Writing Blog Tour

Today’s post is a part of the “Writing Blog Tour”. I was invited by good friend and one of my very first writer friends Dawn Crandall. She has her first three books coming out over the next year and I couldn’t be more excited for her. You can find about her at www.dawncrandall.blogspot.com and www.apassionforpages.blogspot.com

In the Writing Blog Tour we are asked to answer a set of questions about our writng so let’s get to it.

What am I working on?

I am in the brainstorming process for my second book. My first book is at my agent getting ready to be sent to the publishers.

How does my work differ from other’s in its genre?

I think for everyone, what makes an author unique is their voice. My stories are inspirational romance so they will have happily-ever-afters and hopefully get you thinking at the same time but many authors do that and do it well. But no other author tells a story like I do. Every author has a unique voice that comes out in their writing.

Why do I write what I do?

I write romance because I love it. I love the gripping tale of love and the journey of getting there. But I want my novels to be more than fluff. So I write inspirational romance. I believe the best way to internalize truths is though story. They can get to the heart of the matter better than any lecture. When you see yourself in the character’s struggle and how they make it though, it is a sense of hope like no other.

How does your writing process work?

First I chart, plot, brainstorm, and outline until I know the characters inside and out. Then I sit down and writing a fast draft by just letting this new world fall on the page. Then after the dust settles I reread the book and outline what I have, go back to my charts, plugging all the holes and inconsistencies, while strengthening what is there. Then I revise it one more time before I sent it to a line editor friend and then to my agent.

I can also add that during the whole process I send scenes to my dearest friend and fellow writer Andrea Michelle Wood. Who knows my story as well as I do. She helps me see if I miss something or am getting off track. I couldn’t do this without her.

Hope you have enjoyed this and check out next Monday as my three writers friends continue on with this blog tour.


Lindsay Harrel Profile PictureLindsay Harrel – 
www.lindsayharrel.com or www.lindsayharrel.blogspot.com.

Lindsay Harrel has a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in English. Represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency, Lindsay was a 2013 ACFW Genesis Finalist (Contemporary Category). She works in marketing as a copywriter and has worked in the past as a business writer and curriculum editor. Lindsay lives in Arizona with her husband and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Connect with her on her blog or via Facebook or Twitter (@LindsayHarrel).

 

andreaAndrea Michelle Wood – http://andrea-michelle-wood.blogspot.com

Without God I am nothing, just a lowly daydreamer. Then one day God got a hold of my heart. I didn’t think I had anything to offer Him, anything He could use. God said, “I’ll use your daydreams if you’ll let me. Just write your stories down.” And that was the begining of the daydreamer’s journey. I’m a not-yet-published author of inspirational romance novels working to polish my stories. 1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

I Am A Mess

MNO-poster-art-memeI am not a failure. I am a mess, a beautiful mess. I am God’s master piece. (Rough Quote from the movie)

I am not sure when I have enjoyed a movie more than I did Mom’s Night Out. The script: excellent (laughed so hard I cried). Acting: top notch (I mean Samwise Gamgee is in it.) But what hit me most was the solid take away.

This year – as in 2014 – has been hard. There is no other way to put it. My daughter has literally turned all that I know upside down. And as I have walked this road with her more often than not I have come to the conclusion: I am a terrible mother. And as I have tried to balance all this with the rest of my life, my house has turned into a dump which means: I am a terrible wife.

Now before you think this blog is about feeling sorry for myself let me remind you that I said it was how I felt. In fact, I didn’t even realized how deep those feelings ran until I was watching the movie last night. As the heroine goes though her journey and fights her feeling of inadequacy and discouragement, I could see myself so clearly it hurt.

But like any good story that draws you in making you see yourself smack in the middle of this struggle, it also brought me out to a healthier view of my own situation. (And that is the very reason I write.)

I am not the perfect mother, I am not the perfect wife, I will never be the perfect neat-freak homemaker. But God HAS equipped me to do His good works. And when I fall short in my own strength, abilities, wisdom… I  CAN rest in his arms and be confident that HE’S GOT THIS.

My job is actually a simple one. Be open to Him and let him work though me. I need to be His hands of love in my family’s life and His voice of truth in my writing. The end result is up to Him. And you know what? I trust Him,

So today I will choose to be His masterpiece. Nothing more, nothing less.

