Monday, April 25, 2011

the end

What, you may wonder, does an author do when she's not writing? This one spends time between chapters and scene breaks researching and hunting up antiquities like this at left. If I owned a pair of jumps this lovely I wouldn't bother wearing a dress! I'm always a bit awed that genteel women in the 18th-century were so well dressed underneath.

Okay, so it looks a little like body armor. But consider all the sigh-inducing details - the mauve ribbons/bows, the embroidered bodice, the laces that were so decoratively anchored, for lack of a better word. And check out that waistline! Our colonial sisters weren't really as tiny as we've been led to believe. The average waist size back then was 31 inches. Dear Martha Washington was downright fluffy! But I don't think George minded a bit;)

I just wrote THE END on my next book and put down my pen as you can see here at right. Book one of The Ballantyne Legacy. This is never one of those jump up and down, happy as a lark moments for me. Quite the contrary. Nothing makes me happier than a first draft. I'm always sad to finish, though I have months yet of polishing and rearranging before deadline.

First drafts are kind of like first love:) Future drafts are like marriage. After a while they kind of lose their lustre though the emotional tug remains. Not all writers agree. Some like editing and polishing best. Me, not so much.


I'm afraid I'm one of those slothful authors who pens their first draft in longhand;) No one can make heads or tails of my penmanship above and if I wait too long to transfer it to my laptop, I can't either. I usually write a couple of chapters and then type it on Word. There's something so comforting about writing in notebooks, maybe because I've been doing it since I was small. And unlike my laptop, notebooks don't crash!

Do you ever dread reaching THE END? Can you name the last book that you loved so much it left you wanting more?

55 comments:

  1. YAY! Means we are one more step closer to getting that book and I hope you keep writing "The End" for years and years to come. :-))

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  2. Thanks, Casey. If you keep reading them, I'll keep writing them;) You've given me some great reads lately via your beautiful blog. I'm even moving into the contemporary zone, thanks to you! And congrats on your own recent happy ending!!

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  3. Congratulations, Laura!

    I'm with you on the editing phase. Writing the first draft is by far most loved by me, though they sure need a lot of work afterward.

    Happy editing, Laura!

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  4. Eileen, Bless you and YES! I'm finding quite a few potholes:) This is where a crit group would come in handy... Praying your own writing is going well!

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  5. Oh, my! I was rather alarmed when I read the post title "The End", as I've named a post that very same thing every time I've decided to quit blogging :-) So glad your ending is really a new beginning. Please promise to keep writing.

    I can understand your "melancholy" feeling that you have about finishing this first draft. I have just now been revisiting some characters that I wrote about a long time ago. I thought that book was forever stuck in a drawer, never to see the light of day, but I can't get those characters and their story out of my head. I am so attached to them!
    I can really relate to how you feel. I don't want to write "The End" for my story, and I'm not even on a published journey like you.

    I just finished reading Liz Curtis Higgs' newest "Mine is the Night" and that is one series that I did not want to say goodbye to! Loved every bit of it.

    I am so eager to read "The Colonel's Lady" and all other books you have planned so please continue with your beginnings, middles and ends!

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  6. Mary, You and I are so similar in temperament I knew I'd have a kindred spirit in you:) I'm so glad you opened that drawer and brought those beloved characters out. The fact that you love them means others will, too. It's always a good sign.

    And I just finished Mine is the Night last month and LOVED IT and talk it up wherever I go. Amazing book. Liz is a favorite. And it doesn't hurt that she lives in KY!

    Chuckling about you thinking THE END was the end of my blog. I've been quite tempted a time or two like you. But for you dear readers who keep coming back. If you ever disappear I will do that!

    Thanks so much for checking in. It sure blesses me!

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  7. So fun to see the page from your first draft. I wrote my first novel like that, in the days before I even owned a type writer.

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  8. Laura,

    I'm so, so excited to read your first book in this new series! I think that's absolutely amazing that you write your first drafts by hand!! I greatly admire your patience and perseverance!

