Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Five


My DH got me an MP3 player for Christmas. He's so sweet. I had asked for one and he came through.
Today I added a couple of CDs that I enjoy by Josh Turner.
So today's Friday Five is:
Five songs I like by Josh Turner.
1. Would You Go With Me. (Wow does he have a melty bass voice.)
2. Your Man.
3. In My Dreams
4. Unburn All Our Bridges
5. Me And God.
If you've not heard Josh Turner, check him out.
Do you have an singer you enjoy?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Goals Revisited

Okay, so the picture has nothing to do with today's blog, but I wanted something pretty, and something that wasn't cold and white like the MN landscape for the past 10 weeks or so.

I'm revisiting my goals, prepping for February. As always, some have been added, some have been altered, and hopefully, some have been completed.
Key:
Bold Black Ital. = Goal
Blue = January comments
Red = February comments

1. Editor Revisions for The Bartered Bride. Not exactly sure when these will arrive in my inbox, but whenever they do, they have priority, so I'm putting them number one. Heard back from my editor that these should be heading my way near the end of February and that everything is well ahead of schedule. Yay! Just the way I like it!


2. Final read through for The Marriage Masquerade and send to editor. This happens sometime after February. The manuscript has been critiqued and revised, so it should only need a little tweaking before sending it off. I've read through it one more time and it's all set to go.

3. Edit The Engineered Engagement, my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel. At the moment I need to cut words, reassess my heroine's goal, add a character and delete a character. This is priority number one after the editor revisions on The Bartered Bride. This was my major January project. I cut 6K+ words, ripped off the final chapter and rewrote it, and now it rests with a crit partner awaiting her sharp eye and truthful yet delicate touch. One crit partner already returned it with a thumbs up.


4. Turn in The Engineered Engagement. This happens sometime after June 2009. As soon as crits come back, this one will be ready.


5. Finish final edits on Clara and the Cowboy to send to editor who requested it. The manuscript currently rests with a critique partner. When she's finished with it, I'll go in and make one last round of revisions based on her comments, then get this story out the door to my agent and on to the editor. Sent 12/18/08. Yay crit partners!


6. Begin plotting and writing sequels to Clara and the Cowboy: Lily and the Lawman and Maggie and the Maverick. If the above mentioned editor wishes to contract this series, (praying!) then I'll need to get busy on the next two books. So far they are only a paragraph each, though I have a fun opening line for Lily and the Lawman. Lots of ruminating on LatL. As soon as we can schedule it, the daughter and I will take off for somewhere for a day for a plotting party. No word from the editor yet, but I'm hopeful. :)


7. Prepare proposal packet and three chapters of a Gilded Age mystery/romance I've got kicking around in my head, including pitch sheet and materials to pitch at ACFW. I have an editor in mind to talk to about this series. And I have a name for my hero picked out. :) No action on this one except to order and begin reading A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor in Gilded Age New York by Greg King. Fascinating book.

8. Register for ACFW Denver.

9. Attend ACFW Denver.

10. Read 5 books on craft this year, focusing on characterization, conflict, and endings. I'm lagging behind here. Next trip to the library I will get one or two. I have been listening to ACFW lectures from the 2008 conference. So much good stuff! I have particularly enjoyed Mark Mynheir's continuing ed class on police procedural. I don't write cop books, but he is an entertaining speaker and the subject matter is fascinating. Since I do want to write a book about a frontier lawman, I've been interested in his discussions on the psychology of law enforcement officers and how their job affects their relationships.

11. Revise and rewrite some older mss to submit to a new opportunity. I have the opportunity to revise and submit up to three of my early manuscripts to a publisher. In light of my improved craft, these older mss will take quite a bit of work. I skimmed one yesterday, and I still love the story, so I think I'm going to see what I can do with it. I also spent a few minutes last night brainstorming with my daughter and a good friend of mine on how to turn the books into series.

