Book… Work… Sorta…

So. Here’s the thing.

I’ve no idea why but around 3:30 p.m. I now apparently need a senior nap. This really messes with my ability to finish working on my book.

Okay, similar with social media.

But that is not the point! I get through approximately oh, say, 6 chapters of my last edits before I send to my grammar cop and then (no matter what I am working on, my eyes flutter shut and my laptop sliding from my lap is the only thing that wakes me. Then, I go lay down and hours (no not power napping, rats) later I finally come to, get dinner ready, exercise, shower, then hit the hay early.

Yeesh. I used to: get up at 7 a.m. or thereabouts, go to bed at 2 a.m. almost religiously. Now bedtime is 11 p.m. and rising is maaaaaybe 8 a.m.

I hope and pray I never end up in a nursing home because rising time is 5:30 a.m. and bedtime is 3:30 p.m. Well, who knows. By then that may be a welcome change.

Maybe because I know the grammar cop is after me.

Been away. Whoops.

Featured

Good day! Morning as is here or afternoon or anywhere you’re at!

I haven’t posted a lot. Been reading, been editing, but that’s neither here nor there. I am up to chapter 21 in Deuteronomy. Forge on!

First, thanks to everyone following not just here but reading through my exegesis of the OT–without me checking in with pastors (totally my bad). I do like going through it with fresh eyes, and pray that my understanding is correct. And… I welcome correction. That said, Deuteronomy 21 is cool. I read it yesterday and today re-read and it was so clear in prophetic of the fulfillment of the Messiah. Long? Probably. HERE: v 15-17 – the 2 wives represent the Jews and the Gentiles. If the husband loves one and not the other, yet has 2 sons, one from the loved, and one from the other and doesn’t care for the 1st born of the unloved wife (I see this as the Jews, the chosen people– I could be wrong), the father is to give the firstborn the double portion– and the Jewish firstborn is the SIGN of the father. Let that sink in… both ways. The Jewish nation is the chosen… Jesus is the first-born and in His words He said He was sent first to the house of Israel -the chosen. Next v 22-23 The rebellious who hate God were put to death for hating God (stirring up violence, idolatry). Oh, how harsh! How? Hung (Hebrew: impaled) on a tree. Cursed outside the city. The ones who hate God (both Jew and Gentile). So how was this so prophetic? Let me count the ways. Jesus was cursed by the firstborn for calling Himself God, putting Him into the hatred and rebellion and idolatry). Why crucify Him? He was accused (false testimony) of inciting violence thus incurring the wrath and death by the Romans (Gentiles, and very cruel). He was prophetically hung on a tree, impaled, and cursed (FOR EVERYONE, Jew and Gentile). Last.. the body was never to be left on this tree overnight. Does anyone see what I see?

I want to talk about the Beatitudes, too, the words of Jesus in Matthew 5.

The Beatitudes are so convoluted by both believers and non-believers. Is Jesus even talking about the physical? Nope. His words within the beatitudes speak the very words of salvation. 1. blessed (HAPPY) are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of God. Whoa. Not the poor, but the one who recognizes they have fallen (sinned). 2. Blessed are those who mourn (weep over their sin in recognition and confession of sin) for they will be comforted (that word, comforted is the same in Greek as is the Holy Spirit!). 3. Blessed are the meek (humble enough to turn – repent from sin) for they will inherit the earth (all of God’s treasure). 4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (seeking salvation through Jesus’ righteousness, not ours) for they will be filled (with the very heart of God) 5. Blessed are the merciful (our forgiveness toward others) for they will be shown mercy (from others). 6. Blessed are the pure in heart (follow by the Holy Spirit, not by good works) for they will see God (face to face!) 7. Blessed are the peacemakers (bringing God’s word, His peace to others) for they will be called sons of God (they are willing to share all of God’s bounty with Jews and Gentiles). 8. AND THE ONES NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT– blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness (ie prison, torture, death) for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (reiteration of #1! 9. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice (???WHATTTTT.. Like WHAAATTT??) and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven for the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Reiteration of #7–sharing the good news is not met with all love light and sweetness Sometimes but look at today. What group is the most persecuted in the world? Christians! We are now called ISIS! yikes. Persecution is coming and rather than taking offense, we need to remember these words ie rejoice and be glad. He goes on to say that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Why did He add this here? Because salt and light change the environment. By walking in the world ie BEING of the world we haven’t shared the changes in our hearts not even #1. And last, He said He came to FULFILL the law– meaning none of the above can be accomplished by your will alone.

