Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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It’s Monday…all day…

Good morning! Why are Monday’s so rough? It might take the whole pot of coffee this morning. But on the good side, it’s slightly cooler this morning, so, I’ll be doing a little writing outside this morning before I head to the office.

As I’ve been telling you, I’m working on a Scottish Highlander series. I was almost done with the first book when it happened. I know, you’re asking what ‘it’ is, well, let me explain. Ok, I was typing along, loving the storyline when all of a sudden the story took a detour. It went downhill from there, but I kept trudging through, thinking it would get better, but alas, it didn’t.

Needless to say, I pulled back, read it from word one and found where the story went wrong, then did the unimaginable, I pressed delete for two whole chapters, two! It hurt, but on the other hand, it felt liberating. When I started back up, the story took on new meaning and the story is now going well.

It’s funny when you know something isn’t working, but you keep going anyway, just hoping it will change. Now, I’m working on getting back the two chapters of work and finishing up. Since this one will be sent to the editor that wants highlander romances desperately, I’ll be working on the synopsis for the two books that come after it. Yep, I’m submitting for a trilogy. Fingers crossed!!!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…2350462608_44a5fa8914


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Polishing it up!

When you start a new manuscript your mind is on the content. Which it should be, but there comes a time when you have to polish the writing. A time to create a cover that will represent your words.

A big polish is the editing. Is it important? Well, yes. If you just write the book and publish it without going back over it, that would be writers suicide. I’ve found throughout my short writing experience that the first read through after finishing a manuscript usually prompts changes, additional wording and even total chapter eliminations. It can really open your eyes for character changes and minor tweaks.

After the editing is done, are you happy? If you are like a lot of writer you may never be completely happy with your work. I know I’m my worst critic. I over analyse my work. Even after it is published I’m constantly saying “I wish I would have written that part differently.” My editor just shakes her head and laughs at me. I can’t help it, I can be a worrier.

Then you have the almost impossible task of writing a paragraph that will sum up the whole book. How on earth do you describe your book in just a couple of words? This is harder than writing the whole book. If you don’t say just the right thing will people even give it a second look? Will you be able to express the real feeling of the way the book should be perceived? The next time you read the back of a book, remember the author had only so many words to describe their whole piece of work, don’t judge a book by it’s description.

Also, sometimes don’t judge a book by it’s cover. When you select your cover art you have to put into one cover the whole feeling of the book. If you write romance you have to express a feeling pulled from the book into the cover. If you write horror you have to put some of the fear into the cover to pull in the reader. But you have to be careful not to show the end results of the book. You have to leave some mystery.

Well, that’s just a few of my writing ramblings. Maybe some of this helped you, maybe not. It’s just the opinions of one writer.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!


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Why is all I can say?

My heart is heavy as I write this post. The news of the tragedy in Connecticut is devastating. Why would someone walk into a school and kill innocent children? Those children had done nothing to that gunman. They were just going about their day with Christmas on their minds and innocence in their heart.

When I picked my son up at school today the first thing he said was “Mama why?” How do you explain to your child the reasons behind someone insane? How do you explain the senseless murder of children? I put my hand on his and told him that unfortunately in this world there are really bad people. He said their school was on lock down today. It made me feel good that his school was being proactive even as far away as we are. At least knowing his school is taking measures to keep them safe makes me feel somewhat good, but those parents in Conn. sent their children to school this morning thinking they were safe too.

As we go about our lives this weekend, take a moment to say a prayer for the children and adults who lost their lives. Also say a prayer for the parents who have to bury their children before Christmas. I can’t even imagine to understand how they must feel tonight. I grieve for them and pray that one day maybe they can come to grips, but I doubt they ever will. I don’t think I could. The anger is so real in my heart and I’m not the type of person that gets angry easy, but when you mess with children it angers me.

Please hug your children and thank God they’re safe. I know that’s what I did.

May God Bless you and your family!


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Letting Characters take over…

OK, so as I often do, today I muse over writing. I spend a lot of my time fighting with my characters. They seem to have minds of their own. If you’re not a writer, you probably think I need the men with the straight jackets. Well, maybe I do need a straight jacket. 😉 But as a writer this is a real fear. If you let them take over, what will happen?

