Monday, August 9, 2010

sunburned, tired, inspired

It's interesting how your writing is enriched by new people and places. In our case, we've been in eastern Washington for a week or so for fiddle camp. It's so hot and beautiful on the other side of those mountains. Lots of orchards and sunshine and sagebrush and wind. Lots of history:) Love this photo of an old window in a 150 year old mill we visited.

Randy and Wyatt went sightseeing while Paul and I went to the fiddle workshop. I wasn't sure how he would do playing from 9-3 each day but he loved it. Sadly, my flash wasn't working so the indoor pics of those 400 fiddlers and banjo and mandolin players didn't turn out. But oh, the sound! I'm sure there will be plenty of stringed instruments in heaven. I felt I was nearly at the door:)

I sat at the back of the classroom with pen and notebook and just wrote while thirty or so fiddlers in Paul's class played. It was heavenly. I felt positively prolific with all that period sound - old Scottish tunes like Hurlock's Reel and Seamus O'Brian and Blackberry Blossom. I've been researching book 4 but had to start writing in order to know just who I'm dealing with character-wise. Believe me, there were some surprises:)

By Friday I had a solid 14,000 words or 50 some pages and had fallen in love with yet another book. I always worry that I won't love this next story like my last but inspiration hasn't disappointed me yet. I'll be talking more about this series in another post. Yes, I said series. Any amens out there?! This is a huge leap for me but it's amazing what resources God puts in your path to enable you to do the new or impossible.

So here is my real hero, Randy, with me at the end of a very busy week. I look a little tuckered out but he's still smiling:)

I missed all of you while I was away. Now it's your turn:)

What have you been doing since we last met?

How much a dunce that has been sent to roam excels a dunce that has been kept at home.
~William Cowper (one of my favorite 18th-century poets and hymnodists:)


  1. First of all, it's good to have you back! I missed you. :)

    I'm so glad you had a great time! The music sounds like it was delightful, and I wish I could have been there to hear it, too! I just love the fiddle, and I guess you already know how much I love bluegrass music and such. ;)

    And how wonderful that you felt so inspired! I cannot wait to read another series by you! I actually won a $15 giftcard on Seekerville, so I think I'm going to use it once I get back to school to buy Courting Morrow Little. I can't believe I still haven't read it yet--but hopefully soon!

    I love that quote you have at the end of the post, too! ;) I have definitely been inspired with my writing this summer, especially because of all the traveling I've done. I'm excited to see where all this goes...and I'm more than happy to know that God has a plan. :D


  2. Glad to see you back! You have been missed. As for back here? Canned tomatoes, green tomato jam, green tomato relish, green tomato cobbler, green tomato chutney. Um, can you tell we have an over abundance of tomatoes? Can't wait to hear more about the series. You go girl!

  3. Welcome back Laura!! We missed you, too, my friend :) I'm so blessed to hear you had a wonderful trip with your family and that it was filled with lots of sunshine, fiddles and inspiration! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us and some pics, too- the one of you and Randy is SO cute, like you guys are on a date :) and you look beautiful, not tuckered out!

    Since we last met things have been pretty ordinary for me, until this past Friday when a good friend and dear sister in the Lord blessed me with a book that I have been dying to read- Nancy Moser's "How Do I Love Thee"!!! It was such a wonderful surprise and touched my heart to tears. She found out that I really wanted it and the Lord put it on her heart to bless me with it- and bless me she did!! She lives far away, so receiving this book in the mail was like a great big hug across the distance :)

    A loud, emphatic and joyous AMEN for your upcoming "series", and congratulations on your progress with it so far!!! That is fabulous news and I can't wait to hear more about it! Will continue to keep it in prayer, my friend, the Lord has some GREAT things in store!! There is such peace in knowing that He holds our hand and takes the giant leaps with us :) "He goes not amiss who goes in the company of God." ~Charles Spurgeon

    Praying your day is beautiful!!!

    Amanda Stanely

  4. Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I'd be thrilled right down to my toes ot hear that kind of music en masse like that. I can see how it would be inspiring.

