amberdover

The High King Lives

Organizational Ability-to be or not to be May 7, 2013

Yaaa! My Mom is back to blogging. Here’s a reblog if you can’t see it then come to my site. Show her some love and learn about the super cool science of Handwriting analysis. By the way, my “f” loop is balanced on top and bottom. Which one are you? Let her know in her comments section. I’m proud to have such a smart Mama. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Ann Littlefield

Hi everyone!   Welcome back to the world of handwriting analysis.   So, have you asked yourself these questions a lot; “Where is it? or where did I put it?”  Do you frantically hunt through papers for that ‘bill’ you misplaced?  Perhaps then, you lack the ability to be organized.

In handwriting, the letter ‘F’ reveals a lot about your ability to be organized or not. (lower case)  Let’s take a look at some below:

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In the first ‘F’, a simple line shows upper and lower balance.  This writer can maintain order.  Ask her to sort through papers, and then file them, and she has no problem.  She would make a good Secretary.

So, I hear some of you saying  “Well I have that ‘F’ except with a loop on top.”  This causes an imbalance in your ‘F’.  When you see a loop, you see an indication of imagination.  Sure…

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Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Parents in Children’s Novels April 9, 2013

MeandLilOne

Hello dear ones. So Michael has been sick since last night. I’m recovering from the Star Wars birthday party I threw for him Saturday (thanks Mom for your help!). I haven’t written much these last several days. I’m trying to get in author mode. And I read this interesting article that got me thinking:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/when-parents-kill-parents-in-the-name-of-literature/

The author talks about the somewhat absent or bad parents that are often in children’s novels. She mentions “The Little House” series, Narnia, and The Secret Garden. I can think of several myself. She goes on to say how the authors were parents themselves and how she has even had absentee parents in her novel. Check out the article. She has an interesting way of explaining this “phenomena” in Children’s literature.

So I thought about my own books and how the children also take off on their own adventure. I can understand the need for this so that kids can imagine growing up. Most children’s books are coming of age stories. The fiction helps us deal with the hardships of growing up.  Still, I think maybe my character’s parents need a bit of grace. They are practically living in the dark ages with the curse and all. So maybe there will be redemption for Emmanuel’s folks. Being a parent is hard.

I myself, am a super involved parent.  We both slept in the living room last night and I checked on him constantly. I miss when Michael was tiny and I treasure every moment of his childhood (He’s almost 7 !). But I know one day he has to grow up. I doubt he will learn to ride Falkor and save Fantasia. But my goal as a parent is to prepare him for adulthood. It is my mission, my calling from God, to raise Michael with a love for Jesus, Godly character, and the ability to take care of himself in the world.

The books we write, fellow authors, are legacies we leave to our children and many others. May we leave them truths to guide them amidst the fantasy. Because they are learning something whether we believe it or not.  Parenting is heart rending. On one hand you are pushing your kid out of the nest so they can fly and on the other hand, you’re grasping at their childhood like dandelions blowing in the wind. It’s like catching lightening bugs. You treasure them for a moment but then have to let them go free.

So today I will consider what I’ve learned and show my characters to give their parents grace. Though I think they already have and will once they see their folks again. Maybe the parents will have more of a presence in the next two books. Well, back to writing…

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Camp NaNoWriMo March 26, 2013

Hello dear ones! You may remember that I took the NaNoWriMo challenge back in November to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I didn’t reach the target word count but I did come close to finishing my book. This April you can join Camp NaNoWriMo, set your own word count, and have cabin mates for the journey. I’m finishing up my first book this week and I’ll start the second book in  camp. I’ll also be working on editing  the first and Chris is going to help me create covers with photo shop. I’m so excited! Lord willing, you will be able to read the first book this year and who knows? maybe the second as well!

http://www.campnanowrimo.org/

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

Please let me know if you join. They already picked random cabin mates for me but I can message other campers.  Hmmm….should I set the tent up in the living room and go there to write? lol

God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover

 

Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Reblog from Kristen Lamb/ Writer’s Conference February 19, 2013

Well my first reblog didn’t work. So here is the link: http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/be-the-watchdog-save-the-world/

There’s a writer’s conference this weekend. I hope you can check it out. I’m not sure I can afford to….if so probably only one day. She’s got a ton of speakers etc…

God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

February 11, 2013

Filed under: Hear the Writer roar! Tuesdays — amberdover @ 5:29 pm
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So true J.S! Enjoy the reblog gang :). Not only does this message help us with daily living…it also helps us with writing. This is something to think about when you are creating characters for your book. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian



No one is the one-dimensional, black-and-white, evil caricature that we so wish them to be. No one is the version of a person you worship on a pedestal.
It is easier to hate a cartoon-parody idea; to denigrate a hologram; to blast an artificial; to praise the effigy.
If you and I could sit down for coffee: we would discover multiple dimensions, a mess of motives, hidden layers, two profoundly broken people hanging on.
We are wildly struggling, conflicted, complex.
We are not wholly evil nor holy good.
Let go of heroic prejudice and villainous archetypes. There was only one hero, crushed at a cross; and one villain, who was defeated there too.
So we blood-stained sinners are stripped of pretension and cling to the true good; us sinners saved by an undeserved grace.
The sooner we get there, the sooner we are known and truly know.


