Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Hey there.

It's a new day of the New Year and I'm anxious.

What am I anxious about, you ask? Getting Testimony of Innocence off to my publisher. I finished it right before Christmas... the completed story and the rewrites and corrections, but a dear lady offered to read it one time through for those easily skipped typos that we (me as the writer, and my critique partners as the two who have combed through it several times for me) don't always catch. How can we miss them? Easily. We know the story and know what I mean to write, only our human brain sometimes picks up the words the way they were meant to be written. It was bad timing on my part, giving the manuscript to an unsuspecting sweet woman, and ask for it back around or before the first of the year. How dare me? I'm so bad! It was with a kind heart Charlotte offered to do this for me (plus she's an avid fan of Deborah Lynne novels). But I guarantee she hadn't planned on me dropping it in her lap, so-to-speak, right before Christmas.

I'm sorry Charlotte. I didn't mean to do this.

Other writers know when you write something, it takes a lot of time and love to see it through from the beginning to the end--But once you are so close it's like waiting 9 months for a baby to be born. Then the pain starts. Well I guess you could say, that's where I am. IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT IN THE END. On my part anyway. Thank you Charlotte. I can't say it enough. Thank you Marie and Emy too. They put a lot of their time into reading and rereading my work. I am so blessed! Thank You, Lord, for these people in my life!

Okay. Now I'm going to get off of me and onto the past week. I hope you have had a wonderful holiday time and are now ready to face the new year, doing what you have been called to do. Each day is new and opportunities are all around us. Don't hesitate to reach out and take hold of the experiences God has in store for you.

We started a new Bible Study last night. Of course it's another Beth Moore. How can you ask? Yes we do some that aren't hers, but when we can we do a Beth Moore Bible Study...even the ones she rewrites. We did the old and now are doing the newer version. She writes so full of the Spirit of the Lord, helping me and others understand God's Word so much clearer. Beth helps us to step into our own relationship with God, knowing He is there for us, in the good and the bad times. He will not only see us through our situations, but He will bless us too. I know that from one of the first Scriptures she (Beth) had us memorize.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

And He does. For those of you who don't know Him personally yet, it's never to late to ask Him into your heart. He's there waiting for you, seeking you, wanting to dwell with you. Isn't that awesome?

Okay. I'm not preaching, just sharing.

On January 1...the first day of the new year...I did something I had never done before. I cooked a traditional southern New Year's Day meal. It's ham, cabbage, and black-eyed peas. Of course all my life I thought that was a worldwide tradition, representing health, wealth, and something else. I can't ever remember the third thing. I can recall saying years ago, "I guess I'm happy with my health and what ever my financial situation was, because there was no way on this earth I'd eat cabbage or black-eyed peas." I mean even when we lived payday-to-payday. I thought about it, but decided I was never that desperate. Of course all you who love cabbage and black-eyed peas, bless you. And as you know from the paragraph before, I know where my health and wealth comes from.

Anyway, I did it. Scott's best friend Jerry brought over a head of cabbage because Scott told him we could cook that traditional meal. (that was said around midnight New Year's Eve, after watching the glorious display of fireworks in the sky welcoming the New Year).  Ha-ha. WE?? He meant, they could watch the game and Debbie would make it. I told him I had no idea how to cook cabbage. He said, pull a recipe of the Internet. You're a good cook. You can do it. Well, I did just that when Jerry got to the house. Talk about poor planning. I pulled up the top rating recipe for boiled cabbage and ham, jotted down the necessary ingredients. Most of them I had, but still needed the ham and the black-eyed peas. In my mind, I planned on buying a can of those peas, so that wouldn't be a problem. Yeah, right. New Year's day? Down here in Louisiana go to the market and see how many stores still have cans on the shelf. I did find the fresh dried beans in a pack--and I knew how to cook red beans. I guessed it couldn't be very different. And I bought a portion of a ham, 3 oz without the bone and got to work.

By 2PM they were gobbling down the meal and talking about how good it was. Yes. They ate it and loved it...not me. I don't eat that stuff but was glad to know I could make it.

So New Year's day our New Orleans Saints won 45 to 17, and the men ate a hearty lunch. Then they watched another game or two and then ate left overs for supper (dinner). What did I do beside cook? I read a book and then watched a movie. That is my favorite thing to do when I'm not writing. Read something someone else has worked hard writing, or watching something that someone else wrote as a screen play. God gave us good imaginations. Look at the world today. We have so much of every thing, everywhere. Why? Because someone imagined and then put their hands to building or making or writing it until it existed. Yeah!!

