Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moving ahead with it...

We still haven't been given a definitive answer on Doug's job, but he's gotten some pretty positive indicators, so we are moving ahead with the house deal. We accepted the counteroffer yesterday, and will be putting ours on the market within the next week.

Needless to say, writing will once again take a back seat.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not exactly writer's block, but...

I've definitely been having a tough time with my own writing lately! One reason, certainly, is the uncertainty surrounding our future. On February 1st, we found out that about half the department my husband works in will be laid off before the end of the month. The very next day, we received a counter-offer on the 100+ year old farm house that we would have taken in a heartbeat, but can't until we know what's going on with the job. If he is laid off, the chances are pretty high that we would have to move, probably out west somewhere, to find a job in his field.

Of course, I know a professional writer would sit down and crank out words short of (perhaps even in spite of) a personal tragedy, but I do have one other issue, which may be closer to true writer's block. I have been experimenting with my writing a bit, and have found lots of things that don't work. I have discovered about myself that I don't write well if I try to plot in advance... in fact, I kind of don't write at all. This is especially true if I'm trying to follow the suggestions in how-to books on writing publishable novels!

For now, it seems, I will stick with what works: I start with a few strong characters and an interesting situation, and then follow them around and see what happens. It sounds really strange, even to me, but it is apparently the way I write.

Writer of the Week

I've read a couple of books this week by Cindy Woodsmall and enjoyed both. I noticed both had a copyright of 2009, which makes her (by my definition) a prolific and proficient writer.

The Hope of Refuge has the subtitle An Ada's House Novel, which suggests that it's at least loosely part of a series, the earlier books of which I've not encountered. As I read, I found myself teasing out the clues of what the earlier book(s) may have been about, and I will put them on my future reading list. It was an fascinating juxtaposition of two utterly different worlds: Amish life and the harsh environs of New York City's underbelly.

The second book I read, The Sound of Sleigh Bells, was also a good read, although I found the first more interesting. In both, the plots were sound, the characterizations and settings authentic, and the writer's voice pleasing.

For more information on this author, click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I have a good friend who is planning on beginning to homeschool next year. She's concerned, as she feels her own education level is inadequate. Though I understand her concern, I think she will probably do a wonderful job. In thinking about it, I came up with these reasons.

In my opinion, three qualities are important to success in homeschooling. One is devotion to your family. She has that in spades. I've always appreciated that she is sad when her children go back to school at the end of the summer, unlike so many moms who are eager for it.

The second is discipline and organization. Check.

Finally, and probably least important, is academic ability. Although her intelligence is obvious, her education may not have been as good as is desirable, but with the excellent curricula tailored to homeschoolers, this is easily surmountable.

She'll do great!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lots going on!

Several weeks ago, we made an offer on an old farmhouse. The property was not in foreclosure, but was a short sale, so a bank's approval was necessary. While waiting to hear from the bank, my husband was informed that in the next few weeks, approximately half the employees in his group would be laid off. The following day, the bank countered our offer with a number we would have accepted, but until we find out if my husband still has a job, we're hoping not to have to respond. All this happened a couple of weeks ago. We might have heard about the layoffs already, but apparently all the snow shutting down the government prevented meetings to finalize the cuts from taking place.

Hopefully, we'll know something in the next few days, but my daughter keeps muttering about 'Dad losing his job on my birthday.' (She turns 15 on Friday.)

We are trusting that none of this is a surprise to our faithful God, and trying to wait with patient faith to find out what will happen.