Saturday, December 27, 2008
And it made me think about what's most important to me. As we approach the new year, a time of setting goals and reflecting on the past year, I encourage you to look at what's most important to you. Look at what you think God really wants you to worry about. What does God want you to focus on? What really matters in this lifetime?
And would you please pray for the Hurdle and Costello families? Only with God's help will they be able to walk through this.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I'm posting on the Faith blog on Thursday. I've asked everyone to share their favorite gift that they gave this year (not received). I hope you'll stop by and share yours!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
*Fast-paced adventure and falling-in-love .
*Humor, and all the Regency atmosphere you could want.
*Feisty heroines who aren't afraid to fall on their knees to pray .
*Twists and turns when you least expect them .
*And happy endings made in Heaven .
Friday, December 19, 2008
2 pound package Almond Bark (melted)
Melt in microwave 1 ½ minutes. Stir. Melt 1 ½ minutes. That should be enough. You might need slightly longer. Almond bark doesn’t lose its shape when it melts so you have to stir it to see if its enough. Add:
3 C. Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal
3 C. miniature marshmallows
3 C. Rice Krispies
3 C. mixed nuts
Spread out on waxed paper. Let cool. Break into bite sized pieces.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Come by the Craftie Ladies of Romance Blog. I'm posting Thursday about sparkling gems--specifically how my husband proposed to me. :)
And don't forget to comment to be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Leave a comment on the Craftie Ladies blog between Tuesday and Christmas and be entered in a drawing for a $50 gift certificate!!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
http://www.writingbyfaith.blogspot.com/ I hope you'll stop by!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Would you believe I forgot to take another single photo?! So I don't have any of my family. I will say it was an interesting holiday visit with my mom and her broken foot and broken wrist! Since she usually does most of the Thanksgiving cooking, it turned into a group effort with my sister and I trying to keep my mom and dad out of the kitchen as much as possible. And though we didn't do all our normal feast, we did have the basics--turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, rolls, deviled eggs and pumpkin pie. (In case you noticed the lack of "color," it's because we forgot the vegetables!) LOL
All in all, we had a great time together relaxing, talking, watching old movies on TV--and
How did your Thanksgiving go?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I wish you lots of time with family and friends. And after all the stress I've been hearing about, I wish you a PEACEFUL, relaxed time. :) Also, for those traveling, I wish you a safe journey.
Monday, November 24, 2008
And now I have to tell you I'm so excited. My college freshman son is on his way home!! For the first time since he left in August. I can't stop smiling!! :)
The turkey is thawing. I have a new cake recipe to try. And I'm going to buy groceries tomorrow. I'm looking so forward to this holiday. I may be strange, but I always love Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. And this year, with our oldest being away, it's going to make family time that much more sweet.
I hope each of you has fun plans ahead. I'd love to hear what you're going to be doing this week!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Sandra: The One-Year Women’s Friendship Devotional is designed for today’s busy woman. Each of the 365 devotions are on one page and contain a daily Scripture, short devotional thought from either Cheri or me and end with an honest prayer and an insightful quote. At the end of each week are questions to ponder individually or talk over with a friend. But beyond the friendship connection is our heavenly Father’s invitation to know more about Him and His living Word.
Cheri: One of the benefits of our One Year devotional is it provides a vehicle to discover your natural rhythm for drawing near to God in a personal and regular way. For right-brained people like me, the structure helps me stay in God’s Word day by day so my roots can grow deeper in Christ. Being a lover of people, I also enjoy exchanging ideas and discussing how a certain verse or story spoke to me, and the weekly questions are ideal for that purpose.
What’s the biggest challenge to women developing friendships today?
Sandra: Lack of time. And a lack of a sense of community. Today’s women have daily to-do lists as long as their arms. It’s difficult to concentrate on deepening friendships—or even developing them—when our idea of fun is crossing items off that list. Also, those endless lists make us feel alone even in a crowd. Women need each other, but often it takes special effort to form those connections.
Cheri: Recent research shows that 30% of Americans are lonely and often feel isolated. The more hectic life gets, the more we need friends and the encouragement that comes from relationship with God and our sisters in Christ. Our hope is that reading The One Year Women’s Friendship Devotional will energize your spiritual life and your friendships.
Another major challenge we face as women is taking care of so many people that we neglect ourselves and become irritated or burned out. Taking time to refuel spiritually and emotionally is important and the benefits ripple out to our children and family members, job, and all the people our lives touch.
Sandra: The 52 weekly themes cover many issues of a woman’s life, including career challenges, the power of encouragement, joyful living, hearing God above life’s roar, when your childhood family is toxic, faith building, avoiding overload, attitude adjustments, finding your spiritual pathway, dealing with stress, wading through grief, telling and hearing truth, making a difference, dealing with Christmas frenzy, a fresh-brewed prayer life, freedom from fear, and reaching a hurting world.
