Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Camping Outside The Promised Land

Welcome to Camp BE-A-WRITER !

At ease campers. (That's an order!)

Take off your muddy boots and relax.

It has come to our attention that some of you have become discouraged. Weary of marching miles and miles with no end in sight. Tired of eating unpublished rations. Disillusioned by the sight of the same sagging pup tent night after night.

Am I right?


We at Camp BE-A-WRITER would like to review the Promised Land Manual, Section I.

How To Survive Camp BE-A-WRITER Weariness Syndrome.

1. Recall the dream.

When did yours begin? When did you first recognize the dream in your heart? Stir up the memories of those first miraculous steps on the journey and they will chase away any doubts or fears that attempt to weigh you down.

2. Stand on the promise. When that dream was dropped in your heart it came with a promise of fulfillment. Stand on that promise.

Genesis 28:15 I am with you and will watch over you where ever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

3. Look at how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go.

The strategy used to destroy your dream is to keep you focused on how far you have to go. But the truth is you've already come a long, long way. And while you don't know exactly when you'll enter the promised land you do know that you are closer today than you have ever been before. And tomorrow you'll be even closer.

4. Don’t lose heart.

When you find yourself discouraged, stop. Renew your joy. Celebrate small miracles along the way. Every page you write, every contest you enter, every critique you open yourself up to is a reason to rejoice and be proud. You are a writer on the road to the promised land. I salute you!

5. Don’t get comfortable in your tent.

This is only a temporary place to rest. Don't even think about decorating or making it your own. Your house is over there...see it? Over the top of the horizon. It's called your dream and you won't be home until you arrive.

6. Don't quit!

Remember that God gives us strength and grace for one day at a time. Don't try to gather it and save the leftovers for tomorrow. Be present in this moment. One foot in front of the other and you will make it through one more day.

7. Be thankful.

You and you alone were called to your journey. Isn't that amazing? There are people walking on this road with no direction and no calling, envious of you. You have a call. You have a dream. You have a promise.

Everyone got that?


Now you can say you've not only been there, and done that, but you attended Camp BE-A-WRITER and have the T-shirt to prove it.


Fall in.

Prepare for the next 25 mile march over that hill to the next goal.

Today Sarge is giving away two copies of Tina Radcliffe's October Love Inspired release, Oklahoma Reunion. Print format only at this time. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition.

And for those of you who are new to Seekerville, remember to check out our Unpublished Author's Boot Camp Manual for 2011.


  1. Thank you for the encouraging words, Sarge! I'm getting ready (tomorrow, actually!) to start another school year (my final one before I graduate with my B.S. degree!), and I want to keep the dream alive and realize that graduating as an English major will be another step along the journey. :)

    OK, now I'll drop and give you 20...winks, that is! (Well, maybe not yet, but eventually!) LOL!


    P.S. I would love a chance to win Oklahoma Reunion! I really enjoyed The Rancher's Reunion! :)



    GOT IT, SARGE!!!

    Coffee's on, Sarge!!!

    If Oklahoma Reunion is as good as Rancher's Reunion, it's be a treat. Would love to have it.


  3. You guys really know how to get into the spirit of things don't you?

  4. Ack! Tina you know I want in on a chance to win Oklahoma Reunion =)

    I'm either very prepared for the length of time and work involved in becoming a successful published author... or I haven't been at it long enough yet. Clearly hoping it's the former ;-)

  5. SOP – Standing Operating Procedure

    If you want to build confidence, run the obstacle course. It’s amazing how even the biggest obstacles shrink down to size once they have been surmounted.

    Lead your troops into conflict. Show them how it’s done. Build character in yourself by exercising discipline and never being AWOL from your writing duties. Ask less of your characters than you ask of yourself. Consider duty and honor a privilege.

    And always:

    Aim High.


    P.S. I have already won “Oklahoma Reunion” and will download it on September 1st only at eHarlequin.

    P.P.S. There will be plenty of SOS in the morning along with a good supply of MREs.

