Friday, December 17, 2010

Things I Wish I'd Known...

Today, I start a new blog series. It's called "Things I Wish I'd Known." I hope one day to turn it into a magazine column or something but for now, I'll keep it on the blog. Each post will relate to something I've learned in my college years, things I wish I'd known...So enjoy!

Things I Wish I'd Known...
Freshman 15

I've been in college for two and a half years as I enter my Spring semester of my Junior year. And there is one thing that sticks out in my mind as something I wish I'd known. Going into college, I heard horror stories about the freshman 15. Everyone I knew told me stories about people who gained gazillions of pounds their freshman year. Girls who ballooned out in just the first few weeks. Went from a size 8 to a size 12 in days.

I blew it off. Freshman 15, yeah right. That's just an old wives's tale, meant to scare incoming freshman into eating their fruits and veggies, even once Mom isn't around to force-feed them. It's supposed to scare you into exercising or doing gross sit-ups. That is all. Freshman 15 is a myth, that's what I resolutely told myself.

Boy, was I wrong. About a lot. The freshman 15 exists. It is SO easy once you hit college to leave the fruits, veggies and water at home. Trust me. School food is not always the best eatin' and it's super convenient to just avoid the "meat and three" line and go straight for the pizza and burgers. Ice cream is served at every meal, along with chocolate syrup and sprinkles - my personal weakness. And, thank you college, for putting nutritional facts at every food line, so I can ignore exactly how many calories I'm consuming. No matter how much I told myself I'd eat green beans tomorrow, tomorrow never came. Pizza and hamburgers, waffles and pancakes pretty much rounded out every single meal.

That's not the only issue either. When I lived at home, my parents were very ant-food-in-your-room. They were big on not snacking between meals. (Boy, I wish I'd have listened to them then and learned a valuable life lesson.) Not so at college. At college, they have conveniently placed drawers that are perfect to store food. And the store is always just a car ride away. Goldfish, Oreos, peanut butter crackers, fruit loops, all are food items that are exceptionally good for snacking. And for gaining weight.

So, using the pizza & hamburger, snack in the dorm room method, the Freshman 15 can be a very real terror. I know it was for me. And (let me let you in on a secret), it doesn't stop at Freshman. Pretty soon, the Freshman 15 becomes the Sophomore 25 which then turns into the Junior 30. I don't know what the Senior Blank is but I know I don't want to find out.

In order to help others avoid the trap I've fallen into, below are some simple guidelines that can help you avoid looking like a blimp. Trust me - takes one to know one! And don't worry - you can do it! I'm doing it right along with you.

  • Eat healthy. Sounds hard. It is. Avoid the hamburger and pizza line as much as you can. Even a turkey sandwich is better than a grease-filled burger. Go for a salad sometimes. And nix the ice cream habit. A small bowl once a week is okay but not ideal.
  • Don't go cold turkey. Start small. Eat one healthy meal a day. A bowl of ice cream a week. Eventually, you can become all healthy but as they say "Rome wasn't built in a day." Neither is a completely new diet.
  • If you're a soft drink junkie, like I am, try not to be. Go for a month without soft drinks, then reward yourself with ONE soft drink. Or just go two months. But make it your mission to drink more water - this really helps.
  • Try exercising. Everyone exercises differently. Some enjoy Pilates with a DVD, others running. Find what works for you. Then do it. Consistently.
  • Get a friend to work on this with you. Doing it alone is no fun.
Trust me, this isn't easy. To get off soft drinks, I had to pledge to pay my friend $5 every time I drank a soft drink. Even just a sip. It worked 'cause I don't have the spare money. Just get in the habit. It takes 21 days to form a habit. Can you do it?

