Friday, September 30, 2011

Long Time, No Blog

It's been ages since I've blogged, but people are still stumbling across my blog once in a while. I've thought about deleting this blog many times, but maybe it's a good thing I didn't.

An explanation is in order. I'll make it as brief as I can.

I was writing like crazy when I last posted, but that spring I was hit with terrible fatigue. Now, I've always been fatigued to some degree or other. But this was completely non-functional fatigue. Sit on the couch and feel like my arms were too heavy for me fatigue. Accompanied by brain fog.

I'll give you an example of my worst mental fogginess. I was staring at the date line on a check. Never mind trying to think of the right date. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what that line was for. Needless to say, coming up with creative words for writing was impossible. Everyday conversations were difficult.

That lasted about a year. I found out I have a mold allergy, and that's what was causing the symptoms. I've improved quite a bit. We remodeled our bathroom to get rid of the mold that was there, and I bought an air purifier to help with the mold that's still in the house.

I'm still pretty tired a lot of days, but good days are coming more often. And the brain fog is gone. Praise God for that.

I want to get back to writing. I've been waiting for the writing passion to come back. But I have a feeling that it won't come back until I actually start writing.

On that note, there really is nothing new under the sun.

The WIP I was talking about below is a finished rough draft. I thought I had come up with a unique backstory for my main character. Then I happened to catch The Biggest Loser this week. (I watch that once in a while for motivation to keep moving through my fatigue. If those 300-plus-pound people can practically kill themselves in a workout, surely I can push myself for one moderate workout.)

The woman on Biggest Loser starts talking about a relationship she got out of. And my jaw dropped as she laid out the exact story I had for my character. A jealous boyfriend who didn't like the attention and looks she got from other men, so he pushed her toward food so she'd gain weight. He lavished her with attention, and in the meantime cut her off from everyone else in her life.

That was my idea. How dare this woman live it. :o)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The other times I've mentioned the writing bug biting again, I haven't done anything with that impulse. I've let myself get busy with other things until the urge to write passed.

This time I'm writing.

Yesterday I wrote 1,000 words. Today writing was even easier and I wrote nearly 2,500 words. Now, I'm not working on the WWII story that's become the bane of my existence. I started something different. A contemporary.

Probably nothing will come of it. I'm not writing with marketing in mind. No one may ever see it. It's different from what I usually write. I just had to prove to myself that I can still write. The WWII had me so bogged down that the thought of writing has become horrifying.

But this story is fun. I know exactly where the plot is going--it's based on a dream I had. So although I'm getting off to a slow start because I'm rusty, I think my pace will pick up and I'll finish this one fairly quickly. Then I'll see if it's worth polishing. And then I'll see if I feel like getting back to the WWII.

After that first thousand words, I was so proud of myself for writing at all that I immediately wanted someone to read it. Is it any good? Does it make sense? I talked myself out of emailing it to my critique partner. It's a first draft, for crying out loud.

But I'm writing again. Hallelujah.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Everything went smoothly

My dad came through his surgery just fine. He's been in quite a bit of pain, but I guess that was to be expected.

Pathology confirmed that it was cancer. But the tumor was self contained, and the lymph nodes in the area were clear. Now that the kidney is gone, he's cancer-free. He'll probably be released tomorrow.

Thank you for your prayers. I'm so grateful for the lasting friendships I've made through this blog. Writing isn't a priority for me right now, much less blogging. But I'm happy to say that the writing bug has been nibbling, so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prayer request

I have no right to expect that anyone will see this post. But if anyone does, I have a prayer request. My dad goes in for surgery Friday morning--Jan 2. There's a tumor in his kidney that they highly suspect is cancer. They don't mess around with kidney cancer, so they're removing the entire kidney.

The good news is that the cancer is contained in the kidney, so once that's removed he doesn't have to undergo any other treatment. Our family has seen quite enough of that, thank you.

But my dad has always been kind of fond of having two kidneys, and this is a major operation--the incision will be huge. Please pray that the operation goes smoothly and that his recovery will be as quick and comfortable as possible.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I just don't know sometimes

A couple of weeks ago the phone rang. Brian answered and I listened to his side of the conversation to see if the call was for me.

"Who's calling? . . . Is she gonna want to talk to you?"

My interest was piqued. Who could it be?

"Does she even know you?"

Is it one of my AWANA girls and he's giving her a hard time?

"Wait a minute!" His voice hardened. "This isn't her new boyfriend, is it?"

My jaw dropped. "Who are you talking to?" I noted the slight edge of panic in my voice. Who in the world would he say something like that to?

He hung up and I demanded again, "Who was that?"

Brian just about split a gut. "Some guy wanted you to take a survey."

When I could stop laughing long enough I asked, "What did he say when you asked if he was my boyfriend?"

