The 7 (Seven) Game

The 7 (Seven) Game

This morning, Laura Moss tagged me in a writing challenge. It’s called “The Seven Game” (or “The Lucky 7”).  I’d never heard of it before, but it sounded like fun.  So, I’ve decided to play along.

Here are the rules:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS.
  2. Go to line 7.
  3. Copy down the next seven lines or sentences and paste them as they’re written.
  4. Tag seven other writers to play the game.

This entry (slightly over the seven line limit) is from my current WIP, “Raven Academy”:
(a MG/YA Fantasy involving Time Travel!)

“Price? What are you doing here?”, Dennis demanded.

Connor looked from Dennis to Karl to the struggling seventh-grader.

“This is a private matter, Price! It doesn’t concern you. Just turn around and leave now, and Karl and I will pretend we never saw you.”

Karl glared at Connor, his bushy eyebrows drawn together into a single black swath across his ridged forehead. He looked even angrier than Dennis at being interrupted as he tightened his grip on the seventh-grader’s arms. The boy squealed involuntarily, humiliated, then gave up struggling and fixed his eyes pleadingly on Connor for help.

Tag! You’re (Alphabetically) It!

  1. Kate Hart
  2. Alina Klein
  3. Carolina Valdez Miller
  4. Laura Pauling
  5. Teresa Robeson
  6. Michele Shaw
  7. Anna Staniszewski

Have fun playing along on your blog!

(If you do decide to join in, please post the link back here in the comments.)


The Shadows by Jacqueline West

The Shadows by Jacqueline WestThe Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1) by Jacqueline West

My rating: 4 of 5 stars!

I love Olive Dunwoody!

Eleven-year-old Olive has recently moved into a new house with her loving, but slightly clueless, mathematician parents. While they’re off being grown-ups, Olive is busy discovering there’s more to their new home than meets the eye. Measuring up in equal parts of cleverness, bravery and innocence, Olive slowly learns their new home has some dangerous old secrets.

With the help of a pair of unique spectacles, Olive soon discovers she’s able to travel into the many unusual paintings hanging around the house. And she makes some very interesting new friends along they way. In order to save her family and herself from the evil resulting from the series of events she has unwittingly initiates herself, Olive is forced to face some of her own worst fears and then to try and overcome them.

The Shadows features an engaging plotline with characters and descriptions that being the story to life. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where else the Elsewhere books will take us. And Olive, of course!

View my other Goodreads reviews > >

The Fear of Falling

Wile E Coyote Going Over a CliffI’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my fears lately. For me, one of my biggest is the fear of falling. Some of my worst nightmares involve either actively falling or those final terrifying seconds just before I slip off the edge of some precipice into a yawning abyss.



When I stop and think about it during my (safer) waking hours, the scary part about falling isn’t really the fall itself; it’s the expectation of what’s waiting at the bottom of that drop that gives me the shivers.

While I was mulling that thought over last week, I remembered something I’d learned years ago about walking, of all things.  But it made me stop everything I was doing right then and give it my full attention.

Walking is nothing more than controlled falling.

I know it might sound a little crazy at first, but it’s true. If you’re not convinced, try this little experiment. Stand up, right where you are with both feet firmly on the floor. Now, WITHOUT leaning forward, raise one foot out in front of you like you’re about to take a step.

What happened?

Probably nothing.  Most likely (unless your balance is a bit off), you’re simply standing there with one foot in the air. (You look silly by the way, but I’m not laughing. I promise. *ahem*) Okay, assuming you’re still standing on one foot, go ahead and give into gravity and let yourself fall forward onto your extended foot.

See? You’ve just taken step. Do it again and you’re walking. But you can’t do either one without falling first.  So, if walking is actually falling, why aren’t those of us who are afraid of falling also afraid of walking? It all goes back to that word: control.

We’ve learned to control the fall.

We learn to walk before we’re old enough to let our fear of falling down keep us from trying. Eventually, through practice and experience, we learn to change our expectation about what’s really waiting for us at the bottom of that (albeit short) drop following each step. Because we learned to control the fall, we know what’s waiting at the bottom is just another place to set our foot so we can take our next step. It’s only in the act of letting go and allowing ourselves to fall  that we’re able to stop falling and actually walk. If we don’t risk the fall, we can keep ourselves safe, but the cost is that we’ll have to stay where we are.  Without risk, we’ll never go anywhere.


It’s only by deliberately risking the fall:
That anything can change.
That anything will change.
That everything will change.

So what about you? Are any of your fears holding you back? Is there something you want to do (something need to do) but you’re too afraid to try?

Do yourself a favor. . .

Trust yourself. Let go of your fear. Risk the fall. Welcome the experience and learn from it. Then, take control.  You know how.

Remember, you’ve only been doing it all your life.

Please embrace your fears responsibly. The practice of learning to overcome fears through experience should not be applied using actual, life-threatening fears which are outside of your control such as severe weather, natural disasters or the zombie apocalypse.

Pushing Past My Indecision

Indiana Jones Indecision
(image courtesy of Tumblr)

I struggle a lot with indecision where my writing is concerned.

Usually, that indecision only takes the form of nearly endless revision. Painful, but true. *sigh* However, more recently my struggle has shifted to two new fronts beyond the printed page;

  1. Deciding whether or not to renew my SCBWI membership.
  2. Deciding whether or not to attend my local SCBWI’s annual conference this year (depending on the outcome of #1).

To some writers this may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve spent weeks debating what to do. For me, participating in a writing event…with other people…is a big deal. Every. Single. Time.

(I planned a much longer post about the reasons behind this, but I’ve decided to hold off on sharing that one for now.)

So . . .

To make this REALLY long story short, I’ve decided to renew my SCBWI membership (at least one more year) AND to attend my local regional annual conference this year.

Also, in a completely uncharacteristic move on my part, I’ve decided to register for one of the open professional manuscript critique slots at the conference. This will be first for me. The prospect simultaneously excites and terrifies me. My eyes have been the only ones on my WIP for so long, I’ve decided if it’s not ready to be critiqued by now it never will be.

I’m also looking forward to seeing other local writers I met at last year’s conference who I’ve been connecting with virtually since.

* * *

In related writing news, I’ve got one other significant (to me anyway) something in the works. I don’t want to say what it is yet. But, I will say it’s requiring me to complete a 750 word synopsis of my WIP by this Friday!

Thankfully, this post from Susan Dennard on How To Write A 1-Page Synopsis is making that task MUCH more manageable.

Thanks Susan!