I’m a huge fan of strong language.  especially in my own writing.

I may be biased as a writer, because I’m absolutely in love with words, but I think we can all agree that they’re powerful.  harsh words can wound, kind words can heal.  they mean something.  they’re important.

no doubt this is at least part of the reason that the Bible is pretty clear about the types of words we should be using.  google supplied me with plenty of opinion on Christians and profanity, mostly in the form of blog posts.  I read a ton of them before I wrote this post.  the majority expressed entirely negative responses to swearing, even going so far as to say that “swear words” themselves are sinful.  the few that disagreed, however, almost championed the use of strong language by Christians for its edginess, if nothing else.

I take issue with either of these opinions.

(I hate to break up the conversation, but I want to get one thing out of the way: I don’t swear using the Lord’s name.  ten commandments, duh.  I don’t even say “jeez” or “oh my god”.  I don’t want my words to ever bring dishonor to God, so I’m extra careful about that.  but I actually don’t think that what we call strong language automatically does so.)

okay! “what-does-the-Bible-say-about-swearing” speed round (paraphrasing):

– Ephesians 5:4 – “no filthiness/foolish talk/crude joking.”

– James 3:9-12 – “we bless God with our mouth and then turn around and curse people who are made in his likeness.  blessing and cursing shouldn’t come out of the same place.

– Ephesians 4:29 – “no corrupting talk should come out of your mouths, only what’s good for building up, that it may give grace to those who hear.

(similar mandates can be found in 1 Peter 3:10, Colossians 3:8, and Luke 6:45, among others.)

a post I read on ChristianityToday . com called “The Trouble with Cussing Christians” said this, which I really liked: “our words should participate in hallowing, rather than profaning, the world.”

but I’d like to suggest that “strong language” can play a part in beauty.

I believe that art points to the creator and glorifies him.  the best stories are his, after all.  the most beautiful sunsets.  music, color, taste.  the sweet, broken people we meet and have the privilege of knowing and loving throughout our lives.  art is beauty, and good art glorifies God.

it’s easy to rag on low-budget, poorly scripted Christian films or obnoxious contemporary Christian music- I do it myself often enough.  I don’t want to go there too much now because I really do admire the men and women behind those mediums for their hearts, their intentions, and their boldness.

but art should be excellent, and sometimes I think that as Christians we shy away from hard topics and strong words in favor of niceness and “propriety”, and I don’t think that’s always a good idea.  if anyone should be telling the hard stories, it should be the same people who know what redemption looks like– the recipients of God’s great grace.

I believe words are as much instruments of art as paints and pencils and cameras and musical notes.  they’re meaningful.  they express things, feelings, thoughts.  and that’s what stories are for.  that’s why I write, to pull words that everyone knows into strings of sentences that didn’t exist before.  is there anything closer to magic out there?

words are things of beauty.  I was talking with a friend recently at lunch who said that her favorite word was “epiphany”- that she’d even written a college paper on it.  and it’s beautiful, right?  the way it looks and sounds, what it means.  I have lists and lists of words I love, almost as much as names- estuary, plunder, incandescent, cunning, pique.  (I actually really love to say the word bastard, but…yeah, that’s one I usually keep to myself.)

sometimes the only thing separating one word from another is the depth of what they’re expressing.  sometimes when you’re hurting, your usual verbal repertoire is not enough.  sometimes your pain just can’t be expressed in simple, G-rated words.

so.  fiction.  why should characters in a story be any different than you or I, in our moments of pain and trial?  to use my own writing as an example, why would a teenage girl who’s just been kidnapped, branded, bought, imprisoned, and raped call the man responsible a “jerk”?  would you buy her pain if she did?  would you feel what she’s feeling?

