Revisions and Revelations

Well, I went on vacay and I'm back and finally into the swing of things. I'm still not unpacked mind you. Seriously, I have issues there!! But I need to get all these things done and there isn't enough time in the day.

I entered the Golden Heart contest for unpublished authors. You enter online then mail your six copies of the entry and synopsis plus a copy of the completed book. Yes, the book has to be completed. Which mine is but.....

I'm still working on revisions. Revisions so if someone actually reads the book all the plot points come together, the character's arc has arched. You get the drift.

What I have found out is that I'm a very, and I mean very, lean first draft writer. Which means I have a lot, and I mean a lot, of work to do after I've written the first draft. I've even thought of in the future when I'm done with the first draft I should just say, "I've finished my outline. Yes, my 234 page outline." How crazy is that?

At least this weekend I've had some sort of revelation. You can read about it over at the F.A.I.T.H. Blog. Please hop over and say hi!

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 63:1-2

O God, You are my God
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

NKJV Nelson Study Bible

We must always seek God---He is the water for our thirsts.

The Story

Yes, I've updated the blog a little on the side-bar. I've actually got a synopsis of my current wip--Dreaming of You.

Here it is:

Kyla Stewart revists her hometown to find the truth about her very unconventional mother. Ryan Maverick might be able to provide some answers, but he's determined to prove her accusations against his father are false.
Seeing her grandmother and Ryan hold steadfast to their faith gives Kyla an insight to God she's never seen before.
Nevermind that Kyla has been dreaming of Ryan for the past six months. Coming face to face with her dream threatens her resolve to live in reality.
Can Ryan change Kyla's heart? Make her see that sometimes God has dreams for us we don't know about?
Or will Kyla run when she finds the truth and miss out on what God has in store for her life.

This story has been so much fun to write. I really like the characters and the feelings and emotions that are being revealed as I write them.

Fun Stuff About Love!

I LOVE watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows. Because I love love and love romance and love watching people interact and gettng to know each other, the show holds my interests.
Rarely do the matches that result from the show come to anything more than a few months of dating, but lately there's been a shake-up in the reality Bachelor and Bachelorette world.
It looks like both couples from last year are engaged.

Here is last year's Bachlorette, Jillian and her guy Ed. Jillian moved to Chicago where Ed lives.

And here are Jason and Molly. I won't go into their story. You can read all about it on the internet, but it was crazy. They are now engaged. Yeah!!

I know two engagements doesn't mean there will even be one wedding, but I have a feeling there will be. We'll just have to wait and see!

Happy Love!

This picture describes my revision process speed.
Crazy slow.
But I think it's making the book better. At least I hope so. I hope I'm not taking all this time with the same results. I don't know.
I've been reading my how-to books as I go through this process, trying to utilize all the tools I have at my disposal to create a novel that people will enjoy reading and want to finish.
I want to create characters that people care about.
I hope I'm not trying too hard.
The thing is I think I can tell if something's working. I'm pretty good at that. I'm just not so good at being able to fix it quickly. It takes me time. Time to process and analyze. Maybe the more I do it the quicker I'll get.
Let's hope.

Sunday Psalm

Today's Psalm.....

Psalm 17:7-8

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

This is an amazing, uplifting Psalm...One I need to keep in mind.
We need to set the Lord before us always.
The Lord never fails, He is faithful and true.

Happy Sunday!!

Chapters 1-6 Pages 1-72

This blog was originally titled Belinda's Writing Journal. And for the next little while that is going to be the way of this blog. I doubt anyone is reading anyway. That's all right, too. I just need somewhere to track my progress, vent my frustrations and be albe to say "Hey--it's working out!"

I've basically spent this week on chapters 4-6. Yes, all week. I only write in the morning before I go to work. But, I do believe all the hard work paid off. I really like the chapters and I think there is a much better flow, a lot less useless conversation, a lot more tension, a lot less mumble jumble. So for this it was worth it. I'm going to continue on today with what ever I can get done starting now with chapter 7, which I think used to be chapter 9.

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off writing and after church we (Lenny and I) are going to spend the afternoon with our grandchildren at their house. We are really looking forward to that.

Then of course, Monday a.m. back at it. I will have to speed it up, though. At revising three chapters a week I'll be doing this a lot longer than I need to be doing this. I need to enter the Golden Heart. Good thing the entry is ready, now I just need to make sure the rest of the manuscript is a-okay.

Losing Words :(

Yes, they are flying off the page but into another file. Hopefully I can use these scenes later. So while I've dropped about 3,000 words, yes, that's a lot of words, I think the story is benefiting from the loss.
But my mind is reeling, somewhat. I really worked hard on those scenes. Put every word down with a purpose. So I'm redirecting the purpose to later in the book.
This morning I've take a scene, changed it's POV and combined it with another scene. Again cutting the words to better the novel.
Remember the old saying "this is harder on me than it is on you?"
I'm picturing my manuscript saying that to me as I highlight and hit those little pair of scissors that come up.
But then I go to another file and paste the scene there.
For now.
Have a great Saturday.