It looks like I'm going backwards again. New Year's Eve. Fireworks, parties, family, friends. I hope you all had a safe and fun New Year's eve night to bring in the New Year. Where we just moved to, they had a neighbor hood party and we were invited. Not knowing many except to say hello, we old folks chose to welcome the new year at home with just the one friend, Jerry. But it was a great night. I mentioned earlier the fireworks we saw. Most of them came from the neighborhood party, and another little party from across the lake. It was great watching them yet being far enough away that the smoke didn't effect Scott from being able to enjoy them too. You could see the clouds of smoke in the air. I've never thought about those men or women who light those beautiful fireworks on the levee from a boat, how they must have been surrounded by the thick smoke. I hope their lungs made it through.

2012 is here. I hope all of you enjoy it and make the most out of every day. Stay loving others. Keep smiling. Bring joy to those around you. Stay happy!! What was that old saying...don't worry, be happy. That is the way to live your life. God tells us not to worry but to bring everything to Him in prayer. So He tells us the same thing...and guess who said it first! :-)

writing tips:

The following tips I learned through a class I took on line with ACFW. I'm only sharing a few tips here on punctuation which was given to us by Kathy Ide - author & editor.

Commas, periods, apostrophes, quotation marks, dashes and ellipsis, and hyphens:

COMMAS are used when restating a noun, example - My husband, Scott, ate the cabbage.
Scott is not necessary in the sentence, but it reminds you of his name. It can be removed without changing the meaning of the sentence, therefore, put commas.

When clarifying the noun commas are not used -  My daughter Rachael is thirteen months older than her sister.  By the sentence you can tell I have more than 1 daughter and by stating Rachael I am clarifying which daughter I was speaking of.

PERIODS are used separating sentences. The rule used to be the period was followed by two spaces. Now the rule is one space following a period at the end of a sentence. When using (parenthesis) within a sentence the period follows (the closing parenthesis). Same with a (question mark)?

APOSTROPHES are used to show ownership. Example - Molly's boys, Scotty and Koby, are my grandchildren. When it comes to names like Chris or Matthews, the rules very so check with your publishing house. The 15th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style says (Chris's wife, Rosie, is adorable) words ending with the eez sound should get the added s, where as The 16th Edition of the Chicago Manual of Style says no extra s is needed. (Chris' wife, Rosie, is adorable.) The Christian Writer's Manual of Style agrees with the 16th Edition of the CMoS. So when writing for Christian publication do not use the added s. Another time apostrophes are used is when letters or numbers are omitted. An example of that would be don't for do not...omitting the o. Or the '80's for the 1980's. Another time apostrophes are used is when pluralizing a lower case letter. Example is...mind your p's and q's. However we don't use them when saying "no ifs ands or butts about it" even though it looks weird.

I've got to stop here for a while. Scott gets a chest scan today, so I'll continue when we get back. We love his doctors. They are taking such good care of him.

I'm back. I have a confession to make. I've been back almost an hour but I started working on my completed manuscripts final corrections. Charlotte finished and I picked it up. Thanks again Charlotte.

Now I'm forcing myself to set it aside and complete my blog. Thank you for your patience.

Closing QUOTATION MARKS follow the period, question mark, exclamation mark, or comma. Example - My husband uses a saying my son-in-law, Pete, a bloke from England, taught him. "Bob's your uncle and Fannie's your aunt." "Do you like that saying?" "Scott loves it!" 

The exception to the rule is rare, but here is one. What gives them the right to claim, "Your characters are flat"?

DASHES & ELLIPSIS - Ellipses...are used for fragmented speech, usually accompanied by confusion, insecurity, distress, or uncertainty.  Example - "My glasses...where did I put them?" That's a common question I ask myself a lot. And like on the commercial, I (not the cat) find them on my head. Another time to use ellipses is at the end of a dialogue when the person's voice fades off.  "I hope I'm not too..."
Dashes (typed as two or three hyphens) are used to break a train of thought or an abrupt change in sentence structure. Chris can save the day--but will he be in time? Dashes are also used to show a person's dialogue being interrupted. "Boys, don't jump on the--" A crash from the other room quickly cut off her words.

HYPHENS - Compound modifiers containing nouns, adjectives, and participles are hyphenated when they are followed by a noun. Writing a novel is a time-consuming project.  But hyphens are not used when no noun follows. Writing a novel is time consuming.

Kathy Ide cleared a lot of things up for me on the class she taught through ACFW. I wrote these tips from my notes, and hopefully you will find them helpful. I still make some mistakes in my writing, but hopefully not too many on my punctuation. Thanks Kathy.

Take care, and God bless you all!!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog! As always you are such a blessing to all of us. I do understand birthing a book. What a wonderful way to describe finishing out a book. Toward the end of rewriting, corrections, etc, you begin to wonder if it will all fall into place. Yet time and again, God is faithful to bring it all together. Congratulations! Nothing in the world can compare to a great Bible study. Each new page of study opens up another snap shot of the Lord! Enjoy dear sisiter--and Happy New Year!