Excitement & Stress

Ever notice excitement and stress sometimes go hand in hand? Well, they did this last Friday. The Fantastic Four's four-in-one series, Saving Wicklow, got an invite to submit more information to the publisher we pitched at the ACFW conference last September!! We were stunned--and not because we didn't believe in our writing (cuz lemme tell ya--those are some AWESOME stories *wink*). The shock was birthed out of the fact that several people told us it would never get published. Why? Well, because none of us are book published. It's unheard of, they said. No publisher will do it. Fortunately for us, a publisher is smart enough to see the potential of this family-based series. Here's praying God's best for the FANTASTIC FOUR on the Saving Wicklow Series (check our websites for story synops: Robin, Neen, Ronie--ahem, uh, well Ron doesn't have a website yet--but you can harass him about it on his blog).

Well, I'm learning at a jet's pace that God likes to defy the odds. LOL So, this last weekend, we kicked it into high gear getting everything ready. Frank, the man who first influenced me in a professional writing-mentor sort of way, told me this week: enjoy the journey.

It's easy to lose sight of the journey when you're on it...getting caught up in the "I have to get this done," and "I'm already overwhelmed," that we forget God is already ahead of us. He's not going to give us anything we can't handle. You're probably quoting Mother Teresa right now, Sometimes I just wish He didn't trust me so much. *grins* Oh, don't I know it!! I started caving, with teh pressure of this extended proposal, college work that I got behind on to focus on the proposal and helping my AWESOME crit partners, homeschooling, teaching creative writing...but then I remembered: God already knows. He knows what's coming. He's already prepared us. already prepared the way. That gives me peace; it stills the torrents. there a storm--a squall, perhaps--that is overtaking you? Rest in his arms.

...see ya on the flip side, y'all...

Stuck on Stupid

Last year, while New Orleans Mayor Nagin worked to prepare for prepared for Hurricane Rita, reporters badgered him about what went wrong during Hurricane Katrina, and how they could have better prepared, and how to prevent another Katrina. Anxoius to get on with the mobilization, General Russell Honore said he wouldn't answer those questions and then told them, "don't get stuck on stupid."

That's one of my favorite phrases now because I do that in life. I get stuck on things that aren't important--that are just plain STOOPID! For instance, lately I have been battling battles that is not battle-able (Okay, so that's not a word, but you get the point!!). Homeschooling is one. It's absolutely exhausting. The kids are constantly in my face with their books, asking for MORE help. At times, I want out. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my treasures...but homeschooling drains me faster than a broken dam. But God called me to do this. He closed the other doors to public school and led me into this. Another case: writing. there I am, banging my fists and feet on the floor, thrashing against God's timing like an idiot? Like I can forward the hands of His clock? Don't think so. If Abraham couldn't hurry up the conception of Isaac, how can I expect to speed up the birth of my first contract??? HELLO!

So, I realize and confess with a heaving sigh: I got STUCK ON STUPID! Is there somewhere in your life you need to let go, to stop being STUCK ON STUPID and move on? We have a limited number of days on this earth, so live them to the fullest with God's best!

See ya on the flip side...


Oh, and a shameless promotion here: STORY SENSEI totally rocks! If you hate the s-word (synopsis) as much as me, you need to hire Camy Tang (aka: Bossy, Loud Asian Chick) to kick your synopsis and/or proposal into shape. The girl is a genius!! SHEER GENIUS!! For $40 she does a high-level structural critique of a 2-page single-spaced synopsis and a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of your manuscript. Really, you can't afford NOT to have her help.

Brand & Bound...and Serenity

My space opera Brand & Bound is my pride and joy right now. LOL I'm proud of the fact I wrote the 100k piece in roughly thirty days. I'm proud that it's probably my strongest writing yet. Yet for half the time that I was writing it, I mourned the ending. I'd crafted a character ruled by honor, and in the end, he HAD to do the HONORABLE thing. So, it ended a bit tragically. The reaction I am getting as my dear friends critique this story is...well, volatile. LOL Granted, the piece needed an epilogue (I know, I know, did! LOL)--so I finally wrote one. But the story ended the only way that Marco could have to retain his honor and integrity. No, it's not a happy slappy ending...but there is a book 2.

My point? Things in our lives so often do not happen the way we want them to. Case in point: getting a contract. If I'd had it *my* way, the thing would have been signed, sealed, and delivered, and I'd have money in the bank. God saw differently. And I'm so glad at least HE knows and guides my future, cuz if Ronie was in charge, I'd be in one heck of a mess.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

"It will happen in God's timing." Yes, I know that's the truth. I know God has a plan for me and my writing. I KNOW this. So you would think it would be settled within me. Well, there's this little route from my head to my heart that seems...less traveled. LOL I struggle. Last week when I was doing my morning quiet time, I read 2 Cor 12:9-10 where Paul is talking about the thorn in his flesh. Do you know verse 9 says, "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me." And in that instant, I heard God impress upon me that I'd been spending too much time at the wailing wall. He basically told me to stop asking Him to "fix things" and seek His grace to accept things and continue on. YEE-OUCH!! (I'm from Texas, y'all--I have a license to talk like that LOL). I realized I have been struggling against the very life God has ordained for me to have. The struggles are there to teach me. I no longer assume the bad times are an attack (although there have been plenty of those lately). I am confident my God knows the future. He has GOOD things planned for me. I'm not saying I have this "mastered." I don't. It's a day by day, minute-by-minute battle. I am learning to Let go, and let God.

So...I' keep writing. Whether I FEEL like it or not, I write. And besides getting Brand & Bound drafted into a proposal, I'm going to finish Midnight Zone. There. I said it. In public, even! LOL I'm even going to put a little ticker thing on the right hand side (as soon as I can figure out HOW. *grin*)

I challenge you to look at your life and ask yourself what things you're battling against that maybe God wants you to accept and move on. And what is there in your life that you're wanting changed, that maybe God has put there to teach you something? Are you like me--guilty of 2 Cor 12:9?? Accepting things...that brings The Serenity Prayer (and no, I'm not talking about the movie) to mind:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.


--Reinhold Niebuhr

See ya on the flip side....


My crit buds, Ron Estrada, Robin Miller, and Dineen Miller and I are doing a sort of round robin storyboard-idea-type thing. Ready for my confession? I am totally out of my element. LOL Panic? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's hard enough to write a story where you "control" the story (cuz we all know you can't control characters!! *grin*), but when you have four strong writers doing a composite story like should be interesting to say the least. LOL And if it all falls apart, we'll blame it on Ron--it was his idea after all. Plus, he's the only guy, so it's an automatic exclusion. Right? *wink*
So, let's speculate. With four different authors, two who write romantic suspense, one who writes paranormal, and one who writes sf/f thrillers (and a bit of RS)...what on earth will happen to the characters within the StoryBoard?? Ron says it will have to be silly otherwise we'd need a plot. Okay, yuck. He's right. LOL So, whatever happens to the characters, Roger Kidd, Natalie Kidd, Sophie Lennox, and the Villian (dun dun dun-dun!!!), this will be a blast. I hope you'll take the time to keep up with these characters--after all, imagine--a controlling older sister, a rebellious younger brother, a codependent eccentric young woman, and a villain...well, there's bound to be trouble.
As The Fantastic Four, we wrote a series together called Saving Wicklow, and it's a pleasure to work with these awesome people again! And I'm so glad to be a part of this, cuz it's getting me out of my funk. :-D