Tuesday, November 27, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead

This month, the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Stephen R. Lawhead's Scarlet, the second book in the King Raven Trilogy.

Summary:
After searching for some time, Will Scarlet finds King Raven's band of men and earns a place among them. He fights with them to help the villagers under the invading Normans. Soon, Scarlet is thrown in prison and sentenced to hang for a crime he did not commit. He tells his story to a scribe while he waits for either death or rescue.

Weaknesses:
-At first, the changes from first-person present, to first-person past, to third-person past, and back again confused me and threw me off, but the story soon sucked me in and I no longer noticed.

-Occasionally, the descriptions would go on for what felt like too long, and my attention would begin to slip. That might be because I am often an impatient reader, but I still think some of the descriptions could have been shorter.

Strengths:
-I really fell in love with the main character of this book, Scarlet. Something about the way he expresses himself and his personality really appealed to me. I felt very attached to him, and I think that seeing most of the story from his point-of-view really contributed to that.

-Lawhead does an excellent job of making the reader feel like they really are in Wales while all of this is happening. His descriptions pull you in with their beauty and excellent sensory details.

-Lawhead did a great job of making me hate the bad guys in the book. Injustice really gets to me, and these guys displayed the pinnacle of injustice. I like books that have bad guys I can really despise. It's more fun that way. :P

Please take a moment to visit some of the other blogs participating in this tour, as well as Stephen R. Lawhead's website.
Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Timothy Hicks
Christopher Hopper
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Kait
Karen
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Mike Lynch
Margaret
Karen McSpadden
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Lyn Perry
Deena Peterson
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachelle Sperling
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Robert Treskillard
Jason Waguespac
Daniel I. Weaver
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Live the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Friday, November 23, 2007

50,000 Words Reached!

I reached 50,000 words in my work-in-progress (WIP) tonight! :D I'm so excited! I have at least 30,000 words left to go, and this book is getting more and more interesting. Every day, I fall in love with the characters and world just a little bit more. It's fun! :P

Loving the adventure of writing in Him,
Becca Johnson

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Relentless by Robin Parrish, First in the Dominion Trilogy


I recently read Fearless by Robin Parrish. The book is the first in the Dominion Trilogy. It was a really good book! The plot moved quickly, and I found the characters engaging.

Summary:
I can't say much without giving stuff away, but I can tell you that this is about a man named Grant who steps off the bus one day and sees himself walking down the street. He finds out that he has switched bodies and lives with someone else, and it seems that there are many groups of people involved in this and/or out to get him.

Weaknesses:
-There were some grammar and spelling mistakes.
-A few plot points seem to be forgotten and left behind.
-Focused a lot on action, which I liked, but might bother those who prefer books with more low points.

Strengths:
-Fast-paced action. Some really great action scenes, especially at the end.
-Interesting characters. The ones I found most intriguing were: Grant, Hannah, Alex, and Payton.
-Engaging plot. Parrish created a good amount of mystery and suspense throughout the novel that kept the pages turning. He also thought of some very cool stuff for the plot and characters (once again, I can't say much for fear of giving anything away).

Overall, I recommend this book to people who like speculative fiction, stories about superheros, or fast-moving books.

Also, I recommend visiting Robin Parrish's website. He has a blog, a graphic novel that happens in between the events of Relentless and Fearless (the second book in the trilogy), and lots of other fun stuff! :D

Live the adventure to its fullest!

Becca Johnson

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Quotes of the Week #17: Anger

This week's quotes are on anger and its consequences. I found these quotes to be quite profound.

1. Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
-Benjamin Franklin

2. My anger protected me only for a short time; anger wearies itself out and truth comes in.
-C.S. Lewis

3. Anger is one letter short of danger.
-Unknown

4. No matter how just your words may be, you ruin everything when you speak with anger.
-John Chrysostom

5. He who angers you, conquers you.
-Unknown

Humorous Quote:

People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.
-Will Rogers

Random Quote:

Because we love something else more than this world we love even this world better than those who know no other.
-C.S. Lewis

Live the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers

This month, the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Bark of the Bog Owl, book one of the Wilderking Trilogy, by Jonathan Rogers.

I haven't yet had a chance to read this book, but from what I've seen of the information on it, it sounds like a really fun book.

I stopped by Jonathan Rogers' Website to find out more about Bark of the Bog Owl. It's a nice website. It includes information on the different characters and races in the book, a map of the world, plot summaries for each book in the trilogy, excerpts from the books, and information about the author. My favorite part of the website are the wilderness background noises that play. It adds a feeling of actually being there while you read about the world.

I read the website's excerpt from Bark of the Bog Owl, and really enjoyed it. It immediately draws you in and makes you instantly like Aidan, the main character. I look forward to when I'll have a chance to read this book. It seems like something I'd like, since it looks like it's full of adventure, fun, and lovable characters.

