26 September 2013

thankful thursday

"In everything give thanks..."
1 Thessalonians 5:18a RV

Thankful Thursday is a chance for me to stop and reflect on a few things I'm thankful for each week. I'm not attempting to make or meet a criteria, but I'd love it if you would join me! Share what you're thankful for in the comments, or leave a link if you want to do this on your own blog, so I can visit...


Quiet days
I've had some quiet days of reflection and reading and time to ponder the next book I want to write. I'm so very thankful for the peaceful days, the decreased bickering in my house, the school work and chores that get down a little faster this week. I'll take it. 

Little Critters
When I prayed about finding a critique group for my writing, the Lord was waiting with an answer. Suddenly I have three amazing women I can call crit partners (or "Little Critters" which I love!). As we work on each our writing together, I see a reflection of something significant. We refine one another's stories, sharpening them, just as we should refine and sharpen one another in our lives, with our speaking, and with the Word of God. I find it especially lovely that the four of us are believers and our writing is intended to express Him.

Dark Chocolate.
Yes. It's worthy of being thankful for. I'll post about it's wonderfulness another day, however. Just because I want to talk about it. (Be ready to tell me your favorite chocolate!)


What are you thankful for today? Please share!

23 September 2013

book love

I finally found a few minutes to update my "book love" page. (You can find it on the tabs above.) I listed the authors I've most enjoyed in the past few years, and my plan is to keep adding to that. (Oh dear! I just remembered some I've missed...) Most likely, I'll keep a running list from here on out. We'll see, but it could be a lot for someone to dig through otherwise.

Now I have a favor to ask of you!
Would you comment on that page and let me know your favorite authors and/or books? If they're the same as some I've listed--I want to know who else shares the my interests. And I'd love to add to my growing list of books to read. I'll dabble in most genres at least a little, but my favorite is Christian contemporary fiction, plus I enjoy a good suspense and will enjoy a good historical or Amish occasionally as well.

So tell me your favorites, please! Click over there now--the tab above or this link: book love.

19 September 2013

thankful thursday

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 RV

Thankful Thursday is a chance for me to stop and reflect on a few things I'm thankful for each week. I'm not attempting to make or meet a criteria. I'd love it if you would join me! Share what you're thankful for in the comments, or leave a link if you want to do this on your own blog...


I've already talked about the amazing conference I had the privilege to attend this past week. There is no doubt I'm deeply thankful for that opportunity. But today I want to dig a little deeper into those experiences and what I'm thankful for in them:

Friends
I've gone through incredibly lonely seasons in my life. In those times, the Lord heard my pleas and brought precious friends to my side. In abundance, I realized as I looked back later. This is not such a season, so I did not give much thought to the people I would meet and befriend this past weekend. And YET...there were friendships that deepened me at every turn. I found the warmest group of people at this conference than any place I've gone before. Did everyone become my new best friend? Well, no, of course not. But I did find such friends in the midst of it all. In four or five days, I came away a much richer woman for the friendships I formed (you can read more about two of them in my last post).

God-Moments
Every attendee was given a card with a topic to pray for throughout the conference. I still have my card tucked away--to pray for peace and joy. I loved this opportunity. I found myself touching the throne of God as I prayed for peace to overcome the jitters of appointments, for joy in the midst of stress. For His heart in each attendee as they pursued a dream He placed within them, desiring to follow His will.

Printer
I discovered a series of typos from too-late-at-night editing and printing hours before I headed to the airport. Really, I must not edit when I'm tired. I've learned my lesson after seeing that first agent's face immediately after saying my first two pages were good. (Sigh...) So I did some more late night editing (ha!), then headed to the hotel's business office to print 28 pages of my story (think nearly $20!) early the next morning. As my free 15 minutes ticked by, I saw a few more errors and began to panic. At that moment, a woman with the conference walked by telling her husband that she hadn't needed to use those printers because someone had brought one for the purpose of freely sharing with others. She gave me the room number of that lady and I logged off then headed upstairs. Just in time--I knocked and she and her roommate, upon seeing my uncertainty and unfamiliar face, ushered me in and asked my needs, then set me up. I had the honor of praying for as she headed to an appointment, afraid to walk out until she knew the printer was behaving for me. I was blessed by her outpouring, her heart, her care.

Family
As much wonder and excitement as my time in Indianapolis was, coming home to the kids who love me was the cherry on top. And knowing my husband believes in my dreams enough to single parent for nearly 6 full days--he's a total keeper. That's no easy task. 


