Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Inspires You?

Have you ever glanced at a total stranger and thought to yourself, I would like to be like him (or her) someday?

Me too!

I walked into a little restaurant called The Bridge Street Cafe and sat in a window booth overlooking the frozen Flatt River. It was really cold that day.

Having never been in this cute cafe before I looked around and couldn't help but take note of some awesome characteristics.  

Country music set the tone. Spunky, fun, inviting, open to conversation.

A sprinkling of customers sat at tables around the room. Each small group had a lively conversation except the older lady sitting by herself. With her short grayed hair, she sipped her coffee and watched the customers, including me. I thought she worked there.

The young twenty's waitress greeted me with a Julia Roberts smile and a food stained t-shirt.   She took my order and scribbled notes on a small page in a spiral notebook. Fresh, country strong coffee soon came in a mug. Tasted good. A sure sign the meal would be good, too.

While sipping my coffee, the waitress shouted "Have a nice day," and the front door closed. 

I looked out the window and noticed the older lady had walked out of the cafe. She wore a red winter coat and used ski poles to power walked across the icy parking lot. The poles did not serve as canes. Oh no. She clearly knew how to use the poles like a cross country skier.

At the other side of the parking lot, she stopped, flipped the hood of her coat over her head, and continued her power walk to the bridge over the river. She stopped midway across the bridge, leaned slightly forward, looked down at the river then continued her power walk.

On the other side of the bridge she kept her speed as if in training, up the city main street and disappeared in a snow cloud.

She couldn't have lived too close to the cafe. Nearest housing would have been a few more blocks. Her walk would last at least a little while longer, maybe more.

What an inspirational woman. On a day when most folk would drive down the driveway to their mailbox across the street, she power walked like a cross country skier. 

God places awesome people like this women in our path to inspire us.

What person has inspired you? Tell us what you noticed about the person and what they did that inspired you.

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, January 28, 2013

In a Box or New Adventure?


The Winner of last weekend's drawing for Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest book, The Lesson is....scroll to end of post for winner's name.

At a recent retreat, arriving attendees were warmly greeted by a hostess.

Seats had been assigned to help attendees meet and get to know new people.  

Most of the attendees had attended the retreat the previous year and did not have an issue with this concept. After all, seats are assigned for many events when a ticket is purchased.

For other events, we assign our own seat. We may walk into a church, movie theater, or other gathering place and think we have control of where we sit. We choose a seat near or away from people, the screen, or the exit. But those who come in after us modify the outcome, bringing people closer or causing others to move away, someone may block the screen or add a chair onto a row.

For the new people attending the retreat, some were surprised to find:

Friends were assigned to different tables
Family members directed to various tables
New faces sat across each other

This became a moment when personality types showed themselves. 

The shy person sat quietly at her assigned table and smiled because it was the right thing to do. Not because she wanted to. She felt awkward. Uncomfortable. Unsure.

The outgoing person bubbled over, warmly initiating conversations with the three new people, even the shy person. 

And then

The leader asked everyone to open a booklet and discuss a given question with the other people at the table.

The personality types showed themselves again.

The shy person obediently opened her book, drew her shoulders in, leaned over her book and worked through the questions, desperately hoping no one would ask for her answer.

The outgoing person raised her booklet to read the questions aloud. She solicited answers from the other three women. Here again one of two responses happened. Some shy women gave in and shared their response. Others used body language like lowering their chin, trying to become invisible before they had to say a word.

After the meeting, one lady walked to her friend. The friend immediately shared. "I didn't like this. I didn't like this at all." Sharing what she learned from the lesson in the small group was very difficult for her. She answered when asked, but didn't like the situation. As you guessed, this was a shy person.

Another lady told her friend she had a wonderful time. She hugged a new friend and walked to several other women to share her wonderful experience. This was the bubbly person.

How can I use observations of people with these reactions? In many ways. 

As I write my characters, the shy person is going to respond as a shy person in her heart. She will feel uncomfortable in gatherings where she has to meet others, and although she may respond properly on the outside, the inside is stressed. 

The outgoing character will keep in the spirit of her bubbly personality. This one will try to friend and draw out the shy person while enjoying other bubbly personalities.

