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…

#amwriting #writersnetwork #christianauthors #christianauthor #christianwriter #nanowrimo #christianwomenwriter #authorsoninstagram #authorofinstagram #bookstagram #eidlewise #travelnzopenspaces #kiwigreynomads #greynomads #womenontheroad #romancereaders #christianromance #grief #cassiestevensonauthor

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.

#amwriting #writersnetwork #christianauthors #christianauthor #christianwriter #nanowrimo #christianwomenwriter #authorsoninstagram #authorofinstagram #bookstagram #eidlewise #travelnzopenspaces #kiwigreynomads #freedomcamping #greynomads #womenontheroad #romancereaders #christianromance #nz #cassiestevensonauthor #sunset

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,


Has writing your book exploded or wilted?

We start off with good intentions but life’s busy distractions claw us from our very best intentions.

Stella Chamberlain of Waimate washed the Senior rugby club jerseys for over thirty years.

But don’t give up. Keep going. If you want to be a writer, you can’t help but write. Failed new years resolutions dont matter. It doesn’t stop you from continuing.

Claw time where you can. Ten minutes at coffee break, fifteen  minutes at lunch. Make a plan and stick to it. Be consistent.

I was reading the book  Thursday at Eight by Debbie Macomber where one of the characters wanted to read at the juvenile detention centre.

She took the time to think about what she might have to give up in order to commit. What she was giving up was the determiner of taking up the new time guzzler.
It’s a great book, an easy read, for a tricky topic, and left me thinking about the story (don’t you just love books like that?).

Then I discovered this article…
  ” Never say yes on the spot. If you’re asked to do something and you are feeling the pressure to say yes without thinking step back for a second and don’t commit right away. Tell the person or group asking that you need to think about it, if they can’t wait for you to make a decision then the decision is made for you, easy as that.” – Jenny White, Mumatoga and Mini City on Huffington Post  

Finish this sentence:
In order to take on writing, I must give up… I hope writing survives the scrutiny.

Enjoy a fabulous week of words.

Look for Short Stories Everywhere

Sitting at a bus stop, in the car, at a train station, in an airport or on these modes of transport? From a window seat in a cafe. Observe the people around you.

Make up stories in your head about them (just don’t believe them or pass them on as gossip if you know who the person is).

We’re just observing okay? Without staring. Or stalking. Definitely don’t follow someone unless they’re walking in the same direction as you.

What do you think is going on in their life. Are they sad, tired, happy, excited (must be a kid).

Are they walking fast or slow? What does their walk tell you? Are they late, or have hurry sickness? Are they dawdling, reluctant to go somewhere? Why? Or relaxed and on holiday? Or always chilled out. Always I a hurry.

When you wake up with a story write it down in the notebook you keep by your bed.

Gather your stories. Let me know how you go.

We’ve had the App on the motorhome tablet upgraded so it talks to the motorhome system again. (They must have had a fight because they weren’t speaking). Now Mr S can see how much water is in the tanks, and how much solar power is coming in, the status of the batteries and how much power we’re using. I only understand the wstervtank level.

Background photo

is a sunrise at The Willows, beside the Waimakariri River.