I’ve been writing like the dickens lately—school and fun related—so I apologize for my negligence, Sweet Readers! Good news for you loyal fans, though: I literally just received the final edited copy of “Chasing Shadows”!!!!!! Huzzah! I have until Friday to look over the final edits and give the okay for the book to be printed, so it’s a bit of a race against the clock right now. . . . Hmm, much like Sarah in “Chasing Shadows.” Although, if I fail, a medieval kingdom won’t fall into the hands of a bloodthirsty ruler or unravel the very fabric of time and history, so I think I got the better end of the deal. 😉
Because of this, I’m in crack-down mode again and have basically spent until 1am the past two nights poring over the manuscript and making sure everything is copacetic It’s a little scary to know that this will be the last time I get to make corrections to and improve the sequel, but I’m giving this one up to God, guys (don’t worry; I haven’t forgotten my post about letting God take control from a while back). It has also been incredibly exciting to be inspired to write or add things to Book III in the Shadow Trilogy because of something I read in “Chasing Shadows.”
You guessed it! I’m in “Author Mode” (adj: an intensely concentrative state where all things not directly pertaining to writing/reading/editing are ignored to make room for writing/reading/editing functions of the brain. Also includes functions necessary for coffee consumption). Over the past few weeks, I’ve devised a few key concepts that have become my mantra while writing, and also a few tricks of the trade necessary for those long hours spend with pen in hand. I call it:
The Indispensable Author’s Arsenal
(Say that five times fast!) I did a variation of this Arsenal a long time ago and have kept at it since, adding my own improvements. Feel free to use this code of awesomeness for yourself while you read and write, and don’t forget to add “Chasing Shadows” on Goodreads before it comes out in the next two months, become a fan on Goodreads, and keep coming back for the release date of “Chasing Shadows.” ^_^ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22545313-chasing-shadows?from_search=true
Set goals and ask questions: Is this necessary, does it add to the plot?
Caffeinate (it’s capitalized because it’s important)
Find inspiration in other works
Get rid of distractions
Drink more coffee
Stay crazy and honest in your passion for the craft
Remain true to who you are as a writer
Never be afraid to dream big
And for that, you need more Coffee!!!!
Surround yourself with good people–they’ll lift you up and inspire you
“Surely Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
Goodness … Goodness … Goooood-nessssss. I did this for about six days, emphasizing the word, going syllable by syllable, as if this would help me discover the meaning of the word and what I’m supposed to do with it this week. I mean, I know what Goodness is, essentially, but how was it any different from the rest? What set it apart that made is so important to be defined in the Fruits of the Spirit, rather than just being lumped in with Kindness or Gentleness? Then I remembered the dictionary. Oh, yes, that special little book that most of us don’t have a use for these days that’s filled with pages covered in wonderful, magical words and definitions (Warning! Fellow lexophiles like me may experience swooning in the presence of a dictionary or thesaurus). Here is what I found when I did a little digging:
-the state or quality of being good
-moral excellence; virtue
-kindly feeling; kindness; generosity
-the best art of anything; essence; strength
-a euphemism for God
Huh. I feel like I could just end this post with the above definition, but I really want to share what stuck out to me the most. The first one I was already aware of, it’s so obvious. But the rest of them … Well, they really caused me to stop and think and try to understand. I thought this week was going to be a bit of a wash out, so to speak; it was just supposed to be about being “Good” and seemed far less important than some of the other Fruits. I really did not expect it to be so impacting. Moral excellence and virtue are the farthest things from my mind when I think of Goodness, yet they’re right at the top. Those are some pretty strong character qualities for such a “weak” word. Proverbs 31 describes a woman’s virtue as being more precious than rubies, something to be praised. Wow. Apparently, there’s quite a bit of stock in virtue, and the fact that Goodness is the essence and “best part of anything” is unbelievable! And are you telling me that Goodness is a display of strength? How many people view Goodness or Kindness as some form of weakness? But it’s the complete opposite! Oftentimes it takes great strength to exhibit Goodness and self-control. I was already gung-ho and all fired up to put some serious effort into practicing Goodness up to this point, and then I read the final part of the definition. It isn’t a word that I would generally think of when describing God—strong, caring, and loving; yes. But it’s been there the whole time, and all of these are wrapped up in that single word: He IS Good, and He said it was Good! This is the only word where it really refers to God in its definition, and the fact that we can be more like Him by exhibiting this quality is incredible.
I had no expectations for this week and didn’t expect for it to have such an impact on me, so this newfound wisdom was a nice surprise. Sometimes it’s a good thing to be proven wrong.