    As you know, I recently wrote "The End" for my first manuscript. :) It was very exciting, but it's almost unbelievable to think I actually finished the story I've been working on for years! Now, I wonder where God will lead from here?

    Anyway, one book I just finished was Yesterday's Tomorrow. I don't think my poor heart could handle it if the book was longer, but I have to tell you that it didn't end after "The End"--instead it's kind of stayed with me. It is an absolutely haunting and moving book, and I loved it in a different way than I love many other books. It seriously made me cry so much!! I highly, highly recommend--it's an eye-opener in regards to the Vietnam War!

    Hope you have a wonderful Monday! :) This is my last week of classes, and then I have 2 finals next week. Then my mommy is coming to pick me up so that I can go HOME!! :D Hooray! I am definitely ready for summer break!

    ~Amber

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  9. Lori, How well I remember those pre-typewriter days;) Recently I burned all the manuscripts for TFD. Must have weighed 50 lbs. My hero, Allan Eckert, sells his! But then I'm not a Pulitzer Prize nominee seven times over...

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  10. "The End."
    I sometimes dread it, because I know that my draft is not as good as I imagine it to be, which means I have a lot of work to do.

    The last book I didn't want to end was "Dawn of a Dream," by Ann Shorey. I got to the end and was actually shocked to find it was over. That was the first book to ever do that for me. It was sad and lovely at the same time.
    Thanks, Laura

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  11. Amber, Congrats again on your finish!! You, Casey, and I should have a THE ENDERS party;) I used to not edit much but just gallop right off and begin another book in my pre-pubbed days. Those were the days! I imagine you miss your characters but then you get to write a sequel!!

    Love your enthusiasm for this series. Hope it delights your heart!

    I've been hearing great things about YT - it certainly has a memorable title. Thanks for sharing that here as we really do get great reading tips from each other.

    And congrats on finishing another year! I pray finals go very well for you and you have safe travels home. I know your family can't wait to have you back!

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  12. Kristen, So well said ~ lovely and sad at the same time. That's truly the way I feel at book's end whether reading or writing one.


    Speaking of lovely, Ann Shorey is certainly that. I spent time with her in Indy last year and we had such a memorable time talking books, etc. Her latest book is in my stack and I can't wait to dive in.

    Another thing you mentioned... Editing is where the writing becomes work for me, too. First drafts are like candy all the way. I have a terrible sweet tooth!

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  13. Wow, Im impressed about the long hand! I just have the hardest time doing that any more. Which is probably why Im so bad with journaling! It just kills my hand to write that way.
    Let me know if you need any proof readers *wink wink* ;)I cant wait to meet your newest characters!
    I'm not sure what my favorite part of writing is yet :) I need to finish something, badly!

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  14. Heather, I know all about hand cramps:) Luckily, I'm a fast writer and faster typer. I dread the carpal tunnel sx some writer friends have and pray I never have. Oh, can't wait for you to meet those charracters! It was fun writing about two sisters this time, though one of them is quite naughty!

    And I had to chuckle as you finish all kinds of things!! You are what is called a HPA (highly prolific artist)! I'd give anything to be able to paint/draw/and write!

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  15. I wish I had the luxury of dreading writing The End. For the last two years and five or six manuscripts, I've had such a tight turnaround on deadlines that I was under tremendous stress and panic until I wrote The End---and with two books, that happened after I'd already sent at least 2/3 of the (unfinished, mind you) book to the editor because I was so far past deadline.

    I used to absolutely adore the revision stage of the process---that was where I wasn't having to struggle to figure out what the story was or what the characters were going to say or do. Revision was the time when I really got to play not just with the characters but with the language itself. Tightening up the prose. Making dialogue snappier and wittier (at least in my mind). Exterminating weak words and finding strong, popping, descriptive language to use instead. Strengthening the hooks at the end of each chapter. Making sure that hints I drop early on in the book don't get lost and are resolved/revealed by the end. Cleaning up typos and misused words, punctuation, formatting, etc.

