Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Three Finished

As of this morning, I have finished book three of the Azure Maris series. This one, entitled Azure Depths finds Azure back home with her family, but things have changed over the two years she was away. Trouble seems to spring from all corners - people she once held dear have turned; her people seem to believe she is a pariah, and spies are in the city.

What's worse, is Azure can't figure out if the people opposed to her are in favor of Mano Leo-mana.

Now, I'm working on the fourth and final book of the series, Azure Dreams. Editing for the third book should begin next week as I usually take a week off after finishing.

Over the past year, I haven't wanted to write the second to last chapter, but through the processing of what happens as well as figuring out the story, it came smoothly enough. It's a relief to have the worse part of the story over, but Azure's fight is not over.

On a side note, I'm beginning the First of the Month Book Review this week, but it will hold off until Friday as part of my French Friday series. The book is one I read awhile ago, and focuses on a part of French history.

Friday, February 27, 2015

French Fridays - Slow and Steady

This is a little late today, partly because it's been a long week of writing for me. I'm nearly finished the third book in the Azure Maris series, and have been working on some weaving projects.

Slow and steady seems to be the best concept for when it comes to working on much of anything. Novels, weaving or even preparing for the mission's field - even a short term trip.

One thing I've been learning, is how to pace myself. It takes time for books to process even as it takes time to allow God to work in our lives. I think the hardest portion for me is allowing myself to relax. I'm one of those people who constantly think - there's always something working, but the question I find myself asking is what do I need to pursue among the many choices I have.

Part of the reason I'm heading to France is for this very option - to see which path I can possibly take. Life is an adventure; sometimes the adventure has a great many risks, other times it's peaceful. The fun part is navigating it.

If you want to help with the trip, visit here, and put in Bridgette Britton under missionary. Anything helps with the trip.

Friday, February 20, 2015

French Fridays - Preparation

For most of the Eastern US, it's cold. In my part of Western NY, we have -30 wind chill, and temperature highs in single digits. It's very cold and snowy.

Niagara Falls, 2014
They even talk about Niagara Falls freezing (ish, it's actually below the Falls that freeze, but it is cold). Currently, it's the forties (Fahrenheit) in France. Practically a heat wave compared to what I'm currently feeling.

One of the biggest aspects of traveling is the weather - preparing for the weather patterns normal in a given location is part of the research before heading over. At this point, anything warmer than 0 degrees Fahrenheit is a wonderful though.

Since I'll be in France from mid-May to mid-June, it'll be pleasant. Currently, it's one of things that helps with the cold - thinking warm thoughts about spring.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Changes

It's been an interesting first week of a new schedule, a schedule, I might add, I stumbled into. Sometimes, what we think is a problem turns out to be a blessing. After taking a hiatus or vacation, we find ourselves having trouble fitting back into the everyday and mundane.

I often find that forcing myself into a habit is the only thing that will help. It's the discipline of becoming a writer, and not waiting for inspiration to hit, but simply writing. Now, it's starting to pay off once again.

I've mentioned in other entries the struggle I've been having with the third book of Azure Maris' journey. I knew she would face troubles in this book, but through her faith and family, she would press forward and succeed. Yet, the title of the book, Azure Depths provides some hints about what's going to happen - darkness descends around her as she faces some of her biggest challenges.

Because of my new schedule, though, I'm finishing the chapters needed (just finished chapter sixteen this morning), and well on my way to finishing the book this month. It's not easy, and as the chapters tick off, I know I'll eventually join Azure at the darkest part of the book.

For me, it's part of the journey readers and writers take along with the characters. We feel their pain, and celebrate their joy. I have been brought to tears by my characters and ones from other authors. As an author, I've grown as I journey with my characters; as a reader, I've learned more than I thought I would.

I think this is the beauty of fiction. It's the beauty of storytelling - those hidden truths we find in a good story. I've heard people criticize fiction because it isn't real. For them, non-fiction is real, and therefore true. I wonder if they have ever experienced the power from a good novel or poem?

Granted, I'm a writer of fiction, so I will always see the good in fiction, but as a writer, I still read non-fiction because I need to research. Storytelling comes in all forms, but when it comes down to it, I think some of the best stories have never happened.

Over the years, I've learned more from people that have never existed than from those who have. I think many people can name characters who have taught us more about life than life has. While there are real-life heroes we want to be like or respect, many want to be like Lucy or Harry or Sam. We want to fight back from the darkness like Anakin, or be the one who holds onto hope like Luke.

As I find my stride with my books, I look forward to seeing how these books I write impact the lives of those who read them.



Friday, February 13, 2015

French Fridays

I'm doing something different today, and adding a video called PrayerCast France. It's a three minute video designed to lead people into praying for France. With all that has happened this year, it's definitely a country in need of prayer.



Friday, February 6, 2015

French Fridays - Meet and Greets

This past Sunday was a good day. Not only, did I have a chance to visit my old church, but I was also able to talk a little bit about what I'll be doing in France. One of the more interesting aspects about preparing to go on a mission's trip is meeting people.
"We're all stories in the end; just make it a good one."
                                                                                         The Doctor, Doctor Who

For me, people always have stories to tell. Some think themselves dull, and others think too highly of their stories, but no matter what - there is a story.

One of things I don't like about meeting new people is the energy drain, but it's something I'm used to being an introvert. For me, sustained periods of interaction, even with people I consider friends or in situations that aren't stressful, drain me. Sunday was no exception.

How people respond to new situations tends to differ. Whatever works for one person might not work for another. My younger sister and mom both tend introduce themselves, and quickly find someone to talk with; for me, I usually sit on the sidelines and watch.

People watching is a fun activity, but eventually, you have to talk with people. Having something to talk about helps me. Small talk bothers me, because I quickly run out of topics. Politics, religion, history and art are all topics I enjoy. For me, navigating into the other's person's interests is also helpful, and is part of the reason why I spend time staying abreast of a large subject range. You never know when something might spur you into a cool conversation.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Fun

This is actually a post about book binding, not about novels. Sorry, if you were hoping for a novel post.

In December 2014, I was asked to teach a bookbinding class at a local art store (local being Buffalo in this case). Of course I jumped at the chance to teach others about bookbinding, and the manager and I decided to focus on a March course.

Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to figure out how to design books using new techniques. After all, most of the supplies I would use would have to come through the art store, which knocked out most of the fabric I used to cover my books.


My option was to use gold leaf, and other fun things like that. It's been fun trying things. I happened to use Speedball's Mona Lisa Simple Leaf along with the adhesive pen by the same company. Back in college, I used some gold leaf for a class project, but haven't used it since then.

Now, after using it today, I realized how much fun it is. Very excited about trying some new things with it.

One thing I did realize was I have to glue my book covers before using the adhesive pen. I use Mod Podge for my book binding, and usually wind up applying a layer of glue to the top of my paper journals anyway to protect them.

In the most recent project, I used a new book cloth, and didn't apply a layer of glue at first. When I applied the gold leaf adhesive, it soaked right into the cloth. After applying a layer of gold, the gold leaf adhesive held.

All in all, I'm impressed by all three items (gold leaf, adhesive, and book cloth).