Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Peter and I have a lot in common

Don't you love Simon Peter. Big heart. Big mouth. Impulsive, easily discouraged.

I can relate, Pete.

But I've learned what NOT to do by studying his life as much as what TO do.

On walking on water

Peter had enough faith to ask the Lord to call him out on the water. But not enough to keep him from the discouragement of his surroundings.

Lesson to self: Be bold enough to ask the Lord to "call you out onto the water." But then keep your gaze fixed on Him, not the circumstances.

On denying

Peter knew the power of fear. So much so, he denied Jesus three times in the most critical hour of his Lord's life. But he recognized his weakness and wept in repentence.

Lesson to self: You are going to fail. Weep in repentence.

On discouragement

Even after the Lord rose from the dead and apeared to the disciples, Peter gave in to discouragement. He said to James and John, and the others, "I'm going fishing."

Bascially, he concluded, "Jesus is gone. It's over. I'm going back to my old way of life."

Lesson to self: The temptation to go back to the way things used to be might lure me to give up the calling God has put on my heart. Don't surrender.

On love

Peter broke the bonds of his discouragement, the chains of his denial by responding to the Lord's call of love. Three times Jesus asked, "Do you love me?"

Odd that Jesus would ask, "Do you love me?" instead of saying, "Peter, I love you."

Because Peter needed to hear his own confession of love and Jesus' response, "Feed my sheep."

Jesus didn't challenge him, "Why did you deny Me? I told you, I told you." No, Jesus affirmed Peter's love by restating his call. Peter's weakness didn't disqualify him.

Lesson to self: Confess my love for the Lord in hard times, then listen for His confirming, affirming call to my heart.

Grace and Peace.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Journey

For me, each book is a journey. Faith. Hope. Craft. Story. Peace. Grace.

When I wrote Diva NashVegas, the Lord spoke to me through Isaiah 41:13. "I will help you." I had days where I struggled and wondered, "Are you helping me?"

He was, yes. Was it easier to write? No, but He fulfilled his word. And, the rewrites were nominal.

With this book, I add to my arsenal the strength of past victories. David is 1 Samuel 22 finds the sword of Goliath in the care of a priest. He says, "Give it to me, there is none like it."

David used the strength, the sword, of his past victory, killing Goliath, to aid him in his current battle against Saul.

And with this new book, I have a new concept to walk out. The story of Peter walking on the water. To know I can ask of the Lord and He will answer. To remember NOT to focus on the wind and the waves, but keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. And, if I start to sink, steady my gaze on Him again.

I'm determined not to cry out, "Save me, Lord," only to hear Him say to me, "Where's your faith?"

So, I've begun my third book for Thomas Nelson. I'm very excited. Still working out the character and the story. I know what I want to happen, when and why, but it's the dance of words and story that make it hard and at times, frustrating.

Another great thing in my life now is LESS. Yes, less is more. I have less week day and week night activities, so I have more time! After years of being out 2, 3 or 4 nights a week, and occassionally seven or eight nights in a row, I'm now free.

It's a season, just like the busy ones. But I'm so grateful for it. I'm much more relaxed. I don't have to weave writing around a nightly meeting or a mid-morning appointment.

At the same time, I'm taking commmand of my time. I'm not going to be lead where I don't want to go. I want to invest my time in things I value.

So, sorry cyber space, but you are not first in the morning any more. Prayer and the Word. Writing. Exercise. Chores. Exercise and chores can be flexible of I do have an engagement or did not reach my word count.

I realized, too, while writing Diva, I was using up all my creative energy by blogging or writing email. When it came down to working on the book, I was pooped. Plus, when book concept is hard, it's easy to procrastinate and put off the job at hand.

Grace and peace, and a little walking on water . . .

Friday, November 24, 2006


Hey everyone. I know it's late notice but I'm siging Lost In NashVegas tomorrow from 11 - 1 at Calvary Chapel Melbourne.

Mark Mynheir and Bryan Davis will also be signing.

Come if you can.

On another note, I know the blog is messed up and I've contacted my web mistress. Hang tight. And to the Michigan State fan who commented about being disappointed I was a Michigan fan … NOT!

I am a Buckeye fan all the way. I bleed Scarlet and Gray.