    Yeah . . . I'm really hoping to cut back to only one or two books a year so that I actually have time to revise my books before I turn them in.

    Speaking of which, I'd better turn off the internet and get back to writing the book that's due May 15---of which I'm only beginning Chapter 5.

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  16. Kaye,
    You've just blessed us with a mini-workshop on revisions:) Thanks for that! I read it as a reminder of what I need to be honing in on. And it gets me a bit more excited to face what I must.

    Speaking of prolific people, you are one. I don't know of anyone who writes better under pressure than you do. And your books don't suffer! I wish I could do that. I tend to freeze, though everything was better after I got over the initial mortification of the revisions letter itself, my first (but not my last, I'm sure:) Ever learning here...

    Thoughts and prayers with you all the way before that May date. Hope you can cut back like you want to in future. BTW, congrats on your upcoming release!!

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  17. Laura, I went into deep mourning after reading your books. For me this means I can't pick up another one for at least twenty-four hours. I just can't shake your story out of my head or my heart. :-( And in case you're wondering a full twenty four hours is a looooonnnnnnnngggggg time for me to go without my nose in a book.

    I just finished reading The Caregiver by Shelley Shephard Gray and it definitely left me wanting more. Something about the way she set the various storylines up and the way she fleshed out her characters so they became real. The next in the series comes out in the summer -- thank goodness -- because I am so not ready to say goodbye to my new 'friends'.

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  18. I forgot to add, Kaye, that I'm looking forward to sharing a release date with you and MaryLu August 1. I'm hoping to do a big blog blowout that day/month and give away our new historicals. If readers have any ideas for what they'd like to see in terms of an online release party here, I'd love to hear them! Also, if anyone knows of any other CBA historicals releasing in August, I'd love to know that, too;)

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  19. Kav,
    Love that you can't shake those stories out of your head and heart. What a blessing you are. I have a feeling that the stories you write are much the same. I felt that way after reading Mine is the Night. Sometimes you just need to savor things...

    I've not read one of Shelly's novel but know she's very popular. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we met by accident in Denver during ACFW. We were both seated alone but side by side at the restaurant and ended up talking the entire time. She has the sweetest, most calm spirit! If anyone should write Amish books, it would be Shelley. That's a huge compliment from me. I've met many authors but some just rise like cream to the top and she's one of them. I won't talk about the divas;)

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  20. I'm so glad you have completed it Laura!! Good luck with your editing. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who dreads that part of writing a novel. Can't wait to read the new story ;0
    Every book I read, I never want to put down. I enjoy reading so much, but I always tell myself that the only way to start a new book is to end an old book. I guess it's a "melancholy excitement" sort of feeling. Sad that it's ending but happy that it opens doors for new opportunities. Kind of like traveling, sad to leave one place but excited for change.
    Blessing and happy editing

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  21. Hannah, So appreciate your good wishes and any prayers. You have mine! I so admire you young writers who remind me of myself 20 or so years ago. I wish someone had told me to enjoy the journey more as it's truly what the Lord wants us to do! Few things equal the JOY of writing without deadlines.

    Love the "melancholy excitement" as I do understand that. Another bittersweet feeling is seeing your book in print and wishing you could be a reader and come upon it for the first time. That's a luxury the reader has over the writer.

    Anyway, can't wait to hear where you're headed next and what you're writing next;)

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  22. Those jumps are awesome! I love the colors and those pretty stomachers. So comforting to know the waistlines were not so trim as I'm "fluffy", too. ;)

    The end. Nothing so satisfying. I love to write in long hand, but have been trying to discipline myself to type instead. Often I do both. I love writing the first draft because that's the essence of my story. Editing is HARD work, so tedious! Though the process always sharpens my writing skills.

    Congratulations on completing your draft of book 1!

