Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 is coming to an end

Hello everyone.

Another year is coming to an end. Isn't it amazing how fast each year flies by? I know they say the older you get the faster the year zooms by. Here, I can only speak for myself. This one seemed to whiz by in an instant. (Did I give my age away?) Of course a lot of things happened this year, so I'm sure it wasn't as fast as I'm saying.

First major thing that happened in my life, was my husband healed of cancer. God saved his soul and his body all at the same time. Praise the Lord!!

Although physically he is no longer a hundred percent due to the damage to his lung, Scott is so much better off than he was after the lung collapsed August 2010. He is saved and at peace with God. Scott had to take early retirement due to his disability, but the Lord has taken care of us. Our home is filled with His peace and joy. We are so grateful. Scott's weight had dropped to 114, skin draped over his skeleton body, but is now up to 145ish. Of course one of his medicines might have caused some of the weight gain. I'm glad to say most of it is due to his appetite increase. Scott still has his days of not eating well, and days of feeling poorly (pnemonia hit 4 times this year and maybe even 5 if you count Thanksgiving week of feeling poorly, fever rising, but we kept it under control and doctor gave him meds keeping him out of the hospital that time) spending most of the day in his recliner mixed with shortness of breath when he attempts to move around--but plenty of good days too. We are so blessed.

Another major blessing that happened to us in 2011, we had an addition to our family. Our son married a wonderful woman on 11-11-11. Not only were we blessed with this sweet thing becoming a part of our family, but we gained her grandmother as a family member. She, (Nana, Ginny), is like a sister to my husband and I. We love her dearly...and she loves us!! Rosie's whole family is lovely and loving. We are so blessed.

A key change in our life, one we weren't sure was supposed to happen but we left it in God's hands, was the sell of our home of twenty years. Sold, then we bought a new home...a retirement home...a house a little smaller than our old one with a lot less outside work surrounded by a  small yard with little maintenance. This being winter time, so far there has been no maintaining the outside, but when summer rolls around I'm sure I can handle it. And whatever Scott feels up to doing he can, but here he won't have to do a thing.

All-in-all 2011 was a great year. We are thankful for all the blessings God has poured on us.

This past week was a busy week, but full of love and family. We celebrated the Singletary (my side of the family) Christmas this past Friday at our new home. The fun and love of all filled our home. It was fulfilling, enjoyable. You know, one of those days that you feel so warm and toasty, like you're curled up in front of a roaring fire in the fireplace reading a good book (preferably by Deborah Lynne ha-ha). Perfect. As long as you live you'll miss the loved ones who have gone on before you, but make sure you find plenty of time to enjoy the ones still living. And the great thing is, we'll see our loved ones who believed also, in Heaven. Praise God!

Speaking of that, Have any of you read the book Heaven is Real? My sister-in-law, Brenda, loaned it to me and I finished it this past Friday. The young boy who experienced Heaven told his story over a period of time to his parents and then his dad put it into a book. The boy at the time of his near death experience was the same age Rachael (our oldest daughter) was when she had the brain tumor. What an awesome testimony this young boy has been able to share. His experience answered so many questions people have all the time about different things, but figured, well that's one I'll ask God when I'm there. But through the innocence of this young boy some answers have been given in advance, but mostly his experience reiterated how right-on the Word is...which as a believer I know the Word is the truth. If anyone says something contrary to what the Word says, than he or she is the one in error. The Bible is never wrong. Well sometimes we interperate it incorrectly by trying to take a partial line or a complete Scripture verse out of context. Sometimes we hand pick here and there trying to make the Word tell us something when in our hearts we know that wasn't what God meant or said or whatever. Anyway, I'm getting off track here. I just meant to say, it was a very interesting book and a good read.

Saturday night we went to Bethany World Prayer Center, South Campus, for Christmas Now. What an awesome celebration! The music was usual. The song that stood out the most was Little Drummer Boy. Our main drummer, Andra, at Bethany sang the song, but joining him on stage were other drummers and the set up and timing of the beating of the drums was so overwhelming, breathtaking, awe-inspiring I pray Bethany down loads the whole of Christmas Now...including Pastor Jonathan Stockstill's short but direct and to the point message where all can see. What a blessing!!

Sunday morning, the day of celebration arrived and all is right in our world because we are only temporarily here in this world. Our world is our eternity in Heaven. Jesus came to save. Praise God, He did. Believers in Jesus Christ are at peace in this world because they know they will live eternally in Heaven.

Thank you Lord for that peace you give us. Help us to be all You've called us to be!!

For an update on my latest novel, Testimony of is completed. A friend volunteered to read it through for me one more time before sending it off to my publisher, Ramona Tucker with OakTara Publishing. Of course, I accepted and gave her a copy of the completed manuscript. I'm so excited and can't wait to get it to Ramona. We'll be posting details of when the release is expected in 2012 on my web site so remember to check in periodically at to keep to the most up-to-date information.

I hate to pass on my update on weight loss, but go figure--This holiday month I have put a couple of those pounds I had lost back on. It's so hard to remove unwanted weight, but so easy to pack it back on. So I'm back at 24 pounds lost since I found 2 of the earlier ones. DON'T GET ME WRONG. I TRULY WASN'T LOOKING. So sad, but I admit, I loved the chocolate chip cookies, hershey candies, crackers and dips, and other tidbits that sat around in candy dishes in my home. I'm sure the roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, greenbeans and the other items in our dinner menu didn't do it to me. It was all the goodies laying around. And when you bake part of it, it is so hard to resist. Trust me. I know. But 2012 is a new year. Hopefully, yes most definitely, I will get myself back on track and continue to drop more weight.

So to all of you who read my blog, enjoy the rest of 2011 and look forward to 2012.

Think of the possibilities. Be all you can be!

Writing tip:

I know I skipped this part last time. Sorry.

The thing that comes to mind as I sit here and try to think of something important to share with other writers is this...take criticism well. People who take time to critique your work are sharing what they find distracting to your piece you want to release. They are trying to help you make it all it can be. Sometimes their suggestions may not be what you want to hear, but you need to listen. If more than one tell you the same thing, for sure do not ignore their advice. You are still the writer, but if you want to be a writer people enjoy reading, take time to listen and then take time to fix the problem.

There is nothing more distracting than to find an author you love, maybe even have read a lot of his/her books and you find errors in their latest novel. Minor errors that could have been fixed. These were overlooked by her, her critique partners, and proof readers at their publishing company. Sometimes an error will slip through the cracks, no matter how famous the author is or how big the publsihing house is.  It happens. But as the author it is your job to go through it as many times as necessary and get rid of the errors. Make your manuscript or short story or poem the best it can be.

I have two wonderful critique partners, Emy White & Marie Barber, who do a stupendous job critiquing my writing. I'm so thankful for them. And throughout my career others have helped and I'm grateful to them too. They are all the best!!

So my advice to you is allow fellow members of your writing group or special friends you've connected to, be a help in making you all you can be in your writing career. Criticism is a must if you want to grow as a writer. Remember, they are not putting you down or your writing. They are only suggesting ways to make it better.


