Thursday, October 30, 2008

seasons of life

As I look around at all the fall color I was thinking how there are seasons of life just as there are seasons of the year. At 47 I guess I'm in the fall of life. And it's a busy fall! But I know it's a short-lived season. This helps me keep perspective as I try to raise my boys, write, keep up with a home and a husband, stay active in church, and all the rest. Everyone I know is as busy as I am but in different ways.

So during this busy week, which we'll never have back again, we trade October for November. Trick or treating is tomorrow night - Paul is Indiana Jones and Wyatt is wearing some sort of a mask and carrying a plastic weapon. We usually attend a church harvest party but this year Randy wants to take us to town. We'll probably go to the pier and have a burger and watch the seagulls fight the raccoons for stray french fries, enjoy the sunset, and let the boys ring a few strange doorbells. Paul wants to bring his fiddle but I reminded him Indiana Jones doesn't carry a fiddle, just a whip! He thinks a fiddle is the next best thing.

I love November and am glad to see it get here. Some wonderful things happen in November. Wyatt turns 12 on Thanksgiving Day. And my publisher has a sales conference mid-month which features a catalogue with the upcoming summer line of books - mine included! I can't post the book cover for a few more weeks till any final changes are made. But I can post the recipe for my granny's Praline Pumpkin Pie which you will probably like even better than a book cover:)

So squeeze every second from these last few days of October as they'll never come again. Buy a good book. Take a walk. Bake a pie. Better yet, eat a pie. Listen to some fiddle music. Smile!

... He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17 NIV

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


If you have a passion for words that passion should bleed through to paper (or laptop or whatever you happen to use). Recently I read a review of a John Grisham novel that became a bestseller. I consider Grisham the consummate Southern gentleman who writes books he says his granny can read. This particular reviewer found some fault with his writing but said what Grisham lacks in mechanics he makes up for with passion.

Passion is this: an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; an ardent affection: the emotions as distinguished from reason. (Webster's)

For fiction to reach the reader, the writer must write with passion. An emotionally flat novel is like a flat tire. You just won't get very far. Real characters are so life-like they nearly breathe - they are loaded with passion. Think Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. Horatio Hornblower. Rhett Butler. The Count of Monte Cristo. I'm tired tonight so the list is short.

If you do something with passion you will do it well. I know of violinists and pianists who have played for many years and have all the mechanics of playing down but something is missing. They lack passion. Don't think you can work it up. Forget it. It's a gift:)

The Bible is full of passion. My very favorite character (next to Jesus) is Joseph. Start reading in Genesis 37. Keep going. Joseph was, and is, full of passion! His true life story contains all the elements of a bestseller which is probably one of the reasons why the Bible remains the bestselling book of all time:)

Monday, October 27, 2008

indian summer

Indian summer is here and we are having some crisp, sunny days and starry nights. Randy has made 16 gallons of cider so far and has 3 apple trees to go. The boys are excited about trick or treating this Friday night. I'm excited to get back to page 94 of book 3 after homeschooling and cleaning house this morning. When Randy comes home tonight we have to vote as election day is looming.

When I stopped reading the paper and listening to the news a couple of years ago, my mind felt a lot cleaner. I pray about the upcoming elections but don't stew anymore. If I feel I really need to know something I go to which is a very savvy unbiased site that features some of the finest political writers of our day. But I find 18th-century politics far more interesting! All that intrigue and scandal, spies, turncoats, and whatnot.

I've discovered a wonderful new writer and can hardly wait for Amazon to ship the first book. It's titled Daughter of Liberty by J.M. Hochstetler. The next title is Native Son. Both are fiction but heavy on the history which I love. You should really read as much as you can in the genre you write.

Wish you could look outside my window and see those big maples with their very vivid golds and greens swirling in all this wind. But I'm sure you have some of your own fall color to brag about:) Happy Monday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

write what you know

This week I walked into a winter wonderland at Wal-Mart and Costco and was reminded that the holidays are right around the corner. It was a bit of a shock since I just celebrated Christmas in this third book and am now firmly entrenched in the middle of a very cold Kentucky January, 1779.

In The Frontiersman's Daughter I have a cabin Christmas scene where Ian gives Lael a particular gift. My editor really likes this scene but you'll have to wait and read the book! In Red River Daughter my favorite scene takes place in the orchard overlooking the Red River in autumn.

