Sunday, July 27, 2008

Three More Sundays

As my husband and son were talking about the high school Sunday school class, my husband told him, "Well, you only have three more Sundays before you head off to college."

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

Want Reader Input!

Do you like to read series books? Do you love it when an author has a series of books that take place in the same town or within the same family?

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!

www.writingbyfaith.blogspot.com

Thanks,
Missy

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food Network

Tonight on Episode 27 of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Original air date: 3-10-08), a woman said a wonderful thing: "The food has a lot of love in it, and you can always taste it when people cook with love."

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!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/baked-rigatoni-with-bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html

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

This and That

A friend of mine emailed to tell me about her cousin's husband, a musician. She sent the link to his website so I could listen to his music. He really does have a beautiful voice. Check it out and see what you think:

http://www.davidask.com/

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:

http://reverendmommy.blogspot.com/

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:

http://cancer.battlingforhealth.com/

Missy

Friday, July 11, 2008

Act Two--A Novel in Perfect Pitch by Kimberly Stuart


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

Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

I’m excited today is the official release date of Mary Connealy’s newest addition to her Lassoed in Texas series. Calico Canyon was such a fun romp (Mary style), but of course with nail-biting angst thrown in for good measure.

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!
Below is an excerpt from Mary's bio on her website, www.maryconnealy.com. This just shows her fantastic humor. :)
My writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. I just kept typing away. I think the reason I did it was because I’m more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when I really ought to speak up(or far worse, speak up when I ought to sit silently).

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.