Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bridge Those Troubled Waters

So you're going to the big conference in two weeks...

Maybe you've been there.

Maybe not.

Maybe you're at a point in your writing or your life where you stumble a little. Or fall a lot. Perhaps you're tripping over yourself to make a name, a brand, a place or spot or niche where you fit. Where your writing fits. Where your hard work and lovely words will be appreciated and enjoyed.

On the other hand, you might be so good, so strong, so certain of your destiny that you know the call will come sometime soon. Contest wins and encouraging rejections push your hopes up that today could be THE DAY. And so you listen for the phone. You carry your cell with you, fully charged, JUST IN CASE. Day after day. Week after week. And yes, month after month.

Or you might be someplace back at the beginning, testing waters, one toe at a time, getting to know people, joining local groups, finding sites like Seekerville, groups like Faith, Hope and Love and ACFW...  You might be in sensory overload, trying to take it all in, wanting to grasp in multiple directions, so many voices, so much advice, so much...

"Be still, and know that I am God."

Through all else, the be all and the end all, the Alpha and the Omega, the crux of the journey is in His hands. I believe that. I embrace that. I encourage everyone around me at all levels to do the same.


The work is work of my hands. God can't do it alone. He can't manufacture stories for me. So my work comes first, a result of my faith, my belief, my regard for God as my God. My ever-mentor. My good buddy who has seen me through so much, first as the little-girl with dirty clothes and not much food, to the trying-to-find-herself teen, and then the young mother balancing a houseful of kids and jobs. The same God who blessed me to hang on through times of trial, who gave me teeth too big for my mouth so that I'm almost REQUIRED to smile all the time, and the results of that smile are amazing friendships.

Who knew that big teeth could mean so much???  ;)

Going to a big writers' conference may seem overwhelming. You're bumping shoulders with greats like Dan Walsh, Mary Connealy, Francine Rivers, Deanne Gist...
You're sharing elevators with editors like Melissa Endlich, Rebecca Germany, Allen Arnold and Sue Brower...

You're eating at tables with agents like Natasha Kern, Steve Laube and Chip MacGregor...

And your insides are mush.

Be still, and know that I am God...

I've always loved her determination and her faith... to just touch the hem of his garment...
 A strong conference will excite you. Energize you. Amaze you.  And if you get a little emotional during a worship service, or a keynote address, or hearing gentle words of encouragement from Margaret Daley or some sweet, kindly author who gives you a much needed hug...

Be still, and know that I am God...

Embrace the life that has brought you thus far. Tap into the joy and angst... Instead of asking "Why me???"


"Why not me?"

And come into this fun, educational, spirit-filled joyful gathering with an open mind, a loving heart, and willing spirit. All else comes from this, that the wellspring of our hearts is the dayspring of the Lord. His to guide. His to direct. His to inspire.

On his timeline.

But for that to happen, the work must be of our hands first.

And each night of conference the Seekers in attendance will be gathering in the lounge area of the hotel to laugh, chat, hug, make new friends, see old friends, welcome, embrace and make fun of Mary. It's what we DO.  ;)  Come join us. Do not be shy, Seekervillagers need to leave all pretense of "shy" and "inward" at the door. And if I'm in a learning room with you, come sit by me. We'll learn together. I'll love it, totally.

Coffee's ready. Breakfast is served. And I'm sending out two copies of Mended Hearts today to commenters, (yes, you have to talk to us... sheesh. ) appropriately so.  Romantic Times gave it a 4-Star rating and called it a "complicated story, an utterly compelling read..."


I concur.


authorkathyeberly said...

Last year was my first conference. I was so excited and overwhelmed. I saw people whose books I have read for years and was awestruck. I'm going back this year, but I am going to use the "Be Still" plan.

Ausjenny said...

makes me want to come even though I am not a writer. would be so cool meeting all my favourite writers and my soon to be favourite writers!
I am sure you will all have a blast.

Project Journal said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm so wish I could go!! I wanna meet you all so bad! LOL!

Wow, Ruthy. Great post : ) I loved how you gave advice for the conference but also brought in the God piece at the end lol. That picture of the women, I agree. Her perserverance is remarkable!

How y'all doin!? It's been way too long! Hope well! Love you all! Hoping to be around more again :D

Helen Gray said...

Coffee's ready.

Excigtement. Jitters. Anticipation. Having attacks of all of them as the time gets nearer.

How should one prepare for a mentor appointment?

Welcome back, Hannah!


Valerie Comer said...

Looking forward to meeting you in person, Ruthy!

Patty Smith Hall said...

Oh, yes, conference time! Busy, nervous, overwhelming conference--but I wouldn't change it for the world!

