Friday, August 29, 2008


8:36 a.m.

Wow seems inadequate. Woohoo seems completely understated. The only word that truly describes the day is Yayhooiee.

I am thrilled. And humbled. And a bit struck by the sheer way that God works. Only the night before, I was utterly disheartened. After working on a submission for a fellowship from the state Arts and Humanities Council, I received a nice but firm letter informing me that my work had not been chosen as the winner of the grant. I was heart broken. I'm not sure why. I knew there would be hundreds of other submissions and I was aware of how tight the competition would be. Still, I allowed myself to be too hopeful, too dream-filled and too starry-eyed. I was crushed when I tore that envelope open only to find that my work had been deemed not worthy.

It hurts when a door is slammed shut.

But it feels great when God opens another door with a quiet flourish that brings tears to the eyes and a fluttery feeling to the heart. And that's what He did -- the very next morning. I can't believe that it was a coincidence that a wonderful lady who belongs to the ACFW has been posting daily prayers for the past 40 days. Before going to bed the night I received the rejection, I begrudgingly read the day's posts and read her prayer. Even as I muttered and grumbled, the words she had typed touched my heart and gave me hope. I prayed that God would show me EXACTLY where I needed to head if He still wanted me to write.

And He did.

So, I'm once again anxious to go to the mailbox. Once again, it's enjoyable to sit at my new laptop and write. He gave me more than direction. He returned a valuable gift to me ... the gift of hoping, dreaming and reveling in a dream-come-true. And to that sweet woman whom I will never meet in person, but who cares enough to post the most beautiful and moving prayers, thank you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yippee I Oh ...

I completed my first ever Fellowship application and project today. I bet you'd love to know the exact time, wouldn't you? Wouldn't think of depriving you of that crucial tidbit. At exactly 4:12 I was in the post office getting it tucked safely away. Ahhhh. Wonderful feeling. I sent it overnight so they should receive all six copies of my project by noon tomorrow.

This seems to be a year of firsts for me. First blog. First blog tour. First Fellowship project. And ya know what? I'm not stopping there. I think for my next first, I'll, oh, I don't know, maybe organize my office! Now, there's a first.

If you don't know about it, there will be a book signing in Hardy, Arkansa on May 10th. Christine Lynxwiler will be present at Words/Afterwords. It's bound to be a wonderful day. She is a jewel.

Make a promise to yourself. Do a "first" before the month ends. It's exhilerating and, um, I think the perfect term is self-satifying. It feels "plum" great to know that you have accomplished something you've always wanted to do, but simply didn't make it a priority.

Have a wonderful day, week, month, year, life. And, remember, when in doubt, don't shout. Grab chocolate instead. ;-}

Friday, April 18, 2008

Introducing ... Denice Stewart

As I mentioned Tuesday, I am participating in my first blog tour. Denice Stewart, a true sweetie, is the author who will be spotlighted this week. Information on Denice as well as her premier book can be found below and in my Tuesday post. Enjoy folks. :-} And ... be sure to click on the video trailer. LOVE IT!

Here's a direct link to Amazon. You'll find Denice's book. Nab a copy now!



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My First Blog Tour Interview!

This week, I have a treat for you. I am participating in my first ever Blog Tour. I am so excited! Below you will find an interview by debuting author Denice Stewart. Her wonderful book is entitled: Where Would Cows Hide? This is the first book in a series featuring the Parker Twins and Denice is busy, busy, busy working on the next installment. However, she took time out to graciously grant an interview. Below is the product. I have a feeling you'll enjoy getting a peek inside this lady's head. She is a treasure and an awesome writer who loves to write for young people. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you're saying to yourself, "Now how in the world is she going to tie this into chocolate?" Well, allow me to do just that. Chocolate has milk in it. Milk comes from cows. The name of Denice's book is .... Where Would Cows Hide. 'Nuff said.

And remember, no one has to sneeze for you to say ... God bless you!

Hope you have a great week.


DA: Where were you born? Where do you live now?

