Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rim-To-Rim: 7 Tips for Crossing the Book Canyon from Page One to The End

As much as I love the Grand Canyon, I’ve never attempted to cross it – a grueling 25-mile hike that’s a 2-3 day test of mental, physical and spiritual endurance. But I have several intrepid friends who’ve tackled the challenge and triumphed.
The Rim-To-Rim.
When I type the opening line of a new book, a deep divide seemingly stretches from that point to The End. As with the Grand Canyon’s Rim-To-Rim, finishing a book for many of us isn’t an easy journey. There are no guarantees we’ll reach the other side. But like Canyon hikers, writers who have a strong enough dream are willing to risk the attempt.

TIP #1: Set a Target. Hikers on the South Rim will never hit the North if they wander off in a southerly direction. As a writer, give thought to the readership of your book, the expectations of the genre, the projected word count, and the publisher guidelines. Determining this in advance saves time and heartache later. Establish a deadline.
TIP #2: Prepare. Rim-to-Rim hikers invest time and effort in preparations long before their feet hit the trail--obtaining permits and advice from those who’ve gone before them, acquiring gear and supplies, and conditioning their bodies for endurance. Crossing the Canyon isn’t an impulsively taken walk in the park.
Likewise, regardless of whether you’re a story plotter, a seat-of-the-pantser or a planster, do yourself a favor. Think through a book-length goal, motivation and conflict to drive your main characters. Know how they’ll change. Know, too, the primary plot turning points and the black moment and resolution you’re shooting for. What’s the core of the story--the intended takeaway?

TIP #3:  Buddy Up. While there are no guarantees a hiker partnering with others will make it to the other side, there’s safety in numbers. Those who team up for mutual encouragement and to look out for each other’s welfare stand a much higher chance of reaching the opposite Rim.
As a writer, consider attending a conference, joining a writers group or finding a compatible critique partner. Or get actively involved in an on-line community (like Seekerville!) where you can receive guidance and support (and an occasional kick in the seat of the pants).
TIP #4: Pace Yourself. While taking in majestic surroundings is a good thing, with too many distracting side excursions hikers of the Canyon will find themselves short on water and food, losing energy, motivation and momentum. Not a good place to be. They must keep moving steadily in the direction of the intended Rim.
As a writer, establish a daily or weekly word count goal. There will be times when you want to quit, when you want to chase off after new “exciting” ideas. But if you develop a pattern of doing that, you can expect to have a lot of unfinished manuscripts under your bed. If you don’t meet the word count goal, don’t beat yourself up. Dust yourself off and get moving forward again.

TIP #5: Don’t Psych Yourself Out. As Rim-to-Rimmers can attest, if you tell yourself you can’t do it, the odds are against you right from the start. Negative self-talk can’t rule thinking patterns once they’ve started into the Canyon. They can’t call a cab if they get hot or sunburned or blisters or belatedly discover they bit off more than they can chew. Unless it’s a true medical emergency requiring air evacuation, the expectation is that you walked in and you will walk out.
As a writer, keep the inner critic at bay. Don’t tell yourself negative things that you wouldn’t dream of telling another aspiring writer. Things like “you’ll never finish a book, this story is no good, you’re no good.” Every day remind yourself “I can do this.” Or even better yet: “Together God and I can do this!”
TIP #6 Track Your Progress. Canyon hikers carry a map to recognize points along the trail so they can track how far they’ve gone and how far they still have to go. Do they need to conserve food or water? Pick up the pace? Or are they right on target?
As a writer, track your progress. For years I’ve kept a simple Excel spreadsheet to record daily word count and calculate the running total, as well as a brief “why” statement if I didn’t meet my goal (e.g., “prepping Seekerville blogpost,” “synopsis work,” “family outing”). Or maybe you’d prefer to have a pocket calendar or one on your wall where you can jot word count.

