Stories that Matter

Writing

Baby Steps…

  The decorations are almost put away. The house is almost quiet. My heart is almost beating at an acceptable rate again after watching two hours of Downton Abbey last night… Oh, my. What a show. I love it. I love being transported into that fictional world of splendour, hanging out with characters whose lives…
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No Room For Regret…

Christmas. Immerse yourself in the word. What images come to mind? What are you feeling? What are you remembering? I see colorful lights, glowing stars and snow angels. I hear childish whispers and giggles, voices raised in praise, murmured conversations around a crackling fire whilst others around us nod off, content after eating far too…
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Meet Author Lillian Duncan!

Writing Stories of Faith…Mingled With Murder And Mayhem Really? Christian Fiction and murder/suspense novels. On the surface the two don’t seem to go together. After all, how can a book where murders, mayhem, and bad guys abound promote Christian values? Can a writer of suspense novels make a difference in a life? Surely not, you…
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A Story of Adoption in My Family by Margaret Daley

In my family one of my relatives had a child at the age of sixteen. He was unmarried and the baby was given up for adoption. It always bothered him, wondering where his daughter was. He never had another child although he did marry. One day he received a call from a young woman who…
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Conceived on Memorial Day, Almost Aborted on Columbus Day, Placed for Adoption on Valentine’s Day by Beth Willis Miller

In many ways, it’s still a mystery…how I came to be. During a visit to Ellis Island’s American Family Immigration History Center, I was delightfully surprised to be able to locate and obtain an authentic copy of the ship manifest page from the ship, Princess Irene, which brought my maternal birth grandparents, Olympio and Vincenza from…
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The Miracle of “Less Than” by Sonia Meeter

It hit me while I was at the Orange County Fair several years ago: I have never seen a baby being born. As I watched the sow drop her piglets, I realized that was the first time I had seen a mammal give birth. Sadness and regret welled up within me. Unlike this mama pig,…
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Growing Up In A Not Normal Family by Melody Durant

I always thought if I had fooled around in high school or college I would have gotten pregnant with twins BUT I waited till marriage, and found out what a struggle it would be to actually conceive!  5 ½ months later, I took on preeclampsia which led to toxemia, and our daughter arrived  2 ½…
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Four Aussie Authors. Three generations. One Story.

It has been widely reported that Adoption in Australia is a difficult, time consuming, and expensive process. In recent times the number of adoptions, both inter-country and overseas has dropped dramatically. Some have suggested that Australia’s past adoption policies have had a significant impact on the political and social ‘red tape’ that exists in today’s…
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Dabney is My Mom by Dabney Hedegard

Four little words rocked my world. As I sat down to dinner and reread my place card, I felt a second pair of eyes watching me. Almond-shaped eyes, to be exact. Ansley’s little body hugged close to the corner of the wall as she said, “Do you like it, Mommy. What I wrote?” How could…
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God’s Grace, Our Little Girl By Sherry Kyle

When I was ten years old, my mom, sister and I saw a movie called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness starring Ingrid Bergman. The 1958 movie is based on the true story of a missionary in China who leads 100 Chinese children from one area of China to another during the Japanese-Chinese war. The…
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The Next Best Step

March 25, 2019 | 2 Comments

The one sure thing about life, the one thing you can pretty much count on, is that it won’t always be easy. You know this. You’ve already been through some tough stuff. And you’ve survived. Maybe even triumphed. But then it all comes back for a second round. Or a third. Maybe you’re getting hit…

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Write, Straight Up

May 7, 2018 | 3 Comments

Not on the rocks. Not with a splash. Maybe a twist, that’d be fun. But don’t water it down. Write what you want to say, write from you heart, and write, for the love of everything, like you mean it. If you don’t mean it, don’t waste your reader’s time, or yours. After 20 something…

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Family Matters

October 28, 2016 | 9 Comments

I grew up an only child. As much as I was loved and probably (okay, definitely) spoiled by my parents, I think part of me missed not having a sibling. There were times when it was lonely. Times when I had to use my imagination to create the extra people I thought I needed in…

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Fun Friday Five!

June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Answering five questions from my readers today! Want to get in on the fun? Send me a question and I’ll answer it next time!

