Friday, May 17, 2019

Novel in Progress - Vocabulary List Barbary Pirates Part 2

by Elva Cobb Martin

Here are some more vocabulary words I am listing for my historical series wip set in 1700's Charles Town and the High Seas.


Ballast Bricks or Stones
 During the crossing of the seas in the sailing years, captains used the bricks or stones as a weight and balance method in the hold of the ship. After arriving at their destination, the ballast bricks were unloaded and replaced with fine goods for the return. Charles Town's cobbled streets were laid with ballast bricks or stones. 

Drogue (Book 1 Marisol Chap 16 excerpt --book to be released in November, 2019!)
"Pondering what to do, Ethan eyes widened as he remembered what was called a drogue device. Dona Maria’s ship could be stopped with such an attachment.The weariness lifted from his mind. A well-crafted drogue applied underwater, out of sight, to the rudder, could cripple the Nuestra Senora de Vargas at sea, away from any Spanish port.
In his former British navy stint it had worked well to stop a slaver and he’d been in on the plan and creation of one. It need be no more than a large sea anchor and a bolt of Number One canvas sewn into a funnel and reinforced to stand the strain with Dona Maria’s ship going at twelve knots. The contraption would be attached to one of the lower pintles of the rudder under water. Attaching the drogue, without being discovered by the ship’s crew, was the tricky part. But once it was put in place, the drogue would tear the rudder clean away when the ship started sailing full speed at sea. The vessel would be rendered helpless and dead in the sea. 
He stood, smiling. They could, they would, rescue little Samuel from the woman's clutches." 
(Research credit given to Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies.)

Djellabas
A long, loose, hooded garment or robe with full sleeves, worn especially in Muslim countries.

Burgoo 
A shipboard fare for lower echelon crew members. It was a mix of oat gruel and beef grease cooked all night, usually for breakfast.

Hardtack 
Dry, unleavened bread served aboard ship to the lower crew members and sometimes served with salt beef pickled in barrels of brine along with salted peas. The hardtack was a survival biscuit made with three simple ingredients: flour, water and salt. It held up well to rough transport and kept nearly indefinitely.

Hope you've enjoyed my vocabulary list I am generating for my historical romance series. Please do share by clicking on the icons below.

Blessings,
Elva 



Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI

Friday, May 10, 2019

Novel In Progress - Vocabulary List Barbary Pirates - Part 1

by Elva Cobb Martin

 The Barbary States
In my wip, an historical series set in  Charles Town in the 1700's and during the Barbary pirate era, I've been creating a vocabulary list for my readers. The plan is to add this at the back of the book(s) as an appendix. 

It also helps me remember the unusual spellings. 

Here is part of my list. Does it help open up this time period of sailing ships and pirates, especially Islamic Barbary pirates my Charles Town hero and heroine will confront?


1) Corsair: (from dictionary of Nautical history)

  ➤ a pirate, especially one based on the North African coast between the 16th and 19th centuries. Some were even from an English, French or Italian background who left or had to leave their countries for various reasons or crimes.

 ➤ a privately owned ship commissioned by a government to attack foreign ships, especially one based on the coast of North Africa.

2) tricorn
 A hat with its brim turned up on three sides, making three points, worn by men in the 18th century

3) draught of a ship:
the draft or draught of a ship's hull is the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull, with the thickness of the hull included. Draft determines the minimum depth of water a ship or boat can safely navigate.

4) scimitar (sym’muh tar)
 A short sword with a curved blade that broadens towards the point, used originally in Eastern countries. A saber having a curved blade with the edge on the convex side and used chiefly by Arabs and Turks, and Barbary pirates.


5) rak’ah
A rakĘżah, consists of the prescribed movements and words followed by Muslims while offering prayers to Allah. It also refers to a single unit of Islamic prayers.

6) Tripolitan War, (1801–05),
Conflict between the United States and Tripoli (now in Libya), incited by American refusal (President Thomas Jefferson) to continue payment of tribute to the piratical rulers of the North African Barbary States of Algiers, Tunis, Morocco, and Tripoli.

Hope this has begun to open up the world of Barbary pirates to you that Thomas Jefferson, our newborn Navy and Marines defeated in America's first war on terror!

Happy Mothers' Day to you mothers,
Elva Martin


Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin 
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI



Friday, May 3, 2019

Writers' Devotion: Be still and know...

by Elva Cobb Martin

With this blog I start something new--a brief writers' devotion the first week of each new month. This week is a good time to start. The first Thursday in May each year is America's National Day of Prayer which I participate in on our Court House Steps.


Psalm 46:10 KJV

"Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen."

It may look like the heathen have taken over, but God says: Be still and know...I will be exalted among the heathen.

