Submitted: June 1, 2013
Piece: “Choose Your Attitude” (976 words; Devotional)
Estimated Response Time: 4-6 weeks
Since the flooding in my basement is finally under control (at least for now) and the laundry is under way and the dishes are done, I think I have time to start my initial preparations for the 2013 Glen Eyrie Writing Workshop. I am so excited about the workshop this year. This is will be the third year I’ve attended, and I always always always come away from it feeling encouraged, uplifted, and challenged.
The normal three leaders, Angela Hunt, Nancy Rue, and Kathy Mackel, will be in attendance this year, plus Bill Myers. I took Bill’s class the first year I attended, and it was wonderful. But this year I get to do something different. Nancy Rue is running a breakout session for advanced writers, ones who already have a manuscript finished. The space was limited (only 16 were chosen), and I got in! I feel so humbled and honored, and I can’t wait to get there and get started.
From what I understand, the class is going to cover editing and revising our manuscripts, receiving feedback, and instruction on proposals, agents, and marketing. I’ve never taken a class on these subjects before, so I’m just about giddy. I’ve been doing all these things on my own for years and years, but this is my first opportunity to sit in a class with others who are in the same boat and ask questions about the process!
Our assignment at this point is to come up with a question we’re struggling with in regards to writing in general, whether it’s how you handle the industry or how you handle yourself. In class, we’re going to get to voice those questions to each other. I’m so thankful for this. Most people don’t believe me, but I’m really a very shy person. I’m a terrible introvert. If I don’t have to talk to people, I won’t. I have always expressed myself better in written words than in spoken words. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to wear the extroverted leader facade, but I don’t like it. I’m perfectly content to sit by myself with a notebook and scribble away in silence from dawn till dusk. So having this opportunity designed into the class where everyone has to ask a question is wonderful, because I know that I’m not the only person who struggles with this.
Plus I’m also very excited to take a course from Nancy Rue, who has always seemed like a ray of sunshine at the workshops in previous years. She nicknamed me “Smiley” the first year I was there, and what’s awesome about this workshop is that it’s small enough that the presenters remember you.
In any case, I’ve got to get a hard copy of my manuscript (The Mountain Requires Blood) to take with me, so I can make notes on it. I’m eager to get feedback on it. I could have brought one of my other novels, but this one is dealing with a part of the writing industry that I know very little about. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’ve never written anything specifically for the Christian market until this book. So I’m eager to talk to some folks who have experience dealing with that area.
AND … it’s at Glen Eyrie, one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
But no matter how much I learn at this awesome place, it’s just a marvelous chance to be around other writers. Real writers just get each other. And real Christian writers get each other on a different level because we’re all there for the same reason, to bring glory to God and to introduce as many people as we can to Him.
I’m excited to get to work!
I am pleased to report that I have accomplished one of my 2013 goals today! I have finished draft 2 of my novel about Guatemala, The Mountain Requires Blood!
This is the closest this monster has been to being done in a while. I plotted it in the back of my parents’ car on the way home from Albuquerque in September 2010, and I wrote most of the first draft in two sittings in 2011. The first draft barely hit 54,000 words, which is hardly enough for a novella.
Draft two is slightly more substantial: 77,000 words.
I still have quite a bit of cultural things to double check, and there are some details that need polish. But the way it stands right now I think is pretty fabulous.
In case you’re curious, here’s my (rough) pitch:
Jamie Logan is twice orphaned, once when his Guatemalan birth mother gave him away and twice when his adopted father dies suddenly. On his death bed, Jamie’s adopted father makes him promise that he will find his birth mother, but he doesn’t say why. So Jamie leaves the comfort of New England to seek out his birth mother in the jungles of Guatemala. Calling on the aid of local missionaries, Jamie searches from village to village to find the woman who gave birth to him and then gave him away. But Jamie doesn’t really know what he’s getting into. He wants to find his mother, keep his promise, and go home, but God has a different plan. On the journey, Jamie learns that faith is real, even though he never had it, and he discovers that sacrifices need to be made, although the most important one has already been given. Because what he finds in Guatemala has less to do with who his mother is and more to do with who his father truly was.
I’m going to be running this by some folks at the 2013 Glen Eyrie Writing Workshop in Colorado Springs in June. This is the first time I’ve ever written a novel about the real world. This is also the first time I’ve written a novel specifically for a Christian audience. So I have a lot of questions.
But questions aside, it’s good to get this thing done. Mainstream writing is hard work! I’m eager to get back to my fantasy worlds where I can just make stuff up if I don’t know an answer! =)
Wow. It has been ages since I posted anything. I haven’t had a spare moment throughout April to do anything writing related, but hopefully now that May is here I can get back to work!
So I thought I’d start with an update on my goals, for my own edification. I haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped, but the year is still young.
Goal #1: Finish the Wheel of Time series
I’m two books in, and I adore it … but finishing the ones that exist now doesn’t seem likely by the end of 2013. I thought there were twelve or thirteen … but number fourteen just came out. I still plan to finish it, but I don’t think it will be this year. Lol!
In other news, since my brother bought me an Amazon Prime account for Christmas, I’ve been reading at least one book per month. I just did a post on a book I got through Prime (By Darkness Hid) that I loved so much I went and bought the whole trilogy. And I finished it inside of a week! A few nights ago I just finished another book that I will probably review soon, called In Deep Shiitake. … Yeah. That was an interesting read. But now I have a highly reviewed fantasy up, called The Wretched of Muirwood and I’m excited to get started.
I’m still chugging through the Wheel of Time series, but since I’m not going to finish the whole series anyway, I want to take my time with it and really enjoy it.
Goal #2: Publish second book of devos
Goal #3: Build and publish a web site to promote
I made good progress on this at the beginning of the year, but now things have kind of slowed down. I’ve got the devotional laid out. Now we’re just in the polishing phase. It should go to print in time for Christmas. Web site will be up before then.
Goal #4: Finish The Mountain Requires Blood
Goal #5: Finish Morningstar Series: Covenant Trilogy Part One
Goal #6: Finish Morningstar Series: Covenant Trilogy Part Two
Goal #7: Finish Morningstar Series: Covenant Trilogy Part Three
Goal #8: Finish Revenant (AROL04) – DONE
Goal #9: Finish Remnant (AROL05)
Goal #10: Finish Redemption (AROL06)
Only one of these done so far, Revenant, although I’m more than 35,000 words into Remnant as of last night. But The Mountain Requires Blood is approaching completion, and I’ve got bits and pieces of it going to my writing critique group for their input. And I’m sort of hanging back on the Morningstar Series until I hear word from Marcher Lord Press about the first trilogy that is under consideration for publishing.
As per usual, short stories suffer. I haven’t written anything new. But I haven’t stopped submitting. And drama writing? Whoa. For the first time in about three years, I actually have dramas to write again.
I haven’t been able to touch Goal 17, the full-length play, but I have written six short sketches that will be performed. This weekend is the fifth one, and the last one is next weekend. Some of them are online here:
http://www.newspring.org/media (the Run, Forrest, Run series)
And I thought I’d include a little photo gallery so you guys can experience some of the joy!
In other words …
The first quarter hasn’t been as product as I’d hoped, but I’ve gotten a few things done. It’s just amazing how rapidly I’m running out of time already, though. But either way, I won’t be bored!
Additionally, I am planning to start a new series of updates on here tentatively titled “The Adventures of Amos and Sparky” as my brother and I are planning some exciting trips, first to Dallas and then to Edinburgh and London, and I intend to keep a journal of the craziness that will undoubtedly ensue.
Keep writing, everyone!