Monday, May 19, 2008

CCWC. . . As Promised

As I promised the writers in the Rocky Mountains this past weekend, I’ll blog thoughts on writing. The Emotional Architecture class brought the greatest response, so I’ll add some thoughts to it.

It’s really difficult to know how to write out of an emotional architecture without trying it out, failing, and then finally hitting that sweet moment when you realize something is happening to your writing.

While it’s good to read another novel and then write, what I see happening in the manuscripts is a copycat writing. It flattens any hope for personal style or finding a personal writing aesthetic. So if you heard from me that your writing was suffering from either clich├ęd writing or formula, remember to pull out your hand-outs and try them out. And don’t be in a hurry. Writing is revising.

If you would like to post more questions here this week, please feel free. I’m looking forward to seeing how each of you return home and start making application. Remember that George Barna says if you don’t apply what you learned from a class or workshop within 24 hours after hearing it, you won’t. So start writing today.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Painted Dresses--The Book is Coming Soon!

This is the first couple of reviews to hit the web for Painted Dresses. Couldn't wait to crow!

This first is from best-selling author Liz Higgs:

"Painted Dresses is both wise and witty, full of living, breathing people, rather than cardboard characters. I'm sure I went to high school with Gaylen, dated Braden, partied with Delia, and ran away from Freddy--that's how convincingly they leaped off the page. Amusing at one turn, sobering the next, Painted Dresses captures life in all its messy glory. A wonderful novel from a uniquely gifted storyteller."
--Liz Curtis Higgs, best-selling author of Grace in Thine Eyes

The next one is from a book review blogger on eOpinions:
Painted Dresses
May 01 '08
Pros: "excellent writing, great characters, compelling storyline
Cons: "a bit dark and heavy"
The Bottom Line"Painted Dresses" will stay with you long after you've finished it.
One of my more recent advanced reader copies to show up in my mailbox was a copy of “Painted Dresses” by Patricia Hickman. Hers isn’t a name I was familiar with, so I was able to start into this novel with an open mind and no preconceived ideas. I must admit that I was incredibly surprised with what I found.
Sometimes it feels like life is falling apart for Gaylen Syler-Boatwright. Her marriage is on the ropes, reeling from the impact of her infidelity. Then to make matters worse, her father passes away and Gaylen is left to look after her younger sister Delia. The Syler family has it’s own set of quirks, and the death of her father brings Gaylen back into the middle of it all. When Delia gets into some serious trouble (non-fatally shooting the sister of a local drug dealer) Gaylen takes her off to their late aunt’s cabin to lay low. Gaylen and Delia can’t stay at their Aunt Amity’s house long due to the drug dealer on their trail, but what they find at the cabin—a collection of painted dresses hanging on their aunt’s walls—sets them out on a mission to deliver the dresses to the people their aunt had intended them for. Each dress that Gaylen and Delia deliver unravels a clue to a mystery that has haunted Gaylen for as long as she can remember. A mystery that involves dark nightmares and paralyzing fear. Will Gaylen ever come to terms with whatever it is that she can’t remember to find the symbolism behind the dress from her childhood she can’t remember? The dress her aunt intended for her?
The first thing I noticed about “Painted Dresses” was how much I liked Patricia Hickman’s writing style. There was a graceful literary flow to them, unlike many other authors I’ve read. She painted a picture easily and clearly, making it seem as if the reader is a fly on the wall—witness to everything that is going on, seeing and hearing all the activity of the storyline with crystal clarity. I enjoyed the storyline of “Painted Dresses.” It’s unlike what most people think of when they think of faith-based fiction, but it’s compelling and hard for a reader to put down. . .

The characters of “Painted Dresses” were very vivid and real feeling, an eclectic group of people. The family dynamic of the Sylers was compelling, seemingly like so many families you see every day. Some that wallow in their conditions, others who want so badly to break the mold that they are willing to work hard for what they want. Conclusion and Recommendation I really, really enjoyed “Painted Dresses” and would have to say it’s one of the better novels I’ve read in a long time. . . I think that the conclusion of this novel could have a healing effect.
Release Date “Painted Dresses” is set for release in July of 2008. Recommended:Yes