When I share God's love with people I will find these personalities, and more. I think that is why Jesus gave His different examples of interacting with individuals. 


The woman at the well. 
Jesus' first meeting with Peter. 
Mary's request for Him to make wine at the wedding
His interactions with the Pharisees
His miracles
His teachings
His witness to Pilate
and etc.

Observing a person's responses will help me know how to engage them. A shy person will need time. Formulating a friendship with them first is best. The bubbly person might appreciate you sharing what is on your mind right away.

Now consider how you respond when meeting someone new. Do you feel awkward, or shy. Do you radiate and bubble over? If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, where and when did He bring His salvation to your attention? Did this situation match your personality?


I am am outgoing, bubbly personality. I asked Christ to be my Savior as a child at a Vacation Bible School program. A place where I could have fun and be with lots of people.

This Friday we will have Ruth Logan Herne who is also with Seekerville as a guest. 


photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

The winner of Suzanne Woods Fisher's latest book, "The Lesson" (already an award winning book) was Diana. Congratulations, Diana! This coming Friday through Sunday join me in welcoming Ruth Logan Herne.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature: Suzanne Woods Fisher



Today I welcome a well-known authoress who enjoys raising guide dog puppies for the blind. She has a sweet and giving spiritSuzanne Woods Fisher. 



Enter to win an autographed copy of Suzanne Woods Fisher's book The Lesson


I recently met Suzanne on FB and after seeing she had a new release asked her to join us here today and share how God has led her on her writing journey. Please help me welcome her:








The Fear of Failure


“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13, niv).

           
Years ago, before I received my first book contract, an editor returned a manuscript to me with the comment that the writing wasn’t up to her publishing house’s “caliber.”

Ouch!

That was a tough remark to swallow. But I did. I gulped down my pride, asked her for editorial comments about the manuscript, and she gave them to me. I read them carefully, incorporated what I could, and then I moved on.

I didn’t wallow. I didn’t stop writing. In fact, truthfully, I didn’t agree with her assessment. Instead, I kept improving the manuscript, sent it out to other publishers and, eventually, received a book contract. Since then, I’ve developed a very thick skin, taking rejection in stride so it doesn’t derail me as it has in the past. And trust me, it did!

What changed?

It started when my youngest daughter ran for class treasurer of her high school freshman class. The night of the election, she received news that she had lost. I found her sobbing on her bed and sat down next to her, not saying anything for a while. 

After her sobs drizzled to sniffles, I told her how proud I was of her for trying. Just for trying. For being willing to take a risk. She did something that ninety-nine percent of her class couldn’t or wouldn’t do. I couldn’t have been prouder of her if she had won or not; I only cared that she was willing to try.

It dawned on me that God was rooting for me in the same way I was rooting for my daughter. He wasn’t waiting to be proud of me until I was successful. He already was proud. By continuing to write, I was willing to face my fear of failure, trust Him, and just keep trying.

Little by little, failure became less of a big fear. If the worst thing I faced in life was a ton of rejection letters, well, I could handle that. My confidence rests in God alone.

By the way, my daughter ran for sophomore class treasurer and lost. She ran again in her junior year and, this time, she won! But I think she really won in that first election—maybe not with votes, but with something far more important.

About Suzanne Woods Fisher: She is an author of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books for Revell about the Old Order Amish. Learn more about Suzanne, her books, and her weekly radio show by stopping by www.suzannewoodsfisher.com. Download the free app, Amish Wisdom, to receive a daily Amish proverb. A moment of peace and calm in a busy day.

Suzanne lives in California with her family. When she isn’t writing, she raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne’s way of thinking, you can’t take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone’s underwear in its mouth. 

Congratulations, Suzanne!"The Lesson" (Revell). Third in the 'Stoney Ridge Seasons' series, released on January 1st and is already hitting the bestseller lists. Available at Amazon, CBD, B&N, or your favorite bookseller.



To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Suzanne's book, The Lesson, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced next week. U.S. residents only. 

Thank you Suzanne for joining us this weekend!

Reader, How has God helped you address your fears?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Transparent

The presidential inauguration had no discernible glitches. The media searched for topics to discuss during the parade to make the event lively but had difficulty. This inauguration went as planned on a day with nice weather. Except.

I had the TV on in the background for hours, waiting for one special something to discuss in this post. Something that showed someone in the audience, or a security person, or participant to demonstrate what their heart felt. 

Something unique.

I expected the cheering crowds. Whether I voted for this person as the president or not, it would be special to stand along the street or sit in the stands and witness the event.

And then something unique happened.

Following the ceremony, the president left the platform with his security. He walked up the stairs toward the red curtain passageway into the building. A mass of men and women followed him. At the top of the stairs he stepped under the red curtain threshold and stopped. 

The mass of men and women continued walking. A few almost bumped into him. They swerved and continue walking around him. 

The president turned and craned his neck stretching it slightly left and right. He acted as if he wanted to find a specific person in the crowd. I wondered who would be so important that would spark the thought in the president's mind to turn and look for them? And what was so special that he want to say to the person.

The media hopped in and gave their impressions. They said the president want to take one last look at all the people standing there, at all the people who came to seem him, at all the people who wanted him to be president.

And then I wondered who interpreted the president's thoughts correctly. Did the president think of others, wanting to see someone special, tell someone something important? Or did the president want to soak in his own glory?

This is not intended to be a political post. This door has been opened to take note that we cannot always know what is in someone's heart based on their actions. Only God' knows.

God tells us to shine our light, His glory, His testimony to those around us so that others may see Him. How can you be transparent about your relationship with Jesus Christ?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three or More Gathered


Since initiating this website, I have seen the importance of getting out of my writing chair, out of my house, and purposing to be among people. 

There is a reality that is not portrayed in movies, one with flaws that don't resolve, or unsung successes that appear not unique enough to the masses.
photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I may think I can suppose how a person may react to a certain situation given my own life's experiences, books I've read, stories I've heard from others, and movies. But it isn't until I step into someone else's world and observe people in their momentary situation that I can understand a unique response.

I went to the county health department. I approached the window to ask a question. Three workers did not notice. Instead they were heavily engaged in a discussion.

One stood, holding files. Her eyebrows sharply angled down and her left arm moved about, animating her words and sorting files in an unorchestrated rhythm. Her words escalated marking a mounting frustration, "I'm just sayin..." as she faced the woman sitting at the window. 

The second woman, sitting in the seat by the customer window, held a calm demeanor. Not to say it reflected a person who held control, but more of the clueless one. She shook her head and shifted her shoulders in tiny movements. Barely responding to the agitated woman. She tipped her head indicating she didn't care about the issue. In this whole time she flicked her eyes once toward the window, confirming she knew we were there. She made no attempts to stop the conversation to do service those at the window. Instead, her hands remained casual, one resting in her lap the other on the counter.

A third woman walked into the scene. Her head moved from the agitated woman to the clueless one back and forth as if watching a ping pong game. Her right arm secured a stack of files. She softly said "Let's..." and in truth I could not hear the rest of her words.

The agitated woman rolled her eyes, huffed, and turned away.
The clueless one turned to the window and opened it. "May I help you." Her sweet voice rang.

The clueless woman sent me around the corner to the window offering the service needed. I walked there and found the agitated woman. She reached up, opened the window and smiled. "May I help you?"

Interesting. It struck me that in many office settings I had worked, the inner sanctum area for employees only often allow true colors to shine. But then, when the employees return to the place where customers/clients/patients are, they don a professional smile.

And now, that I have seen from the outside, what I knew from the inside, I have a better perspective  an understanding that will guide me when I write stories, and when I have opportunity to witness.

There is more that can be observed from these three women. What else do you see?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature: Karen Witemeyer

Today I welcome an authoress who has had many books published in a short time. She is friendly, loves to laugh, and is a sweet friend: Karen Witemeyer. 



Enter to win an autographed copy of Karen Witemeyer's book Short-Straw Bride see below

I met Karen at the 2012 ACFW conference. The smile in her photo is not "just a moment for the photographer." She not only smiles a lot but laughs a lot, too. What a fun person to be around! I knew right away she would be a great friend.