— J.S.

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NaNoWriMo Success & Failure December 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — amberdover @ 12:03 am
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Hello friends, well I’ve enjoyed my holiday and I hope you did yours.  November is long gone and so is NaNoWriMo. Did I write 50,000 words in 30 days? No, I did not. I did however get near the end of my book, just a few chapters short of finishing. So though I am sad I didn’t do 50,000 words I am glad I accomplished my main goal. My book is over 50,000 words  though because remember I started NaNoWriMo with 11 chapters already.  Now, please pray for me as I finish it up and start the editing process. I’d like to get my book out in February but that may be idealistic thinking. We shall see.

I learned several things from National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

  1. Always write the daily requirement.
  2. Never take a day off because catch up stinks.

The first two go together because the combination caused me to fail. I spent a good bit of my Thanksgiving holiday playing catch up. I wrote 4,000 words one day which mean’t I had to write breakfast, lunch, and supper. Honestly, catch up made me hate writing. My brain was mush and so now I am taking a big break.

3. I am still awkward socially around other people even if they are writers.

4. Not all writers are eccentric introverts like me and they will most likely NOT laugh at my chat room jokes.

5. My best writing DOES happen by the seat of my pants and definitely when I’m inspired. I wrote a lot but editing may take awhile.  Yeah, I’ve got tons of shoddy dialogue to fix.

6. Too much time with my characters made me even crazier than I already am. I was ready to choke most of them by the end of this…….and they AREN’T real!

7. It is hard to write in public places but even harder with family around. If I ever do this again I need to raise the money to live in a hotel for a month………oh and I need a lazy boy…hint hint Chris ;)…………..yeah I doubt it. Seriously, if I was a billionaire I’d just fly to the jungle to write about the jungle….then hop over to the desert to write about the desert..magically become a mermaid so I can live underwater….and so on and so on. Good thing I’m not writing scifi….cause then it’d really be impossible. 😉

8. Never have the t.v. on while writing and never allow myself to have Pinterest, Facebook, or email etc… up while writing.

9. Get more fresh air so I don’t go stir crazy.

10.  Hire someone secretly to really write my book….he he he……I didn’t mean it.

This was not my number 11 but my husband says I should add 11. Listen to my husband because he has good ideas.

Yes, I’ll admit he did help me several times. Thank you Honey ;P.

Well, that is all. I need to write my Sunday post…which at this rate may be a late Sunday post or what the rest of the world calls a Monday post. Thanks for all those who supported me and didn’t get mad when I locked myself in a room for hours. Hopefully, I will forgive my characters soon and we can all get chummy again. Some of them are doing time out in the desert. Sorry Emmanuel, Besem, & Timothy you’re too needy. I’ve got to spend some time in the real world….after all it’s Christmas time. *Cough*

Okie dokie……….well, God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

 

Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: NaNoWriMo Pep Talk by Kate DiCamillo November 6, 2012

Filed under: Hear the Writer roar! Tuesdays — amberdover @ 4:43 pm
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Note: I’m still in a fog over my friend’s passing. I’m still trying to write though. I looked on Sheri’s blog and saw that she finished NaNoWriMo in 2010. I’m gonna try to finish for her. I’ve been having a hard time with motivation lately. I’ve felt crummy and having issues with low sodium making me go out of it. I found out that others deal with the same thing. Maybe I can get it checked. Then Sheri passing…..it’s just hard to think about fantasy characters. I’m going to try though. Saturday we have an all day write in. Maybe I can make up for it then.

Hello friends, I wanted to share with you this pep talk that was in my NaNoWriMo inbox last week. It’s from Kate DiCamillo, the author of The Tale of Despereaux. I really love that story.  This letter was truly inspiring.

God bless & remember the High King lives!~Amber Dover

Dear Writer,

When I was 30 years old, I moved to Minneapolis and got a job in a book warehouse. My official job title was “Picker.” This meant that I went around the third floor of the warehouse holding a computerized print order in one hand and pulling books off the shelf with the other hand. I put all the books into a grocery cart and I took the grocery cart and wheeled it into an ancient, crabby freight elevator and went downstairs to deliver the order to the shipping department. Then I took the stairs back up to the third floor and started over again.

It wasn’t a challenging job. It didn’t pay much. I was on my feet all day long. My back hurt. My hands hurt. But I was happy. I was surrounded by books and by people who loved to read them. Also, for the first time in my life, I was writing.