12. Coordinate the Women's Fiction category for the ACFW Genesis Contest. Because of all the Genesis Contest and the ACFW has meant to me over the past four years, I wanted to find a way to give back to the organization as a whole and the Genesis Contest in particular. Huge Kudos to Camy Tang for overseeing this mammoth project and curating the Spreadsheet Of All Knowledge.

How about you? How are your 2009 goals shaping up?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pursuing Holiness--sorta

In Sunday School, since the study on Respectable Sins didn't quite do me in entirely, we're studying The Pursuit of Holiness. How riddled with sin can one person be??? Where is this holiness to be found, and what do you do with it once you've seen it?

Which got me to thinking about this verse: Psalm 63:8 (King James Version)

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

God promises that if we seek Him, He will be found. That it is through His power that we are able to know Him at all, and He will sustain us on this journey. All we have to do is seek...follow hard...after Him.

I've come to the conclusion that I am spiritually ADD. Rather than following hard after God, clinging to Him and His holy ways, my pursuit of holiness more closely resembles one of the kids from the Family Circus on his way to get the mail. I mean to follow hard after God and pursue holiness but then I wind up chasing butterflies, or playing hopscotch, or kicking an empty can, or following an inchworm and trying to measure if they really do move one inch at a time. Or perhaps I'm just trying to see how slow I can walk without actually falling over...oh wait, that's a whole other story from my childhood. See how easily distracted I am?

Have I ever followed hard after God? If so, for how long? I can't even pray for 5 minutes without some little sparkly idea leading me off task. And I find myself having to really concentrate to read Scripture, lest the study notes or the cross references or the cool rustly sound of the pages distract me.

My mind pounces on distractions like a monkey on a cupcake.

Am I alone in this?


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brrrrrrr!

A little poem my dad sent me.



Winter in Minnesota



It's winter time in Minnesota,
And the gentle breezes blow;
Seventy miles an hour,
At twenty-five below.



Oh, how I love Minnesota,
When the snow's up to your butt.
You take a breath of winter,
And your nose gets frozen shut.



Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
So I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave Minnesota,
'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!
Is it spring yet?

Monday, January 26, 2009

A HA!


A ha!
Last week I worked on editing the third novel in the Kennebrae Bride series, and for the life of me I couldn't seem to get all the way through it. I made it to within FIVE pages of the end and then sat there.
Something was wrong with the story ending. But what? Guy gets girl. Happily Ever After. Mission Accomplished, right?
Um...nope.
I realized that the ending, while standard, wasn't satisfying. And that's what I want to give my readers most of all. A satisfying ending...the kind that makes you say "Yes!" or "Aw!" or whatever you say when you get to the end of a really good story.
So, today, while my girl is in driver's ed, I will be at a coffee shop (one that won't close in the middle of my writing session --see blog post below) rewriting the ending to be more satisfying.
I'm up against the word count (AGAIN!) but I'm going to write it the way it should be, then go back through the manuscript (AGAIN!) and cull more words so it all fits together.
How about you? Have you had any A HA! moments? Have you rewritten an ending to be more satisfying to the reader? Do you have plans to be creative this week?

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Friday Five James Style!

Today is my son's 13th birthday. That's right, I now have two teens in the house. I thought I would interview James for today's Friday Five: Five things about James

Favorite Color: Yellow (with purple a close runner up, a la the Minnesota Vikings)

Favorite Food: Mac n' cheese (I get off so easy here)

Favorite Books: DragonKeeper Series by Donita K. Paul (He was so impressed when he found out Donita and I are Facebook friends and that I'd actually met her at the ACFW Conference)

Favorite Movie: Star Wars Collection

Favorite Game: Currently it is Mario Sunshine (Man, did I ever hit a homerun getting him that game for Christmas. Bigtime Mom Points there.)

Happy Birthday, Buddy! You've brought laughter and love to our lives.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Apologies to Paul and John Wayne.

The good stuff I meant to do I did not. The puttering around I did not intend to do, well, that's what I did.

