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.
TALK TO YOU NEXT WEEK.