"He sounded a little scared. 'Oh, no, sir! It's nothing like that!' I doubt if he'll call here again."

Well, that's one way to deal with them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

He actually listens

Brian and I were watching a cheesy show recently. We have very few channels, so sometimes we're stuck with cheesy. Anyway, this character starts feeding the audience information while she's on the phone. Stuff like...

"I've missed you so much since you moved away two years ago... Well of course you couldn't help it if your dad's job relocated..."

And so on, until Brian said, "Nice backstory."

I just stared at him. He does listen after all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Interview: Sharon K. Souza

(I've been rescued by a pre-made interview.)


Author of Lying on Sunday

In your previous novel, Every Good & Perfect Gift, you address the tough issues of infertility and catastrophic illness. Again, in Lying on Sunday, you've tackled a tough subject, that being infidelity. Why do you choose such tough topics?

I like to write stories that speak to women on deep and personal levels. None of us gets through this life without being affected in some form by sadness, loss, a sense of failure over one issue or another, and having been failed. I think when we know we're not the only one going through these types of situation--and it's so easy to feel that you are alone--it gives us hope that we really can come through, not necessarily unscathed, but certainly stronger and more equipped to help others.

Do heavy topics equal a heavy reading experience?

Definitely not. I firmly believe that pleasure reading should first and foremost be entertaining. Time is a precious commodity. I hope that readers who choose to spend some of their precious hours in the pages of my books will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

So even though I tackle tough subjects, I infuse enough humor to keep those subjects from becoming an albatross around the reader's neck. Conversely, I love to read for pleasure, but I want to take something away from the experience.

What would you have readers take away from Lying on Sunday?

In one day, Abbie Torrington has the underpinnings of her world knocked out from under her. Everything she thinks she knows about her marriage turns out to be false. It leaves her reeling in the aftermath. Years ago, while dealing with health issues in my own life, a close friend gave me a Precious Moments figurine entitled "Light at the End of the Tunnel." In Lying on Sunday I want to show that even with issues as devastating as betrayal there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and for me that Light, of course, is Jesus.

Lying on Sunday deals with the betrayal of infidelity, but are there other forms of betrayal that the book might speak to?

Types of betrayal obviously vary, but the end results can be equally devastating. Any time a trust is broken between people in relationship, someone is going to be hurt. We can either allow those hurts to hinder us, or we can allow the Lord to use them as lessons to make us better and stronger. That brings to mind the old adage "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Well, through her own devastating experience Abbie becomes a stronger, more independent person than she knew she could be.

Once again you've written a story with a strong and vital friendship that's central to the story. Was that coincidence or by design?

Absolutely by design. I'm all about relationships and so are my characters. Having gone through a period in my early adulthood without a close friend, I know how important friends are in our lives. In fact, I've recently reconnected with two friends from high school, one I hadn't seen in 25 years, and the other in over 30 years. But relationships between women, while vital, can be very complex. That's certainly true for Abbie. Besides her close friendship with Shawlie Bryson, she has a close relationship with one daughter and a challenging relationship with the other, mostly because of the very different emotional place these girls are in while dealing with the death of their father. Not only that, but Abbie has a strained relationship with her own mother for reasons she eventually discovers. I'm certain that women of each one of these generations will relate to one or the other of these characters, especially the woman caught in the middle, where she's both the daughter and the mother.

Truth is a theme you deal with extensively in Lying on Sunday. In a book that deals with betrayal, wouldn't forgiveness be a more fitting theme?

I believe forgiveness is the key to getting beyond the kind of hurt Abbie experiences - which doesn't necessarily equate to restored relationship. (In Abbie's case, of course, that's impossible anyway.) But the discovery of truth is a huge first step in the process. In any difficult situation we can choose to ignore the facts and try to keep life on an even keel. But there inevitably comes a day of reckoning. For Abbie to arrive at the desired destination, there are some unpleasant truths she must acknowledge and deal with. She's dogged by a scripture from John 8:32 that says the truth will set you free. Only she can decide whether or not she'll let it.

What is the most satisfying thing that comes out of your writing?

I love hearing from readers, especially those I don't know, who say my stories have touched them in one way or another, and most importantly, have helped them see more clearly how good and loving our Lord is.

What are you working on now, and does it continue in the style of Lying on Sunday and Every Good & Perfect Gift?

My work in progress, Unraveled, is another contemporary novel about a young woman who gives a year of her life to help teach children in Moldova, a small country in eastern Europe. While there she experiences a crisis of fath (the story ultimately deals with human trafficking). And yes, it continues in the style of my previous novels.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

Naturally I love to hear from readers. You can email me through my website: If you're in a book club and choose to read any of my books I'll send a complimentary book to the person who contacts me on behalf of their group. Then, after you read the book I'd love to participate in your group discussion, either by phone or in person if you're close enough for me to drive to.