Friday, March 30, 2018
What would your response be to a group of small people, overlooking you to look at the masterpiece you'd lovingly made for them? How would you feel by their admiration for your magnificent creation as they ignore your wonderfully creative hands? Would you feel sad? Frustrated? Angry?
Imagine your relief when they leave your invisible side. Picture your joy and your gratitude with their replacement - an appreciative group marveling at your masterpiece, undoubtedly produced by your love. Would you feel glad, grateful, relieved, believed, like the Artist in this story felt? This inspirational short story brought to life through expressive illustration, is ideal for those on a spiritual journey, spiritually seeking, or spiritually skeptical.
A Sparkle of Silver
Inspirational Contemporary Romance Novella
Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
Beautiful, creative Amber Warren and handsome, dependable Jesse Nelson have been best friends since grade school. Jesse’s strength and reliable spirit draws Amber, but can she trust a man with her heart after being jilted by her fiancé? A strong and self-reliant woman, Amber discovers she will need someone to help her after unexpected news from her parents upends her world. Will Jesse meet the demands of his work and still step up to be the rock she can lean on? An unlikely source will help Amber conquer the menacing and paralyzing fear gripping her heart. In the midst of a devastating disaster she pulls from deep within her being the courage to look fear in the eye to save the one she loves.
Lisa Lickel's Review:
This charming, sweet novella is a perfect addition to Fuson’s growing repertoire of both contemporary and historical tales set generally in her stomping grounds of the western US and Colorado. Amber’s fiancé wanted more of the world than he was willing to share and ditched her for the opportunity to work in Paris. I might have wondered why Amber wouldn’t jump at Paris until I realized Mr. Wrong didn’t bother to spend much time discussing it, and neither was Amber’s heartstrings too firmly attached to the cad. Better opportunities were right under her nose, and it took only a little persuading to open her eyes to the good thing waiting just for her. I loved it when she realized just how interwoven Jesse’s life was with hers when he knew his way around the family kitchen.
Conquering challenges and rising above the hurt others put on them show Amber and Jesse how strong they are together. Add in Miss Purrfect, the darling antique store cat, and we’ve got a very fun read. Highly recommended for those who like their clean romance in bite-size chunks.
A brief Interview with the Author:
In A Sparkle of Silver, Purrfect is the sweet store cat. The antique store where she reigns supreme is named Preowned Perfection. So, Purrfect got her name. She is a pure white cat with green eyes. For the most part she doesn’t interact with patrons but occasionally she can’t help herself. She might follow a customer through the store but not in a typical fashion. She loves to roam the mock or staged rooms along the top of the partial walls that are a whopping ten feet tall with a span of another six feet above that. The cat is a great mouser and yet doesn’t displace breakables off the shelves. Purrfect is a good judge of character which we find out in the pages of the story.
Tell us about your motivation to write the story, Robin. What do you love about it?
This book was fun to write for a variety of reasons. I love antique stores. Finding the right wedding ring set was tons of fun. Writing a story where Colorado is the backdrop is a delight because It’s my home. I identify with the character, Amber. She dresses nicely even to go to the grocery store which is what I typically do. She loves antiques and working with her hands. She is strong but doesn’t always give herself credit for being so. Amber has a deep fear that she has to work through. Don’t we all struggle at some point in our lives with fear? Her handsome sweetheart, Jesse, is a good fit for her. Attentive to her needs and strong both emotionally and physically he helps her through encouragement and lending a hand when she asks. He is purposeful and yet can be spontaneous.
Nice! I agree! Can you share a couple of things you learned while working on this book?
I spent hours delving into research on antiques that still pop up on the ads on my computer. For instance, Amber bids on and purchases an antique cuckoo clock. I pulled up a picture of the clock to make the description in the book. I’ve been to auctions in the area, so I could write that into my story through my experience. The store where she works is similar to ones I walked through on Broadway in Denver. I added a warehouse and attached a house for her to live. Something that I had not known before was, for a price, you can have a new piece of furniture or knickknack made that appears like the original antique.
I also learned that help to overcome fear can come from an unsuspecting place and love will be the necessary strength it will take to conquer that fear.
What’s next for you, Robin?
Right now, I’m writing a historical mystery novella, Gamble on Fate, set in Colorado Territory of 1886 in Colorado City near present day Colorado Springs with a Pinkerton investigator. Also, for a few years, I’ve been working on a contemporary cozy mystery novel, The Race of Her Heart, that is set in Durango, Colorado. In this story, a ski Olympian has an accident, dashing her hopes and dreams. The tumble down the mountain was caused by someone tampering with the bindings of her skis. The saboteur is not satisfied with only the limp caused from the fall and the threats keep coming.
