Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

What I’ve Read Wednesday, Julie Lessman Day 1

Current Facebook status: is changing her status to reflect her desire to win a prize. I ♥ Julie Lessman. I’m going to post a review of her first book A Passion Most Pure momentarily. Cuz she’s giving away prizes if you post reviews and I ♥ her ;).
Currently Playing in the Background: Storm Chasers, multiple vortices vorticies vortexes – don’t worry Discovery, you don’t need that warning – I won’t be attempting any time soon.
Current NaNoWriMo status: WINNER!  Finished with 50289! Story isn’t done but is still winner!

[Notes: This is Julie Lessman review month!  I have her first 4 books in hand – about half done reading #4.  I’m planning a random notes post tomorrow on a number of things.  Erynn Mangum’s second series will be reviewed Saturday.  But in the meantime, heeeeere’s Julie!]

Book Description:
Refusing to settle for anything less than a romantic relationship that pleases God, Faith O’Connor steels her heart against her desire for the roguish Collin McGuire. But when Collin tries to win her sister Charity’s hand, Faith isn’t sure she can handle the jealousy she feels. To further complicate matters, Faith finds herself the object of Collin’s affections, even as he is courting her sister. The Great War is raging overseas, and a smaller war is brewing in the O’Connor household. Full of passion, romance, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page

First, just let me say that I ADORE Julie Lessman!  In fact, I want to be Julie when I grow up.  She writes incredible books and is wonderful to boot.  I’ve gotten to know her a little bit over the last couple of months and I just flat out <3 her.  The reality is if I can write half as well, I’ll consider myself enormously blessed.

So the first book she wrote is A Passion Most Pure.  She started it as a kid and came back to it a few years ago.  You can read more of her story on her website.  Julie is also a part of the wonderful Seekerville blog.

So what did I like about A Passion Most Pure?  A better question would be what didn’t I like?  There’s nothing I can specifically put my finger on that I didn’t like.  There were times that I wanted to go knock on Julie’s door and shake the book at her and demand she explain why on God’s green Earth did Collin do this or Faith do that?  And Charity?!  What about her?!  And Mitch?! And I did do that – virtually.  Emailed her my thoughts as I went ;).  Not all of them.  But enough.  When she fixed one particular situation, I literally jumped up and down [well, not literally, but I did squee]!  And emailed her to tell her what I thought.

But Julie pulled through!  She did not disappoint.  She answered enough of the questions while hinting at answers to more in books to come.  Her fourth is out, fifth is coming out in the spring [I think] and the sixth, as of this week, is officially being written.  Each child in the O’Connor family gets his or her own book and this one is Faith’s.

Faith O’Connor grew up in Boston with her Irish-American Catholic family.  She’s not the oldest child, but is the oldest daughter.  Her next youngest sister, Charity, is seeing rogue hottie Collin McGuire.  Collin has a bit of a reputation with the women – a reputation that is well-earned.  But when Faith and Collin realize they have an attraction for each other, it throws a wrench in Charity and Collin’s romance.  Collin and Faith are meant to be together.  It’s obvious, right?  But there’s a problem.  Or two.  Or more.  Dad didn’t approve of Collin for Charity, why would he for Faith?  And then there’s WWI [though they didn’t call it that, of course].

But even the ‘Great War’ isn’t the biggest problem.

The biggest problem?  Faith’s, well… faith.  A fervent Catholic [not just going through the motions], her faith is the biggest thing in her life.  She has a passion for God that surpasses all else and she won’t settle for a life with a man who has any less.  Collin?  Not so much.  But the two of them together?  Sparks fly – and not just the fighting kind.

Julie’s tagline is “Passion with Purpose”.  She writes passionately.  She writes about passion – both for God and between a man and woman.  While there is that ‘passion’ outside of marriage in the life of some of the characters [Collin in particular in this book], the emphasis is still on purity before God.  That passion is fine, good, even God-ordained, in the right time and place – within the context of marriage.  It’s refreshing to see the temptations a couple in love – or even just in lust – struggle with the kinds of things that so many do in real life.  I know there are many who feel that doesn’t have a place in a Christian book and I know that was something Julie struggled with in finding a publisher – too Christian for ABA, to secular for CBA – but she found a publisher willing to take the risk and I, for one, am so very, very glad she did.

Besides, she thinks I’m a hoot ;).

9.5 out of 10 stars [because I know there was SOMETHING that bugged me a bit, but I loaned out my copy and can’t name it off my head and besides, now she has somewhere to go with the next one =D].