What are you thankful for today? Please share!

17 September 2013

home

I'm home from one of the most amazing trips I've ever taken. But there is no let-down in returning to "real life" this week. I'm happy to have the snuggles of my kids, my old-fashioned percolator to brew my coffee, and all the gems of friendship and information and experiences from my weekend to sit and ponder.

First, I made new friends. Amazing, incredible friends. Friends of my heart.


My roommate was Jaye Bright, who happens to live 40 minutes from me, and we laughed until we cried every single night. Somehow, the guards were down and our true selves just flowed out.

We also met Dana Romanin--and laughed and talked even more. It's already decided: Dana will be the face you see (in a wig) if I ever receive an award in front of 600 people. Or 50 people. (If she bails, I'll have a huge, frilly fan to hide my blushing face behind.)

The friendships just melded in a natural way. These women filled me up. My heart was on high. God knew who to put in my path. Along with one other woman I have not met, we've formed a critique group--one of those things I'd asked the Lord about and He promptly arranged. (I'm always awed by those instant confirmations that I'm in the direction He wants me to go.)

I met so many other people as well, authors and pre-published novelists (like myself). The atmosphere was encouraging and welcoming everywhere I turned. They are the most down to earth, loving group I've experienced in a long time.

We had classes that expounded on all that I've been learning, and I'm glad I have the notes to look back on for some of those.

Two agent appointments were assigned to me (I expected only one). The first was nerve-wracking, which was no surprise (I couldn't really see it like a job interview as someone suggested). The second was much more comfortable, such a relief. In between the two, I had a mentor appointment. Those are offered for easing anxiety, practicing pitches, answering questions, commenting on writing. I chose a lady who would do any of that, but also said she loved "organic" appointments, so I went with that attitude. We talked without pause for the entire 15 minutes. When I was supposed to get up and walk out (very strict appointment times!), she stopped me and prayed. I came away feeling so blessed, so much that I was following God's heart with this dream to write.

And I met my favorite author of all time: Robin Jones Gunn. Her books have whispered to my heart through different stages of my life for 20 years. It was such a sweet honor to meet her and hug this lovely lady. The fragrance of Christ is all around her. That moment alone would have been enough to call my conference complete.

Yet, I came away with so much more. My dreams are richer, my confidence is stronger, my heart is overflowing. And I'm ready to dive into my next story with reckless abandon.


If I met you at the conference, too...please say hello!

12 September 2013

thankful thursday

I'm leeeeaving
On a jet plane.

Today!

I'm so, so thankful that God has provided a way for me to follow this dream He embedded in my heart long ago. It far exceeds my expectations...

He provided the desire to write, the story that got written, the heart to consider the conference (which I immediately assumed was way out of my league), then the funds to go. But he had even more in store: when I prayed for a roommate, he had one picked out already. When I prayed about a ride to the airport, well, turns out my roommate lives close enough to catch a ride with.

Just wow.
I'm still in awe over the entire thing.

So today, I'm thankful for the opportunity ahead of me this weekend.
And for the husband who supports me.
And those four kids who say they'll miss me.

What are you thankful for today?

11 September 2013

one-sheet

I got one comment...and so I will share my one-sheet today. I can't figure out the *right* way to post a pdf document here, so I took a picture of the screen with it on my camera then loaded it...hence the extra gray margins. Oh well.
(I'm a blogger dunce--feel free to tell me how to do it right!)




If you click here, it will take you to a copy that you can actually read, (though the quality is not as high as in real life).

Be sure to let me know what you think!


I would like to add one more thought: my story has a pivotal twist related to 9/11. It is only irony that I am posting this today. However, it serves to me as a reminder that there are many still hurting and healing from the tragedy our country suffered twelve years ago. May the Lord be their peace and rest.

I remember. 


10 September 2013

2 days...

...but who's counting, right?

