Wednesday, April 9, 2008


“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Sniff … that line from my all-time favorite book, Gone With the Wind, all but ripped my heart out at the tender age of twelve. So much so that I immediately sat down at an antiquated manual typewriter and pecked out 150 single-spaced pages of what would become, forty years later, my debut novel, A Passion Most Pure. Now what was it, you may ask, in Margaret Mitchell’s novel that inspired a gangly pre-teen to spend sultry summer days banging away on a typewriter?

TWO WORDS: Divine Connections.

Rhett & Scarlett, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak and Faith O’Connor and Collin McGuire (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Each of these couples exemplify that amazing spark of divine destiny when two people meet who are ordained to have a profound effect on each other’s lives.

As writers, most of us love the “divine connections” in romance, but it’s the divine connections in real life that God uses to shape and mold us into the people and authors that He wants us to be. For instance, when I first started to write my book, I knew absolutely NO ONE in the writing industry … not authors, not bloggers, not writers on the path to publication. And definitely not any editors or agents. In fact, the most I knew about agents was what I learned from the movie Jerry McGuire—“Show me the money!” Money? Gosh, all I wanted was for someone to “show me the ropes.”

Enter Divine Connection #1—Tracey Bateman at the first ACFW Conference I ever attended. I had signed up for a paid critique, and God used that woman to give me His first nod of approval that I was on the right track. I honestly had NO idea if what I had written was good or not. I liked it, sure, but would anybody else? Tracey’s kindness and encouragement that day (and, yes, her wise lessons on POV, which I had never heard of before that) boosted me from the ground to the first rung of the ladder. Thank you, Tracey, for the impact you had on my life.

Another divine connection came at the same ACFW Conference when I met my good friend, Diana Brandmeyer. Some of you have already read my Seeker blog entitled “The Hardest Contest”

about how writers’ conferences can wring every drop of confidence out of you and leave you drained. I had a divine connection with Diana that God used to fill me back up with His love and confidence when I was emotionally depleted. He seems to send those “connections” when we need them the most—have you noticed that?

Of course, not all divine connections are dramatic events—some come as inconspicuously as an e-mail, like the one I got from my dear friend and former crit partner, Kelly Mortimer. We were fellow writers who were strangers on the FHL loop (Faith, Hope & Love, the Christian chapter of RWA), and she was looking for a historical crit partner. Boom! We connected instantly. The same thing happened with simple e-mails I sent to other ACFW writers I didn’t know at the time—Seeker buds Ruth Logan Herne and Pam Hillman. Today, I count these women and the help they have given me among God’s greatest blessings.

Of course, not all divine connections are with one person—sometimes it’s a group, like when I met fellow Seekers and GH Inspy Finalists Janet Dean, Myra Johnson and Tina Russo. Overnight we bonded like epoxy and formed our own little loop called The Golden Girls, which provided each of us with incredible support for months leading up to the 2005 RWA Conference.

On the heels of that association came another “group” divine connection known as The Seekers—when clever Ruth Logan Herne got tired of butting heads in contests with the same finalists and decided to “pool the power.” Thus the genesis of The Seekers—fifteen contest-rockin' hot mamas, cast as "contest divas" online, who joined forces to form their own private "journey to publication" loop. Their goal: Pray each other into publication, no matter how long, or how far the journey. Their motto: We shall leave no woman behind. Now I ask you, is that a “divine connection” or what?

I still remember the shiver that traveled my spine the night one of my prayer partners prayed for a “divine connection” for me to get published. At the time those two words struck me so hard because they pierced straight through to my spirit. A “divine connection,” indeed, ordained by a divine God who loves each of us to the depth of our being. And He sent mine in the form of an innocuous e-mail received late one night from someone named Natasha Kern.

As a GH Finalist, I had been encouraged to “make hay while the sun shines” and send out tons of queries to both agents and editors, which I did. Out of the twenty-five agent queries I sent, most required the typical three chapters and a synopsis. Only one requested five pages and a synopsis … and only one responded favorably. When I saw the e-mail addy of top agent Natasha Kern in my inbox, my heart sank. Dear God, no … another rejection! And when I saw that she wanted me to express-mail my bulky manuscript to her in Portland, Oregon so she could “read it on a plane,” my heart sank even lower. Even I knew that agents come from New York, not Oregon! And how could one person request a manuscript after reading only five pages when twenty-four others had said “no” after three chapters? And who, for the love of God, would ever want to drag a 500-page stack of paper with them on a trip??? There was no other explanation—it had to be a hoax. But it wasn’t—it was simply what I have come to recognize in my life as another “divine connection,” masterminded by the #1 “Agent” of all time.