  6. Ma'am! Yes MA'AM!!

    Definitely in the spirit, but just following our leader, her being fearless and all!

    Nanner nanner nanner. I FINISHED Oklahoma Reunion today and it's more than OK! Whhoo hhooo!

    Safe journey Amber!
    With ya Helen!
    You got it Vince!

    Frantzen reporting in, in the A.M. Out for now! ;)

  7. Ha! Thanks,KC..and you all be sure to check out the acknowledgements on that book.

  8. I do remember those MREs. We ate them when we were in the field in basic training, Ft. Benning, Alabama.

  9. I hear you, Sergeant Sir! Ah, ma'am. :-) Love the post, Tina! Fired me up. Even when we've reached our dream, we've still got obstacles to overcome on the path to our deadlines.

    I brought real food. Eggs, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes, biscuits and jam. A hearty breakfast for the journey.


  10. Just what I needed to hear this morning!
    Thanks, Tina.

  11. Tina you are too much. Your imagination is scary sometimes. smile

    Janet, thank goodness you brought real food. MRE's aren't my favorite. But at least they are better than they used to be.

    Amber-best wishes on getting that degree and achieving your dream.

  12. Aye, aye, sir! Oh, wait wrong division of the service!!!

    GREAT post and works for published authors as well as unpublished authors. Getting published is the ulimate dream BUT comes with different obstacles that cause discouragement and doubts. Or for me anyway....

    Don't enter me in the drawing because I have a copy coming in the mail, which I can't wait to read!

  13. Wow--I feel taller somehow. Must be from standing at attention for the last few minutes. Great post, but I'm not sure Sarge is quite right. I think you sounded more like a General. 4 stars, at least :)

    Don't enter me for the book, since I'll be downloading it to my Nook. Saluting you and tons of new sales, General Radcliffe!

  14. The theme is appropriate - my college freshman son started ROTC yesterday!

    Sarge, you've gotten me going!

    The most encouraging part of this post for me was following the link back to the Unpublished Author's Boot Camp Manual 2011. I went through and added up my current points and compared them to January - I doubled my score! Now that's measurable progress!

    Okay now, off to the firing range to work on my WIP.

    Thanks, Sarge!

    And if you see Tina Radcliffe, ask her to enter me in the drawing - can't wait to read Oklahoma Reunion!

  15. Woohoo! Tina is in military mode again! Watch out and listen up!

    Great post, Sarge! I wholeheartedly agree. Don't forget this one: Choose to believe. Believe that you will make it. You will get published. You don't know when, you just know it will happen. I was there just two years ago! I didn't know when it was going to happen, I just knew I was going to get published, some how some way. And truly it is a miracle that a major publisher published my medieval YA romance. I'm sure lots of people were just as shocked as I was! I would still be unpublished today if not for a very forward-thinking editor and the visionary (smart) people at Zonderkidz.

    And the 3 P's: Prayer, Perseverance, and Priority. Pray hard, never give up, and make writing a priority.

  16. Rose said: GREAT post and works for published authors as well as unpublished authors. Getting published is the ulimate dream BUT comes with different obstacles that cause discouragement and doubts. Or for me anyway....

    I agree 100%, Rose! The discouragement battle doesn't end when you get published! That is so true. Julie and Mary warned me about this, but you don't understand until you walk through it.

  17. Sarge, you really inspired me today!! Inspired me to keep going no matter what. Each new book is a new dream. It's something we have to pursue over and over. And never give up!

  18. Amber, good luck as you start a new semester!! My son is in the same place. Starting his senior year for his B.S.. Hard to believe!

  19. Andrea, I think you got it right! We're all standing taller in the presence of a 4-star General!! :)

  20. JAN!!! You doubled your points!! Way to go!!

  21. Thanks for the promotion, Andrea !!!

  22. Sandra, my fertile imagination is always a scary place.

  23. Karen!!! Welcome to Seekerville. Glad to have you here.

  24. This is a romantic place, right? Gen Radcliffe's MRE's notwithstanding.

    We're out here camping near the Promised Land. As IF camping on the Island, living the life in these huts as Capt Jack serves...

