Monday

Unwritten-Encourage The Journey

No matter what we are doing in life there are struggles. Mondays will be our day to talk about what was left unwritten last week---and then offer encouragement for the following week.
And if everything from your previous week was written—let’s celebrate!





Not a good novel writing week last week--but I did critiquing, which I love! Our small church has started a book club with some ladies and it was awesome. And I got to visit with my mom one night--so I liked my week, just wished I had more words added to the count.
But--in those few words I wrote I found a really fun, new angle to my story. It's added some much needed punch!


Oh--and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Sunday

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.



This verse is comforting!!

Friday

Thank God It's Friday--Literally!

T.G.I.F. We've all seen it and heard it a million times. We'll devote Friday's to telling the world what we're thanking God for!



I'd like to make a special shout out to my critique partner Missy Tippens.



Here we are at the Atlanta RWA Golden Heart ceremony in 2006 when she was a finalist!






Missy has been a major encourager in my life--writing and otherwise! She's always on the ready to answer a question or read something. I'm so thankful she's my critique partner.

How about you? What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday

Let's Give Them Somebody To Talk About-Walt Mussell

We all know people who have worked hard writing, who have finished manuscripts, who have taken classes, joined groups and have diligently pursued this publishing avenue. And we all know they are about 2 seconds away from getting that first contract otherwise known as 'The Call.'

Today our Somebody is---------------------------




Walt Mussell


Walt has written an amazing novel titled The Samurai's Heart. I've had the pleasure of reading it, and let me just say it's an amazing journey!
(This is a respost of from the F.A.I.T.H. blog, but Walt is such a great guy and this book is so awesome, I wanted him over here as well!--and this feature was perfect!!)

Lindi: Tell us a little about your manuscript.

Walt: My manuscript is the first of a trilogy set in 16th century Japan. However, though there will be characters and a plot line that runs through all three books, a reader won’t need to have read one book to be able to understand the next one.


The first story, the one that won the Maggie, is called The Samurai’s Heart. The heroine, Sen Goami, returns to her hometown after ten years away. However, the homecoming is a sad one as it’s marred by the news of the deaths of her elder sister and her husband. As the remaining child, Sen must now find a man willing to marry into her family’s swordsmith business.



The hero, Nobuhiro Tokoda, is the prodigal third son of a high-level retainer at Himeji Castle. Born with a limp that made training to be a samurai impossible and faced with a harsh father, Nobuhiro leaves the castle and apprentices himself to a swordsmith, the heroine’s father. Through this honorable trade, Nobuhiro hopes to prove his worth to his father.


Nobuhiro would seem to be the ideal husband for Sen and her parents press the issue. However, during her time away, Sen became a Christian and seeks a Christian husband, a task made difficult as Christianity has been banned. For Nobuhiro, Christianity is dangerous as it caused the death of his best friend and would prevent any hope of reconciliation with his family.


Books 2 and 3, called The Samurai’s Soul and The Samurai’s Strength, take place in Osaka and Kyoto. Book 2 takes one of my favorite passages from Acts and places it in a Japanese context. Book 3 weaves two piece of Japanese history and addresses a “what if” question that fascinates me. I hope it all works.



Lindi: When did you first discover your love of history?


Walt: Elementary school. I read a lot of American history back then and begged my parents to take me to places like Williamsburg and Yorktown. As I got older, I became fascinated with British history and the Vikings. (I particularly like the Vikings. Why I don’t know?)

When I moved to Japan in the early 90s, I went more for business reasons and because I’d acquired an interest in Japan overall. However, I fell in love with the history of the country after I got there.


Lindi: What do you like best about writing? Creating characters or developing the plot?


Walt: Plot. Most definitely plot. As I mentioned above, my stories are meant to be independent of each other. However, my trilogy has a number of items and individuals (under fictional names) that should be recognizable to a Japanese person or a student of Japanese history and hopefully add depth to the plot. My story is written with the idea of being able to translate it into Japanese.