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  23. The last book I read that I didn't care to end was The Pearl Girls. I enjoy reading real life stories.
    If I were an author, I can see how it would be easier to type a story, but I bet having a notebook around allows for times of creativity. sometimes when I am on the computer too long I feel fried... I can't imagine spending hours typing page after page. It would be pretty neat to be able to read your book aloud into the computer.

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  24. I felt that way about a little book called "Courting Morrow Little" What in the world happened to Jessamyn while he was missing anyway? I am sure his story equals his sisters 355 pages! Get to it Miss Laura Frantz. (no pressure though ;) LOL

    Lets see, an online release party? It would be great to get a video of the author on her blog. Ask your faithful readers what are a few things they would like to know and try an answer them via video. You would probably ask us to type them out on the blog first then create your video and then post it. Of course, it wouldn't be about the book because we haven't read it yet! Your backdrop could be you having a cup of tea at a cute round table with a nice lace table spread.

    Let me think on this more. I am sure I can come up with some more ideas!!

    I was trying to play 007 and decode the writing on your tablet. I loved that I recognized your handwriting!! I couldn't decipher too much of the story so I guess I will have to wait like the rest of the public. It doesn't help much to be a novel spy, especially when you are only giving us 1 page!!

    Stacie

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  25. I'm so glad we're one step closer to another Laura Frantz book release! I wonder if stories change a lot from the first "the end" to the final publication . . . I remember being so sad at reaching the end of a good book when I was younger. Mostly because the books I wanted were hard to come by. Nowadays when I finish a book I love, I hop over to Amazon to check out the author's back list and next release. And if she/he has something on Kindle, it's practically a done deal!

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  26. I love it when writer's pen "the end" because it means the book is closer to my hands but I hate reading "the end" of some books because it means a brilliant story is over ~ sigh!!

    It is worse at the end of a series with characters you have come to love :)

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  27. Congrats, Laura! Looking forward to your next release, hopefully the advance copy coming well in advance LOL! May God continue to bless you in your writing. You leave us all waiting for your next book.

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  28. Oh, you do like to tease us! I’m not gonna lie, I tried my hardest to decipher sentences from that pic you posted and I only got a couple lines here and there and a handful of random words. Like towards the bottom something about her catching a glimpse of herself in a gilt-edged mirror and her reflection startling her. Then the question, “Why did it suddenly matter how she looked when it hadn’t before?” Which is a good question... hmmm... a man perhaps? Then the circled, “Lord what should I do? Let her come to you.” - though the second part is a little fuzzy so I could be wrong. Yeah, I know I'm throwing out a line and you probably won't take the bait *sad puppy face* but ya can't blame a girl for trying! ;) Oh, to know the details! But I guess good things come to those who wait and your books are most certainly “good things” and will no doubt be worth the wait :) I’m so excited for you, my friend!! And, of course, I'm excited for us too!! :D

    And, I’m with you for those beautiful stays! Gosh, they did have beautiful under things, didn’t they? My mom and I always say when we’re watching period dramas that it looks like the women are wearing a dress under their dress and its almost just as pretty! I just had to giggle with Martha Washington being “downright fluffy” – it appears I was born in the wrong century after all… ;)

    If I’m to be honest I would have to say that both The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little left me wishing and longing for more pages!! Not that they weren’t complete works but I just didn’t want to leave them! And as much as I loved Morrow (and you know how much!) it was Lael’s story that left a greater air of mystery behind, especially concerning Captain Jack. That last scene leaves you breathless and the wonder follows you long after the book is closed. But though the ones who came before are cherished memories, there are new friends to make and new heroes to fall in love with on the horizon, so it’s all good :)

    Blessings,
    Amanda

    P.S. – I’m with Stacie all the way on her wonderful ideas!! And I’m happy to know I wasn’t the only one playing spy, LOL!

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  29. Carla, You're right to call them jumps based on the design. Have you seen Mary's new stays she's having made? So lovely! Makes me wish I was a reenactor:) I can't decide which of her gowns I like better...

