25 October 2010

My Bowling Name is "Neil"

Thanks for weighing in on my decision last week! I ended up sitting down and writing a little bit on my newest story... discovered some initial plot discrepancies (which are always good to catch at the beginning!) and now am thinking through that. Why is it that every novel I write hurts? And why do I hope it would be any different each time? What's that quote about writing being like bleeding all over the page/computer screen? Seriously!

Also, thanks to T.Anne and Susan Reinhardt, who suggested I send my newsletter via email. I wasn't sure how to do that with the new program I've been using, then I learned a nifty trick last week. Thanks, Y'all! I hope to get it out soon. The newsletter is actually finished, but I have had serious issues with printers this week. I haven't been this frustrated since the last time I did a newsletter! Ha! Anywho, if anyone would like to receive the pdf form, let me know!

Last week, a bunch of people from work went bowling together at the end of the day. There were eight of us in all, so we were on two lanes. This was the first time I'd been bowling in years. When I was in college, I was halfway decent (for someone who has no interest in bowling)... solid scores 100-130, at least. One time I got a 181 and a turkey. Back then, a group of us would go bowling at midnight and do the laser thing. We all had bowling names we made up for each other... someone named me the "Black Widow" and that name stuck until we stopped doing the laser thing a month later (it was a youth group phase).

So, back to this week. I don't know what it was... the fact that I hadn't bowled in forever, the slippery shoes, the fact that I'm not used to wearing shoes (I wear sandals pretty much year round), etc., but I scored extremely low the first game-even with one strike to my credit. I mean, an 8-year-old beat me (granted, he had bumpers, but still). Sad.

Half way through the next game, two of the guys had to leave. So we took over their spots. I decided to bowl for "Neil". My first turn to bowl for him, I tossed the ball down the lane.

Strike.

Then I stepped up to bowl for me. Strike.

Back to Neil: 6 pins.
Back to me: 3 pins.
Neil: Strike
Me: 4 pins
Neil: Strike

Do we see a pattern here?

For the rest of the game, whenever I bowled for me, it was extremely low. Whenever I bowled for Neil, it was high. In all, I scored 4 strikes that game, but they were for two different people (and on two different lanes). Part of me was relieved to prove that I wasn't that bad at bowling (not so much because I love bowling but because I'm so competitive). Part of me was annoyed that I couldn't bowl well for myself. Part of me thought it was hilarious, especially when the people behind me started chanting, "We want Neil! Bring back Neil!"

My final score was 76.
Neil's was 109, and over 60 of those points I scored for him. Each time with a different ball.

Some things are just random and funny. But I felt more comfortable on Neil's lane. It was all the way on the end, so I felt like I had room to breathe, instead of being crowded. It was a "sweet spot" of sorts. And my "voice" came out - sounding just like me.

So that's how I went from being the Black Widow to Neil.

18 October 2010

On Writing

Thank you so much for the warm return last week! It's great to be back!

So... writing. I haven't done much of it lately, actually. There just wasn't any time in the summer, with such an erratic and very, very full schedule. Which was so weird about all excitement of people in my life over the Chicken Soup story. It meant a lot that people around me made a big deal of it... but it also made me nervous, ya know? Now people are asking about the next thing. They are more readily expressing their beliefs that they will read a book of mine one day (most don't know I've written several, for I'm very in the closet as far as this blog, querying, and even what I'm writing), and while I'm thankful for their encouragement, it's scary!

Right now I have some decisions to make:

1) I have a completed manuscript that I've edited as much as I can. It's the one I entered in Genesis and got three completely different critiques for. It's so confusing to figure out what to do! Right now I have some people reading it. I'm trying to decide if now is the time to re-query (knowing that this could be my last chance for this novel), or do... what? Something. Nothing? I don't know.

2) I have another completed manuscript that needs a lot of work. It was completed my senior year of college and I haven't done much with it sense. I love the story, but at the time I felt like it wasn't the time for that one to pursue publishing. Maybe now is the time? If so, it needs A LOT of editing!

3) I started another novel last fall. I'm three chapters in and stuck. This is the stage where I sit, stare at a blank screen for hours, and pray the storyline comes. I have some decisions to make on this one too.

ARGH!

At the moment, I have another current writing project. I'm in the middle of making my Fall Newsletter for my supporters. Until that's finished, I can't even think about my novels. It's a good creative outlet for now, though.

Speaking of, if any of y'all would like to receive it (it's snail mail), please email me at kristentorrestoro@gmail.com. I promise to keep your address private.

Have a great week! See y'all around!

11 October 2010

October!

WOOHOOO! October! That's fun!

So... How have y'all been? I've missed you! There's so much to say... too much, after such a long absence. How do you catch up? I've tried to stay somewhat connected, reading y'all's blogs as often as possible. I'm sorry I couldn't be as vocal as I was in the Spring!

So, y'all know about the teams we sent out this summer. And you know about the Chicken Soup story. What else happened? Hmm...

-In August, I went with 3 others from the Ambassador Team to Mexico. We drove there from Gainesville. It was the longest road trip of my life (so far!) and I loved it! We debriefed our final team of the summer, stopped by Houston for a few days, then made our way back.

-A week later, I went to St. Augustine, Fl, with my mother for a long awaited vacation. It was like going home! I love St. Augustine and haven't been there in years. That was a great weekend!

-Um... I was in a car accident two weeks ago. Thankfully, no one was hurt and the Psychedelic Black Knight will live to see another day... after she goes to the "hospital" this week to get a new bumper.

-Finally, my department at Adventures in Missions has been restructured. I was working with the Ambassador (high school) program. I'm still an Administrative Assistant, but now for the Field Support Department Managers. Basically, we manage, care for, send, and debrief all leaders for Youth Group, Adult and Family, College Break, and Youth Individual (formerly Ambassadors) trips, ranging from 3 days to 5 weeks--to both international and domestic locations. Translation: If you would like to go on a missions trip, or anyone in your family wants to go, or if you have friends who want to go, or if your church has a group that wants to go... contact me. I can put you in contact with people who can set it up. And if you would like to lead a trip... please contact me!

The new position is a good fit. It's exciting! I love working with leaders because I've led so many times. I understand what they are going through as they lead and love to pour into them. Like with the Amb program, I am assisting Don and Connie Rock, the managers of this department, who are an incredible. I am so blessed to work with them! We have a larger team (5 full time, 3 part time, 1 volunteer) and we still need a Representative for our Adult and Family trips. So if you know of anyone who's administrative and is willing to move to Gainesville to work with a missions organization, please contact me!

So... this blog. :0)

For right now, I'm coming back slowly. Meaning only one post a week- on Mondays. That's all I can commit to right now. But I'm going to try to make it to y'all's blogs--and comment--at least once a week.

Bye, Friends! See y'all next week!