Friday, June 10, 2011

Very Special Guest Interview. Amanda Huginkiss interviews Sherri Shackelford

Sherri Shackelford
Sherri Shackelford is a reformed pessimist and hopeful romantic. Since placing in the top three of the Genesis Contest, Historical Romance Category, she’s met a whole group of wonderful and supportive writers. A trophy wife from the Midwest raising three children, Sherri would like to remind everyone that not all trophies are first place—sometimes it’s just an honorable mention ribbon…

Amanda Huginkiss
If you can’t say anything nice, sit next to Amanda Huginkiss! Amanda is the over-the-top author of more than 3000 romance novels. Her titles include: The Billionaire Sheik's Virgin Bride's Secret Baby, and Love in the Time of Dysentery. Her favorite color is Chardonnay. When she's not holding court with her legions of adoring fans, you can find her dressed in a silk peignoir dictating to Hans, the incredibly handsome personal secretary.

Great to be here, Amanda. I’m Sherri. It’s an honor to finally meet you in person. I’m going to set your tiara-topped pillow on the desk so I can sit. Oh, my. It’s not as easy to get comfortable on a pink and black stiletto- leopard skin chair as one would think.

I’d like to zip through this as quickly as possible. My meditation time is at one o’clock. And by meditation I mean nap. So, Sherri, how many of these contests would you say you have to enter to get such an impressive loss ratio?

I wouldn’t say they’ve been ‘impressive’ as much as ‘respectable.’ Based on my own and other’s experiences, even the best manuscript should be entered in at least three contests in order to final. There’s always personal preference and human emotion. Some judges naturally score higher, some lower. Some people don’t like cowboys, or widow’s or whatever--there’s an element of luck in the contest circuit.

Ahhh, so you got lucky. That explains it. I feel better now, as if order has been restored to the universe. Darling! I wouldn’t set your bag on the floor. My poodle, Fabio, finds naugahyde a diuretic. Hmm, I’d keep an eye on your shoes, too. Yes, yes. Fold those legs into a neat little pretzel and set that rather large knock-off bag on your lap.

I’m just going to rebalance myself here. It appears Fabio is also averse to polyester. As to your question, every manuscript that makes the finals deserves to be there. But there are always manuscripts that didn’t final, that are just as wonderful.

Aaaanyway, Judging from that hint of Maybelline wafting off your person, it appears you’ve seriously overextended yourself. What is the most expensive entry fee you've ever paid to get lucky and why?

I’m a stay-at-home mom on a limited budget, so I can’t enter too many contests or attend conferences just yet. This can be especially limiting in the Inspirational market since most publishers no longer accept un-agented manuscripts. Thankfully, querying an agent is free.

My critique partners had been urging me to join ACFW, but it just wasn’t in the budget. They gave me the entry fee and the contest fee for my birthday.

I’m going to jot some notes down here. Freeloader. Oh, did I say that out loud? I was thinking about the time my friend Marge received diamond earrings for Christmas. She said, “Amanda, they’re real!” and I said, “Of course they’re real, dear. No one would buy fake ones that small.”

That Marge is a dear. Have you mustered up the price of a stamp to query many agents?

I did finally send out one submission packet—a recommendation from another published author. I plan on sending out more this week. Yvonne Harris says she encourages writers to send out agent queries as soon as they final in a contest because a final is just as good as a win at that point.

Isn’t that lovely? And how nice that so many contest losses will prepare you for the crushing blow of repeated rejections.

Actually, yes it does help. I learned right away that you have to develop a thick hide if you plan on writing as a career. Every published author I know has received a bad review. Cheryl St.John gave me the best mantra for reading a bad critique: Sometimes, they just don’t get it.

What would you say is your favorite part of losing contests?