So keep your eye out for those “connections” we all take so for granted—crit partners, fellow loop members, bloggers who become like family, writers and nonwriters who touch you through a comment or a post, etc.—and whisper a prayer for them and a prayer of thanks for God’s touch in your life. Then get out there and connect some more—by sending an e-mail to someone who requested prayer on a loop, posting an encouraging comment on someone’s blog, or just letting another writer know when their words have blessed your life. Because His “divine connection” is there in every heart you touch and every kindness you bestow. And someday soon, God willing, those simple “connections” may lead you along a path toward one “divine connection” where all your dreams come true.


  1. Beautiful post, Julie. Thanks for sharing. I am totally out of toes and fingers for counting the divine connections in my life.

    Besides the Seekers in the last few years I am blessed to have "connected' with folks like Gina Welborn, Carla Capshaw, Jordan Dane and Sharon Sala. Lovely generous women who graciously give and continue to bless my life.

  2. I read your blog with a lump in my throat. And a great deal of envy. May God take the envy away. I feel divine teaching as I write. I feel divine inspiration. I feel divine compulsion to write. But to date, I have never made one of those divine connections you describe. I pray every day that I won't fail to be obedient to the call to write, but I feel very, very alone on that road, not separated from God, but certainly separated from people. I should be encouraged by your words. If God wants my work to connect with any readers, then some other divine connections will happen. Today, I don't see them. May God purge out the envy I feel and increase my faith that he will craft the outcome.

  3. Katherine, this blog is a divine connections.

    I think you're making it harder than it needs to be.

    Getting connected is, I think, fundamental to getting published, not required of course, but it helps.
    And you're getting to know people right now. It was through a connection to an author that I got my first contract, not an agent or editor. So keep getting to know people, in sincerity of course, and you just never know where that could lead.

  4. Oh, Julie, your post is making me all teary-eyed. What a silly girl I am.

    My first divine connection came in 2001 after an agent hand wrote me a note saying she liked my "voice" and if I wanted to revise my opening so my leads meet in the first ten pages, then she'd re-look at my ms. She also encouraged me to join a crit group and RWA, enter contests, and go to conferences. Well, at the time I had no idea how to change the opening, but I did take her other advice.

    So I joined Charlotte Dillon's RWClist and the crit group. A gracious lady by the name of Linda Windsor took the time to teach me how to critique. Through RWCcrit, I also met Kristen Painter who invited me to join a fledgling writers forum,, and later we formed a critique group together. Saying Kristen has blessed my life is an understatement.

    A year or so after joining Romance Divas, a spunky little Asian chick popped up on the site. I can totally see how God introduced me to Camy to get me to open my heart to the inspirational market. Camy is the sole reason I joined FHL, ACFW, and FinishtheBook.

    While I'd met a few inspy gals through those lists, coordinating the long contemporary category of the TBL contest brought a Texas spitfire into my life: Mindy Obenhaus. I don't think I could have gotten through RWA nationals last year without Mindy. Her prompting forced me to overcome my cowardice to go to the Steeple Hill open house, where my baby puked on Missy. Sorry, Missy.

    But the most amazing divine connection came after I finaled last year in the Golden Heart. A few days after finalists were announed, Tina e-mailed me. Who is this contest diva and why is she e-mailing me? All I knew about Tina was that I'd see her name as a finalist in a ton of contest, so I figured she was finaling and I was not, then I probably wouldn't like her if I knew her. That I hadn't entered any of the contests she'd finaled in mattered not (except for the GH2007). Isn't odd how our jealous minds can cause such stupid reasoning?

    But other than Kristen, Camy, Mindy, Kelly Riley, prior to the GH final and my TBL involvement, I didn't know that many other inspirational authors. And I figured if they met me, they'd probably think I was to weird to be a published inspy author.

    Yet, as Tina and I conversed, if she ever thought I was weird, she never said anything...and kept talking to me. I decided she was 1) a really nice person or 2) just liked weird folks like me.

    So a month or two ago, she asked me if I'd guest blog on Seekers about my GH experience, and I said sure because I like to talk and why would I pass up an opportunity to talk? I'm weird. Not nutso.

    Throught Tina's divine connection, I've met several amazing ladies who have richly blessed my life. Free prizes tend to do that to someone who has the spiritual gift of receiving.

