Monday, November 29, 2010

November Break Down

November was a weird month for me. At least, the first two weeks were weird. Feel free to laugh at the following mishaps. :0)

I tried to do NaNoWriMo (sort of) and finish up my novel Night Sword, conveniently forgetting that when I have a large, specific word count each and every day, I freeze up. I think I did about 4 days, realized my mistake, and went back to my usual method of setting chapter goals. It sounds weird to be able to work with chapter goals and not word goals, but hey, whatever floats your boat, right? (And I never claimed my mind was normal!)

Soon after, I got an email saying my article "The Gift Given Year 'Round" was published in 31Ten Magazine...as the Feature! Yes, I squealed, I cried, I woke Justin up to read the article and cried some more! I was so very happy!

That Saturday (the 6th, I do believe), I got hives, for reasons unknown. Although I suspect the Dayquil I'd been taking for a cold. he doc put me on Pepcid (weird, but the antihistamines in it work great!) and a double dose of Benadryl.

I went nuts. I literally think I turned schizophrenic for a couple of days. That has never happened to me before with Benadryl, so I guess that it was the double dose that did it. I quit taking it after 2 days, and I'm again a normal person and very grateful to God for my sanity! :0) I have to say, Justin was extremely sweet, put up with a lot during that time, and really kept me semi-sane. Thank you, sweetheart!

After that little drama, I received an email stating that I was one of 11 whose stories were picked for possible inclusion (based on rewrites) in Port Yonder Press's Elves anthology. Again, I squealed--loudly. Justin came running into the room from talking to his brother, demanding to know what happened. :0) But a few days later, all that came to nothing, when the editor told me there would be "light language and allusions to adult situations" in some other stories. The book was a crossover, so I really should have had fair warning, I suppose. I ended up pulling my story because of certain standards and convictions I'd set for myself before I even started seeking publication (more on this in 2011). I did have a hard day or two, but I ultimately felt better. And besides, it's not every day that an author rejects the offer of publication, so I guess I'm just being as nonconformist as usual. :0)

So, that was the first two weeks of November for me! Thankfully the rest of the month was very normal--I got a lot of writing done despite my jerky start on NaNo, and Thanksgiving went wonderfully without a single kitchen disaster.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Starfire: The Mending by Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Storyline: Rathe has managed to rise above his hatch status, but all it does is give him trouble. First, everyone keeps asking about the jerkrenak tooth he wears—second, he stumbles upon an ancient technology named Karey Or who is determined to get to this thing called the Starfire. Third, it seems that he is the main player in a prophecy that warns him not to allow Starfire to be activated. Top that with a traitor trying to steal Karey Or and a mass invasion of his country, and he is one confused saurn.

My Thoughts:

First of all, this book has no objectionable content WHATSOEVER! I was incredibly pleased to finally find an adult Christian spec fiction book that was completely clean. Thank you, Stuart Vaughn Stockton!

Something that is very neat about this book is that it features no human characters. Everyone in the book is a saurn—a sentient dinosaur. I know that sounds strange, and when I first heard about it, I thought, "Weird. How could he pull that off? I don't know if I'd like that."

I love it.

I loved the characters—even the traitor (before I knew he was a traitor). Stockton has a knack of turning his non-human saurns into lovable military types, from the new kid who keeps getting in trouble, to "the bigger is better" weapons expert, to the tough-talking leader. That's not to say that they're stereotypes--far from it.

I enjoyed the spiritual element. Struth displayed a very bold faith and made no apologies for his beliefs—something I thought was wonderful. I also can't wait to learn more about the jerkrenaks and why the Wayfarers seem to hold them in such high respect.

The writing style felt a little stilted to me, but the story overrode anything I noticed.

This book is action-packed, and one of the few that I've lately read where I couldn't get enough of it. I really want the second book to come out…now!

A FUN NOTE: Brandilyn Collins featured Stuart Vaughn Stockton in her Kanner Lake series as S-man, an author who was always muttering over his novel in the Java Joint coffee shop. How fun is that?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goodbye For November!

I'm doing a sort of NaNoWriMo this year (for those who are unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month, where the challenge is to write 50,000 word novel in 30 days). I say sort of, because I'm planning to finish my novel Night Sword, since it's about time it should be finished. It has about 61,000 words to go.

So, I'm taking a blogging break during the month of November (with the except of November 8th, when I'll be posting a review of Stuart Vaughn Stockton's amazing book, Starfire). If anyone is interested in keeping up with my word count, I'll continue to post it here once a week for this month. I'll also update my sidebar ticker once a week.

Until December!

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