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The Journal of Court Ellyn

Last Post at LiveJournal
Well, it looks like this will be the last time (at least for a long time) that I use LJ for my blog. I have loved the intimate, private feel of my blog here, but I'm so fed up with spammers at LegendFire that I will not tolerate them here. Just received notification that Coach Purses posted on my last journal entry. It's been awhile since a spammer worked its way in here, but they are the reason that I have to waste time editing all my old posts and locking them against comment. Why do they always choose posts that are ancient history? So, spam and the strange Russian thing a little further down freaks me out, so I'm saying Adios to LJ for a while. I will still be visiting the blogs I follow here, however, as those blogs were the reason I registered here in the first place.

In future, my blog continues at Blogger:

"Fire Eater" Receives Review!
There's nothing better than knowing that folks are reading what you write and find themselves enjoying it. Angela, from the blog "The How-To Life," posted favorable words about Mother Mirrah's attempts at prison reform.You may read her review of "Fire Eater" here: Review Of Ebook Fire Eater

"FIRE EATER" at Smashwords and Amazon!
Decided it was time to add to my self-pubbing ventures by publishing "Fire Eater" at Smashwords and at Amazon's Kindle Store. The story is a fantasy novelette at 8,300 words, so not too long a read, but still meaty, nonetheless. I have a particular fondness for this story, because it marked my first publishing success. Nothing like that first acceptance letter that reduces a grown girl to tears. It appeared in the now-defunct Midnight Times in 2007 (I think it was 2007), then good ol' Martin Davey told me he couldn't believe I sold that story for free. So when the rights reverted to me, I tried selling it again. This time Kaleidotrope bought it, of which I am exceptionally proud. However, since the story was a reprint, I still received not one dime for it, even if my payment was three copies of the magazine, the equivalent of $15, which I would've spent on copies anyway.

Good thing about Kaleidotrope is that it receives reviews. I was able to track down three, two of which were published right here at LJ. The links to them are:

Kimberly Todd Wade (quotes from Ms. Wade's wonderful review earned a place on the cover!)
Rich Horton (excited about this Locus writer mentioning "Fire Eater" from among a year's worth of Kaleidotrope stories)

So a year and a half later, it's time to shove the story out there again. This time it's available at Smashwords and in a day or so at the Kindle Store (will provide link when it's available). For the readers of my blogs, here is the coupon code for a free purchase of "Fire Eater" from Smashwords: SV94M

The code is valid through January 31.


EDIT: Amazon has given its approval already. So here's the link to the story in the Kindle Store: FIRE EATER FOR YOUR KINDLE

Contests and Progress Report, 12-14-2011
Project: Blood of the Falcon
Pages Cut: 18+
Pages Revised: 16
New Scenes: 3 (pretty sure I made up those 18 pages cut with new stuff. Oh, well.)
Good Things that Happened: Fairies deliver messages really fast. Better than texting!
Bad Things that Happened: Poison ends all hope for peace

In addition, LegendFire's biannual Legends Contest (can you call it biannual if you only had it once this year?) launched yesterday. Lots of participants have already signed up, so I'm happy. Our prompt is "Redemption" which ought to work well for Fiction and Poetry but will likely be tough for our Non-Fic writers. I haven't got a clue about what to write. Well, maybe a clue. As far as Non-Fic goes, all I can think of is writing my testimony. Not sure a contest at LF is the best place to submit that. Or maybe it is the best place. But I seriously doubt one's testimony is a proper contest entry. Ah, well.

Preparing for a road trip this weekend to visit friends who moved away in October. They just got into an apartment of their own this week, so things may be nice and chaotic when we get there. Hmm...hope the weather holds.

Xmas Tree Success!

Here are the results of my Christmas tree decorating weekend. The pic is a little blurry and grainy b/c I was too lazy to get the tripod out for the snapshot.

Our Gingerbread Xmas Tree, 2011
I started collecting gingerbread men soon after I was married, so slowly the tree decor has shifted toward cookies and other holiday food for a theme. This tree does make one wish for real holiday cookies and candy, so it's rather dangerous to look at for long. Teehee.

Christmas Lights...
The paint on the living room wall is dry at last, and so we (I) finally got the Christmas tree set up, no matter that it's nearly mid-December already. Not much better than a mug of egg nog and Christmas music blaring and a tree to be decorated. Bad thing is, I'm at a standstill. I don't have enough strands of lights. Four strands, you'd think, would be plenty for a seven-foot tree. I can't figure it out. I know I had plenty of lights last year. I don't even think I used all four strands. Weird. Now I have all the Christmas decor strung out across the living room, but a tree that refuses to accept any of it until there are lights all the way to the tippy top. I'd run to the store for more, but it's 9 p.m. (and my mug of egg nog is empty. Don't want a D.U.I, do I!). And there's no way I'm unwinding all those lights to retry. That's the part that takes the patience of a saint, and a saint I ain't. Hmm...

