Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

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  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • A Warm Welcome to Zoe McCarthy
      Is there a story behind your book Calculated Risk? Most certainly. I wanted to write a story in which at least one character was an actuary. (Actuaries evaluate the financial risk of insurance companies.) Before the profession grew, actuaries received the bad reputation of being weird. Well, in many cases that’s true in behavior, dress, and social skills. I’ […]
    • Interview with Christian Author Ada Brownell
      Welcome back to the Barn Door Book Loft, Ada. It's always nice to visit with you. Did you have a specific theme in mind as you wrote the Bible Study book Swallowed By Life? Did a theme pop out as you finished the book? Did the theme change?After our daughter died I went through the New Testament and underlined every scripture that has to do with death a […]
    • Ada Brownell's Bible Study SWALLOWED BY LIFE
      Back Cover Blurb: Do you know evidence shows we’re more than a physical body? An award-winning medical and religion writer, Ada Brownell—through her research after the death of her daughter—shows why we have hope for eternal life, not only from a Christian point of view, but because of physical evidence. Of her 17 years as a journalist, the author spent seve […]
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    • 2014 Laurel Award Feature
      On October 22, 2014, A Miracle of Hope won Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award. During a six-week period, the novel's first 3,500 words were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined it to be the worthiest to receive the 2014 Laurel Award.Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Ruth Reid for her com […]
    • Ane Mulligan's Fresh Taste of Small Town Life
      Bestselling author Ane Mulligan is here tell us about her debut novel about best friends in small-town life. Heartwarming and humorous, Chapel Springs Revival is the perfect excuse to curl up by the fireplace and read.Let's chat with main character Claire.I’ve heard you are the one who spearheaded the reviving of Chapel Springs. Is that true?Are you fro […]
    • September New Releases Clash Champion
      And we have a champion! Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. For those in the Cleveland area, Sharyn will be selling and signing her novel at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academ […]
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    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
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    • Alice J Wisler's new book, Under the Silk Hibiscus
      Under the Silk HibiscusAlice J. WislerLighthouse Publishing of the CarolinasRelease date: November 11, 2014ISBN-13: 978-1941103302Print: 11.39Buy on AmazonAbout the Book:During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold poc […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Sophie Dawson
      Seeing The LifeBy Sophie DawsonAbout the BookSeeing The Life is a look at the life of Yeshua the Christ in a way never used before. Dassa, the daughter of the innkeeper, is sent to fetch the midwife to help the young woman in the stable give birth. She and Mary become close friends as do Micah, her fiance then husband, and Joseph. Separated when the young fa […]
    • Book Review: Nana's 3 Jars by Carol Round
      Nana’s 3 Jars Carol RoundIllustrated by Sheryl Proffittc. 2014 Passionate Purpose PublishingISBN 978-0692280195Print Book: $12.30 Children’s illustrated story bookA visit to Nana’s house in the country is the start of a marvelous adventure for Emma and Charlie who receive a precious lesson in giving and saving. From putting aside the coins in the saving jar […]
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    • BOOK REVIEW: MIRACLES: 32 TRUE STORIES
      32 stories people have shared about ways they have seen a divine hand in their hardships, struggles, moments of danger and more.This book will put any struggles you face or have faced in perspective and are a testament to the human spirit and faith in God.  I give this 4 out of 5 stars.Here's the amazon linkMiracles: 32 True Stories
    • Book Review: Daughter of Joy, Brides of Culdee Creek Book 1 by Kathleen Morgan
      In this historical romance Abigail Stanton is a widow who has lost a child and a husband and is still grieving. She accepts a job as housekeeper for Conor MacKay, a gruff man who has not only been through a string of housekeepers but has also lost a wife who ran off and a son who stole from him and then disappeared. He also has a child from an Indian woman a […]
    • Book Review: The Redemption by Mary Lu Tyndall
      This is the first in the King Pirates series by this author. Charlisse Bristol fleas an abusive uncle and sets off to find the father she never met but a fiece storm shipwrecks her on a deserted island.  She’s rescued by Captain Merrick head of a group of pirates.Devilishly handsome Merrick has recently turned his life over to Christ but he still has much mo […]
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    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
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Posts Tagged ‘The Dreamer’

Finishing Your Novel

Posted by Ben Erlichman on December 15, 2011

I finished my fourth novel on Friday. (Cheers) It was an interesting process–one I’d like to expedite going forward. I started writing the outline near the end of August and finished it at the beginning of December, meaning it took me roughly three and a half months from start to finish. Not bad, but I think I can do better.

My goal for this month is to revise the entire thing so my wife can read it starting January 1st. She is a huge Twilight fan (nobody’s perfect, right?) and my novel has vampires in it, so she’s anxious to read it. My vampires don’t sparkle, though.

Vampires don't sparkle. Fairies do. Draw your own conclusions. (He should be going up in flames right now.)

Anyway, I’ve come to realize that finishing my novels is an incredible feeling. I can remember my sheer elation at finishing my first one, The Dreamer, on Thanksgiving day of 2006 while home from college at my parents’ house watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I felt a comparable feeling, one more of relief than of joy, at finishing my second novel, Lions and Serpents, at the close of NaNoWriMo 2010. I was relieved to just be done with the thing. Finishing Unlucky, my third, gave me the feeling of having completed a long, painful journey inside the skin of my protagonist through the arid Arizona Territory in 1850.

