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Seekerville: The Journey Continues

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Growing Pains

 

Growing Pains

by Mindy Obenhaus

Did you ever get growing pains when you were a child? My youngest son sure did. He’d have a hard time getting to sleep because his legs always hurt. He’s now 6’2”, so that could explain things.

What about spiritual growing pains? You know, when God decides He wants to grow us.

That’s where I find myself right now.

While I’m walking the path, I believe, God has set before me, He’s recently suggested a slight deviation from the course I had planned. Not verbally, mind you, but through a series of events. This amended route I feel He’s pointing me to is going to be more challenging than what I’m used to. It’s going to require some adjustments in the routine I’ve grown comfortable with. I’m going to have to work at it.

Kind of like weight training. I enjoy weight training. But when I become accustomed to a certain weight and start thinking it’s easy, that’s when it’s time for me step things up a notch. Which means increasing the amount of weight I’m lifting. And it’s not easy. Matter of fact, it’s downright hard. For a while. Then, as I build more muscle, it gets easier.

And so it is with our spiritual life. God doesn’t want us to be comfortable. On the contrary, He wants to push us out of our comfort zones.

How we respond is up to us.

We can…

Fight it – Been there, done that. When I was writing my fourth book, there was something God wanted in that story, but I knew it was going to be very emotional to write. So I ignored it. Bottom line, I had to rewrite that book three times. The third time, I did what God had been telling me to do all along. Not only did my editor love it, I had no revisions. If I would have listened and done it God’s way the first time, I could’ve saved myself a whole lot of time and stress.

Carefully consider – This is my modus operandi. I want to be certain that what I’m sensing truly is from God and not my own foolish desires. And having an honest discussion with Him is the only way I’m going to know. Expressing my concerns and fears. He already knows them anyway. Then I have to be willing to listen and remain watchful for those little signposts He puts in my path, pointing me in the way I should go.

Jump right in – I rarely do this unless I know beyond a shadow of a doubt. Which, most often, doesn’t come until I’ve carefully considered. But occasionally, I just know God is saying, “Go!.”  For some with more faith, though, this may be right where they start. They’re so in tune with God, they don’t even stop to think about self, they just do. I don’t know about you, but that’s what I aspire to.

After nearly colliding with more than one signpost, I know where God is leading me. And while I know it’s not going to be easy, He’s already confirming my decision. Letting me know that He’s got me right where He wants me. And that’s always a good place to be.

 How do you approach things when you feel as though God is trying to stretch you? 


Growing Pains

Award-winning author Mindy Obenhaus is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, two sassy pups, countless cattle, deer and the occasional coyote, mountain lion or snake. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, cooking and watching copious amounts of the Hallmark Channel. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com

Letting the Story Unfold

 I've often called myself a "pantser".

Once published, you have to come up with plans for stories to gain contracts... unless you're like Super A-List Author Person but for us normals, you need a plan and it was in coming up with those plans that I realized I'm not a pantser... or a "plantser", putting together plans and seat-of-the-pants writing.

I'm an inspired author. Most (not all) of my books flow from an idea that kind of overtakes my brain and I let it simmer.... or the whole stinkin' idea falls into my lap and I hit the "take-off" button and go for it.

And now I'm wondering where others fall on that spectrum.

I've talked before about how stories unfold in my head... It's not a muse. I believe it's a Holy Spirit blessing that my head clears cobwebs overnight and I've often awakened with how to solve my plot problems. Like Sleep Sorting System, right? And sometimes with a whole book/plot/series that's righted itself overnight.... but it's not always a sleeping thing, often it's a wherever I am thing and that's what happened with this future mystery series.

Letting the Story Unfold

When it happens I actually see the story, the characters, the premise, as if it's one idea blossoming in a bubble while other bubbles or pages pop up and intersect. Only there are no bubbles, it's not visual, it's there, in my head and I see and feel the story.

Maybe weird... maybe innate "talent" or gift from God? That's my guess, that my mother probably had this quirk and I know one of my daughters has this gift... so it's clearly written in our genes. (One of the good things written in our genes, the strong thread of mental illness from my mother's side is also there, so we're living proof of the power of dominant genes... or recessive gene mash-ups. But that's a whole other blog.)

Here's the difference feels between plotting out/working a story and being blessed with it:

I was working on a profile for an independent mystery series set to launch in 12 to 18 months. I'll write these stories between contracts and Wishing Bridge 5 "Reclaiming Hope in Wishing Bridge", and I want at least four mysteries done before I release book one.... I wanted light, warm, poignant, fun and fast-paced mysteries and I set up the series, wrote the opening chapters, edited, then set them aside for holidays.... 

And then I got an idea.

An amazing idea. It was a combination of things people said and did that made me think of it and I loved it. LOVED IT! 

Letting the Story Unfold


I could see these characters, these mysteries, the progression of the series, the openness, the warmth of history blended with modern times, the growth of industry like I saw in Ken Burns "Baseball" documentary, how history affected far more than those living it... 

And book one is almost writing itself. 

There was such a difference in the linear path of the story, the characters, the series projection and how smoothly it went that I decided to blog about it because writing isn't easy. When you're heading toward book/novella #70 and ideas have been used and re-used and re-structured, you want to hit the ground running with something that not only excites  you but will excite the readers! 

And this will... because it's quirky enough, fun enough, warm and inviting enough and threaded with enough mystery to make you wonder.... and enough history to make you appreciate what's gone before you.

I may never write that other series because it doesn't have these elements, not in the same way... and yet, it might roll over me at some point, as part of another plan, another day, another time. I've done that with books before and it's amazing how no good work goes to waste if you're actively writing!

This was like technical elements waging war against inspirational elements. 

Or maybe it's just easier for me to write this one because I can envision it?  I'm not opposed to that possibility! 

So that's what I want to talk about today. Do you work on waves of inspiration? Or do you story-build like I see in so many workshops. (Which, most of you know, I avoid because I'd rather write... but again, that's another blog. :)

Let's chat it up and I have a blessing for someone today....

A copy of Jesus Calling, going out to someone. Just mention you'd love to have it in your comment because I know some of you already have it....

And a copy of Embracing Light in Wishing Bridge, book four of my "Wishing Bridge" series. 