You can see what the other people on the tour are saying about Bark of the Bog Owl by visiting the blogs below:
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
Merrie Destefano or Alien Dream
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Christopher Hopper
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Dawn King
Mike Lynch
Rachel Marks
Karen McSpadden
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Deena Peterson
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Donna Swanson
Daniel I. Weaver
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Live the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Friday, October 5, 2007

Quotes of the Week #16- Fear

I wanted to talk about courage again this week, but I decided to come at it from a different angle by exposing fear for what it really is. Life is a constant battle against fear, even if we don't realize it. We deal with the fear of man, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, and so much more everyday. May you find strength and a new perspective in the following quotes!

1. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

2. Some people expend tremendous amounts of energy to be normal.
-Albert Camus

3. Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark.
-Francis Bacon

4. Those who love to be feared, fear to be loved; they themselves are of all people the most abject; some fear them, but they fear everyone.
-St. Francis de Sales

5. The fear of God kills all other fears.
-Hugh Black

Unrelated Humorous Quote:

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
-Unknown

Random Quote:

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Remember, God, Who loves us more than anything, cares about what matters to us. He's watching out for us, and He's always with us.

Live the adventure without fear!

Becca Johnson

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fantasy Novel- 50%

I've passed the 50% mark in the word count goal for my fantasy novel! I'm so excited! My goal is to have at least the rough draft finished by the next Mount Hermon Writers Conference. If I keep at it, I'll reach that goal! :D

Now to think of some way to celebrate this accomplishment....

Live every moment of the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quotes of the Week #15- Life

This week's quotes are about life and its lessons, joys, and courage. Quotes #1 and #5 are particularly good! :D

1. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

2. This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life.
-Carl Rogers

3. Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it.... If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the STAYING DOWN.
-Mary Pickford

4. Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.
-Henry Drummond

5. Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die; another’s life, another’s death, I stake my whole eternity.
-Horatius Bonar

Unrelated Humorous Quote:

I don't mind it when my guests write their names on the furniture in the house dust, I just don't like it when they date their signatures!
-Phyllis Diller

Random Quote:

This is what I've learned: that everybody is talented, original, and has something important to say.
-Brenda Ueland

Live the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Quotes of the Week #14- Paper Scraps

This week, I'm using the quotes I have lying all around my room on different scraps of paper. Some have been given to me, others I've found somewhere. They lay hidden under some notebook or between the pages of a journal until I stumble upon them while looking for something or cleaning. They're like little treasures or jewels that I've sprinkled about my room to find just when I need them. Surprise gifts to myself. And today, I've decided to share some of them with you. So whether you stumbled upon them or came looking for them, may they bring you inspiration and revelation. :)

1. Not everyone possesses boundless energy or a conspicuous talent. We are not equally blessed with great intellect or physical beauty or emotional strength. But we have all been given the same ability to be faithful.
-Gigi Graham Tchividjian

2. Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
-Augustine

3. Don't worry about what you do not understand...worry about what you do understand in the Bible but do not live by.
-Corrie Ten Boom

4. God forgave us without any merit on our part; therefore we must forgive others, whether or not we think they merit it.
-Lehman Strauss

5. Be careful of the words you say
Keep them soft and sweet
You never know from day to day
Which one's you'll have to eat.
-Unknown

6. "..., to be an honest man is not easy, but I fear that is what I am. It is an affliction of mine that tries me sorely. Yet . . . what can a man do? I want only what is mine, and not to trade upon the happiness or unhappiness of others."
Louis L'Amour in Fair Blows the Wind

Humorous Quote:

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.
-Laurence J. Peter

Take joy in the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Review of The Return by Austin Boyd


Today is the second day of the CSFF Blog Tour featuring Austin Boyd's The Return, the third book in the Mars Hill Classified series. My mother agreed to review The Return, one of her favorite books. So without further delay, here is her review:

In The Return, Johns Wells is once again on his way to Mars. Believing his family killed in a terrorist attack, there is nothing left to hold him on earth. Wells and his team are sent to the Red Planet to finally solve the mystery of whether there is life on Mars. On this long journey their beliefs are challenged and their characters tested. This book answers the questions we were left with after reading the first two books.

The Mars Hill Classified series has had me on tether hooks from the beginning and I could not wait for each one’s release. Unfortunately, I had to wait for my husband to finish with The Return before I could start it since I had promised to let him read it first.

Austin is able to use his experience and education to tell a story without leaving the reader confused. He does not write in a way that the technical information is way over his audience’s head.

He places his characters in situations where they face the same struggles we do and yet does not allow them to find the easy way out. We can empathize with them because we have been there too. I think he did a great job with the Christian message not being the focus of his story and yet still very present.

If you are a reader of speculative fiction, or just enjoy good writing, I highly recommend this book. It is a great book to give to your husband, but wait until you have finished it first or you won’t get it back.

Boyd has forever changed how I look at space exploration and raised many questions about alien life. I am looking forward to his next series. I wish he would hurry.

Susan Johnson

Please take some time to visit Austin Boyd's website, along with a few of the other blogs participating in the CSFF Blog Tour.

Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Lisa Cromwell
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Merrie Destefano or Alien Dream
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Christopher Hopper
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Kait
Karen
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Rachel Marks
Karen McSpadden
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Lyn Perry
Deena Peterson
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Take joy in the adventure, and give your mom a hug!

Becca Johnson

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Quotes of the Week #13- Worship

The focus of this week's quotes is worship. I didn't find a humorous quote this week, but the other quotes more than make up for its absence. :)

May you be inspired!

1. As long as you notice, and have to count the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don't notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not conciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be the one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.
-C.S. Lewis

2. It is not enough for us to be where God is worshipped, if we do not ourselves worship him, and that not with bodily exercise only, which profits little, but with the heart.
-Matthew Henry

3. A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.
-C.S. Lewis

4. The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman. For I have accepted God's idea of me, and my whole life is an offering back to Him of all that I am and all that He wants me to be.
-Eliasabeth Elliot

5. The most valuable thing the Pslams do for me is to express that same delight in God which made David dance.
-C.S. Lewis

Random Quote:

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
-Abraham Lincoln

Take joy in the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Quotes of the Week #12- Writing and Stories

Because I've found so many great quotes on writing, I've decided to include ten quotes this week instead of the usual five. I've also included an extra humorous quote. Enjoy! :D

1. Every man's life is a fairytale written by God's fingers.
-Hans Christian Anderson

2. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
-C. S. Lewis

3. I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.
-Isaac Asimov

4. Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own.
-Carol Burnett

5. I am a galley slave to pen and ink.
-Honore de Balzac

6. To anyone who knows a writer, never underestimate the power of your encouragement.
-Matthew Reilly

7. If you wait for inspiration, you're not a writer, but a waiter.
-Anonymous

8. A wonderous dream, a fantasy incarnate, fiction completes us, mutilated beings burdened with the awful dichotomy of having only one life and the ability to desire a thousand.
-Mario Vargas Llosa

9. Some things can only be said in fiction, but that doesn't mean they aren't true.
-Aaron Latham

10. Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword.
-Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Humorous Quotes:

I once heard a fellow novelist call writing 'successful schizophrenia'--we invent people and worlds that don't exist; but instead of being medicated, we are paid for it.
-Jodi Picoult

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it in an hour when it isn't expecting it.
-H.G. Wells

Random Quote:

"But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually--their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on--and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same--like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren't always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we've fallen into?"
-Sam, from The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Happy adventures, and trust the Author of our lives for His perfect ending!

Becca Johnson

Monday, September 3, 2007

Quotes of the Week #11- Virtue

1. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.
-C.S. Lewis

2. No virtue can be great if it is not constant.
-Alfonso Milagro

3. Character is made up of small duties faithfully performed--of self-denials, of self-sacrifices, of kindly acts of love and duty.
-Anonymous

4. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again.
-C.S. Lewis

5. Virtue--even attempted virtue--brings light; indulgence brings fog.
-C.S. Lewis

Humorous Quote:

Being virtuous is no feat once temptation ceases."
-Arnold Glasow

Random Quote:

We have a God who delights in impossibilities.
-Billy Sunday

Happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Quotes of the Week #10- Love

I didn't post my Quotes of the Week this last weekend, so I decided to do it now instead.
I'm excited about this post because I found some great quotes on love to share! :D

1. There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
— C. S. Lewis

2. If the first mark of a true and living church is love, the second is suffering. The one is naturally consequent on the other. A willingness to suffer proves the genuineness of love.
-John Stott

3. Because we love something else more than this world we love even this world better than those who know no other.
-C.S. Lewis

4. Genuine love is so contrary to human nature that its presence bears witness to an extraordinary power.
-John Piper

5. The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Humorous Quote:
Love, and a cough, cannot be hid.
-George Herbert

Random Quote:
God loves with a great love the man whose heart is bursting with a passion for the impossible.
-William Booth

Love every moment of the adventure!

Becca Johnson

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Quotes of the Week #9- Eclipse


I chose these quotes from Eclipse rather randomly, and I hope none of them give anything away. Enjoy! :D

1. "I'm not taking anything for granted, and I'll be fighting twice as hard as you will."
-Edward

2. "I already know how strong you are. You didn't have to break the furniture."
-Bella

3. "I'm not going to kill you now, because it would upset Bella."
-Edward

4. "I can't imagine how awful that must feel. Being normal? Ugh."
-Bella

5. "I was just wondering why you stabbed him. Not that I object."
-Edward

Humorous Quote:

"Yes, because a vampire slumber party is the pinnacle of safety conscious behavior."
-Bella

Random Quote:

Be careful of the words you say. Keep them soft and sweet. You never know from day to day which ones you'll have to eat.
-Unknown (to me at least)

Happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Quotes of the Week #8- Twilight


Since I just finished reading Twilight and New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, and I also just posted a review of them, I decided that Twilight would be the focus of this week's quotes. I have so many favorite lines from the book, but I had to choose only five, and they couldn't give much, if anything, away. Hopefully, I accomplished the second task well. :) Now, without further ado, here are the quotes:

1. "It would be more…prudent for you not to be my friend."
-Edward to Bella

2. “Hadn’t you noticed? I’m breaking all the rules now.”
-Edward to Bella

3. "I don’t scare you.”
“No more than usual”
-Edward and Bella

4. ‘I was intrigued rather than frightened, as I perhaps should have been.’
-Bella

5. “Oh, I’m with the vampires, of course.”
-Bella to Edward

Humorous Quote:

“He looks at you like…like you’re something to eat.”
-Mike to Bella

Random Quote:

Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
–Viktor Frankl

Happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My First Published Piece!