In the past others have tried to exalt themselves above God: 

Lucifer
Pharaoh
Hitler
Stalin

Today, abortionists and pro-abortion pushers/judges, 
the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning), 
Islam, and ISIS are trying to exalt themselves above God and His Word.

Like every Christian writer, I read the news and am troubled by the inroads evil seems to be making in our nation and world.

But God says: Be still and know that I WILL BE exalted among the heathen.

That's good news to keep remembering and agreeing with daily as we continue to pursue our writing mandates.

Onward! In His Majesty's Service,
Elva Martin



Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI










Friday, April 26, 2019

Guest Post:: Your Character Arc in Six Stages

Guest Post by C.S. Lakin  

www.livewritethrive.com



The Character Arc in Six Specific Stages 

As a writer, you’re probably familiar with the term “character arc,” but what does a character arc entail? How do you structure this arc? And what informs the way your character changes, from the start of your story to the end?


While all characters in a novel can have arcs, it’s the protagonist whose change should be the most significant. Depending on genre and plot, your hero’s change might be subtle or life-altering. A suspense thriller or cozy mystery may show little character growth by the end, when the bad guy is caught or the mystery solved, whereas a thoughtful women’s fiction novel or relational drama may showcase monumental change.
But, in all stories, arcs are about change or transformation. And the stories with strong arcs show a character starting in what Hollywood movie consultant Michael Hauge calls identity or persona.

What makes for a great persona is a character who has suffered in his past and has developed a coping mechanism over time. This is his face he presents to the world that keeps buried his pain, fear, or hurt.
It’s human nature to deny and avoid painful feelings. But when we suppress them, it creates problems. We are never truly happy in our persona. It’s like having a tiny (or big) thorn in our toe that is festering. We keep our foot in a sock and walk around trying to ignore it, but it isn’t going to go away on its own. At some point we have to pull off the sock, look hard at the infection, then extricate that thorn and flush out the wound.

This gives us a blueprint for the process of crafting a strong character arc. While we understand coming up with “a wound” for our protagonist is key, we don’t want to make up any ol’ wound. We need to develop one that is intrinsically tied in with our premise.

Your character moves from his persona to his true essence in stages, gradually and in a believable manner. People don’t change overnight. Events erode a person’s grasp on his persona until he can no longer hang on to it. By the end of your story, your character finds no safe haven in that persona any longer.
Let’s take a look at these six stages of transformation, using the movie Hostiles as a perfect example.
  • Stage 1: This is your setup scene at the start of your novel. Your character is fully in his persona. This is the face he shows the world, and though it’s helped him cope with life, it has not brought him happiness.
In Hostiles, Army Captain Joseph Blocker has spent the last two decades fighting Indians, and he’s witnessed horrific things the Indians have done. He hates the Indians and cannot see past his hate to imagine they have any humanity or worth. Before he retires, he’s commanded to escort the ailing Cheyenne chief Yellow Hawk—his most despised enemy—to his ancestral home in Montana. He is fully in persona.
  • Stage 2: At this stage (between the 10% and 25% mark), your character’s entrenched views begin to be challenged. He gets a glimpse of his essence, of who he could be, if he let go of his persona.
In Hostiles, Blocker’s hatred begins to crack when he witnesses Yellow Hawk and the other Indians quickly move to join in protecting their group, even killing other Indians in defense. This glimpse of integrity that he sees in Yellow Hawk sparks respect and challenges his core beliefs that all Indians, especially this one, are savages and nothing more.
  • Stage 3: Somewhere between the 25% and 50% mark, your character, still in his persona and moving toward his goal, is gradually changing due to what he is experiencing and learning. A mentor or friend might mirror to his the way he is acting, pointing out how that’s not working for him. Or something someone says or does makes him stop and consider how his coping mechanisms aren’t making him happy. Think of creating a scene in which he takes the first step toward changing, or that shows he is already changing without realizing it.
In Hostiles, Rosalie, a woman whose family was butchered by Indians and who Blocker saved and has taken with him on this journey, has a deep talk with Blocker about life and spiritual things. This mirror moment gets Blocker questioning his life and values and begins to crack his hard shell.
  • Stage 4: This stage comes sometime between the Midpoint and the Dark Moment (75% mark). Now your character knows he must embrace his true essence. He is not there yet, but he fully realizes his persona is failing him. He must get the courage to be true to himself and face the truths he hasn’t been able to face. Often this is where the character backslides into his persona again, where it’s safe. But it doesn’t work anymore. There is only going forward.
Rosalie and the two native women are kidnapped by a group of fur traders who come across them as they wash dishes at a creek. Alerted by Little Bear, Blocker and several of his men, as well as Yellow Hawk and Black Hawk, track them down. They find the fur traders’ camp and witness one of the kidnappers beating Yellow Hawk’s daughter. When the kidnappers return to their tents, the men sneak down into the camp and attack the kidnappers and kill them. One of the rescuers is killed in the struggle. This intense event, which throws the opposing characters together, uniting them in purpose and morality, causes a further transformation of Blocker’s character. The Indians are people who strive, who suffer, who take care of those they love. He sees they are not all that different from him. He’s almost in his true essence.
  • Stage 5: This is the moment of arrival. As the climax barrels into him, he fully embraces his true essence, which gives him all that’s needed to reach his goal. He has everything to lose, but he goes for it. The final push to “arrive.”
In Hostiles, after a huge climax of death and mayhem, the group finally reaches Montana, and Blocker and Yellow Hawk, who is near death from cancer, speak. Blocker names some of the men he had lost fighting Yellow Hawk. Yellow Hawk responds by saying that he had also lost people. The two men shake hands in an apparent mutual act of forgiveness and friendship. When they arrive at Valley of the Bears, they bury the now dead Yellow Hawk using a traditional native burial scaffold. When white men approach and threaten them—mirroring the exact attitude Blocker had at the start of the story: hateful, racist, violent—we see Blocker take a stand, and he kills the leader of these men. Everyone in Blocker’s group is shot and killed except Rosalie and the young Indian boy.
  • Stage 6: At the resolution, your character is now fully in his essence; he has transformed and sees the world and himself in a new, healthier light. He is honest and transparent about himself.
At the end of Hostiles, Rosalie boards a train with the boy, heading home to where she will raise the young warrior. Blocker says good-bye, but because he is now fully in his essence, wholly transformed, he cannot leave the woman he loves. He is now able to do two things he could never have done at the start of the story: be at peace enough to allow himself to love this woman he cherishes and decide to help raise an Indian boy. He has broken through his racism and hate by way of experiences that taught him the lessons he needed to learn, giving him understanding that had never been within his grasp. A powerful story with a perfect transformational journey for the protagonist.