Today marked day one of my eldest child's driver's education class. Three hours on Monday and Wednesday afternoons for the next five weeks.


Okay, I admit it, I worried a little. She is homeschooled. Her class size is one. The local high school where she is taking the classes has a couple thousand students. I wondered how she'd get on, could we even find the right room, would she do well, would she make some new friends. I wanted her to make some friends, enjoy her time, learn a lot...no pressure there!

We found the room (thanks to a very nice young man who turned out to be one of the FIVE students in the class--yes, only five students taking the class, guess no one wants to learn to drive in the teeth of a Minnesota winter.) and met her instructor, signed the contracts, and I left to find a coffee shop so I could work on novel edits--using profitably the time I had to wait.

I found one not too far from the high school, but to my dismay, they closed at five o'clock. What coffee shop closes at 5? Rather than drive around to find another place, I went in and set up shop, drank some tea and checked my email. Since I'd been at the clinic all day with my MIL, I hadn't checked email since the night before. Plenty had piled up waiting to be read. I also wanted to check the blogs I read.

Before I knew it, an hour and a half had gone by and the shop was closing. I packed up and went across the parkinglot to browse the local discount store. I found a Charles Wysocki puzzle, so it wasn't time wasted. :)

At the end of the day, the driver's ed class went well, most of my worries were unfounded (as they usually turn out to be) and I had done NO editing on my novel. Sigh. I meant to edit.

Meant to don't get it done, Dude.

Stand In Groom by Kaye Dacus

This month marks the release of the debut novel of my former crit partner Kaye Dacus.
From it's beautiful cover to its rich and detailed settings this character-driven story will please contemporary romance readers of all ages. With a boisterous southern cast of close-knit cousins, Stand-In-Groom immerses the reader in the fictional city of Bonneterre, Louisiana and the world of the wedding planner. This book was a quick and pleasant read, especially on a snowy afternoon.
One warning though: Don't read this book while you're hungry! The food described is out of this world!
I have a feeling the sequel, Menu for Romance, will continue this trend. I can't wait to see what Chef Major O'Hara and Kaye Dacus cook up next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there.
She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her website and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear.
ABOUT THE BOOK When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman?
George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancee when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?
What they're saying about it:

“Dacus pulls off a delightful story that places readers in the heart of the South with the debut of the Brides of Bonneterre series. Readers will enjoy this look at how lives are transformed through devastating events and how forgiveness is the key to a promising future. Nothing is as it seems in this heartwarming story.”–Romantic Times, 4-Star Review

“Absolutely delightful! I enjoyed Stand-In Groom from cover to cover! Ms. Dacus’s clever story and wonderful prose will draw you away to a place deep in the heart of Louisiana, surrounding you with the scents, sounds, and sights of the deep south. A story filled with romance and intrigue, betrayal and forgiveness, I found myself laughing, crying and rejoicing right along with the characters.”–M.L. Tyndall, author of The Falcon and the Sparrow and the award-winning Legacy of the King’s Pirates series

“Stand-In Groom is as sweet, beautiful, and chaotic as a perfectly planned wedding. Anne is a bright and wounded heroine you’re going to care about for a long time. George is a hero to capture your heart. Kaye Dacus will take you along for a fun, poignent ride in Stand-In Groom.”–Mary Connealy, author of the Lassoed in Texas series and Of Mice...and Murder

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Debut Author!



Can I just say how excited I am about a new book coming out this summer? Me, Just Different, by my friend Stephanie Morrill...It's such a joyous occasion!


Stephanie and I met in 2005 (can it have been that long ago?) at the Florida Christian Writer's Conference. We clicked right away, sharing a love of fiction, and a bond from both having lived in Kansas City for awhile.


Stephanie just unveiled her new website at http://www.stephaniemorrillbooks.com/ and I invite you to trot on over and take a look.