Cheri: Remember that God loves to hear your voice, just as you love to hear the sound of your kids’ or loved ones’ voices—not just once a week on Sunday but throughout your days. And every time we open his Book, the Bible, there’s a gift, a promise, or a truth that will help us learn to live abundantly no matter what we’re facing.
Sandra: Because of the shed blood of Jesus, we have the incredible privilege of stepping directly into the Presence of our heavenly Father through prayer. Years ago, a woman asked the great preacher G. Campbell Morgan if she should pray about everything or just the big things. Morgan answered, “Dear lady, pray about everything. After all, what could possibly be big to God?” I love that. And I love knowing we do not pray to air.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Please stop by each day and leave a comment for our participating authors.
Day 1 – Cara Putnam
If you leave comments, you will be eligible to win FREE books.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I've been keeping up with the Gratitude Project, if not online, then at least in my life, by trying to make sure to be thankful every day. I hope you'll join me in this, either on my blog or at Susan Wiggs' blog.
Also, I sure would appreciate prayer for my mother. She fell yesterday and broke her left wrist, broke her right foot, and cracked her elbow. She's in a good bit of pain and will have surgery tomorrow to put a pin in her wrist. She said she feels most sorry for my dad, though! He's having to help her around, and she's really off balance.
Thanks for the prayers!
Monday, November 03, 2008
I hope you'll join in! I think being grateful can change our outlook, change our lives.
Friday, October 31, 2008
We had the best visit last weekend with my son at college for Parent and Family Weekend. We hadn't seen him in 2 months, and I was surprised that when I first hugged him, I started crying! (Outside, with other people nearby.) All the kids were laughing at me. And I was laughing and crying at the same time. Very embarrassing. LOL
We spent 3 nights there and had a great visit. We also got to go to church with him Sunday morning to see where he's attending now. It was hard to leave, but much easier than the last time we left him. This time, we know he has some friends and is doing much better. Oh, and we got to meet some of the friends. Very nice!
Have a great weekend! It's gorgeous here in Georgia. Sunny and 60 degrees. What about you?
Monday, October 20, 2008
Now, here's Camy...
Hi there! Missy asked me to guest blog today about how to make character voices distinct.
1) First of all, the different characters in your story should sound VERY distinct to you in your own head.
If you “listen” to your own characters, and if you notice that two male characters sound alike or two female characters sound alike, you need to refine your characters more so that their personalities are more distinct.
Because here’s the key: Distinct personalities will naturally create distinct character voices.
For my Sushi series, Lex is an Amazon—headstrong, aggressive, athletic, blunt.
Venus is also aggressive and blunt, but she’s a sharper tool—she’s more refined than Lex, she’s organized and efficient, she’s very professional whereas Lex is more casual.
Their two voices sound very different to me in my head. Lex’s voice is more brash, a bit unconventional. Venus’s voice is more educated, elegant, but piercing.
2) Next is to try to convey those distinct voices down on paper.
Sometimes, that involves a bit of exaggeration when you write a character’s dialogue, because if the character voice differences are too subtle, it won’t come across well on the page.
Character voices differ in many aspects, which include:
Word choice and cadence/rhythm are what most often distinguish character voices in a novel, but you can play with other aspects to make characters more distinct from each other.
In my Sushi series, Lex’s vocabulary is filled with sports cant, and her word choices are middle school or high school level. Her rhythm and cadence is loping and casual.
Venus’s vocabulary is highly educated, college level. Her word choices reflect her business and video game development background—technical and professional. Her rhythm tends to be more clipped and logical.
3) Observe different character voices.
My favorite exercise is to watch movies with the same actor in them, playing very different character roles. I listen to the actor’s speech, rhythm, and watch body language.
In doing this kind of “research,” I get ideas about how to make my own character voices more distinct.
4) Write your characters in the same situation.
This is an excellent exercise for helping you define the characters’ voices. Take each character and put him/her in the exact same situation. Then have the character retell the situation and their reaction in their own voices.
If two characters tell the same situation similarly, then you need to go back to the drawing board to further refine their personalities to make them more distinct.
But if you’ve done a good job deepening personalities, the different characters should recount the same situation in very different ways.
Thanks for having me guest blog, Missy!
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every Monday and Thursday, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away ten boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, SINGLE SASHIMI.
Friday, October 17, 2008
When I went to look for the photo of the cake, I actually found a blog with a similar recipe posted. And she has photos!
DANGEROUS CHOCOLATE CAKE-IN-A-MUG***
1 coffee mug
4 Tbsp. cake flour (plain, not self-rising)
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. oil
Small splash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. chocolate chips, optional
Add dry ingredients to mug, mix well with a fork.
Add egg, mix thoroughly.
Pour in milk and oil and vanilla, mix well.
Add chips, if using.
Put mug in microwave, and cook for three minutes on 1000 watts. Cake will rise over top of mug--do not be alarmed! Allow to cool a little; tip onto a plate if desired. Eat!
(This can serve two if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.)