    YES, editing is so tedious and is such WORK. First drafts truly are the essence of the story. Well said. You're about to start the editorial rounds but you may not have any revisions to speak of. I didn't on my first 2 books but did on TLC. Each house is different and some books, as my agent says, have colic. They really are like babies;)

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  30. Adrienne,
    You've mentioned reading your book aloud to the computer - bet that's coming down the pike:) There is a program (more than one) that allows your computer to read your book back to you. Some author friends of mine do that while editing as it helps catch mistakes. I haven't tried that because I'm not an auditory person. I have to see it on the page. Same with books on tape/audio. I can't concentrate and my mind wanders terribly but I know some people love them.

    Like you, I feel fried when I'm on my computer too long. Notebooks don't have that effect on me. Plus I can take pen and paper many places my laptop can't go. So thankful for old habits. I'd much rather give up my latptop than my legal pad:)

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  31. Hi Laura,
    Actually an average waist measurement for an 18thc. lady was 29 inches, according to Linda Baumgartner. This I believe is IN stays. Mine is less, so I feel glad, and even more resolved to stick to my long-time 'healthy' eating lifestyle of only whole grains, brown rice, no sugar, white flour, white bread, no butter, etc.!

    You must have seen my post yesterday on my new 18thc. stays! While beautiful the ones you have pictured I believe were mainly worn at home with a dressing gown or the like. Under most gowns, the stays would be a bit more plain so as to produce a nice smooth, 'un-bunchy' gown front. Stays of linen were extremely popular but they could also be made out of several other fabric choices. My new ones are being made of a 100% silk damask that I very carefully searched for and chose! Gorgeous! Leather stays were a myth.

    I have a very period correct pair of handmade linen stays for sale on my site, and they will go to one lucky lady at some point!

    Congratulations on your completed draft~

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  32. Stacie,
    You always make me chuckle. I need you on my marketing team;) Love the lace table, etc. Sounds like one of your cards you made for me! I would love to do a video if I could do it well. Same with a book trailer. If it's well done it's so worth the time. I've thought of donning my 18th-c. garb and going to the George Washington Inn here and doing something like that. The "Ask the Author" idea is fun and creative - I've thought of doing that in a post here. I'm sure you would think up some stellar questions!

    Am so glad Morrow had that effect on you. About Jessamyn, he really does have a story behind that story. I've had quite a few readers ask for a sequel which wouldn't be hard to do. I'v even thought of spinning a story off Rosebud and little Jess. But I'm sure every writer can say the same and write about certain characters endlessly.

    Hoping you have a great day there - and a good book!

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  33. Renee Ann,
    Amazon is such a blessing, that's for sure. And Kindle make it even easier. It's a wonderful thing to discover a new author and then find a feast of their other titles waiting for you:) I don't know what life was like before Amazon!

    Some books go through many changes prior to hitting shelves and some authors expect 20 page revisions letters to make their book better. Depends so much on the house and editorial team. Some houses are into comfortable, easy reads and tailor all their books to be just that, allowing no messy issues, etc. Others allow some edgy material while some shun the same. Now that I've been in this for 3 years, I have a better feel as to which books pubs put out and are looking for. But it's an ongoing learning process...

    Hope your writing is going very well and you enjoyed that spring break!

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  34. Rel,
    So true! I mourned right along with you when Ronie's series ended. I could feel your pain! It's so like ending a book and letting characters go as an author. Strange how these paper people wrap us round their imaginary fingers;)

    I'm fighting my word count now and dreaming of the day I can write as long as I want and have readers say THE END still came too soon!

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  35. Carrie, Thanks for the blessed writing wishes. Sometimes I marvel at how the Lord uses fiction to reach readers - and to teach us writers a lesson in the process. Those characters have a lot of power! I'm so curious as to when readers will get their influencer copies, etc. TCL is about to go to print any day. Shiver:)

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  36. Amanda, LOL! So glad you enlarged that messy notebook and peeked. You spied my favorite lines from the whole Ballantyne book ~ "Lord, what shall I do? Let her come to you." There's a whole plot hinging behind those few words.

