Friday, May 30, 2008
She responded on loop, but gave me permission to share her email.
Thanks to Christina and to all who congratulated me on the sale of THE WATER FIGHT PROFESSIONAL. I'm very excited. God's timing is perfect. Here's a personal glimpse of what this has meant to me...
In college I was studying journalism and creative writing and had big plans for my life. Then, my junior year I got pregnant. I was offered an abortion, but instead I chose to marry my husband and move up to Portland with him. Giving up my dream was heart-breaking. I felt like a failure. Later on I came to realize that finishing college would have been the easy thing to do. By making my unexpected family a priority in my life, I had to become bold--to believe that I could have a life other than what I planned for myself.
Selling my book yesterday was awesome, but I wondered, "Out of all the days I have been writing, why did God pick this day for my first sale?" I wanted to find the value. I found it last night after my husband and I watched the movie Bella. The movie was about an abortion. My husband said to me, "Can you believe that the doctor asked us if we wanted to have an abortion with Jordan?" Then it hit me. If I hadn't raised Jordan, I never would have written THE WATER FIGHT PROFESSIONAL. He was my inspiration.
I thought I'd been giving up a dream when I dropped out of college, but God used my mistake to create a whole new dream...and to fulfill it. I'm so humbled. At the beginning of Bella there is a quote that fits: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." It's not about me.
Thanks again for all your caring and encouragement.
Christina, again. Someone might stumble upon this post in a desperate time. If you are that someone, and you are facing pressure to abort, please don't do it. God has awesome plans for that child and for you. Out of all the women on earth, He chose you to carry that particular baby. Whether He wants you to raise the baby or to give it up for adoption is between you and Him.
I have friends in their forties, still dealing with grief over aborting when they were teenagers. It is a regret you do not want to carry. It can never be undone. It can be forgiven and the Lord can heal your heart, but the long-lasting consequences are not worth the temporary, false peace.
An unwed teenager is expecting right now, a girl I happen to love. I've watched her grow up, and I'm watching her make the decision to keep the baby, despite her mother wanting her to abort. I'm praying, praying, praying she will stay strong.
If you're reading this and you have already aborted, please contact your local Pregnancy Resource Center. They offer post-abortive recovery groups. If you're considering an abortion, please call them. They will talk you through all your options and help you make a choice that is not based on fear.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Us at ACFW '07
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
We watched Prince Caspian over the Memorial weekend and LOVED the movie. It held the children's interest for all two hours and seventeen minutes. One positive about this movie compared to the last was less glorification of the evil side. The evil in this movie is either insidiously present in the minds of those around the characters or very, very creepy. When we watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I remember looking over at Joshua during the sacrifice scene only to find that he was beating out the drumbeat of the White Witch's minions by pounding his little fists on the arms of the chair. Not a good sign!
In my opinion, a greater awe surrounded Aslan in this movie. I'm a fan of Liam Neeson, but found his voice to be too one-dimensional for the last one. Yes, I know James Earl Jones can't play every deep-voiced character, and yes, Darth Vader might not make a good Aslan, but that's how I "heard" the voice. Seems Aslan talked less, but said just as much, in Caspian.
Here we come to my only beef with the movie. It didn't bother me that the movie strayed from the book. Screenwriting's a tough job and I wouldn't even try to capture the spirit of a book in a few hours of film. But I have issues with Lucy in a particular scene. About halfway through the movie, she is shown sitting on the Stone Table. Not even just "sitting." It's a definite lounge. Relaxed. Kicked back. She, in some ways more than all the children, loves Aslan. I understand that she is not scared of the Stone Table. After all, she was present when it was conquered. But she would be in awe of it.
In a subsequent scene, she is again sitting on the table. However, this time a sadness pervades the scene and she is leaning into the split table as if for support.
To me, it's the difference between climbing the cross like it's a tree, or clinging to it as a sign of our Savior.
Anyone else notice this?
