I'm starting this blog a day behind. As all of you have seen in the past two months, I'm not great at posting every Tuesday. Although I'm retired from my day job of thirty years, life is busy at times. So for the record, I will continue to try and post a new blog every Tuesday, but sometimes it will be delayed. Hang on, and don't give up on me. It will be out within 24-48 hrs.
Truth be told for this time, I forgot about my blog...or should I say I forgot yesterday was Tuesday. My excuse is I didn't put the reminder on my new iPhone to blog every Tuesday as I had on my old iPhone. It wasn't from being busy this time--it was from being forgetful. Forgive me.
This past week has been a fun yet busy week. First let me say, I'm glad the writer's tips I gave this past week touched on a subject that I needed to refresh in my mind. It's so easy as a writer to get so focused on the story that you forget to adhere to all the rules and regulations of punctuation. Kathy Ide (author & editor) did an awesome job teaching PUGS (Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and Spelling) in 2010 or 2011 through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) website. I shared a small piece, on last weeks blog, of what she taught us through the notes I made from the class. I hope you writers out there took it to heart. I know I did as I scanned for the last time my completed manuscript, Testimony of Innocence -- 2nd in the Samantha Cain Mystery Series, searching for any last minute or overlooked errors before sending it to my publisher. It went off Friday and is in Ramona Tucker's hands.
Speaking of Ramona, my editor, say a prayer for her. She's been sick with pneumonia. Not a fun thing to have and hers got so bad she's been in the hospital twice.
On that last run through, I made a few more corrections--things that were covered in PUGS.
Writing is the fun part of being an author. The work part is rewriting, rewriting, & rewriting. Thanks to my wonderful critique partners (Emy & Marie), and a new friend and an avid reader of my novels (Charlotte), my manuscript was corrected several times and completed. It was then sent to my publisher by Friday of last week. Novel number 5, of novels by Deborah Lynne: Testimony of Innocence, Be Not Afraid, Passion from the Heart, All in God's Time, and Grace a Gift of Love, will be coming out later this year. I've enjoyed writing each and every one these novels. After sending Testimony of Innocence off to my publisher, I started work on my next story.
Something else I did Friday, was start walking on a daily basis -- five days a week. I don't do this alone, mind you. My youngest daughter (Molly) and one of my grandsons (Koby) walk with me. We scheduled it for early mornings, Monday through Friday. What a way to start a day. The first day we did my typical walk like I do with my husband occasionally, which is only 1/2 mile. I have to say they walked at my pace...slow. Monday we followed the same plan. Tuesday, however, we beefed it up. The three of us walked faster (could be because Charlie-their dog-joined us) and we walked one whole mile. I was so excited to have accomplished that mile. I've been wanting to work up to that since I put on all this weight. Sad to say, I hadn't accomplished it yet...till yesterday. Anyway, it was exhilarating. I was so energized for the rest of the day. Tuesday afternoon I met with my daughter again. This time she and my other grandson (Scotty) went shopping with me. Some more walking. Sad to say, when I got home from Bible Study last night I was moving like I had aged 20 years in less than 24 hours. So today our walk was 10 minutes of slow walk and then 10 minutes of a little faster pace. Didn't make the full mile but I'm sure it was close.
The worst thing that happened this week (Monday night) was our LSU Tigers lost the National Championship. They didn't just lose--they were creamed. 21-0. I was actually embarrassed for my Tigers. They worked all season at being undefeated and succeeded at it...until Monday night. For some strange reason their coach never changed his game plan at the National Championship, even after it was not working. The young man who stepped in as quarterback for 6 or 7 games, maybe even 8, and with the team won them all, never got to step on the field Monday night at the Championship game. No one knows why, but everyone, even the sports commentators are asking that question. The team LSU played had only lost 1 game all season and it was to the Tigers. They made up for it on 1/9/12 and took home the trophy. Well, next year a lot of the LSU guys will be back. Hopefully, they'll take home the trophy 2013. Not being a sports enthusiast myself, I hope I didn't step on any toes with my comments. I never watched the LSU games on TV until last year, and only occasionally did I do that. When I attended LSU years ago and after I was first married, we went to all the games. So I can call them my Tigers. Next year -- Look Out!! My Tiger's will win it all!! My son (Chris) worked the game and was on ESPN during the showing of it. My daughter (Rachael) dressed in LSU scrubs for work at the hospital in California, bragging on her team, only to have to return Tuesday and get picked on all day. Of course, Monday they started out by draping red crape paper across her desk...so I hate to see what they did Tuesday. She said they went easy on her, since LSU did so poorly. That was nice of them.