Yesterday, I received my copy of the magazine my first published piece will appear in! I was so excited to see that envelope! I ripped it open, pulled the magazine out, held it aloft for my mom to see, then twirled around the kitchen. Yes, I was excited! ;) :D

The magazine is devozine, and my haiku will appear in the September-October 2007 issue. :) I'm so happy! Now I can say I'm published! :P If any of you subscribe to devozine, be sure to look for my haiku in there!

You can visit devozine's website and check out other teens' poetry as well.

Have an awesome day and many happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Monday, July 9, 2007

Quotes of the Week #7- Friendship

Today is the first day of the Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour! If you're anywhere near where the tour will be visiting, you should definitely take this opportunity to meet the authors and support them! And whether you can make it to one of the tour stops or not, you should read the books! Go to The Fantasy 4 Fiction Tour website for more information! :D

I've been thinking about friendship a lot lately. One reason is that I don't get to see most of my friends often because they've either moved far away or they are just as busy as I am.

Another reason is that I've recently noticed that one thing I really love about books is characters, especially character relationships. Of the most recent relationships I've read about, my current favorite is the one between Artemis Fowl and Holly Short in the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. It's fun to watch Artemis and Holly move gradually from complete enemies to close friends. It's also interesting to watch how their relationship changes each of them. Artemis grows more compassionate and selfless, while Holly comes to trust him completely. This is the kind of thing that I read books for! :D Aaahhh, to have a friend you could trust your life to without question and have that same trust returned. A friend whom you share every adventure with and come to know well. :)

Well, sorry for making you wait so long for the quotes! :P Here they are:

1. A true friend is the gift of God, and he only who made hearts can unite them.
-Robert South

2. It is one of the severest tests of friendship to tell your friend his faults. So to love a man that you cannot bear to see a stain upon him, and to speak painful truth through loving words, that is friendship.
-Henry Ward Beecher

3. The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.
-C.S. Lewis

4. Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetary in which to bury the faults of his friends.
-Henry Ward Beecher

5. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.
-C.S. Lewis

Humorous Quote:

We are all like pictures that must not be looked at too near. They that come near us find more faults and badness in us than others at a distance know.
-Richard Baxter

Random Quote:

We are not here to learn how to live in the dark but to walk in the light. We are not here to get along with evil but to overcome it with good.
-Vance Havner

Happy adventures and friendships!

Becca Johnson

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Quotes of the Week #6- Christian Songs


1. Phrases on the pages of unknown
‘Til You read us into poetry and prose
We are kept and we are captive till You free us
Vaguely unimagined ‘til You dream us
-“Healed” performed by Nichole Nordeman

2. Jesus, Jesus, You found me
Through the long night you led me
You set me free
-“You Led Me” performed by BarlowGirl


3. It’s You that I search for
It is You I can’t live without
Your hope is what I long for
When nothing’s left in me
It’s You
-“It’s You” performed by Fireflight

4. I see a generation rising up
No longer accepting lies
As a band of worshipers run to the battlefield
They're finding their lives
I hear a voice
-“A Voice Calling Out” performed by Bethany Dillon


5. When you could just be silent and leave us here to die
Still, you sent your Son for us
You are on our side
-“You Are On Our Side” performed by Bethany Dillon

Humorous Quote:

Once I read a book
And this is what it said
If your music has a beat
Then you're gonna wind up dead
It doesn't really matter if it's Christian or not
If it's syncopated rhythm then your soul is gonna rot
And this book was called "Ha! You’re Gonna Burn"
-“The Houseplant Song” performed by Audio Adrenaline

(Sounds a little like some people's views on speculative fiction, doesn't it?)

Random Quote:
Music is well said to be the speech of angels.
-Thomas Carlyle

Happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Quotes of the Week #5- Movie Heros


1. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: someone must give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.
-Frodo, from The Return of the King

2. Never. I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
-Luke Skywalker, from The Return of the Jedi



3. As you wish.
-Westley, from the Princess Bride

4. Freedom!!!
-William Wallace, from Braveheart




5. Sometimes, to do what's right, we have to be steady and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.
-Peter Parker, from Spider-Man 2

Humorous Quote:

Your Highness, my family is your family. Please, take them away.
-Danielle, from Ever After

Random Quote:

What do you fear, my lady?