My love of plot may explain why the first agent who requested a full on my story (over two years ago), rejected it saying that the characters didn’t capture her as she would have hoped. I’ve spent a lot time since that day working on characters, deep POV, and trying to better bring my reader into the story. Haywood Smith taught me some techniques for trying to bring out my characters better and then reviewed my first attempts. Camy Tang has done some wonderful posts on deep POV over on the Seekerville blog and these have also been helpful. I’ve learned a lot.


Lindi: How does it feel to be the minority at the writing meetings? :)


Walt: Still weird at times, though my wife would tell you that I probably like it that way. Wonderful people have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable at meetings. At the same time, there’s a reason why kids aren’t allowed at meetings. What goes on there is a serious conversation about writing and trying to improve one’s craft. Writers can be shy. However, when it comes to a craft discussion, writers are definitely blunt. (It’s the only way to improve.) At the same time, the discussion is primarily from a female POV. Consequently, there are days when I do get embarrassed.

Oddly, though, I wonder if I don’t kill the conversation at times. No one has ever made me feel unwelcome. But, there are certain topics that women don’t discuss in front of men. There must be days like that.


I know a couple of fun things about Walt I'd like to share. One--he is terribly funny. He keeps us in stitches at times at our meetings. And second, Walt just won the Maggie Award of Excellence for The Samurai's Heart. The prize is a beautiful medallion. Walt said his wife is going to try to make it unto a tie clip. That's awesome!!

Thanks, Walt!!

Wednesday

Where Were You Wednesday

Remember when?
Where were you when?
Oh, I was.....
And I remember right after that......

Do those phrases sound familiar? I bet they do. We've all said them. We'll say them again today. Because today is Where Were You Wednesday. Below is an event.....tell where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. Or in this case--heard the song!

My Heart Will Go On was released on Celine Dion's 1997 album Let's Talk About Love. It debuted #1 on Billboards Top 100, sold over 15 million copies and not only was the best selling single of 1998, but one of the best selling singles of all time.

Of course we can't help but think of the movie Titanic while thinking of the song, right?


I remember hearing the song on the radio over and over and over again. I remember loving the song! I also remember hearing it was a song that became a popular funeral song.
Oh, the tears!!

How about you? What was going on in your life while this song was popular?

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Tuesday

That Was Then, This Is Now

I'm 50. I haven't always read the same type of book-watched the same type of movies--listened to the same type of music. Back in the day, in the 70's I only read historical romance novels. That's it. Until a friend of mine introduced me to Dean Koontz, John Saul and other thriller writers. After working my way through thrillers then I started reading women's fiction--then I started writing. Now I write contemporary christian romance novels. The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith lived in my 8-track player--now David Crowder tops my list of favorite music.But things from my past have shaped who I am today. So we are going to look at 2 somethings. Books-movies-music. The first will be the Here and Now. The second--we'll see what Father Time brings forth and from what era he brings it forth from.

Here we go!




I love a good Gothic Romance--Love them. Always have. And Jennifer St. Giles writes some amazing ones.
Mistress of Trevelyan is the first book in the Trevelyan Series. Set in 1873 San Fransisco I was immediately caught up in the life that is Ann Lovell and Benedict Trevelyan. Secrets from the past and amazing writing make Jennifer one of my favorite current Gothic Authors.










My Enemy The Queen came out in 1978, the year before I graduated High School. I think I've read this book at least 10 times if not more. I LOVE Victoria Holt's novels, and I especially LOVE this one. I have read most of Holt's novels. METQ is about Lettice Devereux the third angle in the love triangle of Queen Elizabeth and her beloved Robert, Earl of Leicester. The intrigue of the court, the elegance of the time. METQ is one of my favorite books of all time.





Do you read books more than once? What are some of your favorites?

Monday

No matter what we are doing in life there are struggles. Mondays will be our day to talk about what was left unwritten last week---and then offer encouragement for the following week.
And if everything from your previous week was written—let’s celebrate!