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(okay, but this was hilarious. best scene.)

the main point that people often bring up in this discussion is making the characters realistic.  many writers (myself included) agree that when they’re writing, the characters often speak for themselves.  I don’t plan a lot of what I write.  (I never planned for Isla to get kidnapped and then all of a sudden it was happening and then I had a book about human trafficking and bravery and loving yourself that was initially going to be little more than a piece of romantic fluff.)  when they get going, characters do and say things on their own.

if you don’t believe the people that I’m writing, if you don’t buy the characters, how is the story going to affect you?  how will it move you, or mean something to you?  stories need to mean something.  they need to touch you, show you darkness and light and humanity and good and evil.  and stories are made of words.  how can we tell a powerful story without the jarring contrast of strong words?

I certainly haven’t gotten it down.  in many ways my writing is still terribly immature.  and I’m not lobbying for gratuitous, unnecessary language in fiction.  but I do believe in feeling things.  and I think the fact that we even have the label “strong language” means something.  in my own novels, it sometimes means that Blue Reavely’s (my heroine’s) father calls her a little shit when he’s drunk.  and sometimes it means he tells her she’s worthless and a mistake.

strong words are the ones that pack a punch, not just the ones we call “swears”.  the ones that hit you hard, or stir your soul.

I think compassion is a strong word.  it happens to be my favorite.  it still means really means something, and makes you think, because people don’t throw it around.  this can’t be said for many other words that are losing their impact because of our readiness to speak them: “literally”, “amazing”, “tragedy”, “love” (to name a few).

words are important.  I’m trying to use mine wisely, and sometimes that means using the ones that hit people hard.

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so!  tell me what you think about “language” in fiction!  do you think it’s avoidable?  do you think it’s necessary all the time?  are there ways to abstain from it and still emerge your reader into a gritty world?  and do you think writing language down is different than using it in your own conversation?  talk to me!  I don’t by any means think I’m an authority.  this is just my opinion, and I’d love to hear yours!

 

p. s.  remember to be intentional with your words though.  to go back to the idea of taking the Lord’s name in vain, I have one thing to say: if God’s name were itself a curse, we wouldn’t be warned against using it wrongly.  instead, his name is a thing of power, impact, and importance.  when we use it as a curse, we’re taking it out of its intended context and doing him dishonor, because he (and his name, therefore) represents the pinnacle/measuring stick of goodness, beauty, and holiness.  I have a hard time believing that words are in and of themselves evil.  (crass, yes.  don’t get me started on crude and crass words/talk.  I hate hate hate all that.)

p. p. s. “you can’t blame a writer for what the characters say.” ~Truman Capote (because…Capote.  duh.)

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because it signifies their last night of freedom for an entire month.  for the 30 days following Halloween, we’re all doomed.

our fate can be summed up in one set-of-abbreviations-that-pretends-to-be-a-word: NaNoWriMo.  sound it out.  it works.

NaNoWriMo, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is short for National Novel Writing Month.  it’s a thing where writers all across the world (amateur, professional, delusional) band together and commit to writing for the month of November with a goal of 50,000 words by the end.  that’s a small novel (for most people- I’m cursed with a “knack” for writing 120,000 word novels.  I do not say that to brag, as I have much smaller chances of getting published with such a word count).  that’s an average of 1667 words per day, I think.

last year I participated (you, too, can make an account on the website here!) and used my 50K to finish out my first draft of Finding You and, when that was finished, work on Across the Lake.  I was up until about 11:30pm the last night.  it was awesome.treachery cover

but this year I think signing up might have been really stupid; 2014 has been the craziest year of my life, as many of you know because I’ve waited weeks to return your text messages.  I have my first grown-up job of my life, volunteer and church commitments, and – wait for it – a social life!  (disclaimer: what I call a crazy social life is seeing friends maybe two or three times in a week and it’s EXHAUSTING.  is this normal?  I just want to curl up in my bunk bed with my glow-in-the-dark stars above me and watch musicals and eat fruit gummies and avoid all human contact.)