New Year's Eve is a night to be careful. A lot of people over celebrate, and sometimes do it in a way that is very unsafe to others as well as to them self. So enjoy the rest of 2011 and be careful on 12/31/11. Take care of you and others by making right choices.

Time is a gift. Use it wisely. Bye for now!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Time of the Season

Good morning everyone.

Christmas is a few days away but the season is here!! Isn't it wonderful? Have you taken time to just drive around your city and enjoy the lights? I love Christmas. God gave us the best holiday ever when He gave us His Son. So many people can't wait until this holiday season (Christmas) is over. I wish it was here more often. Of course than it would truly lose its meaning...peace on earth, good will toward men. I mean we'd end up taking it for granted. Oh well. It's here now. Enjoy Christmas time.

I have to tell you I've watched my share of Christmas movies this past week. I love them. My favorite being, of course, White Christmas, but we'll get back to that one. One of the movies I watched was made in 1944. I used to love those old movies, but in the past ten to fifteen years I've thought, not for me. But this one grabbed me early. It had Shirley Temple as a teenager. I've never seen a Shirley Temple movie with her older than about 7, so I decided to watch it. And talk about make me cry. It made me proud too. The movie reminded me why I've been so proud all my life to live in America. We sometimes take it for granted that we live in a country that was labeled the land of the free & the home of the brave. This movie took place during WWII at Christmas time. I'm not going to get into the movie except to say, when they talked about the Statue of Liberty and what it said, I cried my eyes out. Today America has so many people from so many lands around the world we tend to think or say, if you don't like it, go home. That wasn't the plan when our men fought for our freedom. And it wasn't and isn't just our freedom. It was freedom for everyone who wants to come here and live in the land full of hopes and dreams. I know, our country is pretty full up, so there isn't much open land, but it's still a country with people full of dreams. I'M LIVING MINE NOW AND I PRAISE GOD FOR IT. There are other countries in the world that are just as special as America. The main thing is, take time to thank God He planted you in the one He chose for you, and make your dreams come true by trusting in Him. God made the whole world...and everything He made was good. Unfortunately man (& woman) knows how to mess things up. But we don't have to. Love who you are by living the life God chose for you.

NOW go watch a good movie.

Wait. No. Don't leave yet. Read the rest of my blog. :-)

Another movie I watched this week was White Christmas. My kids will tell you that is my favorite. First because I love singing the songs with them, AND, I love dancing or pretending I'm the one dancing that number with Danny Kaye and wearing that blue dress...spinning out around the pole over the water and ... I could go on and on. I won't. But I did discover just how old I am. (don't tell anyone). Anyway I heard Rosemary Clooney (yes, its his Aunt) tell her little sister she obviously hadn't read their mother's letter. It turns out their brother was out of the country in Alaska. Ha-ha-ha. I mean I've watched that movie at least once a year for the past thirty years and NEVER caught that. But yes. There was a time Alaska was not part of America. And in all the years I've watched that, it never stood out. Well my sister-in-law, Brenda, was born in Alaska, and this time it really caught my attention. So much so, I had to look it up and see when Alaska became part of America. That was almost a week ago and my memory is short, but I believe I found it was in 1959. So by watching a movie I enjoyed I also learned a little history. Isn't that amazing.

Even though the second movie didn't talk about the birth of Christ and that is the reason for the season, it did show that Christmas was the time of year we give to others, think of others, bring joy to others. And yes it would be wonderful if we did it all year long, but we're flesh and blood people and unfortunately we think about ourselves more than others, more than not. Hey. I'm just speaking truth here, myself included...but at this time of year I pray more and more for God to help me be more and more like Jesus every day. And we all know what that means...serving others, putting them before self. Okay. On that note I'm going to say --- Have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy your last minute shopping, or the lights, or the music, or the parties, or ALL of it.

My grandson, Koby, was in a Christmas play the other night that was wonderful. Of course he was the best; I might be a little prejudice, but grannies can do that. BTW all the kids did a great job. The little story was so cute and through the laughter and gaiety of the story, the truth about the reason for Christmas was told. God gave us the best, the brightest, the biggest, the gift that keeps on giving gift--His Son. But if you don't receive the gift, you'll never have the peace, the joy, the eternal life in Heaven that Jesus can bring you.

In case I haven't said it...I love Christmas!!

For those of you who have been reading my blog I have to say, Tutu has not been back in weeks. That's why I haven't been talking about the big brown bird. I hope he's okay. The geese stayed away for a while too, but occasionally they swoop down and float around on the lake. They even waddle around on the land looking for food when they can't catch a fish.

Speaking of fish, we met another neighbor. He feeds the fish regularly. We found out our lake is overflowing with catfish. Those of you who read this and aren't from down south, I don't know if you love the fried catfish like we do...but boy-oh-boy, I asked Scott how much longer before he and Jerry start fishing. Not that I'll fry the fish, mind you. That's messy. I don't mind cleaning the mess, but I don't want to make it AND clean it. One or the other.

Ooops. Maybe I've told y'all too much about me. No, that's okay. Truth is truth.

My daughter, Rachael, the one who lives in California, made a big, actually 2 big pots of jambalaya for her Cali friends...A touch of the south cooking on the west coast. She and a friend of hers made a pot of chicken & sausage jambalaya and a pot of seafood jambalaya. That was the first time she attempted the seafood one, and she said the last, but it came out good too and both pots were eaten up in a few hours at the VA hospital she works in.

I'm going to skip the writing tip today. I hope you writers don't mind. Nothing is coming to mind to share at the moment. Maybe it's because I'm so close to the final draft of Testimony of Innocence, that's all I can think about. Oh, I'm loving it. I hope all of you get your copy when the book comes out in the middle of 2012 and I hope you love it too. And if you haven't read the first book in The Samantha Cain Series, Be Not Afraid by Deborah Lynne (me), go to and order it today. I mean it is a series, not that you have to have read the first one to enjoy the second one, but I always find you tend to enjoy them more when you read the whole series. Just like the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson. You get to know the characters that repeat in the series better and better...and you get to meet new ones.

So all of you writers, keep on writing...and all of you readers keep enjoying our books. God gifted us when he allowed us to write stories we could share with others. So enjoy the reads. And I hope to see you at one of my signings. I'm sure they'll be starting back up the middle of next year.

God bless you all and have a wonderful Christmas. I love you.


One more thing I forgot to say, Jerry (my husband's best friend) is doing great after his heart attack and stint put in to correct the 90% blockage. He said God was so good to him during this time. Jerry prayed for peace and God kept him from worrying and stressing over what he was going through...and then everything went well. Jerry said he was blessed!! Isn't that great??

Bye again.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Friday Morning Special Edition of Tuesday Morning Blogging

Ha-ha. How is that for a title? All of you who have a sports enthusiast in the house (or is one) has heard that title in a slight variation...Thursday Night Edition of the Monday Night Football!!

Hi all!

Needless to say, I'm not the sports nut in my home although I have started watching LSU football and The Saints football. I dipped my toes...or should I say eyes...into it a little last year. How could I not? LSU and the Saints were doing well. AND now this year...WOW!!! I'm loving it. Okay...Enough football.