Confession time! Last week was terrible. My main writing time is the morning time. I slept 'late' everyday and got less than 500 words written all week. :( Not a good week. I think I'm floundering in my story anyway, which isn't helping.
On the up-side I have been helping a couple of people with their stories--which has encouraged me this week---I enjoy reading others work.

How about you? Written? Unwritten?

Sunday

Sunday Psalm

Okay--we know how cool last Sunday's Psalm was. :)

Psalm 86:12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.

Friday

Thank God It's Friday--Literally!

T.G.I.F. We've all seen it and heard it a million times. We'll devote Friday's to telling the world what we're thanking God for!

Last week I decided to list 3 blogging friends. Then it so happened my friend Ciara Knight had tagged me for a Pay It Forward Blogfest. Ha! And I already had my 3 bloggers posted. Loved that! God is good.


Today I'm going to spotlight a couple more blogs.




The F.A.I.T.H. Girls. Yes, that's me in the picture as well. We started this blog in January of 2007. These ladies are so special and wonderful. They been encouraging and faithful in friendship and helping me grow as a person, a writer, and a follower of Jesus. I love them!





Seekerville Okay-if you know anything about Christian writing or writers these ladies nor their blog need any introduction. They have made a great name in Seekerville. The photo doesn't show all the Seekerville ladies, but all the Seekerville ladies are AWESOME! I have learned so much from their blog. If you've never visited I highly suggest making the click over there.


So this week it's obvious I'm thankful for group blogs. I'm thankful for the prayer warriors who don't give up and who pray when asked. Much love!!

Thursday

Let's Give Them Somebody To Talk About-Mindy Obenhaus

We all know people who have worked hard writing, who have finished manuscripts, who have taken classes, joined groups and have diligently pursued this publishing avenue. And we all know they are about 2 seconds away from getting that first contract otherwise known as 'The Call.'

Today our Somebody is---------------------------





1. What genre(s) do you write?

Romance. I just gotta have that happily ever after. My first story, a 2010 Genesis finalist, was romantic suspense, but I think my heart tends to lean more toward straight romance.

2. How long have you been writing?

I penned my first story in the fourth grade, complete with Polaroid pictures. J After high school, I took a really long hiatus. However, the story engine didn’t stop. I was continually making up stories in my head. I just never wrote them down. In 2004, shortly before my youngest child started school, I decided the only way I was going to find out if I could write was to actually do it. I spent the next nine months—LOL! I just realized the timing. And it really was like birthing a child—penning my first novel. Later, when I joined a writers’ group, I learned what I really had was a bad first draft. The good news was I had done it. I had written an entire book. Now I just had to learn the craft of writing and fix what I had written. You can’t do that with a blank page.

3. Do you have an agent?

I do not have an agent.

4. Do you enter contests-if no, why not. If yes, what is the most helpful aspect of entering contests?

I do enter contests, though I tend to target those where the final-round judge is someone I really want to see my material. Even if my entry doesn’t make it to the final round, the feedback I receive from the fresh eyes of unknown judges is incredibly valuable. That doesn’t mean it might not sting. There were times I felt like I’d tangled with a hornets nest. However, after I settled down, many of the judges’ comments began to resonate with me and I realized they were right. LOL! Most recently, I had a judge tell me my story didn’t start until page eight. I thought they were crazy. I rewrote and rewrote and, ultimately, cut those first seven pages before I sent it off to the editor. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to never say never.

5. Do you attend writer’s conferences? If no, why not. If yes, why would you suggest conferences for authors who are seeking publication?

I am a huge fan of writer’s conferences. Aside from the learning, you get to mingle with like-minded folks. Those who don’t look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them what your character revealed to you in your most recent conversation. J

Conferences give you valuable insight into the industry. Also, you often have the opportunity to meet with editors and agents, to develop a rapport as opposed to a blind query letter. Besides, conferences are just plain fun.

6. What is your favorite aspect of creating a novel? Character development or learning the story?

Good question. Probably learning the story. Since I tend to be a seat-of-the-pants writer, I love to be typing along and suddenly think, “Wow! I had no idea that was going to happen.”