I’ve decided to work on my complete rewrite of the first novel I ever finished, previously called Betrayal.  this time it’s Treachery (that just blew your mind, admit it), and you can read a bit of it on Figment, here.  my description “blurb”, if you’re interested, is as follows:

” a young woman is caught up in the dangerous world of espionage when she joins the plot to reinstate her exiled queen, all the while struggling with love and trust in the face of deception and betrayal. ”  (<– I’m terrible at blurbs.)

anyways, wish me luck.  I’ve set a calendar for myself, and I’m going to try and stay ahead of schedule.  we’ll see how that goes.

if you want to follow along, there’s a chance I’ll be adding some as I go.

thanks, lovelies!  comment and let me know if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, and if so, what your project is!  also, feel free to add me as a buddy on the site!  happy writing!  don’t die!!  (I already bought chocolate supplies…muahaha.)

(p.s. I actually never did celebrate Halloween as a kid; my parents were super careful about dark stuff and magic and ghosts and all that. then we moved to the boonies and nobody came anyway.  as a grown-up,

moral stuff aside, I totally see the need for a holiday where I get to watch Tim Burton movies (today was Beetlejuice – w00t w00t! totally dressing as Lydia Deetz next year) and eat pumpkin desserts and talk about fall leaves and paint my nails epically.  so yay!)

p.s.s. I totally did my nails.  I wasn’t joking.  10748609_10205056274468732_684370979_n

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the exquisite William Butler Yeats penned one of my favorite poems into existence somewhere around a hundred years ago:

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.

cover that I made because that's my favorite

I am – and have for a long time been – so in love with this tiny poem as to consider tattooing a line from it on my body.  I have since narrowed down my tattoo plans, but that was just so you know how much I adore it.  it’s sad and beautiful, which all of my favorite poems are (don’t get me started on Annabel Lee – I melt every time).

all that to say, like many girls I have an interest in and love for the idea of mermaids, for whatever reason.  unlike many, however, I like the bleak, tragic side of those tales- the deaths, the retribution, the eeriness.  I love the siren myths, the old Norse legends of Rán- stories with hideous creatures singing themselves into the favor of unsuspecting sailors before drowning them.  while I enjoyed my fair share of Emily Windsnap books as a tween, the darker stories have always been that toward which I gravitate.  (we shouldn’t really get into what I think of the modern treatment of “vampirism” in recent “literature”.  I get a bit heated.)

I’ve had this story about a human-turned-siren in my head for a while, and in my secret boards on

pinterest for a while.  I tried writing it once or twice, and it fizzled out each time.  I think I want to turn every idea I have into a full-length novel and am only just now (um…maybe last week? yeah, it might be that recent) discovered that I can write short stories and novellas as well.

so yesterday I jotted down a few notes, and today I sat down at my laptop and recorded my first efforts.  it’s not that exciting, I’ll warn you up front.  it’s really just me typing and back-spacing strings of words and occasionally clicking over to pinterest for a refresher on something I’d wanted to include, or a dash of inspiration.  (I didn’t even spice things up with a trip to dictionary.com.)  so this is quite nerve-wracking, in a way, because you get to see that my writing process is really not that magical.  just in case you had been thinking that before.  which I’m sure you were.  so sure that I’m going to stop talking about it.

siren song pinterest screenshot

 

this post is also an opportunity to couple my new project with something that my lovely, amazingly-talented writer friends have been urging me to join in on: the newly invented “#WatchMeWrite” tag.  it took me a while to produce a sample because a) I don’t have a mac and needed my tech-savvy brother to help me find an alternate program and b) everything I tried to write “on camera” was coming out boring, awkward, boring, and did I mention boring?  hopefully this satisfies!

so here it is, my new project, temporarily titled “Siren Song”- because that was what I called the pinterest board, okay?  (p.s. bear with me on the tense in this piece – I cannot in words express my love for second-person-tense in fiction, when it’s done well, and preferably with longing and dismay.  however, this story is proving difficult in terms of remembering the perspective I’m supposed to be in.  I’ll work on consistency.)

thanks Sam Chaffin and E. R. Warren for making me do this!!  go check out their blogs/vimeos and watch their videos of the tag!  and to those of you who were tagged and haven’t participated, or haven’t been tagged but would love to make a video, get right on it!  it’s so much fun/pressure and I loved it.  make sure to tag it #WatchMeWrite and tweet about it, and feel free to share a link to it in the comments below!