My favorite part of losing and winning is the people I have the opportunity to meet. My fellow nominees in the Historical Romance Category: Sarah Ladd and Naomi Rawlings. Ane Mulligan, Genesis category coordinator, is wonderful. And you can’t forget Camy Tang who must spend months coordinating the contest! Sandra Orchard once sent me a really sweet note after the FHL contest. Oh, and Mary Connealy arranged this interview with us.

Jotting down another note: Shameless Name Dropper. Look at that. It appears our time is running short. And not a moment too soon I’d like to add…Do you have any advice for other contest losers?

Don’t forget to write the whole book. That’s a mistake I made early on. You can become so wrapped up in perfecting thirty pages that you forget there are three hundred more to go. Creating a provocative opening chapter pales in comparison to sustaining conflict and multiple character arcs over twenty+ chapters.

And don’t get caught up in the competition. It’s easy to imagine that you’re pitted against the other finalist. In truth, the only person you’re competing against is yourself. If you imagine the success of others as a bridge to your own success, rather than a barrier, you’ll be much happier.

I’m sorry, I must have nodded off. Were you still talking? Best of luck. And always remember, there’s no ‘I’ in team, but there is ‘Winning!’

Find Sherri Shackelford online at her Blog
Sherri--Finalist, 2011 Genesis Contest, Historical Romance

Winner, 2011 Duel on the Delta, Inspirational
Finalist, 2011 Dixie First Chapter, Inspirational

Amanda--doesn't give out her whereabouts to the little people.


Tina Radcliffe said...

I long to be first to comment, but I know someone is going to beat me to it.

Welcome Sherri and Amanda.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay, I made it first, so now I can get down to brass tacks.

First congratulations on your contest finals!!! Divas UNITE!!!

And, Sherri, do you prefer bling, cash, plaques or your name in lights? I was always partial to my name in lights when I was on the circuit.

Amanda, what exactly is it you do?

KC Frantzen said...

Oh my!

How much fun is this?!

Still chortling over Amanda's name.

Good info woven in, especially the quote about some just don't get it. Splendid!

I have a feeling that is going to come in quite handy soon. :)

Can't WAIT to see what's on the buffet and how it is served. Will this be featured on "Platinum Interviews"?

Waving Tina!!!

Helen Gray said...

I've got the coffee bar set up for bright and early.

It's fun to read the exp[eriences of other--and compare.

I've only got one entry out right now.


travelingstacey said...

Wow...I'm one of the first ones this time! Sherri...when I read about your being a stay at home mom and not being able to afford ACFW fee and conference fee...I could completely relate! Same here! I just entered my first contest and I'm interested to see how it goes. It was good to read that it can take three times to final...keeps my expectations realistic my first time around! That was great that your friends pitched in for your membership! Blessings~Stacey

Virginia said...

WOW! I laughed my through this (except when I was nodding at the 'just don't get it' quote) until I saw those 2011 contest finals. I stopped laughing. Wow. I entered all of these and got nowhere! (Oh, actually I got a really, really bad critique from Duel, which might be getting somwhere.)
My one final, WISRA's Fab Five, got me fifth place and the final judge's comments were the same thing over and over in every area. 'Unoriginal.' Ow. Could anything be worse than that? :D
I'm on total awe at Sherri's stats! Oh, and Amanda made me laugh out loud!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Duel hated me too Virginia. Never could even Place in that contest.

Those Southern girls don't get us.

Renee Ann said...

Great post to start the day! Thanks for making me laugh, ladies.

Congrats on finaling, Sherri! Your critique partners sound very sweet. They must have seen that you were ready for this. Hoping you receive a positive response from your query!

After reading about so many great contests here at Seekerville, I also entered several. I was longing to know one thing: Does my writing have potential? Contests really encouraged me to keep on writing and learning. And I think Seekerville and ACFW are the best! Blessings, all!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Those of us on the circuit (though I only entered one this year) are pleased to get a look at Sherri and will be more than pleased when she sells AND moves on!

Oh, and my office boy is Lars. Come to think of it, my neck and shoulders feel a little tight right now. "Oh Lars! Would you be a dear?"

