Monday, December 03, 2007


Now before you think this is our annual Christmas letter, it’s not. I’m actually writing to ask if you've noticed anything different when you’ve gone shopping at some of the national retailers. Well I have. They are using MERRY CHRISTMAS instead of Happy Holidays this year.

About a week ago when R. & I walked into Sears, I saw their holiday greeting. In big, bold letters the sign read “Merry Christmas.” I almost shouted out a thank you, but figured the other shoppers might think I’m a crazy person (no comment from those who know me-HA!). Then a few days later I noticed J.C. Penney’s was using Merry Christmas too. WOW!! But the biggest surprise of all came when I received Target’s catalog in the mail. I popped open the ornament on the front cover and read MERRY CHRISTMAS.

People, what is going on???? Have the national retailers finally heard our cries? I don’t know and really don't care, but I do appreciate whatever they are doing. And I plan on telling each and every one of them how much I do. Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't we all thank them, and while we're at it, let's wish them a Merry Christmas, too.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Yes, I’ve returned from the ACFW Conference. For those of you not in the know, the initials stand for American Christian Fiction Writers. I’m happy to report Murphy stayed home this time, but Elvis did show up (I’ll cover that topic later).

In some writer’s eyes, my conference wasn’t much of a success. The reason: I didn’t have any meetings with publishers, editors, or agents. I didn’t pitch my book (well there was the one time at the lunch table) I didn’t follow an editor into an elevator and give them my 3 minute synopsis. But I DID have a blast hanging out with all of my writer friends, and making new ones. I DID learn valuable techniques to help my writing. And I DID, for the first time in a long time, feel I fit in. I truly felt the love and acceptance of my fellow writers. Those three things spelled SUCCESS for me.

Now to the Elvis sighting:

He showed up(not literally). Elvis made his appearance when someone asked me my most embarrassing moment. Remember in my last blog, I told you I’d tell you the now infamous story. Here it is:

Hubby and I had the privilege of seeing a display of the Shroud of Turin. It wasn’t the actual burial cloth supposedly worn by Jesus, but the traveling documentary moved me, nonetheless. We read all the paperwork stating the validity of the Shroud, and I went away a believer that the Lord actually wore the grave clothes in the colored pictures.

Later that evening, R and I went over to our neighbors to play cards. We told them all about our interesting day. Near the end of our conversation about it, I exclaimed in a loud voice, “Yes, Elvis lay there wrapped in the shroud.”

The moment the words left my lips, I knew the silence beside me meant only one thing. I had truly said Elvis, not Jesus. What is the matter with me? I looked over at my hubby and Ellie and Jane. Their stunned expressions spoke volumes. Finally Ellie cleared his throat and stated, “Well, he is a king, too.”

So, now you know my most embarrassing moment – what’s some of yours? I’d love to hear them.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Three, two, one...

Three, two, one – ready or not – Dallas, here I come!!!

The reason I’m making the 3 ½ hour trek from Houston to the Big D is ‘cause I’m off to another writer’s conference. I pray this one turns out a little more successful than the one I went to in Colorado last year. Repeat after me – Murphy’s Law.

For those of you who might not be familiar with Mr. Murphy running rampid in their lives, let me fill you in on how he works. Oh, and to add a little flavor and make it a little more fun, I’m going to use a trick that Letterman uses – I’m going to give you Nettie’s Top 5 List.

How you know Murphy’s Law is present at a writer’s conference:

#5: You go to your first appointment with a publisher (which you signed up for beforehand) and give your spiel, only to be stopped after 5 minutes when the young girls (could have been your daughter) tells you their publishing house doesn’t take devotionals. You wonder why she didn’t stop you after 30 seconds. She must have known she didn’t take them then, too.

#4: Between classes, you go to the auditorium to familiarize yourself to where you’re meeting with an agent later in the day. You ask an official looking person with a badge on a question. Their response, “You need to get to your next class.” (Well, I hope you’re having a good day, too!!!)