    I'm afraid I've been very boring -- working and gardening and reading and writing. Enjoying myself immensely, mind you, but not much to write home about. :-)

    Your next book (series -- Yay!!!) sounds intriguing. Does it mean your books will be published closer together since they are part of series? (she asks hopefully).

  5. What amazing inspiration that must have been! I played flute in school and remember how lovely it was when we were all playing together and in sync.
    I cant wait to hear about your coming series!!!! I'm so glad you're doing one. Sometimes its hard to let go of your characters when the book ends ;) it'll be nice to have them in a series!~
    Since we last spoke I've been trying to get back into the groove of life after being away. I painted my bedroom, that was a big epic project! And have started making jewelry out of my art! :)
    Glad you had a good time and glad you're back~

  6. I forgot to thank you for the great quote! William Cowper is one of my favorites, too! This one made me chuckle since this dunce doesn't really roam, except by way of books :D

    Amanda Stanley

  7. Yay, so glad you are back! Wish I could have come up north to hear all that wonderful music. I think I would have been inspired too.

    What have I been doing? Last week was proposal week for me. I didn't see that coming, but I got two proposals done and sent to my agent, who liked them, and now they are off into the publishing world, while I wait and pray.

    And I'm back to work on Willa, though I'm as prolific and fast-writing as you only in my dreams! 14,000 words in a week! Wow. I wrote 2000 yesterday, but that was pretty stellar for me. :)

    Love the Cowper quote! Amen.

  8. Hi, Laura! A very enjoyable post. Sounds as though you had fun as well as being refreshed and renewed. Your family is lovely : )

    In the past weeks, I quietly turned 52, have read a bunch of books, laughed repeatedly at my cats and just about bathed in sweet iced tea with lemon to beat the heat. In honor of my birthday, I invented “Cheesecake S’Mores”. The experiments have continued on a daily basis : )

  9. Wow, looked like a nice adventure and getaway. Amen to the series, and glad everything went well!

  10. Welcome back! You were missed, but at least I got a glimpse of you on Kaye's blog yesterday! :) Your pictures are wonderful, and love the one of you and Randy!

    14,000 words? Goodness! I can't wait! I love being one of the many beneficiaries of your hard work! LOL And the word SERIES caught my eye, too....

    What have I been up to? Not much. Trying to stay in out of the heat, battling summer colds, and very nearly throwing a virus-infected laptop out of the window (the second-story one, at that!). Not much progress on the writing front! Could you send some of your speed-writing my way? :)

    Blessings from hot and humid Kentucky!

  11. What fun! And what a perfect soundtrack for writing a book. I'm so glad you had a good time, and I can't wait to hear more about book four!

  12. Glad you are back and had a great time! I missed "visiting" you. The first time I had a chance to get on the pc, yours was the first site I checked. My son was hospitalized since Monday, and it made me smile to hear about your time at fiddle camp.

  13. We just got back from your side of the mountains and I like it better cold then hot:)Moms out pulling weeds, Andria is mowing the lawn, dad should be home from work soon, and I have to go weed whack soon. Thank goodness it starting to cool off since the sun is hiding:)

  14. missed you! glad you're back and it sounds like you've had an amazing time.
    I think I would love to sit and listen to that group play their fiddles and banjos! were your toes tapping as your wrote?
    A series!! How exciting for you to try something new and expand out.

    Hope you feel rested. Have a great week!

  15. Amber, It's good to be back online again ~ computer issues are no fun though it couldn't have crashed at a better time - during vacation:) So happy to hear you won an Amazon card! I've been thinking of doing sme giveaways of those in future instead of books. They make great gifts, too.

    Being a bluegrass lover, you would have really enjoyed all that music. Plus, there was contra and square dancing every night and pie socials after! FUN! Though my waistline will never be the same...

    Praying you have a blessed week. School is right around the corner but it's been a wonderful summer and I'm so glad you traveled and are feeling inspired, too.

