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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Zoe's First Weekend in the Country


This weekend I’m house sitting in the country and I thought I’d give Zoe a break from her terroristic housemate, Little Caesar, to give her the chance to play with someone her own size. Duke and Zoe are great pals as you can see from the pics below. Just like normal kids, they love playing in the mud. I have a feeling it’s going to take us a week to recuperate. After a hard day of playing yesterday, poor Zoe can barely move today, so maybe I’ll get some writing done. Speaking of which; unfortunately, one of the publishing companies that had requested ‘Out of the Darkness’ has passed on it. Needless to say I’m very disappointed. I waited three months just to get a rejection – bummer! Oh well, that is part of writing. As they say, ‘With each rejection you’re one step closer to getting a contract’. The publishing company that did ‘Every Skull Tells a Story’ has offered to publish, but I was really hoping for a larger publishing house. The editor I’ve been working with thinks I should place it somewhere else as well, and since she works with some prominent writers, I think I’ll take her advice. So I’ll probably be sending out some more queries on it. Still haven’t heard anything on the other two. And the new book is coming along slowly. I hope to get a few chapters in this weekend.

To sooth my disappointment I had a long soak in the hot tub last night and topped the evening off with some delicious strawberry shortcake w/whipped cream– compliments of my aunt. She always leaves me some great treats. Strawberry shortcake and a hot tub – I should be paying them! The second week of April they’ll be going on an extended trip so I’ll be spending my vacation here. That may sound boring to you, but for a city gal, who loves the peace and quiet of country living, it’s the perfect vacation. Besides in January, if things go as planned, I’ll be spending the rest of my vacation time in Honduras with my mission team. It’ll be more of a working vacation, but we always have a great time.

Sarah, congratulations again on your wonderful news! I’m sooo proud of you honey. I knew you could do it!

In closing, I want to invite you to view a powerful, inspirational presentation from Max Lucado. It's a vivid, emotional reminder of Christ's work for us on the cross. Visit http://www.hechosethenails.net/

Stay safe & Be blessed my friends, you are loved!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing. It comes at me when I least expect it. As does most things in life when you think about it. A phone call in the middle of the night informing you that a loved one is in trouble or is ill. A fender bender in parking lot of the supermarket. That policeman that came out of nowhere that clocked you going 42 in a 30 MPH zone . Life can be maddening sometimes. But then you have those moments when everything seems absolutely perfect. A friend drops by unexpected to take you out to lunch. Your boyfriend or husband sends you flowers just to say he’s thinking of you. Your son or daughter calls you out of the blue to tell you they love you and appreciate all you’ve done for them. It’s the highs AND lows in life that mold us into the people we are. And as much as we dislike the lows, you can’t have one without the other. Without the hurt and the sorrow we’d have no compassion. When that friend or loved one comes to you with their heart broken from a devastating loss, unless you’ve been through such a loss, you wouldn’t be able to sympathize with them. You wouldn’t be able to understand just how bad they’re hurting or how to be there for them the way no one else can.

What does any of this have to do with inspiration you ask? Well…I mentioned in the previous blog that I was suffering from writers block. Not so much a block, but there was a huge obstacle in the middle of the creative road. I’m on the second book in my series about a female fire investigator. It opens with a fire of course which Sadie deems arson later. The main character is a veterinarian and it was her office at the vet clinic that was torched. I thought I had the plot and motive pretty much figured out in my head but as I began writing it I found I didn’t like it. Then Tuesday I was talking to a friend about relationships and she was telling me about someone from her past that was a veterinarian and how he’d got into some legal trouble which involved a drug salesman. Well…the wheels started turning. And I swear I don’t mean to do this, but as she’s telling me this story, I’m plotting in my head. She knows me well though – she knew what I was up to. So between the two of us I now have a new plot line .

Now isn’t that neat! She had no idea I was even working on a new book (even though she’s always the first to read ‘um when I’m done), and I had no idea she used to keep books for a veterinarian. THAT’S DIVINE INSPIRATION IF YOU ASK ME!!!

Have an awesome weekend friends . Stay safe and be blessed!

Writers Block

It's been a few months since I finished the first book in a new series I'm doing, got sidetracked revising with my editor on a couple of books, so I'd been out of the zone. Last weekend I decided it was time to get started on the second book in the series. Yeah okay. The first chapter I banged out in a couple of hours - for the last three days - zip - nadda. Oh I've gone back and done some tightening - made the scene more suspenseful, but now I'm stuck.

There are basically two writing styles. Some writers carefully plan out their story. They do an outline, do a bio of each character, and go from there. Other writers are by-the-seat-of-their-pants writers. They have an idea, that's usually been rolling around in their head for months, they have a good idea of the characteristics of their main characters, and they go from there.

