Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December's IWSG post

It's taken me ten months, but I am finished with the major overhaul of A Doorway Back to Forever: Believe. I had the sister missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over for lunch, and I told them all about it. That's a HUGE DEAL for me. After moving last month to a new state, a new ward (church congregation) and a new life, I need to step out and make myself known. Today was great. I feel like everything is falling into place.

The Insecure Write's Support Group has given me confidence beyond my own. Funny, I joined the group to feel safe in listing my insecurities about writing, but instead, it's given me the strength to overcome them when I thought I had none.

That reminds me of a moment when I was a child. My football-player-sized brother was lifting weights in the basement and none of his buddies could come over to spot for him (help with lifting the bar if it got too heavy for him). So he dragged my scrawny self downstairs and told me to stand over the press while he lifted five hundred pounds. He heaved, sweated, grunted, pushed, and when he got shaky it was my job to reach down and pull on the bar. A couple of times I did, and I was amazed at what happened. I didn't even make it budge. But the image of someone above him, helping him when he was about to give up, was all my brother needed to gain the strength to continue. I felt great for helping (even if it was only psychological) and I learned a lot about the buddy system. IWSG, thank you for spotting me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We believe the Bible to be the word of God

We Believe the Bible to be the word of God

I just read an inspired and informative article about why Latter-day Saints believe the Bible. I’m linking to it here, but here are the highlights that touched my heart:

1.      Latter-day Saints don’t just believe in the Bible, we believe the Bible. We believe the people and prophets are real, the history it describes is authentic, and the testimonies it provides of Jesus Christ are true.

2.      We believe the Bible remains a religious document.

3.      We also believe that the Bible teaches the covenants and ordinances essential for eternal life, illuminates the strait and narrow path leading to exaltation in God’s presence, and gives hope for a better world and a place at the right hand of God, to all who bear burdens and feel they are forever coming short of the glory of God.

4.      As the Savior declared several times during his mortal ministry, those who believe the Bible and teach its truths to others will receive eternal blessings: “Whosoever shall do and teach these commandments of the law until it be fulfilled, the same shall be called great, and shall be saved in the kingdom of heaven” (see KJV Matthew 5:19 and the JST of that verse as cited here from JST Matthew 5:21).

5.      The Bible contains the words of God and the words of many others. More important than the words, are the doctrines that are contained in the Bible.

6.      The Bible contains a cosmology of all mankind and of mankind’s eternal journey—capturing the depth and breadth of the human experience. It illustrates God’s dealings with His children throughout history, and the cosmic battle between good and evil, waged in the pre-mortal world, which now continues here in mortality.

7.      But even more, the Bible testifies that God has always been in control and that in the end, evil will be totally overcome (see Revelation 20-21), the Savior will return, and the earth will enjoy His presence for a thousand year Garden-of-Eden-like experience.

8.      The numerous journeys in the Bible serve as a reminder that we’re all on a cosmic journey to get back into God’s presence. For those with eyes to see and minds to understand, the Bible is rich with symbolism that can assist us in this journey.

Jeffery Marsh also gives the history of the coming forth of the Bible including its translation into English and why we use the King James Version as our standard today. My heart always breaks a little when I’m reminded of the story of William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake for creating the first English translation from the original Greek and Hebrew so that all the people, no matter their means or circumstances, could learn the true word of God and develop a personal relationship with Him.

My favorite scriptures in the Bible are the ones that testify of Christ, his divinity, and the pure doctrine of salvation. I love the parables and stories of the New Testament. I love the many instances that testify of Jesus Christ praying to our Father in Heaven. I love when Christ teaches his disciples that there are other sheep that are not of this fold whom he must teach (Joh 10:16, referring to the people in the American continent) And I especially love the scripture in First Corinthians 15:29 where Paul speaks about the principle of baptism for the dead—why else would we be baptized for the dead if the dead do not rise? A lost truth—the practice of saving those who died without the ordinance of baptism—was a common practice in Paul’s day.

