Can I Get Your Opinion?

When I first asked this question to several people, I got more of an answer for story number 2.  They said that to read about depression would be depressing; the ones who claim to not have depression do not wish to understand it; and some are put off regarding reading about God, thinking that everything relating to God will be somehow religious.  Lately, I’ve been asking people again about the books and I’m getting more answers for story number 1.  A few have said both.  I’d like for you, the readers, to weigh in, if you would on which you would be more enticed to read.

Please pick which book you would be more apt to read:

1) on depression and God; how this person takes action to improve their level of depression, how to deal with God and how he plays into it all; helping one understand how to deal with someone in their life with depression — this would be written by someone with a lifelong history battling depression, not with a degree in psychology, so this is not a clinical book; more of one’s story overcoming obstacles — humor, anger, love, sarcasm, real life and just finding calm and carrying on (yes, I said it); or


2) on a teenage girl born of a witch and vampire, having her powers bound as an infant and adopted by nonmagical parents (raised in the South) to protect her from the crimes committed against her birth family and the entire magical world. After a tragic series of events, she’s thrust into a crash course in magic (humorous as well as terrifying trial and error) when she discovers she has magical powers she never wanted and is depended upon for ending the war ensuing between the magic and nonmagic worlds, or at least part of the war… — humor, love, small amount of romantic tension, tragedy, action, friendship, mystery/ suspense, sci-fi/fantasy/adventure…

Thank you.  I appreciate your opinion and your comments.  Toodles!  ;)

Camp Nano April 2014

2014-Participant-Facebook-CoverMy apologies for missing so many days from my Reading the Bible in 365 Days and Bible study/blog.  I am planning to return either today or tomorrow.  Trying to finish up some work before I start a new chapter in my life.  Also, (and yes, I’m probably biting off a bit more than I can chew but now that’s not different from any other day is it?) I am joining in on this upcoming Camp Nanowrimo.

The first camp nano of the year begins April 1 and I have been completely missing my creative outlet.  I’ve been too busy working on everyone else’s projects but no time to work on my own since October or November, so on April 1, it will be back to me time.  Yay!  I don’t usually appreciate missing sleep but when it comes to something I’m excited about, it’s not a problem for me to get up at 3am or even 2:00 to start writing (are you like that?), coffee pumping intravenously and a granola bar on stand by.  So, it’s so great to have a couple of things in the works to be excited about!

I had been working on 2 different novels back in October/November:  1) my series – books 1 and 2 (sci-fi/fantasy/adventure) filled with a mixture of nonmagic folk, a magical realm, witches, vampires, a girl with unfathomable powers and unknown to her until a tragic series of events occur and the veil is torn between the magic and nonmagic worlds; and 2) a book on depression and God.

I had been drawn for months toward the nonfiction novel on depression and God but the more I talk to people about both, I’ve decided people are still not ready to deal with their depression.  They don’t want to honestly discuss it, like it’s taboo or something — at least the majority; some seem to think if they ignore it, it will go away; they certainly don’t want to read about it and many that are deeply depressed (as we all FEEL on different levels) don’t want to read about God.  Those people who say they do not suffer from depression but have people in their lives that do suffer — well, they try to just avoid those people altogether or deal with them if they don’t have a choice but are not that interested in reading to understand something that they feel might depress them.  I sense some underlying depression issues right there.  They don’t want to understand it.  So, I suppose until I figure I have a potentially larger readership for that particular novel, I will sit that on the back burner and work on the one that many have expressed more of an interest in.  It seems just about everyone I talk to has an interest in reading books comprised of magical/fantastical components; adventure; mystery/intrigue/suspense; tragedy, etc., so my fantasy series is the better option for now.