Letting the Story Unfold


Let me know if you already have it and I can sub in a book of your choice that I have in stock here.

Sending blessings of winter.... snowy here, finally, and cold... and that's way better than mud, my friends! 

Letting the Story Unfold

Bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne is loving the quiet of winter on her crazy busy pumpkin farm in Western New York because she actually gets time to write more than once a day and that's not a bad thing! She loves God, her family, her country, dogs, chocolate and Diet Mtn Dew... and is regularly seen with coffee. She's the co-owner and manager of Blodgett Family Farm and she loves sharing the crazy parts of farm life and writing and family with her Facebook friends. She loves hearing from readers and writers so email her at loganherne@gmail.com. 


Where Story Begins

 by guest blogger and multi-published author Louise Gouge.

People often ask authors how they got started writing and where they get their story ideas. I love to answer both questions because for me they go hand-in-hand.

 Since early childhood, I have seen a story in just about every situation. It’s never taken much to stir my imagination. So one day as I was contemplating my soon-to-be empty nest (I was a stay-at-home mom), I looked out my window and saw a young boy tossing a football with a young man. They were obviously having a great time. As always, the “what if” questions came to mind. What if they are father and son? What if the boy doesn’t know the man is his father? Why doesn’t he know? Who’s the mother? What does the father do for a living? The mother? How does she support her son?

 As with most of my imaginings, this one simmered in my brain for several days until a friend, also a soon-to-be empty nester, and I sat down over lunch to chat about what we would do with all our time after the children left home. I told her about my latest imaginings. She told me to go home and write that story right away. So I did!

 Characters and conflict seemed to flow from my fingers onto…wait for it…an electrictypewriter. Always a poor typist, I threw away a lot of paper, Xed out many lines, and generally made a mess of the manuscript. Did I mention this was in 1985? I hadn’t even heard of word processing computers. Were they a thing back then? Despite my typing struggles, I kept on writing.

 I decided the father was an NFL quarterback, the mother a waitress in a diner. The boy was a twelve-year-old who idolized the man he didn’t know was his father. How would he react when he found out?

 Moving toward finishing the book, I asked all sorts of people for help. A football expert. My doctor. A busy waitress. And always my loving husband, David. Finally the book was finished.

 To make a long story short, I decided to go back to college to make sure I’d done a good job of writing my all-American story. After graduation, I edited the book with what I’d learned and then found a publisher. In 1994, my first novel, Once There Was a Way Back Home, was published by Crossway Books. In 1998, the sequel, The Homecoming, was published by the same company. Over the subsequent years, I have been blessed to have 25 novels published. (Click here to see my booklist.)

 Fast forward to 2017. My beloved David, who supported me all those years, encouraged me to revisit those first two books. He loved the story as much as I do. Because the publisher had long ago reverted the copyrights to me, so I could do as I pleased with them. I dug in and brought them into the twenty-first century. Computers. Cell phones. Digital TV. Alexa! So many things we didn’t have in 1995, all had to be incorporated into the books. What fun!

 So much fun, in fact, that I decided to change the characters’ names and tweak a few of the plot elements. The result? Winning Amber. My amazing daughter-in-law designed a cover, and we were set to go. Winning Amber is now available on Kindle and in print.

 Now you know how I got started writing, and you’ve heard about just one of my inspirations. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow I’ll write about the wife of Moby Dick’s Captain Ahab. Oh, wait. I already did that in Ahab’s Bride. Maybe a Jane Austen-inspired series about ladies’ companions? Been there, done that in my Regency Companions series. Maybe a series of westerns about where I used to live in Colorado. Done! Four Stones Ranch! So many inspirations. So many stories to write!

 Oh, and that typewriter? If I had to write my books on it, I think I would have given up a long time ago. I’m still a terrible typist. What would I do without my computer and…wait for it…backspacing and “delete”? Maybe you can relate to that.

 

Winning Amber

Where Story Begins


Winning is all important to him, in the game…and in love.

 Single mother Amber works hard to raise her son, Noah, on her wages and tips at a small Colorado diner. With medical bills to pay, they both wear secondhand clothes and do without the modern technology Noah’s classmates have. The last thing Amber ever expected was for Noah’s father to show up and preach at her about his newfound religion, especially since Drew didn’t even know Noah existed. Now will the rich and famous NFL quarterback try to take her son away from her? With no one to defend her, is it time for her to run away…again?

 Drew Buxton has always gotten what he wants. Money, girls, a successful career as the NFL’s most popular quarterback, he’s had it all…until a family betrayal and tragedy caused him to rethink his entire life and turn to God. Now he seeks to make amends to the people he’s harmed on his road to success, including the high school classmate who tutored him through his toughest classes. He doesn’t expect her to welcome his visit, nor does he expect the shock of learning he has a son. This changes everything. Now there isn’t anything he won’t do to improve his son’s life, no matter how much Amber resists.


LINK TO FINDING "WINNING AMBER" ON AMAZON: Buy It Here! 

Where Story Begins
Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes contemporary and historical romance fiction, winning the prestigious IRCA for Hannah Rose (2005) and placing as a finalist four times, and placing the 2012 Laurel Wreath

 

 

My Writing Journey—What I did Right and What I Wish I had Done Differently

By Guest Kerrie Flanagan

The writing journey can be a long and winding road with bumps, detours, and success along the way. These four authors share what they believe they did right along the way and what they wish they had done differently. 

My Writing Journey—What I did Right and What I Wish I had Done Differently



One Thing I Did Right! 

Jamie Raintree: I think believing in myself is the foundation of any and all success that comes in publishing, however you define success. (And defining success for yourself is another important key!) The author's journey is full of ups and downs and the only way to weather them is to have a deep faith in yourself that allows you to keep writing and keep putting yourself out there, no matter what the publishing landscape looks like and no matter how many times you fall down along the way. How do you build that kind of confidence? For me, it has been by doing the work. Study the craft exhaustively, stay in touch with what's happening in the industry as much as your inner artist will allow, and commit to the long game.

Windy Lynn Harris: I bought books that I admired and dissected them to figure out the mechanics behind the magic. There is something to learn from every author on the shelf.

