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Posts Tagged ‘CTF’

That’s what this blog is meant to promote: my writing.  It’s just so darn tempting to write about the blogs other people write, and to contribute to things like National Migraine Awareness month.  But not today.  Today, it’s all about ME.

Here are the current opening paragraphs of Forgiveness Fits:

We tend to love what we know.  It’s the familiarity, the perceived degree of comfort, that attracts us, reels us in like a powerful angler catching the perfect rainbow trout.  Me, I knew life in the military.  I knew a dozen schools, people of all races and backgrounds, and cities all across the country.  I recognized change, disruption, and forming friendships based on little more than a momentary need.  Hey, let’s go play on the swings!  Because we giggled together as we pumped our legs and swung high enough for the chains to go lax, we became inseparable.  Wanna come over and watch television?  We stayed up until after midnight watching an old movie and quoted the lines the following week at school, best friends.  You!  Over there!  We need someone to play outfield.  I missed every ball hit in my direction but made five new friends that one afternoon.

And then my dad retired, and we moved to Spokane to be near my mom’s sister.  I recognized nothing.

Want more?  Forgiveness Fits

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Spring Break

So this is what happens when you create a blog.  You add excerpts from your books.  You post notices letting your friends know you’ve started blogging.  You comb through your PC for previously written gems you can fob off as new posts.

And then you realize, horrified, that you have little else to say.

I’d hoped to blog about the books I read, particularly the YA books read by my students.  But because I spend so much time on Authonomy reading parts of unpublished books, my appetite for completed novels is sated.  Besides, on Authonomy I can also visit with the author.

Sigh.

This past week was our Spring Break from school, so here’s a Spring Break excerpt from “Steadfast:”

Chris began to laugh at the loud voices and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or arm myself with a frying pan and a knife.  I pulled on my shirt and opened the door to prevent the neighbors from calling the police.

At the sight of me in the doorway, they dropped the swagger and adopted the look of chastened schoolboys.  They headed straight for me, mumbling “Sorry about the noise,” and “Nice to see you,” as they entered the apartment.

Once inside they hesitated a second as they saw the state of their once powerful older brother.  But to their credit, it was a quick second, and then they were climbing into the bed, stealing his cookies and lemonade and firing questions at him.

“Dude, is she….”  started Matt.

“Always here?  finished Mark.

“Is it true you did it…” started Mark

“With just one guy?” finished Matt.

“Do you have more…” started Matt

“Of these awesome cookies?” finished Mark.

“Are you going to come…” started Mark

“To our baseball games?” finished Matt.

“Why is it…” started Matt

“So effing hot in here?” finished Mark.

I took them more cookies and lemonade.  They ignored me, of course, and I stood by the French doors, watching them.  The blue fire returned to Chris’s eyes as he answered their questions.

“Did you thank Heather for the awesome cookies?”

They turned to me, as if seeing me for the first time.  Their invisible twin communication system crackled, and they bounced off the bed in tandem to embrace me in a terrifying twin bear hug.  “Thanks for the cookies!” cried one, a little too loudly.  “We love you, Heather,” cried the other, also too loudly.  I tried to worm my way out of their moist and smelly embrace.  Mark picked up on my disinclination and turned back toward the bed.

Before he could bounce like Tigger on his beloved Poo, Chris said, “Why don’t you sit in this leather wing chair?” and pointed at one of the lawn chairs.  Mark took the hint.

Meanwhile, Matt didn’t let me go.  In fact, he hugged me right around the edge of the wall into the other room, and whispered “Thank you,” as he looked into my face.  He put a hand on either side of my head.  “I feel so much better knowing you’re here.”  He kissed my forehead and practically sprinted back to the other room to drop into the other lawn chair as loudly as possible.

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Yesterday I met two friends after work for drinks and dinner.  Well, they had drinks.  I enjoyed two glasses of cranberry juice, because I have migraines and had to give up alcohol in all its forms.  Anyway, one of them brought up the subject of my book.  She’s read it and apparently liked it.  Or she’s a good friend who supports my efforts.  What’s important here is that she brought it up.

Anyway, the second friend, upon hearing about Authonomy, wondered why I wasn’t submitting my manuscript for publication.  “What,” she asked, “is holding you back?”

What, indeed?

I babbled something about the amount of work involved in submitting a novel, because it is a lot of work.  And then I wondered if that was really the truth.

I’m pretty happy getting feedback on Authonomy.  The version of my book currently uploaded is significantly better than the one I originally submitted.  I feel I’m part of the Authonomy community.  And that makes me wonder if I’m just using it to delay what real writers do:  get published.

One thing is holding me back.  I’ve written a book about characters who make decisions based on their faith.  Lots of people would call that a “Christian book.”  But they are regular people living in the regular, worldly world.  So the book includes scenes that a Christian publisher might not accept.  Would a mainstream publisher want it?  I have my suspicions.  I’ve been told that the ‘rule of thumb’ in YA books is that “the J-word is acceptable only as an oath.”  So I don’t think mainstream publishers will want to promote my book.  The J-word appears with alarming regularity throughout.

So do I submit it, knowing I’ve created a strange new genre:  realistic Christian fiction?  Or do I just publish it on Kindle and see if there’s a market for it?

But now I do wonder what’s holding me back.

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I’m Blogging!

I’ve decided it’s worthwhile to begin blogging in support of my writing (and reading) habit.  As the author of three books in a sub-genre I’m calling “Realistic YA Fiction,” I know my work will be difficult to place.  Christian publishers might shy away from the realism and mainstream publishers may shy away from the religion.

But I believe there are young adults out there who live in the real world and struggle to live out their faith while interacting with others in that real world.  For them, I write my books.

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