Thursday night, I met with the writers group that I attend once a month. Our group is growing. There is a lot of talent down in Louisiana.
Most of you know, every Wednesday I meet with a group of adults at an Assisted Living home. I read a novel to them. Of course, it takes weeks to accomplish this because I only read for one hour. It's fun and the people who come seem to enjoy listening to me read. I love them and I love reading to them. In fact, I'll be leaving here in about two hours to read today. Anyway, I think this has been going on for two years now. In that time, I've shared a lot of books with them, sometimes introducing a new author to them, and other times reading an old favorite. I look forward to my time with my friends at Sunrise.
Today I didn't go through my week front to back, or back to front, This time I skipped around. I hope you enjoyed it. Now for a brief catch up on a couple of things we've touched on over the past few months.
On the weight loss, I haven't lost any more. In fact, over the holidays I put on about 5 pounds. Those are gone now, but I haven't gotten below the 26 pound loss. Maybe next week I'll be able to say I shed another pound or two. I hope so. I'm counting calories and inputting them in my phone like before. It makes a difference when you see what you eat...calorie wise. I kind of slipped last night when I got to Bible Study. I brought some left overs, pork roast and dirty rice, only to find the woman whose house we meet at had all kinds of snacks prepared, including a sweet one. Another person who comes, brought a bag of treats too. I ate a little of everything and have no idea how many calories that entailed. I truly didn't eat as many or as much as I would have in the past. My eating habits have improved somewhat.
The geese who visit our lake, still come. We feed them as well as sit and watch for enjoyment. Unfortunately, Tutu has quit coming. Hopefully, he flew south for the winter because we did have the cold snap for a couple of days. And even more, hopefully, he will return after the winter is totally gone for the season. I'd love to see him back by March or April. We've gotten to a point where we let our indoor cat (Kali) out daily with our supervision. She manages to slip down close to the water, trying to move in on the geese when they are walking on the land. What Kali doesn't realize, they keep their eyes peeled...never losing sight of her. When she gets too close, they swoop out onto the water and then watch her from a distance...as if daring her to come into the water. They are so much fun to watch.
We have plans to be made for a deck we want to add to our new home. You've seen the pictures of our beautiful new home, so you know any addition will only add to its beauty. We wouldn't think of taking away from it. Also I'm hoping to have a flower bed or two added in the front by a professional. By this summer pictures of both will be posted on my blog.
Next week I'll go back to keeping the week in order. Out of order seems a little to unorganized...but I hope you enjoy the read anyway.
Writing tips for today:
My tip to writers is a subject I've touched on before...I believe. I know I've spoken of it at different talks I've shared over the past 5 years as a published author. The reason I'm bringing this back up again is because at my writers' group, we have a very talented young girl. She's in high school and has a great gift--actually two. She writes and she draws. Unfortunately, she hasn't completed a novel yet...at least not in the almost 3 years I've been going to this group...not that I know of anyway. I've read bits and pieces of short stories, as well as beginning chapters of her book. Why hasn't she finished a story yet? She critique's as she writes.
THAT IS A NO-NO!!!
Don't stop to admire your work AND don't stop to find fault with it either. In fact, don't stop at all. Allow your creative juices to flow. Even if you take a chapter or two at a time to your critique group to make marks or suggestions, don't go back and fix them yet. Not until you have completed your short story or novel, which ever you are working on at completing, should you make corrections.
When you stop writing, you stop the flow of your story. You also stop the flow of your creative side of your brain doing its job. Sure it's tempting to fix things, but don't! When you stop, and rewrite, and stop again, and rewrite again, you've doomed your work. Your stuck in that never-ending cycle.
Instead, write until it's completed.
Then go through making corrections, as your critique partners suggested.
Set it aside. Wait a week or so...and then pick it up and read it again. That's when you want to make major changes. Then you go rewrite, get feed back, rewrite, get feed back, and continue the circle until it's completely corrected and ready for your editor.
But if you are one of those who take time to reread and find fault with your writing before it's even completed, you may suffer the consequences of never finishing your work. I know as a writer you don't want to do that. It takes long enough to write your stories.
I know I'm a fairly new author...published author that is, but I remind you I've been writing for over 25 years now. I've heard from other published authors over the years and read many "How to" books that all share the same message. Don't correct as you go.
So please. Quit stopping. Write five pages at a time, or a chapter at a time, or whatever works for you. But when you start again the next day, continue with what you are writing. Don't stop to rewrite. Sure you can read what you've written to get back in the flow of your story, but DO NOT correct as you go.
Now GET BACK TO YOUR WRITING!!