Let's keep it straight now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Evening at home

We're at home on this Thanksgiving evening with a fire in the fireplace after a very nice Thanksgiving day.

I actually made Grandma and Mom's yeast rolls. They turned out great.

At the moment, Tony is reading and I'm wathing old Andy Griffith TV shows on PBS. When we came home, I said, "Well honey, how's it feel? The Christmas season has started."

Then I turn on the TV and PBS is running old Bing and Andy shows and WGN is playing "White Christmas."

ITunes is offering Ohio State vs Michigan games for download. I bought the 2002 and 2006 seasons. You know, the years we won. They have two others and I'm sure those are Michigan victories. ;)

Tomorrow we'll put up our tree and I have to finish Diva galleys.

Peace in this season to you all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Win a Free Lost In NashVegas

Hey all,

I'm blogging all week over on www.myccm.org. Comment on one of the post and CCM you will be eligible to win a free copy of Lost In NashVegas.

In January, the book will be on the books page of CCM Magazine.

Thanks to Chris Wells for being such a friend and support.


It's Thanksgiving Eve and my friend Camy Tang blogged about things she is thankful for. Good idea.

1. Jesus. My friend, my love, my Lord. If you don't know Him, you should. He is so amazing.
2. My husband. What an amazing man, a true gift from God to me and so many others.
3. My wonderful Mom who is forging a new life as a widow, but embracing change and overcoming her fears. I'm proud of you, Mom.
4. My siblings: Danny, Joel, Peter-John and Rebekah, and their families. I love you all, very, very much. And my in-law family! What a great bunch you are! Mom and Dad Hauck, I love you.
5. My Grandma who still drives at 92. She is brave and enduring.
6. My Church On the Rock family, and Fire Dweller. Friday nights are my favorite night of the week.
7. My writer friends, Christine Lynxwiler, Susan Warren, Tracey Bateman, Susan Downs, Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Kristin Billerbeck, Denise Hunter, Camy, Mary Griffith, Lynette, Robin, Cindy Woodsmall, Amy Wallace, Meg Mosely and Marci Burke for being there in various ways and various forms. I appreciate you all. I'm sure I've left off people, but you know who you are.
8. My editors at WestBow, Ami McConnell, Natalie Hennaman, and editor at large, Leslie Peterson. Thank you a million times over. And everyone at WestBow/Thomas Nelson.
9. My agent Karen Solem.
10. My car. I like my car.
11. David White who makes me look like I know what I'm doing for Sunday morning worship and Friday night Fire Dweller when it's my turn to lead. I really appreciate you.
12. Eric Exely for being you.
13. Cassie, Carrie, and Elizabeth for being jewels in my heart.
14. Laura, Jer and the boys. Also jewels in my heart.
15. I'm thankful to do what I do - write for a living. Lord, you are such a God of fulfilling dreams and destinies.
16. My health. I'm thankful for that!

All I can think of for now and I have to get to work... Perhaps more later.

Peace and grace

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Buckeyes Over Michigan

Biting my thumb nail, I watched the game with Tony and my brother-in-law, Helmut, as Ohio State battled Michigan for the Big 10 title and really, the national championship.

OSU has looked so great all year. Troy Smith has been an excellent team leader and quarterback. The team seemed to gel in a way I haven't seen a college football team gel in a long time, if ever.

There have been great football teams. But the 2006 OSU Buckeyes will go down in history as one of the greatest: Smith, Wells, Ginn, Gonzales, Pittman, Hart, Robiiskie, Laurinaitis, the whole team, as men who played as one unit.

The church could take a lesson.

It was an offensive battle, but Ohio State pulled it out: 42 - 39. I was praying.

Thanks God, for winning football seasons.

Grace and peace to all!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Best Feeling

I've been around babies most of my life. I have three younger siblings and started baby sitting when I was ten. Okay, not baby-babies, but for sure by the time I was thirteen, I was baby sitting infants.

We spent the past weekend with my sister who has four children, 13, almost 11, 2 and seven months.

I saw the baby for the first time. She was fussy the first day. Apparently, cutting teeth is nasty business. But the second and third day, she was so sweet. Monday morning, I held her in my lap for about 2 hours. Peacefully sitting.

