows that I love and screenplays come out of that as well.
On the drive home yesterday divine inspiration struck me. In my head popped the perfect, never been done before, idea for a TV series, using my Christian values and some of my other loves. That's all I can say this point, because as I said-It's never been done before. And I have time to write it, and edit it before a certain TV script writing contest deadline this summer. If I hadn't realized the slippery slope I was headed on with my screenwriting, I know this idea wouldn't have come to me.

Novel writing-yeah. I'm still involved in that. A little disappointed in a certain publisher that told me six months ago they didn't publish YA, and they have a novel coming out in YA by a first time author this month.
I hold tight to honesty and integrity, but I need to realize in this business it isn't equally shared.
I'm deep into revisions of my first novel with my faculty advisor. And she has me going deep. It's making a difference in my novel, and will I'm sure, trickle over to my screenplays.

That's it for today, have to head into the day job.
Keep praying. Keep believing.

01 April, 2012

Review

I'd never really given much consideration to what IVF (in-vitro fertilization), entailed. I assumed, like many people, that a woman gets some shots and has lots of sex with her husband in an attempt to get pregnant. After reading "In The Name of a Mother", by Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, I have a new found understanding, and respect for these women.

Kelly's essay is part of a collection entitled "Madonna and Me". Inside this book, women share how Madonna the singer, helped shape their lives, or give them courage through difficult situations.

Kelly's essay focuses on her trials with IVF. She questions the very desire of motherhood and the stark possibility of never becoming one. Kelly's command of raw detail pulls you in as you explore how Madonna, who bears the same name as the mother of Christ, used her name to empower her, even as the author herself realizes she must.

The openness and honesty in Kelly's work as she struggles with infertility will leave you rooting for her long after reading.

21 March, 2012

Jet Lag

Back from my trip to LA. God really blessed me on that trip. Came back renewed, and on fire to sell my screenplays.
Jet lag is a horrible beast. It will be a few days before I'm back on my time schedule. But my screenplay can't wait till then. So I'm pressing on, enjoying every minute of it. It's a great Sci Fi script and I'm on track to be done Thursday night. That gives me Friday to let it sit (think I'll go watch The Hunger Games), and edit it over the weekend.
When a writer finishes a screenplay, meaning it's edited and ready to go, then it's time to start on another script.
I actually got the idea while sitting in union station. Its a good one, and it hasn't been done before. Since you can't copyright script ideas, I can't share what it is, but trust me it's good.

Have to wrap this up and head to work for an early meeting.
But I'd like to give a shout out to Tom n Tom's coffee. My daily writing spot while in LA. Great coffee and Hawaiian pretzels. Quiet atmosphere. Got so much work done there.
It was exactly what I needed.

12 March, 2012

Screenwriting in LA

Touched down in LA on Saturday. My goal? To sell my screenplays. I've gotten some feedback and done a lot of research and writing since I arrived. I'm more focused and determined than ever. Being here has definitely gotten my creative juices flowing. I need to push myself as a writer. Get more screenplays written.
With that in mind I still have my sci Fi screenplay to finish. And I will be done by Friday. Then I'm going to jump back into the realm of horror, and round out April with a period piece.
I have to think commercially. Now the horror script I've already completed is, but with Hammer films back in production. I'm itching to write a good ole fashioned ghost story. But as anyone who has read my writing or heard me perform a scene, all is not what it appears to be.
Gotta go. Time for the Clippers to play the Boston Celtics.

07 March, 2012

Formulaic

I was able to participate in a free screenwriting call with John Truby last night. He said the number one thing that kills screenwriting careers is the 3 act structure. He said many other informative things like write in several genres, which is the opposite of what books tell you, even though working screenwriters do write in different genres. And yes, I have written in every genre except westerns so far.
3 act structure. Yes it's good for learning the basics of writing a screenplay, but you still have to go with what your story needs. Which is what he also spoke about.
Why is that important? In my Mfa program (which is the same for all Mfa programs), I'm not writing the way I would like to. I prefer to finish a product and then edit and revise it. In the program you write 20-40 pages and then revise and edit that, using what I call the Mfa formula. It's a string of words that deal with the writing craft. Things like psychic distance, point of view, unreliable narrator, etc.
I just want to tell my story. Get the entire thing on the page as naturally as possible without chopping off the creative part of me with all these formulaic devices.
Are they good things to be aware of? Yes. Should you be combing every page as you write it for them. No!
Writing should be like sculpting. The rough shape takes form, and then you smooth it out. Not cut a nose and then spend a month reshaping the nose, never getting to the rest of the face and losing who you are as an artist along the way.
Don't let formulas drive your writing. I know. It caused me to lose my creativity and stop writing for two weeks.
I figured out that I was being turned into a formula driven writer.
That's not who I am. I also wasn't writing what I really wanted to. I was being told I had to write other things.
Never let someone step on your writing dreams. It's time to cut the cord when that happens.
I read about a woman that wanted to write a historical novel. She enrolled in a writing class and at the end the instructor told her she showed promise as a writer, but that she shouldn't write a historical novel, she should stick with what she knows. She didn't let that deter her and wrote her historical novel. That novel is being published this year.

