Monday, April 30, 2012

Ever wonder why?

I've been thinking about coloring my hair. Gray frames my face, and has done so since I was in my early 30s. Maybe even late 20s. I've hemmed and hawed, and fretted, and debated. I've talked to everyone, ad nauseum. I've gone so far as to look at the coloring available at the store. I've put a box in my basket, and then put it back. I simply can't bring myself to do it.

With becoming a published author, I thought I ought to make my appearance more professional, more up-to-date, for me anyway. At the writers' conference, I was not happy with my hair.

Then I came home and found this post, over at my sister's site:

I'm picture #8. Yes, the long hair. Yep. I love it. Who in their right mind would cut or color it?

As promised, my sister's photo hints...

Here's the blog post :

Several people commented on how helpful the hints were. Blessedly, the photographer at the conference was incredibly good. Everyone I talked to said that they loved their pictures, and enjoyed working with her.

Tomorrow, I'll start posting reviews on the conference. Right now, I'm playing catch up on emails, blogs, FaceBook, editing, and writing. Too much to do, and too little time to do it all in, but then again, there's little in this world worse than having nothing to do and all day to do it in.

Friday, April 27, 2012

And so it begins...

I'm still nervous and excited about the conference.

Here's some distractions:

I think my favorite was L. McMaken's "The Strength of a Man. Definitely worth the read.

Lynette Endicott had several interesting posts this week, so you might want to check out her blog.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter invited Tina Pinson to her blog. Tina shares her Real Life Romance in two parts. Here's the link to Part 1, which will lead you to Part 2.

Interview at Anne Patrick's blog with Stephania McGee.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tomorrow... the first day of the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference...

Not that I'm excited about attending or anything.

Until then, here are some blogs I enjoyed this week:

Debra Parmley had a guest, Vijaya Schartz, who answered the question: What the heck is Bretagne?

Shirley Connolly visited over at Maria Hammarblad's blog:

Stehpanie Burkhart visited Voices of the Heart.

Jillian Chantel is spotlighted at Desert Breeze Publishing's blog:

B.J. Robinson was interviewed at Sleuths and Suspects:

Yes, I really do pop in before I post these here. I may or may not leave a comment. So many interesting things to read, so little time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A few days...

The Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is sold out. Whoohoo!!

Last night, the Desert Rose chapter prepared for the conference. So exciting.

My sister shared secrets to achieving a great photograph, from the photographee's point of view. :-) It was fun and interesting. I didn't know a camera sees in gray, which is why a white dress will be gray and a black dress will be gray.

She handed out black spots to place on a mirror to practice "looking" into a camera lens, and editing your look in the mirror. More importantly, she emphasized that the camera reveals everything. If you hate having your picture taken, it will show. If you love what you're doing it also shows in your face. So even if you hate having your picture taken, think about something you love.

When she writes up the presentation, I'll post a link to her blog. (She doesn't know I've decided she's writing it up and sharing it, so it may not happen. I'm feeling bossy right now. I'll move past it, eventually.)

It was fun listening to her experience photographing Jimmy Thomas at the Glendale Chocolate Affair. Jimmy loves the camera, and the camera loves Jimmy, and it shows.

Proof (like it's needed, okay it's an excuse to post his picture; any excuse will do):

She also recommended taking a page from this little girl's book:

I have to admit, we compared pictures she took of me when I was feeling nervous, and after I started to relax, and I could tell the difference. I'm working on learning to feel confident all the time. It takes practice. I practice, every day.

The rest of the Desert Rose meeting was spent filling swag bags for the conference. Wow! Lots of goodies! The committee did an incredible job pulling everything together. Susan Lanier-Graham and Tina Lavon are the committee chairs, and their enthusiasm and tenacity have been inspiring. There have been a lot of volunteers, and an incredible number of writers willing to contribute to the success of this conference. I'll let you know how it goes. :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Closer still... and sold out...

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues... maybe... I haven't heard if those last spots are gone yet...