Sara Jade Alan: The best thing I did on my writing journey—after I finished my terrible first draft—was to find a writing community and critique partners. I took classes, went to writing conferences, met up with my critique partners once a month, and became an active member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop and, later, SCBWI. Not only did it help my craft, but it also buoyed my spirit to be alongside kind, fun, creative friends on the same journey.  

William Kennower: I asked myself, “What would you write whether it got published or not?” The answer was different than what I had been writing at the time. That one question changed trajectory of my career and is in many ways responsible for all the success I’ve had.


One Thing I Wish I Would Have Done Differently

Jamie Raintree: I wish I would have stood up for my own voice and my own vision for my work sooner. Wanting to be published sometimes encouraged me to compromise parts of my story that I still regret. But it was a learning process, and what I learned is that you should never put anyone in the industry on a pedestal so high that you forget that you're all in the trenches together. Everyone on your team wants your book to be as successful as you do. Their suggestions come from the best intentions and lots of experience, but if something doesn't feel right, it's okay to disagree and brainstorm ways to make something work so that everyone on your team feels good about it. Be respectful, always be humble in your craft and open to improvement, but also remember that no one knows your story better than you do. Trust yourself.

Windy Lynn Harris: I wish I would have given myself more credit along the way. I knew my first couple of books weren’t very good, but I sent them out anyway, hoping someone would pluck me out of the slush pile and show me how to improve my writing. That led to (well deserved) rejections, which had me doubting myself. I was working and improving, but rejection stings and it did set me back. It took years to find the confidence to finish another book. I wish I’d done it sooner! 

Sara Jade Alan: Yes! I wish I’d been even more patient. I thought I was being patient—after all, it took ten years from starting my first draft to signing a book contract. Now I see that when it came to signing with an agent (who I parted ways with a year later), I ignored a few red flags. Because I wanted help navigating the book contract I’d gotten on my own, and I wanted so much for this to be the partner I’d been waiting for, I let myself get blinded by the excitement. It’s a tricky balance, because you can’t necessarily hold out for perfection either. When making big decisions in writing, as in life, you have to dig deep, be honest with yourself and try not to make choices out of fear or eagerness. 

William Kennower: Focused on less on results on more on process. For years I was too obsessed with publication and success, and not enough on whether what I was writing was right for me, whether I was loving the experience of writing, whether I was always happy writing. I think this is common for a lot of writers, particularly if, like me, they don’t have another meaningful career they’re pursuing simultaneously.


Today, we'd love for you to share one thing you did right and one thing you wish you'd done differently (in your writing career or in other careers if you're not a writer)! Kerrie plans to drop in to answer questions as well!

****
My Writing Journey—What I did Right and What I Wish I had Done Differently


Kerrie Flanagan is an author, writing consultant, presenter, and freelance writer with over 20 years’ experience in the publishing industry. She is part of the Writing Day Workshop team, and coordinates one-day writing conference throughout the country. See if there is one near you.
She is the author of, The Writer's Digest Guide to Magazine Article Writing and the creator of the Magazine Writing Blueprint. In addition, she has published twelve other books, including three series’ with a co-author, under the pen names, C.K. Wiles and C.G. Harris. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications and anthologies including Writer's Digest, Alaska Magazine, The Writer, FamilyFun, and six Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her background in teaching, and enjoyment of helping writers has led her to present at writing conferences across the country and teach continuing studies classes through Stanford University. Visit her website to see where she is speaking next. 

My Writing Journey—What I did Right and What I Wish I had Done Differently

Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea


Christy LaShea

Happy, Happy Monday! Wow! I hope you all are well, wherever you are in this world. I am so excited to be here in Seekerville today. As a new writer, I stuck close to this blog. I had the honor of meeting several Seekers at ACFW conferences… this would have been sometime during 2007 to 2012. I was also a guest here in 2009. Search the archives and you’ll find me!
I’m telling my writer age here… I’ve been around a long time.  
Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

Y’all, (can I say y’all? I am from the south, you know ;)) I’ve been trying to get published for about 20 years. If you count the stories I wrote in middle school, well, that’s longer than 20! I believe being a writer takes talent, imagination, and a whole lot of faith. That’s faith in yourself and, more important, in God. 
 I’ve got to be honest. I’ve struggled with fear for a long time, but only recently have I admitted the issue. I’m stubborn and red-headed. My salty stubbornness only got worse after I turned 40. Oh, I’m a nice person. If we meet, you may think sugar won’t melt in my mouth, but there are two sides to every story. For me, I’ve got several sides. I love the Lord and I pray a lot – usually while driving in the car or in the shower. I’m stubborn. I’m sweet. I’m scared. I started getting honest with myself about fear when in 2017 so many of my writer friends, even those that started after me were getting published and I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I try to be cheerleaders for all of my friends. I am thrilled for them, but I had to look at myself and ask why I was parked in neutral. I’d push the gas, but doggone it…it was like the emergency brake was on, and stuck!
My problem, I finally figured out after nearly 20 years of contest wins and final spots, but no publication, was that I feared rejection. You see, I would pitch my heart out at conferences. I’d get requests! Then, I’d get home, look over my work in progress and I’d point out all of the things wrong with it. Or, I’d polish the first 3 chapters a million times and when I sent the full manuscript to the publisher, the rest of it was like an uncooked casserole! Who wants that let down?
Here’s an example of that half baked casserole… In 2009, my manuscript, The Bridge Between, won in the Contemporary Romance category of the ACFW Genesis Contest.  
Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

Mindy Obenhaus and I at ACFW Conference Denver 2009 – Mindy’s a wonderful roommate and has a stunning fashion sense! And she’s got a great way with words! Love her stories!

Wow! I just knew my publishing career was set by that win. Plus, a New York publisher had requested it from the Genesis Contest. So I sent the full manuscript, and by 2010 I got a rejection letter. The editor said she wanted to like it, but…
Hey, y’all, if it’s not in God’s time, in His plan, then it’s not going to happen. 
Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

Ane Mulligan and I were both Genesis Finalists in 2009. Awesome and funny writer!

Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

Missy Tippens and I after the ACFW awards gala 2009.Missy has always been one of my sweetest cheerleaders, mentors, and she’s a wonderful writer!