DS: I was born and raised in the small farming community of Thomas, located in western Oklahoma. I graduated high school and attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where I received a degree in History. My husband and I moved to Stillwater, OK to earn his Master's degree in Statistics, and then we moved to Maumelle, AR after my husband got a job at UAMS in Little Rock. Two years ago we returned to the Oklahoma City area, and that is where we live now.

DA: What are your hobbies?

DS: Reading, writing of course, watching sports with my husband, playing with my kids, and traveling when we get the chance.

DA: When did you begin writing?

DS: I always loved reading, and writing just naturally flowed from that love of reading. I would say I've wanted to write since the 2nd grade, although I had a brief stint in 3rd grade when I wanted to be an archeologist. Blame Indiana Jones for that one. I wrote short stories through junior high and high school, won a writing contest when I was 17, and that sealed the deal for me.

DA: Can you tell us a little about your writing process – how long from start to finish?

DS: Because I have small children at home, I tend to write in bursts. I do a lot of outlining (which I used to hate in school), and a lot of research ahead of time, so when I have a block of time to sit down and write, it doesn't take as long. My thoughts are more organized, I have a thorough grasp of the story, and I can power burst through the writing process in no time. But because of all the interruptions, it takes several months to finish a story, from planning to typing "The End".

DA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

DS: When I was in elementary school, my favorite author was Bill Wallace, another Oklahoma writer. In junior high I discovered Dean Koontz, and he is still my favorite author to this day. In high school I was a big R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike fan. In college I discovered the classics like Jane Austen, Alexander Dumas, and the Bronte sisters, and after college I found Christian fiction, and enjoy too many authors to name.

DA: What kind of music do you like?

DS: Cheesy 80's music is my favorite. I like contemporary Christian when I need a spiritual power-boost. I listen to classical when I am writing and need to concentrate, and then I am all over the spectrum; country, big band/swing, 50's & 60's oldies, you name it, I'll listen to it.

DA: What are you working on now?

DS: Well, the second book in the Parker Twins series is under review at the publisher's, so hopefully we will be seeing more of Brad, Charlie, and Zoey. I am outlining the details of book three, but I am also working on an adult book for sometime in the future.

DA: How do you edit?

DS: I have a couple of critique partners who help me with my editing, but I also go back over my work from the previous day, looking for mistakes. This helps me find the errors and also get back into the story.

DA: When do you like to write?

DS: I usually write at night after my husband gets home from work, and can watch the kids for a couple of hours.

DA: Why did you choose to write for this age group and in this genre?

DS: Adventures were my favorite kind of books as a kid, and after I had my own children, I couldn't imagine writing any other kind of books. I wondered what kind of trouble they would get into as they grow up, and that's how the idea for these stories was born.

DA: Were there any teachers or librarians that made an impact on you in school?

DS: I was so fortunate to have great teachers who instilled a love of reading and writing in me: Mr. Hoskins (2nd grade teacher), Mr. Claussen (6th grade teacher), Mrs. Ronan (9th & 10th grade English teacher), and Mrs. Wright (11th & 12th grade English teacher). I also had a couple of college professors who helped me along the way: Dr. Walter Johnson (history professor) and Dr. Jim Yates (English Liturature/Creative Writing professor).

Thank you so much, Mrs. Archer, for giving me the opportunity to share some of my writing experiences with you. It has been a pleasure.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ah, The Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday was ... oh, we're not even going to talk about it.

Today, ahhhh. Today was a jewel. I was able to spend time with my husband and that alone, was pure heaven. We don't have nearly enough (go, play, talk, relax) time. Bet your world is the same.

But ... today was the exception. If I were to describe this day, these words would all apply.

Wonderful husband. New phone. Juicy, old-fashioned cheeseburger. No computer blitzes. Rainy. Fireplace. Snuggly dogs. Purring cats. Thoughtful friends. New names to add to my collection. Two new book ideas. Happy sighs.