  16. Gin, I thought of you so much while at fiddle camp/workshop. Can you believe Paul had a years worth of lessons rolled into one week while there?! My folks haven't been coming to the Berea jams as much, maybe because of the heat. The weather was nearly 100 where we were but there is no humidity which makes it so nice. I bet your pool is getting a work out lately.

    Oh, keep canning! And eat some fried green tomatoes for me:)

  17. Amanda, That Spurgeon quote is beautiful. I've always been so fond of him as he was a preacher and writer with a melancholy bent. Thanks for sharing that - I haven't heard this particular one and it's definitely shareable:)

    So happy you like your book! Isn't it a JOY to get books in the mail:)!? I just rec'd Nancy Moser's Masquerade but don't have much time to read right now as I'm trying to catch up. Let me know how you like. The cover is beautiful.

    So good to be back and see you here. A fine welcome home:)

  18. Kav, There's no place like home, truly:) You're wise to stay put. I missed familiar things while away, like my chair and books and pets and garden. And stack of books I should be reading! It's all research for me...

    Since I'm working on a series this time, I was concerned that thethe books would be 6-9 months apart. I know this is much better for the reader but since I'm not a fast writer my publisher is giving me a year between books. This particular series spans 100 years so I'm leaping out of the 18th-century into the 19th. Prayers appreciated!

    Hoping these August days are filled with blessings for you. Your own corner of the world and your garden sound heavenly.

  19. Heather,
    Can't wait to see what you've been up to - you always amaze me with all you are doing art-wise! I've been in painting mode myself but for Randy. I'd like to do a cranberry with chair rail in the living room. NOT, he says. If I was a bit more artistic like you, he might be more agreeable:) Glad your bedroom is done - that is an epic project! It's amazing how a little color transforms a whole space!!

    You are so right - playing with others is such a musical high as it doesn't happen apart from our monthly jams. Paul loved that aspect, as did his envious mom:)How neat that you played flute!!

  20. Lori,
    I am so excited to hear what transpires for you writing-wise. Can't wait to see Kindred and Willa in print!

    I must admit that my 14k is pretty rough. I'm making myself stop and layer and add depth till the foundation is just right before moving forward. I don't want to build on sand:) It was heavenly writing to all that music uninterrupted, however. Since I'm dealing with a Scottish fiddler, it seemed no small coincidence. Move over, Ian:) Trying to think of a working title is harder than one thinks. I love both of yours, however!

  21. Oh Virginia,
    Your cheesecake smores sound wonderful! And I love hearing how you've been spending those summery August days:) Makes me homesick as I love lemon tea...

    I always knew you were a cat lover:) Happy belated birthday to you, dear friend!

  22. Oh Amanda, Glad you liked the quote:) Cowper was a funny man! And thanks so much for liking my pics, even the one of me and Randy!

  23. Adrienne,
    I think you are my series lover:) Just guessing but I appreciate the amen! Hoping you like this one. There are so many good ones out there. Lynn Austin's series are terrific and I know you've read her.

    It was really wonderful to get away. We haven't been able to do that the last couple of years and it's amazing how it restores your perspective about time and family and life in general. I was so moved by all the wonders of nature over there. The smell of all that ripening fruit in those huge orchards was amazing - like perfume. Ready to go back again!

  24. Regina,
    I talked to my mom yesterday and she said it was 100 degrees there so know you are wanting to swim in ice tea about now! My Paul has a summer cold, too. Lots of fiddler germs over there:) Praying you all feel better (and cooler) soon.

    Oh, these bad laptops!! I was right along with you wanting to throw mine out the window, only I'd have to climb onto the roof as our house is one floor:) It's still not behaving quite right so am holding my breath. I guess I need a backup. Hopes yours is all better!

    Thanks so much for enjoying the photos. Randy and I rarely have one together so that was a treat, even if I do look tired:) Missed you, my Kentucky friend!

  25. Kristen,
    I can't wait to tell you more about book 4! I'm always wondering how much is too much for the reader. I do have my hero's and heroine's names so will start with that in a post next week. Still trying to think of a working title.