Camp Nano runs April 1 through 30.  I currently have over 51,000 words on book 1 and I’ve moved several chapters to book 2 but mostly, that’s just copied and pasted gobbledy goo.  I’m needing to revise book 1 and add 10,000-20,000 words to finish, I believe, or somewhere in there.  My goal is to spend Apr 1 & 2 revising and days 3-30 adding 10,000 plus words during camp and hopefully finishing book 1.  Then, May 1, begin the processes of revising again and again, polish, employ my beta readers while organizing my query letters and choosing which houses to submit to, consider opinions from betas, perhaps revise again, then submit queries and ultimately, publish.

What book would you find more interest in?

Are you participating in Camp Nano during April or maybe July?  If so, I hope to see you there.  Perhaps we can chat by the campfire with our s’mores and tell ghost stories.  ;)  It’s not too late to join.  You can join anytime during the month of April by clicking here.

Drop me a comment.  I’d love to chat with you.

Skipped Out On My Own Invitation

mama

No need to post what week of 52 this is, since I dropped the ball on posting weekly.  Oh well.  I felt bad at first not following through, but I’ve let it go, since there are only so many hours in a day to get it all done.  Too much goin’ on lately, so focusing on the most important stuff first.

So, what’s been happenin’?  Well, as many of you know, I was participating in the Camp Nanowrimo, which is a virtual camp that participants join in April (and there’s another in July) to write a novel, short stories, poems, scripts, what have you.  My goal was to write a novel and reach 50,000 words.  You only have the 30 days alloted during April and you have to submit by 11:59pm April 30 to see if you are a winner.  I won!  As did a couple of my friends!!  Yea!

So, now that that’s done, or that part is done, I’ve put my novel on a back burner to focus on this new job I was presented with.  Wonderful new job!  Flexible hours, the same money as I make now per week, plus less gas I need to buy, plus less hours, plus no one to jerk me around daily, oh, I just can’t stop about the perks, but I’ll stop anyway.  It’s a great deal, but it’s also scary as H-E-double hockey sticks.  Ya know, any time ya take a risk, it’s pretty dang scary.  And good stress is still stress.  So, anyway, I gave my two weeks notice to my current day job while still working for this other job for about 10 or so hours per week.  My last day with the blegh job is May 22 and I’m soooo excited.  I get to pick my sweet baby up from school on her last day and every day for the next school year.  I get to spend quality time with her during the summer, and I cannot wait!!

So, that’s a bit about what’s been going on.

Above, you see an image of my beautiful mother. She’s such a sweetheart!  She’s one of my best friends in the world!  We hang out every chance we get, and this was the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  She and I decided we’d treat each other to an early Mother’s Day meal out at our favorite restaurant!  Saltgrass Steakhouse!  Oh baby!  Hallie pitched in some of her allowance for the meal for our Mother’s Day gift, as well.  We have to drive like 3 hours to get to this place, but it’s so worth it.  Every mouthwatering bite!  Plus, ya know, we are always up for a roadtrip, a daytrip, any kind of trip trip.  I love to drive and my girls love to ride.  It’s just so relaxing to drive and look at all the sights, and shop at our favorite stores, although we went into our favorite store and some old ladies were working in there, following us around, stalking us, forcing stuff on us and we walked out.  Never have we left that store without a purchase.  First time for everything.  We were very disappointed, and I plan to send a complaint to their website and see if it makes a difference.  You should not hound the shoppers!  Grrrr!  But, we shopped around at some other shops, took some shots of ourselves in a photo booth – Cute and Fun!  And also found a new Panera Bread that just opened up down there.  Oh, all this was in Bossier City and Shreveport, Louisiana – 3 hours away from where we live.  It was an awesome day!  We left at 7am and got home at 7pm.

Sunday was a stellar day!  The weather could not have been more beautiful.  Sun shining, breeze blowing, warm enough for shorts, but almost too chilly for shorts depending on how hard the wind was blowing.  I told God, “You really made this a perfect weather day.  I could be happy in temps like this every day!”  I can’t remember the last weekend before this one where we did not get rained out!  So, we thoroughly enjoyed our Blue Sky Holiday!  Mama slow cooked some roast, mashed up some taters, fixed a salad, and we were in hog heaven at her house just hangin’ out and chowin’ down.