Wish more days could include these words. Oh, wait. Hmmm. ;-O With the exception of new phone, these words do describe my world. I am one lucky woman.


For those of you who write ... there is an awesome woman you need to visit online. Her name is Susan May Warren. Sound familiar? Yep, she's the author of the book I turned to last night for inspiration and rejuvenation. There is a definite reason this woman has an outstanding reputation. Visit her online at:
You won't be disappointed!

Oh, and when you have days like I had yesterday, here is a wonderful verse:

"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desire."

I hope your tomorrow is as blessed as my today was. ;-}

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cyber Circus

Today has not been a good day in my computer world.

Allow me to rephrase.

Today has been horrible in my computer world.

Nope. Still not capturing the right mood.

Today has been a disastrous computer day.

Yep. That pretty well sums it up.

Now, let me tell you why. I recently joined the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) which is an awesome group. They are timely. Their informatin is relevant beyond belief. And their grasp of EVERYTHING in the publishing world is spot on. The minute you join, you are invited to subscribe to their listserve -- which is amazing. Talk about the inside scoop. They answer questions and broach subjects in an open, honest, gracious way. Quite refreshing from some of their secular counterparts.

Anyway, once I subscribed, all was well. I began receiving a lot of e-mail but that was fine. I received lots of contacts. That was wonderful. And then ... poof ... all that lovely, helpful information went up in cyber smoke. Something happened to the "innerds" (as my aunt would have called it) of my computer and my happy world went away. I have spent the last -- oh -- three hours pouting, fretting and swiping sweat. I finally broke down and contacted the webmaster to see if they will take pity on me and resend all that information to me. Now, my contacts they can't help with. I have no idea how to get those back. And of course all the e-mails I'd saved are irreplaceable too. But, tomorrow's another day. And I truly believe everything happens for a reason. So, I'm going to stop my moping, go and find a brownie and a tall glass of milk and finish reading Susan May Warren's book Happily Ever After. It's bound to inspire!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shame on Me!

I am a procrastinator. If a support group existed for procrastinators, I could easily lead the group. I would probably put off attending, but once I got there, I could take the reigns. On March 2nd, I proudly began my blogging life. Then what did I do? I put off entering my next blog, hence the title of this post -- Shame On Me! Having recently visited one of my favorite blogs, I hung my head after reading how many things she's been juggling. Evidently she not only accomplished all of them, but she managed to post to her blogs every weekday ... EVERY week day ... and sometimes on the weekend. I am in serious need of some anti procrastinating cream. Forget Botox and Oil of Olay. Oh, wait. I know what I need! I need chocolate. Which reminds me ...

This weekend I attended a one day question and answer session with some mighty impressive authors. I wasn't one of them. I was just in the audience. But, the gals that took center stage were not only amazing, they were incredibly knowledgeable. Now, here's where the chocolate comes in. See, I'm telling you, chocolate really does play a huge part in my daily writing life. Of course, this has led me to make a decision about a diet plan, but that's another blog story.

When I arrived at the bookstore/coffeeshop called "Words and Afterwords" in Hardy, Arkansas, I was met by four members of my writers' group. I even met another lady named Dana (sweetest person) who wants to join our group. Sorry. I digress. After settling down with the MOST superb white chocolate mocha I've ever sipped, I opened up my notebook, settled in and drank up every drop of wisdom and encouragement those writers had to offer. I also polished off my mocha and wanted to go back for seconds but couldn't bring myself to leave the group.

The writers that were featured were: Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, Susan K. Downs, Christine Lynxwiler and Tracey Bateman. From the moment the first one began her intro until the last one thanked us for coming, I was spellbound and humbled by what these ladies had to offer about the writing industry. I learned more in that hour than during many all day writing sessions that charged huge registration fees. And this was free! AND, they are coming back. I can't wait. I have my eye on a brand new purple pen, a spiffy new notebook (my old one is almost full) and a new pad of sticky notes. I'm also trying to figure out how I can work another white chocolate mocha into my new diet. I'll get right on that ... tomorrow.