I got up every morning before work (the alarm was set for 4:30) and wrote two pages before I went into the warehouse. And then, when I arrived at work at 7:00 to punch the time clock, I received my daily so-you-want-to-be-a-writer pep talk from a coworker.

Let’s call him Bob. (Even though his real name is Gary).

Bob wanted to be a writer, too. But he wasn’t writing. Every morning we had the same exchange.

Bob: “How did the writing go?”

Me: “Fine.”

Bob: “How many pages did you write?”

Me: “Two.”

Bob: “Do you think Dickens wrote two pages a day?”

Me: “I don’t know how many pages Dickens wrote a day.”

Bob: “Yeah, well let me tell you something, you’re no Dickens. So what’s Plan B, babe? What’s Plan B for when the writing doesn’t work out?”

For this question, I had no answer.

I turned my back on Bob, pulse pounding, fists clenched, and climbed the stairs to the third floor and started picking books.

When the alarm went off at 4:30 the next morning, I thought about Bob and that is part of the reason I got out of bed.

It is a truly excellent to have someone to believe in you and your ability to write.

But I think it is just as helpful to have people who don’t believe in you, people who mock you, people who doubt you, people who enrage you. Fortunately, there is never a shortage of this type of person in the world.

So as you enter this month of writing, write for yourself. Write for the story. And write, also, for all of the people who doubt you. Write for all of those people who are not brave enough to try to do this grand and wondrous thing themselves. Let them motivate you.

In other words, do it for Bob!

Your friend in writing,
Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Tale of Despereaux (Newbery Medal), Because of Winn-Dixie (Newbery Honor), and a The Tiger Rising (National Book Award finalist).

 

October 30, 2012

Hi folks! Here is a reblog from my sister’s page. She just got back from a book festival and has some good tips. Also prayers for all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover

Jen Humphrey

It was such a pleasure to meet and listen to Tad Hills this weekend at the Texas Book Festival. I was sad to see on his Facebook page after the festival:“Stuck in Austin TX for I don’t know how long. My only other option at this point is to fly to Chattanooga then train to Richmond and sail up the coast to Brooklyn.”

He lives in Brooklyn, NY, but Hurricane Sandy has stranded him here in Austin. This is especially sad since he might miss Halloween, his favorite holiday, with his kids. Each year he designs elaborate costumes for them. Visit his website to view masterpieces ranging from buildings (Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower) to a furry monster that has iPhones playing a moving and blinking eyeballs video loop!  http://tadhills.com/about/costumes#4

UPDATE: On 10/30 at 10:45 a.m. Eastern, Tad Hills posted: “They [My wife and kids] are fine. We…

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Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: Where Do You Write? August 14, 2012

Filed under: Hear the Writer roar! Tuesdays — amberdover @ 1:33 am
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Where do you write?

Do you have a special place to write? Or maybe several places? What makes the perfect environment for your creativity? Please leave me some comment love 🙂

I alternate between writing at home and fast food places. Krystals is a good place to write. McDonalds was hard. People kept talking to me and asking me if I was in school etc. Plus the news was on and it was distracting. The best place I’ve written was at a hotel. Once for my birthday I was given a night to myself at a hotel. It was nice just to write with no distractions…..well except cable. But I did write a good bit.

What matters the most for me is comfort, lack of annoying noises, and I have to have snacks. Eating fuels my imagination lol. Somehow my six year old has to be distracted. I’ve yet to try Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee. I would have to be warm too. If a restaurant is cold then I won’t enjoy it at all.

I hope to hear from you 🙂 God bless! ~Amber Dover

PS: These were pictures from SecondLife. Like my writing desk?

 

Hear the Writer Roar! Tuesday: How Long Does it Take to Write a Book? July 31, 2012

In this post: My rude awakening, a list of how long it took famous authors to write their books, and please leave me a comment with any surprising revelations you found out on your writing  journey.

Well friends, I’m a dunder head. I seriously thought I could spit out a book in 6 months because I had such a great outline. Well, I spent several hours last night working on my timeline and fixing my outline. I’ve realized my character can’t move from one place to the next in one short chapter. It has taken ten chapters to get my character a third of a way to his goal (for the first book). They’re not really long chapters compared to most but it takes me a looooong time to write them.

It’s been a bit frustrating because I actually started this project about two years ago. The first year I only got about seven chapters and then I threw it all out because the plot was flawed. Thankfully the characters and world building stayed. So my first year basically just yielded the world, characters, and creatures.

