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Posts Tagged ‘quilts’

Marsha HublerAs I perused Marsha’s website earlier, I was amazed at how many books she has written and the variety of her interests. Marsha is an author and speaker from Middleburg, PA. Some pertinent information about her writing is as follows:

– Over 35 years experience with students of all ages, foster children and conduct-disordered youth

– Extensive work with homeschoolers

– Great love of and experience with horses

Writers’ Blog Site

Horse Facts Lovers’ Blog Site

Susquehanna Valley Writers Conference Blog

The Loves of Snyder County 1

The Loves of Snyder County 2

Some of Marsha’s many books are:

The Loves of Snyder County Series (Amish/Mennonite fiction for ladies of all ages)

The Keystone Stables Series (The books in The Keystone Stables Series introduce you to foster girl Skye Nicholson and her gorgeous Quarter Horse Champ as they face thrilling adventures with God on their side.)

The Snyder County Quilting Bee

The Secret of Wolf Canyon (A “Pennsylvania Woods Super Sleuthhounds” juvenile fiction mystery)

To see more, check out http://www.marshahubler.com/books.html

Here’s one of Marsha’s articles taken from her website  http://www.marshahubler.com

The Writer’s 14 Commandments


M.L. Hubler

Why 14? 15 are too many; 13 aren’t enough


(published in “The Christian Communicator” Oct. 2006)

  1. Thou shalt write every day, even if it is only “I AM A WRITER” 100 times.
  2. Thou shalt not quit thy day job but shalt write by the light of the silvery moon.
  3. If thou quittest thy day job, thou shalt be fully dressed, gargled, and at thy computer by 11 AM every day.
  4. Thou shalt love thy computer and kiss it good morning every day.
  5. Thou shalt not do other things before writing such as watching thy grass grow or brushing thy dog’s teeth.
  6. Thou shalt query an editor at least once a year.
  7. Thou shalt not smash thy computer after receiving thy first response from an editor.
  8. Thou shalt not take out a full-page ad in the newspaper to announce thy first letter of acceptance.
  9. Thou shalt make many copies of thy first letter of acceptance and frame them to hang in every room of thy dwelling.
  10. Thou shalt join a critique group and attend writers’ conferences to hold thyself accountable.
  11. Thou shalt not covet other writers’ million dollar advances.
  12. Thou shalt be pleased with thy check of $30.
  13. Thou shalt not quit thy day job but shalt write by the light of the silvery moon.

Also, please check out Marsha’s Writers’ Tips and Authors’ Blog at http://marshahubler.wordpress.com/

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When I speak to a group of readers, or to writers in a workshop, I often use a quilt analogy to describe the challenge of writing a novel:  “Writing a novel is like creating a king-sized quilt in a four-by-four room.” Even if you’re not a quilter (as I am not), it still offers a glimpse into the difficulties a writer might encounter in the process.

It’s as difficult for a writer to see his or her entire novel project at once as it is to lay out a large quilt in a small room. There just isn’t space. One must look at it in sections, and plan each piece with the whole project in mind. The seams must all meet in the right places so the overall pattern is intact.

I started my first book not knowing anything about writing a novel, but soon realized I had to develop some kind of system to keep things in order. I had to know the time of year of each scene (so I’d know if the characters would go on a sleigh ride or a buggy ride). I wanted to correlate certain plot points with historic events to maintain accuracy and credibility. I needed to aim for consistency, continuity, flow, integrity and chronology, to name a few, but how could I accomplish these things, especially in such a large work?

Short answer:  lists. Lots of lists, or excel sheets, or binders or Scrivener.

For example, since my books are historical fiction, I created a timeline with a sheet for each year and a narrow column with the month of the year down the middle of the page, lengthwise. On the left I listed political/world events that happened in that month, while on the right I listed the events of my story.

I have since discovered that novel writers have a plethora of methods foe keeping track of details. It’s helpful to see how others do it, and then adapt these methods to your own writing. What works for me does not necessarily work for you, but we need some kind of plan.

This morning on Facebook someone posted a quote by author Patti Hill:  “Writing a novel…is like wrestling an octopus into a mayonnaise jar.” After writing a few more novels, I must concur. It’s never easy. No matter how you describe it, writing a novel is messy and frustrating, and there will be times you just want to ask Grandma to finish the quilt for you, or find a fisherman to incapacitate the octopus or grab a bigger jar, but you won’t. I won’t. We’ll just keep trying, discovering, inventing, creating and praying until at long last, we see the finished product.

And it will be worth it…

Later addition:

I needed a break from my novel, so I wrote a poem, just a snatch of creativity that I can see the entirety of in half a page:

YOU sing to me and I catch the phrase

Although the melody is muted…

This morning’s sky’s been rinsed

Cloud-scrubbed

Clean as a kindergartner’s face

And just as beaming.

On the side of the road

Naughty dandelions peep

From between blades of glistening grass

At a red-winged blackbird

Sunning herself on a fencepost

And my dog dashes through puddles.

The rain is done.

©Janice L. Dick

May 29, 2012

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