Scribe Scrawlings


Two Book Give Away--Contest Ends 10/15/09
Winner Announced: Kayla! See post below for full details!


Melissa Rose

What Do You Listen To When You Write?

Monday, February 26, 2007


I became an Aunt for the second time today, my little niece Elena was born early this morning and she weighs 6 pounds and 12 ounces. She's a little early and I'm sure she's just adorable, but please keep her and her Mother in your prayers as being early can be a tad hard on them both.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lovely Day Despite The Weather

It’s been a lovely day here despite the weather, though Tolkien was sorely missed for she was snowed in at her house and unable to come over, and I am delightfully tired.

Breakfast was left over pancakes and nice hot coffee, which I downed in short order, and went outside on the deck to take pictures of the falling snow. Artchick and I stood on there and snapped away, she in her slippers and I in my socks, until Mom and Dad yelled at us to get our boots on or come inside. So, I put boots on and Artchick put on her shoes and we shot some more picks till Mom got inspired and went outside herself.

The three of us took pictures of the trees, the snow, and the iron gray sky and laughed as we got liberally covered in the white stuff. Mom and I took the old apples down to the wood at the end of the property for the deer and other critters out in the snow and then I decided it might be a good idea to shovel the front walk. Wasn’t too bad the first time, and then there was church, which was focused on Ephesians 5. Dad went out after church and hit the driveway, and I did the walk again and Artchick and I also cleaned off the cars. Then, Artchick started the craziness by pelting me with snowballs. Well I couldn’t let that go unchallenged, so there was a minor skirmish in the front yard with both sides taking and giving fire. The yard no longer looks pristine and untouched, it looks like two six year olds had a blast, and built a snowman in the middle of all the mess. And you know what? :-D We did.

Lunch was biscuits, macaroni and cheese, green beans, strawberries, and earl gray tea. After lunch I went out again to clean off the car, Artchick shoveled the walkway a final time, and Dad hit the driveway for the last plow of the evening. All three of us were thoroughly cold by this time, and decided it would be really nice to go in and warm up and not come out again.

Dad built a fire, and Artchick decided that the best way to warm up was to make chocolate chip cookies, while I decided that a warm laptop was what would make me thaw. Like I said, it’s been a lovely day and now I think I’ll go and work on some writing

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mynasthoa: Character with a Fan Club

Considering I created him because of flack from World Builder friends, and considering the majority of his characteristics were a reaction to criticism of my other characters, I must say he's one of the most developed, and really is becoming one of my favorites. And I'm not the only one who likes the bloke, not that he has a real story to act in, but my friends seem to just want to hear about him and what he's gone etc etc etc. Talk about encouraging, I mean it gives me some HOPE that if I can create a character that my friends want to hear more about then MAYBE other people will as well.

Mynasthoa is unique among my characters for three reasons; one, he is actually handsome two he is immortal and three he looks old. I mean I usually describe him as having "Warm blue eyes, a tanned, cragged and lined face, and hair the color of elderly steel." But he has no burns, no scars, and he's not "plain" looking. He's tall, though he does have somewhat of a limp and is known to have rounded shoulders-but that's part of his charm! Also, well, I won't go into everything cos I'm writing the ''frustration'' about him and if I put it all here then you'll be bored reading it. But I am now officially happy with my "frustration'' choice of character, and I really do think that is half the battle.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Frustration .. .

Have you ever had one of those times when your mind adamantly refused to do what you wished with a story? I'm experiencing that this week, there's a exercise that calls for we writers to ''frustrate'' the protagonist in our story-i.e. block the goal they need to reach-and I just can't get anything to come out well enough that I want to share it. Now, frustration is the back bone of any story, the protagonist has a goal-antagonist blocks the goal *bam* conflict. Then, the hero loses, or maybe he wins the minor conflict but in winning it puts him in a worse place than he or she was before. This goes on throughout the tale, with the hero gaining ground along the way, kinda the 'take three steps foreword and two steps back' approach, in the end you are making progress just a step at a time though there is a lot of extra action. And it's rather annoying that I can't seem to get my mind to properly do that, however I am writing. I'm just not writing that type of frustration.

