Through words and pictures, we walk the winding trails of the untamed west. As a Wyoming Christian author, I breathe the beauty around me, transferring it to paper. I dare all to take the leap into God's country. Learn of its untold stories and reveal for yourself . . . where the wild meets the Forgiven.
Not an exam! I didn’t write this book for someone to
pull it apart, did I?
Those words filled my mind the first time I entered
a contest. I felt like I was about to sit in the dentist’s chair but I’d just
finished the first draft of my manuscript and was at a loss at what to do next.
So, I entered it into a writing contest and quickly discovered the world of
Needless to say, I didn’t win first prize but I
learned the value of a critique. Three writers judged my work. They offered
advice and remarked on areas of weakness and strength. Some were easier to read
than others but all served their purpose, to make me a better writer.
The key to any critique or contest is your spirit.
How will you accept their words? Will you perceive them as an attack or pearls
of wisdom? Will they crush your hopes or strengthen your determination? It’s up
After examining the suggestions in their entirety, I
edited the manuscript. An addition here, slice there, and change of POVs all
over the place! Then a talented author critiqued the new draft and even offered
some line edits out of the goodness of her heart! (Thank you, April, you’re an
angel in disguise.) Some gentle guidance and smooth direction led this fledgling
writer into a third draft.
And a critique group. If you’re a writer, you need
one. And an edit group and a writing group… It’s called accountability. If
someone doesn’t hold you accountable, who will? You? Try it for awhile and see
what happens. Didn’t work too well for me.
I will admit to not tackling both edit and writing
groups at the same time. I just don’t have enough time available for that. Right
now, my goal is to get my first manuscript edited and remain faithful to my
critique group. Those priorities will switch soon then I’ll continue writing my
current WIP (work-in-progress).
My third draft turned into a fourth, then a fifth
and so on. The book has morphed but the plot is the same. Some characters are slightly
different but overall, they’re still who they started out to be. I’ve grown as
a writer and so has my novel. It’s an amazing transformation.
So, remember, if you’ve finished or almost finished
that first draft and you don’t know where to go from here. Enter a contest or
have someone check it out for you. Open your mind to what they may have to say.
After all, even a published writer was unpublished
Psalm 68:11“The Lord
gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it”
Falling Rock: A Short Story Once upon a time, in a small Indian
village, a brave warrior called Falling Rock fell in love with the chief’s daughter. She returned
his love and they went before the chief to ask for permission to wed. “You
say you love my daughter. Is this true?” The old chief looked to his youngest
daughter, the most beautiful of his children. “Yes,
Father. He loves me and I love him. Please let us marry.” Her small hands
grasped his gnarly ones and he narrowed his beady eyes at the warrior. “What
do you have to offer for this union, young warrior?” He
watched as the bravery seemed to seep out of the man at his question. “I
have nothing, my chief. I do not own any animals or fancy cloth. I can offer my
service and my loyal protection.” His black eyes met the daughter’s. “To you
and yours for the rest of my days.” “I
have that already, my man. I wish you to complete me a task. If you are
successful, you will have permission to marry my daughter. Do you agree?” The
stage… Raving Lunacy I search
every hidden realm in the computer for my lost words.I dig into the recycle bin, the hard drives,
the documents and picture files looking for the elusive data.No bits or bytes are to be found.Strands of hair fall by my chair and unkind
words caress the ceiling.My husband
listens to the moans and groans for a little while then asks the one question
I do not want to hear.
"Did you save
DID I SAVE THEM?Of course, I saved them!I always
save them!What kind of an airheaded
writer does NOT save their work?Do I
look like an airheaded writer?NO!Of course not, that is because I SAVE MY
WORK!(I did say raving lu…