Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting Back Into It

I finished my revision of my second novel, The Ransomed Returning! I needed to cut it from 122K down to 100K. It came out at 91K! I could hardly believe it when I finished typing up all my changes and checked the word count. Phew! Who knew I had so much fat in there to cut?

I'll read over the whole thing after I let it sit for a week or two, and I think I'll find it a stronger novel than it was before. This was a fairly new experience for me. I've never had to cut so radically or revise so extensively. Of course, this is my first novel after a decade of short stories, so I guess that's to be expected.

Now that I'm done with that, I'm ready to get back to work on my third book, Shattered Skies. I'm nearly done with it, but it's been six weeks since I looked at it. It taking some effort to get back into it, to figure out where I am and where I was going. Fortunately, it's another sequel to Defenders of the Covenant, so I have been working with the same characters during the revision. That makes it easier. Still, I'm having a bit of trouble getting my head around the story again. Re-reading a few chapters and looking over my notes will be helpful. Daydreaming about the fabulous ending I'm almost at is good too. Other than that, I just have to dive right back in and see where it takes me.

What are your suggestions for getting back into a story you've set aside for a while?

Monday, May 21, 2012

More on Defenders of the Covenant

Today, I have a couple of more links on my unofficial blog tour!

First, Cathy Witbeck reviewed Defenders on her blog. Check it out.

Also, Danyelle Leafty captured Hannah's heart today. Come see what Hannah has to say.

Just a reminder, since I haven't really made a big deal of it, if you comment on any of the posts over there in the sidebar, and follow both my blog and the participating blog, you'll be entered into a drawing for an Avenging Angels T-shirt! You'll be entered for each comment you leave--one per post. Runs through the end of this month!

Have a happy day! =)

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm Such a Rebel

Go check out my guest post today on Writing with Shelly and Chad to find out how rebellious I am.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some Things I Like

My table at Costco
No doubt about it. These Costco signings are kind of rough, at least time-wise. I miss being with my family. But there a lot of things I have really enjoyed about it, too. I felt so nervous about talking to strangers, but it has actually been fun. Especially when I get to talk about my book. =) I love when people smile and say thank you when I hand them a bookmark. It makes me chuckle inside when they ask, "Are you the author?" No, I'm just standing here selling this book for fun... I love the way people's eyes light up when I say, "It's an LDS science fiction adventure novel." And they answer, "Really? That sounds cool!" Then I blow a virtual raspberry at everyone who told me there was no market for that. Teehee. I also love, love, love people watching, so I never feel bored during the slow times. There's always someone interesting to observe. Overall, it's been a good experience. I'm glad, because I have a lot more of the Costco signings coming up!

Another thing I like--my son told me a friend of his is using my book for his Honor's English book project. That made me happy. I think I've always had a secret dream of being someone's book project. Hooray for silly dreams come true!

So, what are you doing this week to make your dreams come true?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And So It Begins...

Tomorrow begins my Costco book signing adventure! Here's my schedule:

Lehi Store:
May 9th  4-8pm                   
May 10th 4-8pm  

May 15th 4-8pm   

May 16th 4-8pm 

May 22nd 4-8pm

May 26th 10-6pm 

May 30th 12-4pm 

May 31st 12-4pm

Salt Lake Store:

May 17th 4-8pm

May 19th 12-4pm 

May 24th 4-8pm  

May 29th 12-4pm

So, if you live nearby, please stop by and say hello. I'd love to see you! I have to admit this is another one of those things that is way outside of my comfort zone! I'm a little bit terrified. So, cross your fingers for me.

Have you done something to exit your comfort zone? How'd it go?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making the Most of It

This is the continuation of my Finding Time to Write post last week.

Now I'd like to talk about making the most of the time devoted to writing that you've carved out of your busy life. This could be a discussion about outlining or story structure of overcoming writer's block, but it's not. I want to address how we feel and think about writing. Is it just a hobby? A guilty pleasure? A selfish pursuit? Is it really worth the time?

I suppose those are questions that we have to answer for ourselves. But if you want to succeed as a writer--in whatever way you define success--then you are going to have to take it seriously.

When I first started out, I read in a book on writing (or maybe heard at a conference) that it was important to take yourself seriously as a writer. I took that advice to heart. I told people I was a writer, even before I was close to getting anything published. I kept my writing dreams at the forefront of my mind. Fortunately, I was blessed with supportive family and friends, which I know not all of us have.

Still, there were times when I felt guilty for taking time to write, and when I felt like maybe I was just being selfish, or that all the effort just wasn't really worth it. Heck, I still feel that way sometimes. But in order to achieve your writing hopes and dreams, you must banish these negative and unproductive feelings!

Deiter F. Uchtdorf, a very wise man, said:

"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. ,. . .Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty."

No, you are not wasting your time. You are creating something that did not exist before, and that it is inherently worthwhile! You are developing your God-given talents and you are giving service to those who will read your words, even if it's just your family and friends. However, if you take it seriously enough, if you don't let anything stand in your way, it won't be just your family and friends. Who knows? You could write something that changes the world. President Uchtdorf also said:

"Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside."

Yes, there must be balance. Only you can decide what that balance is. But don't let fear or guilt or anything else get in the way of the deepest yearnings of your heart. You can do this. You should do this. No, get out there and do it!

P.S. You can read the entire address from President Uchtdorf here.