***And WHY is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only five minutes away from chocolate cake any time of the day or night!!!*** ___________________________________________________________________________
This is GREAT!!! Got the recipe from a friend, and tried it out immediately. It works! I see multiple applications for this gem: With kids; grandkids; 4-H cooking classes; college dorm room when there's only a microwave; late-night cravings; just enough for one or two servings instead of an entire cake..........ha, ha! My kids added some drizzles of chocolate syrup and some Cool Whip (we didn't put in the chocolate chips). You could add canned frosting, too. The batter does rise up 'way over the top of the mug, but doesn't run down the side. Fun to watch! Be careful not to overcook--our microwave is higher than 1000 watts, and three minutes was a dab too long--dried the cakes out a little bit. Anyway, give it a try! And be sure to watch it the whole time it's baking in the microwave!!!)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I'm pleased to welcome author Ronica Stromberg today. Ronica has a brand new children's book out, The Time-for-bed Angel. I've had a chance to look at a digital copy, and it's a gorgeous, fun book!
Here are some things I learned about Ronica:
Q: Ronica, I love your story! Can you tell me how you came up with the idea?
A: As a young child, my oldest son, Josiah, was a lot like Andrew in The Time-for-bed Angel. He never wanted to go to bed. After tucking him into bed for the umpteenth time one night, I was exhausted. I remember asking him, “Josiah, what about your guardian angel? Don’t you think he needs a little rest?” We ended up discussing guardian angels for the next few minutes, and I left his room, thinking that a bedtime story with a guardian angel might be reassuring to children who are reluctant to go to bed alone or who have a fear of the dark or “the monster in the closet.” Such a book might calm children by letting them know that guardian angels protect and watch over them at all times. When I couldn’t find anything on the market like this, I knew I should write the book.
Q: Great idea. How did you and the artist get together?
I’ve never met Kristina Stephenson or had any communication with her. My publisher chose her and handled the match of graphics with text. This is common with picture books. Historically, authors and illustrators have not always seen eye-to-eye, and most publishers today carefully manage the relationship between author and illustrator. I have to say, though, that I am delighted with Kristina’s artwork and think it really captured the spirit of the book.
Q: I see you’ve also written middle school and teen books. Could you tell us which will be out next, and give a description?
A: My “tween” (ages 10 to 14) book, The Glass Inheritance, was published in 2001. This is a mystery centered on the Depression Era glass a young girl inherits from her grandmother. I have three teen novels under contract and am expecting them out this next year. One, Wrappers, deals with abstinence from a boy’s point of view. The other two, A Shadow in the Dark and Living It Up to Live It Down, are about a young teen, Kirsten Hart, and her struggles with living out her faith in her nonbelieving family and in her public middle school.
Q: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
A: Unfortunately, I have yet to become disciplined enough to write every day. I generally write in spurts—maybe spend one or two days per month writing from morning until night and then spend odd times throughout the month revising. If I’m writing a full-length novel, I often get “on a roll” in which I’ll write a few hours every day, but I like to have downtime, too, when ideas can stew in my mind.
Q: What’s something you enjoy in your free time?
A: Reading, travel, spending time with friends and family, and shopping for antiques. I can’t pick just one!
Q: What’s something that most people don’t know about you (and that you don’t mind sharing!). :)
A: As a child, I wanted to be a missionary, improving the lives of orphans and poor children overseas.
Q: Very in interesting! Thanks for sharing. How can readers buy a copy of “The Time-for-bed Angel”?
A: The book has distributors in both the inspirational and mainline markets, so any bookstore—whether it be one of the large chains like Barnes & Noble or a small, independent Christian bookstore—may stock it or at least be able to order it. And, of course, the book is available online at places like Amazon.com.
Thanks so much for being on my blog today, Ronica! I enjoyed our visit.
Ronica Stromberg is the author of a picture book, The Time-for-bed Angel, and a tween mystery, The Glass Inheritance. She also has three teen novels under contract and is working on an inspirational romance. Her short stories appear in 16 anthologies and numerous magazines.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Today, though, I had cooking shows playing while I was going through external conflict in my head. I think I've come up with a pretty good idea. At the same time, I saw a yummy-looking recipe from Rachel Ray for a pasta dish. :) Later, after I've jumped into writing the new synopsis, I'll get online and find the recipe. (It was a crab pasta dish made with shell pasta and a bunch of herbs, in case you want to try to find it.) :)
So, do you like background noise while you're paying the bills or reading a book? Or are you someone who needs quiet to concentrate?
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Also, for writers attending the Moonlight & Magnolias Conference, I'd love it if you'd come to the workshop Debby Giusti and I are presenting about being prepared for the first sale. So look for us on the schedule!
For readers! Coming up this weekend in the Atlanta area (I hope you'll stop by!!):
Moonlight & Magnolias Conference
Book Fair and Autographing
Hilton Atlanta Northeast
Saturday, Oct. 3
At the book signing:
Teresa Medeiros (Keynote speaker and one of my favorite authors!)