Yea. You can. So come on and learn something I wish I'd have known...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shopper's Guilt

Shopper's guilt is not fun. I am super satisfied with all that I bought - let me tell you what I purchased before I get into my rant on shopper's guilt. Here's a list:

2 pairs of boots from Belk. Regularly $60 each, marked down to $20 each. A DEAL!!
Rubbermaid containers (40 pcs.) for $9
10-frame photo collage for $7
Skinny jeans from Cato - on sale for $15
A white sweater from Cato
Necklace, belt and earrings from Cato
A plaid belted shirt from Cato

And I think that's it, 'cept what I bought at Charlotte Russe - which didn't fit and will be returned tomorrow. All in all, I did really well, creating an outfit out of Black Friday deals and getting a new pair of jeans and boots in the process.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been shopping for boots. I've been to the Greer Cato, the White Horse Rd. Cato, the Woodruff Rd. Cato, Target and Wal-mart looking. Nothing appealed to me. Every pair I saw was $25+ and just didn't do anything for me. I've also been in the market for a new pair of jeans for a couple of months and photo frames. I told my mom a few weeks ago that I wanted one new outfit for winter. Something hot. So I've been shopping around for that for a while now too.

This morning, my Aunt and my cousin, Callie, and I went to the mall and fought hordes of women (there was pushing and shoving and nails involved) for boots. These are designer boots and $40 off. I couldn't decide on one pair and so got two - one with a heel (a very tall heel) for cultural events and church, and one with no heel for everyday casual wear. I figured I could take one back if I needed to but once I got back and tried them on, there was no chance of that. I was in love.

Then, at Cato, I decided to try straight leg jeans (skinny jeans, or sort of). I have always sworn I will never wear straight leg jeans. But I decided to try a pair - they were on clearance - and the first pair I found worked perfectly! The white sweater I tried on with them was quite nice and once I jacked the necklace off the mannequin, I was good to go. I also got matching earrings (I love earrings) and a butterfly belt, also something the mannequin sported. I had my outfit. I got another shirt too just because.

Now, having just returned from making one more purchase at Wal-Mart, I find myself faced with shopper's guilt. I am not rich and how can I afford this? Luckily, talking to my mom and writing this post has cured me of the disease.

My parents are awesome, there is no denying. They are giving me $100 towards clothes that I bought today for when I go to Canada next summer. So that's a relief. Then, when I think about how I've wanted most of what I bought today for a while and yet waited until I found something I really loved and was on sale, I think I did all right. Yeah, my bank account might be weak now but I think I'll be all right.

So shopper's guilt...BE GONE!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

An article I wrote

Here's an old article I wrote for your reading pleasure tonight! Hopefully, a more interesting blog post tomorrow - we'll see! Enjoy!

I wonder how many of you parents think your college students actually eat vegetables or salads or even meat at school? How many of you think that every day at lunch, your student gets in the meat and three line and spoons green beans, rice, potatoes and ham onto their plate? Well, if you think that, you’re under a serious misconception.

Many colleges offer the meat and three option in their caf. It changes every day, from ham to roast and green beans to okra. But it’s there, at every meal except breakfast, being passed up on by students walking by. Vegetables will be eaten maybe once a day, at most. If that. A salad will be eaten only if the student likes salad or is trying to be healthy but doesn’t want to stand in line. It’s simply easier to head straight for the pizza line or the hamburger line.

Most students, when given the option of pepperoni pizza fresh from the oven or a thin slice of ham and one spoonful of green beans, will choose the former. They figure that the walk over to the caf was enough exercise that they can afford to ingest whatever they want. That’s why they head for the hamburgers that sit in one inch of grease and the French fries that have just had half a canister of salt dumped on them. It tastes better than the healthy stuff. It’s sure not healthier than the healthy stuff but that’s a small price to pay for the taste, right? Yeah, okay.

Plus, parents, your college student probably eats ice cream or three cookies every day. It’s free and it’s relatively delicious, which is why he or she will eat it without thinking twice. They’ve already gained six or seven hundred calories from the greasy hamburger and fries so what’s the harm with adding a few hundred more? As long as it tastes good then who cares about the future? Who cares about how pretty soon, you’ll look like you’re pregnant, even when you’re not? No one! It’s not important. Live in the now.

