Monday, October 4, 2010

Wisdom--Drivel--Whatever

First of all, I'm doing a give away of Wrangler in Petticoats today. Hopefully that's enough to make you read on. And for our birthday month, all month long, all your comments will be put in the hat for a drawing to WIN A KINDLE. So get involved, check back everyday because we're havin' a month long
BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR SEEKERVILLE!!!!!!!

The theme of this month is our Writing Life. Each Seeker will tell you what her writing life is like.

I'm in the middle of a terrible struggle here.

Do I tell the truth?

Or do I make this entertaining.

Oh, yeah. I can hear it now, TRUTH! TRUTH! TRUTH! TRUTH! TRUTH!

But really, is that what we're here for? Seriously?

Okay, the truth. Hmmmm….

I seem to write sort of compulsively.

The thing is, if you write for ten years and have twenty finished books on your computer and you get a book published, people say you've got a great work ethic. They say you're persistent, you pursued your dream, you're dedicated.

If you NEVER get a book published, they say you're got obsessive compulsive disorder and stage an intervention and try to get you into therapy, if not a psyche ward.

So I got published. Phew!

I look back on all those years of writing, writing, writing and I just don't know what possessed me to do such a thing.

My writing life is born of some kind of natural love for putting words down on paper. Add in I just am passionate about reading. I can remember reading my first Mary Higgins Clark book and closing it and staring at that book and thinking, "How did she do that?"

How did she make this book into a roller coaster ride? What does it take to write like this?

I remember her, Walter Farley and Clive Cussler when I write. They have a gift for dragging you right into the middle of the action and absolutely refusing to let you escape.

So, wait, that's not my writing life is it. Rats! Okay, I write 1000 words a day. Every day. Seven days a week. I let myself off the hook if I miss, no big deal. I'm a Christian, the concept of forgiveness and starting new each day is alive and well within me.

But still, I write 1000 words a day seven days a week. Sometimes more. Rarely less. I'm not particularly finicky about my environment. I can write in an airport. I can write for ten minutes, get a phone call and talk for ten minutes, then turn right back and write some more.

I can write early or late. In quiet or noise. That's my writing life.

I think maybe it's pretty boring. I mostly stay home. I work five days a week at a day job. I'm an insomniac and to some extent writing helps me keep my sanity. (and why, oh why, do I know Ruthy will have a 'keep your sanity?' remark to make.)

I really don't think of writing as something I DO. I think of writing…being a writer…as something I AM. I look back and see I've been writing all my life. Scribbling always, everywhere. I'm surprised I haven't written on my walls.

The one thing I remember so vividly is when I began writing Petticoat Ranch, which ended up being the first released book of my published life, I knew what I wanted. Vigilantes. Romance. Cowboys. Comedy. Action.
I remember staring at that blank computer screen...I've always loved starting a new book...I remember thinking...Remember everything you know. Apply everything you've learned. I focused on that screen and I knew I had to explode my beginning. I had to show instead of tell. I had to dump the backstory and weave it in slowly. And I started typing. That's my writing life.
I write.
That is pretty much 100% of it.

So, do what you will with all this wisdom (drivel—whatever).

Now, to pretend like this was interesting--and the way I pretend is by racking up a bunch of comments, I'm giving a signed copy of Wrangler in Petticoats to one lucky commenter. (lucky is the spin I'm putting on it, let's all join hands and go with that, huh?) And your comment today gets you in the drawing for the end of the month KINDLE drawing, a Kindle loaded with Seeker books.

Leave a comment and tell me about YOUR writing life. And if you leave multiple comments you're going to get more chances to win.

I apologize for that pathetic ploy.
And I'm sorry...I should have gone for entertaining instead of truth.

339 comments :

  1. I've been writing all my life too and have a few published articles but that first novel is an elusive thing. I have one on my computer -- just not ready to throw it to the wolves yet. And the one I really want to write is just a gleam in my eye at the moment. I wish I could take a class from you. I love your books! I'm always waiting for the next one to come out. Keep writing because for now at least I am a much more prolific reader than writer.

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  2. Yeah, I'm a prolific reader too MzKCKitty. And I just dream of being a writer. One day I know I'll write...I'm currently building up life experience to make my writing more realistic. Ha! That's what I'm telling myself anyway! And this is very much needed because I lived the first 22 years of my life in a very sheltered world...kind of cultish. So yes, so far only 10yrs of real life...I think a bit more will do my writing wonders! So meantime, I'm reading. Lots. Loving Julie Lessman's books and looking forward to reading other Seekers books too!!

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  3. I have been writing since I was little, however I haven't written in a long while - too long! Life has a way of forcing its way to the front...
    I am also a prolific reader as the two commenters above stated! :)
    Kim
    lonebanana(at)msn(dot)com

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  4. Hi Mary:

    I love truth. And I loved meeting you in Indy.

    I don't have 20 books in my computer, but I'm getting there.

    Like you, I love starting a new book. But I'm holding off right now because I have a couple things to finish up before I can dig in.

    I don't know how many words I write per day. Once I get past the planning stages and start a book, I do 3-5 pages a day. I guess that's near your word range. I used to hammer at it 7 days a week, but I would develop a buzz in my head. So now I slap my hands to keep them off the project on Sundays.

    Have no idea how to use a Kindle, but I promise to learn if I'm the lucky winner.

    Helen

    Coffee's on!

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  5. Truth's always the best way to go! Thanks for sharing this and would be thrilled to win your book! Hope to see that the rest of those books are published soon!

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  6. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this, Mary! :D That's quite inspiring that you write a set amount each day (although I'm glad to hear that forgiving yourself when you don't make it is OK!). I confess that I need something like that, some sort of system if I ever hope to finish my first manuscript! I've been so busy lately, but I know that if I simply made it part of my routine and maybe spent a little less time blogging and reading, that it could probably work. ;) I'll have to think about that...

    Anyway, I would love a chance to win your book! :D Thanks so much!

    ~Amber

    stokes[dot]a[at]suddenlink[dot]net

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  7. I would love a chance to win your book, Mary!