Robin lives in Rifle, Colorado with her husband Jimmy. Together, they celebrate with seventeen grandchildren. An award winner for romance and flash fiction, Robin is multi-published and writes stories on her blog for children. Robin is a member of ACFW, Vice President of ACFW Colorado Western Slope, and member of John316 Marketing Network. She enjoys leading a Bible study group and singing in two community choirs. Robin loves company and challenging her young guests to discover the many giraffes in the obvious and hidden nooks and crannies of their home.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Seat of the Pants writers (pantsers) tend to shudder at the idea of plotting a novel. Plotter writers (plotters) can’t imagine staring a blank sheet of paper to start a novel, short story, biography, self-help book, or even an article.
It doesn’t have to be an either/or approach. Honestly.
So, why plot?
Don’t! Don’t think of it as plotting. Think of it as strategy. Even pantsers have an inkling of story arc even if they sometimes refuse to admit it. You might have a character’s name in mind, maybe a title, probably even a very basic idea of story, even if you don’t know where you want to go. I have let my characters direct certain scenes, too. That’s why flexibility is key.
Just because you make notes, or even have an idea of how this story will work it, you don’t have to follow it exactly. And maybe that’s why it’s hard to think of spending time on developing ideas you won’t use. Hey—it’s a whole lot easier not using some scenes or dialog bits than unraveling a whole book when you realize one of the threads is implausible or you’re missing elements of a subplot or character traits, or a mixed up timeline screws the denouement, which you don’t see until you think you’ve completed the initial manuscript. Here are five points in favor of planning your book first. This concept applies to non-fiction and short articles or fiction as well.
Secret—there are really only two reasons why planning a story first is helpful. Return on Investment. Artists can never charge billable hours like certain professionals. Yes, hand-sewn quilts or Navajo rug weaving is on par with brain surgery, but try selling your quilt for $100,000, let alone charge money for five years of your life invested in publishing your book. You only make that kind of cash after you’re dead, unless you chance into the golden opportunity of meeting the right person looking for your work at the right moment in time. Most advances even for major authors are much less, and they have to be earned out before you make any more money. That’s selling a lot of books at 8 percent net cost, out of which your agent gets a cut. So, how can you up the return (sale of finished book) on the investment (time writing and marketing)? By writing and publishing smart.
2. Rewriting is not the same as revision
Another riff on writing efficiently: sure, there are times when the story just changes; it just does and you toss what you’ve done. But let’s come up with a good plan to begin with, one that works but allows for some meandering of the character development or storyline. You write it once, then spend time on quality revision and editing, and then drop it in the mail instead of wasting time trying to follow and rewrite threads that went against the weave when you forgot that Christmas is in summer in South America, or that ocean currents don’t flow that direction, or you didn’t figure in leap year and thus your storyline is moot. Rewriting hardly ever involves “just that section,” but ends up cascading into a giant wreck.
3. Easily tweakable
Surprise! When you have something written on the page like an outline or a synopsis to look at, it is much easier to return to the scene of the kidnapped loop you didn’t see coming. It’s totally okay if your people zigged instead of zagged, but now you can see the effects and find the places to adjust to meet the storyline adaption. So, your protag or number one sidekick is pregnant? Wow, missed that one in the synopsis. That means that over the course of the pregnancy certain things happen that will probably affect the story, no matter where this little bump figures into the plot. Go back to your outline and plug it in, then find and adjust the areas that need to be tweaked.
4. Business vs Hobby
You probably don’t want to hear this, but if you’re a professional, maybe even file as a business or plan to, being an author is your JOB. It’s work. Yes, it’s work that involves a lot of daydreaming, but daydreaming with a purpose. You may not be able to go to work from 9:00 to 4:00 every day. Instead you have to give that talk, prepare for a workshop, or field trip research. You end up working at midnight or dawn. It’s still your job, and you do it whether you feel the muse or not. Do it well. Your boss is your audience and your bank account.
5. Grasp of story elements
If you don’t believe in plot, then this point is not going to mean much to you. But if you’re a professional, you have studied why classics are classics, and the difference between the author who might have published 80 books, 30 of them on the New York Times bestseller list, but 90% of them are out of print—including the one that’s about to be made into a major motion picture. There are no new stories—only fresh new ways of telling them. Get over it.