Plus, don’t even get started on the soft drinks. If you think your student drinks water at least once a day, you’re probably wrong. Probably. Now, there are students who only drink water. And good for them. But they are in the minority. It’s just that there are so many options, who wants water? You can have Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, sweet tea, Sprite, Gatorade, juice, and so many more. What’s the point of getting tasteless water? You can even get water with fruit flavor at North Greenville University. Therefore, most students grab their cup and stick it under the Pepsi nozzle without even thinking twice. To them, it’s just a drink. Again, why think about the ramifications? They’re not important. What’s important is that you go away from your meal thinking, yum, that was good. Think I’ll get that again tomorrow.

So, parents, if you’re wondering why you had to go out and buy new blue jeans for your son or daughter this Fall Break, or if you’re wondering why your daughter suddenly grew a dress size, don’t look any farther than what she or he is eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s where the problem is, guaranteed. And if not there, it’s in their exercising, or lack thereof. Perhaps a confrontation is in order. But remember…be nice. Call it a caf and don’t call them kids. Maybe then you and your college student will be able to communicate. Who knows? It’s worth a shot, right?

This was published in the Greer Citizen earlier this year/last year (I don't remember.) What'd you think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Sample Piece

This is a poem I wrote, I don't know when. Well, according to Word, it was November 2nd of last year. So almost a year ago. Interesting. I just looked into my poetry file and this was what I found. You like? It's called:

Till I'm Gone

I’m tired of all of this

Tired of the hit or miss

This is the last tear I’ll cry

Can’t tell me another lie.

I’ve been outside far too long

Singing the same old song

Wondering just how alone

I am when I’m on my own.

It’s here that it’s wrong,

Here where I don’t belong.

I give up, the end, I surrender,

Whatever, now I’m not a contender.

So say your goodbyes, it’s time,

Do you hear the bells chime?

Now I’ll just go, just move on,

And you won’t notice till I’m gone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thoughts to Chew On

This summer, I worked at a camp. It was awesome but there was a girl there who was a really good counselor. She started out the summer with her twin sister also working at the camp. Her twin sister didn't feel like it was the right place for her to be and so she left. Our camp director put it this way: if sister A hadn't come to camp neither would have Sister B. Sister A may have left but perhaps her reason for being at the camp was so that her sister would be there.

Maybe the same thing applies to my book. Maybe Dominic's story isn't all that important at all. What if his story merely served to plant the seed for Nic's story? So maybe I should just continue on with Nic's story and forget all the parts that made it a continuation of Dominic's story. Not the President's son, no Secret Service, no horses. No Kade. Not in the future. No babies.

Is that the real reason behind Dominic's story? Did he serve just to provide ammunition for Nic's? Was that all Dominic was? Just a prop to get to the real meat?

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I wrote a song. Well, actually, I've written more than one song but here is one of my new songs. It is called Gone. Enjoy!

Where have you gone, how could you leave me? Said you’d always be there, never let go. And now you’re gone, never to return, not coming back and where do I go from here?

I waited by the window watching for you to come up the walk. I knew you wouldn’t lie to me that you wouldn’t leave me but now my doubts creep in. Cause now you’re gone, never to return, not coming back and where do I go from here?

Is this the end is this goodbye is this where we part ways? I can’t believe, don’t want to believe that this is it but in my heart you will always be with me. So now you’re gone, never to return, not coming back. I must go on from here.

You like?

Monday, October 18, 2010


You're cringing already, aren't you? A blog post about Economics? What is this world coming to? Nah, stop panicking. This isn't about Economics. It's about the lack thereof. I'm sitting in Econ right now, "taking notes" and cruising the Internet. I really don't like Economics. Days like this, when I'm hearing about super massive labor markets and football, I wish I hadn't changed my major. If I was still an early childhood major, I could be drawing with crayons and playing Duck, Duck Goose right now. Instead, I'm learning about monopolies and oligopolies. Gross!

