Author Archives: KD Fleming

The Month of Thanks

bermuda2197

I’m reading so many posts about all the things different people are giving thanks for. So, I’m going to jump in and give my thanks–to God and what He allows me to learn from His people each day.

I try to keep my personal and writing lives separate to some extent, but the last two years have posed the biggest challenge for me and I’ve wondered if I would survive in one piece. We lost my mother-in-law unexpectedly in May. I moved into my in-law’s house that day and became the main caregiver for my father-in-law who had been home under hospice care for a year already. Then he passed away in July.

Needless to say, there wasn’t much writing going on during the first eight months of this year. There are MANY other people that I’ve spoken to in random conversations that made me feel ashamed that I considered my problems and struggles too hard to handle. For those people, thank you for showing me your strength when you probably felt your weakest. You renewed my hope and helped grow my faith. I’ve said prayers for you and you have been a burden on my heart that I bring to God in prayer often.

God has taught me patience (this is not a lesson I ever wanted to learn from practice) when I didn’t even know I was in the classroom of life taking the course. I think I may have earned a “C” and that’s if there was a curve. So I will probably have to repeat that class several times.

But God has used music, specifically my love and appreciation for all things Casting Crowns, and the lyrics and scriptures of their songs to open my heart and my eyes to new truths that apply to whatever I’m dealing with at the time and then something new the next time I listen to the words or read the scriptures.

Thank you God for Your amazing love and the grace You grant me to try again when I don’t get it right the first time.

And thank you for the most wonderful friends in the writing world and my church who are like family to me and my family by birth. And my husband, there aren’t enough words to thank you for him. I want to be a source of encouragement and hope to each person when they face their darkest time as You allowed them to be for me.

Be Brave Enough to…

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

 

Maker of Heaven and Earth

Have faith. Trust. Try again. Write with Intent.

All of the actions listed above have 1 thing in common. Reliance on something outside ourselves. And that reliance on “something” can be scary. But you wouldn’t be considered brave or faithful if it was easy, now would you?

That’s why it’s called a “leap of faith”. You are venturing forth into realms unknown to you. But my theme or life lesson that I instill in each story that I write is that with faith comes hope. And where there is hope, there is triumph, because you are believing in something–SOMEONE–much bigger and stronger than yourself.

God.  He made the sun come up this morning and he’ll raise the moon tonight. All you can do for light is flip a switch and if you didn’t pay the electric bill, you’re still in the dark.

So have faith. Trust in God. And when you veer off-course, asking Him to guide you back. And when you write, share His love. It’s the happiest happily ever after you’ll find.

I want to be brave. And I will ask God to help me do just that every day. Will you?

Fall is in the air–even in Florida

Fall is in the air--even in Florida

This photo was taken during a trip to New England about this same time of year.

Let The Wind Blow But Be Safe

June has begun and for those living in the southeastern US, that means hurricanes. They are massive, covering almost the entire land mass of the 48 states as they near land. River-flooding rains, roof-lifting winds, and squall lines before and after. It can been a seven day, ongoing attack with lulls that coax you into a false sense of calm. Only to swing around and catch you off guard.

But as frightening as those behomoths are, I cannot imagine the terror tornados spawn in the hearts of the residents of the midwest. Oklahoma, in particular, has been ravaged numerous times this season. These storms arrive with little or no warning, moving as quick as lightning and just as deadly. They level entire neighborhoods and towns in the blink of an eye.

My thoughts and prayers are for all those who have been affected by these deadly bouts of intense nature. Scientists study them, but still, the warning to run for cover comes only minutes before an imminent attack.

Please be safe and as prepared as you can be whether you face a tornado or hurricane. I pray no more lives are lost to these intense examples of nature at its fiercest.    

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Paul reminded us to do just that. Writing is hard. It isn’t sitting around daydreaming about what to write, as I’ve been accused of doing by people who don’t have a clue what goes into creating a story.

