Category Archives: Writing

Bike To Work & School Day — 100% Participation

It’s being kinda wet.

Today is Bike to Work Day and Bike to School Day in Idaho’s Wood River Valley.

And it’s raining. *whimper*

Hmm, since my writing office is at home, I’m already at work! But… but… that would be wussy. Terrible example for the kids.

“You’re coming, aren’t you, Mom?” asked my daughter.

“Yes! Yes, I am,” I replied.

So, my business had 100% participation! And so did our family.

I am back home now. Pockets unloaded of swag, my wet bicycling things are hanging to dry. And I’m back in my fuzzy robe, warming up. All in a day’s work, play, and parenting.

Pure Transgressions — #NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

My NaNoWriMo self-awarded mug
My NaNoWriMo self-awarded mug

So, as in 2013, I won NaNoWriMo again in 2014, but forgot to mention it here on my blog.

Pure Transgressions: Synopsis

A young woman heads off to college. Within a campus Christian fellowship, she is befriended by a charming young man, who woos her, wins her, and dominates her life until she dumps him. A few weeks later, he is found dead in her kitchen and she is found covered in his blood. She claims self-defense, but neighbors heard arguing that give credence to suspicions of a murder of rage. What happened just before the young man’s death? How innocent or guilty is the young woman? Irregardless of the legal determination, how will she fare in the court of public opinion?

Excerpt

Continue reading Pure Transgressions — #NaNoWriMo 2014 Winner

Genesis of the Dead #Review for BreakPoint

Having little interest in zombies, I know nothing of the popular apocalyptic genre. However, C. T. Casberg, author of Genesis of the Dead, makes the case that zombies are of interest to God.GenesisOfTheDeadCover

Think about it. Who are the living dead? Sin entered in, the fruit was eaten, and humanity died. But we’re still walking around. We are the living dead!

That’s why Casberg decided to turn the Old Testament into a Young Adult zombie-apocalypse comedy—the first in a trilogy—and decidedly pulls it off.

Read the whole review at BreakPoint.

“Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster” on CaPC

Fifteen years ago, my husband, Todd, and I sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to New Zealand.

Arrival in New Zealand, Breem Head
Arrival in New Zealand, Breem Head

About a month ago, Christ and Pop Culture (CaPC), in their online members’ magazine, published my article detailing some of our Pacific adventures. What we began as a sight-seeing trip, God turned into a spiritual journey.

“Ellen, come look at this,” my husband, Todd, requested.

We were five days sailing into our first ocean passage from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia in 2000. We expected the 2,800-mile journey to take close to four weeks and possibly a full month of blue water sailing. I sleepily uncurled from the off-watch bunk of our Cal 34 sailboat, Mandolin. Todd presented me with a weather fax he had downloaded via our HAM radio to our laptop. It showed that a Tropical Depression had developed to the southeast in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the birthplace of Pacific Ocean hurricanes. This weather system had the potential to kill us. It was heading our way.

I had wanted to write an overview of our experiences for some time and I thank CaPC for being the catalyst for me to finally write it down. Today, CaPC published the article on their website.

I think I might start a #RomanceOnTheHighSeas Twitter campaign. Some choice quotes:  Continue reading “Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster” on CaPC

Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster

Today I am honored to have one of my articles published by Christ and Pop Culture (CaPC) magazine. I wrote about our experiences sailing across the Pacific from Mexico to New Zealand. This magazine is a member benefit, but it is currently available to non-members for a limited time. CaPC membership starts at $5/month, which gets you great content engaging with popular culture in a thoughtful way from a Christian perspective. As well, member benefits include music and e-book downloads each month.

Sailing to Paradise: Sin, Disease, and Natural Disaster

Palmerston_Island

“Ellen, come look at this,” my husband, Todd, requested.

We were five days sailing into our first ocean passage from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia in 2000. We expected the 2,800-mile journey to take close to four weeks and possibly a full month of blue water sailing. I sleepily uncurled from the off-watch bunk of our Cal 34 sailboat, Mandolin. Todd presented me with a weather fax he had downloaded via our HAM radio to our laptop. It showed that a Tropical Depression had developed to the southeast in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the birthplace of Pacific Ocean hurricanes. This weather system had the potential to kill us. It was heading our way.

Read the rest at Christ and Pop Culture.

Review: When the Heart is Laid Bare

How often do you expect to laugh while reading a work of fiction dealing with death, grieving, and moving on? In When the Heart is Laid Bare, Skylar Hamilton Burris pulls off the seeming impossible: finding wholesome, witty humor while looking for answers to life’s suffering.

When The Heart is Laid BareFrom the back cover:
“Coach Calder Johnson’s wife has, according to the hospital social worker, expired. Expired. Like a credit card. Not like a human being. Calder hasn’t had a true friend, other than his wife, in twenty-four years. So if he’s going to heal, he’ll have to learn to let someone inside.

Continue reading Review: When the Heart is Laid Bare

Speculation and Conjecture in Jane Austen’s Emma

Today I have the honor and privilege of having a guest post published for the Austen in August event being hosted at Lost Generation Reader.

Frank Churchill sang again, Ch. 26

One aspect of Jane Austen’s work that I absolutely love is that each novel differs from the others. In Northanger Abbey, Austen’s rebuts the Gothic Romance novel. Sense and Sensibility contains Austen’s response to the Romanticism of her age. Pride and Prejudice depicts love triumphant overcoming pride, prejudice, the social cast system, and embarrassing family members. In, Mansfield Park — Austen’s most theological work — she contrasts many things, one being the mere learning of Maria and Julia versus Fanny’s learning to develop true character. In Persuasion, we enjoy an ode to the Navy, the portrayal of Meritocracy, and a second chance at a love thought dead. Emma, the subject of this post, has been called Austen’s agrarian novel. And certainly an agrarian theme is present. However, a stronger theme is found within Emma: speculation and conjecture of neighbors’ motives. In spite of all the speculation and conjecture throughout, Austen shows that guessing correctly at another’s motives is a near-impossible task.

Read the rest.

Plotter or Pantster? Two Roads to a Final Product — Guest Post

It is my great privilege to host Skylar Hamilton Burris today. I featured her last week in my post: Life’s Shiny Facets and Dark Pain. Along with the books mentioned in her post, Ms. Burris is also the author of Conviction.

When it comes to the writing process, there are two primary types of writers: the plotter and the pantster. The plotter meticulously plans her novel from the beginning, outlining the skeleton of the story and then weaving the flesh around it as she writes. The pantster, as the odd name implies, tends to fly by the seat of her pants. She simply begins writing without an outline and sees where the story will take her.

I’m a pantster, and I have been ever since I began to write. Continue reading Plotter or Pantster? Two Roads to a Final Product — Guest Post

Writing Process Blog Tour: Life’s Shiny Facets and Dark Pain

Thanks to B. A. Wilson for inviting me to be part of the Writing Process Blog Tour.

What am I working on? Last November, using NaNoWriMo as a much needed kick in the pants, I began writing Hartfield, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Emma. I did achieve my 50,000+ word count goal in November and then promptly shelved it in the face of other life events.

Hartfield focuses on Mr. John Knightley, younger brother of the male lead in Emma — he’s a minor character with a few key interactions. When introduced to John Knightley in Emma, we are told that “The extreme sweetness of [his wife’s] temper must hurt his.” In other words, Isabella — his wife — is blind to John’s occasional crotchedyness and does not call him to account.

And I wondered, What if Isabella were to die and John were to remarry someone not so sweet? Continue reading Writing Process Blog Tour: Life’s Shiny Facets and Dark Pain