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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Introducing Author Jennifer Fromke!

June 27, 2012 | 1 Comment

Okay, I double booked my Friday authors this week. Bad me. But the upside is, you get to learn about TWO authors this week!! Today we have the pleasure of Jennifer Fromke’s company! Jennifer is celebrating the release of her debut novel, A Familiar Shore, and she’s here to tell us about it and about…

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Meet Author, Katy Lee!

June 15, 2012 | 11 Comments

Who are you? That is not an easy question to answer. When I sat down to write this, I actually stumped myself on who is the real Katy Lee? Did I want to share about my role as wife to my helpful and handsome husband and mother to my three young children? Did I want…

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Meet Author Sherri Wilson Johnson!

June 8, 2012 | 3 Comments

I’m excited to have my fellow OakTara author, Sherri Wilson Johnson, author of To Dance Once More, on the blog today! Sherri writes historical romance, and she’s here to tell us all about her journey to publication! My Road to Publication I have been writing for as long as I can remember—probably for as long…

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Meet Author Michelle Sutton!

May 25, 2012 | 6 Comments

Michelle is one of those prolific authors – you know the kind I mean – the kind who seems to have a new book coming out every other day! I don’t know how she does it, but she’s been an inspiration to me for many years. I’m pleased to have Michelle on the blog today…

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Introducing Dani Pettrey!

May 11, 2012 | 8 Comments

This is the month for debut authors! I’m thrilled to have Dani Pettrey here today, to share a bit about herself and her new novel, Submerged. People often ask me why I enjoy writing about adventure so much. This question is usually followed by, “Are you as adventurous as your characters?” The answer to the…

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In Celebration!

May 7, 2012 | 16 Comments

Outside of celebrating a book release of my own, the next best thing is celebrating with friends when their turn comes! I happen to have several friends who are launching novels this month, so I thought it would be fun to showcase them here for you! In no particular order: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning…

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Meet Author Yvonne Lehman!

April 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

In May of 2011, Abingdon editor Ramona Richards said “Yes” when we were at the Blue Ridge conference together and I asked, “Do you want a Titanic book?” Thus began the fastest writing job I’ve ever done. There was no time to think… just write, read, research, at every possible moment. The characters cooperated, came…

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Today's Featured Author is JoAnn Durgin!

April 13, 2012 | 4 Comments

I’m pleased to have JoAnn as my guest on the blog today! JoAnn writes Inspirational Romance, and she’s had a busy few years! Her first novel, Awakening, released in 2010, followed by Second Time Around, in 2011, and now she’s just released a third novel in the series, Twin Hearts! Whew! So here’s JoAnn to…

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That's All She Wrote…

April 8, 2012 | 12 Comments

Many who know me understand just how long and hard I worked to achieve my dream of becoming a published author. It took years. Years of believing I had a story worth telling. A story others would relate to and relish, characters readers would love as much as I did. That dream came true on…

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Meet Author Gail Sattler!

March 30, 2012 | 2 Comments

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of a chat with Canadian author, Gail Sattler, I urge you to take the next opportunity you get and nab her for a cup of coffee or tea! Gail is a talented musician, and can usually be found playing her bass guitar on the worship team each year…

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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!