Eclipse and Books

The Eclipse is coming! I’m so excited for it. I’ve always wanted to see a total eclipse. Unfortunately, I won’t be in an area where I can see the total eclipse, but I will be able to see a partial one. Monday morning, I’m heading out to the library to go to their viewing event. Free solar eclipse glasses FOR THE WIN!

“Coincidentally” my upcoming book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon features a solar eclipse as a main plot point.  I don’t have a release date yet, but this is too good a chance to pass up. So to celebrate, I’ll be disclosing the tentative book blurb and perhaps post an excerpt from the book.

Hopefully, I’ll remember to take good pictures of the eclipse to post here, too. I’m so excited! XD

I hope you’ll join me Monday!

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

Journeys in Editing

This week, I completed another round of editing with for my upcoming YA fantasy adventure book, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon.  It was such a pleasant process and a bit different from the last book I released with a publisher. So I thought I’d give a brief overview of the different types of editing you have to undergo when you get traditionally published.

Pre-Edits

This process is something I went through with both of my traditionally published books. Basically, it’s conforming the manuscript to the publisher’s specific formatting requirements–such as having only one space after a period, or all numbers should be written out, or the removal of certain words the publisher doesn’t like. Doing all this first saves time later.

It’s a bit of a tedious process, and I found out I use the word “that” more than I should. But it also tightens up the manuscript. All told, not to bad. But it took a longer time than I thought it would.

Content Edits

This is where the editor goes through and suggests changes to your manuscript. With my first book, Lucas, Guardian of Truth, my editor suggested removing a large chunk of my story and revise some of the character interactions. I did so, and it made the story so much better. This time around the content editing was minimal.

This is the process that can be a little hard for a writer to bear. Your editor will take a good look at your story and be brutally honest about what needs to be changed. However, all the editors I’ve ever worked with are so supportive that even when major changes were suggested, I felt comfortable accepting their criticisms. And it helps to remember that they want your story to work as much as you do. In the end, though, the decision was mine to make.

Line Edits

Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon is the first time I’ve worked with a line editor, and all I have to say is, “Where have you been all my life?” From my understanding, the line editor is the typo catcher. Mine caught grammar mistakes, awkward sentences, missing words, and things like that. It was a pleasure to work with her.

***

So that’s my journey into editing so far. I am waiting on my release date, the book cover, and everything else, but I’ll keep you posted on all that.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

What I’ve Been Up to

So this week I started/continued some new projects.

  1. Of course, I’m still working on my SF comic. It’s being uploaded on dA.
  2. I’m working on a book for my mother’s church. I’m also illustrating it. I’m not so confident in my art skills, but I’m moving forward.
  3. I’m working a new ministry/volunteer project. I don’t want to give details until at least next year, but if you have suggestions for any type of children’s, YA, and MG books, please let me know. All genres, please–including non-fiction.
  4. I’m working on two crochet projects. One is: http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/persian-tiles . It’s nice.

The other is this one:Week 3 CAL

It’s part of Dearest Debi’s Crochet-a-long  here: http://dearestdebi.com/garden-romp-crochet-along-2017. She’s also uploading the pattern a week at a time on her youtube channel. It looks even more amazing in real life. And it’s gorgeous even though I messed up. By far, it’s the most intricate thing I’ve ever crocheted, and it’s so interesting to work on.

Anyway, so that’s what I’m up to.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

 

Useless Words

As I mentioned last week, I signed a contract with a book publisher for one of my manuscripts. This week, the editor had me run through pre-edits. It’s a list of items that all authors must comply with before they get into the editing process.

What an eye opener!

Two things I learned by going through this process: 1. I am a much better writer than I was when I finished that manuscript. 2. Useless words can plague a manuscript.

One of the items they sent me was a list of words they wanted cut. Can I tell you, you don’t know how much you use a particular word until you’re asked to remove it.

By the time I finished, I had cut a total of 1,913 words of useless words, phrases, and sentences–which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that’s approximately 8 double spaced, 1″ margin-ed pages. Yes, *8*! YIKES!

Now, I consider myself a good writer, but I was astonished at how many overused words crept into my writing.

So take the time to cut those insipid words and phrases from your manuscript. Is there a phrase you’ve repeated a lot? Try to find a way to re-write them. And don’t be afraid if page after page winds up on the cutting room floor. Your manuscript will be better for it.

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

An Exciting Week!

This has been an exciting week for me.

First, you may have noticed that the website has a new look. That’s because I decided to change my webhost on Monday. And what followed was a Memorial Day full of frustration and anger—all founded on the fact that I bought the wrong plan. The good news is that the support team was so nice, refunded my money, and I was able to get my website transferred successfully today. Some of the pictures on the posts are gone, but I can and will restore them in the next few weeks.

After that, I found out that Gods with Fur, the anthology one of my short stories was included in, won the award it was nominated for. You can see the stream of the award ceremony here:

(The anthologies’ award starts at 28:19). I’m so excited about that. It was shaping up to be a good day.

And then I got an e-mail.

