. . . Cannon Beach, Oregon!
I need to figure out how to impose the location name of headers….anyone familiar with WordPress speak up now please?
Anyways, this is not far from where my son Chad and his wife Andrea live… in Vancouver, WA which is just across the river from Portland, where our dear friends Ron and Peggy Roloff dwell. And if your wondering, yes, ‘The Ronald and Peggy Roloff’ whose son Matt Roloff is the star of ‘Big People Little World.’ They are a joy and Godsend to have as friends. Sooner or later, I’ll explain how we came to know each other. Otherwise you can check out the “how” on my Shoutlife blog.
Waving at Peg and Ron!
Anyway, the reason this photo is on my site is to remind me of my present writing project, ‘Chasing Sandra Dee,’ a romantic suspense that primarily takes place in Oregon. There’s a major scene on the exact spot of this beach scene. I just love when real life and fiction marry. 🙂
Cannon Beach’s famous Haystack Rock.
Okay, back to real life!
Don’t you wish they’d bottle time?
Think of everything we’d accomplish if we could just open a bottle and extract as much time as needed to complete a task or a beloved project. “Alas, time is a pre-measured gift from God that we must never squander.” Wise words from my deceased father-in-law, Raymond Wichman.
Honestly, I’ve no time to blog today, let alone write. But I’m trying hard to stick to my plan and blog a minimum of once a week.
So, I received a batch of forms from my agent and completion of said forms is one of my goals. She needs them in order to successfully pitch this author to the editors at upcoming conferences. Of course, I’ll be doing that between diaper changes, a cranky daughter who didn’t sleep well due to a cranky baby, and did I mention the four year old stayed home from preschool because his Asthma kicked in? Of course, he’s better now and is bored out his mind.
Wish the same applied to me.
“Grandma, play with me?” X 100 times, that includes tugging my arm.
How can I say no?
Truth be known I’ve always sucked at time-management. And let’s not count how many courses and workshops I’ve taken on the subject. I failed them all!
Well, off to play, all the while contemplating the $$ of purchasing Time in a Bottle. I need to ask Randy Ingermanson if that’s theoretically possible. Hey Randy?
Until next time . . .
Right now I feel like the goofy rabbit in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ running around in circles, jumping down black holes that lead no where, and all the while watching the hands of time tick by me. Sometimes like now, I feel totally out of control. I’m just thankful that God controls the hands of time, because if it were up to me, I’d be late for my own funeral.
I can’t believe how fast the months have flown by since I last blogged. Then again, I’ve been hunkered down with health issues, my daughter and two grandsons moving into our empty nest, crashing memory boards and hard-drives. All of which caused me to identify the importance of how we spend each and every minute of our lives. And how important it is to spend time in God’s holy presence.
Because my strongest artistic ability rests in storytelling, I have to accept that I’ve not done a good job making time to write, let alone staying in touch with the publishing world, and most importantly, my fellow writers and readers.
So, I will make an effort to blog a minimum of twice a week and if I fail, I’d ask whoever wanders across my musings to remind me of that goal. In between I will share what I’m writing and why, and try and encourage others with the same burning desire to stay focused and make time to tell the stories that God has laid upon their hearts.
Until later . . . Linda
The present Blog photo is one of my favorite places in the world, the Isle of Arran, Scotland!
So, I just posted on my former blog site, loaded tons of friends and writers blog addresses then decided to come to WordPress. The main reason is that I will probably be setting up a new website through WordPress so here I am. I also admit I like the sleeker looking format choices.
Anyways, now I need to let everyone know I’m here instead of there….LOL
Until later my friends,
Hey, I’m adding a list of fiction authors websites and blogs to my updated Blog.
If you want your website or blog listed, please send your name and web or blog address to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to add you.
I’m back and chasing my dream.
I appreciate all the writers and readers who have supported me during the past year and half while I’ve been off-line in the CBA writing world. There is a time for every season and while I don’t think my life’s much different than anyone else’s, it’s been almost impossible for me to write full-time. Were it not for my love affair with Jesus Christ, my loving husband, family and friends, I wouldn’t be writing this blog today. Amen!
Yes, life’s thrown my family a lot of crap this past year, but through God’s grace we’re dealing, and are better than ever, especially spiritually. I’ve managed to complete a novel, start two more, write a book proposal and keep up with my Stargate SG-1 fanfiction. All this with my daughter and two grandsons in the same house. Unfortunately, my daughter is going through a divorce and with two small boys, ages 4 and 8 months, she has her hands full, and Gary and I are helping out the best we can.
