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"Write this down for the next generation so people not yet born will praise God." Psalm 102:18

"Write my answer on a billboard, large and clear, so that anyone can read it at a glance and rush to tell the others." Habakkuk 2:2

Friday, November 26, 2010

Impressions From Maine

As I write this my family and I are in route to Hershey to spend Thanksgiving with my mother. We are returning to PA after spending a week in Maine on vacation. It was with mixed feelings that we headed home today. This has been our first visit to this northern state, and along the way I think my husband, son and I have fallen in love with this land.

Its beauty reminded my husband and me of our trip to Alaska a number of years ago on a church mission’s trip. We mostly visited the Camden, Maine area, the only place on the northern coast where the mountains touch the sea. I can understand why so many that pass through this town are captivated with it and decide to move there. My son even mentioned the desire to relocate to this quaint town.

For me, it was a pleasure for many reasons. My family and I are probably considered strange to most that meet us. We love winter and love snow. I’m always ready to have more snow then we usually get in southeastern PA. On our last full day in Camden, I spent the afternoon in the local library. I was pleasantly surprised to hear some of the locals commenting about hoping it would snow soon. They were excited about the precipitation and desiring for their winter to begin. I think this is the first time I heard someone else (besides my family) desiring snow and joyful about its expected arrival.

It was another blessing to be able to see this town I have been researching about for many months. Camden, Maine is the setting for the historical fiction book I’m writing. In particular I have been learning about Curtis Island Lighthouse, which is on an island on the Penobscot bay, off the shores of Camden. I have seen the town and island via pictures on the web, and on a video, but it was something much different to be able to witness it first hand. To walk the streets and attend the church where my character has been living – at least in my own mind.

I was able to meet the archivist at the library who has been a tremendous aid in my research of the area. My son and I were also able to row out to the island with a local couple. All right, they did the rowing, while we sat and took in the scenery. We only had about a half hour to take in the island while the couple circled around and met us again. It was pure joy to walk on the paths my character experiences. To see the lighthouse and keeper house up close was incredible. I’m sure my face was beaming when the couple picked us up for the return trip to shore. I know my husband commented about the joy on my face when we returned to the harbor and he saw us again.

The next day we attended the first church in Camden. From old photographs we’ve seen, it appears the pews remain unchanged from the beginning of the 1800’s, other than the exception of cushions added. It’s where my character attends church as she is able.

It’s been such a blessing to go on this vacation with my husband and youngest son. We enjoyed seeing several different lighthouses and local sights. We also had time to relax, watch some Christmas movies, and enjoy playing games together. I know it’s been a memorable trip for each of us. It’s one I’ll hold in my heart for many days to come.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Week Hiatus

The remainder of November will be very busy for me and my family. I have several things to accomplish by the end of the month, so I've decided to take a two week hiatus, taking a break from blogging, email and Facebook. I'm looking forward to the break from technology! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Excitement in Research - Part Two

I continue to enjoy researching for the novel I'm writing. Right now I'm working on compiling the list of all the places and things to do while I'm in Maine. I love the way my story comes alive in my brain and hopefully the written page too. I'm really looking forward to walking in the town where my character is from. I'm anxious to see the area first hand.

I've been having a wonderful time writing, and feel like I'm part of the story. It will be a happy/sad day when I write the words 'The End' when it is complete. At this point I am close to two-thirds of the way through the writing of my first draft. Of course, I'll still need to edit and polish. It's been quite enjoyable to research and work my way through the process. I find it quite enjoyable.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Excitement in Research

I set a goal to finish writing my historical fiction book by Christmas this year. I know when I type those last words it will be a bittersweet feeling. I have become quite attached to my characters and their story. I feel like I have walked the town where they live. I'm so excited to actually be able to do that in a little over a week. To see firsthand the area I have researched.

Excitement is mounting as we prepare for our trip. I have a list of places I want to see and visit while we are in Maine. I also am looking forward to meeting the local librarian (archivist) who has been a tremendous help with my research. Every week or so she sends me answers to my questions which arise as I write. A couple days ago it was the names of the local doctors during 1878.

It's funny actually since I never was fond of history during my school years. Now I find myself immersed and intrigued by the stories that desire to be told. I love being able to write historical fiction. It's a pleasure to delve in research material and learn various tidbits. What a blessing to be called to something I thoroughly love and enjoy. God is so wonderful!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Words

I guess you could call me a wordsmith. I like the way words sound. I love to compose my thoughts on paper. I take joy in writing my novel. I hope to encourage and inspire through my written words - not because of me, but because of what God has done in my life. I keep a regular journal as well as a joy journal. I write many words each day through blogging, working on my novel and various writing assignments.

I can write and share my thoughts on paper, but don't do a great job with speaking. Somehow what I mean to say in my head doesn't come across my lips. Perhaps that is why God made me shy by nature. I am a better listener than a speaker. Maybe this is why we are all created different. If we all had the gift of talking, there would be nobody to listen. And if we all listened, we wouldn't hear anything since nobody would be talking. :) I'm thankful that even with all my inadequacies and idiosyncrasies, God made me the way He did.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

38 Days and 38,000 Words

I set a goal. I believe I could complete my book within 38 writing days if I write 1000 words each of those days. That would leave me with 38,000 words to add to the 39,000 I already have. My desire is to have the rough draft completed by Christmas. Moving onward towards the goal.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two Day Hiatus

Time to get back to writing, after taking a two day hiatus. I never realized how mentally exhausting writing can be. I intentionally took off on Sunday. Yesterday I had every intention of writing, but the responsibilities of life intervened. I'm hosting my ladies Bible study group this evening, which meant I had to work on cleaning my house, or at least moving piles so the women will have somewhere to sit. :)


I'm finding that one of the hazards of writing more, is I can't balance everything I used to do. I admit, I've never been the greatest with keeping up with the house. It definitely is an area where I'm challenged. So the past month of intense writing has left its toll on my house. It was in serious need of attention, which is what I chose to focus on yesterday.

As I find myself getting more and more involved with my writing, I continue to seek the Lord's guidance of what things I should and shouldn't be doing. I realize there are times when I need to choose between things that are good vs. things that are best. But as I've been praying, God gently nudges me in the areas I need to follow. I need His direction and leading.