“It’s like chopping fingers off.”

Good morning, afternoon, or evening, darling!

I finished the second draft of The Reset on Saturday, August 23. In case you’re interested. And, as someone once described editing, “it’s like chopping fingers off.”  And then buffing and painting the nails. Some of the revisions included:

  • Changing the novel from present tense to past tense.
  • Fixing grammatical errors.the reset
  • Cutting scenes that didn’t move the story forward or contribute to the plot (word count went from 48,155 to 44,637).
  • Adding some scenes that explained the plot more and/or moved the story forward.

For the third draft, I think I’ll focus on:

  • Cutting a few unimportant characters if needed.
  • Impressing Althea’s apathy upon the reader in the beginning of the story to clearly show how her character progresses throughout the novel.
  • Decide upon January’s mannerisms. It doesn’t seem right that he’s a tall fellow, but still so childish. It’s endearing to me, but it doesn’t seem to fit him even though he’s arguably one of the sweetest people in the novel.
  • Polishing the writing style.
  • Adding a bit more foreshadow.

Hopefully I’ll still enjoy it the third time around. 😛

And, I figured, why not share some snippets? I haven’t done that in a while. I guess I feel self-conscious, like every other author. Ah, well.

“No need to spend more money on something we can do for free.”

“What? I’m not worth it?” January adopted a put out expression.

I set a kettle of water on the stove and leaned against the counter, waiting for it to boil.

“Of course you are,” I said. “You’re priceless. I can’t possibly spend enough money on you.”

“You could try,” he suggested.

~*~

“If I chose anything more than bread and cheese,” January said, “I’d have to cook. And that ain’t happening. Hope you don’t mind.”

~*~

Everyone within earshot turned to look at us.

“What’s wrong?” I asked him.

“Smoke!” he wheezed. Jan doubled over, gripping his abdomen. “It’s killing me! And you!” He pointed an accusatory finger in the smoker’s direction.

I covered my mouth to hide a smile as Jan narrowed his eyes at the man whose face had turned a deep cherry red. He dropped the cigarette butt on the ground and crushed it with his heel. January straightened and nodded once. He tugged on his coat and grabbed my arm. We hurried down the street with our ice cream and dignity.

I looked up at the young man who winked at me.

“Saving lives one hack at a time,” he said.

~*~

“How do serial killers become serial killers, do you think?” he asked, obviously forgetting that I was a serial killer. “Do they eat their Lucky Charms while reading the Paper in the morning and go, ‘oh, nothing interesting in the news today. I’ll change that?’”

“Well, I’m guessing someone forgot to put the ‘lucky’ in their ‘charms’ that morning because, if they were lucky, that’s not what would cross their mind.” I rolled my eyes.

~*~

“Oh, please,” Fëar said with a rolling of his eyes. “You think Fanon and I are just partners in a business? Nah, we’re buddies. We joke quite a bit over a round of drinks. You’re one of the best jokes we’ve heard in a while though, darling, I must say.”

I slammed my coffee mug down on the table. The black liquid splashed up and burned my skin, but the pain only registered in the back of my mind.

“You think my pain is something to laugh about over a drink?” I shouted. My chair fell backwards and crashed to the floor as I stood. “Is that all other humans are to you sick people? Jokes? Toys you can break and throw away when you get tired of them?”

Fëar frowned. “Be a bit more generous, darling,” he said. “We tape them back together a few times first.”

~*~

The elf stepped forward and jabbed a finger at me. “You were lovely, darling, until you started thinking. I would put a reality check on my daydreams if I were you.”

“I’m beginning to wonder which is more real,” I said, “my daydreams or your reality.”

~*~

“Sometimes they don’t mean to,” I cried. “But people are selfish and they’ll do what’s best for you until it’s inconvenient for them.”

 ~*~

I smiled a little and placed the dagger on a decorative table. “Get out of here, tramp,” I said with a grin. “I’ll see you soon. Don’t go anywhere predictable.”

He winked. “No garbage cans or park benches. Got it.”

~*~

Maeve turned to leave, but stopped. “Oh, and just so you know,” she added over her shoulder, “that little episode earlier was nothing. Fanon’s had centuries to discover new methods of manipulation. I’d just get it all over with. It’s the right thing to do.”

I closed my eyes and when I reopened them, she was gone.

The right thing.

How could she tell me that an incremental massacre was right? Would killing many for the sake of one justify the murder of so many innocents?

