WELCOME BACK SHEILA DEETH
Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States near Portland Oregon, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.
Connect with Sheila at these sites:
I love dogs, especially those mixed-up mongrel tykes with the best of everything. I love math, especially playing with patterns and logic and turning science into art. I love writing. And I love the Bible. I’m an English American, Catholic Protestant, mongrel Christian mathematician with a growing collection of five-minute Bible stories for children to my name. I also write spiritual speculative novellas, contemporary novels, short stories in multiple genres, and way way way too many book reviews.
I thought I was hopeless at gardening until a friend introduced me to dahlias. This year I’ve grown real flowers, much to everyone’s shock and amazement, so I thought I’d share some lessons learned.
1. Collect your seeds, tubors, or whatever the garden center calls them. These can be purchased wholesale and free whenever you walk out the door. In fact, you can buy them free on the internet whenever you surf the web, or from your kids, or your dogs, or your dreams, or your latest argument with the mechanic at the garage. Seeds for the stories in Bethlehem’s Baby came from a mixture of familiar Bible stories, snippets of history, and everyday life with kids.
2. Choose your flower bed. The best flower beds get plenty of light—otherwise known as sales. So research your markets and try to decide who you’re going to write your stories for. Then make sure you create them the right length, with the right type of words, to fit the market.
3. Dig holes. Dig into your memories, dreams, favorite snippets of song, or scattered bits of glorious scenery. After a while a character or location might sneak into your mind saying, “Write about me.”
4. Plant seeds into holes. Ask your character why you’d want to write about him/her/it. If the answer makes sense, you’ll let this seed grow. If it needs some supporting story-seeds, do some more digging until you find them.
5. Bury the seeds. Your story’s not a lecture or a lesson. It’s meant to entertain. So bury the echoing harangue of “author’s voice” until only the rich dark soil of character, location and plot remain on view.
6. Water them. Write, rewrite, add, subtract, edit, rethink, review. Everything you’ve done may still be thrown away when the seed begins to grow, but everything you’ve done is still worthwhile. It’s either compost, rich and warm to help the next seed grow, or it’s a story of its own.
7. Prune. Otherwise known as editing. This is where your stems and leaves, otherwise known as words, start to wilt in the heat of a summer’s day. Read the story aloud and when it doesn’t sound right, it most probably isn’t.
8. Water some more. Cut back the surrounding foliage so your plant gets plenty of sun. Provide shade at the hottest time of review, and rest secure in the knowledge you planted and watered, but it’s the seed that grew.
9. Cut the flower, because you really really want someone else to see your story and read it, so it has to go to market.
10. Arrange in vase, or in a book. Then arrange the book on as many websites as you can find and announce to the world. THIS IS MY BOOK. READ IT
ABOUT THE BOOK
Meet the Emperor Augustus’s advisors, the quiet research student helping wise men study stars, the shepherd whose granddad keeps complaining, an Egyptian fisherboy, a Roman soldier, and more in this set of 40 5-minute read-aloud stories based around the events of the Christ Child’s birth in Bethlehem.
Genre: children’s Biblical fiction
Publisher: Cape Arago Press
Publication date: 2 September 2013
Number of Pages: 123