Sunday, April 29, 2012
When we built this house, we chose the vinyl flooring for the kitchen/dining room because it was nice looking and it was on special at the flooring store. Armstrong vinyl, a special buy. It's white and light gray.
Yeah, white. What was I thinking? I had a 5 year old and a 1 year old when we moved in, and that floor has never been the same since they laid it.
But through the years, I've battled it. Scrubbing and mopping, stripping and polishing. The steam mop seemed to do the best job, but nothing really got it shiny-clean.
But this weekend, thanks to a lot of elbow grease and some magic erasers, we got the entire floor scrubbed down. The build-up came off, and the gray/dark gray floor became the white/light gray floor I remember! Once it was all scrubbed, I mopped it, then put two coats of polish on. It's so shiny and bright!
Which of course, put me in mind of writing. This month, I'm engaged in a scrubbing up/polishing of a manuscript. This is the story of my heart, a novel that is so dear to me. I love the characters, the story-line, and the emotions I feel when I read it make my heart sing.
I'm scrubbing hard, stripping away gray haze and hopefully polishing to a glorious shine the story I love. It's taking serious mental 'elbow-grease,' but I love the work. I believe in this story.
How about you? What are you working on right now? Are you polishing anything up?
Friday, April 27, 2012
This is me with Mrs. Todd's 4th grade class. They invited me in to talk about writing fiction, and we had a great time. I handed out bookmarks and when class was over, they all wanted them signed. Cool! One little gal asked me if I would be sure to become very famous so that someday she could sell my autograph for a million dollars. I told her I would do my best.
Here are my answers from last week's Fill In The Blank Friday:
1. My favorite K-12 teacher was _Mr. Heter____ because he/she encouraged me to write___.
2. My best friend in elementary school was Tresa Berigan__.
3. The worst food from the school cafeteria was MEATLOAF_.
4. At recess, my favorite thing to do was lay in the white clover and daydream__.
5. After school we raced home so we could watch Gilligan's Island_.
This week, one question:
What is your favorite memory of an elementary school guest speaker?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
This week's Wednesday Whimsy is a picture of my mama across the table from me at a lovely tea house in Mt. Dora, Florida. We enjoyed a complete English High Tea together. Queen cake, crumpets, crullers, scones, clotted cream, strawberry preserves, cucumber sandwiches (sans crusts) and more. And the HOTTEST peach tea in a cunning little teapot complete with tea cozy.
So much fun! The downtown area of Mt. Dora is one little shop, boutique, and art gallery after another, and we walked and shopped and made memories.
In an aside, Angela Hunt's Fairlawn Series is set in Mt. Dora, FL, if you're interested. We found a bookstore that had a set of her books, and they were so proud to have a fiction series set in their town.
So, Q4U, what is one cool memory you have with your mom, dad or anyone that you love? Have you ever had high tea? Have you ever been to Florida/Mt. Dora.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Woohoo! I'm so excited. I've been invited to Mrs. Todd's Washington Elementary School 4th grade class to talk about how to plot a story this Wednesday.
How cool is that? 27 kids are about to embark on writing their own novels, and I get to talk to them about how to plot the story so it is exciting and so that the character has to change their mind about something they believe.
I'm planning on toting along my plot board and post its, and we'll plot our own story during the class. :)
So, Q4U, have you ever taught writing to kids? Any pointers?
Friday, April 20, 2012
1. When I go to the grocery store, I always get CEREAL and I never buy SEAFOOD.
2. The first thing I do in the morning is PUT ON MY GLASSES.
3. The computer game I play the most often is SPIDER SOLITAIRE.
4. My favorite breakfast cereal is GRAPE NUTS but I don't like SHREDDED WHEAT.
5. My guilty pleasure TV show is SURVIVOR.
The fill in the blank questions for today all have to do with elementary school.
1. My favorite K-12 teacher was ____________ because he/she ______________________.
2. My best friend in elementary school was ___________________.
3. The worst food from the school cafeteria was ________________.
4. At recess, my favorite thing to do was ________________.
5. After school we raced home so we could __________________.
So there you have it. Fill in the blanks, and next Friday, I'll let you know my answers. :) Happy Weekend!
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Hee Hee! Love this one!
Please take a moment to check out yesterday's post with the list of the first titles which are now available from Truly Yours for Kindle and soon for Nook. :)
Also, the Fill in the Blank Friday from last week...Thank you so much for your terrific answers! I'll be filling in my answers this Friday, and I'll have another round of questions for you. :)
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Woohoo! Here's the list of Truly Yours (formerly Heartsong Presents) titles now available for Kindle and soon for the Nook!
Bayou Secrets - Y'Barbo Turner, Kathleen
Beside Still Waters - Bateman, Tracey V.
Bossy Bridegroom - Connealy, Mary
By His Hand - Johnson, Jennifer
Charity's Heart - Cecil, Ramona K.
Fire and Ice - Davis, Susan Page
Flash Flood - Mills, Diann
For Better or Worse - Johnson, Jennifer
Leap Of Faith - O'Brien, Kim
Leave Me Never - Stevens, Connie
Lily of the Field - Zediker, Rose Ross
Love from Ashes - Lehman, Yvonne
Love Song - Higman/Hanna
Mutiny of the Heart - McDonough, Vickie
Patterns and Progress - Stockton, Amber Miller
Place Of Her Own - Coleman, Lynn A.