Making Real Progress

Yes, this morning I am making real progress. The new scene I wrote yesterday fits into the novel like I wanted it to. I'm still rearranging---still trying to get the manuscaript to be as tight as it can be.
So the reader doesn't have time to put the book down. Doesn't lose interest in the relationship forming between Kyla and Ryan.
Because after all, this is a romance.
So the reader wants to feel the connection between these two and wonder why the two don't see it!!
Or maybe the reader sees that Ryan and Kyla get the connection forming but of course they (Ryan and Kyla) aren't acting on it.
The reader keeps reading hoping Ryan and Kyla come to their senses.
It's all about creating emotion. Emotion within the story and that emotional connection to the reader.
With the rough draft I had a sense of story direction. I feel like I had a complete story, a complete puzzle with the pieces scattered across the dining room table waiting for someone to come along and piece it together.

That's what I'm doing. Piecing it all together.
Thank you to anyone who's been praying. I'm praying for you, too.

Revising Revisions

I'm printing pages 61-67 a totally new scene I've written for Dreaming Of You. (further referred to in all posts as DOY.) That's what it feels like sometimes a

Writing brand-new scenes wasn't in my projected revision process. So now, in reviewing the new scene(s) written during the revision process I'm revising the revisions.
I guess I can do that. I mean I'm trying.
I'm really praying to God also to keep the desire alive in me. I was so excited about this book.
I started DOY on May 18th. Was about half-way through when I found out the first 25 pages were a finalist in the Maggie Contest. Well that bit of encouragement fueled me on to finish the book. I was extremely excited about revising and the added bonus of getting a request from an agent at the Moonlight and Magnolia's Conference put on by the Georgia Romance Writers fueld me even more. But the more work it's turning out to be the more the fuel is burning out.
If you're inclined to pray, please pray for the excitement to rear it's head again.

Jake the Bachelor and More

Jake is going to be the next bachelor! Yeah! I hope he finds that special woman. I really wanted it to be Reid, but I have my own story for Reid. I've matched him up with a girl named Mandy and my next book is titled, Marry Me Mandy. Still working out all the plot points, but it's going to be a fun book, with six year old twin girls, Reid, Mandy and a dance studio. Fun stuff!!

Well, it will be fun stuff if I ever finished revising Dreaming of You. I'm afraid if anyone is reading this blog you're going to have to journey with me through this revision.

Added part of a new scene this morning. Now off to the day job.


Things I've realized.

I haven't posted in a long time.
Revising my book is A LOT of work.

I supposed that's because I am learning as I go. I learn more and more about my characters as I write, then when I go back I need to infuse some of that in the beginning.
Also, scenes. Wow. I'm combining and deleting. It's a bit overwhelming for me this morning. Mornings are really the only time I have to work on the book. I've been getting up early and today it didn't seem like I accomplished anything.

Although I'm sure I did. The revising is going way slower than I thought it would. But I want the book to be the best I can make it. There are places I could it just like it is, but I know I can make it better. And whatever it is inside of me won't let me just leave it.

The funny thing is this. I promised myself when I finished I'd go out at buy myself the book Revising and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. You know, to help with my revisions. but as I'm revising I'm still focusing on his Plot and Structure book. Oh well, life is funny.

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 138: 1-3

1 I will praise You with my whole heart; Before the gods Iwill sing praises to You
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.
3 In the day whne I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.

God will answer if we but call on Him.

Have a great Sunday!

Dreaming of You

If you look to the sidebar to the right you'll see the word count has gone up dramatically. That's one of the reasons for the absence of posts this summeer. I started this book May 18th and am 5 chapters away from being done. I've spent all my free time working on this story.
I'm still liking it and hope to finish by next weekend.

Cuz, I hope you're ready to read a book. I need feedback.

F.A.I.T.H. Blog today

Hi. We're talking about 'The Story Within Us' today over at theF.A.I.T.H. blog today. Come and visit and share a story or two.

F.A.I.T.H. blog today

We're talking about agents and editors over at the F.A.I.T.H. blog today. Come over and check it out!!

Coming Up

Hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did.

Come back and visit this week. I have some pics from yesterday (Pedicures and The Revelation) and I have a book review of my critique partner's June release His Forever Love.

Hope you'll come back and check them out.

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day. Take the time to remember and pray for those who have fought and are currently fighting for the sake of our freedom. Thier families and the nation need so much prayer, also.