As you can see, I'm late with my blog. This was supposed to be typed Tuesday morning, but again life got in the way. Sorry. I truly love writing this blog. I feel so connected with everyone.

My husband's best friend since middle school had a heart attack Monday night. We found out Tuesday morning. It was kind of funny, but not. His name is Jerry. He and Scott were supposed to go fishing that day. When Jerry called I answered and asked how he was doing. At that time I expected him to say something about being better when they get out on the water. Instead he said, "I could be better." Again I assumed he was saying he could be better if they were already out on the water. When Scott got on the phone, I heard him say. What? Are you kidding? Are you joking? And I'm sitting there screaming in my mind, WHAT?? Finally Scott said, Jerry's in the hospital and he had a heart attack last night. It was such a shock. Turned out by him having the heart attack the doctors found he had 90% blockage and they did surgery Wednesday. A stint (?) was put in. They sent his friend home yesterday. Amazing how quick this is done now adays and the patient released so quickly. Praise God, Jerry didn't have to have open heart surgery. To hear Jerry talk today, he feels so good. He didn't even know he felt so bad...even though he had a few warning signs. Men. Will they ever listen? (I may tell you more next week on this.)

Okay. Enough. Let's spread some cheer. Have y'all done your Christmas shopping? It's been a blast wrapping presents. Grandkids, nieces, nephews, it's so much fun shopping for them. Our first Christmas party is tonight at our new home. I can't wait to watch the kids tear into their wrappings. Tonight is my husband's family Christmas party. Next Friday is my family. As time passes our older ones (grandparents, parents) pass on and new ones are born (nieces and nephews, etc). God is so good. He gave us His Son so we could live eternally with Him in Heaven. Thank you Jesus for doing God's will and dying for us. His birth is what we are celebrating and as God gave us the gift of Him, so we give gifts to others. The full circle of giving...isn't that grand? So keep your eyes and heart open to give wherever God leads you.

Usually I take you through my week one day at a time, but this past week has been so busy with the 30 day inspection on the house (anything we find wrong, they have to come fix) and getting pictures on the wall and Christmas shopping done and wrapping them...and then Jerry's heart attack with a blessed ending or beginning should I say, I can't even begin to make a list of all the things that went on this past week. The main thing is God is good in everything, and He blesses those who love Him and seek Him. That's in His Word and He keeps it. Thank You, Lord!

I'm going to try to share some pictures I've taken...bring a little Christmas lights from my home into yours. This is when I wish I could get comments back on this blog. Unfortunately most people have had a hard time doing that. Thank God, y'all still contact me through email and twitter and facebook. This blog is supposed to let you comment, but it hasn't for so many of you. Anyway, I'd love for you to share some pictures with me. And if I do it right, I'm about to share some with you. Here goes:

By Job, I think I've got it!

I hope they appeared on your screen, where you too can enjoy the pictures. We put a touch of Santa along side the true meaning of Christmas -- the birth of Baby Jesus. Our new neighborhood had several houses lit up nicely. I love Christmas time of year. Every one is in a more loving, more giving spirit.

Smile everyone!! I'll talk to you one more time before Christmas, so enjoy your life God has blessed you with and keep on smiling.

Writing Tip of the Week:

My tip today is -- not to give up. I'm sure you've heard plenty of people tell you, "I have the story you should write." They think its so easy. It is...and it isn't. It's best if we write the story God gives us. That story they want to give you to write, may be there story, or one not worth sharing. Stick to your own unless led differently by God. And when you do write your story, as most of you already know, it's not finished after one writing. And sometimes its hard to get it from the beginning to the end...but YOU can do it. Don't give up. Keep on writing.

When you have completed it, take time to go back through your manuscript and look for ways to improve it. A lot of times as the author you know something but you forget to share it with the reader. Some things that make sense to you, don't to the reader, so be sure and have 1 to 3 people read your manuscript after you think you are through. Have them read through and make suggestions in places where you need to give more details or describe things a little better (Remember - show don't tell!!). And who knows, they might find some typos too. Unfortunately, those are always found, so tell them to mark them boldly...and hopefully all will be gone before you send it to your publisher.

I share this with you because I've been working on the second in the Samantha Cain Series...Testimony of Innocence. It is almost ready...ready to send to my publisher.

It is so much fun to write, to be the creator of the fiction. I'm so glad God is in control of the big picture -- all the world -- but it is fun writing your own novel. I hope if you haven't read; Grace, a Gift of Love, All in God's Time, Be Not Afraid, and/or Passion from the Heart, you will get your copy soon and check out my writing. You can go to your favorite local bookstore (my favorite local ones are -- The BookRack and The Bible & Book Center) (truly I love ALL BOOKSTORES) or your nearest LifeWay or order on line through Amazon to get the book you haven't read. Enjoy them. All the stories are fiction, but God is real. (He gives me the stories and then allows me a free hand in writing them.)

Love you all. Take care and God Bless

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Holiday Season is here!!!

Good morning everyone. It's fun to come to you once a week and share things. I've enjoyed the feedback I've gotten through bloggers (I haven't figured that out yet, how they read mine and leave me notes on another site--or how I come across that site to respond but I have), readers who comment on my blog at my blog, readers who comment via e-mail, and readers who comment through FaceBook. All in all it's been great.

Today I'm going to touch on a sad thing, but we trust God knows what He's doing. My daughter, Molly, miscarried this past week. I'm not going to go into details, but I want you to know both my daughter and my son-in-law, Pete, are strong believers in the Lord and know He is in control of EVERYTHING. He doesn't cause bad to happen but He allows things even when we don't understand. And the Word says praise God in everything, so that's what we are all doing, and at the same time believing God will bless them with a child at the right time.

Well guys, now that the wedding is over, the house is sold, we are moved in, and almost all the boxes have been emptied (almost I said), our hectic schedule has slowed down. Usually every morning over coffee I've gotten to enjoy the geese (I found out they weren't ducks, sorry), but day before yesterday they quit dropping in as quick as they started coming by. Now Tutu ... do you remember him? He is the big brown bird that we have no idea what kind he is but comes every morning to feed himself on the fish in our neighborhood lake and always stands out on the pier across the waters. Well he's a smart old thing. When those geese hung around he either came before they showed up, or slipped in after they had gone. Our big brown friend still comes every day and I enjoy watching him.

In fact, I want to share a short story on how smart Kali, our cat, is. Usually when the geese or Tutu or something else is going out on the water I'll tap on the long window that overlooks the lake and tell Kali to come see. Which she does. She'll stand at my feet and peer out the window. Yesterday, however, I was sitting on the couch reading the Word and Kali started meowing. When she got my attention she stood up on her hind legs and started running her paws, right, then left, then right, real fast on the glass, She has no front claws so I believe it was her way of tapping on the window for me to look out. So I got up and walked over, Sure enough, she was saying, "Look mamma, Tutu is here." When I looked out she dropped to all 4 and looked up at me. So I praised her on being so smart and letting me know, and we stood and watched him together. It was so cute.