Tanya Michaels (Featured GA author)
Jennifer St. Giles
Monday, September 29, 2008
Well, this past Thursday, I had finally dwindled down to a quarter of a tank--my personal panic point. And on top of that, I had to drive to the other side of Athens (about 30 miles away) for my son's cross country meet. (One of the absolutely necessary events.) :) I had heard rumors that Athens had more gas than we do around here, so after the meet, I started searching. I found a station that had premium gas for $4.59/gallon! Uh, no thanks! I decided to make one last go-around of the station and was about to drive away when I noticed one pump that didn't have an "empty" sign over the regular gas. I lucked out! I was able to fill up for 4.19/gallon. Not great, but hey, it was better than waiting in line for a half hour like my husband had had to do! (Plus, it took him another half hour to pump the gas because it was pumping so slowly.)
It's amazing how much more secure I feel with a full tank of gas. I've always been that way, but with these insecure times, it makes an even bigger difference in my attitude.
So now I'm once again putt-putting around town, avoiding acceleration, avoiding quick trips to Wal-mart (way across town) or trips to the mall (25 miles away). If we could afford to do it, I would love to get rid of my gas-guzzling SUV. But that'll have to wait. For now, I'll keep embarrassing my kids by driving like a granny. And I'll just have to hope the weather doesn't decide to turn cold before I splurge and drive to Wal-mart to buy my poor son (who's grown like a weed lately) a pair of jeans! :)
Have any of you experienced a shortage as well? What are you doing to cope?
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
My good friends from Seekerville, Janet Dean and Mary Connealy (sorry I cut the top of your head off, Mary!).
At the awards banquet-- me, Janet Dean, my wonderful editor, Emily Rodmell, and Debby Giusti.
The best critique partner in the world, Belinda Peterson!
Another Seeker friend, Myra Langley Johnson (who recently sold to Abingdon!)
Me with amazing Steeple Hill authors Mae Nunn and Debby Giusti.
A blog reader drove over an hour to meet authors at the Mall of America book signing. Thanks for stopping by, Mimi!
Steeple Hill Authors at the Meet & Greet with Emily Rodmell.
Me with fellow United Methodist pastor's wife, and writer, Bev Varnado.
Book signing with 120 Christian authors! So exciting! The line of tables went on forever.
The F.A.I.T.H. bloggers.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
HUNDREDS OF NOVELISTS COMING TO MINNEAPOLIS
Booksigning by 100+ novelists at Mall of America September 20
(MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.) Hundreds of authors and aspiring authors will attend the annual
American Christian Fiction Writers conference at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel September
18-21, 2008. They’ll study the craft of writing from a Christian worldview, get the word out
about their books, and meet with editors from nearly every major publishing house in their industry.
They’re also coming to get signed books. On Saturday, September 20, 1:00-3:00pm in the Best
Buy® Rotunda and Bloomingdale’s Court of the Mall of America, over 100 bestselling and
award-winning authors such as Angela Hunt, James Scott Bell, Rene Gutteridge, Deborah Raney, Tamera Alexander, Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Brandt Dodson will sign copies of
their books for conference attendees and the public.
For more information regarding the signing or conference, please contact Cara Putman at (765)
418-3427 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about ACFW, visit www.acfw.com.
Missy here again. I probably won't post again until I get back. I'll try to post some photos asap. Here's a list of all the authors participating. I'll be at table #60. It'll be so exciting!
Janet Lee Barton
James Scott Bell
Jeanie Smith Cash
Susan Page Davis
Lena Nelson Dooley
Sharon Ewell Foster
Tina Ann Forkner
Cathy Marie Hake
Jenny B. Jones
Golden Keyes Parsons
Jeanne Marie Leach
Sherri L. Lewis
Richard L. Mabry
Donita K. Paul
Kim Vogel Sawyer
Shelley Shephard Gray
Sarah Anne Sumpolec
Susan May Warren
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I'm so pleased to welcome my good friend and fellow Love Inspired author, Janet Dean, to my blog today! Janet, I'm so thrilled that your book is finally out! I know it's seemed ages since you got The Call. Janet will be giving away a copy of Courting Miss Adelaide to one lucky winner among those who comment today. Please be sure to leave contact information.
I loved Courting Miss Adelaide! What a great story. I still hear Adelaide's voice in my head. For those who haven't read the book, could you tell us a bit about it? (And notice the gorgeous cover to the left.)
Janet: Small-town single Adelaide Crum saw the “Orphan Train” as her last chance to mother a child. So many lost children needed a caring home—the home she longed to offer. And yet the narrow-minded town elders refused to entrust even the most desperate child to a woman alone….
Newspaperman Charles Graves believed his heart was closed forever, but he swore to stand by this lovely, lonely woman who was fighting for the right to take some motherless child into her heart. And her gentle soul and unwavering faith made him wonder if even he could overcome the bitter lessons of the past, and somehow find the courage to love….
Missy: The question everyone wants to know... What's the secret to making that first sale? (Or what do you think made the difference for you?)