A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

You are a daughter of kings, a shieldmaiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.

-Aragorn and Eowyn, from The Two Towers


Happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quotes of the Week #4- Movie Villains

This week all quotes, except the random one, are things movie villains have said. Since I missed two weeks due to a vacation, I have included ten quotes instead of the usual five. Next week, the subject will be movie hero quotes. Enjoy! :)

1. Ah, how shall I do it? Oh, I know. I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless, little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box, and then I'll put that box inside of another box, and then I'll mail that box to myself, and when it arrives…I'll smash it with a hammer! It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, I tell you! Genius, I say!
-Yzma, from The Emperor’s New Groove

2. Sneaky little hobbitses.
-Gollum, from The Two Towers



3. And once I turn back into my beautiful self I'm going to kill you.
-Yzma, from The Emperor’s New Groove

4. We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us. Sneaky little hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!
-Gollum, from The Two Towers



5. First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement, so I must do nothin'. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the Pirate's Code to apply, and you're not. And thirdly, the Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.
-Barbossa, from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl



7. Mr. Anderson... you disappoint me.
-Agent Smith, from The Matrix


8. Why don't you sleep with the pigs, cindersoot, if you insist on smelling like one.
-Marguerite, from Ever After

9. As I told you, it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable.
-Vizzini, from The Princess Bride

10. I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request... Means "no."
-Barbossa, from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl



Bonus Quote:

Luke, I am your father.
-Darth Vader, from The Empire Strikes Back

Random Quote:

This is the day you will always remember as the day that you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.
-Captain Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Happy adventures!

Becca Johnson

Monday, June 18, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- The Restorer by Sharon Hinck




This month, the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Sharon Hinck's new fantasy book The Restorer! I'm really excited, because I love this book! And Sharon Hinck is awesome! I met her at the Mount Hermon Writers Conference, and she's a wonderful, sweet, and friendly person! :) You can visit Sharon Hinck's website or Sharon Hinck's blog to get to know her!

Summary:

Of the different summaries I've read, the summary on the bookmarks is my favorite. It reads:

Susan, a modern-day soccer mom, is pulled through a portal into another world, where a nation grappling for its soul waits for a promised Restorer to save their people. Can she fill that role? While she struggles to adapt to a foreign culture, she tackles an enemy that is poisoning the minds of the people, uncovers a corrupt ruling Council, and learns that God can use even her floundering attempts at service in surprising ways.

Weaknesses:

Weaknesses? What weaknesses? Okay. :( I found one typo. :P I don’t remember what page it was on, but the word “a” was left out of a sentence. One tiny typo is pretty good for a 455-word book.

Another weakness: there wasn’t enough of Kieran in the book. LOL! :P

Okay, seriously. The one thing in the book that bothered me was it felt…oh wait, I can’t say that because it will give something away. Hmmm…how can I say this? Two particular characters seemed to constantly hug and kiss one another when they were anywhere near each other. How did I do? Did I give anything away? :) I know that’s technically not a weakness, but it got a little old for me. If you’ve read the book, you probably know which two characters I mean. :) If you haven’t read it, then you really should do so. :)

Strengths:

Where do I start? :) The world of The Restorer is a very new and fresh one, and it’s very exciting to explore. The races, especially the Rhusicans and Kahlarean assassins, were original and interesting. Even the architecture of The Restorer’s world is unique, and Sharon did an excellent job of describing it. The culture and its beliefs, customs, traditions, etc. were developed well.

The characters are great! My personal favorites would be: Susan, Tristan, Wade, and of course, Kieran. :D All of the characters have depth and are fun to read about.

The Restorer moves at a fast pace and is very involving. I could hardly put it down during the two days that I was reading it. My mind was always on it and I kept the book almost constantly at my side so I could sneak little reads in whenever I was given the chance.

I’m adding this book to my list of favorites! It’s excellent! :)

Go on an adventure and find out what other members of the CSFF Blog Tour are saying about The Restorer! The portals to their blogs can be found below:

Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
Lisa Cromwell
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Russell Griffith
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Kait
Karen
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Daniel I. Weaver
Wayne Thomas Batson
Merrie Destefano
Shannon McNear

You can also read my thoughts on The Restorer that I posted right after I read it: The Writer's Sword- The Restorer First Reactions

Happy questing!

Becca Johnson

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Awesome Short Story on The Sword Review

There's an awesome short story on The Sword Review right now. It's called "Singing for the Enemy" by R.A. Gale. I consider this the best story I have ever read on The Sword Review. It's fascinating, exciting, and riveting!

It's about a banished War Bard who is taken captive by her enemies. In this world, singing is used as a weapon, and those who are powerful can control their opponents' bodies.

R.A. Gale's description of the singing is wonderful and engaging! Especially as a singer, I could almost feel what she was describing. I found myself wanting to break out in song at the most climatic moments. :D

And the climatic moments were very well done. The tension was excellent! I was completely in the story, and nothing was going to get me out. :)

I very highly recommend "Singing for the Enemy" to anyone. It's great for fantasy readers, singers, adventure readers, or anyone else. :) If you only read one story on The Sword Review, read this one! It's that good!

