Tag Archives: The Enclave

Sit and Wait

This is funny. I accessed my blog just now (Sunday afternoon) in order to take the link here to my old blog (Writing from the Edge 1)  and discovered that I never published the post I’d intended to put up last Thursday.  Duh!  I could have sworn that I had at the least typed it into the WordPress program and just forgot to push “Publish.”

Alas. No. I did type it into notepad in a first draft stage, but I must’ve left the office and walked through too many doorways after that and so forgot! (See article HERE on how walking through a doorway causes forgetfulness.)

But it was a post I liked, a bit more timely last week than this, so, what the heck — I’ll post it now, anyway:

Sit and Wait

I wrote the following on June 21, 2007 during the early going of writing The Enclave. In fact, I was on chapter 5. I could have as easily written it any day this last week. I’m currently working on chapter 6 of The Other Side of the Sky and this entry from FOUR years ago describes exactly what I went through last week. Well, am probably still pretty much going through:

21 June [2007] Thursday 10:30 am I have chaos now. The book’s giving me a flood of additional options, thoughts, directions. Suddenly all I thought was decided has come into question. Should Gen be assistant director and not Slattery? How metaphysical and quirky should this Institute be? Do they require meditation two times a week [like the early Biosphere did of its staff]? Drama? How does the way the Biosphere developed compare with what I’m doing? Do I need more information? Different information?

Okay, I might as well get used to the fact that this is how it’s going to be with writing. From afar the field looks beautiful and smooth, aglow with color. When you get into it, it’s a bramble patch on rutted, rocky ground, full of pitfalls and boulders. I’m in over my head and can’t see where I’m going.

I have to trust the Lord — utterly — to guide me. Not only with respect to the path the book will take, but with respect to the path my actions will take.

12:30pm I worked on gleaning, transfering notes, thinking until 11:45am, then stretched. Just now I did a blog post for tonight [for the record it is 1:08pm as I type this] I’m tired.

I read a cool poem though, the last line of which was, “They also serve who stand and wait…” Not wait, trust and do the next thing. Just stand/sit and wait. For direction…

6:30pm Bible class is done. I’m back in bed, icing my foot [this was back when I’d broken my ankle].  I did a nonstop, then moved stuff into chapter 5 and then edited the first part of my hard copy. It’s extremely messy and confused right now. But I’m no longer frozen.


Though I had no opportunity to work on Thursday after I had read this and copied it into Notepad, or on Friday, when I did get back to the work on Saturday, I had the same sort of breakthrough I described here: ie, no longer frozen.

Can we say “This is the PROCESS, Karen?” Why are you always so surprised?

Tentatively Back in the Saddle

As the title of this post suggests, I’ve tentatively returned to the saddle of actually attending to my Work In Progress, hereafter, as much as I can remember, to be referred to as my WIP.  (That’s the official, professional writer designation…)  Anyway, for a whopping TWO consecutive days now, I’ve actually gone into my office and done something somewhat related to writing.

When I found myself repeatedly avoiding the work, bored by the very thought of it, unable to figure out why it bored me, I decided to be very nice to myself, gently insisting at first that all I need do was come into the room for a period of time. I’ve been in here working on decluttering, taking stuff out of the closet, getting rid of some of it to make room for stuff from other rooms and the stuff on the bed in the office … and berating myself for not attending to the writing.

So I turned it around. Using the essential Flylady timer, I decided I would do writing things in the 15 minute blocks Flylady likes to call baby steps. I aim for coming into the office around 9 or 10 in the morning, but if that doesn’t happen, afternoons will work too. Then I decided on five things I would do while I’m in here.

In keeping with the spirit of The Artist’s Way, which you may recall I was working on last winter, first up would be 15 minutes of writing in my writing log or doing morning pages, whatever I wanted to do/call it.

Next, 15 minutes of decluttering the office until it’s done. After all… I was doing it anyway, it was in the office and writing related since the clutter and mounds of stuff have been very distracting mentally .

