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Posts Tagged ‘draft’

We sold more books through our website today than we usually do in rounding up accounts with bookstores. And it feels good. To have money to put into the bank and the hope of recovering costs for Mark of Orion. To have the draft for the next book complete. To live the dream with late-night writing sessions at my local Starbucks and with complete autonomy in what gets published and when.

It feels even better as I read popular young adult fiction. There I discover that my standards for family friendly reading are probably seen as prehistoric confines that we, as a refined society, should shed. Only I won’t be shedding my standards any time soon. And with every story I publish I hope that others will join me in reclaiming their own.

And yet there is the growing, gnawing sense of discomfort with my present reality. It tells me that this section of my life may soon be at its close. It scares me.

Don’t worry, I won’t bid farewell to writing. You can expect to see the completion of The Orion Records before I decide what my writing career will look like as an adult. For now, I cherish the young person’s freedom to keep writing and publishing stories that people love and are influenced by, regardless of a professional publisher’s interest or whims. For now I breathe in my small town life, grateful for extra sunshine and quiet moments to rest. But change… change is coming.

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For four days I have left you. Four days for a more noble cause than usual. I have been writing. Back to the drawing board with my novel, a fresh Word document before me. I keep from the first, failed, half-finished draft only that which makes the story soar. My novel and my soul are better for it. For four days I have written, indulged in the Psalms as a refuge from the swirling words of the Lure of Lemons, been rigorous about taking all medicines (new and old, prescription and supplemental), and tackled my wild life into submission.

Patient friends who sought me out through mid-November to mid-January are finally getting a little more of the attention they deserve. Precious family members are finally the confidants they ought to have always been. Life, slowly, is beginning to make sense. As if I am coming out of the fog of illness that was my life.

But my room already begins to show signs of sickness again. An unkempt desk, a chair that houses lost objects, and a dryer sheet too far down on the floor to bear picking up. This time, it’s not the bitter surges of Babesiosis that strikes me. Just a common cold. The kind that makes you drink too much tea and turns your nose raw. It’s quite the relief to feel normal sick. My head might seem a little fuzzy, but its the physical kind of fuzzy that is not nearly so alarming.

Sister Kate and I pulled into the mall parking lot today and just sat for a long time. She shared Jeremiah 29:11, a verse we all have heard too much (if that’s even possible when it comes to Scripture). But instead of focusing on the ‘prosper’ part, she highlighted, “For I know the plans I have for you…” (ESV). God knows the plan. It’s in His mighty, wondrous, talented hands. So sick with Babesious or sick with the common cold or starkly healthy, I’m in the book that He is writing.

And it is far better than any story I could ever craft.

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Today I finished the draft of Xsardis. Each novel that I have written takes on a unique personality (not its content necessarily; but it and my’s interaction). Issym was like a child-hood friend. Always there for you; constant; fun. After a while you might grow out of it, but there will always be a special place in your heart for it. Asandra was what I envision a dating relationship to be like. It mattered so much to me but I couldn’t tell if it would come out brilliantly or fall flat on its face. There was a lot of tears and laughter (mostly tears). Now for Xsardis it might be a little early for me to peg its nature, but I can tell you it and my’s interaction was VERY different. Our friendship started off wildly than fell apart. I was stuck in the relationship but I didn’t want to be. There would be days when I would remember why I loved him, then weeks I loathed the very mention of his name. And it took me a very long time to complete the manuscript.

Part of the problem, I believe, was that I was failing where I told all young authors to make sure they succeeded. There are three parts to a great story. (1) A beginning and an ending (who needs the middle? that’s what inspiration is for!) (2) Two main characters (can be hero and villain, two heroes, whatever) and (3) A moral. The moral is key. It gives direction to everything. It is like a compass. Without it, a map will do you no good. I had a moral for Xsardis, but not until late in the novel and I didn’t like it. (The other part of the problem has simply been my health has not allowed much room for creativity but let’s forget about that one for now.)

Today Xsardis shared with me the moral that he (and yes, it became a he today too) really had. It is the perfect moral to sum up and end my series. It is so right, so perfect, it must have come from Above. My sister Kate asked me during one of our many kitchen-table discussions about writing what note I wanted to leave the series on. I guessed at an answer, but she really got me thinking. I prayed today that God would give me a story to consumer my thoughts and chase away the nightmare that was haunting me. He gave me the moral that has inspired this deep appreciation for Xsardis that I never thought I could have.

So I finished the draft today. I know there is a lot of work ahead of me (especially considering I am going to try to fit summer school in and there is another upcoming book under Rebirth’s logo; more about that later), but I am so happy. I love Xsardis for the first time ever! I think you will too.

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