My checklist is almost complete, in spite of growing:
  1. Pick nail polish color. (deep purple if you were curious)
  2. Paint my toes. (and added a pretty decal on the big toe...cause I know you were curious)
  3. Pray.
  4. Make sure all my outfits have the right jewelry.
  5. Set out my travel outfit (ie, make sure it's clean).
  6. Pack my shoes.
  7. Pack alternative outfits (apparently, this was in progress anyway).
  8. Pack my make up/shampoo/toothbrush, etc.
  9. Pray some more.
  10. Smash my pillow into the outside pocket (yes, it fits; I tried already).
  11. Print a dozen "One-Sheets".
    If you want to see my One-Sheet, LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW.
    With a little love, I will gladly post it here...come on, you can do it!
    (And if you think you know what it looks like, think again. It got a makeover.)
  12. Make sure I have plenty of business cards to take along.
  13. Add extra business cards.
  14. Polish my proposal.
  15. Finish my synopsis.
  16. Print two copies of my proposal and synopsis--just in case I'm asked. Better to go prepared!
  17. Polish those first five chapters until they sparkle. (Not sure it's ever done...)
  18. Print copies of the various chapters my potential agent appointments are asking for.
  19. Pray and pray and pray. He is sending me, and I want to be in His presence!
  20. Create a different style proposal and synopsis for one of the potential agents 
  21. Print the new style proposal and synopsis before I forget!

    (see--told you I had to add things to my list!)

06 September 2013

to do list

I love lists. LOVE them. 

Just in case I wasn't clear--lists make my day! I might even be known to add things to the grocery list for the sake of cross them off. Though really this is helpful for not grabbing something twice. It has a purpose.
Stop laughing.

Since I'm wiggle-worm excited to be leaving in less than a week for my writer's conference, I'm going to make a list of things I still need to pack or do before I can leave...


  1. Paint my toes. that requires picking the color...excuse me while I start over...
  1. Pick nail polish color.
  2. Paint my toes.
  3. Pray.
  4. Make sure all my outfits have the right jewelry.
  5. Set out my travel outfit.
  6. Pack my shoes.
  7. Pack alternative outfits (apparently, this was in progress anyway).
  8. Pack my make up/shampoo/toothbrush, etc.
  9. Pray some more.
  10. Smash my pillow into the outside pocket (yes, it fits; I tried already).
  11. Print a dozen "One-Sheets"--I'll post it here next week so you can see what I've been writing!
  12. Make sure I have plenty of business cards to take along.
  13. Add extra business cards.
  14. Polish my proposal.
  15. Finish my synopsis.
  16. Print two copies of my proposal and synopsis--just in case I'm asked. Better to go prepared!
  17. Polish those first five chapters until they sparkle.
  18. Print copies of the various chapters my potential agent appointments are asking for.
  19. Pray and pray and pray. He is sending me, and I want to be in His presence!

(By the way, my suitcase already holds my gala dress and most of the outfits I've chosen to take...)

What do you always make sure you take on trips?
Anything you think I'm forgetting? 
Tell me what it is so I won't forget!

05 September 2013

thankful thursday

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18 RV

Thankful Thursday is a chance for me to stop and reflect on a few things I'm thankful for each week. I'm not attempting to make or meet a criteria. I'd love it if you would join me! Share what you're thankful for in the comments, or leave a link if you want to do this on your own blog...



Brenda
The friend who had back surgery last Thursday? That surgery lasted 14 hours. Not the 7 originally predicted. She has a rod in her back and will "never bend or twist again." But yesterday she sat up on her own. And took her first steps. Our God is truly amazing. Thank You, Lord. Even more, He uses these downfalls in our human body to draw us ever closer to Himself. This sweet sister praises Him, thanks Him, sings her love for Him. It feeds my spirit to hear of this.

One Week!
My suitcase is half-packed, my jewelry in a questionable state of what works (and matches!) and what doesn't. I simply cannot believe I'm leaving on a jet plane in one week! I'm so thankful God's plans are bigger than ours. When I first began writing my story, it poured out of me--FOR me. I had no aspirations beyond finishing a novel. But slowly the Lord placed a desire to pursue more, learn more about my craft. He placed in me the desire to attend the conference, then he placed the money in my mailbox. Now I'm finishing up the final touches to have my manuscript as presentable as I know how to make it. Just one more week!

Scrivener
Okay. I'm not sure how thankful I am for this one yet. It's a learning curve. But yesterday I thought I'd lost my entire rewritten sub-plot. Then I tried to open my back up. I don't think it worked. But I did find my current work again--I'm pretty sure it was there all along and I was looking in the trash pile. Oops! (Please don't tell anyone!) I do like the slews of note cards I can use to summarize each scene and each chapter...it might be addictive. I figure it's good for digging into my synopsis. The formatting is simpler, too. Well, mostly. Like I said, it's a learning curve. But I'm extra thankful I didn't lose all that re-writing!


What are you thankful for today? Please share!