J Christine's blog

My Goal

I’ve been dealing with a lot of jumbled thoughts today about where I am going and what I am doing. I guess it is because of the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

Anyway, as I deal with all these jumbled thoughts, I’m remembering a success this week. I was at my critique group and was able to quickly identify several hidden redundancies. They are the kind that aren’t obvious because it is not repetition specifically, but are multiple phrases that mean the same thing said in different ways. It shows me I am improving my editing skills in ways which were a problem for me.

Last Day of NaNo

Today I am combining my Wednesday writer’s blog and my Friday personal blog because this concerns both. This week I made a difficult decision about my writing. I had planned on doing NaNoWriMo this month and had tried to complete. However, this year things didn’t go so well. I had so much on my mind and was so busy; I just couldn’t get the words to come. I wrote a lot of words but they didn’t make sense.


The passion of writers. As an editor, I love listening to the words and passion of authors talking about his or her work. Today, I had the pleasure of talking to an author about her story. She spoke of the ways in which God lead her to write her book. She started with her ideas of what the book was going to be about and then heard an inspirational saying that lead her in a different direction for the first part of the book. Then another inspirational saying caused her to change her topic slightly for the second portion of the book.

Fun time

This coming Saturday I will be performing one of my favorite duties as an editor. I will be attending the Novel Crafters Seminar presented by HIS Writers ACFW. As part of the seminar, HIS Writers held a flash fiction contest. The top ten winners of the contest will be published in a special edition of Harpstring Magazine along with a special article by DiAnn Mills, the speaker at the Seminar. As the executive editor of Harpstring, I get the pleasure of announcing the winner of the contest.

One of the special things about this contest is we did something we didn’t tell the authors.

Finally Started

I finally got started with NaNoWriMo yesterday, which is why I’m a day late on this post. I know have 811 words and I should have over 13,000. It seems like a lot but I know I can overcome it. I find NaNo to be an interesting challenge in getting all the words written, but this year I had trouble getting started. I started the month working a booth at a conference over nine hours a day. The result is this week I’m trying to find my words through exhaustion and through the emotional issues I fight when I’ve had long periods of time without sunlight.

My other problem this year is my story.

An Editor Thinks About Words

One of the things that editors tell authors is if they aren’t sure about the proper usage to be sure they are consistent. An example is if an author is not sure how to use italics according to a particular publisher’s policy, just be consistent so it will be easy for the publisher to make adjustments. However, this week I’ve been reading a manuscript which frustrated me even though there is consistency.

In this manuscript there are many references to where people are worshiping.

My Friday Thoughts

This week I am working in a booth at the Sweet Adelines International Conference. For those who don’t know the Sweet Adelines are a group who sing barbershop style. At first, I didn’t want to go to this conference because it brought back negative memories.

I love to sing and do it a lot when no one else can hear me. I avoid singing because of being asked to either mouth words or leave three choirs. In addition, I was rejected by two different Sweet Adelines groups. All this rejection because I am not a good singer made me very uncomfortable with singing in public.

... Or Not To NaNo

It’s almost November and my writers’ groups are talking about NaNoWriMo.

For those who don’t know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. When I first learned about the challenge I thought “no way can I do this.” But thanks to my pushing, prodding, shoving, and daring friends, I finally tried it one year. After participating for several years, I’ve learned some good reasons to NaNo and some good reasons not to NaNo.

Genre - Information Dump

Today I’m writing while wearing my editor’s hat.

A while back I told a friend, another editor, that I was getting frustrated with reading books in the genre of information dump. Now this was kind of a joke because there is no such genre, but it seems I have been seeing a lot of manuscripts lately with a lot of information dumped on the reader.

One of the most common ways I see this happening is two people together in a car, talking to each other. One of the characters will spend several pages telling the other one about something.

My Different Hats

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. (Genesis 1:2, NASB)

I have been thinking a lot lately about chaos and order. My life seems to go through cycles of order and chaos. Right now I’m in the chaos part of the cycle. I feel like my life is like the earth as it was described in the Scripture above. But just as surely as God brought order out of the formless void as told in the verses following this one, I know He will bring order out of mine.

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