After the 2010 rejection, life went on. My second child was born and my family rejoiced. Then, I changed positions at work. Soon I found myself in a spiral that involved high stress at work, little time for family or anything else, and a lot of confusion as the years plodded ahead. Despite all of the difficulty, I continued to think of new storylines even though my writing time was less and less. When I was able to write, creating the manuscripts helped me escape that stressful time in life. Eventually, unable to take the pressure of the job any longer, I transferred out of the department. The relief of stress on me was a true blessing. 
By 2018, I received more nods from contests as the manuscript finaled, but fear kept choking my creativity. I didn’t have the finances to self publish. I wanted to be a traditionally published author but I didn’t write cookie-cutter stories. My stories were a little gritty. Where did they fit in? I started considering maybe I shouldn’t write Christian fiction. I could write sweet but not have the spiritual arc… That voice inside my heart started talking: 
“I’m not good enough.”
“No one wants to read my stories.”
“I should just quit.”
I’d started praying more. Instead of praying for a publishing contract, I prayed for God to take the desire away from me. I’d be happier if I could focus on something else if I wasn’t meant to be a published author. 
 As I have struggled with fear, I’ve also struggled with knowing when God is speaking to me. God has never told me to do something or go somewhere. I’ve never heard his powerful voice from Heaven. Instead, He speaks to me by pressing something upon my conscience that I can’t release until the deed is done. Sometimes the feeling is so heavy it’s like someone is sitting on my shoulders. I will do anything to get this off of my shoulders and if I don’t, I feel really bad about it! 
In the spring of 2018, I had something bothering me about my health that I had been ignoring for quite some time. I had not seen a doctor in four years.  As a busy, working wife and mom of two, I made sure everyone else went to the doctor. That pressing feeling began to infiltrate my thoughts that this lump I felt in my left breast had been there for a long time. It wasn’t going away and it wasn’t getting smaller. Still, I ignored it a little while longer.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to write new stories, but a story I had worked on for a long time, the same one that won Genesis, would not leave my heart. I couldn’t put “The Bridge Between” in a drawer and move on. I kept shopping it, kept pitching it, kept tweaking… By March of 2018, I had an email from an editor which indicated interest in the story, but she requested changes. A revise and resubmit letter! I’d never gotten one of those! I agreed with the changes and knew the story needed something but I couldn’t understand what...
By May of 2018, that nudging, annoying, pressing feeling would not let go of me. I saw a new doctor and told her about the lump that had been bothering me. I’d never had a mammogram as women at 40 are instructed to do. My family didn’t have a history of breast cancer. Following a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound on the same day, the radiologist came in to the ultrasound room and somberly advised that the results were very serious and he would notify my doctor immediately. In July of 2018, at 43 years old, I began treatments for Stage 3 breast cancer. 
Earlier, I mentioned I was stubborn. Well, this is the time when my stubbornness jumped to a whole new level. A cancer diagnosis was not going to be the end for me. Irritated worse than the Tasmanian devil, I put on my big girl pants and I faced those cancer treatments. On the first infusion, I took my laptop thinking I could revise while I went through chemo. That didn’t work out too well, but what I learned was that God is at work everywhere! 
God has put some of the kindest nurses in those infusion centers. He has sent friends and family my way to pass on what they learned from their own journeys. He also showed me through this journey that I have friends everywhere. Friends across the country that I did not even know that were praying for me. Y’all, I received so many cards and letters, it was humbling.  People from my church brought food. Others were at the hospital waiting with my family to offer them comfort. I am truly blessed and forever grateful.
Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

I had to take multiple forms of chemotherapy from July 2018 until June 2019. Radiation followed in the fall of 2019. My body went through many changes.  Some of those changes were painful – emotionally and physically. In the photo below, my daughter and I are in the pre-op room in July of 2018 on the day I receive my chemo port. This was the first of many trips to the hospital, but as you can see, we try to remain in good and goofy spirits.

Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea


Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

No hair, don’t care! September 2018

Despite chemo treatments, continuing to work full time, and stay involved with my children’s activities, I finished the revisions for my story. Those past rejections seemed small after being slapped with a cancer diagnosis. God had given me another chance and I was determined that cancer was not going to take over my life. Life is precious, it can be short. If you want something, you have to go after it, each and every day. So, I did…
Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea

Christmas 2018, before my first mastectomy.
By the end of 2018, I had my first surgery, a left mastectomy. Prior to surgery, I sent the manuscript back to the requesting editor. She rejected it again with an invite to resubmit if I made additional changes. By this time, I felt I needed a different editor to look at it to help me figure out what was wrong. 
Here’s another nod from God… About that time, my good friend and fellow author Patty Smith Hall posted that she was looking to edit manuscripts on the side and needed some clients. I sent Patty some of my chapters, but I never ended up hiring her. Instead, Patty told me about a contest her publisher, Winged Publications, was holding. By August of 2019, my manuscript was a finalist. And by September 2019, Patty called me to tell me I’d placed 2nd in the contest, but Cynthia Hickey at Winged Publications wanted to publish my book! 
We made a round of revisions, we moved the black moment (I had it happening too early), and by November of 2019, two things happened. I had a right mastectomy and six days later, my first book, Hope Between Us, was released. Talk about multi-tasking… I never imagined I’d be recovering from surgery while celebrating a book release! That’s life! My crazy life! 
I praise Jesus that I am cancer free today. I give all the glory to God. He heard the prayers of my family and friends and He answered! 
He also ignored my prayer to take away my desire to write! 
As God had a plan for me and my crazy dreams, He also has a plan for you. If you’re afraid of something, pray about it. Keep your ears, your eyes, and your mind open to Him.
 Stay strong in your faith, because God’s plan is bigger than any of our fears.
Thank you for having me on Seekerville today! If you’d like to find out more about me, visit me at my website. While you're there, please sign up for my newsletter! I’d also love to give away an autographed copy of Hope Between Us. If you’d like to be entered in the drawing, let us know in a comment here. I’m headed to my day job now, but I’ll jump in to chat later this afternoon and evening.

Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea
Hope Between Us: A Christian Romance
Aimee McClain returns home to Point Peace, Georgia, hoping for a fresh start. She wants to find a new treatment for her seven-year-old son’s Aplastic Anemia. After the devastating loss of her parents and her husband Aimee can’t lose someone else she loves, but as a single mom with limited resources, she’s running out of time and her son’s life is at stake.
Ever since being behind the wheel the night his best friend died, Seth Garrett works hard to help people. He is a coach and a teacher, he helps his parents, he feels like his debt of sorry will never be paid. At first, Aimee is just another person who Seth can help, but soon he realizes her trouble is a lot more than fixing an old car. 

