Why I Buried My Current WIP

I finished the first draft of my current WIP. Over 65,000 done…AND I HATE IT!

This idea for this manuscript came to be in a different fashion than how I normally write. Usually I start with a character, usually with a scene, and it sort of progresses from there. I’m a panster, and not an outliner. I’ve tried to outline, but I just can’t write that way. Usually my outline happens organically, as my characters are speaking to me. I know, it’s backwards, but it works for me.

But this WIP was different right from the beginning. I had a title first and wrote the forward (or the main character’s backstory) first. Then jumped ahead 10 years to begin the novel’s actual story. But it wasn’t flowing. I couldn’t get a grasp on my characters. I didn’t like them.

I usually write in a linear fashion (ie. Chapter 1, then Chapter 2, and so forth), but this manuscript wasn’t progressing. I kept thinking of all these scenes that I wanted to include, so I figured I try something different. I wrote “scene by scene” and thought I’d re-arrange and tie them all together in the editing phase. Boy, was that a mistake!

The problem? I was constantly editing and didn’t even realize it! Maybe it was because I was just getting ready to release Understanding Kasey, so editing was still fresh in my mind.

Burying a novel is always a painful decision. The printed manuscript (I always print out a hard copy) sat on my fireplace mantel for months taunting me. But, in the end, I think I made the right decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t destroy it. But I did put it in the box with other manuscripts that haven’t seen the light of day for a while. Maybe I’ll pick it back up one day, but it won’t be for a long time from now. Maybe a new spark will hit me in the middle of the night (that’s usually when they show up) and I’ll come up with the new idea that will tie it all together.

In the meantime, I’m working on a new Family Saga. I’m NOT editing as I go and I’m going to write my chapters in linear fashion. Let’s hope it works out better.

Fellow writers, have you ever buried a project? How did you feel? Was it freeing or depressing?

We are all “Gifted”

 

I love this video. (From YouCubed)

I live in a competitive school district. Everyone is “measured” in one way or another. Every child seems to have a stamp across their forehead and an image to live up to. A Label. What is it with this generation’s need to label everything? As if we need to compartmentalize everyone into a category to see where they fit.

Our school district has several “Advanced Learning” schools and school programs, mostly in math and science (STEM). There is one Public High School in our district so coveted that parents start training their kids to pass the admissions test when they are in elementary school. That’s crazy! Talk about pressure. When we first moved here, I asked a group of parents what the long term advantages were of that high school. For instance, was it guaranteed admission to the college of your choice? Apparently, it does look stunning on your transcript, but you still have to do the work. So, I pushed further and asked if they had ever done a survey of the kids once they got into college or even beyond college graduation. Were they far superior in some way to the kids who took the Community College route then transferred to a four year college? I looked around at the blank stares. No one seemed to know.
So, all the pressure, all the prestige was a launching pad. Okay, I get that.

But what about the creatives? What about the artists, the writers, the kids who work with their hands? Aren’t they “gifted” too? Don’t they qualify?

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to put down people for wanting their kids to have the best education possible (especially if you are lucky enough to afford it). I’m sure you’re just as proud of your kid as I am of mine. But not everyone is “gifted” in STEM. Not every child’s brain works that way.

But I think that being micro-focused on having a “traditionally gifted” child can be stressful and very limiting.
Of course, this is from a mom who is raising “average” kids  (at least according to all the tests), and I’m darn proud of it. My kids are gifted in other ways.

It really boils down to how they use their gifts, how we all use our gifts, that makes this world a well-rounded and better place.

I hope you enjoyed the video. Have a great day!

Same Clothes, Different…Year?

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I don’t shop for clothes for myself very often. The truth is that I’m not very fashionable. No one would EVER mistake me for a fashionista. I’m lucky to find clothes that fit my tall, long-waisted stature.

But never is it more apparent how rarely I shop then when Facebook Memories reminds me.

On more than one occasion, a “Facebook Memory” has popped up, from YEARS AGO, and I will realize that the shirt in the photo is the same shirt I just wore THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY.

It’s shameful, really. Embarrassing, definitely.

I try to shop for myself but get easily frustrated and end up buying clothes for everyone else in my family except me.

I’m way too practical. All I need is a few t-shirts, some yoga pants, a good-fitting pair of jeans (which in itself is like finding a needle in a haystack), and a few nicer shirts/blouses for church and going out. Let’s face it…in the fashion world, I’M BORING!

I have a pinterest board of “Style Wishes” which is named appropriately. They are truly wishes. They are the clothes that I wish I had the sense of style to put together myself…and then actually have an occasion to wear them.

My problem? I would rather be functional than fashionable, which is probably the reason for holding on to the same clothes for years. The things I buy are meant to last, through the seasons, through the trends.

Maybe along with a chauffeur, a chef, and a housekeeper, I should hire a stylist as well.

The Pastor is Not the Church

I’ve mentioned in past posts, that we have visited a number of churches in the past five years since we relocated, trying to find the right fit.

One of the reasons we’re still searching, besides the fact that we can’t seem to make any good personal connections, is that several of the churches seem to put a tremendous amount of faith in their Pastor…when it should be in God.

Now, I’m not saying that as church members, we shouldn’t regard our Pastor’s words as true. But what I am saying, is that we’ve found that many churches seem to put too much emphasis in what the Pastor says rather than what scripture says.

Think about it. Have you ever been to a church or a Bible study, or around members of the same church, and you hear quite often, “Well, Pastor So-and-So says that this is true, or that is frowned upon?”

My husband and I keep running into that, and it makes our discerning ears perk up.

The Pastor is NOT the leader of THE church…God is.

What people should be saying is, “Pastor So-and-So said this, NOW LET’S SEE IF SCRIPTURE BACKS IT UP.”

But most of us are too lazy to do the work ourselves. Just like our news and entertainment, we want our religion spoon-fed to us too, and that’s NOT okay.

In fact, it’s downright frightening.

That puts WAY TOO MUCH POWER in the hands of the Pastor. We should hold our Pastor’s accountable, and they should remind us to check it out for ourselves. They have an enormous responsibility to lead their flock, but their flock needs to be held accountable too. If we sit back and let the Pastor do all the work, then we aren’t giving our all to God.

Pastors are only human. They make mistakes. We need to look to the Bible for our answers.

Which leads me to another point: Too many Pastors are teaching out of Christian books and not The Book…the Bible. Too many are relying on other’s commentaries and, as such, their messages are a watered-down version of what Jesus taught.

They have managed to skew the Message to fit the masses to bring people in the doors instead of bringing people in the doors to hear the Message. There’s a big difference, and I hope it changes soon.

The Bible tells us that WE are the church…not the building, not the Pastor, but Jesus’ followers.

Have you run into this before?

Ladies – Let’s Play a Game

I ran across the following list (it’s not complete) on the internet. It’s a list of TV shows targeted to female audiences. According to my score (a whopping 28) I may have to cash in my membership to the female gender! LOL Clearly I am not their target audience.

 

What did you score?

The two shows that surprise people when I tell them I’ve never watched them? This Is Us and Downton Abbey. I know people that watch these shows with religious fervor. I just don’t see it.

Play along! And list your score in the comments below.