Sunday's workshop:

Identify Your Protagonist’s Transformation Cycle and the 4 Major Turning Points in Every Great Romance

Fundamentally, every plot has the following structure: A character pursues a goal. She faces a series of conflicts and obstacles, and as a result her choices change over time. In the end, she is transformed, and her ultimate transformation creates her anew with a different understanding of herself and her existence.

Always, in the best-written stories, characters are emotionally affected by events. In great stories, the dramatic action transforms characters. It’s this transformation that makes a story meaningful.

The steps the protagonist takes toward transformation can be planned and plotted on a Plot Planner, a line that represents the structure of the Universal Story. Within the Universal Story certain events occur, each at their proper time. These events are marked within that story by Energetic Markers; these markers create a rhythm and balance to the Universal Story’s structure. Once you understand that structure you have the freedom to do anything with your writing.

The object of Sunday’s plot workshop is for you to line up the sequence of your story and the character’s ultimate change or transformation on a Plot Planner so that you can view the bigger picture of your plot in its entirety.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Posts I've enjoyed recently... I've moved this book, A Discreet Gentleman by Kris Tualla, to the top of my wish list.

Vijaya Schartz had an interesting post over at one of her blogs, about how medieval writers and science fiction writers often overlap.

After Patty Froese's review of More Than a Job, I've added it to my reading wish list.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Link to Writers In The Storm...

WITS welcomes Bob Mayer.

Have I mentioned Bob Mayer is Friday's featured speaker at the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference? Yes, I have. He is! I'm looking forward to this conference. Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Have you registered, yet?

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues...

Luck In Love is edited. Time to put away, and working on something else for a few days. Then I'll start all over again. It's so much better.

Did you know April is Child Abuse Awareness month? Neither did I. Jude Urbanski has children's book author Julie K. Federico.

If you want to know more about Patty Froese, the author of Perfect on Paper, she was interviewed over at the Cuffe Sisters.

What's fun? Patty interviewed the Cuffe Sisters.

Lynette Endicott has also interviewed the Cuffe Sisters.

Vijaya Schartz wrote a post on writing book blurbs, not one of my favorite activities.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues...

Did I mention there are less than seven spaces left?

Yesterday, I ate badly. I've been pretty good, but a bit stressed. Sometimes I can figure out, and sometimes I can't. This was easy. I've been doing heavy editing of Luck In Love. I've added a couple of chapters, fleshed things out. Over the past month, I've added almost 10,000 words. It's better. Yesterday, I added another new chapter, this was a new dark moment. I hadn't planned to write it, not when I started, but as I allowed Sara to reveal more, I knew this chapter would need to be written. It wasn't easy. Using Diana Duncan's suggestions made it easier. I turned off the internal editor and simply added everything that popped into my head. Now, there's only one chapter left to finish. Then I'll take a short break and dive back into editing again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Perfect on Paper by Patty Froese

Description: Anne Stanborough, a well known mystery writer, inherits her maiden aunt's book store, Perfect on Paper. The lawyer handling her aunt's estate is none other than the handsome Jake Harrison, but despite his attraction to the beautiful author, his painful divorce has made him wary of a marriage between two driven professionals. Anne can't let go of the career she's worked her entire life towards, and he isn't willing to make a second mistake in marriage. It looks like they should call the whole thing off until Anne discovers that her late maiden aunt might not have been so "maiden" after all… A love story from the past tugs this couple back together again, but will it be enough to prove that a love founded in God really can overcome anything?

What a delightfully, cozy read, the warm fuzzy blanket you love to wrap around you on a chilly day, snuggling in for some comforting HEA.

Anne is intelligent and struggling with career decisions that will change the course of her life. Jake is also intelligent, but he knows where his future lies, a future he's chosen because of a painful failure in his past. They face a storm, a sweet mystery, and their own preconceived ideas of what a forever relationship should be. The heroine and hero both captured my heart, and I wanted so much for them to find happiness together.

Add in some wonderful secondary characters, and it's a satisfying read from beginning to end. Ralph, Anne's mother, and memories of Anne's aunt, so many little touches creating a sense of realness. The banter between Jake and his brother Greg was hilarious, and I'm hoping there's a story coming for Greg. Learning that some of the stories shared within the tale are anecdotes from Patty's own family added to the charm. "God had no problems, just plans."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues...

