Storms In Life Make Us Stronger

“Storms make trees take deeper roots” – Dolly Parton.

Sometimes, walking through a storm feels like we’re battling on our own, and hearing that we’ll come out the other side stronger than when we went in does not always help how we feel about the situation.

When we walked Geoff’s last days we didn’t feel alone, we felt the comfort of the shepherd walking beside us, guiding us. In our deepest despair, we are never alone.

Writing today involves ragdoll kittens. Who can say writing is easy? Its more like herding cats trying to get those words in place!

May grace surprise you today.

Today’s photo is from Benji’s and my walk beside the Avon River the day we went in for jab number 1.

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Spring in Christchurch by the Avon River

Whatever You Do, Keep Going

Cassie enjoyed the NZ Society of Authors Road Show today. Learning about the craft that has turned into her passion.

Its good to raise her head from the keyboard and connect with other writers. But before Cassie left home she made sure some words were written for her latest novel bringing the Seller boys together for the first time in twenty years.

Why?

Not all of them made it to their fathers funeral. And sometimes their mother reminds them of the Ice Queen. Her heart froze a long time ago. Or did it?

Keep writing, but remember to surface and smell the roses at least once a week. But only if you wrote on the other six days.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Cassie is taking tomorrow off.

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Work Hard, Do Your Best, Anything’s Possible

Cassie Stevenson sat at her keyboard. Two thousand words before her.

Todays quota.

It wasn’t like she didn’t know the story. It had been banging around in her head for three years.

All she had to do was sit down at the keyboard and write.

Thank goodness for Jessie’s Coffee Shop and the chat room. Lovely, encouraging people. The words began to clock up.

And then the story took an unexpected turn…

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Feeling Like a Grown Up

I’m still a baby learning to walk, but today I feel a little bit grown up.

Judy L Mohr of Black Wolf Editorial Services invited me to write a guest blog post for her.

Here’s the blog post for you to check it out at Black Wolf Editorial Services.

I’d discovered, after submitting my book to my editor, Iola Goulton of Christian Editing Services that I’d been writing Women’s Fiction instead of Romance. How do you know the difference?

Both these ladies are generous in the help for new writers. While you’re visiting their sites, check out the generous free information for authors. If you’re like me, there’s still so much to learn and so much help out there for budding authors.

My head is down and seated in front of my laptop every morning for sprints to get my next novel written. My characters aren’t behaving and it’s looking like a novella. Will see how it goes.

Happy writing fellow Nano writers.

Keep It Simple, Tell The Story

Cassie Stevenson has struggled with motivation during lockdown. She’s been so tired.

The only thing she has done consistently has been to write for two hours every day, except Sunday’s.

Today Cassie Stevenson was delighted to achieve her goal of 50k words. Wahoo. High five, oh no, not that. Let’s keep our social distance.

The story has flowed. Another character Cassie wants to introduce you to is Cattie Lake.

Cattie was one of the first tenants at The Sanctuary when it opened five years ago. Cattie has been instrumental in helping new residents settle in and grow into survivors.

And now Cattie has found love.

The story will run through it’s first edit and an Editorial Synopsis will be completed this week.

Cassie will sleep well tonight.

“I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.”
—Tom Clancy, WD

Sunrise from Camp Lockdown

Got Lemons? Make the Most of the Situation

Sunset Colour

Cassie Stevenson joined the O’Dark Club for writing sprints.


Knowing what she was going to write her word quota was completed with plenty to spare for her Nanowrimo update.


Yesterday she waited at the end of the driveway for her online grocery order to arrive. For three hours.


A phone call revealed the manager would deliver on the way home in the evening.


Compounding the issue, Cassie’s bubble is right on the edge of cellphone cover. But coverage improves by the gate.
So for the appointed time she returned.
The sun went down and the darkness closed in.
Thump. Why didn’t she ask her hubby to join her? She didn’t even know how to lock the doors in the car.


Groceries arrived a 7pm along with a nosey possum, which shot up a tree when Cassie jumped.


As Cassie wiped down the groceries with soapy water outside in the dark and reflected on what she would write tomorrow. The grocery waiting time wasn’t wasted after all, as she knew exactly what she was going to write tomorrow.

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Cassie Stevenson is the nondeplum for Carron Stevenson’s fiction books.

May Your Choices Reflect Your Hope’s

Cassie joined the O’Dark Club at Jessie’s Wordsmiths and the words of the story that had whirled around in her head floated from her brain, via keyboard to manuscript.

Susan Pere was wondering if The Sanctuary, her vision and dream, was indeed what she had been called to build. A place of Sanctuary, refuge from family harm?

They were in lockdown and everything was turning to custard and pooling around her feet.

How could she have let things get so out of hand?

Cassie was wondering the same about her writing. Was she on the right track? Answering a call of ministry, or creating a muddle of words, splashed hap-hazard on a blank canvas.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

Background photo is of our other neighbors.

Cassie Stevenson is my nondeplum for fiction writing. I’m currently taking part in Stay At Home Nanowrimo and documenting Cassie’s progress each day while writing The Sanctuary in April on my Instagram page Carron Stevenson

Pandemic: One Challenge Working From Home

One of the biggest challenges faced by writers, and people who work remotely is loneliness. Forbes have put together articles to help people survive working from home.

These suggestions for writers working from home apply to those forced to work from home during the Pandemic.

As staff begin to work from home, they’ll have guidelines to work to. Missing, might be loneliness.

Set up a private Facebook group or chat room for staff to chat in, maybe share photos. Include humour, jokes etc.

Remember to exercise.

Take a walk

Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.

Facetime morning coffee.

Keep yourself safe and follow all the health guidelines to get through this flu season safely, for you and your family.

Draft is Ready for Editing

Adverbs are the tool of the Lazy Writer

The first draft is almost ready to go for editing and next minute…

… the SPA girls podcast #229 is about descriptions. Now I have been working on them, and this book has scope for amazing descriptions but…

… reading about descriptions led to a Jericho Writers article on adverbs and verbs. When the right verb is used, wow! What a difference it makes.

Now, one could go ahead and submit their book to an editor to have the adverb issue pointed out, or one could take another sweep of the story and create something worth reading.

So here we are, Camp Nanowrimo looming and the book requiring its loose notes turned into a decent plot; a book to get away for editing; and a writing course to complete. Yikes.

Time to get the brain into gear and fingers on the keyboard.

A short story will appear in our newsletter so go ahead and sign up if you want a quick read with your coffee, free of charge.

Background photo is the sunrise from our camping ground near Christchurch.

Have a fabulous week reading and writing.

We Are Always Learning and Improving

As I work through the editorial synopsis in my current work in progress, I’ve made a conscious and deliberate effort to focus on improving scene writing.

If Hemmingway was still learning, I have so much to understand as well.

It was a relief to hear this weeks episode of the SPA Girls discuss descriptions. Catch episode Spa Girls Podcast #229 How to Write Great Descriptions

This week we met up with dear friends for dinner. Helen reminded me of the Outlander Series and it has been with great delight I’ve made its acquaintance again.

The SPA girls also mentioned the series and why Diana Gabaldon was successful in the way she included the descriptions of the scene to move the story along.

On the drawing board is the first episode of my newsletter which will come out monthly and include a short story at no cost to you. The short stories will be compiled in a book at the end of the year.

Also newsletter subscriptions will receive free chapters from books in the series I’m working on. A story with your morning cuppa.

Advance notice for pre release of the next under $2. More information on the newsletter next week.

Benji has settled back into motorhome life. We’re currently parked in Tekapo and he is firmly fixed on his self appointed job of rabbit patrol.

Happy writing and reading,

Carron