I asked Karen to share how God led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:






Persevering Through Roadblocks


As I began my publication journey, I expected the road to be arduous. So I prepared. I put my craft muscles through years of intensive training and stretched myself in critique groups and contests.

Then in 2007, I took my first completed novel to the ACFW conference. I arrived a day early and worked at the volunteer station stuffing envelopes. A woman worked beside me who shared my first name. That's fun, I thought. However, as time ticked on, I picked up clues to her identity from others in the room. This was Karen Schurrer, an editor from Bethany House, my dream publisher. Only the Lord could have orchestrated such a meeting. I resisted throwing my pitch at her, but two days later, I sat at her lunch table and after everyone told her about their projects, one brave writer asked if we could send her our proposals. She said yes.

After the conference, I sent in my proposal and soon had a request for a full manuscript. Surely a contract was right around the corner since the Lord was at work, right? Wrong. The acquisitions editor rejected my manuscript. She considered the plot too similar to something they'd already done. It wouldn't work for launching a new author. Nevertheless, she complimented the writing and said there was one component to the story that she liked—the dress shop. Could I come up with a new idea surrounding a dress shop?

Now you have to understand, in the original book, the dress shop burned to the ground in the prologue. It didn't even make it into chapter one. Yet she wanted me to create an entirely new book from scratch based on this shop idea. Maybe I should just seek publication elsewhere.

But publishing with Bethany House was my dream. So I started brainstorming, and even met with the editor in person at the 2008 ACFW conference where she gave me feedback and encouraged me to resubmit. By January 2009, Bethany House offered me a three book deal launching with A Tailor-Made Bride. Yep, the dress shop book.

However, just because I had a three-book deal didn't mean the roadblocks were over. Not even when the books sold well. When contract time rolled around again, and they asked for three new book ideas that they could take to committee, I worked hard to come up with the best synopses I could. Surely they would be accepted and loved, right? After all, my editor had already mentioned that she wanted to sign me to another deal.

Nope. They turned down two of my three ideas. Ouch. Roadblocks are never fun to hit, but they do teach important lessons. You see, my first books were light-hearted and fun. However, I have a soft spot for dark, wounded heroes, too, and one of my synopses featured such a tortured soul. My editor wrote that it wasn't what readers would expect when they picked up a Karen Witemeyer book. In other words, it didn't match my brand. I needed to go back to the drawing board and create ideas that better fit readers' expectations. That's what a professional does. She doesn't whine and complain about the cruel publisher who doesn't understand her artistic genius. No, she opens a new document and gets to work.

Contract renewal time is coming up again soon for me, and I have to admit I'm still nervous about giving them ideas they will like. But now I know more about branding, and more than that, I know that if one or more of my ideas come back to me with a big red No stamped across them, I can persevere, be a professional, and get things done.  That's what this writing journey is about—doing our best for God's glory.

About Karen:

Karen Witemeyer is a deacon's wife and mother of three who believes the world needs more happily-ever afters. To that end, she combines her love of bygone eras with her passion for helping women mature in Christ to craft historical romance novels that lift the spirit and nurture the soul.

Two-time RITA® Finalist and winner of the coveted HOLT Medallion and ACFW Carol Award, CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.   



To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Karen's book Short Straw Bride, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced next week. U.S. residents only. 

Thank you Karen for joining us this weekend!

Reader, What roadblocks have fallen into your path? In hindsight, did you see the benefits?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Eye of the Beholder

I suppose this is a tale of perspective.

My husband and I went into a restaurant. Two gentlemen came in behind us. One of the gentlemen said, "I guess I was wrong. I picked this restaurant because I thought it would have more room. Look how crowded it is."


The restaurant had maybe ten of the thirty to forty booths filled. Crowded?

My husband and I were immediately seated. The gentlemen behind us had to wait the thirty seconds it took for the host to return to the greeting stand. Our food came equally fast.

Two days later I went to a medical office for some labs. It was my first time in the building. After searching the lobby, I found the required sign-in clipboard hidden in a shelf near the area where a previous sign said not to go. I signed in and went to the seating area. 