I wasn't even writing anything worth keeping till yesterday night.

*Grrr* This week is a mess; one coworker is quitting and going to another job and she happens to be a good friend (I'm happy for her but her leaving is going to muck thing up somewhat at the store) and then one of the managers quit and gave his three week notice (eep), inventory is still not done and we are looking to get into the next sale, and I just agreed to do a signing in April.

Anyway, the reason that I had a moment to take up pen yesterday was because the washing machine died. So Mom and I hauled the dirty clothes to the laundromat and spent an hour and a half there getting them clean. I had my notebook and pen and in between wash cycles, I got about a page of writing done. But is it the assignment? Noooo. It's something else entirely and that is what is most annoying

Sunday, February 18, 2007

So I Was Wrong and So I Was Right!

So I was wrong about George Bryan Polivka, who called the store on Saturday and was friendly and easy going not to mention glad to be doing the signing and not at all ''I am the great writer and you are the lowly shop clerk'' which I feared he would be. Why do I have this inward cringing when it comes to working with people I am impressed by? I don't know, but I'm praying about it, there has to be something deep down inside that triggers this ''Oh no" reaction. I had it with the other writer too, my stomach would knot on itself and I would have to fight to just contact them, and they were, and are, rather warm and approachable and never did anything to make me cringe but I still did.

I don't anymore, or
at least not much anymore, but I don't like that inward ''don't hurt me'' when I haven't been hurt. I'll have to let the Holy Spirit rummage around some and see what He finds way down deep in the gunk I don't want to deal with.

I was right about today being fun though. I had an ''
unbirthday'' party, Halfelvenwriter and Artchick both came, as did Mom and Dad, and we went to a local Shakespeare company play. It was actually not one of Shakespeare's plays, but an American one, called The Front Page . That's the play His Girl Friday was based on, and I loved the movie, though the movie did clean up the language quite a bit.

I really enjoyed the play though, and other than the swearing (which was rather bad) it was a delightful time out. There were three acts with two intermissions and from start to finish the whole thing was roughly two and a half hours. We got popcorn at the first intermission and talked about how the
rapid fire dialogue was something that you really couldn't duplicate in print, then went back in for the second act. The second intermission was really only a chance to stand up and stretch, and then the third act started after which the actors took their bows and stayed around to answer questions. I asked Mom, who was going around and talking to them all, bold as brass, to get them to sign my program and most did, Mom said I should have come with her because they were so delighted to be asked. Ah well, maybe next time.

We all came back home and had dinner which consisted of beef tips, fried potatoes, green beans and apple
sauce. Later we had cake and coffee, and watched several episodes of Hercule Poirot.

Really a lovely, lovely day. I'm so glad that I had to have my birthday postponed, I really needed this.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

So Speaks the Rhu. . .:-D

Rhubarb (megan) is such the best. Look what she wrote me!

"When we did jumping in horseback riding, they told us to never look at the hurdle or at the ground in front of the hurdle. "The horse knows where you're looking," and if we looked at the ground, that's where we were going to end up. In a heap. Tangled up with the horse. . . and probably in pain. What they told us to do was look at the horizon; then the horse would make the hurdle easily.

So the moral of the story is, if you're looking for somewhere to crash and burn, you will In fact, if you look at the obstacle, you probably won't even make it. But if you look at the horizon, then you'll clear it with plenty of room to spare. So my advice to you in this situation is to (besides, you know, frantic, fervent, constant, oh-help type prayer). . . well, in the words of Cap'n Jack--"Bring me that horizon." "

Friday, February 16, 2007

An Interesting Day

Well, this is to be an interesting spring. I have been asked to do a signing for another author. His name is George Bryan Polivk, and the book that he's written is called "Legend of the Firefish" which is published by Harvest House. It comes out this March 12, 2007 and from the teaser chapter I've been given it looks promising.