This, I thought, is my most favorite feeling. Holding a baby. I love their smell after a bath, the warmth of their baby breath, the sound of their laughter, but I don't think there's anything like cuddling a baby.

As an adult, I haven't been around babies as much. And not having any of my own, I'd forgotten the place in my heart that only a baby can touch. Especially a neice or nephew.

What are your most favorite feelings, or special moments?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Welcome Robin Lee Hatcher

Hello from crisp and blustery Idaho where it isn't hard to believe we are entering the busy holiday season. Brrrrr.

Thanks, Rachel, for allowing me to visit on your blog. I'm looking forward to reading your novel, Lost in NashVegas, about Robin Rae, a country music songwriter. When you read the next few paragraphs, you'll understand that the reason is more than just one writer wanting to read another writer's book.

In the fall of 2004, I was in Illinois and Indiana for a couple of Christian cable TV interviews. Alone in my hotel room on my first morning of the trip, I was supposed to be working on my WIP when instead I wrote these paragraphs:

There exists a strange moment between sleep and wakefulness when dreams cease and realism remains at bay. That was when Roxy's heart spoke to her most clearly.
It’s time to go home.

Roxanne Burke had given Nashville seven years to discover her. She'd offered her voice, her face—and eventually, her body—but despite her best efforts and dedication, despite her desperate grasps at the brass ring, country music and stardom didn't want her. Roxy was worse than a has-been. She was a never-was.

This became the first draft opening for my novel, Return to Me, a book scheduled for release in 2006. But as often happens in publishing, things changed. Zondervan decided they wanted to release the book in July 2007, so they asked me to write a Christmas novella first.

Because I was already over a hundred pages invested in Elena and Roxy Burke, the sister protagonists of Return to Me, I had a desire to know more about the love story of their parents, Jonathan and Carol. And so the imagination began to churn.

I thought back to my first Christmas as a teenage bride and the struggles young couples can have as they try to meld different Christmas traditions from separate families into something new and unique to them. I thought of how difficult it can be for two unique individuals to learn to act as one flesh, submitting to one another, loving unconditionally, no matter the circumstances.

That was the starting point for A Carol for Christmas, but by the time the writing was done, it had also become a story about the desires of the heart and how God wants to change and use them for His glory.

Since both A Carol for Christmas and Return to Me feature women who love to sing country music (yes, I am a fan; I'm a rodeo loving, former barrel racer, Idaho cowgirl), I've been asked if I sing. In fact, one An interviewer asked if I had a good voice or if my dog hid under my bed when I sang. LOL.

The truth is, I love music and have the heart of a great singer, but alas, not the voice. My singing borders on being a "joyful noise." I can stay on key (most of the time), but perfect pitch and a significant range are not among my gifts. Still, in my car or around the house, I am usually singing along to something -- contemporary Christian, worship music, country, golden oldies. The louder it's cranked, the better I sound. As long as I can praise God with my life, I am content, with or without that great musical voice I wish I had. Which is why writing for Him is such a blessing.

In Acts 20:24, Paul says, "But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus -- the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness and love." (NLT)

The same is true for me. And so I write fiction because that is the work He has assigned to me.

I hope you and your readers will enjoy A Carol for Christmas. It's in stores now. For more information, visit my Write Thinking blog at
http://robinlee.typepad.com and my web site at http://www.robinleehatcher.com.

In the grip of His grace,


Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. However, she's certain there are better plots and fewer calories in her books than in puffed rice and hamburgers.
The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin writes both historical romance and contemporary women's fiction. A Carol for Christmas (October 2006) is her 50th release, and she has four books slated for release in 2007.
Robin enjoys being with her family, playing with Poppet (her high maintenance Papillon), spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She is passionate about the theater, and several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying Shakespeare under the stars. She makes her home in Boise.

Rachel here: It's a great honor to have you stop by today, Robin. Thanks so much. You are today and always, an inspiration. I can't wait to read more about your country girl!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Off For Awhile

Well, Tony and I are off for awhile. Vacation. But, I'm working. I have to. This book has to get legs and wings or it'll never fly. LOL.

It's weird however because I'm in this Bookmuda Triangle.

Lost In NashVegas is out this month so I'm working on some publicity stuff, answering emails, did an interview with a guy in Australia last night.