I especially like her FAQ and the honesty of her biography. I have the same problem when someone asks "What is your book about?"



Welcome to the world of Skylar Hoyt, a high school senior whose exotic Hawaiian looks have propelled her to the height of the “in” crowd, but who’s no longer sure that’s where she really fits. New friends, old friends, a reluctant romance, and a family crisis swirl around Skylar as she tries to keep it together and figure out who she really wants to be.

In Stephanie’s Words
To me, Me, Just Different is about the crumbling world of a girl who thought herself untouchable and discovers she doesn’t really know herself at all. Even though our lives might look very different from Skylar’s, I think we’ve all experienced situations that have tried us and led us to discover we aren’t everything we thought we were.

The facet of Skylar’s story I’m particularly attached to is her friendship with Jodi. The idea came from a friendship of mine in middle and high school. Anytime my friend and I liked a guy, he usually wound up liking both of us back. It was a very strange phenomenon that happened four and a half times (one guy we both liked, but he only liked her). One time in eighth grade it very nearly destroyed our friendship, and I remember how even in the midst of the craziness, I felt very disappointed in myself. I wanted—much like Skylar does—to be stronger than I was and to not care what everyone thought.

This book is also very special to me because it’s the first one I wrote after my husband and I got married. We lived in the neighborhood next to Skylar’s and spent a lot of time at Sheridan’s talking about who Skylar and Connor were. A lot of thoughts from those conversations made it into the book. And so did the ice cream.
Erica here: I've read Stephanie's work, and I can truly say she has a unique, sensitive voice well able to tackle the tough subjects that hit kids today. Her work is relavent, centered, and entertaining. I can't wait for my own 16 year old daughter to read Me, Just Different.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Chicken



This past couple weeks I've been a big chicken. I've puttered around, read books, watched tv, played video games, and all sorts of things that weren't editing my NaNo novel.

I wanted to let it lie fallow for a month, but that month stretched into six weeks because I was reluctant to dive into the major revisions I knew that ms needed.

But Saturday, I decided enough was enough. I would go to the library away from distractions like email, blogging, email, chatting on the IM, email, tv, email, video games, email, books, email...you get the picture. I would spend half a day reading and taking notes on what should be changed in the novel.

The library opened at 9:30 am. By 9:45 I was at a table in the stacks, opening the document and ready to get down to work. With trepidation I began reading. When next I looked up, it was 11 am. I was many pages in, and the editing was going well. My major task in this first edit was to cull 6K words from the document to bring it in under the word count. This sounds worse than it was because when writing it in the NaNo frenzy, I wrote two chapters that didn't feel right, that I ended up rewriting during that crazy month. But I kept the old chapters in there because no words are wasted words during NaNo. I knew I could go in and remove those chapters and thousands of words would fall to my editor's pen.

When next I looked up, it was almost 4 pm! I had spent all day editing and was within 25 pages of the end of the book. WOW! I was so tired and didn't realize it until that moment. I decided to leave the last 25 pages (loaded with action and with some things I knew would need serious revision based on things I'd changed in earlier chapters) until Monday when I would be fresher.

Lesson learned here? Nothing is so tyrannical as fear. It blows things out of proportion and keeps you from doing what you know you need to do. This story wasn't nearly as mangled as I made it out in my head. I had plotted it out beforehand and stayed true to that plot (except the two chapters I had to rewrite...that should teach me the value of my plot board, huh?) and the story holds together well. I will polish it up further this week and hopefully send it out for crit by Friday.

Then it is on to a proposal for a series that's been tickling my brain for awhile.

