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Showing posts from February, 2011

Sunday Salon and Row80 check in: Endings, middles, beginnings and deprivation

It's warmed up to a sunny, chilly 46 at the moment and I can't complain because we aren't snowed it.  The larder is full, the laundry is done, and the salmon is defrosting.  Today is a day for reading and relaxing.   I'm happy to say February was a good month, a short month which I totally forgot about. I feel like I'm missing some days.  I'm currently reading Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. which I'll be reviewing for TLC Book tours on March 1st. I'll be the first stop on the tour so be sure to drop by.
Amazon synopsis:  A covert age-old war between angels and humans serves as the backdrop for Trussoni’s gripping tale of supernatural thrills and divine destinies. Sister Evangeline, the secretary who handles all inquiries concerning the archives of angel arcana at an upstate New York convent, receives a letter from researcher V.A. Verlaine inquiring about an unknown link between the convent and philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller dating to 1943. It…

WIP Wednesday and Row80 - did somebody mention the tortoise and the Hare?

I have steadily been plodding along with Red Thief, writing half an hour a day and actually finding more of my main character's back story being revealed. Helpful little tidbits which assist with the story. Aha moments! Love those! I am making progress and methinks the first draft will be finished by the end of Row80's  first quarter.

I'm still in week 3 of The Artist's Way -  Recovering a Sense of Power. The chapter is all about anger, synchronicity, shame, dealing with criticism and growth.  Thought I don't feel like I've ever lost my power, so to speak, I'm learning all kinds of interesting things.   I've been sharing tidbits with my hubby along the way. We are both great believers in synchronicity because it happens quite a bit in our lives.   Just like Artist's Way coming along at a time I needed it.  Week 3 is going to take me two weeks because it's taken me just the week to read through the chapter. I remember things better if I write …

TLC Book Tour: The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas

The Oracle of Stamboul


Michael David Lukas

Front Flap synopsis:  Late in the summer of 1877, as Tsar Alexander II’s Royal Cavalry descends on the defenseless Ottoman outpost of Constanta, a flock of purple and white hoopoes suddenly appears over the town, and Eleonora Cohen is ushered into the world by a mysterious pair of Tartar midwives who arrive just minutes before her birth. “They had read the signs, they said: a sea of horses, a conference of birds, the north star in alignment with the moon. It was a prophecy that their last king had given on his deathwatch.” But joy is mixed with tragedy, for Eleonora’s mother dies soon after the birth.
Raised by her doting father Yakob, a carpet merchant, and her stern, resentful stepmother, Ruxandra, Eleonora’s early years are spent daydreaming and doing housework and avoiding the wrath of her stepmother—until the moment she teaches herself to read, and her father recognizes that she is an extraordinarily gifted child, a prodigy.

G is for Green by Ted Dekker



Ted Dekker

Synopsis:  As foretold by ancient prophets, an apocalypse destroyed Earth during the 21st century. But two thousand years later, Elyon set upon the Earth a new Adam. This time, however, He gave humanity an advantage. What was once unseen became seen.  It was good and it was called...Green.

But the evil Teeleh bided his time in the Black Forest. Then when least expected, a 24 year old named Thomas Hunter fell asleep in our world and woke up in that future Black Forest.  A gateway was opened for Teeleh to ravage the land. Devastated by the ruin, Thomas Hunter and his circle swore to fight the dark scourge until their dying breath. 

But now the Circle has lost hope.  Samuel, Thomas Hunter's cherished son has turned his back on his father.  He gathers the dark forces to wage a final war. Thomas is crushed and desperately seeks a way back to our reality to find the one elusive hope that could save them all.
When is a book both a prequel and a sequel?  When it is…

WIP Wednesday -- Week 7 of Row 80

We are halfway through the 1st round of Row 80 and I'm still plugging away.  I feel like I'm making progress with the first draft of Red Thief, even though I'm only writing a couple pages or about 500 words a day.   I am writing every single day.  There have been mornings I've gotten up and so wanted to just read a book during breakfast and just go into veg mode and hang out online for while.  I have withstood the temptation however and have faithfully been writing my morning pages.  Talking it out on the page, stream of consciousness style and just letting it all hang out there seems to be a good positive influence.  I save the reading as a reward for finishing my morning pages and my writing in the morning.  Unplugging until 4:00 every day is working well too! 
However, I feel like I need to do more. You ever get that feeling. Like you aren't doing enough.   I'm about ready to sit down and write up a to do list like Judith of 365 has done.  Maybe if I am seein…

Random Post to ponder -- F is for Final. Oh My!