This week I've been working hard on Testimony of Innocence. Once I finish making the corrections and tightening up what needs to be tightened, I'll send it back to my critique partners and they'll read through again for final proofing...and then it goes to my Editor. Ramona said they (at OakTara) are still looking forward to the 2nd book in the Samantha Cain series. I had hoped to get it to them by the end of November, but it looks more like the end of December. I think she already knew that when we spoke.  This is still fairly new to me. My fifth book, and second with OakTara. Thank you, Lord.

Later today, my husband and I are going shopping for the rest of our Christmas presents...we hope. It's been fun this year. Some of you may recall where we were at this time last year. Last year we didn't shop for gifts to give, which is what Christmas is all about. In celebration of the season we give to others, because God gave us the best and biggest gift of all--His Son, Jesus Christ. We celebrate Christmas to celebrate His birth, our Savior. Anyway, as I was saying this time last year we were praising God for His healing power. Scott, my husband, had a collapsed lung and through that the doctors found he had lung cancer. Well not only did Scott turn his life over to the Lord, God also healed his cancer. Even though we didn't go shopping we celebrated. And this year God has continued to bless us and He's allowing us to bless others in the shopping. Talk about swell our hearts.

One thing that did happen last week, I got a new desk for my office. In the computer it was beautiful and I expected it to come as in the picture...but it didn't. The deliveryman rang the bell and when I opened it, he had a huge box, heavy box. Talk about disappointed. Then I remembered my oldest daughter, Rachael, had bought herself a desk this past year and she had to put it together herself. In my mind I said, If Rachael can do it, so can I. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Thank God, truly, thank God, I didn't have to. My wonderful son-in-law, Pete, volunteered...or did Molly volunteer him? Either way, he did it with such a joy and a concentration. When he opened the box and saw all the pieces, not to mention the wood, heavy dark cherry wood pieces, it gave him pause. But people, let me tell you, he tackled it head on and it came out beautiful--just like the picture in the computer. And it's heavy. It's in the corner and it's there to stay. I love it. And I am so grateful to Pete.

Actually we're grateful to him in more than one way. He put up all our window coverings. This house with windows everywhere is now covered upstairs and down thanks to our lovely son-in-law. Thank you, Pete. We love you, and not for all the things you've done for us. We loved you before that. You are the best.

I need to give you all an update on my weight loss. As of now 26 pounds are gone. I don't want to say 26 pounds are lost, because I don't want to ever find them again. Trying to stick to that 1200 calories has helped it weekly to keep going in the downward spiral. Ask anyone who knows me, I've never stuck to a diet longer than 3 weeks, but the good thing is this is no diet. I eat whatever I want...including Hershey Kisses. I just have to count those calories. 9 of them equal 200 calories; so needless to say, I don't eat them like I used to. I even have peanut butter cups in a candy dish on my kitchen table, but so far I haven't dipped into those and believe it or not, I haven't even thought about them. I also picked up the new peppermint Hershey kisses my daughter-in-law, Rosie, told us about.

We had Rosie and Chris over to dinner the other night. Chris is getting over a horrible cold. (And because he had the cold and Scott had whatever that was he had since Thanksgiving, we put off the dinner until he was better.) Anyway, at the dinner table Rosie mentioned the peppermint kisses and we ended up talking about all the great things Hershey comes out with every year for the various occasions throughout. It's amazing--but it's ALL GOOD. Ask me. I'm a chocolate freak. I love chocolate.

Today, my new Mary Kay lady, (Ellen), (I found through her buying my books over the past 4 years), is bringing me an order. I was an avid Mary Kay user when a friend, Carol, used to sell it. I fell in love with their products. I know I used their products for probably twenty years. She sold it on the side, but a few years ago when her husband got so sick and took up all her extra time to care for him, she quit selling it. I went two years without and tried many things. Finally I was okay with that stuff they sold on TV, sheer cover I think it was called. It was really good. Closest thing I found to making me look lovely and not letting me sweat it off Anyway, I'm back to MK and very happy.

Well I've talked or should I say rambled on and on, so let me wind it up here by saying, please stay tuned every week and tell your friends to join in. They might find it interesting...the life of an almost 60 year old who was blessed to retire after 30 years of working at a trucking company and is now a full time wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, house caregiver, and author of inspirational fiction. What a blessed life I have, I really do. I'm not bragging, but I am grateful and happy to be so blessed.

Have a merry few weeks before Christmas and keep in your minds and heart the true meaning of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. Be careful, stay safe, and bless those who God puts in your path.

Writing tip of the week:

A one-sheet on your manuscript helps you in so many ways. What is a one-sheet you ask? It's a concisely written page on your newest manuscript, a page only about your story not about you the author. This one-page is used to pitch your manuscript to an editor or agent at a conference, face-to-face. A great tool to have. Helps keep your nerves calm while you're speaking to someone who could change your future as an author.

BUT it can also be used as a flyer to pass out once your book is published. When you go to book signings for that book, you can pass it to those who decide not to purchase it at that moment. Give it to them and it may entice them back the same day or at least have them look it up later and order it. Maybe financially it wasn't a good time to buy themself a book. Or when you are signing your newest book and you have another older one that's still available, or another one about to come out, or coming out next year, the one-sheet could be used to advertise or tell the public about it. Pass it out at the signing. We love free things and that one sheet is free. You can talk on one book, or if you have a few you can make a one-sheet of one-paragraphs on each of your books available. Use this to draw them in to your writing style.

If you'll take time to make a one-sheet for your manuscript it will make you pull your thoughts together before talking about your book with an editor or agent, as well as give you more confidence when you are talking about your MS to others.

Again you can find tips on one-sheets in books at the library. Keep writing and keep enjoying it.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Frost of a New Day

Good morning everyone.

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee and looking out the various windows around me a light chill sweeps through me.

No. Its not the temperature inside...a perfect 71.

Frost covers the roof-tops all around the lake so I know its a little nippy outside. According to my iPhone it's 37 degrees this morning. Those of us who have a place to call home, with a roof over our heads and warm covers to snuggle up in at night on our soft (or hard) beds, are so blessed. This is the time of year its roughest on people who have to live on the streets or in their vehicles. I'm not sure what made me think of this, this morning, because I try to stay positive and share all the blessings from God--which I know are many. But I think this morning God is telling me to remind all of us that we are blessed to be a blessing. So if you see someone not as blessed as you, or someone you can give a hand to, or money to, or a coat to, or whatever you can do, listen to the Spirit inside of you and do what He tells you to do. We are blessed to be a blessing. The great thing about that is when God opens a door for us to bless others, we are blessed again. What a loop to be in!!

Well this week our lives have been busy again, but this time its been with unpacking...getting our house in order, so the house can become our home. It's about to come to completion. We have one more room (my soon to be workout room) with boxes of stuff (I don't know what all could be in those boxes) to unpack. We'll take care of that, one box at a time.