Becca Johnson

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Quotes of the Week #3- Writing

1. Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
-E.L. Doctorow

2. Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.
-Gertrude Stein

3. When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters.
-Ernest Hemingway

4. [Writing] has nothing to do with communication between person and person, only with communication between different parts of a person’s mind.
-Rebecca West

5. Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
-Gloria Steinem

Humorous Quote:
Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
-E.L. Doctorow

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Restorer, by Sharon Hinck



Last night, at 12:15 am, I finished reading Sharon Hinck's fantasy book The Restorer! I read it in only two days, which I haven't done in a very long time! It was such a good book! I'll wait to post a review of it until the CSFF Blog Tour features it next month, but it was an awesome book! :)

My favorite character was Kieran! I liked him from the moment he was introduced into the book! For some reason, I always have to tell people who my favorite characters are. I think it's because characters are what make a book great for me (along with other things, of course), and in a good book I feel like I get to know them. :)

This book is fast-paced, and gets you right into the story. It does a very good job of surprising you too. So many things happened that I never expected.

The second book of The Sword of Lyric comes out in October. It's called The Restorer's Son. I can't wait to buy it! From the first chapter provided in the back of The Restorer, the second book is going to be even better! If that's possible. :D

So there are my excited ramblings that come right after finishing a great book! :) You can buy The Restorer on Amazon.com! I very highly recommend it! :) You can also visit Sharon Hinck's website, or check out Sharon Hinck's blog and say, "Hi!" :) Have fun reading!

Becca Johnson

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Skin, by Ted Dekker- A Review




This morning, I finished reading Ted Dekker's new book, Skin. I can't say much about the book without giving stuff away, as with all of Ted Dekker's books, so I'll try not to spoil it for anyone. But this story was really, really good! :D

Here's the back cover copy as an overview:
"A freak storm has spawned three tornados that are bearing down on the town of Summerville.
"Yet under the cover of the storm looms a much more ominous threat: A vindictive killer known as Red who's left a string of victims in his wake and is now bent on exacting his revenge on the unsuspecting town.
"But there is an enigma surrounding Red that the FBI is unwilling to admit--closely guarded secrets of something gone terribly wrong beneath the skin of Summerville. Secrets that will destroy far more than one small town.
"Wendy Davidson is caught in the middle. She's a recovering cult survivor who takes refuge in Summerville on her way to visit her estranged mother. And with her, four strangers, any one of whom could be the next victim...
"...or the killer."

I like to save the best for last, so I'll talk about the weaknesses first.

Weaknesses:
The beginning of this book reminded me a bit of Showdown and House, two other books Ted Dekker has written/co-written with Frank Peretti. The premise is once again a killer who wants the other characters to kill each other. In Skin, Red demands that the five main characters kill the ugliest among them. For every day that they delay, he kills seven townspeople.

Another weakness, is I found some mistakes in the writing that really distracted and/or confused me. The biggest mistake that tripped me up is when the story is in Blair's point-of-view and he's on the phone with Clifton. Then, Clifton hangs up with Blair, and suddenly, with no indication of a POV change, the story goes into Luke's POV. I didn't notice the word "Luke" at first, and I was very confused as to why Blair was thinking this way. I didn't realize what was going on until I got to the end of the page and had to go back because I was so lost. That's when I saw the word "Luke" instead of "Blair." That was the main mistake. There were a few minor things here and there, but not too many.

A third weakness: it was kind of gross in places. But I've learned to somewhat expect that from Ted Dekker. :) Plus, the grossness serves its purpose: to show the ugliness of evil and sin.

Strengths:
This book delivered what I love about Ted Dekker's books: plenty of suspense. Toward the end of the book, I was so into it that my heart rate had risen fairly high, I was sweating, and I couldn't put the book down.

Dekker had some great twists that I never saw coming! :) Which is great, because I was afraid I had gotten to the point where I could somewhat guess where he was going. But these were totally unexpected. And, just when I thought it was all over and I could (somewhat) relax, he pulled the biggest twist of all! I'm still going back and reading to find the clues and try to figure this thing out! It's great! :)

I highly recommend this book to readers of speculative fiction, suspense, thrillers, etc. :D

You can buy the book on Amazon.com. You can also check out Ted Dekker's website and learn more about Ted Dekker and his books. Have fun! :D

Becca Johnson

Quotes of the Week #2- Joy

The subject of this week's quotations is joy! I find it humorous that the week before finals, I posted quotations on courage, and now that school is over, I'm posting quotations on joy. I didn't plan it that way! :D How funny! Okay, here are your quotations of the week:

