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.