Flash Fiction Friday! 11/26/10

Current Facebook Status: is half watching her hubby and sis play the new Donkey Kong for Wii. Woo. Hoo. 😉
Currently Playing in the Background: Um, Donkey Kong.  Woo.  Hoo. 😉
NaNoWriMo Status: 27377 including the following FFF, should be at 43334 which is 15957 behind – so CATCHING UP! 😉

Happy Day After Turkey Day!  Black Friday shopping was successful – started at Toys R Us last night where Matt and Sis spent the girls’ gift cards on new scooters – they’ve been wanting them.  Sis got a TV.  Today, I went to Sam’s Club [go there.  Seriously.  No one else thinks to so their deals last.] and got a new digital camera [way nice!] and portable DVD player for the car.  Nice :).

So – here it is.  Flash Fiction Friday!  It doesn’t QUITE fit with where I am at the moment in the story, but is coming right up so it works :).  ‘He’ here is Nick :).

It was a horrible scene and yet his eyes were drawn to it like a magnet. He pushed the door open as quickly as he could, running before his feet even hit the ground.  His breathing quickened with his pace and before he could consciously make a decision the choice was made.

He crouched down behind the Secure truck, opposite the gunmen who were attempting to lighten it’s load.

Another shot rang out.

Then another.

He grimaced as he pulled his concealed handgun out of it’s holster on his ankle.  He moved around the vehicle before glancing quickly to see what was happening on the other side.

One of the gunmen was holding his weapon on the two guards.  The other was emptying the back of the truck.  The first was too busy watching his partner to keep an eye on Nick – even though he didn’t know Nick was there.

He took a deep breath and yelled.  “Drop your weapon!”

Instantly he drew the fire of the man.

He stayed hidden behind the truck and the bullets bounced harmlessly away.  He heard one of the men yelling that it was time to leave.  He heard the other swearing as he couldn’t get clip to load properly.  Nick stepped out from behind the vehicle.

“Drop it,” he warned again.

The man in front of him continued to fumble with his weapon as Nick walked towards him.

“I strongly recommend you drop your weapon,” he warned one more time.

The clip slipped into place with a click.  The would-be thief started to raise the weapon but by then it was too late.

Flash Fiction Friday for NaNo Week 3

Current Facebook Status [from early this morning]: is going to have several kid free hours at home today. The purpose? To do some deep cleaning. The reality? May be to take a nap ;).
Currently Playing the Background: Nothing [just finished the new Star Trek though]
Current NaNoWriMo Status: Way far behind, 13854 [may try to hit 14K before bedtime or may go to bed really really early since I didn’t get any of that naptime earlier]

Well, better late than never!  Jan and I did this about 6 hours ago but then, well, the kitchen sort of caught on fire and I got distracted by that…  [I didn’t do it; someone else turned the wrong burner on and it had a plastic milk jug on it at the time…]  I’m nearing the halfway point in A Passion Most Pure and it is getting harder and harder to set it down.  Julie Lessman rocks.  Plain and simple.  And she thinks I’m cute so that’s bonus points ;).

Anyway, here it is :).

She couldn’t fall asleep. All she could think about was how different her life was going to be after tomorrow.  She tossed to the other side and stared at the blank white wall of the room she’d be sharing with Nick after the wedding.  She was going to marry him.  It was the right decision.  She knew that intellectually but part of her was still warring over it.  She had a peace about it most of the time and she really believed that this was what God was telling her was the right thing to do, but there was a part of her that wavered.

She and Nick were attracted to each other – she’d known that since she first sat next to him on the airplane between San Diego and Chicago.  The first accidental brush of her hand against his forearm had sent chills throughout her body.  The good kind of chills.  The ones that had led to asking Nick to spend his storm lengthened layover at her apartment.  The ones that had given her Nicky nine months later.

So there was physical attraction and the passion that went along with it.  She didn’t anticipate in problems with that part of marriage.  But the rest…  The relational aspects of it…  Nick had been watching Sunday morning preaching with her in the little safe house where they’d been moved a week after “the incident” as they’d taken to calling it.  He even looked at her Bible with her when the preacher referenced it.  She’d also been listening to her former pastor’s sermons on the Internet every week, having been reassured that there would be no reason for anyone to suspect that she, one of hundreds who downloaded his podcasts every week, was anyone special.

There you have it!

Catching Up

Current Facebook Status: stayed home from church after a long weekend in KC, a 7yo who has a hack-y cough and a hubby who doesn’t feel great. Had a great time in KC though :).
Currently Playing in the Background: Backyardigans, Secret of Snow – until the 3yo falls asleep then onto something more grown-upish 😉
Nano update: 11710, should be at 23338 so am 11628 behind

AH!  The last week and a half has been pretty crazy!  So much has happened, and that’s a big part of the reason why the blog hasn’t been updated.