#3: You’re sitting at one of the round table eating breakfast. You, and the others at the table, talk and laugh about a variety of subjects, but never does anyone mention who you’re sharing the meal with. Since you’re one to always entertain the crowd; you mention you’re a HUGE Elvis and Barry Manilow fan. Telling them your most embarrassing moment concerning Elvis (I promise I’ll share it in a later blog). Anyway, at the end of the meal you find out you’ve been sitting with a publisher from Bethany House and another lady, right next to you, is a multi-published author. So much for them wanting anything you’ve ever written.

#2: You and three friends decide to go into town for pizza the second night (what does this have to do with the writer’s conference – not a darn thing, but I know Murphy was responsible). As you’re leaving the YMCA grounds, one of the ladies sees a wolf, or two, or three (how many make a pack?). You yourself have never been up and personal with a wolf in all your years in Colorado, but you feel certain you are all safe behind the closed doors of the rented Ford. But your friend is beginning to hyperventilate and just stares out the rear window. She told you she was making sure they weren’t following us into town (JAT, I love ya, and you know who you are-HA!).

Drum roll, please!!!! The #1 reason is:

#1: You go back to the auditorium to meet with the agent. Your eyes catch sight of a commotion going on in front of her. You sit down to chat and she tells you what happened. The older man sitting on the floor had fallen down, and because of his advanced age the conference officials were afraid to move him. He sat there while you tried to talk to the agent. In the 5 minutes you spent with her, you only got to share a little bit about yourself. Even that, she didn’t seem interested in. Your work in progress not the big news of the afternoon. (Hey, maybe I should have sat down next to the older gentleman – might have gotten the agent's attention that way. I guess I’ll never know.)

So, now I’ve signed up for another conference, and boy, I can hardly wait to see what's going to happen. I just hope that Mr. Murphy stays home. I don’t think my writing career could take another dose of him this year.


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

When The Nile Runs Red - Part 2

Good morning, everyone. Welcome back for When The Nile Run Red - Part 2 with DiAnn Mills. In today blog she'll answer some questions about how she came to write this fiction novel. She'll share with us her heart for the needs of others less fortunate. I hope her story inspires us to write about what we're passionate about.

DiAnn, what inspired you to write this novel?

I had previously written a nonfiction book about the Lost Boys of Sudan – Lost Boy No More. From that research, I wrote the novel When the Lion Roars, but the story would not let me go.

Through numerous interviews and extensive reading, I grew to love and admire the courageous Sudanese people and was burdened by their incredible needs. I had to bring them back in When the Nile Runs Red.

Why Sudan?

This country went through nearly two decades of civil war strife. In 1983, the northern government launched a holy war against the south. This grew out of the views of the Islamic north against the mostly Christian black African south. The war had three aspects: religion, politics, and oil. The atrocities committed against the southern people are too many to list, but the war was fought in the south through genocide.

How did you conduct your research?

I grabbed my backpack and sun screen and traveled to Juba, Sudan, the southern capital. There I stayed at a Christian compound and met with southern Sudanese from all walks of life: refugees, political leaders, and church leaders. I talked to as many people as I could, snapped pictures, and listened to what was being said.

Regarding your trip to Sudan, what touched you the most?

The incredible faith. I could look into a Sudanese’s eyes and see the pain of persecution and the hope of Jesus. Here, we say we love Jesus while we live in our huge homes, drive our fancy cars, are well-fed, are not hunted down for our faith, or are concerned about medical care. The Sudanese understand that all they have and need is Jesus.

Can you give us a brief description of your characters?

Paul Farid was once a Muslim who actively persecuted the southern people, but now he’s a Christian who flies dangerous missions into war-torn areas to deliver food and medical supplies.

Dr. Larson Kerr Farid risks her life to bring healing to the Sudanese. Just like her husband Paul, her life is often in danger. But there is a problem between her and Paul with no easy solution.

Colonel Ben Alier has been fighting and leading the southern army of Sudan for nearly two decades. Often referred to as a warlord, Ben fights his own demons.