Last I heard, there are 7 slots left. Yes, only 7, and that was 2 days ago. So...

A couple of days ago, my sister had an interesting post on indiviuation.

She talks about how Christ, raised from the dead to perfection, chose to keep the scars on his hands and feet, clear signs of who He is.

She also mentioned flawless diamonds aren't actually flawless. It reminded me of something I'd learned when studying diamonds. Though flawless diamonds are considered of higher value, flawed diamonds are considered more beautiful because there are additional facets to reflect light.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is coming soon...

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues...

Loved this post:

I've realized I've been more than a little vague here. I'm trying to find a healthy balance between what is expected and what is real. The above link will take you to Naomi Musch's blog, where her guest Karen Baney talks about the rules of writing Christian Romance.

She's right about how sanitized Christian romance tends to be. Writers are held to an incredibly high bar of what is and is not allowed. If you fall short, you are accused of not being Christian. I'll be writing more about this, once I work up the courage.

For now, I'm leaving you with the above article. It isn't very long. It's worth reading. It's also a God-given hint to what I've been thinking about of late, and struggling to embrace. I started writing for this very reason, but I've been stumbling in my attempts to meet "expectations," when I knew all along the expectations of others were stumbling blocks instead of stepping stones. God laid out the way before me, but I've allowed those blocks thrown into my path to distract me.

Hopefully, by the time my first book comes out in August, you'll have a fairly good idea of what to expect. I'm endeavoring to be honest when I post what I read, so you'll know I read a wide variety of material, but I don't write a wide variety of material. I'm endeavoring to be courageous enough to share who I am and how I arrived at this point in my life, so you'll know you're not alone, and surviving an ugly past is not only possible but remarkable and the present and future are full of light.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Diana Duncan post on FaceBook...

Author Diana Duncan posted an article on "How to write more..."

She outlined what to do. I tried it, and it worked great for me, but not the first time. I knew I was easily distracted, but not how easily. Now, I know. I also know what to do. I'm going to try to make this a new habit. We'll see how it goes.

One piece of advice was to turn on music that pushed you. I decided to try my Styx Pandora station. I hadn't listened to it in a while. What was the first song on the playlist? Queen's Under Pressure. Yep! It worked. I added 1,000 words while editing. Yes, I know, she said to turn off your internal editor. I'll do so when I'm working on a new manuscript. Right now, I'm doing heavy editing of book 1 of Silver Locket Sisterhood's Luck In Love.

Thanks God, for sending inspiration when I desperately needed it.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'll quit... soon... until then...

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference continues...

I love Anne Gracie, so her post over at Word Wenches caught my attention, and it was fun to read, too.

Romance Under the the Moonlight is having a hug a dispatcher day, to celebrate.

There's an excerpt to The Green Rose, over at Desert Breeze Publishing.

April London posts another chapter of a short story on her blog, every Friday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th...

Register for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference...

It's National Library Week. Stephanie Burkhart has a post about it, and an adorable picture.

Stephanie is also over at Amy Alessio's blog, with a recipe for Great Chili Party Dip. She's keeping busy.

If you're a writer and can't figure out why your book isn't selling, Celia Yeary has posted "You Can't Fix it, If You Don't Know What's Wrong."

The Balanced Writer is having an ebook giveaway.

Finally, for today anyway, Naomi Musch is talking about wildlife, with great pictures, at The Barn Door.

So much to explore. So little time. Have fun!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Time flies...

There's still time to register... just sayin...

This made me laugh:

Stephanie Burkhart ~ There be dragons there, and a wolf at

Patty Froese is visiting Lynette Endicott at her place and talking about her book "Perfect on Paper." So many books; so little time.

And an interview with heroine Lydia Hawkins from "Child of the Mountains."

Have fun! Friday is almost here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cool articles and blogs.... Great article on debunking some dog myths, some of which I'd known when I had my dog. We both would have been happier.