Do you have anything that has held you hostage lately that you just need to dig into?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Five Meme


Wicked cold here this week, lots of snow, lots of wind, lots of hot chocolate. :)
I found this meme in an interview with Josh Grogan, the author of Marley and Me. I thought the questions were interesting, so I'm going to give it a go to answer them, then invite you to answer them too. Either consider yourself tagged and answer them on your blog and let me know, or pick a favorite and answer in a comment.
Q What item in your home says Erica Vetsch lives here?
Probably my books...or my laptop, since I'm never very far from either of those.
Q What are three things on your nightstand?
My TBR pile, my alarm clock, my MP3 player (and since Josh added a couple things, I'm going to also) the Bible I'm using to read through the Scripture in one year, a brass lamp, and the tv remote.
Q What is one thing on your living room wall?
A decorative shelf that my dad made me, with heart cutouts and three drawers.
Q What is one thing you have in your house from your childhood?
Books. Lots of books from my childhood. Books were my best friends.
Q What are three things we'd find in your medicine cabinet?
Advil--when I was a teacher, we called this teacher candy.
Bath and Body Works Coconut Lime Verbena shower gel. Christmas gifts from my boys.
Crest Pro Health rinse.
Q What are three things we'd find in your refrigerator?
Slimfast Milk Chocolate shakes
Carrots and veggie dip
Caffeine Free Diet Coke
Q If you had to save one thing from your home, what would it be?
I'm going to assume that my family and beloved cat would be safe and say either my laptop or my jump drive. I have so much work stored on those, I would hate to lose it all. Anything else could be replaced.
Q What is the biggest collection in your home?
Books, hands down. I have hundreds and get more all the time.
Q What is the most embarrassing thing in your home that you hide when guests come over?
Laundry. I do laundry and sometimes it sits in baskets in the livingroom for a few days before I get around to folding it and putting it away. I've been known, when company arrives spur of the moment, to shove the laundry out of sight. Then again, sometimes I don't get it out of site. At least the laundry is clean. :)
Q What's the best furniture bargain you ever got?
A rustic green sideboard made of old barn boards. It's in my dining room, and I think it looks smashing with all my sunflower decor. We got it at an auction for a song.
Q What CD or artist would we find in your player?
Right now, Michael W. Smith's Live the Life. Though I was listening to Casting Crowns on the MP3 player while I walked on the treadmill yesterday.
Q Do you do any snooping of your own when visiting friends?
I don't go looking into medicine cabinets or into rooms where I've not been invited, but I do gravitate toward bookcases to see what people in the house are reading. You can find common ground and find out a lot about a person by what's on their bookshelf.
So, any takers? Let me know if you blog these. I'd like to come by and read your answers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A new book



I'm a self-confessed book addict. And I don't even want to be cured. :) When we were at the Minnesota History Museum, I went into the bookstore there and browsed. Because everything in the store is related to history, this is heaven for me. I thumb through books I would love to own, like the four volume set of Minnesota history by Folwell, or the biography of James J. Hill that retails for sixty bucks...sigh...maybe someday. Peter always gets a little nervous when I head into that bookstore...or any bookstore for that matter. :)

But I did find one gem, and on the clearance cart no less. To Live and Die in the West: The American Indian Wars by Jason Hook and Martin Pegler. This book isn't a history of Indian warfare in the American West, but rather a volume describing daily life and conditions of military service on the plains. Invaluable for a writer. Everything from clothing to daily chores to the menus of both the US Army and the plains Indians is covered. Maps, photographs, artists cut-away drawings of equipment, it's all in there.

About the Authors:

Jason Hook is a senior editor of Wayland Publishing and has written extensively on the subject of American Indians. He holds a degree in English and American Literature with First Class Honors.

Martin Pegler is a Senior Curator of weapons at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds UK. He has a long-standing interest in the history of the US Cavalry.

In an aside, one of my pet peeves is when people interchange the words Cavalry with Calvary. There is an immense difference. Christ did not die at Cavalry. Though I suppose saying "Calvary to the rescue" is more true than people realize.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monkey Socks

One of the things I've learned this winter is that as a diabetic, I have to take good care of my feet. Though I don't have any numbness or tingling, my feet do get cold. My family will be shocked to know that I've even worn socks to bed a couple times this winter. As someone who has never been able to sleep with even the covers on my feet, wearing socks to bed is akin to wearing a straitjacket.

