Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Remember...

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

'What are you doing?' I asked without fear,
'Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!'

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said 'Its really all right,

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.'
'It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,
'Then he sighed, 'That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.

'My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.'

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... An American flag.
'I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.'

'So go back inside,' he said, 'harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.'
'But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
'Give you money,' I asked, 'or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son.'
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
'Just tell us you love us, and never forget.

To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.'

I didn't write this - I'm unsure who did, but it's very touching. Remember our soliders everyone in your prayers. God Bless them All!! Merry Christmas ~Elizabeth

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sleep is Important

Yes, the lack of a post for November means that nothing has slowed down. In my defense I tried to find extra time, but, well, I didn't. I'm remodeling my house. It is a summer project that turned into a hurry-up-and-finish-before-Christmas project. We're almost done!! I need a few extra hours in the day. I'd take it out of my sleep, but I only get maybe six, sometimes less, so I'm already exausted. No, sleep is important. So is lunch and breakfast and dinner...

I hope that winter break will give me some quiet time. I hope. I really wanted more progress this autumn, and now it's winter and I'm still behind. I'll find the time somewhere.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy, busy, yet again

So busy, so busy....argh! At least I have had time to update my website http://www.freewebs.com/elizabethazpurua but not much else in the last few days. I can't believe it's almost Halloween - where did October go? After Halloween I always start thinking about Christmas, which will be here in no time. I want to try to accomplish a lot between now and then. Hopefully with the arrival of winter work will settle down long enough for me to focus. I've got agents to query and a synopsis in need of editing. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Style of Writing

A friend got me thinking - what is my style as a self taught writer?

I love to write sentences that ebb and flow and take the reader on a visual merry-go-round into worlds full of new wonders where the mind can take time to contemplate our existence and the existence of the imaginary. I love to be quick, to the point, in your face. Sometimes, well, not always, but on an occasion, yes, I will purposely slow you down, well, because I want you to pause for a moment to take in what is coming next.

I wasn't taught how to write. I wrote. I grew. My writing grew with me. I think you have to be honest with yourself and be able to throw whatever comes into your mind onto the paper. It takes guts. I think there is something called "over editing". Not all sentences should be perfect. Some aren't right. So there. Deal with it. If I wanted every little thing in my writing to be perfect I would lose what makes my writing a piece of my soul. A portion, if you will.

Where do characters come from? How do they form? If you have an answer, I'd like it. Where do ideas come from? I say God, what say you?

Elizabeth sat down at her computer after a long morning of ringing phones and wedding pictures. Her desk still contains the remnants of post-it notes and telephone numbers. It's easy for her to talk to people on myspace. She can answer their messages in-between phone calls. Today felt more like a Monday to her, maybe it's just the weather, or her lack of sleep. Only a few rain showers, even though she wanted it to pour all day. Elizabeth dreaded the thought of having to waste water on washing her car. She keeps a thin coating of dust all over the exterior.

I can tune everything out in order to write. It's a gift. I just ignore the world and keep going, word after word, page after page. As long as I'm inspired. Lately, I've had writer's block. It's a horrible disease. Good thing it's not contagious.

~Elizabeth

Monday, September 17, 2007

Autumn comes...

Soon there will be cooler mornings, crisper evenings, calmer days. Straw and pumpkins, scarecrows, witches, falling leaves. Soon there will be piles of leaves waiting to be jumped in, foggy mornings waiting to be jogged in and time waiting to be spent on stories in my head.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lazy Days of Summer?

It has been such a busy summer! I've had very little time to write on my second book and even less to work on my first. This summer has been hot, dry and miserable. I'm looking forward to cool autumn mornings. I hope I'll be able to set aside more time for what I enjoy. It has been tricky. Notepads are lifesavers. Napkins at lunch time do not offer a sufficient amount of writing space. Crayons aren't suitable writing utensils either. And bosses don't like you sitting at your desk drawing maps for your book. Ah, summer...where have all the lazy days gone?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A long time...

