Rejected, But In A Positive Way.

13-10-20-vacation-147My manuscript for Love In The Storm was refused by the publisher. Sounds discouraging and I had a little bit of disappointment. No matter how often you tell yourself it’s unheard of to have a first manuscript accepted something inside just hopes….

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

My agent told me positive things [I’ll get to those in a minute] and I hope it isn’t just my hope steering me wrong, if you get my gist.

My agent had felt that Love..Storm, which dealt somewhat heavily with the subject of suicide [though it was all positive in the end–there was still the requisite HEA, ie Happily Ever After] was a bit too heavy for a first time, unknown author to offer readers right out of the gate. Tamela [my agent] said she phoned the publisher and they discussed this because Tamela actually liked my writing. [Yay!!!] The publisher agreed it would be best to put Love…Storm on the shelf for now, and we could revisit it later.

Because Tamela liked my writing so much she would like to see something else. I looked over all the stories I have finished or partly finished and they all left me cold. I just felt I’d worked them to death for now [some have already been revised and rewritten a number of times].

However I had a brand new story burning in me, wanting to get out and I felt it would be best to work on a story that’s hot in me. That was a few weeks ago and my story is still hot.

I’m changing how I write. I’m doing a lot less “by the seat of the pants”–called ‘panstering’ in the writing industry–and  a lot more planning and research before I start. I have a sense of what my plot is, although it may change. More about that in a minute.

I have a good idea what and who my heroine is, but my hero felt vague, so I did some back-and-forthing of ideas and decided I’d really like him to be—but I’m not going to tell you yet. He’s hunky. Of course.  08-07-01-al-53-recovered-copy-2
Dark hair, dark eyes, a sort of strong, silent type. But maybe my heroine can get him to open up. He has some wounds, of course. Maybe my heroine can help him find healing. Ultimately his healing is in Jesus. But how to convince him of that. And she needs some healing too, but she needs help to find it. Just like in our real life romances.

So as I get to know my hero I’m getting a much better handle on the plot. It’s almost as if the book is plotting itself. Woo hoo.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have to work my patootie off [actually I wish I could]; I do. There’s still writing scenes and sequels, sorting out what goes where, pacing, tension–ah, of course I want all of you, my readers to be on the edge of your seats.

So, on that note, I will leave you. More anon [soon]

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Please leave comments. It makes my day to hear from my followers and whoever else stops by. :)

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Persecuted But Not Overcome

 

I felt this was a good post given our dissatisfaction with our politics. It’s very timely, and it is of good report [read the whole article below.] The picture did not come with the article [but is related to it]. I am visual so I had to find a pic to go there, The picture is from Jakarta Informer  The funeral was for a one year old killed in a bomb explosion. Yet the people targeted responded with “love” and caring. See article below

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Article Source; The Jakarta Post see link below

Haeril Halim and Liza Yosephine

There is a pic with this but it won’t load/stream for meDeep sorrow: Relatives carry the coffin of Intan Olivia at her parents’ house on Jl Cipto Mangunkusumo in Samarinda before her burial at the Phutak Christian Cemetery in Loa Duri, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, on Tuesday. Intan died from severe burns to her body hours after the terror attack on a church in Samarinda on Sunday. (Tribunnews/Christoper D)

The bomb attack perpetrated by alleged Islamic State (IS) group sympathizers at a church in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, killing a toddler and injuring three others, aimed to provoke religious tensions in the area, an analyst says.

But the terror group will likely fail at achieving this goal, as both Muslims and Christians have condemned the attack, which came at a time when the country is facing a growing threat of religious intolerance.

Instead of blaming a specific religion for the attack, religious followers have left it up to law enforcement bodies to resolve the case, a move that has prevented the emergence of sectarian conflict in the area, University of Indonesia (UI) terrorism expert Ridwan Habib said. [emphasis mine]

The majority of Samarinda’s residents are Muslim, with 841,682 adherents, followed by Protestantism with 52,445 followers and Catholicism with 22,554 followers.

East Kalimantan has never experienced a religious conflict before, but the province saw a bloody ethnic conflict in one of its cities, Tarakan, in 2010. Another bloody ethnic conflict rocked Sampit in neighboring Central Kalimantan in 2001. excerpt; for full article see here 

From Wikitravel

From Wikitravel

Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. The Indonesian part covers some 580.000 km2 (225.000 sq mi), the vast area is home to only 12 million people, so most of the provinces, especially the interior is very sparsely populated, and the vast rain forests here [are] some of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. from Wikitravel [link below]

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Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, the 3rd largest island in the world. From Wikitravel

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Autumn Splendor

I love fall. And this fall has been one of the best, one of the mellowest I’ve ever experienced. I’m looking out my window and some trees are still clothed in golden splendor.