It was back in January that I really started hunkering down and making myself write on a regular basis. I finally have a plot that makes sense and I’ve fixed many loop holes. I’m not sure why I thought I could whip up a good book in such short time…especially an inspirational fantasy. Maybe because I read a lot of YA fiction and many of them have a book out every six months. Yeah, well they also have traditional publishers and fans pushing them to write fast. Plus many of the genre hang on the present day fads. They need to write before the fad dies. Also I’ve noticed that certain popular YA authors start out strong but by the third book the plot has become so cheezy I can’t stand it. Also the editing becomes sloppier and sloppier.

I don’t want my books to be like that and I’m not trying to catch a fad. I just want my story told and I hope it’s timeless. Overall, I pray my books will inspire people to seek the TRUE High King. I hope they will want to know someone as wonderful as the High King in my stories and that my Forward will point them to Christ. Hopefully they will realize He is greater than the High King of my stories and beyond what anyone could imagine.

In a way, it’s like Aslan. C.S. Lewis didn’t write an allegory. He said so himself. Aslan is an inspiration but he is indeed fiction. No one should base their theology on Narnia or say Aslan IS Christ. Because he IS NOT. But Aslan reminds me of Christ and then I think of the way Christ is far superior. What a joy to realize that there is a true kingdom similar to those found in stories but oh SO much better……there is a true Lord & King similar to the stories but OH SO much greater!

Moving on…..so I have the timeline for all three books and I have a detailed outline for book one….less detailed outlines for books 2 and 3. I have names for all three books….simple names…but hey, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m finding this writing thing takes a lot of work and time…doh lol.

It takes research to come up with a good map and to figure out how long  journeys take. The first book will only cover 6 months but most likely four years will have passed by the end of the trilogy. I wish I could get this story to people quicker. I love the characters and I love the world. I think it’s neat and I know God inspires me. My greatest inspiration comes from church. As I understand more about the concepts of sin and grace the book comes together better.

I can’t wait to share with you the ruins and secret tunnels of Davar, the mighty Leviathan of Aletheia and it’s sea faring city, the blistering desert of Ebaer, and the icy halls of Keshet. I could go on about the other lands in Emeth but I don’t want to give too much away. That’s a small taste of where the first book will take you. 😉

So I’m not sure when I’ll finish this book but I’m in it for the long haul. Writing is hard work and those of you in the same boat understand that. This didn’t click until I was watching “The Making of The Lord of the Rings”. I saw how long it took Tolkien to write and I thought “How arrogant of me to think I could produce a book worthy of it’s predecessors in such a short time!”

Here is a list of famous authors and how long it took them to write their books 🙂 Enjoy!

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How long did it take C.S. Lewis to write his books?

“Although Lewis originally conceived what would become The Chronicles of Narnia in 1939,[1] he did not finish writing the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe until 1949.” -wiki

All seven books finished by 1956, around seven years since the first book was finished. So the first book took a good bit of time and after that a new book was published each year.

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There are mixed answers on how long it took J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings. Here is an opinion I found.

“Ask anyone how long it took J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings and they will probably say something like 11 or 12 years. But is that really the correct answer?

Tolkien began working on the story in late 1937. He completed a semi-final draft of the main narrative in 1948 but by 1950 J.R.R. Tolkien had begun working on the Appendices. He paused his work to make changes to the background material that would be compatible with the published 2nd edition of The Hobbit. When The Lord of the Rings was finally accepted for publication Tolkien made numerous changes on the galley proofs, even rewriting many paragraphs. The final galley proofs were sent to the publisher in 1954 or 1955.

It would thus be more accurate to suggest that it took about 17 years (allowing for some breaks) from start to finish for J.R.R. Tolkien to write The Lord of the Rings.” ~

Xenite.Org (http://s.tt/18Ner)

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How long did it take J.K. Rowling to write the first Harry Potter book? six to seven years. All seven of her books were finished in 17 years. She said the shortest writing time was a year. That’s a long time for fans to wait….wow.
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John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim’s Progress- a classic favorite of mine. It took Mr. Bunyan a year or two to finish the first part. He was also in prison where I presume he had a lot of time to write. He was imprisoned twice for preaching. Some of the best writings have been written in prison……for example parts of the New Testament ;).
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My favorite author, Francine Rivers, has a book every year it seems. She is a special literary genius. I don’t have the vocabulary to write as well as she. Seriously lol.  She has some great tips.
Honestly, I think it all depends on genre. Writing an epic fantasy is a lot different than writing a supernatural romance…..or picture books. Some genres take longer than others. So as I look at my predecessors I don’t feel so guilty that I’m not published. Also I realize this book is like a marriage…it takes commitment. Also it has to come after the most important three in my life: God, my marriage, and parenting. Four if you include family…or I could just say: God, family, writing. but when I say parenting I’m talking about a lot of time parenting…..because of homeschool. Sometimes writing just has to take a back seat.
God bless & remember the High King lives! ~Amber Dover
PS: Please leave me some comment love. What have you learned since writing? Any surprises? Did you expect it to be as much work as it is?