    I know I already said that, but I'm going for the multiple comments thing, you know... ;)

    ~Amber

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  8. Does anybody want some Christmas cookies? The church I'm attending while I'm at school had a meeting tonight during the time I was helping with AWANA, and since they were asking for donations to give Christmas money to the missionaries, they had Christmas cookies at the meeting. Which means after AWANA, guess where everyone went?

    The table with the cookies and punch. (Just in case that wasn't clear.) So help yourself to some ginger snaps and sugar cookies!

    ~Amber

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  9. Ummm...what else can I say? Happy birthday, Seekerville!!!

    Should I stop by later to get more chances at your book, Mary? ;)

    ~Amber

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  10. Not that we don't appreciate the multiple comments Amber (hehehe) but only one a day gets a vote for the Kindle, my dear Christmas cookie girl.

    We don't want to start a riot here.

    OH MY@@@

    And I on the other hand HATE starting new mscs..I prefer editing. Starting new ones frighten me.

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  11. I'm not yet brave enough to put pen to paper and write anything down but I always get ideas in my head at night when I'm trying desperately to sleep. I think I wrote an entire childrens book in my head in one night (it was about cars, go figure)! So I guess you could say I'm a fellow insomniac LOL!

    XOXO~ Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. @ Amber- I like cookies (hint hint)!

    And I think I was one of the first few people to "like" Seekerville on FB, do I get extra points for that? ;-)

    XOXO~Renee
    steelergirl83(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. However today multiple comments do get you more chances at Mary's book.

    Mary is so EASY.

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  14. Hmm, Mary recognizes multiples, huh?

    Helen

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  15. Tina,

    *sigh* I guess I'll be satisfied with only ONE entry for the Kindle contest...

    ...good thing Mary likes multiple comments, though! I really would like her latest book, if you couldn't tell! ;)

    ~Amber

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  16. Renee,

    I would love to read that children's story! Is your favorite Pixar movie Cars, BTW? ;)

    Help yourself to the cookies! Makes me long for Christmas and home...

    ~Amber

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  17. Mary,

    Can you tell yet that I would like to win your book???

    Oh, and I have candy corn if anybody wants some candy fitting for this season! ;) It's the "Autumn Mix" that has the pumpkin shaped ones and the chocolate flavored ones mixed in with the original favorite!

    ~Amber

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  18. Mary, Anyone who can connect with readers the way you do is not boring! I'm sure many thank God you take that solitary, disciplined time to write because of how you lift them up with the end product! I've only experienced a few of your books, but the folks you created brought a smile to my heart. (Since I can't compete with Amber, I put all my stuff into one comment!)

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  19. I am still learning about this writing thing....however I am a reader...big time. It is my most favorite hobby.

    I am working on the writing thing... it is slow going ;)

    I am in awe of the 1000 words a day Mary. That is awesome :)

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  20. I have written all my life. Before I wrote, I read everything I could get my hands on including the matchbox covers at restaurants.

    I have written sermons, published devotional materials and articles, and blog because I can.

    Now I am looking for a new challenge and hang around here because the learnin' is free!

    I brought Stayman apples back from the mountains. Grab a few on your way out.

    Peace, Julie

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  21. Ok firstly im not a writer but I can understand the 1,000 words a day. I guess when you get on a run the words just flow (says someone writing a report today. I did over 1,000)
    for my with the reports its the starting thats the problem. with the one I am currently doing I just started with ideas and the different areas needing to be done. its on an abstract promotions campaign and starts with planning meetings to the recommendations. I found buy working my way through words just flowed and I had a draft which could then be fixed up.
    I do know I couldn't do it on a regular basis so do admire the dedication of writers.

    I was able to get Doctor in petticoats (I hope I got this right.) a few weeks back in Australia Im hoping your new one comes here really soon.

    Im not sure if aussies can enter here so you get on long post from me.

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  22. The truth can be somewhat entertaining, Mary.

    I useta could write those 1000 words everyday. And am trying to get back to it.

    I've been known to write wherever I can on whatever paper might be available (started keeping notebooks around when I can) papertowels, receipts, napkins, etc

    I understand the concept of having a lot of stories and hearing "Isn't that nice, you're a writer... What else do you do?". Makes a body want be published so people don't think you're weird.

    Although, I manage to get published and some people sti think I'm weird. Oh well, guess I'll just write more and prove them right

    tpinson.co(at)netzero.net

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  23. You have got 22 comments already and it is only 6:48AM where I am. I'd say you got your Seekerville birthday wish for a lot of comments. My mom loves your books. I've won one, bought some, and checked a few out from the library to fill my literary needs since I don't write.
    gasweetheart211[at]netscape[dot]net

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  24. Golly, amber

    You must REALLY want Mary's book or something. LOL

    I love sugar cookies btw.

    Don't you just love it when you're entering the security words to post and the computer keeps trying to fix it?

    tpinson.co@netzero.net

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  25. Loved your post, Mary. Very entertaining. Love your humor.

    I try to write five days a week, usually eight hours a day. I start at seven in the morning so I’ll have time in the afternoon to do other things.

    I Like beginnings, but like editing to--very much--but like writing THE END the very best.

    Now, please pass the
    coffee.... ((8^>

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  26. BTW, Mare,

    do we have to put our email address in each comment if we hope to win your book?

    :)

    tpinson.co@netzero.net

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  27. Sorry, it posted my comment twice....coffee? Did I mention coffee?

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  28. You're making me jealous!!! LOL My writing life is slow. I'd like to do 1k a day but it's more like 1k every other day, and just a few hundred on off days. But I can definitely get into the zone of writing to wear I somehow don't hear my children. LOL

    Great post, Mary. :-)

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  29. Great post, Mary! I’ve made up stories all my life (remember the poor cows on my grandparents farm), but didn’t put any of them down until this spring. When I sat down to write my first ms it was like the story was dying to get out. Now I have two completed manuscripts and just started a third, but I hate to think of all the stories I’ve thought of earlier that are lost because I never wrote them down. I discovered I write like I read. Some days only a few hundred words and some days half a book. And in any environment either quiet or with T.V. and mp3 player going at the same time. I love getting home from the day job to discover what my characters are going to do that day. I honestly don’t know from day to day what they’ll be up to even when I try to give them guidelines. This freaks my non-writer friends out. How can I not know what people I create are going to do? So they just nod and smile. :o) I love starting a new project and actually kind of dread writing “The End” because I end up liking the characters so much, but then I get to visit them again while editing.

