"God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform..." William Cowper

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Relating to George McFly

Those of you who have watched the movie, Back to the Future, probably remember this scene in George McFly's high school lunchroom. Marty, George's son from the future, asks his father what he's writing.

“Science fiction stories… about aliens coming down from other planets,” George says.

“Get out of town… I didn’t know you did anything creative,” Marty says, grinning. “Here, let me read some of it.” He reaches for the notebook, but George pulls it away.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t let anyone read it. They might not like it and tell me I’m no good. I just don’t think I could take that kind of rejection. But, you wouldn’t probably understand that, would you?”

I do, George! I do!

I think of you often lately, George McFly, as I prepare for the ACFW conference. Everything is coming together. My one-sheet is done, my pitch is ready for the agents I'll be meeting. My first chapters are completely polished. Still...rejection is part of a writer's journey, and it's sure to come. When it does, will I be able to handle it?

Standing at this threshold, I can't imagine coming this far just to chicken out. So I'm going to take the leap. And you know what? I'm excited to learn what journey God has in store for me. I'm excited to see what He's going to teach me through this conference. Maybe He'll surprise me. Maybe He'll teach me things that don't even have to do directly with writing. Maybe He'll teach me about encouraging and serving others. Maybe, with my friends and family 800 miles away, I'll gain a deeper trust in the ability of my Creator to take care of me. Who knows? I suppose I'll find out in seventeen days....

As for George McFly, I can't say my future has a hardcover in it as his eventually did, but for right now, it's nice to know someone else understands, even if he is only a fictional character himself.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Though Waters Roar

“Thank goodness you’re such a plain child. You’ll have to rely on your wits.”
So went the words of Grandma Bebe. And for all of my growing-up years, I scoffed at the beauty of my sister and what I saw as her meaningless existence. But my wits hadn’t served me well in this instance, for here I was, in jail. And while I could have seen it as carrying on the family tradition for Grandma Bebe landed in jail for her support of Prohibition, the truth is, my reasons for being here would probably break her heart.
So how did I end up becoming a criminal? I’ve been pondering that question all night. Perhaps the best way to search for an answer is to start at the very beginning….

My Review:
I have to thank one of my critique group members--thanks, Nicole!--for recommending Lynn Austin to me several months ago. This being only the second book of Austin's that I read, I'm already looking forward to polishing off her entire list.

Though Waters Roar is a true historical adventure that swims through three generations of strong-minded women and their battles for the abolition of slavery, prohibition, and women's suffrage. Each woman is real, each woman faces insurmountable challenges, and each woman has different lessons to learn along the way.

The bulk of the novel was told in flashback, and while some may find this hard to follow, I loved the resonance it lent to the story as a whole. Austin's unique voice and powerful writing not only made me laugh out loud, but also brought me to tears during one particularly poignant scene. Her unpredictable story of hope and forgiveness is not one I will soon forget.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Top Ten Nuisances of Running

After my hard, torturous run of fourteen miles last Friday, I decided something: I like walks. Nice, long, slow, relaxing, pain-free walks. In the spirit of this hopefully temporary attitude, I've compiled my own little list of the top ten things that make running, well...downright unpleasant.

1) Cramps. Any kinds, but particularly those in the abdomen that twist and pull until I'm sure only labor is more painful, and of course, those sharp ones in the toe of the little-piggy-that-had-roast-beef.

2) Breathing in the smelly exhaust of eighteen-wheelers.

3) Blisters.

4) Almost stepping on a freshly dead snake--or worse, a freshly alive one!

5) Dogs. Yes, I've been bitten in the derriere on one occasion. Ouch.

6) Deerflies getting caught in my thick ponytail.

7) Splashing red gatorade over my face and up my nose because I refuse to slow to a walk while gulping my allotted two sips per every ten minutes. (Drinking too much while running is one of the reasons nuisance #1 occurs in the first place.)

8) Direction-askers. I really do love to help people, but can't they see precious seconds are ticking away on my stopwatch while I stop to tell them how to get over-the-hill-and-through-the-woods?

9) Sweat. Especially the kind that drips into the eyes and burns.

10) Indecent thoughts such as maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be a terrible thing if this oncoming car swerved and hit me slightly...not enough to do serious damage, mind you, but enough to give me an excuse to stop this self-inflicted misery.

**Dislaimer To My Most Loyal Reader: Mom, only half-joking with #10. Don't worry. I promise not to throw myself in front of a moving vehicle.

So, that's about it. I'd go into the nuisances of writing, but right now my biggest nuisance is simply not finding the time I want to write.

Any runners out there? Is your biggest annoyance on my list?

P.S. Besides my five-year-old's bold outburst of "This is boring!" in the middle of their vows, my sister's wedding last Saturday went beautifully. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Story Behind the Story

Taking a little blogging break this week in preparation for my only sister's wedding this Saturday--yay! :)

Meanwhile, I will be guest blogging on Nicole Miller's blog, To the Heart of History, along with the rest of my critique group this week. Nicole, my wonderfully talented and helpful critique partner, is running a series on "The Story Behind the Story." If you're interested, click on the following link:

Keep an eye out for me mid-week. God bless!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Crazy Things We Do

"Mommy, you smell like the beach."

No, my sweet, sweet, unassuming five-year-old, that's not the beach. It's the fish oil your mother rubbed on her knees before she went on that ten mile run this morning. Ick.

I read about it somewhere online. For aching knees, massage fatty acids directly onto your joints. Avocado may smell better, but fish oil is cheaper. Mind you, I'm not even sure if this is proven, but it does seem to work--even if it's all in my head. The trouble is, the smelly stuff doesn't come out easily, even with a bar of soap and a fierce scrubbing.

Oh, the things a runner will do.

Such as periodically hopping on one foot while running to ease a painful, numbing cramp out of one's toe. Of course, I could stop and stand on said foot like a flamingo, but that would be...well, kind of like cheating. No stopping, no walking. Those are my self-inflicted rules.

So, if you're cruising around the Swansea/Dighton/Rehoboth area in Massachusetts with your windows down, and get a whiff of something...fishy...and you round a bend and see a woman hopping ungracefully on one foot with a sports drink in hand (no, I'm not playing hopscotch)...that's me...the girl who thinks she can run a marathon.

But wait! I'd hate to end the post on such a discouraging note. That ten mile run? My mile splits weren't far off from Boston Marathon qualifying time! Never mind the extra sixteen miles I need to run to make a marathon, progress is progress.

As for the second part of my Double Marathon Challenge, I'm polishing up my manuscript for a final time and will submit it to my critique group this week. Right on schedule.

This week's a high and I'm not expecting it to last forever. But today, I'm happy.

What about you? What are the crazy things you've done to achieve your goals?