We have a cloudy day here in Georgia. It's been rainy, cloudy all weekend, but that's my fav kind of weather. I know a lot of people have plans with their family or friends. Have a fun day, but keep in our hearts the men and women who have dedicated thier lives for our freedoms.

Sunday Psalm

Sunday May 24th

Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord,
He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

We are almost done with our series 40 at church. We read this Psalm the Sunday after Easter and are celebrating the 40 days Jesus walked the earth after the resurrection.
We are also singing a song by U2---titled 40. It's based on this Psalm. Check it out on You Tube if you have a minute.

Jess and other stuff

I know it's been a while since I've posted. For all those praying for Jess, she got through surgery great, spent almost 30 days in the hospital, but is now out, doing well, back to work and enjoying life. Jess's passion is food---she creates these very cool dishes and takes photos of them. Maybe I'll get her to post something here one day. Her food is fabulous!!

Everything else has been moving along. Still busy at the job, still writing in spare time, taking the summer off of bowling.

I've got two more manuscripts started. Very different books, but each with an important message from God.

I'm reading the Bible chronologically with a lady at church. Donnah and I meet every Sunday morning at 9:30 to go over what we have read the week before. It's been such a blessing and really, even if you've read the stories before there is always something to learn.

Today I was reading a Psalm that was reflecting back on the Israelites and how God had led them out of Egypt, had provided for them, and still, they turned from Him.
They whined and whined for food and he sent manna. Manna literally means what is it?

They soon grew weary and tired of their manna and complained.

It made me think on my life. I'm asking myself the hard question---what is my manna and am I complaining?
Reading God's word always gets me thinking!!! What about you?

Prayer for Jessica

This is Jessica and her husband Jon. Jessica is having a very risky surgery on Tuesday February 10th. Please join me in praying for her. This surgery is to remove a cancerous tumor from her pancreas. There are a lot of factors involved in this surgery.
So please pray. I will post an update Tuesday night.

F.A.I.T.H. Today

Check out F.A.I.T.H. today to find out our winner of the Jazzin' Up January contest.

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday cuz Wendy!!

Have a great day!

Abundant Friday

Friday's verse:

"We know that we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death."

What the pastor was talking about last Sunday was choosing life instead of death. Right here and now. So these verses were to help us live each day abundantly---live in Him--through him. I hope they meant something to those who read them.

Thursday's Abundance

1Timothy 6:17-19
"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good words, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

It takes me awhile to really read and understand scripture. Sometimes it seems like the words are obvious, but there is really more meaning to them than what we first think or see.

Halfway Through Abundant Living for the Week....

How's the abundant life coming so far? It's Wednesday. I hope you've been blessed by the things God is working in your life. Because if we look, God is around all the time. Everyday He shows up somewhere. I know there are days I don't see it.....But it's because I'm not looking.

Yesterday was inauguration day. Lots of coverage. History being made. It's truly amazing.

I'll post the other two verses Thursday and Friday.

Living Abundantly Day Two.....

The verses for day two are kind of long. We had really intersting discussions on these verses in church. A couple of different groups of people came up with something similar in talking about them.

Colossians 1:9-10 "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;"

We talked about how the journey is always continuing. That as you increase your knowledge of God, you grow and this is such a continuous aspect of the walk with Christ.

Happy Birthday Melanie!!!

Living Life Abundantly This Week......

Almost a year ago my husband and I started attending a new church. I mean a brand new church. It's called The Quest and the mission/vision statement is "refusing to give up on God's dream for the world."

We (the church)are true to the vision/mission. My husband and I can't hardly put into words the difference this church has made in our lives. The best way I can describe it is like this. If you've ever thought about going on a mission trip, or doing some sort of mission work for your community...well that is this church. It's like living on some sort of a mission trip all the time. It's totally different from any church we've been to in the past. We have grown and been blessed and learned from the minute we started attending. It truly is amazing.

After the first of the year our pastor started a sermon series title "Unwritten." It's about faith and how you can't live that through somebody else. You have to experience faith and God and all that goes with it individually. No one else can have your experiences.

So this week he had us talking about 4 verses from the Bible and how living them out daily will cause you to live abundantly.

I will post these verses each day. Let me know what you think living these verses abundantly means to you. There are no right/wrong answers. I'm simply going to keep them in mind and see what happens.

The first verse is from the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 4:1 "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." NKJV Nelson Study Bible.

Ta Da---Introducing our Newest Addition.......


I work at a Nissan dealership and we had a mama cat hanging around. She had babies and they were living under a car. One of the ladies in service helped to feed mama while she was pregnant and helped to take care of the kittens. They were finally old enough to go to homes and well, I mean, how could I resist?
Our cat Jasper wished I would of resisted. He's not liking the family right now. He's basically hiding out, but all tell me that won't last long. I hope not. I love my kitty Jasper and I've grown quite fond of the new little one, too.
My hubby named him. Very appropriately I think! Don't you?