It has been too long since I have had time to sit down and tell you what has been going on. I hope that I will soon have good news to share.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Good News for April

I have finally had time to sit down and work on my second book. I've mapped out the next five chapters and have a general idea of the character direction for the first half of the book. I got out twelve pages yesterday and I hope to get out a whole chapter today. Here's hoping I'll have the time.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring, Blessed Spring

Ah, the world is alive with the scent of flowers and the sound of bees. Spring has arrived. I find myself wondering what happened to winter. Perhaps in the midst of singing birds, humming bees, and blooming flowers I'll find new inspiration as I work on my second book. I'm not very far into the first draft, not as far as I had wanted to be.

The weddings will pick up soon and I know I'll have even less time for writing. Everyone likes getting married in the Spring. More photos to take, more cake to serve, more brides to calm. Ah, blessed Spring.

Elizabeth

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snow, cold, and something to smile over

It has been uneventful lately, but the last two days have been beautiful with a soft dusting of snow. It's been cold. I've been so busy with work and my real life day to day job that I've had little time for writing. I start to get antsy and irritable, but the chocolate isn't helping. I need to write or I need stronger chocolate.

Here is something I came across on Miss Snark's blog
http://www.misssnark.blogspot.com/ -


How Many Writers Does it Take to Screw in a Light Bulb?

* 1 to devise a breakdown of the steps necessary to change the bulb

* 1 to stare at the bulb hoping it will change itself

* 1 to explain why changing the bulb is futile, because the next one is just going to go bad too, and without co-op we're all doomed to darkness anyway

* 1 to call their agent and publicist to make sure changing the bulb won't harm their reputation

* 1 to hold out for a bigger, better replacement bulb

* 1 to post "What's the best way to change a bulb?" on Backspace and wait for 36 answers

* 1 to extol the virtues of the old bulb, the golden glow of the light it gave, its soft, barely perceptible buzz when viable, the startling ping when it expired, the breadth of our loss, the depth of our grief

* 1 to edit the previous writer's bit whilst quoting Elmore Leonard

* 1 to bring the tequila

* 1 to bring the beer

* 1 to bring the wine

* And 1 to look around, call it a conference, and make it a yearly event

So, that'd be 13? Yes, it takes 13 writers to change a bulb.

A little writer's humor for you. Note to self: Never allow a writer to change a light bulb; a yearly event will follow.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Interesting News

Check out what was found two miles from Stonehenge:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/01/30/stonehenge.village.ap/index.html

It's a very interesting article, and considering I was just there a couple of months ago...

Elizabeth Azpurua

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

It's only one little letter...

Writing a query letter sounds easy, right? It's quite like all letters, really. Wrong. It is one page that stands between you and an agent or editor. I may rip my hair out before this is through. The hardest part? I don't know. It's between the hook and the mini-synopsis. How to summarize an entire book into one paragraph and make it interesting, that is the challenge. I'll get it though. It's just taking me some time with the editing.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Querying Agents

I'm finally ready to query several agents and hope that they like my manuscript. I'm ready to get published. It's my goal for this year and I'm going to make it happen!
I'm pretty excited (and nervous). It's taken me five years to get to this point. Five long years.

I have picked out several agents and I'm crossing my fingers as I send off my query letter that one of them will be the one. I'll keep you posted on updates.

About My Book

I know I've been saying for years that I'm finishing up editing and am trying to get published, but that's really what I've been doing. I'm a perfectionist and I want it to be the best it can without over-editing and losing the style and the voice of my writing. It's a fine line.
I like to call the way I write story weaving. I have many threads I weave together and at the end I must make sure all loose ends are tied.
For those who don't know it's a Fantasy Novel, the first of a series chronicling the lives of several in a world I created. It took time to create the geography, geology, history, and the ways people act, talk, eat, dress and relate to one another in the seven different countries I created, each varying, each similar.
I studied many subjects for this book: silk worms, history of velvet and silk, flax, the effect mountain weather has on the valley below, the climate changes, languages, psychology, armor (swords, vambraces, cuirass, shields - you name it), windmills, alternative energy, architecture, stones and crystals, legends, wool and sheep, goat raising, the reason some doves come out white (due to the amount of melanin they receive in the egg), dove flight, saddles, how many miles per hour a carriage goes, clothing terms...the list goes on and on of strange things you never really think about.
It's taken much of my social life, most of my time, and I'm grateful that I was homeschooled and had extra time after studying to actually write and research. It's been my baby. Hopefully all of the time and hard work will pay off and I'll be able to get an agent. It's my goal for this year. This is the year I've got to try and make it happen.
Elizabeth