A Wow Moment

This past weekend, my editor, a.k.a. daughter, and I attended a writer’s conference in Pittsburg, Kansas. It’s the Called to Write Conference, held annually at the Lamplighter Inn and Suites. There is always a great turn-out for this event and the speakers are just phenomenal for a conference this size. This year, Kathy Ide http://kathyide.com/ and Twila Belk http://www.gottatellsomebody.com/ were the keynote speakers and they taught the workshops. They were terrific! Probably my favorite time over the few days was the Q&A on Friday night. It was just fun to watch these two women interact and answer questions. I learned so much!

The biggest take-away I had from this conference, was the gift I have been given with my writing. My writing is for a purpose, it sends a message, and I would pray it leads others to seek Christ. And that is a lot of responsibility! But, I couldn’t do anything else. I often wonder how I managed for so many years of my child-rearing days to not write. But our lives have seasons, and those years were not my writing season.

I was privileged to be able to donate A Place to Call Home for a door prize. Because of that donation, I was given the opportunity to share vocally about the book and the series. I think that’s the reason I was sold out of A Place to Call Home! That was very exciting for me! But to top that off, people even asked for me to sign their books. Yes, I know that is expected and a normal practice. But it’s still new enough to me that my jaw kind of drops and I want to ask, “You want me to sign your book?” I probably spelled my name wrong because my heart was pounding so!

During a quiet time, I was sitting in the garden room, looking out over the swimming pool. I was dreaming of my younger years, when the pool was all that mattered at a hotel. It’s been rather cold and rainy here in these parts, so swimming wouldn’t have been an option. Putting on a swim suit would have solved the ‘going swimming’ dilemma if any chance had been left. The woman standing among the trees approached me, apologizing for interrupting me during my retrospection. She asked if I would mind signing her copy of A Place to Call Home. Would I mind? Does chocolate taste good?


Moments like these make writing so very special!

Yes, writing is a gift I have been given. But over and over, I have been the receiver of so much more in this writing journey. From the joy of working with our eldest daughter on editing, formatting and proofing, to our middle daughters giving their very needed suggestions on content. Our son reading the books has been great encouragement. And our youngest has been able to keep the house from tumbling down as I have sat in my office for hours at a time, glued to my chair. Hearing readers talk about my books, sharing them with others and reading reviews has gone beyond what I ever hoped to accomplish with my writing.

I have readers! Readers have asked me to sign their books! Wow!


Self-Publishing and Formatting Quick Tips

I have just returned from a fantastic writer’s conference in Pittsburg, Kansas where I had the privilege to be a part of workshops taught by Kathy Ide and Twila Belk, or Twila Belk and Kathy Ide. (Now they each have first billing!) If you’ve been around writing, editing, publishing groups at all, you’ve heard their names. I learned so much! I am very thankful that editors, authors and speakers are willing to teach these workshops. So, when I read this post this morning, I just had to share it. More great information and so many helpful tips. Get out your notepad!

Lit World Interviews

One of the biggest challenges to Indies is getting a professionally published looking book when up against the costs of editing, proofreading, formatting and cover designs. If you can afford these services then foregoing them is not a good idea, but when you really can’t afford them they can mean the death of some really great literature. There are a couple of things that can help though.

Editing or Proofreading Swopsies

Rather than simply asking for Beta readers, offer to swop proofreading services. Writers have a different kind of eyeball when reading. I’ve just finished a Joanna Trollope book, professionally published by one of the big houses, professionally edited and put together, but so far I’ve found a couple of typos and instances of poorly strung together sentences. As far as the cover design is concerned, if it wasn’t for the fact that I was specifically looking for and wanting…

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