You have to see your sin, admit that you fall short, that you confess with your mouth, heart that Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead, and you will be saved. (Romans)

Works are not involved. It’s through Faith by Grace that God GIVES you so no one can boast. Grace, by the way, is getting what we do NOT deserve.

ūüôā

Why I like Short Blogs

Featured

Gotta say I have the attention span of waiting in line for a Big Mac. No. I do not eat at McDonald’s, ever. You get the drift.

But the thing is, count me guilty for long posts in the past, but perhaps only interviews with authors get more WP space. My inner thoughts are just not that lofty.

If I wax poetic on spiritual matters that too may garner more space especially when I post Scripture.

We all have a life, work, other social media, and heaven forbid I eat into your time.

Very few sites suck me into a long post as well. Guilty of passing by others, and many apologies when I do, but three, four, and five pages I may skip or skim.

Forgive me. But this is all ya get. Today. Gotta run. Got stuff I must do, and spending too much time posting &/or reading is not scheduled.¬† ūüėČ

terminator I ll be back

“Vanished”

Featured

I am slow to getting around to the books I have on my Kindle, and since my husband started wondering who was stealing from the bank account, ahem, I had to stop my downloads for a bit.

money.gif

But never fear. I have plenty of books to review. Spell that slowly, because I… have… plenty.

You all know I read both Christian and non-Christian books and review them. I have more favorite authors these days than I did a long time ago when my nose was constantly stuck in textbooks.

So, I finished Irene Hannon’s “Vanished” (written 2013, this is how far I am behind) late last night. Well-developed characters, even the bad guy. A fantastic suspense with a sweet romance. Irene Hannon writes Christian fiction and this book is readable by all since it is not preachy.

Very well done.

I really didn’t disappear…

Featured

Been in edit mode, with time constraints and a ‘date-to-be-finished’ expectation, it is though I disappeared into thin air.

Forgive my cliche.

But I forge onward, thought I would stop in, say ‘hi’ and get on with my work.

I am also now a contributing writer to Faith Filled Family online https://www.faithfilledfamily.com/ under Faith and Family. Thanks to Michelle who gave me the invitation!

Here is my first article: https://www.faithfilledfamily.com/f3-faith-family-fundamentals/ and I just fired off another article.

I am looking into that edit-torture-thingamabob monster.

I am your EDITOR

 

I shall return…

terminator I ll be back

I, me and my shadow by Deepa

Quote

via I, me and my shadow 

This is an amazing piece of prose, so sensory in sight, sound, touch.. you can hear the squeal of a child so excited for that chocolate and taste as the Cadbury melts on the tongue. An example of exemplary writing! And so true.

‘Warrior’

Featured

 

Warrior

Once again, Linda Rodante hits it out of the park. ‘Warrior’ is her latest in Christian romance and suspense, but let me take a moment to pause.

dramatic pause prince.gif

Okay, pause complete.

Linda writes compelling stories that resonate in individuals, truly, no matter their background, the struggles of everyone, meeting God’s redemption. His grace. How individual characters fit into the story as part of the Grand Tapestry by the Master Weaver.

‘Warrior’ is a bit different, yes there is romance and suspense, but the story revolves around three people: Josh, an assistant pastor with a vision, Reese, Josh’s best friend and once bad boy, and Kati, a fervent believer hiding her own past and training hard for confidence–using the vehicle of¬†kickboxing.

kickboxing woman

When the challenge is given, Josh prays. It’s time. ‘Go big or go home,’ is a tame version of how God wants to work¬†in this story. He calls upon¬†Josh and the congregation to be radical, dangerous, fearless. This is not a story about bad guys/good guys, this is a story about war. Spiritual warfare that doesn’t include the flying, flashing angels and demons. The kind of war you and I don’t want to talk about. Breaking chains.

Do Christians listen to a sermon, happy, maybe rushing to go home to ‘get on with their lives?’ Yes, we do, in fact we become so cushy comfortable that our¬†lassitude is really apathy and what is more¬†sad than our lukewarm, milk toast attitude? That comfort is not a win for us, it’s a win for the Enemy.