    And you're so right about the look in the mirror = the man part;) But no spoilers here though I'm dying to spill more... I'm amazed you could wade through the mess! Notice I write a novel in the margins!

    TFD really needed a sequel which I wrote but those loose threads will forever remain a mystery. Interestingly enough, Captain Jack wasn't a part of the original manuscript. I added him later after realizing Ian needed a rival, even in the smallest sense. At first I only mentioned CJ and then brought him in with the fort scene and then the waterfall. Am getting weekly reader mail about him still! Many readers preferred him over Ian and I can see why as he was cast in shadows and appealing in a darker sense.

    SO happy you're counting down till TCL with me. This is a bit of a nervous dance for me as this book is quite different with Colonel McLinn having his own POV. Hoping you find him hero-worthy in his own right. He certainly has me smitten;)

    Thanks for the encouragement - it means so much!!

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  37. Mary, The fabric for your new stays is so lovely - and that beautiful color! And I really, really like the ones you have for sale on your site. Good to know the ones pictured here were worn more for leisure as they look like they'd make a different silhouette entirely. I love the embroidery and bows and colors. Somehow I never get tired of finding photos like these. I'm sure you can say the same.

    You and I are on the same eating regimen. I now know how you stay so tiny! I've become quite fond of brown rice lately and have given up white rice completely. The recipes you post on your blog are feasts! Bless you for stopping here as I hoped you would! Hoping, too, that you and Adam had a restful, productive spring break (though that sounds like an oxymoron)!

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  38. Hi Laura,
    Thanks so much---I LOVE the damask, and can't wait for the stays to be made! There will be a special post when I get them!
    I eat 'healthy' all the time. I do make 'treats' for Adam, lol!

    most of the recipes I post are very 'healthy', and I have many more I plan to share. I only allow myself a small 'cheat' for something like our 18thc. English tea party!!! Most of the 'healthy' ones we love, and we feel they don't taste like 'twig and bark' recipes, or like you are being deprived~

    The lovely item pictured on your post is actually a pair of 'jumps'---stays are strapless.

    I am so happy for you, having finished your draft. It must be joyful, exhausting, and a bit sad too...

    Well, I am off to create a stir fry for supper with mixed mushrooms, whole wheat Bella Terra Cappellini pasta, fresh garlic, olive oil, a bit of rice wine vinegar and roasted sesame oil, raw unsalted cashews that I roast, and a few other ingredients---it's YUM!

    I know your book is spectacular!
    Mary

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  39. Thank you, Mary! Yes, jumps, not stays! Carla caught that, too:) Oh, your menu sounds heavenly. I'm such a pasta fan. You tweak everything so creatively and I chuckled at your twigs and bark comment. There is a way to eat healthfully without depriving yourself as you're proven. Your Easter dinner looked wonderful! Looking forward to the stay post. But then I always come over to visit more often than I should!

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  40. Really? Wow, I feel so influential. *Snicker*

    Have you read Rosslyn Elliott's debut, Fairer Than Morning?? GREAT book and one I think would be right up your alley. Very worth checking out. I thought of you as I was reading. :)

    And thank you!!

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  41. Thanks, Casey! I'm sure Rosslyn would appreciate the thumbs up:) It's in my stack of stuff!

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  42. Hi Laura! I gotta say congrats on typing the end and that I'm so glad I'm not the only one who still does it the old fashioned way LOL! Although I'm not a writer of books most of the blog posts that I have on my blog, I've written down first using plain old pen and paper. It just seems I can think better without the temptation of technology distracting me.

