Stories that Matter

Writing

The Next Best Step

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

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

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!

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…

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 …

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?

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

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?

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

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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How Do You Know When It's Good?

August 13, 2012 | 2 Comments

I’ve just finished my fourth full length novel. One that will be sent to my agent. Soon. I never have a problem writing the books. I always tend to go over my word count and need to do a fair amount of trimming. I’m getting better at this, and for this particular story, I managed…

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Meet Author Nike Chillemi!

August 3, 2012 | 1 Comment

Who are you? As most of us are, I’m a number of things. I’m a wife, mother, animal lover, fiction writer, and Christ follower…not necessarily in that order. I’ve been a foster mother and am now the adoptive mom of a fascinating fifteen year old young woman. I’m an urban dweller who loves the ocean…

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Ooops, I Did It Again…

July 30, 2012 | 4 Comments

Ever have one of those moments where you react before thinking? I do. A lot. And a lot of the time, I do it online. Something pricks and burrows deep under my skin and I react, slapping it away like a wasp who dared bite me.  I want retaliation for that particular bite. I might…

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Introducing Author Sherrie Hansen Decker!

July 27, 2012 | 3 Comments

It’s my pleasure to have romance author Sherrie Hansen Decker on the blog today!   Who Are You? … a very complicated question that requires a complex answer. Twenty years ago, I bought a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa so I could move home and be nearer my extended family (nieces and nephews, because…

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Meet Lena Nelson Dooley!

July 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Meeting and chatting with Lena for the first time is like reuniting with an old friend. Seriously. She makes you feel like you’ve known each other forever! And her writing is pretty amazing too, so if you don’t yet know this wonderful author, hang out a while and then go check out her books! It…

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Titanic – Legacy of Betrayal – Paula Moldenhauer and Kathleen Kovach

July 18, 2012 | 4 Comments

This book was AWESOME! I’m so excited to have these two wonderful ladies to interview on the blog today! Kathy Kovach                 Paula Moldenhauer   First of all, I have to say, I LOVED this book! I’m a sucker for history, and I loved the way you wove…

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Guest Author, Peggy Blann Phifer!

July 13, 2012 | 2 Comments

How many writers, if any, have ever had a work in progress (WIP) for, oh, twenty years? When I go through my file drawer and see all the partial drafts, critiques, contest entries and subsequent losses . . . makes me wonder why I persisted. The easy answer is I’m stubborn. Tenacious. Hate to quit. …

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Meet Author Deborah Raney!

July 6, 2012 | 5 Comments

If I start talking about this amazing author, I won’t be able to stop. I’m sure most of you reading this have read at least ONE of Deb’s wonderful novels. I remember reading A Vow To Cherish many years ago, and thought, wow, so this is what this Christian fiction stuff is all about. I can…

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Celebrating Life's Little Victories…

July 1, 2012 | 4 Comments

While it is hard to believe this picture was taken over a year ago, I still smile when I look at it. Because, if you can’t really figure it out, that’s me, signing a copy of my book, Yesterday’s Tomorrow. My book. For a “wannabe published” author, I have to say, yes, it’s everything you…

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Meet Author Elizabeth Musser!

June 29, 2012 | 4 Comments

I’m thrilled to have best-selling author Elizabeth Musser with us today! I read The Swan House  a while ago, and was completely captivated by Elizabeth’s writing. If you haven’t yet read any of Elizabeth’s books, you’re in for a treat! Let’s learn a little more about her today… Who Are You?  Bonjour!  I’m Elizabeth Musser, a…

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The Next Best Step

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 in a different way, from a different direction, but that punch still slams just the same. Sucks the air right out of you.

Anybody?

Yes, it is. Hard. And sometimes my coping skills go into hibernation. Like the turtle who shrinks back into her shell at the first sign of trouble. It’s good to have a shell, sometimes. Sometimes we just need to feel safe for a while. Until we’re ready. But sometimes? Sometimes we have to leave that safe place, ready or not. Because until we do, we can’t move forward. And if we don’t move forward, or at least try to, we’ll just be stuck. Safe, but stuck.

Is that any way to live?

Deciding what to do next with my writing career has been a challenge. An unexpected challenge, but one that I’m grateful for. While I’ve been sitting in my safe place, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. And here’s what I know.

I’m not giving up. I’m moving forward. And I couldn’t be happier about that.

So all that to say, be encouraged. If you’re in that place of not knowing what comes next, wait it out. Answers will come. And then, take the next step. The first step.

What’s next for me? Well, I’m glad you asked. 🙂

First of all, I’m going to be publishing a new Indie novel in September. It’s called As the Light Fades, and I’ll be sharing more about the book soon. If you’ve read The Things We Knew, you’ll be familiar with Liz Carlisle, and this is her story. So if you haven’t read The Things We Knew yet, you may want to do that!

As I mentioned in my earlier post on Change, writing for the general market was one of my options going forward. After much discussion with my agent, family, and friends, I have decided that this is the direction I want to go. Which is exciting and daunting at the same time. BUT, I’m taking that step in faith. I also know I have a lot to learn. This is a MUCH bigger pond with many, many more fish, and I don’t feel quite ready to swim in it.

To that end, I’m going to be working with a writing coach, a former NY editor with vast experience in this arena. I’m likening this to going back to school for my masters. Because that’s how much I feel I still have to learn. We’ll be working on the book I completed a few months back, The Rose Garden. The story is set in my island home of Bermuda, a first for me. But it’s not a great story yet, good, but not great. So I’m really looking forward to seeing it soar to the next level. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I’m jumping in with both feet, because this is what I want.

I’m a dream chaser. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know this. And my next big dream is to get a contract in the general market. Yeah. It’s lofty. But if you can’t dream big, what’s the point?

Do I have the chops? I don’t know. I’d like to believe so. Others say I do, so I’m holding tight to that encouragement and moving forward. But it’ll take time. And did I mention a lot of hard work? So I can’t say for sure if and when I will have another book published by a traditional publisher. But I can say that this is still my dream. Still my goal.

So I’m going for it. As always, I can’t do it without the support of friends and family, so this is my thank-you for being there, and keep all the good thoughts and prayers coming please! I’m going to need all the cheerleading I can get.

Thanks for joining me on the journey!