Other favorite chapters in book 2 involve babies and nursing which had me relying heavily on my own sleep-deprived days when I felt like a cow:) At the time I nursed my boys I never imagined using that particular experience in a novel. Colonial women nursed their children or found a wet nurse in their stead. Forgive me for being graphic but I could write a few chapters on spraying milk, mastitis, cabbage leaves, the Dolly Parton look and all the rest. Nursing isn't for sissies! But it sure came in handy when writing this book, though I made sure my Red River Daughter had a far easier go of it than I did.

All of this brings me back to this post's title which is to write what you know. Writers are often told to do this and it simply means your work will be far more authentic if you write out of your own experience.

In The Scrivener's Daughter I have Roxie doing a lot of knitting. Lael can knit in book 1 but she is mostly all action. Knitting is a bit like playing violin. I admire those who can knit and play but I don't know how to do it (though I did squeak out Mary Had A Little Lamb on the violin the other day). But I think I'd better learn as Roxie knits her way through this next novel.

Anyway, writing is never dull, as you can see. Ask James Thom who mastered all kinds of Colonial tools, rifles and other weapons, hiked the Lewis and Clark Trail several times, and more in order to write his wonderful, bestselling books. By the way, I wrote Mr. Thom a letter not long ago AND HE WROTE BACK!

More later. Hope your Saturday is a good one and finds you learning something new!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I love autumn for so many reasons - cider-making, all those colorful maple trees amongst the evergreens here, pumpkins and Indian corn, kettles of soup and cornbread, and crackling fires.

I'm sorry for the shorter days though. I remember what one old pioneer said about spending cold months in an old cabin. He said his backside was always freezing while the front of him was burning up. I used to think I'd been born 200 years too late. But when you consider bed bugs, lice, bathing a few times a year, and living in constant danger from disease and Indian attack I'm glad to hold onto my 21st-century comforts.

Here are a few gems I'm putting in The Scrivener's Daughter, taken from some old rules of civility and decent behavior:

1. Shew nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
2. Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
3. Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice, ticks in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it.
4. Make no Shew of taking great Delight in yur Victuals, Feed not with Greediness, nor cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
5. Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.
6. Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.

Common courtesy should never change. I especially like #6.
Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

a novel experience

I've just climbed down from my desk and finished singing the Hallelujah Chorus so now I can tell you that I received my book cover today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The designer did a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the story itself. I won't say any more till I post it here and hope that will be soon. Seeing your name in print on a book cover is truly a novel experience, no pun intended:) Strangely enough, it was the last thing I noticed.

I received a preliminary cover design last week but the art team wanted to change a couple of things. I do know that covers can go through several stages until things are just right so what I post might not end up being the real deal in the end. It is interesting to track the changes made. I've spent the last few minutes (well, the last half hour or so!) comparing the first and second design. And singing as I go!

I've read that authors sometimes throw a "diplomatic fit" if a cover isn't to their liking but honestly, this is all such a gift, I'm about to burst! I'm so glad the 40 year wait is over!

I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6

Monday, October 20, 2008

creative timing

I just heard an interesting bit of news on the radio this rainy morning having to do with creativity. New research shows that people are most creative from 1-4 a.m. This strikes me as odd because most of the people I know are in bed at that hour except my brother Chris, the Ecuadorian night owl. The least creative time is 4:33 p.m. These researchers also found that folks are most creative in the shower which leaves me wondering how on earth they measured that? But they found that most people didn't write their creative thoughts down on paper and so lost them altogether. Maybe we writers are simply the ones who make it to the pen and paper stage.

Personally, I get my creative ideas when I take walks. Music helps, too! Right now I'm listening to the soundtrack from The Last of the Mohicans. It's the perfect music for thinking 18th-century thoughts! I loved the movie, especially the cliffside scene when Uncas and the evil Indian, Magua, fight. I won't say more in case you haven't watched it except to add that it was filmed on the Biltmore estate in beautiful North Carolina and takes your breath away.

An editor friend of mine recently told me she thinks my books are like the Little House on the Prairie books but with adult themes. I thought this was very clever and I'm flattered. For all of you Little House haters out there, I am truly sorry! But I love being compared to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Even Wyatt likes the Little House series and has read Farmer Boy several times (probably for those wonderful descriptions of frontier food).

Speaking of food, it would be a wondeful day for a kettle of soup and some cornbread. The snow level is pretty low on the mountains this morning though it's pouring rain here in the valleys below.

He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes.
He casts forth His ice as fragments;
Who can stand before His cold?
Psalm 147:17-18

Saturday, October 18, 2008

wedding recovery

Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl.