TIP #7 Don’t Get Too Close to the Edge. Rare is the year when at least one person doesn’t plummet to their death in the Grand Canyon. There have been two or three in 2016 alone. Both above and below the Rim, hikers need to be acutely aware of their surroundings, know their limits and not take dangerous shortcuts when others are passing by them at a faster clip. They need to remain balanced and focused on their own journey, not distracted by someone else’s.
Promise yourself not to compare your finish-the-book journey to that of others. It’s wise to challenge yourself--but realize that unless you’re Nora Roberts, there will always be speedier writers than you. Better writers. Writers to whom full-blown ideas seem to fall out of the sky at their feet while you struggle to come up with a single decent one. Make a commitment not to turn back or get too close to the self-sabotaging envy edge.
BONUS TIP:  As I’ve so often pointed out, baby steps add up! ENJOY the journey. Don’t let the distance to The End intimidate you. It all comes down to taking that first step--and one persevering step after another. Periodically give yourself a pat on the back to celebrate how far you’ve come. Then take another step. You can do it!

Does a yawning canyon seem to stand between you and The End of that dreamed-of book? Where are you right now--on the Rim wistfully looking across the canyon? Trudging through its depths or on the upward climb where temperatures are reaching 120 degrees and you’re running out of water, knowing you have as far to go now as you’ve already come? Or maybe you’re close to triumphantly planting your feet at your final destination. Which of these tips is most difficult for you to follow? And which is the tip you most need at this point in your journey?
If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a Kindle copy of James Scott Bell’s “The Mental Game of Writing,” mention it in the comment section, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re a winner!
GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns--and vacations spent with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Her Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday--won first and second place, respectively, in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards. Her November 2016 release, The Pastor’s Christmas Courtship, is available for pre-order now (click here)!
Jodi Thorpe’s childhood vacation cabin seems the perfect place for her to heal her broken heart…and avoid Christmas cheer. After twelve years, nothing in Hunter Ridge has changed--except Garrett McCrae. The bad boy who was once her secret crush is now the town minister. And Garrett won’t let her miss out on all the hope and joy the holiday brings.  With every day he’s drawn to the vulnerable woman Jodi’s become, even as he’s about to leave for a mission halfway around the world.  But as they grow closer, their plans begin to change. Can Garrett make it a season to remember, with a love they can’t forget?


Heidi Kortman said...

I'd like a copy.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Love that hat, Glynna.

How many times have you been to the Grand Canyon now?

I have never been.

Looks too ambitious for me..however, it is said that you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Um, I went back and looked at the pictures again.

Did I mention I'm afraid of heights??

Megan Brummer said...

What an encouraging post, Glynna!

I've had a few friends do the Rim-to-Rim hike, and after watching them spend weeks just training for it I'm pretty sure it would kill me! But the Grand Canyon is STUNNING. It would definitely be worth the struggle just to see the beauty.

Maybe that's a good metaphor for writing. Isn't that why we write? To create something beautiful and meaningful - even if it's just beautiful and meaningful to us?

I needed this today! I'm right in the thick of it, down in the bottom of the canyon slogging through lots of reworking and rewriting. It's so easy down there to feel like you're stuck and you'll never get out - but your tips are spot on! I think I'm going to write these out on post-its and stick them over my desk! Thank you!

And I'd love to be in the drawing for James Scott Bell's book :)

Cindy W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy W. said...

Sorry for the deleted comment. I accidentally erased part of what I typed and didn't realize it.

Thank you for the great post Glynna and the pictures are beautiful.

I'm on the rim looking at the vastness of the canyon right now because I am in a season of not writing.

Please toss my name in for the drawing for a Kindle copy of James Scott Bell’s book, The Mental Game of Writing.

Cindy W.

Mary Preston said...

It's too easy to find yourself getting lost along the way.

Please count me in.

Jill Weatherholt said...

What a wonderful post, Glynna! This is great advice for those just starting out as well as seasoned writers.
The tip that hit home for me is "Enjoy the journey." Writing is so much easier when we're having fun with it.
I loved your photos and especially the photo of cute!

Theresa Van Meter said...

I want to thank you, Glynna for writing this article. It was just what I needed to read this morning. I have had some writing setbacks and this morning I was having serious doubts about my writing dream.

Please, include my name in the drawing for James Scott Bell's book.

Thanks again for all the tips, especially tip #5.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, HEIDI. Thanks for stopping by!

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA! You need to go to the Canyon. Come up here sometime before you leave AZ and I will take you. You can't even attempt to see it ALL. I just have an area I like to take guests to most so they can walk a leisurely distance along the rim and sit and contemplate it. (Need to get there early when it first opens if you want to find a parking place -- and the more crowded summer monsoon months aren't always the best choice of times.)