Not long after, a woman came and sat in the seating area. She huffed and leaned toward the person sitting across from her. "I came to this medical office today on purpose. It's never crowded on Mondays and look at this. If I had known there were so many people waiting ahead of me I would have gone to a different office."

I looked at the waiting area. There were maybe eight of us and at least sixteen empty chairs. One third of the waiting room was filled at the most.  

Grumpy people!

Glass half empty. Glass half full. 

Have a cup of hot cocoa, think of your favorite setting, and enjoy a glass filled to any level day. :)

For a comment, send a lovely thought to other readers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Faces Speak Volumes



No matter how hard we try, most of us cannot hide our true responses to situations.

My favorite category of facial communicators is the teenager. Love them. So honest. They have no qualms with advertising their displeasure with an eye roll and dramatic sigh or  happiness with a bursting smile and squeal.





I confess. I annoyed a Best Buy phone sales/clerk. Didn't mean to. And he never said anything to indicate I had. But his face did. 

Here's what happened:

I needed a service done for my phone. He had never done the service before. The exciting challenge to solve a new techy problem was on his face. His eyebrows rose as he went through his thought process. He pulled out his smartphone, looked up the directions on line and proceeded to follow the steps. The corners of his mouth rose, dimples appeared, the muscles in his cheeks moved up toward his eyes. He seemed proud and happy. Everything went fine. I paid, received instructions, he switched the phone, etc. 

Then the computer spit out three forms. He halfway looked at them and handed the papers to me. "Please complete these forms." 

One form required me to write my credit card information. "Why do you need this? I already paid," I asked

poof - his demeanor changed.

The corners of his lips dipped, the muscles and skin around his cheeks sagged, his eyebrows dipped toward his nose and the corners of his eyes lowered. He was not happy. 

"I'm not sure. The computer wouldn't print them unless they need to be completed."

"Yes but I paid already. I am uncomfortable with writing my credit card information on this paper when we don't know why it is needed or who will see it."

poof - his demeanor changed again to defensive.

He rolled his eyes and relaxed his head against the chair back. His smug body response said, "Lady you know nothing."

I understood his defensive communication. I have a teen daughter who an out do me with any techy device. Yet, he did not understand me. "I have had my identity stolen before."

"Your bank will refund the money. It's no big deal."

"Actually that doesn't happen in ever case. Including ours."

poof- his demeanor changed one last time to annoyed.

"Well fine." He grabbed a pen and blackened out the credit card number.

**
One observation I really noticed was how faces form a V when we are happy. Our eyebrows go up, the outer corner of our eyes raise, our cheek muscles go up, and our lips angle up.

When we are unhappy our faces form an inverted V. The eyebrows, eyes, and corners of lips angle down. The cheek muscles sag.

The facial communication on the clerk, told me his side of the story better than words.

Watch people's faces around you. The person could be having a bad day, or forgot to bring their lunch. Do you see V or inverted V?  Perhaps we can reach out to those in need when we notice their facial communication.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net


Friday, January 11, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature: Camy Tang


Today I welcome a well-known authoress, one with such a sweet, gentle, 
and encouraging spirit and is a sweet friend: Camy Tang. 



Enter to win an autographed copy of Camy Tang's book A Dangerous Stage AND Narrow Escapesee below

I met Camy at ACFW. She was one of my mentors. Her gift of listening, understanding, and guidance made me so thankful I had signed up to meet with her. What a blessing. What a treasure.

I asked her to share her writing journey with us. Here is what she wrote:





Camy and Mary Vee

God Asked Me to Lay Down My Writing!

I’ve always loved writing, but my attitude wasn’t the greatest. I was more interested in my name on a book cover than in giving God glory. So, God asked me to lay down my writing.

At first I thought He was nuts, but once I realized He was serious about it, I fought Him long and hard over it. Eventually, I did it—laid down my writing, stopped cold turkey. Set my manuscript away (all 600+ pages of my epic fantasy novel that was going to take the world by STORM!).


Camy and her agent,
Wendy Lawton

I went into biology research—probably as far from fiction writing as I could go—and made up stories in my head, but never wrote anything down. Then, I got laid off from work and out of the blue, God gave me the green light to start writing again.

