Christian Fiction

In the past several months, I have been blessed with a deeper understanding of the Lord.  After waiting all my life, I finally believe I know how to tap into the will of God.  Most importantly, I believe the Lord is cleansing me and molding me into a calling of service.  What that service is, I don’t know yet.  I’m sure when I’m ready, He will let me know.

Before the Lord can work in my life, He needed to clean house within me.  The first thing he dealt with me on was that he was not pleased with the ghost-like books I had been writing.  I simply could not “entertain” others with un-Godly stories AND walk with God at the same time.

Sooo, I have removed all of those ghost/supernatural stories from this website and from all forms of my marketing.  They no longer exist.   I do NOT know anything about Christian Fiction.  I’ve read a few books that were a little too “preachy” and “sappy” for my taste.  So, I procured several examples of Christian Fiction.  Some good, some not so good.  I have learned that the term Christian Fiction can be used on all sorts of books.

I do not feel led to discontinue all my secular writing, but I will be more selective on what I write.  I have decided to add a “Christian Fiction” line to my works.

I hope you all can wish me well on my new journey.

He Who Breaks The Clouds – update

I just finished my first review/rewrite of He Who Breaks The Clouds.  Sometimes, when you edit, you have to deleted material that you loved.  This usually happens when you discover you made an info dump, the material wasn’t necessary to the story, or it was confusing, or just plain dumb.  I did lots of that kind of editing and deleting.  I don’t think I went through a single paragraph without changing something.  The finished result and the book’s success will determine whether or not I made the right calls.

Next, I will review/rewrite again.  Leave it for a while after that, write something else, and return to review this story with fresh eyes before sending it to an editor.

I’m willing to do this because I believe in my work, especially He Who Breaks The Clouds.

Are there any new authors out there that would enjoy discuss their books?  Send me a message on EclecticAuthor@yahoo.com, or find me at Debra Easterling Author on Facebook.  I’d love to hear from you.

COMING OUT OF MY SHELL

I have been quite comfortable in my shell.  I enjoy writing and thought it was a perfect career for an introvert, such as me.  I get to leave my world and enter the world of my characters.  Little did I know that as a writer, we are expected to promote ourselves, push our own books, and develop a following.   Ugh!

Pushing myself to be an extrovert is like pushing me into a size 2 swimsuit.  It just doesn’t work.  Even if I could get the swimsuit on, it certainly would not bet pleasing to look at.  It just doesn’t fit.

I tried reading my stories to “authors” groups, but my writing is a lot more tame than most.  My stories don’t appeal to the harder edged writers here in Orlando.  In all fairness, I don’t always like their stories either.  So, back to my shell I go.

There are so many more gifted writers flooding Facebook and Twitter while they promote their own books.  How would I compete?  Do other FB and Twitter readers want to be flooded?  Its  just easier to sit inside my shell.

I can’t seem to bring myself to inquire about speaking at a library or conference.  What if no one shows?  What if they think I’m stupid, or that I don’t have quite the experience to put myself up as a writing authority.  Back to my shell.

This is a challenge I must face if I want to have people read my books.  It is the hardest part of writing, although query letters are almost equal in difficulty for me.  I wish I could just write the story, hand it over to one more capable than I to promote it.  Sit back and come out of my shell to write the next one.  If only I could.

 

Status of “He Who Breaks The Clouds.”

I have finished the rough draft of this my potential “opus” of a story, HE WHO BREAKS THE CLOUDS.  I am now in the rewrite phase.  Unlike my previous stories, this one seems to be in need of major re-writing for every chapter.  Perhaps it is because I am so firmly committed to this story.  Perhaps it is more challenging with the details of life post WWI and the Iroquois nation.  My study into clinical depression keeps twisting and turning.  Add that to the differences between the mores of the white man and the natural healing of the Native American.  Most importantly is that our speech, our language, has changed over the past one hundred years.  English was more proper, expressions have changed, etc.

Once I am finished and have this professionally edited, I KNOW I will be proud of this book.  It will be a source of enlightenment.  But, it will keep me busy for quite some time.  I’ll update as soon as something exciting happens.

 

My sister, Diane.

As stated in my last post, my sister, Diane Cutshaw, left us to go be with the Lord.  No one expected it.  She slipped into a diabetic coma that she never returned from.   I always loved her, but I never realized just how much she meant to me.  I still see her standing in my front yard, waiting to pick me up so we can go visit our other sister, Lynn.  I see the way she giggles always holding her finger under her nose.   I remember our last get together we laughed so hard about almost everything. She was such a tiny, petite thing.  I always envied her that, for I am–Not.