DebH said...

This is such a cool post Glynna. One I need. I think I'm somewhere just inside the South rim, distracted by the beauty and not sure if I'm really ready for the trek. I do like your reference to baby steps because my steps are so baby that I think I'm still crawling. I am so glad that Seekerville exists because even if I'm not moving forward with my writing, I'm still learning.

I love the pictures. I've never been to the Grand Canyon. I'm hoping one day to be able to with my family. That would make a Grand vacation, I think. Please put me in the draw for that Kindle book because I sometimes think I'm mental... ;)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, MEGAN! Neat that some of your friends did the Rim-to-Rim. Prepping can take months of conditioning, breaking in footwear, finding the right clothing and equipment, etc. Both rims are high altitude (North Rim even higher than the South), so lots of people don't anticipate that and how that will affect their endurance level.

Yes, we DO try to write something beautiful and meaningful and sometimes (especially when we're starting out) it's only that to us!

I'm glad the tips helped where you're at right now--and that you'll soon be climbing up the far side of the book canyon!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CINDY W! I'm on the Rim, too, waiting for approval of my latest proposal. I can't rush too far ahead in the story and risk having to rewrite a bunch of it. Champing at the bit to get moving! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, MARY P. Yes, it's easy to get --lost both in the depths of the Grand Canyon and in our book canyons!

Rose said...

Hi Glynna,

What a unique and true post!

We all have to remind ourselves to back away from the envy edge, don't we?

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, JILL! Yes, in the middle of it all, its so important to ENJOY what we're doing. There are far too many things in life that aren't enjoyable, so why add one more thing to the list if writing isn't something you enjoy doing? I sometimes when I'm out in the middle or the contracted deadline is looming, I have to remind myself to relax and "FOCUS ON THE FUN."

I have SO MANY photos of the Grand Canyon -- many on slides before the days of digital. My sister got me a converter (slides to digital), but I haven't had any time to figure out how it works!

kaybee said...

This is a good big-picture post. I don't know much about Rim-To-Rim, but have read a lot about the Appalachian Trail and the same tips seem to apply. We need to make use of all these points if we're to make it to the finish line, whatever that means for each of us.
In a stunning example of now-or-neverness, I am forsaking all responsibilities and am off to the Atlantic Ocean with my younger daughter. I'm turning off the phone to my secular job -- but taking a print-out of the main points of The Hero's Journey to peruse in my beach chair. Time management isn't everything, but it doesn't hurt.
If I don't get back on, have a good day!
Kathy Bailey
Wringing the last drop out of summer in NH

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, THERESA! I'm happy to hear the tips may help keep you moving forward. It's SO easy to psych ourselves out when things aren't going as smoothly or quickly as we'd hoped and the Inner Critic starts its harping.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning DebH! Baby steps are SO important, even if it feels like crawling. In fact, I have to write entire books in pretty much baby steps. I'm not a speedy writer and, except for Saturdays, I only have an hour or maybe 90 minutes max to write each morning. So I don't knock off a book in a month or two as some are able to do. It stretches out for months and months, so it's hard to keep up the momentum at times. But the baby steps keep me moving forward to The End, and that's what counts.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, ROSE! Yep, staying well away from the envy edge can be a constant challenge! It's self-sabotaging, but easy to fall into.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning KATHY B! I'd think the Appalachian Trail would be very similar. Different terrain, but requires preparation and endurance. It's easy to get lost there, and sometimes hikers are too-late found.

SO glad you're unplugging and taking a break from the day job. Have a WONDERFUL time along the Atlantic with your daughter (and the Hero's Journey)! It won't be long and the New Hampshire trees will be turning color and an autumn chill setting in. (We had a high of only 63 here in the Arizona mountains yesterday--now getting down as low as 43 at night.)

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA -- I promise not to let you get too close to the edge. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I keep wondering which of our Villagers are at ACFW and what's going on today!!! Maybe a few will "report in" later.

Connie Queen said...

Glynna, you made me want to try that hike until I saw the pic of those people on the edge. Uh, no. I'm with Tina--I'm afraid of heights.