Anyway, I have writer's group tonight so that's something to look forward to, I reckon. Today, I think I'm going to read chapter 1 of my romance but I'm not sure they'll like it. Last time, I read a chapter of Willing and they really liked it but I don't know if they'll like my romance. So I'm a wee bit nervous. But we'll see. Anyway, I want to get out of this class. Guess I should go and pay attention. See ya!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Let's get it started in here...

Today I attempt something new. Something I've not done before but something I am super excited about trying! Are you ready for it? You are? Sure? Ok, here goes nothin'.

I'm going to spend ALL DAY writing. Well, I'm going to the Miss NGU pageant tonight at 7 so maybe not all day but from now till about 5:30 or 6, I'm gonna be a-writin'.

I got the following all set out and ready to help me achieve greatness:

1) Ipod
2) Water
3) An easily accessible food drawer
4) Comfy clothes
5) Fleece blanket in case I get cold
6) Tylenol just in case
7) Idiot's Guide to Writing Christian Ficiton
8) Computer
9) A Voyager episode for breaks
10) A Star Wars book for breaks
11) My man journal for inspiration

And I am ready to go! So let the party begin! I'll keep you updated!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Do you listen to the Speaker or the Words?

So lately, God's been hitting me over the head with a two by four. Repeatedly. I will be the first to admit that I'm not the brightest crayon in the box but mostly it's because I'm stubborn. Like really stubborn. So last night's message at BSU really hit home for me.

Jody, our BSU director, talked about Psalm 50 and how so often, we get caught up in WHO is talking that we don't focus on WHAT is being said. We spend so much time trying to figure out if it is really God who is speaking to us that we don't listen to what He is saying to us.

I've been struggling with this lately because I'm doing my best to obey WHAT is being said. I'm hoping to be a summer missionary with NAMB next summer and I'm open to full-time missions. I'm not focused on the audible Voice but rather on trying to discern what is being said. That's hard but I recommend the book Radical as a tool to help. It's very, very good.

The following song lyrics are from a song that emphasizes what I wrote about. It is called "Follow You" by Leeland, featuring Brandon Heath. It is amazing.

You live among the least of these:
The weary and the weak.
And it would be a tragedy
For me to turn away.
All my needs You have supplied,
When I was dead You gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll...
I'll follow You into the homes of the broken,
I'll follow You into the world.
I'll meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God,
I'll follow You into the world.

Use my hands, use my feet,
To make Your kingdom come.
To the corners of the earth
Until Your work is done.
'Cause faith without works is dead,
And on the cross, Your blood was shed,
So how could we not give it away so freely?

And I'll...
I'll follow You into the homes of the broken,
I'll follow You into the world.
Oh, meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God,
I'll follow You into the world.

I'll follow You into the homes of the broken,
I'll follow You into the world.
Oh, I'll meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God,
I'll follow You into the world.

And I give all myself,
I give all myself,
And I give all myself to You.

Oh, and I give all myself, (I give myself)
Yes I give all myself, (Lord, I give myself)
And I give all myself to You. (I give it all to You)

(Lord I give it all to You)
I'll follow You into the homes of the broken, (All to your name)
I'll follow You into the world. (I'll follow You)
I'll meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God, (Poor and needy, God)
I'll follow You into the world.

I will follow...
I'll follow You into the homes of the broken,
I'll follow You into the world.
I'll meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let the Good Times Roll!

Was it just yesterday that I heard all about how I needed to establish a name for myself, get something going so that I could have writing to back me up when I pitch? And not just, oh, yeah I'm working on two novels now, but something in publication. Wasn't that yesterday?

Oh, yes. It was. Shows how things can change in just one day.

