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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Noteworthy Expressions

Cowboy Quotes

"If it don't seem like it's worth the effort, it probably ain't."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I Won A Book!


I'm so excited! I won a copy of From The Inside Out by Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck!!!

Last week, Mary DeMuth interviewed Susan on her blog So You Want To Be Published. If you've never visited Mary's site, go now! Don't wait! She shares so much information and fun, it's tough for me to pull away and remember I have my own books to write : )

In the interview, Mary highlighted the workbook and all the advantages of Susan and Rachel's website, My Book Therapy. For months, I lapped up all the insight and information I could while participating in MBT. Work has grown overwhelming at the moment, so the best I can do now is lurk, but I still learn lots from Susan, Rachel and the gang.

Go check out So You Want To Be Published and My Book Therapy. I'll guarantee, you'll be hooked!

Thanks ladies for the great surprise!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Cara Slaughter Finals in the Golden Heart!








The finalists for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart contest were announced on March 25. For those not familiar with this contest, it is the cadillac of the Romance Writer's world. Nationally acclaimed, the Golden Heart offers prestige and career exposure to the lucky few who, like the best creme, rise to the top.


This year, my fellow Seeker, Carolyn Slaughter has finaled in the Inspirational category with her novel, Love On A Dime. Cara is no stranger to winning contests. She has consistently finaled and won numerous times with various manuscripts.

Now, she's among America's Top Inspy Writers. Who will be number one??



Find out on July 18 at the RWA conference. The winners of the Golden Heart and Rita awards (the published authors version of the Golden Heart) will be announced during the grand awards ceremony highlighting the final night of the RWA conference.






For more information on the conference, the contests and RWA in general, visit Romance Writers of America!!

WooHoo, Cara!!! Go get'em, girlfriend!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Noteworthy Expressions

Cowboy Quotes

"Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Check In Out

Cynthia DiTiberio, editor at Avon Inspire, is in Seekerville today! She'll be taking your questions and chatting. This is a golden opportunity!! If there's anything you want to know about Avon Inspire, now is the time ask!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

In Kara's Opinion...

I had the most wonderful experience this afternoon.

I had a brainstorming session with my daughter. Unplanned, unscheduled, it just fell into my lap. And I loved it.

If you know Kara at all, you'll know this girl is all do with little time for creativity. She rolls her eyes at me and thinks the time I spend writing is b-o-r-i-n-g. To her, life is an adventure waiting to be explored, not thought about. You know, just do it.

Besides, who reads anymore??

I took today off work to write since I have an entry due to the Genesis by the end of the month. I was jotting down questions I wanted to email to a friend of mine that works for the Beef Council regarding the involvement my hero would have with the association given his career. Kara walks into my office, plops down in my rocking chair and begins with the pestering questions she's famous for, anything to distract me from concentrating on my story.

"So, where's your story going today, Mom?"

"I don't know, babe. I'm about to email Tami and ask her about Beef Council duties."

"Why?"

"My hero has meetings to attend that involve the council. I need to see what they talk about."

"Oh. That sounds like fun." She sits and thinks a minute. "So, is he a rodeo guy?"

"No, he handles the business end of the ranching operation."

"So, did he rodeo in high school? In college?"

My turn to roll my eyes. "I don't know, honey. He's 28 now and needs to run a corporation." I think a minute. "Well, he was popular in high school so he must have been atheletic. That's one of my conflicts with the heroine."

Her eyes brighten. "Well if he grew up on a ranch, and he was popular, then of course he rodeoed. What did he do? Bronc rider? Those guys have screwed up shoulders and knees if they don't know how to fall right. Steer wrestler? Helps if they're stocky..."

My daughter lit up the room with her enthusiasm. She went on tell me all the high and low points of each rodeo discipline according to the guys she knew in college. Oh by the way, I have mentioned Kara is studying Agriculture, right? She's surrounded by cowboys day and evening : )

I started writing down tidbits of information I hadn't even thought of to make my characters real, to breathe life into them. We discussed everything from what brand of jeans fit what attitude to the different trucks cowboys drove. Do you know that cowboys develop distinct habits and quirks that enable you to label them right away? Imagine that.

We spent a good hour dissecting classmates of hers. She told me what worked and what didn't as far as attraction went. I started throwing scenerios at her and she actually had real world answers!!

Wow!!

We laughed together over common ground ideals. Something we haven't done in a long time.

So often I look to God and ask for strength to get through this weaning time, time to let my kids spread their wings and fly. I know it's time for Kara to leave the nest, the endless head butting and disagreements do wear on both of us. She knows we love her, it's just time to build her own life.

But today, God gave us a reprieve. Bonding time. Time for mother/daughter to be friends.

I loved it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cheesey Dippindoodle says...

My NEW NAME IS IN THE SUBJECT LINE. DON'T LAUGH UNTIL YOU FIND OUT WHAT YOUR NEW NAME IS

We all need a little stress-reliever! This only takes a minute.

Please don't be a bore & ruin it. Send it on to everyone you know including the person that sent it to you.

Sometimes when you have a stressful day or week, you need some silliness to break up the day. If we are honest, we have a lot more stressful days than not.

Here is your dose of humor...

A. Follow the instructions to find your new name.

B. Once you have your new name, put it in the subject box and forward it to friends and family & co-workers.

Don't forget to forward it back to the person who sent it to you so they know you participated.

And don't go all adult - a senior manager is now known far & wide as Dorky Gizzardsniffer!

The following is excerpted from a children's book, Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot Professor Poopypants, by Dave Pilkey, in which the evil Professor forces everyone to assume new names...

So:

1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:

a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = d orfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
v = sneezy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy

2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard
s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = butt
b = boob
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle
s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = s prinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice

Thus, for example, George W.. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny.

Now when you SEND THIS ON...use your new name as the subject.

And remember that children laugh an average of 146 times a day; adults laugh an average of 4 times a day.

Put more laughter in your day!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Check It Out!

Quarterfinalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award!

Out of thousands of submissions, THE ROAD BETWEEN by my fellow Scribe, Theresa Rizzo, made it to the top 500! No wonder. I've read this complete manuscript and fell in love with the characters a long time ago. Theresa has a quirky sense of humor that spills over into her characters. Read the excerpt--I know you'll want to finish the book!

You can download a free excerpt at, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UG39DS, read the editorial reviews, and please leave your own customer reviews. The semi-finals still lie ahead for THE ROAD BETWEEN. Your reviews will help make the final decision.

Check it out and tell all your friends who might enjoy this story!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Noteworthy Expressions

Cowboy Quotes

"Don't judge people by their relatives."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laura Iding in Seekerville

Have you ever considered writing Medicals for Harlequin Mills & Boon? Want the inside scoop?





Wednesday, March 11 Laura Iding will be in Seekerville sharing about the Medicals line. Laura has written 18 books for Harlequin Mills & Boon over the past five years. Her most recent book is Emergency: Single Dad, Mother Needed.


She's giving away a copy of her latest release.

See you there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Noteworthy Expressions

Cowboy Quotes

"Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction."

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Love Those Cowboys


I've noticed one of the top questions I'm often asked by editors when pitching a book is "What qualifies you to write about cowboys and ranching?" For a long time I thought my inclination came from growing up in Colorado and just living around the lifestyle. Only recently have I realized that not only has God planted me in the land of cowboys and ranching, He's also feeding my inspiration.

Where to start? Right off the bat, I'd have to credit my kids and husband for throwing our entire family into the 4-H life. Even though we started out in general projects, as my daughter and son grew older, so did their level of responsibility. At one point, we counted 42 rabbits and over 300 chickens qualifying as 4-H projects. Bunnies and chicks are cute, but they don't bring in the money at the Junior Market Livestock auction. So, my daughter has raised pigs over the last 4 years and my son has dabbled in goats and sheep. We grown in knowledge of raising these animals by working with other 4-H families and helping where ever we can. Livestock Judging also broadens your horizons. I learned more about cattle, sheep and pigs by attending judging meets while my daughter competed on the team. 4-H offers more opportunities for self-discovery than you'll ever imagine. Who says 4-H is just for kids??

During the summer, my daughter works for Sombrero ranches, one of the largest trail horse operations in the nation. She doesn't work with the horses, though. She drives tractors and other equipment, tending to the various fields of hay and alfalfa the ranch needs to sustain itself during the winter. I've expanded my terminology base listening to her talk shop when she'd come home in the evenings.

Two years ago, an opportunity arose that allowed me to go back to work at an office close to home doing what I love to do -- I'm the 4-H secretary for our county. Working on the other side of the desk (I've been a Project Leader for 10 years and an Organizational Leader for 7) has presented opportunities galore to learn about all aspects of farming and ranching. Boulder County has a very active agricultural base. In addition to 4-H, our Extension Office houses agents in Horticulture, Agriculture, and Family/Consumer Sciences. I've learned all sorts of fun facts on plants, crops, soil, gardening, canning, preserving...the list goes on and on. I'm blessed to work with a 4-H agent who is also a large animal veterinarian. Have questions on raising horses, cows, sheep, etc?? He's my go-to man!

In direct reference to my lastest WIP, one of our Organizational Leaders works for the National Beef Association based here in Denver. Since my hero is a rancher dealing with the Association, what better connection could I possibly have??

Over the years, my writing has included Regency historical and Romantic Suspense based on the Eastern Front. I love those locations and eras and have the manuscripts to prove it : ) But there's just something about cowboys...

Truth to tell. One of the reasons I expanded my Inspirational Romances to include historical and suspense is because of well-meaning advice I received years ago telling me westerns are dead, good luck selling. I changed my direction and followed the trends. I'm not saying that's a bad idea. Actually, I've won numerous contests with those manuscripts. Someday, who knows, I might just dust them off and try my hand historical England and modern day Russia again. For now though, I'm writing what I know.

Look around you. Are you writing your passion? Has God placed stories on your heart filled with rich description and vibrant dialogue that you've turned away from because that genre just isn't selling? I did and I'm glad I've come to my senses.

Joy has returned to my writing. I'm praying my books sell, but if they don't, I'll be just as satisfied knowing I've written the words planted in my heart knowing God has His reasons.

Listen to your heart.

This Week In Seekerville

There's always something new happening in Seekerville! Look at the line up for this week!

Monday: Zondervan and Steeple Hill Suspense author, Camy Tang on Creating a Pitch.

Tuesday: Abington Press and Barbour author, Myra Johnson makes suggestions on The Writer's Reference Shelf.

Wednesday: Harlequin Mills & Boon author, Laura Iding will fill us in on the Medical Romance line.

Thursday: Ruth Logan Herne will be doing what she does best -- talking and cooking! Actually, Ruthy will be talking about T-I-M-E and the lack there of.

Friday: ACFW Genesis Day in Seekerville. Come join us and get your contest questions answered!!

There's always lively talk and delicious food. Ahh, I smell the coffee already : ) Come visit Seekerville -- you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Seekerville Today!




If you have a few spare moments, come and check out Seekerville today! I'm up on the blog schedule and my topic is diets, both weight loss and writing. All the research I did for this post led me to some interesting diet sites. I've made the links active so come and explore!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cowboys at Work: Calving

Guess what season this is? Well true, it is winter, but it's also calving season here in Colorado. The bulk of the cow population have been delivering their calves since January, usually picking the coldest, nastiest nights to bring their young into the world. According to Beef Magazine, calves born during February and March are heavier at weaning their their counterparts born April and May. I'll discuss the pros and cons of the two birthing seasons in the near future.


Cowboys are a hearty lot. During this early calving season, sleep is a luxury and needs to be snatched when ever time permits. These angels of mercy of the bovine set, watch for signs of birth during the day as they continue with the daily chores. At night fall, they keep their eye on cows with sloppy hind ends and bags dripping with milk. Even if there isn't a promising candidate during the day, someone needs to take the night shift in case of surprises. The watchfulness of the cowboy obviously includes the safety of the cow and calf during birth, but mostly, since the herd is in a pasture, they need to protect the little one from predators such as coyotes and wild dogs.

These heros we write about sacrifice much to keep their charges safe. At times, their humor escapes them, one might say they become down right surly, but the true cowboy always has his mind on his work.

Good thing for the cows, knowing their heros are on duty; good thing for me, I have a wealth of glory to write about.