Monday, December 18, 2006

I won! I won!


I won a mug and pen (and notepad too) from awardwinning (and very kind) author Shirley Jump!

The contest was to name her cute new bear, and you can read about it here. Later, she named me as the winner on her blog here.

Thanks, Shirley, and just to show you how much the mug has already inspired me, here's a pic of me working hard (or hardly working) with my new inspirational tools...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Just stick a fork in me

cuz Baby, I'm DONE. I am TIRED. I am finished. I don't see a career as a novelist in my future, either.
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

Stephen King On the Writing Life

Thanks Brenda, for letting me know about this article.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/28/AR2006092801398.html

Mission of Love

I'm on a mission--a mission of love for God and a desire to serve Him.

To that end, I'm exploring what my spiritual gifts might be. I've taken several online gifts surveys this morning, and I see a pattern emerging. Granted, these are not extensive tests, but I feel the more I take, the better I may see the results.

I have a strong sense that I have allowed events in my past to dictate how I act, and how I choose to serve, in the church. This is wrong, and I am repentant before God for this.

So far my top scores tend to be in administration/leadership, teaching, and exhortation. Service usually follows closely behind.

Because of fear, I usually take a backseat to leadership. I will reluctantly, and usually under duress or someone else's urging, put on the mantle because I'm afraid of what people may say or think or do against me. My greatest fear has always been that I would hinder my husband's ministry in some way, as I've been accused of in the past.

You know what, though? It's been five years. The woman whose internet posts and mean-spirited emails shaped me into this fearful woman, a shadow of what I might have been, has moved on. She has had her own burdens to bear, and I recently discovered she has a new service-oriented career herself. Why should SHE move on when I am in stasis, frozen in five years ago, afraid to say or do something that may or may not cause someone to accuse me of something horrible that is in all likelihood not even true?

I'm moving on. We've moved literally across three states. I think it's time to move myself along with me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I decided to post this here instead of my other blog. Not sure why.

I inadvertently clicked on a few links and found that the woman who hurt me so badly five years ago has a couple of new businesses, one of which is helping others.

I have to question her motivation based on what I knew about her when we were friends, and what I learned after we weren't. She also hedged some facts in her bio (would you want to let potential clients know that the reason you had to downsize was because your husband was in prison? Nah, me either).

But a part of me wishes her well. I am changed because of the effect her actions had on me, and I've grown in my faith.

Besides, look at us now. We are in the Air Force in North Dakota! Even a year ago I would have never guessed this life for us.

How do you know...

if your writing is any good?

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's a gorgeous sunny Friday in GF ND and it's a whoppin' 54 degrees!!! (No I'm not kidding...)

It feels like a late October day in Missouri. I'm seasonally messed up, but I'm SO lovin' the city thing. I went to get my hair cut and got a cappuccino at Starbucks this morning. And I only had to drive about three miles to get there!

For those who don't know, the Women @ Home Ministry has moved. You can find us here now. We're all hoping it's the last move we have to make. Four moves in two years is just goofy.

I thought I'd also plug my friend Angela (fondly known as AGK!)'s new endeavor. She has decided to tell her story, finally, and after waiting with bated breath, Chapter 1 is available. Here's her site: When I Was 13.

So, I've been asked several times, what are my goals for this school year, now that I'm not working and my kids are in school?

I don't have a good answer. My general answer is to keep up with my household duties and write. But all I've done is drown myself in chick lit from the library (sort of like a mental chocolate-gorging session, if you want to know the truth) and dash off a few clips to the local paper (they publish a women's magazine and I've applied to be a freelancer with them). Oh, and collect a nice pile of advance galleys to read for book reviews.

I also joined the praise team at our new church, which is the Protestant chapel on base. I filled in on Sunday and got no fewer than six people who complimented ME specifically, and the leader guy asked me if I'd stay on, so I said yes. I've been dreaming of being on a praise team for years, and I started out being on the one at our home church, but it was usually only two of us (three on a good Sunday). I am hoping to grow as a singer this way, but more than that, I am THRILLED to use the pipes God gifted me with to praise HIM!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Semi-anonymous blogger

I have kept this blog sorta on the down-low for a while now. It's more of my writing goals blog, but I've done my fair share of venting here also.

I sent an email inquiry late Friday afternoon, not expecting to hear anything. Later that evening there was a reply. I inquired about freelancing for the freebie women's magazine that's published by the newspaper here in Grand Forks. The contact person said he wanted to hear back from me with writing samples (which I'd linked in the email; he must've missed them), and he also said the Editor position for this publication was open. I found the job description and YIKES, I'm so NOT trained, etc. for that job. But I think it would be fun to freelance for the magazine! So I might soon have a job.

I sang in the praise team at chapel and they liked me! They really liked me and want me to stay! One of my friends asked, "Did you have any doubt?" and I said "YES I did!" I always have doubts. I figured I was a fill-in only. Well, nope. They want me to stay. :)

We are headed to Canada for the day tomorrow, eh? It will be fun to go to another country for a change!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Four years

Yesterday was the four year "anniversary" of the day my father left my mother for another woman, but we didn' t know about the other woman (now his wife) until a month later.

Time really does heal, doesn't it? I would have never thought I'd be as okay as I am. I'll never be the same, but I'm stronger now. While I don't like dealing with the fact that my dad is married again and he's happy with "her," I've adjusted.

Praise God!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Revisiting The Artist's Way

I have decided now that the girls are in school to revisit The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Two days of morning pages down, and I wrote all three pages! Last time I tended to skimp.

I'll have a piece published tomorrow at Meredith Efken's blog. I'm excited about it! Go check it out!! You'll probably remember her as the author of SAHM I Am, which I loved. The sequel is coming out in a couple of months...yay! Someone can buy it for me for my birthday, which is November 14th. Hint, hint.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mt. TBR

I had to divide the pile and interestingly enough, it's about equal in height between fiction and nonfiction.

All I can say is, "oy." I have a lot of reading to do!

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Just tired, that's all.

What's wrong with me? I think I can chalk it up to just being tired. I definitely need to lay low today, stay out of everyone's way, and recover.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Longwinded

My most recent assignment for my Long Ridge course was a nonfiction article. I was under a time crunch because of our move, so I "cheated" and pared down my article about Adult Children of Divorce and sent it to her. The one that I poured weeks into, my heart into, when it was requested on spec from A Famous Christian Women's Magazine (ahem)--and was subsequently rejected, the pathos of which is recorded in this blog.

Anyway, after being chastised by my instructor for its being too long (over twice the assignment length, oy!), she did give me many compliments, and she also suggested I focus on writing articles rather than fiction. It is nice to have someone who's read both my fiction and nonfiction attempts and tell me what my strength is.

Come to think of it, the 'burg Writers' Circle did the same thing.

So, after my kids are back in school, and I have eliminated the Brown Cardboard Box decor from my house, I will buckle down and write. Write write write. Edit and pare down. Stop being so dang longwinded!

Affirmation and constructive criticism is easier to take from afar, I think.

New home, new life

We're in North Dakota now, and I have a cable broadband link. The internet is much faster now!

Preparing for a trip to California this week for a family reunion.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blogging for Books

Please go see Joshilyn at her website for more Blogging for Books details:

BETWEEN

I feel like I'm between.

I'm between two states: Missouri and North Dakota.
I'm between two residences: the temporary living facility and the new house.
I'm between two friends who are adjusting to my move in different ways.
I'm between my two daughters as I try to help them get along during this time of transition.
I'm between two blogs: here and the one I've locked up at xanga.
I'm between two email addresses. I can't decide which one to use the most.
I'm between my old career as a teacher and a possible new one as a writer, but I haven't yet begun the latter, and the former is comfortable sort of like a pair of jeans that are slightly too tight.

I'm between my old life and my new one, and I can't decide whom to become.

While between probably isn't ideal, it's certainly interesting!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Between, Georgia

Between, Georgia is more than just a summer read. It is an adventure into the lives of a Southern family. Two, actually. I don't know how Joshilyn Jackson does it, but she creates realistic, flawed, loveable, love-to-hate-able, fabulous dimensional characters. All with Southern quirks and foibles that, had I not lived in the South for a few years a while back, I would never believe. But I do.

I love character-driven stories, and I believe this is why I loved this book. I want to read it all over again!
My official review will be posted sometime in the next few days over at www.armchairinterviews.com. Then it will be posted "by Armchair Interviews" at amazon.com (see link below), but I'll probably put my own two cents' worth in after it's posted.

Do yourself a favor and get this book. It will be officially released on July 3. While you're at it, pick up gods in Alabama in paperback. Better still, visit her website and order an autographed copy!

Currently ReadingBetween, GeorgiaBy Joshilyn Jackson

Friday, June 16, 2006

Last post for a while

This will be my last post on this blog for awhile. We will be packing up the computer next week. I will disconnect the phone next week, so no internet unless I drive into town to use the library, which I might.

Our stuff went to a needy family.

We're preparing for our move. Our friends keeping our house for us are already moving stuff into the garage, which he painted/sealed a lovely blue with paint chip accents.

We have a place to live!!! Today we find out *when* it becomes ours. A nice 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath town home with enough room, we hope. We can keep our dog and get another if we want.


Life is going to be crazy for a while, but good too. It will be a grand adventure!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Purging da traish

I think I've got to be one of those people who has trouble throwing stuff away, until I'm in a position where I'm forced to do so. Well, now I'm being forced to do so. I think I have issues with stuff! I don't think I'm as bad as the people you see on TV talk shows who have trash piled up in the corners of their houses, but I do save everything, ad nauseum. Not anymore...I'm purging!

This afternoon, the remains of the yard sale (currently loaded on our trailer, which we are also trying to sell) go to the brand-new Salvation Army Thrift Store in our city. Yay! I'd say 80-90% of our stuff was really pretty good, just superfluous. Maybe it will help others.

OK, off I go to purge some more.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

GF Good News

Grand Forks has two Targets (one is on base!), a Walmart, three Starbucks (one inside Target), TWO MALLS!!!, a Barnes & Noble on campus at the University of North Dakota, a Michael's and a Joann's (for yarn, of course) , a scrapbook store, and a LOT of local color restaurants.

See? It's not going to be THAT BAD. Plus, I'll be a six-hour drive from my mom and sis, and I haven't lived that close to Mom in a long time, and my sister NEVER.

AND...this is the largest place we've lived since 1993, when we left the KC metro area.

I am sad to leave here, where we've built relationships and have my husband's family close, but I am excited to go and build a new life in the Air Force. Is there anything wrong with that?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

praises

I haven't made this really "public," but I signed up last summer for a Long Ridge Writers Group course. Not the long expensive one, but the shorter "writing fiction and nonfiction" course. I've turned in all of two writing assignments in eight months! (Teaching really gets in the way of my writing...)

I got my second assignment, a short story, back from my instructor yesterday.

She PRAISED MY STORY!

The story is a reworked portion of my first NaNo novel called "The Journal." It's based on a real, partially used gratitude journal I found in a thrift store.

She liked it!!!!!

I have never considered fiction to be "my genre." I usually tend toward personal reflection/essay/devotional. I don't have training in creative writing. I really don't have training in journalism, but I do have two correspondence courses in journalism from University of Arkansas on my transcript! For that matter, the only "training" I have is in writing pedagogy.

Next round is a nonfiction article. Methinks I'll rework my ACOD article for this assignment and see what she thinks. I really really really want to get the word out about ACODs. Public opinions need to change.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Flannery O'Connor quotation

From today's Writer's Almanac, from Garrison Keillor:

Flannery O'Connor said, "Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them."

Friday, March 24, 2006

wishin' and hopin' and dreamin'

I wish and hope and dream of writing time someday! Someday...

Seriously, teaching has been taking up most of my time. I haven't even been writing on any of my blogs lately. I visit my homegirls at my favorite message board, blog for my class blog (URL is private, sorry!), read for class, and prepare lessons for my classes. The good news is that I've got six weeks left! The bad news is that there's only six weeks left to get it all done!

Some good news to report:
  • Nicole Johnson, my favorite actress and author of my favorite book Fresh-Brewed Life, got married recently! You can catch up with her on www.freshbrewedlife.com!

  • Jen Abbas, author of Generation EX: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of Our Pain, is working on a new edition of her book for another publisher! Yay Jen! You go girl!
  • We are still waiting to hear about whether or not DH will go active duty Air Force, rather than reserve like he is now. That uncertainty sometimes drives me completely insane, but other times I shove it out of my mind and don't even consider it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Thought for Today

Toni Morrison wrote, "They straightened out the Mississippi River in places, to make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places ... but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. ... All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Writers are like that: remembering where we were, what valley we ran through, what the banks were like, the light that was there and the route back to our original place."

from today's Writer's Almanac, emphasis mine.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sparse posts...

Back to work for me! I am going to be filling in for an educator on FMLA leave for the next ten weeks or so. I have spent this week in meetings and scrambling to prepare lessons. I really enjoyed my time away from the classroom, but I'm really excited about returning too. I just don't see how I can get everything done that I had planned to do the rest of the winter and spring.

Plus, when will I find time to write???

All this to say that if I'm not around my blog much, now you know why! I should be back to more regular blogging once I get back into the swing of things as a working mom.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'm a Book Blogger!

I am now blogging for DotComWomen! I am their book blogger.
Come visit me there!
http://www.dcwblogs.com/books/index.php

I am hoping that this will be the start of something great!

Monday, January 30, 2006

A bit of a writing brag

I have been pursuing a few leads into the world of book reviewing. My goal is to increase my "clips" file (for those who aren't into the whole freelance writing world, very often editors want to see the prospective author's clips--what she has had published before). I have had four articles published (in print) over the course of the past seven years. That isn't really a whole lot! :) I have had probably twenty published in various online newsletters (not including a certain opinion-posting website, on which I earned over $100 for the year I wrote for them, but now I refuse to acknowledge their existence because they allow blatant lies and libel to remain on their site).

That said, I am now a reviewer for ArmchairInterviews.com, Debbie's women's newspaper called "Creative Grace,"and I am going to blog for DotComWomen.com. I am also a staff writer for WritersRemember.com!
Brooke Lea Foster's ACOD book came out this past week, and I was *supposed* to get my copy today, but no brown truck at my house. I'm very sad. Hopefully tomorrow! Then I can read it and add its statistics and wisdom to my article about ACODs and resubmit it to another magazine since a certain-shall-remain-nameless Christian Women's Magazine didn't want it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Writer's Circle

Hey there! I haven't blogged on this blog in a while.

I had writer's circle today in my town. After they ripped apart a piece of my novel, they told me it was good. Interesting, eh?