Thursday, October 28, 2010

Snowed Under - Literally Inside and Out

by Anita Mae Draper

Coming up for air... I've been in my cave working on Emma's Outlaw. Yes, trudging through Tuesday's blizzard from the house to my office in our converted garage. At least it gets me out in the fresh air - even though the wind almost blew the coffee out of my mug on the way there.

But finally, I'm at the end. And, I'm on such a high about it, I didn't want to stop and draft my posts.
Yes, I said posts. You see, I'll still be posting on my inspirational group blog Inkwell Inspirations. I really enjoy it over there because I get to talk about life and books and not just writing, although I slip it in sometimes, too.

Take my Inky post for yesterday - it's called When Fiction Meets Fact. It's about my excitement of starting a new book and how I'm trying to figure out how to make my hero heroic. I use the biblical story of David and Bathsheba as an example because when King David was faced with temptation - a nude Bathsheba - he succumbed.

Hmm, that's doesn't sound heroic, does it. But it sure makes for an entertaining story. I mean, not only did David commit adultery with her, but when she informed him she was pregnant, he tried to cover it up by calling her husband home from the battle. The plan was for her husband, Uriah, to sleep with Bathsheba, then think the baby was his. Except it didn't work out that way because Uriah refused to enjoy the pleasures of his warm, loving wife when his men were sleeping in the cold courtyard.

So, when that didn't work, David sent Uriah to the front line where he'd have the best chance of being killed. Sure enough, Uriah died in the battle. (Are you beginning to think that maybe Uriah is the true hero here?)

Worried that he'll be found out, King David makes up a story and sends it out as fact. In other words, he lied while trying to cover up his crime. What kind of hero does that?

Add to that, David didn't even repent until the prophet Nathan called him out. Finally, David repents. God forgives him and after some more bumps on the road, David and Bathsheba have another child - Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.

When you look at David's life as a whole, he is a hero. He just happens to be a hero who stumbled. And because of that monumental stumble, we get to enjoy David and Bathsheba's epic love story. But is it truly a love story? That's the discussion over on my Inky post.

So, the challenge is to write an exciting historical romance with a hero similar to a larger-than-life hero like David. Except, I'm not sure I want my hero to succumb like David did. Maybe take him to the brink of temptation, dangle him over it awhile, then let him come to his senses. I dunno - what do you think?

Anyway, twice a month or so, I'm over at the Inkwell. We have theme days over there and I usually stick to Historical Tuesday's or Fiction Wednesdays. The first two Tuesdays in Oct I blogged under the Historical theme  about using repeat or Now and Then photography.

But back to Emma's Outlaw, I'm polishing the end, now. While my critique partners check it over, I'll be making the final adjustments to my synopsis and query letter. By this weekend it will be gone - submitted to the editor and agent who've waited over a year to read it.

NaNoWriMo starts Nov 1st and I'm hoping to start my new story at that time. I'm very excited about it because it'll be set in 1881 in the District of Assiniboia (now Southern Saskatchewan). I've wanted to do a western Canadian story for a long time and feel the timing is right. Especially since Love Inspired Historical is gearing up to release 4 new titles a month instead of 2 and intently recruiting new writers. So that's who I'll be targeting this time around.

You can find out more about my NaNoWriMo experience - and my new story which I've yet to name - on my personal blog at

I also have a website in the works but the only thing that's available on it at this time is daily horse information and a daily cowboy/western quote. Both are interesting and sometimes good for a laugh.

I'll be adding the following to my website soon:
- recipes used in my stories (really old recipes)
- photos and interesting stuff about my research trips
- jigsaw puzzles of my photos
- links to my posts here at Prairie Chicks and Inkwell Inspirations
- links to places I guest blog

At this time, I've only posted at one other blog and that was at the International Christian Fiction Writers (ICFW) and my post was entitled Canadian Prairies Missed the Old West. That post was actually what got me thinking about my upcoming story.

I also blog at although I've been remiss about posting there these past few months.

And finally, I'm on Facebook and Twitter which is probably the first place you'll hear news of my 'call'.

Thank you to the readers and guests who took time to visit us here. I really appreciate(d) your support.

To my fellow Chicks, it was an honour to work, learn and write with you. I wish you many successes in your writing journey.

Anita Mae.


Janet said...

You are one busy woman, Anita! And I'm so glad you'll be continuing to blog both on your own blog and at the Inkwell. I'll be sure to catch you in both places (love that you always put a link on your personal blog).

And good luck with NaNo - actually considering signing up for it myself (never done it before.

It's been great working with you. I've got my fingers crossed for you and Emma's Outlaw. Can't wait to hear all the good news about your writing career.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Thanks, Janet.

It was fun working with you, too.

At least we all know each other on Facebook and email, too.

Good wishes heading your way.


Deb H said...

Yay Anita on Emma's Outlaw!
I've been keeping you in my prayers regarding that. I'll be so excited when I can actually buy your story from whichever publisher is savvy enough to give you your "call".

I will definitely be following your other posting places. Along with the posting places of all the other 'Chicks'. This blog has been great and I'm happy to know that it won't just disappear - even though no new stuff will appear after my birthday (the 29th).

Many blessings to all the Prairie Chicks and may you all find success!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Anita,
Sorry to be a day late, but I couldn't not comment on your last post.

You are indeed a busy woman! I am in awe of all the places you blog and all you contribute. And I'm thrilled that Emma's Outlaw will be out the door to your editor this weekend. Best of luck to you.

I'll do my best to keep up with you, but you're one fast-moving lady!

All the best,

Anita Mae Draper said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Deb.

I saw your comment come in on my email, but I've been on a self-imposed media blackout with stupid rules about reading/commenting on blogs at certain times when I couldn't write. So, I didn't even read your comment.

Then at 0230 this morning, I sent the final chapters of Emma's Outlaw to my crit partners. I still have my synopsis etc to work on, but I wanted to take some time with the Chicks. I started at the last day posted - Janet's - and went to her comments. You were first up. But, what got me, was her wishing you a Happy Birthday. I reread your comment to her several times but nary a word about your special day. So, then I went to Facebook because that's where everyone's birthday is listed. Except you're not a member. :(

I was about to check your eharl profile when I remembered your comment on my post. I pulled it up and yup - you minx - you snuck it in. Well!

So, I hope you're enjoying your weekend. I'm heading down to my ND postal box this week. Other than that, Nov will be used for Nano.

I'll head on over to eharl and see your latest pics of Guppy. :D

Thank you for the visit. (Loved the virtual tea. LOL)


Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Jana, I may be fast, but not fast enough it seems. My critters won't send back the ms for a few days.

But, like I said, I have the rest of the paperwork to brush up. At least I was smart enough to take the 'querying class' at the conference from the agent I'm submitting to. Good guidelines.

And I just realized... I've been making a point of commenting on the final Chicks this week but in my rush, I think I missed you and Karyn, which means I should check all of them. Not nice of me at all.

I appreciate you stopping when you could, Jana.