Task 3 is 15 minutes of reading about writing. I have a number of writing books on my shelves I haven’t read, and others I have and could easily reread to my advantage and it was to one of these I thought I’d turn. Instead, I felt led to pick out my own journal kept from May 2000 through January of 2002, chronicling my journey through the beginnings of Enclave (then referred to as Black Box) and my current WIP (ha ha! I remembered the acronym!).  One of the first things I came upon in reading my own journal from over ten years ago– at least two years before any of my books had sold — was this:

“Well, I’m officially at work on Black Box now, after several days of easing into it. I have some pages of log on the computer, beginning (over a year ago) the day I first developed the characters — very sketchy, but names and some form at least. My complaint then was that it does not seem Meaningful like Arena and (The Light of) Eidon, just a ditzy little thriller…

“The next entry was (a day later) — I checked out books. After that, the next one is this month… So here we go… I feel blank and at a loss, but hey that’s old hat. That’s almost the way I’m supposed to feel…”

Several paragraphs later…

“I’ve made some progress but… This is interesting. I am bored. I’m trying to get going on Black Box and I’m not excited or inspired at all. Is it me? Is it the spark of life that’s missing? Is it that I’m pretty sure Arena’s not going to be bought this month and thus Eidon is a complete waste? It’s a good book, but it’s not going anywhere (publishing-wise). The only one with hope of going somewhere is Black Box and I don’t care about it. Is that a problem?”

Well, seeing as this is exactly how I’ve been feeling about  The Other Side of the Sky, minus the angst about whether it’s going to sell or not, since it already has, that was quite encouraging. And this even more so:

“I’m feeling restless, like I’m wasting my time, but I think all this is part of my process and is okay.  Understanding what I’m doing and why, will help me look in the right direction when it comes to my ruminations. Last night I spent some time listening to Lorie Line and trying to get hold of who Cameron is and why I should admire him…I also went through the oldest of my journals I could find — May of ’93 –wherein I was already to chapter 10 of rough draft on Arena and feeling lost, frustrated, etc. I was basically feeling my way along. Nothing but the broadest of outlines (at the time)…”

This is all SO familiar. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I never seem to be.  And yet… and yet, as I mentioned in the pages I’ve just been quoting from, it’s clear that God’s intention for me is that I do the work as unto Him, with the proper power system (filled with the Holy Spirit) and motivation (to bring glory to Him; to obey Him in using this gift He’s given me) and leave the results to Him.

It’s just so darned uncomfortable. It feels so much like I’m doing nothing but wandering around. It feels very incompetent.


“By means of faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, NOT KNOWING WHERE HE WAS GOING.” ~ Heb 11:8

Award Voting Starts Now

Voting for the Clive Staples Award begins today.  You may recall that last month I posted a notice that The Enclave is one of nineteen reader-nominated entries for this year’s Clive Staples Award (Clive Staples, you may or may not know, is what the “C” and the “S” stand for in “C.S. Lewis” who was something of a pioneer in Christian science fiction and fantasy)

The contest administrators have asked that I post the following regarding how to go about voting should you wish to do so:

Please read these instructions carefully, then proceed to the ballot by clicking on the link below.

CSA is not a popularity contest. The award has been established to recognize the work of fiction which readers designate as the previous year’s best. Consequently, voters must adhere to these basic rules.

  • You MUST have read at least two of the nominations, the complete list of which is available HERE.
  • You may vote only once for a first, second, and third choice.
  • You may not vote for the same book as your second or third option that you voted for as your first choice.
  • Your votes for second and third options may not be for the identical book.
  • You may mark the “none of these” option if you do not have a second or third choice.
  • Voting will close September 1, 2010.
  • Second and third choice options will only be considered if a clear winner is not determined by the first choice vote.

To vote, click here and answer all the questions.

Clive Staples Award Nomination

Last year a group of readers, writers and fans of Christian Speculative Fiction came together to institute an award for the best book in that genre selected by readers of Christian Speculative Fiction. 2009 saw  the inauguration of the award, with the first presentation going to Donita K. Paul for her novel Dragonlight.

This year there are nineteen nominees chosen by readers, and The Enclave is one of them. Because they do not want the award to be a popularity contest, reflective only of which author network is the largest, but rather the outcome of readers who read in the speculative genre making informed choices, the award administrators are requiring this year that voters  read at least TWO of the nominated works. To aid prospective voters in meeting this requirement, they’ve designated July “Read Christian Speculative Fiction Month.” A simple list of the nominees is here.  If you’d like more information, introductions including cover pics, plot summaries and what other readers have said, are here (arranged in reverse alphabetical order by title).  Anyone can participate in voting, but, as mentioned they must have read at least two of the nominated works.

Voting will begin in August and will be conducted as a “survey”—really, your ballot—so votes will be private as far as the public is concerned. You’ll need to check back at the site or here at Writing from the Edge to see when the voting begins so you can sign up. (Or you can sign up now at either place to receive posts by email)

They are hoping to make this award one of significance similar to the Hugo awards given out by the secular science fiction/fantasy community and decided by vote of the members (attending and supporting) of the annual WorldCon (major SF/F convention).