I hope all you sweet mommies out there had a memorable and wonderful Mother’s Day, as well.

I’ll head on over to my 101 things and update that in a second.  Let me get to prayer requests.  What did I forget?  Anything?  Let me know.  Oh, and when my life gets back to some sort of normalcy next week, as I’m working on my new daily schedule now, setting everything up, I will also get back to finishing my novel, and then I can update you on how that’s going.

Y’all have a beautiful day!  Love ya!

-Carol

Oh, last post, I invited y’all over Sunday and I didn’t even show up.  I am pitiful!  One day, I will have my rear in gear and be organized.  One day…

Prayer Requests:

1) For Mama to be healed and feel good again.  She’s been feeling sick for months and has a dr’s appt coming up.  Let the doc tell her it’s something easily fixable with diet and exercise, not eating certain foods, etc.
2) For this new opportunity I’ve been granted work out for the greater good.
3) Please pray for Jennefer about her new job, and let it be as awesome as she is, and let her transition from one job to this next one be much smoother than she anticipated.
4) Please pray for Sherree to quickly be able to follow her heart and dreams.
5) Please pray for Carlie to be safe and well.
6) Please pray for Carlie to come by sometime and let us know she’s ok.
7) Please pray for Patrick to find the woman of his dreams, fall in love and get married. Pray he finds her this year.

Camp NaNoWriMo is Closed

my cert

April was a treacherous month, wading through the waist deep virtual muck and mud in my hip waders, trying to find my way through the murky water, watching out for quick sand, having been warned beforehand.

Making it to camp was the easy part.  All I had to do was register and show up for the full 30 days.  Camp was so welcoming with my cabin mates’ happy faces to say hello and offer friendship (although 2 or 3 of them were rather quiet and shy – I totally get that, by the way), late nights with camp fire songs, ghost stories, s’mores, wine and cheese, the whole bit.  I even made some friends from other cabins.

Early mornings, starting usually at 230 and 3am, consisted of gallons of hot coffee, heavy cream and sugar, and handheld breakfasts such as granola bars and peanuts, since we ate on the hiking trail, and needed quick and easily accessible energy.

Many of those days, I made it through long hours of hiking uphill, through rocks, brush, the murky water I told you about (careful to avoid the quick sand of writer’s block).  And a few of those hiking days, I reached a point where I had to rock climb, and since I didn’t bring my climbing nor repelling gear, I scrambled, which is how I prefer to rock climb anyway, plus I had my handy dandy hiking boots and my trusty gloves, so I didn’t have too much of a problem.  The biggest threat was the height of a few of those rocks.  We are talking mountains, people!  I became exhausted at how far I had to go just to get back to camp and thank heavens I brought my flashlight, since some of those days, I didn’t get back till after dark, but then I left in the wee hours, so I had my flashlight at the beginning of the trek anyway.

30 days of hiking, climbing, wading, guzzling wine, sipping hot cocoa, living on cheese, peanuts, granola bars, s’mores, canned beans and the like, I was ready to be done and get home.  Some of that might sound good to you, but when you are hungry for a real meal, and sleep deprived, ya ain’t happy!  I counted on my friends to get me through.  I had friends and family back home cheering me on, new found friends at camp, and a friend of mine that joined me there at camp, who lives across the pond.  We encouraged and supported one another.  We shared.  We laughed.  We cried.  We drank heavily (coffee in the a.m., wine in the p.m.), and we retired when we could not keep our eyes open one minute longer, try as we might.   Our slumber was our most treasured restful activity, as we did not have much rest during these crazy days.