The days just prior to marriage are like a snappy introduction to a tedious book. -Wilson Mizner

Happiness untold awaits them when the parson consecrates them. -W.S. Gilbert

I love weddings. Guess that makes me a romantic at heart. My boys went to a wedding when they were small but the only thing they remember was the chocolate fountain so this wedding was a real treat for them. We arrived at church a little before 7 o'clock and it was a wet, windy, Washington night. Halloween weather! Our little church was overflowing and the usher couldn't find a seat for us. We are friends of the "sound man" who sits near the front with his computer system so his wife came and squeezed us into their pew:) Wonderful view!

The church was filled with those big blue hydrangeas which are blooming right now. Lots of attendants and two flower girls and one ring bearer. The groom wore his navy uniform and the bride wore a very beautiful gown and viel. Three pastors officiated so I consider them thrice wed! The ceremony was very moving and lasted an hour.

When we got to the reception Paul asked "Where is the queen?" I think the bride would have liked that. All the food was wonderful and THE CAKE had a crystal bride and groom with a navy anchor on top! Every layer was a different kind of cake but my favorite was the chocolate fudge.

So there we were sitting at our candlelit table with 300 other people in the reception hall. Wyatt, dreamy like his mother, was looking around and enjoying all the beautiful sights and sounds and tastes. Randy was his usual quiet self. And Paul, my nine year old realist, turns to me and says, "Mommy, when a man wants to dump a girl does he have to go to the law?" I think I choked on my cake! And this from a kid who watches no tv!

Anyway, I wish Alana and Robert every happiness. And lots of boys like Paul:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

boys and books

One of the best things in the world is to be a boy; it requires no experience, but needs some practice to be a good one.
-Charles Dudley Warner

This rainy morning I have one boy with a sore throat and another boy with a headache - and a big wedding to attend tomorrow night. Since becoming a mother, I'm always amazed at a kid's timing:) Of course I never mind if they get sick and have to miss school or a music lesson or sports - but a wedding is something else entirely! Must be that 7-layer cake... Since they are rarely sick I'll count my blessings (and try to find a way to attend that wedding)! Besides, it can't really be serious because Wyatt just said, "Mom, I think I'd feel better if you made me some hasbrowns, three eggs, and some toast."

I've just printed out a hard copy of book 2, Red River Daughter, in preparation for this next edit. I'm not sure why you catch so many more mistakes when you are holding actual pages as opposed to working off a laptop, etc. My brother has one of those Kindle devices where you can download books and read them on that little machine. I guess these are really catching on but I wonder if there's any substitute for holding a real book in your hands? I even love the smell of a new book! And I am absolutely wild about bookmarks. I found one yesterday with an old-style globe on it that says "A good book is a wonderful journey."

My publisher does the cleverest thing - before a book is released they send the author bookmarks and postcards to mail out. So check your mailboxes - you might be hearing from me. Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We do not write as we want to but as we can. -Somerset Maugham

I wonder if any writer is every satisfied with the way they write? Since writing consists of so much rewriting, it seems we spend a lot of time being dissatisfied and reaching for the better word. Ernest Hemingway said that "all first drafts are trash." Encouraging, huh? But I've found it to be true. I never dreamed how many times I'd have to rework paragraphs and chapters till they were just right, only to read them the next day and rework them again. I think all good writers must be perfectionists.

I am officially inching past page 82 of book 3 and smiling as I go! The best part of writing is the creating - not the editing. Nothing beats the bliss of having a scene in your head and having it unfold faster than you can write it down. Sometimes you're the director and move those characters around but most often they have a life of their own and will say and do things that delight you. I don't understand the process at all - I'm just a happy participant:)

It's good to be home tonight writing in my chair by the woodstove. Wish I could stay there the rest of the week! I'll have a wedding and church supper to post about soon ... and maybe a book cover too!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

count your distractions ... er, blessings!

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to write without children and all the other people in my life. To sit down and write and not be interrupted! What a gift! But as I get older I see these things not as distractions but as blessings that enrich life and my work.

I can't tell you what fun Paul and I had barreling down to Sequim Prairie Grange again for the fiddler's jam on Saturday. Heaven must be full of fiddles and banjos. The oldest fiddler was 92 and has been playing since childhood, never had a lesson, can't read a note, and is right out of HEE HAW. One lady there was 102! And there were three long-haired fiddling teens that gave us goosebumps they were so good! Randy and Wyatt stayed home to make cider all day but they're going to join us next time. If you haven't figured out how much I love the violin/fiddle, you must be new to this blog. I came home ready to write after all that fun which goes to show that all writing and no play makes Laura a very dull girl.

