Monday, May 18, 2015

We Will Not Be Shaken

As time goes on, we travel a lot of miles over a lot of roads. I don't know about you, but my last 18 months have been some newly traveled roads. Sure, I had experienced death before Scott's passing March 2, 2014, but it wasn't the same. I think Scott's death touched me deeper than any loss of a loved one I'd ever felt. The walk was so different from the loss of Dad, Mom, Mr. and Mrs. Craft (Scott's mom and dad), and Sharon (my sister). I missed them. I hurt walking the empty days after they went on to be with the Lord. Praise God I can say that--All went on to be with the Lord. I felt their absence, but when the Lord took Scott home an bigger emptiness, more than I could ever imagine, surrounded me. Don't get me wrong. I was never alone. Never by myself. I was so blessed to have my kids, grandkids, and kids-in-law to love me and try to fill the emptiness. Praise God, He too was with me through it all...through all the above trails I was walking. But my flesh had to move through those days as well as my joyful spirit. It's so easy to give into temptation and wallow in your sorrow. I wanted to so many days, and some I did. I'm blessed God didn't let me stay there. He loves me and I know it. He has plans for me...Praise God for that. My life on earth is not over, so I move on, one day at a time. Some days Scott's absence still pierces my heart, but I keep moving forward through my trust and faith in the Lord.

He helped me start writing again. This is a gift He has given me. Those who knew me in school might remember -- I hated reading, English was not my best subject. Yet this is where He brought me. Writing and reading and writing some more. The dreams I had as a young person was to the next Doris Day. God brought that dream to pass as well, but not in the way I'd expected. I thought I'd be acting in movies and on stage. Instead I fell in love, married, and had kids. As they grew He brought me to writing. My books are written through His guided hand. While I'm writing them, I get to play every character in my novel. Yippee! Now that's acting.

So know this. God has given each of us a road to travel, a dream to reach, a passion to follow, all from the time we are small. If we will use this dream, this passion, to His glory, if we listen and follow His direction He will fill our lives in abundance. God is good. God is love. God is truth. God is peace. Reach for Him and you can have it all!!

May 1st the book -- Bayou Secrets -- was released to chain stores across America. I'm sorry to say it wasn't at the one and only Costco we have here in Baton Rouge, nor did I find it at any Walmart in my area. I know that I was told it wouldn't be at every Costco or Walmart (and some other big chain stores that I don't know), but I hope you found it in your area. I ordered me one off the internet. I love the way they had Crime in The Big Easy, Be Not Afraid, and Testimony of Innocence all in one book. It is over 900 pages. My average book is 330 pages long when printed normal size. It was cool to read from it. And I loved the cover. Anyway, I hope you found your copy, or managed to buy one for a gift for a friend. I loved it and glad my books crossed from sea to sea. I was blessed.

For the record, I sent off my latest manuscript to my editor as I'd told you I was working toward in my last blog. It went off the evening of April 30th. Hidden Secrets is the title. I'll tell you more when I hear back from my publisher. In the meantime, I am working on Against Her Will, book 4 of the Samantha Cain Series. It's writing itself. I love when that happens and the words pour out onto the page. God has the perfect time for everything.

I know those who read my blog is either a writer or a reader of fiction...or both. I've got to share the latest book I'm reading. It's by one of my favorite authors (I admit to have a few). Dee Henderson's latest, released May 1st -- Taken. I've not quiet finished it yet, but it is proving to be a great read as usual. Her stories as well as her characters come to life before your eyes. To see her books CLICK HERE.

As most of you know by now, if you go to my website: you can click on the Lighthouse on the first page to read a devotional the Lord is leading me to write. I hope to have another month ready to add soon. It will always be available free for downloading off of my website. I pray you are blessed by it. Also on my website, blogs that have been posted since 2011 can still be found by clicking on ejournal on my website. Feel free to browse.

I try to include a writing tip for all of you writers who read my blog. I've been thinking on hard on what to share this time. I hope you find this helpful.

1.     You have to make time. I’m good at procrastinating…planning…thinking about writing…thinking about my story, my idea, and then saying I’ll start tomorrow. To become a better writer you have to set aside a time to do it and stick to it. Make your self sit down and start writing. Thinking about it will not make it happen. As I’ve said many times before – PERSEVERE!

2.     Write about something you care about. If you do, the reader will enjoy it more, and you as a writer will expose heart in it. If you are into politics but write medical journals, your reader won’t appreciate your writing. However, if you write a political novel with the depth and the heart you have for the subject, it will be a spell-bounder. Readers will love it. When you write from the heart, it shows.

3.     Make a list or an outline of what you plan to have happen (in a novel) or plan to say (an article). When I first started writing, I always wrote by the seat of my pants, but as I’ve grown I’ve found by taking time to outline my story first, build my character sheets before I begin, put faces to the names of my characters, my stories are easier to write. I’m not saying I always stick to my outlines. Remember, it’s your outline. You can change it. But I promise you this; if you have an outline, you’ll never get stuck wondering where do to go next. I’ve only recently started writing a full outline first. In the past 5-7 of my published novels, I’ve had notes, ideas, lists of scenes that I wanted to see happen, but with the past 2 novels, I’ve written an outline first. Like I said earlier, you don’t have to follow it. It’s there to keep you focused and moving forward, but it’s not set in stone. For me, it takes the pressure off. I’ve tried it, and I like it, so I’m sticking to it.

4.     Write your completed article or story before you start making changes. Let your creative juices flow. Don’t second-guess yourself. Get it all complete, and then reread it. Follow your instincts. Then let someone else read and make suggestions as well. But write it in its entirety first.
5.     Be consistent. Don’t quit. Stay after whatever you’ve planned to write until it is complete. Finish what you start!!

6.     Get help from critique partners. Listen to suggestions they make. It’s still your writing, so do what you feel led to do. A second or third pair of eyes always helps improve your writing. You as the author tend to read what you meant to say. Listen to your CP. Hear what they have to say. Then follow your heart.

7.     Keep reading help articles and books on writing to improve your craft.

8.     Keep reading novels or articles of they type you enjoy writing yourself.

9.     Never give up. Never quit.