Linda Wichman

Whoops! Sorry!

As I kick myself in a very tender place, I apologize to anyone who read, commented, and waited for followup on my most recent blog topic, Dumbing Down Young Adult Fiction. Blogger.com and moi had issues, still do.

1: I can’t do a direct followup reply to a visitor’s comment. Shame on you, Blogger! But when all’s said and done, that’s my bad for not remembering Blogger’s has a huge stumbling block and I must deal or leave.  

2: Along with strange symbols that are still visible, some comments and replies got lost in the Twilight Zone…still are. I’m not blogging savvy, let alone a techie. I got so frustrated that I let the issue slide the last three weeks, hoping it’d fix itself. It didn’t. Procrastination fixes nothing. So to my patient fellow/sister bloggers, thanks for your cyber endurance.

As the old adage goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” Ya sure yabetcha!

Dumbing Down Young Adult Fiction

So is it just me or have we dumb-downed young adult readers? 
Without sharing my true vintage, (cough) I admit that in my youth YA fiction was almost non-existent. Um perhaps, I’ve answered my own question. Anyhow, as an average teen, I struggled with mathematics and the sciences. 
Still do.
Back then if you asked me what’s ‘pi squared’ I’d have answered, “Depends upon whether it’s apple or pumpkin.” Then I discovered authors like; Robert Lewis Stevenson, Agatha Christie, Jane Austin, Jules Vern, HG Wells, JRR Tolkien, Louis May Alcott, L Frank, and CS Lewis just to name a few.
Unwittingly, I was reading master storytellers that entertained and challenged me to stretch my imagination.  And while I was imagining I was learning. Their stories were well-written prose that included creative word choices far exceeding my limited vocabulary of cool.

I hope we still have innovative authors to challenge the YA generation, but then perhaps, I expect too much.
What say you?

PS: This discussion covers ABA and CBA markets and anything in-between.

The Lowdown on Angels

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy! –William Shakespeare

On an average, I attempt to read (not always like) the accolades of the ABA and CBA markets. So, Harry Potter and most recently The Twilight Series occupy my bookshelves as do From Darkness Hid, The Kingdom Series and drum-roll please, Seasons in the Mist—a fantastic, time-travel romance by girlfriend, (shameless plug) Deb Kinnard. Yep, I plan to blog on Time-Travel Romance and the lack thereof in the CBA. Hopefully, that’ll include a chat with Deb (foreshadowing).

Anyhow, this speculative romance author believes that whatever you can imagine you can write, and God willing someone will read it. An ongoing (revised) character for my Legend of the Emerald Rose (series) is an opinionated angel named ‘Tomas.’ And yes, because its fantasy, I delve into angelic semantics (interactions) with mankind. Although, I believe the war was won on the Cross, most often the battle between Yahweh and Satan takes place inside of our hearts, thoughts and imaginations. The devil is the master of disguise and diversion, an artful influencer. He’s a ruthless, egotistic politician with devoted lobbyists—guess that’s politically incorrect, but so am I.

That’s why I keep tight reins on my fictional angel, Tomas, because even in fantasy, I don’t want to mislead anyone as to the truth about angels. Satan’s hoodwinking through the publishing and entertainment industry has persuaded billions and that includes some believers that the principalities of evil are romantic, heroic and redeemable. The latest fads are vampires and werewolves—again, and there’s no doubt that these supernatural creatures are box office hits.

Unlike vamps and weres, angels exist and according to Scripture they are not to be taken lightly. Sadly, most of the world either dismisses these spiritual beings (big no-no) or are obsessed and seduced by Satan’s lobbyists. There’s not enough blog time to address the complexity of holy angels, fallen angels, demons and the different beliefs and encounters out there, nor the distorted truth. I’m thankful that my Biblical foundational beliefs narrow the playing field—at least for me. I respect God’s creation and His purpose for angels. But that people adore, worship and seek these beings advise scares the mustard out of me!

Where was I? Oh, when I’m out and about I carry either a romantic adventure, sci-fi/fan or research book. Recently, I totted The Truth about Angels by Terry Law. When my (Christian) physician noted the book cover he shared how one patient consults with her personal angel. Spiritual whistles blared! Yet, I was not surprised that one more Christian had fallen for charlatan slick-talk. After all, it can’t be any more harmful than reading one’s horoscope, right? That’s how the ‘angel of light’ works us. One subtle lie follows another and another, etc.
My friend agreed to let this person ask her ‘angel’ something special about him. Here’s the lowdown. The angel’s name is Michael. Oh, give me a break! Even lower, this demonic being didn’t share anything new under the sun. According to ‘Michael’ my friend is compassionate. Du! Really? Oh, and sometimes this angel is too busy to answer its ward’s request, but will get back to her when it’s convenient. How easily humans get hoodwinked by these creatures of deception. Actually, there are far ‘smarter’ demons, but that’s another topic.
Well, I gave my friend a speed course (after all, this was a medical visit) on the truth about angels from a Biblical perspective. I reminded him that as a believer, God’s Holy Spirit resides within him and to always listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice of discernment, especially when someone says that they converse with angels or spirit guides. Let’s just say it was another ‘God Moment.’ 
I’d like to hear your perspective on angels. Do you read about angels via fiction or non-fiction? Have you ever written an angel into your plot as a main or secondary character? Curious minds want to know. But before commenting, please remember this is an open writing forum. I don’t want to discourage anyone from sharing, agreeing or disagreeing. Just do it respectfully. 
I believe that knowledge is power, but foremost that knowledge (wisdom) through God’s Holy Word equips us to write the good fight!
This world’s a scary place, even scarier, if you don’t know the lowdown on angels.