    Doctor in Petticoats was so wonderful ! I can’t wait to read Wrangler in Petticoats!

    --Kirsten
    kanavyhist[at]aol[dot]com

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  30. You're so cute, Mary, and just as sweet as you can be. Thanks for being my cheerleader during the conference!

    Writing life, hmmm? Well, I didn't really like books until my second grade teacher sat my mother down and told her I was a brown thrush(you know those little groups they put you in in school; red cardinals, bluebirds, yellow--well, you get the picture.) So my mother, God bless her, MADE me read, but nothing like 'Dick and Jane. See, my mother knew I had been making up stories in my heads and thought I was bored with two little kids running after a dog named Spot. So off to the library we went and my love of books soon blossomed.

    As far as writing, I like to get 1000 words a day down. Putting my backside in a chair to do it isn't the problem it once was(just a glance at my backside can verify that fact!) And just this July, I proved to myself that when pushed, I can write an entire book from opening paragraph to the happy ending.

    Happy Birthday to all of you at Seekerville!

    Patty
    pattywrites(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  31. To clarify, I only have one head, not the heads I refer to in my previous post! Though in my case, two heads might not be so bad. . .

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  32. Dear Brown Thrush,

    That was an adorable story.

    Sincerely,

    Red Robin

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  33. Published = Good Work Ethic
    Unpublished = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    LOL! Great illustration, Mary!

    I'd love a chance to win your book!

    jprivette1(at)roadrunner(dot)com

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  34. Hi Mary,

    What you don't shadow cowboys to write your books like Castle shadows Beckett? (Hopefully you watch Castle!)

    Thanks for a peek at your writing life.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

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  35. Thank you, I'm glad you like to write and that you are so good at thinking up a good story! I really enjoy reading your books!

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  36. Mary - whatever you're doing works because a) you have an adoring fan base and b) you already have 36 comments as I start writing this and it's only 7AM central and c) you shameslessly plug well.

    Besides all that CONGRATULATIONS again on your big win!!! Great photo by the way. Love the jacket. Were you wearing boots with that?!

    Yay Helen for the coffee, though I'm in a tea mood today now that it is morning.

    For me, I won a contest in 5th grade - on deep sea fishing of all things... and I've been published in Inc Magazine twice (must I mention that they were letters to the editor?). In fact, I get published often in the LTTE section. :)

    So I've been writing a long, long time, just never a book, though I knew I "had one in me".

    A few years back I was blessed to be able to take the Christian Writers Guild course. Wawzah. If anyone gets the chance and has the inclination, that is fantastic. I learned so much and met some great people (online). In fact, because of one of my mentors, Dave Fessenden, I found you Seekers!!!

    Long and short of it, I started writing the current story, May on the Way, a bit over 3 1/2 years ago. The basics are the same but even yesterday, a new twist came to mind (thank you Lord) and it continues to improve... I trust!

    I write in spurts. Not as consistent as I should be but more consistent than many.

    We shall see. It's getting there.

    You mentioned Walter Farley, Mary. Read them all, and finally got my own dream Arabian. Now we have her daughter too. God is most gracious. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. And thanks to all the Seekers!!! Y'all are quite special to us!!!

    may at maythek9spy dot com

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  37. Oh I don't know. That entertained ME at 5:20am!

    I can't count on 1000 words a day, but 1000 is my goal. It's my "feel good about myself as a writer and human being" mark. Many days I make it. Some days, when it's plotting or research that's needed, I might only write 500. Or 50. I've been known to write 3000 words in a day.

    What I admire most from this post is that you can write anywhere, anytime. I so wish I could. I need to be at home, in an empty house, wearing earplugs, and only at my desktop computer. But I'm blessed to have this scenario usually 5-6 days a week. Very occasionally 7, but I find I'm much better off to get out of the house Sunday after church, and go out into the wilds for some mountain-therapy time. That's part of my Sabbath.

    Lather, rinse, repeat daily... for nearly twenty years.

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  38. You Brown Thrushes and Red Robins are young 'uns. In MY day, you were sent to GASP "remedial reading".

    Never a problem for me though. Was blessed with an amazing first and second grade teacher (same one, long story) who introduced us to McGuffey's Eclectic Readers. And by the time I got back into public school I was way, way ahead.

    Those readers are still available, even on CD... They were written in the mid-late 19th century. (You know, when people had a 5th or 6th grade education and ran the country?) ;D

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  39. Oh my goodness, what you started, Mary! Yikes, you'll have a 100 comments by noon!

    Maybe 50 if you block Amber...

    AMBER, we'd NEVER block you, girlfriend, YOu just keep on commenting -- let's see, does that fit the Good work ethic or the Obsessive Commpulsive Disorder?

    Either way, I love Ginger snaps.

    Mary, I don't care HOW you write your books, just keep writing them!!

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  40. Walter Farely! Seriously! You mentioned the one author who fueled my dreams of being an author. In fact this summer I found the exact copy of The Black Stallion book I read in the 4th grade and snatched it up. (I think my friends thought I lost my sanity when I grabbed up that book and squealed. I had to refrain myself from jumping up and down clutching the book to my chest like a schoolgirl who's crush just asked her out!) I'll never forget reading Walter Farely's bio and seeing that he'd published his first book at the age of 21. I wanted to do that! And though I'm older than 21, I'm still going to do that.

    As to my writing life, I'm still trying to find a workable solution. I typically write when the mood is on me, getting anywhere from 500 words to sometimes 3,000 words in a session. Oh the curse of being a pantser.

    All my kids are old enough to be in school, so I write when they're gone, I need the quiet. But I've been known to write when it's noisy and only because the story has engaged me deeply and the kids are background sounds.

    I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  41. Mary, even your truth is entertaining. : )

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  42. Mary, I think you've started a riot...of comments. LOL. It took me longer to read them then it did your blog!