Janet: By 2005 my writing was publishable. I was more than ready. But, I kept slamming into closed doors. Either I needed an agent to submit or publishers only bought historical fiction from established authors. Then in 2006, Steeple Hill made the decision to launch the Love Inspired Historical line and opened that door. I polished the partial one last time and mailed it to New York with my heart in my throat and a prayer on my lips. Editor Melissa Endlich, head of Love Inspired Historical, read the partial, requested the entire manuscript and bought the book, all in a little over two months. When things change, they can change fast. :) I’m still thanking God for His perfect timing.
Missy: That's so exciting! I, too, am thankful for His perfect timing.
Now, another question. Do you have any particular how-to books that you would recommend?
Janet: My favorite how-to books:
Writing and Selling Your Novel and Scene and Structure by Jack Bickham
Goal, Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass
On Writing by Stephen King
Missy: Thanks, Janet. For those who don't know, she has also sold another book! Can you give us a blurb on your next book?
Janet: Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, May 2009
When Luke Jacobs arrives in Noblesville, Indiana peddling his remedy, he goes toe-to-toe with the town doctor’s daughter, Mary Graves, who tries to convince the townspeople to not throw their money at another worthless tonic. Unknown to Mary, Luke is in town for another reason, one that will forever change her life.
Missy: Sounds so good! Now for fun... What's something about you that most people wouldn't
Janet: I enjoy painting hard-shelled gourds. I got interested when I saw a painted gourd from the late 1800s. I was impressed by its durability and folksy charm. Two friends joined me once a month to paint every size and shape of gourd. After crafting a good-sized collection, we joined the gourd society and entered our work in gourd shows. Though I no longer have the time to paint, the gourds are part of our family’s holiday tradition, especially at Christmas.
Missy: I love them, they're gorgeous! Wow. I had no idea of your artistic talent.
Thanks so much for hanging out and answering questions. Where can readers best contact you and find out about upcoming releases?
Janet: Thanks for having me on your blog today, Missy. I enjoyed it!
My Web site: http://www.janetdean.net/
My e-mail: email@example.com
My blog Cup of Faith: http://www.janetdean.blogspot.com/
Janet Dean grew up in a family who cherished the past and had a strong creative streak. Her father recounted fascinating stories, like his father before him. The tales they told instilled in Janet a love of history and the desire to write. She married her college sweetheart and taught first grade before leaving to rear two daughters, but Janet never lost her interest in American history and the stories of strong men and women of faith who built this country. With her daughters’ grown, she eagerly turned to historical romance. Two of her manuscripts were Golden Heart Inspirational finalists in 2005 and 2006. Her debut novel, Courting Miss Adelaide, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, releases September 9. The sequel, Courting the Doctor’s Daughter, will release in May 2009. When Janet isn’t writing for Steeple Hill, she stamps greeting cards, plays golf, and is never without a book to read. The Deans love to travel and spend time with family.
Monday, September 08, 2008
I'll also have Janet as our guest on the F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday, so I hope you'll stop by there as well for more interesting info on how she creates her characters. www.writingbyfaith.blogspot.com
By the way, I LOVED Courting Miss Adelaide!! You don't want to miss this wonderful book.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
It's amazing that we can experience grief, even when we know he's doing what's best for him and is doing something he's always dreamed about. But we'll adjust.
It was hard to leave him, though. Luckily, he's doing better and better. He's meeting more new friends every day and is having a great time. Plus, they have tons of activities planned for orientation week. It's keeping him busy. And once classes start on Monday, he'll have to buckle down and work. :)
It's strange how the little things hurt. I ran to grocery store last night to pick up a few items, and when I went to grab the huge party-sized Stouffer's lasagna, it hit me that I can't buy that giant size anymore. How embarrassing to cry in the grocery! I stood by the freezer case and had to dig out a Kleenex.
So, I'm pouring myself into my writing. I cranked out a whole synopsis yesterday, not an easy feat. And today I'm going to try to write another chapter for the proposal.
Eventually, we'll all adjust. Probably about the time he comes home for fall break. :)
Monday, August 18, 2008
Send an email to: rpkg at comcast. net (using the @ symbol and leaving out the spaces) and write in the subject line 'SSMW Book Cover Contest'.
Then in the body of the email, please give:
Genre (which would be inspirational romance for my book)
Deadline is August 30.
Here's a link to the site for more info: http://www.freewebs.com/steppingstonesforwriters/contestforwriters.htm
Thanks so much!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Well, we're down to the countdown to moving my son to the dorm. We're buying the last supplies he needs (just thought of toiletries yesterday!) and he'll start packing soon. He's also completing an online course all in-coming freshman have to do on alcohol education. I think it's a great idea. Plus, he's trying to finish up a book they all have to read before arriving on campus. Believe it or not, he's not much of a reader, so he's struggling. He told me today he's going to have to give himself an incentive. Once he finishes both assignments, he'll go buy Madden 09. Whatever it takes! (My incentives always seem to be food--in the chocolate food group! Not good.) :)
I'll be blogging in Seekerville on Wednesday and at the F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday. I hope you'll stop by!
