Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Update

I have slacked off from blogging. I’m lucky if I do one post a month. Life is just crazy, you know. There is the house to take care of (not doing such a great job at that though) and four animals, my aunt, and a few hobbies that I have. Then I am working with my two novels: the first WIP I am promoting to secure an agent for and I am doing my level best to complete the second WIP. The hunt for an agent continues. WIP #1 was originally written so that I may have a foot in the door of the publishing world. Along the way I fell in love with it and consider it my story-of-convenience (which is ironic, because the novel is about two individuals who enter into a courtship/marriage-of-convenience). I had thought it would be snatched up right away since the plot, themes and characters correspond well with everything else that is out there in the Christian market. To my surprise, most of the Christian agents have no interest in it. It is the secular agents that have been more compassionate and kind about it.

The second WIP is at the half-way point, I think. As for quality of writing, it has surpassed the first. It is a story I am passionate about. I want to finish it to see it published, but in a way I will hate to see it end because I love it so much. So, I am toying with the idea of sequels for it. It has to have a solid plot though, that way it will live up to its predecessor. Anyway, WIP #2 will be difficult to market. There are subtle Christian themes woven throughout the story, but the plot deals with spousal abuse, violence, marital rape and adultery. Not the typical Christian romance, right?

I’d like to do a blog post about the books I have read within the last year or two. If only I can get around to it. Recently I finished “Vanity Fair,” by William Makepeace Thackery. Super great! Rebecca Sharp makes a brilliant anti-heroine, even more so than Scarlet O’Hara. In my person opinion, Scarlet was too abrasive and annoying. I know that was part of her disposition and she couldn’t be any other way. But Rebecca Sharp is so manipulative and conniving, that she is almost likeable. She constantly slips into trouble, makes trouble and loves trouble, but somehow gets out by the skin of her teeth. Just when you think she has sank too low into the abyss; she rises up out of it. Right now I am reading “The Portrait of a Lady,” by Henry James. His style is different than what I am accustomed to, but it is enjoyable. His heroine Isabel Archer is endearing. I like good, strong heroines who know their own mind. They may have their flaws and stumble into all sorts of mischief, but it doubles the pleasure to watch them repent and learn their lesson.

I can’t believe “Downton Abbey: Season 2” is already over! I spent the last year sniffing around the internet, looking for spoilers. When the season debuted here in the US, I knew most of what was going to happen and it spoiled most of the surprise. This year I am going to do my best to avoid websites, articles and pictures that will give away the plot. Most of my favorites are still my favorites: Anna and Bates, Dowager Countess, Matthew, Thomas and O’Brien. Interesting enough, my appreciation of Mary and Edith raised and my respect for Sybil and Branson vanished. Last season Sybil was my favorite of the Crawley daughters and I thought her little romance/friendship with Branson was cute. But this season they irritated me. I had thought that when news of the Romanov massacre had come to light, that Branson might condemn what the Bolsheviks did. He merely shrugged it off as a worthy sacrifice for the cause, and Sybil said nothing. So, they are no longer my favorites. And Lord Grantham, what is wrong with you? What is with the mid-life crises dalliance with the maid? Well, at least you showed Mary mercy for her mistake. “Downton Abbey” is such a soap opera, but I love it! Can’t wait until next January! Why, oh, why can’t it air here in September as well?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Saved by a Book

A few months ago, in October or November, I woke up to find pieces of plaster on my bedroom floor. From what I could see, my ceiling and wall were intact. My sister came in and looked around, everything was fine. We shrugged it off and when I had the chance, I vacuumed it up.

Fast forward to last Sunday afternoon. I was putting things that belonged to my grandparents away in my cedar chest when I find a hole in the wall, in between it and my little bookshelf! Now how did that get there? I wondered to myself. Had I done something and not realized it? Maybe slept walked and did some damage? Immediately the mystery of the plaster on my floor had been solved, but not how that hole ended up there. I went to tell my parents and the whole family came up to inspect it.

First Mom wondered if it a woodpecker had made it and I was thinking termites. Dad said that a woodpecker couldn’t have penetrated the siding and that termites don’t leave such a precise hole. He was convinced that something, like a shell had come straight through, but we couldn’t find any shells. From the way the hole was angled, we figured out that it went through the bookcase.

I moved my books and there was little hole in the back of my bookcase and a smashed up slug, the kind used for hunting deer! Then looking at my books, one of my favorites, “Winter is Past,” by Ruth Axtell Morren, is a little smashed up and discolored. Now I can literally say that her book left a lasting impact on me, in my ways in one. And it saved my life.

From what we come up with, by the way the hole is positioned; it was from a shotgun some two hundred feet away (just an estimate). And it happened while I was sleeping in my bed, directly across the room.

Naturally, I give thanks to God and credit Him as the One who truly protected me. It really brings things into perspective for me. Despite all of my doubts and confusion about life, He has a plan.

The hole in the wall will be eventually repaired, but I’m keeping my bookshelf as is. The book will be cherished always and that shell will be saved too.