Saturday, November 19, 2016

scenes from future novels.

As a writer, I have so many ideas for future books. And when I get tired of working on my current novel, I write random scenes from those books that are yet to be. ;) Here are a few now. Hope you enjoy!

A pilot at Hickam Field during the attack on Pearl Harbor:

"Do you think they'll be back?"
Charlie scanned the piles of twisted metal that had only an hour earlier been their invincible planes. In the horizon, the sky was black with smoke except for the sudden flashes of another ship's magazine blowing. The ground trembled beneath his boots.
"I think they have more important game, now." His voice was barely above a whisper. 
"Hey, McGuire! Your wife's on the phone!" 
"Tell her I'm okay!"
"Don't you think I did that? Get yourself over here, she's having a nervous breakdown!" 
Panting, Charlie ran to the office, his head still swimming from the adrenaline surge. With a bloody hand he grabbed the telephone from Maxine. 
"Charlie, thank God! What on earth is going on? I hear explosions and just now two planes flew very low over the house. There's smoke coming from the harbor, Charlie. Please tell me what's going on!"
It was a solace to hear his wife's voice, even when she was panicking.
"It's the Japs. Whatever happens I want you to stay inside, you hear? Don't go outside again. Got it?" 
There was slight pause, then Kim's tiny voice sounded.
"Charlie, I'm so scared."
"I know you are, I am too. But I promise everything's gonna be alright. It's gonna be okay." He kept his voice steady, despite his heart pounding heavily inside his chest. "I love you."
His wife's soft and high-pitched voice answered with the same words, but Charlie's ears were tuned in elsewhere.
That couldn't be the sound of approaching planes. Zero engines. Bullets strafing the ground, kicking up dust. It couldn't be. Please, not again. 
"Charlie, what's happening?"
Charlie hit the floor as the Japanese ammo came whizzing through the roof. Outside, Zeros swooped and men screamed. The ground beneath his face shook as another American plane went up in flames. 
"Charlie? Charlie! Charlie!"
Across the room, Kim's panicked voice sounded from the receiver, which dangled from the tabletop.
Charlie gasped for air. Ignoring the warm stream of blood that flowed down his neck and onto his white-cotton shirt, he stumbled forward and grabbed the phone again.
"Are you all right? What's happening? Charlie?"
"They uh... They've dropped by for another visit. Gotta run. I love you."
He hung up with a click, praying that he would live to tell her those words again. 

A young American woman named Samantha, captured by the British and forced to be a nurse on their side: 

Sam ducked as a Yankee bullet whizzed past her ear. She swallowed the bile that had risen in her throat. If I’m going to die, please let the ball be from the British. 
She would gladly give her life for her country, but not if the fatal blow was from her own side. 
She squeezed her eyes shut, as if it would help block out the morbid scene in front of her. But no, even with closed eyes she could see the horrible imagse in her mind. Dying British soldiers, musket smoke, terror-stricken faces, bloody coats… She jumped as the boom of another cannon sounded, followed by a near explosion and inhuman screams. Dear God, let it stop. Let it stop 
“Nurse!” a voice screamed. She opened her eyes to see a British officer waving frantically with one arm, the other supporting an injured man. Samantha clutched the already-bloody cloths in her hand. Helping the British made her feel like a traitor. Nothing was worse in her mind than a traitor. But even the true-blooded Yank inside her could not ignore an injured soldier, British or American.
Sam held her breath and darted out from the rock she had been hiding behind. Every step she took, she braced herself for the pain of hot lead ripping through her insides. At last she dove beside the British Regular who had called for help, scraping her hands against the rough ground. 
The soldier’s face was dirt-ridden and his black eyes sharp. With labored breathing he cried,
"Help him to the tents! Quickly!”
She froze. The injured man could barely walk. The tents are so far.
"Go!” the regular shrieked again. 
Hands trembling, she helped the Redcoat to his feet and slipped an arm around his waist. She felt warm blood seep through her sleeve. 
They hobbled as fast as his weak body would travel, stepping over dead men and ownerless muskets and ducking when another canon boomed through the air. Her heart began to thump wildly in her chest. The tips of the faded, British tents were coming into view. 
“Hang on, we’re almost there,” she lied. In truth, they weren’t very far in distance. But the speed at which they stumbled there was decreasing every minute. 
"Hurry, soldier, hur-“ 
She gasped before the word was finished. 
The soldier had lurched forward, his face ashen, then slumped to the hard ground. Dead, with a Yankee bullet lodged in his back. 
Every part of Samantha froze except her racing heart. The battle raged on beside her, but her emerald eyes were fixed on the dead body that just seconds ago had been leaning on her. 
More screams awoke her from her daze. 
“Get some water!” 
She glanced at the foes around her, then up the hill at the front lines. Suddenly she saw a flash of blue. Not British red, or Hessian green, but blue. The glorious dark blue of her colonial brothers. 
Fourteen months she had seen those blue coats in the distance, always in the distance. How sick she was of the red. 
Her heart stopped. Could she? The hill was climbable, but far. The odds were strong against her. But the drive to be on the American side was much stronger. Sam clenched her teeth. Today, she was going home to the colonial camp, or she was going home to heaven. 
She tossed her bloody cloths to the ground and grabbed the musket that lay at her feet. 