    Sometimes I wonder how my life and my writing would be different had I met Tina six years ago. But I think God knew I wasn't ready for a Tina, a Mary, a Ruthy, a Melanie, a [fill your name in here] six years ago. I needed all those other ladies first to teach me the things I needed to be the writer I am today.

    And just to make this post even longer...

    As I've been writing, I've heard a song in my head: "Mountain of God" by Third Day.

    Granted, the song is about God, but for a moment, when I think about it in relation to the divine connections I've made...:-)

    I confess from time to time
    I lose my way
    But You are always there
    To bring me back again

    Sometimes I think of where it is I've come from
    And the things I've left behind
    But of all I've had, what I possessed
    Nothing can quite compare
    With what's in front of me
    With what's in front of me

    After all that I've been through
    Now I realize the truth
    That I must go through the valley
    To stand upon the mountain of God

    How joyful it is to have a friend by your side as you languish on Unpublished Island and in Published City.

    How blessed it is when that friend is a sister in Christ.

  5. Dear, dear Tina -- one of my "favorite" divine connections -- I totally agree that once we start connecting with others on this path to publication, we rapidly run out of digits! Thank you for being one of the first of my top ten fingers!

    Oh, Katherine, your post has given me a "lump in my throat" as well! My heart aches for you because I felt (and still do at times) the VERY same way! We ALL do. But Mary's comment is sooo dead-on -- coming to this post everyday and sharing your heart IS a "divine connection" on YOUR road to publication! A golden opportunity for others to get to know you, and you them.

    Getting connected isn't easy for everyone. I like to joke that I am a recluse who has the misfortune of having an outgoing personality, but it is true. It was NOT easy for me to go to conferences and meet new people, make connections, but through God's grace, I did. One step in front of the other, with a lot of tears in between. You can do it too. You've already begun, my friend, with your visits and heartfelt comments on this post. Rebuke that envy in Jesus' name and pray for the culprit who provoked it, then keep on connecting.

    Mary, what can I say? Your comment said it all. Thank you, my friend. And by the way, I am speaking at my old high school today, to a junior/senior creative writing class. I have printed your "ABCs" Seekers blog from Monday, April 7 (that you gave me permission to use), as my handout. Great stuff!

    And, wow, Gina, talk about teary-eyed!! I still remember when Tina contacted all of us Seekers about a wonderful woman and writer by the name of Gina Welborn. My friend Tina nailed it. You are such a blessing to The Seekers -- thank you for your continued support and your beautiful gift of prose.


  6. Julie, what a wonderful post. You expressed my feelings on divine connections so well that I feel quite unnecessary at this moment.

    That won't keep me from talking, mind you...


    What some people call coincidence (which I do believe happen sometimes) and others call fate (which I see as God's path for us) are those wonderful connections. And Gina, you put that so beautifully, that maybe six years ago it wouldn't have worked out the same to meet your new-found friends, because we were all at different points in our lives.

    Rascal Flatt's "Bless the Broken Road" is a great song with a wonderful message of traveling these paths. Great analogy to Julie's post.

    And since we're all serious here, can someone please tell me if I should wear this v-neck sweater to my meeting later today, or the ballet neck? I'm partial to the ballet neck, but I don't want to be like all formal and 'I'm all that' kind of girl... (meeting with the head island aborigine, looking for historical references to using the island in a book) and the right neckline is just, oh, so important, don't you know?

    And do you think I should wear my ivory cords or simple black slacks? Ivory might show the sand fleas we've all been fighting lately (Tina, how did that coconut shampoo work for you, darling? Did it kill the wee beasties before they spread?????)and I so want to make a good impression.


    Toothpaste would be nice, too. Hey, mainlanders!!!

    Send some Crest, would ya'?

    Katherine, Mary's right. Hooking up over here in Seekerville IS a divine connection. Girlfriend, you know we don't necessarily see the divinity in the connection right off, right? Like a fine wine (oops, I said wine...) those connections often have to age a bit, grow better with seasoning.

    Okay, I won't toss in the whole soup analogy again, but a connection is like part of a good recipe. Then each ensuing branch from that connection is the seasoning.

    Kind of like an erector set gone mad!

    Julie, wonderful job.

    And Mary, you gave me nothing to make fun of you about, so thanks very much for RUINING MY DAY!!!!

    What's up with that?


  7. Fantastic post, Julie! And Gina, your comment could stand alone as an inspirational post all its own!

    It's all too easy to discount any encounter as a "divine connection" if it doesn't lead directly to the results we most want. Which, for many of us, is a book contract.