As I’ve told you before, I have another new book coming out in the next week. This one is my New Year’s romance which is the 2nd part to “Tender Flames”. Well, since I was under the weather last week, I got way behind in the manuscript. As I tapped on the keys last night, one of the characters took over the writing process. I had a planned way this book would end, but guess what. As one of the characters evolved in the story, she took over the ending and totally blew it out of the water.

So my question is this, Do we as writers need to let the characters launch a hostile takeover, or do we take back control? Basically if we take over, are we hurting the story? As I sat and let the character take over, I realized maybe she had a point.

Ok, so maybe it’s my brain that does the takeover. Or maybe it’s my heart. As most of you know I love romance and anything about it. Maybe the story didn’t have enough romance or maybe it had too much. But as the story goes, I was pleased with the end results. If all goes well, the story will be ready by the end of the week. Most of the early edits have been completed and the cover is awesome.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!

 

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It’s Monday and I turn 44 today!

Yeah I know, most women don’t reveal their age, but I’m just happy to have another birthday every year. It’s crazy that I’m over 40. Me! I don’t feel 44. Most people say I don’t act 44 either. Well, last week while I had sickness, I felt over 40, but now after all the antibiotics and steroids I’m back to feeling young again.

Age to me is a frame of mind. If you constantly act your age, you will end up feeling your age. I try to enjoy every aspect of life. I try not to let everything get to me. My friends are constantly saying how do you stay so calm all the time. Well, letting things drag me down and keep me in depression doesn’t accomplish anything but developing an ulcer. Don’t get me wrong, I have regrets in my life. I have those moments of what if… I put a lot of those what if’s in my writing and go on with my life.

So, if you are in the dumps because you’re over 40, well get up off the ground you have threw yourself on and dust yourself off. Start living life to the fullest. You’re not promised tomorrow and the Good Lord gave you this time to live as He would have you live. Enjoy your family, play with your kids, decorate a tree, hug a friend, kiss your lover, tell someone you love them and live, by goodness live. Start today, right now. It will change your life.

That’s why I finally decided to publish my books and continue writing. It gives me immense pleasure. I get to live the life of my characters and enjoy what they enjoy. If only for a moment.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!


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Tears of Remembrance…

As I ponder this day of remembrance, the tears prick my eyes. We still have so many men and women serving in war torn countries today. They’re still in harms way so that we can sit at our laptops and blog, tweet, or just do anything we want to. My heart goes out to the parents, spouses, and children here at home wondering where their loved one is at this very moment. Are they safe? Are they hurt? When will they come home?

I was at my son’s school one day this week and they were having a Veteran’s Day celebration. Pictures lined the walls of the lobby. Some were old and faded, others were current day. They were of military men and women. I walked slowly by each one, reading their information. I stopped at one that I was drawn to. It was of a young man that was killed about six months ago in Afghanistan. He was such a handsome young man, with a family and small children. I felt the tear that threatened to spill at the corner of my eyes. I feel it now as I write this post. My heart was so full of anger, sorrow, emptiness. I could hardly breath.

I turned to see my son coming up the hall and I took a startled breath. He will be of age in five years. Where will our world be then. Will he be called up to duty? The tears that threatened to spill burst forth. I hugged my son and thanked God that he was safe. Of course my son thought I’d lost it. He turned to the photo I was looking at and sighed. He felt the pain too.

So remember our men and women serving now for our freedom. Remember those that have died through all these years to keep our freedom in tact. Respect those that are home, but served their time. It’s because of them that we have what we do and we can go to Church on Sunday, we can go to the store without fear, we can walk up our sidewalks without fear and we can live when they may not…

So just remember…


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The mind of a writer!

The road we take as a writer is not always beautiful and lyrical. Most of the time it’s frustrating, nail biting, and down right scary. As I sit and watch the light mist fall outside my den window, I ponder what makes a good writer, what makes a bad writer?

The mind of a writer takes on several layers. A writer can swing from one emotion to another rapidly. It’s funny how quickly things change in the mind of a writer. I know personally I have had an idea about how a book would go and suddenly halfway through it takes a different turn. Sometimes I sit back and say “Wow, didn’t see that one coming” then I laugh to myself, why would I say that knowing it came from my own mind. Sometimes I think I have two brains, one the inner writer and two the outer person.

