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Monday, July 25, 2011

Orphans

When you raise livestock, there are times when the unexpected happens. My daughter had given me a call at the office and asked if I'd bring home an incubator. Red flags flashed all around me.

"Why do we need an incubator?"
"Because I found a nest of Rouen eggs. Our hen is gone. I'm going to hatch them out."
"Are you sure you want to do that? It's a little late in the season."
"I can't just leave them here. They'll die."
At this point, not knowing how long the nest had been unattended,  I think, hmm, I doubt they'll survive the journey to the house, much less the incubation. "Did you ask Dad?"
"He said fine."
Ooookay. 30 days of drama, about to unfold.

We set the eggs up in the incubator and faithfully turned them, sprayed them, watched them with a skeptical eye. One Saturday before daughter left for work, she came bounding in and announced she'd heard peeping. The eggs were about to hatch.

Okay, call me a non-believer. I never once thought the eggs stood a chance. But, lo and behold, by the end of the weekend, we were the proud foster family of 7 -- count'em SEVEN ducklings out of 11 eggs.

Wow.




Even out Corgi is amazed.




Life is just filled with miracles. We had no idea how long our Rouen hen had left the nest. No idea how long she'd been sitting on them ( you need to stop turning the eggs in the incubator a few days before anticipated hatching ). No idea if they were even fertile.

But God knew. We lost one hen and now have 7 little lives to replace her.

Isn't life grand??

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Future of Bookstores

Borders will be closing all their stores...soon.                                              Borders Stores

That's mega sad. The end of an era. Probably the very threshold of a change I don't know I like.

While I can't say I've always known I wanted to be a writer, I do know I've always loved to read. Libraries were my favorite hangouts all through school, the Dewey Decimal System enabling to me to find volumes of information in a snap, and leading me to genres I never thought about investigating. All through high school I was an avid Ray Bradbury fan. Or I thought I was until a friend loaned me a copy of Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I discovered my reading passion had little to do with alien planets, LOL!

But really, let's save that for another post!!

Back to brick and mortar stores. I love the feel of them; the smell of them; the kid-in-a-candystore giddiness that overcomes me when I step through the doors. I'm such an impulse buyer, I'll always walk out with a volume of something -- usually a cookbook. My husband still shakes his head over that. My dedication to cooking flew out the window when I went back to work full time!

Still, there's nothing more satisfying than strolling the aisles and running a finger down spines of novels, wishing one of them bore my name. Now that I have a book on the shelves, the thrill is compounded by the fact I can run my finger down the spine of MY book. Wow. This may be completely selfish, but I don't want to ever lose that thrill because cyber stores and ebooks are the wave of the future.

I do have a Kindle, and I love it. I love buying friends books as soon as they're available. I love having an entire library in my purse for all the times I'm waiting for appointments and meetings. The Kindle, the Nook, all eReaders are nice, but...

They're not books.

If you do anything this week, go out and support your local bookstore. Walk in, grab a cup of coffee, thumb through a magazine (and then buy it). Drink in the atmosphere. Enjoy while you can.

The priviledge may be gone before we know it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Carol Award Finalists Announced!

American Christian Fiction Writers announced the finalists for the Carol Award for published writers:

Debut Novel:
The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund (Bethany House - Dave Long/Sharon Asmus, Editors)
Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes (Tyndale Publishers - Kathryn Olson, Editor)
Rooms by James L. Rubart (B&H Publishing - Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)

Long Contemporary:
The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell - Andrea Doering, Editor)
Red Ink by Kathi Macias (New Hope Publishers - Randy Bishop, Editor)
Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House - Dave Long, Editor)

Long Contemporary Romance:
Plain Jayne by Hilary Manton Lodge (Harvest House - Kim Moore, Editor)
Anna’s Return by Marta Perry (Berkley - Ellen Edwards, Editor)
Plain Paradise by Beth Wiseman (Thomas Nelson - Natalie Hanemann, Editor)

Long Historical:
Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs (Waterbrook Press - Laura Barker, Editor)
Petra: City in Stone by T.L. Higley (B&H Publishing - Karen Ball, Editor)
Sons of Thunder by Susan May Warren (Summerside Press – Susan Downs, Editor)

Long Historical Romance:
The Husband Tree by Mary Connealy (Barbour - Rebecca Germany, Editor)
Love Finds You In Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson (Summerside - Rachel Meisel/Connie Troyer, Editors)
Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz (Revell - Andrea Doering, Editor)

Mystery:
Mirrored Image by Alice K. Arenz (Sheaf House - Joan M. Shoup, Editor)
Muslin Mystery by Vera Dodge (Guideposts - Beth Adams, Editor)
The Camera Never Lies by Elizabeth Goddard (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

Novellas:
The Prodigal Groom by Vickie McDonough (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
Ride With Me Into Christmas by Rachael Phillips (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
A Trusting Heart by Carrie Turansky (Barbour – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

Romantic Suspense:
The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson (Summerside Press - Rachel Meisel/Susan Downs, Editors)
Don’t Look Back by Lynette Eason (Revell - Andrea Doering, Editor)
Pursuit of Justice by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale Publishers - Karen Watson, Editor)

Short Contemporary:
The Wedding Garden by Linda Goodnight (Love Inspired - Allison Lyons)
A Father for Zach by Irene Hannon (Love Inspired - Melissa Endlich, Editor)
Winter’s End by Ruth Logan Herne (Love Inspired - Melissa Endlich, Editor)

Short Contemporary Suspense:
Night Prey by Sharon Dunn (Love Inspired Suspense - Emily Rodmell, Editor)
Legacy of Lies by Jill Elizabeth Nelson (Love Inspired Suspense - Emily Rodmell, Editor)
Firestorm by Kelly Ann Riley (Love Inspired Suspense - Tina James, Editor)

Short Historical:
Her Healing Ways by Lyn Cote (Love Inspired Historical - Tina James, Editor)
Promise of Tomorrow by S. Dionne Moore (Barbour - JoAnne Simmons, Editor)
The Columns of Cottonwood by Sandra Robbins (Barbour - JoAnne Simmons, Editor)

Speculative Fiction:
The Wolf of Tebron by C. S. Lakin (AMG Publishers - Rick Steele, Editor)
Rooms by James L. Rubart (B&H Publishing - Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)
K├Ânig’s Fire by Marc Schooley (Marcher Lord Press – Jeff Gerke, Editor)

Suspense/Thriller:
Predator by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan - Sue Brower/Dave Lambert, Editors)
Fear No Evil by Robin Caroll (B&H Publishing – Karen Ball, Editor)
Medical Error by Richard L. Mabry (Abingdon Press – Barbara Scott, Editor)

Women’s Fiction:
Beaded Hope by Cathy Liggett (Tyndale Publishers - Jan Stob/Lorie Popp, Editors)
They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti (Abingdon – Barbara Scott, Editor)
Beyond Summer by Lisa Wingate (NAL - Ellen Edwards, Editor)

Young Adult:
Anything But Normal by Melody Carlson (Revell - Lonnie Hull Dupont, Editor)
Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (Zonderkidz - Jacque Alberta, Editor)
Katy’s New World by Kim Vogel Sawyer (Zonderkidz - Jacque Alberta, Editor)

I judged a panel for this contest and have to say, the quality of published work was superb. I can't imagine choosing only 3 finalists for each category. Really? They're all winners to me!!

Congratulations, finalists!! Especially Mary Connealy and Ruth Logan Herne! Cheering loudly for Melanie Dickerson, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Laura Frantz, too!!Your stars shine brightly and I can't wait to cheer for you in St. Louis!!

American Christian Fiction Writers Conference, September 22-25, 2011, St. Louis, MO

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Let's Talk In-y and Out-y

I know -- belly buttons come to mind, but honestly, it's workspace technique I'm talking about here.

Come join the fun in Seekerville as I talk about how I organize my writing necessaries and then the rest of the Seekers chime in with their favorite methods.

How can you miss an opportunity like this to crawl into the inner workings of a writer's mind? Spooky prospect, but well worth peeking into, LOL!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Golden Heart and Rita Awards Ceremony

Couldn't make it to New York City for the RWA Conference, but I can follow fun at the awards ceremony on Twitter! Go to #rwa11 and cheer your loudest for your favorite finalist!

YAY - Pam Hillman!! Finalist for Inspirational Romance,
Golden Heart
Stealing Jake

YAY - Mary Connealy!! Finalist for Inspirational Romance,
Rita
Doctor in Petticoats - Barbour Publishing

I'm rootin' for you here in Colorado!!
WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!