    Because you asked: I write best in the morning but have to adapt and write whenever I have a snippet of time since I have a full-time job and a part-time job. Sometimes I write a sentence at a time. I've been pretty good at writing up to 1000 words a day but yesterday I was very proud of myself 3212!!!! That's what happens when I get a few quiet hours to myself. Usually it's me and a scrap of paper on a jostling bus. :-)

    Even though I LOVE your books, please don't enter me in the draw for Wrangler in Petticoats. I have it on order at my bookstore and am expecting a phone call any day now to say that it is in!!!!!!

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  43. My writing life has really taken off lately because I made it a priority. Before it was often therapy. Now it is a compulsion. I read, read, read. Then I write, write, write. I have the day job too and children and a husband, so you kind of have to work around the distractions. My goal everyday is to get to 1000 words, but I often stop around 800 (seems to be a scene ender for me sometimes), and I'm very forgiving of my shortcomings (maybe a little too forgiving).

    Anyway, thanks for the post. I always love when writers discuss how they write.

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  44. Mary,
    I loved your comment on you don't think of writing as something you do, it's who you are!

    My writing is haphazard - somedays I get to write - many days, I don't get to write. Hahazard is driving me nuts - I'm usually scheduled down to the minute!

    Blessings!!

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  45. I did write a book in second grade.

    As a youth I would jot down poems.

    In my teens and onward I always wanted to write but wasn't sure what to write about that people would love to read.

    I love to read a variety of books.

    But now I mostly paint and dream.


    Thank you for the chance.

    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  46. Good morning Seekers!

    Just had to come by and harass, uhm, chat with Mary. She is funny. I can hear her talking when I read her books. It's her voice. No really, her voice I hear. :)

    I do hear voices. Good thing no one knows where I live around here.

    I am writing at least 1000 words a day. I had 3000 the other day and I celebrated with chocolate. Which is good because I have 20,000 left before I can say it's first draft done. Yikes.

    Guess I'll get back to actually writing instead of chatting. Mary, I'll buy your book. I have to. Our library doesn't have any of yours and that's a crime. Someone has to fix that. Da dada da.That someone is ME!

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  47. Good grief, it's not even 8:30 my time and there are already 47 comments???

    Mary, either you were hugely intertaining or Blogger is spitting out extra comments like machine-gun rounds.

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  48. Only a cowboy writer could start a stampede...

    Just saying. :)

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  49. Wow, the word must have gotten around that you're giving away a Kindle to get so many comments, Mary. Not that your post wasn't BRILLIANT, because it was, Mary. I only wish my writing life was so prolific. I haven't written 1,000 words in one day for ... a while. But it's going to happen soon. I can feel it.

    I really like that picture of you, Mary! I had just arrived at the hotel for the conference and saw you, and I was so excited I started snapping pictures like the weird stalker fan I am. LOL! Writers conferences are so fun.

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  50. DID enjoy this post, Mary, and the book (and of course, the Kindle!) sound wonderful.

    I make it a goal to work on one of my WIPs daily (sometimes writing sometimes editing - whatever) - and if email and/or blog posts or blog comments count, I definitely write every day ;).

    Wish I read more - working on working that into my day.

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  51. I consider myself blessed when my brain latches onto a unique, fun idea. Then of course there's the minor issue of getting a solid GMC and actually building a plot. It was a struggle for book 1 and so far nothing's changed for book 2! :D Always working at it!

    Please enter me to win your book. I love your stories!

    Thanks, Emily

    hendrickson_emily(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  52. Hey, Mary! Love it! 1000 words a day, every day. You are my hero!

    I set word goals based on deadlines, and I'm pathological about turning work in early.

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  53. First I have to say that I love, love, love Mary's books! They always make me smile and laugh! Sure would love the opportunity to win her newest book!

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcat(dot)net

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  54. All right, Mary said about multiple comments, so here goes with try #2. :)

    Love the ideas of writing 1000 words every day. Definite food to ponder. My writing time has been sporadic as of late. I'm participating in Novel Track this month, so it helps to keep me motivated.

    As for writing, I'm like Mary. I've been scribbling down poems, stories and books since I was very little. Nothing published as of yet, but working on it. Some day.....

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe
    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  55. I'm really hoping that this doesn't show up three times cause I've been kicked out of the comments by the computer. Was there a creativity threshold I needed to cross before the comment was accepted, LOL?

    Thanks for the insight into your writing life. Love the consistency and hope to manage the same standard.

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  56. I too would love to win the kindle.
    Thank you for the chance.
    Wendy
    wdesirees[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  57. Good morning! It finally feels like fall here in northwest Florida. Mary, it must be great to be able to write wherever, whenever. Sigh. My muse demands comfort and a latte or iced tea depending on the time of day.

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  58. Good morning. Yes, I am must now dragging myself to the computer.

    I need to do some reading before I can wisely respond to all the comments.

    Again, spin. Wisely is my own spin.

    MzKCKitty, great name. And Elizabeth in pursuit of his excellence, those are such cool identities. And
    K
    Seriously? That's your identity? You know, I like it. It's to the point.
    I think all writers love to read. And a lot of people will tell you that they decided to write when they read a horrible book, threw it against the wall (don't do this with hardcover, please) and thought, "I can do better."
    But I think it is GREAT writing that inspired me.

    Mary Higgins Clark. Her older stuff especially like Where Are the Children. An absolute roller coaster. Such a gift.

    HELEN!!!!
    I saw her at the ACFW Conference in Indianapolis. She was making coffee right in the hotel lobby. She just can't quit.

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  59. Amber, before I was published I wrote 300 words a day five days a week.

    I'LL TELL YOU WHY THIS IS KEY!!!

    It's the FIRST SENTENCE that's hard. That's the whole secret. It's not hard to write 300 words, but it's hard to write the FIRST word. So set an easily accomplished goal for yourself. It's not overwhelming. It forces you to open that computer document and figure out what to write FIRST. It really is true. It's the first sentence that stops you. Not the 300 or 1000 words.

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  60. Mary, can I assume Petticoat Ranch was you 11th novel before you were published? How long had you been actively submitting to agents/editors before you got the call?
    Have any of your pre-published works been re-worked and submitted?