The first 1/2 marathon I did w/my daughter (notice I didn't say "run")she hadn't had time to train. About the 9 mile marker, I remember her saying if there was anyone way back beside the ambulance, she would've done it.

And yes, books are like that. The call to put a wip down about halfway through and start something new is strong.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning Glynna What a lovely post and such great advice. You are always spot on. smile
I love the photos, especially the one with you in it. I'm in agreement with Tina. The hat is perfect. I love the Grand Canyon. I have been on all parts of that trail but didn't do it in one hike. I went down from the South rim and also hiked down from the North Rim. I didn't want to have to carry sleeping gear. LOL

Great analogy of hiking to writing. Yes, we do have to keep plugging along. You have taught me that. smile Baby steps do add up.

Have a super great day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Tina YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO THE GRAND CANYON????? Oh my. I'll even come with you and Glynna if you wait till October. Best time anyway as the crowds are down. It is breathtaking. And you don't have to get that close so no worries about your fear of heights. Photos just don't cut it. Seeing it for real is a must.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Waving to all the Villagers at ACFW. I think there were a lot of them traveling yesterday and probably today as well, Glynna. I'm trying hard not to be jealous. smile

Elaine Manders said...

What a great analogy, though I'm not one for hiking. I can relate to writing, though. Get distracted too often and waste time. Hope the convention going Seekers are having a great time. No need to include me in the drawing, but thank you for giving so much help to writers.

Missy Tippens said...

i love this, Glynna! So inspiring. Thank you!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CONNIE! I'm NOT a runner, but the town I live in is filled with them. Great spot to train at 7,000 ft elevation--and higher nearby if you want to venture 5,000 or more feet higher.

I can't even imagine how your daughter felt doing a 1/2 marathon and not having time to train. Amazing she made it to the 9-mile marker before having serious second thoughts. I'd have probably had them half a mile into it. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, SANDRA! The hat was a recent acquisition--it was HOT at Wupatki National Monument a few weeks ago when we were taking out-of-state visitors around to see the northern Arizona sites. Knowing we still had Sedona and the Grand Canyon yet to go, I opted for a wide-brimmed hat!

And YES we do need to get Tina to the GC sometime!

Cate Nolan said...

Good morning, Glynna,

You said -
"When I type the opening line of a new book, a deep divide seemingly stretches from that point to The End."

That's not when I experience it. Usually at that point I'm so excited by the new story that the horizon is clear. It's a couple of chapters in that it hits me - this is going to be a lot of work.

LOL I know writing is work, and it's work I love, but in every book, there comes that moment of doubt about whether or not I have the stamina to pull it off. Fortunately, I have that built in routine of 1k a day regardless, so it gets done despite the panic.

On the other hand, I now have an insane desire to trek across the Grand Canyon.
Doubtful, byt maybe one of my characters can.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, ELAINE! I've always liked hiking, but know my limits -- the Rim-to-Rim isn't in my future. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MISSY! Thanks for popping in!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, CATE! Getting out in the middle and knowing you have as far to go as you've managed to come (with the deadline looming ever closer) definitely requires a deep breath and the determination to keep moving forward!

Wilani Wahl said...

Glynna, I love this post and will be printing it off. I love the Grand Canyon. 10 years ago I was moving from Nevada to North Carolina. I decided to take my time driving across the country. I saw Death Valley on my first day. It was awesome very hot and the wild flowers were gorgeous. The next day I crossed the Hoover Dam and visited the Grand Canyon in a snowstorm. It was beautiful with the snow. The next day was the petrified Forest and so on. It took me 8 days but little did I know what was in my future.

I'm thinking about everyone at the Readers Retreat today and then the conference. I would love to be there.

Yesterday it was cooler so I created an office on my porch and wrote.

Please enter me for the copy of the book.

I hope everyone has a profitable day.

Glynna Kaye said...

Good Morning, WILANI! What a wonderful journey across country. The Canyon IS especially gorgeous in the snow--or during an inversion where the Canyon fills with clouds.

I've never been to Death Valley, but have some beautiful pics of it taken by talented photographer friends. It's so much more than it's name implies.

Writing on your porch sounds soooo relaxing!

Laura Conner Kestner said...

Thank you, GLYNNA! All the tips were great, but #4 and #5 were especially helpful. Amazing photos - thank you for sharing!

