francine's blog

My Office

Now that Bridge to Haven is in Tyndalean hands and moving toward publication, it’s time for me to clear my working space.  To my left is a wall-length bulletin board on which I’ve pinned pictures of my characters.  Some are people you would recognize; others are unknowns whose pictures I found in magazines or newspapers.  I also created the town of Haven, complete with a grid of streets, with pictures I took of stores (giving them new names) and family homes, and where the river runs through my imaginary town.   I love towns with a western/Victorian feel.&n

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KLOVE Cruising

I’ve been listening to KLOVE Radio since Rick and I moved to Sebastopol in 1985.  It was a small start-up station then, conceived by San Francisco DJ Bob Anthony, with Dick Jenkins as general manager.  I wasn’t a Christian yet, but loved the “positive alternative” music with lyrics that fed my soul and made me dance (or sing along when I was alone in the car).  When KLOVE sponsored concerts in Santa Rosa, I brought my three young children along.  Petra was one of our favorite bands.  We used to sing “This Means War” at the top of our voices. 

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Coming Spring 2014 - Bridge To Haven

To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody.

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Gettysburg and Philadelphia

            No sooner did I get back from the Oregon trip with my daughter, elder son and three grandchildren, than Rick and I packed and headed off with a couple from our Bible study to see Philadelphia and Gettysburg.  We’d been planning this trip for almost two years, eager to get a taste of history with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

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Bridge to Haven - Coming Soon!

Yesterday, I emailed my third and final scene to my editor.  She has already completed the deletions and sent me the “clean copy” and will be dropping the new scene in when I’ve finished my read-through.  I must admit, when I saw the small pile of work, I gulped.  Is that all that’s left of 200,000+ words and eighteen months of hard work?  But then, it is single-spaced with wide margins, and not the double spaced manuscript format I submitted.  Whew.    

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Oregon or Bust!

            When my children were young, I took them up to Brookings-Harbor, Oregon each summer to visit with my parents who lived up the hill and across the highway from Whaleshead Beach.  We usually spent 7-10 days.  Mom always had “stone soup” waiting for our arrival – and a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Mom got up early every morning and prepared a picnic basket.  Dad often kept the kids occupied in the forest behind their house or making sling shots or hunting salamanders.  We’d a

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Pot Farming and Snowy Owls

A number of years ago, environmental groups went to war with the lumber industry over the plight of the snowy owl.  It nests in redwoods, and people wanted its habitat protected.  People climbed and camped in trees.  Some chained themselves to redwoods.  Eventually, they won and lumber mills were shut down in northern California.  Some towns went into rapid decline with high unemployment.  Some are still struggling to survive.

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Taxes

No one likes paying taxes, but they’re necessary to keep the country going.   However, the last thing we want to see is a bunch of IRS workers doing line dances and dressing up as Trekkies on  taxpayer money at conferences that tally up to $50M.  And we don’t want to hear the IRS targeting any group, be it conservative, religious or liberal.  Targeting anyone is not what our country is all about, or wasn’t until recently.  We don’t want a government that behaves like a kingdom.

Here’s my solution, not that anyone will listen.  

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Playing Tourist

Over the years, Rick and I have played tourist wherever we’ve lived.  Sonoma County is no different, except that people come from around the world to visit the wine country, redwoods and Pacific coast, and we have it close at hand.  When I’m neck-deep in a project, I don’t have time to wander too far from my computer.  Once the manuscript is turned in and I’m waiting for the editorial conversation on what more needs to be done, we are free to explore. 

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Final Touches on the WIP

After numerous reader critiques in-house and a conference call between agent and editors, the  comments and concerns were compiled and made ready for presentation to the writer – me.   I got the call early Monday morning and already knew what to expect.  Too long.  Needs major cutting.  This seems to be a common thread in my work.

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