Here's info on the accommodations for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference.

If you'd like to go for a lovely spring walk, Beth Trissel will take you along on hers over at her blog.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

There is still time to register for Desert Dreams...

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

If you're wondering whether or not you'd really like to attend, then read this article by Bob Mayer. He is the featured speaker on Friday. Yes, I'm really looking forward to attending.

Celia Yeary shared a very touching post about Easter memories.

It's national library week. Do you know where you're library card is? Toni Noel has a blog for you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Oh, my...

I just finished editing chapter 23 of Luck In Love. I don't know if it will remain chapter 23 when all is said and done, but I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face, and I pray others are touched by it.

Easter is over, but not the gift...

Easter is the culmination of all Jesus lived and died for. Because of Jesus, I may know peace.

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

Anne Patrick has a new book coming out May 15th. Here's the trailer: Yes, I'm interested.

Shaunna Gonzales' Sizzling Saturday post was fun.

Sue Perkins interviewed YA author Peter Brandt, last Saturday.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

God is good...

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

An Irish Easter Blessing
"At the breaking of the Easter dawn may the Risen Saviour bless your home with grace and peace from above, with joy and laughter, and with love And when night is nigh, and day is done Make He keep you safe from all harm."

Found another lovely inspirational blog.

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday...

...and a follow up on my God hug, because God winked.

Tuesday was amazing. I'm still feeling jazzed. Just to make sure we're on the same page, jazzed means excited, bubbly, energized, jazzed.

Before the insanity of Tuesday started, I had received an email from a dear friend. She frequently sends me inspirational emails. I enjoy them, and like to give them the proper time, so I'll wait if I'm feeling rushed. Tuesday, I saw it, and waited.

Snow Leopard was installed, and six hours of editing. I felt fried. Then I opened my friend's email:

Dear Woman of God,

Be still for a while and praise God for His favor, His grace and His awesomeness. God is able to do the impossible and is always near. He loves us unconditionally.

Dear God, This is my friend whom I love and this is my prayer for her. Help her live her life to the fullest. Please cause her to excel above her expectations. Help her to shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love. Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs You the most, and let her know when she walks with You, she will always be safe.

God Winked.

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

Interesting post on romancing writing from a man's perspective, Rob Preece, over at Writers In The Storm. I need to work on this.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are you ready for Easter?

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

Loved the post on inspiration, at the Writer Limit, and the book excerpt definitely caught my attention. I need more time for reading!

You'll find an interview with writer and storyteller Joan Leotta over at Second Cup.

For myself, with A Promise of Possibilities turned in to the editor, officially, I have a better idea of how to proceed. The next two books to be turned in are both written, but needing extensive editing, so that's what I'll be doing, editing, every day. When I need a break I'll work on later books. I have ideas percolating for those. I always worry I'm not doing enough. Then I step back and look at my day. Sleep, I could use a little more time to sleep.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday already...

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

Desert Breeze Publishing is spotlighting Lynette Endicott, and it's truly delightful.

A different review on Legacy of Lies over at Patty Froese Ntihemuka's blog: I'm not the only one who enjoyed it. And here's a little more about Stephania.

An interview with Kathleen Ball, whose book Callie's Heart is now available. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Over at Beth Trissel's blog, she's talking about gardening. If you need a little moment of peace, it's a good place to visit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

God Hug...

This is way beyond a wink.

I'm a writer. My first book is officially submitted for editing, and I'm working on the next one. I have an older version of Office for the job I'm phasing out of my life.

My WordPress blog has been telling me I needed to update my Safari. I couldn't being on Leopard (Mac operating system when I bought my computer). Mac has updated its operating system to Snow Leopard and then Lion. Then I saw that with the upcoming changes in IPS (web addresses) old system wouldn't recognize some addresses, so I decided it was time to update.

I waffled. For months.

The other day, my friend told me I needed to buy Snow Leopard, then one of the inspirational pages I liked on FaceBook suggested doing something that scares you to death. Updating my computer was it. The same friend teased that I had Microsoft PTSD. Even on my Mac, every time I update Office, there's a bubble of time when things are a little messed up, and then it settles.