    But the writing life is more often a series of slippery or half-submerged stepping stones than a straight shot across the Golden Gate Bridge. I think God wants us to pay more attention to the little steps along the way and stop worrying so much about the destination. That's His department.

  8. I've been on an interesting journey over the last nine months since I quit my job of six years.

    The one thing that has been impressed upon me over and over again, is to Walk Through Every Door.

    Sometimes that is as basic a divine connection as there is.

  9. Ruthy, Thank you for being such a "divine" connection in my life -- from your very insightful and helpful critique as a judge in the Barclay, to your endearing and tenacious tyrancy (no, this is not a word, but it fits better than "tyranny"). You almost always make me laugh. Notice I said "almost." :)

    Whoa, Myra (who is another favorite finger on my nail-bitten hand) -- beautifully put, as usual. Love ya lots, my friend.

  10. Julie said: "Whoa, Myra (who is another favorite finger on my nail-bitten hand)."

    Um, care to explain this???

  11. Sorry there was nothing to Mock, Ruthy.

    I can find ten thing to make fun of in YOUR post.

    Interesting. Wear the black slacks and the V-neck.

    It's freezing in my building today. Near as I can tell, they turned the air conditioner on full blast, even though it's COLD outside.

    I'd like to make a divine connection with a space heater about now.

  12. Mary, darling, it's just sooooo important to carry warmth in your heart through these trying times...

    And wear long underwear, woman. It's only April and you live in some outpost hinterland of Nebraska...

    I think they wear skivvies until Independence Day, don't they, sweetums????

    And then drag it back out on Labor Day?

    Anyway, that's what I heard.

    And Jules, I caught that "almost..."

    Big grin here.

    Jules and I are enough alike that when we get passionate we yell, wave our hands, stomp our feet...

    You get the picture. Because we are so danged sure we're right, even when we're wrong...

    Celtic stock. Stubborn, boneheaded, passionate, fiery and somewhat annoying.

    Katherine, I love what Julie advised you. Grab that welcome mat and cast off those bad feelings as what they are... The devil's work. Yeah we all feel bad at times, and if you ever need someone to just call and yell at, or need to be yelled at by someone, I'll be glad to do it.

    Or if you want to cry on a shoulder, I've got two strong ones. We take this writing game seriously, but we take it step by step and we're a tough bunch of old hens.

    (I'm not really old, I just say that so I fit in with the others. You understand...)



  13. I don't know if I've met any divine connections yet, but I do know that thanks to blogs like this and the RWC group I just joined, I feel connected to people like me. Writers. I used to feel so alone, the bookworm who never talked (because I was shy, LOL) but knowing people online is great. It's easier to be open this way, I think. And I love talking and critting other writers because I always wonder, are they about to be published? Are they about to see their dreams come to a fruition of sorts? It makes the interaction special. Because we(writers) have dreams, and we're working towards them with hope and perseverance. Anyhow, thanks for the wonderful blog post. Based on the number of comments, I think your words really resonated with us readers. And by the way, thanks for saying how this blog came about. I always wondered.

  14. Divine Connection .....I like it! I'm going to start praying for mine today!

  15. Julie, there are too many wonderful connections along this publishing journey to even begin to list them. Thanks for the reminder to celebrate them!

    I felt strongly impressed earlier this week when Kimberli said she felt disconnected with other writers to throw a suggestion out there....something that has occurred to me several times over the last few months as I read some of the other comments from our visitors.

    Katherine's post brought the thought back to me stronger than ever.

    So, here it is...

    Pray about it and form your own yahoo group of writer friends. I can't guarantee that it will be as special as the connection the Seekers have found with each other. It took us a year or more to really get to know each other, then another year to know how any one of us might respond to something. Then ANOTHER year for some of us who are more reticent to really open up with the others.

    10 to 15 members is ideal. It’s enough people to just about always have 3 or 4 people around to yak with, but not so many that you can’t get to know them very well.

    You need at least TWO snarky people in your group to keep things lively: we have Ruthy and Mary. Snarky people have to be smart and think well on their emails. So, if I were forming such a group, I’d invite Gina. Gina is your Ruthy. But Gina needs a counterpart to be Mary??? Who could that be? Somebody funny, quick with a comeback, and who can dish it out as well as take it.

    Next, you need someone who is a cheerleader and always bouncing off the walls with excitement: you need a Julie. Tina is the glue that holds us together. She’s an idea man…uh…woman. And she has REALLY good ideas.

