Monday, March 28, 2011

My Website is Finished!

I'm celebrating today because my website is finished! 

The URL has been forwarding to my blog while I waited for the website to be finished, but starting today that address will take you directly to the new website.  Please stop by and check it out  I'd love your feedback.  : )

The next two things on my to do list are a blog makeover- it's long overdo- and getting And Then You Were Gone released on Kindle.   

I hope you all are having a blessed Monday!  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On Writing: Who Am I?

A Season of Preparation:

Writing fiction has been a lifelong dream, but I am not in a season of my life where I can or should devote the time necessary for full time, professional writing.  Out of necessity, it has to remain a hobby. 

Just for now. 

I hope later that will change, and I will have more time to pursue it like I want to do, and find out if I even have enough talent to write publishable stories.

In the meantime I see this as a season of preparation.  I'm studying the craft of writing, and I write whenever I can, loving every minute of it. 

Who am I?

One of the things I'm trying to do is discover my voice, my audience, and my genre.  I've heard you should write what you love to read, but I love such a wide variety of books, and I have three manuscripts started that couldn't be more different.  One is Contemporary Christian Fiction, one is a verse novel, and one is a fairy tale.  Which one do I commit to finishing? 

Who am I as a writer?  Shannon Hale, one of my favorite authors, said, "I spent eighteen years writing unpublishable stuff, and I now realize it was all in pursuit of my voice." 

That's where I am at.  Do I want to write Contemporary Christian Fiction like my favorites Francine Rivers and Joel Rosenberg?  Do I want to write verse novels like Karen Hesse?  Do I want to write fairy tales like Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale?  Do I write for adults or for young adults and middle grade readers?  I'm not sure yet.  And when I settle in to the genre and audience that fits, what does Becky Avella the storyteller sound like? 

I don't know yet, but I'm praying about it, and I believe I can't know unless I just keep writing.  That's where I'll find myself.  Not in the thinking about it, but in the actual act of writing.  Just thinking about writing or talking about writing won't make me a writer.  I need to write.  Even if the progress is slow. 

My Goals:

I'm so thankful for the writing community.  I've been given some wonderful advice like this from my new friend Michelle Massaro at Adventures in Writing:

The next time you decide to pick up your pen, I'd encourage you to put it to one of your half-finished books instead of starting yet another from scratch.

Or this from author, Jody Hedlund:

With 3 uncompleted manuscripts, I'm also inclined to think you might need to push yourself to finish one of them, even if it's just as simple as giving yourself the goal of 300 words a day. (Or giving yourself the goal of finishing one during the summer.)

So those are my goals for now-

1.  I need to know what it feels like to actually cross the finish line instead of starting over. 
2.  I've settle on one of my manuscripts to finish and have dedicated this summer as the summer of a completed rough draft.  
3.  I know I'll have to turn off my self-editor and realize the first draft won't be perfect (or even good) and I'll need to turn off the the but "who am I really" questions and just write to "The End".  That voice will be discovered as I continue to finish manuscripts and in the revisions. 

I'm so excited! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seeing Green

The Corned Beef and Cabbage are all set to go for dinner tonight with Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream for dessert of course. 
Yum, Yum, Yum!!   

And after the fun we had with our Valentine's Hair-Dos, the girls and I decided we needed shamrocks in their hair today-

Oldest Princess

Littlest Princess

Directions for hairstyles are from this site: 

All Ready for a Green Day at School-
No Pinching! 

Hey!!  Did You Forget Someone, Mom! 

 See I'm wearing my green, too- 

My husband's family on his mom side came from Ireland only two generations ago, and although I can't claim as much, there's some Irish blood in me, too.  We have a lot of fun  celebrating our Irishness and St. Patrick, a man credited with bringing the good news of Christianity to Ireland and who was described as being "humble" and "thankful" for that honor.  

Happy St. Patty's Day Everyone! 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Last Year It Was That Mustache...

Last year he grew that THING-

 I think they call it a mustache?  I've repressed it.  : ) 

And now??  That King Charming of mine just can't seem to leave his good looks alone-

But this time I can forgive him because it was for such a great cause: 

Being the hero that he is, he shaved all his hair off to show his support for kids with cancer and to raise money to help find a cure.  



My Hero!

Thank you so much to all of you who put up with our constant begging on Facebook, and to those of you who contributed to the almost $500 he raised.  His team took first place with a total of $6,800 and the event here in our city raised over $50,000.  Awesome!

My new hero is the lady he works with who shaved all of her long, beautiful blond hair off in memory of her mom who recently passed away from cancer.   And one of the men raised another $600 or so when he promised to shave the mustache he had been growing since he was 16 years old.  Of course they took care of that on stage.  : ) 

It was a good lesson for our kids.  Prince Charming didn't recognize this new bald version of his daddy, but the girls are now growing their hair out for Locks of Love so they can be like their daddy. 

Hope you all are having a blessed weekend and surviving the Day Light Savings change. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Best Birthday EVER!

That's how she described it. 

Hearing that and seeing the look on her face in this picture did my heart so much good!! 

I love seeing my baby girl so happy. 

It really was a fun celebration.  First it was pizza at our house, then a trip to the theater to see Tangled.  (I loved that movie!) and then home for an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and a sleepover. 

(It only took me until 1:00 in the morning to get the giggling to stop)

We topped it all off the next morning with some unplanned sleepingbag sledding and a batch of homemade waffles.

It seemed to be a success.  I'm just still in shock that my girl is 9-years-old.  I'm going to be in major shock next year when she turns ten.  

That's a decade. 

Oh my goodness! 


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Creation-Deprivation Disorder

Creation-Deprivation Disorder
That's what I've got. 

And I've diagnosed my family with the disorder, too. 

I don't believe we were created to be so sedentary or confined, and I've craved more interaction with nature, but I haven't known how to make it happen.  

I've recently begun reading this book, hoping it will inspire me, so I can inspire us:  


The author labels this generation's lack of being outside as "Nature-Deficit Disorder" but I prefer to call it "Creation-Deprivation Disorder".  I'm craving being surrounded by creation so I can know the Creator better and to worship Him as I see Him in what He has made.  I want that for my kids, too.  

Today, I was reading the book and making excuses about it being too cold outside, when I heard the sound of a Disney movie trickling down the stairs.  I decided Prince Charming and I needed an adventure, so I bundled us up and got on my bike and left our neighborhood.  

Thankfully, it doesn't take long for us to get away from our concrete subdivision.  First we said hello to some of our animal friends- 

Then we stopped at a dried out creek bed on the edge of our neighborhood and played and explored, romped, and threw lots of rocks:

It was gray and cold.  The only color was Prince Charming's jacket.  But it was the perfect backdrop for imagination. 

We had a lot of fun on our adventure! least for awhile. 
Then the wimp came back out in us.  : ) 

It's been about three days that I've been very intentional about getting myself outside and encouraging the kids to do it, too, and I can't believe how great I feel from the walks and bike rides.  They've left me hungry for more.   

When the girls came home from school I showed them this website and sent them outside to build their own Fairy House. 

They are mid-construction, so I'll save the update on their progress for another post.  They said I could share the end result as long as I reminded you all not to scare off the fairies.  : ) 

Here's to more adventures to come!  

Q4U-  Do you feel like you or your kids are creation deprived?