Friday, August 15, 2014

Confessions of a Writer/Blogger/Editor

1. Please sit down, I have shocking news. The most un-detail oriented, un-tech savvy blogger just became the newest managing editor for Catholic Stand.  I read the offer-letter twice and yup, it was addressed to me. I didn’t see that coming, but I’m anxious to take on a new challenge, learn wordpress and pray to God I don’t mess up other people’s writing.
2. Tuscany Press featured the first pages of the two novels I submitted for the prestigious Tuscany Prize.  Here are the excerpts: Written in Sand and Stars  and Fireflies Dance.  Don’t bother wishing me luck, pray novenas STAT because I’m facing tough competition against a bevy of talented writers.  
3. Terry tagged me on a writers’ interview. So I’m answering questions and tagging two writers and novelists to find out their answers. Rhonda and Cristina, you’re its. I present… THE QUESTIONS:
What are you working on?
Finishing the homeschool room, growing a baby in utero, figuring out f/stop and shutter speeds--  Oh, you mean “professionally” speaking? I’m writing my third novel, trying to blog on my break, tinker with FB and Pinterest memes to go with the posts.
4. What makes your work different from others’ work in the same genre?
*Shrug* I’m just another lawyer who swapped a legal career to stay at home with my children, homeschool, write Catholic novels, blog, try to get along with manual photography, and fumble with the newest hat -- editing.
5. Why do you write what you do?
On Catholic romance novels:
Short version: It was the crickets’ fault.

 Long version: My love affair with romance novels began as a pre-teen reader in the 80’s with those teen Sweet Dreams series.  When the series ended and I was in high school, I wrote similar novellas in ballpoint pens on spiral notebooks, which I repeatedly showed No One.  In college, I read mainstream romance, women’s, fantasy, legal thrillers, political intrigue novels (aside from the mandatory classics) but the smut and depressing immorality replaced the joy of reading with guilt, so I gave up on fiction altogether. I discovered light, wholesome Christian romance novels a full decade later.  I loved the humor, the cleanness, and the Christianity but it didn’t satisfy my craving for a good Catholic love story.
So I marched up to the big publishing world and demanded, “WELL? Where are the writers of supernatural romance who write about contemporary struggles Catholics face?”
The sound of crickets answered me and I think this is what they said, “Honey, you’re going to have to fend for yourself.”
So I took their advice and wrote Catholic fiction.   I hope the crickets enjoy reading my novels as much as I do writing.
6. Same Question.
On blog and articles:  I don’t have the gift for impromptu one-on-one oral evangelization.  I have friends who speak to random strangers about Catholicism and who manage to convert them.  Not me.  I censor my mouth in front of strangers and acquaintances.  (Except when I’ve written and rehearsed a talk for a roomful of strangers.) But see, I have no problem speaking to a laptop copiously with my fingers.  I write to process my reflections, and share to encourage Catholics to learn more about our faith, love it and grow in it. Writing is my strength as well as an offshoot of a weakness.
7. How does your writing process work?
A light bulb flashes, I’m momentarily blinded, the earth vibrates, I hear otherworldly voices …and then a finger pokes me, “Mama, when’s dinner going to be ready?”

After inspiration and reality collide, I mull over the ideas and jot down notes on a small notebook.  When there’s some semblance of flow or organization in my head, I turn on the laptop, say a prayer to the Holy Trinity, consecrate my writing to the two hearts, and write.

The books stay in my laptop for years, going through several drafts, before I’m satisfied.

The blog posts are revised, edited while I pray and wait for the Spirit to nudge me that the piece or time is right. Then I hit publish. And the world goes on. 


Cristina T said...

First of all, congratulations! You must be thrilled! And second, novenas are comin'!

Thanks so much for the tag! I will post soon! :)

8 kids and a business said...

We just got back from vacation and am catching up on blog reading so I didn't see this until this evening. Congratulations! Catholic Stand has made a great choice. You will be wonderful!