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, grabbing coffee and CHUGGING!!!!

And keep that dog away from my alligator slippers, Mandy-Baby.

First: Are you still writing, Amanda? Because how many virgin brides can there still be at your age?

Second: Sherri, Windex will take out the urine stain on polyester. I saw it on My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Third: Sherri, HOW ON EARTH DID YOU WRANGLE AN INTERVIEW WITH AMANDA???? I've been trying for months, literally, to get her here and she's always too busy at the pool deck or yacht club or watching cabana boys. AND SHE REFUSED TO COME TO THE ISLAND BECAUSE OF THE SAND...

Oh my stars, I'm so glad you got this opportunity to share her insights with us. You know, I think she lunches with Nora, Linda and Fern TWICE A WEEK!!!

Can you believe it?

Sherri Shackelford said...

Good morning, Tina! I'd like to say right up front that this manuscript didn't even place in TBL or Utah Great Beginnings. The TBL judge questioned my setting, my characters, my, well, everything. So beware the judge who wants to write your book their way!

KC, isn't that quote by Cheryl great? And it's true. We all have different styles, and sometimes they just don't get us.

Helen, I'm ready for coffee. I'm planning on a final or win for your contest entry :) I've been told my characters are TSTL (which the judge then emphasized meant 'too stupid to live' Because if you're going to insult someone, you should make sure they get it.)I've been told to get a critique partner, to take a grammar course. I could go on and on. Let us support you and don't get discouraged, no matter what happens!

Audra Harders said...

Oh my goodness, Sherri! What a hoot! Amanda is quite talented in drawing out the high points of interviews, isn't she?

Super congrats on finaling in the Genesis. Will be cheering hard at the Awards ceremony for you!

Uh, is Amanda still snoozing? I was going to ask if she would sign my copy of The Billionaire Sheik's Virgin Bride's Secret Baby?

Oh wait. Hmm, I know it's around here somewhere. Give me a minute. I know I"ll find it....

Cara Lynn James said...

Great interview! Congratulations on your final! Finalling opens up lots of opportunities, so go for it. Contests can be brutal, but they're worth it as long as you keep the scores and comments in perspective.

Sherri Shackelford said...

travelingstacey, I have wonderful critique partners who support me as a writer and as a person. I can admit that I'm disappointed, or jealous, or frustrated, and not feel judged. They have been the biggest blessing in my writing career. I never worry about disappointing a judge, but I worry about disappointing them!

Virginia, there's nothing new under the sun! I once had a judge say, "This is so unoriginal, but I can't stop reading." I felt like movie theater popcorn--it's stale, but I just keep munching away :)

Renee, Seekerville and ACFW are the best, aren't they?! Good luck with all your entries :)

Sherri Shackelford said...

Debra, let's get Hans and Lars together. And Amanda was right about one thing: My loss record is much more impressive!

Ruth, more coffee please :) Amanda doesn't answer questions before noon...but she did tell me once that she was grateful she wrote fiction *wink*

Sherri Shackelford said...

Audra, Amanda definitely has a way of getting at the heart of the matter! She says she can't lift a rock these days without finding another billionaire sheik...

Carol, 'brutal' is an excellent word! I've had more highs and lows than a springtime weather map!

Pam Hillman said...

Too fun! Sherri, do you think Amanda might come off her high horse and visit today?

I'm all atwitter with anticipation!!!

Pam Hillman said...

Sherri, congrats on your contest losses...uh, finals!

Yeah, that's it!




Sandy Ardoin said...

LOL! Don't think I'd want Amanda interviewing me!

Congratulations, Sherri!

Pam Hillman said...

Speaking of having your name in lights.

When I finalled in the Golden Heart in 2001, a friend at work kept telling everyone I was going to be on a billboard! lol

She couldn't remember the name of the big screen that announces the winners...