(song: If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray (my love for this song is unparalleled.  that may be extreme.  but I love it lots, thanks to the epic show Vikings on the History Channel).)

(video assistance credits: introduction to and help with the program ChronoLapse from my big brother, video game developer extraordinaire, Jake Albano, and video/audio/slide work/help from my stellar film-editing-genius little brother Ben Albano.  they’re the best.)

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happy new year to you all!

if you’re reading this, you’re probably a better person than I am, because I am the worst at keeping up with blogs.

I don’t mean to bore y’all, but I want to talk about 2013.

folks, it was a great year. it was the most exciting, maturing, stressful, crazy, spontaneous, expensive year of my life and I’m so grateful for it.

what happened? so, so much. here are my highlights:

my church. oh man, my church. I have a family of 300+ people that I couldn’t love more. they’ve welcomed me, taught me, comforted me, encouraged me, loved me. I’m so in love.

NaNoWriMo Finding You stats-Finding You = complete. until I start editing, of course. it took me a year and a half, but it’s my favorite thing I’ve written; I’m proud of it, despite its flaws. this is unusual for me. it took me a year and a half, and I’m relieved and sad and excited to be done. it has definitely been my most emotional book to write so far.

-crazy friendships I didn’t expect: you may be reading this, and you may know who you are- people I knew a little, who have come to mean a lot to me over the past year, people I didn’t know at all yet, people I have never met face-to-face but who have made this year worth it.  I love you all.

-travel: to be honest, travel always makes my year. when people ask me what my hopes and dreams for the future are, I have my answer ready these days: all I is want to travel the world, write books, glorify God and love strangers, with a true love and a family in there as well. literally, that’s what I want from life, and the time I spent roaming the country (and visiting Canada on my own) this year has been some of the best- visiting friends, visiting places, visiting events. it’s been phenomenal.

-CULTURE! seeing Les Mis twice (American tour, Canadian cast), a Ramin Karimloo concert in Boston, Red Sox game, Newsies and Cinderella on Broadway, surprise Afie Boe concert in D.C., a 1960s party, Shakespeare in the Boston Commons, a Matt Nathanson/Joshua Radin concert at the House of Blues…I feel so enriched and in love with life. just give me a seat in front of a stage and I’m happy.

-Matt Smith is gone. this is not a positive aspect of 2013, but it is monumental. I won’t burden you with my frustrations with his last episode, or my other issues/heartbreak. I do very much miss Amy & Rory. (we *did* have the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, and while I wasn’t 100% impressed, it was terribly exciting.) to sum up, this is what I felt/am feeling:tumblr_inline_mw359v1Mm61rhvd1v

-2013 was my first year not a part of TeenPact. to be honest, that’s hard. I wish there was a way I could have always been involved. but God has been so gracious to me in helping me handle “growing up”. I’m excited to be taking new steps in my life.

-I’ve had some really rough, stressful, depressing, and upsetting patches in the year, and I’ve been incredibly touched by the people who reached out to me. I am so grateful to all of you for caring about me, and not accepting “I’m fine” when I told you that.  thank you with all my heart for Jon McLaughlin - Holding My Breath signedseeing through me, sitting me down, and making me cry to you. I’m not good at the whole “being-vulnerable” thing. I like to think I can save the day or do a darn good job at faking it by myself.

