• The Writer


    Hello! My name is Laura, welcome to my blog! I write weird stories, collect dragon plushies and stay up too late with my nose in a book. I am a wife, mom and child saved by grace. My hope is that you find encouragement here or at least a smile or too.
    God bless!

  • “Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book that it may be for the time to come forever and ever.”
    ~Isaiah 30:8.

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  • Quotes

    We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "The only just literary critic," he concluded, "is Christ, who admires more than does any man the gifts He Himself has bestowed."
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
    ~J.R.R. Tolkien

    "Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable. To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures."
    ~Flannery O'Connor

    You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
    ~Arthur Polotnik

    Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
    ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

    "There are forms of insanity that condemn people to hear voices against their will, but as writers we invite ourselves to hear voices without relinquishing our hold on reality or our right to control."
    ~Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway

    Christians have sometimes been suspicious of stories, because they really can influence you. If you read the Twilight novels once a month for a year, I think you'd be a different human afterward—and not a sparkly one.
    ~Nate Wilson

Editing Like There is No Tomorrow

Just a note to let you all know that when you suddenly notice there hasn’t been a new blog post in a week or more it’s because I ran away to the world of Aeden and am editing like a mad man.  Okay, maybe not like a mad man, but like a mad writer, yes, a mad writer.

Archie (my inner editor) and I are kicking ourselves into gear with edits on Choices and I will now be devoting all my spare time to finishing the second draft before my trip in June.  I am also concentrating on getting Chances reading for a rough draft.  So I shall be a very busy writer.

When I have a “day off” I shall remember my blog and all the readers who follow it and give you all an update (and maybe a clip 🙂 ) of what’s been going on.  And from time to time I might even write about something philosophical or substantial on occasion. 🙂

Hope you all are having an awesome week!  Until the next time!

God bless,

~The Mad Writer

P.S.
I shall try to keep producing videos for your enjoyment every so often as well.

Getting There…

Scribblings is moving along!  I have one more story to finish, a couple still to revise, and then it will be time to read through everything.

So far so good!  I’m nearly there! 🙂

It feels so weird to be having a book come out in a month and a half.  Weird yet exciting.  I’ve been working towards publication for so long it feels very surreal right now.

Can’t wait ’till March! 😀

God bless,

~Laura

Bryan Davis on Revision

Bryan Davis speaking at the 2011 OYAN Summer Workshops in Olathe Kansas this past July.  I thought you guys would like to see this, (even my OYAN readers who were there 🙂 ).

Having been there I can say it was the best talk on revision I have ever heard.  I still have my handout from this and refer to it constantly.  Hope this helps you in your editing endeavors.

P.S.
I’ll be posting some editing tips that I have discovered through this round of Heart of Hope edits soon.  Passing on my club. 😉

P.P.S
Can you see me? 🙂

P.P.P.S
Here is a link to the slides handout he gave us.
http://www.daviscrossing.com/PolishingYourMasterpiece.pdf

Check out Mr. Davis’ website HERE.

Update #3

Hello readers!

Here’s the scoop of what’s been happening.

Chapter eleven is finally finished!  The title is Reversing Night.  It turned out to be a whopping 9,169 words, just over 27 pages!  (Standard pages mind you.  It would be around 50 in book form.)  I’m SO happy to be moving on to the LAST CHAPTER!  I enjoyed writing chapter twelve and I’m rather excited to be revising it. 🙂

Now, since you all are expecting a clip or clips, here you go. 🙂

Cautiously making it over the last rise Ava laid on her belly and looked out over the fortress.  Its banners flapped in the wind from atop its high towers.  A sentry paced the upper battlement, a spear lazily slung over his shoulder.  Was that the only sentry?  Ava scanned the battlements but could find no sigh of another, but wait!  A flash of red and black appeared through the arrow slits, another sentry, perhaps two or three.  Ava waited until they moved on a pace.  The sentry on top turned his back; Ava rose and ran down the hill into a small clump of cotton woods growing beside the moat.  Gazing out from her hiding place she peered up at the walls, no alarm sounded, she was undetected.

Ava rolled out of the way, kicking him in the stomach as she went.  Pulling her sword out Ava sprang to her feet and met his next attack. Ava raised her sword, catching his blow in mid air.  She pushed him back and swing at his waist.  He parried, knocking Ava’s sword aside.  Ava stumbled back, regained herself and charged.

You’ll have to make to with that.  Anymore and it would give too much away. 🙂

I just realized I haven’t really mentioned my Kansas trip on here.  I guess it’s because most of the people who read this blog already know about.  Well anyway, I’m going to Kansas in June for a writer’s work shop hosted by the author of the One Year Adventure Novel Curriculum, Daniel Shwabauer.  The work shop is for OYAN students and we’re going to have a reunion barbecue/camp fire after!  I am so excited and can hardly wait!  It’s coming up so fast!  When they first announced they were planning this it was back in November and then, June seemed ages away.  But time definitely has flown.