F is for final and not G for Green as I intended.  I don't have time to write my review on Green by Ted Dekker for today because my Short Stories Final is due by the end of the day Sunday.  I have 5 short essays to write and I planned on starting it today.  But....  You ever notice how decluttering sometimes becomes a priority and you just have to clean off the desk.  I can't work in clutter.   Then my husband was complaining about running out of clean socks and I checked out his drawer. Ended up cleaning out the drawer, then two and before you know it, you've run out of time.   Between lessons and the vet and laundry and just stuff, my day sort of disappeared. One time saver I implemented long ago.  White tube socks for everyone. Just sort by size and don't have to worry about pairs.

Amidst the stuff, I've been pondering something, prompted by The Artist's Way, of course. One of the tasks in week one -  Imaginary lives.  If you had five other lives to lead, wha…

WIP Wednesday - Eliminate the negatives

I have the lyrics to a song running through my head today and I couldn't remember where I heard it until I looked it up. Accentuate the Positive written by Johnny Mercer.  There are several versions out there by Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and an especially cool jazzy one by Aretha Franklin which I really like.


You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

(To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark)

Man, they said we better
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me, hmm?

How does being positive help your writing?  I've …

TLC Book Tour: The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia

Synopsis: In 1592, Prague is a relatively safe refuge for Jews, who live within the gated walls of its ghetto. But the peace is threatened when a young Christian girl is found with her throat slashed in a Jewish shop on the eve of Passover. Charged with blood libel, the shopkeeper and his family are arrested, and all that stands in the way of a rabid Christian mob is a clever Talmudic scholar, newly arrived from Poland, named Benyamin Ben-Akiva. Granted just three days to bring the true killer to justice--hampered by rabbinic law, with no allies or connections, and only his wits, knowledge, and faith to guide him--Benyamin sets off on a desperate search for answers. Following a twisting trail from the streets to the shul, from the forbidden back rooms of a ghetto brothel to the emperor Rudolf II's lavish palace, he will dare the impossible--and commit the unthinkable--to save the Jews of Prague--and himself.
The historical fiction/ murder mystery The Fifth Servant is an intrig…

F is for Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan

Forsaken by Shadow


Kait Nolan

Barnes and Noble Synopsis: "Banished from their world with his memory wiped, Ultimate Fighter Cade Shepherd doesn’t remember his life as Gage Dempsey, not even the woman he nearly died for. But when Embry Hollister’s father is kidnapped by military scientists, the only one she can turn to for help is the love from her past. Will Gage remember the Shadow Walker skills he learned from her father, and if they survive, will Embry be able to walk away a second time?"

I discovered Kait Nolan through Row80. She is the brain behind the challenge and since I'm always on the look out for good books by blogging authors and of course love paranormal romances, had to check out Forsaken by Shadow.

I was hooked from the get go.  Cade Dempsey wakes up in a hotel room, burns on his hands and no idea who he is.  He drives himself to the hospital and finds out he'd been missing since he was a child.  He remakes himself into an ultimate fighter but …

WIP Wednesday - building up writing muscle

Happy to say Red Thief is progressing nicely. Still don't know my word count because I haven't typed anything up yet.  My short story class will be over with the final next week and I'll have a free couple weeks before my last class starts, in which to work on it.   Yes, I have one more class left and I will have my Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies.  I'll still debating whether I want to go after a Masters in Fine Arts or just take some writing classes. 
I just received "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, the inventor of morning pages. It is a 12 week course in "discovering and recovering your creative self".  My goal this week is to just read through the book and familiarize myself with the whole program.  The morning pages are working for me currently and seem to be helping my memory, which is a good thing, plus keeping me on track with working on my WIP in the mornings, rather than sluffing off.  With the end of January, came the end o…

Goodbye January - It's been nice knowing you!

Goodbye January. It's been nice knowing you. I'm sure February is nice and all and will treat me well, but I'd just gotten used to you. Sorry you couldn't stay longer. Our affair ended way to soon. Before I was ready and I'm bereft. I dislike endings. Though with each ending, something new begins. New beginnings - anticipation - opportunity. Looking back helps you look forward.
My short story class is coming to an end next week. I've come to appreciate the short story. In the past, have generally avoided them because they were short (duh!) and ended way to soon. It wasn't enough to sooth my soul, to satisfy my mind. I just wanted more... Now I can put my mind in that state that appreciates the short story and the craft that went into it.  
The class taught me a bit more about active reading which I hope will carry over into my regular reading. I've never been one to mark up my books, writing notes in the margin, underlining passages or unknown…