Monday, September 29, 2008

Writing on Monday--coffee, chocolate, and oh yeah, some work too

Happy Monday, my friends. Well, never did get over to see Fireproof this weekend. With a funeral, three b'days to celebrate, and a school picnic, it just didn't happen. Thanks Lynn for letting me know what you thought...anyone else? Hopefully it'll be in theaters a bit longer...

And did you all read the news? Cadbury had to pull their melamine-laced chocolates from shelves. What's the world coming to when you can't eat chocolate without risking poisoning??? Several years ago my mother pointed out that some dried fruit I'd bought at Target was actually made in China--I'd no idea. When I read last week about the tragedy of melamine used in Chinese dairy farms (those poor families), I'd wondered if anything sent to the US was affected. Apparently, so.

As you know, I'm all about chocolate, but better be safe and check your supplies, ladies and gents. Life's too short to eat bad chocolate, you know?

Had a latte at home this morning, then met my pal Deb for coffee at Starbucks. I'm all wired up! So for this Writing on Monday, I'll be prepping for my next book, and doing some marketing to libraries (thanks to author Judy Gann for the ideas!)

Have a beachy day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Writing on Friday--Hooky!

It's too beautiful to work! Katie Cushman (who's visited the blog a time or two) and I caught up with each other at The Boathouse at Hendry's Beach in Santa Barbara. She ordered the shrimp, and I noshed on crab cakes. BEAUTIFUL day--you'd think it was still summer! Even spotted a pod of dolphins swimming by...

May you find the perfect time and place to ditch the office, my friends. And have a beachy weekend--wherever you are!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Have you seen this film?
I'd love to see your review, as I'll be looking for it this weekend...

The movie opens in theaters starting tomorrow, and I just learned the extraordinary story of the creation of a book that appears in the film. The handwritten book, a 40-day challenge to practice unconditional love, was used as a plot device in the film, but so many pre-screeners wanted a copy, that the screenwriters had to actually write one ;) I'm thrilled to report that B&H Publishing group--my new publisher!--has released the book, The Love Dare. You can read about the book's creation here, and the film itself by clicking the links on the cool widget above.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's official...

Fall is here. I know this by the aroma of pumpkin spice in my nearby Starbucks ;) So to celebrate the changing of the seasons, here's a truly (un)official quiz.

Your Autumn Test Results

You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.

When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.

You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.

You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You are very impatient. You spend more time waiting for something than actually enjoying it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Writing on Monday--Edits!

First off, congrats to all the 2008 ACFW Genesis (unpublished manuscripts) and BOTY (published novels) winners! Great list of writers and books--wish I could have been there to see the awards handed out! I had the opportunity to be a judge this year for the Genesis contest, and I'm thrilled to see one of my favorite reads make the winner's list! Oh, and Katie Cushman, who's visited this blog many times, won 3rd place (Women's Fiction) for her debut novel, A Promise to Remember. Excellent job, my friend!

If you're a writer interested in knowing more about ACFW, click here.

On to Writing on Monday
...These are the best of times, these are the worst of times. Lol...I'm told that sometime this week I'll receive the edits for my next book. Some writers abhor this part of the process, while others get simply giddy over it (hello, Colleen Coble :)) My own feelings are mixed. I love the results that edit notes--revisions suggested by an editor on a project--bring to the completed book. Oh, but the work of it all! Sometimes going back in means slaying your little darlings, and that can be tough. Of course, maybe I'll just hear..."Perfect! It's a wrap!" Ha...dreaming is good.

Anyway, as you've probably heard before, writing is really more of a RE-writing process. When you read a book that's smooth as buttah, you better believe that plenty of globs of fat were removed along the way.


This has nothing to do with anything, except that it made me laugh. Check out the name of this Idahoan hog caller ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Writing on Friday--Publicity Photos

So earlier this week, I had some head shots taken for my new publisher. Let me just say, there's a reason I'm a writer. As a writer, I can work super hard--in my jammies. I don't need makeup or nice hair...or even to talk to anyone (except, of course, my characters. But that's a story for another day...) Basically, the in-studio process of smiling for the camera is way (way, way...) out of my comfort zone.

Anyway, out of more than 15 pictures, I could accept (sort of) 3. And out of those 3, I'm currently down to 1 (thanks Dad for the photoshopping! ;)

So over the weekend, I'll be doing it all again. Only this time, I'll be at my beloved beach, and I'll also be taking a kid or two to make me laugh. My pub. should be pleased to learn that they'll have a choice of more than, uh, one picture. I'll let you know how it all turns out...

On another note, Chocolate Beach made an appearance on author J. Timothy King's latest YouTube video. Cracked me up. Please take a minute to check it out here.

And have a beachy weekend my friends--wherever you are!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy trails

Just a quick post to say 'hey' to all my ACFW friends who are about to head off to Minnesota for the annual writer's conference. I opted not to go this year, partly because in just a few weeks I'll be leaving for New York (woo-hoo, can't wait!!!) Still, I'm thinking about you all, and praying for a successful event!

Monday, September 15, 2008

And the winner is...

Rebecca LuElla Miller, aka Becky Miller! Congrats! And thanks for playing everyone. Becky, I'll be getting Waiting for Daybreak out to you.

