I have always been a slow reader. I struggled to get through novels and stuck mostly to non-fiction that I could underline and re-read without losing a story line.
But my goal for 2012 was to read more, no matter how hard it was.
Know what? It’s only end of July and I’ve already exceeded my goal – even beyond my dreams! I know some of you read a lot and this list may not be very impressive, but for me it’s a huge accomplishment. I have enjoyed the different kinds of fiction and still dabbled in a few non-fiction books – mostly ones that had to do with my research.
So here is my list: I have starred my favorites.
The Chair by James L. Rubart *
Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell
A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand * (this is really narrative non-fiction but reads like a novel)
Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Houston
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Next Target by Nikki Arana
Gone To Ground by Brandilyn Collins *
Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson *
The History of Camp Tracy by Alexander Corbin
Self Publishing Attack by James Scott Bell
So you can see I have turned a new page in my reading life. (no pun intended)
What about you? What is your favorite read of this year so far?
I wonder if anyone remembers that song…hmmm.
Anyway, yes, I’m headed to California. Alameda to be exact. I’ll be accompanying a lecturer when she gives her talk aboard the USS Hornet which is permanently docked as a floating museum. She will be speaking to a group of Japanese American WW2 Veterans about a secret interrogation center that existed in central California during the war.
This all came about because I took a chance and emailed this person when I saw her name at the bottom of an article on this top secret center. We have been corresponding for several months and now and she has been gracious and helpful in my quest for information. She has invited me to attend the lecture.
The timing is perfect and I will be in the midst of the real life subjects of my novel. Not to mention meeting my pen pal after all these months and hearing her talk on another subject that will be in the book.
A fluke? Unbelievable luck? Good karma?
No to all three questions. This came about partly as a blessing from God, but I worked many hours to put myself in the position for this opportunity. I doubt this blessing would have been dropped in my lap had I not been looking, researching, digging, reading and digging some more. Partnership with God on my projects always yields a result that goes beyond my dreams. I work hard and do my part and He connects the dots.
Writing is hard work – and historical fiction might be even more challenging. I’m learning so much in the process and now I have this date with destiny to make my research come alive. Am I excited? Yes. Am I nervous? Yes.
You don’t have to be a writer for opportunity to come knocking. Any of you have a similar thing happen?
So I have decided to enter the ACFW Genesis contest for the second time. The first time I entered was with my very first work of fiction. Wow, what an eye opener. It was too soon, but I learned a lot. I hope this time will be different – I think my writing has improved some – at least my critique buddy says so.
The best thing about Genesis is the judging sheets you get back after the contest. Most of them are filled with great advice. (Some not so nice, but oh well) This is the teaching tool that makes the contest worth entering. The judges are professionals from the industry and who knows, you just might get noticed by one of them.
I have no illusions that I will place in any way. I just want the experience. Plus, I need to find out if this nagging call to write non-fiction should be exclusive or not. I know many who write both, but I dont know if I should.
Have any of you struggled with knowing your genre? Can you do both effectively? And are you entering Genesis?
What a great day. I was able to attend one day of the American Christian Writers Conference right here in my hometown of Spokane. The keynote speakers were Jim Watkins and Dennis Hensley. It was a small group of attendees but we had a great time.
I spent the day at Jim’s non-fiction workshops to get a boost with my non-fiction projects I have going. He gave some great information and advice. I am anxious to work up a proposal for the one I have nearly finished.
But I received the most help from Mr. Hensley with my fiction works. When I told him I had a request for a partial MS from a certain large publishing house, he perked up and told me he knew that editor and wanted to know what response I had from him. I showed him the encouraging email from this editor and he smiled.
Long story short. Mr. Hensley was impressed by the comments in the email and told me to get the MS fixed and send it back! He said the email was a very good sign.
So, here I go. Find an editor, fix it, send it back and send it out to some agents too. Sounds easy. I know it wont be. But I’m ready to roll up my sleeves with that kind of encouragement.
Sorry to ramble on. It’s just remarkable how God wont let you shelve something if it’s not to be shelved!
Every have that happen?