    Connie

    bcountryqueen6 at msn dot com

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  61. Okay, well, I'm sticking with just one comment here because I mostly want to thank you, Mary, for giving us the truth. Truly--because it's an inspiration to me.

    I've been writing for over ten years with more than a dozen books now and haven't been published yet. Granted, I wasn't trying to get all those books published, I was enjoying myself and learning. But now that I feel it inside and know (for the first time) that I don't just WANT publication with everything I have, I am READY for it, I have mixed feelings about how many books I've written. When it's just me thinking it through, I'm proud to have written so many books. But it's different telling others--it makes it seem like I must not write very well if I've written that many books and I'm still not published. But, like I said, your story is encouraging. And it reminds me again that it's not about how many books I have or haven't written or how many years I've been doing it, but God's timing.

    So, thanks again for this post. And Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

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  62. i confess, i am not a writer...but i love to read (does that count).

    happy birthday, seekers :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  63. Connie, I think Petticoat Ranch was ... about number 15. I can't remember exactly.

    I have gotten about ten of those books published. Many of them have been SEVERELY rewritten though. I've gotten much better, thank the Good Lord.

    My second book got perilously close to getting published (well, probably not close at all, but it gave me hope) I placed in a contest with it. Then sent a partial to...then it was Harlequin Silhouette, their line of sweet romances. There wasn't any Christian fiction back then...or it was in it's infancy.
    They requested a full and ultimately rejected it. But again, little things like that gave me hope. Kept me typing.

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  64. Great post Mary, You do wonderful drivel.

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  65. Cindy really? Ten finished books? So great. I'm proud of you.

    I was at a gathering of writers a couple of weeks ago and listened to two of them have this intense discussion about how HARD that second book is to write. I really didn't quite get it and I didn't say anything, just listened. But later what struck me was, they'd gotten their first book published.

    I suppose that would make the second one harder.

    When you have ZERO success with book #1, book #2 isn't so hard, really.

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  66. FUN POST, GIRLFRIEND!!!

    Definitely "wisdom," Mare, not "drivel," my friend ... not with as many books as you put out a year ... :)

    Loved this statement: "I knew what I wanted. Vigilantes. Romance. Cowboys. Comedy. Action."

    THAT'S KEY: WRITE YOUR PASSION AND WHAT Y-O-U WANT TO READ!!!

    I desperately wanted Gone-With-the Wind-level passion/romance in my books along with Purpose-Driven-Life-style passion for God, but there was zilch of that in the secular market and not a lot in the Christian market (the passionate romance part, that is), so I wrote my own -- wrote what I wanted to read. And when you do that, the passion just pops off the page like comedy off Mary Connealy's tongue. LOVE that woman's books!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  67. I'm working hard to develop a daily discipline. Just not easy to fit it in. When I do, it feels as exhilarating as having scale Mt. Everest. When I don't, I no longer feel the binding guilt I used to feel. I shrug off what didn't happen yesterday and focus on what I can do today.

    My biggest challenge continues to be reading less and writing more. Reading is easier to accomplish and thus it gets done. Writing, for me, requires a bit more deliberate action--waiting for my turn on the shared laptop, separating myself from the family chaos, sacrificing sleep, etc.

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  68. TINA said: And I on the other hand HATE starting new mscs..I prefer editing. Starting new ones frighten me.

    Oh, man, Tina, ME TOO!!! I can revise/edit till the cows come home, but start that new book??? NOPE.

    LORI SAID: "I need to be at home, in an empty house, wearing earplugs..."

    Move over, Lori, I am the same way, and it's a curse. I also wear earplugs when I work with my husband in our tiny office because absolute quiet is a MUST!! But during the summer I work out on our back deck with my laptop, facing the woods, and would you believe that I even wear ear plugs out there sometimes because this one bird sits in the tree by my deck and is SO loud!! :)

    EDWINA SAID: "My writing is haphazard - somedays I get to write - many days, I don't get to write. Hahazard is driving me nuts - I'm usually scheduled down to the minute!"

    Sigh, Edwina, the story of my life too. I am pretty sure I am the only Seeker that goes for MONTHS without writing, which shames me to no end and is why I only write one book a year.

    MARY, you have inspired me to try the 1,000 words a day thing, at least for a month. We'll see.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  69. So Mare about that 1000 words... When you write 3000 do you take a day break?

    Do you ever have a hard time working on one story and move to another?

    How many stories do you work on at once?

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  70. And Mary,

    how long is your word count usually for your books.

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  71. I'd love to win Mary's book!
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  72. Tina Pinson...no...writing 3000 words in one day does NOT give me a day off.

    However, sometimes if I miss a day I do try to 'catch up' and write 2000 the next. It's a mind game because the only one I need to catch up with is the yardstick I'm using to measure myself.

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  73. My books are 90,000 to 100,000 words long. At 1000 words a day I can write a book every three months.
    Now these books are FINISHED in three months but they're not a first draft either. I usually finish a book. Write a NEW book, then when that new book has completely cleared by head of what was in the first book I go back and do major revisions.
    I forget what I MEANT to say and read what I really said.

    I'm working way ahead so I have this luxury. Deadlines are in the distant future.

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  74. I also declare a book 'done' at about 80,000 words because they grow so much in revisions that I can easily add 10,000

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  75. Writing is my last career. I thought I wanted write children's books. Then I joined MTCW and began learning the craft of fiction writing the ideas began flowing from mind to my fingers. Along the way Barbour bought some short stories for an anthology. My best work is in the morning. I am still working out just how to accomplish my goals. Perhaps I will adopted yours and set a word goal for every day. Hm, maybe not Sundays because of teaching, library duty, divorce care, etc.

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  76. Mary were you serious about the more comments you leave the more entries? LOL I have to *really* get cracking then! I'm with Amber I really want to win a copy of Wrangler in Petticoats. I like to win stuff. :-P

    XOXO~ Renee

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  77. Loving that you told the truth...with an entertaining spin!
    Christi Corbett

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  78. Mary, I want to crawl into your head for a few hours and dig around. HOW DO YOU DO THAT? I am by no means a comedy person. Love to laugh, love to read and watch it, but I can't write it. I can't write dry and I can't write it wet. So when can I get an appointment to visit around in that noggin?