    Will be checking your blog to see what you've been up to. Am wondering if there is still a little one in your household:) You are one busy writer!

  26. Julia,
    I'm so glad your little boy is back home and well again. That is such a scare! Having lived with 2 sons for almost 14 years, they can get into some real mischief!! I'll never forget the time mine came in from outside and complained their tongues were sore. They were little at the time. They'd been spinning their bike tires and sticking their tongues out to stop them! Needless to say, I was not impressed! Sigh. Hoping the rest of your week is calm:)

    So happy you make time for my blog. Thanks for being a faithful friend. It sure blesses me.

  27. Erica,
    Oh, I wish I was still in the valley with you over there!! Randy and I actually made it to Yakima last Thursday and had dinner at Olive Garden downtown. I so wondered what you, your mom, and sweet sister were up to. Now I know ~ you were over here!! BTW, must send Wyatt and Paul out to mow and weedwhack. Thx for the reminder:) Hugs to all!

  28. Lisa,
    So good to see you! And glad you like the sound of the series:) It sure is a joy to write thus far. I know you have at least one fiddler in the family so you - and she - would have liked all that music, even the dancing. I tried to get Randy on the floor but no go. Paul did admirably, however:)
    Hoping your summer has been fun and restful with some visits to the lake. Am coming over to visit you on the blog next to see:)

  29. Oh goodness, Laura. Thank you so much for sharing. A good laugh is exactly what I needed today :)

  30. Welcome back, Laura! You have been missed. It sounds like your week away was quite good though. I bet it sounded wonderful to hear all of those instruments.

    I'm very intrigued to hear you are beginning to work on a series, yay! Even more intrigued now that I've scanned through your replies, and noticed it will span 100 years or so. Looking forward to hearing more about it in the weeks and months to come.

    It has been so hot here. Just horrible on some days. I ended up being caught out in a rain storm yesterday. I got soaked coming out of the library, and then got soaked again coming out of Kroger. I got home, and it had barely rained at all here!

    This must be the week for laptop problems, because mine was attacked by a virus Saturday. I got it back to working order pretty quickly though.

    Praying all is well with you today!

  31. Glad you got a good chuckle, Julia:) Oh the stories I could tell you about my boys. I think I'd call it The Chronicles or Misadventure of Wyatt and Paul or something like that:)!

  32. Michelle,
    Wonderful to hear from you! Glad you're beating the heat with a shower or two but sorry you got soaked in places! This must be one of the hottest KY summmers on record. My mom doesn't turn the AC on much as she's a windows-wide-open kind of gal like me but she's miserable in this heat.

    I know you like series so hope mine fits the bill. I think I'll do a post or so and let you readers ask questions about the series rather than me telling you ~ that way there will be no spoilers:) Or so I hope!

    Glad your laptop is back up. I have a feeling you are quite savvy and fixed it yourself:) Bless you bunches, today, and drink some iced lemon tea for me!

  33. Glad you had a great trip, welcome back! It sounds like you got to enjoy some heavenly music. I love fiddle music. :) And I am so excited to hear about your 4th book, even though I'm still waiting on #3 like all of your other fans!

  34. Ruth, It was wonderful to get away:) And I'm happy to hear you love fiddle music as you live right in the heart of fiddle country!! As for book 3, they're working on cover art now which is, as you probably know, my very favorite thing:) And it's a joy to be back to writing fresh material after months of editing and marketing. Not my forte, I'm afraid. Bless you for stopping in for a visit!!

  35. Hey Laura,
    Great pics and updates! I haven't been on here in so long! Sounds like all is great your way. So looking forward to seeing you guys in just a few short months.....this year has flown by! So so busy here all the time but that keeps us all going. Hello to everyone and talk soon hopefully :)

  36. Rhonda, So good to hear from you! I think we were on vacation about the same time. Hope your time off has been great. The boys start school Sept 1 and my folks fly in next week. Lots to do just like you said. Counting down till Tennessee:) See u soon! Love and hugs to all!