1. Every joy is gain. And gain is gain, however small.
-Robert Browning

2. Joy is prayer—Joy is strength—Joy is love—Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen.
-Mother Teresa

3. The joy that comes past hope and beyond expectation is like no other pleasure in extent.
-Sophocles

4. Surely joy is the condition of life.
-Henry David Thoreau

5. The writer's joy is the thought that can become emotion, the emotion that can wholly become a thought.
-Thomas Mann

Humorous Quote:
I wish you joy of your unhappiness, since you cling to it so.
-Mason Cooley

Random Quote:
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
-C.S. Lewis

Becca Johnson

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- The Sword Review- "ME Control"

Today is the last day of the CSFF Blog Tour of The Sword Review and I finally have an opportunity to post! :)

The Sword Review is an online magazine of Christian speculative fiction, poetry, and essays. They have some really good reading material there. The site also includes a forum where readers can discuss what they've read. I've been browsing The Sword Review in preparation for the CSFF Blog Tour, and the piece that I enjoyed the most was a Science Fiction short story called "ME Control" by G.K. Werner. The description the magazine provides for "ME Control" is: "Today, the politically incorrect claim students are responsible for learning—teachers for teaching. But what if tomorrow’s educational technology equipped schools with complete behavior-control? What excuse would teachers have for not being 100% accountable?"

In "ME Control," teachers have the ability to control everything their students do. The students cannot raise their hands without their teacher allowing it. They can't even move their heads. The only thing the students are left in control of are their eyes. The teacher plants the answers in the students' minds and then allows them to speak the answer.

"ME Control" explores the issues of responsibility, power, and public schools. It's an interesting picture of where our world could be heading someday if we don't change our thinking. Students are responsible for how they behave and how much they learn. And if the teacher simply implants the answers into their minds, are they really learning? Learning, to me, is the journey, not just knowing the answering.

The author of this story, G.K. Werner, does a good job of portraying things from the perspective of a teacher involved in this futuristic classroom. You feel his pleasure in the control he has over his students and what they learn, his nervousness as he is being evaluated, and his fear of what the students might do if given too much freedom. Good job, G.K. Werner! Excellent work!

"ME Control" also brings up this scary idea: if the teacher is in total control of the students, and the government is in total control of the teacher, then the students will learn, or basically be brainwashed into believing, whatever the government wants them to learn. It's a clear warning to us about the path our educational system may be heading down.

Overall, "ME Control" is a well-written, thought-provoking piece. In fact, you should go check it out! You'll find it on the main page of The Sword Review, along with many other great stories, poems, and essays, such as: "Modesty," "While the Wyverns Watch," and "Polar Daughter."

And while you're at it, why don't you go exploring and discover others' opinions on The Sword Review and its contents! Here are the links you can find them at:

Jim Black
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Kait
Karen
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Terri Main
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Russell Griffith
Jason Waguespac
Holly
Brandon Barr

Have fun exploring!

Becca Johnson

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Quotes of the Week #1- Courage

Okay, I've decided to add a new feature to my blog! :) Once a week, I will post five quotes on a certain topic, along with one related humorous quote (if I can find one) and one unrelated random quote. Sound like fun? I love quotes, so it sounds like fun to me! :) Let me know what you think! Feedback is always greatly appreciated. :D

This week's topic: courage. (The quotes are posted in no particular order.)

1. You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
-Aristotle

2. Courage is just fear, plus prayers, plus understanding.
-Edward Albert

3. Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
-Billy Graham

4. Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
-C.S. Lewis

5. Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
-Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Humorous Quote:
To bathe a cat takes brute force, perseverance, courage of conviction - and a cat. The last ingredient is usually hardest to come by.
-Stephen Baker

Random Quote:
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.
-C.S. Lewis

That was fun collecting those quotes! Remember, I welcome your opinions on this new feature. :D Have an awesome night!

Becca Johnson

Monday, April 23, 2007

Review of "Speck" by John Kuhn

I recently read a short story on the online speculative fiction magazine "Dragons, Knights, & Angels" that I liked so much that I had to talk about it. The title of the short story is "Speck" and it's written by John Kuhn. It's a story of two angels and the humans they have been assigned to help and protect.

The story made me think of angels in a different way than I have before. The angels in the story cared deeply about their humans and rejoiced in their triumphs. It was nice to read a fresh view of angels, instead of the usual serious, cold-feeling ones I have encountered in various other stories.

The main point that I got out of the story is that darkness (evil) is just a speck compared to the light (good). Despite the bad things that happen to us, God turns them around and uses them for good. In the midst of a time when most people would despair, the main human character overcomes his fear and finally fulfills his destiny. I find that inspiring, and encouraging. And when I read the story, I couldn't help but think to myself: "What if he had found the courage to share the good news before now? Think of the good he could have done. Oops...what about me?"

One minus to the story is that it didn't take much for me to figure out what was going to end up happening. Maybe that's what happens when you read mostly Ted Dekker and so become wiser to some foreshadowing, etc. I don't know. I guess you'll have to read the short story and tell me if you guessed the ending early on. :)

You can find "Speck" at DKA Magazine.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Review of Karen Hancock's Website

Today is the third and final day of the CSFF Blog Tour for Karen Hancock's latest book, The Return of the Guardian-King. You can buy her book at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0764227971.