I'm back to enjoying my writing. The way I love to write. I have discarded from my head all that formulaic garbage that was holding me back, forcing me into being a cookie cutter writer, and hampering my writing.
I'm back to what I love doing. The way I love to do it.

02 March, 2012

Mixed Emotions

It's almost midnight as I write this. Weary from a long work week, coupled with revisions to my first novel and one of my screenplays, it took me a few hours to unwind. 
My heart is still sad from the sudden death of my cousin. I still can't believe he's gone. It doesn't feel real. 
I've been spending my days watching people. Observing how they are living or wasting the only life they have. 
It's true. We don't know how long we have to live. If you knew you only had one month to live, what would your tomorrow look like?
Death makes us re-evaluate our lives. It makes us take a hard look at how we spend our daily 24 hours. 
Life really is too short to spend it miserable, and purposeless. 
God created each of us with a purpose. He also provides the means for us to achieve that purpose. If we'll only believe. 
If you've been following my blog, you know it's my hearts desire to be a writer. I would love to walk into a bookstore and see my name on a book. Go to a movie and see my name on the credits. Not so I can puff up my chest in pride, but because I love to write. I want to share my gift with the world. Everyday that I get to sit down with my notebook or laptop and work on my writing I am very happy, because it's a chance for me to be the real me. 
Yeah, I am still teary-eyed when I think about my cousin. But I believe the greatest thing I can do for him is to not waste the gift of life I have. For however long I have it. 

16 February, 2012

Knee-deep

I'm knee deep in revisions on the first of 3 novels.
This is the final revision before I submit it to agents, and I'm on target to be done by the end of the month.
I have a list of 12 agents, but I've still got to look at each one individually to see if they're a good fit for me and my work. This is a long-term relationship, as writing is something I plan to do for the rest of my life.

I had someone ask me how can I write in small blocks of time. I only have 30 minutes in the morning, most mornings, and 2 hours at night, most nights. Other mornings I don't get the time due to meetings at work, and nights where I have other commitments I can barely squeeze in 45 minutes. He said he could never write like that. That he has to do a minimum of 6 hours non stop.
Some writers are like this guy. You've got a spouse that provides so you don't have to work a day job.
Others are like me. You work a full time job and may even be a single parent on top of it all like me.
Did I get angry at him? No. Was I jealous? I used to be jealous of people like that. Because lets face it. Writing in scraps of time had a tendency to suck. But that's focusing on the negative.

The positive is that twice a day I get to relax and sink into the world of my characters and build, and create, and breath life into what previously never existed.
I'm lucky. I turned to him and smiled and told him the truth. I have to work a full time job right now, but I love writing so much that I treasure the chance I get to write.
He apologized. He forgot I was a single mom.

I'm excited about the revision work I'm doing. My mfa program has helped me conquer some writing fears, and deepened my writing. It's not the same novel I wrote 2 years ago. Definitely not.
Screenwriting.
Forgot I wore 4 hats didn't you? It's okay. I didn't.
Sci fi screenplay will be finished this month also. It's deep. Its exciting. I love it.
That makes 3 solid screenplays ready for sale. I'll have to plan a trip to LA to market them.
One Sci-Fi.
One YA Religious Horror.
One YA Dark Drama.

26 January, 2012

Encouragement

True change is hard and it takes time. For me it was 3 years. I'm not perfect. Not 100% where I want to be, but I am on target.

I think change comes as a consequence of trials. In trials you have two choices: fight/stand or flight.

You may be tired, and weary but I urge you by the power of Jesus to stand.
Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks of putting on the full armor of God.
A soldier would never go into battle without his armor so why would you insist on trying to change, go through trials designed to change you, without your armor?
Put it on. Sharpen your Sword-the word of God, polish your shield-faith in Jesus.

Now that your armor is on, don't forget to check it from time to time. Keep it sharp and shiny. Pray. Read your bible. Spend some time at church around other believers who can help recharge your battery.

Hold fast to that dream God placed within you. He designed you for a purpose. Seek and pursue it with every fiber of your being. You are special. And you are loved.

23 January, 2012

A lot happens in January

January. The first month of the year. Where people set out to keep their new year's resolutions and look forward to the year with hope.
January can also be a month of change.

I know what kind of January I'm having. One where I've got ideas for novels pouring out of me almost faster than I can write them down. One where I spent ten days on campus for my mfa program-an intense 10 days.
One where I was under intense chaos and relied (still am), on the steady rock of Jesus to see me through.
My January has been up and down, but I have come through it stronger.

You may be frustrated in your writing, or with your life, or your job right now, but let me lend you some encouragement.
God is there and He still cares.

Take all those roller coaster emotions, those hurt and confused feelings and let them fuel that need to write.
Those of us who write do so knowing we can't do anything but write. Meaning writing is as much a necessity as breathing. Keep a separate journal. Call it your junk journal. Spend 10 minutes just dumping all the garbage of the day into it.
You will find that writing in that journal warms up your brain for your regular writing.

I'll find myself putting bible verses in as the Holy Spirit brings to mind promises of God. An antidote to the poison of the world.
The key is to remember who you are. You're a writer. Don't let the actions of others keep you from your true love, calling, passion. Use the tools you are equipped with and persevere.