Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Power of Prayer


Thank you to the many people who have been lifting up my family in prayer. God's peace has been upon us, bearing us up, giving us strength, and making this journey easier.
I've received so many kind and caring words and gestures over the past several days. Thank you all. The Vetsch family has a couple of tough days ahead, but we know that the prayers of the saints surround us and that God knows our needs.
You are all a comfort to me. I am blessed.
This past week I prayed for something very specifically, and God answered me in an amazing way. I wish I could share the details, but suffice it to say, He had a mighty narrow window of opportunity to answer that prayer, and as always, His timing was flawless.
Have you ever had a very specific prayer answered in an amazing way?
Also, I'm sending birthday greetings to my SIL, Linda. You are my friend, my co-conspirator, and a sister of my heart. Though we're walking through some tough times now, we will set aside some time to celebrate your birthday soon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Could it be????

This photo is from flickr. A very clever photoshop job.

Word has it that Brett Favre will announce he's signed with the Vikings over the Fourth of July weekend.

Oh, man, I hope it is true. I'm getting a purple #4 jersey. :)


And birthday wishes to the girl. Many happy returns of this day. I love you, sweetie.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

In Memorial


Lorraine Elizabeth Vetsch – Rochester

Lorraine Vetsch passed away peacefully June 26, 2009 at her home and in the presence of her family after a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was 70.

Lorraine was born April 22, 1939 to Pete and Hilda Behselich of Ipswich, SD. An only child, she grew up on a farm south of town. She was the 1957 class valedictorian of Ipswich High School. In the fall of 1957, she moved to Huron, SD to attend secretarial school. Upon her graduation from Northwest College of Commerce in 1958, where she was again the class valedictorian, Lorraine moved to Rochester to work at the Mayo Clinic.

Lorraine married Allen Vetsch June 4, 1960. They recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary. She devoted her life to caring for her husband and children and working as the company bookkeeper for the family business. Lorraine loved gardening and had a particular fondness for flowers. She and Allen had many travels together, driving across America, and even made a trip to Alaska in 1973. An avid crocheter, Lorraine especially enjoyed making baby afghans to mark the arrival of a new grandchild.

She is survived by her husband, Allen, and her four married children: Linda Ambrose and her husband Michael of Stewartville, MN, Leonard and Nanette Vetsch of Elk Mound, WI, Peter and Erica Vetsch of Rochester, MN and David and Jodi Vetsch of Stewartville.

She took special delight in her ten grandchildren: Joe Ambrose, Heather Vetsch, Tim Ambrose, Troy Vetsch, James Vetsch, Jacob Vetsch, Karlie Vetsch, Madeline Vetsch, Nathan Vetsch, and Nicholas Vetsch. Other beloved members of her family include two sisters-in-law, Gladys Vetsch of Winona, MN and Katherine Vetsch of Houston, MN, and eleven nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend their special thanks to the caregivers from Seasons Hospice, and to Dee Smith of the Mayo Clinic, who all gave their love and support, assisting the family to fulfill Lorraine’s wishes to remain in her own home. The family would also like to thank the many friends and family who visited and made her last days so happy.

A viewing will be held June 30, 2009, at Macken Funeral Home from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church of Rochester, July 1, 2009 at 11 a.m. with the Reverend Kevin Sorensen officiating. Burial will be in Grandview Memorial Gardens with a luncheon to follow.

Memorial gifts can be made to Mayo Clinic Cancer Research, The American Cancer Society, or Seasons Hospice.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Friday Five


As I'm munching on a Twizzler, I got to thinking that Candy would make a fine Friday Five.
So, my five favorite candies (today)
1. Cherry Twizzlers. Pull and peel preferably, but the regular kind will do in a pinch.
2. Snickers. The second greatest candybar ever.
3. Reese's Peanut Butter cups. The GREATEST candy ever.
4. Peanut M&M's.
5. Watermelon Jolly Ranchers.
My favorite candies of yesteryear:
1. Marathon Bars.
2. Candy necklaces.
3. Pop Rocks.
4. Cherry Mashes.
5. Almond Joy.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iconic Characters


In keeping with the topic yesterday of characters like MacGyver who live on in our memories, I was trying to come up with a list that stands out for me. Some characters that are so well known they are almost a stereotype.
1. Ebenezer Scrooge - everybody has an idea of what he was like, and we know what someone means when they say "He's such a Scrooge."
2. Indiana Jones - now there's a character people remember!
3. Little Orphan Annie - Comic strip, books, broadway musical, Movie.
4. Rooster Cogburn - in our house of John Wayne fans, this one lives on.
5. Darth Vader - The ultimate bad guy.
6. Shrek - he's complicated...he has layers...like an onion... :)
7. Kermit the Frog - a great character.
How about you? What names come to mind when you think of iconic characters?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Forever Characters


Know this guy?
He's a favorite of my son's. We currently have the first four seasons of MacGyver and plan to round out the series. I have to admit, I am a Richard Dean Anderson fan too. Loved him as MacGyver, and even before that, when he played the oldest brother on the brief "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" remake.
My SIL and I (over Jimmy John's Sandwiches - I think) were talking about how MacGyver is an icon. He is referenced in pop culture. We could each name at least one current tv show that had made a reference to MacGyver.
Face it, who else could save the world with a paper clip and some mayo?
MacGyver is a unique character. His special talents combined with his backstory and his quirks make him stand out in the crowd of tv characters to the extent that when someone mentions him by name, everyone knows who he is. How did a science geek with a penchant for health food and an extreme dislike of guns come to be the character we know and love as MacGyver? Wouldn't it be great to have characters like this?
What is unique about your current character? How does his talent, quirks, and past make him the man he is in the story?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Books to Movies


So, what's your opinion on movies made from books?
When I was a youngster, I wanted the movies not only to match the storyline of the books they were taken from, but I also wanted them to exactly match the images I had in my head.
Now that I'm older, I realize that some books needed to be changed in order to make for good movies, and that some books translated better into movies than others.
Some favorites of mine are:
The Jack Ryan movies from Tom Clancy's books.
The earliest John Grisham movies, A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client. His later books and the movies made from them don't do much for me.
The Lord of the Rings movies. :)
The Cadfael series from the BBC.
Narnia.
Lonesome Dove (and the following books/movies in the series)
Giant, by Edna Ferber
How about you? Do you have any movies from books that you love? Any that you don't love so much?

The Vanishing Sculptor

This book could've been called The Vanishing 13 Year Old. Because that's what happened when I gave my son this book. James is an avid fan of the DragonKeeper Chronicles by Donita Paul. (When I asked him, he confessed that he'd read all five books in the series at least three times each.) He was so excited when I showed him this new book by Donita. He snatched it from my hands and disappeared. He finished the book in two days, and is already planning to read it again after he gets it back from our pastor, another of Donita's DragonKeeper fans.



Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly crafted fiction novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.

In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.



Donita K. Paul is a retired teacher and author of numerous novellas, short stories, and eight novels, including the best-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles, a series which has sold more than a quarter million books to date. The winner of multiple awards, she lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she spends time mentoring and encouraging young writers. Visit her online at donitakpaul.com.

If you would like to purchase The Vanishing Sculptor, please click HERE.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Creatively Tapped










About 10 days ago on The Edit Cafe, Barbour editor Becky Germany posted about her creative well running dry. She asked folks for tips and their experiences for rejuvenating their creativity.








When I'm creatively tapped there are a few things I try.








1. Cross Stitch. Here's the pattern I'm working on right now (slowly. I haven't worked on it in awhile.) I've stitched this pattern before as a gift for my SIL. I liked it so much, I got one for myself.









































2. Jigsaw Puzzles. I love The Hometown Collection from Mega Puzzles. In each one there is a tiny black cat hidden. We love hunting for it as we build.

























3. Read History Books. Currently I'm reading up on the US Cavalry in the West.













4. Watch movies. In keeping with my current research project, I'm watching all of John Wayne's Cavalry pictures. I finished Rio Grande (I love his moustache in this picture, and really, was there ever a movie duo with more chemistry than John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara?) and I'm currently watching She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. I'll watch The Horse Soldiers next, then Fort Apache. Fort Apache is my least favorite of the four, not because it isn't a great movie, but because the storyline is sooooo wrenching.
So, what do you do to recharge those creative batteries? I'd love to hear your take on things.
This week will be a difficult one for me, and I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post. If you can spare a prayer for my family, we surely would appreciate it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Friday Five


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This is a gopher snake on the gravel driveway of the family business, Vetsch Hardwoods, Inc.
So, today's Friday Five is: Five things about me and snakes.
1. I have a sort of train-wreck mentality when it comes to snakes. I can't bear to look at them, but I can't look away when I see one. I have to keep my eye on it in case it decides to grow legs and run after me, or offer me a piece of forbidden fruit. :)
2. When I see a snake, I always try to get my hands on a stick of some sort. I have no intention of using the stick for anything, but I sure feel better having it in my hands.
3. Gopher snakes vibrate their tails like rattle snakes (but no rattling sound) to intimidate potential attackers. This posturing works well on me. :)
4. I can't see a snake without breaking into a very lame Crocodile Hunter accent. Crikey, isn't she a beauty? I think I should pounce on her! Danger! Danger! Danger!
5. I think Snakes are ICKY! But I'm proud of myself that I actually worked up the courage to touch a ball python at the Lincoln Park Zoo, (in a demonstration workshop by the zookeeper) especially since my husband wouldn't do it. The kids and I were brave. Peter was...smart. Touching a snake is icky too.
So, how do you feel about snakes?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You know you're a writer when...

This past week on the ACFW e-loop, a thread that got a lot of hits was

"You know you're a writer when..."

I didn't post to the loop, because I'm a Queen Lurker, and rarely feel I have something to add to any discussion there, but I thought this might be fun for the blog.

Here are a few of mine. Please add yours! If you're not a writer, substitute whatever fits for your life. Artist, mom, caregiver, teacher, pastor, whatever.

You know you're a writer when...

  • You go through your invoices from amazon.com looking for writing and research books you've purchased so you can write them off your taxes.

  • You watch John Wayne movies for research. :)

  • You write in your historical era with such intensity, that when you surface, you're surprised to see modern conveniences like television and cars.

  • You not only know who Donald Maass is, you get excited about attending his workshop (as long as he doesn't call on you!)

How about you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wedded Bliss

This past weekend I attended a wedding of two young people who love each other and love Jesus.

As I watched the exchange of vows, I realized anew that though this was the pinnacle of months of effort, tons of energy, and I would have to guess a hefty chunk of change. But much like a commencement service at a school, a wedding signals the end of one thing and the beginning of another.

The happily ever after is the pinnacle of a romance. The wedding, the assurance that all obstacles have been overcome, and the hero and heroine are free to start their new life together. After all the effort, energy, and a hefty chunk of my time, Lily and Trace (current Hero and Heroine) will ride off into the sunset together. But though the story ends, they live on in my imagination, and I hope in the imaginations of my readers. The end of the book is the beginning of happily ever after. I love to dream up "what happens next" type stories for my favorite characters in books and movies. That's where I first started spinning fiction...making up stories about Paul and Maureen Beebe from Misty of Chincoteague, and Alec Ramsey of the Black Stallion stories when I was in elementary school. As I grew up, I continued this practice with other characters, even writing some fan fiction as an adult.

I hope that someday people will make up stories about my characters, allowing them to live on happily ever after.

And God Bless Devon and Rebecca in their new life together. May they too live Happily Ever After.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A couple cool books for boys/dads


FOR DADS: More faulty information about God swirls around us today than ever before. No wonder so many followers of Christ are unsure of what they really believe in the face of the new spiritual openness attempting to alter unchanging truth.





For centuries the church has taught and guarded the core Christian beliefs that make up the essential foundations of the faith. But in our postmodern age, sloppy teaching and outright lies create rampant confusion, and many Christians are free-falling for “feel-good” theology. We need to know the truth to save ourselves from errors that will derail our faith.








As biblical scholar, author, and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler, writes, “The entire structure of Christian truth is now under attack.” With wit and wisdom he tackles the most important aspects of these modern issues:





Is God changing His mind about sin?





Why is hell off limits for many pastors?





What’s good or bad about the “dangerous” emergent movement?





Have Christians stopped seeing God as God?





Is the social justice movement misguided?





Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology?





Is liberal faith any less destructive than atheism?





Are churches pandering to their members to survive?








In the age-old battle to preserve the foundations of faith, it's up to a new generation to confront and disarm the contemporary shams and fight for the truth. Dr. Mohler provides the scriptural answers to show you how.



I found this book thought provoking and eye-opening. The lies of the devil are subtle, infiltrating our mindsets without our being aware. This book shines the light on some of our notions and reveals them for the lies and dangers they are.






Click on the link to order the book: The Disappearance of God



For Boys: Sir Dalton, a knight in training, seems to have everything going for him. Young, well-liked, and a natural leader, he has earned the respect and admiration of his fellow knights, and especially the beautiful Lady Brynn. But something is amiss at the training camp. Their new trainer is popular but lacks the passion to inspire them to true service to the King and the Prince. Besides this, the knights are too busy enjoying a season of good times to be concerned with a disturbing report that many of their fellow Knights have mysteriously vanished.

When Sir Dalton is sent on a mission, he encounters strange attacks, especially when he is alone. As his commitment wanes, the attacks grow in intensity until he is captured by Lord Drox, a massive Shadow Warrior. Bruised and beaten, Dalton refuses to submit to evil and initiates a daring escape with only one of two outcomes–life or death. But what will become of the hundreds of knights he’ll leave behind? In a kingdom of peril, Dalton thinks he is on his own, but two faithful friends have not abandoned him, and neither has a strange old hermit who seems to know much about the Prince. But can Dalton face the evil Shadow Warrior again and survive?



My son's review: I loved to hate Lord Drox. I rooted for Sir Dalton and the reinforcements all through the book. (He's pestering me to get the rest of the books in the series. He's missing one of them, and it's killing him! :) ) Can anyone say Birthday/Christmas gifts???

Click on the link to order the book: Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart

Monday, June 15, 2009

Professional Photo

Here it is. This is my first author photo. I had my hair done and my makeup, and got my nails done (In my favorite red. :) ) Then off to the photographer who took 20+ pictures. I seriously wished they had come out looking a little less like me and a little more like Sandra Bullock. :)

The reaction from most folks has been positive. Though there have been some comments about how straight my hair is in the photo. Noteworthy, since my hair usually resembles a poodle in a steady drizzle.

Also this past week, I wrote my author bio. I felt like Bob Dole, writing in the third person about myself. Before I started the bio, I went to the Heartsong website to read bios of other Heartsong authors to get a feel for what the publisher was looking for.

Each of these steps brings me closer to holding my first novel in my hands. I think the next steps will be seeing the cover art and proof-reading the galley sheets. Four months and counting until The Bartered Bride releases.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Friday Five


This fellow was strutting around Historic Forestville, and I thought he was kinda cute.
Today's Friday Five:
Five things I take into consideration when naming characters.
1. Historical context. I set the time period of the novel, then determine the age of the character. If possible, I try to find newspaper articles from that era and choose a name. If in doubt, a Bible name always works.
2. Social strata of the character. The names of Gilded Age socialites differed greatly from the names of their maids. Octavia, Consuelo, Imogen, Olympia...the more elaborate, the better for the upper crust.
3. Ethnicity. Is your family of Scandinavian descent? Scots? British? Korean? Egyptian? It makes a difference.
4. Personality of the character. Some names just inspire certain connotations for me. I couldn't name a character Jerry, for example, because I once knew a Jerry in elementary school and he was mean to me. (Maybe I could name a villain Jerry, I guess, but never a hero.) And I'd never name a strong, fiesty, adventurous character Pansy or Patsy. Unless I wanted to incorporate her dislike of her name into her character.
5. The supporting cast's names. I try not to have names that have the same starting letter, names that rhyme with any other names, or even names that have the same cadence. Sometimes these are easy to do, and other times I'm sure things slip through. But I try.
How about you? How do you name characters? Do they arrive with names already, or do you have to hunt?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Less than 100!


Did you notice the ACFW Countdown? EEEEK! The counter went down under 100 days!!!
What does this mean? It means I need to get busy! I need to finish this WIP and pull together a proposal for a new historical series.
And I need to decide if I'm driving or flying to Denver.
This is always a difficult time for me...I don't want to wish away the summer, but I sure am looking forward to the conference.
What do you need to do before September? Have you got specific goals that you're aiming for? Are you using the next 90+ days wisely?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kittens!!!!

This past week friends of ours from church brought a litter of seven kittens (about four weeks old) down to my MIL's house for a visit. Here are some pics. The first is Heather (with her breast cancer awareness Vikings hat.) The next is a little pile of orange kittens, and the third is James with those orange little beauties. (I love the expression on his face, and notice his new braces.) The last is my favorite of the day. My MIL with the smallest kitten of the litter who slept in her hand. A special treat this week. Thank you to the Robersons for helping with this little surprise.












Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Blessing in so many ways


I knew from the first page I was going to love this book.
Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes
When a mammogram result comes back abnormal, midlife mama Summer Finley makes a snap decision to relegate fear to the back burner and fulfill a lifelong dream. Summer heads for Holland where she meets up with tulips, wooden shoes, and her best friend, Noelle.

Pen pals since fourth grade, Summer and Noelle have never met face-to-face. Through decades of heart-level correspondence, they have sustained a deep friendship. A week of adventure helps both women trade anxiety for a renewed and deeper trust in God. When Summer confides in Noelle about the abnormal medical report, Noelle finds the freedom to share a long-held heartache, and both women discover they needed each other more than they realized.

Women ages 35 and up, readers of Christian Boomer Lit, and fans of books such as The Yada Yada Prayer Group will enjoy Robin Jones Gunn’s humorous and uplifting style. True-to-life characters and moments of poignancy bring a deeper understanding of the value of life and the gift of true friends. Readers guide and bonus material included.


Author Bio: Robin Jones Gunn is the best-selling and award-winning author of over seventy books, including the Glenbrooke, Christy Miller, Sierra Jensen, Katie Weldon, and Christy and Todd: The College Years teen series. The Sisterchicks® series has sold more than 300,000 units, bringing her total sales to more than 3.5 million books worldwide. A Christy Award winner, Robin is a popular speaker, both at home and abroad, and is frequently interviewed on radio and on television. http://www.robingunn.com/ http://www.sisterchicks.com/
(What the canned bio doesn't say is that Robin Gunn is an amazing individual. The love of Jesus shines from her beautiful smile, beams from her eyes, and resonates with every word she writes. A gifted wordsmith and story-spinner, Robin is a genuine follower of Christ. If you've been blessed to meet her as I have, you'll see that everything she pours into her books comes straight from her heart.)
My Review: Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes is a beautiful story. I'm a Sisterchick book addict, and devoured each of the previous seven books. But Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes is something special. This book blessed me in so many ways that Robin couldn't have known about when she was writing it. But GOD knew. You see, this book is about a woman struggling with the spectre of Breast Cancer looming over her life. At the moment, I'm one of the care-givers for my MIL who is fighting her own battle against Breast Cancer. Near the end of the book, the two main characters go to a Pannekoekenhuis for Dutch pancakes. We have a Pannekoeken Restaurant in Rochester, and one of the only things these days that I can guarantee that my MIL will be able to eat (her appetite isn't good) is a fresh strawberry pannekoeken. I'm blown away by how God, in His infinite wisdom, knew a long time ago when Robin was writing this book, that this story would connect and resonate with me like it did.
One really sharp word from the Lord that came while reading it when one of the characters talks about "owning the truth, not just renting the words." It's one thing to spout 'Christianese' or throw out Bible verses like a human Biblegateway.com. It's another to really own the truths of Scripture. OUCH.
If you're a Sisterchick fan like me, you won't be disappointed in this book. If you've never read a Sisterchick book...what are you waiting for? Hie thee to a bookstore and get them ALL!
If you'd like to buy Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes, click HERE.

Monday, June 08, 2009

We Have a Winner!


We have a winner!
Thank you to all who commented in the run-up to the 700th Blog Post. I have been encouraged by your comments and participation.
After counting up all the comments to determine those eligible, my son put each name on a slip of paper and threw it into the Day-glo Orange Hunting Hat of Fate. My lovely daughter pulled the winner from the hat.
And the winner of the 700 Blog Post is:
LINDA!
Thank you for being such a faithful reader of OTWP.
I'll get your box of books to you ASAP.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Friday Five - Numbers


This idea came from Cindy Wilson's Blog.
Today's post is number 700 for On the Write Path! WOOHOO!
Since we're focusing on numbers, I thought I'd pull some numbers from my life.
42 - the number of Dick Francis novels I have. (One is an antholgy of short stories, but I counted it as a novel. I also have his autobiography, and an autographed copy of the first British edition of my favorite novel of his: To The Hilt.)
280 - The approx number of DVD's I have. What can I say? It's an addiction! And they aren't all mine. Really.
3 - the number of states I have lived in. Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota
19 - the number of years I have been married. This December 16 will be the big 2-0
2 - the number of siblings I have. Sister, Kathleen is 18 mos older, brother, Nathan, is 3 yrs younger.
Remember, this is the last day to get those comments in for the BIG BOOK GIVEAWAY.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

June Goals



It's Goal Time again. You can read my May Goals here and see how I did last month. I look at my goals much like the drawing to the left. The outlines are there, I just need to fill in the spaces with color.





1. Copy Edits for The Bartered Bride. I just got these back 6/1 and combed through them. Yay for Aaron McCarver, copy-editor par excellance! I should be able to get these back to him within 48 hrs.




2. Turn in The Engineered Engagement. Sometime after June 1, 2009. I did the final readthrough of this story and it's all ready to turn in.




3. Finish final edits on Clara and the Cowboy. This final readthrough took me longer than I anticipated (not sure why,) but the book is submitted well before the June 1st deadline. I will anxiously await the content edit on it, since it's the first book in a new series.




4. Begin plotting and writing sequels to Clara and the Cowboy: Lily and the Lawman and Maggie and the Maverick. I am closing in on finishing Lily and the Lawman the first time through. Have run into a couple sticky patches while winding this one up, trying to keep it plausible and fast-paced, but I think it's coming around. Then it will be time to plot Maggie's book. (Or as CJ calls it CAL's book!)




5. Prepare proposal packet and three chapters of a mystery/romance I've got kicking around in my head, including materials to pitch at ACFW. The wheels are turning. I might make this the major project for July.


6. Register for ACFW Denver. I got all registered, classes and workshops picked out, and appointments requested.

7. Attend ACFW Denver. This month the counter will click down under 100 days!

8. Read 5 books on craft this year, focusing on characterization, conflict, and endings. I finished reading The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. This is one of those books that I think will sink in the more I try to implement the insights and ideas it raised.
9. Coordinate the Women's Fiction category for the ACFW Genesis Contest. I loved making those finalist calls. And I've sent back all the Women's Fiction entries. Now it's time to wait for the final round judges to get their emails back to me.
So, how'd your May goals go? What are your plans for June?
Tomorrow is the last day to get your comments in for the 700th Blog Post Book Giveaway. Remember to leave a way for me to contact you. The winner will be drawn and announced on Monday, June 8th.



Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Summer Fun


This is a picture of a GIANT green moth my son found. That's my son's grubby hand. Thanks to Aunt Linda for taking the picture for him. My boy is a bit of a naturalist/collector. On the ledge under my picture window--his territory--he has piled rocks, bird's nests, walnut shells, pine cones, and other flora, fauna, and fascinating stuff. It's his collection. I'm always amazed at what catches his eye as we go on walks. Little bits of this or that, things I pass over without ever noticing. But he picks it up, studies it, and brings it home.
Isn't God amazing? I never would've made anything like this sparkling, lime-green moth, but He did. And a zillion other things that bless our world. And I certainly never would've picked it up! That's why God made little boys! But I am reminded each time James brings home another treasure: stop and look closely at the things we often pass over.
Just a couple more days until the 700th post! :)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Guideposts Magazine Article


Yay! The Guideposts Article is out. I'm so thankful for Carla Stewart, who brought this article to fruition, for Rick Hamlin who edited it, and for my family.
This is the fabulous Carla with me at the 2008 ACFW Banquet. Carla's just signed a two book contract with FaithWords.
Thank you, Carla, for this great opportunity.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Support Staff





Even though in the end writing is a solitary pursuit, most writers don't live the writers life alone. We have critique partners, writing buddies, mentors, writers' groups, e-loops, and publishing professionals that come beside us on the journey. If you belong to a professional organization like the RWA, ACFW, SCBWI, or The Writer's View, you have hundreds of writers to share the path with.


But many authors have another support system. Friends and family in their day to day life that hold them up in prayer, ease the load so the writer can concentrate on writing, and cheer them up and onward.


It's time for some thanks to the support system in my life.


Bigtime husband points to my beloved, who this last week sent me off to write with a hug and a kiss, and who stayed home and did laundry and worked on landscaping. He also brought the kids with him to the movie theatre to meet me after a long day writing. We all watched a movie together, then went to Culvers for supper. He's so cool, and so supportive of my writing. One of the sweetest things he ever said to me was that he never thought in terms of IF I would get published, but always WHEN I got published. He believes in me and does what he can to help me. I'm so blessed.








The girl. What can I say? She's my sounding board, my cheerleader, and plot buddy. She cooks dinner, and does a dozen other chores so I can focus on writing. She's always up for a brainstorming walk when I'm stuck, and comes up with great ideas.























Then there is my little firecracker son. Talk about a trooper. He is willing to go to the library for hours, or the coffee shop, so I can write. He takes books, artwork, puzzles, etc. and sits still. You can't know how difficult this is for him, but he comes through for me. He's excited to hold my book in his hands.





Then there is my SIL. Isn't she beautiful? (Can you tell she and my husband are related?) Linda is also a key member of my support system. In the 'every dark cancerous cloud has a silver lining' world we're living in, Linda is my silver lining. Our trials have brought us closer together, and I couldn't write in this difficult season without her in my life. Thank you, girl!
I am a blessed woman. In addition to my loving family, my church has been amazing, and I have some close friends who support me every single day.



Who is your support staff? Has someone come alongside you to help you on the way?