Would you believe I saw signs of fall today?! A tree across the street from the church is turning red. I couldn't believe it! Maybe it's because everything is so dry. We're all praying for rain around here.
Are any of you from the North? Are you seeing leaves turn yet?
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
50 Barrett Pkwy Ste. 1100
Marietta, GA 30066
Monday, August 04, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Three more Sundays.
Okay, I'm sure you can imagine the huge lump in my throat and tears burning my eyes as I typed that. It's going to be a tough month. But exciting.
My son and I went out this past week to buy "stuff" for his dorm. It's so different from when I moved into a dorm a hundred years ago. I did all the girly stuff--going out with my roommate so everything matched. :) But my son mainly wants functional things. We did splurge on a cool chair for sitting in front of the TV and playing the X-box 360. (Ha! We'll see how much time he has to play once he gets there.) Still, it was fun going out together and spending that time out. Just Mom-son time.
It's going to be so strange to be a family of four. Of course, we've been preparing over the last couple of years, since he started driving. As one of my friends said, they start weaning you from them during the last year or so of high school. :) And that's the truth.
As we approach the last three Sundays, though, I'm having a hard time letting go. I'm wanting to treasure every moment. But I'm thinking that once we get to the campus, I'll be so excited for him that I'll get over the blues. The thrill of newness and meeting new people. Of living independently. Of learning so much.
Oh, and guess who the speaker will be for the incoming freshman class?! Maya Angelou! That'll be really cool (and parents will get to watch outside by TV monitor.)
My critique partner, Lindi Peterson, has said that she'll take me out for coffee once we get home from dropping our son off. To help distract me. So I'm taking her up on that offer. And I'll also be throwing myself into writing a new proposal/book. That's always a good distraction. :)
I'll try my best not to whine too much on here, and will appreciate any advice! :)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Then come visit at the F.A.I.T.H. blog today! I've posted there asking for input since I'm about to write up a proposal for a new book. I want your input!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I just love that quote! And isn't it true? Don't you think my kids know the difference between the frozen waffles I give them most mornings and the French toast or pancakes I make on occasion? And what about when I make a special pasta recipe? They went crazy for a new one I made a couple of weeks ago. It took a lot more work than my usual fare (and was pretty expensive to make because of the ingredients). But they knew the difference between that and my regular ol' spaghetti (I do have to say they love my spaghetti, too). Still, they knew it was something special, and I think it made them feel special.
We definitely show love to our families through food. I'll share a link to my new pasta recipe below--and I admit I just figured out that when I wrote the recipe down, I wrote the wrong amount of cheese! That's why it was so expensive when I made it. LOL I wrote 1 pound of cheese instead of 1 cup. :) But boy, was it nice and cheesy!
Could you share any special dish you make that's full of love?
Missy P.S. This cooking with love idea has me thinking about writing with love. I may use it for my post in Seekerville on Monday. I hope you'll stop by! www.seekerville.blogspot.com
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Also, last night at our church, we had a covered dish dinner (pot luck is what I grew up calling it in Kentucky) . It was a chance to welcome new pastors and families to our district. I met a really nice pastor who has what looks to be a fun blog. You might want to check it out, too:
I'm still recovering from vacation. Isn't it funny that you have to do that? We had the most relaxing week at the beach--lots of family time (well, actually, total family time!) But then we had to pack up everything and re-load the car, then make the 6.5 hour trip home. It wears you out!
When I get my act together, I'll post some photos. Right now, I'm preparing to send my revisions off. Doing a last read-through (and having my husband give it a read-through for typos, etc.). I hope to mail it Friday. Then it's time to get back to working on my next proposal!
Have you read any good books lately? You can see what I've read on my Shelfari page (see my shelf on the right side-bar).
Hope you're having a great week! Oh, a reminder to have your annual skin cancer check! I had mine today. I had a few spots the doctor froze on my face. (I was so bad when I was a teenager, using baby oil and iodine at the pool all day every day!) I hope you'll remember to see your dermatologist each year. (And wear sunscreen. And don't do tanning beds.)
Here's a link to a great blog hosted by a writer friend, Tina Russo. It's all about battling cancer and has lots of great info and the latest about research:
Friday, July 11, 2008
I'm excited to tell you about a fun new book, Act Two--A Novel in Perfect Pitch by Kimberly Stuart. I read the first chapter at her website , http://www.kimberlystuart.com, and got such a kick out of it, I decided to take part in the blog tour.
I can tell by some of Kimberly's interviews that she would be someone I would really enjoy knowing. :) I hope you enjoy getting to know her as well.
First, a bit about the book...
Sadie Maddox loves New York. She’s the toast of the classical music world and the queen of all she surveys. Sadie is, in a word, a bit of a diva. But lately her CD sales are waning, not to mention parts of her anatomy.
