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    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Storycrafters coming to Denver on November 13th

    Just a quick note today to tell you all how excited I am about Susan May Warren's Storycrafters Seminer coming to Denver. Below is all the pertinent info you need to come to this fabulous workshop, but let me just say that to character-driven, seat-of-the-pants writers like me, Susie is a superhero. She completely throws herself into helping other writers take their plot inklings and turn them into workable novels. I think her middle name is Brainstorm. And if you're looking for an all-around good read, pick up any of her titles. The PJ Sugar series is one of my faves.

    If you're interested in writing, I hope you'll join me November 13th. Remember, registration ends November 1st.

    The Storycrafter's Seminar
    Featuring Susan May Warren
    RITA Award Winning Novelist and Writing Coach
    Saturday, November 13th, 2010—8:30 am - 4 pm
    Registration check-in and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 am, seminar begins at 9
    Graystone Castle Event Center
    (formerly Radisson Graystone Castle)
    I-25 & 120th Avenue
    Thornton, Colorado

    Have you always wanted to write a story but didn’t know where to start? If so, the Storycrafter's Seminar is for you! RITA Award-winning author and writing coach Susan May Warren will teach you story structure, go step-by-step in the character creation and plotting process, then show you how to apply it to your story. She’ll brainstorm your idea, share essential secrets of storytelling, and finally, you'll take home a plan that will act as a map for your novel. With time for writing, as well as learning, it’s a day for writers of all levels that will jumpstart your novel onto the road to publication.


    Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-five novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A RITA winner, as well as a four-time Christy award finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year. A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at www.susanmaywarren.com.


    Cost is $109 and Registration ends November 1, 2010.
    The event will be held in Thornton, Colorado, 12 miles north of downtown Denver and 30 minutes from the airport, in the Graystone Castle Event Center (formerly Radisson Graystone Castle). Admission to the event includes:

    Storycrafter's workbook
    Continental breakfast
    Deli lunch buffet

    Register on-line at www.acfwcolorado.com/events

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Stuck Alive

    Is it selfish to go to church because it inspires you to write? That’s not the only reason I go to church, but I confess I often find myself walking down the aisle on Sunday morning (late as usual) and thinking, “Man, I need this.” And it never fails. Something in the music or the pastor’s sermon starts my brain whirring with ideas on character, plot, or theme. Then I have to struggle not to zone out, thinking about my Work In Progress, for the rest of service.

    Last Sunday was no different, but who would have suspected I’d find a correlation to my WIP in Luke 2, the Christmas story? And who would have suspected that we’d be studying Luke 2, the Christmas story, in October?

    Despite my church’s apparent calendar confusion, the following passage was very timely for me:

    At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,
    “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
    as you have promised.
    I have seen your salvation,
    which you have prepared for all people.
    He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
    and he is the glory of your people Israel!”
    Luke 2:25-32

    Cool, huh? God would not allow Simeon to die until he saw salvation, the Messiah. I wonder how old Simeon was. Did he wake up every morning and wonder if that day was the day he would see Christ…and die? Did he get tired of waiting? Did he ever feel like going to look for redemption instead of waiting for the promise to come to him?

    We get the sense from the passage in Luke that Simeon was a good guy, and the promise of living to see the Messiah was a gift, even if somedays he woke up cursing his arthritic knees.

    But what if you resolutely refused to see the Messiah, as many do, and God decided to keep you alive until your stubbornness ran out? Talk about extreme octogenarians!

    That--minus the gray hair and degenerating joints--is the concept of my book, The Immortal Heathcliff. Although at the end of Emily Brontë's classic tale, Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff recognizes that his elaborate revenge has left him hollow, he still goes to the grave unrepentant. In my novel, he climbs out of the grave still unrepentant and wanting nothing more than to die for good like normal folks. Instead he’s stuck in an immortal state, searching for deliverance, atonement, and release from his unnatural life.

    But what he views as a curse is actually a gift. He will not die until he sees redemption. He sets about looking for it, trying to earn it, instead of waiting for it to come to him. After two hundred years of failing to obtain his freedom, grace breaks down the barriers he's constructed. Now all that remains, is for him to finally open his eyes and see his salvation.

    The idea of being stuck alive fascinates me, and I hope it will fascinate readers as well.

    Question: What would you do with immortality on earth? Would you accumulate wealth? Visit every corner of the globe?

    Me? I'd read. Everything.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Singing, Sailing, Speaking

    Last January, my friend Beth Vogt (aka The Evil Editor) asked me to speak to a group of writers. Beth is the kind of friend who makes you see yourself as you always dreamed you could be, which for me means covered in green paint and belting out Defying Gravity on a Broadway stage.

    Naturally I agreed.

    After the exhilaration faded, and I realized I would not be singing in green body paint, I got nervous.

    As the February date of my workshop drew nearer, my nerves turned into a clump of cold spaghetti. I practiced and practiced my talk on Moving Beyond Clichés. The day arrived and with it a snowstorm. The event was cancelled, and my spaghetti knot unwound.

    Beth and Scoti at Springs Writers rescheduled me for October, which was far enough away for my spaghetti to be lulled into warm, buttery sense of security.

    But, as you know, time tends to pass. Autumn arrived, and I started having internal pasta trouble around October 1st.

    Last night, at 6:30, time was up. I finally gave my first workshop. Beth Vogt and Mild-Mannered Missionary Mary came along to heckle, I mean, cheer me on. During my talk I had a little moment when a realization hit me. It went something like this:

    No, I wasn’t tied to the podium, and there was no deranged psychologist waiting in the wings, but I did experience a tingle of exhilaration when I realized that I can do this. I speak now. I’m a speaker. Isn’t this some kind of breakthrough? I’m a speaker!