So, before life pitches another curve ball, like a partial knee replacement surgery next month, I’m blogging come Netu or high water. For those who don’t watch Stargate SG-1 (I can’t believe such individuals exist!) Netu is a hot, sulfuric moon with major gastric problems. Think bowels of hell. Yeah, not a pretty picture.
So let’s discuss cooler things like Romantic Suspense.
When anyone talks romantic suspense, classic novels and movies seductively come to mind. From the dark and brooding gothic Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier to Alfred Hitchock’s Rear Window, North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief and Stanley Donen’s Charade. That three of those movies star my favorite actor, Cary Grant, is pure coincidence—really!
Sadly, when I ponder today’s romantic suspense movies I come up empty-handed, thankfully book-wise that’s not the case.
In the general market J.D. Robb, Jayne Ann. Krentz, Nora Roberts and Shanna McKenna are fan adored writers.
Meanwhile, authors Dee Henderson, Hannah Alexandra, Terri Blackstock, Brandilyn Collins, Colleen Coble, Jill Elizabeth Nelson and Mark Andrew Olsen hold the Christian readership.
Yes, I know Olsen doesn’t write romance, but I love his out of the box plots and superb characters, the same goes for Ted DeKker. What’s there to say about Ted other than he rocks! What I love about Ted is that like myself, he enjoys weaving the supernatural of Almighty God into many of his stories and better yet, he pulls it off.
Oh, I must shamelessly plug the success of my girlfriend and critique partner, Jill Elizabeth Nelson. If you haven’t read Jill’s ‘To Catch a Thief’ series by Multnomah you’re missing a page-turning suspense joy ride.
I just love heart-pounding romantic suspense that has a sprig of humor tossed in to brighten up the bleakness as that’s how I write.
Mind you, my first love will always be historical romance and Sci-Fi fantasy. Sadly, both genres are lagging in the CBA. Yeah, here I sit with a five book proposal for the Emerald Rose series, and not one interested publisher. Sigh.
So what do working authors who’ve yet to establish themselves in a genre do? They write what the market dictates. Of course it helps if you write just about anything, excluding erotica of course. True, there are a few genres I don’t foresee myself writing. Never say never. More important, don’t verbalize said genres names or that too will come back to haunt you.
Upon the wise advice of my wonderful agent, and the burning desire to acquire another publishing contract, I penned a one line blurb that snagged an editor’s attention.
Working title: Chasing Sandra Dee
Pitch: Sandra Dee is running for her life—One tiny glitch she’s legally dead!
From that one-liner came a three book proposal for a romantic suspense series ‘Lost Now Found’ based on an agency that specializes in finding missing folks the authorities have failed to locate, and that includes the very dead.
The other books of the series include: ‘Framing Elvis’ and ‘Lucy I’m Home!’
Making the transition from historical to contemporary has proven far simpler than I imagined. Wish I could say the same about the research which has proven more exhaustive. Unlike history the present world is ever changing, especially the technology and crime solving methods. But I hooked up with a great Yahoo group called ‘Crime Scene Writers ‘ and doubt I’d be able to write suspense without their expertise.
Well, I must return to ‘Chasing Sandra Dee.’
Now to all writers going through a testing period that’s caused you to put your pursuit of publication on the back burner, I encourage you to never give up, and above all, chase your dream! Yeah sure yabetcha!
WRITE WHAT YA KNOW WITH UNADULTERATED PASSION!
There’s a lot of hype in the writing industry to ‘write what you know.’
For the longest time . . .we’re talking years, I hated that persistent rule of thumb. Then one day I had an epiphany. Hey, when it comes to the vital craft of characterization, I do write what I know.
I love how little things we normally shrug off as our boring lives or family oddities find their way onto the pages of our novels. That’s because we do write what we know. And I wonder how much of it we do unknowingly?
My dilemma is that I honestly love to write about what I don’t know. It’s not only how I learn something new . . . It’s just so darn exciting!
However, as important as it is to write about what we know, I think we tend to forget a most important element in the creative equation of storytelling. To write with unadulterated passion.
See the older wiser writer in me totally agrees, “Write what you know, Linda.” While the younger, I wanna write something different author–primarily the fantasy writer in me says, “Nay, that’s yawn-inducing.” As a fantasy writer I create places that are make-believe and often out of this world. There’s a place I rarely visit . . . reality. That pretty much describes me. Ah, I love my second childhood! And yet this fity-three-year-old wife, mother of two and grandmother has tons of life experiences much of it boorish, but a teeny weenie scrape of my life is worth sharing–I think.