When her agent suggests she take on a professorship at a small liberal arts college, Sadie decides to give it a go. Except the college is in rural Iowa, and the closest thing to designer clothes is the western wear shop down on Main Street. Sadie’s colleagues are intimidated, her students aren’t impressed, and she has to live far too close to farm animals.
Then Sadie meets Mac, a large animal veterinarian. She assumes they have nothing in common—he is, after all, a country music fan. Besides, she’s counting the days until she can end her exile from civilization. Er, New York. Yet when Sadie’s forced to spend some time with Mac, she finds she likes him. Her students, it seems, really need her, and this quiet Midwest community begins to grow on her.
But when the semester ends, Sadie packs up and heads for the city that never sleeps…and finds she can’t either. Will she find the courage and grace she needs to embrace her Act Two?
I have to admit I'm only part-way through the book (a high school graduation, travel and revisions kept me from much reading time), but I'm hooked already and can't wait to see what happens! Kimberly has such a fun voice--smart, sassy, honest. Her character, Sadie, sometimes thinks things that might make you cringe as you laugh out loud, but you love her all the more. :) I've never been a rich diva, but I can somehow relate to Sadie, and look forward to going along for the ride.
Next, a little about Kimberly (and you'll see why you'd like to know her)...
Q: If you had to write your memoir in six words, what would they be?
Wanted Angst, Clung Instead to Humor.
In high school and early college, I wanted nothing more than to be the tortured artist. I read and wrote horrible, dark poetry, tried to find the paradox in everything from God to navel oranges, and made my remarkably sunny parents nutty and fretful, usually within one dinner conversation. If you were so inclined, you could dunk yourself in my many journals of self exploration, a journey which, turns out, is frightfully dull when done alone and in denial of how diverse God’s fingerprints really are. It was only after several years of marriage and the birth of my daughter that I fully let go of the idea of being someone I’m not, tossed my inner longings to wear only black and moan songs by Ani DeFranco, and instead embraced laughter and humor as God-drenched gifts to humanity. Laughter truly is medicine and finally I’m ready to take and give a generous dose on a daily basis without feeling like I’m missing the artistic boat.
Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child, I wanted to be a “seener” (singer). Mostly, I wanted to be Amy Grant. That’s right, people: I was into STRAIGHT UP AMY GRANT. The hard stuff, the early years, like “My Father’s Eyes,” and “El Shaddai.” I rocked out (with choreography) in our basement, next to a record player roughly the size of an Escalade and was wholeheartedly convinced of my musical and entertaining genius. If only I could have met her at the right time, perhaps post-Gary, pre-Vince, we could have toured together! She totally could have used a back-up dancer/singer! In fact, if you’re reading this, Amy, I’m still available!
Missy's note: I loved Amy Grant, too!! :)
Q: Where are you headed next?
God willing, I’ll be giving birth to our third child in August, so I’m afraid I won’t be heading anywhere too quickly. Lactation seems to preclude so many of life’s adventures…In addition to caring for our growing brood and being really snippy with my husband for a few months due to sleep deprivation, I have two more books to write with David C. Cook. Act Two is the first of three, and I must ask you humbly to buy it within the next four minutes as it is time-sensitive material. And it’s a pretty good summer read, if I must be so bold. After Act Two will come two more. This will make a grand total of five books so far from the pen of Kimberly Stuart. Don’t place any bets that I’ll try to have as many children as I do books. When it comes to babies, those in print are much kinder on a uterus.
Missy here again...
Kimberly, I wish you a safe, joyous delivery of both books and baby!
Also, I hope everyone will visit with Kimberly at her other blog tour stops http://www.blogtourspot.com/stuart-blog-tour/stuart-blog-tour-stops/
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
This story follows book #1, Petticoat Ranch, and we get to see some of the characters we met in that book. Petticoat Ranch featured a single mom with a houseful of daughters. Calico Canyon features single dad, Daniel Reeves, with a houseful of boys-- a set of twins and a set of triplet. And even though Mary had a houseful of girls in real life, she’s really portrayed well the way a household with five boys could be: Loaded with fun, fights and chaos.
The main character, Grace Calhoun, has been running from an abusive adoptive father who’s out for revenge. And she’s finally landed a job teaching in Texas, which would be perfect, if not for the Reeves boys. Chaos reins when they’re in the schoolroom. In fact, they and their dad are responsible for getting poor Grace fired.
And of course her luck doesn’t turn. That very night, her “father” finds her and tries to take her away. She thinks quickly, though, and hides out in the closest supply wagon.
The Reeves’ wagon!
What follows if funny, touching, and in the end, satisfying. You’ll love this story. Especially with the subplots Mary winds throughout. This is another great story from the prolific Mary Connealy. I look forward to many more!
So, I have all these things, I want to say, in my head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store, the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves, the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. I keep all this wit to myself, much to the relief of all who know me, and then I write all my great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.
So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.