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  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  80. Hahah Amber even though I do LOVE the movie Cars it's probably not my favorite, I love the fairy tales like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast. My children's book wasn't about the movie Cars but a Mustang...yes yes I know I *might* be slightly obsessed. :-P

    XOXO~Renee

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  81. Okay, you said more comments = more entries, WATCH OUT! HERE I COME!

    My writing I think is pretty structured. I try to write 10,000 words a week during the rough draft process, but I do take Friday-Sunday off. When I am editing I work on it every day, including Friday if I am trying to hit a self imposed deadline. And double spaced, I like to go for 40 edited pages a day. So far I am doing pretty good.

    Okay, now WHY did I just spill my guts about my writing life? It probably looks completely unorthodox,right? and all the published authors out there are shaking their heads at my naivete. Right? Don't blame you, I just want to win Mary's book! (and I have to do what it takes, don't I? ;)

    But seriously, great post, I enjoyed reading it and took away some wisdom along with the drivel-whatever.

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  82. I'm only going to leave one comment and hope for the best! If I don't win, I'll get it at the library :) Would love to read your book. Have read several of your others and enjoy them all.

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  83. In Wrangler in Petticoats, does she have Wranglers on? That was my first thought when I heard the title, and that's what it looks like. My kind of gal!

    Please enter me for a Kindle giveaway, too.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  84. My writing life.... I try to write 1000 words a day, but often fail. My day job is homeschooling five kids. Okay. Three. Two graduated last year. But they are still home. One until January, one until Fall, which means I need to keep them out of trouble... I write in the living room because that is the only place I have to write. So I am learning to ignore the five year old, the TV, and other random noise, and write. Fighting, on the other hand, I haven't mastered ignoring.

    I would love to win. lolly-pops(at)juno(dot)com

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  85. Sheesh, AMBER and RENEE! You guys are taking this waaay to seriously. Can you maybe step aside for a bit so I can catch up?? Puleeease???

    No?

    Fine then.

    JUST WATCH OUT!

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  86. Do smiley face comments count. Cuz I can do a BUNCH of those. :)

    :)

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  87. My writing life is rather sporadic...some days, I'll have hours upon hours to write, and others I barely have enough time to check my e-mail. I don't actually remember the last time I wrote anything more than a few words (of course, I am a semester and a half away from my degree, so that is kind of taking precedence at the moment).

    Anyway, I would love to be in the drawing! I can't wait to finally read it!

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  88. I did mean it about the multiple comments. I am, however, learning a TERRIBLY HARD LESSON.

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  89. Watch what you ask for Mary!! *wink*

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  90. In Wrangler in Petticoats she wore PANTS. I think I like your spin on it, wearing Wranglers.

    At first all I meant was, I was looking for a word that said cowboy connected to the words-- In Petticoats

    So we settled on wrangler.

    Then later, one day when the name sort of jumped out at me funny, it came across as sort of a ... cross dresser title.

    But I've found peace with Wrangler in Petticoats.

    My heroine is the ultimate tomboy, but her tomboy-ishness is only partly because she loves riding the range. She's also got it in her head that her pa wants a son and if she is that son for him, he'll love her more.

    But her father adores her. This is misplaced angst left over from her real father who died before the beginning of Petticoat Ranch.

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  91. Kaitlin, speaking as someone who has paid college tuition...GET YOUR HOMEWORK DONE FIRST.

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  92. Mary, love you for your honesty, which still managed to entertain. You're seriously funny. LOL Even your comments are filled with wisdom--write that first word, that first sentence. Getting started is the hardest part.

    I'm impressed with your ability to focus and handle interruptions. Are you wired that way or have you trained yourself?

    Janet

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  93. Loved your post! Very entertaining! I always love learning about how other writers write. So, you want us to leave more than one commment? Hmm...

    Linnette

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  94. Right now my writing is a little slow, but I'm getting back in the habit. I try to write something everyday. Noon to afternoon are better for me. I will write in the mornings when the house is quiet. Yes, I have to have quiet. I write in my office, normally. I'm recovering from surgery and I am writing in the recliner in the family room. Not the best place for me. I love to read and I love research. I like to research the next story I will be working on while I finish up the current WIP.

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  95. "I focused on that screen and I knew I had to explode my beginning. I had to show instead of tell."

    Kinda like this? "Belle Tanner pitched dirt right on Anthony's handsome, worthless face. It was spitefulness that made her do that....Why didn't she just skip marrying him and save herself all the shoveling." I was hooked the minute I read those first lines. I couldn't put the book down after that chapter. You really are an amazing writer. I adore you and your drivel, I mean, thought provoking pieces of information. :)

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  96. So, how do I write? Well, first off, I'm a percolator. I mull things around for a long, long time, forming the characters, storyline, and plot in my mind before I get started.

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  97. After I percolate for a while, I start writing. Somewhere along the way I'll write up a character list with names, ages, affiliations, backgrounds...

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  98. I'm the typer who has to get the beginning of the story down just right before I can really move on. I HATE backtracking and rewriting because I've decided on a major change in the beginning. I do a lot of rewriting. Don't get me wrong, but I try to do as little as I possibly can. My worst nightmare is to get to the end of the story and realize there is this thread that weaves its way through the entire story that just won't do and then you have to go back over the entire manuscript to hopefully catch all the discrepancies brought on my the change.

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  99. I was a different kind of juvenile writer. I wrote letters. A lot of letters! I had several friends from churchcamps whom I kept in contact with regularly. My older brother always teased me that I could never write anything without it turning into a book. It amazes me that my dad never once complained about the cost of postage. He just took them and mailed them.

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  100. Hey Mary,
    As I write with a co-author, my word counting is a bit different. When I get her a good, detailed outline, Diane can really pound out the words, 500 to 1,000 a day, and she works a day job, too. She can really go at it on weekends or when taking days off as a deadline is looming. As for me, I pound out the ideas. I can come with that many ideas for new series/books a day. Well, maybe not 1,000, but Diane and our agent seem to think so sometimes. As for starting or editing, the editing comes pretty easily, unless I am working on a certain author's humorous cowboy stories. (Just kidding, of course. I am actually dreading starting "Deep Trouble" as it will probably be the last for me. Sigh.) But coming up with new ideas is where it is really at for me! Great to talk to you as always, Mary, and for everyone else, "Wrangler in Petticoats" is great. My favorite Mary hero of all! (Except for the one on Petticoat Ranch.) By the way, I love sugar cookies! But hold the coffee. Hot chocolate is much better!

