The Face of the Earth

No, I have not disappeared off the face of the earth. I am still here.  The breath still flows from my body with the same cadence of rhythm it has had for as long as I can remember.

Photo from solarsystem.nasa.gov

Photo from solarsystem.nasa.gov

One difference is, I’ve been terribly busy! I mean: terribly.  There’s this four letter word that when used in a context not related to writing, tends to sound unpleasant to my ears.  I think you know it. Do I need say it? I’ll just spell it for those who may not have caught on due to differences in language or culture. The word is w-o-r-k.

I don’t mind hard work. In fact, I enjoy hard work, and seeing the fruits of my labor intensifies the enjoyment. But, when the work pulls me from my writing and leaves me feeling too exhausted to put fingers to keys or pen to paper, I begin to find no pleasure in my labors.  If I could easily balance the two, that would be fine, but that is not always the case. This day, well, I could stay away from the keys no longer.

The need for fresh thoughts and words to spill across the bright white screen was too tantalizing to resist. How have you been these last five or six weeks!? What projects, jobs, endeavors, escapades have occupied your time?  Would you share some of it with me? I’d love to know!

I’ll just give a quick update on my writing life — I made it to 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, but didn’t finish writing my book yet. I’ll get it done by the end of February, I hope. By the middle of January I should have my first-born book, The Beauty Thief, back from Susan, my editor. That will keep me busy as well.  In the mean time, I will keep plugging along and steal moments like this to write whatever needs writing.

I’ll just not mention the fact that I’ll probably keep watching Doctor Who episodes until I’m caught up… I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to watch them! oooo…. you didn’t see that.

Let’s visit, though. Tell me what you’ve been up to lately! :)

Set Apart

Forgiven

I am just a girl, I’m no one special

I’m nothing perfect, or refined,

But make mistakes and change my mind.

*

I’m not perfect, I am just me.

I’m only this girl who wants to be kind

And sometimes you might mistake me, I find.

*

I want to be gentle, I want to be true.

I never want to be that girl — the two-faced kind.

And always want to be rose-colored-glasses blind.

*

I am no one special, I’m just a girl.

I know all through my life time cannot rewind

But the past will not hold the future confined.

*

I may be just a girl. I may be nothing special,

I have made mistakes and been naively inclined

But thankfully, I’m not the be-all and end-all of mankind.

*

I’m this girl, who despite my faults, mistakes, and sins

Is loved desperately by the God who gives himself refined

And as I repent, my faith-filled soul is cradled by ties that bind.

Don’t Blink or You’ll Miss It.

In a Blink
Do you ever look at the day
And think to yourself, NO WAY!
Time has flown by in a zip
And you can’t seem to get a grip.
It just slips on through your fingers.
A memory is all that lingers,
But you know it truly was real
Life lived wasn’t something you feel.
So you wonder at what you can do
To make sure you enjoy the view
As you watch life fly on by
Hoping you won’t miss it with a sigh.

. . .

. . . . .

 . . .


Time-flies-like-an

Beneath

Rachael:

Richard Ankers is in a piratey mood, too, it would seem. :)

Originally posted on Richard Ankers:




Under a gangling ocean grey

Lie restless sailors sea did slay

Whelks for eyes, they cannot view

The souls they seek in deepest blue

With fingers twisting lamprey eels

They quest for hearts and all they yield

To rest eternal that’s their wish

Not roam about as mutant fish

But till the waters dry to steam

Beneath the ocean they shall dream


(Image courtesy maszeq on deviant art.com)

View original

My Very Own Seafaring Ballad!

I wrote this part in Captive Hope which called for a pirate sing-along.

No really. These pirates enjoy singing. They are masters of the sea shanty, but a ballad will sneak into the repertoire every now and again. So, I left that part of the story empty while deliberating the song I must choose. I thought about incorporating a classic, but decided to write my own. I got inspiration for the tune/rhythm of  the ballad from a song I love, though. I wonder if anyone can figure it out…

Here’s the seafaring ballad I wrote for my book. Tell me what you think of it!

Image from disney.wikia.com

Disney’s “Little Mermaid” — image from disney.wikia.com

 

Sea’s Call

The bonny lass, she breached my soul

Took from me every thought of sea

She was so sweet, my heart she stole

Ripped from my chest with ne’er a thought

I loved her deep, as all could go

But ocean swells, I longed to row

I left my lass, back on the shore

She was my heart, the sea my call


We sailed the tides and we did roam

Traveled the seas and took our time

But O my soul, it was at home

Back with the lass who’d stole my heart

I dared not think about that gal

Or send my lads to death and hell

For we were naught, but in a storm

Caught by the waves of Triton’s lore


As Death called out my very name

I could not think but of my dame

If I had stayed at home with her

I would not know the price of fame

image from bplusmovieblog.com

Disney’s “Little Mermaid” — image from bplusmovieblog.com

Excerpt from >Captive Hope< – My NaNoWriMo Project

Hello ya’ll! Actually, I always wonder when I write that contraction (because, yes, even though I’m not from Texas, I still say it) if it should be “y’all” or “ya’ll.”  Maybe it depends on which syllable you usually accent?  Oh well! Let’s get back to work here.

