Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lilybits Chats with Ophelia

Lilybits, not large, but in charge.
Hello, Ophelia, thanks for joining me on Wednesday Whimsy. How long have you owned your humans? How did you come to them?

I’ve known them since their daughter and son-in-law rescued me. When they went away to college, I got to take over the parents’ house. And take over, I did. Now they think I belong to them. Right…

What’s the best way to train your human?

I sit and stare at the goodie bag. I have these to die for gorgeous eyes, and when I stare from the bag to them and back again, they can’t resist. It’s hilarious to listen to them. “Oh, look at those pretty eyes. Do you wanna treat, Princess? Such a precious little girl.” Gag me, but it gets the job done. Oh yeah, I own ‘em.

All that baby-talk is humiliating, isn't it! But you're right, those adorable looks
we give them work every time!

What does Linda like to write?

She writes romance but wants to write suspense. She’s all about spine tingling and scary stuff. I, personally, think all of it’s rather silly. I find stalking a mouse much for satisfying and scary for the mouse. That’s the way it should be. And in this 150 year old house, there is always a mouse or two to catch…if I’m in the mood.
Ophelia, being beautiful!

How do you help her write? Or do you help more with her agent’s job?

I really try not to distract her much. She is so ADHD that if I spot a fly on the wall, she, too, will soon be tracking it all over the room. So I just lay across my blanket on her office chair and look beautiful. It’s not hard. Just one of the perks of being me! After all, I WAS named after a great Shakespearean character. Beautiful, elegant, tragic…Ophelia.

Ahh! Nothing better than a cat's life!

Do you have any advice for fellow canine muses to get the most out of their jobs?

Canine? This is a clean, family-friendly post. Let’s not use such nasty words!

Oh, well, I thought I'd give it a shot since dogs need all the help they can get from
a more cunning species such as ours! 

What’s the best way to stay out of trouble?

Hahaha. While you’re laughing inside after being caught on a counter, you just look remorseful. Give them the old “I am sooo sorry. What WAS I thinking?” look and then wait for them to hike on out of the room so you can do whatever you like. And they fall for the “I’m sorry” like a hiker over the edge of a cliff. OR, and this is important, just let them think they run the show. It gives them some strange sense of self-importance. If only they knew…

Maybe I should try that "I'm sorry" look. Thank you for the tip! I appreciate the time you took for our little chat. 

About Linda S. Glaz: 

Linda S. Glaz, a Hartline agent, is an experienced editor, reviewer and writer, has participated as a final reader for Wild Rose Press, then for White Rose Publishing all the while reviewing for online sites. She has worked as an editorial assistant for Hartline Agent Terry Burns. She's extremely active in the judging community and speaks at conferences  nationwide.  She is also a member of  AWSA. Linda understands writers, because she IS a writer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

First Timer - News and Writing Prompt

First, I need to make an announcement. The winner of
of last week's drawing for Brave New Century is Elaine Stock!

I would say, “Lucky me!” However, I believe I’m blessed, not lucky. Anyway, I had my first book signing at Blue Frog Books and More in Howell, Michigan on Saturday, July 12th. It’s an awesome little mom and pop bookstore where they’re always glad to see you. Old-fashioned service and a passion for books are their hallmark. Our tables were set up in the back. The store walls are lined with beautiful wood bookshelves and you can inhale the fragrance of new paper and fresh ink—something you can’t do with ebooks! Thank you,
Rob and Penny, for hosting us!
Kathy Rouser, Linda Glaz, Gail Martin and Marianne Evans
Marianne Evans, Linda Glaz and Gail Gaymer Martin, all lovely Great Lakes authors, joined me. We were only missing Jerry Slauter, who had to cancel. But we had a lovely Christian fiction afternoon, allowing us to gab about writing and the market and meet new readers. Lots of fun!

Your writing prompt challenge this week is to think of a “first” in your life. Examples: First day of school, first kiss, first day behind the driver’s wheel, first house, birth of a first child . . . only limited by what you can come up with. Take five to ten minutes and think of the impressions that “first” left on you—the scents, the sounds, what you saw or tasted, how did the day feel? Have fun on your trip down memory lane. 

Linda Glaz and Marianne Evans

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Motivation for July - Writer's Terror!

Is writer’s block just that? Let me word it another way: Is there really such a thing as writer’s block? I have never liked that term. I know I can write when I put my mind to it. There are so many characters and stories in my mind, waiting to get out, that it’s not for lack of material.

Then there were the times that I was drained physically or emotionally that, try as I might, it didn’t seem I had enough emotion to write into my character’s lives. At one point, I even felt the Lord’s gentle voice telling me to “rest”—at least from writing fiction—and I began to write devotionals for a time. That was a good learning experience for me.