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here's Joshua clowning around before the awards ceremony while Andrea and one of her best friends cling. I've noticed that clinging to each other is nine-year-old girls favorite activity.
And Joshua being absolutely serious while preforming his duties of AWANA Flag Bearer.
This was our core group of Sparkies this year. I love teaching this age group. I only had one girl use the "B" word all year long--bored. These kiddos are too young to be cool, but old enough to make your head swim with how many verses they can learn. We're singing our pyromaniac song right now--about setting the world on fire with our sparks for Jesus.
Here's Commander Sherrie, whom I like to call "Mom," dancing beside Andrea as the TNTers as they start on their excellent adventure of Truth and Training.
Andrea was one of only three kids between third and sixth grade to pass her entire book. She learned something like ninety verses! Wow!
Joshua also passed his book by saying an impressive number of verses. Over fifty, I think. That's me, grinning in the background, bursting with pride.
Now he's bursting with pride! Next year will be even better, I do believe.
We took the kids out for dinner afterwards to celebrate. Ended up at a little pizza/sandwich shop in a town nearby. Andrea said she wanted a cheese pizza, but changed her mind after she read the menu. "I don't want to make it myself."
I was a tad confused until I read the menu description: Build Your Own. Giggle, giggle. She giggled too when I explained that didn't mean she had to go in the kitchen and put it together, just that she could pick what went on it!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I started right back in this afternoon but ran into a question. In my book, I have a search and rescue dog "stand" on its hind legs and bark up a tree. Kind of like a coon dog. :-) But research found a FBI site that highlights Drago, a Dutch Shepherd, who's been trained to lay down and bark when he's found the person he's looking for.
I really needed to make my writing accurate for all those search and rescue team members who'll be reading the book in the future--ha!--so guess what I did?
I called the FBI! Said I was a writer with a quick research question about search and rescue dogs. They transferred me to the nicest woman. I expected a short, quick answer and the phone call to be over. Instead, she gave me tons of great info which has already sparked more story ideas. She even said the plot sounded interesting. So if you're reading this, Ms. FBI Lady, thank you! (I didn't ask her for her name because I figured that was classified and she might have to kill me if she told me.) If you sign up for my infrequent, humorous newsletter, you'll be able to track the progress of Unafraid.
And if you're a writer, don't be afraid to contact people to find the info you need. They get a break from their usual jobs, and you get a natural high!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Even today, when I watched four little ones, I managed to get most of my word count done and I plan on finishing the rest on the laptop in bed. It's great because I don't let myself sleep until I make it. That really keeps me motivated because I love to sleep.
What's the book about? Well, for the first time I'm trying to write a true romantic suspense. Undiscovered definitely has marital romance and there are suspenseful twists in the plot, but it didn't really fit the definition of "romantic suspense" that I've managed to find: where one or both characters involved in the romance are in danger of losing their lives.
I haven't plotted anything for Unafraid on paper, but the whole story is laying itself out in my mind and I LOVE how it is looking. Which is good because I'm 3,500 words in so far and if I don't love it now, I can't even imagine how I'll feel at the 60,000-word mark (2/3 done).
It opens with the kidnapping of a six-year-old girl. This has proved to be a difficult task because I'm deeply in her point of view. In comparison to my other writing, I think this first chapter sounds simplistic. However, children are "active" thinkers and story tellers. Really, they're bursting with nouns and verbs. Hardly any of the sentences are even trying to be passive. Ha.
I mentioned starting this book to a friend. "Oh." She nods. "I just read a book about a six-year-old girl being kidnapped."
Eek! Guess what I'm reading now? Dee Henderson's Danger in the Shadows. I'm to chapter four and breathing better already. I would never claim to write as well as Dee does, but I'm thrilled to find that our stories are not really anything alike in the way they play out. The best thing is that a friend did some of the hardest proposal work for me: finding a comparable (subject matter-wise) book for the market analysis.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I'm not really talking about my own children. Andrea and Joshua are in school, cramming their little minds full of knowledge right now. I'm talking about the foster children. It's been a while since I updated you so I'm going to pretend you care and tell you the latest.