 We had such plans.  We were going to retire soon, travel, do crafting together, and spend lots of time laughing.   Then she was gone. Bam!  No warning.   I got to say my goodbyes, but she wasn’t there to say hers.  Every day I reach for my phone to call her or text her to tell her all the crazy things that just happened.  We both had large families that keep us spinning. I still get choked up when I recall she is not there to call anymore to tell my stories.   She left a huge void in my life.

I’ve lost my Mom, Dad, oldest son, Adam, oldest sister, Kathy, and now Diane.  I have a brother I see every 20 years or so, and I have one truly great sister left,  Lynn Brouillette.  She has been my buddy our whole lives.   However, I have begun to fear being with her.   I give my heart wholly and completely.  She is my only connection to my past.   I love her beyond the moon and back.   What will I do when Lynn leaves?   I try not to think of it.  She is here now.   Please send prayers that Lynn stays strong and lives a long, long healthy life.   I still cry when I think of Diane, but I know she is with the Lord Jesus, probably telling him better ways to manage heaven.  God, I love her.  I love Lynn, Rick, and my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.  Thank you, Lord.

I’m a Roomba.

It has been such a rough couple of months. Starting with both of my dogs passing on. Groban, a mixed breed named after my favorite singer, was my baby. His BFF was Berlynn, a sweetheart of a dashound. Groban had to be put down because of cancer. He would’ve died in less than a week on his own, but we wanted his to go out peacefully. For 3 weeks, Berlynn sat by the back door and waited for his return. She stopped eating. Then our little blessing went to be with her BFF. I never mourned so much for a pet as I did them.

Then my beloved son, Lee, and his family moved back home to Minnesota. Up there, they had family that is free to be the kind of family that would make them happy. It ripped my heart out, but it makes my heart glad that they are happy.

Other son, Dale, and his family moved in. I already have a daughter and her family here. So, now there is 11 people in our house. What fun! Oh, I forgot to tell you, we only had one car, and that one just died, as did our washing machine.

The biggest news of all, my sister, Diane Cutshaw, left us unexpectedly. She slipped into a diabetic coma and never recovered. I can’t believe it. We had just plans to retire together, travel, work on crafts, etc. I still find myself reaching for the phone to call her only to remember she isn’t there to call. Diane has joined my sister, Kathy, our Mom and Dad, and my first son, Adam.

One thing after another has changed my course in life. So, that is why I’m a Roomba. The little machine whizzes around the house, picking up little messes, and when they hit a wall or an obstacle, they bounce back, spin and move on. I’ve been doing that with my life this past year. I have to just keep pressing on until the Lord calls me to join the rest of my family.

I am in the process of writing my “opus” entitled: “HE WHO BROKE THE CLOUDS.” I have been waiting years to write this story and I’m so excited, but it is one of the most difficult stories to write in many ways.

The story takes place in 1917, at the very beginning of mental health psychology. It is a story of a wealthy young man, Randolph Fitzroy, who suffers from severe depression. His psychologist, Dr. Jacob Snow, is a Native American who has seen more than his fair share of prejudice during WWI and the depression of other soldiers. When Dr. Snow decides to return to his Iroquois village to establish an educational reservation, he takes the young man with him. Throughout the story, young Rand tries to get Dr. Snow to understand just what depression is and how it feels. It isn’t a choice. But, Dr. Snow comes from a world where life is precious and nature cures all. He struggles to understand Randolph, and shares ancient Native American wisdom and teachings to help break through the clouds within the young man’s mind. The two develop friendship and understanding that changes both of their lives.

Now, I wasn’t around in 1917, although I feel 100 years old at times. I need to search for every detail of hair styles, clothing, police techniques, plays in NYC, automobiles (the use of the term “car” wasn’t done until the 40s), the fears of the times, the language, the slang, the names of various places in existence in 1917, government programs of the time, governmental treatment of Native Americans during WWI, the sports teams, etc.

I need to research Native American philosophies, dress, herbal cures, customs, etc. The Iroquois nation consists of six different tribes that merged their customs with each other. Tons of research continues in what custom belonged to what tribe and how the tribes are united.

Researching treatment for depression in 1917 is a nightmare. Tons of info can be found from the 1950s and up. Lots of information of medication can be found, but that medication wasn’t created until much later. In 1917, little was known of depression and how it affects an individual. It was considered as a “melancholy problem” that was either viewed as pure selfishness/laziness or as a mental condition. Treatment was in transition from severe methods of water boarding, shock therapy, and lobotomies, to simply ignoring or locking the victims up. In 1917, the world was changing.

I know that when this book is complete, it will be a work that I will consider my finest. (Although my book, Moshe’s War, will be hard to beat.) I have been interviewing doctors, Native American historians, and I have gleaned a pound of knowledge for every line I’ll actually write from the net and several books. All the research I am investing for this book will make me proud someday. Most of all, as one who suffers from clinical depression, it will allow me to share myself with readers. I hope there will be plenty of them. “He Who Breaks The Clouds” will be a work-in-process for quite some time. I can’t wait to announce to you when it is complete. I’ve toyed with a book cover, just for fun. What do you think?