    As for great books I have to agree with Amber I read Yesterday's Tomorrow and it is Amazing (yes with a capital A)! I didn't want it to end. In my opinion there aren't enough books set during the Vietnam Era so it was a refreshing read. The most recent book that I really loved was Karen Witemeyer's, To Win Her Heart...there are no words! Her books and her heroes are as "sigh-worthy" as yours! ;-) I gotta say I'm really looking forward to meeting your Colonel. I need another hero to make me swoon! Hehehe

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  43. Renee, Glad to know I'm not the only pen and paper fan;) That's neat you put so much time into your blog posts. It shows! Technology is so distracting and I love turning off my laptop and just having my legal pad on my lap. Nothing better than that! I think I'm far more efficient in the end...

    Thanks so much for the mention of the great reads here:) Everyone benefits when we talk books. Love Karen's new cover but I'm partial to blacksmiths as I have one coming up:) And it's so interesting that a Vietnam-era novel is making waves, especially with so many younger readers. It's a welcome voice in an almost non-existant genre.

    Bless you, Renee!

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  44. There are so many wonderfull books I've read that leave me aching for more, make a second, and a third!

    I just finished "Courting Morrow Little" a friend kept telling me I had to read it so I did. Oh, it was amazing, I think what I most enjoyed about it was that after they "fell in love" got married, etc. the book didn't end! You get to see more of their life after marriage, meet there cute kids, *spoiler warning* and see Morrow find her brother. So far, most of the christian romances I've read end with a kiss, or they get married and that's it. But this book did not it was so good, right now it's my favorite book. GREAT job Laura, keep up the good work! :)

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  45. Oh Sarah! You've made my day!! So happy you enjoyed Morrow's story and even the happily ever after (or almost not so happy given all the danger) once they were wed:)

    Bless you for such thoughtful comments. I love hearing from my readers and quite a few have also said they appreciated the look at married life in those pages. Bet you can tell I love babies based on those twins:) Never had any but wish I did!

    Please thank your friend for encouraging you to read the book! I'm doubly blessed by that. And please keep in touch!

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  46. Laura, I know how you feel. There's nothing like holding a pen and scratching out as fast as you can what thoughts are flowing from your head and never worrying about losing it if the power goes out!

    I've had several books I wish hadn't ended--one of them being my recent review An Eye for Glory by Karl Bacon. (If you haven't read it yet, do so!) I loved that book so much--convinced hubby to take a break in his non-fic teacher reading to read it. Too bad it's the only one right now and haven't heard if there's another to come out.

    It depends on the book I'm writing whether I love rough draft, or editing. Right now rough draft on my rodeo suspense book, but the editing is about to come!

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  47. Winter,
    I'm still dancing for and with you over that contract! Being a fan of rodeo (I always dreamed of being a barrel racer/buckle bunny), so this is right up my alley, whether fiction or real life;)

    I knew you'd understand about all that pen and paper. It helps at night to when I don't want to put those characters to bed. I just whip out my legal pad and not my laptop and my family is MUCH happier!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed EFG. I fell in low with the cover a few months ago and think it's my kind of book. Now I will move it up my stack, thanks to you. Bless you for stopping in! Prayers with you as you edit, dear writer girl;)

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  48. Those stays are just beautiful. Earlier this week, I was watching some videos about the royal wedding, and ran across a video about an exhibit of royal wedding gowns at Kensington Palace. I believe the video was from the Today Show. They showed Queen Victoria's wedding gown, and also Princess Charlotte's, which would have been from the late 1810's.

    Congrats on finishing the first book of The Ballantyne Legacy. I look forward to reading it.

    This week I read Leaving by Karen Kingsbury and Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones. I loved both of them, and definitely did not want them to end.

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  49. Michelle,
    Your reading, as always, sounds so good. I've not read a Kingsbury book and must be the only one who hasn't!

    Just finished watching a recap of the royal wedding. I thought of you as I thought you might be watching, too. Kate's gown was very pretty and reminded me of Grace Kelly's dress when she wed the Prince of Monaco. Elegant and understated. I didn't get up at 1am, however!

    Thanks for the wishes on TBL. I'm into the editing stages now and am loving this pass through as I get deeper into the story.