Hmmm, that's probably because *I* can't remember the name of the big screen that announces the winners!

BUT, I'll be up on that BIG SCREEN again 3 weeks from tonight!


Go me! Go Mary!

Jan Drexler said...

Here I thought I had read something of Amanda's - after all, with over 3000 titles, it seems I would have - but I don't have a single book on my shelf with her name on it. Sorry, Amanda.

But Sherri, I'm looking forward to reading your book when it's published!

And thank you for the reminder that we're not competing against other writers in competitions. I love the image of seeing others' successes as a bridge to my own - and the thought that perhaps someday I'll be able to be a bridge to someone else.

Cheryl St.John said...

Just have to respond to some of the comments today: Virginia, I did well in a couple of contests before I published, but also had some bummers. One very published author in my own genre told me I should go take some basic writing and grammar classes! Now that hurt.

But it all panned out well...heh heh

Success is the best revenge, just you wait and see.

Tina, you got the attitude: They didn't get it!

Do you all remember how Amanda heckled me on my blog day? Now it's my turn!

Cheryl St.John said...

Ruth, you are hilarious! I snorted my tea.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Cute post, Sherri! Welcome to Seekerville! Gotta love this place. :D

"This is so unoriginal, but I can't stop reading." Gotta love it! Just goes to show that a well written story is a well written story and will be enjoyed regardless. Just read a book by a favorite author who usually writes historical. This was a contemporary book with a historian. The story was unique, but it's the worst written book I've ever read by her. Not sure what happened. I still liked the story over all, but I did a lot of skimming. Challenges me to make sure my book isn't a skim read book! Every time!

Off for a cup of hot tea...

Cheryl St.John said...

Sherri, was that me who told you to get a critique partner? Oh, no, wait....

Sherri Shackelford said...

Pam, Congratulations! You're three weeks away from the Jumbotron!! Congratulations on your sale to Tyndale House.

Sandy, Amanda is a legend in her own mind...

Jan, I'm sure that Huginkiss book is in a stack somewhere on your shelf...I love, love, love when a fellow author signs with an agent or editor (Like Pam :) They pave the way and give me hope that 'it can be done!'

Cheryl St.John said...

Super advice about finishing the books, Sherri. I'll bet there are plenty of agents and editors out there, who find reading past the first hundred pages is like plunging off a pier. aaaaaaaaah!

Writing past the middle of a book takes fortitude, every single last time you do it. You will never learn how to flesh out a story or make the conflict work or discipline yourself unless you write the story all the way to the end.

That's also a sign of maturity as a writer, that you've learned to push past the difficulties, leave the fun part in the dust, and get down to serious business. It's easy (and fun) to start ten or twenty books. It's never easy to finish one.

Cheryl St.John said...

I have a stand-in for the Jumbotron, so please cheer for me!

Sherri Shackelford said...

When Cheryl is reading your pages, and she squints her eyes and says, "Weeellllll...." Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because you're about to learn something awesome!

Linette, I enjoy orphan stories. Give me an orphan story, no matter how cliche, and I will read it! I'm sure other people have their 'go to' plots.

Anyone want to share their guilty pleasure when it comes to their favorite plots?!

Jan Drexler said...

Favorite plot? Orphan stories are right up there...but a cowboy story will make that book come home with me every time.

All that said, Amish stories have a special place in my heart. Once I find a favorite author, I'll read every one of his (or her) books. (My current favorite Amish author is Jerry Eicher).

*lizzie starr said...

Sherri, you braved your interview with Amanda very well. Love it. And the comments following? Good thing I'm not drinking anything!

And, just for the record, you don't disappoint.

Mary Connealy said...

Good morning, Sherri.
I have to admit that every time I see some form of secret baby or surprise baby, I am intrigued.

But why do the surprise babies seem to come in threes. Like one surprise baby isn't enough. Then TWO surprise babies isn't enough. So, YES TRIPLETS!!! Now THERE'S a surprise.