Wednesday last week, Matt’s great-uncle passed on.  It wasn’t unexpected but still sad.  He went to St. Louis with his family last Sunday and Monday for the services.

Thursday last week, the brake light in the van started blinking at me.  More on Friday.  Talked to my mechanic and he said to bring it in on Monday.  He even said he’d get me home from the shop and bring the van by later [it’s about 2 miles away though it seems shorter – plus Brent rocks ;)].  Matt was out of town Monday, remember?

Sunday, after Matt left, the van wouldn’t start.  We ended up having AAA take it to Brent’s.  A neighbor watched the girls while the neighbor wife and I took C and went to get the car from Matt’s mom’s house.  Sis came over and we all went to Walmart for groceries and winter accessories for the kids.

Monday, we spent about 470 bucks fixing the van :p.  It’s the front brakes, not the back ones like we’d suspected [the thing hit 179K last week and has never had the rear brakes changed as far as we know].  Matt can do the front brakes himself so that’s good.  What it needed was a good tune-up and we have expensive spark plugs :p.  Of course.

The door handle also broke.  It was fine when it left my house and when Brent went to go open it, it was broken.  The tow truck driver denies responsibility.  That said, the other two door handles were already broken so it may have just been a matter of time before this one went, too.  We’ll be replacing all three in the next few weeks.  One of them is already at the house.

Thursday, I left for the HACWN conference in Kansas City!  My first writer’s conference!  Thursday and Friday were fine.  I learned a lot.  Cried myself to sleep Friday night but apparently a lot of people had a rough night Friday night.  Saturday was much better!  The EIC/CEO of an indie publisher requested a FULL MANUSCRIPT!  I liked her a lot and I think she liked me, too :).  We have a ’10K Day’ tentatively planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving to help us with our NaNoing :).

So both good and bad the last week and a half, but mostly just busy!  I didn’t have much internet access the last few days so no FFF.  Jan and I did do it on Wednesday but I didn’t get the post set up before I left so… I’ll post it early this week, perhaps.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Novel Track and NaNoWriMo

Current Facebook Status: is up and at ’em.  Lots to do and so little time to do it.  Or something.  At least she’s not so loopy she’s going on and on about candy pumpkins again ;).
Currently playing in the background: Playhouse Disney

EEP!  National Novel Writing Month is only a month away!

Double EEP!  Novel Track starts tomorrow!

Novel Track is ACFW’s answer to NaNo – four months a year, you set your own goal of at least 10K words and when you meet your goal, you get a badge to put on your blog or website :).  My goal for October Novel Track [January, April and July are the other months] is 50K words which should finish my WIP [Work in Progress] – the sequel to Unbreak Her Heart.  Well, it’ll finish the rough draft – which will be very, very rough, I’m sure.

I think I’ve decided on my NaNo project as well!  I’m going to do something completely different – based in part on the Flash Fiction from Sept. 10.  I wrote a couple paragraphs for a friend and outlined the basics in another paragraph – she liked it as much as I did :).  I’m contemplating turning it into a Romantic Suspense book but that would mean research into things like Witness Protection ;).  I’ve already started doing some other research – turns out a friend’s husband is on the board of an organization in town that my play a role, etc.

So – can I write 100K in the next two months?

Triple EEP!

Okay – yes, I can.  I wrote nearly 65K last Nano and 100K the year before that [nothing I could whip into publishable shape but I did it!] so it’s possible.  I just need to make sure I write 2K a day.  I can do that.  Um, yep.  I can.  [Technically, 50K a month is about 1667 words a day, but 2K a day gives a buffer for those days it doesn’t happen at all.]

One problem I anticipate having is writing in a vacuum. I have no beta readers/critique partners at the moment so no one to send it off to.  Except maybe one.  Hmmm… Will have to ask her about that.  We’ll see how the writing in a near vacuum goes…  ACFW has a critique group designed, as I understand it, to help with critiques and then help people find each other and break off into smaller critique groups.  There’s an orientation of sorts the first 2 business days of the month [tomorrow and Monday] so there’s hope of finding someone soon :).

In order to get it all done, I need to make To Do Lists and stick to them!  That’s my problem – I’m great at making them, not so great at sticking to them.  Working on that too…

So I will be eeping for the next two months as I try to get this done.  I’ll be posting my word counts and excerpts here [favorite sentence of the day maybe?] so watch this space!

The writing frenzy is about to begin!

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