This tug of wills comes on the heels of two writing projects. Presently, penning a historical fantasy romance series and completing a contemporary romance based on my healed wounds as a child incest victim, botched scriptwriting attempts, and my Internet Fan Fiction writing. Talk about a weird combination, but I think it works. Alas, we’ll let a publisher decide that book’s fate. But after forty plus years of silence, I was finally able to address the issue of incest the one way I felt comfortable . . .through fiction. And that book and my fantasy series are being written with intense love and passion.
My point is, that before I started the Lengend of the Emerald Rose fantasy series based on the King Arthurian legend and that chronicles the Stewart/Stuarts of Scotland lineage to present time, I knew zilch about writing fantasy, let alone King Arthur or the Stuarts of Scotland. What I did know, was I love fantasy, Arthurian legend and Scotland. And then I started something I really love . . . Historical research.
What I’ve learned these past years and I mean this solely regarding moi, is its far more important for me to write what gets me pumped, than what I know or have experienced firsthand. Hence that passion is then transferred from my soul to the keyboard and paper, then to my agent, editor, and eventually to my readers.
Let’s be honest. A good writer whether consciously or unconsciously always writes what he/she knows. More often than not, our characters personalities are derived from folks we know upfront and personal, as are many of the situations we drop those characters into inside our books.
And yes, there are always those things we purposely set out to experience to make our stories tangible for the reader. From bungee jumping, scuba diving or burning leaves in order to experience that nippy sweet scent, we should strive to know what we are writing about.
About now I’d give anything to hop into a time-travel machine and visit the 3rd crusade, talk to King Richard the Lion Hearted, sit in Saladin’s tent, walk the streets of 12th century Jerusalem or ride a nasty smelling camel. Um, maybe the last one I can make happen . . . or not.
For writers of historical fiction the events we write about are something we don’t know firsthand and never will. And yet we write about them because hopefully like myself, most historical writers are passionate about this genre.
I think that trying to experience much of what we write about is definitely important in order to excel in the profession of fiction writing. But most important, if you’re not writing something you feel passionate for, you will be found out and your readers will be disappointed.
So don’t just write what you know, write what moves you heart, stirs your soul and even on the coldest of dawns, gets your butt out of bed and writing. My hope and desire for all writers is that whatever we write, we write with such passion the readers believe it true.
In Legend of the Emerald Rose one young lordling asked the bard Grat-Telor, “Please, Grat-Telor, amuse us with the legend of King Arthur and Merlin.”
“And why wish you hearken to the reminiscence of an old singer of tales?” asked the bard.
“By virtue that you recount with such passion, we almost believe it true.”
So here’s my two-cents worth. Writing what we know is the skeletal frame required to support our stories. But fiery, unadulterated passion is the heart surging blood that gives our stories life.
“I WENT TO A GARDEN PARTY TO REMINISE WITH MY OLD FRIENDS . . .” AN AUTHOR’S UPBEAT REVIEW OF A DEPRESSING SONG THAT HAS LITTLE TO DO ABOUT NOTHING . . .OTHER THAN, I LIKE RICKY NELSON AND CAN’T GET HIS BLASTED LYRICS OUT OF MY HEAD!
Back peddle to Saturday – July 9th, when I attended my first garden party, actually my first Christy Award banquet. A banquet I’d heard many a fishwives tale about, dreamt about, but never expected to attend—least of all—as a finalist in the Visionary Category. My heart was in maximum overdrive and my palms sweat. No, I wasn’t a train wreck, but I felt excited, unworthy and yet hopeful. Just ask my agent, Wendy Lawton, who repeatedly patted my clammy hands and soothed me with encouraging words, which for the life of me I can’t recall, except for the most important ones, “Remember, Linda, no matter the outcome you’re already a winner!”
Dearest Wendy, you were . . . are right. I am a winner, and not just for being a finalist in this prestigious contest. Even if most of the evening buzzed by me as a muddled haze, I’ll always remember my first Christy banquet. I’ll remember the hum of excited voices, the familiar and not so familiar faces. The numerous well wishes and, “I’m praying for you,” comments.
Meanwhile, the array of fashion statements that spanned from one finalist’s simplistic blue skirt and white blouse to Brandilyn’s infamous emerald sequined gown, that latter of which, I coveted for an entire five seconds until I admitted my generous endowed body would never do her beautiful gown justice.
And I’ll never forget when a pair of strong warm arms embraced me from behind only to be surprised by girlfriend Donita K. Paul, who I didn’t expect to see that night. I will not forget every one of you in ACFW who cheered me on before and after and banquet ended.