Mary Connealy said...

I have personally read everyone of Amanda's books. I keep them all too, classics. I was nearly killed in a book avalanche, only days ago. But it's all worth it.

My personal favorite is 'The CEO's Secretary's Three Suprise Sons'. I still tear up when the CEO finds his surprise babies are so smart they are admitted to Harvard as three years old. So hard to potty train and handle the Ivy League at the same time. But it all works out.

Sherri, you were so lucky to be in Amanda's presence.

I am in awe.

Amanda Huginkiss said...

While I am horrified to awaken at this loathsome hour, I simply cannot remain silent.

Do not listen to these people. Especially Cheryl.

Don't finish the book. Become discouraged. Quit early and often.

We can't all be fabulous. Someone has to sit on the curb and clap when my parade goes by....

Suzie Johnson said...

Great interview. Amanda kind of reminds me of Suzanne Sugarbaker. I really can't imagine how many words per day one would have to write to have written 3000 books.

Sherri, I love all your words of wisdom.

Sherri Shackelford said...

You're the masters! How are guys so funny this early in the day?!

Thank you *lizzie, you guys set the bar.

Suzie, I guess the writing goes faster when you're dictating to a handsome personal secretary :)

Nancy Kimball said...

I invested in an ACFW membership instead of fixing the garbage disposal in my house. So I hear you ladies stretching the benjamins till Franklin burps. ;-)

Guilty go to plot is:
Tortured hero overcoming their past with love. (I'm such a girl, lol)

Jan Drexler said...

Nancy - You're using fun phraseology-"stretching the benjamins until Franklin burps" made me laugh!

And Mary - Triplets? Really? Do people actually put triplets in books? If you were really crazy, you might even put two sets in!

I hear Ruthy cracking the whip. Sigh. I guess the fun's over. But I'll be back after I finish my daily word count :)

Cheryl St.John said...

Favorite reads: I am a sucker for a tortured hero. Or an underdog of any sort. If he's a cowboy, all the better. I tend to like those hardworking fellas. Put a man in a suit and he loses a bit of his appeal.

Don't listen to me? Amanda, I tell my critique partners the same thing all the time.

Sherri, I ditto *lizzie: You never disappoint. On the other hand, I don't want to let you down.

I can count on one hand the number of times in twenty plus years that a writer has come to the group, and I've been beyond excited, because I knew their talent and drive would be an amazing thing to watch develop.

And when my eyes widen, maybe it's just gas....

Nancy, you can always throw the garbage elsewhere, but the support of a great organization is invaluable. Good choice. :-)

And I got my ACFW membership instead of keeping my personal secretary, Cado. He was such a flirt, anyway. But he made the best expresso...with a leaf design on top. (Anyone seen The Green Hornet?)

Hi Mary! Great choice for guests today.

Cheryl St.John said...

Triplets: Adding a baby or a pet to a book is often a thread that has to be revisited a few times. Sometimes I have the book nearly finished and then think, now where was that kid through all this? Then I have to go through and make sure I haven't left the baby lying in his own--cradle for weeks at a time. The most difficult one was the novella in which I had the heroine chase down her footloose cousin and take custody of twins. Two babies is even more difficult than one!

How do you handle it, Mary?

Sherri, you have a baby in your book. How's that going?

Mary Connealy said...

I read part of Sherri's childbirth scene in the book that finalled in the genesis, that's the one we went over at the HWG meeting, right?
So funny. This poor woman in labor and just chaos around her. People coming and going.

Very well done, Sherri.

Mary Connealy said...


We at Seekerville are so honored to have you visit. Let me get you a pillow to prop up your feet. We want you to comfortable and know that you are loved.

Mary Connealy said...

As for children/babies in books. To me CHILDREN are easier than BABIES.