Nuggets of truth that have been missing for centuries are now restored through Joseph Smith the Prophet in this last dispensation of time. They can be found in the Bible, if we read it ourselves, rather than rely on those who act more righteous and more learned than we to interpret it for us. God loves all of us equally. He will testify to the least-educated as quickly and as assuredly as he would the scholar. But it is the humble in heart that will hear Him clearly. I know this to be true because I have witnessed it many times and in many ways. Because of this, I know the Bible is of profound value in the redemption of the human soul.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Logline Success--Save the Cat saved my life!

Insecure Writer's Support Group

So this is huge for me! I think I actually signed up for the IWSG! Yay! If the logo appears in this blog, then I was successful. Yay! (if not I'll try again next month).

So onto my insecure entry: Save the Cat saved my life!

I've always known Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder was an awesome book to help with story structure. But I didn't realize how valuable it was in helping a writer focus on the tag line, or logline of your manuscript. Snyder emphasizes so clearly how effect a concise description of your manuscript can be in selling your idea. Sometimes all you have is one shot to sell your idea, and an effective logline makes all the difference. So here is mine:

"Rosie and Katie are twelve-year-old best friends that share everything, except their deepest secret--they both possess Magic-Sense, the ability to see and hear beyond earthly sight and sound."

Here's why I finally like this tagline:
1. it has conflict--best friends should share their deepest secret, but they don't.
2. audience--we know this is middle grade because the girls are twelve years old.
3. mystery--what is Magic-Sense, really? Is it good or bad? You want to read more.
4. flow--it has the flow I've been looking for. With it, I can come up with a one line blurb and I can also use it to develop my back cover synopsis, which I've done and included on my blog page about the book.

Success for me is taking baby steps and getting somewhere, one step at a time!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I am an Insecure Writer

The online group, Insecure Writers Support Group, offers an opportunity for writers to post their worries and struggles about their writing endeavors, without fear of reprisal. The day is set aside as the first Wednesday of every month. This is my second entry.

I am still so insecure, that I haven’t yet joined the IWSG. I’m reminding myself that this is okay, because baby steps come in all different sizes. Mine are miniscule. So my post is limited to my blog…for this month…

I’m excited though, for this post—I actually have something to be happy about! September was a very productive month. I attended the iWriteNetwork Retreat in Heber City, Utah. It was so much fun getting to know the people I communicate with online each week. I realized there are people out there just like me—people who have a story to tell and a desire to tell it well. I met people who were willing to help and teach, share and learn. I felt like I was accepted as family and I’m not alone in my endeavor. It gave me great comfort and strength to write on!

Secondly, I finished the first stage of my complete overhaul of my manuscript. I took all the critiques into consideration and decided on a middle-grade novel with two main characters, Rosie and Katie. I bumped up Katie’s role so it would equal Rosie’s and I gave the two girls equal POV. This was a real task as I had about seven POV characters prior to this. This has enhanced the characters of Rosie and Katie, giving the reader more reason to empathize with them. It’s also made the villain more scary and distant and the hero more heroic. I also cleaned up POV issues that I literally could not see as problems the first go around. I chalk that up as an accomplishment—something that will propel me into Book Two when I’m ready for that during NaNoWriMo.

I almost gave up on this over the summer. So very happy I didn’t. We are moving to Pennsylvania in November, and I’m so excited for the change. I know it will jump-start my career, my online presence and my faith in this project. I need it, too—desperately.

My October goals are clear:
1.      Use Scrivener. Period.
2.      Get updated with my online presence, here, Facebook, LinkedIn.
3.      Do more critiques for Pied Piper and Fans of Fantasy
      4.      Study, outline, pack.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Plunging into the World of Writing

     I took a 180 a few years ago--quit my day job as a music educator and plunged into the world of writing. Why? The story in my head was screaming to come out on paper. So I began to write...only to learn how difficult it was to do well. But I was up for the challenge, and the world I've entered is far more fascinating than I ever dreamed it would be.

Today, I find myself running full force with my endeavor. I'm attending writer's conferences, getting weekly online writing tips, writing a weekly column for ldsblogs, chatting in support groups, and plugging away at my novel.  I'm hoping to have something descent to show for it all by 2015. Until then, I'm going to do my best to be my own blogger by updating this blog page with posts about my work and other thoughts about life.

If you are reading this, thank you! I hope to come up with a logical, inspirational, and fantastical plan for this blog. Until then, bear with me!