    You also need an ostrich. I’m the ostrich and when I post one of my panicky emails, I can almost hear Ruthy groaning, “Here we go again.” Wait….I don’t ALMOST hear her. It’s usually loud and clear. Okay, you don’t NEED an ostrich, but have pity on one and invite them to join. lol

    The final thing you need is absolute, irrevocable trust.

    Maybe the thought of forming such a group is scary, and maybe it’ll fizzle like a wet firecracker, but you won’t know until you walk through that door….

  16. Ruthy sez: She and Julie are Stubborn, boneheaded, passionate, fiery and somewhat annoying.

    Mary sez: I'm sure Julie is just THRILLED to be paired with you, Ruthy darlin'.

  17. I actually heard that the publishing industry is developing an aerosole spray for people like me.

    Thin out the troublemakers.

    Correctly patented, they'll make a fortune.

  18. Sniff, sniff. Going to stick my head in the sand since we've got so much of it around here.

    Next thing Ruthy and Tina will be discussing how good roasted ostrich might be.

  19. Hey!


    If we're out of fish, we can have OSTRICH tonight!!!!!


    Pam, that's a great idea, and I love that I'm Julie's favorite tyrant (note the NOUN as opposed to the adjective), a snark to Pam (who is an ostrich and she and I both know why and she needs to STOP IT now), and just a general bastion of good will to everyone else.


    Where the heck is Mary?????

    Can't someone pick on her today?

    Oh, that's right, she's blogging at Petticoats and Pistols, ramping up pulses with her talk of Eliot Spitzer having his wife stand beside him for his infamous televized leave-taking, and Bill and Hillary's 60 Minutes interview, and...

    other interesting political figures caught in the throes of domestic dispute that they try to cover up.

    So, okay, I'll take the compliments and abuse today, but tomorrow it's SO HER TURN!!!!

    Back to the group formation:

    Don't forget you need someone techno-savvy.... Camy comes in very handy there.

    Someone with passion that burns for both God and men... One man in particular, but she's not above noticing others.

    A Julie.

    And no group would be complete without at least one minister's wife named Missy. I put an 'anti-Missy' in a new book and NAMED her Missy, just because I needed an overblown, not nice, heavily made-up Missy to balance the scales. No one can possibly be that good, can they?????

    And we wouldn't exist at all if Sandra hadn't had the guts to work with me before I knew anyone, and help me clean up my pov's, my language (who knew???), my scenes, my characterization, my bathrooms...

    Oh, okay, she doesn't do bathrooms, but every group needs someone who isn't afraid of the snark.


  20. See how well we know each other? I knew Ruthy had ostrich cannibalistic tendencies even before SHE did!

    (I'm working on it, Ruthy. Truly!)

  21. Oh what a divine appointment this post provides for me today! Ladies, my oldest son made his profession of faith two nights ago, and God used two of the Christian fiction books that I'd recently blogged to help him reach that point!

    There is a REASON to write good fiction! There is a REASON to read it! It changes lives! Keep on keeping on! My son will share heaven with me because someone was faithful to their gift and wrote the words God gave them!

    Excellent post!!

  22. Hmmmph. Still trying to figure out what I'm doing in this group. Except for competing with Ruthy in the whining department.

    Seriously, Pam is right. We all had to take time to get comfortable with each other and to trust each other implicitly. And we've become the Ultimate Accountability Group. Nobody gets away with nothin'! Especially quitting.

  23. I'd like to point out a few other Seeker attributes.

    There is Camy, who like is the genius whiz kid of the group. The Caminater can do anything. NO, REALLY, ANYTHNG. I think it up and she snaps her fingers and makes it happen. She is amazing.

    We have a few members who are just nice. That is their calling in life, gracious and sweet and generous and kind. Debbie and Cara are prime examples. I don't actually totally understand them yet but I am taking it on faith that I will some day.

    Janet, you cannot really pigeon hole. She is this fashion diva who is just a class act. And when you least expect it she open her perfectly color coordinated lips and says something OUTRAGEOUSLY HILARIOUS!!!

    More Seeker insights later....

  24. You know, I don't think I took the time to get comfortable with any of you. I just started making fun of Ruthy and...three years later...I'm pretty much doing the same thing.

    There's more to the Seekers???

  25. God bless her, Debby, never slaps me for spelling her name wrong either.

    Pam does the Seeker stats. She tracks the ins and outs of every possible statistical algorythmic combination conceivable. Most nights she is not sleeping but computing the probablility of pretty much EVERYTHING. We've done interventions a few times..oops I wasn't supposed to tell that was I??