We're looking to do the signing after Easter and we'll have it in the main store, and everyone is rather excited. I am too.




I think I'm actually already intimidated, you see George Bryan Polivk is an Emmy award winning screen writer.

Can you say *gulp*?

I mean I haven't actually talked to him yet, so I'm also very likely psyching myself out. Which Rhu says must stop. Easier said than done. Anyway, I haven't officially talked with him yet, I'm talking with his wife, a very lovely woman in her own right, like another Lady of my acquaintance. To get this thing really rolling, we need to exchange e-mail addresses, and start seriously narrowing down the window of time for the event. I need to see if I should start calling newspapers, if they want me to do the ''staging'' which I so much enjoy, and also need to get the books ordered from Harvest with the understanding that we are doing the signing.

I should be overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity.

I should be jumping up and down with delight and going "I can't believe the marvelous opportunity that is coming my way"

But-but-but it is all new, he's not the author I'm used to dealing with-the one that is brilliant to work with and generous too-it's not the book series I know, and it's not the publisher I know. Lots of new variables. Lots of opportunities to crash and burn.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Visit Out Of The Blue

My friend Blue dropped by today to drop off. . . well okay so we are both busy and now is the first time that we could exchange Christmas presents. . .but as usual the conversation quickly turned to writing. She was lamenting Christian science fiction writing and authors and I was trying to point out that there are a few good scribes among the dross and telling Blue not to give up on the genre completely. She says she's been burned too many times, too many authors have started out with a great plot or character and then it's gotten too religious. Now by religious she means ''deus ex machina'' and full of miracles and sudden changes of heart. You know, God comes into the situation and everything is hunky-dory. Life isn't like that. Miracles happen, yes. People get converted overnight and changed. . .well some people have. But we are talking about FICTION, not real life and in FICTION, I wouldn't believe a bitter God-hating soldier getting his act together and becoming a real on fire believer in three chapters. Nuh-uh.

And she's right, if you are going to write allegory, then ALL of the story is allegory, not some, not certain passages, not the beginning and the ending but not the middle. ALL. Stop going back and forth and trying to be cute and lyrical in some bits and others are suppose to be true to life. Allegory isn't true to life, that's why it's called allegory! Sorry, I will try to control the ranting.

It really is slim picking out there for those of us used to top-notch writing now looking for it in the Christian realm. The worst thing a reader can tell me about a new book that they are reading or attempting to read is it's great for a Christian Author. That friends is the death-nell for the tome. Which is why I keep banging away at the keys, and keep pressing on even when I am convinced that this writing thing is pointless. Because deep down inside, I want write stories that dazzle, that encourage, and that entertain, without being tagged as ''great for a Christian author."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Warning: Contains Malice & Mischief

Tolkien and I started talking at work today, it was dead slow, and we started brainstorming about things ''worse than death'' that could happen to our characters. And then I thought, being the evil writer that I am, I might as well post the things here to inspire other evil authors.

1)Being made to choose between saving a spouse, or saving a child
2)Having memory erased
3)Having a spouse betray the character with their sworn nemesis
4)Being brainwashed into attacking their friends
5)Finding out that they are fighting on the wrong side of a war
6)Having them discover they are not who they thought they were (in a negative way)

And the number one (or seven) fate worse than death would be: Having a child taken away by an enemy and raised as their own.

Now, none of these ideas are original, but Tolkien and I took great delight in applying them to current characters and story lines, and I hope that you do the same. Nothing like a little mayhem to spice up a plot that's sagging a bit.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What a week!