As a writer you usually see a story out of the simplest thing. I picked up a beautiful bright yellow leaf and looked at it. My mind exploding with possibilities. I traced the veins with my brain, suddenly thinking about a story line about the road less taken or maybe even a story line of the winding roads of life. Yep I got all that from a leaf.

Last night I was helping my son feed the dogs and he picked up a bowl outside and grabbed a slug. He immediately said, “Gross!” I immediately thought of a story about a person being a complete slug and how they pulled themselves out. This being thought of as I showed my son what happens to slugs as salt is sprinkled on them. Now that’s scary.

At Christmas time I get nostalgic and that brings on a wave of new writing possibilities in my mind. I can’t seem to stay on the same piece of work, I’m constantly swinging from one to the other. My mind saying you’ve got to do this, not that.

Don’t get me started on how music effects my writing. I have a long writing playlist. I use this while writing. It inspires me. It ranges from classical, country, classic rock, love, and just plain crazy. That might be my next blog post, the playlist of a writer.

Well, I’m through rambling. Aren’t you glad? As always good writing and if it comes through your head, write it down immediately and spread it into a story. You never know. May God bless and keep you.


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Three cup Monday!

Have you ever had a day where you just wanted go just climb back in the bed and cover up your head? You know you have, so go ahead and raise your hand. This was one of those days. I dragged myself out of the bed at 6am. And dragged is the best way to describe it. I started with a early cup of coffee, drinking it almost in three gulps.

My son’s bus usually runs at 6:42 on the dot, well not today. She ran at 6:40 and guess who was not out there. Yes, my son. We were opening the garage door as she pulled off from the driveway. I stood there going, “This is not the morning for this to happen.” We walked back into the house, both of us properly upset. My husband of course being a man said, “You should have been out there earlier.” Well after the look me and my son gave him, he did not make any more comments on that.

So, usually after my son gets on the bus I have a leisurely breakfast and then I get on my laptop to blog. Well, this morning I had to get a quick shower and drive my son to school. I’m not a morning person, so sitting in school traffic both ways was not my morning plan.

Well, I walked back in the door and grabbed my coffee cup. I have got to try to get with the program. Oh, and my son has decided to try out for basketball today, which means I have got to get him an appointment for a physical today! Like that’s gonna happen.

Well, hope your day is going better than mine. But I shouldn’t be whining. At least I woke up this morning and was able to get out of bed. SO many people can’t.

Have a great day and May God Bless you.


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Well if you have read my profile, you know I’m a children’s minister. It has been a wild ride I can say that. There’s never a dull moment. You go from laughing to amazement to fear in just a few moments. When God made me He added an extra dose of patience, or at least that’s what people say.

Today was one of those days. Usually on Sunday I just teach children’s church which takes place during adult church. Today was my day to also teach the preschool class during Sunday School. They are just funny. Their attention spans last about five minutes, ten if you are extremely lucky. I thought well I will teach about Balaam and his talking donkey. Thought that would keep their interest, WRONG! I finished the story and they played three sessions of musical chairs. I finally gave in and took them out to the playground. Well being Fall in the south you never know how the temperature will be. Let’s just say the wind was blowing my hair over my head and I was freezing. Not the kids though.

Then children’s church started. Had four visiting children along with my regular wild crew. I have the 1st through 5th grade class. Well the music and worship went well, but the closing prayer was a real hoot. One of the boys decided he wanted to pray, started off well, but by the time he ended you could not hear him. I just grinned and took them back out in the wind.

Everything was going well as the preschoolers class let out and they came out too. The other teacher and me and my helpers were talking watching the kids. I constantly do head counts as it is a horror of mine to lose a child. Well, guess what, I lost a child today. One of the visiting children. His mom came out to pick up her two boys and one came running up but not the other. Well I started calling for him and the other children looked so innocent. That should have been my first clue. The mother and I went inside looking in the restroom and then as we started back outside he walked in smiling totally happy with himself. He had been hiding on the playground.

Needless to say I was beyond upset. I looked at the mother and begged apologies. I guess she went through this a lot because she patted my arm and smiled. I had to sit down. It was not a good feeling.

Some days it comes to either you laugh or you cry.

Have a great night to all.