3 Day Quotes Tag, Day 2

A friend of mine, Raechel, did this and it looked like fun. So I’m going to do it for the next three days. Thanks, Raechel!

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

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Of Editing and Snippets


I finished my editing!!  A Mighty Fortress is now on its way to my proofreaders!!  Am I excited?  No, not really. 😉   As I read through A Mighty Fortress, I found some snippets I wanted to share with my faithful blog readers.  So here they are: Continue reading

Writing Update and a Blog Update

Writing Update

My original goal for my third draft of A Mighty Fortress was to get past the 50,000 word mark.  I surpassed that goal long ago and am now standing strong at almost 61,000 words.  At this time, when I have my book formatted into 5″ x 8″ pages there are over 250 pages.  I was pleasantly surprised when I realized this.  

As an update, I have received most of the feedback from my test readers and am now implementing some of their suggestions.  Perhaps I will reach the 62,000 word mark with some of the further edits.  We shall see.
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A Mighty Fortress

As promised after winning the poll, here is “a lengthy excerpt” from my soon-to-be debut novel, A Mighty Fortress.  Enjoy reading!

Chapter Three

 October 1875

   David and Matthew lifted the trunk on top of the stagecoach.  Was it really possible that they could be leaving?  To Joshua it seemed like the most wonderful dream ever.  Everything was packed, the family was all there to see him and Ruth off, everything seemed perfect.  Except for the fact that they would be leaving so many friends and family members behind.

Their parents had finally been able to save enough money to start building their lifelong dream: a cattle ranch out West.  The only regret Daniel and Harriet Brookings had that they couldn’t bring all of their children with them.  The family had always been so close, not just in proximity, but in friendship.  Joshua knew their parting would be hardest on Ruth.  She was shy and did not make friends easily.  Her best friends were her sisters, Esther and Martha.

Esther gave Joshua a big hug.  “Take care of our little sister, Joshua.”

Martha’s eyes were full of tears.  “Joshua, you are her only protector out there until you get to Pa and Ma.  Keep her safe.”

Joshua nodded  and swallowed hard as tears threatened to spring to his eyes.  “With God’s help, I will.”

David and Benjamin, Esther and Martha’s husbands, stood aloof from the group.  They were quiet farmers who were hard to get close to and did not say much.  Ruth gave each of them a hug before turning to her sisters.

“Take care of yourselves and those new babies,” she said.  Esther and Martha laughed with her.

“You should know you don’t even need to say that,” Esther scolded with a twinkle in her eye.

“I know, but I felt like saying it anyway,” Ruth teased back.

Robert and Eliza ran to Ruth.  “Don’t go!” they pleaded.

Ruth squatted on her heels and hugged them both close.  “I have to, darlings.  Your grandpa and grandma need me out on their new ranch.  I need you to stay here and take good care of your mama and papa for me.” Continue reading

Character Introduction: Joshua Brookings

Meet Joshua Brookings, the main character in A Mighty Fortress.  No, I don’t have a picture, all I have is a description and an excerpt that shows some of his personality.  I prefer to leave the image of the character up to the imagination of the reader.  One other note.  This description is of him at the beginning of the book.  His age changes as he gets older throughout the book.

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Finale Questions

Finale Questions

Did you reach your goal?

 Yes, I did! I have A Mighty Fortress edited through chapter 24 at the time of this post. That means there are only six more chapters to edit and I will be finished with the second draft!

Be Thou My Vision currently stands at 15,432 words. If I recall correctly, I started July with only about 8,000 words. It is coming along nicely.

What was the most difficult part of finishing something this July?

 The most difficult part was finishing anything the week of July 5-16. We had some cousins stay with us and they were a handful.

Did you maintain a writing schedule? How often did you write to meet your goal?

 Not really. I just wrote and edited when I the time to do so. Usually in the mornings and evenings, but there were also some afternoons.

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Week Four Questions


How goes progress?

 I am very pleased with my progress. Both stories are coming along steadily and I am becoming more convinced that the time line I have set will truly work.

Snippet-time! Share a snip or two from your weekly writing.

I picked up the dishes from the table and started washing them. I scrubbed them more forcefully than was necessary, but Caleb was in the barn fixing some of the tack, so I was safe from his observation.

‘I don’t think the finish will come off that plate if you just use a dishrag and your hand,’ Caleb’s voice said right next to me.”

I jumped. I had been so absorbed in not thinking that I hadn’t heard him come in. I put my right hand to my heart. ‘Caleb! You shouldn’t sneak up on people like that!’”~Be Thou My Vision

 “Four against one. Pretty good odds, though I still have the advantage. I know I’m coming and they don’t.

“He picketed his horses just on the other side of the hill and sat at the top of the hill to observe. If there was one thing he had learned in his life, it was to wait for his opportunities.

Jed quietly observed the camp until night began to fall. He took his pistol and rifle and worked his way rapidly down the hill, staying in the shadows. Two of the men broke from the camp to get water and wood for the night, just as Jed had hoped would happen. He followed the two men until one man started to break away from the other. Jed made a quick decision.”~A Mighty Fortress

Do you have a Pinterest inspiration board, or other

collection of images, that inspire your story? If so, share one or two of them with us.

 No, I do not have a collection of images.

How would the main character of your story react if he or she were introduced to you?

 Hmm, does he know that I am his author? For Joshua in A Mighty Fortress, if he knew I was writing his story, he would probably be a little wary, but good natured about it. If he didn’t know, he would react the same he reacts to meeting anyone new. With a smile, open and friendly.

 Anna from Be Thou My Vision would try to be friendly, but still be wary. Not many people talk to her, so having someone single her out would be a little nerve-wracking for her. Whether she knew I was writing her story or not.

Introduce us to one or two of the secondary characters in your story. 

 A Mighty Fortress: Ruth Brookings is an important secondary character. She is a timid fifteen year old young lady who prefers being inside rather than outside. She loves God and trusts in him through the easy and hard times. Ruth is the one who helps keep Joshua sane while they are alone in the wilderness and Joshua does the same for her.

 Be Thou My Vision: Pastor Miles Jenkins is a widower with two young boys, one of whom is mute. Miles works hard as the Pastor of his small community and wishes and prays that he could have more time for his sons. He is a powerful man of God and is a blessing to his community. Many church members are convinced that he is in desperate need of a wife and try to match him up, but he will have none of it. He tells them, many times, that he will know when the right woman shows up.

We’re nearing the end of this summer challenge! Is the completion of your goal in sight?

 Yes, it is! I am already well on my way to finishing my edits on Chapters 15-20. When those are done, I will have finished my goal for A Mighty Fortress. Last week, I surpassed the 50,000 word mark making A Mighty Fortress novel-length instead of novella-length. I am getting excited about the prospects of having A Mighty Fortress published sometime in early December. To keep up with some of the more daily updates, please visit my facebook page for the Hymns of the West series: https://www.facebook.com/HymnsOfTheWest.

 I have also been able to write at least 1,000 words (usually much more) in Be Thou My Vision. Be Thou My Vision is now up to 13,984 words and about five and half chapters.

Stay tuned later this week when I post the book cover reveal for A Mighty Fortress. I am very happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to share it with you.