7. Tell us something fun about you!

I’m not sure this can really be classified as fun but…have you ever stepped on a snake? A poisonous one at that. We were at our ranch. I stepped off of the porch—wearing shorts and tennis shoes with no-show socks—and a few steps into my departure I realized I was standing on something that wasn’t the ground. I looked down to discover I was standing on a copperhead.

It’s interesting how quickly our brains can process things. In the timeframe of a nanosecond, I thought, “Copperhead. Poisonous. This thing could rear back and bite me.” With those thoughts screaming through my brain, I shot straight up in air.

My husband, who had killed another copperhead earlier in the day, was right behind me going, “There’s its mate. Watch it while I get the shovel.”

My first thought was, “You watch the snake while I get the shovel.” Second thought, “What do you mean mate?” I later learned that copperheads usually travel in pairs. Yeah. Apparently he didn’t feel the need to share that bit of information with me earlier.




Thanks, Mindy.

Hmmm.. You see why these people are authors? I ask them to tell something fun about themselves and so far we have sitting on a cactus and stepping on a copperhead while its mate watched!! Can you say conflict?

Mindy will be stopping by if you have any questions!!

Wednesday

Where Were You Wednesday

Remember when?
Where were you when?
Oh, I was.....
And I remember right after that......

Do those phrases sound familiar? I bet they do. We've all said them. We'll say them again today. Because today is Where Were You Wednesday. Below is an event.....tell where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news. Or in this case--saw the movie!



Risky Business!

Tom Cruise was young, cute and willing to dance in his skivvies! Dancing in his skivvies worked well for him, wouldn't you say?
How many replays of this infamous scene have you seen? I know I've seen plenty. Any brave souls out there willing to admit they acted this scene out?

This movie came out in 1983. And I can tell you I can't tell you where I was when I saw the movie. Probably at home--I know I didn't go to the movies to see this. I was newly married. That I know.
I forgot the crazy premise of the movie---until I looked it up for this post. Wild and well, probably not very appropriate! I think most people remember the scene rather than the movie.
What about you?
Do you remember watching this movie--or did the scene stay in your mind while the movie plot went bye-bye.

Tuesday

That Was Then, This Is Now

I'm 50. I haven't always read the same type of book-watched the same type of movies--listened to the same type of music. Back in the day, in the 70's I only read historical romance novels. That's it. Until a friend of mine introduced me to Dean Koontz, John Saul and other thriller writers. After working my way through thrillers then I started reading women's fiction--then I started writing. Now I write contemporary christian romance novels. The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith lived in my 8-track player--now David Crowder tops my list of favorite music.But things from my past have shaped who I am today. So we are going to look at 2 somethings. Books-movies-music. The first will be the Here and Now. The second--we'll see what Father Time brings forth and from what era he brings it forth from.

Here we go!



Missy is my good friend and critique partner. She's also a fabulous writer.
When you read the first chapter of the book she pulls the heart strings so hard tears fall.
That's a great author.
This is a story about Faith, whose son went to live with his dad. Faith lives next door to Gabe, a widow, and his almost-I-wanna-be-grown-up daughter, Chelsea. This crazy-good book makes you laugh, cry, (as stated earlier) and plain just makes you feel good. Missy has such a heart for writing her novels. Each character is real and believable. You can feel her writing. :) So if you haven't read A Family For Faith, look to the right. You can click and order. It's that simple.




And for what Father Time has brought back: Fires of Winter-Author Johanna Lindsey copyright 1980.

Yes, this is the current cover of Fires of Winter by Johanna Lindsey. Back in the day I read all of JL's novels. Everyone of them. There was one about the future I wasn't really fond of, but the rest---well let's just say I loved JL's books.