I don't have much time on my hands, and since I usually like to keep things short and sweet, I will give a brief review of Karen Hancock's website. And once you're finished reading this review, why don't you go to the website and check it out for yourself? It's pretty cool! The link is: http://www.kmhancock.com/index.htm. While you're at it, visit her blog too: http://www.karenhancock.blogspot.com/. :)

Karen Hancock's website has so much useful and fun information. She has information about each of her published books, along with reviews, letters, and scrapbooks. The scrapbooks contain photos that inspired her writing, along with a brief explanation of each photo. It's fun to see what sort of stuff came together to inspire a story. :)

The website has a list of Karen Hancock's favorite books. I love reading these lists because I discover new books. And the bonus is that I know I might like them because a fellow fantasy writer recommended them. :)

I also discovered a link on the home page to a glossary of terms for The Legends of the Guardian-King. This glossary is better than most because it divides the terms into categories such as places, people, creatures, etc.

In addtion to everything else on her site, you can read a brief bio of Karen Hancock, subscribe to her newsletter, read her thoughts on writing, and request free bookmarks and autographed labels for books. Overall, this is a well-organized, informational, and fun website. It has many pages and links without appearing cluttered or confusing.

I highly recommend this site for fans of Karen Hancock's books, and really for all speculative fiction readers. It has some helpful links for writers, too! :) I can't wait to get back to it and browse some more.

Please visit the other blogs participating in the CSFF Blog Tour!

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Dawn King
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

Becca Johnson

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CSFF Blog Tour- Karen Hancock's Return of the Guardian-King

Today is the second day of the CSFF Blog Tour for Karen Hancock's Return of the Guardian King. Since I have been unable to get my hands on a copy of it, I will post the links tonight, and do my best to talk about Karen Hancock's website tomorrow. We shall see. School is very demanding right now. I'm already staying up too late as it is. *Sigh.* :)

Here is the link to her book. Check it out and buy it! :) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0764227971

Her website address is: http://www.kmhancock.com/index.htm
And here is her blog address: http://www.karenhancock.blogspot.com/

Here are the links of the other participants. Please check them out. There are some great ones!

Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Karen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Nicole
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Rachelle
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Dawn King
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

Have a great night! :) ZZZZzzzzzz.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Developing the Discipline of Writing

In the past, I've had trouble setting for myself goals for writing each day, and actually meeting or exceeding those goals. I have no trouble setting the goals, but it's the doing part that I seem to have trouble with. Even now, I put off writing until the last possible moment. I have to force myself to sit down at my computer and write. It doesn't matter what's going on in the scene I'm writing, those first few minutes are a struggle. Then, after I've forced myself to write a few lines, something almost "magical" happens and the story begins to flow from me. Once I get going, the words come to me faster than I can type them. After that, I usually have a hard time stopping so I can go to bed. For instance, last night I stayed up until 11:30 pm writing because I put off starting until 10:30 pm, but once I started, I didn't want to stop.
This leads me to wonder: why on earth do I have so much trouble each day convincing myself that I actually do want to write that day? The answer: I have no clue, but I need to hurry up and get out of that mindset. Writing is not a chore (usually), it's an adventure, and I love it! :) The remedy I have come up with for now: keep myself accountable, develop a habit of writing a certain amount every day, and remember the feeling of satisfaction I have every time I write something.
Well, I'm off to go seek some adventure! :)

Becca Johnson

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference 2007

I had such a wonderful time at Mount Hermon! I learned so much, more than I thought possible, and I met so many wonderful friends! The best part was finally finding a group of people who love speculative fiction (spec fic) as much as I do. :)

I took Lauraine Snelling's major morning track on character building, and I learned quite a bit. It was good to spend so much quality time with my character. I learned some important stuff about her that had been missing before. It's always good to be really in touch with your character's motivation. :)

There was so much food at the conference, it felt like we were always eating. But it was all so good! The best part is, I didn't dread meals this time. Last year, I didn't want to eat because I was so afraid of sitting with the editors and other people who know what they're doing. Now, I know editors and published authors aren't all that scary, particularly ones who love spec fic, like Jeff Gerke or Austin Boyd. In fact, it's fun to pick their brains. :D

One of the biggest highlights for me was the night owl for writers of spec fic. I loved hearing all their awesome plot ideas, and it was encouraging to see how many people showed up. I never expected more than 10 or so people, but the number was closer to 25. How exciting! We all wrote our prayer requests on a paper, and it's great to know that people will be praying for me as I pursue this adventure of writing. :)

My only regret is that I didn't get to see the "troll hole" Rachel found. Oh well. It will still be there next time. :)

My New Blog

How exciting! My first blog ever. =)
I want to use this blog to get to know other Christian writers, particularly speculative fiction writers. I also plan to use this blog to discuss books with other bloggers. We will see, since this is the first time I've ever tried something like this. =)