Diva NashVegas galleys are on my dining room table waiting for me to read and edit. I so love this book.

Sweet Caroline, my new work in progress, demands my whole writing heart and mind. But I feel pulled, a little, not alot. And with a new work, it's always easy to focus on what I've already done and not face the fight of pressing forward.

But, alas, never fear, I can do all things . . .

Well, better go pack.

Grace and peace.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Interview with Martha Rogers

Writing is an amazing yet trying journey. And in the shadows along the way are rejections, disappointment and writers block. . .

Perseverence is a must. Since I’ve been an ACFW member, one particular member has stayed-the-course longer than anyone I know, Martha Rogers. I’d like to share her testimony with you.

RH: Hi, Martha, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Martha: Rex and I have been married for 47 years this month. (October 24) We were blessed with three sons who married great girls and have given us 9 grandchildren. I'm a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science degree and University of Houston with a Masters in Education. I taught homemaking and English for 28 years and English at the college level. I've also supervised student teachers for University of Houston for 5 years. My hobbies include making my angel teddy bears and other crafty projects.

RH: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Martha: Almost as soon as I could talk. I begin writing stories for my paper dolls to act out when I was in kindergarten. I also wrote skits for my cousins to act out for our parents and grandparents.

RH: What was the first thing you wrote beyond those kindergarten stories?

Martha: I wrote a novel at seventeen: Broken Barriers about teenagers in the fifties. I have that manuscript and have worked on it, edited it, and fine tuned it, but it hasn't found a home. It was really bad when I started working on it again, but now I think it's a pretty good story.

RH: Did you submit it for publication?

Martha: I didn't submit it until a few years ago through my agent. At the time I wrote it, I did it just to escape into a fantasy world. I loved doing that. I knew nothing about publishing.

RH: We both know a lot of authors who are raising children, working full time jobs, active in ministry. Can you talk to these busy people about the seasons of life?

Martha: When my two oldest were babies, I jotted down ideas for devotionals, short stories and such. I have scores of journals where I wrote down my thoughts and ideas. Each week we had one day where the boys decided what we were to do. (Usually a museum, swimming, a picnic, or the zoo.) We had one library day and after we picked the books up, we came home and read. We had an "at home" day when I would write and they would play games in their rooms. I collected a lot of fodder for scenes doing things with them.

RH: How did you manage working, family and writing?

Martha: My writing seasons were leanest were when the boys were growing up and I taught full-time. Having to grade so many essays and research papers squelched my own interest in writing for a time. When the boys were older and the youngest was in middle school, I went back to school for my Master's degree. That's when my writing really took off again.

RH: You had some early success with non fiction articles, right?

Martha: The first articles I submitted were accepted and appeared in Home Life Magazine. Before that I had entered a number of contests for short stories and articles, but hadn't won any. Then I was contracted to write 8 Bible studies for First Place.

RH: What about fiction?

Martha: My rejections started when I began submitting fiction. The first ones really hurt. I cried and thought I'd never write anything else, but then the desire to write pulled me back. They still hurt, but I know each one means I have more work to do

RH: Talk about the highlights in those tough years. What was the silver lining?

Martha: During the sixteen years of sending submissions for novels and getting only rejections, I had the silver lining of articles, devotionals, and Bible studies being published.

RH: In those years of writing without being published, what is the most valuable lesson you learned?

Martha: To keep writing and making each rejected manuscript better for the next submission.

RH: What advice would you give to someone who's been waiting more than a year to be published?

Martha: Be patient. You're just getting started.

RH: More than 10 years?

Martha: Persevere. The Bible tells us to persevere and not give up for at the proper time we will reap a harvest. We have to work by God's timetable, not ours.

RH: What advice would you give to someone who is weary and contemplating writing suicide. "I quit."

Martha: Put it aside for awhile. If you're a serious writer, the Lord will fill you with a desire so strong that you simply must write. You won't be able to let it alone for very long.

RH: Was there a verse or scripture that motivated you?

Martha: I have so many that I call up from my memory for different situations, but one that stays with me is Jeremiah 29:11. Since God knows the plans He has for me, all I can is keep myself ready for whatever those plans may be.