I HATE SHINGLES!!!

Shingles are the worst.  The pain is beyond belief. It isn’t so much the rash as it is the deep down shooting pain that goes deep into your body.  I get what feels like a hot knife in my gut, just sitting there, with an occasional electrical volt running through my right side.  What makes it worse is that it lasts so long and it never subsides.  I’m so worn out.  I can only lay on one side, so my sleep is interrupted nightly.  I used the cream recommended but it burns so bad that all my skins reacts, like chemical burns.  The anti-viral medication is only effective if taken within 72 hours of the onset.  It had been almost a week before I could get in to see my doctor.  My rash is on my waist, and 90% of my clothes has a waist band.

I know it will eventually go away, but it seems like a permanent condition to me at the moment.  It has been 2 weeks with no sign of improvement yet. 

So how is your day going?

 

I’m done! I’m doooonnnneee!

I just completed my first draft of my 7th novel, PAINTING SHADOWS!

I edited it two or three times.  Now, it will be ignored until I complete my first draft of my 8th book.  Then I’ll bring it back out, reedit a couple of more times, then send it to an editor who will make me redo it again before publishing.

This is a mystery where an artist, Nancy Burke, leaves all the woes of her life, and moves across the country. The move creates an ability in Nancy to perform skills she never had before.  No one had ever had before.  But, within every painting, a shadow of a woman appears.  Who is this shadow, and what does she want?

 

 

WHAT’S YOUR METHOD?

Ask 100 authors what method they use for writing, you’ll get 105 different answers.  That’s the beauty of our world of writing.  Every author has their own style and method that works for them. So, there is no right or wrong way to write. When I post, I state things as I would do.  I do not speak for every author.

When I start a book, I begin with daydreaming.  I get an idea pop in my big ole’ head, then I form a story around that idea.  I once wrote a book “loosely” based on my crush for Josh Groban, which will NEVER BE PUBLISHED.  But, I started by imagining the two of us singing on stage.  Then I thought, “why would he be singing with me?”  Then I imagined I ran a little community theater and he agreed to sing.  Then, I thought about it.  Why would Josh Groban, Mr. Voice himself, agree to sing at a two-bit town theater?  Hmn, he is a friend of my son’s?  Where did they meet?  I do this until I form the “basic” plot in my head. (As we all know, plots tend to change as you go.)

Once I have the concept down, I daydream about my characters.  I start by completing a character sketch.  Then I daydream about that character, inside and out, until I know that character like I’ve known him or her for years.  I never start a book until each of these characters become real people.  It prevents your characters from being nothing but “talking heads.”

Next, research, research, research.  I don’t just research the topic of the book, but the flora and fauna of the area, the songs that played at that time, the types of cars, the wardrobe, etc.  It certainly allows the reader to visualize the scene when you can create a vivid picture.

Then I begin.  Most writers, not all, will tell you to write without looking back.  New writers look back a lot.  They rewrite the same chapters over and over again.  This really slows down the process, and it can actually keep you from completing your work.  I buzz straight through.  Sure, I change the name of characters along the way, I change the color of their eyes, or the room they are in.  All that gets fixed when you edit.  When I’m tempted to look back or change a previous chapter, I simply type myself a note while I’m writing.  It can be done on a tablet next to your desk, but I like to type it right into my story, so my hands never stop.  For example, I’m currently writing a book called Painting Shadows.  My MC has a scar that she is self-conscious about.  This same MC has been seeing a psych on another matter.  I wanted her to refer to that scar early in her therapy, but I didn’t want to go back to write it in at this time.  So, I did this:  “Nancy raised her hand to hide the scar on her forehead.  (ADD REASON FOR SCAR IN 1ST PSYCH APPT)  She couldn’t stand the way Clara was staring.”

After I whiz through the first draft.  I then edit to make all the corrections and additions.  Then I edit again to make sure the grammar is as good as I can make it.  Then I read it out loud.  Trust me, doing this will help you find all sorts of errors and revisions needed. (It also shows you where a story lags.) Then I rewrite it again.

THEN, I PUT IT AWAY!  I put it away until I do the first draft of my next book.  I refused to allow myself to touch it during this time.  This enables me to read my original story with fresh eyes later.  Man, do you find the errors by doing this.  Then after I rewrite it again, I send it to an editor.  No matter how perfect you THINK your story is, an editor will change it all around and find things that need to be corrected.   Trust them.  They know their stuff.

Well, that’s my method.  What’s yours?