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Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

25 Days to Go, 35,962 Words To Go

Inspiration for Inga
Today I edited (down) some of what I'd already written and then charged ahead, writing about 1600 words by the end of the day. It's 8:34 p.m. and I'm calling it a night.

Gosh, I hate writing the "bad stuff," but Inga (Magda's sister) is about to make a big mistake. She's not the first in the world to do so, but it makes me sad when my characters take wrong paths.

She'll learn, though.

I just hope I can see it through within the next 36,000 words! Not to mention what must take place with Magda, Joan, Betty, and Evelyn.

Poor Evelyn ... talk about misguided!

I called my agent today. Rather, he called me after I sent a text that read: Call me. Told him I may have to try to squeeze in at least another 5,000 words. So, really ... this blog should be titled 25 Days to Go, 41,962 words to go. That's 1679 words a day. No slacking off.

I can do it ... as long as life leaves me alone. :)

By the way, that's Inga up there. Can you name the actress I've been inspired by? The first to do so will win a copy of this book when it releases!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

26 Days, 36,827 Words to Go

Now, when I tell you that I only wrote roughly 750 words today, you'll think I failed in my quest to get at least 1,500 penned each day. But the truth is, I took part in an online Word Weavers critique group from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., then had a session with another writer at 11:00 ... then had an editing project to do ... then a private session with one of my coaching clients from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and then I listened in on a Christian Writers Guild webinar offered by Jeff Gerke from 8:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

And, I edited 7,500 words of Five Brides, so really ... it was a banner day.

But, let's talk about the 750.

I realized this afternoon that I have five young women in 1952 who have yet to meet the men they are going to marry and only, roughly, 40,000 words to make that happen. I've got some speed writing to do!

Not that we want to rush love and marriage. Oh, no ... but ... don't panic, Eva. Do. Not. Panic. You can do this. You can. All you have to do is get off the roof without jumping and ... write.

Whew. So ... now I'm all about getting these five women to the man of their dreams. And to the altar. In one dress.

We begin with Magda. She's already met Mr. Right ... she just doesn't know it yet. :) Can't wait to tell her!

Ah ... 

27 Days, 37,553 Words to Go!

(For your listening pleasure, as you read the remainder of today's blog, go to: GLENN MILLER, In The Mood)

So, yesterday Magda made a big decision, which will have great impact on her life.

She also made a great argument against Karl Marx's line: Religion is the opium of the people.

In the beginning of my planning and plotting, Magda had such a small, insignificant role and now she's carrying such weight. Her lines of dialogue are incredibly deep. I love her!

Here's another thing that happened ... Magda is having a conversation with her boss that is going to change her life, but she doesn't know it. Not yet, anyway. I do, but she doesn't.

Looking back on your own life, can you think of a time when foundations of the most significance were being laid, but you didn't realize it? Let's talk about it!

Monday, August 18, 2014

39,303 Words. 28 Days

So here's the story.
Back around June 30, I had two and a half months to re-write approximately 95,000 of my upcoming novel, currently titled Five Brides.
Five Brides is based on the true story of five women who met in Chicago after World War II. They became roommates for "a season" and during that short period of time they each put $60 in the "pot" and bought a beautiful wedding dress from the iconic Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company. 

Each woman wore the dress on her wedding day.

I have had the joy and privilege of meeting one of those women. Joan is now in her early 80s and a woman of great influence. As far as we know, she is the only living member of the five. Because most of the women were only roommates and not friends, there is no story on the other four.

Which means, this writer gets to make it all up.

So, where am I right now in this re-write?

I wrote over 4,000 words yesterday, which brought me to over 55,600 words.

My characters are: Joan (from England), Evelyn (from Georgia), Betty (from Illinois), and Magda and Inga (sisters from Minnesota). As of yesterday, Betty is about to right a wrong, Magda is about to make a positive decision, and Inga is heading head-first into a very, very bad decision. And Joan? Well, Joan has a new job which will, in time, impact Betty. Greatly.

For the next couple of weeks or so, I'm going to post my progress. Some of the sites I visit (after all, I wasn't even alive in 1952!) and some of the songs that inspire me.

Let's have some fun at my expense, shall we?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

And the Winner Is...

I've read all the entries ... great job, everyone.

But I've narrowed it down to first, second, and third place. Only First Place wins, but I wanted to acknowledge second and third.

So, drum roll please:

Third Place goes to: Rona Jeanne Evartt!
Second Place goes to: Stacie Salvo!

and First Place goes to: Tina Hunt!
Congrats, Tina! Email me at PenNhnd@aol.com with your preferred email address so I can send your Amazon gift card your way.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Writing Contest for July 2014

I haven't done this in a while, but it's time to do it again!

Here's how the contest works:
1. Look at the painting below.
2. Write a story around the painting (no more than 150 words).
3. Share the story in the comment section below.
4. Be sure to share the contest with others on your social network. Let's make this FUN!
5. On July 14, I'll read over the entries and choose a winner. Winning story wins a gift card from Amazon.

Ready? Let's do it!

Monday, June 16, 2014

When God Jerks My Chain

Years ago--like, many, many years ago--my family and I were in the throes of very active lives. Socially. Within our church family. Within the civic community. We left not too many hours in the day or the week or even the month for just relaxing.

Keeping the kids busy, I'd  been taught, will keep them out of trouble. That much is true, but I failed to factor in that their being busy often meant my being busy.

We had friends, lots of friends. And, I have to tell you, I enjoyed my friendships. Hanging out. Cooking out. Going to the beach together. Sitting next to each other at church. Sometimes my "friend" time (as in, only my friends) meant shopping trips or sitting down with a cup of coffee and a heart filled with things to chat about. Going to see a movie.

Then, one day, mysteriously, the phone stopped ringing. Calls I made were not returned. Hurt and perplexed, I went through my days as always--going to work, taking care of my kids, loving my husband. But my friends were no where to be found.

Then, in a business setting, someone handed me a booklet titled, "How to Make Jesus Your Very Best Friend." As if God jerked my chain, I suddenly knew and understood what was happening to me. I had made godly relationship my focus instead of my relationship with God.

I determined to right the wrong and did so. I placed more of my focus on my friendship with God and less on my friendships with people. Slowly, lesson learned, friends eased back into my life.

I am a people person. I love being around them. Interacting. When we moved to Orlando, the most difficult part, for me, was in not having my friends around. Once I made new friends, I felt like I had finally arrived "home." But, once again, God had to jerk my chain.

More than once.

And, wouldn't you know it. I've made my way back to Square One. God is whispering, "Draw to a quiet place, Eva Marie. Make it more about me."

Okay, Lord. I am listening.
Making God your very best friend is done in the same way as making a best friend in human form. First, you have to make Him your friend friend. 

How do we do that? Well, in the same way as with people. Time. Talking. Listening. More time.

Slowly, He becomes more important than anything or anyone until, one day, you realize ... God is enough.

Everything else is gravy.