The Summer Workshops have started on the OYAN forum and I’m posting chapters in it this year.  (The OYAN forum Summer Workshops are twelve intense weeks of revision and critiquing.  We post one chapter per week and other students critique them and vice-versa.)  I wasn’t planning on posting any of my novel this year, but my inner-editor talked me into it.  I’m a bit nervous about it because, well, I’m the writer and I hate people reading my stuff when I know there’s still work that needs to be done on it.

I guess that’s about it.  I have lots of plans for when I start blogging regularly again so stay tuned! 

God bless,
~Laura

Update #1

Hello readers!  Here we are!  It’s the beginning of May and week three of the final revision of Draft II! (Untill Draft III.)Six more weeks to go before the deadline and two chapters left!

Update on what’s mean happening:

1.     Chapter ten is finished and titled  “Unveiled”.  What’s unveiled you ask?  Ehehehehe……

 Here are a couple clips.

Suddenly there was a racket behind a half open door in the wall at the foot of the bed.  A very red haired, broad shouldered, bearded dwarf stepped into the room carrying what looked like an arm full of small potatoes.

“Blasted pantry,” the dwarf grumbled to himself as he pushed with his back to close the door.  “Never a clear spot to stand when you need one,” He tossed the potatoes into the pot over the fire, not bothering to peel them.

The moss moved again, slipping from its place around the tree and collecting in long bunches to either side.  Then Ava saw it, a scaled tail unwrapped from where it once lay hidden under the moss, no, not moss, wings.  What Ava had taken for great cushions of moss were actually feathered wings!  A slender body dethatched itself from the tree and climbed down the trunk, the claws on its two back feet digging into the bark.  Collected on the ground below the creator crouched, its wings folded behind it and its jade eyes fixed on Ava.  The creature was a forest dragon!

I’ll be starting on chapter eleven tomorrow.  Second to last! Eeep!

 2.     Just finished reading a book by Bryan Davis called, I Know Why the Angels Dance.  It was an awesome story, but very sad.  (I guess I’m one of those people who like sad stories.)  If any of you ever read it, make sure you have a BIG box of Kleenex handy.

3.     I have another surgery coming up next week on the 12th.  Remember the first one?  I’m going to have the screw removed.  It won’t be as big as the last one, no crutches for one, hallelujah!  But I would still appreciate your prayers.  It’s going to be hard, trying to get revision done and recovering from surgery, but, that was just the way things worked out.

4.     Ever get the impression God is trying to tell you something?  Lately He’s been impressing on my heart the importance of maintaining a good relationship with my family and not letting the fact that I’m an adult and there for “have my own life”, effect that relationship.  So, I’m redirecting where most of my focus is going and starting to put more of it into my family.  To those of you out there who don’t think your family is that important; your family is THE MOST important part of your life (apart from Christ), it’s up to you to make sure you keep that relationship going. 

 I CAN’T WAIT TO BE DONE!  I’M ALMOST THERE!  Thank you all for your prayers!

God bless!
~Laura

Novel Update: Out of a Wreck

Wow!  What a week last week!  Writing, writing and more writing, with more to come. 

And it all paid off.  Chapter nine is finished and Connect The Dots launched!

I can’t tell you how glad I am to have chapter nine finished.  It seems like it took forever!  The reason being, I was very discouraged.  I’ve been down about this novel before, but last week I think was the worst yet.  Honestly, I became so down I wasn’t a very nice person to be around for a few days.  Don’t want to let THAT happen again, (it would help a great deal if I didn’t let my worries about finishing on time get in the way of my personal Bible study *sigh*).  Despite the rough time I had rewriting it, chapter nine turned out nicely and I like it.  Here are a couple clips of chapter nine, title: The Sacrifice.

Clip 1

“I have to stop.”  Ava said after what felt like hours of climbing over rocks.  She was bruised from slipping in the dark and her legs felt numb. 

“It must be almost dawn,” Erin said.  They couldn’t see either horizon, but Ava imagined the east faintly lit by early morning light.  Erin turned to Ava,

“I’ll go up ahead a ways to see if the rocks lighten up,”

Ava nodded, too tired to answer.  Careful to watch his footing, Erin scrambled ahead, soon disappearing among the rocks.  Ava pulled off her quiver and leaned against a large bolder, stretching out her tired legs.  She must have fallen asleep for suddenly she opened her eyes and sat straight up.  What had she heard?  Dawn’s light had weakly crept into being.  Ava could now make out more clearly the rock strewn path they followed.  Standing, she looked around for Erin, he was nowhere in sight.  Then, she heard it, a faint cry, as if someone called for help.  Snatching up her “pack” she fought her way through the rocks, following the faint voice.  Abruptly, the pass ended, giving way to a clear path.  On one side the cliff face shot straight up in a wall of solid rock.  On the other, the ground fell away, disappearing into mist.