Yesterday I got my new office in order...well almost. I've unpacked all but about 5 of the boxes, ordered a new desk, and organized the room. The desk will be in tomorrow and then I'll be able to finish it. I've been writing at the dinning room table or the coffee table which is wonderful...Thank God for my lap top. When my office is complete I'll enjoy paying bills (sort of) and writing in there. My desk will allow me to enjoy the view outside of two windows while I write or whatever I deem important at the time. Those windows I do not plan on putting up coverings or window dressings. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Any suggestions? Feel free to share. Maybe I'll go with some sheer type of covering so I can continue to enjoy outside. Of course, right now the whole house has NO WINDOW dressings. It makes my husband and I think twice about how we are dressed before walking around the house. But the window coverings have been ordered and bought so by this time next week I believe my windows will be dressed as well. :-)

I'm going to be adding pictures today...if I can figure this out. I've taken several with my iPhone and downloaded them on my laptop, but now I have to figure out how to get to them so I can post them on this blog.

I do believe I am getting the knack of this. I'm only putting two of the many pictures I have taken, but this will give you an idea of our new home and the bountiful blessings we are receiving. I noticed in all the pictures, I forgot to take one of the front view of the house and the ones I've taken of the lake don't do it justice. 

This morning a gaggle of geese or ducks or whatever they were, instead of flying past, they dipped down and played in the water for awhile. I guess what is cold for us isn't as cold for them. There were 17 altogether. Not sure how many are in a gaggle, but these birds usually fly over in the mornings in a V form. Until today, they've never stopped to my knowledge. It's really cool watching them play. 

There is another big bird, a tall brown one, we've named him/her Tutu. He comes and pulls a fish out for breakfast and then takes his time eating it. Our cat, Kali, would give anything to get out there and mess with the big thing...or at least she acts like she would. So tough behind the glass watching at a distance, but we always say she portrays the true meaning of scaredy cat. A slight unexpected movement in the house (like the dropping of ice by the ice maker) and she runs for her life. BIG SCAREDY CAT. We enjoy her immensely.

As you could see in the first picture, our tree is up. No bulbs on it yet, just lights, but I've started wrapping presents. With the blessings we've been given, it is so great to give to others. Don't get me wrong. It's always great to give to others...but after all we've received it's a huge blessing to be giving to others. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Giving? He gave us the greatest gift of all...His Son. Now we celebrate every year by giving to others. I hope y'all have a very blessed Christmas this year!!

BTW (text talk for by-the-way), as busy as we've been these past few weeks, it has caught up with Scott. Even though everyone tells him not to do anything, he can't just sit and watch others do it for him, so of course he has helped as much as his lungs would allow. Apparently he helped a little too much and he has been very run down this week. A cold set in several days ago. In fact on Thanksgiving night he had 99.7 fever. That's not much to most, but a lung cancer survivor who's immune system isn't as strong as it used to be and lungs damaged more than a little, colds can turn into pneumonia quickly. If his fever gets to 100.5 we are to go straight to the hospital. But thank you, Lord, his temperature never got higher. Of course from that day forward Scott rested and stayed inside taking better care of himself and hoping to get better. Finally Monday we got a hold of his doctor and she ordered him medicine. Now he is taking it and in a few days we hope he will be shaking this cold that is trying to keep him down. Keep him in your prayers. Thanks!! :-)

One more thing before we move on to the tip for the week, I found out, even though very few people have clicked to follow me, my blogs are being read all the way over in England. 

Hello Janet! Nice to have you reading my pages. I hope you enjoy and continue to stay with us. We love having you. I love having you connected. 

Everyone, feel free to become a follower by clicking on "follow" or by just continuing to read weekly. Feel free to comment on the blog comment part itself, or keep doing as you have by sending emails and notes behind the scene. But I'd love to have your comments where all can see and maybe we all start feeling connected.

So enough chit-chat from me on day-to-day living!! 

Writing tip of the week:

Known authors who sell millions of books don't have to worry about hooking you on the first page, but newer authors and want-to-be-soon published authors have to stick to the beginning to get that hook line in there. My suggestion to you is look back at some of your favorite books. Read the first line, the first paragraph and see what hooked you. This was something drummed into my head at the various conferences I've attended over the years.

Looking back at my 4 published novels in the order of release, I believe my first paragraph did what I tried to accomplish. Hook the reader by making him/her ask them self questions. Let's see.

Grace, a Gift of Love -- 
Finally she was there. Was Dena Lewis crazy for coming to a place she didn't know? She had to least a little bit, she told herself. 

All in God's Time --
With elbows resting on her desktop, Meagan rubbed her hands together as she released a long sigh. "I have to do it," she said aloud, "one more time."

Be Not Afraid --
A scream pierced the darkness outside the office. Samantha Cain's head popped up as she glared out the big window. She froze. Her heart pounded as an icy chill slid slowly down her back.

Passion from the Heart --
"Over my dead body!" A deep harsh voice cut through the air like a knife.

Hopefully with the first paragraph of each of my books, the reader asked him or her self questions. In the first novel, Grace, a Gift of Love, where was this girl Dena? And why would she have to be crazy to be there? Hopefully those 2 questions made the reader want to read more. In the second novel, All in God's Time, the reader could see Meagan was pushing herself to do something, but what? And why was she sounding so low? What was going on in her life? The third book, Be Not Afraid, by the first sentence the reader knew something bad had just happened. And reading the 1st paragraph the reader knew fear had hit Samantha Cain full force. Where was she? Who screamed? What is going on? Why doesn't she get out of there quickly? In Passion from the Heart, the 4th book, I was hoping the 1st line grabbed peoples attention. Over my dead body...oh. What was this all about? And the voice -- deep, harsh...cutting like a knife. Who was this person speaking too? Why are they being threatened?

Again, check out some of your favorites, and then reread what you're writing. See if you grab the readers attention in the first paragraph. Remember, there are help books in the library that tell you about hooking your reader. I hope my little tip today has you thinking about your latest manuscript. Get fired up and go see what you can do to turn it up a notch. Keep up the good work. Keep on writing.

And keep on reading my blog. When you're finished go to my web-site and read the first chapter of any of my books you've missed. Maybe that will entice you to go to and order one you don't have. Remember Be Not Afraid is the first in the Samantha Cain series and book 2 will be coming out in the middle of 2012...Testimony of Innocence. I hope you find you'll want to stay with me through the entire series. Tell a friend, tell a neighbor, tell a loved one. Thanks for being my friend. 

Take care and God bless you. He wants to, you know. 

Like it says in John 10:10 The thief comes but to steal, kill, and destroy. I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.

Talk to you next week!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Part 2

Hi guys. I'm back. Sorry I had to leave so early this morning. Moving to a new home takes so much running around, but I think we've about covered it all. This morning I cut things short and left off things I wanted to talk about.

First let me say, Molly (our second daughter for those who are new comers) is showing a little...the new baby I mean. It's exciting. Whether it's a boy (again) or a little girl, we don't  know, however we are so excited. Being grandparents is the best thing in the world. Yes. It's even better than having your own children. My mom used to tell me that, but I never believed it until I lived it. Still don't know the due date, but they are guessing around June 11th. My thought is a May baby...but we'll see.

Another thing I wanted to share is my second book in The Samantha Cain Series, A Testimony of Innocence, will be out about the middle of 2012. (my 5th book total--I'm sure I'll quit counting one day) I'm working on the rewrites in layers like I discussed last week, I believe, in my writer's tips on the blog. So the manuscript is almost ready for Oak Tara, my publisher. I'm excited. As other writers will tell you, each one is like the birth of your children...all the blood sweat and tears...if you know what I mean.

