Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Corn Maze Season

The leaves are turning and we've had frost, so fall is officially in full swing, and so is the corn maze. It's our 11th year of the maze and it's fun to see how things change each year. I have an odd assortment of random fall and maze pictures to share in no particular order . . .

This year, with Hosanna gone, I'm in charge of the concessions. It's been a lot of fun having a larger food area this year so we have an expanded menu!

And since the gift shop had to close this year, I've had a few people ask about my books . . . and YES, they are still available! :)

I love this picture of my nephew playing carpet ball!

And with the expanded food, I've needed full time help!

If you come to the maze on a busy day, like this past Saturday, you might run into our Pumpkin Princess, who goes around and gives out candied pumpkins!

Back to fall decor, every fall, we get out all the family hunting trophies to get us in the mood for hunting season. 

This year, the escape room, has three different levels, each level is ten minutes, and it goes along with out logging theme.

I love this shelf! I don't care what time of year it is, the decor on this shelf is usually always my favorite.

And with all the great help at the maze, we get some excitement!

And a lot of hard work done!

On another note, you may remember that last September, I started a read through the Bible chronologically in a year program, and just finished that this morning! I'll probably take a few days to read through a few places again, and then I'd like to start another scheduled program. What do you do for your devotions? Do you have a system of reading through the Bible?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Corn Maze Update

So, I've been super busy with the corn maze and everything, and didn't get time to put together the maze post that I was planning for this week, but things are going well!
   I was looking back at the posts I did during the corn maze last year, and re-read this article . . . it's something to remember!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Editors? Publishers?

So, after my last post, I received the following comment . . . and thought I'd just do a post about it.

"Thanks, Cilla!I really needed this!For awhile now I have been stuck on the plot of my book.Have any advice for that?Also,how did you first get an publisher and editor??What do you recommend??"

      In answer to the plot advice questions, here's a few ideas.
        1. Take a break from it, and come back with a new perspective.
        2. Talk it out with a family member, or friend, or someone who you can trust to give you honest feedback, and see if they have any ideas.
        3. Pray.
        4. Try telling the story from a different person's point of view. Sometimes, switching up the storyteller can totally change the story.
        5. Think through the direction you were trying to make the story go, and change it up.
        6. Drop an explosion. In other words, have something happen that no one's expecting. Not even yourself. Think, "What's the craziest thing that could happen?" And do it!

    How did I get a publisher and editor?

       Well, that's complicated, because it's been different for each of my books. Getting a publisher requires a lot of query letters, e-mails, and submissions.
   With Mission of a Lifetime, I went through my copy of the Christian Writer's Market book, and underlined all the possible publishers. I also searched through the church library and took notes on the most common publishers, and then went to each publisher's website and followed their requirements for submissions. The more you send out, the more likely you are to get a publisher.
    If you get a publisher, they do the work of finding an editor, and making sure it gets edited properly.
    If you take the route of self-publishing, editing is your responsibility. It's not a good idea to do your own editing. As the writer, you won't see things that need to be changed like someone else would, because you know what you meant by what you wrote. But to find an editor is the challenging part.
    There is more than one kind of editor. Some editors focus on story content and structure. Others focus on grammar, or cultural accuracy.

    You'll have to consider what kind of editor you need, once you decide that, you have several options. If you have family members who enjoy reading your writing, who can be honest and non-biased, they can be your greatest editors. But remember, often family and friends have a harder time being honest with you, because they don't want to discourage you. The advantage to family and friends, is that they're more likely to offer their services for a good deal, or even for free. But you'll probably get more honest and detailed feed back from a paid editor. In the back of the Christian Writer's Market book, there is a section on editors of Christian fiction. You can also do research online, or in your local area. Chances are, you know some people with great English skills who you could make a deal with.
     You'll have to decide what you're willing to pay, and how serious you are about needing an editor. If you're not planning on being published, spending the money on an editor probably isn't a great idea. I usually always start the editing process by letting my mom read it, and finding out if the story even has the potential to be edited into something worth publishing.
      It's also helpful to have someone read your story out loud to you. It's amazing the things you catch when you hear them, vs. when you read them.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Writer's Block . . .

There are days when you’ll be working on a story, and it’s just to hard. You just want to stop. Or maybe you're like me, and you procrastinate by going on crazy cleaning sprees.

   Some will argue that writer's block doesn't exist. Others, spend hours trying to come up with a solution. But whether you call it writer's block or not, there will be days when you want to give up.

     Stop, breathe deeply, take a break, drink some water, go for a run, or some other not-related-to-writing activity, pray, and relax. It’s okay to put it away and come back at it tomorrow. I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to bed discouraged because I didn’t get done what I wanted to. But after a good nights sleep, prayer, and some non writing activities, when I came back, it went way better.