A publishing company I had submitted my manuscript, Prince of the Sun, Princess of the Moon, to decided to accept it for publication! I signed the contract on Wednesday, and now I am in the editing process. I’ll be sure to provide more details as I move along.

In addition, I finished inking the last page of Chapter 3 of the Silver Foxes graphic novel. On to writing Chapter 4!

So it’s been a good week. Yeah, a very good week!

-*heart* M.R. Anglin

A Brief SetBack (And GN Update)

A lot of times when I am following what God has told me to do, I feel like it will be easy or it will be successful. That’s not necessarily the case. Just because you’re obedient, doesn’t mean you’re not going to fail. For example, when Jesus sent out the disciples in Matt. 10, He told them what to do if people didn’t accept their message. In fact, He was up front with them and told them that they would be persecuted and arrested. Obedience didn’t keep them from getting hurt.

So when I started on this Graphic Novel project, I had to remind myself that it wasn’t going to be easy and it may not be successful.

I started out well, the first few pages were beautiful, and I was pleased that I was able to draw a decent ruined Jelu. But then came pages 8 and 9. I guess part of it was that I wasn’t feeling well, but my drawing that day was awful! AWFUL! Later that day I went back to it, and I was appalled. Every panel had something I had to fix, and one panel had to be completely redrawn from scratch. All my old insecurities flooded back to me: What am I doing? Why am I trying to do this? I can’t do this.

I was obedient, but not successful.

But instead of giving up . . . with all my insecurities ringing in my ears . . . I prayed for strength and ability, sucked it up, and tried again. My redrawn sections were much better. Not perfect, but my best. And no, I still can’t draw a speeder. Though I tried. I imagine that when I get better at drawing, I’ll come back and redraw what I have right now. But what I have will have to do.

So I’ve moved forward. I’ve finished penciling the first 11 pages of the GN–that’s Chapter 1. Next week comes inking.

On a more positive note, I got me a dip pen set. And I LOVE it. I drew and inked the GN’s cover for practice, and it’s the first time I’ve ever liked my line art. Oh, those crisp, beautiful, black lines! I love them. I also got my proof copy for Celebrity Dish so I’ll be working on that too.

Anyway, that is all.

-:heart: M.R. Anglin

A Test of Obedience

A few weeks ago I posted on “Obedience in All Things.” I attempted to be real and talk about an area where I had failed. Well, I am making progress on doing those three things I referred to—the three things that I had neglected for so long. But now here comes the test of that resolve.

One of the things that I had neglected was working on my drawing skills. I’ve never described myself as an artist. I’ve always said, I am a writer who draws, nothing more. Truth is, I had given in to comparing myself to others who have much more talent than I do . . . people I can never hope to catch up to. In essence, I ignored God’s command to use His gifts for His glory. Instead I thought to myself, “There are much better artists than me out there, so let them handle it. After all, the Church is one body, right? We’re supposed to encourage and support one another. They can do the art, and I can do the writing. Win-win.”

Sometimes the greatest lies are near-truths.

While it’s true that the Church is all one body and we are called to help and support each other, nowhere does that give us license to neglect whatever gifts God has given us. Five talents or one—He decides who gets what, and I have no right to call what I have “not good enough.”

So anyway, I’ve been drawing again, and I’ve made progress. Now here comes the test: I feel God is leading me to draw my series, Silver Foxes in comic format.

Me.

Myself.

My art.

My goodness!

My usual excuses disappear in light of the things I’ve learned over the last few weeks. “I’m not good enough”—no excuse. “I can’t draw it as well as so an so” —no excuse. “No one will read it”—no excuse. “It’ll be a downgrade in quality to what people have seen on my book covers before”—no excuse.  “So and so can do a much better job than I can”—no excuse. “But I’m not good at comics”—no excuse. All I can do is my best to God’s glory. Anything less is not good enough.

No excuses, Mich.

I am scared stiff as I write this. Tears are coming to my eyes as I reflect on the magnitude of the project and the insecurities I will face and am facing right now. But obedience knows no fear—or rather fear and obedience have nothing to do with each other. I may fear, but I am committing myself to being obedient. The project may end up failing, but I will push forward.

To prepare myself, I’ve been working on a short, wordless comic featuring Max and Celeste. It’ll help me familiarize myself with how best to ink and draw backgrounds and such. It’ll also help me learn my photo editing software, and it will be an introduction into toning. (I thought about making it in color because color hides drawing mistakes, but I don’t want to hide my flaws in this case. I want to expose them in order to learn how to fix them).

This will also be an opportunity to revise Silver Foxes Vol 1. Let’s be honest, that one is not my best work. It was at the time, but now . . . I cringe. I haven’t read it since I released it in book format because I don’t want to face it. But once I let myself believe that maybe I can be my own artist after all, so many ideas on how to fix it flowed into my mind.

You probably won’t hear much about this for a year or so . . . (maybe sooner, who knows?), but I plan to keep working on it behind the scenes. In the meantime, pray for me and keep me in your thoughts. I’ll be moving forward with fear and trembling.

-:heart: M.R. Anglin