"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

12/31/12

Old, New, and...Old: A Goals/Progress Update

Image courtesy of chanpipat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yeah. It's December 31 - and I said I'd be taking a break until January 1. But I can change my mind, right? LOL. TOMORROW (while I'm on a tech-free day) I'll give you more details on the new change/focus of my blog, but the Reader's Digest Condensed Version is that I'll be focusing on biblical fiction (my favorite genre to write!) and Bible stories/characters - with a touch of my Jewish roots. I'm really looking forward to getting into it!

But today, I'm going to give you an update on how I did with my writing goals for December - and all of 2012. And, of course, share my January, and 2013 goals.

So, let's start with my goals for 2012 (yeah - I'm afraid to look!!)
  • Learn as much as I can about writing from various places, applying what I've learned to Handmaiden To A Princess and any other writing I do.
  •  Restructure my non-fiction book Ailing Body, Nourished Soul into more of a "help" book, and get the new version out to publishers/agents.
  • Work with Jennifer Slattery to put together the second Story of Faith devotional book (New Testament biblical fiction devotionals for tweens).
  • Continue to build my name recognition/platform.
It's amazing how God changes plans, isn't it?? I can say that I definitely achieved my first and last goals. My year of learning the writing craft was WONDERFULLY helpful. And I'm pretty sure more people know me now than did before.

As far as Ailing Body, Nourished Soul and The Story of Faith - I did a bit of changing to the former, but not as much as I intended at the beginning of 2012. (More details on that later in this post) And Jen and I are waiting on working on the second book until we have more interest in the first.

And on that note - how about I share my goals for 2013?
  • A completed rough draft for Handmaiden to a Princess
  • Build my platform/focus around my new tagline--Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths
  • Interact in my blog comments! (I KNOW I need to do this, but I am SO not in the habit!)
I know I should be more specific with goals two and three, but I'm not coming up with how exactly (if you have an idea - please lemme know - either in the comments or by email.). But, there they are.

And now I bet you're wondering how I did on my December goals - especially with me not posting here much if at all. Well, you're about to find out.

Here are my December goals:
  • Take notes necessary in Plants of the Bible by Michael Zohary and The History of Ancient Israel by Michael Grant (my two library books) for Handmaiden to a Princess. Would love to be able to return both books before the end of the month.
  • Fix up Ailing Body, Nourished Soul for the One Hope contest, based on my dear friends' read-throughs. This MUST be submitted back to them by December 31.
  • Do some plotting (snowflaking?) on Handmaiden to a Princess with the new ideas I have. 
  • Pray about a direction/focus/whatever for my blog.
I finished plants of the Bible, and, for now, gave up on the Michael Grant book. Both are returned - will check out Michael Grant again later (likely soon). And you KNOW I did #4. And I've done planning/snowflaking for Handmaiden to a Princess (not sure what snowflaking is? Check out this post by Randy Ingermanson) - I'm currently working on step five of ten.

I did get my full book/manuscript (I was a finalist - one of five) submitted to One Hope (almost two weeks early!). Now I wait. The winner gets a contract and a stipend - will be announced by February. I've decided that unless I win or am offered a contract anyway, this book is going in the drawer for a bit so I can focus on my biblical fiction. Just FYI.

And now -  it's time to set goals for January!
  • Post, on topic, two to three times a week on my blog (with at least 75% of it fresh content) - this does NOT include "teaser" posts to other places I blog.
  • Finish steps five and six of Snowflake for Handmaiden to a Princess, and start step seven
  • Keep up in the blogging class on the ACFW course loop
  • Work through Margie Lawson's lecture packet Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors with a friend (or two or three - if you're interested in joining us, drop me a line. We're starting January 7. Not sure of the pace yet.)
So, there you go!  Happy New Year - and be sure to stop by tomorrow for more details on my new blog focus!

