Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Best of Seekerville from the Archives and First Five Pages Critique

Stop and Smell the Roses by Pam Hillman

Take a deep breath.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.


Smell the roses….


Don’t you feel better now?

While preparing for today’s blog post, my brain started whirring trying to think of an appropriate topic. I was under the gun, which is a usual occurrence for me lately. Changing policies at work, family emergencies, school starting, ACFW business, ACFW conference (Yay!), son’s graduation from basic training (hooahh!), seemed to escalate at once.

And then when I decided on a topic, my fingers started flying, thoughts began to jockey for position in my brain, my eyes darted back and forth across the page, while I made notes about the graphics I wanted to display… Sheesh! I can’t even put together a blog post without feeling like I’m on a roller-coaster.

Enough already!

Stop the presses!

Smell the roses!

Enjoy life!

Honestly, I’m beginning to think writers are the most spastic group of people on earth. Most of my writer friends talk of being so busy, so caught up the busy-ness of writing. They’re juggling promoting the book that just came out, editing the book coming out in six months, writing the book that comes out next year, AND plotting the one after that.

Pile on top of all that the fact that many authors (aspiring and established) have a day job as well, and it’s mind-boggling that we don’t go slightly insane. (I heard that, Ruthy!)

The only people I know who are busier than writers are editors.

So, I’m making a deliberate effort to s.l.o.w. d.o.w.n.

I don’t know exactly how I’m going to accomplish this, but I’m going to. I really am. I will take time to smell the roses, enjoy life, enjoy my family, and enjoy my writing.

I’ll start by…

…organizing my time better.

…not trying to fix everything for everybody.

…giving someone else an opportunity to volunteer.

…spending time with my husband.

…talking to my kids more.

…going out to lunch with my mother.

And I’ll end by …

…making this post SHORT so you can go and do likewise!

Enjoy your day and stop and smell the roses.

This post first appeared in Seekerville August 4, 2009.

Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

(Tyndale House Publishers)

When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-Fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy—literally—while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town—as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off—Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better...but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

Enter Pam's Stealing Jake Kindle Giveaway Contest. Click on the poster above. Giveaway includes A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman and Courting Miss Adelaide by Janet Dean. Who knows what books might jump on the bandwagon between now and September 30th!

Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.

Don't forget...

Today is the last day to be considered for our weekly critique.
More info here.

Only 10 more critiques left!


  1. Well said, well said. I get caught up in 'stuff' and before I know it the week/month/year has gone by. This summer I'm going to take the time to visit some of the beautiful places near where I live. Like Lake Tahoe - It's 30 minutes away and I never seem to have time to just go and sit on the beach.

    Please consider me for the first 5-pages critique.

  2. Hi Christy, happy Saturday and consider yourself in the drawing!!

  3. hi everyone! working night shift this weekend.

    Is kindle the only ebook format for this book?


  4. I love this post. And I would have smelled the roses yesterday but I was too busy spraying caustic poison on them to kill those stupid beetles.

    I love roses. Every year I wonder if they're worth the time and the work, but one perfect rose says 'yes'.

    Hey, I made coffee. Regular joe and chocolate velvet... Also flavored creamers to doll it up. Breakfast...

    Pam's not here yet, so I'm dropping off Bruegger's bagels. All kinds. Try the Asiago Italiano... Or the Parmesan something or other.

    Love 'em!

  5. Pam,

    I read your list of why you are busy twice and am amazed you came up with the idea of smelling the roses. Thanks for the reminder.

    The tips are good, too. I'm becoming aware that I spend too much time on two things"

    the Internet, although Seekerville is always worth it
    worrying :(

    I'd like to be in the drawing for the critique.

  6. I type slow. Does that count for slowing down? and I don't have any roses--the goats ate them one too many times. But I sure did love 'em. hehe. The roses and the goats.

    The phrase 'Work smarter not harder' always makes me feel dumb-as-a-door-nail. sigh.

    Happy Saturday! (it's too hot to move fast!)

  7. PAMMY!!! Love, love, LOVE this, my friend and SOOOOOO very true!!!

    My favorites in your list???

    …spending time with my husband.

    …talking to my kids more

    This year, in particular, I seem to be moving toward a more sane and relaxed lifestyle as an author and all I can say is IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! Only took three years of rat race to wear me out. That and turning 60 has had a HUGE impact, especially when I visit my Aunt Julie in the skilled-nursing facility -- YIKES, brings it all home how very short life is, so THANK YOU for the great reminder, my friend.


  8. LOVE this post. Thanks for the reminder. Need it today!

  9. Well said. I need to keep that in mind this weekend.

    I'd love to be considered for the first 5-page critique.

  10. LOVE this post, Pam. Congrats on STEALING JAKE and your son's graduation from basic training!

    And, Ruthie, how dooo you get rid of those pesky beetles? Spray doesn't seem to kill those nasty varmints.