Back to distractions ... In Red River Daughter I had the best time writing about children. And I felt I could do so with some authority since I have two. But I kept them small in this book - babies, actually. And I loved them dearly by book's end. And I'm still missing them. I tried to sneak a baby or two into The Scrivener's Daughter but it's not going to work with this one. Paper babies are so much easier than real ones! No colic even!

A friend recently asked me how I come up with characters - do I create them based on the people I know or do I just dream them up? I really just dream them up. And I see myself in every character I write, even the bad.

As we head into a busy week full of fiddling, writing, a wedding, and church supper, I hope you have a few distractions - I mean blessings of your own:)

Friday, October 10, 2008

your creative best

I read an interesting article about the author Nicholas Sparks this week and thought I'd share some of it here. He's written 14 bestsellers in 14 years and sort of stumbled into writing by accident. I think he exists to keep those of us who've felt called to write from birth humble! I've read a couple of his books in the past (The Notebook is the one I remember) but I don't read a lot of contemporary novels so don't know much about him.

He's an avid exerciser, church attender, and writes 5-6 hours a day. His goal is 2,000 words a day. I do the first three but counting words is too much like counting calories to me and I could never do it. However, lots of writers set a daily word count goal and it works well.

It's so interesting to read about other writers and how they do what they do, how they got started, how many times they were rejected, etc. But I've noticed that it can be a trap as well - a comparison trap. I think this is something we all struggle with throughout our lives.

A good friend of mine runs an adult family home with several ladies in their 90's. She loves these ladies and they love living with her in her beautifully remodeled home with a huge patio, waterfall, and those big koi fish swimming around. When she first started taking ladies in, she was tempted to look around and see what others were doing and how they were doing it. She'd been well trained in this area so felt the Lord was telling her to keep her eyes on Him, not them. She even declined joining any groups or organizations in her specialty area. This might be okay for some but Kathy felt this was a firm no. She is simply doing what He's called her to do and not trying to run someone else's race.

I've noticed that as I become better acquainted with the publishing world (and it's a very different world than simply me and my imagination!) I am tempted to look around also. Perusing other writer's websites and blogs can be kind of fun but I've noticed they create unrest in my spirit. That's the simplest way to describe it. Other writers might be fine doing this - from all the blog-hopping going on it does seem I am in the minority. Perhaps I'm uncomfortable because this is all new to me and I'm a private person (yes, this blog still stretches me past all comfort but maybe it serves a purpose, if only for further writing practice). I really think He's telling me to keep my eyes on Him and off others. Maybe He's telling you to do the same in the particular race you're running.

Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself! Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
Galatians 6:4-5 The Message Bible

...Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith ...
Hebrews 12:2

Thursday, October 9, 2008

fiddlin' again

Red River Gorge National Park

Yesterday we met Paul's new violin/fiddle teacher - wow! She lives in a 100 year old farmhouse about an hour east of us and has a studio/recording studio in one of the outbuildings. The walls are lined with instruments from all over, most of which I can't name. Paul really liked her treasure chest full of treats. He picked out a blow-pop at lesson's end. Remember those suckers with bubble gum inside? For me, if it's not chocolate, forget it! Anyway, Ms. Mary as we call her, was trained by one of the singing nuns in the Sound of Music! She's played violin since age 9 but also sings, fiddles, plays piano, coaches drama, and performs with the local symphony and chamber orchestra, etc. She said the kids who are winning all the fiddling contests right now were trained in classical violin. Our goal isn't to win any contests but just play respectably. We have a lot to learn.

Last night we started the Alpha Course at church and it is great! First a wonderful dinner and then the study. Quite a few church members came and then ten new folks. One recovering meth addict who attends our church brought five gnarly-looking, tattoo-sporting friends. I was so impressed! What a testimony he has. I was ashamed I only brought myself.