And together, we made it through to the end.  Some of our cabin mates decided to skip out early and go home.  I’m guessing the pressure got to be too much.  I feel sad for them, since even after all the sweat, blisters, hunger, bug bites, spotting bears and mountain lions, bruises, exhaustion and sleep deprivation, we made it successfully through to the end.  We saw each other through.  Maybe not as long-lasting as Survivor, I’m tellin’ ya, Camp NaNoWriMo ain’t no joke.  It ain’t for the wimpy, but if you ever need a lesson in follow-through, which I did, since I usually suck at it, Camp NaNoWriMo or the regular NaNoWriMo is definitely for you, if you are a writer at heart.

Goal:  50,000 words.  Finish Line:  50,229 words.  We did it!  And congrats to my beloved friends, Gerry (went with me to camp), and Lynn (one of my cabin mates), whom I joined at that finish line!  Ready to go again in July?  Om, yeah, I may have to think on that one.  Maybe November.  Maybe.

As far as everything else going on, A LOT!  Sorry to always be late about posting and totally slacking in the month of April with hardly posting at all.  At least I’m updating this, but I still need to update my 101 list, prayer requests, other goings on, and I’ll try to get to all that this weekend.  Only so many hours in a day, and a lot is going on, so hang tight.

I hope and trust all of you are well.  I’ve really been missin’ y’all.  How ’bout we make plans to have coffee or I can put on a kettle for tea and we can sit a spell and catch up, maybe this weekend?  Sunday perhaps?  Come on over.  We can sit in the porch swing or rockin’ chairs and talk all about it.  Whatcha say?

Love ya!  Catcha Sunday!  ;)

-Carol

Oh, and that is one my newest pseudonyms, ‘C. S. Blake’.  And om, in case I wasn’t clear, this was a virtual camp.  Camping through the computer.

Sorry, Been MIA

P1120405Let me start off by apologizing for leaving hi and dry.  I joined in with this Camp NaNoWriMo project, which went from April 1 through April 30.  My goal was to write a novel and reach at least 50,000 words by the deadline and I reached it this morning, and then some.  So, yea!  I reached my goal!  Woooohoooo!  However, now I will need some time to revise, finish, revise again, polish, etc.  I’m hoping this will not take too long, and I suppose I could and should get back to blogging.P1120403

A buddy of mine joined me in the Camp Nano race as we cheered each other on.  He’s awesome!  He reached the finish line a few days before me, but he was waiting for me at the end.  Thanks, Gerry!

Anyway, just wanted to apologize.  I left and I suppose I didn’t explain why and when I’d return.  And I’m back, so I’ll get back to my weekly postings and updates this weekend – back to a more normal posting schedule.  Just thought I’d let you know.

And thanks to those friends out there that knew about it and cheered me on!  I appreciate you so much!  Well, I just really appreciate all of you.  It’s always pretty awesome to have a nice circle of friends and I would most certainly include each of you in that circle.  So, thanks, to each of you for your friendship.  And I’ll try to be better at regular weekly postings from now on, unless of course, I join in with another Camp Nanowrimo (I think there’s another one in July) or regular original Nanowrimo (which is always held in November).  But I’ll give you a heads up first, k?  K.

Just posting a sweet pic of my babe as she’s half asleep in the car on the way to school one morning.  Yes, I snap and drive.  Sorry to all of you early commuters out there sharing the roadways with me.  ;)

Hope y’all have a groovilicious day!  *love, hugs and smooches*  ;)

-Carol

Beautiful Morning

P1120395
Week 13 of 52

Ok, so maybe not a beautiful morning for today’s morning, since it’s raining off and on all day long.  But it was a beautiful morning yesterday when we witnessed this sunrise  on the way to school.  We thought it was cool the way the jet was streaming through the clouds.  ;)  Wanted to post the coolest Easter egg that Hallie painted, but I suppose I downloaded those pics already to my home computer.  This sunrise shot was still on my memory card in my camera, so I’m using this one instead.

An okay week last week.  Carlie is still gone and we are sad and missing her like crazy.

We are a little behind on our 21-day meditation challenge, as we skipped the weekend, but started it back up on Monday.

