Friday, August 12, 2016

The Waiting Season

“To everything, there is a season…” Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am in a season of waiting, and as seasons go, it is not my favorite. Writers do lots of waiting, so you’d think I’d be used to it by now. Waiting to hear back from critique partners. Waiting to hear back from agents. Waiting to hear back from editors. Waiting for reviews, for launch, to be paid…
A wise writer will work while she waits, but waiting is still anguish.

This morning, I decided to have a bite to eat and then read my Bible. So, I picked yogurt with M&M’s, thinking it would be healthy enough. Two bites in, I realized the yogurt had spoiled. So, I tossed it. A little while later, I grabbed an oatmeal cream pie as a replacement. The first bite had a hair baked in it. *shudders* I threw it away too. At this point, I gave up on breakfast and read a few chapters.

I’d like to tell you that the chapters hit the spot and soothed my waiting heart. Sometimes that happens. But what I read didn’t give me much peace this morning.

Then, perfection. My husband walked in with a Bojangles bag. Totally unexpected! The bag contained not just one biscuit for me, but two—in case one wasn’t enough!

Isn’t that just like God? He knows our love languages (one of mine is obviously Bojangles), and He meets us right where we are to remind us that He’s taking care of us. And so today, because of those biscuits, I feel more peace in the waiting—more peace in knowing that God has a great agent out there for me. I can rest in His goodness and timing.


What are you waiting for today? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month, so I celebrated by writing a poem. If you decide to write one too, share a link in the comment section, so we can take a peek. Also, I'd love to hear who some of your favorite poets are, so give them a shout-out!

Story Farm by Laura Renegar

The writer’s brain is like a farm
With many seeds to sow.
Ideas sink in and some take root
In zig-zags more than rows.

The farmer weeds the adverbs out.
She fertilizes scenes.
Organically, she kills the tropes—
Those buggers can be mean.

She takes her time with characters.
Her voice makes each one blossom.
She irrigates and prunes each page,
Until the plot is awesome.

She’s story farming all the time.
As seasons paint the sky,
Until she picks her finest fruit
For publishers to buy.

*special thanks to my oldest daughter for illustrating my poem!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Guest Post for NaNoWriMo

Hi! It has been shamefully long since I've posted on here, but it's because of good stuff! Since I've been gone, I've finished a draft of a new YA (it's a creepy contemporary told from two points of view that involves a home security system). I've also done a revision to ASHES AND INK that I'm totally proud of. I've written poems for magazines (crossing my fingers on those). And then there's been lots of family things like the addition of a super baby to one of my favorite relatives.

If you're still with me, hop on over to Red Sofa Literary's Blog to see one of the cool things I've learned this year about plotting and planning. I'm represented by Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary, and she asked me to do a guest post. The Red Sofa Literary blog will have a new post up every day in November in celebration of NaNoWriMo, so it's a great blog to follow!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lovers, Haters, and Creators


Creating is natural. Beautiful. Fulfilling.
Sharing is liberating. Gratifying. Gut-wrenching.
Yeah, I said it: Gut-wrenching. Because not everybody loves every creation.
We aren’t all attracted to the same people, and that’s a good thing. I’m thankful I don’t have to pry other women off my man every time we go to Target. That would be awkward and all sorts of time consuming. He’s a good-looking man, mind you, but most women notice the gold band around his finger and realize there are other options.
I follow many writer feeds, and over and over I read this advice: “Don’t read your reviews…EVER…unless someone reads them first and filters them and only hands over the ones that say you’re brilliant.” It’s as if the path to Goodreads is Disney’s Splash Mountain ride. A boatload of writers bopping along to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah getting the tummy squirms as danger signs and buzzards appear.
So why does it bother us if what we create isn’t for everyone? We don’t all like the same foods, music, or people.
But when you create something, it’s different. It comes from you. You love it, nurture it, and groom it. When it seems less fragile, you allow a select few to hold it. And when you are confident your creation can walk, run, or even fly on its own, you let go.
Or pretend to.
But it’s still your baby.
And when someone calls your baby ugly, it would be easy to go mama bear on them.
But we mustn’t.
I am North Carolina born and raised and grew up under the rule of “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” so I’m guessing I should probably avoid reading my own reviews when that glorious day comes…or maybe I’ll peek through half-closed fingers like a kid watching a horror movie.
There’s an awesome episode of Victorious called The Bird Scene. It should be required that all actors, artists, and writers watch it before throwing themselves or their work out for public eyes. Seriously. Wisdom from TeenNick to creators everywhere.
What do you recommend? How do you handle someone not loving your creative baby? Comment and let us know.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Five Advantages To Being A Writer

I love being a writer. Seriously. LOVE. So as we start the new year together, I thought I'd share a countdown of five fun reasons why:

5. Funky hair color and attire is encouraged.

4. People Watching totally counts as research.
 
3. Creating imaginary friends, enemies, and boyfriends for others is all kinds of fun.
 
2. Furry mascots for the win!
 
1. The skills I’ve picked up from youtube and google searches ensure I’ll always be on somebody’s watch list.
 
So whatever you are (a writer, a dreamer, a magic bean buyer), join in the fun. Comment below to tell us something you love about what you do. Happy 2015!
 
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When A Turtle's Not A Turtle


Last Saturday morning, I was teaching my youngest how to make shape pancakes because FUN! But her smile drooped, her forehead wrinkled, and I sensed she was ready to hurl the ladle across the kitchen.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“I keep trying to make a turtle, but it looks nothing like a turtle,” she grumped.
I tilted my head and opened my eyes wide. “WHOA!”
The pancake she had tried to make into a turtle had shifted into golden phoenix. It was incredible. When I told her what it looked like to me, it became an insta-favorite.
This happens with so many things. Stories. Guys. Relationships.
We have in mind what perfection looks like. We see it so clearly, we can almost taste it. And then it morphs into something we hardly recognize. It may still be amazing, or it may be horrific, but all we can think is, “That’s not a turtle.”
Has this happened to you? Did you learn to love what it became, or did you start all over again? Leave a comment to share!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Firsts


I’ve been thinking about firsts this summer and how, um, AWKWARD they can be. So in case you wanted to think about awkward firsts too, whether for late night bonding with a friend or for a writing exercise, here’s a list to get you started:
First Time Putting On Makeup
First Date
First Kiss
First Crush
First Dance
First Audition
First Show
First Tryout
First Time NOT Making The Team
First Time Making The Team When A Buddy Doesn’t
First Game
First Time Being Dumped
First Time Having To Dump Someone Else
First Fight With A Best Friend
First Time You & Your Bestie Liked The Same Guy
First Big Party You DIDN’T Get Invited To
First Time Playing Spin The Bottle
First Time Saying “I Love You”
First Time Hearing He Only Wants To Be Friends
First Time Falling Asleep While On The Phone
First Time Tasting Liquor
First Time Hiding A Hickey