A young Abolitionist, living in the heart of Dixie: 

               Hugh observed the sight in front of him. In one corner of his family's parlor, cigar smoke from the elder gentlemen wafted into the air. Another corner housed the string quintet. Slaves, carrying trays of gourmet hors d'oeuvres and expensive drinks, dodged the sea of dancers  in the middle of the room. Nearby, Hugh's mother chatted incessantly to an eager group of ladies - sharing the latest town gossip, no doubt.        
                Oh, how he detested parties. He wanted to be out of the stiff dinner coat and to be away from the flirtatious eyes of every young woman in the room. He wanted to be out in the fresh, night air with his best friend, away from the suffocating stench of aristocracy.
                He glanced at the ornate clock in the corner. In less than an hour, ten slaves from a nearby plantation would begin their journey towards a new life. Artie was seeing to that.
                Hugh gripped the glass of punch in his hand. Artie was lucky. He wasn't the heir and future Master of Larimore House, one of the largest plantations in Virginia. He wasn't required to attend every social gathering put on by his flamboyant mother.
                Suddenly the waltz stopped, halting the dancers and the swishing of skirts. Hugh's father raised his hands to hush the room.
                "My guests, please listen. A tragedy has befallen our community. I've just received word that Arthur Grantham has been found near the Calhoun Plantation, mercilessly beaten.  It is unknown who has committed this heinous act or what his intent was."
                Hugh felt the blood drain from his face. Someone out there had discovered their secret. Someone who would sooner beat and kill... than see a single negro set free.


Monday, September 5, 2016

writing tips.

Kathryn Grace Photography
Greetings! Today I would like to share a post that I wrote for Aaliyah's blog a while back. I hope these writing tips will help you in some way! :)


I’m a writer. I don't claim to be a fantastic one, or frankly, even a good one. But I'm a writer.

I love creating my own worlds. My own people. My very own little people that I can love, mold, mother... And then put them through the worst agony possible without killing them (well, most of the time), only to have them emerge stronger than before.

Being a writer is having power. You see it in your head: the epic scene in which your character defeats the antagonist, or is reunited with her lover, or suffers a horrible accident, one that will change her life forever...

But then it happens. You start typing. It looks like a 5th grader wrote it (with those spelling errors and run-ons), the characters feel about as warm and fuzzy as a robot and the dialogue sounds like it's from a B movie. What on earth happened to that scene in your head?

If this has happened to you, don't worry. It happens to every writer. It's called... Never mind, I don't know what it's called. But we all know what it's like. So I'm going to humbly attempt to give a few Dos and Don'ts on how to make your scene turn out more like the one that was in your head.

 1. Don’t be too anxious to get to your climax 

I know, I know. You’re dying to get to that part where the good guy kills the bad guy and the day is saved. But it means so much more if you slowly build up to it. Make your reader sit on the edge of his couch in anxiety.

