My Secret for Added Writing Power/Birth of a Novel blog hop

birth of a novel

This is a post in the Birth of a Novel weekly blog hop.

I’m afraid I didn’t get much actual wordage added to my WIP, a short story tentatively titled ‘The Welcoming Church’— about 500 words I think. But I did start some things that have added to my writing power. Mainly, things that involve turning to my Higher Power. [If unfamiliar with the term ‘Welcoming Church’, look here: http://www.welcomingresources.org/ — and remember I haven’t said what my position on this is, only that I’m writing a story about it.]

My Higher Power is God, and God’s Son, Jesus Christ, along with the Holy Spirit. I know that turns people off. But I’ve tried other Higher Powers— the Wiccan goddess, Odinist gods such as Odin, Thor, Freyja, Sif and Nanna, and the almighty non-god of the Marxist dialectic— and they just don’t pack much of a punch in my experience.

I’ve started daily readings of the complete Bible using a Bible reading plan I found online at: http://chnetwork.org/2012/08/free-resource-updated-version-of-our-read-the-bible-and-the-catechism-in-a-year-guide/      This is different from the read-the-Bible-in-a-year plans I knew as a child because it gets you through the COMPLETE Bible as the Church used it since the canon of the New Testament was decided on. There are some Old Testament books that are removed from most Protestant Bibles these days— but they were translated in the Martin Luther Bible translation into German and the King James Version in English, and Jesus actually quoted from the books. So it’s great to have them included in this plan— even non-Catholics might want to read them.

Bible reading not only has a religious value but a cultural literacy one. Which is one reason I usually use the King James Version Bible translation— it is the Bible translation most used in literary quotations. I’ve heard it estimated that if all Bibles vanished overnight you could reconstruct one using all the Bible quotations in English language books!

Prayer is another thing. Not just prayer asking God to fix things for ME. There is such a thing as intercessory prayer, when we pray for the needs of other people. Just today I’m praying for a friend who is undergoing some tribulations today. I’ve even walked to a nearby church to say a few prayers. As a Catholic I pray the rosary, and also have been using a prayer book called the ‘Little Office’ which is kind of similar to the Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Office, Breviary) prayers you may have read about in history books.

Other people of course do not share my beliefs. They may have different conceptions of a Higher Power. But I personally believe that when you connect to your Higher Power, at least you don’t feel so alone in your writing struggles. You’ve got Someone bigger than you and stronger than you on your side.

Have you ever turned to God/your Higher Power in regards to your writing? Did it help you?

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Birth of a Novel blog hop: July 10, 2015

birth of a novelThis is a post in the Birth of a Novel weekly blog hop.

This week has been a week of Not Doing Things with my writing. I haven’t written poems daily, I haven’t done much work on my current short story, or in editing a previous short story.

All I’ve done, is that I’ve written a couple of book reviews that I had been intending to write. Both were posted both on Goodreads and on Amazon.

I was inspired by the fact that when I rated author Daniella Bova’s books recently, she sent me a private message thanking me. I mentioned that I had a short poetry book out which was available as a free ebook, and she said she’d read it.

When I reviewed the second ‘book’, actually a short story called Voices from the Void by Mirtika, I sent a private Facebook message to Mirtika. Haven’t got a response yet, but I feel by reviewing books and then telling the authors about the review, I may in time get some reviews on my own work.

Another thing: I’m thinking about setting up a small poetry-writing course which I hope will be useful for prose writers and also for homeschooling families. If the online lessons go well, I can put out a revised version as a book/ebook.

One thing I DIDN’T do this week that I should have is to try to spread the word out the Birth of a Novel blog hop. I think it’s a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new blog hop. If you are a writer seeking to network with other writers who might just read and review your book, blog hops are a good thing, They get some activity going on your blog. So get over to Charity’s Writing Journey and join up! http://charitywrites.blogspot.com/

Friday Update June 26th

Honor at Stake by Declan Finn will be released Sept. 1st, 2015

Honor at Stake by Declan Finn will be released Sept. 1st, 2015

This is a post for the Birth of a Novel blog hop.

My Writing Week:

I have not been as diligent with writing poems and working on short stories this week, although I did get some writing done.

