If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Quandry of the day

I've got nearly 40,000 words on "Still Gracie Mac." They're pretty good words, but I think they're in the wrong order. I think 15-20,000 would finish her off, but as usual I'm stuck in the middle. I kind of wanted to have this done by the end of the year so I wouldn't carry it into the new decade, but Christmas interfered with writing.

Here's the real issue: Holly Lisle is starting the next "How To Revise Your Novel" class January 2 (or there-abouts. Registration is January 2-9.) A finished novel is required to take the class. She doesn't say *how* finished. I'm wondering if I should sign up with a mostly-done-plot-challenged book. There is, of course, always the chance that inspiration will strike and I'll hit on the right combination of conflict. No matter what, if I sign up for the course, it will be a VERY rough first draft. I guess I can sign up for it and download the lessons, and then start them when I'm ready. Anyone who is currently taking the class have any thoughts?

UPDATE: It occurred to me later that I cut a huge piece of Rogue Pawn. In the original, Sieger didn't appear until almost half-way through the book. That gives me a nice sized piece of manuscript to work with. It's not something I'd publish, probably, but it will work for a learning piece. Problem solved!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bless those who curse you

In April 2005, I went to Paris with my kids, Mom, Aunt, and friends. Getting around the city was rather confusing (I spoke more French than any of us, and I only had one semester in 9th grade), but we managed to figure out where the train stations were and set about going to all the places tourists go. One morning we bought our Metro tickets, and Mom asked the man in the booth a question. I don't remember what it was, but he looked at her like she was trash, and it ticked me off. I repeated her question, probably in a more authoritative voice than was necessary, and he answered me. I wanted to tell him what I thought of his Parisian attitude, but Mom was standing beside me. Instead, I glared at him and said, "God bless you!" I didn't mean it, and Mom was amused.

Since then, I've tried to actually live Luke 6:28. The more I do it, the more cathartic it gets. Blessing those who irritate me relieves stress and irritation. Even on the worst days, when I'm behind some jerk who is determined to keep me under the posted speed limit, a well timed, "Well, bless your heart, honey!" will break the tension and maybe even make me laugh.

Matthew 5:11 says that I am blessed when people are ugly to me because of my faith. It doesn't happen that often specifically because of my faith--most people are at least nominally Christian here--but it ties in with blessing those who curse you. Some people are only happy when they're angry. If I am pleasant to those who are ugly, one of two things are likely to happen. Either their mood will lighten and they'll have a better day, or I'll tick them off, which will cause them to have a better day.

As we head into a new decade, I think about that guy in Paris. I wonder if he was having a bad day, or if he's always that way. I'm sure I haven't crossed his mind since that morning, and I smile when I think about the way a chance encounter has changed my long term thinking. Joyeux Noel et bonne annee, Parisian Metro Dude, and really, God bless you!

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