But for those who fight, it’s a glorious battle. But not everyone survives the¬†skirmish, the¬†battle for those who fight the good¬†fight.

Linda wrote this book, coming out of her own comfort zone to uplift, encourage and inspire those who know of the battle that wages around us. Honestly this could be recommended reading for those interested in spiritual warfare (and required reading for seminaries).

Excellent read.

 

What’s Next and How Should I Publish?

Featured

Well, of course, how you eventually publish is up to you. As a writer, you have not just persistence to run the race, but you are in control.

assassins have failed

Or are you?

Okay, so today I am not speaking about the writing process, the rewriting, the editing, your brand, and platform. We have other things to chit-chat about!

You’ve completed that novel, written a synopsis, query, proposal, cover letter, you’ve received your rejections and recovered. You’ve rewritten and edited–in short, you’re are so sick of your novel, you’re about ready to burn it.

Don’t do it! Stop, drop and roll!¬†Who remembers that phrase?

marshallow

Marshmallows are a¬†better choice than burning the house (manuscript)¬†down.¬†Use these sweet puffs of sugar over a campfire. Otherwise that’s sort of like being so¬†sweaty after working outside that¬†you go into the bathroom and cut all your hair off. I swear, I didn’t do anything like that. <cough>

Let’s talk about pros/cons, the positive/negative of different types of publishing, and avoiding falling into a trap. They all have them. Yet, there is no right or wrong. There is, however, good and bad.

Ghostwriting. This is where you tell someone what you want written. They will understand you, they get you… right? They write it for a minimum of $15,000. If you have enough for a house, perhaps you can afford upwards of $40,000. With the more spendy outfit, you will get what you pay for, and a better novel. And that’s the upside! The downside? You may have given the right to another to use their voice to speak the words you want. The cost tends to be prohibitive. They may want their name on it, so it’s obvious it’s ghosted.¬†Unless you are a politician or celebrity. That cost is for their work of writing an entire novel off an idea. Now you have to recoup that investment. Yikes!

ghost

Vanity Presses. You have written a first draft. Perhaps through a contest. I don’t eschew contests for word count such as NanoWrimo, because by the time you’ve finished you have a draft. Not rewritten, not edited. The upside: you’re part is done but you will be charged upfront for a package to get your draft into shape. There is often a bait and switch involved and that’s still the upside. They call it vanity for a reason (this is how they¬†refer to¬†you, by the way).

primping vanity.gif

The downside: the majority of vanity presses fix your formatting and put a cover on it, fix a few spelling errors and that’s it. Oh, you have your words and thoughts down, all right, but they haven’t been filtered, rewritten, edited. And the cost can be in the thousands. Even traditional publishing houses will send you to an ‘arm’ of their company. Do research and don’t shell out a dime, because you have to recoup that investment–again! And some want royalties on top of that. My two cents…

Self-publishing. This is the fastest growing sector, especially for people who are frustrated with the book industry.

Pros:¬†your book is¬†done, you¬†can have it on the shelves¬†within a few days.¬†There are a lot of successful self-publishers, and I know a few. Their writing is stellar. They have done¬†everything that needs to be done for their manuscript to create a fantastic read.¬†One name that¬†comes to the surface immediately is Dale Amidei. I don’t care what genre you read.¬†Read one (or more, you’ll get sucked in) and you will see exactly what¬†I mean.¬†However…

Cons: Many self-published writers decline to do the work, take critiques, advice, work the craft. They throw a horrid draft out there and call themselves internationally renowned.

prideful

 

Let’s say you are good. Just like any book, you have to market it. You design it, format it, choose the font, the size of print, purchase an ISBN number, the copyright, pay a graphic artist, you write the blurb, tagline and log line. You pay thousands for editing/proofing ($3000-4000 for a good edit, or more).¬†Once again, you must recoup your investment, and on sites like Amazon/Kindle that can be 99 cents to 10 bucks. If it sucks, your name is now associated with bad writing. But wait!¬†The¬†self-publishing outfit¬†gets royalties, too.¬†Fifteen percent or more.¬†You now have to recoup your investment in your royalties to pay off the graphic artist, editing (and by the way, editors cost by the hour, $30-40 is the going rate). Last, if¬†you want to go traditional, most agents and publishers do not count self-publishing as published.