What’s your editing process? Any advice? Specific things to look for?

I love you and God bless, kid! 😉 You rock.

Rana

P.S.

As I read my Bible last night, I stumbled upon this verse and thought this it worth sharing:

“My son, with humility have self-esteem; prize yourself as you deserve.” – Sirach 10:27

Equality and Rights: Are All People Equal?

Hello to all! 😀

I’m surprised I didn’t get a lot of hate on that last post. But even if I did, I wouldn’t really care. 😛 I’m just one of those people. I do what I want, when I want (as long as my mum says it’s okay). Ya know what I mean? I appreciate polite debates, but not hate. If you would like clarification on what I believe and would like to point anything out, please do so, but with respect.

Are all people equal?

This question has two answers: yes and no.

Yes: We are all equally human and endowed by God with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

>Life: Everyone has the right to life, which makes abortion intrinsically wrong. I mean, this is logic. If a man shoots a pregnant woman and kills her, he is charged for TWO murders. Not one. So, if the law recognizes the child’s right to life in this instance, why is that same child denied his/her right to life if the mother decides she doesn’t want a baby? Makes no sense to me.

I know that there are many different situations that could make the woman want to abort her child, but it’s all wrong. A child conceived in rape is still human and still has the right to live. What’s worse is that these unborn babies have no voice to speak up. This is murder in cold blood.

>Liberty: Liberty is a tricky issue. People use it as an excuse to justify the wrong they have done. “I had a right!” Yeah, sure. You had the right to do x, y, and z until it infringed on someone else’s rights. People use “liberty” as an argument in advocating for the “civil rights” movement. This is not a liberty, guys.

Marriage is solely for the purpose of creating a family. And family is the core of society. When you redefine that, you pretty much just signed your country’s death warrant. And I’m not being overly dramatic about that. I mean it in all seriousness. We’ll continue on from here in just a little bit.

>Pursuit of happiness: This is kind of following up into liberty. You have a right to be happy as long as you’re not going so far as to infringe on someone else’s rights. In that case, it simply becomes an abused version of freedom.

No: While all people are equal, they are also different.

I want to share with you some notes I took in church a while back (paraphrased, since I’m not the fastest writer). I have to say: my preacher is one of the smartest men I know. He doesn’t just study the church’s history and say, “Oh, yes, but I wish it was this way.” No, he gives you the facts: all of them. You ask him a history question and he’ll tell you the answer off the top of his head in three seconds. I am so blessed to know Father C.

The points he made here pretty much sum up everything I would like to say:

1) “I’m for humans eating oysters, but not for oysters eating humans.” – George Orwell.

> This basically means that I’m for marriage, but not gay marriage.

2) Gay marriage isn’t about gays; it’s about redefining the marriage which the state can’t do.

3) There is only 1 human race. It used to be that there were no interracial couples way back when. Now, they’re saying it’s the same with gay marriage. But the difference is that with interracial couples: there was always the possibility of that happening. But no so with gay marriage. You can’t legislate against impossibilities.

> Mark 10:6 says, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.” (NIV) It’s impossible for reproduction to naturally occur between woman/woman or man/man.

4) All people are equal, but they’re different. You can’t treat them the same.

5) So, what about infertile couples? They don’t make families. What’s the difference between them and gays? The difference is that the infertile couple contributes to society by their example. The husband and wife can love each other, adopt children, etc. But gays can adopt too! The thing is, it’s impossible to raise a balanced family between man/man and woman/woman. You need both the father and the mother. Not the father pretending to be mother or the mother pretending to be father. It just doesn’t work.

6) Families are fundamental to society. (When we talk about families, we’re talking about man + woman = children.)

7) There is such a thing as “rational discrimination.”

> For instance, if you owned a company and you were hiring a truck driver, you wouldn’t put a blind man up for the job. It’s not because you’re racist or have something against blind people. It’s because the blind man cannot do the job.

> If you’re driving and total your car, who do you want to answer the phone when you dial for help? The tow truck man/emergency people or the pizza delivery guy who knows nothing about cars? You value the pizza delivery man for what he does and the two truck man for what he does and the emergency people for what they do. You wouldn’t want one doing the job of another.

Well, that’s all I have on the topic of homosexuality. I hope and pray it speaks to you clearly. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do to answer them. 😉

God bless!

Rana

Tournaments, Talking, and Tired

Hello, my wonderful readers!