Praying for Rayne - Goddard, Elizabeth
Promising Angela - Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Seasons Of Love - Goddard, Elizabeth
Wild At Heart - McDonough, Vickie
Wyoming Hoofbeats - Davis, Susan Page
Outlaw Heart - McDonough, Vickie
Bay Hideaway - Loughner, Beth
Betting on Love - Johnson, Jennifer
Bounty Hunter And The Bride - McDonough, Vickie
Down From The Cross - Livingston, Joyce
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not - Druten, Rachel
In Search of a Memory - Griffin, Pamela
Joanna's Adventure - Colvin, Mildred
Lambert's Peace - Hauck, Rachel
Love For Keeps - Barton, Janet Lee
Love's Image - Mayne, Debby
Marriage Masquerade - Vetsch, Erica :)
Place Called Home - Barton, Janet Lee
Rebecca's Heart - Harris, Lisa
Romance at Rainbow's End - Reece, Colleen L.
Romance by the Book - Johnson, Myra
Rose Kelly - Spaeth, Janet
Salt Water Taffie - Hanna, Janice
Trespassed Hearts - Coleman, Lynn A.
White As Snow - Hanna, Janice
With Open Arms - Barton, Janet Lee
This is a great way to find some of your favorite authors' early works, for a reasonable price, in a convenient format. Check them out at http://www.amazon.com/
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Sunday, April 15, 2012
I know I have done this, and recently, too. I've been waiting for things like basketball season to be over, our trip to Florida to be done, spring break for my daughter to conclude, the home-school year to be done, and so many more things, then I'll start that project, I'll walk more, I'll buckle down to a new project.
The truth is, all this waiting for the right time is a mind-game that is masking procrastination. If I was earnest about getting more exercise, writing that proposal, cleaning my closets, etc, I'd do it now instead of waiting until later.
So this is my stern lecture to myself to get busy, stop procrastinating, and get to work. Time to make some lists and get some stuff crossed off!
How about you? Do you need to sit yourself down and have a come-to-your-senses kinda talk? What are you hoping to accomplish that you've been putting off? Is there any way I can encourage you?
Friday, April 13, 2012
I want to get to know you better, so I'm going to let you fill in the blanks:
1. When I go to the grocery store, I always get ______________ and I never buy ___________.
2. The first thing I do in the morning is ____________________.
3. The computer game I play the most often is _______________________.
4. My favorite breakfast cereal is _____________ but I don't like _____________________.
5. My guilty pleasure TV show is _______________________.
Lemme know a little bit about you.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Monday, April 09, 2012
This past week I was talking with a writer friend about trends in Christian Fiction. Here are some observations I've made:
1. Big name authors are moving from one place to another. Recently, two authors that wrote for Bethany House, the grand mac-daddy of them all when it comes to historical romance, announced contracts with other publishing houses.
2. Last week, I read an article online (and I apologize, I've searched and searched, but I can't find it!) where an employee of Bethany House Publishers was quoted as saying the readers of historical romance/fiction just aren't there like they were previously.
3. One trend that seems to be holding its own, with a slight leveling off due to the sheer number of titles on the market, is Amish fiction.
4. And here's where I'm doing a little spit-balling. Christian Historical Romance and Amish Fiction have several things in common. Both take you to another time and place, one where moral strictures and a fierce sense of propriety guide society. Both hearken to a simpler time.
5. There is a finite amount of $$$ readers of Christian Fiction have to spend on books.
6. Readers of Christian Historical Romance haven't vanished. They're spreading their love around. There is so much cross-over between historical romance and Amish fiction, they buy both, but they can't buy all of both.
7. Trends ebb and flow. At a conference I attended in 2007, not a single editor or agent was looking for historical fiction. (Which bummed me out, because that's what I write.) By the next year, every editor and agent on the discussion panels said they were looking for historical romance. Who knows what will happen this year?
So, question for you...Are you a reader of historical fiction? Amish fiction? Both? Neither?
What trend are you hoping will take off, or what trend are you hoping will wane soon?
Friday, April 06, 2012
Today's Friday Five is courtesy of Jessica Patch, writer friend and blogger buddy. We're exchanging blog posts today. You can get to know Jessica better and read her interview with me on her blog at: http://jessicarpatch.blogspot.com/
So, I asked Jessica to give us a Friday Five and tell us five things she carries in her purse that would tell us something about her.
So, Here's Jessica!
"First, thanks for having me Erica! Friday Five is one of my Friday Faves!
Five things. Not sure what they say about me, but here they are:
1. Cell phone, but not because I need it to talk. In fact, the older I become, the less I enjoy talking on the phone. I'd rather you text me and if it's going to be lengthy then we'll chat. Otherwise, text me. Plus, it's my social media suitcase.
2. Laminated scripture verse for my one Word this year. Strength. The verse: Psalm 84:5
3. My Kindle. Must I explain? I didn't think so. :)
4. Plastic Wal-Mart or grocery sack. I have this horrible fear of throwing up in public and on people. I can't bear to puke in my purse or on my Kindle so I keep the bag. I also mentally plan exit strategies when I'm in crowds for this very reason. I say if you're going to toss your cookies, keep it clean. (I also keep mints but that might make 6 things.)
5. Burt's Bees Peppermint lip balm. I love that stuff. I have one on my desk by my bed and one in my purse. I like the way it moisturizes my lips, smells, and the tingling effect when I smear that joker on.
And there ya have it."
Here's a little more about Jessica: She's a wife, a mom, a writer and speaker, and a sassy southern girl that I get a big kick out of. Check out her blog (link above) and get to know this dynamic Christian woman.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Monday, April 02, 2012
But after I turned in that novel, I sort of scratched my head. What now? For the past almost four years, I've had another contract waiting to be filled the minute I finished the one I was working on.
Hopefully in the next couple of weeks or so, I'll have a chat with my agent about what direction I should go now. I've got several proposals in the works, so hopefully there are a few options open to us.
For now, I'm working on a novel that I have the proposal all done for. James Scott Bell challenged writers to write down a one sentence summary of the book you would write if you could only write one book. Then he challenged writers to write that book.
This is the book I would write.
How about you? What are you working on?