DebH, you said: "I am so glad that Seekerville exists because even if I'm not moving forward with my writing, I'm still learning." Love that! I feel the same way!

WILANI, Your trip sounds amazing! Glad you got to experience that!

Hope all the conference-goers are having a great time in Nashville! I've seen a few photos on facebook and it looks like so much fun!

Jackie said...

Great post, Glynna! I grew up in a hiking family, and I can definitely relate to this. Thanks for sharing!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, LAURA! Pacing ourselves and not letting ourselves get psyched out are biggies on the journey. Keeping a steady one-foot-in-front-of-the-other pace and not "talking mean" to ourselves can really make a difference.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, JACKIE! My family loved the outdoors, too. And when I lived in the Midwest, a bunch of church friends and I'd go hiking almost every single weekend in nearby state parks starting late in the fall until spring--you know, during the time when snakes, mosquitos and chiggers had departed. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Oh, and ticks. So post-frost season hiking for sure. :)

Nicky Chapelway said...

Wow, that's a lot to chew and swallow. I suppose that I am just sitting on the rim waiting to plunge onward. Ever since I finished my second book and started on the third (all in the same series) I have found it a little difficult to pick up where I left off, even though the story is exactly the same, just one chapter later.

It's not that I have a lack of ideas or that I don't know what happens next, because I know just what is going to happen in my story, it is just that I have a ridiculously hard time getting the ideas from my brain out on paper and saying what I wanted it to say.

Probably the tip I need to listen to right now is tip #4 I need to start a pace and keep it up and I'll be done before I know it! The tip I have the most trouble with is the tip #7. My sister can pop out stories at the speed of light and can work on them at every time and place where I can only focus on them (not from lack of trying but I think I might have a slight case of ADD, I find it hard to focus on mentally grueling tasks for too long) in the best of circumstances with the right music playing, the right motivational thoughts, and the right amount of anti-restlessness.

Nicky Chapelway said...

Oh, and also I would like a copy of "The Mental Game of Writing" so please enter my name in the drawing!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, NICKY! Ready to launch out on that THIRD book! Congratulations!

Sometimes we can have to MANY ideas so that you don't know which direction to head and that can make it hard to get them on to paper. I can get tangled up in that, too, as depending on which choice I make at the very beginning, that bends the story in a certain direction. So lots of decisions to make when you're first starting a new story. Then once you make them and settle into writing, you can't imagine it ever being different.

On the envy angle with your sister popping out stories while you sometimes struggle, I think we all have strong and less strong points in our writing backpacks, so need to learn to work around our 'weaker' points and focus on our strengths. Find ways, like you're doing with the music, etc. to help you "find your groove."

Glynna Kaye said...

Well, I need to step out for a bit, but hope to be back later! Have an AWESOME writing day! And I hope we soon get some "reports" from those at ACFW!

Sandy Smith said...

Great analogy, Glynna. I especially liked the comment about not telling yourself things you would never tell another writer. I do that to myself all the time, so it is a good reminder. Right now I believer the point I am in my book is lost somewhere at the bottom of the canyon! But I will get out.

Please enter me in the drawing.

Chill N said...

Don’t tell yourself negative things that you wouldn’t dream of telling another aspiring writer.

Oh my gosh, Glynna. OMG! The entire blog was inspiring but those words -- wow. Those words are exactly what I needed today. Thank you!

Nancy C

TexasTeacherAnne said...

Glynna, your post was so inspiring. I needed it today. Thank you.

LeAnne Bristow said...

Fabulous post! I had a friend who made the Grand Canyon trip. She said it was a life changing experience. Finishing a book can be too. I think this is one more Seekerville post that I need to print out and hang on my wall. :)

Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

Your post today brings back fond memories of the Grand Canyon. I'd love to go back. One of the scariest things I've ever seen were lots of little kids playing near the edge of the canyon, just a foot or so from the precipice, with the drop-off being over a mile down! Parents actually let them do this! It's no wonder people keep falling into the canyon.

The Grand Canyon is a 'must-see' in person because no amount of photography can really prepare you for the magnitude of the site. You can't see anything like it anywhere else.