Just a quick update on what’s been going on. 🙂

Saturday, I have a speech and debate practice tournament all. day. long. As if the time change doesn’t make me tired enough, I have to get up around 5:00 a.m. or so in the morning on the one day I am able to sleep in. Yay. But it’s all good. I really enjoy debating. 🙂 I’m a member of NCFCA (National Christian Forensics Communications Association) and I’m a proud LDer. For more information on that, click here. 🙂 Also, Mom signed me up for impromptu. And I didn’t know that until a few weeks ago and I haven’t practiced for that or anything. O__________________________O Thanks, Mom. Very impromptu.

I’ve been spending my time doing school, cramming cases for both aff and neg (though mostly neg), and I’m proud to say that I have been getting in a little more than 1,000 words a day (with a few exceptions) in the third book of Desensitized. ^_^ I’m not doing NaNo, though I wish I could. Good luck to all of you involved though! 😉 I’m sure you’re doing great!

I’m a bit hesitant about sharing my writing with people… so… I’m going to swallow that fear and give y’all a snippet of book 3. *hides* Only, like, 2 people are reading it so far (big thanks to Una and Lisa) and they’re really nice. So don’t kill me. I’m still learning and I could be classified as an old newbie. 😛

So, here is the beginning of chapter 2:

Kody and I arrive at a small, quiet neighborhood a week later. I glance down at the paper in my hands.

“It says… 3805 Peck Street… I think. This penmanship is atrocious.” I look out the window and through the rain drops obscuring the clear glass. Kody and I both check the numbers on the houses and mailboxes and yawn. “Can’t wait to get there. I’m exhausted.”

“Yeah, I think I’ll crash too,” Kody responds, peering through the rain coming down like a thick blanket onto the windshield. “Ugh! This stupid rain!”

I nod. “It ain’t helping me stay awake any.”

“Same here.”

“Hey, how’d you find out where they were anyway?” I ask in the hope that a conversation would keep us both awake. We’ve been taking turns driving for the past three days, only stopping for food and bathroom breaks.

Kody glances over at me and grins. “I like to eavesdrop. When they were leaving, they told Cael where they were going and gave him their addresses in case something really bad happened. I wrote it down.”

“Oh. I guess you skipped out on the beautiful penmanship gene then, huh?” I smile, continuing to keep an eye out for the house numbers.

“Yeah. Skipped me an went to Ca- hey, there it is!” Kody pulls the car into a driveway. The rain is coming down so heavily that I can’t even see the house only a few yards away.

“I think we should wait until the rain lets up a bit,” I suggest, unbuckling my seatbelt. Kody does the same, nodding.

“I think this one is Blade’s house… Or, it’s one of his relative’s houses anyway. Bill Ferguson, I believe. He’s renting it. Core went to live with his cousin, Ryan Peterson.”

I turn my head slowly to stare at Kody. “I’m really disturbed now.”

The young man adopts an innocent look. “Why?”

“Dude, how do you even know that information? It’s pretty personal too. Do you know my number too?”

“Which number? Your cell phone number or the one on your wrist?”

My jaw drops slightly. I clap my hand over the scannable tattoo. “Wrist,” I challenge.

“Uh, I’m not great at numbers. But it’s 33092608, right?”

“Nine,” correct.

He grins cheekily. “I know. I just wanted to mess up so it wouldn’t totally freak you out.”

“Okay, that’s just-” My hands flail about as if that would convey how utterly terrified I am. “You’re such a creeper!” I manage to say at last.

Kody lets out a short bark of laughter. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“It’s not one. Creepers are… creepy. I don’t like them.”

“But you like me.”

“Not anymore.”

“Oh, come on. Yes, you do.”

“Nope.”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Liar.”

“Creeper.”

“The fact’s already been established, weirdo.”

Aaaaaand now I have something fun for all of you! 😀 A video! It’s by a singer named Christina Grimmie and her friend. Christina is a 19 year old Christian who started homeschooling in 2010. Check out her music — it’s fantastic! ^_^

Here’s the vid (watch all 6 of them — they’re hilarious)! I hope you enjoyed the writing snippet! 🙂

God bless!

Rana

P.S.

If y’all could pray for the tournament to go well, I’d appreciate it. 🙂 It’s a long day and my club is hosting the tournament and there’ll be, like, a lot of people there. I think it’s 100 – 200 kids. I think. Anyway. Thanks!