Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Writing a Continuity Book

The week before Thanksgiving, my editor emailed me to ask if I'd like to participate in the 2009 LIS continuity. After looking at my deadlines, I realized I could swing it. I'm excited to take part in this project. However, it's going to push me in a few directions I haven't explored before. First, I'll be writing a female FBI agent. Fortunately, I do know several people who work for the FBI, so I should be fine getting details that I need. Second, I'm writing about a forensic anthropologist. This is a career that has fascinated me for a long time, so I'm excited to write a hero whose career I'll really enjoy researching. Third, I'll be writing about a place I've never been which I always find challenging.

The problem with writing a continuity really doesn't lie in writing the book, but in coordinating the details of the stories and characters with the other five authors who are working on it. For LIS continuities, there are always five other books. Five other personalities. Five other people who have their own style, voice, and ideas about writing. This will be my third continuity, and I'm always amazed at how well the authors mesh when working on projects like it.

It's fun. Exciting. Really, really interesting.

What a blessing to be included!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Running the Race

Yesterday, we had a guest speaker at church. He was seventy-seven. He told us that many times . For good reason, of course. His entire message was about running the race and not quitting until you cross the finish line.

It's funny, but he said something I've been thinking about a lot lately - "So, I've accomplished all these things. Is that it? Have I completed my work?"

The answer, of course, is no. We're never finished. There is always more to do. More lives to touch. More people to help. More souls to reach. God has a plan for each of our lives. He has uniquely suited us to fulfill those plans. There is nothing that we can't do if He is in it. No goal that can't be reached, no dream that can't be achieved. More than that, there is no limit to the work that He has for us to do.

May we all finish the race stronger than we began it!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

One of Those Days

Today was one of THOSE days. You know the ones I mean. They start out bad and just keep on getting worse until you wonder why you even bothered to get out of bed.

I won't explain all the running around and craziness that went along with today. I'll just highlight my favorite irritation. (Yes, it is possible to have a favorite irritation!).

Today while I was at the gym with my daughter, I went to pay for next month's homeschool gym. The lady in front of me in line is very sweet and we've talked often during the past few months. She was signing her daughter up for something and she told the guy in the office that I was a 'famous author.' I was a little embarrassed because I'm not famous and because I generally don't announce to people that I'm a writer. So I said:

"I'm not famous, but I am an author."
To which the office guy replied - "You can't be famous because I've never heard of you before."
To which my friend replied - "She's on Amazon.com. That makes her more famous than either of us."
To which the office guy replied - "Well I'm a published poet. I've gotten a poem published in a book. "
To which my friend replied - "How many books?"
To which office guy replied - "One."
So my friend says - "Well she's just sold her thirteenth book. Thirteen."
To which office guy replied - "Well, I've had articles published in a bunch of different journals."
To which I replied. "That's really exciting for you. Can I pay for my kids' homsechool gym class?"
To which office guy replies by frowning.
Being me, I say - "If it's too much trouble, I can pay Monday."
And he says - "That would be best."

And I realize that I've just spent ten minutes of my day listening to my friend and some guy I don't know argue about whether or not I'm more famous than he is, and I didn't even get to pay for the class I was standing there waiting to pay for.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finger printing revisited

In pursuit of child #5, my husband and I reported to INS to have our fingerprinting done. This is our second time getting finger printed. I can't help but wonder why the other set of finger prints weren't good enough. Fortunately, this was a fairly painless process and took much less time than I thought it would. Yay for one thing going right!

As for things going wrong...don't even get me started on why it's taken so long for the doctor's office to fill out our medical forms. Two weeks and close to two hours on the phone. I can't blame the doctor's office. They really are trying. They've just never done this before. Which was made obvious by the fact that they did it wrong and I've now got to start the entire medical form process again.

To make matters worse, my desktop crashed. I lost everything including every email address. Yikes! On the upside, my book that is due Monday is safe on my laptop. My husband (computer genius that he is) was able to restore me to on-line status. My computer is running again. The world has returned to its orbit.

I thought about saying something about writing. Then I changed my mind. Then I thought about it again so I'm going to say it - it's hard work. Hard, hard, hard work. If it were a sport, it would be marathon racing.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Book Cover # 7

Or is it eight?


Okay, it is # 8.

MISSING PERSONS. Part of the Reunion Relelations continuity which begins with Val Hansen's book - HIDDEN IN THE WALL.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Really Really Real

Yesterday, I wrote out a check for a major portion of our adoption expenses. Up until this point, my mind has said - 'Yes, Shirlee, this is really going to happen' while my heart has been wondering - 'is this really going to happen?'.

Seriously, this is something my husband and I have talked about off and on for thirteen years. While I've always wanted to adopt from China, I'm not sure I really believed it would happen. I guess it's like wanting to visit a beautiful, exotic location. For years you imagine it, then suddenly you're there and it feels like a dream.

So far, during the adoption process, I've felt emotionally distant from things. It's been paperwork and checks, leg work and aggravation (hey, I've got to be honest here). There is still a lot of the last two going on as I attempt to finish gathering what we need for the dossier. But there was something about writing that check, seeing that (large) amount of money leaving our account. I looked at the check, shook my head and thought, 'well, if any of my children were stranded in a foreign country I would go to any lengths, pay any expense to bring them home.'

And then I realized that one of my children is stranded in a foreign country, and that I am going to any lengths to bring her home.

In a strange way, it's made me think more of God's sacrifice for us. Adopted into His family, grafted onto the family tree. Loved before we knew Him. Unconditionally. Without thought to the cost.

In my mind, I see her - a little girl, living life in a Chinese orphanage, completely unaware of her mother, father, brothers and sister whose hearts are already with her. And I understand a little more the immensity of God's love for His children, the power of it reaching out to pull us in and make us His.