Last but not least, I want to thank Allyn Stotz for nominating me for The Lovely Blog Award. That was so sweet of Allym Stotz who is the author of The Pea In Peanut Butter...soon to be out as a color book too. A wonderful story to either read to a toddler or for the elementary age to read for them self. Cute as can be. Check her out at:

I have to share a funny story on how we met. The day before the Louisiana Book Festival I was blog surfing and came across the cutest page. It had a dragon at the top and it caught my attention. After reading her blog, I took time that night to print 20 copies of the first chapters of my two latest novels to hand out at the festival. Her blog had talked about how people love to get things for free and I wanted to accommodate them. Also I had made up my mind to try and find her book and purchase one for my grandson, not knowing she was from Louisiana too. After I arrived at our tent and set up my book display I sat and watched other authors coming in and setting up. Suddenly I saw a name plate that was put down on the table next to me. It was the same author. How cool was that? I was so excited. Needless to say we had a blast getting to know one another throughout the day...and now I think of us as friends...of course she thinks of me as her stalker...hee-hee...all in fun. I'd nominate Allyn's blog, but it is already nominated. Go girl!

I'd like to nominate Jill Elizabeth Nelson's blog for The Lovely Blog Award. I've been reading her books, news-letters and blogs for some time. She is such a wonderful writer and we all are blessed to be able to read her thoughts and words freely via Internet. Check out her blog, web-site, and books. You won't be sorry.

I hope you enjoyed the two-part blog. Next week I hope to be back to normal on my schedule, but I'm always glad to go where the Lord leads me. So stay close and keep reading. Next week I'll add some pictures of our new home. We are really enjoying the peace and quiet. I forgot how quiet silence could be...not to mention how dark the night really gets without the city lights and street noises. We're loving it though and thanking God for his blessings on us.

Writing tip for the day:

First let me say to all of you new writers, I hope you will take time to tell me what you want to know about writing and/or on things related to writing that hopefully I've learned on the road to becoming a published author. You can contact me via email, my website or comments on the blog. My email address is or go on my website and click on contact me. One of the first things I learned in my almost thirty years of writing and 5 years of being published is authors love to help other authors. And I want to help you in any way I can.

The tip I'm sharing today is know the publishers you send your queries to. Research the type books they do publish making sure your genre, your voice, is the one they are looking for. Also make sure your manuscript is prepared and printed the way they request it...and if it is being emailed, make sure it's set the way they request it. Publishers deal with a lot of manuscripts every day and they are looking for that special one. Let it be yours!! Good luck and God bless you.


A New Chapter

Good morning everyone! I know. It's not Tuesday. I couldn't type my blog yesterday because I had no Internet. We've been in our new home since Friday night. Talk about blessed!!!

All who know me, know I loved our home we just sold. The house was my dream home--and God provided it for us. Not only was the home big but we were blessed with a large backyard that had a deck, a cabana, yard space for a swing set and playing, and a pool. We had 20 years of fun and laughter there. In the beginning we had BBQ's every weekend but slowed down over time. And the neighbors, we couldn't ask for better neighbors!! In fact, that was the hardest thing about putting our house up for sale in the beginning. We didn't want to leave them. Silly me. We haven't left them. They are still our friends, just not our neighbors. God will bless us with new neighbors, whom I pray will be as wonderful as the ones we had to move away from. God bless you neighbors (those of you who are reading this). You know we love you. :-)

For a quick update, my son Chris and his new bride Rosie are still on their honeymoon. They have shared the fun and laughter of their honeymoon with family and friends via Facebook. Talk about a joyous way to spend two weeks. You can feel their fun when looking at the pictures. The six days I was out of touch on the Internet was hard, because I knew I was missing their pictures. But I caught up last night, WOW! It's so great to see your children when they are happy. Rosie added such a smile to my son's face that I hope never goes away.

Our week started out bringing our oldest daughter, Rachael, to the airport in New Orleans so she could fly home to Dublin, California. That was hard to do and a little sad. We had her here for almost two weeks. What a joy she was in our home! We had a great time. But she was missing her friends and her work place and was ready to go back home. I understand that so well. I'm sure I've said it before, she works as a Radiology Technologist at the VA Clinic in Livermore. Remember my book All in God's Time? That was the book inspired by a dream from God that I said was either her future or my next book. Well the book came out in 2008 and she was lead to quit traveling around the U.S. for her job and take a permanent one on the west coast. In my book I wrote about the girl settling down on the east coast, which for a girl who never liked the beach was a huge thing. This was and is true about the book character as well as Rachael. Unfortunately God didn't tell me which coast. I had no idea she would move over 2000 miles away. You mothers know how hard that can be, a child moving away. Anyway, she's happy so we're happy.

By Thursday we we're loading up a big rental truck with all of our things...well the things we didn't give away or throw out. In 20 years you collect a lot. :-) And I must say, when I use "we" I used it loosely. We didn't do much of anything but pack. Scott wasn't able to do lifting and very little moving, nor was I. We filled the boxes and Pete (our wonderful son-in-law) loaded and directed the loading and unloading of our entire house while we were at closings...first the sell of our home. Oops!! I'm getting ahead of myself. The loading was done Thursday night. The unloading was done Friday, but had to wait until the first closing finished and the second one started (at 4PM) to start unloading. Thursday and Friday we were not only blessed with Pete's help and direction, but our nephew Jay, Scott's best friend since childhood Jerry, my best friend for 17 years - husband David, and my grandson Scotty loaded and unloaded that huge truck. And I don't want to forget, Emy (my BFFL) and Ina another dear friend who helped me with packing up my kitchen Thursday night. We couldn't have done it without every one's help and we are so appreciative.

So Friday was busy with going to closings. The one room that was set up completely the first night was our bedroom. Talk about grateful there. We collapsed in the bed and slept soundly. But come Saturday morning we hit the floor running, getting boxes unloaded one after the other. Don't misunderstand. We still have 2 rooms with plenty of boxes to empty, (one which holds the remote controls to 2 of our TVs). But by Saturday night the kitchen was completely in order and by Sunday night all 3 bathrooms were filled with the new accents (towels, rugs, shower curtains where needed) as well as all of our personal belongings put in place.

Monday we got to shop for our new furniture. This is probably the 9th home we've lived in counting apartments along the way in the 40 years (come January) of marriage. It's the first one we were able to buy all new furniture for. Talk about blessed. And speaking of that the last is being delivered right now so I need to cut this short. Everything else was delivered yesterday. The only thing left is to get my dryer chord changed out and then hook it up, as well as putting my washer in place. Then I'll be busy playing catch up with my washing. Yuck!  But it's all worth it.

I hope all of you will pardon me for not having a writing tip today. Maybe I'll post one tomorrow. But my furniture is coming in the door as I type and it's like Christmas morning to a child and I want to watch Santa place the goodies. By for now!

Love you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

E-Journal: Busy and blessed -- all at the same time

E-Journal: Busy and blessed -- all at the same time: I hope y'all never get tired of hearing how blessed I am. God is so good. This week our baby boy (who is no baby, but will always be my ba...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Busy and blessed -- all at the same time

I hope y'all never get tired of hearing how blessed I am. God is so good.