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So My Mom Wrote A Book…

June 14, 2016 | 15 Comments

Hey, everybody! This is Noah. (I’m the adorably handsome dog in the picture). I’m hijacking my mom’s blog today, because, quite frankly, enough is enough.  I’m used to getting all the attention around here, seriously, and lately? Well, my mom wrote this book. And it’s getting AAAAALLLLLL the attention. That’s my Mom. That’s her book.…

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And This Is Why The Words Matter …

May 19, 2016 | 0 Comments

So I wrote a piece about Guarding The Writer’s Heart – and it’s true. It’s tough out there. You’re going to get criticism no matter what. It’s just a given. Kinda like running for President. But not. And we won’t go there. But you know . . . this year so far . . .…

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Remember When?

April 4, 2016 | 20 Comments

How many conversations start with that question? Probably more than we remember. Yet it’s an immediate pull back into the past, back to an event or shared memory that somehow binds people together, often whether they like it or not. The biggest events in history have turned strangers into friends. V-Day. The assassination of JFK.…

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Conversation in A Coffee Shop

February 18, 2016 | 7 Comments

I see her there. This sad reflection of myself. Sitting. Alone. Alone only with her thoughts and the icon flashing fierce on the blank screen. Cautiously I slide into the seat opposite her. Offer coffee. And a smile of recognition. “Hello, writer.” She looks up, bleary eyed. Befuddled. “How did you know?” The question sighs…

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Why Do The Words Matter?

January 19, 2016 | 23 Comments

There will be those who simply refuse what you’re giving. They will scorn, belittle and reject. And okay, sure, that might hurt. But that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

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More Coffee … Need

January 11, 2016 | 1 Comment

Yeah, okay. But it’s Monday morning and I just spent two hours working on changing up this blog, and five minutes ago I sat staring at this screen in full out panic mode, thinking I’d just deleted the ENTIRE THING!! So I need more coffee. Because this is pretty much me in the morning. And,…

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Baby Steps…

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The decorations are almost put away. The house is almost quiet. My heart is almost beating at an acceptable rate again after watching two hours of Downton Abbey last night…

Oh, my. What a show. I love it. I love being transported into that fictional world of splendour, hanging out with characters whose lives I have come to find fascinating, waiting to see what will happen next. Television, when done right, can be quite entertaining. As should be the pull of a good book. Whenever I find myself enthralled the way I am with Downton, by a movie or tv series, I always come away thinking, “How can I do that?” “Am I doing that with my books?” or of course, “Why aren’t I doing that with my books?”

We are at the start of a new year. One thing I want to accomplish is to quit comparing myself to other people. To other authors. Last time, I talked about simply being in the moment, enjoying the journey. How can I do that if I’m always checking those blasted Amazon rankings or drooling over another’s success? I know, I know, I know…this is a trap that I have been snared by since my first novel released. I swore I’d do things differently with the second. Yet, here I sit, still banging my head against the wall, wishing I could figure out a way to make those sales numbers go up. Wishing I knew how others did it. Wishing for things I do not yet have.

What a complete waste of time.

Far more profitable for me to take stock of what I do have, and be grateful for it. So, here goes…

Here’s what I do have:

The ability to craft a story. To tell it well and love doing so. To enjoy the process, because I am living my dream.

I can reach out to and connect with my readers, most of whom I am privileged to call friends. You’ve invited me into your lives and you’ve shared mine, and I have the blessing of being able to share the desires, joys and sorrows of my heart with you.

I am able to stay home and continue to craft new stories that, God willing, will one day become new books. For that, I am so grateful.

Here’s what I don’t have:

The ability to control what people like or don’t like.

That’s it. Oh, sure, I don’t have a three book deal at a major publishing house, but so what? In the end, however my books reach the public, big house, small press or self-publishing, this is pretty much what it comes down to.

I’ve known for a long time that not everyone will appreciate my writing style. Not everyone will want to read the kind of books I like to write, or want to hear the stories I have to tell. And I’m okay with that. I’m growing my audience.

I’m taking baby steps.

Today, I sent out my first ever Author Newsletter. And it was fun! (Once I figured out what I was doing…) Sure, I only have two dozen subscribers right now, but that’s better than none. Right?

It’s soooo easy to get sucked into that whirling vortex of pressure to do this and this and this…always pushing, taking great big giant steps in shoes that don’t fit. It’s exhausting, soul-sucking, and oh, so not worth it.

I’m smiling now, because I think sub-consciously, I’ve been searching for my theme for this year. You know, sometimes people choose a life verse of Scripture or a particular word that means something to them, and try to live that out over the coming year. It’s not a practice I’ve adopted. But maybe I just did. Maybe this is the year for me.

Baby Steps. 

One foot in front of the other. Walking on wobbly legs. Sometimes taking a fall. Finding joy in the journey. And always, always, always, having a hand to hold when I need one.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21