County A or County B? If you want to know what the fuss was about, read this. County B denied our request to foster in County A, so we wasted three weeks trying to get the first little babies we heard about. I explained County B's decision to my children like this:
"If you come ask me for candy, I'll probably say yes. If you come ask again five minutes later, I'll most likely say no." A friend of ours had applied to foster out-of-county and had been approved, but when we asked for the same thing so soon after, it began to look like a pattern instead of an exception.
It's all good. I also reminded the kids that it means the kiddos God has for us to take care of come from County B (CB). So we switched gears and began the certification process with CB. Unfortunately, they are slammed. Between the certs they already had scheduled and the emergency ones that come up when family members take children, our case worker couldn't fit us in until weeks down the road.
I forgot how quickly time can pass. Though it feels like it's been forever, the days have flown by and I'm facing the reality of a home study in two days. Which means I need to finish reorganizing my office. (I really should have taken before and after pictures.) And I need to clean the bathrooms.
This was not the best time for our cat to pee in the house. However, two loads of laundry and a carpet cleaning later, I feel good about what I've accomplished today.
And watch out. I'm actually planning on blogging two days in a row. I'll be sharing a little bit about my next project!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
I'm pleased to announce that I have a devotional published in this book! Complied by Patricia Lorenz, proceeds from this book go to The Writing Academy. If any of you lovely--or handsome--blog readers need encouragement on your writing journey, or know someone who does, here's how you can order:
Call 1-877-289-2665 or use this link from Amazon: Daily Devotions for Writers
Here's an interesting link to how Patricia put this book together in 90 days: What's New? The devotional I sent has to do with research on the manuscript that is the Genesis Finalist. Very fun!
The price is a little high, but it goes to a good cause. Unfortunately, writers tend to have tight budgets!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
2008 CHRISTY AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
Ann Arbor, Mich.—The Christy Advisory Board is pleased to announce nominees in
nine categories for the 2008 Christy Awards honoring Christian fiction. The Christy
Awards dinner will be held Saturday evening, July 12, 2008, at The Rosen Centre in
Orlando, Florida. Visit the Christy Awards online at www.christyawards.com for more
information about the dinner and to make reservations.
The Christy Awards 2008 Nominees
CONTEMPORARY (STAND ALONE)
Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin (Thomas Nelson)
In High Places by Tom Morrisey (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson (Thomas Nelson)
CONTEMPORARY (SERIES, SEQUELS, AND NOVELLAS)
Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (Viking Penguin)
A Time to Mend by Sally John and Gary Smalley (Thomas Nelson)
What Lies Within by Karen Ball (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Lady of Milkweed Manor by Julie Klassen (Bethany House, a division of Baker
A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing
Tendering in the Storm by Jane Kirkpatrick (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing
LITS (four nominees due to a tie)
Doesn’t She Look Natural by Angela Elwell Hunt (Tyndale House Publishers)
Hallie’s Heart by Shelly Beach (Kregel Publications)
Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck (Avon Inspire, a division of HarperCollins
Lightning and Lace by DiAnn Mills (Barbour Publishing)
Remember to Forget by Deborah Raney (Howard Books, a division of Simon and
Remembered by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing
The Cure by Athol Dickson (Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay (Moody Publishers)
The Pawn by Steven James (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
The Restorer by Sharon Hinck (NavPress Publishing Group)
Scarlet by Stephen R. Lawhead (Thomas Nelson)
Auralia’s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Demon: A Memoir by Tosca Lee (NavPress Publishing Group)
The Stones Cry Out by Sibella Giorello (Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Hollywood Nobody by Lisa Samson (NavPress Publishing Group)
In Between by Jenny B.Jones (NavPress Publishing Group)
Maggie Come Lately by Michelle Buckman (NavPress Publishing Group)