During the day around the house, I wear my monkey socks with the no-slip soles. These were a gift from some writer friends a few years ago. I wear them over my regular socks (again something that shocks my family, as I was known to go barefoot in the good old days even in winter, due to the fact that my feet were always hot).

Heather took this picture for me. I was going to take it myself but then realized that would have made the monkey faces upsidedown in the photo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Field Trip

This past Saturday, the family and I went to see Vatican Splendors at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. The exhibition has been extended for a week due to the popularity. When we arrived at the museum at around 11 am, the place was packed and tickets were sold out through 3:45. I ran inside and got tickets for 4:15, then we hopped into the van and headed to the Jackson Street Roundhouse to see some trains.










And see some trains we did. This little gem is a model train, I'm not sure of the scale, it was about two feet high and about six feet long. It reminded me of the little train that used to run in Kenwood Park back home.













We saw the Hustle Muscle 400 (it
went 400 miles in 400 minutes) the Pride of the Great Northern Line. Beautiful and powerful. And orange.


















We went on a short Caboose Ride. Kinda fun. I've never been on a moving caboose before. The kids sat up in the turret and Heather took pictures. James is trying to get out of the shot looking ahead toward the engine.



















The Lego Train setup was amazing. No pictures would do it justice. One of the most fun things for me was the little blue and white striped building, which immediately reminded me of the Brown County Historical Society Museum in New Ulm, MN, a museum I love (I know, I've never yet met a museum I didn't love). When I mentioned that to the kids, the man running the train said "That's what we patterned that building after." an he lifted off the lid/roof and showed us the little Lego artifacts inside. I think they did a pretty good job, don't you?














When we'd seen lots in the Roundhouse Museum, we headed over to the History Museum. We listened to a history player enact the life of James Madison Goodhue. The history players are really great. And the story of Goodhue is an interesting one. He's number 48 of the Minnesota 150. This past year MN celebrated it's 150th birthday and 150 pertinent people and events were chosen for a special exhibit at the History center.



Then we stood in line for a long time for the Vatican Splendors. The exhibit was really interesting and if I had a place to hang a 10' x 5' painting of a giant, chubby, angel baby cherub, I'd have made an offer on it. He was sooooo cute. I really enjoyed the paintings and the Swiss Guard uniforms and weaponry.
Afterwards Peter took us to Ruby Tuesdays where we talked about what we'd seen. All in all, another great Vetsch Family Field Trip.

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 Market Guide



At the beginning of a new year, one of the best things you can do to help your writing career is to purchase the newest Christian Writers' Market Guide.

This guide is invaluable to the Christian writer. Inside you will find contact information for agents, book publishers, magazine publishers, fiction guidelines, non-fiction guidelines, writing groups, writing conferences, and so much more.

An added bonus is that the book comes with a searchable CD with over 1000 markets for your writing.

It was through the Christian Writers' Market Guide that I found my agent, the first step on my way to publication.

Click HERE to purchase your copy today!

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Friday Five








I was perusing my DVD shelves looking for a film to watch, and realized I have some decidedly odd DVD's. Here is a small sample.






Frank Buck in Tiger Fangs: Tigers are on a killing rampage in the jungles of Damang! The murderous spree has stopped the flow of imporant war supplies to the Allies. Famed animal trapper Frank Buck arrives to dispel the natives' supserstion that it is the work of the mythical Chinadags - humans with a lust for blood. With help from a beauitful scientist, Frank discovers that the tigers are being drugged and uncovers an insane Nazi plot designed to destroy civilization. Wartime ingrigue and jungle mystery combine in this PRC adventure, Starring Frank Buck, June Duprez, and Duncan Renaldo.


Pirates of the Seven Seas: Four movies on one disk. The Black Pirate, Captain Calamity, Wallaby Jim of the Islands, and Jamaica Inn. Starring George Houston, Douglas Fairbanks, and Sid Sailor.







