Monday, June 29, 2009
Seems like when you're an aspiring author you manage to squeeze writing into every spare minute of your day. But once you become published and have to add editing and promoting to your duties, finding time to write is a little more difficult.
Therefore, on or about May 25th I made an announcement to my friends/groups that I would be spending less time online in the mornings in order to be more disciplined in writing.
My goals: work on developing my WIP into a full length novel; write (and hopefully complete) a story for WRP’s ‘Hearts Crossing’ contest (20-25K words).
I spent most of Memorial Day weekend writing & scheduling as many of my blog posts as possible for the entire month of June.
Today I’d like to share with you my writing accomplishments for the month…..
#1: Updated Bryanna’s Journal and started one for Karson (two of my grandchildren)
#2: Helped fellow author with edits for 2 books (1 long, 1 short)
#3: Wrote and posted seven reviews for WRP books I’d read.
#4: Wrote and submitted devotional poem to Penned from the Heart (accepted yay!!!)
#5 Edited and submitted article for July issue of Christian Star Newspaper
#6 Created and sent web changes to webmistress
#7 Wrote nearly 5,000 words on my contest entry - which puts me right on target if I want 20,000 words by deadline of Sept. 30th.
#8 Placed 4 articles at Helium
#9 Wrote this blog post.
#10 Wrote and submitted 1 interview for the WRP blog – I’ll let you know when it’s up!
#11 Submitted 14 devotional poems to Church Mouse Publications (more on that later)
#12 Wrote/Submitted essay for Cup of Comfort for Couples
This may not seem like much to many, but for someone who hasn’t written anything new in a year, it’s been exhilirating!
This is the time when most people evaluate the goals they set in January and revise/rewrite/recommitt to them. My 2009 goals were to write a new novel and/or at least one short story this year as well as keeping up with promotion, etc. If things keep going the way they did this month, I’ll be darn close to accomplishing both of those.....if I can just get away from those networking sites LOL!
Have you checked your progress lately on meeting your 2009 goals?
I’d love to hear your comments!
PS: On this same note, check out the July issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine for how I manage to find time to write in the Author by Night column.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Recently we moved my mother into our home. She had two furry cat babies, Maggie and Blacky. Both were elderly and Mom felt they wouldn't survive the long trip to Ohio, so she chose to leave them behind. It's hard to adopt out elderly cats, but we found a no-kill shelter and have hope that someone will open their hearts and adopt them. I know how sad she was to leave her beloved family home and her babies, but there there was no choice. She couldn't afford to keep up her home any longer. When she called with her decision, we immediately made plans to remodel and rearrange our home to accomodate her.
I'm so blessed to have her with me, and she's so much happier now with having people around her to talk to. But, I could tell how much she missed her babies. We have three cats, Charlotte, Wilbur, and Templeton (yeah, can you tell I'm a writer!). Charlotte, like most Divas, chooses the time she wants to spend with us mere humans. However, the boys are a different story. Inquisitive, and very loving, they are people cats. They sensed Mom's need for feline companionship. Wilbur sleeps with her, and when she's in her recliner watching television, he's either on the arm of the chair, in her lap, or laying on the back of the chair, swinging his big furry tail in front of her face. Templeton has been in her lap, too, but he's so much more inquisitive.
Yesterday something really cute happened. If I'd been home I would have taken a picture. He's been investigating her walker. It has a little area where you can sit things, or yourself, and a basket which she uses to keep things handy. Mom has taken over making our bed and hers. It's one thing she can do which makes her feel helpful. Anyway, yesterday Templeton jumped on the walker and was sitting on the little "chair" part. Mom got out of her chair and said, "Do you want to go for a ride? Come on, I have to make the beds." She proceeded to walk down the hall to our bedroom and Templeton just stayed on for the ride. He waited while she made that bed, then she took him into her room and, again, he just sat there watching. Finished, they both came back down the hall! Templeton now believes her walker is his domain, and quite fun, and Mom is so happy to have these furry buddies to help relieve the pain of moving.
We made a lot of changes to try and make her comfortable, but it took our cats to really lift her depression.
I love animals. Guess that's why I always include them in my books!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Author and speaker Debby Mayne grew up in a military family, which meant moving every one to three years throughout her childhood. Debby was born in Alaska and lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. Her comfort foods are as diverse as her interests. You might find her eating sushi while reading a cozy mystery novel or fried catfish while watching a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game.