    Hope you're settled in and your place feels like home and that KY sun is shining!

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  50. Oh, Laura, I hope you don't mind that I reply to these so late...but whenever I stop at your site I want to comment even if I've missed the post by a few days :)

    How exciting about writing "The End." (Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever write that on my book at 1-2000 words a week). I love that bodice. I'm not sure it would be as comfortable as it is pretty, but... love the green and pink :)

    I think that is neat that you write your books the old-fashioned way.

    Have you read any fabulous books lately? I can't wait for summer and our Bible study book teas. So nice to have Christian friends online and in person to discuss good books with.

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  51. August 1? Three of my very very favorite authors will have new releases? HURRAY!

    I think my creativity improves when I am handwriting. In fact I often have to have a pen in hand just to flip the 'on' switch in my brain!

    I read the Gabaldon series and finishing the last one and knowing there is only one final book left was a bit sad. So many juicy tidbits left dangling as well.

    Congratulations on 'this' the End, Laura. I hope there are many many more to come!

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  52. Julia,
    I never mind when you or anyone arrive late to the party;) After 3 years of blogging, I've finally figured out what works for me and readers, or what seemes to. And that's to post once a week on a Monday and then follow up with a devotional post later in the week. I'm always so thrilled when I see your name pop up, no matter when! I know how busy you are!

    The last book that I was sad to see end was Mine is the Night. I thing you read this one, too. Up next is Hidden Affections, A Heart Divided, and then Redeeming Love. I haven't read the last one for a number of years so bought a new copy. I always have a lot of research books that I love that are ongoing. I do think I love a good nonfic book as much as fiction.

    And you will write THE END of your own book because you are plugging away in the moments He provides you. Between homeschooling, during naps, and all those little nooks an crannies of life:) I know because I've been there. Bless you this May day!

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  53. Debra,
    There you are;) Truthfully, I haven't seen you on the web much lately but that might be a good thing;) I've been having to limit my time as well. Happy you're here! And happy you're glad I'm scrawling THE END. I'm always amazed when it happens AGAIN. I do think there is a definite correlation between pen in hand and creativity. Clacking on my laptop just isn't the same.

    I'm with you on the sadness of a series ending. Bittersweet. I hate to leave this characters as they are and am not really looking forward to aging them in the next book in the series and dealing with their children. Quite a precarious balance. And like you said, all those little loose threads that I want to expand on...

    YES, August 1 is like magic this year with MaryLu and Kaye releasing, too. And I can't forget my dear friend, Sarah Sundin, who has a great WW2 novel, #3 in her series, also releasing that same day. Will have to include her in the fun. That means giving away one of their books each week in August as well as my own:) Can't wait! Bless you for your encouragement!

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  54. Oh, I know I'm super late reading this post, but I just had to respond. I just finished She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell (first book I've read by her). And I LOVED it. I wanted it to keep going, to see Clara and Harry after they were married and watch them overcome trials together in Europe. But alas, it ended without even an epilogue. So sad there wasn't more.

    And since we're talking about great books that live on in your heart and should never end, how about The Frontiersman's Daughter? I was so sad to put down Lael's story. I think she haunted my dreams for a couple weeks after I'd finished.

    And Laura, I can't believe you write by hand! That's insane. I guess it's a generational gap, maybe. I remember having to write by hand and then transfer in high school, but all those college papers quickly cleared me of that habit. Now I get frustrated if I have to write by hand because typing is so much faster.

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  55. LOL, Naomi! I think my writing by hand is the equiv. of a binky and blanket;) So glad you're a Siri fan! My fav was Love's Pursuit. Have you read her newest? Such a pretty cover. I really liked Harry, too, and wanted to see them go on together...

    So happy Lael is staying with you. I just had a letter from a reader today saying her favorite line of the entire book is, "Show us your pretty daughter." Mine, too!

    I hope your fingers are flying these days and your story and story ideas are gelling:) Always an exciting time!

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