King Solomon's Mines. Before there was Indiana Jones, there was Allan Quartermain, the stalwart hero of H. Rider Haggard's classic 1885 novel that's been filmed four times. This 1950 version stars Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr.





Alexander McDougall's Whalebacks were once a common sight on the Great Lakes. Join the Out of the Blue Dive Team as they explore examples of these now extinct oddities. Learn about their tragic tales and see rare, historical footage of life aboard the 'whale.'
This disk, World War Two Movies, Collector's Series, has three movies. Corregidor ( Otto Kruger and Donald Woods), The Immortal Batalion (David Niven, Stanley Holloway and Peter Ustinov), and The Big Lift (Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas).
What kind of audio-visual oddities do you have hanging out at your place?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

An interesting ending



This fall I purchased SILKS by Dick Francis and his son Felix Francis. As frequent readers of this blog can attest, I am a bigtime Dick Francis fan. I have all of his fiction. (43 novels)

The story was most interesting, but the ending left me with a feeling of disappointment. Not because it wasn't action-packed enough, but because the hero made a decision that I felt crossed a line I wouldn't have. I've read the book twice now (told you I was a fan) and on the second readthrough, I realized that the hero didn't cross a line that violated his own code of ethics, just mine.

I've been thinking a lot about endings lately. I tend to rush my endings, building up to a major KAPOW ending, but quite often leaving the story not quite finished. I also need to make sure that the story ends in a way that is both logical and doesn't violate my code of ethics just because it is expedient.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Semester



My daughter is starting a new semester of school on Monday. New books in the mail, new professors, new course requirements, etc.

I am dusting off a ms I wrote last year and re-reading it, massaging it, and getting it ready to submit. While she is diving into new material, I'll be rediscovering old things. But each of us will face similar challenges, mastering material, presenting ideas in the best way, discovering our strengths and working on our weaknesses.

How about you? Do you have new challenges you're diving into? A new semester, a new job, a new project?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Widgets



I put a couple new widgets on the blog. One is a countdown to the ACFW Denver conference. I really want to go. I had thought after the last conference that maybe I would sit Denver out and wait for Indy in 2010, but the more I think about it, listening to the workshops from the past conference, corresponding with people I shared the 07 conference with, I don't want to miss 09 in Denver.

I like widgets like the countdown, especially if they motivate me to do more, do better, make progress. By far, my favorite widget is the word counter.

Do you have a favorite widget, motivator, or gadget?

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Things for the New Year


I've got a few new things scheduled for 2009 that I thought I'd share here.
1. Our church is encouraging it's members to read through the Scriptures in one year. I received a 365 day Bible from the editors at Barbour that I'm going to use to try to use to help me accomplish this.
2. I got a new Bible study book for myself. A 30 Day Walk through the Psalms by Nancy Leigh Demoss. I'll be taking more than 30 days to go through this study. I'll try to post things that crop up in my learing as I go along.
3. My ladies' Bible study at church is starting a new study in Genesis. I'm really looking forward to this study. I love the Bible Study ladies.
Do you have any things lined out to deepen your relationship with God this year? Anything you want to study?

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Friday Five



Five games I've played this year:

1. Quelf. This game is nuts.

2. Imagine If... This one was a lot of fun, and there's no wrong answer. I love that in a game.

3. Apples to Apples. Love this one too. The answers are so funny, and we tend to play marathon games where we go through ALL the cards.

4. 500. In Peter's family, you need to know how to play this game. When I first joined the family 19 years ago, it was the only game they played together. I learned in self-defense.

5. Zoo Tycoon. I love playing this game with my daughter. We design zoos and try to beat the challenges.

There's one game I want to try with the family, Settlers of Cataan. I've heard good things and think it would suit my strategists very well. Have to look into acquiring it.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year



Today we're partying at the Vetsch house. Wish you were here!

Have a blessed New Year!