Her husband of almost 30 years has accepted the fact that outside of her faith and family, books are the most important thing in her life. She and Wally have two grown daughters, Lauren and Alison, a son-in-law, Jason, and a granddaughter named Emma.
Debby has published 11 books, more than 400 short stories and articles, and 5 novellas that have been printed in 6 anthologies. She has also worked as the managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for a TV retailer, and as a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. Debby currently enjoys writing Christian fiction, which allows her the freedom to tell stories without restraining her convictions.
She lives on Florida’s west coast with her husband and two cats. To learn more about Debby, visit her website at http://debbymayne.com.
Debby's 2009 releases: Peachtree Dreams - Barbour Publishing, April 2009
Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida - Summerside Press, June 2009
Christmas Homecoming - Barbour Publishing anthology with Paige Winship Dooly, Elizabeth Goddard, and Elizabeth Ludwig, September 2009
Noah's Ark - Heartsong Presents, October 2009
Be Still and Let Your Nail Polish Dry - Summerside Press, 2009
Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida - Amanda Burns owns a bicycle shop in Treasure Island, Florida, but she has very little time to enjoy the charming town or its beautiful beaches. When she's not caring for her emotionally demanding sister, she's busy waiting on customers. There's one customer she never minds seeing. Each year for his parents' anniversary, Jerry Simpson returns to the shop to rent a bicycle for two. Jerry's sense of responsibility to his parents has prevented him from even thinking about love. Will he and Amanda find the treasure they both deserve, even if neither of them is looking for it?
Working with Summerside Press: From the moment of my sale to Summerside Press, editor Rachel Meisel has been a joy to work with. Jason and Carlton have put together a great team of publishing professionals, and I'm excited to be included in the fabulous lineup.
Thank you Debby! Best of luck and God's blessings on your writing.
Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!"
Monday, June 15, 2009
Susan Boyle is still my hero. Er-heroine. The typical underdog. The classic fish out of water. For those of you who haven’t heard of her, you must be living under a rock. The same rock I was living under until my deadline a few days ago. I must admit, I was skeptical, like most of the audience when she stepped on that stage for the first time. I mean, how could a 47 year old woman long past the age when most stars are discovered possibly make it even though I liked her spunk and attitude?
Especially singing I Dreamed A Dream. I’ve sung that song, people. It isn’t easy. The vocal range required is not for the feint of heart or voice. I must say I was ready to plug my ears at six o’clock that morning when my husband turned to me. “Hey, Brian sent this to us. Watch this.”
Ready to leave the office to refill my already full coffee cup, I waited as the music started to play. (I get uncomfortable watching people in potentially painful or awkward situations.) I held my breath when Susan opened her mouth to sing. And there it was. That first note, so pure and sweet. I sat back in my computer chair, stunned at the exquisite voice. I know my mouth dropped open. How about yours?
Watching Simon’s Cowels’ face was also priceless. For a man who’s sarcasm and critiques are as sharp as a butcher’s knife, to see him stunned made my morning. (even though I’m secretly in love with him) I can see it now in a future credit card commercial. And seeing the other judges and the audience respond with such enthusiasm was awe-inspiring.
I Dreamed a Dream, too.
To become a writer.
To fulfill that dream, I didn’t have to go up on stage and pour my heart out through my voice, which would probably make most of you happy. No, I wrote books about hope and love and second chances and poured my heart out through my characters.
But the tigers come at night.
They do in the form of rejections or bad reviews or partners that don’t support you or editors that don’t get your work.
As they tear your hope apart.
Family members, children, work, household tasks that never seem to get done. Professional jealousy, or any other number of reasons that keep you from living your dream. Stop the madness.
Did Susan let the naysayers and the other non-believers keep her from living her dream? No. I didn't and neither should you. She triumphed at the end and so did I with a publishing contract. So can you. The underdog has come out the top dog. (I wish she would have won the contest, but she won our hearts) The fish out of water dove right in and made herself right at home.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Went upstairs to kiss a fellow
Made a mistake
Kissed a snake
How many doctors did it take?
