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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!