Spammers and Pen Pals
It's been over a month since I've blogged about anything! Since the last couple of weeks of October, a great deal of my free time has been combating spammers. LegendFire has been invaded, and I've been turning over options to keep them out. The trolls in the basement seem to have eaten their fill and are fast asleep, which lets the rest of the spammers through. My Anti-Spammer Sword of Doom is well-honed, yes, but my sword arm is getting tired. Even the Forum Leaders with their Anti-Spammer Laser Pistols are getting miffed by the influx of these creeps. Despite all our magical wards, these spammers must be wearing amulets that let them pass through. We're going to have to consider thickening the outer wall. Anything to make it comfortable and inviting for the members. If they only knew ...

On a more positive note, some of my usual blogging time has been used to resume correspondence with someone who might as well be called a writing pen pal. Though pens are no longer used to write letters, it seems. I "met"
Martin through Hatrack several years ago, and while he was helpful in pointing me in new directions for my writing, it's been most rewarding to discuss writing and publishing with him on a more detailed level than I can with most of the members at LF. Our recent discussions have provided some writing-related material to blog about, so if these spammers are soon under control, I'll have some new things to post.

In the meantime, the study on Acts concluded last week. It was a great success. One of our members who has been a Christ-follower for only a few years confirmed my hopes when she said that she hugely appreciated this study b/c the Bible stopped being a collection of random, helter-skelter verses and finally became a whole, a story, a history told from beginning to end. I was thrilled. Reading Acts years ago also helped my husband come to the same conclusion, and he was raised with those random verses being shoveled down his throat. I remember, when Acts changed his view of God's Word, everything changed. His outlook, our marriage, his relationship with God and his coworkers. It was amazing.

So now, a break, in which I shall begin reading
Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge, and dive back into writing. I'm ecstatic.

Progress Report, 10-15-11, and Losing Friends
I finally made it to the novel's last Part. And I've divided into two less intimidating sections. I have only 5 months until my deadline, which means that the last read through/proofreading will likely be rushed, which makes me unhappy. So here goes:

Project: Falcons Rising
Pages Revised: 2.5
Pages Cut: 6.5
New Scenes: 3 --- 11 3/4 pages of new stuff!
Bad Things that Happened: sneaky schemes of murder are hatched
Good Things that Happened:
A prince is born

In other news, I'm grieving this week because our circle of friends is losing not one couple, but two. Two couples are moving out of state on the same weekend! Losing one was almost too much for me to contemplate, but two? My husband's mountain biking buddies are moving to Denver, which is their dream come true. The other couple, from our LifeGroup, is employed to build those enormous windmill farms, so they go where the business is. In truth, we got to keep them longer than we hoped, but now they are moving to far southern Texas, near South Padre, which is an absolutely gorgeous island on the Gulf. They'll adjust; we'll adjust. But I'm not sure others realize how traumatically this might affect me. I think it comes from moving so often as a child. All through Elementary School, we moved every two to three years, and I would make maybe a single friend each time. I don't even remember their names, and doubtless, I'm no more than a blip in their memory. I hung out more with my sister's friends b/c there was less of a heart-attachment involved. I wasn't leaving my friends, I was leaving hers. No biggie.

Seriously, the past year-and-a-half is the first time I've had friends as an adult (I was 32). I'm settled at last in a place I mean to stay, so I opened up and let myself become attached to people. Then they move away. I'll have to work very hard to keep from convincing myself, "What's the point? Why bother?" Good thing is, our circle is still intact, just smaller. We get to watch one of our remaining couples become parents for the second time next spring. And they mean to officially open up the LifeGroup for new participants, so new couples will try us out and hopefully be a good fit. We're a crazy lot. We love to have fun while we explore the Word of God. Serious? Us? Ha, rarely. But we're all sad this week.

So here's to learning how to cope...

Мои твиты

Our FREE Halloween Antho is HERE!
I'm excited beyond words to bring you the links where you can download a free copy of Past the Patch. Brian, the editor was kind enough to call "The Witch of Mistletoe Lane" -- my efforts for the collection -- "the shining gem of this piece." *dumbfounded gape* I have not read the collection myself, as of yet, so I cannot vouch for the other stories inside. Be aware that these authors come from many genres and backgrounds. It will be an eclectic read, that's for sure. So, friends and family, I encourage you to get your hands on a copy.

Here are the links: