Monday, January 17, 2011

SHOWERS of blessing!

Heavy Rain Showerphoto © 2007 AlmazUK | more info (via: Wylio)






















Showers of Blessing!

Wow, last week was AMAZINGLY positive. It seemed as if I could barely catch my breath from one blessing to another. I commented to a friend that it was like trying to get a sip of water from a fire hose, the blessings were coming along so fast.

1. Monday: Turned in A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas. I can't tell you how good this felt. I hit a wall a few weeks ago with this story, and it took some book surgery to get it all done. (This involved printing out the 90% I had finished and going through it scene-by-scene out loud with my brilliant and patient daughter until I arrived at the major problem in the ms. Once I resolved that issue--an issue I had discussed with a friend before that, then talked myself out of the solution later...sigh...I'm so dense sometimes--all the ducks got their bills and feathers in line and I finished the last 8K words in two days.)

I also learned that Mary Connealy, Rose Ross Zediker and I are going to have a book signing at Crossroads Books in Sioux Falls on February 12th from 1-3 pm. Rose is signing her debut novel Lily of the Field, and Mary will be signing Sharpshooter in Petticoats, while I'll be signing copies of Maggie and the Maverick. If you'd like a signed copy of any of these books and you can't make it to the book signing, Crossroads will arrange to have a book signed and shipped to you. Just give them a call at: 605.338.5951

2. Tuesday: I spent the day working on a novella collection idea. Actually, since Thanksgiving-time when Barbour announced they were going to publish 20+ novella collections in 2012, I had been trying on ideas for a novella collection and discarding them. I thought I would have to let this opportunity to pitch something pass me by, because I wasn't finding a story idea that intrigued me.

In a last-ditch effort, I went to the history books on my research bookshelf. I picked up Hearts West by Chris Enns. True stories of mail-order brides. I love mail-order bride stories. There's just something beautiful about people taking the ultimate risk, reaching out for what they hope will be a better life, that will bring them the thing they have been lacking. But, I digress. I glommed onto one tidbit of information from this book. In the 1870-90's a newspaper called The Matrimonial News published mail-order bride classifieds, hoping to unite brides and grooms. My mind kicked into gear.

And so was born the idea for Sagebrush Knights. Four sisters who venture westward hoping to meet their Knights in Shining Armor. I spent Tuesday polishing the storylines and brainstorming titles and character names with my daughter via IM. Late Tuesday night, I emailed it to my agent, Rachelle Gardner and went to bed.

3. Wednesday: By the time I got to my computer Wednesday morning, Rachelle had responded (she's kinda awesome that way--her communication is terrific!) The upshot of the email was that she would send the pitch for SK along to Barbour.

An hour later, positive news from Barbour. They were interested in the novella collection. Can you believe that? Color me giddy! I was squeeee-ing all over the house and even called my husband at work to tell him. (My son will testify that I pulled him away from his algebra in order to let me hug him.)

And later on Wednesday afternoon I got word that my historical Minnesota series would be coming out as a repack 3-in-1 collection in the Fall of 2012 under the title North Star Brides.

4. I thought the week couldn't possibly get better, but along came Thursday: Thursday morning, Rachelle called to tell me that the contract for SK had arrived already! AMAZING!

Rachelle even tweeted the news, which brought a flood of congrats and new twitter friends. :)

Then, the full list of the 18th Annual Heartsong Awards was posted at The Edit Cafe. Squee, squee, and more squee-ing! Yay, Heartsong Readers! I HEART you!!!

5. Enter Friday: I had the contract for Sagebrush Knights all signed and dropped it into the mail. And I had the day to myself because the boy was working with his dad at the shop. I packed up the laptop and headed to Caribou Coffee. Over a Black Thai Latte and slice of lemon poppyseed bread, I worked out the chapter-by-chapter synopsis for my next Heartsong, Stars in Her Eyes.

And as if that wasn't enough, I got an email from one of my editors. He's got Light to my Path in his inbox and will have it edited and back to me around 3/1. He also shared the news with me that A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas AND A Log Cabin Christmas are both available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

To top it all off, I got to go out on a date with my favorite husband. He cheered me on, celebrated with him by sharing his carrot cake, and reminded me again that he is my best friend. I told him he is my 'patron of the arts' by supporting me in pursuing this publishing dream.

