Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hilarious Too True Galavant Clip

A few posts ago I mentioned Galavant, a medieval comedy mini-series which just wrapped up on ABC. In the video I previously shared, I pointed out how ironically wrong the history was. But here's a clip where the history is hilariously correct (if somewhat exaggerated.) The life of a medieval peasant was pretty rough, and even the lives of nobles would be no walk in the park by our standards today. This video will always hold a special place in my heart because I've never really understood what the history books meant about animals living in the roofs of medieval peasant homes. Now I do! Pay close attention to the roof when they exit the little cottage.

Enjoy "If I could Share My Life with You," featuring guest star Daisy from Downton Abbey.

Monday, January 19, 2015

What Does "Like a Girl" Mean?

In a morass of tacky, sleazy, and materialistic advertising, occasionally someone gets it right. My highest compliments and thanks to Always for this incredible message of female empowerment. If you haven't watched it, check it out now! What does "like a girl" mean to you?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Galavanting Around History

I can hardly ignore the new and wildly popular ABC series Galavant, set somewhere in Europe during some vague time in the Middle Ages. Now mind you this show is pure comedy makes no claims to historical accuracy. It brings to mind Monty Python, The Princess Bride, and Robin Hood Men in Tights. I've certainly gotten some ridiculous laughs from the show, and the music is actually very good. What it lacks in plot, it makes up for in amazing guest stars. The jokes can get a little dark and bawdy, so be warned, although at least that part is in fact historically true.

The funniest part to me so far was the black Jewish knight Sidney, who according to the song, even went on crusade. Being knee deep in crusade and Middle Eastern history for book 3 in the Valiant Heart Series, this struck me as particularly ironic. Jews were an oppressed minority at that time in both Europe and the Middle East. Certainly not eligible for knighthood. And considering the Europeans slaughtered many Jews in Jerusalem during their initial conquest, I'm guessing not many Jews would have signed up for the crusade even if they could. But enjoy the funny video nonetheless.

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Writing Journey

I think I've loved writing ever since I penned a short story in elementary school about an alien from Venus that came to visit earth. But my journey with writing was a little rocky after that. I had some great teachers in my early high school years that encouraged my writing. I even remember writing a class play that we produced for chapel. Then in eleventh and twelfth grade I had a teacher who discouraged me at every turn. I guess I'll never know if her motives were vindictive or if she just really didn't get my creative approach to writing. But when I scored a perfect "5" on the AP Exam she kept telling me I was going to fail, I realized that I shouldn't base my life choices on her opinions.

My first rejection - maybe 1991 or 1992
As I entered college, I kept thinking in the back of my mind that I wanted to minor in English, but it took two years before I found the courage to take an English class again. And of course, I did fine and loved it, especially the creative writing classes. During my senior year I was offered the opportunity to help a professor write his memoirs in place of my senior paper, and thus I finished my first book. By the time my college years drew to a close, I still didn't have a lot of direction for my life, except that I knew that I loved creative writing, and so I decided to go to graduate school for writing.

While I worked on my Master's degree in Professional Writing, I started acquiring a few publishing credits in poetry and script writing. And I worked on my first novel, a YA inspirational romance, which I sent out as a proposal but never ended up finishing. But honestly, I didn't feel like I had much to say about life yet. And I hated sitting still at a desk behind a computer all day. When one of my professors told me I needed a backup plan to support myself as a writer, I informed him I intended to marry and have children and write on the side. He seemed to think that was a perfectly reasonable. Except that neither of us realized how all consuming those early years of marriage and family would be.

As my family grew, I continued writing poetry and some short scripts. I took a few more poetry and literature classes. But it wasn't until 2006 when my youngest was almost four that I finally felt like I had done enough living and learned a few things and decided to work on my first novel (Oh, and I got my first laptop too, so no desk sitting). Then came five more years of studying, developing as a writer, and learning the industry. In 2011 my first novel was published with small press WhiteFire Publishing. Even then I had years and several more novels to go before landing my first "big" contract with Bethany House Publishers. In March of this year, the Valiant Hearts series will release, and a lifelong dream will be fulfilled.

Writing can be a long and twisting path, but if you love it like I do, it's worth it.