When you sit down to work on your character arc, consider using the Six Stage Plot Structure. Brainstorm scenes that will showcase the specific stage your character is in, for each turning point in the story. I also use this, and other, examples in my extensive online course on The 10 Key Scenes That Frame Up Your Novel. If you want to master this, take this course!
Using this framework will not only help you write a solid story, it will aid you in crafting a believable character arc for your protagonist that will engage and delight your readers.



                                                         ***

Hope you enjoyed this guest post from C.S. Lakin. Her writers' blog is a great one to follow. Subscribe at: http://www.livewritethrive.com/
Has this article helped you in any way? Would love to hear your comments.

Blessings,
Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI

Friday, April 19, 2019

Easter and the First Spring

by Elva Cobb Martin

This week I want to share again an Easter article I wrote some years ago.  Here it goes.

"For God so loved the world, He gave his only son." John 3:16

WHEN SPRING CAME

There is no shouting in the grave. The raging oceans and the world's clamor are silenced. Spring never comes. Seeds do not sprout. No fruit is harvested.

Except for one grave, dug before that first Spring in stony ground for a bruised and broken Seed.

The three women who came to that grave that morning knew about death and preparation of the body. They knew nothing about Spring (not that Spring).

They brought embalming spices, and their main concern was how to move the heavy stone from the the door. Perhaps they wept as they walked along, if they had any tears left.

Perhaps relief had settled on their hearts. Relief that the agony of the Crucifixion was over. Relief that the Sabbath was over, and they could anoint the body of their Friend. Relief--even peace--from the knowledge that they had served their friend in life as they now intended to do in death. They had not saved their flowers for the grave, as some do.

But there was no joy in their hearts. In that day before Spring, only an enemy or a fool would have felt joy at a grave.

So they came, with their dearly purchased spices, prepared to do all they knew how for the dead. To slow the rot and curb the odor with the embalming spices.

Last at the cross, now first at the tomb, the three women, with their womanly thoughts, concerns, and fears, trudged along that garden path oblivious that Spring had come and that the first fruit of that stony ground was within their touch.

"I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me."John 14:6













 Mary Magdalene, the Bible tells us, was the first to know. Her joyful shout, "Rabboni!" shattered the silent, dark shroud that had lain over mankind through the ages.

The jars of embalming spices fell to the ground as useless as the structures man had built to reach God since the beginning of time. God had reached down to man! Spring had come at last!

After 2,000 years it is still news. It is still news because men still build useless structures, try embalming spices, or climb into trees, as Zaccheus did, to see God.

And most amazing of all, God is still passing by!

                                                           ***

Note: The above is the very first article I attempted to write and it sold to a magazine! Whoever dreamed a novice writer could make an Easter issue? Just goes to show, you and the Lord can accomplish great things! So keep writing.

What does Easter mean to you? Besides the wonderful spiritual meaning, I love the beautiful season of spring. Below are some photos that inspire Spring in my heart. Hope they do the same for you.