 It isn’t like a recipe where all the ingredients have been listed, usually in order of necessity, with the exact amount of this or that, and even a time limit. Although deadlines probably resemble cook time, or more aptly, pressure cooker time. You have to create characters (people)–even though you won’t see them walking down the street, they must be real and three-dimensional, so your readers can see them walking through the pages of your story and think of them as real people. Then there is the setting, or where your story takes place. Next comes the meat of the story. What is the conflict? Why can’t these two people be together? What will happen to them that will change them so that they could be together if they work really hard and get through the conflict they are facing on those pages. And lastly, my favorite, love conquers all.

I wrote the above paragraph to give you a glimpse into the semantics of what goes into creating a story. You still have to mind your “p’s and q’s”, i.e. grammar and formatting and stylistic requirements. That list of “should or should not happen” situations in your story are what lure your reader in, teasing them that you have found a fresh and creative way to tell them a story that involves a situation they’ve already heard. But your story is so compelling and so unique, we must read it to see what the author did to make their rendition so appealing.

And after the writer has done those things, either via a detailed outline, a synopsis (summary) of the main points in the story, come up with a blurb that’s catchy and compelling for the back cover of the book, they still have to sit in a chair or in bed with a mound of pillows propped up behind them (guilty) and weave all those craft lessons and workshop applications they’ve studied into a viable and evocative story that draws you in with the opening sentence and keeps you turning the page until you whimper because you’ve reached the end and there are no more pages to turn.

But while the author has sweated blood and tears in the process of doing this, no one gets that they aren’t being paid for all that time and thought. They are writing this story in the hope that they can sell it to a publisher who will, in turn, market it to you, the reader and you will love it and buy a ton of copies.

Along the way, the writer enters contests to garner feedback from fellow writers on the outside chance they final and are blessed with the opportunity to have an agent or editor read their contest entry and hear their “voice” or appreciate their humor, or connect with the theme of the story. Or not, and go back and cut and rewrite and polish in time to submit to an agent/editor/ or another contest.

At each segment of this long endeavor, they have to put aside the comments that don’t address specific issues within the story as they make revisions. They even have to put away the fan-mail equivalent feedback that says this story is perfect and nothing needs to be changed. These judges are anonymous and wonderfully gracious to offer their time to read your submission. But each author is the master of their own story, so the comments/suggestions require consideration before jumping in and making changes.

But you can do everything “right” as per a gazillion How To books, and still be left with a manuscript that you’ve done all you can do to give it life and a chance to spread its wings and fly out of your writing nest instead of offering up the pages on the wind.

After all that, you usually ask yourself, “Why?”

The answer, “Your eye is on the prize.” The prize is having that exactly-right-for-you editor read your submission whether it be due to a contest entry that finaled or that your agent has queried them and they find your theme unique. And when someone within the industry asks to read your entire manuscript, you have come close enough to the ultimate prize of publication that you can taste it. And it tastes like creamy vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and caramel sauce drizzled over it. 

But, you won’t get to that table to feast if you take your eye off what’s important–the prize. When life hands you a bag of lemons, make sure you have enough sugar to sweeten your pitcher of lemonade.

And no, I didn’t write this because any specific thing has happened. It’s that I’ve starting creating a new town and a new set of players within that town and I’m spending time imagining (daydreaming) and reflecting on who they are and what will make them unique and interesting for you, the reader.

So chin up and fingers crossed. I have work to do.

Wishing everyone all the best and apologies for my ramblings.

Karen

I Have An Agent!!!!!!!!!

I am so pleased to announce that the totally fabulous Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, Ltd. is representing me.

My critique partner signed with her last year and was raving about how awesome she is and that led me to submit a query to her as well. Then this month, she was the guest speaker at our writer’s meeting. I was able to meet her and spend some true quality time just getting to know her as a person and learning how she approaches her job representing her clients and I knew, I just knew, she was perfect for me. And she really is an awesome person on top of her agenting awesomeness.

