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Showing posts from December, 2013

A Christmas Gift

Merry (belated) Christmas!

I hope that you were and are able to spend time with family and friends this week.  As a Christian, I marvel at Christmas.  The thought of an all-powerful God even deigning to acknowledge lower life-forms is staggering, much less the incredible mercy he showed when he, who owed us nothing, made a willing sacrifice.  When I give gifts at Christmas, I am always pleased to give freely, but I could never come close to the grace that was shown to us when Jesus was born in this world.

Today I have a Christmas gift for you.  Since Christmas is a celebration of birth and hope, I have a passage from this year's NaNo about a birth.  It is rough and largely unedited, I just tweaked a few things.  Hope you enjoy!

The light was soft.  It filtered through the narrow gap in the roof of the cave-like enclosure that housed their village, warm and gentle.  The First Elder smiled and nodded at Delo's parents.  Together, the three of them approached the Lifebed. Delo watc…

A Meaningful Death

Early yesterday morning, Burleson County lost Sergeant Investigator Adam Sowders while he was serving a warrant.

I was one of the first responders on the scene.  I did not know him personally, and this is not the first death that I have encountered in my line of work.  But as a first responder - EMS, fire, or law enforcement - you take the death of one of your own personally.  I hope that you all can pray for his family and friends, be thinking of them, and, if you are in the area, offer to help in any way that you can.  Especially this close to Christmas.

The experience makes me think about something I have heard regarding authorship:  "Make your deaths meaningful."  In other words, when you as an author decide to kill a character, the death needs to mean something greater to your story.  You shouldn't just end a character arc because you ran out of things for them to do.

In my brief time as an EMT, I can say with confidence that death is rarely meaningful, and it is n…

Reading to Give Feedback


This week I have been reading some of my friends' writing.  I've done this in the past some, and I have tried to give the same kind of feedback that I would be looking for on my story.  If you are a writer, you have been or will be asked to give feedback on another person's work.  This would be as an alpha/beta reader type of position.  It's important to give feedback that is clear and constructive, because that's the kind we want for ourselves.  Be advised, I am describing feedback done on the entirety of a piece, not a small sample, although I would probably still do that the same way.

Here is a screenshot of some of my comments on a piece done by one of my friends (Thank you, Andrew.)

My first recommendation is to use a running commentary throughout the story.  Read in a word processor that allows you to make notes that you can send to the author, anchored to the piece of the story you are talking about.  The above is in Google Drive where you can store f…

NaNo Hangover Remedies

I really didn't want to do a post-NaNo post.  I really wanted to go on to talk about other things besides the fever-dream that is NaNoWriMo since it has already taken up an entire month.  But that is the story that needs me to tell it this week, so here it is.

November is still a bit hazy to me.  The pounding headache has left but the vertigo is sticking around for a while, it seems.  I feel all the time I was using writing.  It feels like a vacuum in my life has been shut off and now there is air again.  My body wakes up at 5am.  Consistently since Dec. 1st.  For absolutely no reason.  The NaNo site cleverly used a title similar to the one above in their email they sent out Monday.  I refuse to change mine out of principle, since I wrote most of this Sunday night, and I had it first. :D

If you did not participate in NaNo, but you know and/or love someone who did, you should be pleased to see work responsibilities, household chores, and personal hygiene rise back up to their forme…