10/18/09 Aha moment

After weeks of prayer and research, the lightbulb came on. I believe I understand what I am supposed to do in order to properly craft a novel proposal! God is good. My goal of finishing by the end of October seems possible.

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10/11/09 Stalled

I am posting more for consistency. I made little to no progress on the novel proposal this week. I did attend the Extraordinary Women’s conference, which was incredible. I also bought other books to read current market authors: White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner, The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher, Deceived by James Scott Bell, and You’ve Been Warned by James Patterson. Previously, I had read everything Mary DeMuth had published. I also have read multiple others like Beverly Lewis, Karen Kingsbury, Jan Karon, Judith Pella, Tracy Peterson; as well as other genres like Dean Koontz and the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I have found the Self-Editing for Fiction Writers book invaluable and The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing useful. I also printed a couple of copies of the latest draft, distributing them to people who have not previously read Heart at War. I am waiting for their critques.

I hope to spend major chunks of time in prayer and seeking God this week for the message and future of my writing. When I read online the improvements experienced writers are incorporating, I get discouraged. Their skill level far exceeds mine. It feels impossible to break into the Christian fiction market. Will my work be good enough? I have so much to learn. I have to remind myself that with God all things are possible.

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10/4/09 Annointing

My prayer is for my words to be annointed and God-breathed to speak life and healing to others.

The novel proposal writing process is like driving a bus with square metal wheels. I am sure this is due to lack of experience, knowledge, and confidence. I wish I could afford a professional, but I will have to rely on God to enable me and humble my perfectionistic ways.

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9/27/09 slow progress

American Christian Fiction Writers has online resources helpful for creating novel proposals. Research for tools to create a quality novel proposal is how most of my writing time was spent.

Names of real people had been changed, but I believe it would be prudent to alter physical descriptions and other details to protect true identities. This I concluded would be good especially due to the book being fiction and there will be elements that are purely fiction. I will need to tweak the last chapter of Part II, transforming it into the ending of book one.

Other than writing, it was a full week with two swim meets, one football game, practices every weeknight, school, and lots of client visits. Attending the kids sporting events is extra fun and entertaining when my husband joins me. He plays the role of obnoxious supporting Dad very well!

I really hope to finish up the novel proposal by the end of October, if not sooner.

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Status 9/20/09 Not much to say

Weeks fly by and this week was no exception. I concentrated on reading, studying, pouring into others, and waiting on God. I joined the ACFW – American Christian Fiction Writers and considered which other organizations to become affiliated with. I am looking for a local writers group to join, although finding the time may prove challenging.

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Status 9/13/09 – novel proposal and others

Zondervan sent a pre-release copy of Mary DeMuth’s second book in her Definance Texas trilogy, titled A Slow Burn. I volunteered to be an influencer. I really enjoy Mary’s characters and her writing style. The subject matter can be complex and sad at times, but it’s those types of circumstances God can display his handiwork. I started reading this book as soon as it arrived. I also finished reading Ever After by Karen Kingbury and a book of poetry Speaking No Evil by Felecia Studstill.

Research on novel proposals continued and I started getting the information organized. I have pretty much decided to separate my novel into two books. This will mean some modifications to the current edition, but that’s expected. Prayer has been my focus for the book – it’s mission, message, readers, and all those affected. It is beneficial to step back and reevaluate.

The first week of school was hectic, but fun. Sara finished her 3rd swim meet and is doing great. I watched with some alarm as Joshua got battered and bruised in his first football game. He is very proud of all his battle scars. Jesus will have to help me. It must be a guy thing, although I do love football. Robert is already finished with his 3rd week of teaching. He works so hard. I am very blessed. Our puppies got their stitches out and are recovering, however, Hope got stung by a bee and ended up at the vet on an emergency basis swelling up like a quickly inflated helium balloon! It was scary, but she is doing fine now. Another hectic week to come.

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Status 9/6/09 Novel Proposal Month

This week overwhelmed me with fall schedule activities, gearing up for school, learning about novel proposals, our puppies having surgery, my daughter and I got sick, and our water heater broke.

The book I had bought, instructing how to write a novel proposal, ended up being for non-fiction only. This particularly frustrated me, because the cover left that detail absent. I listened to some previous conference classes on novel proposals on CD. I also belong to an online writers group that has been helpful. When the libraries open again after Labor Day I will try to get more resources.

There are days when I wonder why anyone would be interested in my story, but God has a message to get out and I feel humbled he may use me to deliver it. The general message is that God wants our whole heart and nothing less. His love will make us complete. If we surrender everything over to Him, He will make everything right, fix the broken pieces of our life, and give us the desires of our heart.

Thank you again to all my family and friends that continually pray for me and encourage me. It means the world to me.