    Anyhow - I was sayin'

    We have a LOVELY young lady starting her senior year, and what appears to be 2 eligible young gentlemen. I've read crazier plots!

    Acknowledgments - *blush* in the company of greats. :)

    Yayyyy Melanie! Still wahooing with you!

  25. Ooooh, enter me! This is an Awesome post. Wonderful tips.

  26. And Mel is right. This advice is for published authors as well!! Trust me.

  27. KC you are so cute. And your little dog too.

  28. You are in Jessica.

    As is that lovely Nancy Kimball.

  29. I needed a good kick in the seat of my pants. Thanks.

    I'm not new to Seekerville, but I must've missed the unpublished manual. Went back and took the test, I passed, but I can stand a lot of improvement.

    I'd love to win Oklahoma Reunion.

    Connie Queen

  30. LOL. Well, um, Connie, you have come to the Kick in the Pants capitol of Cyberspace!!

  31. WHOA, BABY, SARGE ... you got my adrenalin pumping, ma'am, although I would literally "drop" if I had to "drop and give you 20" like Amber!!

    SARGE & MELANIE SAID: "This advice is for published authors as well!! Trust me."

    Sometimes even MORE so because you have this false sense of having "arrived," which only means you've gone from boot camp to the front lines where quite a few things take pot shot at you!! Thank God we have a Commander-in-Chief who has our six!!


    Pvt. 1st Class J. Lessman

  32. AMBER!!! God bless your school year and all our other young'uns heading off to the ivy!!


  33. Hugs?? Do we hug in this Army??? LOL

  34. LOL--only Tina could be responsible for this post! Love it, girl!!!!

    And oh, how I needed this pep talk today! Even having a few books with your name on the cover doesn't end the angst over when the NEXT contract will come along!

    (Unless maybe your name is Mary Connealy.)

  35. "Look at how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go."

    That's what I needed to hear coming off several good months of writing, but then feeling as if I'd fallen off the writer bandwagon in August. Dusting myself and getting back on the grind.

    It was helpful to take a look back at the Bootcamp. Still no honors but I'm in a pretty good place.

  36. Way to think, Patricia.

    Get back on that horse, er, tank.

  37. Anyone else retake the test? How'd you score??

  38. Maybe it's just me, but Tina's peptalks never reallly catch fire for me unless she calls me Maggot.

  39. Connealy, you slacker. What do you think this is. ... YOUR BIRTHDAY???

    Here's a toothbrush. Scrub the latrine.

  40. "Look at how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go."

    This is my NEW mantra!

    Thanks Sarge!

  41. Tina, wow. Did I ever need to hear this today! TY!

    Discouraged but Determined, LOL!

  42. What a fun post, Tina, filled with wise counsel. I salute you.

  43. Rose said it first. Melanie seconded...and I'm ditto-ing it third.

    Sarge's tough love goes for published authors, as well. No guts no glory applies pre- or post-publication.

    I'm squaring my shoulders and sucking in my gut, Sarge. This next book needs to be written. Top priority! NOW!!!

  44. Ah, Tina...Ma'am...Fort Benning is in Georgia. :)

  45. Part of Ft. Benning is in Alabama, too, I believe. Although I hate that Tina has such terrible memories of Alabama. :-( It's not all bad, Tina.

    You've all inspired me. First Ruthy told me I need to write faster, then Sarge, so now I'm squaring my shoulders and getting my... ah-hem... in gear. I will either start my fourth medieval or my Regency today or tomorrow! I will. Even though it scares me to death. (I always get nervous starting a new book.) But I will do it. I will. I picked names for my medieval characters, now I just have to pick the names for my Regency characters. But I will do it.

    Maybe I could write them both simultaneously. That would be a first for me.

  46. Great reminder, Sarge!
    I needed the kick in the - well, wherever writers need the kick ;-)

    Thanks Tina!

  47. "Recall the Dream" and "Stand on the Promise" together brought tears to my eyes.