I wrote one sijo poem called No Storm Flags Allowed, which I think has potential. After finishing my short story The Skin Shirt, I wasn’t really sure what to work on. I’ve started a new story about a government regulation that requires everyone to give up their paper books and replace them with ebooks. But I’ve also started a rewrite of an old short story that I finished over a decade ago. It’s hard to decide which one to go with.

I have been networking with my author friends. Daniella Bova, author of Tears of Paradox, contacted me when I rated her books on Goodreads, and I told her how much I enjoyed her books. Declan Finn also contacted me and asked if I’d like a free review copy of his forthcoming vampire novel, Honor at Stake. Since the tagline is: ‘Welcome to New York City, where vampires don’t sparkle…. they burn’, I was utterly thrilled to say yes. (I ‘met’ both Declan Finn and Daniella Bova in the Facebook group Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, which I started. Anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ (Catholic, Evangelical, LDS) and writes in the genre is welcome to join.)

I gave both authors the link to my free ebook ‘surly petunia’, a 23 page sampler of some of the poetry I’ve written. It includes some of my weirdest poems— such as ‘alien invasions and the love of lawn furniture’, ‘fat Buddhist spider’ and, of course ‘surly petunia’ itself. Also it includes ‘Wings: Still Life with Asperger Syndrome’. I’m hoping that now that two authors whose books I have reviewed have a chance to read the book, I may soon get my first review on Amazon or Goodreads.

I’m hoping for a few reviews because I’ve decided not to come out with my next small poetry volume until I get at least one review. That one is going to be called ‘Waiting for the Poison Shot’. I have not finalized what poems will be in that one. I already have a book cover designed, though.

So, while I didn’t get a lot of words-on-page this week, I am getting some stuff done towards my career as America’s Weirdest Poet.

birth of a novel

Kitten Update:

Mama kitty Umberto with her kitten, and a few freeloaders.

Mama kitty Umberto with her kitten, and a few freeloaders.

Life’s crazy with 10 barn kittens from 3 mamas in the house. Mother of 4, Consubstantial 2, was brought in and hissed at everybody, including her 4 babies. But Umberto, mother of an only-child kitten, Norbert (a girl), decided more kittens was just what she needed so she adopted all 4, and I let Connie 2 back outdoors. One of the kittens is a calico, like Norbert. I’m trying to resist the temptation to name her Hagrid.

Meanwhile, Consubstantial 1, mother of 5, is annoyed to find that one of her tiny kittens has already learned to escape the kitten box. She has not yet noticed that one of the group-of-4 kittens is jumping in her kitten box and nursing from her with the rest of the tribe.

Friday Update June 19th

0619150741This is a post for the Birth of a Novel blog hop.

My writing week:

Pretty good. On Monday I submitted poems to a poetry magazine, something I haven’t done since last fall. I wrote poems every morning from Monday to Thursday. I also finished a short story I had been working on a couple of months ago.

This last was quite a surprise to me. I’ve had severe struggles with writer’s block which have lead to me not being able to finish novels or short stories.

What is different this time is that I have been working to accept myself as a successful poet rather than seeing myself as a failed novelist and short story writer. Somehow that made a difference.

In other news, my mama cat Umberto decided yesterday it was time to move her kitten. The new home she chose for baby girl kitten Norbert was my favorite chair— a recliner which I also sleep in at night. So I woke up this morning to find Umberto nursing her kitten on my chest. That’s what happens when you have a mama’s baby cat who loves to hang out with her person, and that cat has a baby. She’s torn between staying with baby and getting attention from her person. (She went into labor on my lap, but I persuaded her to move to the kitten box by the time she actually gave birth.)

birth of a novel

Birth of a Novel blog hop: Friday update

Over at Charity’s Writing Journey they’ve got a Friday blog hop where you update the world on your writing progress and then visit others on the hop. I’m up for that. Because otherwise I’d do nothing all day but look after 10 new kittens from 3 mama cats that have recently appeared in my life (I have barn cats).

My writing: I’m working to accept that I’m primarily a poet, not a novelist. So I’m resolving to write poetry every day and have done so every day this week. I haven’t gotten to it today yet.

I also started a short story and have worked on it for two days. The rough draft is going to be pretty rough, but that’s OK.

I’m also reading more poetry. I’ve joined a group over at Goodreads where we vow to read and review 20 poetry books in a year.

So that’s how my writing is going. Pretty good. Now if only I could close that portal to hell in my basement so the basement floor won’t get so wet….