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Status 8/30/09

What an eventful week! We celebrated our 19th anniversary. Robert took me on a surprise date to the Historic Holly Hotel, with a very romantic atmosphere. Neither one of us had been there before, so it was a shared new experience. The kids are full swing in their respective sports and our puppies graduated puppy classes! I finished another month of visiting clients and stayed on track with novel revision goals. The last chapter of Part II will be done tomorrow, August 31st.

September will be different. I have a book instructing how to craft a novel proposal. By the end of September, I would like to have that completed and ready to send into my literary agent. Thank you to all my friends and family for your continued support and prayers!

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Status 8/23/09

Productivity reigned last week. I caught up to where I wanted to be and am back on track to finish Part II out of III by the end of this month. September’s concentration will be on crafting a quality novel proposal for submission to my agent.

This week, my husband and I celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. Robert planned a surprise date for me! :)   I’m sure it will be incredible, as always.

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Status 8/16/09

So far the discussion thing isn’t working out too well. We might hold off on that part until publishing and add a forum component or something. I’m supposed to call my computer expert, but a lot of life has kept me busy.

Last week I spent time with my wonderful family as well as my special clients God has blessed me with. Unfortunately, one of my clients passed away. I will miss her. I also met with a writer friend who is helping me with suggestions and keeping me on track. Thank you Janice!

My goals for last week were not met. I only revised three chapters instead of six. I know God will help me get everything done in His perfect timing. Since my professor husband starts back with classes again and I have a funeral on top of regular visitations for work, I won’t set my goal very high this week.

I hope to revise three more chapters this week. By then I will be able to see if finishing Part II by the end of August is still a realistic goal. Sometimes I have to flip ahead to the happy ending in the book. It helps deal with all the problems and mistakes I made during the emotional healing process. Writing about real life experiences is a little different than straight fiction.

I love fall! But there is always so much more activity. I am so proud of my kids. Sara joined the swim team at her high school, continues with piano lessons, and drama at church, among other activities. Joshua plays football, takes guitar lessons, and drama at church etc. I play the role of chauffer, cheerleader, home school teacher to our son…and look forward to my husband’s homecoming at the end of the work day. Sometimes I have to ask God how He expects me to write and revise a novel when my life is already super busy! I have to remind myself nothing is impossible with God.

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Status 8/9/09

This week I am continuing to work on Part II by concentrating on developing an outline and character development. I hope to finish revisions through the next six to nine chapters, ultimately completing Part II by the end of August.

 Part II starts off with guns and suicide. Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on that subject? What can drive a person to the point they feel life must end?

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Status 8/2/09

Revision goals were completed and surpassed! The last week of every month has minimal demands for my full-time job, which allows concentrated time for writing. I managed to complete revisions through chapter 14 and made a lot of reorganizational changes eliminating an entire chapter. By the end of today I will have finished Part I of III Parts. It felt so great to make such excelerated progress! I believe Part II and Part III need more intense work than Part I required. If this pace keeps up, I may be able to submit the novel proposal earlier than planned.

Target novel proposal submission: end of October/early November

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Status 7/21/09

I met my goals by Sunday! New goals are to finish revisions through chapter five by the end of July. My talented computer friend – Brian – is taking care of some fine-tuning on the website. Hopefully, we will be able to announce the website and make it available this week.

There is a lot of work to do, but I love it. God is faithful and has blessed me with very supportive family and friends. This adventure seems surreal…and exciting!

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Status 7/12/09

This week I have been revising the prologue and chapter one in two versions – past and present tenses – to see which version reads better. Some fellow writers and friends are helping make the decision collectively. Once the tense to use is decided, proceeding with the rest of the revisions should be easier.

By the end of this week I want to have this website completed and active as well as chapter one revisions completed. It would be great to have through chapter three completely revised by this weekend, but that may be a bit unrealistic.

My target for submitting the novel proposal is the end of October to the beginning of November 2009.

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Status Talk

Welcome! I finished writing the first draft of Heart at War in March. The beginning of June I attended a writer’s conference – Write-to-Publish in Chicago which kick started this new adventure toward getting published.

Heartatwarwithwords-150x150 Heart at War is set in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan and has parts in Phoenix, AZ. It is a Christian fiction novel based on my personal journals and describes a journey of emotional healing and choices in life. Topics include childhood sexual abuse, promiscuity, eating disorders, and more. The main character, Melissa Brooks,  must decide to follow God or not, even if the cost is abandoning her dreams. November 1984 is when this story begins and all types of media from the late 80′s are woven throughout the story of her relationships.

God orchestrated some “divine appointments” at the conference and I have an agent who wants a novel proposal for Heart at War. First I need to work on novel revisions. This website will track my progress.

Feel free to post questions or comments.

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