I finally ordered Snow Leopard. The wrong name was on it, and it was delayed, but it made it, yesterday. I couldn't bring myself to put in the disk. What if something went wrong? I decided to wait and do it when my friend called, today.

It took longer than I expected, but the generally expected amount of time, about an hour. My dear friend hung on the phone with me, even though she needed to eat, until my sister unexpectedly showed up. She needed to see the parents, and stopped to see me. Thank God.

I was able to let my friend go, because my sister was willing to stay and help me. I can do it myself, but I need to talk things through. Except there were things I couldn't do myself.

She knew about needing to update Microsoft Rosetta. Done. She walked me through all the updates, which ones I needed and which ones I didn't, doing it a little at a time. I can do this.

Then it was time to update to Lion, the next operating system. She asked, "Is it compatible with your Office software?"

Wait... What?

We checked.

It isn't!

I'll have to update my Office before downloading Lion!

Can you imagine the explosive upheaval if I couldn't open my documents?

My sister had planned to pick up a book, and decided against it.

My friend was able to walk me through what needed to be done, until my sister arrived, who then saw me through the rest of the process, each giving their expertise exactly when I needed it and how I needed.

It wasn't a wink; it was a huge hug.

God is aware of me, and He brought into my day exactly who I needed when I needed them.

Thanks God.


My editor sent me an email reminding me my book was due. I had it on my calendar for a month later. Ack!! Fortunately, I had it mostly ready. I finished it, and sent it off. Whew. Here's the impressive part: I didn't beat myself up over thinking it was a different date. I corrected it, and moved on.

Registration for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference is still open.

The Maiden Warrior by Mary Reed McCall is featured over at Medieval Novels blogspot. I haven't read it or anything by Mary Reed McCall, but it's an interesting post, and the book is on my wish list.

Interview with Jean Thompson Kinsey.

Do you like preview's? Reading a scene that isn't available to the world, until now? Gail Delaney's "Phoenix Rising Book One: Janus, out in May (Yes, I enjoyed it.):

Monday, April 2, 2012

God Winks...

Over at Beth Trissel's blog the other day, she wrote a post titled "I Have a Cheap Fairy Godmother." It made me laugh. It isn't long. Go ahead and take a minute to read it. Here's the link.

It set me to thinking. FlyLady called those serendipity moments God Breezes. It's her phrase; I'll let her keep it. I wanted something I could call my own.

And so was born God Winks.

I've often lamented to my sister how God would solve some itty-bitty problem with ease, and leave me hanging on something huge. I'm able to look back now and realize I wasn't seeing through God's eyes.

On those big, huge, monstrous problems, God wanted me to learn a whole bunch of stuff. It takes time. Sometimes, God is doing a group project, and we're waiting on someone else to catch up. God loves group projects. The more, the merrier.

Then there are those little things.

So small, I don't want to bother God with it, and then, there it is.

God Winks.

I know it's Him.

I love this picture I found on FaceBook:

God Winks.

That picture is a God Wink. He takes something small, and seemingly insignificant, and uses it as a reminder.

Remind me of what?

He is reminding me He is aware of me. He knows me better than I know myself. He hasn't forgotten me. He loves me. Anything concerning to me is concerning to Him. He wants to help me. It's those little things that I make easiest for Him to fulfill, because I'm not fighting Him or trying to enforce my will over His. He is aware of my every thought and feeling. He understands me. He knows how I struggle, and He knows I need encouragement.

God Winks.

He loves me beyond measure, and knows that sometimes it's the little things that are able to touch the deepest.

God Winks.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's Day...

The day on which we are reminded of what we are the other 365 days of the year. I always hated that quote, until I became older and wiser. Now, I have a deep appreciation for it.

God sees not as man sees, and how grateful I am for His compassion and guidance.

You can still register for the Desert Dreams Writers' Conference.

I finished A Legacy of Lies by Stephenia McGee, her first book, and loved it. I simply wished I started it earlier in the day, because I read way too late into the night. I had to know how it would end.