I didn’t kiss a snake, but it did take a doctor or two to fix me up last night. My life has been a little crazy lately. My only child graduated from high school last week. Being an only child (and an only grandchild), plenty of family members came in town to celebrate this milestone in my son’s life. At times it was a bit overwhelming. Then, the day after everyone left, I took a tumble in a pizza parlor and sprained my foot. Right there amid the red checkered tablecloths and bubbling mozzarella, I watched my foot swell to about three times its normal size.
After I finished my pizza (hey – I have my priorities), my son (the high school graduate – insert heaping dose of parental pride here) and his girlfriend took me to an emergency medical clinic. The medical professionals x-rayed me and told me my foot wasn’t broken, but somehow I still ended up with a giant removable cast on my foot/ankle and orders to get lots of rest with my feet up.
So I went home and watched a DVD. It was a toss-up between Cinderella and Lady & the Tramp. Yes, I love Disney. And I have the personalized mouse-ears to prove it. I chose Cinderella. I haven’t seen it in a long time and besides…the color of my foot was starting to resemble the lovely blue of Cinderella’s ball gown.
Several of my son’s friends drifted in and out of the house and each and every one of them stopped, plopped down in the living room with me and watched the movie. I guess no one is immune to the feel-good quality of a good fairy tale. Even my dog Angel propped her chin up on my cast and stared at the plasma screen. She especially loved the little singing mice.
What is it that makes a good fairy tale so irresistible? I think it’s something more meaningful than just those fab glass stilettos. Even though I would walk through coals for a pair of shoes like that (cumbersome cast not withstanding). I believe we are all drawn to these stories because we want to believe something like that could happen to us. Somehow, somewhere there’s someone who can make all our wildest dreams come true.
The good news is that it’s true. God is that someone. He wants to make our dreams come true. Sometimes, of course, His idea of what’s best for us is slightly different than ours. But He is the God of the universe. His plans are better than anything you or I could come up with. Not only is this the truth, it is also the premise for my new novella from White Rose Publishing, Once Upon a Collar.
Once Upon a Collar is a modern, inspirational twist on the traditional fairy tale. And best of all – like a gift from a fairy godmother – it will be available FREE to anyone. Even those who forget to wish upon a star. All you need to do is join the White Rose Publishing Reader’s Group on Yahoo. To join the group, simply click here:
Don’t miss out on Once Upon a Collar and other inspirational free reads. In the meantime, leave a comment and tell me what you love best about fairy tales. Or share some tips for getting around with this awful cast on my foot. Seriously, if Prince Charming showed up on my doorstep I couldn’t cram this thing into a glass slipper to save my life.
Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover’s soul
Coming soon from White Rose Publishing:
Once Upon a Collar & Cup of Joe
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
“I'm going to be a writer when I grow up!"
Sandra D. Bricker declared these words to her father on a Sunday afternoon in Slidell, Louisiana. She was 5 years old, and was referring to being able to string her cursive letters together to write her full name for the first time, but the declaration proved somewhat prophetic. By the time she reached high school and her first article was published in The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sandie knew writing was what she wanted to do. For more than a decade, Sandie lived in Los Angeles and, while writing in every spare moment, she studied screenwriting and worked as a personal assistant and publicist to some of daytime television's hottest stars. When her mother became ill in Florida, she walked away from that segment of her life and moved cross-country to take on a new role: Caregiver.
"I guess most people would see my career as a publicist as a sort of dream job. But giving it up turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me!” she declares. “Not only was I given the gift of getting to know my mother as an adult woman before she passed away, but I was also afforded the blessing of being able to re-focus on writing novels in an effort to pursue my dream of a writing career.”
That career weaves a web that draws in every age of reader. Sandie's interest in telling a story knows no boundaries. Three novels for middle readers carved out the beginning of the journey; then Avalon Books followed up with two hardbound romance novels in 2001: unWANTED: Husband (romantic comedy) and Change of Heart (romantic suspense). The response was tremendous, and Sandie was asked to pen a sequel to Change of Heart ... and so Sins of the Past was released in December 2003. Next up was another romantic comedy; Wish I Weren't Here was released in February 2005.
“I’m a Christian woman, first and foremost,” she says. “So my newest book is also a bit of a dream-come-true. Summerside Press has chosen me as one of two authors to launch their new Love Finds You line in October 2008. Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas is a romantic comedy for the inspirational market. So the best of all worlds, as far as I'm concerned!"