With all this going on, who has time to write, right? I'm awaiting a book on Kentucky's Red River from Amazon to help me in this next edit of book 2 - Red River Daughter. Being meticulous in researching a book is critical because there will always be a reader out there who knows more about the subject than you do and who will be happy to point out anything inconsistent. I suppose you earn the criticism if you don't get it right though writers do make mistakes:)

I am missing this second book very much and wish I could go back and write it all again. Still stuck on page 82 of book 3, The Scrivener's Daughter, but am researching in the interim. Another writer I know of says she never feels at home with a new book until she climbs past page 100. Then she feels she really knows her characters and where they are headed. Every writer is different. Anyway, enough writing here! Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


It's so easy to be negative in today's world yet we are told to think on things that are true, lovely, good, and more. Randy is a bit of a pessamist by nature and I tend to be somewhat melancholy but we're discovering that praise works! And I know it pleases Him because He's told us to do it. Anyway, on this very stormy Washington morning, here are some praises I just can't keep to myself:

1. Paul's new fiddle scholarship!
2. The Alpha study starting at our church tomorrow night.
3. My brother, Chris, for finding just the right pictures to go with these posts:)
4. My publisher for telling me yesterday that the cover for my book The Frontiersman's Daughter is expected any day! Yes, I know I've been dangling this cover business like a carrot on this blog but it is coming!
5. Praise Him that while I may be stuck on page 82 of book 3 He is not!
6. I just wrote the final chapter of book 2 and have put it away to get some distance from it until the next self-edit. This story takes place in 18th-century Kentucky in the Red River Gorge area - a really wild and scenic place with all that sandstone and those natural arches. Since I must say goodbye to The Preacher's Daughter I'm renaming it "Red River Daughter" which will probably not be the actual title but it works for now.
7. Last, I'm thankful for you blog readers, mostly family and friends, but there are some readers cropping up in Port Townsend and Oregon and other places unknown to me and I'm pleased and intrigued you would take the time to read this - humbling, actually. Thank you! Things should get more interesting the closer we come to publication day.
8. Praise that this blog will burn up one day but His word lasts forever!

Celebrate God all day, every day, I mean, revel in Him! Don't fret or worry. Instead of worry, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.
Philippians 4:4-9, The Message Bible

Sunday, October 5, 2008

harlaxton manor ... grantham castle

This morning in Sunday school we were talking about desert times and what you do when you come to a season of spiritual dryness or nothingness, where God seems far off. One sojourner said you look back and see all the ways He has met your needs in the past. This really is a great anecdote for desert times. Sometimes when you're walking in a fog of boredom or pain or unmet expectations you can't see Him at work. Hindsight is 20/20 truly! Look for His hand - it is everywhere!

Now that I've come to a spot in book 3 where my characters won't budge past page 82, I have a little more time to remember the ways He's delighted me. Thinking of past green pastures and still waters is good for the soul. Maybe because it reminds you He'll bring them about again:)

I attended a small private school in Ohio called Denison during college. Ohio is such a beautiful place - all that farmland and Amish influence. But at the time I couldn't see it. Being a Kentucky girl I had a decided prejudice against those people over the river. Silly, I know. Denison is a great school if you're really smart or well-to-do. I was neither. I transferred to the University of Kentucky and did a stint at Berea College studying Kentucky authors the next year. And then, I transferred back to Denison!! I was the only student in the school's history to do this!

Did my time in college get better? No. I still studied 8-10 hours a day, never had a date, and spent my free time eating brownie fudge delights in downtown Granville at a little cafe. I had a preacher's daughter from Pennsylvania for a roommate (Heather, are you reading this?) and she was a gift to me then and now. She was also as miserable as I was (only Heather was lots smarter).

This was not what college life was all about! I wanted to play and be popular and study when I felt like it. But now I see it was just where He wanted me to be. Being at Denison was a lesson in sheer endurance. And I think it was a lesson I needed to learn early if I was to keep writing. I remember having a meltdown at the start of my junior year. I was tired and wanted to quit. I wanted to transfer to Western Kentucky University (my mom's alma mater) and marry a farmer.

This is where THE BIG GREEN PASTURE APPEARED. I got to quit the desert my junior year and fly to England and live in a castle. Yep. I still can't believe it either. How does a Kentucky girl get to live in a castle? Granted, my room was on the third floor in the servant's quarters and I got deathly ill on a tainted pastry only hours after setting foot on British soil. But it got lots better!

My room had a wonderful windowseat that overlooked stone lions and a fountain. I got to wander through this castle at all hours - all those shadowed halls and secret passageways and the grand cedar staircase with the incredible mural of Father Time and the heavens on the ceiling high above. I could go on and on. It was His gift to me. It is still my favorite memory. Only He could have done that.