The three are friends, an unlikely friendship forged by their love for Sudan.

How do you build your plots?

Always out of character with two simple words: what-if? John Gardner said to create the best possible characters and allow the worst possible things to happen to them. That says it all. It’s easy to coat our darlings with easy trials and struggles, but the hard stuff, the struggles that define the character are what has to happen. I’m a huge fan of Donald Maass and wouldn’t consider writing a paragraph without using techniques found in his books Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.

What are you goals for this novel?

To increase awareness about the situation in Sudan and to share my passion for the Sudanese people through a compelling story.

The proceeds for this novel go back to aid the Sudanese.

What do you hope the readers will gain?

To lose themselves in the novel. That’s every writer’s goal. But I also want the reader to sense a call to action and support the Sudanese cause.

What is your next project?

I’m currently writing a romantic suspense series with a working series title of “Behind the Sunglasses”.

Aside from your passion for writing, what else are you doing?

Speaking to groups about the situation in Sudan. Teaching at writer’s conferences. Conducting Fiction Mentoring Clinics. These are small groups who work closely together for three work-filled days to develop their craft.

How can readers learn more about what you are doing?

Check out my website at I have sections about Sudan, and for readers, and writers. Those signing up for my newsletter get to download a chapter of an upcoming release.

DiAnn, thanks for stopping for a visit. It's been a pleasure chatting with you. See ya soon, my friend.


Friday, August 31, 2007

When The Nile Runs Red - Part 1

As a writer, I'm totally blessed because I'm surrounded by honest-to-goodness published authors who want to share their knowledge and expertise on how they've accomplished this seemingly impossible task. My blog overflowed in August with answers to the burning questions you've always wanted to ask those authors we admire so much.

Well, ladies and gentleman, to start September off with a bang, another of my writer friends is stopping by for a two-day chat. Let me introduce you to her. DiAnn Mills launched her career in 1998 with the publication of her first book. Currently she has over forty books in print and has sold more than a million copies.

DiAnn believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” Her desire is to show characters solving real problems of today from a Christian perspective through a compelling story.

Her latest book, When The Nile Runs Red, is set for a September 2007 release date. Here's an excerpt from the back cover:

Paul Farid was once a member of the royal family who openly persecuted any Sudanese who failed to practice Islam. Now he’s a Christian who puts his life on the line to aid the persecuted Sudanese. His wife, Larson, is a doctor committed to giving her life for peace.

Colonel Ben Alier has fought for twenty-one years against the government’s mandates to control the oil, religion, slavery, and politics of Sudan. He neither trusts nor rests any hope in the newly formed government.

Ben’s health deteriorates while Larson finds out she is going to have a baby. Their worlds collide, and as the relational tensions escalate so does the physical danger.

Please click on the link below. It will take you to a promo for When the Nile Runs Red.
Thanks DiAnn for visiting. I'll see you tomorrow for our interview.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I'm pleased to announce to my readers another book I highly recommend. It Gone With The Groom by Janice A. Thompson. In my blog today, she's come to visit and share a snippet about her newly released book. She'll also answer some questions about herself and her writing journey. Janice is a dear friend of mine, and I'm blessed to have her in my life.

So, family and friends, sit back and enjoy getting to know my special friend.


The best laid plans of brides and men go awry when Annie Peterson’s future son-in law Scott disappears. Have pre-wedding jitters caused Brandi’s fiancĂ© to take flight, or are more sinister forces at work? Annie puts her super-sleuth powers to work, feverishly racing against the wedding day clock to find her daughter’s missing fiancĂ©.

Has Scott been silenced by the big pharmaceutical company for which he works? Perhaps his disappearance is the handiwork of Otis, Scott’s sneaky dad. But then again it could be the shady wedding photographer or even a sideshow of the political campaign of Scott’s mother.

Will Annie solve the mystery and recover the missing groom in time for the couple to say their wedding vows? Find out in Gone with the Groom.