-a few last things that made the year great: CATCHING FIRE CAME OUT. I started watching Supernatural. I went to Ikea for the first time. I registered for my first class with Harvard Extension, which is as close to all my dreams coming true (#nerdwholovesschool) as I’ve ever come. thanks to Jesus, I was able to restore a friendship that was was physically paining my heart and is now beautiful again. Jon McLaughin’s new album came out. I finally bought combat boots. I met a few of my real-life heroes.  I went Enjolrasing for the first time. and I found the love of my life aka Michael Vaughn on Alias.

 

and I finished out the year with my sister and a dear friend watching the fireworks at the Boston Harbor. it was magical. and freezing.

 

I promise I’m just about finished, but I want to list, online, publicly, what I have resolved for the new year.

-I will seek God’s voice and *actually listen*.

-I will practice self-control, in all areas.

-I will stop apologizing so much. it’s my worst habit.

-I will at least attempt to be published- something, somehow, somewhere.

-I will read good books; I have a tendency to stop reading when I write, and vice versa. I want to conquer that.

-possibly get a tattoo – nobody kill me, please. I’ve wanted one for a while. I’m just not certain yet, though I know what I want.

-finish another novel (either ‘Check’ or ‘Across the Lake’, I think).

-do a cartwheel. I’ve never done one; this year I’m going to learn.

 

what are your resolutions, victories, regrets? tell me while you listen to this song, about the last night of the year. it’s my favorite.

~Lydia

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I’m afraid I didn’t realize until after I had pressed “publish” that I was debutingCheck Cover a story about a girl deciding to commit suicide on “Self-Injury Awareness Day” itself. The (sad) irony of the fact did not occur to me until I was lying in bed later and then I wasn’t sure if I should be glad of the coincidence or sorry for it.

But there you have it, I’ve begun posting a new novel! You may have noticed the slew of updates on Figment, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and maybe you’ve even checked it out. I’ve had this story stewing in my brain for…a year and a half maybe? It’s been a little while.  But I’m finally really giving it a go, and posting it publicly so I’ll be accountable not to let it fail. 😉

I’m also a little nervous about writing this story, for one major reason: it’s a completely new venture.  I haven’t written a book that a) is in third-person present-tense (ever), b) alternates between two viewpoints (ever), or c) is set in a modern, real-world place (with any success).  So there’s lots of newness going on.  But I’m excited.

CarouselBesides, Stella is a mystery to me. I don’t really know as much about her as I would like.  And I’m figuring Cal out as well.

So here’s The Plan!  I’m going to update Check. every other day, and the other every-other days I’m going to update Finding You! Sound good? I hope so. 😉 Basically there will be some sort of update every day. 🙂

Hopefully “Check” will make an enjoyable read for y’all- please know that you can always tell me a brutally honest opinion on it.  It’s a first draft, of course, so there are going to be problems. 😉

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January is over, and with it my writing fast.

So here’s some closure for this whole situation, to let you know how it ended:

I did, despite all odds, survive.  I had a million, “Oh my gosh, what a brilliant idea I’ve had- I should go write that book this. very. second!” moments. But I jotted down the ideas and tried to focus elsewhere.  I think this was good for me.  For the first couple of days I felt like a total loser as I realized that I really didn’t have much of a life without my writing, in a way.  But my focus really changed, and there were several good changes I made:

1. I have a disciplined routine! Waking up by a certain time, spending time with the Lord, working out immediately, showering, juicing carrots, making a smoothie and then cleaning the house and getting to whatever the day held. It feels good.  This includes my renewed focus on getting healthier.

2. I realized I need direction for my life that sitting around writing all day has not given me, and I’m thinking that may begin with a long-term missions trip for a semester or so at some point, possibly to Haiti. I’m still looking around.  I also need a job, now that I’ve moved, and I need to stop procrastinating.

3. Most importantly I realized my need for a Savior more than ever.  Without my obsession to clog up my every thought, I realized at times just what a wretch I am, and what I need to focus on.  I started prioritizing my time in the morning spent reading the Word, and hopefully have become more focused in general.  And I plan on increasing that from here on.