There was no stress, no nerves. Just a calm assurance. I met her associate, Jenn, this past weekend at a conference in South Florida. She represents another awesome author that I get to call my friend. It was clear why Spencerhill is such a successful agency. Their attitude toward the business of publishing and helping their clients grow and realize their dreams is beyond amazing.

Nalini and I spoke Tuesday evening and made it official. I really do live a charmed life. I have the best agent, the best critique partners in the world, who are also my very close friends. My chapter of RWA, Tampa Area Romance Authors, is the best and they are the reason I am at this level in my writing career. No other group of writers cares more or gives more to each other so that we all can succeed.

Add to that, all of you friends and family who support and encourage me. And then there is my wonderful husband. He doesn’t ask why or how. He just expects me to write a great story.

Casting Crowns is the inspiration for my Sparta series. They are in concert tomorrow night.

Sweet. In fact, strawberry sweet. 😉

Praying God’s best for all of you.

There Are Still Some Really Nice People In The World

As you hustle and bustle through your day, attending meetings, running errands, doing laundry, or cooking dinner, do you dwell on encounters you had with other people who crossed your path that day?

I confess, I do, especially if that person made an impression on me. Sometimes, the impression is not a happy, smiley face. It’s best if I’m doing some food prep during those reflections–the onions don’t cry when I slice them into pieces.

But what does a person have to do to make you smile when you’re reflecting?

I think Jack Callahan in “While You Were Sleeping” said it best when his brother, Peter, couldn’t figure out what it was about Lucy that made her special. “Sometimes she makes you so crazy you don’t know whether to hug her or arm wrestle her. She’d go all the way to Italy just to get a stamp in her passport. I don’t know if that makes her crazy or if she’s just really…likeable.” 

And I met someone who is a genuine, ‘really’ likeable-type person. There was no arm wrestling involved, but there was a hug. And I count today as special, because I made a new friend.

And that, makes me smile.  

 

Fiction Fridays–Christmas Magic Part 4

Stop by the Firebirds blog ( www.ghfirebirds.com ) today and catch up on our holiday treat for you. AJ found a way to turn a BMA (bad-morning-after) into a HEA (happily ever after) using a tree that rivals Charlie Brown’s in patheticness.

Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

 

 

 

Win a Kindle and Some Firebird 2012 Releases Just in Time for Christmas

Several of the ladies who finalled in this year’s RWA Golden Heart contest got together and formed a blog. We’re celebrating all the books published in 2012 by the our members by giving away a Kindle and a copy of each Firebird book released in 2012. We’d love it if you would stop by and tell us what you think of our new site. All you have to do is comment to enter. The contest runs today through Christmas Eve.

http://www.ghfirebirds.com/this-free-stuff-is-how-the-firebirds-party/

The Fabulous Darynda Jones & Segment 2 of Pray For Night

The Rita award winning and very talented Darynda Jones has gifted us with a sample of her wonderful style in segment 2 of our mainstream paranormal Fiction Fridays story, Pray For Night. Stop by and cast your vote for what happens to Marly and Chase as they face the zombie nuns in the graveyard…………..  visit if you dare!!!!!

http://www.ghfirebirds.com/fiction-fridays-pray-for-night-part-2/

Kay Hudson

Reading, Writing, and Rambling Through Life

The Steve Laube Agency

Author of Sassy but Sweet Romances and Stories of Faith that Share Hope

BookEnds Literary Agency

Author of Sassy but Sweet Romances and Stories of Faith that Share Hope

Seekerville: The Journey Continues

Author of Sassy but Sweet Romances and Stories of Faith that Share Hope

Query Shark

Author of Sassy but Sweet Romances and Stories of Faith that Share Hope

Rachelle Gardner

Author of Sassy but Sweet Romances and Stories of Faith that Share Hope

Blog – GH Firebirds

Author of Sassy but Sweet Romances and Stories of Faith that Share Hope

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.