  You will have times where you’re stuck in a story and can’t think of anything else to write. When this happens to me, I write an explosion. This does NOT MEAN I HAVE TO BLOW SOMETHING UP!!!! What this means, is that I write something exciting. If I’m stuck with the family at the table talking, and it’s getting boring, and I don’t know what to do next, then I’ll pause the scene, and add some drama. Have the phone ring, have a body fall on the dinner table, have the barn blow up, have a cranky neighbor bang on their door, have someone smash their window. Do something exciting, to make your story move again. Every time my story slows down and I can’t think of anything to write, I dump some kind of an explosion into the story, to make it move again.

   When it comes down to it, you need to determine why you're stuck. Is the story just not working? Try telling it from a different point of view. When I started writing Ty Carson book two, (Traffic at Graveyard Bend) I wasn't telling the story from Ty's point of view, and the story seemed stuck. I started over from his point of view, and it worked.

   If you're stuck because you're bored with the story genre, read books and watch movies that take place in the same genre to get you excited about it again.

   If you're stuck because you're just burned out, take a break.

   If you're stuck because you keep getting caught up on all the mistakes, turn off your mental editor, and just put words on the paper. You can edit later.

  Honestly, half the cure to writer's block, is simply forcing yourself to write. Even if what you're writing will never end up in the final book, go ahead and make yourself write anyways. It will improve your writing and keep you going.

  And above all, remember to write hard, and PRAY harder.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Audio Book!!

  I'm THRILLED to announce that Mission of a Life is now in audio book format!!!! It's available on Amazon Audible, so if you have Audible, you can listen to it for free! If you don't, you can leave a comment and request a promo code. I have a couple of promo codes to give away free audio copies.
   I'm SUPER excited about the way Mark Judd read the book! He gives the characters life, and gives the book a whole new feel!
   Check out a sample of it here.

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Wedding . . .

So, these pictures are a little out of order, but here's my take on the wedding of my sister Hosanna, to Nate.

We had to take just one funny one.:)

This picture is actually from the rehearsal, and I have NO idea what I was talking about!

Saturday night, after the wedding, a bunch of us got together with some of Nate's family at the corn maze for s'mores and a campfire sing time.

So . . . two days before the wedding, I tripped on the stairs while carrying a metal thermos, and kind of split my eyebrow in half. After everything that had happened that week, it was kinda the breaking point and I laughed. I wasn't sure how we could hide it on Hosanna's wedding pictures. . . 

But we had some hospital tape strips, so Dad and Grandma taped me back together.

They did a pretty good job and the final job wouldn't be too noticeable on pictures.

This is the thermos I bashed my head on. The cool thing? We'd been praying that it would heal fast, and when I took of the tape strips Saturday morning, it was WAY more healed then it should have been. With a little bit of makeup, I don't think it showed on any of the pictures! PTL!!

And myself with all the sisters and sisters-in-law.

The whole wedding party.

I gave a speech at the reception, and then grabbed these guys and we sang a song for Nate.

I don't tend to follow my notes the greatest, but I enjoyed sharing things about Hosanna that most people don't know.

And I LOVE this picture of Hosanna peeking around the wall.

So yes, we survived the wedding, and it went REALLY well!!!

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Last Week at Camp

  It's been an adventure this past summer seeing how God's kept working things out in my life to bring me to places that I never expected to be. So, I spent this last week counseling at Northland Camp again. There were several things keeping me from being there last week, but God removed each and every obstacle in incredible ways, and while it was another long hard week, it was totally AWESOME watching God work.
   One of the coolest things was the night that an astronomy guy came in to talk about God's handiwork in the stars, and we were all praying for a clear sky. That evening there was a thunderstorm, but by the time we got outside to see if we could see anything, there were thunder clouds and lightening to the north, south, east, and west, but right above us, there was a circle of clear sky and we were able to do the lesson. Not only did God open up the sky for us, he gave us something to watch with several shooting stars, and a meter that we hadn't been expecting. While I was standing there, watching the stars, and the storm, I just kept thinking of the hymn, How Great Thou Art. 

"I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, THY power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings by soul, my Savior, God to THEE! How Great thou art! How GREAT THOU art!"

So, while this summer hasn't gone as I planned, it's been super awesome to watch how God kept working things out for His glory. And not only did He do amazing things, I had the privilege of seeing a lot of it firsthand.

On the drive out to Northland, we got to stop at the hospital and see my cousin's new baby!

And on campus, K. gave us a ride around on the golf cart.

And of course, Wacky Wednesday!!

Northland has THREE Escape Rooms, and I got to run the Bank Heist one. I just loved this bomb prop, so I had to get my picture with it.

It was a super long week, but at the end of the day, I could really sit back and thank God for each and every day. When I couldn't go on, God was my strength. When I cried, God was my comfort. When I felt alone, God never left me. When I was weak, HE was strong.

Tomorrow, my sister is getting married, so hopefully next week, I'll have some great wedding pictures, but until then, this is Priscilla Krahn reminding you to stand on the SOLID rock of God, because ALL other ground is sinking sand. Whether that ground is friends, plans, status, or relationships, ALL ground is sinking stand apart from the SOLID rock of GOD.