And then I went back to the desert - I mean Denison! And I actually graduated 2 years later. No, it didn't get any better. But my time at Grantham Castle (aka Harlaxton Manor) kept me going. I thought then, and now, that I'd like to write a book about a castle. Maybe I will.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

into the light

Pouring rain here today but hope it's sunny wherever you are - in the very center of your soul, at least! I've been thinking about something my Sunday school teacher once said - that our lives are all Mercy and Grace. His Mercy and Grace. We wouldn't even breathe without it. He enables us to do even that. Anything beyond breathing is a huge bonus.

We even get to serve Him! And that is a privilege. He even gifts us to do so. I always wonder how people can take any credit for the things they do well when it's all about His Mercy and Grace. Like writing. He's gifted me to write (though I'd rather have played the fiddle!) but I can no more take credit for writing than having green eyes and blonde hair. It's just what happened and is as natural as breathing.

Growing up I kept my writing a secret to all but my parents and brother. Pretty hard to disguise that loud typewriter pecking for hours on end even behind a bedroom door:) I think they thought it was just a hobby, an escape. It was more the latter. I can't tell you all the places I've been with paper and pen! I have to confess that when I married Randy at the ripe old age of 33 he didn't know I came with an ounce of writing baggage. Like Dr. Dobson says, dating is a time of concealment. I just never talked to anyone about it and I never knew anybody else who liked to write - or admitted to it anyway.

So here I am out of the dark and into the light, so to speak. And I wonder what all the fuss is about!? I still don't talk about it but things have a way of leaking. I have two God-given prayer partners here and one is equipped with a wonderful sound system:) It didn't take long before people started sharing her joy (and mine) when this writing dream was realized and I signed that contract.

Still, I squirm when folks ask me about it. Yes, I'm thrilled but I'm still at the stage when I think I'll wake up and find it is all just a dream. I get tickled at people's reactions to someone with a book about to come out (well, in my case, according to the counter in the right margin, 300 more days). But you're the gal down the road who cans beets and lives in that little grey house with the green shutters and drives that old red Jeep and has those two boys with flat-tops, etc. At least this is what they seem to be thinking. One lady asked me my qualifications for writing. I almost laughed! And I didn't answer right away!

What are my qualifications anyway? Not a one. It's all back to His Mercy and Grace.

God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace ...
2 Timothy 1:9

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I have very little of Mr. Blake's company; he is always in Paradise.
-Mrs. William Blake

Poor Mrs. Blake! If we could poll other witer's spouses (and ex's!) I wonder if they might say the same. Mr. Frantz included!

There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.

Only Dickens could get away with this. Every book he wrote was a masterpiece! My favorite was A Christmas Carol.

Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

I personally believe heaven will be full of books - all bestsellers - and we'll have infinite time to enjoy them:)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

october 1

This morning in western Washington it's foggy though I don't hear the fog horn on the water. My stack of books by my big green chair is growing! Yesterday the boys and I came home from being away at school all day and an Amazon box was on the front porch - the latest book from my publisher called "Longings of the Heart" by Bonnie Leon. The cover is very well done which makes me excited to see my own once it's finished.

Bonnie has a neat blog and lives in Oregon. I like her devotional style posts. She's had some hard things happen to her which she is very transparent about. I've already read several chapters of her book, set in Australia, and I like it very much. I've never met Bonnie but I'd like to! Her blog address is at the bottom of this page if you want to take a look.

October will be a fun month for us with cider-making, a wedding, and an interesting Bible study starting at our church next Wednesday. Reminds me of the old Baptist traditon of Wednesday night suppers which I loved way back then at Calvary Baptist in Lexington, Kentucky. We'll meet for supper at our little church at 6 pm and then start something called the "Alpha Course." We hope lots of new folks will come.

On the scribbling front, I am ready to write that last chapter of book 2. I started this book on a trip to Kentucky last fall after finishing The Frontiersman's Daughter. I blame this book on Randy! I was flying home to see my granny for the last time and Randy told me to be sure to take a notebook to get my mind off the sadness of the trip. I sat in the airport and on all those planes for hours and it seemed like 5 minutes. Reading or writing a good book will do that for you. Hallelujah!

But I hate ending a book. To prolong it I am writing this last chapter out on real paper as slowly as I can - none of that laptop business. There's nothing on earth like writing a book out on your lap. I learned on an old Royal typewriter and didn't have a laptop till this year so prefer the old fashioned scribe-type method any old day - and I've never lost a file this way either!

This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24