I just finished a book, coming in August, with a toddler and a baby born during the book. That toddler! I spend serious time thinking, "Who's holding Maggie? She can't be taking a nap through the whole book." I'd have to revise a scene for her specifically because I'd find her in different spots, in different arms. A toddler doesn't really DO anything. But she had to be somewhere.

A child is different. A child has dialogue and their input changes a scene, they can have a character. I'd much rather do a child than an infant.

Mary Connealy said...

Oh, and FYI, I finalled in one of the first contests I ever entered. It still took me another....eight years to get published. But that early finalist prize gave me hope, kept me typing away.

About Me said...

Sherri, you are a brave woman to go against Amanda. Though she sounds so tough, I have seen her in action, and I don't know how you kept from laughing in the woman's face.

Darling, she is just too much.

Congratulations on your contest achievements you deserve them. You and your writing are exceptionally wonderful.

Julie Lessman said...

SHERRI!!! WHAT A GREAT POST TO KICK OFF A WEEKEND!!! I am SO ready to laugh come Friday and, girlfriend, you did your job WELL today -- this was a hoot!!

LOVE the interview, LOVE Amanda and LOVE Cheryl's response to bad reviews!!! I'm afraid my and my husband's pat response to bad reviews is a little more extreme, but SO satisfying -- we simply say they are obviously a crazy tourist (i.e. lots of baggage) or just flat-out emotionally and mentally unstable. All I know is that we both feel SO much better after we trade these comments ... right before we pray for the poor dear ... :)

And I'm feeling just a wee bit jealous of Amanda and Debra with Hans and Lars ...

SUPER CONGRATS, SHERRI, on the Genesis ... you go, girl!!

Happy weekend, all!!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Sherri and Amanda! May I say the interview was delightful, even laugh out loud funny. Sadly at your expense, Sherri. I feel compelled to apologize for Amanda. Sleep deprivation is the only excuse I can give for her rather obnoxious attitude. But then again laughter is healthy so forgiveable. Though that tiny diamond jab did hit close to home. If you want to team up, I think we could take Amanda down...if we catch her by surprise.

All this aside, congratulations, Sherri on your success with contest finals and wins, especially the Genesis!


Sherri Shackelford said...

Cheryl & Mary - I kept forgetting the poor baby in my book. I had to go back and rewrite several scenes to give her more of an 'active' role. Like you said, they can't nap through the whole book!

(And yes, this is the book I read at the meeting :)

Sherri Shackelford said...

Tina, great to see you! Loved your post on Cheryl's blog :)

Julie, I like your coping strategy! That's brilliant.

Janet, I like to think of Amanda as the incarnation of that little voice that says, "You can't do this." Once we put a crown on her and dragged her into the light, that little voice looked awfully ridiculous to us :)

Mary Connealy said...

Book three of the series that begins in August has two toddlers and an infant. And I find myself nervous , worrying that the toddlers might be falling into the fire.
If blogger harrassing anyone else today?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh my stars, look at these folks, all hungerin' for a little mid-day refreshment!

Ice Cream Truck, Skippy-style!

Here the bells? The fun calliope-type music???

Step right up and pick your faves from the photo array to the left, if you please!

And for those of you behaving, I've got a veggie medley right over here.

I love me some fresh broccoli.

But not when there's ice cream!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cheryl, Tea Snorts?????

Oh how fun!

And so tasty, too! ;)

I prefer mine with lemon, please.

And just lemon. No boogers.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Amanda, I'm with you. Totally and irrevocably.

If they all quit, it CUTS DOWN MY COMPETITION.

This is never a bad thing, honey.

Pass the chocolate.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I hired Cheryl's personal assistant, CADO...

Oh, yum. ;)

But then Dave made me fire him and hire Beth.

And Beth is better in SO many ways. But... I miss me some Cado.

And Jan, umm... yeah. I'm watchin' the clock and hello???? Back to it, woman.


That's the fearsome Ruthy-whip. Or the button on my pants because I've gone to Abbott's TOO MANY TIMES.


Linnette R Mullin said...