This week our baby boy (who is no baby, but will always be my baby) married his beautiful bride. I'm going to try and add a couple of pictures on my blog. We'll see if it works. One will be of the groomsmen: Jay, Chris' cousin and best friend since toddler days; Matt, Chris's really good friend since high school or college days--somewhere around that time; and then his dad, Scott, filling in for a good friend, Ty, who lives in Colorado, but couldn't come because his wife was expecting to deliver their new baby any day. The four men look so good. AND the second picture will be of the bride (sweet, beautiful, Rosie) and groom, Chris, coming down the aisle. Instead of rice we were throwing clean, fresh picked colorful leaves off of the trees.

It worked! The pictures are there. My kids will be proud of me. This feat was accomplished without me having to call one of them. Of course it was easy, but don't tell anyone.   :-)

The BBQ the two had planned in place of their dress rehearsal dinner was almost as beautiful as the wedding. AND of course, I don't want to forget to mention the fancy "outhouse" Mike, Rosie's daddy, got for the whole shindig. Talk about fancy. It was like using a restroom in a fancy hotel--- almost...with music piped in and everything. Not like the one we used when I was a kid and my family visited my Papa's house in the country or even like the ones you see at fairs. (another blessing if I do say so myself.)

With doctor visits and driving the newlyweds to the airport, there were 3 trips made to New at 3 in the morning. But it too, was great.

An added treat this week was an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner we had since Rachael, our oldest, will be back to her home in Dublin, California. Scott's mom and sister joined us. We shared all of Rachael's favorites at Thanksgiving. It was shared over a table full of joy and love. We had a great time.

Well any of you who have been reading my blog also know Scott and I have sold our home of twenty years to down size. Our new home sits on a lake with very little yard to keep up. He's looking forward to fishing in it, I do believe. Anyway, now that the wedding is past and the closing is this Friday (or Thursday, it's still being discussed) we start the packing. Thank goodness when we had the updating done with a touch of remodeling, a lot of the old stuff was thrown out. We are believing God for a smooth transition...even with our precious 3 year old cat, Kali. Keep us in your prayers. :-)

I'll keep this short today because I have to get busy packing. Hopefully the tip I'm sharing will help you in your writing. Read, soak it up, then go write, write, write. Have fun!!

I JUST GOT THE WORD - closings start at 1 PM this Friday...and the new house closing will follow at 3. It should mean we will be at the new house Friday night. We have 4 volunteers to help us move and we are so grateful. 


When writing, be sure and develop your characters. The second rejection I received, although a great letter telling me what they liked about my MS, taught me an early lesson in writing. The reason they rejected it was how I learned to improve my writing. My characters were like cardboard dolls

We need to make our characters come alive. Give them depth. This can be done through dialogue, through characters' thoughts, and through characters' emotions. A character's past is what make them who they are. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying to go in and dedicate a chapter introducing your character by feeding your readers their history. This is something YOU must know when you write, and then at the right time you'll share it with the reader so they too can understand what makes them tick. But you share it in small important doses. They don't need to know it all. 

Go read your most favorite novel and see how the author made you fall for her/his hero or heroine or both.

I remember a course I took from ACFW on line. I can't recall who taught it, but it was about deepening the POV. I learned so much from that class. If you belong to ACFW go into the archives and find it under one of the classes on character and Deep POV. You'll love it and you'll find it very helpful.

I can also suggest 3 books I have that helped me. There is a 4th one too, but I loaned it out and can't recall the title.

  1.  Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood
  2.  Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress
  3.  Getting Into Character by Brandilyn Collins

The fourth book is by Dwight Swain on Characters, but I can't recall the title. Check your local library for any of these 4 books plus I'm sure they have more.

Characters can be so memorable as long as you make them deeper than paperdolls!! Have fun writing and know that you can come back in your rewrite and make them stronger.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

editing until the end

Today is a new day on the calender...all fresh and clean. I hope I make the best choices on each and every thing that God lays in my path today. Isn't it a great feeling when you've made the right choices? The good thing is, when we mess up, which we all do, God gives us another chance. He is always ready and willing to forgive us, if we only ask. So like Him, we too, should be ready and willing to forgive those who hurt us.

Can you tell my morning reading was in Matthew chapters 16-18. How could a man be so foolish to beg for forgiveness of a major debt, AND GET IT, and then turn around and not grant someone release of a debt owed him? I know the scripture means even more than debts owed. I know God's telling me, He forgave me, so be sure and forgive others for anything they say or do against me. It's definitely easier to let go of a hurt than to hold on to it. When you hold on to what someone does against you, it becomes more of a burden. BUT when you forgive and let go, you get to have the peace that only comes from God. He not only gives you peace but He blesses you in so many ways.

Well let's enjoy the new day.

I've had a busy, but productive week these past 7 days. Like I stated in my tweet, it's only 3 days until my son's wedding. His little bride is such a sweetheart and we are so blessed to see our son soooo happy. Yesterday we made candles for the centerpieces on the tables. It was so much fun. Her grandmother, Ginny (Nanna to the grand kids), organized us. It was Ginny, Edie (Rosie's mom), Rachael (my oldest daughter), Rosie, and myself. We made a hundred centerpieces. Once we got started and got going we improved with each and every one. And they were beautiful. The layers of the all natural things from God's earth holding the candles in place and then a label applied to the front announcing the wedding came out beautifully. Hard work. But Edie and Rachael kept us laughing. And we don't want to forget the men folk, Anthony and Mike, (Rosie's Uncle and Father) who made a run to buy more of the natural things we used to stabalize the candles and make them special. They did great. The first 25 look a little different from the last 75 because they came back with such rich things like dark, coffee, brown flax seed. Talk about beautiful...and the brown rice...What color was that you ask? Not brown. It was more of a wheat. Some little chick peas (I think they were called) were olive green, and corn yellow, and a sandy beach tan. There were other things brought, but those of you that make the wedding will see. You others, use your imagination and think earth. My daughter-in-law thinks green before almost anything else.

I'm going to work backwards this time. Sunday of course, the day God gave us to rest, we spent the afternoon watching the Saints beat Tampa Bay, 27-16. It was a fun afternoon. You know it has to be hard on the coach watching from the press box above. A couple games back his knee was injured on the sidelines when a tackle rolled out, hitting him. By sitting up there, he still gets to see and participate in each game. Sean Payton is pressing on in a bad situation...what we should always do and trust God will see us through, if we are following His will.

Saturday was a great day for us. That was when Rachael flew in from California. We are blessed to have her staying with us for almost two weeks. All you mommas know, it's great when all your kids are around. I love mine so much, words can not express.

Earlier Saturday the public library in Livingston had a free writer's workshop that had several authors (Including myself) share something to help writers of the future over some of the speed bumps ahead...things we learned the hard way which hopefully will make their writing path a little smoother. It was a great several hours of helpful hints and tips.

