Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stringing Words

I remember when my family would speak in complete sentences when we communicated. But for the past several days, since brainstorming titles, we’ve fallen into a bizarre pattern.

Daughter to me as we pass on the stairs, “Coming Unhinged.”

My response, “Hold on, Honey.”

And last night when my dear husband kissed me goodnight, he said, “Which Way is Up?”

Ahhh. Brainstorming titles is something else.

If you have any good title ideas, please leave your suggestion as a comment. Thanks.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Help! (Please)

I heard back from my editors at Tyndale about book # 2 which was turned in earlier this month.

You know what they say about great minds—thinking alike and all that. Well, it seems that one of the threads in my plot somewhat mirror upcoming releases by Angie Hunt and Karen Kingsbury.

So guess which author will be doing a major rewrite? Me.

I’m not panicked and not worried. The reason for the rewrite isn’t because the story is bad or my craft is lacking. If you think about it, I should feel good that my mind is running in the same direction as these best-selling authors.

Besides, I trust God will give me more words.

Right now we’ve got to come up with a new title. All Shook Up is out.
Want to help me brainstorm? If any of my blog readers come up with the winning title, I’ll mention you in the acknowledgements and send you an autographed copy.

I had tied All Shook Up to this verse: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38. I would still like to figure out a way to use this verse.

Another verse I’m considering is: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

The story line is that my character’s looking forward to a quiet, status quo existence, but her college son’s (unacceptable) girlfriend comes into the picture, stirring up trouble in the family, and her beloved father-in-law is also dating, and my poor character feels that changes she can’t control are coming much too fast and furious at her.

If you want to tie that idea to another verse, then have at it.

Please, any help is greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

So You Wanna Be A Writer?

Let me tell you, if I had $10 for every person who’s told me that they want to write a book/can write a book/have the perfect story for a book, then I could pay off my mortgage.

Friends, if you want to write a book or feel led to write a book—start writing. It’s not rocket science and it’s not a great mystery. Granted, you’re not going to pen The Great American Novel your first time out of the shoots, but the craft of writing is a skill that can be learned--provided you have a good story to tell.

Now that I’m (nearly) published** I’ve had the unusual experience of people looking at me a little differently than if I said I worked as an accountant for my living. More than one person has said, “Wow. Now I know a famous author.” Tee, hee, hee. That phrase, famous author, cracks me up. My response: “I’ll only be a famous author if you tell everyone you know to buy my book.” And maybe not even then.

My point is, don’t live with regrets, live with dreams. I dreamed of being a published author, and I made the effort to learn everything I need to learn to pursue that dream. Dream big and put legs on that dream. Who knows? One day you may reach your goal.

Hey, do you want to know one of the reasons why I call myself a prisoner of hope? Because I dared to dream. And to tell the truth, I'm still dreaming . . .

**Searching for Spice releases in April. FYI: That’s only 69 days from today!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

My 29th anniversary day ~ sunny and warm

This was January 13th. Who knew we would one day enjoy a tropical anniversary? We got married on a cold day in a blizzard in NY.

Excuse the end of the video. LOL - I thought I had turned off the camera. Fortunately I had a professional pedicure before leaving on vacation. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beach Friends

I was fully prepared for a wonderful time on my vacation, and of course that includes plenty of good beach books.

Doesn't She Look Natural by Angie Hunt is wonderful. Some of the phrases Angie wove into the story took my breath away. What fun.

My friend Maureen Lang sent me an Advance Reader Copy of On Sparrow Hill. It's a sequel to Autumn Leaves, and Maureen once again seamlessly wove two plots and two time periods into a spellbinding book.

The Begotten by Lisa T. Bergren was recommended to me by my friend Paula Moldenhauer. I trust Paula's picks, so that was another book on my Christmas list. This book kept me content on the long flight home.
PS: I'm glad that was an American tourist under Lisa's book and not one of the European gals, if you get my meaning. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Home Again

This is my 2008 beach photo. The thin line above the horizon is a strip of caution tape. It seems the beach there has been damaged by recent weather conditions. Instead of a gradual slope to the water, there was a 15 foot drop. Yowsa.

Despite that, we had a fabulous time.

See that palm tree in the center of the photo? The next morning it had fallen down to the beach. You can see the root balls from other fallen trees and the stump and stem of a palapa. Ahh. The sound of chain saws in the morning--what a wonderful memory.

The management got on the ball by the end of the week and were making greater efforts to save the beach.

But now I'm back to real life. Thank God I have a wonderful life.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Have a Nice Week

In the wee hours of the morning, I’m leaving for a week in paradise.

I just sent book # 2 off to Tyndale. Whew.

That’s a photo of me on the beach with my girls. Unless I’m married to you or I gave birth to you, that’s about as much of me in a bathing suit that you’ll ever see. I'm in the middle of the photo, if you're wondering.

This photo pretty much sums up what I expect to be doing for the next seven days. Relaxing under the palapa with a good book and loved ones.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I’m walking, yes indeed, I’m walking . . .

Remember that song?

Yes, I’m walking and writing and walking and editing and walking and reading emails and walking and researching on the Internet and walking miles and miles per day on my nifty treadmill desk.

I know I said I’d give an update in a month or five pounds, but all the walking I’ve done in the past several days may have been negated by one lunch. Today I was running errands, and all I could think of was 365 Organic Chocolate Truffles (available at a Whole Foods store near you). Yes, that was my lunch today. Let's see, servings size 3 pieces, calories per serving 170--I can't even tell you how many of those delicious, melt-in-your-mouth candies I ate. Mmmm.

That image looks exactly like my tennis shoes and my legs. Now I can say I have a body double that’s a model or I can say I’m a body double for a model. Same difference.

Sounds like I’m getting punchy. Probably too much sugar. Back to work. Editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking and editing and walking . . .

Friday, January 04, 2008

Woo hoo!!!!!!

The birthing process is finished. (I’ve just written The End in book #2 of my Tyndale contract.)

My baby, All Shook Up, arrived safe and sound at 8:06 PM Mountain time, weighing in at a hefty 111,028 words and 462 pages.

Now the editing begins. I'd like to take it down by at least 5,000 words before I send it in to my editor.

All Shook Up will make her public appearance this October. I'll let you know what the final title will be as soon as I find out.

Mother is fine. I’m going to celebrate right now!! I wish I had chilled some champagne.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ta da!

On Saturday I blogged about wanting a treadmill desk so I can write and walk at the same time. I even have a family friend who offered to make one for me. But being the impatient and clever woman I am, I decide to figure out a way to do this myself—without having to wait.

So, ta da! My homemade version of the treadmill desk.

DISCLAIMER: Avert your eyes if you don’t want to see my nasty, unfinished basement.

Last night I wrote 1,300 words and burned an extra 400 calories.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goodbye & Hello

Happy New Year, friends!

So, that was 2007? It went by so fast, didn’t it? Or am I showing my age?

As I reflect on the past year, I have much to be thankful for. My family and friends are well and happy. We’ve enjoyed a blessed year. Love abounds.

There were many firsts for me this year. My first publishing contract, my first time speaking before the attendees at the ACFW conference (500 people!), my first time teaching at a writing conference. Oh, also—my first “true” deadline. It’s been a thrilling year.

I face 2008 with a wonderful sense of anticipation. What is in store for me? What challenges will present themselves?

A tradition in my family is to greet the New Year with prayer. We approached the throne by 12:01 a.m. Glorious. My prayer for you is that you will achieve all that God intends for you in 2008.

I’ve asked God for a theme word to cling to during the New Year for the past few years. I’m not yet sure of that that is. Still praying. I’ll let you know.