Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust.

Wow - it's almost 2010! Did you ever picture yourself actually writing that date?

I certainly didn't. Boggles my feeble mind.

I'll tell you something else that boggles my mind: In reviewing my 2009 writing engagement calendar, I counted (in conjunction with the Dec 08 release of Billowing Sails, the May release of Mom NEEDS Chocolate and August release of Everyday Hope). . .

15 radio interviews
5 TV interviews in 3 states
14 Young Writers Workshops (for kids age 8 - 18)
10 newspaper articles
47 speaking events.

That's 47 prepared speeches. 47 upset stomachs. 47 urgent prayers for supernatural peace even as my knees knocked and hands quivered.

Man alive. I had no idea.

I knew I was pretty wiped by December but didn't realize how crazy busy the year was. I'm humbled and entirely grateful to Papa God, who is indeed able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us (Eph 3:20) - my scripture for the year.

Blessings to you and your family in the exciting year stretching before us. Fill it wisely.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Select Arrow

Have a blessed Christmas!

For this week of holy expectations, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite excerpts from Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers

The eve of my 49th birthday waned melancholy as I lay on my back in bed, staring at the ceiling. I had just received yet another rejection letter from an agent regarding my recently completed book.

It's not that rejection was anything new; I'd collected enough rejection slips during my four years as a professional writer to papar mache a pinata. A big one. Maybe a life-sized rhinoceros. Okay - ten rhinoceroses, six wildebeests, two heifers, and a partridge in a pear tree.

No, rejection per se was not what troubled me. I knew that in the literary game, par for the course is to receive ten rejections to every one acceptance. What bothered me was the nagging suspicion that I'd misheard my calling. That God had said, "fight a crook" or "bite a snook" instead of "write a book."

Glancing down at my opened Bible, my eyes focused on a passage from Isaiah: He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has concealed me, and He has also made me a select arrow; He has hidden me in His quiver.

My heavenly Father was sending me a note of encouragement: He wil personally take on the enemies before me, running interference with His tall, strong stature so that I can find rest and peace in the protective shadow of His cupped hand. I can't think of a safer place to be.

And best of all, I am a select arrow. Not just any arrow - a select arrow. A flint-sharpened, friction-polished, exclusive weapon specially designed to pierce the tough outer shell of God's intended targets and speak God's message to their hearts through the written word.

There is no other arrow like me, no person with the exact same background, experiences, and perspective the Lord has given me. I am the only one that can accomplish the task God has customized for me.

For now, I am concealed. Undistinguished. Unknown. He has hidden me in His quiver until the right time to use me in battle Only at tht specific time will I be most effective for His glory.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Waiting. That Literary Limboland unavoidable in the writing life.

After you hit "send" on that magazine article headed to an editor.

When you've finally added the last agonized finishing touches to that book query and aimed it at your A-list of prospective agents.

During the nail-biting weeks after your agent wings your book proposal off to publishers.

I'm in that last space now. I've been working on a book about dealing with stress for the last few months and it finally got to the gelled stage where it started to look like a real manuscript a few weeks ago.

Time to pitch. Out comes the proposal and down go the prayer knees.

What to do while you're waiting? It's essential to keep working - if not on polishing that manuscript (it will be a while before an interested editor asks to see the entire work), at least on other projects. Makes the time pass a little quicker (in theory).

How about magazine articles? Short term projects yield short term positive reinforcement (and keep those pay checks rolling in).

I like this quote from a highly respected literary agent in Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

"One of the absolute best things you can do is to work on your craft of writng with shorter forms. Books are long - I know not very profound but true. Magazine articles and publication lead time is less, and they are much more achievable. There are too many writers who are stuck on submitting their long manuscript and never work on magazine articles. It's a shame."
~Terry Whalin, agent, Whalin Literary Agency

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I'm excited but a little nervous about the changes going on at my house this month. After 30 years as an orthopedic occupational therapist, I'm retiring to devote more time to writing.

The possibilities are daunting: tackling more book projects, increased time to invest in marketing my current books, the abilitity to travel more to garner interesting book fodder, accepting a wider range of speaking engagements . . . or wallowing in abject poverty.

The latter is no doubt an underlying fear shared by everyone giving up that regular paycheck.

In my case, much prayer and straining to discern that divine still, small voice I depend on to guide my steps in this life preceded my decision. I just wish He'd write on a wall in flaming print or etch His will on a couple of stone tablets so I could be sure I'm hearing Him right.

So it's a leap of faith for me. One thing I plan to do more of is invest more time in spiritual growth. On that note, I'd like to leave you with an inspirational quote from Grit for the Oyster: 250 Pearls of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers:

"Never allow the rat race or relentless pace to take the color and energy out of your days. Who cares if we can construct a perfect sentence if there is no life or substance behind our words?"
~Susie Larson, author of Balance that Works When Life Doesn't