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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    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
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    • Welcome Back to Lillian Duncan
      Tell us about REDEMPTION.It’s the third and final book in my Sisters by Choice series. Well, probably last. I do have an idea for a fourth book rattling around in my brain, but it’s only an idea at the moment. Who knows if it will actually grow into a book?Redemption brings the series full circle and gives closure for those who’ve read all three books. Jamie […]
    • Redemption by Lillian Duncan
      Others may think Jamie Jakowski is a hero, but she knows differently. Haunted by her past, she seeks redemption by helping others in spite of the danger to herself. However, after almost orphaning her daughter, Jamie opts to retire. When a friend needs her, Jamie agrees to one last undercover operation. She is determined to reunite a heartbroken mother with […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Virginia Tenery
      So nice to have Virginia Tenery visiting today! Read on to find out about her writing journey!What started you on your writing journey?VB: I’ve always been an avid reader of suspense novels and I found what was available in the ABA market too violent for my tastes. I decided that writing looked easy, and I would write the kind of books I liked to read. Wrong […]
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    • August New Releases Clash
      Clash of the Titles presents four brand new inspirational novels. One’s set in a Bible camp for tweens or the tweens in your lives. Hopes and dreams are threatened in another. In the third, a town’s in need of a miracle. Two people work to cure a deadly disease in the fourth. Which one will you read first? Browse the books, then, using the voting box below, […]
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    • What Is Your Ambition?
      Often people will wonder what God's will for their life is. Paul told us in 1 Thess. 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you.We make it so complicated. It's simple really. Keep your life simple. Keep your nose out of others business (translation; don […]
    • Something Special This Way Comes
      Summer is over. Time to get back to writing and creating. Now is the time for me to develop new and exciting (hopefully) aspects to my live as an author. So... the new things I am adding are Sophie's Special Emails and Christian Author Interviews Podcast. Sophie's Special Emails - This will be a newsletter that goes out about once every two weeks. […]
    • A Lifetime of Sewing
      I learned to sew at the age of eight. We went on a three week vacation to Connecticut to visit family. Along the way we traveled to different sites. I remember Niagara Falls and Sault Ste. Marie as well as my aunt, uncle, and cousins but that's about it. We traveled in a green station wagon. Mom, Dad, me, my sister, Cheryl, and brother Dave. She was 10 […]
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    • The Right Ingredients by Nancy Shew Bolton
      The Right Ingredients by Nancy Shew BoltonMissing the right ingredients for a life of joy, a young baker learns lessons in the true recipe for love. About the Book:Ann’s hectic work responsibilities demand all her time and effort, and what was once a useful, satisfactory life has become a burden. Her bakery partner Susan has lost none of her enthusiasm for t […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Michelle Word Hollis
      It's in the House: Lessons from a Widow Woman - Getting What You Need & More!By Michelle Word HollisAbout the Book:In this book you will discover the powerful lessons, from the Biblical story of the Widow's Oil, that will help you overcome any difficulty you are currently facing. You will learn easy to implement strategies that will cause posit […]
    • Book Review: Trevelyan by Naomi Musch
      TrevelyanNaomi Musch      Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. (May 21, 2014)     ASIN: B00KI26HKW4.99, 10.95 printBuy on AmazonFrom the publisher: Five men and two Elven princes have embarked upon a quest: to save a sister from the wasteland of the Great Winter where she is held in the clutches of a Monster Lord who all believe brought desecration and […]
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    • Book Giveaway: Success is Your Birthright by R Stanton Tucker
      We are offering a book giveaway for one print copy of R. Stanton Tucker's new book, Success is Your Birthright.  To enter, leave a comment with you email at the end of this blog post stating why you would like to win this book. Drawing ends October 10th. Book Blurb:  Life resembles a roller coaster. It has suspense, intrigue, smooth moments, hairpin tur […]
    • Book Review: The Newspaper Code by Lisa Lickel
      A part of the Buried Treasure Series, in this book we join school teacher Judy Wingate settling into motherhood following the birth of her new baby. When Esme an older lady who was a member of the local garden club turns up dead with a garden claw in the middle of her forehead at the base of a statue in the center of town, Judy is determined to find out more […]
    • Book Launch : Lake Surrender Book Launch by Carol Stratton
      Carol Stratton is proud to announce her first novel, Lake Surrender.The story is about a career editor who loses her marriage, house and job. As a single parent of a precocious pre-teen and an autistic son, she’s forced to find a more inexpensive place to live than the San Francisco Bay Area. She ends up in Northern Michigan working as a cook at a dilapidate […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    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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