I'm looking forward to Garrett's story. I think he steals the stage whenever he's in a scene. Do you really like him the best of your heroes? He seems to have his act together. I still think of your first story, "Dreaming of Home", about the two teachers who desperately needed the same teaching job in that beautiful small town mountain location, as one of the most memorable story-lines I've read in a romance. I just wonder what kind of heroine Garrett with command!

Your Canyon analogy has sparked a few thoughts from the rim this morning:

"You can put God on your team but don't expect Him to carry the ball."

"It's fine to be a pantser or planster just as long as you plot your novel first."

"Pantser-hikers often go where no one has gone before and the rescues are fiction-worthy."

"While you can eat an elephant one bite at a time, could you really stomach elephant for the next one hundred years? Think: how well do you do with turkey? (Elephant tetrazzini, anyone?)"

BTW: my cousin did a Grand Canyon trek many years ago and he took a mule. Does a mule fit into your rim to rim analogy? Is that like hiring a New York editor? : )


Marianne Barkman said...

I'll come with you, TINA. If I know you are afraid of heights, I won't spend my whole time worrying that one of us will slip off of the edge. Great post Glynna, and I love the pictures

Cara Lynn James said...

Important tips, Glynna! I certainly need to track my progress. I don't do that at all and I'm sure it slows down my productivity.

Gorgeous pictures!

Kathryn Barker said...

Good morning, Glynna.

Inspiring post! Thanks for all the great tips and photos.

I finished one manuscript. Starting an a new story. So, tip #2 is perfect for me. I need to do a bit more prep although I've written the first scene!

Wishing you all a fabulous Wednesday...and would love to be entered in the drawing!

Valri said...

I love the Grand Canyon, Glynna! Nice post! Although I'm a reader, I'm sure I can apply your post to something in my life! That's why I love Seekerville! I can usually apply the posts to something in my life :) Can't wait until your new book comes you know :) I love every book of yours!!!!!

Kav said...

I love this Gynna. I've copied it so I can read it over again and again. I've slipped off the edge. LOL Fell about half way down and am stuck on a....sticky out boulder thingy....I'm not geologist so I don't know what that's called. Anyway, I'm clawing my way out thanks to great posts like this one. So Seekerville is a big long rope with knots tied in it (posts, links, encouraging words) that I'm using to get back up.

Love that you have a holiday book coming out. I'm really getting excited over all the great Christmas stories releasing this fall. Don't enter me in the draw as I'm not able to read ebooks at the present time. :-)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, SANDY! A lot of writers have to work at not being "mean" to themselves. :) Find that bottom-of-the-canyon trail again, and remember -- one step at a time and you'll climb your way out! And that positive "I WILL get out" of yours is gonna get you where you want to be!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, NANCY! Glad you found a "tip" that works the most for you today. We REALLY need to be kinder to ourselves, don't we?

Glynna Kaye said...

TEXAS TEACHER: I'm glad today's post hit the spot!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, LeANNE! I can see why your friend said the Canyon trip was life changing. If I SURVIVED that would be a biggie! :) And as you pointed out, finishing a book can be life-changing, too. You learn so much about yourself on the journey--and to trust God to get you through it!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Vince Great quotes. But elephant tetrazzini???? You are tooooo funny. You always make me laugh.

But yes, there are crazy people out there who want to stand close and get a photo and fall off. And letting your children play on the edge- good grief!!! Super crazy.

My nephew had a really nice summer job when he was in college. His job was to stand at the start of the trail down the Grand Canyon to make sure everyone going down had proper hiking shoes and plenty of water. You would be amazed how many people start that hike in flip flops and no water.

The Rangers save money by hiring him to do this because it is cheaper than rescue missions to rescue these crazy people.

Hmmm now that I'm writing this, I'm thinking of a new story. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Kathryn Congrats on finishing that first novel.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, there, VINCE. People STILL let their kids run loose at the Canyon. I kept thinking I'd see one of them slip and slide toward the edge.

Always see people doing lots of DUMB things, too. Going way out on a high point and waving their hats for the cameras right when the wind was gusting. Or dipping their lady back for a kiss over the edge. Seeing people stand on the edge and rotate their arms frantically as they 'pretend' to fall off. If they knew how many people have died from such as that (and backing up, backing up, backing up to be in a picture), they'd rethink that pretty fast!