    Which I quickly blinked away before Sarge could see them. Then Mary made me laugh. Geez, if I end up cleaning latrines with her, I'll be mad.

    Maybe I'll break ranks and turn my renewed energy back to my WIP.

  48. Drill Report

    To: Sgt. Tina
    From: A-Squad Leader, Vince

    It seems that my A-Squad seat-of-the-pantsers have developed a problem with their feet ‘coming alive’. Their feet don’t want to execute right-flanks on command. I know SOP calls for a swift kick in the pants but they are just too cute for that. Could you trade me a few plotters from B-Squad? I mean, the B-Squad is already being called the 'Ft. Benning Black Moments' as it is.


  49. I am embarrassed to tell you I was in Company D. Ducky Delta. How embarrassing.

  50. Oh my gosh. I got my basic training wrong. This is what happens when you drink decaf.

    I tell you nothing good can come of drinking decaf.

    It should be banned. I went to basic at Fort McClellan Alabama.

    I know I am going to the Brink for sure now.

  51. It was the fire ants in Alabama, Melly. Your Sgt says take a break. You take a break. Sit on a nice hill in the shade.

    Fire ants.

  52. Connealy? Did I give you permission to speak?

  53. Regency. Love Regency. Love Medieval too but love Regency.

    Anne Barton has some regency coming out. Haven't heard from her in a while. I wonder what she is up to? Revisions?

  54. The sucking in the gut in personally the most difficult part, Deb.

  55. Mary, LOL about the Maggot statement. OH MY.


  56. Yes, Andrea! In that case, breaking ranks is good.

    Amber, wishing you the best at school.

    Now, everyone...let's drop and give Sarge fifty...

    Words in our WIPS today that is.


  57. Helen, run with an MRE ration of your great caffienated coffee...quick! Sarge needs go-go juice!


  58. I can't wait for Oklahoma Reunion, Tina.
    I am dooooo ready for it.

    I'm not talking about the book exactly, well, that too.

    I don't think I'd have done well in the military. I think I'd have walked a lot of ten mile hikes with a seventy pound pack on my back. That's just sort of how I end up. Weak Link.

  59. Fort McClellan, Fort Benning, they're pretty much the same. :-)

    I hate fire ants too. They're not native to the U.S. They came off ships, probably landed in Mobile, and have slowly made their way up the state. They are evil evil evil.

  60. Love this post!

    Last time I took the Unpubbed Boot Camp test (in June I think?), my score was REALLY embarrassing. This time, I passed and my score was triple what it was before! Yay! Made my day.

  61. I'm laughing at you, drill instructor! Great blog. I know how important perseverance is, but I also think that when you're tired or burned out, it's fine to take a break. But then get back to your computer!!! Books don't write themselves. Unfortunately.

  62. And Natalie, you have a new picture. Love it!!

  63. Mary, what does dooooooo ready mean exactly??

    I am fortunate that in 2011 I will have taken trips with two lovely Seekers. Ruthy and in October Mary.

    We are going to Oklahoma.

    By December I will have enough inside information to write a tell all book and retire from my day job and then I can write full time.

    Anyone else want to take a trip with me???

  64. Sarge is scary. I think I'm afraid not to write!

  65. I'll take a trip with you, Tina!!! And I'm a Christy finalist.

  66. I'd salute but I'm too pooped! I already did a 25 mile march...through the suburbs where my new school is. (I work in the library).

    Apparently no one told the bus people that one of the roads they told me to walk down doesn't exsist yet. Oy...I got off the stop and wandered in circles for an hour. I could see the roof of the swanky new school because it has solar panels but I getting to it was a challenge.

    But I persevered...whoohooo...but now I'm going to crawl into my pup tent and catch some zzzzzzs so I can do it all over again tomorrow. I know I'll dream about Sarge's pep talk.

  67. Yes sir sarge!
    lol. Great article! Thanks!

  68. Tina, I love Oklahoma. My mom's family is from there. I lived there for a year and a half. We visited there for several weeks every summer growing up.