    If the Seekers had to incorporate then Glynna would be our CEO. The woman is a corporate one woman show and is another unique and amazing member with a heart bigger than the NYSEC.

  26. Myra.

    No one competes with me in whining. I take the prize, hands down, and it's not even a contest. One whining Diva allowed per group, and I stepped up to the plate first, so just back off, no whining allowed for you.

    I thought we made that perfectly clear at the beginning.

    Did ya' throw away the rule book, woman?


    No doubt Pam has it in triplicate, and backed up on her computer by an outside source.



  27. Well Mary, we all have our callings.

    Let's see who is left?

    Sandra. Amazing woman. Busy woman, with her finger in dozens of projects. Don't underestimate her. She has a lot of market savvy. Sandra is a total earth mother.

    Missy. The sweetest Georgia, pea pickin' little gal with a wicked sense of humor. Spew alerts often needed.

    Audra. If she were a CareBear she would be called GentleHeart. People are drawn to Audra's gentle personality.

    Myra. I love Myra because she has this dry, clever wit. She's a very intelligent woman too. I like being around smart, funny empowered women.

    Am I done yet??

    Cheryl,is a work in progress. I don't think I can pinpoint her. Maybe you shouldn't try to define high energy sources. She bubbles over with joy and is a phenom but at the same time is very disciplined...hmmm.

    Finally Julie our Scarlett O'Hara. Who doesn't love Julie?
    She is such a GIRL. High octane GIRL with such a passion (most pure) he he he.

  28. Oh my, fried ostrich tastes just like chicken. Or at least I'm assuming it does 'cause I ain't ever gonna eat ostrich. That's like eating Big Bird.


    Good thing I'm going to Pasta Luna for dinner. It's buy one adult meal and get all the free kids meals you need for all the kids you have with you. I'm thinking about rounding up a handful of chitlin from the neighborhood to tack on to my three.

    Three, I say?

    Yeah. I got rid of the two littlest. Sad. 'Cause they were the cute ones. And the tornadoes. Oh forget being sad. Rejoice with me and my one week of freedom.

    Katherine, I feel your pain. Connecting with fellow writers takes time, effort, and INVOLVEMENT.

    For me, one of the most beneficial meeting places was coordinating the TBL long contemporary contest last year. I got to exchange e-mails with several entrants, three of which who entered again this year.

    If you are a member of a RWA chapter or ACFW, then volunteer to help with a contest or with a conference. Great people meeters.

    I met Kit, one of this year's GH finalists, because she entered TBL. She lives in the same city as me, just about 20 minutes from where I live. Talk about a divine connection. I didn't know an ACFW chapter had formed here. She told me about the group and the next meeting, which was last Saturday. I met some WONDERFUL writers, and not all wrote inspy romance.

    Another great way to meet people is on an agent or editor blog. If you're targeting Barbour, then their editor blog is for you. I've read some amazing posts of theirs.

    Okay, my kids are ready to go to Pasta Luna. I wonder if ostrich is on the menu?

    It tastes like chicken, ya know?

    Umm, Ruthy, I'm a pastor's wife too. So what's your anti-Gina character like? I'm sure she's demure, gracious, and wears matching clothes. Hmm. What a dull girl. ;-)

    Must go eat pasta...

  29. Tina did a superb rundown on the occupants of Seekerville. But talk about smart, empowered women! Tina sets the standard!

    And Ruthy did her usual outstanding job of putting me in my place. Now I shall go practice my whining technique. I refuse to be outdone.

  30. Julie you gave me goosebumps reading your post. Oh and from your first line i knew it was you.

    I know i have made a few devine connections on the internet in the past years. This week proved it, when i was feeling at the end of my rope early this week cos no one seemed to be ringing or visiting from the church here (besides the normal 2 or 3) and i was really scared for mum. I had a friend from America actually ring me Then another friend could feel my frustration that i was feeling down sent me flowers. Then email from friends and strangers saying they are praying really helped.
    Im feeling so much better. The scan showed nothing but mum was alot better yesterday. We are now praying its a reaction to the tablet shes been on for over 27 years. But the dr will keep her till she has a couple of good nights.

    Tina, I love Cheryl cos she mentioned Cricket in her book and wants to come to a game with me when she comes to Australia.

    Oh I should remember to have food when i read here cos i always leave hungry.

  31. MYRA SAID: "Whoa, Myra (who is another favorite finger on my nail-bitten hand)." Um, care to explain this???

    Grin. Sorry, Myra, it was a really bad play on Tina's comment that she is "totally out of toes and fingers for counting the divine connections" in her life. At least I didn't imply you stink by calling you a toe ...