How Photoshop Saved the first day of School

Like many other FB moms of today, I feel the pressure of not just being a great mom, but also presenting it well to. After all if the pictures don’t show up on FB, did it really happen? Okay of course it did, but as we look from post to post, Pintrest board to Pintrest board the pressure builds. This social media has caused us to want to up our game. I mean, I thought first day of school pictures with back packs were great until I saw my friend’s kids with signs. Those were awesome. I thought what signs were cool until I saw the full color ones…and so on.

I want to be that cool mom. I do . I make their halloween costumes. I do an all out party (every-other year) But when does it just become too much? Like yesterday morning as I readied for day one. I want that perfect photo. You know, the one like Sara Luke puts on her blogs.

Oops, forgot to get cute new outfits. Oops, forgot to make signs.  No problem, we’ll just do this…. Here hold this…

We can be adorable too dog-gonit. Now smile and look happy!

Click – Got it! Awesome.

130808_8684Yes – I know. Looking back, What was I thinking? But I was in a hurry, but really? “Here children hold up this photo in front of the house. Don’t worry about the strange looks from neighbors. It will be fine.”

You can tell by their expressions that they are not convinced.

So, after literately running from one thing to the next yesterday until the kids bedtime I sat down to post my great first days shots. Hmm. Not quite what I was going for. This doesn’t say “cool Pintrest mom” this is more along the lines of “Pintrest fail!” I had about decided to trash these and pretend the event never happened when Sara Luke and the ever cool Less Ordinary Designs came though. On their face book page…Downloadable cute signs. Do I make them repose with cuter clothes and happy faces or do my best with Photoshop? Okay I have to draw the line with torturing my children with photos somewhere. So Lets Try Photoshop.

A few hours later…

First Day 2013Okay, So it still won’t make it on the cover of a magazine. But hey this mother is happy – I have something to put on Facebook!! And hey, Perhaps my kids won’t remember standing in front of their house holding a photo collage. They will see this photo and think. See my mom did do it all… Okay maybe not. But that can be our little secret. Now the only one question remains…Is there a way to just Photoshop on the Halloween costumes so I don’t have to make them as well? First Day 2

Living with Pollyanna

We can learn a lot from our kids. My daughter has a strong case of Pollyanna-ism. Not all the time – believe me when I say she can have her grumpy moments but she never ceases to amaze me with her sweet disposition and positive outlook when I think she has every right to be mad.

A few minutes ago she walked up to me with small special box in one hand, a bow in the other, and a frown on her face. “The boys ripped my bow off my box.”

I sighed and reached for the bow trying to determine if fixing was a possibility when she smiled. “That’s okay. It looks pretty without the bow and I can use the bow for the present inside.”

What? What about justice? What about fairness? What about the box being the way you originally wanted?

Nope she just pushed it all aside and accepted what she had and found the good in that.

This isn’t the first time either. A few weeks ago she brought to me one of her Polly dresses that the dog had managed to chew off an arm. She held it up to me as her eyes filled with tears. “Mom, look…”

Growing frustration without puppy boiled over in me. How could something so adorable cause so much grief? (BTW – my frustration wasn’t about the dress as much as the compiling of the dozens of thing he’d already chewed.)

Before I could react, she snatched it from my hand and smiled. “That’s okay. I have always wanted a dress with just one sleeve.”

Oh sweet girl you teach me so much about justice, fairness, and most importantly grace. May I be better about accepting the situations I am given, even if at times it doesn’t feel fair.

What about you? Are you the eternal optimist or do you struggle with the desire to be right and life to be fair?

 

Coffee – It’s My Happy Place

I have like the smell of coffee for as long as I can remember but it took some time for the taste to grow on me. But for years I still only drank it on occasion during parties and such. I never understood how or why people NEEDED it.

I made it through college, grad school, and two children without needing the extra caffeine. Now I love my third child. Such a sweet boy. But he is full of…life. When he turned two, I discovered mommy needs caffeine.

Then I added my fourth child. Okay don’t freak out. I know I don’t have a fourth child. But writing has become as consuming to my life as adding another child and let me tell you. When I am up at 5:30am writing. Coffee isn’t more than just a good idea.

Yes, I gave into the dark side but what can I say but I love it here. I look forward to my morning cup. I think wonderful happy thoughts of how perfect the day will go as I sip the Irish cream enhanced brew.

If you are ever in Arizona, stop by and I make enough to share.

What is you favorite coffee? If Coffee isn’t your thing, what is your favorite way to wake up in the morning?

Fun Times! Fun Times!