I'm the latter. I never plan. If anything I have a short outline of how I think I want the story to write out, but inevitably, it never turns out the way I planned it. The reason being (I think) is as the characters start to develop, like we do in real life, they evolve.

Now usually after about five or six chapters I have a good idea of who my characters are and what makes them tick. So I'll do a sketch or brief outline of them - what they look like, their histories etc. I do this because a lot of the time I get interrupted (I have to do a revising on another project or something) and have to set the story aside. When I pick it up again, if I have a sketch, it's easier to start where I left off. In other words I don't have to go back and read the whole manuscript.Anyway, having been working on three books at once for months, now that I'm starting from scratch I find myself stumped. I know the creative juices will start to flow eventually, but the impatient soul that I am, it's aggravating.

Okay I'm done ranting. I hope all is well. Susan, I hope you are enjoying your sunny weather. Glad to hear you solved your water problems and can get that spa filled. Sarah, I hope things are going better for you. Keep your chin up girl and remember I'm only a phone call away! Larry, sounds like we're on for a trip to Honduras. Cool! I'm looking forward to it. Hope Walter and Ester will be there, it'll be great to see them again.

Y'all have a great weekend!!!

Why You Should Always Have a Backup Laptop


As a writer, one of the most important lessons I've learned since becoming computer savy is Save Often. The other day, I learned another one. Always have a backup laptop or desktop computer. Why you may ask - Well...I had just gotten through downloading my latest edits from my editor onto my Dell laptop and I happen to glance down and see my sweet Zoe chewing on something - I should have known something was up because she was so quiet - and lo and behold I see it is a cord, and not just any cord, the cord to my laptop. I immediately glance down at the little battery meter in the corner of my screen and see it is below the halfway mark. I almost came unglued. All my recent edits are on this laptop. Hours of work. Zoe of course disappears the moment I holler her name, and then I scramble for my zip disk drive and start transferring files. So here I am praying like crazy and watching this little meter. Well, my prayers were answered - I managed to get all my manuscript files transferred onto the zip disk before the power ran out. So out comes my old trusty IBM - I knew I kept it around for a reason. Now I'm back in business. And according to Dell, will have a new power cord sometimes next week. And the representative really didn't seem that surprised at my story. Evidently Zoe isn't the only dog that likes laptop power cords. It's a wonder the knucklehead didn't get electrocuted. Geez!

I had a record number of rejects this month - but I also had another manuscript request, which definitely makes up for the rejects. I'm not going to say who because I don't want to to jinx it, but it's a publishing company that I've been trying to get my foot in the door to for a couple of years now.

The reason I had so many this month is I'm taking the advice of a well known author - Starting in December for each reject I've received I sent out three queries. It's been a daunting task - but as of right now I have three publishing companies reviewing two different manuscripts, not including the one mentioned above.

For those of you unfamiliar with the process. A writer sends out a query letter to a publisher or agent first to tweak their interest. If they like your idea - they request a synopsis of your story and 3-5 sample chapters. If they liked those, then they request the manuscript. Some publishers will let you send the compete package right off the bat (query, synopsis & sample chapters) but the majority want only the query letter first because they receive so many submissions. The first two steps take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a response. When a manuscript is requested - it takes anywhere from a six weeks to three months & sometimes longer.

The rejects are usually informal, but every now and then you get one where they've added a personal note, and if you're extremely lucky, they'll refer you to another agent or publisher. I've had several with personal notes, but only one personal referral. And I keep all my rejections - they inspire me to keep writing. Strange you may think, but if you ask most of your well known writers - they'll tell you about their rejection file. Stephen King for instance - talked about this in his book on writing. In college he had a professor tell him he had no talent.

Speaking of writing - I better get off here and get some done. I've got a manuscript I've got to get ready to send off. Wish me luck! Stay safe & Be blessed my friends!

Free GPS System


One of my mission teammates sent this to me this morning and I just had to share it. The attached photo is of a dark forest where a lot of people are right now in their life and I myself traveled through only a few years ago. I thought it went well with this piece.


Working at a company selling GPS guidance systems, we often discuss the benefits of GPS and what we can do with our product to enhance the lives of those around us. These systems are quite amazing! They have so many features and so much to offer…. I’m sure you’ve all seen the ads! The most amazing part of GPS came to me on my way to work this morning! You don’t have to be rich to own it….. you don’t have to buy it for the tax benefit….you don’t need a payment plan!! Everyone one of us comes GPS installed! God’s Plan for Salvation is programmed into every one of us……all we have to do is hook into the power of God’s word and let him do the rest.