    Uh, Mare, did you ever "connect" with the space heater, I hope???

    And, Ruthy, you credit me too much when you call us both "Celtic stock. Stubborn, boneheaded, passionate, fiery and somewhat annoying." Since I'm only a quarter Irish, whereas you are, ahem, a higher percentage, does that mean that you would rank a little higher on these traits than I??? Cheesey grin right back at ya kid.

    YEAH, Jessica!!! Good for you for getting connected with the RWC group (or did you mean RWA? If not, I'm dying to know what RWC is!). And what a great perspective you have based on your statement that said:

    "I love talking and critting other writers because I always wonder, are they about to be published? Are they about to see their dreams come to a fruition of sorts? It makes the interaction special."

    AMEN to that!! It helps soooo much to focus on others and cheer on their success rather than letting the devil take us down our own painful path to publication. What's really nice is we don't have to FEEL like cheering others on, we just have to DO it! It's called obedience, and God ALWAYS blesses it in spades!!


  32. AusJenny, glad you have had some good news to ease your concerns. We are all still praying and have your mum in our thoughts.

    And I love that I get to say mum when I talk to you. It sounds so cool.

  33. Tina, Thanks
    See you need a resident Aussie on the board. I will teach you our word for whiner too its much better its whinger
    and i admit i have been whinging this week a bit.
    But there have been plus's too.

  34. Hey Robin, you go, girl!! Something else I prayed for on a regular basis (besides a "diving connection"), were judges in contests who were my market, meaning they liked the type of romantic tension that I love too. I prayed for that as soon as I entered the Golden Heart in 2005, and I honestly believe that is a HUGE reason why I finaled.

    Pammy!!! What a brilliant idea!! Ostrich, nothing ... Tina's not the only "idea man" here, sweetie. I especially like the requirement of "two snarky people" in the group. Wouldn't our lives be truly dull without Mary and Ruthy??? (And Gina!!) Oh, and by the way, I always wanted to be a cheerleader ... NOT!! :)

    MARY SAID: "I'm sure Julie is just THRILLED to be paired with you, Ruthy darlin'." Actually I am, Mare, but only because she's Irish. Smile.

    And, Mary, five comments??? What, aren't you working today ... or did another elder die on the reservation?

    RUTHY SAID: Someone with passion that burns for both God and men... One man in particular, but she's not above noticing others. A Julie.

    Aw, Ruthy, now don't go getting all nice on me now. It throws me off.

    KIM SAID: Ladies, my oldest son made his profession of faith two nights ago, and God used two of the Christian fiction books that I'd recently blogged to help him reach that point!

    OMIGOSH, Kim, that is WONDERFUL news!!!! Not only are the angels dancing in Heaven, but I'm ready to bounce off the walls with happiness for you and him!! Praise God for this AND the fact that Christian fiction sealed the deal that YOU began with prayer and hard work. And thank you, God, for Your faithfulness!

  35. RUTHY SAID: Did ya' throw away the rule book, woman? Wait. No doubt Pam has it in triplicate, and backed up on her computer by an outside source.

    LOL ... omigosh, Ruthy, another coffee spray on my keyboard. You gotta stop that, woman!

    MYRA SAID: Still trying to figure out what I'm doing in this group. Except for competing with Ruthy in the whining department.

    Myra, you are the calm, graceful beauty with the golden pen (and necklace, I might add a bit snarkily!). You calm me down just being around you and your post yesterday was truly inspired. And you are NOT a whiner ... at least not one of Ruthy's caliber. :)

    And Tina girl, I love you forever for letting me be Scarlett O'Hara!! Although most people think of her as a witch, I'd let them think anything as long as I had Rhett ... I mean Keith. And, awwww, a "High octane GIRL with such a passion (most pure)." I like it!! :)

  36. Gina, GREAT ADVICE about volunteering to judge a contest or work at a conference -- those are wonderful ways to make "diving connections"!! And I am sooo thrilled you found a DC (divine connection) with Kit and the ACFW chapter 20 minutes from where you live. Their lives will NEVER be the same!! :)

    AusJenny, I am soooooo glad your mum is doing better and I am praying that it's as simple of a fix as changing medications. You are a TOTAL blessing, Jenny, to ALL of the Seekers, my friend. We love you!