So thanks for all of your prayers and the encouragement I found pouring into my inbox/figment page/blog from you, my lovely friends.

And now I need to wrap this up, because Isla and her plight are calling to me. 😉

(Oh, on a random/life-enriching note: you should check out “Jekyll and Hyde” the musical; the song “Confrontation” is my absolute favorite right now. It’s amazing. So…go listen to it.)

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Also, “blog, revamped”!  What do you think? But on to the important stuff.

I’ve already mentioned that Proxy is returning, so here are a few updates:

Roe: I’m gonna let y’all see her great big personality changes for yourselves, but I’ve altered her appearance as well.  Instead of a kind of Saoirse Ronan look, she’s more of a slightly plainer Katie McGrath, pictured below.

 

 

 

 

 

The Messenger.  Calder (Jude Law-like in appearance, but younger) is going to be quite different from my original intentions, mostly because I didn’t have all that much personality planned for him.  One of the many reasons that I restarted this book: realizing it was laaaaame.  I’ve done extensive “interviewing”, background describing, and personality delving, and I finally feel like I’ve got a real, breathing person to work with.  Now if only I can convey him (and the others) onto the page.

 

And Jude is still Jude, but I’m deepening his character as well, with lots of character profiles and fake interviews .  He’s also still Liam Hemsworth with dark hair.

 

 

So anyways, I’m excited, and I’m so happy that some of you are willing to give this another shot and struggle through it once more with me. 🙂  I’m planning on posting the first prologue (which seems as if it’s unchanged, but is, in fact, much altered) tomorrow.  See you then!  (And I’m using a new cover- let me know what you think!)

 

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114k words.

11 months.

A stupid first draft.

Many facepalms and “head-to-desks”.

And I finally finished Esmeralda.

So….

“The End.”

I’m not gonna lie, it was super exciting to type out those two words.  I wrote Esmeralda’s first draft in 100 days exactly (350+ pages) and am quite proud of the fact.  A few of you read that original ending, and can attest to just how dreadful it was.  To be honest, I don’t know that I have the greatest ending now, but I think it’s better.  And for now – since this rewrite took me eleven months – I’m more than willing to just let it sit for a bit.

I felt like a whole chunk of my life was gone when I finished this time.  It was kinda weird, like empty-nesting.  But a good-weird.  I’ll kinda miss my characters, but Finding You is really taking off in my mind and I can’t wait to turn my attention there now.

I wish I had the time / patience to write a drawn out “author’s note” of a post here, but I don’t.  I am so incredibly grateful for all of you who read Esmeralda- especially for the comments and reviews that told me what you were thinking.  You are all so kind and encouraging, and when I’d read that you cared about what happened to the characters, it gave me this giddy feeling in my stomach.  I felt like a real writer, and I don’t know what would have happened to my poor book if I’d never gotten feedback.  There were definitely times when I felt like it wasn’t worth saving, and then I’d find a new comment asking for more.  And that always spurred me on.

I know there are several issues left to work out.  Someday I’ll write a third draft, after I have some understanding of the Russian language, perhaps, and can make Evy’s world into a Russian one.  I’ll fix the inconsistencies, maybe deepen the characters, and work out a few of the issues that Evy would have had after eight years a prison cell.  And amidst all that, I’ll manage to cut it down about 25,000 words.  Yeeaahhh.

(Screenshot of my title page in the word document. ^^  I’m totally laughing at the whole “short novel” thing.  That was a dream that passed quickly.)

There’s much teasing debate at my house as to who I’ll “dedicate” the book to- my little brother insists that he has always been there for me (though he mocks any hint of romance, so…), most of my family is saying that I’d “better not dedicate it to ‘some friend’ because they’ve always supported me”, and my sister Em says I should dedicate it to “Matthew, Marilla, and ‘Gil’” and give it to said “Gil” as he’s dying of scarlet fever.  I  think I like her suggestion best.  😉

My biggest thanks goes to my God, though- without His strength I would be a mess and a shoddy writer, and it’s only by His grace that I’ve gotten as far as I have.