Cautiously Ava stepped onto the path, listening.  Erin was still nowhere in sight.

“Erin!”  She called, scanning around her.

“Help!”  The cry echoed against the cliff walls.  Ava ran until she came to a place where a piece of the ground had recently fallen in, crumbling into nothing.  It was here that Ava found Erin, clinging to the rock, trying in vain to set his feet in some crevice and climb to safety. 

Clip 2

Ava watched in horror as the human features were replaced by a hideous face lined with cruelty.  Pale, malicious eyes glared out at her, slowly turning a deep crimson.  The body seemed to morph, bending, twisting into a beast-like shape.  It rose in height, towering over Ava like a great oak.  Six horns sprouted from the now bold, rough skinned head.  Huge, black wings spread behind it, creating an aura of darkness, an evil cloak in which to wrap an ensnared victim.  The creature, now fully transformed raised its arms and bellowed,                           

“…Welcome to my nightmare!”

Ava screamed and doubled over as the pain abruptly returned, but in greater force than before.  She clutched at her body, as a wave of utter despair swept over her; consuming. 

“No!” her cry echoed around her, suddenly joined by thousands more, wailing their agony.

Terrible I know, but that’s all I can reveal.  Chapter nine is known as “The Black Moment”.  It’s the darkest, lowest point in the story.  I’ve had this chapter planed out for a long time, but I didn’t really know how I would put it all on paper.  (Thinking it up is the easy part, writing it is a whole different story.  [No pun intended.])   As I said before, I’m happy with how it turned out.  Chapter ten should be fun, I get to write all about my elves and dwarves, describing how they live and where.  Exciting. 🙂

I’m out of the wreck I was last week and this time I’m not going to let myself slip away from spending time alone with God and putting everything I do in His hands. 

Thanks for reading!  Have a great week!

God bless,
~Laura     

 

Happy April!

First – I’m back!  🙂  Vacation was absent of business.  Oh!  What bliss!  And, my grandparents bought me a sword!  I’m in heaven!  My first stainless steel blade.  Here is a picture:

My Sword

It’s a short sword replica of a Medieval Broadsword.  17″ blade and over all length is nearly 23″. I’ll take a real picture of it some time soon and post it. 🙂 Second (incase you are wondering) – I did work a bit on Stephen of Scarborough part 20 while away, and the whole part will be posted on Wednesday.

 Thirdly – Revision on my novel is resuming.  Don’t really know how I feel about it.  I’m just tired and have let myself wonder away.  I gave it back to God last week and felt encouraged, but it’s an ongoing battle I have to fight every day.  I don’t hate the novel, actually, I like it a lot more than I use to, it’s just a LONG HARD process, and my very first novel, not to mention very first time revising a novel.  I’m learning as I go, which takes a lot longer then you would think.  I guess the good news is I have 3 1/2 chapters left, and nine weeks left before my dead line, (and I WILL meet this one.)

 Lastly – I’m looking forward to getting back into a more organized routine.  This blog, my new blog (www.connectthedotsablog.wordpress.com), and the novel are all very important to me and things I really feel God has called me to do.  The problem with keeping up and continuing has been me, I’m a lazy, selfish, want’s what I want sinner.  It’s a hard lesson to learn that you can’t do everything yourself, or control everything for that matter, but I’ve been learning it, slowing, but I’m learning.

 That’s it for now.  I hope you all had a great Easter! 

 God bless,
~Laura

Novel Update: Chapter Eight-“The Shadow”

So eight is done and the title is “The Shadow”.  I don’t know if I’ll keep the name, it may end up changing if a better one presents itself.   Here is a peek at the scene the title came from.

 Ava shivered, the air in the room had suddenly turned cold.  She noticed a black bowl resting in the center of the table.  The curled horns of an equally black stand wrapped around its sides, holding it up right.  A faint orange light pulsed within some thick, clear liquid inside the bowl.  Mesmerized, Ava watched as the orange glow intensified, sucking all other light into it.  The liquid began to swirl and churn as if stirred by some unseen hand.  Suddenly, an ash black cloud rose from within the liquids depths, growing and spreading out its coat of mist until it had formed a thick, ashy sphere that crawled leisurely towards the ceiling; a black silhouette appearing in its center.

Ava tried to retreat, she squeezed herself into a shadowed corner between two book cases, but she felt no more hidden then a fly on a white wall.  Prickles of ice ran up and down her arms and neck, cold sweat trickled down her forehead.  One thought burned in her mind; get out.  The black form turned towards the door, swiveling its faceless head as if looking for something.  Ava held her breath, would it see her?

“Where have you gone little one?” A deep voice rippled through the air, pricking Ava’s ears.  She squeezed her eyes shut.

Creepy is fun to write. 😉  Well what do you think?  Does it give you the chills? 

So beside that one, chapter eight is made up of sticky situations, some of which appear quite hopeless.  To be honest, I’m not completely happy with chapter eight, I think it could still use more work, but, since I’ve spent so much time on it already, I’ve decided to move on.  I can go back over it another time; right now my goal is to just get all of Draft II done!  (Then move on to Draft III. 😛 )

So now I’m moving on to chapter nine.  I must say, when I opened the file to pull up chapter nine, it was very neat to see only three chapters left.  Three!  I’m SO CLOSE!  I definitely know the “does” and “don’ts” of editing as they apply to me now.  Next time I’m going to have a MUCH better working system for revision and hopefully it won’t take me as long… hopefully.  

Two Steps Forward and One Step Back

Things have been going much better since Monday.  (Thanks for praying!)  I made the choice to take the whole week off from revising chapter eight.  Instead, I’m working on re-outlining my hero and doing some much needed research that I should have done before I started revising.

The reason why I am taking time to re-outline my hero is because I don’t know her as well as I should.  Really knowing your character is a very important part of writing a believable story.  If the characters are not real to you, they won’t be real to your readers.  One of the major things that a few people have told me after critiquing my novel was that the hero did a lot of things out of character.  Now, if the readers think the hero is not acting like herself and I don’t, there’s a problem, hence, I am re-outlining her to really dig into who she is and what makes her tick.

As with the research, well, I’ll just say there were a few gaps and mistakes that needed to be filled in and/or fixed.  For example, I wrote that one of the characters receives twenty lashes, twenty lashes would kill you, (oops, my bad).  And other things that had to do with culture, building interiors, sword types, and language related things.   

So now I have a nice pile of books beside me to plow through!  Three books on swords, (I like swords, 😉 ) one on castles, one on law and punishments, (fun I know,) a Medieval word book, (that I am very excited about,) two on Medieval life and one on Medieval furniture. 🙂  

Hope all your weeks have been going great!  I work tomorrow, so Friday’s post will again be on Saturday. 🙂 

God bless and thank you once again for your prayers!

~Laura

Novel Update: A Look at Chapter Seven

Chapter seven is what you might call a “breather chapter”. Six was cram packed with mysterious hints, “Ah oh”, moments and ended with the characters first battle. Now, the battle over, the characters have to pick themselves up and move on. In this chapter they find a shelter of trees hidden in the forest where they shelter to tend their wounds. That place was a lot of fun to describe and I really like how it turned out. Take a look.

The horses’ hooves shuffled through the thick bed of leaves, turning some over to reveal their wet undersides. In a few places water dripped from moss cover tree limbs, letting loose the heavy moister. The place Joel led them to was just as he described it, “a living tent”. The skeletal branches of dozens of slender trees intertwined over head and nearly all around. A thick blanket of moss enveloped each branch from where it sprang out of a trunk, to the thinnest tip. Small pin pricks of sunlight filtered through the woven branches, speckling the ground with sunrays. Ava expected the ground to be damp, but when she dismounted and placed her hand on the layers of leaves, grass, and moss, found it as dry as if it were on a wide open plane. The air seemed warmer and friendlier in the forest made shelter. With plenty of room for themselves and the two horses, the three companions set about constructing a small sick camp.

Can you see it? Feel it? One thing I noticed about how I describe the inside of a forest I found interesting was; I always mention the moss. I guess that’s because where I live you go to the woods and nearly every trunk, branch and stump is either covered or just speckled with fuzzy wet moss. Even the trees in my back yard have a few inches of their trunks covered. It’s funny how little things like running around my friends woods, climbing trees, sparing with my brothers and catching snakes can help accurately describing something for a story. (Okay, they don’t catch snakes in this book, but hey, I’m still revising. 😉 ) In fact, there’s a part in yesterdays Stephen of Scarborough post that I wrote using emotions and sensations from a personal experience. Can you guess which part?

So far chapter seven is untitled and my shortest chapter, hopefully that will change by the end of either this week or next. It’s amazing how a process like this can change you. From what God has shown me, to everything I’ve learned about writing I can honestly say writing this book has changed my life. I don’t know where’d I’d be or what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for this amazing task God has given me. I only hope that this story will change as many lives for the better as it has changed mine.

God bless,
~Laura

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