    I'm off now to smell the roses...uh, actually, to visit my son and spend time with my husband. Nothing sweeter!

  11. Sniff, sniff

    Hi Miss Pam. I have to sniff the low ones, because I'm small.

    We dogs always take time to sniff. You can learn so much. Especially all those bagel flavors. MmmmmmMmmmmm.

    Humans. So unaware...

    May the K9 Spy, mascot

  12. Christy, I'm holding you to it! It's July 23rd, girl. Better get cracking...Then come back to Seekerville and tell us all about your trip.

  13. Susanna, Stealing Jake is only available as an ebook for now. Hoping and praying that word of mouth sales will skyrocket it to the point that Tyndale will decide to go to print with it.

    Then we could have our chocolate cake and eat it too.


    Why does everything revolve around cake???

  14. Cathy, even though this post is 2 years old, not much has changed since then.

    If anything, I'm even busier than I was then!

    BUT, the oldest is home from basic/AIT training, and the youngest graduated and is about to start college, so those worries are put to bed.

    And I've added Published Author SQUEEEEE! to sig line, so now I have a whole new list of things to accomplish in any given day.

    But I'm so thankful to be able to do everything I do.

    Some people aren't so blessed.

    Now...if I could just do it more effeciently!

  15. Same here, Patty. When the kids were small, we had some goats.

    The "kids" were cute as buttons, but just about the time my roses would leaf out and bud, they'd get out and STRIP them clean.

    It happened about 3 times that summer, then I told Cowboy the goats had to go!

  16. May, the K9 Spy has the right attitude!

    Go, May!

    Yes, we can learn alot from May. A doggie biscuit, a scratch on the head, a bowl of cool, clean water and a nice comfy bed is all they ask for.

    Uh, May, wanna trade places?

  17. Not me, Pam. I only write one book a year so I can stop and smell the roses.
    Cause everybody knows that writers don't do anything but write.

  18. This week's list included swimming lessons at 10:30 am Mon-Thurs, VBS at 6:00pm Mon-Fri. House work, writing, time with hubby in between.

    Today is the first ever meeting of my local ACFW group (I don't think we have enough to be an official "chapter" yet). I'm sooooo excited.

    Tomorrow is Sunday, which means Church, Family Dinner, Church again (hopefully a nap with my 4 y.o. in there somewhere).

    Monday-Thursday next week is swimming lessons again. But no VBS, so maybe I'll get to smell some roses, or something.

    This is a great reminder to work it in.

  19. One book a year sounds like a plan, Mel.

  20. Well, Pam are you actually going to slow down? Take your own advice and smell those gorgeous roses!

    Melanie, I love your idea of one book a year.

  21. Thanks for the reminder to slow down. I think I will print out the picture of the roses and tape them on the wall in front of my desk as a reminder!

    I've finally decided to put my five pages up for a critique - so please enter my name.

  22. Hi Miss Pam.

    Sure! Except you'd have to sit in Mom's lap a lot and help her edit. Plus, I DO have missions from time to time. BOL!!

    (That's Barking Out Loud for those who are curious...)

    I think life revolves around cake too, though Mom is careful not to give me chocolate. Piffle.

  23. Andrea! What fun to go to a writer's meeting. I love to go, but rarely do.

    My week is chokeful as it is.

    Yeah, yeah, Cara, I hear you. It's just that I don't know what to cut out! Oh, I did cut out housework. That counts.

  24. A good reminder. Please enter me in the drawing for the first five pages critique.

  25. We don't do anything but write? I knew that clause was in there somewhere!!!

    So why am I still cleaning the litter box.

    Going to research this, right now!!

  26. Great reminder to slow down! I plan to go do that.....

    Jodie Wolfe

  27. Pam. I thought I knew the challenges for a novelist, but your description is an even bigger eye opener. But it seems the great majority will say it's worth the huge commitment and effort. I hope we all will slow down, take the time to watch for God's leadings and feel His peace in a hectic world. Congratulations on Stealing Jack and on all the other good things happening for you, Pam.
    Could I be entered in the first
    5 page critique?

  28. Well, on days when it's really hot, it's hard to get outside and smell thee roses because I don't want to leave the air conditioning.

    Would love to be in the drawing.

  29. .

    It was a golfer who said:
    “please stop and smell the roses”
    and a florist who answered:
    “playing golf are my roses.”

    Think not to stop or slow down
    Just step off the merry-go-round.


  30. Ooooohhhh!!!! That's my rose!!! I have a rosebush in Missouri that looks just like that - the leaves and all. Thanks for sharing!

  31. I'm stopping for the night.

    Does it count if I sprinkle rose water on my pillow?

    Night all.

    Sweet rose-scented dreams!

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