I read tons of writing books, took online workshops, attended conferences. I learned everything I could about writing craft, the publishing business, and the market.


I got lots of rejections. I had horrible comments from judges in the contests I entered. I wrote five complete manuscripts with Asian American characters during a time when publishing houses weren’t actively looking for multicultural stories. And I had to eventually go back to work because it’s just too expensive to be a writer without a contract in the San Francisco bay area.
Camy and her editor, Susan Brower


I guess I had an advantage because I had already laid down my writing once, and God had clearly told me to take it up again. I knew without a doubt that I had His blessing for my writing, so even though things were really hard, I didn’t give up. I knew this was what God wanted me to do.


Sushi for One released in 2007. My husband was so proud of me—holding that book in his hands affirmed to him that this “writing thing” really was what God wanted me to do.
Camy pening author copies for
 her first book


Since then, I’ve written for Zondervan, Love Inspired Suspense, and Guideposts. My 16th and 17th books just released: A Dangerous Stage (Zondervan) released in November 2012 and Narrow Escape (Love Inspired Suspense) released earlier this month!





Camy Tang grew up in Hawaii and now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She graduated from Stanford University and was a biologist researcher, but now she writes full-time. She is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of the Sunday worship teams. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.


My social media links are:
website: http://www.camytang.com/
blog: http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CamyTangAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/camytang
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/49078


To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Camy' book A Dangerous Stage and Narrow Escape, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced next week. U.S. residents only. 

Thank you Camy for joining us this weekend!

Reader, Has God ever asked you to lay something aside for a time and asked you to do something else for a season?


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Lighthouse Keeper

Not all that long ago, men and women were hired to keep the light/candle burning in lighthouses. 

They couldn't leave.

If the light went out a ship might crash on the rocks and all on board perish. 

Fog, storms, night all provided reason for the lightkeeper to maintain the lights. Many keepers lived with their families on the main floor, some lived in a home within a short walking distance. 

Each one understood the severity and urgency of their job. Keep the light burning and save lives.

Captains and sailors used each lighthouse for navigation, or ticked of completed portions of the journey . . .closer to home.

In some cases the spouse would go to town for groceries. In others, the lighthouse was so remote groceries had to be brought by boat by those on the mainland.

It took a special personality to be a lightkeeper. Enduring the quiet days and long winter nights, entertaining children who didn't have neighbors, no clubs or social events nearby, etc. Yet I don't remember reading about many who quit.

At times we feel alone. Even in the middle of a crowd we can feel alone. 


God has given us a corner of the world to keep the light, shine His truth, yet loneliness can creep in and make us feel unworthy, insignificant, unimportant.

In our corner of the world we leave a footprint for each day. Footprints that serve as a means to guide those around us. No we aren't perfect. Some prints are shallow, some deep. Some distinct like our toes, and some vague like the instep. God knows. And for that reason, He chose us. He loves us and wants us . . . and only us to to light our world and leave impressions for others to see.

He doesn't expect us to light the whole world . . . just the corner where we live.

Footprints are left down by the water where they are washed away with the next wave. Other footprints are left further away like the ones in this photo. Deep. Enduring. Memorable. 

If you had been a lightkeeper, what might you have done with your day?

Camy Tang will join me at the fireplace this weekend. 
Come sip cocoa and hear her testimony of God's hand in her writing journey.






Monday, January 7, 2013

Round Robin-Blog Hop

My friend, Pepper Basham tagged me in a fun round of blog hop. 

You are invited to play too!.

Here are the rules:

Answer the ten questions below and post them on your own blog. Tell me what date you are going to post them. I will then put a link here on my post to your blog. Easy, right?

