Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Contest Discussion

If you're a writer and interested in contests, join the discussion with the Seekers, a talented, savvy group, at

Monday, October 29, 2007

The last couple of days have been beautiful. Temps in the 50s, but with very little wind and the bright sun, it feels far warmer. I love the colored leaves, the sense of appreciation swelling inside me because this glorious weather won't last and I know it. I bask in the rays, enjoying every borrowed moment.

Last night, fortified with chili and cornbread, we carved pumpkins at our daughter's. Actually the grand kids used this nifty serrated gizmo to trace patterns of a goofy smiley face and a friendly bat that soon emerged under their nimble fingers. We all dig through the slimy pulp, searching for seeds. They'll be washed and dried and roasted. But, that's for another day. As soon as dark falls, we lit the Jack 'O Lanterns. I smile. Who cannot? I'm a kid again. :-)

On the ride home, the moon is full, so beautiful I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for God's creation. Content, reliving memories, wondering where the time has gone. I think of my father, the ultimate pumpkin carver who never needed a pattern. My eyes grow moist. I'm a bit sad, but full of hope for the future. God is in Heaven. All is well with world.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm working on the third book in the series. Before I get too far into the process, I've got to make certain that two elements of my story are factual. That will require research on migrant workers and sugar beets production in 1899. I've been told that in the 1930s farmers used a special plow to bring the beets out of the ground, and migrant workers cut off the tops and bottoms as they gathered them from the fields. That tidbit gives me hope that similar procedures existed at the time of my story. One thing I do know--sugar beets, a source of sugar, were grown in the Midwest at the time of my story. I'll also need to make the migrant workers' dialogue sound authentic. The trick is to write a compelling story that doesn't overwhelm the reader with more information than he needs, yet gives enough history to make the story come alive. Contempory novels require research too so writers of all genres do more than put words on the page. But if we're not careful, we can get too caught up in research and never get the book written. As in most things in life, balance is important. I've learned to pray before I sit at the computer, asking God for wisdom and words. He hasn't let me down yet.



Friday, October 12, 2007

Catching up

A good thing about a big writing related push is I get to let household chores slide. :-) My husband understands, helps out, but even he, a man with a servant's heart, has limits. So today I tackled that teetering basket of ironing, glad to finally get to it. While I pushed that iron around, I called an out-of-town friend who recently had a heart attack. She sounded great, just like always. But she'd had a wake up call. After we hung up, I thought how we never know what tomorrow, or even today, will bring. We want to make our lives count for God's kingdom, for those we love. I'm blessed to have this opportunity to write inspirational novels and hope that what I write will help readers in some way. But one thing I'm certain of--the writing has helped me. The way I have my characters handle their struggles comes from my personal relationship with God. The writing has enriched my life, brought me wonderful friends, and yes, added some pressure, too. But nothing good comes without a price. I'm reading If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg. He reminds me that whatever we attempt when we dream big is a risk. Getting out of that boat, our safe, comfortable spot, takes courage. I'm learning God will give me exactly what I need if I begin. So whatever your dream, pray for guidance and strength, maybe even an idea or two. We're bound to fail, but God will pick us up. I'll spend a couple days catching up with chores and thanking God for His gift--the call to write and sit down once more to do what I must. With His help. One word at a time.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Finished with my revisions!

Whew, do I feel great! I just finished revising my second book per my editor's suggestions and I'm very pleased. And happy. And thanking God for the peace He gave me during the process. And hoping my editor will like the book as much as I do. Actually I may not be totally done. My critique partner will take a look at the last couple of chapters tomorrow and may have a few suggestions. More like several. :-) Either way, I'll mail the complete to my editor on Monday, meeting my goal.

And then I'll get back to book three that very same day. Poor Fannie and Luke surely must miss me. Since they can't take a step or speak a word without my permission. Oh, the power of a writer. ;-)

Besides finishing my revisions, I have other news. A group of very special writer friends and I have started a new blog. About half of us are published and the other half are very close. When we started chatting none of us had sold. We'll have lots to say about contests and the part they played in helping us reach our goal, along with whatever else is on our minds. If you're a writer looking for information on contests or a reader who enjoys hearing about the ups and downs of fifteen writers' journeys, then stop in at

Another fun spot to visit later this month is Steeple Hill's Harvest Festival on the Steeple Hill boards October 22-26 where you can chat with wonderful authors, play games, and win great prizes. Go to Community.

Hope to see you on both sites!

Blessings all!