Today I went to work - nothing new. Came back to school and headed to my 3 hour Recent America class - fun, fun. Anyway, we took notes on The Korean War and McCarthyism. Fun stuff. Could be worse. Anyway, then Dr. Cook starts talking about how he's asking some of his upper level students to write biographies for a book he's writing that will be PUBLISHED internationally. The biographies will be small but they will get your name in print. Should there be any pay at all, it will be minuscule. But, the plus side is that when I go to query agents, I can say I have been published in an internationally acclaimed and read book. So yay!

Ok, other piece of good news. I got a BRILLIANT idea for a new book today, and with the help of Rachel, Carrie Anne, Joanna and Audrey, it is going to be awesome!! I can't wait. It's a romance and it should be pretty stinkin' awesome. I am going to set a goal of 5 pages a day - we shall see how long that will last. Haha. Ok, I'm gonna go get started. Bye!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Depression 411

I figure I'm about an expert in this. Depression, bitterness, chucking all things pertinent at the farthest wall and hoping they hit with a bang - after all, my hopes and dreams have just crashed and burned.

Today, in my Fiction Writing class, we had a guest speaker - a published author - come and speak to us. My desire is to be published. Like, no lie, I want to go into a bookstore and see my book on the "Featured Author" table. I wanna do book signings and get movie deals and become a household name. But, for now, I'd settle for just getting published. I know I don't have the next Animorphs or Harry Potter. I'm not deluded. I think my book is good, I think it has potential. But the problem is that I don't know if it has ENOUGH.

We were told today that 1 in 10,000 people get published. That's a LOT of people. Who am I to think that I can be that one? Who am I to think I am good enough? But then I got to thinking.

Let's figure that half of those 10,000 are terrible writers. This is assuming that perhaps I am slightly above average.

That leaves 5,000. Out of that five grand, let's assume that half are average writers.

That leaves 2,500. Out of that twenty-five hundred, let's assume that half will give up before finishing a manuscript.

That leaves 1,250. Out of that twelve hundred and fifty, let's assume that half will give up after the first rejection. I'm being optimistic here.

That leaves 625 who will persevere.

Now the odds are 1 out of 625 that I could get published. Why?

Because I will not give up. My novel is above average. I've completed the manuscript and am well into the sequel. I've been rejected - I'm still going.

I will be that one. I will be the one who perseveres. I will be the one who gets to see her dream come through.

How about you?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rising Hope...Good or Bad?

I usually damp down the hope. Keep it buried and then I can't get hurt. Let it out, let it rise and there's a chance I can get hurt. And I'm one to take hurt and turn it into something drastic. So usually I don't hold my breath for anything. Can you blame me?

This time, though, I let my hopes take off and soar. I met this guy who seemed almost too good to be true (shouldn't that be a sign to me?) and so I let myself hope that maybe he was the real deal. He likes Animorphs, science fiction and being sarcastic. He's not had a "real" girlfriend. He's a Christian and he likes to travel and would be open to living in Canada. Match made in Heaven, right? I allowed myself to get my hopes up, he seemed to be "the one." Or at least, there seemed to be a good chance that he could become "the one."

Bad idea.

I should never have gotten my hopes up. It's been over 2 weeks since I last talked to him and so now my hopes have crashed and burned. When am I going to understand that getting my hopes up regarding boys is ALWAYS a bad idea? I hate being bitter and I'd finally gotten into the rut of "I'm gonna be single forever, better get used to it" and then Mike came along. Maybe there was a chance for someone like me. Well, turns out I was probably wrong.

I'm going back to being my weird self. No hope, no dreams. Just me and God.

Well when you put it that way...I'll take me and God over me and a guy any day of the year.

Maybe it's not so bad after all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Get it? Got it? Good!

This past weekend was Focus '10. It was a youth group retreat put on by Real Life Ministries, which is run by Camp Marietta's camp pastor, Jason Patterson. I was blessed enough to be able to be a college leader for the weekend. So today's blog post is going to be about the 20/20 session I was a part of for the weekend.

