Music for the Wait Time

It’s been two weeks since I finished the first major round of revisions (there were several edits along the journey) on FORTITUDE. While waiting to hear back from beta readers, I’m working on the synopsis and query letter for it. Plus, a lot of knitting and watching movies have happened—it’s not all work here. Also, I’ve been reading a couple of my friends’ manuscripts. Finished with one from MeLeesa Swann and now I’m on to Israel Parker’s latest epic.

The good news, among all this waiting, is that I can work on the official soundtrack for FORTITUDE. As noted in this post, I like the music to match the arc of the novel. With this being a historical journey, I’m trying to make sure the lyrics fit the times. (Think Bid Time Return—that’s Somewhere in Time to the movie buffs—so the listener/reader isn’t jarred out of the story. Yeah, I’m a geek.) So, out of over thirteen hours of FORTITUDE mood music, I’ve got to arrange a manageable list of timeless songs to share with others. But I’ve stumbled across a few gems in my regular playlist mixes that weren’t in my collection, including this one, which works perfectly during the lowest point for main character Claire O’Farrell, “Reason” by Europe.

Now for a dozen more.

Creativity in all Forms

I’ve focused on creative projects—other than writing—during July. Part of the reason was a house full of kids, but the other was to reset my thinking between novels. It’s been close to five months since I’ve written anything on my historical project, FORTITUDE, and I needed to distance myself from CORRODED.

The main productivity has been in the yarn department: knitting like crazy for my ever growing list of people who want gauntlets (fingerless gloves.) If you check out my Pinterest board for knitting at you can see the pattern I’m using as a reference.

Last week I did dabble in knitting Barbie bathing suits, but I’ll save myself the humiliation of posting a picture of them. They are more like long tube tops. Enough said.

The past two days have been all about miniatures. My fourteen year old son (on the autism spectrum) got a dollhouse kit for his birthday.

He’s wanted a dollhouse all year—and we’re cool with that. I think it has something to do with Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice, but I already let him know he can’t smash things up.




So, with the help of my wonderful guy, we built the house.

His favorite parts were choosing the paint colors at the store and then gluing on all the shingles. And yes, he loves “Bear in the Big Blue House” if you couldn’t tell.


Now I’m back to writing—just in time for Laurie Halse Anderson’s Write Fifteen Minutes a Day Challenge in August. Follow her blog here: for daily tidbits and encouragement for the next thirty days.


P.S. I haven’t been posting what I’m reading here because I’ve been doing so at so be sure to check there for more regular updates.

Five Second Rule

I’ve been in the midst of a transitional period for the past few weeks. Once again, it’s necessary to play the part of a juggler as my responsibilities shift, the weight of new expectations ruining the balance of my old schedule.

I tossed the objects into the air one at a time. Family first, of course. I wouldn’t feel the need to find the harmony of a well balanced life if it wasn’t for my family. I like to think I’d be a happy hermit among bookshelves, somewhere that the air is crisp and the scenery predominately green. Alas, family demands me to live in a hectic here and now.
Then came homeschooling, which is a different aspect of family—or rather the core of having children in the home. The more I teach, and the more I learn, the more I love it. The added bonus: it’s a good excuse to acquire even more books.
Of course, there was also Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations that needed attention. I even managed to finish a scarf for myself, so I can move on to the next project to be gifted. And I didn’t give up reading. Here’s a sampling of the past month:

(I was lucky enough to meet Laurie on November 18th—for the second time—while she was on tour to support this new release. She’s wonderful!)
Next came the earth ball of the juggling world: serving as Primary President (Jr. Sunday School) for my church’s local congregation. This is something I’ve done for many years, but have enjoyed a lovely 23 months hiatus while serving as the building’s librarian. In the library there isn’t much take home work to do—the bulk of my calling was fulfilled during church hours on the Sabbath. But now I’m working more than twelve hours a week, both the time at church—caring for the needs of over fifty children and a dozen fellow workers—plus the planning, pondering, and praying that goes along with it. The benefits are wonderful, though. Volunteer work is fulfilling on many levels and church duties are no exception, especially when children are involved! Once the new leadership (that’s counting myself) settles into a routine, and the plans for switching classes in 2011 are arranged, the time involved will reduce by about half.
But for over a week I’ve neglected to pick-up an important ball.
It’s down and rolling away.
But I just stopped it with my foot and am ready to pop it back into the air like a hacky sack. The ball is writing and my WIP, Corroded, is smudged from neglect. Time to stretch the five second rule to a ten day rule and juggle for my own sanity.


First, I’d like to shout out a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister-in-law! You’re the bomb! My oldest was due on this day, one year ago, but she was over-cooked… like both my other turkeys.
It’s been a week of knitting. (I know I should have spent more time writing- I’m loosing the momentum I had last month with the WFMAD challenge- but cognitive therapy has taught me not to “should on myself” so I won’t regret my time spent with yarn.)
I actually completed one knitting project I’ve been working at for a a few weeks then started and finished a second AND third piece, and now I’ve began a fourth. They are all hats, children’s hats- including one preemie, so they’re small projects. But just the right size for a busy mom. After I finish this hat for my little princess I’ll start on projects for my friends’ children. E-mail your requests- I’d even do big people hats for my friends, too.
Almost two years ago I started knitting a blanket… a baby blanket, but the largest knitted project to date. I worked on that thing over a year- it took longer to create than my baby girl. It felt great to complete it but the dragging on without an end was an emotional beating. It’s satisfying to complete a hat in a few days. Heart-warming to see my girl toddle around while trying to pull her hat off and on and watch my preschooler shake his head around to giggle the jingle bell on his hat. (I’m not ignoring the oldest- he wants to keep his two hats that still fit him.)
So, more knitted projects around the bend. And hopefully more writing, too!
(Pictured is the hat I made last winter for my baby girl- too small now!)