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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Our church service this morning was everything I could have wished for.

Our pastor led us in the ancient tradition of calling "He is risen!" and responding "He is risen indeed!" Nothing like hearing that cry echo across the sanctuary.

We sang my favorite Easter hymn, Christ the Lord is Risen Today (written by Charles Wesley the same person who wrote my favorite Christmas hymn, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, and one of my favorite hymns, And Can It Be?)

The choir lifted the Lord high with a medley of Crown Him King of Kings/Crown Him with Many Crowns (and I didn't play too many incorrect notes as I accompanied them.)

It even rained, a good, hard, drenching rain, something we have needed badly. (Of course the rain caused my hip to give out and has given me agony all day but it doesn't change the blessing of the moisture.)

Our pastor challenged us--Where is Jesus' body? He gave the obvious answer, and yet it was one I hadn't thought of. It is here. We are His body.

Just as three years ago, Jolene's death was still fresh and immediate in my heart on Easter Sunday, today, one of our church families mourned a beloved father--and rejoiced in the victory of Jesus' resurrection.

And I thought of my beloved ones--Mom, Gramma, Jolene, friends and family--already in heaven. Casting their crowns at Jesus' feet. Singing a hallelujah chorus to the risen Lamb. My beloved Jolene, who couldn't carry a tune here on earth, singing perfect praises in heaven. For she loved to sing, and she loved to praise the Lord.

The more of those I love go on ahead, the more I look forward to joining their number.

But for now, I pray that I will be faithful to the part He has given me in His body. That through my stumbling, all-too-often-inconsistent attempts, people will see His love and He will be glorified.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I am going through a dry spell. Well, not professionally. I received two contracts last week. I have enough work to keep me VERY busy for the next 15 months. And not the dry spell that's keeping my lawn from getting significantly green in spite of its being April in Oklahoma. No, a dry spell of the soul. Every now and then I play at devotions. I have this picture of what devotions should be: Bible reading, meditation, prayer. A Year With Aslan, no matter how much truth can be found in the Narnia chronicles, doesn't once quote scripture. Is that devotional material? I tried reading through the Bible. I think I've finished February. All too often I shrug it off. And I know, I know, I'm suffering because of it. How can I expect to write meaningful fiction that will touch people's lives when I'm starving my spirit? Does anyone else out there struggle with this issue? (I assume I'm not alone.) How do you keep your devotional life fresh? What keeps you coming back (besides a sense of duty)?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


A glimpse into the life of a full-time, professional writer. Give credit for the idea "the four books I'm writing" to Janice Hanna Thompson. She says that every writer is working on four books at once:

  1. The book under development.

  2. The book being written.

  3. The book being edited

  4. The book being marketed.

The problem for writers is that we tend to only schedule book #2--the book being written.

I wailed and carried on but managed to submit one Heartsong and one novella on February 1st and my first book for Moody, Lone Star Trail, on March 18th. I took a deep breath, took a week off from serious writing, and dived back into A Ranger's Trail (second book for Moody). Of course, one of the consequences of submitting a manuscript is that you get it back . . . for edits, sometimes more than once. For marketing. For cover art and copy. For galley proofs.

So in addition to starting A Ranger's Trail, since the first of April (hey, maybe this is my April fools' joke) I've had the following added to my to-do list.

  • Develop marketing material for Texas Trails for Moody (done, except for the stuff that has to be mailed)

  • Write additional material for Lone Star Trail at editor's request (done)

  • Answer questions from a different editor on Lone Star Trails (done)

  • Look at the changes made to Lone Star Trails and think about how I need to shape A Ranger's Trail (ongoing)

  • Proof the galley for Plainsong (in process)

  • Approve the cover art for Plainsong (done)

  • Complete a cover art sheet for a book still not officially contracted (in process)

  • Write two blog posts for the Heartsong authors blog to coincide with the release of Love's Raid next month (in process)

  • Complete a proposal requested by an editor (in process)

  • Write 7 devotions already contracted.

  • Expecting edits for this year's Christmas novella, First Christmas in Christmas at Barncastle Inn. (expected)

  • NEWS. Go over contracts for two more--count them, yes, two--books. I'll announce more later when the contracts are finalized. (in process)

Is it any wonder I've fallen a little behind on my writing goals?

Would I have it any other way?

Nah. Of course not.