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Someone unknowingly parked this orange car right here just so I could take a great fall pic.

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Remembering all those who have fought in our World Wars, and also those who are in service today. God bless you and keep you.

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Black eyed Susans, one of my mom’s favourite flowers. I always remember Mom on Remembrance Day because it was always so important to her. She’s get her cup of tea ready and turn the TV on to the ceremonies in Ottawa. [Mom has been gone four years now].

Happy Fall everyone, and God bless you.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment.

NB; the poppy pic I got off the internet. All other pics are my own. 

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Life Should Come With A Crash Helmet

Life can be hard. Difficult. We think we have it all under control and around the next corner…bam! we run into a rhinoceros. Illness. Job loss. Death of a loved one. A relationship that suddenly crashes on the rocks. We don’t even know how to pray.

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Picture above and below; my granddaughters

God is there, around the next corner, along with the rhinoceros and the lions. The alligators in the swamp. I don’t know about you, but for some reason, even though I know better, I always try to fix things myself, without asking God for help. That in itself is a falling down. I fall down in my ability or willingness to turn to God, to trust him. Which turns my crash into a double whammy. When my daughter was about 2 or 3 I would try to help her with, say, her buttons, or zipper, or shoes. “No!” she said. “Self.” Meaning I want to do it by myself. My son was the same.

Sometimes this self-reliance had disastrous consequences, like, for instance, when my son wanted to go down the tall slide [in those days they were straight, polished metal, very fast, with sand at the bottom]. He chose to go down on his belly, despite my attempt to discourage it. He streaked down the slide and shot off the end and face-first into the sand. Sand up his nose, in his mouth, between his teeth. in his eyes. He screamed and cried which helped to wash all the sand out but it was all a mess for a while.

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Even though my son seemed to be on his own, I was right there. I tried to catch him but he avoided me. But despite his insisting he didn’t need me I was right there. I picked him up and wiped his face, kissed him better, did all that was needed to set him on his feet again.

Not all our crashes are because we resisted God. Sometimes it’s just how life plays out. Life on Earth is imperfect. If it wasn’t, if it was perfect, there would be no need of heaven. Even if our crashes are because someone else or something else crashed into our lives, God/Jesus is still here with us, picking us up, dusting us off, fixing things, walking with us through the valleys of death and trouble.

Psalm 118:13-14; I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 

I’d love to hear your comments. How has God helped you, or walked with you when you have stumbled and fallen?

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The Making of Book Covers

Now that my novel Love In The Storm is with an agent I’ve been thinking about book covers. [Although my book is a long way from that stage yet…if it is even accepted].

Image by Griffinstorm

Image by Griffinstorm

image by Griffinstorm

I confess I first look at a book based on a cover. I have tried not to do this but I am a very visual person and I respond to things emotionally before my intellect kicks in. So a book cover either grabs me, or it doesn’t.

When your book is on a book shelf at a big book store like Chapters Indigo along with a few hundred other books, it’s virtually impossible for a browsing shopper to pick your book based on something other than how the cover grabs them. A person just doesn’t have time to read every back cover blurb.

If you’re browsing through Amazon.com I guess you may browse by subject and then pick from a bunch of books listed but that doesn’t narrow the field enough, [more than 100 pages for “Christian Romance”; everything from Amish to Cowboy to Suspense and more] so again, you’re not going to have time or the inclination to read every blurb so you’re going to stop and take a second glance at a book that appeals visually and emotionally. Or you might avoid a book because of its cover. I don’t usually go for the kind of romance that features a half naked man on the front because it implies there will be explicit sex in the story [unless there is a historical reason for the man to be half naked.]

Reading Steve Laube’s  blog post this morning [The Work of A Cover Designer; see link below] led me to check out some videos on You Tube about creating book covers. The first place I looked at was DogEaredDesign [link below]. I was interested to note that this cover design company has created a lot of covers I really like. For me the use of light in the cover really influences me. By that I mean having a light focal point in the picture. Other influences are; softness and/or drama. I don’t want over the top drama but I like to see something happening on a cover, the suggestion of action. Some things just push a certain button, for instance, babies, puppies, children. I love covers that feature an interesting setting in the background.

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FYI, all three of these books are Christian

Below are some links to videos of creating covers, and/or photo shoots for covers

Cover photo shoot for

Christian romance

 Cowboys

 Viking

Steve Laube’s  blog post The Work of A Cover Designer

DogEaredDesign.

How about you. What influences your choice of a book?

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