The Kevin Ridley Walk/Run, an event Seth started ten years earlier to honor his best friend, has garnered statewide attention and continues to raise money for underprivileged youth. When Aimee’s family asks Seth to help her organize a bone marrow drive and fundraiser for her son, he jumps at the chance to help the pretty widow and her adorable child. 
Aimee, fighting to make ends meet in the face of Luke’s illness and single parenthood, doesn’t like this interception with Seth. He may not remember her now, but Aimee knows in time the truth of Seth’s accident will come out. How can they continue a relationship, build a new life together, with this between them?
Author Bio:
Stay in Faith by Guest Christy LaShea
Claims adjuster by day, writer all other times, Christy wrote her first book, a mystery, while in seventh grade. Currently, Christy writes heartwarming southern romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, Christy has a daughter, a son, and four fur-babies: Thomas: a nosey German Shepherd; Josie-Bobo: an adorable English Bulldog; and last but never least, Twitter and Ranger, two very loud Parakeets. Connect with Christy online:

Beating the January Doldrums

Beating the January Doldrums


It’s the third week of January. Do you know where your WIP is?

If you’re like me, you’re looking at the goals you made two weeks ago and cringing. What happened to the enthusiasm? What happened to the resolve?

Nothing is quite so defeating as feeling like a failure. Again.

But I'm here to tell you you're not a failure.

Just stop for a minute. Take a deep breath.

Beating the January Doldrums

What many of us feel during the first couple weeks of January is burnout. We’ve just finished the busiest and most emotionally charged two months of the year (November and December) with all the busyness, projects, money spent, decorations being dragged out of storage (and shoved back in,) too much sugar, not enough sleep, runny noses, and long dark nights.

I think you have the picture.

And then the New Year comes and we’re so READY to get back to “normal” that we makes all kinds of plans, draw up schedules, and jump into an entirely different – but just as busy and emotionally charged – season as the previous two months have been.

What suffers? (Besides our immune system?)

Our creativity.

Writing – the most cherished expression of our creativity – has become work. Hard work. The joy is gone. Slogging words onto the page is like running up a sand dune. We go to the well, but it’s dry. Maybe a few drops of water – enough to meet today’s word count goal – but it isn’t refreshing. “Who is even going to read this stuff?” asks our pesky inner voice.

Beating the January Doldrums


The solution? Let’s refill that well.

After all, you still have the enthusiasm for your writing, right? And you know how to pull up your big girl panties and move on after a hiccup in your plans (BTW, thanks to Ruthy for that persistent image!) We just need to prime the pump.

Beating the January Doldrums


Sometimes the best way to fill that well of creativity is to step away from the computer. Sometimes we just need to let our minds play.

Here is my strategy:

1) Reading is a big love of mine – I’m sure it’s a huge part of your life, too. For my reading goal this year, I’m revisiting my old friends: my collection of favorite childhood books. I read ten Happy Hollister books in a row before picking up my copy of Little Women. Coming up is the Swallowdale series by Arthur Ramsome, Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy books, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. And many, many more. Revisiting my best friends from childhood moistens the parched ground at the bottom of the well.

Beating the January Doldrums


2) Outside. Breathing fresh air and getting some exercise as I walk Jack wakes up my brain. Every morning. Even when it’s below zero. There was a time when I would listen to a podcast or an audio book while I walked the dog, but I’ve learned to listen to the quiet and watch the world around me. Story ideas play through my mind as I let nature’s quiet take over. Drip by drip, the well fills.

Beating the January Doldrums

 
3) I'm addicted to cross stitch. In fact, I love all needle arts. Last week I got out my smocking pleater (that has been in storage since hubby bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago) and re-learned how to smock by watching YouTube videos. The spark kindled by my daily hour I spend cross stitching was flamed into life when I set myself down to learn this skill I hadn’t practiced for thirty years. The well bubbles up to overflowing.

Beating the January Doldrums


I know your next question: "When do I do all this stuff? My schedule is so busy that I barely have time to write, and you want me to do more?"

Beating the January Doldrums


Just like we need to make time for writing, we can make time to refill our creative wells. Your means of filling that well will be different than mine, but I’m sure there’s something that you would love to spend a few minutes a day doing – or an hour once a week.

And just like we need to sacrifice something in our lives for writing, we need to sacrifice something to make time for filling our wells.

But the best part is that often that thing that refills our well is something social. Taking a painting class with a friend, or a cooking class with your sister, or a morning walk with your spouse. Connecting with others may be the most effective way to keep that well from running dry in the first place.

Beating the January Doldrums


So, what do you think? What ways have you found to keep your creative well flowing?

By the way, decluttering is also one of the best ways to refill my well - and I'd like to declutter some books! One commenter will win one of my print books of their choice. Check out the list on my website (click here to find the book list) and let me know which book you'd like in the comments!






Driving Lessons with Guest Lynn Blackburn

Hello, Seekerville. Cate here. I'm so excited to welcome my friend Lynn Blackburn as our guest today. Lynn and I met when we sold our first books to Love Inspired Suspense through Harlequin's Killer Voices contest.

Lynn has some really excellent thoughts to share with us today. I hope you'll join me in giving her a warm Seekerville welcome!

Lynn is offering reader's choice of one of the books from her Dive Team series to a U.S. resident.



Driving Lessons


It’s hard to turn a parked car.

Ever heard that one before? I can’t remember where I heard it first, but it’s so very true. You can be in the car, behind the wheel, motor running, ready to go. You may even have the brute strength to force the steering wheel to make the tires twist on the pavement.

But the car? It hasn’t moved, and it’s not going to until you put that baby in drive.
You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?

Driving Lessons with Guest Lynn Blackburn


If one of your goals is “write more” then you’re going to have to put this writing thing in drive and actually WRITE.

If you’ve been writing and the goal is to land an agent then you’re going to have to actually query one (or three).

If you’re ready to go to a conference or take a course then you’re going to have to set aside some money and some time.