And God must be telling me something. You see, I started writing when God woke me up in the middle of the night, whispering to me to be still and know him. Wasn't sure how I was going to do it, with teaching, girl scouts, church activities and taking care of my grandparents.

But be still, I did--and that's when all the stories God wanted me to tell dropping into my head and I started on this writing journey.

Looking so forward to seeing you and all the Seekers in St. Loius!

Melissa Jagears said...

Ok, last year I saw Mary Connealy but way across the room and not like she knew who I was, but after reading her articles and books, I'm assuming humor just drips off of her, therefore, she's probably got great comedic timing, which makes me think, how can you all make fun of a person like that? Anytime I try to spar comedically with a gifted comedian, I just end up looking like an idiot with homor so lame it can't even be considered humor.

But I guess I'll find out, since she's thrown down the gauntlet for the cutest baby contest and I'll have throw down my, gauntlet sometime during the week. And if he stays up as late as he did today (11 pm grrrrrr)then he might make an appearance at the seekerville gathering.

As for my expectations for the conference this year, I have none, well actually, I have pessimistic ones, that way I can be happy if I'm right or wrong.

Hi former roommate Kathy! Glad you're coming back, hope to see you.

mary bailey said...

I'm *not* going to the conference in two weeks. But I definitely see it sometime in the future. And I also found this post incredibly encouraging. Too often I am stumbling around and grasping at...whatever. And I just need to be still and be with God and know His plan for me.

Please don't enter me to win. I am buying a copy of Mended Hearts as soon as it appears on the shelf at my Wal-Mart! I have been looking forward to reading it since I finished Small-Town Hearts on my summer vacation. You can't put out books fast enough for me, Ruthy. Love your stories!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kathy, good girl! I remember my first one. Meeting Seekers and not knowing how they would touch my life, but LOVING THEM... Even though they beat me in contests. Brats.

People like Francine Rivers... Liz Curtis Higgs... Joan Marlow Golan...

I don't think I could have wired my jaw shut to save my soul, LOL!


Can't wait to meet you.

Jenny, one of these days either we'll come there... Or you'll come a little closer her. But in the meantime, I love our Internet "chats".

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hannah, I love 'tracking' you on Facebook, but I miss you over here!

Nice to see you, young, lovely friend. And one of these days we'll gather.

I love God. Just love him. I love how he clears the muddiest of waters. Calms the roughest sea. And the choices we're offered...

God is good. We are blessed. :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And Hannah, love the pic! You have a big smile like me.

Gotta love big teeth, LOL!

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Let me tell you about my first (and only) mentor appointment. It was with Brandilyn... and I had the time wrong.... so I was fifteen minutes early.... stalking her in the bookstore. And finally (afraid she'd messed up and I was going to miss my time) I interrupted her shopping, browsing...

And she graciously told me I was early.



She was so stinkin' nice to me, talked about what I was writing, doing, where did I see myself in five years?

I said: (with typical Ruthy humility) "Right alongside you and Dee Henderson at the awards podium."

She looked at me straight, there was a pregnant silence, and then she took my hand and said, "Let's pray."

I drove Brandilyn to prayer.

I thought only Mary could do that.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

VALERIE! Me, too! :)

I can't wait to meet you guys. Sit. Chat. Talk. Converse. About anything and everything.

Can't wait. Seriously.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Patty, I totally recognize that scenario. Oh my gosh, that's so true for me, too, and I had to learn to trust that God would show me the time.

And then I'd have to do the work.

And he did.

And I did.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Melissa, babies are always welcome. I carry benadryl in my purse, just in case.


(Kidding, seriously, all you folks who just gasped out loud... Really???)

Melissa, Mary has taught me that as well: Enter, expecting to lose. That way anything else is a wonderful surprise!

And you think it's hard to make fun of Mary???


Isn't it funny how you DON'T APPROACH people at these things. In reality, we get bummed if you don't approach us. Really. We all scrub toilets. Put our shoes on one foot at a time. Walk dogs. Open cans.

We're so delightfully normal that it's wonderful. That in itself is a blessing. And Mary and I are practicing to take our show on the road, so a loving audience is essential to our well-being.

And yes, I was serious about bringing baby. Bring Mom down too, if he's not sleeping. WE LOVE PEOPLE.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Bailey/Caroline, hey! Okay, we'll grab you sometime in the future at a conference.

I remember being so bummed two years ago. All the Seekers except me were going to Denver. I had no money. Our mortgage payment had just shot up. On top of other bills that year, that created a crisis. Beth had just miscarried little Joseph. Our hearts were heavy.