So glad you liked "Dreaming of Home." That first one will always hold a special place in my heart. I don't know which hero is my 'favorite' but I really did enjoy writing about Garrett! He was fun.

A mule ride would be fun. And while not quite the same as hiking it on your own steam, I imagine you'd feel pretty battered and bruised by the return ride!!!

Love the quotes!! Elephant tetrazzini? LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

I belong to the Grand Canyon Association and they offer field classes that teach about he geology and history of the canyon. They are really interesting. Click on the link to learn more. It is a fun way to visit. And if you write a story set in the Grand Canyon you can write off the trip as a business expense. smile

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello MARIANNE! Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I first visited the Canyon in 1987, so I probably have enough for 1,000 blogs! :)

I stay well back from the edge because I've lived out here for many years and have read too many sad stories in the local paper. Stories that didn't have to happen. People don't seem to "get" that Arizona isn't their back yard, that there are no nets in the Canyon--and it's a LONG way down.

Sherida Stewart said...

OH, Glynna!!! Love the photos and the advice!

We've hiked a short distance on Bright Angel trail...and I'm afraid of heights, but the path was wide enough I convinced myself to try. Quite amazing! I'd like to spend the night at the Phantom Ranch Lodge at the bottom of the canyon...(someday when I'm in condition to hike back up the next day.) The charming small lodge and cluster of cabins were designed by Mary Colter in the 1920's for the Fred Harvey Company....which brings up your point #4...pace yourself and don't get distracted. I find myself wandering off the "trail" by the research...all those interesting side canyons!

I have now made the "whole book" trek across the wide canyon and find your #3 to be the best! Exploring this trail with the support and encouragement of others makes for an amazing trip!

For me, the challenge is starting the next the right direction.

Glynna, thanks for the photos which bring back great memories....both of the hike and of the finished book accomplishment.

Glynna Kaye said...

Yes, CARA, DO track your progress! It's an inexpensive "mini-reward" (like Sandra talked about earlier this week) and not only does it let you know how much farther you have to go, but it gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you look back and see how far you've come!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, KATHRYN!! Ah, you're at the Prepare phase -- exciting AND scary, isn't it? So many possibilities when you're making those initial decisions that will drive your story forward to The End.

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey there, VALRI! Thank you for loving my books!

I think "The Pastor's Christmas Courtship" should be available sometime in the second half of October. Coming fast! Where's the summer gone?

So neat that you find things in Seekerille posts that have "universal" application!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hello, KAV! YIKES! Stuck on a "sticky out boulder thingy" doesn't sound comfortable! I'm so glad, though, that Seekerville is helping you claw your way off it!

I can't wait for all the Christmas stories either. In fact, my sister and I were recently wondering if it would be too early to start reading a few NOW? :)

Glynna Kaye said...

SANDRA -- great info on the Grand Canyon Association. I often stop to listen to the scheduled "ranger talks" up there. You learn so much!

Glynna Kaye said...


I haven't even gone down the Bright Angel trail, so you're ahead of me on that one! :)

Grand Canyon history is fascinating (as is that of the Fred Harvey Company!). I have quite a few books on Canyon geology, the Native American presence, and the European influence. I like Mary Colter's designs as they really fit well into the environment.

So exciting to make that "whole book" trek, isn't it? To realize you created something out of nothing but your imagination!

I couldn't have made it without #3 "Buddy Up" either. I had fabulous support from my small regional RWA, RWA contest judges, my Seeker Sisters, and my family.

Best wishes on the NEXT book!!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hope I haven't missed anyone, but I need to step out again. Will be back later!! Have a great afternoon, everyone!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Glynna, Talk to you later. Have a great afternoon.

Kathryn Barker said...

Sandra Leesmith...thank you!! It's been a fun's really my third one to finish, but the other two need SO much help, I think it'd be easier to just re-write them!! LOL Now, I'm really excited about this new one!

Have a tea-riffic day! Always enjoy Seekerville SO MUCH!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Kathryn All of us have our first books sitting under the bed or in the closet. LOL They are our learning tools. You might dig them out and rewrite them, but it is best to just move on because you learn as you go in this business.

Best wishes. Hang in there and make it to the top of the other rim - as Glynna would say. smile

Tina Radcliffe said...