Author Janice A. Thompson lives in the Houston area. In 2004, her two oldest daughters both received proposals within weeks of each other. The weddings came off without a hitch! Janice has since coordinated weddings for friends and is thrilled to incorporate many of her adventures into her novels.

1. What book is coming next?

There will be three more Annie Peterson mysteries after this one: PUSHING UP DAISIES, THE PERFECT MATCH, and CATERING TO DISASTER. They will all be released as part of the new mystery line at Barbour Publishing (Heartsong Presents Mysteries).

2. What book are you working on now?

I just turned in a Heartsong romance titled WHITE AS SNOW – about a young woman who can’t stand football. She lives in the Pittsburgh area, and eventually (of course!) falls in love with a professional football player. I had a lot of fun writing this one. Why, you ask? Because I’m not a football fan! Figure skating, yes! Gymnastics, of course! Football. . .are you kidding? Beyond that, I'm nearing completion on another Heartsong titled OUT OF THE BLUE (a contemporary set in the Amish country). When I finish that one, I wrap up my (first ever!) book for Steeple Hill, titled BOOM TOWN.

3. What book are you reading now?

I just read my friend Kathleen Y'Barbo's awesome book WEDDING BLISS (from Heartsong Presents). She's got an amazing sense of humor and really cracks me up! I also read Allison Pittman's beautifully written second book SPEAK THROUGH THE WIND. When I have free time (usually in the wee hours of the night), I'm reading a wonderful non-fiction book about the life of the Amish (as research).

4. How do you deal with your other obligations (family, church, etc.) when it’s crunch time near deadlines?

This has been a tough year for me. During the writing of GONE WITH THE GROOM, I lost my father to bone marrow cancer. It was an awful time for our family. Then, the week before the book was due, my married daughter (Randi) became very ill during her 33rd week of pregnancy and the baby (Madysen) had to be delivered early. She was only four and a half pounds, but (thank God!) is just fine now. Then, about the time the book went to the edit stage, my sister passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. As I began marketing the book, one of my best friends suddenly passed away. Then, when I was nearing the end of a ghost-writing project I fell down some stairs and broke my ankle (requiring surgery). It seems like every time a tragedy strikes, I’m on some sort of deadline. I don’t resent that fact, (though at times it’s tough to keep going). I find the writing to be a blessing, particularly in light of the fact that I “need” the humor of light-weight stories like GONE WITH THE GROOM to bring a smile to my face. God always helps me with the obligations/deadlines part. I’m totally dependent on Him for those things. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

5. What’s your favorite worship song, and why?

I change favorite worship songs routinely. Right now I'm enthralled with a song by Hillsongs titled "Mighty to Save." You'll find the lyrics below.

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

My Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything i believe in
Now i surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

Trust me when I say that it is possible for God to move the mountains. I've watched Him do it time and time again.

6. What do you crave (beverage or food) when you have writer’s stress?

I am addicted to Diet Dr. Pepper. And when I’m really needing a treat, I turn to Earl Grey tea (like Annie Peterson) or even Chai Latte. When all else fails, I reach for a piece of cheesecake.

7. Where did you birth the idea for this book (and the series)? When? How did it come about?

Did any of the experiences in the story happen to you personally?
I have four daughters in their 20’s. Two of them got married in 2004 within four and a half months of each other. It was a stressful time, but I always knew I’d eventually be able to use the information in a story. Just about the time I thought I could rest, my third daughter got engaged. Her wedding just took place six weeks ago. Three down, one to go! As for how I decided to turn these books into mysteries (instead of traditional romances)… I asked myself the question, “What would you do if you had to pay for two weddings and didn’t have the money to do so?” Out of that, the first book (THE WEDDING CAPER) was born. After that, I got to thinking, “What would you do if the groom disappeared just before the wedding?) Out of that, GONE WITH THE GROOM was born. And so on, and so forth.