The 20/20 session was about Discovering God's Will. It was led by Matt on Saturday and Kari on Sunday with myself and Will Howard chiming in every now and then. I learned a lot from both Matt and Kari and a lot from Will that I am now going to share with you.

We talked about Jeremiah. Do you know how old Jeremiah was when he was called to ministry? He was 13. Yeah. In today's society, a thirteen-year-old would probably still be in middle school, watching Wizards of Waverly Place and eating peanut butter sandwiches. Not preaching against corrupt nations. But Jeremiah didn't complain, he didn't talk back. He went and he did as he was told.

How awesome is that? The fact that God can use you no matter your age, your status in life, all of that. He can use you! God is using you now; He's using me.

Will brought up a very interesting point in that God doesn't always speak audibly to you. He might use other people or experiences to shape you for the life he wants you to lead. He might use His Word to get your attention but, just because you don't ever hear His voice audibly in your head, that doesn't mean you shouldn't go.

Kari also pointed out that you have to be discerning in the people you listen to. Pretty much everything you want to do in your life can be mutated to be what "God wants me to do." I want to be a nurse so that must be what God wants me to be. Don't become so wrapped up in what you're wanting to do that you ignore what God wants you to do.

This was a really good 20/20 session and I really enjoyed learning from Will, Kari and Matt. They are all really smart and cool kids!

Hope maybe you learned something from this post!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Busy Schedules

Have you ever heard the phrase, bitten off more than you can chew? I have. In fact, I use it quite often. It works for me. Cause, I have bitten off more than I can chew countless times and, recently, have done just that. Let me tell you all the things I'm doing just this week and you tell me if I'm crazy.


I had class at 8 and 9 and chapel. Luckily, there wasn't any work due for the classes so that was good but I still had to get up and go. I hate getting up at eight o'clock. Anyway. I went to Writer's Group at 6 on Haywood Rd - a good 30, 40 minutes from NGU. Good time there, though, everyone liked my chapter. So yay! Spent the night at my Grandmother's house, got too engrossed in the book I was reading and didn't go to bed till 11. Bad, Michelle!


Got up and went to work at PDO at 8:30. I was in Room 11 (or 43) all day. I love those little kids, especially Noah. And then I went and finished out Late Stay and saw some of my friends from two years ago. Then, after I got off at 2, I went up to the offices and worked my college ministry job for about 45 minutes, getting freshman letters ready to mail. Back to college by 3:40 and got prepped to go to class at 4:30. I got to class early to ask if I could slip out early to go to bonus chapel but instead got a 5 minute lecture that I assume meant no. Class till 6:45 (bout clawed my eyes out, so boring) and then grabbed dinner and went back to my room. Dealt with bedbug issues in the dorm and my friends' rooms till about 11. Finally went to bed by about 11:30.


This is today so I haven't done a lot but I'll tell you what I have to do. I've gone to my 8 o'clock class and got my test back (which I studied 5 hours for) and I got a 77. That thing was hard! Now I'm in my 9 o'clock class, learning about Rome. Next I'll go to chapel in half an hour and then I have class at 2:30. Fiction Writing Class so I had to have my Chapter 2 ready. I think it's good but I don't know. We'll see. That'll wrap up about 5:15 if we end on time and I'll run to the stud to get food before rushing to church for preschool choir. Hopefully, I'll be able to go to bed early tonight - hopefully.


I'll go to work for Brooks probably from 9 - 11. Then get back to school in time to go to class at 12:15 till 3. BSU and Impact Team meeting. Don't know how long the meeting will go...hopefully not too long.


8 o'clock and 9 o'clock class. Luckily, no test in Western Civ, it got moved. Then I have an Impact Team Leader meeting at 10. Did I mention I'm the leader of my Impact Team? Yeah. I am.


Maybe nothing? Haha, there's always something. Homework, getting ready for Focus. Who knows?