I'm working on the next post in the series here, but it's taking a little longer than I wanted and I know some of you are certain that I'm never going to post another thing here. Ha. I am really enjoying this writing about writing theme and intend to keep going for as long as I can, it's just been a rough week. Last Sunday I lost my dog, Captain, who had been my faithful little pup and companion for 16 years, and then I had a scare with my heath, a rather bad one, but thankfully by and through Christ, my Great Physician as well as the doctors things seem to be getting under control once more. Anyway, I wanted to post this and tell all of you who have been praying for me that I can definitely feel the love and support, there are times I know the only way I made it through is because of your prayers, the love of Christ, and the support of my family. How's that for drama? :-D I think I'll just watch comedies this week and read funny books. Alright, well watch for that post later, I've got roughly an hour before work and I want to get some writing in before I leave.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Harold Myra "Children in the Night"

This is one of the books, probably the book that made me want to tell stories for a living and for the glory of Christ. The tale begins with this:

The small boy hunched down, the sea lapping against his ankles. Reaching foreword, he found a stone worn smooth and flat; he rubbed it back and forth on his fingertips. He brought it to his lips, then to the sensitive folds of his eyelids, moving it gently, as if the stone were a tiny, soft animal. In the total darkness of Aliare, smooth felt beautiful.

Myra hooked me with that paragraph, by the juxtaposition of a boy on the coast of a sea playing with a stone like any small child might, and the introduction of a world in darkness. His use of the phrase ‘’total darkness” was so causal and so defining that my mind’s eye switched off, without consulting me, and for the rest of the tale I didn’t ‘see’ anything. But I felt them, tasted them, and heard them just like the characters in the story.

Harold Myra drew me into the world of Aliare and introduced me to that small boy name Yosha, and I joined Yosha on his quest to find light. I mourned with him over the unjust death of his father, his father who was as dear to me as Yosha. I hoped with him as he worked to find what his father believed in, light. And not just any light, but the light that was lost, the place that was lost when the Maker’s order was thrown into chaos and the world split in half.

Through Yosha, through Asel the young woman he meets later, and through the wonder of the cripple Auret who ‘’fell down’’ from the world above to help both of them understand what exactly their hunger for light truly meant, and to show the way for all to come out of darkness, I learned that the sweetest and strongest love always comes with sacrifice. And I also learned that there are two types of Christian writers, those that are writers who happen to be Christian, and those who are Christian that just happen to write.

Harold Myra is a writer who happens to be a Christian. And, that’s what I want to be, I want to write so well that anyone can pick up my story and be entertained, delighted, and maybe even learn something like I did through Children in the Night

Monday, February 5, 2007

Story Tellers & Stories that Made Me Want to Write

Harold Myra "Children in the Night"

Timothy Zahn "The Icarus Hunt"

C.S. Lewis "The Silver Chair"

James Byron Huggins "A Wolf Story"

Ann Rinaldi "A Time for Drums"

B.J. Hoff "Song of the Silent Harp"

Elizabeth Speare "The Witch of Black Bird Pond"

Harper Lee "To Kill A Mocking Bird"

Angela Hunt "Brothers"

Frank Peretti "This Present Darkness"

I could go on and on, but I think what I'll do instead is start posting how each one of these outstanding authors changed the way I think, and why I owe them a debt for kindling the fire in my bones to write.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Captain Black 1992-2007

"Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to" Captain who this day died, and has left a vacuum in many hearts, the largest in my own. I had Captain, or he had me as friend and companion for 15 years and I very much doubt that Lord Byron would have minded me altering this praise for my own dog, as he knew the loss of his own.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Hope for All of Us

Today, at work, I was once again reminded of the dynamic divide among writers. There are World builders, there are the Plot driven, and then there is a third which are called Geniuses.

If you ask a writer who is a natural world builder how they begin to create a tale, they will usually tell you about their main character, or the world that character inhabits. They will describe either in such detail and with so much assurance that you right there in the moment begin to believe this place or person truly exists, and you want to know everything about them.