8. If your book was turned into a movie, who would play the main characters?

Wow. Never thought about that before. Who would play Annie Peterson? If she were still alive, I might pick someone funny like Madeline Kahn. If she were younger, maybe Carol Burnett? Diane Keaton might work, (though, Annie is really only turning 50, so even Diane might be a bit too old). As for the twin daughters, I think it would be fun to have someone like Jennifer Garner play dual roles. Or, hey…what about the Olsen twins? They could split the workload, and they’re about the right age. As for the husband (Warren) I wouldn’t want to go for anyone terribly famous, because I wouldn’t want him to outshine Annie. For Sheila? Someone quirky like Bette Midler or even Kathy Bates would do – in flamboyant colors, of course.

9. Which one of your characters is most like you, and why do you say that?

I’m a lot like Annie Peterson, truth be told. I find myself “in over my head” a lot, and I tend to think I can solve most any problem. She’s going through some empty nest issues, and I can certainly relate to that. Like Annie I also find myself turning to God for the real answers. I’d like to say I’m funny like Sheila, but I patterned that character after my best friend Kay, who always keeps me laughing. Kay is always coming up with funny sayings, and all-the-more, now that she knows I need material for Sheila to use.

10. What do you want your readers to know about you?

I love God with my whole heart, and no matter what troubles come my way, (no matter what mysteries I need to solve) I will never ever give up on my faith. Never. I will keep on keeping on, no matter what!

Janice A. Thompson
"Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters"

Gone with the Groom (Barbour Publishing)
Sugar and Grits (Barbour Publishing)

Thank you, Janice, for stopping by. I hope everyone enjoyed getting know you. It's a joy to spend time with you, and I love ya, girlfriend.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Never Too Old

I attended a funeral of a friend today. Normally sadness fills the faces of the one's paying respect, but today I noticed radiant smiles. I knew each were remembering how the 93 year old man brightened their day by just wheeling in on his little red cart. The big grin on Henry's face told us he was glad to see us.

Henry lived every day to its fullest. I don't believe he wasted a second God gave him. He liked to share some of his experiences with us in his writer's groups. We loved hearing each and every story he wrote. Listening to him read, and then witnessing his tears as they trickled down his cheeks, put my troubles into perspective. I no longer felt sorry for myself.

Henry lived his life as a true reflection of the Lord. Never shy in his sharing of his beliefs with others. Honestly, I don't think he cared if he might not be "politically" correct. His philosophy - he had a message and he was going to proclaim it.

Henry lived and I'm glad I could call him my friend. Boy, am I going to miss him, but my life's forever changed because I knew him.


PS: You're never too old - start living today!!!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007


Today my blog is featuring a very SPECIAL guest. Allison Bottke has stopped by for a chat while she's on her international blog tour. Most of you know her from her God Allows U-Turns anthologies, but Allison is also published as a fiction author now. I've just finished her 2nd book, "One Little Secret." Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. The minute I finished her 2nd book, I ran out and bought her 1st one, "A Stitch In Time." Again, I'm having trouble getting anything else done. I want to keep reading her book.

But this blog isn't about me today - it's about Allison. She going to answer some questions concerning her writing life and how she's done it and reached the goal all of us writers want - PUBLISHDOM. Now, all my writer friends, get your pens ready. You'll want to take notes.

Allison, what is one piece of advice can you give a new (and not-so-new) writer to keep them writing day after day?

I know it sounds so incredibly droll and simple, but never give up and don’t take “no” for an answer! I kept at it and kept at it and kept at it. Recrafting my proposals and rewriting my first book. I got my start in non-fiction, but always in the back of my mind was the dream of one day writing fiction. However, more important would be to not compare yourself to another writer. There is always going to be someone better, someone smarter, someone more literary, someone more photogenic on the back of their book, and yada, yada, yada. But there is only ever going to be one you!

Janetta, some of your readers may know this about me, but for those who don’t, the fact I’ve been published at all boggles my mind. I’m a high school drop out with a ninth grade education and a GED. I quit school after the 9th grade to run away from home and get married. I was going to live happily ever after in my fairy tale dream. But that’s NOT what happened.

