Friday, August 31, 2007

So. . .just how much AM I willing to give in order to pursue a career in writing?

That question ate at me this summer. Would I give up a good paying job? Social time with friends? Would I dedicate myself to excellence? Would I pursue all avenues and market myself effectively?

Hmm…so far I can only answer that first question, and it’s ‘yes,’ I would.

I resigned my position working for a public school. In fact, tomorrow is my last day. I did it because the time constraints were too restrictive and the pressures too strenuous to allow me to write effectively. I did it because though I was good at what I did, I no longer loved it, and I resented the energy it required. I did it because deep in my heart, I believe God called me to write.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” the scripture says. I just couldn’t write ‘with all heart’ and still work full-time, parent full-time, be a full-time wife and part-time youth minister. So, after much prayer and some tears, I turned in my resignation. Now, I don’t know how far down this writing path I will actually walk, but at least I’m finally getting serious about taking the plunge.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jake, the rancher, went one day to fix a distant fence. The wind was cold and gusty and the clouds rolled gray and dense.

As he pounded the last staples in and gathered tools to go, The temperature had fallen, the wind and snow began to blow.

When he finally reached his pickup, he felt a heavy heart. From the sound of that ignition, he knew it wouldn't start.

So Jake did what most of us would do if we had been there. He humbly bowed his balding head and sent aloft a prayer.

As he turned the key for the last time, he softly cursed his luck. They found him three days later, frozen stiff in that old truck.

Now Jake had been around in life and done his share of roaming. But when he saw Heaven, he was shocked -- it looked just like Wyoming!

Of all the saints in Heaven, his favorite was St. Peter. (Now, this line ain't needed but it helps with rhyme and meter)

So they set and talked a minute or two, or maybe it was three. Nobody was keeping' score -- in Heaven time is free.

"I've always heard," Jake said to Pete, "that God will answer prayer, But one time I asked for help, well, he just plain wasn't there."

"Does God answer prayers of some, and ignore the prayers of others? That don't seem exactly square -- I know all men are brothers." "

Or does he randomly reply, without good rhyme or reason? Maybe, it's the time of day, the weather or the season."

"Now I ain't trying to act smart, it's just the way I feel. And I was wondering', could you tell me -- what the heck's the deal?!"

Peter listened very patiently and when Jake was done, There were smiles of recognition, and he said, "So, you're the one!!" "

That day your truck, it wouldn't start, and you sent your prayer a flying, You gave us all a real bad time, with hundreds of us trying."

"A thousand angels rushed, to check the status of your file, But you know, Jake, we hadn't heard from you in quite a long while."

"And though all prayers are answered, and God ain't got no quota, He didn't recognize your voice, and started a truck in Minnesota."


Monday, August 13, 2007

Like so many other authors, I’m packing my bags and heading to Dallas this September for the annual ACFW writer’s conference. Included in my suitcase? Here’s my list:

Plenty of business cards complete with contact information, website links, and one line blurbs of my latest book. Don’t think it’s just editors and agents I’ll be giving them to. Networking is all about meeting new friends, connecting with authors writing in similar genres, and getting my name “out there.”

Three copies of my proposal—one for my editor appointment, two for additional appointments I hope to land at dinner or in the elevator.

Pitch sheets with a summary of my book and a killer one-liner sure to hook an editor into requesting a full manuscript. Okay, so that may be a little unrealistic. Still, pitch sheets are an awesome way to stay on track when nerves are frazzled and distractions plentiful.

Author bio complete with publishing credits and writing experience. I’ll also plaster my picture on it, just in case the person reading my bio needs a little something to jog their memory about who I am and what kind of stuff I’m writing.

Bookmarks and various promotional items such as Post-It pads with the name of my book stamped across it. Even though my book hasn’t been released yet, it’s never too early to start marketing it.

Notepad, Bible, highlighter, and laptop. This is a working conference, after all. I’ll be taking plenty of notes and stashing away information to be used on my next wip.

Most important of all, I’m taking Jesus with me, albeit not in my suitcase (smile). I made the mistake of going to my first conference thinking it was all about my writing and my quest for publication. Somewhere in the chaos, God reminded me why I was there. He convicted me of my selfish pursuit, and opened my eyes to the need to make Him first in all things, including my writing.

Okay, God. Lesson learned. This year, I’m with You.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Q. What do they call pastors in Germany?
A. German Shepherds.

Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.

Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh's daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.

Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles were all in one Accord.

Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married?
A. Ruthless.

Q. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.

Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?
A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.

Q. Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy?
A. The area around Jordan. The banks were always overflowing.

Q. Which Bible character had no parents?
A. Joshua, son of Nun.

Q. Why didn't they play cards on the Ark?
A. Because Noah was standing on the deck. (Groannn...)

PS: Did you know it's a sin for a woman to make coffee? Yup, it's in the Bible. It says . . . "Hebrews"

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