God is Sovereign and He can do anything, but as a general rule when He gives us a dream, a calling, a passion, He expects us to get our rear in gear and do the hard work that comes with following Him.

All that stuff going on in your head? That’s you sitting in the driveway with the car running. Not going anywhere.

You may have gone to bed one night with an idea and awakened with a fully fleshed out plot. You may know your characters better than you know your friends. You may have dreamed up a world to rival Middle Earth.

Guess what? Dreams don’t get published. Documents do.

You may have written the book, the poem, the article, the Bible study, the short story. It’s been polished and critiqued until it’s a lean, mean, written machine. You think it’s time to send it out into the big bad world, but for some reason you’re still waiting. You keep thinking it’s possible there’s more you should do to it so you keep tweaking it.

Guess what? Possibilities don’t land agents. Proposals do.

But what if you’ve done all that? You’ve been writing. You’ve been to conferences. You’ve queried agents. Maybe you’ve had some nibbles, or even some big bites, but your hands are sweating on the wheel because you have no idea where you’re going.

You want to do to the right thing. Want to make the best use of your time. Want to please the One you write for.

Should you revise the story again? Pitch to that other agent? Go to the conference close to home or the one with the focus on your writing? How on earth can you know?

This is where it gets tricky.

Because the path you’re supposed to follow and the one I’m supposed to follow won’t look the same. We have different abilities, situations, passions and interests.

What God wants to do with your writing will be unique. So if you’re writing and you’re scared about where you’re going, remember this…


Driving Lessons with Guest Lynn Blackburn


You steer where you stare.

They teach us this when we learn how to drive. You can’t stare at the sides of the road or you’ll mess around and drive off in a ditch. You can, and should, glance around you, but ultimately, you need to keep your eyes to the front.

When it comes to your writing, you need to stop worrying about the others driving around you, quit staring at the steep edge you’re afraid you’ll fall over, and keep your focus on the One who already knows your ultimate destination.

He hasn’t taken you on this road to leave you stranded in a ditch.

Keep focused on Him. Keep the car in drive. And hang on for the ride!


Grace and peace,
Driving Lessons with Guest Lynn Blackburn




Driving Lessons with Guest Lynn Blackburn




Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy—but her grown-up reality is that she's a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations—while she's sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas!


Her Dive Team Investigations series kicked off in 2018 with Beneath the Surface and In Too Deep (A SIBA Okra pick and Selah Award Finalist). The 3rd book in the series, One Final Breath, released in September 2019. She is also the author of Hidden Legacy and Covert Justice, which won the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel and the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at www.LynnHBlackburn.com and on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.



Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 


An Inspiring Mother-Daughter Story

Missy Tippens


It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now. 
-- Hugh Laurie, English actor, musician, and comedian


I loved that quote. And it reminded me of someone I met the week before last...

An Inspiring Mother-Daughter Story


I recently attended the ACFW and Moonlight & Magnolias Conferences and was inspired by great workshops, time with writer friends, and conversations with writers I met for the first time.


At the M&M Conference, while waiting for an appointment, I met Crystal Ramos and noticed by the ribbons under her name tag that she was a finalist for the Maggie Award (unpublished). In the discussion, she mentioned her mother being at the conference with her. I commented on how fun that was that they had writing in common. So she filled me in on their story...


Crystal's mom, Colleen Baxter, used to write many years ago. Crystal has memories of waking during the night to go get a glass of water and seeing her mom at her computer writing. It didn't happen just once or twice, it was her mom's routine, part of her dream of publishing. Her mom eventually attended a writing conference and came home excited that an editor was interested in her work. Crystal says she doesn't know exactly what happened, but because of some family conflict, her mom never followed up with that editor and she quit writing altogether. So when Crystal decided she wanted to start writing, she knew she might be on her own and might not find 100% support, just like her mom hadn't had support. She also knew that if she ever got The Call, it wouldn't feel right to get that call before her mom did.


But Crystal started writing anyway. The third book she wrote finaled in The Daphne. She decided to attend her very first conference, the 2018 RWA conference. She was blown away by the support and encouragement of other writers and knew it was time to heal an old wound.
An Inspiring Mother-Daughter Story
Colleen and Crystal (and Crystal's son)

She went home and told her mom she was going to pay for her to go to the Moonlight and Magnolias conference that year and that she should have a book ready to go. So her mom began writing again. She kicked it in gear and wrote an historical romance novel in 6 weeks. Though it was too late to enter the Maggie Awards in 2018, Colleen did attend the M&M conference with Crystal. And though she didn't feel ready to pitch her story (we all know how scary that can be!), Colleen ended up revising it and entering it (along with two other stories!) in the 2019 Maggies.


And guess what. Both Crystal and Colleen finaled in the 2019 Maggie Awards! Yes, Colleen also wore that finalist ribbon at this conference she attended with her daughter.


Crystal, who finaled again in The 2019 Daphne, is still working to find a publisher but got requests at the conference. Colleen has decided to indie publish a three-book sci-fi series next year.


As Crystal told me their story, I was so moved I nearly cried. What a wonderful thing to encourage your mother like that. Now, she has no worries about having a writing career without her mom. They're on this journey together!


An Inspiring Mother-Daughter Story


I hope this story will inspire y'all to encourage someone you know, to help them hold on to their dreams. Like the Laurie quote above said, we may not feel ready, but the time is now.


I'd like to give a big thank you to Crystal and Colleen for letting me share their story with Seekerville!


Today, I had also planned to talk about story ideas. We had a blog reader email to ask us about where we get story ideas, and whether ideas can be copyrighted. But I think I'm going to save that for a future post to have space to go into more detail.


So, for today, let's hear your inspirational stories of how someone encouraged you, or how God gave you a boost when you were ready to give up. Or maybe you have given up at one time or another. Tell us your story. And if you need encouragement, please let us know so we can help. We want to support you!


As I promised in the Weekend Edition blurb, I'll be giving away a dot journal! (U.S. entrants this time). Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to be entered. Let's chat!

**********


After more than 10 years of pursuing her dream of publication, Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, made her first sale to Harlequin Love Inspired in 2007. Her books have since been nominated for the Booksellers Best, Holt Medallion, American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Maggie Award, Beacon Contest, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award. Visit Missy at www.missytippens.com, https://twitter.com/MissyTippens and http://www.facebook.com/missy.tippens.readers.