That said, writing is not about formal education, or who you know, or how long you’ve been at it. It’s about perseverance and risk and belief in yourself—and knowing that inevitably, God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received, which kept you writing?

Never give up. If writing is truly my passion—then I must persevere through whatever comes my way.

If someone told you tomorrow you had to give up writing, could you?

Hmmmm, I guess it would depend on who was doing the asking and why. If I felt deep in my heart and soul that my husband or children were suffering—or if my own health depended on it—then yes, I could give it up—to save our lives. However, a question like that is tough, because so much depends on the circumstances.

If not, why?

If I’ve learned anything it’s to never say never. Although writing has been my passion since I was old enough to hold a pencil, and I do feel it’s the gift God has blessed me with to communicate, I would never say that I couldn’t give it up. I sure wouldn’t want to if I had the choice, but we just never know what may happen in life, do we?

How would you convince the person who is asking you to quit to let you continue writing?

To “let me?” I’m an adult, and therefore able to make my own decisions—other than God, no one has to “let me” do anything. Therefore, if someone in my life is insisting I give up my passion, or giving me an ultimatum, I’m afraid there is a dynamic involved in the relationship that is far more critical than my writing. The issue wouldn’t be to “convince” them, the issue would be to get to the bottom of what is causing the ultimatum in the first place.

What was the WORST critique/rejection you've ever received?

I can’t recall any—now don’t get me wrong—that’s not to say I have not been criticized, I know that I have—many times. However, I choose not to let negative comments linger in my mind for too long. Negativity serves no purpose in helping me to reach my goals or to achieve my dreams. Therefore, I made the choice a long time ago to NOT allow negativity to control me or my thought world. My mom instilled in me an ability to always see the glass as half full and not half empty and “half empty thoughts” serve no purpose in my world.

Who has mentored you in your writing career?

I have been incredibly blessed. Although I’m not sure I would call all of my “teachers” mentors, per say, I have studied under many of today’s bestselling CBA authors. I began attending writer’s conferences as an instructor, and while there I was able to take classes as a student with some amazing novelists who generously shared their craft in workshop sessions. I soaked up everything I could about how to write fiction—taking notes—buying tapes—listening over and over again to teachers like Angela Hunt, Gayle Roper, Brandilyn Collins, James Scott Bell, Jack Cavanaugh, Lauraine Snelling, and Tracie Peterson. It was after taking a 3-day long intensive workshop with Tracie Peterson that I was able to fine-tune my work-in-progress and submit it with a proposal to Bethany House. The rest, as they say, is history. Bethany House signed me to write two novels and the whirlwind began.

Do you belong to a specific writer's group?

I do not. But I’m moving to the Dallas area of Texas at the end of this month and I’ve already connected with some writers in the area and hopefully I’ll join a group this fall.

I know you speak at conferences, but do you still attend them? If you do, which ones?

Alas, my schedule does not allow me to attend conferences outside of the ones at which I speak and teach. However, one of the amazing perks of speaking or teaching at writer’s conferences is the ability to attend classes during your available times. That is how I was able to take so many fiction writing classes from the masters over the years. I’ve particularly enjoyed the Jerry Jenkins Writing for the Soul Conference, the Glorietta Christian Writers Conference, the Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, The Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference, The Seattle Pacific Writers Conference, the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference and the Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois. But there are countless writers’ conferences being held all over this great country.

Is goal setting important to your writing?

Absolutely! In fact, I teach a class on Strategic Planning for your writing career, and setting definitive goals is vital in this business. Also, thinking about our writing career as a “business” is also vital. I have a series of teaching teleseminars available as MP3 downloads on my web site called: CLEAN UP YOUR ACT. This is a 4-part series that includes strategic planning and developing goals and visions for where we want to take our career. Your readers can find out more about those audio downloads and handouts here:

What does a typical writing day look like for you? Are you a morning person, or do you burn the midnight oil?