Be at church at 8 o'clock to teach 4-year-old sunday school. Then go to the Loft, the modern service and back to school to study for Western Civ. And the week starts all over again.

Do you envy me? No? Well, you should. I have a FULL life. Hahaha! I'll be keeping this updated more often so check back for updates!!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Well, go figure.

So it's been a while. So what? I don't have the best track record with blogging, ya know. I tend to forget about them. I know, I know, you don't care. Anyway, just a quick post today.

I'm working on the sequel to Willing to Die called Second Chances. This one features Nic as the main character, with a subplot involving Lily and Andrew. I'm also looking ahead to book 3 which will be called Come What May. I'm pretty excited.

Anyway. Starting tomorrow I'm going to make myself write at least 5 pages a day. That won't be much but it's a starting place. I gotta work in the morning too and then class and BSU. Fun stuff. Then I'm babysitting on Friday and Saturday. Yeah, I know. I'm crazy, right? Don't answer that.

Anyway I'm going to try and blog at least once a week so check back more often! Bye!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Let the Ideas Flow

So Willing has sorta taken a back burner. Not really, but kinda. Wow, that makes such great sense, doesn't it? Oh yeah. Ok, well, anyway, I'm still working on Willing and still working on the sequel, Undoing, but now I've got another project too. Crazy, huh?

Ok, here's the truth. I'm scared about what the email from Debbie Marrie is going to say when it comes and I don't want to touch Willing or Dominic or Nic until I read that rejection or whatever it might be. I'm hoping it's not a rejection but who knows? Karen Schurrer from Bethany House told me in her rejection letter that my characters were one-dimensional and she thought it was going to have too many coincidences. So maybe it's not as good as I thought it was - and I didn't even think it was that good! Oh well. What happens, happens.

Anyway. I've started writing a Chicken Soupy type book. Lots of short stories. Right now I'm submitting them to various magazines, hoping for a column. The title of the column/book is "Loving the Unlovable" and all the stories are about camp. They all have the central theme of showing Christ's love even when that is hard to do. I've got 7 so far and I have a break this week so hopefully I can write a lot more!

Right now, my favorite is one about Dewey and Noah. It paints such a good picture - I really like it. Ok, well I'm gonna go now. I think I'll go finish Race to Witch Mountain, the movie I was watching last night.

Ok bye!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Home from Blue Ridge

Whew! This is exciting. I've had a blog before (and will continue to post on it) but it is more for mundane everyday stuff. This will be a blog for my writing. At least, more so than the other one.

I just got back two days ago from Ridgecrest, at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Try saying that five times fast! Anyway, it was a blast. Here's some things I learned.

1) I have not arrived. Try jumping in a lake. Do I walk on water? No. I am not nearly as good as I think I am.

2) I'm not that bad either. A good bit of the advice that they gave in the classes, my book employs successfully. Some not. But it gave me renewed hope.

3) I finally found a genre for Willing to Die. Turns out it is supernatural military suspense. Go figure.

4) I learned how to write suspense, sitting at the feet of the master, Steven James. I'm serious, if you haven't read his Patrick Bowers thrillers, go to your public library right now. Or better yet, the bookstore, as you're going to want to keep them when you're done. I know I'm beating myself up for not buying the Knight as well.

5) Improv is amazing. I love improv.

6) Editors and agents are not as scary as they seem to be - at least not the ones at this conference.

7) And, finally, I learned that this is my dream. I want to write and I love to write. Therefore, I am going to write until my imagination runs dry - and that shouldn't be any time soon.

Now, I am feverishly rewriting so that I can submit and I'm not even feeling overwhelmed.

Word of advice. If you do a complete overhaul of your manuscript, save it to a hard drive. You never know when your computer is going to crash two days after a conference. Praise the Lord that Philberta Bones from the HP online chat with a technician service was able to help me restore my computer and save my files.

And that, friends, is all for now.