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey


Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey


Happy Friday, Seekerville!

Carrie here - I have the utmost privilege of welcoming 'the author formerly known as kaybee' to the blog today. That's right, Seekerville's own Kathleen D. Bailey (a faithful commenter under the handle 'kaybee') has just released her first novel, and we are thrilled at the chance to help her celebrate!

Michael once betrayed Caroline in the worst possible way.
Can she trust him to get her across the Oregon Trail?
Can he trust himself to accept her forgiveness and God’s?




Take it away, Kathleen!

~*~*~*~*~

For years, my father-in-law drove a vehicle which we famously referred to as the “Chinese Junk.” It was a 1960s station wagon that, with judicious replacing of parts, he had kept functional well into the 80s. He eventually got a better car for himself, but he kept the Chinese Junk as a spare and his children and extended family drove it when we were between vehicles or having our vehicles worked on. (We do not go to the kind of places that have loaner cars, sigh.) Toward the end of its life you had to connect two wires under the hood to start it, but there was no question in any of our minds that the Chinese Junk worked.

My father-in-law nickeled and dimed that car for years. The Junk gave up its particular ghost when the mechanics in the family couldn’t FIND parts, but even then it refused to die and it’s rusting somewhere in a secluded part of my brother-in-law’s property. Now that was a car. And also, probably by today’s standards, not legal.

You can nickel-and-dime a car, but only for so long. Trust me on this. Eventually even the Chinese Junk had to be retired, though family members still raid IT for parts.

But there are other areas of our lives where we can’t take the nickel-and-dime approach, and we shouldn’t.

Not Depressed Enough?


I stood up with eagerness as the medical researcher came back into the room, but her expression told me I had nothing to be eager about. “You didn’t qualify for the depression study,” she told me. “The doctor said we need someone who’s actively depressed.”

She said she’d try to get me a check for the time I spent on the screening, and as I walked out to the reception area she patted me on the back. “Look at it this way, at least you’re not depressed.”

Indeed.

For several years my husband and I have done medical research trials to help with an ever-expanding budget and ever-shrinking paychecks. I had had my eye on this one for catching up on our property taxes. But as I started my car, I knew that God would provide for the taxes in His own way and His own time.

It wasn’t always that way.

We have struggled financially for most of our marriage, from Dave’s college days to the Great Recession, which never receded fast enough for me. I clipped coupons, looked for deals on everything, and found secondary ways to make money. When I had full-time jobs, I always freelanced around the side; and when I lost one of those jobs due to budget cuts, I never collected a dime of unemployment. At one point during the laid-off years, I had six different income streams. At once.

But they never did what I hoped they would.

I would plan on a certain check to come to take care of a certain need, and when it came, another, more urgent need nudged it out of the way. So I’d roll the need over to the next freelance check, bonus or medical trial compensation. And the “need” would get eaten up by something else, a still more urgent one.

There was never enough to go around, and my plans for what there was always fell through.

This financial patchwork quilt, with plenty of holes, extended into our sixties. When friends paid off their children’s student loans and their houses, I continued to scramble for freelance jobs. Sometimes I got them, sometimes I didn’t.

Until the day I was grousing about yet another need going unmet because another need had superseded it. And the Lord spoke to me. Not a burning bush thing, I’ve unfortunately never had those, but it was clear enough: “Kathy, you are never going to nickel-and-dime your way out of your financial problems. If you could, you would have done it by now.”

Whoa.

Was that what I had been doing? I’d thought it was Good Financial Planning.

And maybe it had been, but God had a bigger plan. A spreadsheet I couldn’t argue with. I still plan, but I’m a lot more flexible in allowing Him to meet our needs. Because He will. In His time and His way.

I asked myself what else I’d been approaching this way, or seeing other people dealing with in the nickel-and-dime way.  

Mysterious ways


Could you nickel and dime a marriage? Could one go into that most intricate of human relationships with a checklist?

Only if one or more of the parties walked away with a broken heart.

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey
If Dave or I had had a checklist, we wouldn’t be here today. Not together, anyway. There is no earthly reason why we should be married, or even a couple. But God wanted it that way, and the three of us are greater than the sum of our parts.

In writing (yes, I knew we’d eventually get here), I held to a punch-list format for years and years. If I did everything right, whatever “everything” was at the time, I would snag THAT editor, THAT agent, or THAT door would open and I’d walk in and not look back. I schmoozed and slaved. Boxes were checked. Formulas got followed, disciplines observed. But formulas and checklists don’t always follow the patterns of an industry in flux. Because there aren’t any patterns. Houses close or merge, agents burn out, trends flow away from my genre.

There is no formula for being published. There is only writing, hard work and God.


Being “anxious for nothing”


But God wasn’t done with me even then, as He pointed out that we can’t nickel-and-dime our salvation, either.

I thought I’d mastered that one. Raised in a liturgical church, I’d looked for salvation through sacramental observances and good works for most of my childhood and teen years, and thrown that off in the tumult of the 60s. When the Lord found me, a drugged, directionless little hippie girl, I learned that the road back wasn’t paved with good works, and I joyously accepted salvation by faith.

But there was still a lot to learn, and as with my finances, the idea of doing it myself wouldn’t go away. When there was a need I tried to fill it, even when He had other plans. I was Doing and not necessarily Being.

Until I couldn’t. Age caught up with me, along with a demanding job, and I couldn’t necessarily Do. Who would Do if I Didn’t?

I could never be good enough, smart enough, “Christian” enough for God. And He knows that. He knew it when I was born, He knew it on that fateful Friday 2,000 years ago. But that’s never been what He wanted.

We can’t nickel-and-dime the way to heaven. But when faced with the sacrifice of everything He was in spite of everything we are, really, who would want to? Wouldn’t you rather be loved with an Everlasting Love than check off, or be checked off a punch list?

He wants me, and you, to Be first.

And He’ll take it from there.

~*~*~*~*~

Don't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. Bailey


Kathleen Bailey, known locally as “Kaybee,” is a journalist and novelist with 40 years’ experience in the nonfiction, newspaper and inspirational fields. Born in 1951, she was a child in the 50s, a teen in the 60s, a young adult in the 70s and a young mom in the 80s. It’s been a turbulent, colorful time to grow up, and she’s enjoyed every minute of it and written about most of it.

