Thursday, October 23, 2008

Precious time!

My thoughts have been scattered lately, and I have to force myself to focus on each task as it comes up and not waste time—but I do like to daydream when I have a few minutes to myself. I've been balancing my work time between writing and Long Ridge instruction. Now that the girls are adults, family time has shifted. With Alison and Jason living so far away, most of our communication is electronic. Lauren is still busy looking for her first job out of college, so that's the focus of many conversations around here. With Wally in the financial services industry, the remainder of our dinnertime talk is centered around what everyone else in the country is talking about: the economy. During my alone, non-working time, I do way too much e-mail checking and web surfing, so I'm working on pulling away from the computer and getting out more.

My daughter Alison and son-in-law Jason continue to get ready for their baby. I love how they discuss the highlights of nesting on their blog.

My younger daughter Lauren and a friend of both of my daughters, Tina, have been hanging out lately. Since Tina is working on building her photography business, she’s been snapping shots of everything and everyone. She posts some of the pictures on her blog and website, so take a look if you have time.

The Tampa Bay Rays are in the World Series, which is probably a major reason for my scattered thoughts—and definitely the reason I'm sleep deprived. Last night they scored a free taco from Taco Bell for everyone in the US by stealing a base!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tampa Bay sports!

This was a great sports weekend for Tampa Bay! The University of South Florida won their football game, which makes us happy because we have 3 USF grads in our family (2 daughters and a son-in-law—Lauren, Alison, and Jason). The Buccaneers won their game last night, but we only saw bits and pieces since the Rays were on at the same time. I would normally choose football over baseball, but since the Rays were vying for a position in the World Series, well…there’s no way I’d miss that. I managed to stay up until almost midnight to watch the Rays win the game 3-1 over the Red Sox! I think I need to run out and buy a Tampa Bay Rays T-shirt—that is, if I can find one.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Time to celebrate!

Last week, I celebrated my birthday and my 28th wedding anniversary! Other than going out to lunch with friends, I had a normal day of writing, reading student assignments, doing laundry, cooking, checking e-mail, and catering to my cats, Misty and Felix. But it was wonderful because I love doing all of those things. The Lord has blessed me with a life that I love. Everyday is a celebration!

I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful family. Wally has always worked hard, and this is a particularly difficult time for him as a financial advisor during this rough economy. He loves the Lord, though, so when he comes home, he finds peace through reading the Bible and unwinding with Lauren and me. Our daughter Lauren recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in communications. She’s a smart young woman who has surrounded herself with wholesome friends who are all like family around our house. Our older daughter Alison and her husband Jason are expecting a baby, Wally’s and my first grandchild. Even though they live hundreds of miles away in North Carolina, technology allows us to communicate daily, with phone calls, e-mail, and IM’s. I like to read their blog when Jason has time to post because he’s such an excited daddy-to-be!

Another blessing is my career. After what seemed like a very slow start, I’ve finally become an established, multi-published CBA author with Barbour Publishing and Summerside Press. Between writing contracted books and being an instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, I stay very busy!

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! Life is good right now, so everyday is a celebration!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sweeping Miscellaneous!

After coming back from the ACFW conference, I’ve had a wide range of things to keep me busy and catching up to do, and I think I’m finally at the end of the list. It didn’t help that I had a sinus infection bogging me down, but I’m almost over it, so things are looking up again!

Isn’t it amazing how e-mail can get out of hand when you don’t check it for a few days? I’m one who worries about missing something important, so I carefully read through each and every message. After being at the conference from early Thursday morning to Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, that took a while, but I'm finally caught up.

Then there’s the book I left unfinished. I have three February 1 deadlines, which is manageable the way I work. I set minimum daily pages, and I almost always exceed that. However, I don’t normally walk away from any work in progress for four days, so when I got back to it, I had to read several days worth of work to get back into the story. I finally finished the first draft of my third project, so now I can go back to the first one and start revisions.

I’ve been reading some wonderful manuscripts from my Long Ridge writing students lately. Some are highly polished and professional looking, and others are diamonds in the rough. What I find amazing is how people from all walks of life have so many different stories to tell—and there’s probably a market for most of them. It’s my job to recommend points to revise and markets that might consider their work. Nothing would make me happier than to have all of my students get publishing contracts and have the freelance writing careers of their dreams! When I edit their work, I want to give them what they need for success without destroying their hope. After all, I was in their shoes once as an unpublished writer, and it didn’t take much to dampen my spirit. Now when I get my work back from a critique partner, I look at the revisions as helpful suggestions that will make my project better. Hopefully, my students will view my edits the same way.

My younger daughter Lauren and her friend Tina are having a baby shower for my older daughter Alison on Sunday afternoon. Since Alison lives in North Carolina, she’s flying in tonight and will spend the weekend with us. I’m trying to get the house in order so I can concentrate on enjoying Alison’s time here. Her husband Jason is busy working on the nursery and getting their house in order for their little girl who will be here in January. I've been following their blog and enjoying the journey with them.

Speaking of blogs, I’ve been working on a plan to add another element to this blog after the first of the year. Since I enjoy sharing information about my friends’ books and stories, I’ll continue adding their links with news. I’ll also add writing articles—some from friends and others I’ve written—as topics come up.