I am so very thankful. I keep praising God and praying. Thank you, Lord. Thank you for positive affirmation, for showers of blessing, for these opportunities. Thank you for supportive friends and family who celebrate the good times and commiserate the bad times. Who know what it is like to wait on You for an answer to prayer and how to praise You through the time of waiting.

Weeks like this last one are so wonderful. They serve to sustain me when things aren't so rosy. I think that's one of the reasons I keep a scrapbook of my writing journey. When I hit walls in manuscripts or the writing is hard, when I get a bad review or reader feedback sheet, or when someone denigrates me for writing romance--which is after all only for stay-at-home soccer moms who have nothing better to do than fill up their heads with trash--when any of that stuff happens and more, I can look back and remember these affirming events.

I hope you'll hop on over to http://keligwyn.wordpress.com/ Keli Gwyn has promised that she has BIG NEWS to report over there.

What's the BEST news you've ever gotten regarding your writing, your artwork, etc. An award, an affirming word, an offer of representation, a request for a partial or a full ms, a contest final or win? Share your affirming news!

17 comments:

  1. You are SO on a roll girl! So, so so happy for you. All your crazy work ethic is paying off in spades! :) I'm still amazed by how much you get done in a day.

    You know the best writing news I've ever gotten. Definitely a huge affirmation and dream come true.

    Can't wait to celebrate with Keli!!!

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  2. I had so much fun celebrating along with you this week! Amazing!

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  3. It was so cool to watch you bombarded with news last week!

    Our God knows just the right time to shower us with goodness. Glad you are soaked in it now!

    Heading over to Keli's.
    ~ Wendy

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  4. Congratulations, my friend :D You are SO deserving. It's wonderful to see someone who works so hard and remains humble have success!

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  5. WOW! Where can I sign up to have a week like that one?? I'm SO thrilled for you my friend. It looks like you are going to be a blockbuster this year. I can't image what lies in store for you next. Keep us posted!

    As for me, I'm still reeling with delight over our shared agent. =)

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  6. Linda9:22 AM

    So excited for you!! Such awesome news just piling up around you. That should keep you warm and fuzzy for a while. You have worked so hard to be where you are, glad to see you reaping the rewards. And glad for us, there will be more Erica books!

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  7. Yeah! Glad you had such a fantabulous week! :)

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  8. All your hard work has paid off. I'm so very happy for you.

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  9. Katie, I can't wait until you can hit the airwaves with your affirming news!!!!!!

    Julie, thank you for celebrating with me. It is SO much more fun to party with friends then to squee all alone. :)

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  10. Wendy, Bombarded is the PERFECT word! Thank you for sharing the ups and downs with me on this crazy journey!

    Georgiana, I couldn't do this without you. I don't want to even try. You're so supportive and helpful and encouraging and REAL! Thank you!

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  11. T.Anne, I'm still partying with you. I'm thinking with all the good news coming out of WordServe these days, we should throw a WordServe party!

    Linda, I tried to get to see you today but the snow stopped me on both driveways! ARGH! Is it July yet???

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  12. Thank you, Jamie! It was definitely a week for the scrapbook. :)

    CJ, thank you for not telling me what a dolt I was when I didn't take your advice about the missing gold in the first place. :D

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  13. Congratulations, Erica! What a wonderful week. I'd seen some of the news on Twitter, but there was even more. Your career is soaring, and I'm thrilled for you.

    I just added A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas to my Amazon cart. It sounds like a great story. How neat that it's up for pre-order already. Barbour certainly moves quickly. I'm impressed!

    Thanks for the shout out about my news. I appreciate it.

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  14. Linda5:16 PM

    After more thinking about this, I think you had a blizzard of blessings! Love ya!

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  15. What a great week you've had! I'm sure it helps compensate for many others that have been filled with work, waiting and wondering. Congratulations on all the good news. :)

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  16. Oops, I meant to add that yes, I've had periodic good news that's been affirming -- I finaled again with my entry in the Surrey Conference writing contest last October. That's the third time. And one of the photos I sent to accompany a magazine article in December was selected for the cover. I don't know that they were "the best news" I've ever received, but they're the most recent, and were timely boosts for morale.

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  17. Hi Erica,
    I have been silently following your blog for a few weeks and I'm hooked. Very inspirational and just plain fun!

    Congrats on all the wonderful news you've been receiving. Sounds like the "pressed down, shaken together, running over" goodness of our God...and hard work! =)

    P.S. I also have Hearts West sitting on my bookshelf. Are you including a story about #245 - fat and fair? =) I can't wait to read the collection you come up with.

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