If you ask naturally plot driven writer how they go about creating a tale you will get a very different answer. They will begin to tell you what is going on in the story, what injustice has been committed or what daring adventure is just starting. They will tell you this with such enthusiasm that you have to know, what happens next.

Both have strengths, and their weaknesses. The character driven writer draws you into the life of their creation and you begin to invest in them, you care what happens, you want to see them succeed, even if that means they take over the world and build an evil empire. The weakness of a character driven writer is that the plot can go in circles, or drag or run down entirely. Characters without strong plot are heartbreaking disappointments.

The plot driven writer is usually able to keep the tale running to the conclusion, and like a roller coaster builder they throw in exciting loops and veers and you have to keep telling yourself to keep your hands inside the vehicle and not get out until it comes to a full and complete stop. The weakness of the plot driven writer is that the character doing all the thrilling things can be so two dimensional that the reader stops investing in them, even going so far as to put the book down and not finish because they don’t care what happens to the protagonist. Or worse, hoping that the protagonist fails.

The third category of writers, named geniuses, are those that make you care about the hero or heroine so deeply you can’t bear to see them fail, and keep the plot moving dangerous and deadly you can’t bear not to know what happens next. I think of these gifted people as ambidextrous, being able to write with both sides of their mind producing seamless works that are cherished for generations. When you ask a genius how they create a story they will usually tell you hours and hours of hard work, tearful days, long nights, and very little sleep. They will also tell you that they aren’t really sure how things come together as beautifully as they do, but that they just keep working at it until they are done.

And that’s the real hope for plot driven and world builder alike. In the writing world you aren’t always born a genius, sometimes through hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, you become one.

Poll Results

What Do You Notice First About A Book?
RESULTS! Closed 11/11/09

My attention's always grabbed by the cover-53%

I look on the spine for the author's name-6%

The thicker books are the one that grab my notice-26%

I open the book up to the middle and burry my nose in the pages, sniffing. Scent is important-0%

I flip the book over, ignore the cover and the spine and get to the book blurb-13%

Pick Your Weapon! RESULTS! Closed-11/03/09

Hand and Half Sword-16%
Long Bow-25%
Pen-25 %

What Kind of Fan Are You? RESULTS! Closed-10/22/09

Shy. I like reading books but I don't want to meet the authors-15%

Avid. I've read everything my favorite author has written!-38%

Curious. I've e-mailed my favorite author or left comments on the blog and asked them questions-38%

What Kind of Word Smith Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/15/09

I focus on setting-22%
I focus on dialogue-22%
I focus on action-22%
I focus on characters-33%

What Kind of Reader Are You? RESULTS!-Closed 10/07/09

I try and guess where the story is going to go-44%
I read the book and think how I would have written it differently-0%
I race through the story, riding the words like a rollarcoaster-22%
I race through the book and then go back and read my favorite parts again and again-33%

What Kind of Writer Are You? RESULTS!

Character first--1%
Plot First--4%
Balanced Between Plot and Character--5%
All Over The Place--5%

So All Over The Place and Balanced Between Plot and Character tie for the win! All I can say is that there must be some wicked stories out there. I can't wait to read them!

Scribe is Listening to:


Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian Sound Track.

Books on CD: The Moving Finger Read by Martin Jarvis. Original story by: Agatha Christie

Scribe is Reading:

I am? COOL!

I'm apparently referring to myself in the third person too. Go figure.


Nightmare's Edge by: Bryan Davis

The Invention of Hugo Cabert (Caldecott Book) by: Brian Selzinck-FINISHED. Mind blowing! Every storyteller should read this book.

FEARLESS by: Max Lucado-FINISHED. Excellent!

NLT Chronological 24/7 Bible paperback
NASB Online at Bible Gateway


Psalm 49

Psalm 49
A Psalm of Repentance

About Me

My photo
I tell stories all day long. Some with my pen, some with my keyboard and if you can find me, buy me a coffee and I'll tell you one too!