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  101. I wrote my first love story in high school. I read Grace Livingston Hill books as if I couldn't get enough to satisfy my imagination. I loved her heros and heroines and learned a lot about courage and trusting in the Lord in all circumstances...standing upir ground even when all odds seemed against you.

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  102. Mary,

    Thanks for your honesty and your humour! Such fun reading your posts.

    I, too, am a sporadic writer. Sometimes it's like I'm possessed. And other times, I can't even open the word processing program! LOL.
    You said: "It's the first sentence that stops you. Not the 300 or 1000 words." That so hit home with me. Will try to keep to those 300 words a day. That seems do-able!

    Happy Birthday, again, Seekerville! The celebrations sure brighten up October.

    Cheers,

    Sue
    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot)ca

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  103. I didn't start writing stories regularly until I became chronically ill. Even thought my body didn't have enough stamina to do the regular daily things, my mind would whir and it was the only way to keep sane. So, Mary...now you know. Writing is what keeps us from going insane. ;D

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  104. I have a near finished manuscript of my first book complete, but that was written before I knew how to show instead of tell. So, it's on the backburner while I work on my latest novel, Finding Beth. And I'm happy to report that I'm half-way through writing it and going strong!

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  105. Ok...so how many comments does that make? LOL

    Thank you, Mary, for all your encouragement as a fellow writer. You've been a true blessing to me. I can't wait to read Wrangler in Petticoats even if I don't win the drawing. But I do hope I win it. :D

    I don't see others leaving their email addresses and I think you have mine, so I won't leave it. You can always reach me through Goodreads, Facebook, or LinnetteMullin.com

    ~Linnette

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  106. Boy are you going to have fun reading all these comments!

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  107. Walter Farley... Still have his books and am looking forward to reading them with my horse-obsessed 5yo :). I can't even begin to guess how many times I read them as a kid.

    The whole 'OCD' thing is why so few people I know IRL know my dream of being an author someday. There are some who would be [and are] incredibly supportive, but there are too many who would call for the wagon, the special jacket and the padded room. It makes me sad that many of my family fall into this category.

    1000 words a day is a great thing. I can do that many quickly when things are flowing, but other times I wonder if copying and pasting the same sentence over and over until I hit 1000 words is cheating.

    It's not is it? ;)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

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  108. Linnette, honey, you were sick? I'm so sorry. Leave all the comments you want honey.

    And that first sentence--I think it's because we STOP writing the day before...when it gets hard. When we're not sure where to go next. So we stopped and now we've got to START AGAIN.

    But we actually CAN do it, we just don't want to. So write that first sentence and you're off.

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  109. It's cheating Carol, stop that.

    In fact I think that might've been at the heart of one of Stephen King's horror novels. Jack Nicholson ended up murdering people.

    Be afraid.

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  110. Mary you are my favorite con artist. And I see you scam worked..pathetic as it is. 115 posts by 9 am. Not bad kiddo.

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  111. Hi, Mary and everyone!

    My writing life feels pretty squished right now becausse my writing time is during baby's naptime and after she goes to bed.

    BUT

    I can think about my story all day while I'm playing with her and that keeps my creativity going - and a lot of times when I sit down the write the words just pour out because I've been thinking about them all day.

    Thanks for the post, Mary!

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  112. Tina, it helps that she said we can post as much as we want! Buwhahahaha!

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  113. I am not much of a writer. I have many good thoughts, just difficulties getting them on paper.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  114. Snickering here. Came back to check. 117 comments. HA! Shameless, you're shameless!!

    (but I love it) ;D

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  115. Mary,

    Your dedication to writing consistently has really paid off. It's a great testimony to how being persistent can reap fruit.

    Blessings!

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  116. Mary, I'm thankful you're compulsively writing, because like your other commenters, I compulsively read :) I'm not much of a writer and the thought of cranking out even 100 words can make me sweat! I'm glad your identity is WRITER, Mary! Just as one of mine is READER!

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  117. Well holy cow! I go to take a shower, come back and there are a million more comments! I have some catching up to do. Mary be careful what you post because we commentors and loyal fans DO listen. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

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  118. Mary, I just wrote you a nice long post and then the web ate it, so this one will be shorter.

    I'm so glad you published, because I'd hate to visit you in one of "those" special rooms with very soft walls.

    And I loved your post. I can hear your VERY entertaining voice throughout.


    I laughed when you said, "How did she make this book into a roller coaster ride?" because right now, I'm asking, "How do I make a roller coaster ride into a book?' That's part of my WIP. LOL

    And you ARE a writer. It is 100% you.

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  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  120. WOW! One hundred and twenty-four comments and it's only 12:30.

    Mary, when I listen to comedians, one joke I seem to hear them all tell is that they can't make up the stuff that they talk about. (My favorite line comes from Henry Cho in his talking about his wife's family. "I can't write that. I married that.") So, it best to go fo the truth.

    As for my writing life, haphazrd these days. I get a lot done in coffee shops. Not much outside of them.

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  121. In case I need to leave an e-mail address...

    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  122. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh goodness, you guys.....these comments were HILARIOUS to read : P

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  123. I have to catch up!!!

    ; )

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  124. Mary, this was a great post, I don't know what you're talking about!!

    All the true Seekerville friends will most definitely be readign this, not skimming, not just reading at the end about the giveaway. I don't think you have anything to worry about, at least I wouldn't think os!

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  125. I was thinking the exact same thing as KC, Mary. That picture of you is very flattering!! I mean, I liked the one with the buffalo on Joy's blog, but this one, this one's really something!!!

    ; )

    Seriously....

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  126. "I can write early or late. In quiet or noise. That's my wriitng life."

