Monday, April 27, 2020

Writing Update {Camp NaNoWriMo 2020}

Hey, friends! Just a swift little writing update for you.

This month is Camp NaNoWriMo, and that means I've been busy typing furiously for the past several weeks. While Camp isn't quite over yet, I have already passed the goal I set prior to the start. February and March were slower creative months for me, so I wasn't sure what to expect for April. Well, I blasted right past the 35,000-word goal I set and am staring down the barrel of 65k. It's looking like I'll be hitting 70,000 words or more.

Woot woot!

Yep, I'm pretty excited. Not only about the word count but about the story itself. Since it's a work in progress, I can't share a ton of details. However, I can tell you that my research has included a few very interesting things. I've had to Google wingsuits, baseball statistics, types of climbing equipment, special needs saddles, and various types of wheelchairs. It's always fun to see the wide variety of things I have to research for any given story I'm working on, and I always learn a lot of information that broadens my horizons. The trick then is to avoid huge information dumps -- or at least make sure to edit them out before the final draft.

The story is taking shape, though it's a pretty rough draft. It's feeling like the early chapters will require some pretty heavy edits, but I often feel like that at this stage of the first draft. Sometimes I'm right and other times I'm wrong and the scenes ended up coming out better than I thought. The scene I was working on yesterday (which was really earlier today for me, because I'm writing this on Sunday night, not Monday morning), came together so well that I might not need to do much more than a quick proofread on it. We'll see if I still feel that same level of confidence once I print out the full draft and pull out my colorful pens and settle in for some color-coded editing.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hope for the Rough Days {Focus on Jesus}

Welcome back to the Focus on Jesus Scripture Memory 2020 event.

How did your first couple of verses come along? Can you spit them out at the drop of a hat? Pause and practice right now.

Yes, this is a pop quiz. ;)

I was late starting my second verse, but it didn't take long to get it memorized. I'm still practicing several times a day, and that's helping the words really sink into my heart.

Many of you may be wondering how this whole thing got started.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Silent Shadows by Natalie Walters {book review}

The third and final book in the Harbored Secrets trilogy was a pretty good suspense story. The first half seemed much more like a medical romance, as there was a lot less bad-guy movement than usual for the suspense genre, but the dates were fun and surprising, and Maceo was pretty adorable. I really enjoyed Colton’s battle with a movement disorder I was unfamiliar with. I felt I was taught a lot about it within the context of the story in a way that did not feel like being preached at over the topic.

There was some confusion about Pecca’s profession. She was declared to be a nurse, yet she seemed much more like a physical therapist. The only identifier ever given was “nurse.” A friend pointed out that there is such a thing as a “nurse psychotherapist,” whose job description lines up pretty well with Pecca’s behavior with her patients. I wish this job title would have been given from chapter one (or at all), as it’s interesting, different, and something I would enjoy reading about. Since all I was given was “nurse,” it felt like she (or at least her job or title) was misrepresented.

Oh, my heart loved the sports angle. During the COVID-19 illness the world is facing right now (in spring 2020), sports are absent from my life, which is abnormal to be sure. So reading about a child with only one leg being encouraged to play a sport was just what this sports fan needed during the last couple of weeks. Maybe there won’t be any NBA or NHL finals this season, but at least the little Warriors were there to be cheered for!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Memory Work Techniques {Focus on Jesus}

The best part about a challenge like the Focus on Jesus Scripture Memory 2020 event is that it gets us digging deeper into the Word of God. Our personal devotion time is where we will discover our newest verse to study, and this quiet time with God will uplift our hearts and renew our joy. We will discover peace and comfort in the pages of our Bibles as we listen for God's direction for our daily lives.

The Focus on Jesus challenge also brings back memories of studying for spelling tests back in grade school.

Do you remember writing your spelling words ten times each day leading up to the big test? Or maybe you were one who was quizzed audibly by siblings or a parent. Perhaps you did a combination of things to learn the trickiest of words.

The repetition and focus of that study time are what helped your young mind to learn the words so that on the day of the spelling test, the correct spelling would come back to you so you could score a decent grade.

The same study techniques apply well to Scripture memory work. Writing your verse down in a notebook several times a day is a great way to practice the correct order of the words. Repeating the verse aloud can help train your ears and mind to "hear" the verse in your head as you're trying to recall it when you look away from your notes.