Lisa R. Howeler is a wife and mom from Pennsylvania who also happens to write. She’s been writing for 25 years, fourteen of those for smalltown newspapers in rural Pennsylvania and upstate New York. When she isn’t writing about love, faith, and family life in a small town, she’s taking photographs and homeschooling her two children. She blogs a little bit about a lot of things on her blog Boondock Ramblings at www.lisahoweler.com.
Whether you are a writer or a reader, I feel you need to hear this message today:
No matter the bumps No matter the bruises No matter the scars Still the truth is The cross has made The cross has made you flawless No matter the hurt Or how deep the wound is No matter the pain Still the truth is The cross has made The cross has made you flawless
Today I thought I’d take a little break from sharing fiction and writing about fiction and share a post I wrote in 2017 (I can’t even believe it’s been that long) about planting a garden in the backyard of the house I was living in at the time. I hope you enjoy this little foray into my personal life as I reflect on the wonderful moments that planting season brought.
Rain fell steady just like the weather app said it would and I felt a twinge of disappointment. I knew it would mean a couple more days of waiting to plant the garden my son and I have wanted for a couple of years now.
I had always dismissed the idea of a garden because we live in town on a busy, noisy street and somehow, for this country girl, gardens are meant for quiet, out of the way yards where they can be admired on a warm summer evening in golden hour light.
I had wanted to wait until we actually moved to the country to create a garden but since that doesn’t seem to be remotely close to reality at the moment, we started planning what we wanted to plant and where, early in the spring.
Pumpkins, squash and various herbs for him.
Cucumbers, carrots, green beans, peas, and potatoes for me.
I wrote this on my Instagram the other day: “Nothing destroys the fun of writing novels for me than reading books about how to write a novel. Now I’m so in my head I can’t hear anything but rules.”
It is true, guys/gals. I sat in my living room last night with two craft books, a notebook, and a pen and thought, “Okay. I am going to outline this sucker and I am going to figure out what my two characters dark moments are and . . .” And I just stared at the page.
I don’t outline. That’s not me. I’m what fiction writers call a “pantser.”
But this time I thought, maybe, I would outline. I can be organized, plot and do all those things “a real writer” do, right?
I don’t know, though. Is that what being a real writer is? Being so organized that you plot every detail to the point you are technically perfect but lack feeling? This is what happened when I fell in love with photography. I learned all the rules and immersed myself in learning about the craft. I needed to be technically perfect, right?!
Within two years I hated the craft because I never felt like I wasn’t doing it right. I finally pushed aside all the books and rules and just photographed from the heart and that’s where I stayed. I couldn’t get clients in the area I live in – they wanted “normal” and “traditional” – but I am a lot happier.
So, I don’t know — maybe immersing myself in everything there is to know about the craft of writing novels isn’t really the way to go this time around. Small bites of information might be better in the long run. As for this week, I just need to write and figure it all out along the way.
My latest book releases today, so for today’s post, I decided I would share an excerpt of it.
First, the description of the book:
The last year has been a whirlwind of trials and triumphs for the Tanner family.
With injuries, near foreclosures, and a family tragedy behind them, Jason Tanner, the oldest of the Tanner children is facing his own struggle after his longtime girlfriend, Ellie Lambert, overhears the secret he’d planned to tell her himself. Now, in addition to trying to keep his family’s dairy farm sustainable during a hard economic season, Jason is dealing with the heartbreak of Ellie’s decision to end an almost 10-year relationship.
In an effort to bury his feelings, he throws himself into his work on the farm and into volunteering with Spencer Valley’s small volunteer fire company, where tragedy strikes the foundation of his faith during an already vulnerable time.
Ellie has her own challenges to face as she tries to navigate a time of life where her expectations have been turned upside down and shaken out.
As she copes with the decision to walk away from her relationship with the man she saw as her best friend, her flighty, less responsible younger sister shows up to further complicate an already complicated situation.
Writing a book is weird and hard. That’s sounds dramatic, I know. And it’s not like it is hard like farming or construction or being a doctor or a police officer. I don’t mean that, of course. I mean, writing is mentally draining and it’s full of a lot of self-doubts, even if you’re just doing it mainly for fun like I am.+
I am at the tail end of the first draft of ‘A New Beginning‘ and it is kicking my brain to the curb. I stare into space, trying to work out an issue I’m having with it or writing a scene in my head while I’m cooking dinner or a kid wants to show me something. It’s a bit like being stuck in a self-made prison and even when you try to escape it, your muse or whatever it is, comes back and whispers “Hey! I have another idea! Let’s go write!” That is all fun and aggravating at the same time. Why doesn’t my creative muse pick a different time to try to inspire me?