She attended a mixture of public and parochial schools, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She married the Rev. David W. Bailey in 1977, and they lived in Colorado, Wisconsin and Michigan before returning to their home state of New Hampshire. They are the parents of two adult daughters.

She has worked as both a staff and freelance journalist. She semi-retired in 2017, in order to devote herself to a growing interest in Christian fiction. She has won or finaled in several contests, including the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest.

She blogs on other writers’ sites and on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. She is involved in an active critiquing relationship with another author. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, she participates in continuing education, judges writing contests, and continues to enjoy the world of words.

Bailey “sailed off the island” Sept. 20 with the publication of her first novel, “Westward Hope,” by Pelican/White Rose Publishers. She is contracted for the second book in the series, “Settler’s Hope,” and also has a novella with minor characters from “Settler’s Hope” to be published in Pelican’s “Christmas Extravaganza.”

Bailey’s work includes both historical and contemporary fiction, with an underlying thread of men and women finding their way home, to Christ and each other.

For more information, contact her at ampie86@comcast.net; @piechick1 on Twitter; Kathleen D. Bailey on Facebook and LinkedIn; or at www.kathleendbailey.weebly.com.  

~*~*~*~*~

What about you?
What's something that maybe you've been trying to nickel-and-dime in your writing or in life?

 Comment for a chance to win an ebook of Westward Hope by Kathleen D. Bailey!
                                                                                                                                                                                   

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller


Erica Vetsch here:  It is my absolute pleasure to host Carolyn Miller here at Seekerville today. We met in person at the 2018 ACFW Conference, and I can tell you, she is a delight. (With an awesome accent!) Thanks so much, Carolyn, for stopping by Seekerville!

Pique Practice by Carolyn Miller

‘She sells seashells by the seashore.’

You’re familiar with this tongue-twister, right? It’s said the “She” who sells seashells was Mary Anning, a poor, marginalized Englishwoman who despite her meagre education went on to discover some of England’s most spectacular fossils of the early 1800s, and eventually to be regarded as one of Britain’s most influential women of science.

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller



My interest was piqued by this woman’s remarkable story, and by the fact that some of her most important discoveries happened during the Regency period – something which excited this historical author’s heart, and led me to write a novel based around the fossil-hunting mania of the Regency period (A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, releasing March 19).

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller


It’s funny how such a random thing as Googling the background of a tongue-twister can provide inspiration for a novel. When I look back on the novels I’ve written so far, it’s been a wide variety of things that have piqued enough interest to inspire a novel. For my first published novel, The Elusive Miss Ellison, I was inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Georgette Heyer, which helped inform the plot and wit and characters.

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller



I’ve been inspired by locations (Bath! Brighton! Derbyshire! Scotland!), castle images, the challenge of presenting an unsympathetic character sympathetically, historic events, Bible verses, sermons, maps, garage sale finds, among a million other things that have piqued my interest.

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller



The very first novel-length story I wrote was a contemporary story based around the Winter Olympics, because my interest was piqued by the sight of a US male athlete holding hands with an Aussie girl. What was their story? I had to know. (And when I couldn’t find out, I made it up!)


I love how the very randomness of such things can get the creative juices flowing. And in today’s world, it seems we’re surrounded by such opportunities:
·       News items
·       TV shows, films, books
·       Photographs, pictures and paintings
·       Music
·       The Internet (oh my, it’s a land of a million rabbit trails, isn’t it?)
·       And so much more…


Even our mundane chores down the street can provide inspiration as we overhear a snippet of conversation, or witness an awkward scene between friends or family members at a café, school or supermarket.

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller




But being surrounded as we are by so many sources of potential inspiration can present an author with some questions:
·       How do you decide what is story-worthy?
·       How do you record your story ideas? In a notebook, on your phone, scribbled notes on the back of receipts? Or are you more organized and use particular apps and programs like Evernote to record your ‘piqued interest’?
·       What do you do to store these random story ideas?



Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller


I’m still trying to figure a lot of this out. I’m a historical author, but I have plenty of half-finished contemporary stories floating around my computer. Some of the scenarios I’ve been able to translate into Regency settings, but I figure some will never be unleashed on the world (and that might be a good thing!). For me a creative idea has to have enough substance, be plottable, hold enough magic so I remain excited enough to write 90,000 words – or at least until I get to 45K, when I might need to practise ‘butt in seat’ technique to reach ‘The End.’
Some items of ‘piqued interest’ will be relegated to secondary storylines, subplots, etc. That’s okay. I think the best stories are those with multiple story strands that pique the reader’s interest until the end.

As for my recording of such moments, I’ll admit I’m a bit of a mess. Yes, I have Evernote, but I don’t use it as I could. Last month I was doing a spring clean of my office and desk and discovered a huge array of tattered notebooks and scraps of paper, all containing plenty of – you guessed it – story ideas and clippings of things that had once piqued my interest. What to do with them? Good question.


Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller


I know I’m not offering many answers, and that’s because I’d love to hear your thoughts about what your ‘pique practices’ may be. Sharing is caring, so please let me know what you do when your creativity is piqued by answering these questions.

Authors:
What’s a random thing that has sparked your creativity and turned an ‘I wonder…’ into a published novel? 


Readers:
Do you read author’s notes in a novel where they give an explanation for why they wrote the story? Have you come across anything that particularly piqued your interest and you think could be story worthy?

 Giveaway: Carolyn is offering an ebook 
or paperback of her upcoming release A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh to one commentator…

Pique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.  A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her Regency novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena's Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, and A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Christianbook, etc.

Connect with her:        website | facebook | pinterest | twitter | instagram


Growing PainsLetting the Story UnfoldWhere Story BeginsMy Writing Journey—What I did Right and What I Wish I had Done DifferentlyStay in Faith by Guest Christy LaSheaBeating the January DoldrumsDriving Lessons with Guest Lynn BlackburnAn Inspiring Mother-Daughter StoryDon't Nickel-And-Dime This by guest blogger Kathleen D. BaileyPique Practice with Guest Carolyn Miller

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