Don’t: I headed down the dark alley, holding tight to my gun. Suddenly, a loud crash sounded and I jumped around the corner, meeting Hal Barkley, the murderer, face to face. In an instant I pulled the trigger, and the man fell to the ground, dead.

Do: My hand rubbed against the rough brick of Jenny’s Bakery as I crept down the dim alley. In my right hand I gripped my ever-faithful partner, my .38. She had gotten me out of countless jams. The smell of rotten garbage and sewer overtook me and I had to pause to breathe into my handkerchief. If Officer O’Hara ever teased me again about working the easy beats, I was going to brain him. It was when I was using the same handkerchief to wipe the sweat off my brow that a loud, crashing sound echoed through the alley. Trash cans. Someone was here; it was either a maid emptying her sweeper or it was my Hal Barkley. I wasn’t sure, but I had a feeling I was going to find out soon.

2. Avoid awkward and cheesy dialogue 

Don't: "This is it, Hal. Your days of murdering are over."
"That's what you think."

Do: "Move a muscle and welcome hot lead to your mangy carcass."
"You, the rookie cop? Get off your high pedestal. You're more scared than I am."

3. Show, don't tell 

Don't: Dirt and garbage were all over the ground. Laundry hung from the windows. A rat scurried past.

Do: I stepped closer to the muderer, my shoes crunching broken glass. Barkley backed up. With my right hand I held fast to my revolver, and with the other I pushed away a floral dress out to dry. A whiff of soap floated past me, a welcome smell. Rotten food was sickening.

4. Vary your sentence lengths 

Don't: Hal's eyes bulged. His lips were cracked. Sweat was on his palms. What would he do? He was trapped.

Do: It was the only way out of the cavernous alley. Hal breathed deeply, a combination of bad odors filling his lungs. He fingered the knife in his pocket. He would do it. He had to.

5. Avoid unecessary words or conversations 

Some formalities are necessary, but don't bore your reader.

Don't: "Hey Parker, how are you?" Officer O'Hara greeted.
"Great, thanks. How are you?"
"Just fine, just fine."

Do: "Parker!" Officer O'Hara greeted. He slapped me on the back and laughed. "Heard you had a little trouble on your beat today."

These are just five small ways that you can improve your scenes. As writers, we should always be on the lookout for ways to become even better writers. We should never stop learning. :) I hope this helped or inspired you in some way!

Hugs, Kathryn

goodbye braces.

Hello out there!

Apologies for being practically non-existent in the blogging world. I hope to be posting more frequently. Thought I would give you an exciting update... After two years, I finally got my braces off! Yay! :)

Hope to have some new posts up soon. Thanks for sticking with me!


Monday, July 11, 2016

sowing seeds for Him.

Today I want to talk about sowing seeds for Christ.

It's not easy sharing the gospel, I'll be the first to admit it. I'm an extrovert, and even I find it hard to walk up to someone and hand them a tract at times. Because more often than not, they look at me like I've just flown in from Mars. Some people immediately throw the tract in the trash. Others awkwardly thank me. Some don't even say anything. It's uncomfortable. But then I am reminded of this verse.

Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

You many not think it means much by handing that Starbucks barista a tract. Maybe she throws it away. "What a waste," you think. But did you stop to think about the janitor who sees it in the waste basket? The trash-man who finds it when it drops out of the garbage can? You see, God uses His word in amazing ways. Ways that we could never think of. Sometimes God has already been working in a person's life (someone has already planted a seed) and He can use you to work in this person's life even more (watering the seed).

1 Corinthians 3:6 "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."

Did you know that by handing out just one tract, or telling just one person about the gospel, you have the possibility of changing generations?

Don't believe me? Let me tell you a true story.

On March 23rd, 1912, in Gate City, Virginia, a boy named John Carter was born. When this boy was 10 years old, his father died. John went to school like all the other children, but only until fourth grade. When he was a teenager, his mother left his family. John and his eight siblings were left to fend for themselves.