Future laughter is promised from this author. Her recent sales include Love Finds You in Big Sky, Montana and Love Finds You in Holiday, Florida for Summerside Press, and The Big Five-OH! for Abingdon Press (Spring 2010).After spending nearly 15 years dealing with her celebrity clients' fans, Sandie finds it amusing that she is suddenly the one getting fan mail!
"When people were actually buying my books at a recent signing, I found myself wanting to go around and invite them all to dinner or offer to bake them cookies. Hey! In fact ... maybe I'll do that very soon."
So what if she can't hook a fish? This city girl has a plan to snag something else ... and his name is Justin.Lucy Binoche is reasonably attractive, intelligent, she has French lineage and better-than-average hair. So why is she nearly 30 and still single? Justin Gerard is the rugged hottie new to her church's single group. When he signs up for a camping trip in the Ozarks, Lucy loses no time writing her name on the line beneath his. There's only one problem: Lucy's idea of "roughing it" is suffering through a long line at Starbucks. She assumes she can rely on the grace of God and the assistance of her friend to get her through. But at the campsite in Snowball, Arkansas, Lucy bungles everything she attempts as she tries to impress Justin. She can't fish, hike or ride a horse; caves make her hyperventillate and hot air balloons bring on nausea. Soon, events are snowballing out of control. Will Lucy pretend to be someone she's not to snag the guy? Or will she discover in time that there's someone else who loves her for just who she is?
Now a few words from Sandie.....I'd been published before Summerside, but never in the inspirational market. And that was the goal! When I heard about the new Love Finds You line Summerside Press was going to start, I was really excited. They turned down several of my proposals, and then one day my editor called to ask if I'd be interested in trying something specific. It seemed they wanted a laugh-out-loud romantic comedy for one of the two launch books, and they thought I'd be just the writer to give it to them.
I found this a little odd, since everything I'd submitted thus far had been rather serious in nature. But it turned out that the e-mails we'd been exchanging had them laughing at their laptops! So I dug in and put something together for Snowball. A week later, Summerside's Creative Director, Jason Rovenstine, told me I'd nailed it, and he invited me to be one of the launch authors for the line.
I was both excited and anxious. Launching a line can be exhilerating and wonderful, but it also means you're the first to dip your toe out there in the Great Unknown. My experience with Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas has resulted in a landslide of the greatest reviews I've ever received! A friend called me recently and asked, "Have you read the reviews on your book at Amazon?" I hadn't lately, so I stopped over to have a look. I was in tears by the second one. People had fallen in love with Lucy, and with her adventures in the quest for true love. But the greatest part was that, between the fits of laughter, so many of them seemed to be moved by her spiritual journey as well. As a writer who loves Jesus the way I do, there is no bigger rush than that!
There's lots going on in my life at the moment because of the success of Snowball, too. I've sold two more books to the Love Finds You line (Holiday, Florida will be released in November, and Carmel, California is slated for next year). In addition, I've sold a comedy to Abingdon Press for their new fiction line (The Big 5-OH!) which will be released in Spring 2010.
At the moment, I'm involved in some awesome promotion for a devotional that I co-authored with three other Summerside authors (Loree Lough, Debby Mayne and Andrea Boeshaar). It's called Be Still ... and Let Your Nail Polish Dry, and it's geared toward the busy woman on-the-go. We've already received amazing endorsements from Candace Cameron-Bure (remember D.J. Tanner on Full House?) and Robin Lee Hatcher. The authors have all decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (I'm a survivor). We have a blog devoted to the book over at http://bestilldevos.blogspot.com/ and I really do hope you'll all stop in there and say hello. We're so blessed (and humbled) by what the Lord is doing with that devotional.
So that's what's happening in my life these days. Thanks so much for having me here today!Blessings, Sandie Bricker
Thank you, Sandie for being with us today - please keep us posted on the Love Finds You line and the movies!
Well friends, hope you enjoyed this special guest. Join us on the 17th when Debby Mayne returns with her Love Finds You book!
Until later....Be Blessed!
Pamela S Thibodeaux
"Inspirational with an Edge!" (TM)
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Hope to see you there! http://coffeetimeromance.com/Chat.html