So thanks so much for sticking with me, folks.  I love you all (and I mean that, really- my Figgie friends are some of my dearest).

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Perhaps you’re familiar with the musical  Rent.  (Now before my fellow-homeschooler friends stop reading this and disown me, hear me out.)  It’s a tragic story, made more tragic by the fact that Jonathan Larson died the night before it opened.  I don’t support many of the themes of the story, and I don’t agree with much of Larson’s philosophy.  As a parody of La Bohème, I think it’s a piece of genius.  All moral quandaries aside, the show itself has some definite moments of brilliance and others of…insipidity.  (“Finale A”, for instance makes me want to cry, while “Light My Candle” is crude and just…awkward.)  My favorite character is definitely “Roger”, partially because he’s one that any aspiring writer can relate to.

Perhaps the best known song from the show is the famous, “One Song, Glory”, sung by “Roger” (originally Adam Pascal) as he worries that he will never make his mark musically on the world before he dies of AIDS.  The words speak to a writer like myself who hopes to make her mark somehow, someday (though I don’t believe I’m dying yet).  And the song is made more beautiful by the fact that it’s sung by Adam Pascal (who I have a major crush on) in his lovely, raspy, rocker-like voice (which I have another separate crush on).


While the entire song is SO applicable to my dreams as a writer, there’s a bit that I especially love:

“Glory, in a song that rings true
Truth like a blazing fire
An eternal flame
Find one song- a song about love
Glory, from the soul of a young man
A young man…”

I don’t need to be the next Suzanne Collins, Shannon Hale, or Veronica Roth.  I don’t think I ever could be, by any means.  But I want to accomplish something, and to know that I have.  The theme quotation for my life is one by Franz Kafka.  He says, “I want to escape the unrest, to shut out the voices around me and within me, and so I write.”  My soul needs to write.  I can’t survive without stories.

In all humility, I don’t think I’m without talent, at least.  There’s a line in Aida (another favorite Adam Pascal musical) in the reprise of “My Strongest Suit” where Amneris and Aida lament that, “a life of great potential is dismissed, inconsequential”.  I’d like to believe that I have potential, at least, as a writer.  And I don’t want whatever gifts God has deigned to bless me with to go to waste, for my life to be inconsequential.  In one sense I would be happy just sitting at home writing for the rest of my life, but at the same time, I don’t want only that.

I need to do something.

With God’s grace, hopefully I will.

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How many of you have read even a bit of Esmeralda?  A few hands?  Okay, that’s good. I just need a couple of opinions.

I am nearly finished with my first draft (nearing that dreadful ending I have to somehow rewrite to work in with new elements of the plot) and I am starting the exciting/tedious process of setting it into book form, in the Blurb BookSmart editor, so I can send in the files and have a real live book-version of my story sent to me. *claps hands* Yay!!

I have this little love affair with witty/profound/poetic quotations (my “Wilkommen” about me page is proof of this) and I want to put a relevant quotation right before the title page.  I have scrutinized my “favorite quotations” Listhings board, and have narrowed the list of candidates to the five listed below.  Would you let me know which you think is/are best fitting for the story?

Here they are:

1. “We owe it to each other to tell stories.” ~Neil Gaiman

2. “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark.” ~Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Desperaux

3. “In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories. ” ~ Alberto Manguel

4. “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” ~Ben Okri

5. “All stories are lies. But good stories are lies made from light and fire. And they lift our hearts out of the dust, and out of the grave.” ~Mike Carey

And then, with the “book” version of Esmeralda comes a new cover…ish.  The image I’ve been using on Figment is too low in quality for a full-sized book cover, so I’ve done my best to enhance the stock image, and print the title as best as I can.  The font is new, but the picture is the same. Don’t be mad. 😉

Read Esmeralda Here!

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