Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
It's so much fun to decorate in the fall. I adore pumpkins--they're so satisfyingly tactile, you just have to reach out and touch them. And I like being surprised by new colors, unexpected shapes. There are pumpkins all over my house right now. This pretty green one greets you when you walk in the front door.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Travis Thrasher was one of the very first people I met after I signed my contract with Tyndale. A few months after the papers were complete, I flew out to Chicago and spent a few days with my editors and all the other fabulous people at Tyndale House. At that time, Travis was the Author Relations Coordinator. He was funny, well-spoken, and very understanding when I made a fool of myself by not knowing that he was an author, too. Since then, Travis and I have continued to keep in touch via email, and we were able to spend some time together at ICRS this summer.
Lisa McKay and I met online. How very modern of us. Anyway, it all started with an email, and from there Lisa and I have built an incredible friendship. We spent four days together at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, and had such a wonderful time that we did it all over again at ICRS in Orlando. Lisa is brilliant, witty, and a great conversationalist. Our complete lack of sleep whenever we're together attests to our ability to talk and talk and talk... Mostly we talk about the fact that we are both debut novelists and have no idea what we're doing!
To date, Lisa only has one book out, but it's a doozie. My Hands Came Away Red is gripping, fast-paced, and beautifully written. I couldn't put it down. Apparently, neither could the judges for this year's Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction. Hands was nominated for a Christy in the suspense category. If you haven't read this book, you're missing out.
Last, but not least, I'd like to introduce you to Chris Fabry. It might be a bit of a stretch to call him a friend since we only met briefly this summer during ICRS. But he made an impression on me and I love his book, so Chris is a friend. (Can I just claim him like that?) The few times we spoke at ICRS, Chris struck me as a very happy, genuine, fun-loving guy. He's the sort of person you just want to be around.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I'm not familiar with Chris's earlier work. He is the author of more than 50 novels for children and young adults, but Dogwood is his first adult novel. And I just devoured it. The prose is beautiful, the story is heartbreaking and multifaceted, and the ending will leave you breathless. It's one of those books that you want to read twice just to make sure you caught all the clues and innuendo. A very fun read.
Well there you go. Click on the links, buy the books. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Okay, this is not new news. I've been a mom now for nearly five years. But for some reason this summer I felt much more "authorish." There was lots going on in my professional life and my days felt more tipped toward the work scale. Now I've hardly touched a pen (or my computer) for weeks. I'm feeling so out of it! Like an athelete who's taken a too-long vacation. It's time to get back in shape.
Although I haven't written any chapters, I have been doing something that I've never done before: I'm plotting. My fourth book (I'm calling it Bridgewater right now) is already well established in my mind, and for the first time ever I'm doing extensive character sketches, plot diagrams, and chapter plans. It's so unlike me. I hardly know this woman who's taken over my writing life! But it's exciting, too. I'm having lots of fun trying to write a different way.
And not only am I writing differently, I'm swimming into uncharted territory: romance. Well, not romance. Someone once told me that the rough definition of a romance is a happily-ever-after story, and a love story has much more tragic elements and leans more toward the literary. So I guess Bridgewater has elements of a love story. Fun for me, but my critique partner and first-draft editor is quite nervous. Not much of a romantic, I guess. Hey, maybe that's why I'm not getting emails from him demanding the next installment... Either way, I'm afraid the story is set. Hopefully once all is said and done, I'll have converted him. My fingers are crossed.
In the meantime, I'm afraid supper tomorrow is going to be hamburgers on the grill thanks to the heroic efforts of my spatula-weilding husband. I hope he doesn't mind--I have a date with my pen.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I'd write more, but I happen to a mother of three today. My cousin's husband is in Iraq and I'm watching her baby for the day. He's absolutely adorable, and I've done way more than my share of smooching. But life is busy with three boys ages four and under! Gotta run.
Have a great Tuesday!
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Here I am with my beautiful mom right before our Mission Hills viticulture tour. Everything at Mission Hills was very well cared for and lush.
Sampling the fare... :) I believe this was the Cabernet Franc. Yum.
A view of the amazing cellars at Mission Hills. This particular cellar is a cave that was blasted out of the side of the mountain that the winery is perched atop. It was spectacular.