Sad to say, I can't remember what happened Tuesday afternoon through Friday, but I know my life has been busy but in a wonderful way. I'm loving every minute of it. Oh, one thing I almost forgot to say, I am now up to having lost 21 pounds. I still have a ways to go, but that 1200 calorie a day thing has been working well for me.

One thing I haven't had yet is my coffee. I'm going to go fix a cup and will be right back to share some writing tips.

Aaahh. Yes. I'm back and had my first sip. Louisiana's coffee, Community Coffee, is probably the best brew made. I don't drink mine dark like most southerners. International, sugar free, Hazelnut mixes with my coffee making it even better. I love it.


I can't take credit for them, because I'm going to share with you what one of the authors shared with the new writers (and us oldies that were sitting in the back). By the way, this is a tip from me -- you NEVER stop learning how to grow your writing gift as long as you keep your ears, mind, and heart open to hear how other people do it. Truth is there is no right or wrong way. You have to find what works for you to write the best you can, so much so that others will want to read your stuff.

Now, for what Stephen Brunet, a professional technical writer, shared with us. I don't have time to share it all with you, but I do want to give you a few tips that will help you in your rewriting, your editing of your MS. He covered so much more, and even though he is a technical writer, everything he shared we could use to improve our own writing.

Stephen shared how his editorial crew, edit in layers. Each one has a different aspect of the writing that they look at/for as they are searching the text. Language, grammar, typos, structure, format, layout, & content.

When it's all said and done, you want to make sure your novel, no matter the genre, does the following:

1.  answers the questions (who, what, where, when, how, why),

2.  there are NO typos in your MS

3.  you made the right choice of words when writing (nouns-to paint the picture & verbs to keep it active)

4.  Clarity, using proper sentence structure

5.  content -- make sure it flows and readers understand

I have to say, that is the basic way my two critique partners and I usually edit my MS. Right now we are working on the editing layers of the 2nd book in The Samantha Cain Series -- Testimony of Innocence. After listening to Stephen, I feel we will do an even better job than we did on the last 4 published ms. Thanks Stephen for your wonderful talk Saturday.

As writer you never want to stop learning, growing. So keep up the good work...and keep on writing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Bright New Day

Good morning everyone. Today is another glorious day God has given us. I don't know about the weather around your home, but down here in the south we've been blessed with perfect weather. Love the cool breezes and the clear skies.

For the record, The Louisiana Book Festival that was held this past Saturday, was filled with people, fun, food, music, and so much more. Again, the weather was perfect. I hope all of you who live Louisiana way, were able to make it out there. Those of us who are called to write, when we begin we feel we are all alone, but let me tell you there were so many authors at the festival it took many tents to have covers for our tables to house us all. Some were even sitting out in the beautiful sunlight, soaking it in as they met readers of our books. Let me fill you in on a little secret. Meeting you readers is a joy and highlight in our lives. As much as we love getting lost in our writing, whether it is truth or fiction, we love the one-on-one contact we have with you. So thank you all who made my day and other authors like me. :-) I hope you had as much fun as we did.

A quick update on my family life-- Our oldest daughter (who lives in California) will be flying in Saturday to spend almost 2 weeks with us. Our baby, our son, is getting married 11/11/11 and Rachael is coming in early for it. We are so excited. And I got word this morning she is 4 tenths of a pound away from reaching her goal of losing 45 pounds before coming home. She'll make it!! Our middle daughter, Molly, is enjoying a visitor from England. Her husband’s stepdaughter flew in to America. She planned to spend some time with friends in New York, but took several days out of her trip to fly down here and meet her dad's wife. They were waiting to tell her the good news of the baby-on-the-way. I think Molly & Pete will be celebrating their 3rd wedding anniversary in February. What better way, then by planning a new child in their lives? Remember that old movie, Yours, Mine & Ours? And of course, the remake. Anyway we have our own personal experience with that. Loving it and looking forward to the OURS. Boy or girl??? We don't know yet. But we all look forward to which may even be one of each. My husband is a twin. :-) Last but not least, Chris, our son, and Rosie, our future daughter-in-law have been busy working while trying to finish up on the last few things involved in their wedding plans. 11/11/11 is right around the corner. We are sooooo excited.

The closing of our house of 20 years and passing it on to the next owner, is right around the corner. We love our home God blessed us with and we pray the new owner will find as much peace and joy as we've had. Most people who come to visit, when they sit in the living room comment on the peace they feel in our home. I love that. It's the peace from God and we know it. I prayed about 30 years ago for this home and God answered the prayer 20 years ago. Wait on God, and it's always the right thing. The only reason we're moving on is to downsize and we believe this is God's will for us. Our new home is gorgeous, sits on the edge of a lake, and it’s a small community of houses. Beautiful houses. We are being blessed again and we know the peace is coming with us!! Praise God!!

Writing tips for today:

When I first got started writing, I had written 5 novels before ever sending out a query letter. I never thought about selling my manuscripts. I wrote them for the pleasure it brought me...never thinking others could enjoy them (except my mom and our dear friend, Rhonda). When I was encouraged to try to get published and I sent out my first query letter, the response came that they would love to see the first three chapters and an outline of my manuscript. The first three chapters were easy, but an outline?? How do you take a 50000 - 60000 word count manuscript and turn it into a 3-page outline. That was hard, let me tell you. But I did it, and after a very long wait, I was rejected. Why? Because I did a lot of head hopping. 

What is that? It's the way they used to write so the reader knew what every character was thinking as they spoke. It is the omnipotent way. But TODAY we write in a certain character or characters Point Of View--POV for future references. Writers either right in the main character's POV in first person (I this, or I that) or they write in 3rd person (he or she did, blah blah blah). When you write in 3rd person, you can stay in the main characters POV or you can occasionally go to another characters POV but you have to do it in block form. The best thing is when writing a scene you determine who's POV you need to be in. If writing a mystery, sometimes you'll want to write in the killers POV without giving away who he/she is, but you want to get some of the killers thoughts across to the reader, usually increasing the tension or fear. You can also write in 1st person with the occasional 3rd person chapter. The first I ever saw this was when reading a James Patterson suspense novel. One short chapter here and there was in the killer’s head. Later I noticed in Sue Grafton novels as well. They do a wonderful job of it. The main thing to remember, when writing and you want to have more than one POV in a scene, remember to block it out, and be in the character who best grows the story, keeping it moving forward. Don't hop back and forth. Give your character either a chapter to his/her self and when its within another chapter give them several paragraphs, maybe even a few pages...which is what I mean by blocking it out.

Another thing I learned with my first rejection and a few more rejections later (of course I learned it over 10 years later) is when a publisher rejects you and gives you specific reasons they rejected it, take time to fix those things and then resubmit. I was told once you are rejected, they’d never look at it again. But a published author, whom was getting an autographed copy of her book, told me that wise piece of wisdom. Basically we want to learn from our rejections and grow as a writer. So keep on writing and keep on growing.

Till next week, have a blessed time. By the way, I've been emailed by several who have tried to become a follower on my blog, but for some reason it hasn't allowed anyone...yet my iPhone tells me people have started following. I don't see any comments or people showing yet, but I'll get with my web-master, Moore by Design, and get that remedied. Hopefully quickly, but don't give up trying. I'll let you know more next week.