Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Great Book Reading Night

It's been a great day full of adventure. Karla and I had our first reading and signing event at a local elementary school where they were celebrating Dr. Seuss. There were lots of excited kids who sat and listened to us read. They were all so adorable, and very friendly too. They made an amazing poster for the entryway to the classroom where we were stationed.

What a great night to hook up with some old friends and meet new ones too.
Karla has such a great storytelling voice. All the kids were very enamored with her when she read. A big thanks goes out to all the parents who took time to bring their kids out. I hope we can do more events like this.

What kind of events have you done to promote your books? I'd love to hear from you.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


We live in a selfish world. How often have you gone to pull into a parking space and someone zoomed in before you could? What about the speeding vehicles who just barely miss the front of your bumper as they pass you at full speed on the highway? It's even evident in our children who fuss and fight to get what they want.

These are all good examples of the general world, but what about us Christians? We'd all like to think we'd be there when we hear the call of the Lord, right? Wouldn't it be part of the nature engrafted to us by our Savior after salvation? Yet we are all guilty of being selfish.

Have you ever promised to do something for someone but didn't do it? What if it was something that didn't really matter--to you, that is? The book world us Christian writers live in can be as cut throat and full of broken dreams as the rest of the world out there. So many of us have felt the slice of an agent who promises to respond and never does. We've experienced those who straight out tell us our work isn't good enough. And I'm sure many of you would agree that we've inflicted wounds on other Christian writers, ourselves. The reason: Selfishness.

Well, this is a call to arms. Let each of us do what we say we will do. Let's be more kind. And, let's work a little longer and harder for the good of others. Help those around us.

I had a writing buddy help me this weekend who didn't have to. But what she did for me enriched my life, furthered my writing career, and directed me in a matter I could not have figured out on my own. I send many blessings her way. Even if I didn't, God would surely see fit to reward her for her kindness.

I want to be like that for other writers. To be an encourager, to reach out to others is what we are called to do by our Savior.

Can you remember the last time you took an extra step for someone else? How about the last time someone helped you? It feels good whether you're the giver or the receiver. Be a giver this week.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Time to Redo

It's been an interesting few months as far as my writing goes. I usually have the next story brewing in my mind a quarter of the way through my current work, but that didn't happen this time around. I waited and thought and wondered why I hadn't been inspired. When I finished my fourth manuscript, I thought maybe then it would come to me. Still nothing.

It was time to worry at that point. I went to my sister and asked her for some ideas, hoping she'd jar something loose in my mind. NOPE. Then I turned to my muse. That would be my husband. Still nothing.

What is a writer to do? I don't know how to function without ideas to develop and grow and turn into outlines.

It was time to pray. Maybe that should've come sooner. Guess what? Nope, still nothing. I had no choice but to stop trying and wait for an answer. It started small, almost unnoticeable by all accounts. A comment here, a thought from a friend there. My husband made a suggestion. He couldn't be right, I was sure. Then the pastor preached a message that seemed to be directed right at me.

I got the message. It wasn't the one I wanted, but none the less it was what God had for me. He wanted me to rewrite. He showed me that I needed to shift my focus to one of my first manuscripts. It needed to be reworked bad, and I'd put it off for a year.

I hemmed and hawed for a week. The amount of work involved would make any writer cry at the thought. But, there's only so long one can ignore divine advice. So off to my computer I went. The first page and a half took five hours to edit and rework. It was as bad as I'd expected.

With a lot of hard work and double perseverance, I'm trudging through to what I hope will be a published novel some day in the near future. I'm so glad God directed me to fix it, even though it hasn't been easy. It's been amazing to see how much my writing has developed and changed in the past four years.

Do you have a story or two that sit buried on a shelf; ones you don't think will ever see the light of day? Let me encourage you to pull them out and refurbish them. It'll be worth it in the end.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Books Have Arrived

I couldn't contain myself when I saw two boxes on the kitchen table. I knew what was in them as soon as I noticed them. Sure enough, my name filled the address box. They'd arrived a few days earlier than I'd anticipated. I ran over and heaved them up in a bear hug and dragged them upstairs. Excitement filled every recess of my being. Peeling the cardboard back on the smaller one, I reached in and pulled out the very first copy of the book I illustrated. There's nothing like holding a your official book in print. It'll bring tears to your eyes, let me tell you.

I couldn't wait to call Karla, the writer of the book, and let her know they'd arrived. She told me she'd booked a reading for a book fair at a local public school. The fair will give us a chance to put our books in the hands of a lot of children. I was reminded at that moment how God love's and gives to His children when they follow Him.

What a blessing to be able to show kids they too can follow a dream and see it come to fruition. And, what a triumph to know that God's Word is going to be seen by many at that fair.