Actually Finishing Something [in] July (AFSiJ): Week One



I desperately need this challenge this month.  July is the craziest month of my summer and I think this could be one of the ways I actually get something done.  So, thank you very, very, very much Katie!  But, before I get to the questions, I do have one announcement.

I have an author newsletter!

To find out the latest information and updates about my writing, sign up for my newsletter on my website.   In the next month or less, I plan on revealing my book cover on my first newsletter, so if you want to see it, you have to sign up to receive it.

Week One Questions

What is your writing goal?

 I actually have two:

1. Get through all the beta-readers edits for “Be Thou My Vision” by August 1st.

2. Get to the 58,000 word mark in “Amazing Grace” (or the end of the book, whichever comes first). This means writing just over 37,000 words between now and August 1st.

 Give us a short synopsis of your project.

Project #1:

Title: Be Thou My Vision

Genre: Clean Western Romance

Logline: After learning of her younger brother’s death, an outspoken spinster defies her father and starts going to church, where she begins to care for the widower pastor’s two rambunctious boys who need a mother’s love.

Project #2:

Title: Amazing Grace

Genre: Clean Western Romance

Logline: A doubting man agrees to wed a widowed mail-order bride, but he struggles with whether or not he can be a father to the woman’s daughter who desperately wants a father’s love.

 How long have you been working on this project?

 I have been working on “Be Thou My Vision” (BTMV) since December 23, 2013 and “Amazing Grace” (AG) since January 24, 2014.

 How often do you intend to write in order to reach your goal by August 1st?

 Everyday. (Key word in the question being “intend”. 😉 ).

Introduce us to three of your favorite characters in this project.

 Anna, Caleb, and Rachel. Rachel technically isn’t really “in” BTMV, but she is mentioned at least.

Anna, the main character in BTMV, is a 29 year old spinster who has spent the last 20 years of her life taking care of the men in her family.  Now that her youngest brother is dead, she finds no satisfaction in her life and tries to find one.

Caleb, one of the main characters in AG is a 31 year old single man who has been content with his life until Anna starts to go to church and changes completely.  Then, he starts to write to a possible mail order bride who is also a Christian and starts to wonder more about why God would want him to be His child.

Rachel, a main character in AG, is 10 years old.  She is the daughter of Caleb’s mail order bride, Maggie, and is the joy of her mother.  She keeps Maggie sane during her struggles after her husbands death.  She is a strong Christian and can’t wait to witness to her hopefully new Grandpa, Iain Stuart.

 Go to page 16 (or 6, 26, or 66) of your writing project. Share your favorite line or snippet on the page.

 BTMV Snippet:

 “He uses sign language,” a young voice near me said. I looked up and saw an older version of James standing next to the stump. The older boy gave me his hand. “I’m John. I’m James’ brother.”

“Anna Stuart,” I replied, shaking the offered hand. “Where did you learn sign language?” My eyes flickered between the two boys, taking in their very similar looks. If John hadn’t been taller and have an older look about him, I would wonder if the two boys were twins.

John’s eyes were the most expressive of the two boys. The pain written in them was heart wrenching.

“Ma taught us afore she died,” he said in a quiet voice. “She’d learnt it from a deaf boy when she was growin’ up. When we figgered out James couldn’t talk, she taught Pa and me sign language at the same time she taught James. Whatever we don’t know, we make up.”

Amazing Grace Snippet:


Maggie had just finished reading the letter to Rachel. “Yes, Dear?”

“When you write your reply, can I write the answers to his questions about me?”

Maggie opened and closed her mouth a few times. “I…I suppose so. Why?”

“First, it’ll be easier for you and second, I want to see how he reacts to that. Oh, and if you get a letter from Mr. Baxter, could you let me do the same thing for him whether he asks me anything or not?”

Maggie crinkled her eyebrows. “I’m not sure I understand why you want to do this.”

Rachel sat up straight and got a determined look on her face. “Consider it a test for both of them. I think you and I both know that we are doing this as much for me as for you. Yes, it’ll be mostly for you, but I’m getting a new Daddy out of the deal. One who will help raise me and help me choose my husband. I know you’ll have final say in it, but I’d kind of like a little say in it, too. And I think a test for them would be good. Then we can find out who actually is interested in being a Daddy to me and who isn’t. If they both are, then it’ll be all up to you.”

Maggie grinned. “That is a good idea, Rachel. Let’s put them to the test.” She stood up. “I’ll go get the paper, pens, and ink and we can both write our letters.”

  Tea or coffee?

 Peppermint tea.


(P.S: If there are typos, I will blame it on the storm that just started causing me to not have time to proofread.)


2 thoughts on “Actually Finishing Something [in] July (AFSiJ): Week One

  1. Jack says:

    Those are big goals!! I am sure you can do it though.

    • Faith Blum says:

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jack! I hope I can. Since I didn’t do hardly any writing last week, I’ve got even less to time to do it in now. 😛 So, we shall see.

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