Sunday evening I spoke at the Minnesota NICE chapter of ACFW on "Getting Started with Scrivener," a popular writing program. Here is the related blog with links.
I am so excited to introduce you to my new website! It provides information about me, my books and a brand new “Editorial Services” page. I’ve added slide shows and videos to the book page and links to articles about writing each book as well as discussion questions you can use in the classroom or a book group. This blog page is less cluttered and hopefully using a handful of categories instead of numerous tags will help you to find what interests you more easily. (Scroll down on the right to find them.)
I once attended a one-day writing workshop. At the end of the day the leader asked us to visualize where we would like to be in ten-years time in our writing careers. He probably suggested a book signing as one possibility. By that time I had done at least one book signing for my first YA novel, The Wooden Ox. The desire to do writing workshops in Africa may have already been in my mind. What I remember is picturing the book signing of one of my students. Recently I have gone one better—one of my Kenyan students was short-listed for the Golden Baobab Award for African Children’s Literature.
My friend Stephanie Landsem invited me to participate in this “Writing Process Blog Tour.” Stephanie is a friend and critique partner and author of The Well and The Thief, which I have reviewed previously on this blog. I think I am as excited as she is about her coming book, The Tomb.
For this relay blog tour, I am to answer four questions. You can see Stephanie's answers on her blog last week. Next week I pass the baton to a writer friend you can meet at the end of this post. (Okay, it was supposed to be three writer friends, but all the people I asked except Shirley had either already been tagged or were too busy this week. You will meet some of them in future guest blogs on this site.)
When we moved to England in 1997, my dear friend Liz gave me lots of cuttings to start houseplants that brightened our new home. A bit of this and a snip of that. She loved the excuse to “play plants,” as she called it. Well, I love to “play photos,” and a new book is the perfect excuse.
My slide show of the setting of Honddu Vale went over well at the book launch in September so I have turned it into a movie for YouTube. It only takes eight and a half minutes, and I think you will enjoy it. If you have already read the book, you will recognize the places. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? Hopefully the video will make you eager to get your copy.
I started blogging in August 2007. Every writer is supposed to have a blog. “It’s how you maintain contact with your readers,” someone had told me at the Cape Town Book Fair a couple weeks before. “You write about little things that strike you during the day.” I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to read about “little things that strike me during the day.” Besides, I was too busy writing a novel.
When I went to Kenya early in October I thought we were going to be a larger group. I’ve taught writing workshops of ten to twelve people in Nairobi before. The first two were sponsored by local publishers. A third, a few months after the violence of the last elections, was at the invitation of former students. A couple of those students contacted me recently and asked, “When are you coming back?” It so happened that I needed to be in Kenya anyway, so we made plans.
Unfortunately, most of the planned participants, were unable to get off work. In the end three of us met in the garden of Africa Inland Mission’s Mayfield Guesthouse instead of a fancy conference center.
Proofreading is a job for obsessive-compulsive perfectionists. Is there a period at the end of the sentence? Is the apostrophe in the right place? Is this word spelled correctly? Okay. I admit it. I am one—an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist, that is.
I’m not known for my spelling. (Well, actually, I am, but not in a good way.) So I’m grateful for spell-check that highlights the words I need to be concerned with. Of course, if the manuscript says “there” where it should say “their” or “cloth” where it should say “clothe,” spell-check is no help.
In a grove at the bottom of the hill at the end of the subdivision where my daughter lives, there is a cemetery. I don’t know how many people even know it’s there. The way is overgrown with weeds (and full of ticks.) My daughter’s neighbor discovered it when her dog got away from her on a walk. The names on some of the gravestones match the name of the street where the subdivision starts. Was that the family who once owned this land?
The dates are mostly in the 1830s to 50s. The nearby town of Clarksville, Tennessee, founded in the 1780s, was already a thriving community on the Cumberland River with shops and schools. Confederate president Jefferson Davis was born nearby.
No sea lions were invited to the recent Books and Such writers’ retreat in Monterey, California. They showed up anyway and barked all night outside the Monterey Plaza Hotel, reminding us of the spectacular setting even in the dark.
Writers’ retreats and conferences are great places to connect with other writers, agents and publishers.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.