In this particular book, the heroine is named Brenna. Lady Brenna. My daughter is named Brenna. Did I like this book?
Romance novels today are written very differently than they were in the 80's. I thank the Johanna Lindsey's, the Kathleen Woodiwiss's, all the ladies (and men writing as ladies!) for paving the way for romance novels.
This novel was set in Viking Culture. Lady Brenna was captured by Garrick Haadrad and well the rest, as we can say here on this blog, is history. Because bottom line, they fell in love!


Sunday

Update on Sunday Psalm

Okay--posted Sunday Psalm this morning. On the way to Passion City Church heard Chris Tomlin sing Your Love Endures Forever. Got to PCC where Chris Tomlin is worship leader and he started the service by reading Psalm 136--His love endures forever!! Then we sang Your Love Endures Forever.

I got it God! Promise!!

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 107:1
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
NIV


In keeping with the spirit of thanks on Friday. And His love does endure forever.

Friday

Thank God It's Friday--Literally!

T.G.I.F. We've all seen it and heard it a million times. We'll devote Friday's to telling the world what we're thanking God for!



I'd like to start out by thanking Him for some blogging friends.





Ciara Knight---she's my blogging inspiration. I've watched her do it for a couple of months now. She's amazing!!! Plus her first book just came out! Love's Long Shadow






Christy LaShea-----she started a writing challenge this week--and Christy rocks the writing challenge world. Check it out and join in!











Susan Norris-----I had lunch with Susan yesterday--she's such an awesome woman! Check out her blog. Inspirational!!





So I head over to Ciara's blog this morning (as I do every morning) and she's got this Pay It Forward blogfest going on--and she has me as one of her three--I didn't even know it was going on and I had 3 bloggers on my blog for you guys to check out. And of course Ciara was one of mine.:) God is amazing and awesome.
So, we're joining the Pay If Forward blogfest!!







Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!

This past week my hubby didn't travel--Thank you God!!

What are you thankful for????

Thursday

Let's Give Them Somebody To Talk About

We all know people who have worked hard writing, who have finished manuscripts, who have taken classes, joined groups and have diligently pursued this publishing avenue. And we all know they are about 2 seconds away from getting that first contract otherwise known as 'The Call.'

Today our Somebody is---------------------------



Ane Mulligan!

I asked Ane a few questions.

Lindi-What genre(s) do you write?
Ane--Southern-fried fiction ~ women's fiction with a side order of fried laughter

Lindi---How long have you been writing?
Ane-----Forever. LOL As a kid I did some, but being ADD long before it was ever known, I worked my stories out in elaborate play with my dolls. I'd make up stories that would take 2 or 3 weeks to play out. Each day was a new scene. Then in 1996, I wrote my first script and it was snapped up by LifeWay. My editor there bought everything I sent her. I turned to novels in 2003 and have 5 under my belt so far.


Lindi-----Do you have an agent?
Ane--------I do. I recently signed with Sandra Bishop of MacGregor Literary. I've had 2 agents prior to Sandra. The first and I parted ways on friendly terms, and the second one retired.


Lindi------ Do you enter contests-if no, why not. If yes, what is the most helpful aspect of entering contests.
Ane--------I have entered a lot of contests and the most helpful part is the hard judging. I've learned a ton. While some of the comments I didn't like at first, I've come to realize they are like readers once you're published. They don't have the benefit of your mind, so what they see is all they have. Their comments are usually pretty valid. One contest, though, I got a comment that at first I thought was totally off base. My protagonist was a lobbyist for a pro-family group. I had been a lobbyist for Christian Coalition, so I knew my career choice for my protag. The judge commented that she was too naïve to be a lobbyist. Huh? I was naïve when I started out, too. But I noodled on her comments, finally deciding to ignore them. After all, you want your protag to go against the norm.


Lindi-----Do you attend writer’s conferences? If no, why not. If yes, why would you suggest conferences for authors who are Seeking publication.
Ane-------Absolutely! I go to every single one I can afford to attend. Besides the great workshops, the networking is worth the money. Secondly, writing is such a lonely profession, and no one understands you like another writer. After all, they talk to imaginary people, too.
I would suggest conferences for those seeking publication because you get known by the industry professionals, which I believe helps. If Editor Jones gets 2 proposals n his desk, one from an unknown and one from you, who he has met and liked at a conference, and they are both equally good, which do you think he'd gravitate to? 'Nuff said. I feel if I come away from each conference with 1 single golden nugget of craft and a new contact in the business, it was a successful conference.