Started Camp Nanowrimo on April 1st!  My daily word count goal is 2,000, so I will hopefully have roughly 60,000 by the end of April 30. So far, so good!  I hope and pray I can keep this momentum going.  I’ve been really blessed with some free time at work to imagine and type.  Not all days are like that.  Today is another free day, so hopefully I can get my daily writing/typing done before leaving work today.  The last couple of days, I start out early in the morning, then do more at work, especially on my lunch hour, then finish at night.  My friend, Gerry, is also participating in Camp Nano and we are encouraging each other.  Anybody else joining in?  It’s not too late to join in if you like.  Let me know if you do and I will be sure to cheer you on daily!  Encouragement from your friends helps sooooo much!  It helps me for sure.  Keeps me going.  Keeps me strong!

So, how are you?  What’s been going on in your world?

Hopefully, I will remember to go update my 101 things in 1001 days in just a moment.  Nothing really new going on.  Just sort of went into hiding once April 1 got here.  I am determined to finish this 50,000 word count goal.  It’s a really fun story – adventure/fantasy/sci-fi novel for young adults.  It’s the first in a series.  I haven’t mapped out how many books, as of yet.  I do know for sure that there will be three.  I’ve only mapped out the first book and not fully.  The second and third books in the series are only stacks of typed and written notes.  Half of me is a planner, and half of me is a pantser.  It’s more fun flying by the seat of my pants, but it can also be stressful.  It’s especially fun when you plan a story and then it takes on a life of its own and takes over your mind.  Right now, it plays like a movie in my head, and that’s when the writing is at its easiest, although my mind flies faster than my fingers, in which case I have to speak into my handheld, which I completely detest, as I cannot stand to hear my own voice.  Especially when I play it back.  Do I really sound like that to everyone?  Is my southern drawl that bad?  Yuck!  Yes, I get on my own nerves.

I’d much rather just type and scribble and never speak!  No.  Really.  I would not make a good platform when it comes to being a published author, especially if I’m a real success at it, because I would avoid public appearances and functions at all costs.  I would love to have all my stories published and for people to love them, but I’d like to hide behind my pen name, and live as a recluse in a house in the middle of 100+ acres, completely shielded by trees, and for no one to recognize me, and for no one to recognize my name.  If I could get away with that, I’d attempt to publish everything I have written.  Or at least the stuff I’m most proud of.  Is that crazy?  I don’t care if it is.  I soooo love my privacy, and I do not enjoy the social scene at all.  I remember a time when I loved to go out with my friends and party all the time.  Back before, during, and a little while after my Air Force days.  Now that I’m a mom, I am a homebody and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  I’ve had all the partying days I wish to have.  Been there.  Done that.  Don’t miss it.  I should probably spend more time with my friends (and I try to once per month), but truth be told, I’d rather be home, comfy, hangin’ out with my kiddo, and having Mama over as much as possible.  And if not at home, I’d prefer to be on the road, driving to some nifty vacation spot, taking photos and enjoying the sights and activities and food from that place.

Anywho, I realize I’m rambling, so I’ll shut up now. Let me just add the prayer requests:

Y’all just holla when ya have a prayer request, and please pray for those below, if ya don’t mind.

1) Please pray for Kristie and David, for comfort and peace.
2) Please pray for Jennefer about her job, as well as her co-workers. Please pray that her co-workers to treat her with love and kindness.
3) Please pray for Sherree to quickly sell her house.
4) Please pray for Carlie to be safe and well.
5) Please pray for Carlie to come by sometime and let us know she’s ok.
6) Please pray for Mama to get well and feel good again.
7) Please pray for Patrick to find the woman of his dreams, fall in love and get married. Pray he finds her this year.
8) Please pray that I reach my 2,000 word count goal each day of the month during April.

I’m hoping that you had an awesome week, you have an awesome day and the rest of your week is fantastique!  Love ya!!!  *smooch* ;)

-Carol