During the month of November I’m writing my second novel and using Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as my little push to keep moving forward.  It’s been good! I have to admit that I had this niggling fear in the back of my mind that kept chanting, “You’re a one hit wonder sort of person but not even that good. You won’t be able to write this second book.”

"It was a dark and stormy night . . ." hehe

“It was a dark and stormy night . . .” hehe

The opening of NaNoWriMo was a new experience for me where I went to a truck stop at 11:30pm in order to meet with a bunch of strangers and work on my book starting at midnight. I must admit, when I got over my fear of walking in to a truck stop close to midnight and introducing myself to a room full of various strangers, I had a great time! Did I win any word wars? Nope.  Did I meet some interesting people? You bet. Did I accomplish any writing? Of course!

In fact, since that midnight start on November first I’ve written 11,490 words.  That equates to five chapters for me. I don’t know how many pages that is, but I’m good with it.

2014-11-04 12.27.01

 

I’ve drawn myself a scratch-outline to help keep me on track. I think I’ll take a break from writing the story and make a BIG one to put on the wall. We’ll call it “decoration.” Then I’ll use post-it notes or 3×5 notecards to organize the time line.  The idea of making this big chart makes me incredibly happy!  Does that make me a nerd?

Today, I decided I’d post an excerpt from Captive Hope here on my blog.  It’s the same part I put on my NaNoWriMo page. I’d love to hear your thoughts, concerns, encouragements, whether you hate it or love it, if you think I should name my next house after it . . . just checking to see if you’re still reading.  Anyway, here you go!

EXCERPT- CAPTIVE HOPE by Rachael Ritchey

She swallowed. It wasn’t that she was worried he would hurt her, but there was this lingering feeling of unease every time he looked at her like that. She didn’t know why it frightened her so much. “Well, she and the princess have made a plan for Idra to travel with a small escort to Taisce to visit her family. They will leave tomorrow morning and take the main road to her family’s estate south of the castle  there. I heard their whole plan. What I was thinking was that it would be easier to do away with her when she’s not in the castle. It would mean you’d have to do something with her escort, but you would be better protected not being within the walls.”

Noreeta held her breath while she waited for him to consider this information and sighed with relief when his head started to nod up and down.

“I am pleased with your forethought and insight, my dear. I didn’t know you had it in you. Yes, this will be better. Now, you must go back the keep. They cannot know that you were here. My men and I will leave tonight just before the gates close and wait to ambush Lady Idra and her retinue along the highway to Taisce.”

“Can’t I come with you?”

“That is not wise, Noreeta.”

“When will you come back for me?”

“When I’m ready.”

“You must come for me the day after tomorrow. I’m afraid to stay here without you.”

“Noreeta, don’t be silly. You’re perfectly safe. I’ll come back for you after the job is done.”

She leaned forward and kissed him on the lips. Noreeta knew he was not a demonstrative man, so she tried not to let it bother her when he didn’t return her kiss. He stood up, moved to the door, and undid the lock. Zaide swung the door open and motioned for her to leave.

She didn’t want to admit to herself that she felt like a chastised school girl leaving his presence, but the feeling was there. Her only comfort was in knowing he loved her and would come back for her in two days.

 

:) That’s that for now! Thanks for reading a little snippet of my story! I hope you enjoyed!

And just as a reminder, if you’re interested in keeping in touch with me I’m also on

Facebook at writingraci and Twitter @RachaelRitchey

The Great Ships: Pirate Ships

This video is a bit long, but I found it interesting and even a little entertaining.  I’m not so sure I’d ever want to be a pirate.  Maybe I’m not romantic enough…

:)

NaNoWriMo?! Oh SHIP!

No really! I need info about ships! I’m so excited right now, it’s not even funny. I finally had an hour to sit down and write out the quick outline (which is not really an outline) of the book I’ll be writing during NaNoWriMo :

Captive1As you can tell from this quick cover I threw together from some of my photography lying around (inside the computer), there is water involved in this story…an ocean. This story is going to be a great adventure! I’m both excited and nervous to write it!

 

Here’s the thing, I need lots of information about sailing ships…um…I know the basics of how a ship works…you know…there are sails, a bow, an anchor, a deck, a hold, a captains quarters, a big wheel, a stern, fore and aft (I think?), um….yeah…oh! Lots of rope and some barrels. Well, I need to know MORE!

Can you help me? What do you know about large sailing vessels? Keep in mind, this is fantasy, so it doesn’t really matter what era your ship knowledge is from — as long as it’s before 1900, I’ll be happy. I just want accurate descriptions and names for things in my story and I’m kinda running out of time to do the proper research.

I’m bad, though, because I knew I would need this months ago, but I didn’t get around to it. Now I’ve decided to hop on the NaNoWriMo train and it’s not going to slow down enough for me to get my bearings, see? Get it? Bering Sea?

haha  Ohhhh, I crack myself up.

Aaaaanywho!

Share your shippy knowledge with me, please!  It would be good to know how and why things work the way they do! :) Thank you, most kindly!

-Rachael Ritchey

Q&A #6: Pampered Self?

qanda6

Two ladies I love dearly asked very similar questions of me.  I will gladly try to answer them, because maybe one of you has a better idea…OR, you might like it how I do it so much you’ll want to try it, too!  Either way, let’s share our secrets here on the world-wide-web. :)

Cyndi and Faye asked:

I can see that you are a loving mother, wife, and daughter, but what do you do to nourish/pamper  yourself?

Lots of people who aren’t loving mothers, wives, or daughters are busy.  The world we live in seems to be ever-moving, shifting, and changing. I am probably not half so busy as I seem, but most days I feel like things just never slow down.  There is always something that must be done!

Here’s a rundown of my responsibilities:

Husband, Kids, Home, PT Job, Laundry (yes, this deserves its own category when there are six of you in a house), Family, Friends, Writing, Helping with Homework, Social-Media-ing, Blogging, etc.  I’m sure you’re thinking that some of these aren’t really responsibilities, but I can assure you that they are!

The thing is, responsibility isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, some things become a responsibility because they are a good thing and we love them.  Most of that list is full of things I adore.  Yes, there are a few I could live without, but because the not-so-fun ones are related to (and serve) the best ones, I would choose to do the unpleasant stuff over and over.

On top of taking care of everything that requires my time and attention, how to do I nourish and/or pamper myself?

  •  Well, when I feel stressed, I rearrange furniture.
  • I also pick up my pencils and draw, or take out the paints and attempt to make something beautiful on canvas.
  • I spend time with my best friends to just visit and laugh.
  • I read my Bible.
  • I sing whatever pops into my head (real songs or made up nonsense).
  • I love to read books.

These are things I do as a way of pampering.  My fingernails don’t get manicures, and the bathtub is not conducive to long soaks, so I ignore those options, but I’m sure they’re nice!

Believe it or not, all the writing I do, including this blog, help to nourish my heart and mind.

So, you could say, because I’ve got this creative bent, everything I do can nourish and pamper me if I look at it in the right light.

  • When I rearrange, the house gets clean.
  • When I draw, I have new art with which to decorate the walls or give as gifts to people I love.
  • When I spend time with my friends, I am making them a priority.
  • When I read my Bible, I grow closer to God who created me.
  • When I sing, I forget the time and cleaning goes by faster.
  • Reading, well, sometimes that can be done with my kids, and we get to enjoy a story together.
  • My writing hopefully makes a difference for someone somewhere.

So, while I pamper and nourish myself — with the right attitude — I’m also able to fulfill all my responsibilities, too!  

It’s pretty awesome how that works out!

What about you?  How do you pamper/nourish yourself?!  Tell us in the comments below.

Have a great day, Friend!

BOOKS! BOOKS! Two BOOKS!

(probably not the final cover, but I'm diggin' it)

(probably not the final cover, but I’m diggin’ it)

Book ONE: The Beauty Thief

Yay! It’s almost done and ready to go to my editor, Susan Hughes, for it’s very first professional edit.  If it weren’t for my amazing friends who have already taken great pains to read through and edit the story for me first, I think I would be slightly more embarrassed to send this newest draft to Susan. Thank you Sheila, Cherie, Stephanie(& hubby’n’daughter), Kristi, Tara, & Dawn! You’ve all been so supportive through this whole endeavor. Also, gotta thank Karl & Kassi, too! There are so many people to thank, and I’m only getting started!

Participant-2014-Web-Banner

As some of you know, November is Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I really didn’t see myself participating in this mad dash to write 50,000 words in 30 days, but since I’m just about done with book one and want to start on book two, it seems that NaNoWriMo is a perfect place to get a kickstart! I’ve been collecting my ideas for the second book since I was about half way through the original draft of the first book, so I have some place to start.

I figure I’ll post a little about my progress on book two through NaNoWriMo over the course of the month of November. I would love your support and encouragement. I am thinking it will feel a little daunting on some days. Hopefully my family will be forgiving of the time devoted to making my goals on the book!

Here is a sort-of-sneak-peek at

Book Two: Captive Hope

Captive1

This story will follow after a character from book one named Idra.  I think you will like her adventure, too.  If you are interested in writing your own story along with all us other crazy folk (’cause I think it’s fun with like-minded friends), then you can sign-up for free at NaNoWriMo.org.  Be my buddy! Search for my username: RachaelRitchey

Thanks again for checking in on me and my book-writing, author-dreaming adventure I call: A Sweet Sliver of Life!

 

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