Sherri, orphans? Then I have just the brain teaser for you next story. My dad.

He and his sister were on their way to their grandma's house (I think). In the car were their parents (mom 7 months pregnant), Aunt and grandma. They were hit by a drunk driver. The only survivors were him, his sister and their aunt.

Because his leg was severely broken and his sister was hurt badly, too, they weren't able to attend the funeral. Dad was about 9 or 10. He said for years he kept thinking he saw his mom peeking around the corner at him, that she wasn't truly dead.

My dad is a great guy. One of those tall, dark, and handsome kind. He's quiet and very gentle, but stubborn with a temper, too. Anyway, one of his uncles received custody of him and his sister who was about 11 or 12.

She was a prissy city girl who ended up in the back woods and wasn't too happy about it. But she's a fighter, overly protective, very loving. Tough gal, but who worries, too.

Anyway, thought I'd throw that at you to see if it'll get some of your wheels cranking. :D

Me? I love the damsel in distress. She's a survivor who doesn't give up, leans on God, but needs her hero to save the day. It's as old has the hills, but it emulates how Christ gave himself up for the church and that's a beautiful thing. We needed him to rescue us and I like to see brave, true-hearted men who give their all to protect the woman they love.

Jan Drexler said...

I can't believe you caught me, Ruthy! I just took a little break (after 850 words, I'll have you know!) and I thought I could drop in for lunch.

But no, it's back to the grindstone...

(Don't get me wrong, I love my grindstone...)

Jan Drexler said...

I love your dad's story, Linette! I have a similar one cooking in the back of my mind, about my grandfather.

How great are orphan stories?

Well, maybe not so great for the people who live them, but wonderful for our readers!

Linnette R Mullin said...

RUUUTHYYY.... I'm reading Small-Town Hearts. ;-) Loving it so far. :D

TINA, you have a sister named Megan and a brother named Ben? ;-) LOL so hard to read the book without seeing your face every time I read the name, Russo. :D

MARY C, did you ever figure out what the +1 does?

CAROL M liked this quote from my pastor, so I'll share it with you all: Love is not maximum emotion. Love is maximum commitment. Dr. Sinclair Ferguson. :D Thought it might help us all to make our romances even stronger.

SHERRI, yikes! I just remembered. I never did have my tea. Got busy with packing (and reading Ruthy's book. Sssshhh).

Heading for the highways and by-ways of my beautiful home state of Missouri! Can anybody say, "JULIE!" Yes! Can't wait to see her! :D

Ok. Tea time. And congrats on finaling, SHERRI! :D

Linnette R Mullin said...

JULIE said: I'm afraid my and my husband's pat response to bad reviews is a little more extreme, but SO satisfying -- we simply say they are obviously a crazy tourist (i.e. lots of baggage) or just flat-out emotionally and mentally unstable. All I know is that we both feel SO much better after we trade these comments ... right before we pray for the poor dear ... :)

ROFL! That's priceless! :D

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thanks, Jan! Keep me posted on the story. :D

Linnette R Mullin said...

Ok. I'm seriously getting off to have my tea now. Really.

Helen Gray said...


You gonna be in Ellington?

Maybe we can hook up.


Cheryl St.John said...

Linnette, I appreciated the story about your dad. What a sad situation. Just breaks my heat to think of that little guy. Obviously he had grit and turned out to be a real hero.

Wiping a little tear now...

Cheryl St.John said...

Typed too fast: breaks my HEART

Cheryl St.John said...

I have had more laughs here than all week previously. Thanks for the fun day.

Ruth, Cado filed for unemployment, and the payments are robbing my entertainment fund. It's a beast being self-employed, isn't it? Did you give him a severance package, too? What a con.

Mary Connealy said...

