Friday, July 24, 2009

The Honest Scrap Award - What an Honor!

I went to one of my favorite blogsites today--check it out HERE--and saw that I've been awarded the Honest Scrap Award. How cool is that! Thanks Erica!

So the rules of the Honest Scrap award are to reveal Eight Honest Things about me. Okay, but let me warn you that what's honest today might not be honest tomorrow, or next week or next month, but here goes:

1) I'm thirty minutes early every place I go. Really. I hate being late. When I was young--before I could drive--I was late for everything because my mom felt no sense of urgency. Actually, she always tried to do too many things on her way out the door. We missed an entire wedding once; got there just in time for the reception. If you ever invite me to your house, I'll be thirty minutes early and I'll drive around the block until time to knock on your door.

2) I'm addicted to Diet Coke and I don't want to be. Especially since my daughter read Breathers. She hasn't sipped a Diet Coke since. You can read about it HERE.

3) I love the dumb movie Music and Lyrics with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant. Don't ask me why. There's no rhyme or reason to my taste in movies since I also love Hoosiers, The Pelican Brief, The Music Man, Must Love Dogs, You've Got Mail ... but I watch Music and Lyrics a couple of times a month. It's a feel-good movie.

4) I collect cookbooks but don't get a lot of joy out of cooking. I really enjoy reading recipes. Call me weird.

5) I grew up loving dogs. I owned Ricky, Doogan, Hissy and Sissy, Blue, Freckles and Rigger, but once I got older, I got really scared of dogs so I steer clear of them. If you invite me over to your house, I'll ask you if you have a dog. Yep, I'll be that rude. Here's something strange: I love watching dog shows on TV. I think it's really neat how they perform. They look so proud of themselves. :)

6) I love music. Just about any kind. Guess Music and Lyrics proves that, huh?

7) I look forward to seeing American Idol each season, and guess what! Project Runway starts in August. Yippeeee! I wish I could sew. Yes, I took Home Ec and during the sewing portion of it my mother almost disowned me. I sewed the bottom of my dress together. Hopeless...but we own three sewing machines. \o/ I'm a wannabe seamstress. :-D

8) I was a substitute teacher for one day. When the school day ended, I marched to the principal's office and told her to take me off the list. Never again!

Wow! this was so much harder than I thought it would be. My nominees for the Honest Scrap Award are:






Sunday, July 19, 2009

Starting Over

My mind is blank when it comes to blogging these days. I'm not sure why. I feel as though I'm starting everything from scratch. Nonfiction writing, being president of the local writers' group and handling our contest, thinking about our upcoming conference and in charge of a couple of the speakers, doing a few one-on-one critiques with new writers, trying to fit in with a new crit group . . . all of this feels overwhelming. It's not that I'm busy with all things constantly--just constantly thinking of all these things. I find myself escaping into the "I wish I designed jewelry" mindset. That's where I escape to when I mentally procrastinate. I find it relaxing to design jewelry in my mind. :-)

I'm thinking of other things too: the 2009 NaNoWrMo and finishing the novel I started last year. That's my goal for November. Every year I write 100 pages of a book. Thanksgiving comes around and I quit writing, so it makes sense to start with page 101 and finish the book before Thanksgiving. Right? Sure it does!

My biggest problem is: rewriting Miranda for the secular (general) market place.
Or do I? That's the big question--do I? I really wanted to be a part of the Christian writing arena but I'm not sure I fit in.

Another problem is: looking for a new agent. Or do I?
Why should I? Answer: I've lost faith in my agent. He hasn't been encouraging or knowlegeable about the markets available to me. I don't like his submission methods. He has no follow-up. I think he handles too many clients for what he's capable of. This is my observation only. But when I see clients leaving him and going to other agents, I feel as though I'm the last rat on a sinking ship.
So why shouldn't I? I should. I just DID. I needed motivation and I got it because. . .I've spotted a new agent that seems interesting and has a lot on the ball. She's a former editor. That gives her an advantage in my opinion. I think she'll make a name for herself. Now I'll have to decide if I have the courage to query her. ;/

It would be nice to have someone tell me exactly what to do. I'm good with deadlines. Really good. I wish I had an editor or an agent who would give me one, take control, tell me exactly what I need to be doing. Guess that's asking a little too much, huh? And like my husband says, "if you have to ask, then you already know."

I'm not starting over. I'm just chasing my own tail. Trying to accomplish something but not getting anything done. I've become so fascinated with 'chasing my tail' that I Googled it to see if there is a remedy for curing it. Of course, there is. (There's a remedy for everything. All you have to do is Google.)