I'm peeking out my office window into beautiful California sunshine at the moment. The past few mornings have been thick with fog, so I welcome the light. Last Saturday, despite that fog, and some ripples on the water, Elementary Girl and I kayaked out in the Ventura Harbor. Both on the way out and back, we ran into a big ol' fat sea lion, and I couldn't help but think about Sweet Thing. If you read Truffles by the Sea, you know that lonely and drama-prone heroine Gaby befriends a sea lion named Sweet Thing.

Anyway, the problem was that the sea lion Elementary Girl and I kept coming across was fairly HUGE and intimidating. She lounged crossways in a rather narrow channel, making it tough not to get too close when we passed. Making it tougher was the way Elem. Girl screeched and fearfully clutched the side of my boat--how am I supposed to steer when I can only put the paddle in one side??? I just knew she was going to dump us (Elem. Girl, not the lion), but thankfully, I was wrong about that. Despite that, ahem, roadblock, our time on the water was a super fun respite after a busy week.

So fill me in. What fun stuff did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Writing on Friday--Katie's new book!

It's Friday, and today I'm working on the acknowledgments page for my next book. That, and several other 'pick up' things that need to happen before jumping into a new writing project. But--stop the show--I wanted to mention that I just received a copy of Kathryn Cushman's newest release, Waiting for Daybreak. Katie and I have been pals for a few years. We traveled to Dallas together last year for the ACFW conference, participated in a Borders author event with Jim Bell in the fall, and took our books on the road via train travel last spring. She puts up with me--which is reason enough to give her books a plug--but she's also a phenomenal story teller. We like to say that I make you laugh (hopefully) and she makes you cry (definitely).

Drop me a comment, and I'll randomly choose someone to win a free copy. It won't be the copy on my nightstand, though--that one's mine :)

Have a beachy weekend--wherever you are! Drawing on Monday. Click here for more info on Waiting for Daybreak.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A new day

Unless you are very young (and if that's the case, why aren't you in school?), you remember the morning seven years ago that rocked our country. I was getting my kids ready for school, when my mother called and said to put on the news. All I remember is lowering myself onto the bed as the infamous images played over and over again. Tears, shock, sadness, and kids who wanted to understand what was happening. Every time I see that bumper sticker that says, "Never Forget", I'm reminded that I never will.

And yet today, I'm thankful to have a new memory attached to this cousin's sweet baby girl was born during the wee hours of this morning, and we're thrilled (tears again!). I can't wait to see her, and hold her, and be reminded of the Bible verse that promises, "I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Can we talk?

Argh...more computer problems the last few days! Thankfully, after a full day of researching and tinkering and screeching at speaking lovingly to my no good blessing of a computer, it's fixed. Yay.

I did take a break this morning to attend Bible study after the summer off. We're doing a study on the tongue called Can We Talk?, by Priscilla Shirer. Considering I spent much of the day humiliating my computer with my one-sided verbal sparring--lol--I think the timing's great. Don't you?

Speaking of verbal sparring, i.e., 'politics', (ha)..I just read that opticians around the country are having a difficult time keeping up with a sudden demand for rimless, titanium eyewear. Lovely librarians...unite ;)

Tomorrow, more on Can We Talk? (unless another random idea takes over...)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Writing on Friday--CAN

Heading into the weekend but wanted to stop in and let y'all know about the launch of the new CAN (Christian Authors Network) website. I'm happy to be a part of this organization, which serves both readers and writers. For readers there's the You've Got Books! book club, giveaways, and sneak peeks. For writers there's tons of networking fun. I'll refer to the organization periodically, but for now, feel free to click here to poke around the site yourself.

Have a beachy weekend--wherever you are!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Chocolate Beach at Starbucks

Here's a shout out to the book club of Westminster Presbyterian. Aren't they all super cute? The gals read Chocolate Beach and invited me for coffee to talk about it (skinny decaf cinnamon dolce, thanks very much ;) Not exactly sure what the hand under the chin means, but Kathy (in lavender) says it's why not? I'm game :)

Thanks, Gals, for a terrific night!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Movin' Slow

So I took this holiday weekend off. Didn't go out of town, but went to dinner with friends, breakfast with family (or 'brat feast' as one daughter coined it ;), and biked, ran, and kayaked. Yeah, I'm Sarah Palin. Lol...kidding. I couldn't do all that and have my hair look so good.

Anyway, it's Tuesday in September and time to get serious. Not quite the brand-new-start feel of New Years, but doesn't the fall bring about its own 'fresh start' appeal?

Before I get too serious, though, I was tagged for a meme by J. Timothy King. Admittedly, these often make me yawn (especially reading my own--ha), but his kept my interest. So here are 7 weird and random facts about me. Feel free to scroll on down if you'd prefer. Back to serious stuff tomorrow. Maybe.

1. For 9 months, I was a phantom shopper for Taco Bell.

2. I was a ghost writer for 3 years.

3. I've had brain surgery (explains a lot, I know).

4. I went to the Donny & Marie show as a kid--and saw Bob Hope up close.

5. Team Chocolate Beach, of which I was part, participated in an outrigger race last summer.

6. My brothers are both creative types: one's an animator for major motion pictures, the other is an architect for rich folks in LA. I can draw stick figures, barely.

7. Found out I was pregnant while training for the LA Marathon, so on the day of the race, I ran three miles of event--then went and had waffles.