    And, Tina, I LOVE when Jenny calls her mum "mum" too!! And "whinger" is even better than whiner! Kind of a cross between a whiner and a swinger. Not sure Ruthy is game for that, however. :)

  37. Everyone is alive and well and I posted on Petticoats and Pistols today and tried to stay involved over there AND I got well over my thousand pages done.

    One of these days...I'll hit the wall, but for now...all is well.

    Ivan got a bit of an injury farming today. Ouch. He's okay, farming is a battering business though, poor baby.
    You could pray for him to feel less battered in the morning.

    I'll tell you some time about the time he got his fingers smashed between a wagon and a metal frame, just SMASHED flat like paper, seriously.

    No broken bones. No idea how, I swear his fingers were thinner than bones. But he shook it off and went right back to work.

    No THERE'S a Irishman. Strong stock

  38. What a lovely post. I love connections......that's what life is all about.....they're happening all the time.

  39. I'm sorry I got here late! My house has been invaded by the dreaded streptococcal virus and child #2 had to be taken to the dr., petted and coaxed to take her yucky blucky medicine.

    Wonderful post, Julie. Divine Connections. Thank you, God. Keep 'em coming. Please.

  40. Very touching post. Praise the Lord for all the 'divine connections' we make every day.

    Aren't God- breezes great?

    Western Australia

  41. Mary, saying a prayer right now for Ivan ... and YOU, because you're the one taking care of him! :)

    Jeannelle said:
    "I love connections......that's what life is all about.....they're happening all the time." Amen to that, sister!! And they get overlooked all too often, which is really what I was trying to say.

    Melanie, sooo sorry about the strep -- nasty stuff. I'm saying one right now for you guys.

    And, Lee, you're right -- "God- breezes" are the best. Great term!!
    Thanks for stopping by.


  42. High octane GIRL.

    Oh I Love this. This SO tags Julie. Well, the passion tagline does too, but Julie is a High Octane Girl.


    I wanna be a High Octane Girl instead of an ostrich.

    Okay, I'm not really an ostrich. I'm a Detail Oriented Girl

    But High Octane sounds so much better.

  43. Maybe my tagline could be:

    It's all in the details, dahling!

  44. Gina said: For me, one of the most beneficial meeting places was coordinating the TBL long contemporary contest last year.

    Oh, Gina, thanks for saying this. Katherine, et al, if you feel left out of the writing community, volunteer for something. ACFW and RWA chapters need volunteers.

    The connections will LONG outlast the job.

  45. PAM SAID: "Okay, I'm not really an ostrich. I'm a Detail Oriented Girl. But High Octane sounds so much better."

    Grin. Not really, Pammy. Just means I'm a lot "gassier." :)

    And I like, "It's all in the details, dahling!" People like me make a lot of noise ... but people like you make a lot of progress in the details.


  46. Just now catching up with the posts from late yesterday. I kiss my computer nite-nite around 6 p.m. every day. Must eat supper and veg.

    And ROFLOL about all these "diving connections"! When did we take up SCUBA???

  47. You're a very smart girl, Myra Johnson! Wish I had the will power to turn the computer off.

    LOL ... "diving connections"??? I should have stayed in bed!! :)

    Love ya,

  48. Beautiful post, Julie!! Very touching.

    Kim, thanks so much for sharing about your son!!! That's an amazing story, and very encouraging.

    Melanie, I hope you can get rid of the strep bug quickly! We haven't had it visit since my daughter got her tonsils out in January--praise God! I had begun to think we had our very own private collection of bacteria. (Well, I guess we did. It lived in her tonsils!)


  49. I enjoyed reading your post Julie. The way you share things be it in your book or in posts like this always seems to gently point back to the Lord's direction in our lives.

    As for Divine Connections - I'm not much of a writer as far as anything published or aspiring to be published goes but God puts all of us in the right places at the right times to find our own niche if we let him. For me the one that first comes to mind is meeting my friend who is now a published author but at the time I didn't even know she wrote - we actually connected as avid readers and other reasons entirely but when she got the "nudge" to get her book out and finda publisher I got the honor of being a reader for her as well as helping to get it into electronic format since it wasn't yet. I've since read those pages more times than either of us managed to keep up counting. This friend also gave me the reviewing bug (as I call it). She decided all the advance readers ought to post comments on the MySpace site for the book so of course I threw something together - well she turns around and suggests book reviewing which so far is merely a hobby but at least it is a somewhat self supporting one- LOL.
    And yes of course I thought well if she says so I might as well give it a good try and ... well I ended up hooked.

    In the process I've also connected with some great people and wonderful authors besides finding books that I love.

    (Oh and please don't enter me in the drawing this week)