The remedy applies to dogs but makes sense for humans too. Here are 3 solutions for tail-chasers:

1) Get involved in a lifestyle enrichment program, including increased exercise, and a healthy diet.
2) Alleviate oppressive circumstances such as excessive periods of confinement.
3) Medication.

Some people have tried amputation of the tail but that does not resolve the problem.

I've taken the first step. I'm agent-less now. And that doesn't bother me one bit because God is in control. He may bring me this new young vivacious agent - or He may send me back to the secular market. He gave me the desire and the talent; He won't abandon me.

So this week I resolve to focus. On something. Pray that I don't focus on chasing my tail.
Have a good week.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog Tour: Holy Roller by Julie Lyons

My husband enjoys reading honest accounts about how the Holy Spirit moves in the lives of those in desperate need of deliverance so I passed this book on to him. He says:

Julie Lyons' description of her spiritual experiences in the Pentecostal church in south Dallas portrays not only the power of the Holy Spirit at work in people’s lives but also the false preachers who prey upon the congregation. This was an easy to read, honest account. The story moved smoothly with no dead spots. Julie Lyons obviously has no ax to grind since she still attends this church.


Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results? At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed. Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.” It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.

Author Bio:
Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor and investigative reporter who for more than 11 years served as editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.

You can purchase this book from Amazon or from Random House.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blog Tour: The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn by Liz Johnson

I'm a demanding reader. Or maybe the word I should use is spoiled. I want a book that yanks me into the story the moment I look at the cover and read the title. From there, I move on to the first sentence. If it doesn't grab me, doesn't make me read the entire first page, then I'm moving on to the next book on the shelf ... or in my stack. Take a look at this first sentence: Mackenzie Thorn looked up just in time to see two men walk into her classroom. Of course, what got my attention was 'the classroom.' Immediately, I'm curious to know why two men are entering this woman's classroom. She obviously doesn't know them. And so I read on...and on...and on.

Liz Johnson's debut novel is a story rich in plot with adventure and romance that will thrill her readers and have them watching for her next Love Inspired. I'm one who has no qualms about tossing a book if I don't like the author's writing style, but Johnson kept me turning pages because of her nice, easygoing way with words. Her characters are appealing (especially that hunk of a hero) and won my heart.

Your next trip to the bookstore or grocery story, be on the look out for The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn by Liz Johnson, on sale July 14th, 2009. This is a fast read, and you won't be disappointed.
Myles Parsons is just another inmate in Kenzie Thorn’s GED course until he kidnaps her, offering only a feeble explanation–that he’s actually FBI Special Agent Myles Borden. Terrified, Kenzie doesn’t want to believe his story of being undercover to protect her. Moreover, she can’t believe that someone might really want her dead. But just when Myles thinks he has her out of harm’s way, his plans start to fall apart. He attempts to take Kenzie to a safe house—but the stubborn woman won’t go! So together they must uncover the clues that will reveal a most shocking perpetrator. All the while Myles tries to keep his distance from Kenzie … but finds himself falling in love
About the Author:
Liz Johnson grew up reading Christian fiction, and always dreamed of being part of the publishing industry. After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, she set out to fulfill her dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-becoming an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she completed the Christian Writers Guild apprentice course and wrote articles for several magazines. Liz lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she enjoys theater, ice skating, volunteering in her church's bookstore and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nephew and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings. The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn is her first novel. Keep up with Liz's adventures in writing by adding her website to your favorites.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July - Remember the Many Faces of Freedom

I just saw Rebecca Pepin interviewed on Glenn Beck. Rebecca Pepin co-anchors the 5pm and 10pm newscasts on WCYB and WEMT (Fox Tri-Cities) in Bristol, VA/TN. She is also the editorial director for the book Faces of Freedom. And that's what got my attention. If you purchase a copy of this book, you will be supporting Fisher House and Wounded Warrior Project, both worthy causes.

Faces of Freedom: Profiles of America’s Fallen Heroes by Editorial Director Rebecca Pepin, profiles fallen heroes who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11. It includes one service member from each of the 50 states along with D.C. and Puerto Rico. All branches of the military are represented.

A team of volunteer writers and editors helped this project become a reality. Wentworth Printing in West Columbia, SC printed the book.

Please contact Rebecca Pepin at beccapepin (at) yahoo (dot) com if you would like to become a corporate sponsor to help pay for the next printing.

All proceeds go to Fisher House and Wounded Warrior Project.