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Showing posts from December, 2006

Busy ... busy ... dreadfully busy ...

And the winner of the drawing for autographed copies of Kathryn Mackel's Outriders and Trackers is ... Kyra! Congratulations!! Thanks to everyone who posted, or who tried to and had to email me. I apologize for not getting this up sooner; the weekend has been excruciatingly busy, and the rest of the week doesn't look much better. Thank you as well, for all who took the time to read last week, and commented here or elsewhere.

Spec Faith Thursday

I almost forgot ... I'm taking Beth's place for the month of December over at our team blog, Speculative Faith . See today and last Thursday for a look at how "the speculative" relates to modern holiday celebrations. Just don't get all upset and start defending Christmas, because I'm not looking for a debate. ;-)

A Corrie moment

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... reminding us how tenuous is a four-year-old's grasp on metaphysics ... From a few days ago: Her: Do we have a cat? Me: No, we do not. Her: Why not? Me: Because I don’t want one. [Note: to be fair, we have a Sheltie, a ferret, a goldfish, and assorted chickens and ducks. Various neighbors have cats.] Her: I want one! Me: When you grow up, you can get your own cat. Her, huffing dramatically: Mom, I can’t grow up! You won’t take me to October! [her birth month] Me, after much laughter: Honey, I can’t take you to October; October has to come to you. She brought up the subject again yesterday, and she still doesn't get that growing up takes TIME, and plenty of it. And as I write this, I wonder--how often do we do this to God? :-)

On Comments ...

If you wanted to leave a comment and be entered in the drawing, but Blogger isn't letting you, just email directly. shenandoahdawn atsy comcast dotsy net (to borrow from The Mir's style, LOL)

Kathryn Mackel’s Trackers: An Open Letter to WestBow

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I hesitated when writing about this book to mention the news, rumor, what have you, that this series currently ends with book 2, even though Kathy had—has?—plans for at least one more. Being a friend of various published authors means that sometimes I hear information not necessarily for the general public—and gossip is so unprofessional. However—how can the readers know there is a need for support of the genre, or of a particular author or series—unless they are told? Sure, we hear all the time, “If you want more quality Christian SF/F, then sales need to be better for the titles that are out,” but this makes it personal. THIS series is on the line (I’m not necessarily talking about the Birthright Project , either) because a publisher perceived that early sales were disappointing. (Sometimes publishers can hamstring themselves by saying, “Oh, SF doesn’t sell well,” and then fulfill that prophecy with a lack of decent publicity efforts, but that’s a rant for another day.) So, I’ve

Day 2: A review of Kathryn Mackel's Trackers

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Welcome to the second day of our focus on Kathryn Mackel's Trackers , book 2 of the Birthright Project . (My apologies for the unclosed links yesterday; that should be fixed now.) Trackers is the continuing story of the characters we met in Outriders —Brady, Niki, Cooper, Stasia, and all the others—including bad guy Baron Alrod. The tale contains adventure, ingenuity, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, and love on many levels, not just romantic. I loved Outriders , but will admit—since hearing that WestBow had decided to cancel the series contract after book two, I dreaded reading Trackers . I’ve seen what happens when an author is told to cut a series short and so has to try to tie up all the loose ends and cram storyline from two novels into one—continuity suffers, and pacing, and numerous other things. But Kathy does a good job of keeping the crammed feeling to a minimum in this volume, and I only felt jarred or rushed a couple of times. Several other things happened while I

Take Seven: Christian Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Tour: Kathryn Mackel's Trackers

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Wow! This is the eighth month that we've been doing the Christian Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog tours ... and our list of participants has grown: Jim Black Jackie Castle Valerie Comer Frank Creed Gene Curtis Chris Deanne Janey DeMeo April Erwin Beth Goddard Todd Michael Greene Karen Hancock Elliot Hanowski Katie Hart Sherrie Hibbs Sharon Hinck Joleen Howell Jason Joyner Karen and at Karen' s myspace Oliver King Tina Kulesa Mark Goodyear Lost Genre Guild Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium Terri Main Rachel Marks Rebecca LuElla Miller Caleb Newell Eve Nielsen John Otte Cheryl Russell Hannah Sandvig Mirtika Schultz James Somers Stuart Stockton Steve Trower Speculative Faith Chris Walley Daniel I. Weaver Thanks to Becky Miller for doing most of the organizing, promotion, and for putting our participant list in such nice alphabetical order. :-) This month we're highlighting

GMC, part 2

So many good comments! Thank you all so much. I appreciate each person taking the time to post. Overall, the character’s motivation is important, I agree—no, let me make that crucial . Without it, you’d have no story. It’s like … the use of light and shadow and color in a painting. I’m not always good at hammering this sort of thing down for my own stories, however. Anyone else’s, I can do—although admittedly I’ve hated doing literary analysis and still am at a loss many times when it comes to quantifying what makes a story “work” for me. It’s been difficult, then, to figure out how much is just density on my part, or if there really is a certain amount of flexibility allowed in the early stages of certain story structures, specifically in Hero’s Journey—which was the subject of my original question to Writer Friend #1. In Hero’s Journey, you have a character plucked from ordinary life into some grand adventure—an adventure that he mostly likely isn’t thrilled about, at the outset. F

The Dreaded GMC

I’ve hesitated to post this after Thanksgiving, because I didn’t want to slide so quickly back into a spirit of snarkiness. However, I’ve decided after all to share it for the entertainment of my writing friends if nothing else—and possibly to spark a bit of useful discussion. Though it was probably contentious of me, and rebellious and every other spiritually negative adjective, I recently kicked over the traces on one aspect of the writing craft—the infamous “GMC,” which stands for “Goals-Motivation-Conflict.” Goals and Motivation describe not only what the character of a story wants externally (say, to find a wife or get a job), but what drives them internally (to fill some deep emotional need, or not lose the kids and farm, or usurp the throne). Conflict is what happens when circumstances conspire against the character and hinder his efforts to obtain what he desires. You can see this in any story or film, at some point or another. So here’s how the conversation went. Me to Writ

Glorious Sunday

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Yesterday morning in church, during the invitation, my 6 year old Cameron wormed his way over to me and pointed to the front of the church. I sat down to get on his level and asked him what he wanted. He's been going forward to pray occasionally over the past several months, obviously moved but not understanding what he wants or needs, but I sensed that this time was different. His 4 yo sister accepted the Lord a couple of months ago at home, so we've talked off and on about what it means to be a Christian--but I felt keenly that I shouldn't rush the process with him and hadn't pressed the issue. He struggled to find the words for a minute, but I wanted him to say it. Finally he just blurted out, "Can I PLEASE get saved?" So right there, I explained what being saved meant, and he asked the Lord into his heart. :-) A Sunday just can't get any better than that.

A Season of Sifting

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while knows how I love Beth Moore. In the current study, we have a 5-point reminder to help us align our thoughts with Scripture when life gets tough: 1. God is who He says He is 2. God can do what He says He can do 3. I am who God says I am 4. I can do all things through Christ 5. God’s Word is alive and active in me Today’s recorded session was wonderful, as she elaborated on point #3, using Ephesians 1:3-8 to show just who God says we are as Christians—loved above all, and blessed, called, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven. The rest of the message centered around the need to hold on to believing that we are all these things, and several results of doing so, but one Scripture she shared near the end really grabbed me. And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.