Lindi-----What is your favorite aspect of creating a novel. Character Development or learning the story?
Ane-------Definitely character development. That makes the story happen for me. I have an overall idea, but until I know my characters inside out, the story won't move forward. I'm sort of a plotter and sort of a seat-of-the-pants writer. I need that "map" of where I'm going. I lay out the main plot points like cities on a vacation trip. Then I allow the characters to take "side trips" as they come up. So I say I'm a "pants of the pocket" writer.

Lindi------Tell us something fun about you!
Ane---------Well, this was fun for the others involved. Not so sure about me. We were on a camping trip years ago. I was probably all of 23. When camping in the wilds of California, you have to be inventive about your facilities. I won't go into detail, but I sat on a cactus in the dark. You really find out who your friends are, when they're willing to tweeze cactus thorns from your bum by moonlight.

Ane--you crack me up! What a funny story!
Thanks so much for being here today!

Y'all say hi to Ane!! I bet she'll even answer a question if someone has one!

Wednesday

Where Were You Wednesday

Remember when?
Where were you when?
Oh, I was.....
And I remember right after that......

Do those phrases sound familiar? I bet they do. We've all said them. We'll say them again today. Because today is Where Were You Wednesday. Below is an event.....tell where you were and what you were doing when you heard the news.







I'm sorry to start off with such a sad Where Were You When, but I remember this time so vividly.

I was driving down the driveway (we had/have a really long driveway!) with my kids in the car. We were on our way to my daughter's soccer game. My hubby was walking up the driveway with the newspaper and he told me the news.


"Did you hear about Princess Di?" Him--hubby.
"No what?" Me!
"She died last night." Him--
Me--tearing up. "No. What happened."
I don't remember exactly what he said here--something about the car wreck.
I started crying and kept crying all the way to the soccer game.
Of course I didn't know her, but we were the same age, we had children the same age--she was someone I identified with.
And she was so beautiful--and had those darling boys.
My friend Julie and I went downtown to sign the guest book when it came to Atlanta.

So, Where Were You?

Tuesday

Coming Attractions!

There are some fun an exciting things coming up on this blog. Tomorrow make sure you check in to find out one of them.
Where Were You Wednesday's start tomorrow.

There are so many events that have shaped our nation and ourselves. From historical events to pop-cultural incidents we were all 'somewhere' doing 'something' when we first heard 'The News.'

See you tomorrow for our first Where Were You When Wednesday!

And next Tuesday look for a great book review! :)

(And there's more!) Stay tuned.

Monday

Unwritten-Encourage The Journey

Unwritten-Encourage The Journey

No matter what we are doing in life there are struggles. Mondays will be our day to talk about what was left unwritten last week---and then offer encouragement for the following week.


And if everything from your previous week was written—let’s celebrate
!






Last week I wanted to accomplish more writing than I did. I also did do some brainstorming work, which was helpful. So I missed a little--did a little. How about you?

Sunday

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 86:12-13
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. 13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
NIV

This Psalm reminds me of the love of God that is so far past my understanding. Great is His love toward us---and He delivered us from the grave.
Praise be to Him.

Saturday

Kindle

I bought a Kindle--yes, finally. I haven't had the chance to read a book on it yet, but I can't wait. My dad and I bought one on the same day. We even bought the same one. He's already reading a book on his.
Me?
I'm just downloading free book after free book.
But I'm not downloading every free book. I am reading the blurbs and reviews. There have been some I've opted right off the page.
No, thanks.
Like the one that said it was about a 12 year old girl who killed her pets to get attention. Despite the beautiful cover I did not download that one.
But I am having fun searching for books to read.
Now, maybe someday soon I'll actually read a book on it.