Marianne and I will sit in the cafe (there has to be a cafe) and sip iced coffee and watch all the crazy people climbing.

Boo Smelser said...

If I'm on the journey, I can just keep going with little or no strain at all, just because it's what I need to do and once I'm doing something, it's easy. But if I were to pause in that journey, starting back up on the journey becomes something I dread and it gets blown all out of proportion in my mind.

But I'm good as long as that doesn't happen. So no emergencies pleas!

Also I'd love to have my name thrown in for The Mental Game of Writing please.

Boo Smelser said...

Sorry, please not pleas!

Glynna Kaye said...

TINA -- There's a 100-year-old hotel, El Tovar, right on the South Rim. It has several porches where you can sit and watch the people go by and look out over the canyon. Even a porch swing or two if you're lucky enough to nab one! :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, BOO! Yeah, sometimes getting moving if you've paused a bit too long can be tricky. Our minds tend to build up a resistance and we have to persuade it to get going again!

Glynna Kaye said...

It's sure been a QUIET day with so many at ACFW. I need to go to the website and check out the calendar of events so I can see what's SUPPOSED to be going on since no one has reported in yet!

Myra Johnson said...

Stopping in VERY late (for me!) after a lovely day at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat! Loved your Grand Canyon analogy, Glynna!

But ... skimming comments and I see TINA has not been to the Grand Canyon???? Time for a trip, Tina!

Already seeing lots of familiar faces here at the hotel! I didn't make it to ACFW last year, so it's good to reconnect!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MYRA! So glad you got to go to ACFW this year and attend the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat. We expect a full report from you and other Villagers next week!

Rebecca McLafferty said...

Hi Glynna. My family used to live in Arizona and, although I am quite afraid of heights, I always admired that view. Oddly enough being from Michigan, my young toddler son saw snow for the first time near the Grand unexpected thrill while admiring the view. :) That happens during writing as well...unexpected thrills when God adds those snippets to our plots and characters. Thanks so much for the wonderful lesson! Blessings to LI!

Marilyn Turk said...

Glynna, what a great analogy!While the Grand Canyon is awesome and I appreciate it, the sheer magnitude of it scares me. I went to the rim on a trip when I was a child and thought I'd like to do the donkey ride down into the canyon to stay at the ranch there. Now that I'm older, the idea is not as appealing, sine I'm more aware of the challenges. Writing can produce fears and challenges for me as well, and my anxiety increases knowing what must be done to accomplish the goal I have in sight. Thankfully, I don't have to do it all at once, like you said, and I can set my own goals and write at my own pace. I have a couple of James Scott Bell's books and have taken his class at Mount Hermon, so I'd love to win the book you're offering.

Julie Lessman said...

GLYNNA!!! Please forgive the delay in commenting, but it's been CRAZEEEE here!! What a fun and clever way to map out the writing journey! You ALWAYS come up with such creative blogs, my friend -- AND inspirational ones!

Sooooo impressed with your Excel spreadsheet, girl, and really should implement something like that.

YOU SAID: "When I type the opening line of a new book, a deep divide seemingly stretches from that point to The End."

Yes, I totally agree, and it can make one dizzy, but inch by inch, we can finish the journey. One thing I always do is shoot for the 100-page mark. It just seems like the book drags for me till I hit that 100-page mark, and then BOOM!! I'm off and running. Not sure what that says about the first part of my book (possiblly BORING!!), but that seems to be my MO. And then the last quarter? Nothing but a blur. :)


Glynna Kaye said...

Hello REBECCA! How sweet that your toddler saw snow for the first time at the Grand Canyon! And you're so right, God gives us those unexpected moments of joy as our characters come alive on the page. :)

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi, MARILYN! I never tire of going to the Grand Canyon--seeing the many moods of all four seasons. But you're right, the magnitude is mind-boggling. I've never gotten a chance to attend one of James Scott Bell's workshops--how neat that you go to go to one at Mt. Hermon!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hey, JULIE! Glad you're having a CRAZEE time! :) Thanks for popping while in the middle of lots of fun!

Time is weird when you're writing sometimes. It always seems that at first I worry that I won't be able to fill all the space from beginning to end. But then I hit that halfway mark and suddenly I get panicked that I don't have ENOUGH room left to get everything in there that I need to tell the story the way I want it told! :)