Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Two Down, Two to Go

And I'm not talking about books.

I'm afraid the ICK has hit my house. Darling Daughter One was sick last week, went on an antibotic and started feeling better. So, of course, twenty-four hours later, Darling Son Three told me his throat hurt. I spent a couple hours at the doctor and pharmacy yesterday and, besides his horrible cough, Number Three is feeling better. Fever is down, throat isn't hurting as much, nose isn't running.

But I'm sure his germs are. Probably running straight to Darling Son One or Two. Now, I don't want to play favorites, but if the ICK is going to hit, I hope it hits Son Two. Son One can't handle being sick.

In case you're wondering, I'm still writing. The thing about working from home is that there are very few good excuses for not going in to the office! That is both a blessing and a curse. I have noticed, though, that I am able to come up with plenty of excuses to avoid doing laundry. Kids are sick? Can't get the laundry done. Migraine? Can't get the laundry done? Smashed big toe into wall? Can't get the laundry done.

Sadly, I seem to be out of excuses today. Or maybe it's simply that the pile of laundry is multiplying three times for every one excuse I make. Sigh.

Here's hoping your laundry piles are a lot less tall than mine!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

After the Call

A few people have asked if I'm as excited about a new sale as I was with my very first. The answer is - I am!

However, that excitement is tempered by knowledge. I understand the process now. I know what happens after the call. So, rather than screaming at the top of my lungs, jumping up and down and shivering with anxiety and anticipation, I scream at the top of my lungs, jump up and down and then get to work. I pick dates for turning in my proposals and my completed work. I email those to my editor and I mark my calender with circles and smiley faces and huge exclamation points. I assess my schedule, looking carefully at what will come in the next year and planning my writing schedule accordingly. I brainstorm titles, book cover ideas, and I think of how I will cut my twenty-five page synopsis down to one (for the art department). I assess how many words will need to be written each day to attain a goal of manuscript completion three weeks prior to my due date (after so many years and so many books, I know that is exactly how long it will take to revise and polish my manuscripts).

Then, I take two days off. I bask in the joy of being published. I celebrate, but only for a couple of days. Because I know that receiving that contract is only a small part of a very long, very wonderful road.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I've got to run and get finger printed (again). It should be exciting. Several hours of waiting in a crowded lobby to get my fingerprints taken. Fingerprints which are already in the data banks. And I can assure everyone who wants those prints...I haven't sewn on new fingers since the last two sets of prints were taken.

The good news is...Melissa Endlich offered me a three book contract!

I'm so excited to begin this newest series. The excitement over that will last way longer than the inconvenience of fingerprinting.

Have I said lately how much I LOVE my editor??

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Immortalized in a Venerable Monument

I have four...well, actually

Of the four that are at home, only one has inherited my love of the written word. The other three....well, let's just say they'd rather not write anything. And read? We're making headway in that area, but I still wouldn't say they adore books the way I do.

So it was with great dread that I collected today's writing assignments. Each kid was required to choose a place and write a paragraph describing it. The key to this assignment was to use interesting adjectives. Three of my kids didn't do so well. Unless you include big, little, loud, green, bright or beautiful in your list of interesting adjectives. My twelve-year-old, however, put a smile on my face. He chose to describe Mount Rushmore, and his description could have come out of any travel brochure. As a matter of fact, I tactfully (ha!) asked if he'd looked in his history book. He, being him, reminded me that he was studying world history not US history.

My favorite sentence of his was - The four presidents immortalized in this venerable monument....

My writer's heart swelled fifteen times its normal size when I read that. Immortalized. Venerable.

Those are interesting words, thoughtfully used. They reflect the kind of passion for written language that can't be taught or learned.

It's a God-given gift and I can't take any credit for it, but I can't help but be happy that one of my kids shares my passion for words

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I HATE Waiting


It's part of a writer's life.

That doesn't mean I like doing it.

Currently, I am waiting on several things. Not all of them writing related.

I am waiting to hear whether or not my wonderful editor Melissa Endlich can convince my senior editor to buy my next book. Melissa said she loved it, but maybe the senior editor of the line will hate it. Seeing as how I've been suffering severe writer's doubts lately, that seems like a likely scenario. Though Melissa has assured me that I have no reason to doubt my writing, the perfectionist part of me just can't let go of the "I'm not good enough" feeling. Strange since I've written twelve books already. Sigh.

I am waiting on pre-approval from China. I won't even go into that. Suffice to say....waiting is NOT fun.

I am waiting for spring. Seeing as how it is 14 degrees outside, there is a blanket of snow on the ground, the weatherman is calling for single digit temps and there is snow in the forecast for the weekend, I think I may be waiting for a long, long time.

Maybe I should bake some bread. At least waiting for the dough to rise has its benefits. That pungent yeasty scent that wafts from under the cloth. The slow rise that is obvious and noticeable and makes the wait much less painful. And then the certainty of success. I've baked enough loaves of bread to know when it's going to work and when it's not, and I only bother waiting for the ones that will. The best thing is that its in my control. I start the dough knowing how long it will take. I begin with the knowledge that the end of the process will occur in a rather defined amount of time.

If only the wait on everything else in my life could be so easily predicted!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Will You Show Up?

We had a guest speaker at church a couple of weeks ago. He isn't a pastor, but does short mission trips. His message really touched me, and I often find myself thinking about his words. He was talking about the boy with the loaves and fish and the wonderful miracle Jesus performed. It's a story I've heard and read a thousand times. However, what the speaker said, really resonated with me. He asked.....

Will you show up?

Will you give what you have?

Will you believe that what you have is enough for God to accomplish His plan?

Sometimes I look at my abilities, my time, my talents and my finances and I wonder, "what can God do with these? They're nothing compared with what others have."

But God isn't asking me to give more than what I have. He isn't asking that I wait until I feel accomplished enough, talented enough, wealthy enough. He is asking me to be where He needs me now, with what I have now. He is asking me to have faith in His ability to accomplish great things through me despite my shortcomings, my lack of time, of talent, of wealth.

In these trying times, we can still believe that God can use us. That He will use us. If only we are willing to show up and to give what little we have.