I don’t normally post on Sunday but I had to share the news that I won My Book Therapy’s April challenge for a proposal scene. I am featured on their Blog today and I am so excited.

My book therapy is such a great resource for aspiring writers. I am amazed at how far I’ve come in just a year. I am sure I will talk about them much more in the future. Just wanted to share the fun news and encourage you to head on over to http://www.mybooktherapy.com today!

What is in a name?

As you can see, I have struggled really getting this blog off the ground. I have played with different names, different looks, different topics and it all resulted in one main problem…time. If I could hook my computer up to my brain every day I would be quite the efficient blogger, I compose often as I am carpooling the children or making dinner. But sitting down to type them out. Nope – doesn’t happen.

A friend told me that Blog isn’t just about talking a lot. It is about making connections. Making friends. Deepening friendships. So I thought for a moment and considered how I make friends. I do it through communication. Great! Blogging is all about communication. What do I talk to my friends about?

I talk about my FAITH. I talk about who God is to me, what he is doing in my life and how His love continually amazes me.

I talk about my FAMILY. I am fortunate enough to be mother to three amazing children of 3,5, and 7. They fill my day with funny stories that often teach me amazing life truths.

I talk about FICTION. I love reading and I am on my way to be an author of fiction. I love talking about good books or writing techniques I am learning.

I talk bout things that are just plain FUN. I love to laugh and I love to share laughter with others.

If the is how I develop friendships then this is how I will blog.

Why Fingerprints? God is at work in my life. I am a lump of clay and his fingerprints are on me as he shapes me into the woman he wants me to be. But I also want to leave fingerprints in others lives. So many mentors, teachers, and friends have left fingerprints in my life. Maybe something on this blog God will use to touch someones life in a profound way.

So, I’m back! New determination. New look.  I hope you stick around and tell your friends.

Be honest – What do you think of the new look?

Working Vacation?

You may have noticed that I missed a week of blogging. I have no great excuse other than I was on vacation. I had great visions of myself sitting on the beach or by the pool typing out brilliant blogs while sipping my lemonade that was delivered by a waiter named Marty.

No, that vacation happens in movies. My vacation looked a lot more like keeping my children under control in the pool and my only refreshment was if I dared sip out of one of my children’s water bottles.

I am not complaining about my vacation. I had a wonderful time with my family but it does make me wonder about the term “working vacation.” Perhaps in order to do so you need to be at a different point in life but right now the two don’t mix well for me.

I was gone two weeks and the first week I spent at a Writer’s retreat put on by My Book Therapy called Deep Thinkers. It was a great week and I would highly recommend it if you are a writer. I had so much fun but you better believe it was work. A good work where I was able to dive into my story and characters without worrying about interruption of someone who needs help going potty, or to settle a dispute over a toy.

Perhaps that was the working vacation part. If so, I think the key to a successful working vacation is not having small children along.

Have you had a successful working vacation? What was your secret?

Why am I blogging?

As I start my third week of blogging, I am reminded why I decided to join this part of social media. The world is changing. I can choose to change with it or not. But ignoring it is no longer an option.

When I joined Facebook five years ago, a friend told me it was a blip on the radar and would be replaced within a couple years I think they were wrong. Check out this video of statistics.

“It is no longer a question of if you will do social media, but how well you will do it.” I guess I decided it was time I started doing it a little bit better.

Disobetient Daughter

Obedience seems so simple when I am asking it of my children. I instruct – they listen. Right?

However, it seems a lot trickier when I am the child and God is doing the asking.

A few months ago I was really struggling with obedience to God with a particular issue. I clearly knew what he wanted me to do and I repeatedly disobeyed. During this time, I really struggled with doubt. Not doubt in God or in my faith but doubt that my God would continue to love me as I failed to obey.

One day in the midst of this on going struggle, my daughter taught me a lesson I will never forget.

I had a special surprise outing planned for my four year old daughter and I was so excited. An hour before we were supposed to leave she decided to dig in her heals and defy me at every turn. I was so frustrated. Couldn’t she see that I had her best interest at heart. I wanted to scream, “I want to do so much for you, if you just obey.”

It hit me. My daughters actions don’t effect my love for her. There is nothing she could do to make me love her less. However, I can do so much more for her when she chooses to obey. My disobedience won’t change God’s love for me but I may miss out on what he is trying to do in my life.

Like a loving parent, God really does have our best in mind. Like a stubborn four-year-old, I occasionally fight those instructions believing I know best.

Are you letting God lead in every area?

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.