Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blogging Hiatus - Hibernation

Due to my schedule and obligations and the holiday all coalescing and reaching critical mass, I'll be taking a blogging break.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year full of growth and new ways to honor and glorify God.

After the first of the year, hopefully I'll be back with some cool news. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011


When e-readers first emerged, I was anti. I mean, I'm a card carrying bibliophile. I love the look, feel, smell, and everything else about books.

I've been known to rearrange a bookshelf, just to have a reason to touch all the books. When a person on TV is being interviewed sitting in front of a bookshelf, I ignore the interview and try to figure out the titles of the books behind them. 

And, I wanted to wait to see which ebook reader came out tops in the race. After all, who wants to be the only kid on the block with a Beta player, when VHS rules the world, right? 

Then I had the opportunity to get a Kindle for free. Yep, for free. A bank in my town was running an offer. Open a checking account at their bank, park $50 bucks at their bank for six months, and BAM! Free Kindle.

So I did. I figured, what do I have to lose?

Two days after opening the account, I was holding my Kindle in my hot little hands. That was about a month ago. 

First thing I did was go out and get a zippy red cover for it and a book light.

Then I came home and downloaded some free books, and then some books I paid for. 

Then I started reading. Oh, my! I thought it would take me a little bit of time to adjust to reading on the little screen, but after only a couple of minutes, I was engrossed in the story and forgot I was reading on a Kindle. 

So, what have I gleaned from this experience?

1. It's still all about the story. Regardless of format, as long as the story world sucks me in, I'm a happy girl.

2. If I am any indication, people who have e-readers will buy more books than those who don't. It's probably psychological, but I found the purchase process much easier than going to a brick and mortar store and forking over moola and carrying a book out of the store, and, can you say instant gratification? I ordered a book online, and BAM! it was Whisper-synced to my Kindle in seconds.

3. I need to stop being afraid of ebooks. I was afraid I wouldn't receive the same gratification, the same excitement, the same fulfillment from an ebook. What I learned is, my emotions can be touched by lots of different media. I cry at movies, tap my toes to great movies, and great writing grabs my attention whether on paper or on my e-reader.

How about you? Do you have a e-reader? Are you a fan? 

Friday, December 09, 2011

The Friday Five

This is the Rochester Area Homeschool Defenders posing (weirdly) with their second place trophy from the Coulee Region Tip Off Tournament held in West Salem, Wisconsin. My son is in third from the left on the back row. What a fun bunch of boys.

This week's Friday Five is:

Five things I love about the Homeschool Basketball Season.

1. Watching the players develop their skills, both at basketball and at becoming men and women of God.

2. The camaraderie and memories made.

3. Hanging with the Defender moms and the way we all cheer for each others' kids.

4. Seeing my son's confidence, ball handling, and interpersonal skills grow.

5. The hours every week I spend in the church library writing while practice is going on. Sure helps with the word count.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Goals. Yikes.

Today's picture has nothing to do with the post. I just think it's hilarious. My son and I found it at the garden center this year and I snapped a picture. Whenever I see it, I think "Dum-dum want gum-gum." (Raise your hand if you know where that line is from.)

Actually, today's post is about goals, NaNo and otherwise.

You probably noticed that I didn't reach my 50K word goal for November. I did write 30K words, so the month wasn't a total loss, but it wasn't where I wanted it to be.

And I have no excuses. I just didn't get it done. I started out well, but didn't finish up the way I wanted to.

I felt out of sorts for most of November. Unsettled, edgy, sad. I felt like I was dancing as fast as I could, but I wasn't getting any of the stuff that I wanted to done. Unsure of the cause of these feelings, I couldn't seem to pinpoint how to change.

The farther behind I fell in the NaNo count, the more apathetic I grew. Reading books on my new Kindle was more appealing than writing on my WIP. Watching DVD's of Castle appealed more than writing on my WIP. Pretty much EVERYTHING seemed better than my WIP. And I couldn't decipher why I felt apathetic towards something that normally brings me great joy.

Then the calendar flipped over to December. Here we are, a week into the last month of the year, and suddenly, I'm feeling mentally better, emotionally more stable, physically...well, that's about the same. :) I started writing again. I've averaged 2500 words a day this week, and I'm back to dreaming about my story, daydreaming and night dreaming. Things feel right when I am writing.

So, goals for December. Trying to be realistic but juxtaposing a busy Christmas season, basketball games (we have 10 this month,) end of year bookkeeping, and having my lovely daughter home from college with the fact that this WIP needs to be a completed and edited manuscript by February 1st.

1. Write as much as I can, especially before Heather comes home.

2. Edit my crit partner's manuscript and return it to her.

3. Read my other crit partner's debut novel for an endorsement. (I only got to read the first few chapters of this one before she submitted it, so now I get to see how the story will turn out.)

4. End of year bookkeeping responsibilities.

5. Keep our noses to the grindstone on the homeschooling so we don't fall behind during this whirlwind month.

6. Remember to enjoy my family, my church, my friends, the pretty snow, etc.

How about you? Have you ever felt apathetic towards something that normally gives you joy? How did you pull yourself out of it?

On a happier note, Casey Herringshaw wrote a lovely review of A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas this week that brought tears to my eyes. You can find the review on Casey's blog:

AND, my dear friend Keli Gwyn got her first peek at the beautiful cover art for her debut novel! You can see it on her FB Reader's Group page. "Like" the page and get a gander of another in the series of "Destination Romances" from Barbour Publishing.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Pretty New Cover Art

This past week I received the cover art for two of my novels. The one on the right is for Maggie and the Maverick - Large Print Edition. I LOVE IT! Romantic and cowboy-ish, and it matches the cover art for the first book in the series so beautifully.

I've been blessed to have Thorndike Press pick up three of my titles for Large Print editions. I know one of the drawbacks of the Heartsongs is that the print is rather small. Thanks to Thorndike Press, readers who need larger print books can enjoy some Heartsong titles.
And this is the new cover art for my upcoming Heartsong release Stars In Her Eyes. This is the third book in my Martin City, Colorado series. Books one and two are Before the Dawn and Light to my Path.

Should he marry to please his church or follow his heart? Pastor Silas Hamilton has always been of the opinion that when he meets the woman God intends for him to marry, he’ll know her immediately. And so far, she hasn’t appeared, despite the determined machinations of one particular mother in his congregation.

And then it happens. Walking along the creek one day, he rescues a young woman from a near-fall into the water…and though they part ways without exchanging names, her fascinating gray eyes and the mysterious connection he felt with her remain foremost in his mind.

It isn’t until later, when he attends a play at the newly opened theater in town that he realizes his dreams have been caught up in the lovely Willow Starr—an actress bound for the bright lights of New York City.

But can a pastor love an actress? Would an actress abandon the stage for life in Martin City? And what about that mother, determined to claim the pastor for her daughter?