 
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

12/19/12

Jewels of Encouragement - and a VERY short update

And here it is - my OTHER post for December. Yeah - still on my blog break, and the thinking and praying have been going well! I pretty much know what my blog focus will be in the new year - just working on crossing the ts and dotting the is. Hope you'll like it (and no - not telling LOL)

ANYhow - the REAL reason I'm here is to point you toward my monthly post at Jewels of Encouragement. In this time of gathering with family and celebrating, it may seem an odd time to talk about solitude. But maybe that's the point. Hope you'll stop by and see what I (and L.B. Cowman!) have to say about it. Sacrifice and solitude are important always - but perhaps more this time of year.

See ya over there - and back HERE in 2013!

 
Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths

12/10/12

Some Midwest Stuff, and a Devotional

I said I wouldn't be posting here this month - but I did mention I'd let you know when I was at other places, didn't I?

Well, yesterday I did a post at the Midwest group blog the Barn Door about the weather and anticipation (and the lack thereof, in some cases LOL). So stop by Anticipation - for A Reason and . see how my kids and I are handling the pittance of white stuff we've gotten so far this year.

And TODAY, I'm at the Internet Cafe, talking about words (which, as a writer, I'm guessing you know I love. Duh, eh?). But not just any words. Hope you'll stop by and read about Worthy Words.

And for those of you interested - I am making progress on rethinking my blog. Have some ideas I'm still pondering/praying about. Looking forward to fleshing them out a bit and implementing in the new year!


 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/1/12

A Hiatus for December - A Goal/Progress Update

It has been a busy month - and December looks to be similar. Something, it seems, has to go.

For the month of December, it's gonna be my blog. Yes - I'm taking a one-month blogging break - more details below.

But first - how did I do on my November goals, you ask? Let's see - cuz they're listed below, fresh from my goals/progress post from last month.
  • Take notes necessary in Plants of the Bible by Michael Zohary and The History of Ancient Israel by Michael Grant (my two library books) for Handmaiden to a Princess.
  • Keep up in ACFW's November loop course on weaving the spiritual thread into your story.
  • Fix up Ailing Body, Nourished Soul for the One Hope contest, based on my dear friends' read-throughs. Would LOVE to be ready to submit by my next goals/progress post.
  • Do some plotting (snowflaking?) on Handmaiden to a Princess with the new ideas I have. Thinking serious writing may begin either in December or January.
Well, I'm ALMOST halfway through the Plants of the Bible book, and haven't started Michael Grant. But at least I'm making progress, right? I did keep up in the class, though I didn't do most of the assignments cuz they required a manuscript (or at least part of one). And, well, with all my replotting of Handmaiden to a Princess, I don't feel like I have anything to work with. Saving those assignments for when I have something to work with, yanno?

AND, I'm making progress on going through Ailing Body, Nourished Soul. I'm not ready to submit back to One Hope, but I'm certainly further along than I was. And I haven't touched plotting/ snowflaking.

And this, in part, is why I'm taking a break from blogging for December. Got some things I NEED to get done (including some not mentioned above). A great majority of my posts lately have been reposts. Comments and visits have been down. I'm feeling like I need a DIRECTION for my blog, and trying to figure it out and posting to it at the same time has not worked yet. And December is busy anyway.

I'll probably still let you know about my posts at other blogs - and who knows? Maybe some amazing inspiration will strike me and I'll post about it. But don't count on it - okay? And I'll be back in January - hopefully with a new direction and focus for this place.

And on THAT note, here are my goals for December:
  • Take notes necessary in Plants of the Bible by Michael Zohary and The History of Ancient Israel by Michael Grant (my two library books) for Handmaiden to a Princess. Would love to be able to return both books before the end of the month.
  • Fix up Ailing Body, Nourished Soul for the One Hope contest, based on my dear friends' read-throughs. This MUST be submitted back to them by December 31
  • Do some plotting (snowflaking?) on Handmaiden to a Princess with the new ideas I have. 
  • Pray about a direction/focus/whatever for my blog.
 Thanks for your support. And by the way - don't think, just because I won't be posting here, you won't be able to find me. I'm at FaithWriters (in fact, I'm their blogger!), on Facebook (in two places!), twitter, and ACFW. Or drop me an email. I am NOT hard to find. Trust me ;)

So.. how was YOUR month?

 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

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