Giveaway ‘Legend of the Emerald Rose’ at Carole Brown’s Blog

Good morning campers!

Carole Brown http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

ACFW blogger, Carole Brown, was gracious enough today to interview this whacked, edgy novelist with sparkling eyecandy! TWO autographed copies of Legend of the Emerald Rose. ONE book per winner. Your comments qualify for the book drawings. Already got a copy? Bless you! LER makes a great gift for fans of romantic Arthurian legend, blood-carpeted battlefields, Biblical angels, hellish demons, sorcery and of course, a fiery romance with a happily-ever-after ‘The End!’ I promise!
 
Freebies aside, I hope my candid interview encourages anyone knighted with the tongue of storytelling and the stubbornness of a little ole ant!
 
And Carole, thanks for having me at Sunnybanks. What a glorious place! http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
 
Now everybody hightail over to Carole’s fantastic blog spot and please leave a comment? Lord knows (Yes, He does) that every insane wordsmith needs to share words!

The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Do you remember the hit song, Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer, by Nat King Cole, dad to radio/disco queen, Natalie Cole? If you don’t recall either famous crooner, please refer to Wikipedia, as you probably never used a real Encyclopedia. That was a joke, but a sad one, reflecting my present state of mind.

In my youth, summer used to be a relaxing reflective time, a planting and growing time. Yep, there’s a farmer in me. Attitudes and ideas change. Summer is no longer about running a lemonade stand,  neighborhood car washes, biking to to the local library, squelling kids and water sprinklers or camping in a blanket tent beneath our parents bedroom window. Summer has become about how many sports camps can I sign my kids up for? How many summer events can I attend? How busy can I be and still sniff the roses.’ Um, who has time to grow ‘real’ roses? 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m guilty on all accounts. Although, I’m now a ‘Nana’ my summer is hazier and crazier than ever and I’ve enjoyed much if it. But my writing goals, that includes blogging, have taken a rear seat to the buzz of summer insanity. I love nature, gardening, and long walks but yearn for the slower pace of raking crisp, autumn leaves and a three day blizzard that will keep me huddled inside with hot (spiked) chocolate and a crackling fireplace, while my sexy hero and feisty heroine spare for my undivided attention. Yep, I’m a hopeful romantic!

The lazy hazy days of fall and winter beckon me. Until then, I’ll sit on my backporch and enjoy the birds, squirrels and one audacious wild turkey (who needs a boyfriend), feast off of the banquet on our picnic table. And despite my present discontent, when Old Man Winter comes banging on my door, I’ll be wishing for the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

There is a reason for the seasons . . .  

Romance and the Supernatural?!

Recently a few multi-pubbed CBA friends visited my new blog and privately shared that they like it, and love me . . .Am I blushing? But they write historical and contemporary romances and hesitate to follow my blog coz of the fantasy elements. Basically what have we in common? My response, a lot! Follow and see? 

Although I’ve an itch to interject the supernatural into my works, that element isn’t what drives my stories, the romance does. I sharpened my baby teeth on authors; Woodiwiss, Gillis, Garwood, McNaught, Rivers, Hunt, Higgs, Windsor, Collins, Kathryn Springer, Gunn, Blackstock and Nelson. Most recently Tyndall, Gist and Lessman. So please don’t throw the babies out with the bathwater?

I’m revising a historical romance with an American circus setting, tentatively called, ‘Promise Her Magic’. It has a romantic, supernatural element; the heroine loses her shoes whenever she kisses the hero and something happens to the hero. . .but that I won’t give away. LOL  

My invitation to follow the Rainbow’s Connection blog goes out to all romance writers and readers, coz romance is magic!

Follow me and I’ll follow you!
 

Who’s Your Target Audience . . .

Linda, who is your target audience and why? 

First subjective answer: Who’ll ever read my stories.

Second logical answer: I write for the general market (ABA) with a Christian worldview, not excluding CBA houses open to edgy SF/Fantasy-Romance. And I mean edgy with a sharp blade. 

And here’s why: “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized–whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ–but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempt to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!” 1 Corinthians 9: 19-23 The Message   

So who’s your target audience and why do you write for them?

Loved to hear your comments.  

Speculative visa versa SF/Fantasy

From private msgs and blog comments, I figured I best clarify my definition of Speculative Fiction versa SF/Fantasy. In my world, there’s no difference.

Anyone who’s heard my answer before forgive the redundancy?

I grew up with the ABA genre label of SF/Fantasy that blankets every thing outside the normal fiction spectrum whether it’s Narnia, War of the Worlds, Star Trek, Star Wars, legends, etc. The Christian market (CBA) seems to prefer ‘Speculative,’ because it sounds less secular. I think that’s hilarious! 🙂

Unless I missed an update, the Christy Awards and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) label SF/Fantasy as ‘Speculative Fiction.’

My novels include demons, angels, alternate universes, time-travel, black holes, dwarf stars, weird creatures and aliens. Other than dark horror I read anything considered SF/Fantasy/Spec.

And I’ve written over 50 fan fics for Stargate SG-1 which exposes my love affair with science fiction.

In my humble opinion genre labels are interchangeable, depending on the publishers, and whether you target ABA or CBA . . . Oh, and of course, there’s always the weather.

But then I’m wrong about many things. It’s all part of the voyage. . .

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