Monday, February 15, 2016

Week In Focus

Week In Focus



What I'm reading:


I just finished my first Harlan Coben novel. You can check out my review here. I'm always looking for new authors to add to my collection. For me a good author who can pen a great story is priceless. I don't mind spending my money on a book if I know it's going to be well written and take me on a little adventure away from the mundane of laundry, cooking, and cleaning. (And sometimes writing, if I'm being honest!)

Tweet: A good book takes you on an adventure. A great book takes you away from laundry, cooking, and cleaning. @natwalterswrite

I've heard great things about author Harlan Coben and I wasn't disappointed. Caught is a story that streams the lives of multiple character's points-of-view as they live through a coincidental investigation regarding a murdered pedophile claiming innocence and set-up with that of a missing teenager, who has either runaway or is the victim of something worse.

The plot is intricate and woven seamlessly but it still gave me moments of pause as I had to figure out who was saying what; what was being said; and how it was changing the story. Multiple characters made it difficult at times to keep things in order but overall I found myself turning pages quickly. I finished 200 pages in the course of an afternoon (uninterrupted as my hunky honey made dinner and kept the kids busy= Happy Valentine's Day to me!).

What I'm working on:


Shout out to my BWF, Emilie Hendryx, for designing this great LL meme!

Edits! Edits! Edits!

Currently I'm working on the edits for a novel I wrote last year and pitched to several agents and editors at the ACFW conference in Dallas last September. Editing is nothing like writing. It's like cleaning the grout in between your shower tiles with a toothbrush. Tedious, tear-inducing, fear producing work that makes me wonder if I'm meant to be a writer. Every. Single. Time.

My oldest daughter called me from college and asked me what I was doing and in several long minutes (where I may or may not have cried in anguish) told her I was editing and my plot needed an adjustment, which would affect my characters. Her response was: "I'll never look at another story the same way, Mom. I just thought writer's sit and write a story. I had no idea how hard it is."

Her words meant a lot to me because honestly there are days when I think is this all worth it?? And then I read a great story or get a word of encouragement from a mentor or writing friend and I'm reminded that every good thing worth doing is worth doing well. And so here I sit (well, not exactly right now as I'm blogging and not editing) working on a story that I wrote last year in the hopes that it will one day see publication.

What I'm excited about:



Winners!! Woot! Woot! My Week O' Love ended and I have three winners to announce:

Katie G. -Literary Candle
Nick K. -Novel Teas
Melanie P. -Candy Dish

Congratulations ladies and thank you to everyone who entered! It was such a fun giveaway and I'm really excited about offering more fun giveaways so be sure to sign up to follow the blog. A little hint of what's to come ... a big announcement was made recently regarding a fairly famous author releasing a special book attached to a fairly popular series involving mug oops! I almost gave away my secret! I can't tell you what's coming but I promise it'll be a magical giveaway!!

What I'm focusing on:



The last few weeks I've been doing a few Bible studies (read that as three). I'm working through the book of Acts with my best friend; doing a Priscilla Shirer study on The Armor of God, which is fabulous by the way but prepare for a battle of the heart-seriously; and lastly I'm working through a small book, 52 Weeks with Jesus.

Each study takes me through the Bible to different verses and I focus on the ones I believe God is speaking to me through. Teaching me. Training me. Reminding me. Today's verses were a reminder:

"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly." 
"As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
-Acts 4:20, 31b

One of my favorite Christmas songs (yes, I know Christmas has passed but it's only 313 days away, hehe) is "Go Tell It On The Mountain". As a little girl I would sing that song loud and proud as a grown woman I'm afraid my shout has simmered to a whisper. I'm ashamed to admit that too often I'm afraid of what it will look like to others. I'm afraid of rejection. I've faced that truth too many times it's left scars. Painful scars that have hampered my ability to be bold.

"When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." -Acts 4:13

And then I'm reminded of the painful scars on the hands of the One who loves me and the grace He covers me with and I CANNOT HELP BUT SPEAK about what He has done for me. God took ordinary men and astonished the world. This morning I was reminded that the Holy Spirit lives within me and I can be bold. Not only in speaking but in writing too. I can be bold in Christ because He took me and has done astonishing things in my life. I might be ordinary but my testimony is extraordinary-and that's something to speak and write about!

What about you? What are you focusing on this week? Read any good books over the weekend? Try any great recipes? I'd love to know what's come into focus in your life this week.




3 comments :

  1. Congratulations Winners! Natalie, thank for sharing your thoughts about CAUGHT. I love discovering new authors! Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Caryl! I love discovering new authors too! Have you read any great ones lately? I will be posting book reviews regularly and it's my hope to offer book giveaways of some of my favorites. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let's see--I just finished "I've got you under my skin" by Mary Higgins Clark which is quite an accomplishment for me. I'm focused on being a better wife and mother. I'm excited about winning an awesome candy dish! Thanks Natalie!!

    ReplyDelete

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