Here are the ten questions:

1.  What is the working title of your book?
2.  Where diid the idea come from for the book?
3.  What genre does your book fall under?
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
9. Who or What inspired you to write this book? 
10 What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

To see Pepper Basham's answers go to:
www.pepperbasham.com

Here are my answers:

1.  The right title hasn't begun to spark in my mind. For now, I am calling it Sam and Hank. (seems boring, eh? Yeah. I need to find the right title)
2.  The idea came on a very long drive home. My family snored and I was bored driving. To occupy my mind, this story bloomed.
3.  The genre of my story is romantic comedy.
4.   For my hero I would choose Ben Affleck (the look he had in Argo).For my protagonist I would choose Gwenth Paltrow (the look she had in Iron Man 1)
5. Pressured to take a vacation at the family Rocky Mountain lodge, corporate success, Samantha Hatman, is snow bound without Internet and must rely on mountain man Hank, a thorn from childhood, to save her job.
6. My book will be represented by an agency.
7. I am still writing the first draft. The book is one-third done to date. I hope to finish first draft by the end of the month.
8. The story sprinkles a bit of the Odd Couple, Hatfields/McCoys, and The City and Country Mouse.
9. A need to laugh.
10. This comedy is based on the verse, Oh how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity. Sometimes weird things have to happen to help us see what we have.

What do you think? Do you like the idea? Any suggestions?



Friday, January 4, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Mary Connealy


Today I welcome an authoress who has a gift for humor, a kind heart, 
and is my treasured friendMary. 




Enter to win an autographed copy of Out of Control by Mary Connealy see below.

I met Mary through ACFW and through my friends at the Writer's Alley.  She truly has a gift for writing romantic comedy. I laughed through the pages and couldn't wait to pick up another of her books.  

I asked Mary to share her writing journey with us. Here is what she wrote:







God Gives Seasons of Life

I am a big believer that God gives us seasons of life.

I couldn’t see it while I struggled to get published but now, looking back, I realize that God waited until exactly the right time in my life to let me be published.

I sat down to write a book, a full length novel, with the intent of getting it published, the year my baby, the youngest of four daughters, went to Kindergarten.

I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. At the end of that ten years, I had twenty finished books on my computer. That is; twenty full length romance novels. I had other, shorter works, Middle Grade novels, short stories, children’s books, novellas, even a few poems and songs, in addition to the novels.

Mary Connealy and Mary Vee
at ACFW Conference
All that time I was writing along in what I think of as Mole-like Anonymity, I was seriously pursuing publication. It’s not like I was just patiently writing and expecting an editor to come to my door and say, “I’ve heard rumors of your greatness and I’ve been searching for you, please may I buy your book.”

It’s not like I would type up my story thinking with sublime confidence, “God will send my books to the right publisher at the right time.”

Oh no.

I was entering contests, querying agents, mailing partials into publishers, using my Writer’s Market Guide and my Romance Writers Report Magazine, to hunt down editors and agents and contest where ever I could find them.

Through all that writing and querying and rejection, I always got just enough encouragement to carry on. I was a finalist in a contest with the second book I wrote. I’d get a occasional request for a full followed by a ‘nice’ rejection.

I got some short plays published and made actual tidbits of money.

It all kept me going.

When I finally sold, my first book, Petticoat Ranch hit the shelves in February and my baby graduated from high school in May.

I worked so hard promoting Petticoat Ranch. I did book signings and gave talks in any place that would let me in. Bookstores, libraries, churches. I attended conferences and went to ICRS. I was crazy busy hustling around selling that book. I had no idea just how demanding it would be.

To me it was a light going on. The season of my life that I could devote to being a published author came when I had time to be a published author. I could give myself whole-heartedly to it without neglecting my children because they were grown.

I just couldn’t see this when I was struggling all those years. But I needed those years. I needed them to get my daughters raised and also to get a back list of books because, once Barbour Publishing bought my first book, they wanted more and more of them. I published nineteen books with Barbour in four years. Twelve full length novels, four Heartsong Presents shorter romances and three cozy mysteries. Of those nineteen books, eight were already written. I would never have been able to keep up that pace if I hadn’t had those years to write all those books. And it was really good for my career to be able to say YES every time Barbour asked for another book.

That was God’s plan. I try to remember that when I’m impatient with anything, not just writing. Wait on the Lord. Embrace and enjoy the season of life I’m walking through with Him.


Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. She is the author of the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge, Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie's Daughters Trilogy. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren.

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Mary's book, Out of Control, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party, random.org, and will be announced next week. U.S. residents only. 


Thank you Mary for joining us this weekend!

Reader, How has God show you the need to wait for the right season?