“GPS guidance provides a clear understanding of what’s happening in the field!”

“It’s easy to install and cost effective…. See instant return on your investment!”

“Always know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there!”

“Never get lost again!”

“Guides more accurately than humanly possible!”


God’s Plan of Salvation offers all these things! And the best part is IT’S FREE!!! Much like the satellites orbiting the earth today, God is always in contact. Not to mention, God does not shut down for a meteor shower, there is no loss of connection, and the software never gets outdated! His word is clear, his guidance is direct, and the payback is instant! There are no additional monthly fees and it comes with a lifetime warranty!!! All you have to do is use GPS everyday!!! How awesome is that!!


Thanks Tammy for sharing this. I'm looking forward to our next adventure.

Resolutions

I don’t make resolutions – because I can’t ever keep them, but if I did I guess it would be that I continue to grow as a writer. The Lord has blessed me in placing me with a wonderful editor that has been helping me spot some of my flaws. In the few months we’ve been working together she has already helped me a great deal. She’s brutally honest with me when she needs to be, but at the same time lifts me up giving me hope that I have a bright future in the publishing world. Thanks B! Having worked with some very popular authors, I have every confidence that your critiques will mold me into a better writer.

Susan, one of my first readers – thanks for your support. You’re a wonderful lady my friend. Hope you have a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Larry, my fellow world traveler and poet – may the words continue to flow. You’re truly gifted my friend!

Sarah, I love ya sweetie. May all your hopes and dreams come true. You’re daddy finally called – guess he didn’t leave the country after all!

On the home front, Zoe got a baby brother for Christmas – no, not a puppy – a kitten. They’re getting along famously. Little Caesar is his name and man is he a feisty one. Really keeps Zoe and me on our toes. We’ve had two pretty good snows here over six inches both times and Zoe just loves playing in it. Me, on the other hand, could do without it. Give me 70* or 80* weather any day.

Until next time, Be Safe and Be Blessed. You are loved my friends!

My First Published Novel


EVERY SKULL TELLS A STORY by Anne Patrick

When the skeletal remains of three young women are discovered on the vacation estate of a US Senator, the local sheriff enlists the help of Special Agent Galen Schroeder and a local forensic sketch artist, to help him solve the murders. A profiler for seventeen years, Galen knows his skills are useless until they discover the identity of the victims. That’s where the beautiful and talented Mackayla Kensington comes in.Mackayla knows all too well the heartache of not knowing the fate of a loved one. The brutal murder of her own daughter is the driving force behind her determination to bring closure to families missing loved ones.Using her artistry skills, Mackayla works frantically to put faces to the skulls so that their identities can be revealed and the killer can be caught. When the killer realizes how good she is it appears she may be the next to die.


Available Now at Amazon.com, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Target etc. ISBN# 1-4241-9003-7or for an autographed copy you can email me at: annepatrick07@aol.com

Welcome Friends

Hello Friends, welcome to Suspense by Anne. I hope you enjoy your visit! First on the agenda, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Anne Patrick, and I’m an author.

Born and raised in Oklahoma, I now make my home in Kansas. When I'm not fulfilling my passion for writing, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. Active in the church, I've had the awesome privilege of traveling out of the country on short-term mission trips every two years. My favorite to date being El Salvador.


Most of my writing consists of Christian Romantic Suspense, having been influenced by authors such as: Iris Johansen, Sue Grafton and Dee Henderson. My heroines are usually strong willed, witty, and often very opinionated, which usually gets them into some precarious situations. A suspense junkie myself, my ultimate goal in every story is to have the reader so engrossed they don't want to put the book down until the end.

It's hard for me to pinpoint the age when I first dreamed of being a writer. Even as a young child I had a very vivid imagination. I would often share the stories weaved in my head with friends and family. Many of which, thought I was crazy. Later, encouraged by my mother, I began to write the stories down. What a journey it’s been.


My favorite part of writing is when the characters begin to take on a life of their own. Beginning with a brief draft of the way I think the story will play out, often times, I find myself going in a direction I hadn't planned. I've learned through the years to let them take the reins, and just go along for the ride.As with any writer, you draw on the personal experiences in your life, in the creation of your characters, and sometimes the story itself. Situations you've been faced with, difficult times you've journeyed through. They're all building blocks used in the formation of unique and priceless pieces of art, crafted by our Master Potter.

One of the most important lessons the Lord has taught me in my Christian journey is that, if He brings me to it, He will bring me through it. Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in the third chapter of Daniel, we are able to live in the fire when the Son of God walks with us in the midst of the flames!