I Googled Blogger +1
“+1” is often used as a digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool.” It’s also a way for friends, contacts, and the rest of the world to find great things on Google search. Google launched the +1 button back in March as a way to help share web content and make search more personal and relevant.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you blog about biking. One of your readers, Tom, finds your recent post about mountain biking interesting, and clicks on the +1 button. Now, when Tom’s friends and contacts search for biking or mountain bikes and your post appears in Google search results, they might see an annotation showing that Tom +1’d your post, helping your content stand out.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm definitely +1-ing todays blog post. And yes, I did just invent the word +1-ing.

You're welcome.

Cheryl St.John said...

Is there a Seekerville fan pin for conference? I sure want to meet you people in person.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Thanks, Cheryl St. John! It is a very sad story, but my dad turned out to be a pretty good guy. Definitely the kind of daddy every little girl should have. :D

MARY, thanks for looking in to that. I'd go back and +1 Seekerville posts, but it'd take more time than I have in a day. I'll just have to start fresh. :D

Yes, I had my tea. Now the dishes are calling me. Ugh!

Linnette R Mullin said...

HELEN, no. I won't be heading to Ellington. I can't even get to Joplin where I would love to through my arms around my childhood friend (she was married to my cousin who died in the tornado). Unfortunately I only have so much time and energy. I'll be in the upper portion of the state: St Louis, Jefferson City, and Kansas City. Hopefully next year. :D

Mary Connealy said...

The Seekers gather in the bar every night as soon as you can get there. There is usually only one main floor lobby bar so we can find each other. It's open to everyone. We have a party there, too. Not just here on Seekerville.

Mary Connealy said...

I mean every night of CONFERENCE.
Most of us, in our daily lives, try not to go to the bar EVERY night.

Walt Mussell said...


Congrats on your Genesis final. I'll admit I'm jealous. :-) (I'm battling an 0 for 3 year so far, but entered another one today so I haven't let it get me down.)

Amanda, I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read any of your books. I promise to rectify that.

Jan Drexler said...

Linette - If any of your trips to Kansas City coincide with my trips to Topeka, we'll just have to get together!

BTW - Ruthy? - 1899 words today. Oh Smack!

Linnette R Mullin said...

LOL Mary! Wish I could be there...

Jan, the dates I'd be available are June 20-21.

Jan Drexler said...

Linette - I'm going to be there a month later. Rats. I was there last week, too. Sigh. I guess we're just ships passing in the night...

Sherri Shackelford said...

Linette, What a heartbreaking story. Your dad sounds like an amazing man.

Linnette R Mullin said...

Jan, I guess so.

Sherri, he's flawed like we all are, but he is a pretty amazing man. Definitely hero material. :D When I was a kid, I realized we share the same middle initial. I decided then that if I ever had my name in print I would use my middle initial as a tribute to my daddy. Hence "Linnette R Mullin." :D

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Sherri! Welcome to the blog! Thanks for such a fun interview. I have a feeling your writing involves humor. If need to get busy!


Missy--who's still laughing over the Mabelline and small diamond comment. And the Freeloader one as well. :)

Sherri Shackelford said...

Walt, I'm rooting for you!

Missy, Thank you so much for having me here today! You guys are so much fun.

Faye said...

Congrats Sherri! Fun interview!

Jessica Nelson said...

Oh my goodness! LOL That is hilarious! :-)
Congrats on the final! It sounds like you have amazingly supportive crit partners. Thanks for sharing about your experiences.

Pam Hillman said...

Catching up on comments. What fun everyone had today! I've got about 30 to go! lol

Headed out to eat, then will be back...

Michelle Stark Kurns said...

What a great post! It had me laughing so hard, which sound really funny right now because I lost my voice, I think my family thought I was choking. Thanks for the wonderful interview, I learned much.

Sherri Shackelford said...

It's funny, we were at our monthly meeting where we give out charms for accomplishments, and Hershey's kisses for rejections, losses, etc. I had a pile of charms and an even bigger pile of chocolate! I used to envy other people for their 'easy' success. What I didn't understand--it's not so easy!