RH: Describe your brightest moments in your writing journey.

Martha: The first was when I saw my first article in print with my name as the by-line. And then when I signed the contract with Barbour for the Sugar and Grits, I realized "Hey, maybe I can do this after all."

RH: We all have had mentors and friends who aid us along the way. Who are people who've helped you and how?

Martha: My friend Wanda Shadle got me involved with Inspirational Writers Alive! and encouraged me to attend conferences with her. Then DiAnn Mills took me under her wing and taught me so much. She formed a crit group with Kathleen Y'Barbo and Myra Johnson. When Myra had to drop out, Janice Thompson joined us and they have been the greatest teachers.

RH: What advice would you give to a new writer?

Martha: Attend as many conferences as you can. If you're limited to one, try to make it the ACFW one. You won't regret it. Get your baby polished and fine-tuned then send it out there.

RH: What advice would you give to an experienced writer, but unpublished.

Martha: Hang in there. Keep writing and submitting. Join a critique group and get feedback from others. Attend those conferences and network.

RH: Tell us about your first fiction book. Title, release date, how publication came about.

Martha: It's a novella, Not on the Menu in the anthology, Sugar and Grits. It will be released in May of 2007. DiAnn, Kathleen, Janice, and I submitted the proposal in 2001. We never received a rejection. It just kept floating around until Susan and Rebecca decided it was time for to be published.

RH: What's next for you?

Martha: I'm busy with a historical, but if I hear from either of the proposals out there, I'll get busy on completing those novels.

Thank you Martha for inspiring us in our writing and walk with God.

Freedom Is Dangerous

Blog from Tony:

When I taught high school science I was continually trying to get my students to understand concepts and principles that, when mastered, could be applied to all sorts of problems. Most were surprisingly resistant. Their preferred method was to learn the "steps" for each type of problem.

They wanted to get the right answer because they were concerned about their grade, but they weren't really interested in truly understanding the concepts.

I guess this is human nature. I saw the same type of thinking this last Halloween at our mall outreach. I won't go into detail, but let's just say the event was a magnet for religiousness. Good people, with good hearts, who want to do it right can end up being religious because its easier.

We just want to get the right answer, learn the steps, and we end up solving problems with rules instead of through relationship.

It's a lot more work to stay tuned to His Spirit and adapt to each situation by His leading.

I've noticed that church leaders can also fall into this trap. There are always problems to confront, and its much easier to make blanket rules than to wade in and pastor the individuals. But every time we do this we are limiting freedom for everyone because a few abused their liberty.

What an incredible risk Jesus is taking by setting us free so completely, and then empowering us on top of that. That leaves us with tremendous potential to accomplish great things, but also (and these cannot be divorced from each other) similarly great potential to mess things up. But if Jesus isn't nervous about this, maybe we should lighten up and give each other grace.

Bottom line; we will mess it up unless we stay close to the heart of Jesus. There is really only one step, one rule. You can look it up in John 15:4-5.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trip to Beaufort, SC - Day 5

Beautiful day. Went on the ACE Basin Tour at 10:00 a.m. I thought it was a half hour, forty-five minute boat ride. Turns out to be 3 hours.

But it was so peaceful and relaxing. There were only a few of us on the tour boat. The water was smooth and glassy. White clouds floating across a sun lit blue sky.

There were dolphins swimming with us. Birds among the marsh grass. We spotted two bald eagles. too. That was amazing. The tour didn't add much to my story needs other than to get a feel for the people and the area. Learn about pluff mud.

The owner of the tour worked with the crew of Forest Gump to stage and film the shrimp scenes. It was cool to hear about it. The guide pointed to a dock and said, "That's where Lt. Dan met Forest at the shrimp boat."

Met up with Catherine for a few minutes, then talked to a cafe owner. She gave me a lot of good info.

Connected with my editor, which is always good. We talked for a bit about the story. I'm feeling better.

Went out to Luther's tonight to hear Branan Logan and give him a copy of Lost In NashVegas. He's a great singer and phenom guitar player. Very nice guy, too. Very personable. Met his friends and girlfriend, Beka, who was also very nice and sweet.

My time in Beaufort ends today. I'm going to Helen, GA tomorrow.

But this has been a great trip.

God is so good to me!