John had made a profession of faith at the age of 12, but it is unknown whether it was genuine. If it was, he did not grow in the Lord or choose to live for the Lord. In his teens and early twenties, life grew very rough for John. He drank. He gambled. And he was always running from people who wanted to get him on drugs. He owned a piece of a pool hall. He even went to jail for a time.

Sometime in his 30s, John went to a prayer meeting. During that prayer meeting he heard the gospel and was convicted... And John either accepted Christ as his personal Savior or rededicated his life to the Lord, depending on whether his profession at age 12 was real or not. From this point on, his life changed forever.

When he was 34, he moved to Indianapolis, Indiana and began attending church there. He met a woman named Marilyn in July of 1946. Two months later, they were married. John had a deep burden for sharing the gospel. He wanted so badly to talk to people who had been like him - drunks, gamblers- and show them that there is hope. For around 40 years, he would go to the city jail every Sunday morning and hold a service there. In the summertime, he would go to University Park in Indianapolis every Sunday afternoon with his family and preach there. He was even put in jail for a time for "disturbing the peace", though the charge was soon dropped and he was released. Not everyone appreciated his preaching.

John helped start the Good News Mission, which still exists today, and was even president of it for a while. Even before that, he would go to Indy restaurants at night and take their left-over food to the mission. He would participate in many evening services there during the week, where rough people would come and the smell of alcohol lingered in the air.

John even traveled back to his hometown in Virginia simply to share the gospel there. While on vacation, he and his family would toss tracts out the window of their car (before littering was against the law).

John was a witness to his own lost family and many of siblings were saved. He died in 1995. But his wife Marilyn is still living, at the age of 91. She continues to be faithful in sharing the gospel by handing out tracts to doctors and nurses and restaurant workers. She puts a tract in every bill before she mails it.

Why do I tell you all this? To show you that sharing the gospel is no small matter. Someone chose to tell John about the love of Jesus. And even though he went through years of drinking and gambling and sinning, his life was changed forever when he accepted Jesus. Not only his life was changed,but his family's as well. Generations were literally changed.

How do I know this? Because I am a member of one of those generations. John Carter was my great-grandfather.

Though I regret deeply that I never was able to meet him (he died a few years before I was born), I have known my Grandma Marilyn my entire life. I have seen their children serve and love the Lord, and their children's children. I want to follow in their wonderful example. I cannot wait to meet Grandpa Carter one day. Right now he is rejoicing and serving his Lord. :)

Friends, never forget what sharing the gospel can do. Obeying the Lord will never be a waste of your time.
Grandpa Carter preaching
Grandpa and Grandma Carter
Grandma Carter <3

I hope this was an encouragement to you in some way.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

kitties / birthday / independence day

Mellow greetings, yookie dookie!

It's been a while since I've posted, so here are a few things that have been going on.

After our twenty-year-old cat died in December, we got two brand new kitties! They are siblings, a boy and a girl. Their names are Oswald George and Harriet Louise, from you guessed it... The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (if you haven't seen that darling show, you must). Our kitties are known as Ozzie and Harri around here, unless they are in trouble. Which is actually a regular occurrence.

Secondly... I aged on the 17th. (Which means we had a party, whoot whoot!). I turned 17.

Papa found a friend.

How to make a girl happy: Give her clothes and chocolate. YES.

Ma frere and I.

 I blew out all of the candles but two. *sigh* And it keeps getting harder every year! ;)

Lastly, here a few pictures from our Independence Day celebration. :)

My Great-Grandma. Always doing some sort of puzzle from the newspaper. :)

Second cousins. :)

My little buddy Maddax. What a sweetie he is!

That's it for now! I'm trying to get back into posting more regularly. Hopefully I'll be back soon. :)


Sunday, January 24, 2016

5 Tips to Improve Your Novel Scene

Hey-ho, people of the blogging world!

Anyhow, the lovely Miss Aaliyah over at Growing in His Image asked me to guest post for her 4th Blogaversary. :) The post is 5 Tips to Improve Your Novel Scene, and can be viewed here! Please go check out Aaliyah's blog, you won't regret it. :)

That's it for now!

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