Titan is learning the lay of the house. He's also quit hissing.
He loves to play and jump. He's very fun to watch.

So what do you think? I mean really, how could you resist this face?

Fun Today Before The Big Reveal

Monday you learned we had a mccaw.
Tuesday you learend we had a cat.
Wednesday you learned we had a Lilac Crown Amazon.
Before I introduce you to our newest addition tomorrow I thought we'd have a little fun today.
Can anyone guess what our new addition is? With hubbys pet store background it could be anything. Or it could be another common household pet.
What's your guess?



We've only had Lila about 2 years. Her owner became ill and couldn't take care of her anymore, so someone who knew we had birds asked if we could take her. So we did.
Lila is a Lilac Crown Amazon. She LOVES my hubby. We have her in our bedroom. When I walk in the room. Nothing. When Lenny walks in...whoo...does she get started. She makes all kinds of noise! She is thrilled.
Lila also loves peanuts. I mean really loves them.
She is a good bird, but one that stays in the cage. We don't handle her and I think she likes it that way. She's content for all of us to just talk and look at each other.

Any more bird stories out there? Or what about stories where people knew you were kind hearted and asked to you take in a pet that you hadn't planned on. Did it work out? Or not!
Check in tomorrow. We're going to have a little fun!

Now Introducing......

Our second longest running roommate is:
Jasper--(Quite the popular name now because of Twilight--although Jasper in Twilight is a little odd!)

We've had Jasper going on 13 years. He was dropped off at the pet store when hubby owned it. Jasper got along great with Shadow so we brought him home. He's my sweet, sweet kitty. He follows me everywhere, sits on my lap in the morning as I write. He sleeps with me every night. He purrs so loudly!!! He is a happy, lovable cat.
We can tell Japser misses Shadow. He's extra lovey-dovey since Shadow hasn't been here.
Jasper has taken to sleeping in my closet during the day. He climbs up on the highest rack and lays on my clothes. So if we ever can't find him we just look in the closet.

Any cat stories you'd like to share? Or just tell about your cat. We'd love to hear.

Check back tomorrow for the third in the brood.

Meet The Petersons

My hubby used to own a pet store. Before I met him the only pet I'd ever had was a cat. And I never had a pet when I lived on my own. There are just certain parts of pet ownership I can't handle.
So, when I my kids and I invaded Lenny's house many years ago we inherited quite a brood of characters. We had a dog, birds, goats, horses, and donkeys. Over the years we added and lost to the group. We raised a goat in the bathtub for a while because it was so cold outside. Sammy (the goat) grew up thinking he was a dog. We've had some fun times.
Last month we had to put Shadow to sleep. It was a very sad time for us. We miss her. I'm not sure if we'll get another dog. I'm leaving that up to my hubby. Whatever he decides will be okay by me.
But we did get a new addition to our household. Before I introduce you to him, (yes this addition is a boy) I thought I'd let everyone know who we already live with.
So this week I'm going to post each day our roommates (for lack of better terms). You can meet them one by one and at the end of the week I'll introduce to our new addition. (And let you know how they are all getting along!)

We are going in order of how long we've had these pets. The longest running Peterson Pet is Chiquita.

Chiquita is 18 years old was Lenny's before I met him. He raised her from a baby and she's quite the character. She has phrases and words she says quite often:
Here kitty, kitty.
Uh huh.
She also talks to herself in bird lingo with different voices and has quite a good time. She also screams when we leave the house. We cover our ears and run out the door. (I would say this is an exaggeration. It is for us but not our guests---sorry!)

Having a mccaw makes life interesting to say the least. I can't watch a you-tube video in the living room without getting her all riled up. She doesn't talk when people are around unless you're around a lot. She dumps her whole bowl of food out into the bottom of her cage.

Any bird stories out there? We'd love to hear.

Check back tomorrow for the second in our brood.

One More Day To Post

Just a reminder. There's one more day to post for the Jazzin' Up January contest on the F.A.I.T.H. blog. Go do it!

Jazzin January at F.A.I.T.H.

The Jazzin' Up January Contest is in full swing over at the F.A.I.T.H. blog. If you haven't checked it out, come on over. Add your paragraph to the mix and let's see where Katie Sue-Ann McCall is heading next week.

Getting Ready For January......

If you visit here, make sure you visit the F.A.I.T.H. blog every Monday in January. (Of course we'd like to see you there everyday!!)
But I am holding a month long contest in January on Mondays. What kind of contest?

Check it out this Monday, January 5th for all the details and part one of the Jazzin' January Contest.

New Book Now Available-Their Surprise Second Chance!

 Look!  Their Surprise Second Chance  is available for pre-order! This is my first novel with Love Inspired and I'm so excited! After he...