Be blessed,
Elva Cobb Martin

Cherry Blossoms

Brookgreen Gardens Old Gate , Myrtle Beach, SC

Savannah, Georgia, azalea garden square




Brittany, France coast


New Orleans garden



Georgetown, SC 

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Sunset Mystery -How Did Jesus Rise the THIRD Day?

by Elva Cobb Martin


I've ministered quite a few Easter messages and articles but Jonathan Cahn's Book of Mysteries devotional has given me a new insight. He has a devotional he entitles "The Sunset Mystery."

It's always been a bit of snag for me to understand Jesus rose the THIRD day when the Bible plainly states he was put in the tomb on Friday afternoon and, to the Western way of thinking, Sunday is two days later, not three.

But this is not true in the Hebrew and Biblical thinking. Jonathan says that when the sun goes down, that is the end of the day and the beginning of new day. Everything that happened that day is now in the past, and a new day has begun at sundown or 6 PM.

This helps explain several things:
1) Why the Jews begin their Sabbath at 6 pm on Friday and it ends at 6 PM on Saturday.
2) So do all their holidays. They begin the day before at 6 PM.
3) It began in Genesis 1. God established this when he said "and the evening and the morning were the second day" and so on.

Jonathan relates this sunset mystery to Jesus. Jesus was the Light of the World. When he died on Calvary, the "light of the world" went down. All that happened that day was in the past, including payment for all mankind's sin. When we repent and accept Christ ALL our mistakes and sorrows now become PAST. A new day begins dawning as the SON rises in our hearts.

Back to Jesus rising the THIRD day. Here's how it is actually accounted:

Day 1 began at 6 PM on Thursday when Christ agonized in prayer in the garden during the night. This day ended at 6 PM on Friday as Jesus was laid in the tomb before sunset. They had to get His body in the tomb before sunset or it would have been on the Sabbath which began at 6 PM Friday.

Day 2 began at 6 PM on Friday and ended at 6 PM on Saturday (like the Jewish sabbath).

Day 3 began at 6 PM Saturday and ended at 6 PM Sunday --so Jesus indeed arose the THIRD day.

Finally "getting this" impacted my prayer life (and my writing time) in a special way. My first calling is as an intercessor. For many years I've spent quite some time in my prayer closet in early mornings to hopefully get my prayer lists and spiritual warfare in at the start of each new day. This meant I usually got very little writing done in the fresh morning time.

But now I understand the "new day" begins at sunset the day before. I have started doing my long intercession lists and spiritual warfare in the evenings before going to bed, about 9 PM. It's like something has fallen into place in my life that wasn't there before. I get much better writing done in the fresh morning time.  And I believe the people on my intercession list are probably getting better sleep, and hopefully awaken the next morning all prayed for and ready to go.

Have a blessed Easter Season,
Elva Martin


Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI








Friday, April 5, 2019

Impacting Lives with Christian Fiction - Part 1

by Elva Cobb Martin


Do you believe we can impact lives with Christian fiction? I do. Jesus taught great spiritual principles through story or parables. I've done a little study to define terms and confirm why I know I want to write Christian fiction vs. secular. Consider two stories I've given as examples.


With guidance from Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman, Elizabeth discovers she can start fighting for her family instead of against them. As the power of prayer and Elizabeth's newly energized faith transform her life, will Tony join the fight and become the man he knows he needs to be? Together, their real enemy doesn't have a prayer.  (Is this the kind of legacy you'd like your fiction to plant in hearts?)
Christian vs. Secular
Think of two successful novels you’ve read—one Christian and one secular—and imagine you’ve placed them side by side. Now how are the two books alike or different?


Alike
Told exciting stories set in interesting places.
♦ Created fascinating characters.
♦ Kept readers engrossed in a dramatic plot situation.
♦ Wrote entertaining dialogue.
♦ Honored rules of grammar, usage, and deep point of view.
♦ Researched the facts presented.
♦ Met the requirements for their specific genre.
♦ Followed correct formatting guidelines for the manuscript.

Different

This can be shown by looking at three definitions of Christian fiction:

a) Novels written by Christians, mostly for Christians, that contain Christian themes. They do not contain graphic sex scenes, violence for violence’s sake, profanity, drunkenness, or other things most Christians would consider offensive.

b) Stories that encompass religious themes found in the Bible.

c) Novels that tell stories from a Christian worldview.




Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream. (Interesting story, but is this the taste you'd like to leave in the mouths and hearts of future generations?)


Don't miss Part 2 as we discuss the power of an author's worldview in fiction writing.

Thanks for stopping by. Would love to hear why you would like to write Christian fiction or secular.

Enjoy this lovely spring and Resurrection Season!

Elva



Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com,on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin;  and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI