Monday, July 31, 2006

To Conference or Not To Conference

Hey Everyone, I'm next up on the ACFW Conference blog tour!

"This is your president speaking... " LOL, just had to say it. But look, if you're an ACFW member, great! Hi. Welcome. If you're not an ACFW member, but are interested in publishing, stick around!

So, you want to be a writer? Me, too. It's the best job anywhere. But like all great things, it comes at a price.

Recently, in an online interview, I was asked to give advice to new or unpublished authors. I rambled on, pontificating, and several days later, I realized brevity is the soul of wit and came up with this wise, sage advice. (I wasn't witty that day.)

Writing is about discipline and sacrifice as much as it is about inspiration and craft.

King David said this in 2 Samuel: "But I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing." So, David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver."

David understood cost, the price. Many times we want to arrive for free. We ask, "If God called me, why is it so hard?"

Because there's beauty in the burning of an offering, in burning the "fat" from around our hearts.

Attending a writer's conference can be just that for so many people. A burnt offering. You're out of your comfort zone, living for three days with people you don't know well. Meeting with editors and agents, trying to pitch your story idea so they're hooked and want to read your manuscript.

There's the stress of learning the craft. Worrying if you talked to much during dinner, or if the story you told about your son when he was four offended someone. The lady across from you had a weird look on her face.

Conferences can be disappointing. Your critique didn't go well. You felt obtuse and thick during your editor or agent appoint. After that, the attendee sitting next to you at dinner gushed about her home run with Editor A and Agent B.

You found out two others are pitching the exact same story idea as you. Must have been watching Oprah the same day.

The person you've been emailing privately from the loop, and each said you can't wait to meet in Dallas, didn't seem all that interested in hanging out with you after you each squealed and hugged in the hotel lobby.

Your roommate snores. Your spouse calls because the kids are driving him/her crazy. Your mother calls and wonders why you're wasting money the family doesn't have.

Ah, the sweet aroma of sacrifice. It can be frustrating and overwhelming.

But we cannot offer to the Lord what costs us nothing. I've been out of pocket the price of a conference many times - if not money, time. The past 4 years, I've worked the ACFW conference in some manner to cover my costs.

But here's the benefit. After all the disappointment has been shed, the tears cried, the manuscript ripped to shreds, and your spouse stopped you from putting your foot through the computer screen, a beam of light hits your heart. An idea.

You sit down at the computer. The opening scene flashes across your mind like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Your fingers are flying...

Yeah, you're a writer. If you stick with it. Don't give up. Pray for God's timing and the price of a conference.

Attending a conference is not the magic ingredient to being published, but it says this, "I'm serious. I'm pursuing this. And I won't offer to God what costs me nothing."

See you in Dallas 2006!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Space Coast Prayer Gathering

Church on the Rock, my church, lead worship at the Vineyard last night for the Space Coast Prayer Gathering.

Tony administered the prayer portion, reminding people to pray not preach - no soap boxes please - and the allow the band to sing off the prayers.

It went well. Really did. Tony lined up some of the regular Friday night Fire Dwellers to lead off the prayer time so folks could see how it worked.

We had some good choruses, me, Dave and Kathleen. Tony Foix was supposed to help with choruses or one liners but he said he didn't feel inspired. Hum.

So, I quoted Nora Roberts to him. "Don't tell me you can't work today because the muse has left you. Go track down that fickle slut, drag her back, chain her to your keyboard and get to work."

Isn't that hilarious? Mild laugh from Tony Foix 'cause he doesn't understand the writer's life all that well, but hey! Sing, dude. I'm usually not overly inspired when we start a Harp & Bowl set, but once I start singing and listening to the prayers, hearing the Word read, I GET inspired.

In The Fire is coming up next weekend. Will be an awesome worship blow out. Tony, Don and I are speaking, and the wonderful and amazing Javier LaBoy will lead worship.

Lots of work to do between now and then. I'm so grateful the Lord showed me Song of Solomon 3 a few weeks ago. All of our teachings (surprise) fit perfectly together and we didn't even share before hand.

God is cool.

Pray for us. We are deciding if we should put our dog Jack down. He's not doing well. Runny nose, weird thing going on with his eyes, heavy gurglish breathing. He'll be 14 in a few months.

We don't want to be hasty, but I can tell he's having a hard time sleeping. He has to keep his head up. We're taking him to the vet on Monday. Maybe it's a doggy cold and another round of antibiotics will cure him.

Pray. We love this dog. Even Pal is behaving himself around Jack.

Peace out.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Closing doors, opening windows

Last night at youth church, David started the first worship song. Tears filled my eyes and this movie like sequence rolled past my mind's eye.

Eric Exley, at fifteen, putting his arm around me and panning the room with his arm, said, "You should read Isaiah 54. Look at all your children."

Andrew playing "Green Pastures."

The Poughkeepsie youth rallies where God moved is such an awesome way. Stuart. Reuben and the first real High Calling Youth Band. Stuart. The three Julie's. Student leader meetings at our house. "Don't drop pizza sauce on the carpet!"

Lock-ins. Summer retreats in Georgia. Rachel Heinly's Yo, uth t-shirts. Reuben, again. The years combing youth events with Zion, Freedom, Vineyard and House of Prayer.

Lance, Shannon and Ted. Stuart.

Jim Bartholemew the summer retreat of '93. "I'm baaaack!" The blue school bus. The yellow, bumble bus. The mass break downs on the way home the summer of '93.

Ryan, Misty, all the kids from Palm Bay High. Volleyball. Renee.

The recordings with Andrew and his band. Cassie, best bass player, Eric, Laura, Dave, Carrie.

'93 prayer retreat where God manifested Himself in a dynamic way. And continued to do so for a year.

Thursday night prayer that lead to the '93 experience. Student leaders. Teaching them to teach the Word.

Worship. The kids coming home from college on breaks and wanting to get together for a worship blow-out night.

The Exley boys. All the Giard girls. The Whites. The Badgers. The early days with the "Advance Group." Brett, Sheree, Carrie Good, Marsha, Heidi, Rachel.

Pre service prayer. The summer conferences which lead to In The Fire. Harp & Bowl. Stuart. (He deserves several mentions.) Esther.

So many memories. So many adult and teen faces. Chelle, Denise, John, the Fairbanks, Renee, Jesse, Joan, Helen, my dear brother, Peter-John, Scott, Anthony, and others I can't remember at the moment.

The School of Checkers. Laughing so hard over burgers and fries. Stuart, again!

Last night was our last night. After twenty years of youth ministry, Tony turned the reigns over to Matt Girden, and his wife Jodi.

As he explained to the youth what we were doing, his eyes glistened. We still love the youth, in fact, we are better relating to them than adults. And giving the ministry to Matt is not about us moving on, or losing heart for the youth, it's about obeying God.

Matt is the man for the youth now. He's what they need. Matt and Jodi's heart and vision is very much like ours, so they have an incredible platform to stand on, but they are twenty years younger than we are, and God is moving them into the things He has for them.

As for Tony, he is still a pastor at Church On The Rock and will continue in his duties there, but God hasn't shown us all He has for Tony yet.

I feel really settled in my career as a writer right now, but know there is more for me to do in whatever God calls Tony to do.

Tony is an amazing man. So incredibly faithful and loyal, not out for himself or to build his own ministry. But yet, tenacious about the things God has put on his heart. Some of them are incredible things, impossible things for Tony to do on his own.

But with God, all things are possible. Besides, apart from Jesus, we can do NOthing. I don't think He was kidding or being metaphorical when He said "nothing."

So, as worship went on, Tony, Chelle (our other over 30 adult leader) sat in the back. Our last night.

The end of an era. The beginning of something new, undiscovered, and wonderful.

God, my Father, works all things together for good.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On my bed...

Been reading Song of Solomon 3 in preparation for the "In The Fire" conference (August 5, 6th)

I feel God is calling us out of our slumber. Here's the lead in to chapter 3.

The Bride (er, you and me) is in love, she's found her one true love and has grown comfortable. In verse one, she says, "On my bed night after night I sought Him whom my soul loves, but did not find Him."

On her bed? She looked for him on her bed? Hey, Bridie, get UP, out of BED and look for Him. But no, she wants to stay in her comfort zone.

The Bride is in her same old place, but the Groom, Jesus has moved. She's sitting up going, "Jesus, oh, Jesus, where art Thou?"

He doesn't respond because He wants her to follow Him.

Finally, she decided to get out of bed and look for him in the city - among her friends. This is such a key verse for the church - individually and corporately.

We are happy for Jesus to show up in our nice neat little church services, but we never expect to find him... out there! Hey, if Jesus was among the sinners and destitute when He physically walked the earth, what makes us think He's not now?

The Bride runs into the watchmen while looking for her Beloved. The watchmen are the wholehearted worshippers, the forerunners, the John the Baptist of our day, pointing the way to Jesus.

We are to be like David and point the seeking to Jesus. Not to ourselves (hey, pay attention,) but to Jesus. It's not about "my" ministry, but His Kingdom! His Bride.

Remember Hegai in Esther 2? He was the eunuch in charge of preparing the young women to go into the King. We are called to be spiritual eunuchs. Not desiring the Bride for ourselves but doing all we can to prepare her for intimacy with the King. The church isn't about making me feel important, but about making His name known.

If we get in the way.. look out.

So, back to the Bride running around the city. It's a wake up call to us. Eph 5:14 is the same, "Awake O Sleeper!"

Romance 13:11, "Wake up, the night is almost gone! Salvation is near!"

If you are awake, and trimming your lamp with oil, be a watchman and point the seeking to their Beloved. If you are seeking him "on your bed," get up. Get out there! Find Him.

Let's live wholehearted and abandoned for Jesus. We can't lose!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Done like Cookies!

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done, oh yes, I'm done, I'm done, oh the Diva book is done!

This day is finally here.... Hoooooooo! Done.

Now to edit, edit, edit. Even as I type this, I'm thinking of holes I need to fill, but the end was written. I'm loving this book. Aubrey James is so fascinating to me and I'm having a blast being a celeb through her.

Today is a significant day as far as being done with this novel. Can't say until later, but it has a prophetic feel - this day.

Last night we had dinner with Jeremial and Laura, Ezra and Avi. They leave Wednesday for Israel. Ezra was so cute calling us Oma and Opa, but when I see him again, he'll be so much older. I never did get to see them as much as I wanted, and now they are leaving, pressing on to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

"We love you guys, very much! We will be praying for you."

Well, believe it or not, I am sitting her with old fashioned curlers in my hair and am about to celebrate the completion of my eight novel by cleaning my house!

Grace, love and peace!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What IS up?

You mothers will not have sympathy for me, but please, humor me.

In the last month, our older dog, Jack, who is almost fourteen, has gone down hill health wise. He's wheezing, hacking, snorting, snoring, moving very, very slow, hips give out on him. We took him to the vet who said he's "fine," maybe swollan glands and gave him antibiotics. (That'll be a $100.)

But yesterday while petting him, I rubbed his throat and he screamed. Have you ever heard a dog scream? And he threw up twice on Wednesday.

Our other dog, Pal, eight, threw up twice yesterday, and this morning at 5:00 a.m. He'd jumped up on the bed with Tony and ralphed. So, we're washing sheets in the pre dawn morning and remaking the bed. Then I noticed the bed in Pal's cage... you guessed it. Ahhh!

And I don't even want to tell you about MY chair. Let's just say Pal likes to bury things.

It's a Commie plot, I tell you. But I'm praying for my little guys. Poor things.

I had a bazillion thoughts to share this morning while dressing, but now that I'm here at the computer - Blank!

Mostly, I need to stop procrastinating and get to work. So close to be finished with Diva. Woke up this morning with clarity on a few issues. God is good!

Say, have you ever considered this? Jesus centered faith, Christianity, is THE only faith or religion in the world where:

1. God became man. All other religions are about man becoming God or attaining some higher state of being.

2. God made a way for man to come to Him. All others are about man finding a way to God, wandering aimlessly down a path that hopefully brings them to some state of bliss. No way of really knowing if their choices are right. It's all a big crap shoot and you hope you end up on the right side of the crap.

3. God appeased Himself with Himself. All others are about man appeasing an angry God or the gods. We have to persuade or conjole them. Not Christianity. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. He is God incarnate, and became the sacrifice for our sins and wrong doings. God said, "I'll pay my own price for their sins."

It's mind blowing. Down right incredible. The One true God loves us so much, He paid the price for sin with His own flesh, and all He asks for in return is we love Him back. And receive His love.

Incomprehensible. What kind of love is this? Pure, beyond human understanding. But available to us. The truth of is simple yet deep, and doesn't require Rhodes scholars to interpret it for us. The Good News of Jesus Christ is for the every-man. For the illiterate in the mountains of Peru or Tennessee.

And all He requires is to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. Listen, we're going to give ourselves wholeheartedly to something. Or somethings. Most of it a waste. Might as well give it ALL to Jesus, be loved unconditionally in return, and spend our affections on Someone and Something that has value in the next, eternal life.

Wow, sorry for the preach! But, God is so amazing.

Okay, back to work.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Pay My Vows...

I did it again last night. Started youth worship with my fav chorus medley weaving a Misty Edwards song with a Rita Springer song with a Shane Bernard song.

Misty - "I pay my vow no turning around, I burn the bridges, they can't be found. I am Yours, I am Your, I am Yours, I am Yours...

Shane - "Lord, I want to yearn for You, I want to burn with passion, over You, and only You...

"I pay my vow no turning around..."

By now the band is kicking it. The bass and drums get into this smooth groove. Then I bring it all down and go to the Rita chorus.

"And I pour my vial of worship over You. I pour my vial of worship over You."

I pieced the songs together when I realized they all had the same progression, more or less, E to Bm to A, or E to Bm to C#m to A to Bm. The combo really works dynamically, and every time, every time I sing, "I pay my vow..." I sense the annointing of the Lord.

There's something about a Yes in our heart to God that moves His toward us. David constantly wrote in the Psalms about paying his vow to the Lord.

Psalm 50:14 "Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High."

I stayed in that groove for about fifteen minutes. It wasn't planned or in the set list, but I couldn't leave the ushering in of His presence. The kids were worshipping. Jesus was loving on us.

What I love about the choruses is the heart cry. "Lord, I worship you, I want to burn in my heart with love for you. If I yearn for anything, I want it to be You. I trust You so much, I'm giving up all my safety nets and comfort zones. I won't give what doesn't cost me. See Jesus, I'm not looking back. I gave my life to You. Here I am, surrendering completely."

Then He responds with His own ravished heart. "You've ravished my heart with a single glance of your eye!'" How pure and radiant in love is He!

He's safe! We can trust Him. We don't need the bridges to our past to feel safe, secure, important or love. It's all in front of us, hidden in the heart of Jesus. Our only real job is to seek it out.

Psalm 57:2 "I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me."

Too often we focus on doing for God and not BEING for God. Just being in His presence. News flash. He doesn't need us. If you need Him to need you, stop, reverse course. He chooses to use you, but first, He chooses for you to just love Him and learn to let Him love you.

Pay your vow to love. Burn those bridges. Trust completely. He will guard your heart and mind with Peace!

Grace out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Woke up Laughing

I woke up laughing. Sorta. I mean I did wake up, but only after I hit the snooze alarm half dozen times. Four o'clock was just tooooo early this morning.

Anyway, about a quarter to five, I'm waking up and thinking it's time to get to work when all of a sudden I remember last Monday at the International Christian Retailer Show.

And I start laughing.

Tracey Bateman and I taxied over to the show with Steph Whitson and and her husband, Dan, along with Cindy Bell. We told the driver to take us to the front of the convention center, but for some reason, he dropped us off at the side (Denver is a confusing downtown) and drove off.

The entry doors were locked. What were we going to do? We spotted a photo shoot going on so one those folks let us in. Looked like they were shooting some Christian band. Couple of young guys mugging for the camera while men and women in suits looked on going, "Great, baby, fantastic, you're going to be stars."

Well, we've got to figure out how to get to the front of the convention center to get Tracey's badge. But it looks like we're in the basement or something. Dan finds the elevator and we ride up. We get off. We walk through a door.

Ta-da! We are ON the convention floor. How cool is this? We're walking around. Not very many people. Tracey wants to find the Barbour booth. I want to find Thomas Nelson. Then we pass the front doors. Low and behold, there are masses waiting to get in.

The show floor hasn't even opened yet, and there we are walking around like we own the place. And Tracey yet without her badge.

This morning, the memory made me laughing. Four forty-five, I'm telling Tony this story.

"Tracey wanted me to go with her to get her badge and I said, 'I'm not going out there.'" So, I waited for her just inside the doors. And bam! They let people in. Oh the humanity!

I saw Joan Marlow Golan right away, then Chris Selby! He's married to our dear friend Christy - whom we haven't seen in forever - and runs his grandfather's minitry, Derek Prince Ministries.

Another writer friend wanted me to give a story synopsis to her agent, who I saw right away among the throng. What are the odds?

I felt so in the right place at the right time. Tracey came back a few seconds later and got to meet Chris.

So, there you have it. How Tracey and I beat the ICRS system.

You know, God is like that with us sometimes. He provides a side door, an extra way in to a situation because He loves us. Some things, He doesn't bend on. Yeah, Jesus is still the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way of salvation.

But then there are thing like the year my company gave me 160 too many vacation hours. I told them five times it was wrong and what my vacation hours were supposed to be. And in the end, I still had 160 hours too many. By then the records were so mixed up I don't think anyone knew how many hours I really had.

They decided last minute my job didn't deserve any more salary, EVER, no matter how hard I worked nor did I deserve any growth path so I could advance and earn money. Looking back, I know God provided for me in another way. Time. I used all four extra weeks of vacation that year. I needed them. And, it was way more "money" than I would've earned in a raise.

Later, the Lord covered me again by giving me two lump sums totally over $3,500. So, you know, sometimes you get to ride the elevator to the side door and be standing there to greet the masses when they are finally let in.

Hey, Tracey! Miss you!


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Six Days A Week

I've been writing six days a week. No less than seven hours a day, depending on the day, usually eight to ten, lately twelve.

Today, I planned on writing, but after getting up early for church, leading worship, going to a lunch to discuss some things with our senior pastor, I was beat! So, I decided to take today off.

Tony and I watched "Knotting Hill." I love that movie. So quirky yet deep in places. You can actually buy this super star American actress falling in love with a quirky English book shop owner.

Brother Joel called. Yay! Loved talking to you, bro!

Pastor Gary brought up a good point in his sermon this morning. Some times God "prunes" us so others can bear fruit. Ouch. Not a refrigerator verse, eh? But, He does. And after our pruning and regrowth, we are stronger and more beautiful than before.

So, guess I can endure the occassional snip, snip.

Am fixing to read a Robin Lee Hatcher book, A Carol for Christmas. I picked it up at the ChiLibris retreat. It looks good.

Have a blessed Sunday, or whatever day it is that you're reading this!

Peace out.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Friday night at the Fire

We did an acoustic set at Fire Dweller last night since Tony's truck was in the shop and Don's was unavailable and we couldn't haul the sound equipment.

God graces us in a unique way when we don't have sound equipment. It's a little hard to hear the prayers, but the anointing is always sweet.

Javi lead on his latin guitar, amazing as always. We fell into some really good antiphonal choruses but without the sound equipment, they were only recorded in heaven. :) Very cool by me. I'm sure I have a catalog of songs in heaven I make up so many, but only God would think they were good. He's all that matters anyway.

Had to sleep in today since I got up at 4:00 a.m. two days in a row, after coming home from Denver with a cold, to work on Diva. I so love Aubrey James, but the story part has been hard to fine tune, but I'm getting there.

This may sound stupid and corny, but there's been a lot of warfare around this book. Unusual level of doubt and unrest. Tony came home late Thursday and just him being home helped the spiritual atmosphere, and yesterday afternoon, I felt a deep peace and knew it was going to be all right.

You know, we forget about our enemy. I think, why would he be bugging me about a Diva novel. I haven't even written the deep spiritual part yet, but he's been harrasing me. Or at least sent his weenie little hinchmen.

Paul reminds us our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood but against powers of darkness, world forces of wickeness in heavenly places.

When you wonder what's going on in the world, and all this crap with Israel and Lebanon and Iran, picture Daniel 9 and 10 where Gabriel and Micheal fought the prince of Persia (Iran). Or imagine the scenes in Peretti's This Present Darkness.

Prayer and fasting is always the key to our warfare. We must humble ourselves before God, crying out for His purposes, His Kingdom to be established on earth as it is in heaven. And it's not going to come without a fight.

But I've read the end of the book. Jesus wins. We win because He loves us.

Don't be afraid. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Never.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My fav movie and my passion

Okay, here's what I answered at the dinner.

Fav movie: Remember the Titans. I love this movie. One, great football story. Two, the humility and strength Coach Yoast and Coach Boon demonstrated during a racially charged time is an endearing lesson for us all. Great music, good action. Great movie.

My passion: The love of God. Wanting people to know how much He loves them. "You're His favorite one!" I'm His favorite one. We have such mad, sad God image. He's mad at us for sinning, or sad and disappointed over our failures. But NO. He's in love with us. He rejoices over us. He delights in us. He calls us into His presence where this joy and pleasure for ever more. (Psalm 16:11)

Our God relates to our weakness. He understands our frame. He's mindful that we are but dust. He paid His own price for out sins with His own Son. How could we believe Him to be the mad, sad God?

My prayer is that the fragrance of God is released through my stories and readers will sense a greater desire for the Lord, even if they don't know where it came from or why.

RT Review for Georgia On Her Mind
I finally bought a copy of Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Georgia On Her Mind had a great review.

Here's the quotable line: "Hauck's first chick lit is splendid!"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Home Sweet Home

The day started early, but I had two good flights home. Matt and Jodi picked me up. Thanks guys!

I was so happy to see the dogs and cat. Jack is still hacking and just now when I held his face to wipe his runny eyes, he wimpered. I think his throat is sore. Poor boy.

I love being home. My own stuff, my own domain. Space. My car. Yet, I had a great time in Denver. Loved meeting so many new people. Loved connecting with old freinds.

The Steeple Hill dinner was very lovely, very fancy. Good time chatting with everyone. We covered all topics at our table, even the taboo ones. Very fun.

Finally talked to hubby last night! Yeah. He was doing well. Can't wait to see him on Thursday.

Finished the bio part of Tom Petty's book today. It's good. For a rock-n-roll guy, he's pretty cool and level. I never realized how much of his music I knew/know.

So, thinking about the question we were asked at the WestBow dinner... What is your favorite movie? What is your passion.

Do you know what I said? What do YOU say?

Peace out.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Anointed me

Let's look at Isaiah 61:1. Cool verse.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me,
To bring good news...

Okay, I'm taking some license and cutting the verse short, but the meaning will be the same.

God has anointed me and YOU to bring good news. Through the written word, the spoken word, music, dance, drama, art, whatever. Wood carvings even.

We have the GRACE of God to be His light, His voice, His hands and feet. But, it's so hard for us to walk in.

Let's break it down. Let's say the President gives you a diplomatic pass to go around the world and work on His behalf. Write, sing, dance, work, build a company, have a family, heal the sick, build a city. Whatever you want and need."

It's the same with God only more so. We have the authority of heaven, a diplomatic pass to be about our Father's business.

If this is the case, why don't we have more confidence? Why don't we pray for the sick more, and give our tithe believing God will take care of us. Shouldn't we be more bold when we talk about our faith, when we pray?

Yes! So, I'm about being confident for the rest of the day. Maybe tomorrow, too. (snicker)

Must be confident about Diva, must be confidence about Diva, am anointed, am anointed.

Going to the Steeple Hill dinner tonight. I am hungry. :)


Denver Three

Tracey and I are chilling. Denver has been a wonderful experience and I'm so glad I came.

I met a new author at the WestBow dinner tonight who is a record producer, and he's offered to help me with my record label thread in Diva. Thank you, Jesus.

The WestBow dinner was wonderful, what a great group of professionals. Tomorrow night I am dining with Steeple Hill team.

It's so good to connect with everyone, meet new people, and remind myself why I do what I do.

God is so good.

The weather is cold and rainy, and I have a cold, but I'm not complaining... just saying. ;)

Peace and Grace

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Denver, too

Another grand day in Denver with writing folks. Learned some good things about marketing and building relationships with publisher.

About 3 p.m. though, I hit the wall. Had to go to my room for some down time. Ate too much today. Grr.

Maureen O'Brien Rojas picked me up at the hotel around 6:00. So amazing to see my sorority sister and college chum after so many years. Turns out, she did not go to Aleta's wedding, so I don't think we've seen each other since we graduated in December '85.

She's as warm, lovely and pretty as ever. We had a lovely dinner, talked like we saw each other last year, then browsed a local, independent bookstore. V. fun.

Mo will always be special to me. She is one of my first memories of Ohio State when I moved to 15th Avenue. It's odd because I'd already been there for a year, and don't remember anyone else like I remember her. I don't remember the first person I met on OSU's campus, but for some reason, on this beautiful fall September day in '83, I remembered passing this cute couple walking arm in arm as I headed toward High Street. She wore a Sigma Chi sweatshirt, white with blue lettering.

Six months later I would pledge Phi Mu and meet the cute girl in the Sigma Chi sweatshirt and become her friend. It was Mo and her boyfriend, Jim.

Isn't that wild? Hum... story line?



Denver - July 8, 2006 - from rh

Am having a great time. Meeting lots of really cool folks. Denver is a really neat city. Hubby is in Guatemala until next Thursday and I miss him lots already. I like have the best hubby, ever.

Need to get back to a meeting, but just wanted to drop by with an update for all you, my faithful blog readers. Snicker.

Oh, I did participate on a Blogging panel yesterday and touted the blessings, thrills and joys of blogging.

Peace in Jesus.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Convergence of time

This afternoon, sitting at my computer, typing away on my story, the phone rings. Area code, Denver.

I answer thinking it might be the hotel, for whatever reason, I'm staying in this week for a writer's retreat and the bookseller's trade show.

No. Way better. It was Mo, Maureen Rojas, my friend and sorority sister from Ohio State! So amazing! We haven't talked in eighteen, ninteen years. I think we gathered for Aleta's wedding in '87.

As if time had never passed, we talked as if we'd seen each other in the past decade. Smooth and comfortable.

Mo called to say she was meeting up with another old friend and sorority sister, Susan, in Nashville and wondered if I needed a research trip. Snicker.

No, I don't, but Hey! I'm going to be in Denver. What a co-inky dink. So, we are meeting Saturday night. I'm looking forward to it.

On the other hand, Lance and Shannon are leaving tonight. We're meeting them for dinner tonight, then they are heading out. Their house of eleven years stands empty. Walking through, I let myself remember the days gone by - Thursday night prayer and watching Friends, Seinfeld and Frasier. Eukre games and Gilmore Girls. Of holding new born Seth, Aimee, Claire or Chloe. Watching movies, walking down to say hi on Christmas.

Gone are the days of mass youth retreats to Georgia and Tennessee. Or leader retreats to North Carolina. Those days have been gone for awhile, but didn't seem so distant when Lance and Shannon still lived down the street.

But, tonight, they embark on the next phases of their life and calling. Moving to Texas for Lance to take a job as Business Administrator and family pastor at a large north Dallas church.

This is an excellent and amazing opportunity for them, but wow, Lance and Shannon, Seth, Aimee, Claire and Chloe - moved away? Feels weird and odd.

The house echoed with the quiet of silenced memories.

But 2006 has been and is about change - growth, expansion, moving onward and upward into the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. Tony and I were counting them up the other day and there are like ten major things happening with us and those around us. With the Lord moving so many boundaries, it makes me wonder, "whatz up!"

Blessings to you, Lance and Shannon. We love you.

Mo, see you soon!


Saturday, July 01, 2006

July already?

Is it July already. Holy schmoly. I am working, working, working. I printed out the whole book so far and read it. Need more editing, more emotion and a back half. ;0

I'm watching Bridget Jones Diary on TV and wow, Hugh Grant looks old. Aren't there any young single men? Are they all 40ish?

Anyway, the Diva is coming along. God is faithful. I'm trying to keep it real, you know? I'm trying to be me, Rachel-the-writer, and not wish I were Sophie Kinsella-the-writer. There is something I have to say, right?

I do so love Aubrey James. I think she's my favorite character ever, I'm just struggling to get all of her beauty on paper, in the story.

GEORGIA ON HER MIND - Reading bits and pieces of this book... I'm so very proud of it. Macy is also one of my favorite characters. She's funny and sweet. I also LOVE the cover. Steeple Hill did a great job.

Well, off to work and not be too distracted by BJD movie.