Homecoming Woes

There are things I hate about raising a girl. Date events are one of them. At a small school like ours, big events become REALLY big events. Everyone wants to be there. But what’s a girl to do when she doesn’t get asked? Especially if she doesn’t know many boys outside of that group and of those, several are in relationships?

I feel too deeply the hurt and humiliation of not having a date. My son, who is at the threshold of his first big event, has control of his own destiny. He asked a girl. She said yes. Even if she’d said no, he could have asked another one. Or not. It would have been his choice. My daughter, on the other hand, simply waits. And now most of the dates are taken. She is left wondering what to do, feeling left out of the big shebang. I remember all too well how it feels—and it hurts as badly as it did when I went through it myself. Except in my case, in a big high school, lots of people didn’t participate. In a high school of 40 or so students, getting left out is much harder.

I wish I could help her instead of just comfort her.


Productivity Problems

Tuesday was quite productive, writing wise. Why is that a problem? Because when I’m being productive, it’s hard to stop. But I have to stop. I have to engage with my family. It’s my number one priority in the evenings. But I don’t want to give up the momentum I’ve found. I worry that the next day something will interfere. And it usually does. My productivity comes to a screeching halt, and I’m back to square one!

Who knows, maybe tomorrow will be different.


My ACFW Conference

Whew! I’m finally home—and home for a while!

But I had a great time at the ACFW Conference this weekend. Here are some things I enjoyed:

•Participating in the skit at the opening session. (I was Deb Raney. I’ll post a picture soon.)

•Making friends with lots of new people just for the sake of making friends! (I don’t think I exchanged business cards with ANYONE because I was too focused on them as a person, not a business contact!)

•A GREAT critique session with author Maureen Lang. She gave me some much needed encouragement and incentive to keep working on my current book.

•Overcoming a bit of my public speaking fears when I had to introduce the speaker in a large session.

•Spending down time with Mary DeMuth in our room at night processing the events of each day.

•Feeling comfortable in my “writer-skin,” feeling like I belonged, that I wasn’t an interloper, or a tag-along, that I didn’t have to justify labeling myself as a writer.

God met me there—not with contracts or requests for manuscripts, but with Himself. I met Him one-on-one in the worship times and in the prayer room and I met him in eyes and hearts of other writers.

It was very much worth every bit of money and every moment of time.


To ACFW Conference I Go!

Sorry I’ve been so sporadic. Besides having to do the quick-trip-turn-around, yesterday I completed my first freelance editing job! I’m so excited! But it meant packing yet one more thing into an already busy week.

The ACFW Conference starts tomorrow, but I’ll be there tonight practicing for the skit we’re doing at the opening session. Did y’all know I’m an actress? (Okay, so you’ve probably been reading between the lines of my blog posts and have realized I can be quite the Drama Queen!) I haven’t acted on the stage in years and I’m jazzed about getting to do it again.

That’s it. Gotta run. I’ll give a report on how the conference went sometime on Monday!


Frenzied Homecoming


It’s harder than I thought to come home from a trip and get ready to leave again a week later. At least in my life it’s hard. The week home is filled with football games and getting cell phones fixed and leading Moms in Touch and driving a Meals on Wheels route and finishing and printing one sheets and. . . and . . . and!

But New York was great. We saw three musicals, ate at Bobby Flay’s restaurant, decided that Junior’s really does have the best cheesecake in New York, walked until our feet hurt, rode the subway, took lots of pictures, and generally enjoyed ourselves—while my poor husband worked! The Culinary Institute of America was so impressive. Like a real college—a great campus and dorms and lots of social activities. I could see her there. And riding the train to get there was a very fun experience, too.

Now my focus in on the ACFW Conference which begins on Thursday. No rest for the weary!


Times Square, Here We Come!

It took me 33 years to get to New York City the first time. It was a great trip with my husband—one of the best at that point in our marriage—but I was still in a bad place in my spirit, still seeking the peace that had eluded me since our first baby had made her way into the world nine years earlier.

We returned this past February to celebrate my fortieth birthday. Our dream trip in so many ways. One to remember for a lifetime.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d be going back just a scant six months later!

Yes, we are off to the city that never sleeps once again, this time with 16-year-old daughter in tow. My husband has business to do in the city, so while he works, she and I will explore not only the city, but visit the Culinary Institute of America, 2 hours north. Yikes! Our first college visit! I don’t even know what questions to ask at culinary school!

So it will be an adventure of a very different sort this time around. I’m excited to experience New York again with my daughter, for I know our time together is short. Two years from now she’ll be at a college (or culinary school), all on her own. It won’t ever be quite the same after that. Not that I’m bemoaning her leaving. I love my kids, but I’ve always looked forward to having some of my time back in order to chase my own dreams. But I’m learning to cherish these moments, for they are fleeting.

We fly out Saturday morning and return Wednesday afternoon, so if you think of us, please pray our time together will be special.


Eureka! Part 2

I know you’ve waited through the weekend with bated breath for Part 2 of this post! Ha!

Anyway, here’s my new plan. I’m counting on y’all to help me stick to it!

1)One week per month: turn off my internal editor and just write as many words as possible on my WIP.

2)The rest of the month: edit what I’ve written, evaluating it in terms of plot, characterization, emotional impact, scene structure, writing style—the whole shebang.

It’s a hybrid of seat-of-the-pants, planned writing, and write/edit. Hopefully this will allow me to let the story flow and yet make sure it is on track before I’ve written an entire book. It will also give me times to submerge myself in the story (the free writing) without worrying that my life will fly to pieces (its only a week) as well as time to evaluate where it has taken me (editing process), which I can do in the midst of keeping up with all the details of life.

Most writers seem to be bent one way or the other, but as in so many other areas of my life, I’m torn between two opposite sides of my personality. I’m a planner—and yet I’m not. I’m spontaneous—and yet I’m not. It’s always been one of my issues with books and music and movies, too. I fall into categories that don’t usually overlap! In other words, I’m a little bit country—and a little bit rock-n-roll (and classical and Broadway tunes and praise and worship.)

So that’s it, my hybrid writing process. Only time will tell if it really makes a difference!