Funny, the older I get the earlier I go to bed at night. But on the flip side is that I’m now waking up at 4:30 or 5:00 AM every morning. That said, I like to start working very early in the day when my mind is fresh and alert. I will occasionally burn the midnight oil during tense times of deadlines, but I try to shut off my computer when my husband gets home from work in the evening. He’s an entrepreneur and works long hours, he’s a work-a-holic like me, and so his schedule isn’t exactly a 9 to 5 kind of thing.

Allison, you've published numerous God Allows U Turns compilations, but what did you do to celebrate the release of your FIRST novel, "A Stitch in Time"?

I know it’s frivolous, but I bought a Mary Frances designer handbag embellished with purses and shoes and accessories. It looks like “Dee,” and it makes me smile and thank God for the ability to be working in this crazy business of writing and publishing every time I use it.


Is there anything you’d like to share with my readers that I haven’t asked you about?

I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about One Little Secret. I really do want to hear reader feedback. I’m working on my next novel to release in summer of 2009 and I take to heart reader comments. They can reach me here: and please, I’d love to invite everyone to participate in the Hollywood Casting Call Contest where a lucky winner can win an all expense paid trip to Hollywood! Visit my web site and select the actors and actresses you think would make the best lead characters in One Little Secret! Check it out here:

And …we have a monthly newsletter that we call a “Dream-Zine,” I’d love to invite your readers to subscribe:

We also have a co-authored blog with six best selling authors blogging each and every day – BOOMER BABES WITH BRILLIANT DREAMS:

However, more important than that is my final word of the day…and that is for your readers to take the risk and reach for their dreams! God has placed a desire in your heart—He has given you special gifts—and he wants you to use them. No matter how old we are—there is still time to discover God’s purpose for our life—and to make the choices that will change the story of our life.

Thank you, Allison, for stopping by my blog today. May God bless you on your writing journey. Please continue penning the words the Lord gives you so readers like myself can devour them.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Technology Is Not My Middle Name

How do I know that technology isn't my middle name? Well, first of all, my birth certificate tells me my middle name is Marie. Oh, that was my first clue, but actually the real reason I know it isn't the "t" word - I just fought for 20 minutes to get to the main screen so I could actually POST this new blog. Every time I try to write on this wonderful, new invention I have the same trouble.

But, obviously I got it accomplished, but it wasn't easy. When I made my first attempt to get on this time (with the password I'm a 100% sure is correct), it tells me it's incorrect. I try it again, and again, and again. By the time I've tried it this many times, I'm wondering why they don't bypass the formalities and just let me on. You see, I've written them so many times asking for my password, they know me by name. That's a joke, but for someone who is not computer savvy, sometimes simple things for some are almost impossible to me.

Another reason I know technology isn't my middle name comes when someone IS trying to explain to me how to do something new on my laptop. Oh my, there are no words to describe the sinking feeling I experience at that moment. And they can't miss the deer-in-the-headlight look I give them. My eye glaze over after the first few words they utter trying to get me to understand.

But I don't lose heart, I just thank the Lord for the gifts and talents He's given me. They fit me perfectly. I might never figure out how to get into this blog the first time around, but I have enough tenacity to finally accomplish it the fifth or sixth time. I'll not let a little problem with technology stand in my way. I've got a blogging audience to entertain.

Now was that http, or was it html? HELP!


Friday, June 22, 2007

To Blog Or Not To Blog

If you haven't noticed, my blogging has been a little sparse for the last 3 months. It's not because I'm SO busy, or I can't find the time. What I think the problem is - are you ready - I'M A PROCRASTINATOR. There, I said it. I've known this for a long time, but didn't want to admit it to anyone.

But I guess I just did - I finally told God and everyone else within a million miles of my computer. But I'm not alone, am I? I think I saw a few of you nod your head? I think I even caught some of you squirming in your seats. Go ahead, you can tell me. It won't go any farther than my blog (wink, wink). Just say it - I AM A PROCRASTINATOR. Now, don't you feel better? I know I do.