    Anyone know what "Okie feet" means?

    My kids aren't from there yet they have "Okie feet" today. LOL!


  69. Tina,
    Was that a back-handed compliment from Mary? With the whole dooooo.
    There's only one thing I know of that starts with a d and has that many oooooo's after it.

  70. Thank you all so much for the kind words and wishes for my senior year! Love ya'll! :D


  71. So Mary better fix it quick, because there is NOOOOOOOOO way, your book is anything CLOSE to THAT!

    I read your first one and it was fantabulous!

  72. Okay so when I read this earlier, there were 10 comments...

    74 now.

    Tina, sorry to be late to the party, chica, and I love this militaristic side of you. Seriously. I could do boot camp or any kind of writing camp with you... As long as the coffee's on hand, LOL!

    And I'm ready to download Oklahoma Reunion to my NOOK, home of Stealing Jake... What an amazing machine. Love it!

    And it looks like you've got the troops well in hand. But would they DARE be otherwise? Oh...

    I think not. ;)

    Hey, if I do these drills, will I lose this roll around the middle? Because I would be OKAY with that, but not okay enough to stop eating.

    Ice cream in the summer is a blessing.

  73. Missy, I love what you said: "Each new book is a new dream."

    That is the kind of strong, positive approach you need to embrace in any 'artsy' biz. Sometimes we're chosen, sometimes we're not. No guarantee of that next paycheck.


    With coffee, of course.

  74. Another Wonderful Wednesday at love to be in the drawing for Tina's book! Thanks!!

  75. Oh, my Kav. You did do basic training today!!!


  76. Melly, you and me. Road trip. I want to come down for the M & M sometime soon.


  77. Let's do it, Tina. I wish I could go to the M&M this year, since I'm up for a MAGGIE AWARD! But alas, I can't. But come to Huntsville and I will show you that Alabama is not all like Ft. McClellan, and then we will take off to Atlanta! Woohoo! Fun times.

  78. I really needed this today, wish I'd read it sooner. Thanks for the encouragement!

  79. Great reminder no matter where we are in our dreams, Tina.

    Sarge is absolutely right, don't spend so much time looking ahead that you forget to celebrate the milestones you pass.

    Can't do much in the push up arena, but sit ups? Now there's something I need to embrace, LOL! Or maybe that 25 mile hike.

    Hmm, anything to make the waist band of my jeans looser : )

  80. Tina,
    McClellan and Benning have something in common in the summer. They're both HOT! No wonder you had a lapse of memory. Due, no doubt, to too many push ups in over 100 degree temperatures.

    Not too worry. Is Mary still cleaning the latrine?

  81. Mel and Tina at M&M!!! Whoo-hoo!!!

    Missy, did you hear that?

    When, girls?

  82. Next year, if I'm fortunate enough to final in the Maggies again!!!

  83. Great, Melanie! M&M 2012! See you there!

  84. You people realize that I am going to wake you at 5 am, right?

    So lights out, troops!@!!

  85. ok that picture scared me! I would love to read your new book also.
    I have been in the city supporting a friend in a court case so out of the loop a bit (thus the pic scaring me) Im also not thinking straight. but missed coming here.

  86. Hey Tina...this is one I need to print out and hang up! I've been out of the loop the past couple of days...not feeling well and worn out! So glad I stopped in to see your post, though. Can't wait to read your book! ;) You're great!

  87. Jenny and Stacey, looks like you've both had a rough few days.

    No pushups for you guys.

  88. This. is. fantastic.
    Thank you, Sarge. (LoL, my maiden name is Sargent and I really was called Sarge sometimes.)

    Glad I didn't miss this one! Gotta share it with some friends...

  89. Thanks Tina I dont think I would have had the energy

  90. Thanks. This was great. I'm keepin' on marchin, sir.

    And would love to win the book.

    SQUEEZE the day!!!

    Gail Kittleson

  91. Gail, you have your own Drill Sarg. LOL.

  92. This was JUST the kick in the pants I needed today to get to my writing.

    I salute you Sarge!