    I can see that. You seem like someone who would be able to multitask actually....this sounds like me and reading for the most part. I usually can read ANYWHERE. My mom and sis are the complete opposite, especially with reading for school or somethign, it has to be completely quiet. No distractions whatsoever....I ummmmm don't need that. As a matter of fact, when I was younger I always used to make sure to read with the radio ON before I went to bed ; )

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  127. Do you know how surprised I was when I saw how many comments there were AND it was only midday??!??!

    Last night when I popped in around 12:30am or so, I was surprised to see that there were quite a few comments already...then I read them. AMBER, ya little butt : P She got here and had already left a bunch of commetns!!

    I've been at OT, driving back to school, and in class this morning, soooooo this is my first chance to get here. I had to compete with my people (*cough, cough Amber, Renee *said really fast like*)

    How do you think I'm donig??? I know I still don't have nearly as many as them....

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  128. Blogger ate my excellent comment.

    there's no time for a do-over.

    Dagnabbit.

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  129. Six comments??? ONLY six commetns?!?!

    Boooooooo.....

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  130. So, Hannah, you and Amber have teamed up? And Renee?

    Well, good for you.

    And Ruthy, maybe this once, you running out of time is best for EVERYONE.

    Well, me at least. :)

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  131. 135 comments at 1pm? I guess the truth is what they want, Mary.

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  132. HANNAH! Not you too! I need to add more smiley faces.

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  133. #5

    :----)

    That is one long nose.

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  134. LOL Casey and Mary!!!!

    HEY! I need to catch up from this morning...I missed my chance earlier! That's what I get for not stopping by.....

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  135. Mary....I felt bad for Ruthy that she couldn't get her comment posted....I hate it! It's so annoying when that happens....lol!

    So I, unlike Mary, am sympathetic that Blogger was being STUPID again, Ruthy!

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

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  136. How about this one, Casey??

    -__-

    That's how I feel when I see how many comments ahead of me you guys are!!
    BAHAHAHA!

    hccelie[at]gmail[dot]com

    Does my email have to be on all of my posts....I don't think it does....?

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  137. Ahhhhhhh! I am soooooo behind now!!!

    ~Amber

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  138. Tina Pinson,

    Yes! I really do want Mary's book! Am I that obvious...? ;)

    Enjoy the sugar cookies!

    ~Amber

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  139. Audra,

    :)

    Thank you for not blocking me! ;) Mary told us that extra comments got us extra opportunities to win her book...so I'm just trying to up my chances!

    It would be nice if my extra comments would be considered a good work ethic, but with my chronic laziness lately, it's probably more OCD! ;)

    ~Amber

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  140. Mary,

    Thank you so much for the advice! I think that is so true--it's actually opening the Word document and starting to write anything that is the difficult part, because once you start writing you can keep going pretty easily. Thank you so much for the encouragement--and the help!

    I think I needed that extra boost/reminder. :)

    ~Amber

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  141. Come on guys, up the ante! More comments. Make Mary work for that drawing.

    How you gonna do it, Mary?

    Hand write every comment on little slips of paper and throw them in a goldfish bowl?

    Not me.

    I created a random drawing spreadsheet that draws for me.

    Snicker

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  142. Renee,

    She has to be serious, right? We're talking about Mary here--she wouldn't tell us we would get other chances at the giveaway and then not mean it. She emphasized truth in this post, right? ;)

    That's my hope anyway...otherwise I've spent about half my life leaving comments without any hope of a reward...

    Anyway, I love the fairytales, too! Was your children's book a love story between a Mustang and a truck or something...? ;)

    ~Amber

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  143. CASEY!!!

    You are leaving comments with smiley faces now...? What is this?! I'm getting farther and farther behind!!!

    :P

    ~Amber

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  144. Not you, too, Hannah!!!!!!!

    I must NOT be outdone! ;)

    ~Amber

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  145. RENEEEEEE!!!!

    Stop that!!!

    Ahhhhhhhhh!!!

    I have class in 15 minutes!!!!


    ~Amber

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  146. Mary,

    I don't think comments with ONLY smiley faces and letters of the alphabet (not organized into words and sentences) should count!

    Just saying.... ;)

    ~Amber

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  147. NOOOOOOOO RENEE AND AMBER!!!! GO AWAY!!!!!

    *heeheehee*

    I can do that too, Renee

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  148. Hanna! You had to jumo in and ruin it!!!!! LOL kidding!

    XOXO~ Renee

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  149. Hannah,

    If you replaced my name with yours, you would have expressed my feelings exactly! ;)

    What are you and Renee doing?????!!!!

    Arghhhhhhhhh!!!

    ~Amber

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  150. In case you didn't get that I spelled Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    :-D

    XOXO~ Renee

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  151. Way to go, Hannah! I think you might have caused Renee to pause for a while...!!!

    Yay!

    ~Amber

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  152. I think someone's stuffing the ballot box.

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  153. Renee? Amber? Hannah?

    Let me guess.....

    You're very young....

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  154. OOOOOOHHH...you were actually spelling something, Renee...

    I don't think any of us knew what you were doing...especially now that there are random comments and letters in between your letters! ;)

    ~Amber

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  155. Pam, I was wondering how in the world this worked. Ah, SPREADSHEET.

    I've dubbed my fabulous hubby Mr. Spreadsheet, thank you very much. ;D

    I'm not EVEN trying to compete with the young uns here but it's fun to see how many comments there really will be today.


    Whoo hooo!!!

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  156. LOL Amber we're trying to wish Seekerville a happy birthday AND get as many comments as we can in the process.

    I wish blogger had spell check

    XOXO~ Renee

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  157. This is better than an ebay auction...

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  158. Also, my books are readily available in libraries, which should reduce somewhat the desperation factor.

    And, just a wild thought, you could BUY them.

    :)

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  159. Well, Mary, I suppose I am acting more like a high schooler than a college student...

    ...but I'm desperate, you know? Plus, it's really, really fun to torture Renee and Hannah. ;)

    ~Amber

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  160. LOL Mary actually I'm not that young...25 :-P I just have A LOT of free time!

    XOXO~ Renee

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  161. @ Mary I plan on buying it if this last hurrah doesn't work!!

    XOXO~ Renee

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