Now, I know you're asking yourself, "how do we solve this problem?" WELL, I HAVE NO IDEA!! I just write the blog. You have to figure it out yourself. Not really, I'm just kidding.

Honestly, I think admitting it is the first step. The next step, at least for me, is praying for help in this area. I don't want to put off until tomorrow what I should have done (and had time to do) today. Last, but not least - Just do something. I know getting up and accomplishing anything always gets my juices going. And what I dreaded doing, (which is a good reason to procrastinate) will get finished in no time.

Well, I've solved another problem. Thanks for listening. I hope I helped you, too.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Didn't Feel the Love

Now before any of you think I’m talking about R when it comes to the above title, I’m not. Yes, today is Valentine’s Day, but the event I’m talking about happened yesterday at my critique group. All I can say is when I signed up for this writing thing 3 ½ years ago, I guess I didn’t think it would also include getting beat up in the process. Oh, did I just hear some chattering going on from some of my fellow writers. Did I touch a nerve? Has this happened to you, too? Let me explain what I’m talking about.

Most of you who have read my blog know I wrote 50,000 words in the month of November. After writing it, I’m told I’m supposed to take it in its raw form, read through it once, read it again, begin to revise it, and make it into a novel everyone is dying to read. My problem: The 50,000 words sat there like a very large elephant, printed out right before my eyes and I couldn’t seem to figure out how to break it down into smaller chunks.

Then it hit me, I decided the best way to make “the elephant” into bite size pieces was to take a couple of chapters and turn them into a short story. I diligently worked on those nuggets and transformed them into, what I thought was a viable story. But after yesterday, I’m not sure I’d trust myself to open up a can of soup – let alone make a judgment about anything dealing with the art of writing.

I’d like to ask my fellow writers – how does it make you feel when someone is critical of your writing? When you’re critiquing another’s work, do you ever take the other person’s feelings into consideration? Do you ever think that your direct approach and lack of encouragement could crush the author’s love of writing?

Before you accuse me of not being able to take constructive criticism, I can. The other times I’ve been critiqued, I’ve come home and went right to work on my piece and made it better with the suggestions given. I did not come home yesterday with the same spring in my step. Actually, I had a knot in my stomach and it felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me. The adage critique groups use - “we’re just trying to help the person improve their writing.” Trust me, what happened yesterday didn’t do anything to improve my writing. Yes, group, you made some very valid points that I will use to improve my novel, but remember in the midst of making YOUR point, a little encouragement and love would help along way.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Just When I Needed It Most

Yes, I'm still among the living and yes, I made it through Christmas 2006 with bells on. The reason: R and I made last minute reservations for a 7 day cruise heading to the Caribbean. The ship departed December 24th. "Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya, Bermuda, Bahama - come on pretty mama." I can almost hear the Beach Boys singing in harmony. Each port we visited, R and I escaped into a world of sand, sun and tropical drinks with a thick slice of pineapple and a little umbrella topping it off - thank you very much!!!!!

All good things must come to an end. We returned home and put our rose colored glasses away for another time. R and I would have to come to terms with NO more meals served to us any time of the day. NO more towels folded to look like a cute little animal on our bed each night. NO more room service. Reality stuck its ugly head into our lives and as hard as we tried - he and I couldn't bring back the moments on the ship when we didn't have a care in the world. Stress, deadlines and expectations hit us right between the eyes and left us staggering. HELP! I think I'm drowning – someone throw me a life preserver.

My saving grace came in the form of a special phone call today, just when I needed it most. A writer friend called and we spent a glorious time together chatting and getting to know each other better. I think we may have even altered the rotation of the earth on its axis, but the jury’s still out on that one. But she helped me get my land legs (perspective) back under me and steered me in the right direction – prayer does change things. Thanks, J, my precious friend. I can already feel the storms of my life abating.