Before you go away crying… there are some really good SPers out there, not to mention hybrid.

Indie. This does not stand for sending your manuscript to India. I would never, ever believe that. Ever. <laughs maniacally>

laugh maniacal

Indie is perhaps the best method, these days. Check your genre and Google big Indie publishers accepting submissions. Usually, Indies are a consortium of individual artists, writers, formatters, editors, again, not from India, normally.

East_Indian_Group

You may or may not pay a nominal fee for membership and/or editing, proofing, artistic covers. Big Indie publishers pay out more royalties. Downside: Their guidelines are strict. They want a good reputation (as do you), so they are sticklers for good writing. You still have to pay royalties and membership fees. Ask to see a proof before it launches. Why do I say big Indie publishing? They have a bigger track record.

Traditional. Traditional publishing used to be the way to go, and it was hard to break into. Pros: Things have changed and they are looking for fresh writers (that they can bilk). Not all traditional publishers are cheap, however. Most give little or no advance (that’s hoping you make three times that or more, but don’t spend it. You may have to buy your unsold books back). But they have a lot of risk putting your book on the shelf. They take a nice chunk of royalties off the back of your sales. Many want you to go through an agent, and that is a terrific idea. It slows the process down, but your book is edited (recognize when I say ‘edited,’ I mean they send you the manuscript and tell you what’s wrong, and it is up to you to fix it). Agents work their behinds off, and¬†if you get a contract,¬†great. Hope that your book¬†sells well (as the agents do) because they get about 15% off the back of your book as well. You may be looking at your take at 15% or less.

Small presses. This includes all venues of the above. Small presses have less revenue (generally) and won’t pay you an advance (most likely not), and won’t do much for your book because they are in the business of churning out books to get their name out.¬†Royalties, well.¬†Their communication maybe great, it may be nil.

This is not the totality of publishing. But it is a nice chunk to think about. Until next time, I bid you adieu. Pfft. ‘I’ll be back.’

terminator I ll be back

 

 

 

Dale Amidei’s – ‘A Garden in Russia’

Featured

a garden in russia

I swear, Dale Amidei is/was an assassin. Perhaps, married to one. Ahem. His knowledge and research are frighteningly real, vast, and varied. Dale, does the CIA know about you? Are you like, a consultant to the intelligence community?

Okay, besides that… I just read ‘A Garden in Russia,’ his fifth in the Boone File series. Dale is adept at writing strong female characters, tough guys, nurturing men and women, and villains in the end, who have far more to do with what is the lethality of politics and intrigue than a shadowy character with a knife and evil intent.

I’ve read all of the Boone Files, and this does not disappoint. After #4, while I awaited #5, I started at the beginning, ‘The Anvil of the Craftsman,’ which I pressed here previously. A writer, reader of well, any genre can see the ability of Dale Amidei’s writing as complex, intriguing and well-crafted. I honestly hold my breath often, wondering who is going to be shot? What will happen here?

The powers and money behind what happens in the U.S. affects what happens in Russia as well.¬†Like I said, more real than not. Read the paper, watch the news, then you tell me, how did he nail those details so well? Dale’s writing? Never a disappointment.

Something I could imagine seeing in Boone’s bathroom

bathroom pic

Okay, so that’s my bathroom. Romantic comedy, right?

‘Pursuit’ by Indy Quillen

I am relatively new to Indy’s writing, I confess. However, having read the first two in her Fox Walker series, I’d say I’m hooked.

I’ve read ‘Tracker,’ and last night finished ‘Pursuit.’

pursuit indy quillen

I would have to say, she has done her research, and it shows. Not simply in crime and investigation,  the FBI, local police, retired profilers (which is daunting in itself), but again in her research of First Nations ways.

I suspect she has put all of these tracking, hunting, cooking culture into practice. Bow hunting. Walking from toe-to-heel (that one from ‘Tracker’). Cooking with mud. Who knew? I stopped to take notes… And much, much more.

‘Pursuit’ is a gripping tale of Walker tracking a murderer who has deadly skills. His question is, why did the FBI not send their own? Fox, armed only with a knife and sharp skills finds more truth than he was prepared for.

Great writing. Next book is on my list!