Each experience was like a new flavor of ice cream: all tasty, but different. Upon completion of my vampire novel (tentatively titled Blood for Blood–don’t steal that or I’ll hunt you down), I experienced a feeling of relief similar to when I finished Lions and Serpents last year, but also an incredible satisfaction in knowing I had just completed my fourth novel. Wow. I’ve written four novels.

Ted Dekker gave me a hint at his Ragged Edge Conference in August:  the more books you have written, the more likely you are to get noticed by a publisher. Finishing your novel tells them that you can finish what you start. Finishing multiple novels tells them that you’re in this for the long run. Finishing more than 18 novels before you’re published (like my good friend Lynn Rush) is ridiculous, but hey, it works! I hope I don’t have to write 18 before I get pubbed, but I’m going to keep writing until I get there.

What about you? Is finishing your projects an issue? Do you get hung up on revising them? Is it hard to tie off all your loose ends at the end?

You can find a way to overcome those issues. I wish you the best as you try to do so.

-Ben

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Friendship, Happiness, Inspiration, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Uncategorized, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

On Sabbatical

Posted by Ben Erlichman on April 28, 2011

I live a life of luxury. By that, I mean that I’m so poor that even the smallest treat seems life-changing sometimes.

Remember Charlie from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version, the one with Gene Wilder)? Remember that scene where he finds a silver coin in the sewer drain in the street? He rips it out of there and immediately runs into the neighborhood candy store for a treat. He buys a bunch of chocolate, something he and his poor family rarely get a taste of since they live in such dire straits.

We all dreamed of this moment as youngsters.

Of course we all know what happens next – he buys a Wonka Bar, the one that has the last remaining Golden Ticket inside, and then he gets to visit Wonka’s chocolate factory, etc.

Sometimes I feel like Charlie. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. Actually, I’m exaggerating a lot. I’ve been blessed in my life. I’ve never missed a payment on a bill, I’ve never gone hungry (except as a kid when I refused to eat my veggies), and I’ve never been so strapped for cash that I seriously feared I wouldn’t make it. I’m not that poor.

I could take this post in a number of directions, but we’ve all heard about how even some of the poorest Americans are still wealthy compared to the rest of the world’s people, but that’s not my point. The point I want to make is actually about my life as an aspiring writer, and it has very little to do with money.

I took a sabbatical from serious writing for the past month. Why? Because I promised myself I would. It’s not that I felt overwhelmed or that I desperately needed a break. I feel fine. Still do. No, I took my sabbatical because I accomplished a big goal. Actually two big goals, but they were on the same project: I finished the first draft of my second full-length novel, a historical western action/adventure titled Unlucky, and then I edited the entire piece to a point where I think it’s ready for a publisher’s consideration, so I sent it off to my agent, Les Stobbe, for his thoughts.

He’s still got it, but I’m confident this book is at least as strong (if not even stronger) than the book I wrote that caught his attention in the first place, my first novel (The Dreamer). Well, we’ll see what he thinks. I hear westerns are a hard sell these days…

The point is that I finished it, so I’m taking a break. I did the same thing after I participated in NaNoWriMo this past November for the first time. Why? Because writing 50,000 words in one month is a huge undertaking, at least for someone who’s never attempted it before, like me.

Well, I have good news: from February 24th through March 28th I replicated that result. I wrote over 65,000 words in just over a month’s time and finished Unlucky, then edited all 90,000+ words in just 10 days after that. If that doesn’t deserve a break, I don’t know what does!

So I took a month off. It will actually be a bit longer than a month because I’m at a church conference next week in Arizona, but I expect I’ll do some writing there anyway. It’s hard to keep away, isn’t it?

This is generally what I look like when I'm loafing. Believe it or not, sometimes it's much, much worse.

I’m happy, though. I’ve spent a lot of time doing exactly what I promised myself I’d do: playing video games, reading, and being lazy. Well, even amid all of my slovenliness, I still managed to get myself into some trouble. If you read my post last week, you know what I mean: I somehow landed a gig as the executive editor for a new magazine that I get to create, market, edit, and distribute for Written World Communications(WWC). Silly me.

When not loafing around, I found time to read and critique the proposal and first chapter of a novel submission for another of WWC’s imprints that also does books, Harpstring. (That’s a link to their latest magazine.)

As I’m writing this, I wonder if that will become my pattern: write and edit a book in two months’ time, then take a month off because I can. At that rate, I’d finish four books a year, and since I’m getting better at editing and crafting good stories, they might actually be good quality too. That’d be nice.

But if I get a contract, I don’t know if that pattern can hold up or not. I know a lot of authors agonize over deadlines and end up having to cram at the end. Do they get time off from writing afterward? Or do they have to jump right in to the next book? I wonder what it will be like when I finally reach that point in my writing career.

Until then, I’m glad to have the freedom to take a sabbatical. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, I guess.

By the way, if you write short fiction and want to get pubbed, read my post from last week for submission guidelines to QuickTales Quarterly, the new magazine I’ll be working on. So far I’ve only received one submission and each magazine has spots for 10-16 stories. I’m also looking for awesome photographs, art, and graphic design work. Check it out, okay?

-Ben

Posted in Authors, Encouragment, Happiness, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Uncategorized, Working from home, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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