After I became unemployed again in early February, I thought how great it would be to have plenty of time to work on my writing. However, that was part of my problem. I no longer had to reserve my writing time for twenty minutes or so at Starbucks before work, or during lunch and hope to find additional time on the weekend. I had a whole day before me, so why not start with coffee and email, then write a blog post. When I was done with all that I needed to get going and run errands, clean or cook. Before I knew it, another day was gone and I would go to sleep with thoughts in my head of how wonderful it would be to write tomorrow.
"The Scream" by Edvard Munch {PD in the US}

Some days I accomplished a little, but what was stopping me from digging in and racking up those word counts? I read books that encouraged writers to keep writing, saying encouraging me to write over 2,000 words a day, that it wasn’t that difficult. I took the advice of keeping a writing appointment each day, but still wasn’t making the kind of progress I wanted.

Each day I would look at that rectangle of white on the screen and the words rolled around in my mind, but they didn’t make it quickly onto the page. I’d ask myself where I should start or what should come next, but I would begin with trepidation. Only after I had taken some time and worked myself into the “zone” was I able to relax.

What was causing this block to my productivity? Fear caused my lack of confidence and snail like pace. My internal editor was on high alert and critical of everything.  The fear of failure lurked within, holding me back.

Then I decided to read Jim Denney’s, Writing in Overdrive, where he hypothesizes that some of the world’s greatest writers did their best work in compressed amounts of time, giving themselves to the pure joy of writing. Hmm . . . I’d also read over and over that if you write a first draft, you give yourself something to work with—it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around.

Talking with other inspirational writers who were very productive, I was invited to participate in a group, which keeps you accountable for daily word count, but most importantly, they prayed for me. It was the first time in my writing life I prayed a different way for my productivity—and for others’.

Making a word count goal for the month, giving it to the Lord and sharing it with others made a difference. I started to take off and really enjoy writing again. No longer was it a mechanical process to be feared, but a story freely taking shape. Mind you, my draft will need plenty of editing and rewriting, but I have another novel manuscript first draft nearly finished.

What made the most difference in curing my writer’s terror? Accountability, prayer and allowing myself to enjoy writing again each played a big part. I still have my slower days, but pushing and challenging myself to a larger word count than usual helped turn writer’s terror into creative productivity.

May you go and achieve even more!

Leave a comment or follow for a chance to win Brave New Century this week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Writing Prompt - The Eyes Have It!

The eyes have been called the window of the soul. We use our eyes not just to see and perceive others, but also to express ourselves to others. Depending on how we look at others, they may see anger, withdrawal, sadness, happiness, or affection, for starts.

When I am writing a scene and I think of how my main character perceives another, I think about how I can reveal emotion in the other character’s eyes and face. Their eyes may shine with happiness or they may arch an eyebrow when questioning or numerous other things. These aren’t the most original examples, but you understand what I’m getting at no doubt.

My writing prompt for you this week is to look at eyes, whether in a picture here
or someone in your house, even a pet. (My cat knows just how to cock her head to
the side and giving me the cutest look with those big green eyes when she wants
a treat. I inevitably fall for her tried and true method.)
Now take the expression or emotions which you believe can be seen in the chosen person’s or animal’s eyes and think of a unique way to write about this, rather than cliché. Take a few minutes and have some fun!

Come back tomorrow for July's Monday Motivation . . . on Wednesday! I'll be writing
about writer's terror-- oooh, scary!

Giving away a copy of Brave New Century with its new cover this week. Please leave a
comment or follow to qualify for the drawing this week.

(All image in this post from and free for public use.)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Books 'n' Blurbs

This week's picks are both excellent reads! I recommend them for your summer reading. 

For Such a Time
by Kate Breslin

April, 2014

Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther

In 1944, Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, her Aryan-like looks allow her to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, to maintain her cover as von Schmidt’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths, Stella appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's indulgence gives her hope even as she risks discovery with every attempt to help the prisoners. When her bravery brings her to the point of ultimate sacrifice, she faces an excruciating choice. God may have brought her to the camp for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she cannot save herself?

August, 2013

Humorous and touching!

Pastor's wife, Kirstie Donovan, lives life in a fishbowl, so when she hops on the back of a bright pink motorcycle, tongues start to wag at the conservative, century-old First Independent Christian Community Church of Eels Falls.

Kirstie loves roaring down a road less traveled by most women over forty, but she's not just riding her bike for the fun of it. Kirstie has a ministry. However, certain church members have secrets to hide, and when God uses Kirstie's ministry to fill the pews with leather-clad, tattooed bikers, those secrets could be exposed...and some will stop at nothing to hide the truth.

Join Kirstie and her motorcycle "gang" - two church matrons and a mouthy, gum-smacking non-church member - as they discover that road-toughened bikers are quite capable of ministering to others, and faith is fortified in the most unexpected ways.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Weekly Writing Prompt

Thunderstorms. Lightning, thunder and sheets of rain! Oh my! From soft, romantic summer rains to turbulent, windy storms, we’ve seen lots of rain this last month.

Think of the last rainstorm you were really aware of. Were you out in it? Or just watching from the inside of a house or car? How did the rain feel? Or sound? How did the air around you smell? What did you see? Take a few minutes to write about a recent thunderstorm and the circumstances you were in at the time.

Give yourself permission to really enjoy your writing time. You may find a new story taking shape or perhaps a stellar piece of creative nonfiction!

Later this week on the blog: More Books ’n’ Blurbs
Next Monday: July’s Monday Motivation