Monday, June 30, 2008
I'm reading Calico Canyon right now and love it! I hope you'll stop by to hear about the book and to discuss it!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I hope you'll stop by and read my post on the topic of promotion at our F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday. I'd love to get writer and reader input!
Hope to see you there!
P.S. I'm still working on revisions! I'm just about to break through some of the most difficult changes.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I guess the last movie we saw before that was Horton Hears a Who. Movies at the "regular" theater are $10.00 now, which is highway robbery! So we've been trying to be patient and see them later at the dollar theater (literally $1 or $2 depending on the day of the week).
So, what movies have you seen lately? Did you like them? I'd appreciate any recommendations!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Hope to see you there!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Graduation went great! We were so proud of our son. I thought I'd share a couple of photos with you. First, my son with me and my husband after the ceremony (I look so wilted! You can tell it was over 90 degrees outside when it started!).
Thursday, June 05, 2008
I hope you'll drop my the F.A.I.T.H. blog on Thursday. I'll be posting about revising my book to add more and move forward the internal conflict for my hero. Stop by and tell me what you think! www.writingbyfaith.blogspot.com
So... any advice about surviving the first child graduating?? :)
Monday, June 02, 2008
Congrats on the sale, Mike!
Okay, here's a little about Mike's story...
How did you first feel called to write?
My call to write was in no way gradual. It happened all at once and might as well have been God speaking directly to me. It began with a motorcycle accident that left my brother-in-law in a deep coma and a prognosis of death or, at best, persistent vegetative state. My wife, Jen, and I went to visit my sister and Darrell in the hospital and came away wrestling with emotions I couldn’t easily explain: anger, frustration, sorrow, confusion, you name it. When we got home I did the first thing that came to mind, I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and started writing.
Now, it’s important to know at this point that I’ve always struggled with stuttering. Lots of thoughts and ideas swirled in my head but I rarely voiced them because talking was just so laborious. I often kept my emotions under lock and key because it was easier than trying to express myself in words. Well, when that pen hit paper I knew I was on to something, I felt a freedom I had not felt before. I could say what was on my mind and in my heart and say it with perfect fluency. I had found my voice! That was almost ten years ago and I haven’t stopped writing since. Oh, and by the way, Darrell pulled through and is doing just fine now.
Do you have a day job?
I’ve been a physical therapist assistant for 10 years.
Will you share a little bit about your family?
I’ve been married to my lovely and supportive wife, Jen, for 10 years. We’ve been blessed with three daughters ages 5, 6, and 8. All fun-loving, sweet-spirited, and of course always well-behaved (ahem).
And how did your first sale, for The Hunted, come about?
Shortly after [a frustrating ordeal with a POD publisher] I began work on another manuscript, calling it The Hunted. A year later I toted it along with me to my first writer’s conference where I met suspense author Kathryn Mackel who critiqued it, liked it, and said she’d not only endorse it but help me find an agent. A few weeks later she referred me to an agent friend of hers, Les Stobbe. Les liked my proposal and chapters, agreed to represent me, and circulated the project to various publishers. Four months later we got an email from Realms Fiction (Strang Book Group) saying they were interested in the full manuscript and a few long, endless months after that they were offering me a contract.
That's so exciting! But readers may remember I mention in my title that life has thrown you a curve ball. Can you tell us about when you were diagnosed with cancer?
Yeah, cancer. Kind of a big thing. I was diagnosed on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. Here I was getting ready to launch into trying my hand at promoting my new book and in the middle of negotiating a contract for a second book when the doctor dropped the bomb: You have colon cancer.
Funny thing is, I don’t remember ordering colon cancer. Not part of my plans at all.
How has that diagnosis affected your writing?
How has it affected my writing? Well, immediately, it’s halted my writing. With the exception of daily journaling on my blog, I haven’t written a lick since being diagnosed. I love to write, it’s my passion, but this cancer thing trumps it. I took this diagnosis as a nudge from God that I need to set writing aside for a little while and just concentrate on the most important things: my relationship with Him and my relationship with my family. Sometimes it takes something like cancer to refocus you, to get you to evaluate your life and do a little re-prioritizing.
In the long run, I think the experience of traveling through this valley will only enhance my writing, give it more depth, more texture, more emotion and passion. I know firsthand what it’s like to traverse that Valley of the Shadow of Death, to question Why me?, to be scared of dying, not for dying’s sake but for my family’s sake, to live with a monster inside me that wants to kill me (hey, that gives me a great story idea), to be poked, prodded, scoped, and stuck, to live a life that revolves around the next test result or the next doctor’s appointment. I’ve been there now and I can incorporate those experiences into my stories, into the life of my characters. It’ll be interesting to see how my writing changes once I get back to it.
Mike, we wish you all the best. We'll be praying for your treatment and recovery. Thanks for visiting my blog today.
Check out Mike's website, http://mikedellosso.com/blogtour. You'll be able to find an excerpt there and can sign up for his newsletter.
Again, the link to buy his book is: http://www.amazon.com/Hunted-Mike-Dellosso/dp/1599792966/