And I will always remember when a certain high profiled author hugged me and whispered, “You should have won.” Her caring remark touched my heart in the most healing way, because I knew she meant it.
I won’t forget Kregel’s acquisition editor, Dennis Hillman’s generous praise regarding LER or his walking stick umbrella that made him look quite British. I won’t forget Angela Hunt’s (whom I adore), fashionable late entrance that brought her to adorn our table. Nor the two Parable store retailers who during the unforgettable delicious meal that I didn’t eat, asked Angie and moi how they should pitch our novels/novel (LOL) to their customers.
I didn’t know what I was eating, apparently broccoli, let alone how to answer their question. I looked densely at Angela who with her red hair was beautiful in her white dress and then I blurted, “Um, I’ve got nothing.”
Angie winked at me as if totally aware of the upheaval I was experiencing. She proceeded to calmly answer them and, good golly Miss Molly, she said what I would have said, were I of sound mind. To which I replied, “Ditto. Thanks, Angie!”
Mostly, after all was said and done, I won’t forget the humble appreciation God put upon this writer’s heart. Like every finalist at the banquet, I really wanted that first place award. I even sat there rehearsing my fifteen-second speech—yeah, that’s what my agent and Camy Tang highly suggested I limit myself too. D’oh! reality check! Unless I was totally zoned-out, not one winner spoke under a minute. LOL Then again, they know I’m not short on breath when it comes to yapping.
I didn’t win first place. And that’s okay. God knows better than anyone what I need and don’t need. The moment the MC read a line from the winning novel, I snapped out of my self-induced fog. I had prayed for God’s will to be done. It was. I then relaxed and gave Him the glory and thanks. I later recalled how, ‘Thanks’ was the ongoing theme that evening. How every winner including our keynote speaker, Bret Lott, thanked those responsible for she/he being brought to this place for the recognition of excellence in Christian fiction. Above all, each gave God their heartfelt praise and appreciation.
Over this past year, I have come to realize that receiving all the awards and nominations in the world doesn’t mean a hill of beans if we don’t grow from said experience and I’m not talking about our egos. They seem to grow just fine even without additional fertilization of contracts, nominations and awards. Speaking for myself of course. Grin
Besides gratitude to God almighty if I’ve gained anything, it awareness of the amazing support base of friends and family I have in ACFW and beyond. Thanks to each and every one of you, especially those who read LER and sent me feedback.
Now if I might further digress, (which I will) I want to share that in all honesty, the greatest highlight of my CBA experience was none of the above, not even walking the massive convention center staring in awe at the magnificent publisher booths or spotting and speaking to some of the Christian artists, whose music I listen to regularly.
It happened during the Sunday evening of worship sitting an elderly couple of retailers that brought me to my knees that included listening to Philip Yancey. Now let me share that the cause of this humbling experience was a worship talker that can distract and annoy me to no end. He was not an overt talker, but there were enough, “You say it, brother! God be praised!” And, “Yes, yes!” to make me silently mouth, “Great guns, I’m stuck with a, ‘talker.’”
Well after this amazing worship service ended, the little white-haired man turned to me and asked, “And what is your name?”
“Linda,” I said, swinging my purse strap over my shoulder.
He then grabbed my hand and pumping hard, said, “Well, Linda, God has asked me to speak a word over you.”
Never having experienced this before, I gulped, fearing the worst, like the negative thoughts I’d had toward this sweet little man.
“Linda, you have found great favor in God’s sight. He takes pleasure in your sincere praise and He blesses you beyond measure.”
All I could say was, “Um, gee, thanks,” as he hugged then released me.
Speechless, I nervously glanced at my new friend, Susanne Scheppmann who had heard the exchange. To my chagrin, she shrugged and said, “Whoa! And here I was complaining because he was a talker.”
“Yeah,” I admitted, “Same here.” I decided to speak with the man further, but when I turned back, he and his wife were gone. Susanne and I exchanged baffled looks. Strange, but for the moment I couldn’t help but wonder if they were angels. J
That instant, I concluded that no matter what I did in this world–even writing for God’s glory, only one-thing matters to Jesus, and that’s the condition of my heart.
Later that evening the CC artist group, Los Lonely Boys, sang their hit song, ‘How far is Heaven.’ Amidst clapping at half a beat off, and singing off-key I found myself in tears. For even though my present journey is proving to be incredible, I’ll trade every moment for Heaven.
Although always on a learning curve, I’m striving to be more content with whatever God gives me, which despite being cliché, mean our life on earth is about the individual journey that God takes us on. And, as for the destination well, for all of us here, hopefully that also is Heaven.
A Garden Party Review by: Linda Wichman
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.