And through all that Beth kept encouraging me, knowing I was close. Reassuring me that she was okay, and I needed to work. And when that call came, I knew that even though I couldn't afford to pay for the conference that year, I could buy the plane ticket and bunk at Tina's place for the duration.

So blessed.

So I get it. We're about as real as it gets, and I can't wait to meet you in person. And hey, Mended Hearts should already be on the shelf. August 23-September 1st were stocking dates...

But I'm throwing your name in anyway, and then if you buy a copy you can give it to someone. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I am going be singing Simon and Garfunkle all day.

Judy said...

I'm not a writer, only a reader. Reading your post makes me wish I was a writer to be in the fellowship of other writers at this great conference. I can see your Faith is strong and what a lesson to all of us to "Be Still" and let God.

Enjoy the conference and please tell us all about it!


Kirsten Arnold said...

Unfortunately, I can't attend this year. I'm still holding out for next year.

The Naval Academy really needs to check with ACFW before they schedule their conference. They always schedule for the same week. So instead of spending time with all you wonderful people I'll be listening to lectures on burial practices during the War of 1812 and Civil War. But that's interesting, too. :o)

Hope you all have a blessed time.


Rose said...

I'm SO excited to be going to the conference this year! I definately plan to hang with Seekerville during the can all ask Mary what a stalker I can be!

I have my one sheets ready to go. Not the fanciest but...Now I'm trying to get my work polished up and ready to to. Which leads to my question: Do I bring one polished chapter or three?

Erica Vetsch said...

I'm just about to change the countdown meter from days to hours. :D

Can't wait to see you all!

Erica Vetsch said...

And Tina, I've got the song stuck in my head now too. :)

Cara Lynn James said...

Can't wait for conference! I love seeing friends and going to workshops because I always learn so much. Every writer needs to keeping learning.

Kirsten, did you graduate from the Naval Academy? I've been there once--it's so beautiful. My husband graduated from there a million years ago. Someday I'd like to use the Naval Academy in a story. But maybe you should instead!

Patty Wysong said...

Oh yeah, Ruthy. This is good. =]

God's will, in God's way, in God's time.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Teenster, Bridge Over Troubled Water (the album, back in the FIRST days of vinyl) was the first gift Dave bought for me. We were sixteen, and he said his mother was appalled that he spent THAT MUCH MONEY ON A GIRL...


Love me some Simon and Garfunkel!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Judy, you have blessed me with your words. And hey, you never know where Christian authors might be gathering, but how fun it would be to have you join us sometime.

What part of the country are you in?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kirsten, the times when I couldn't go???

I worked. And worked. and worked.



And I love that you're learning at the Naval Academy. So stinkin' smart of you!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Rose, one. In my opinion. Usually a request to see a chapter is to give the editor/agent an idea if they want to see more.

And often a good one-sheet will do that.

Cannot wait to meet you! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!! ;)

Janet Dean said...

Ruthy, your terrific post has ramped up my excitement about ACFW! Can't wait to hang with everyone!!!! Pretty please!!

And let me add that your post touched my heart with its truth. Thank you.


Kirsten Arnold said...

CARA--No I'm not an Academy Grad (I heard about silent insubordination and decided I better stay in the civilian world). ;o) I work with the Navy as a historian, so I attend the conferences and meetings held at the Academy. And you're right the Naval Academy is beautiful. I live about 5 minutes from the main gate, and love that my job "requires" that I attend various functions there.

RUTHY--You betcha I'll be working hard and getting new story ideas along the way!!


Audra Harders said...

Coffee always in abundance--has to be. And breakfast? How about chili, veggie, egg burritoes. Mmm, something to kick start your day.

"Be still and know that I am God."

That's the best advice for the conference. It's advice so hard to remember when so much is happening all around you over the span of just a couple days.

Be Still...

Chill out and absorb the conference rather than crumble to tears from overload. We're here for you when you feel fragmented and discouraged, just as we want to share your joys when you have that awesome appointment or chance meeting.

Be Still...

Use the prayer room. It's a haven of blessing. Regroup, recharge, reconnect with the One who loves you most.

Be still...

...unless you see Ruthy slurping coffee from her gallon-sized to-go cup while munching on donuts and danish (hint-Ruthy has ways of eliminating all carbs from favorite treats during conference...don't try this at home!). Plop down next to her and ask for a bite.

I know she'll share.

And probably throw in a puppy, too.

Pepper said...

Love you, Ruthy!!!

Great reminders.
At the breakfast table this morning, my family and I were talking about the parable of the servant who buried his talent.
It was taken away.
(We were subtly trying to encourage my 13 year old to use his incredible music abilities for singing in the church choir, but it was a no-go)
anyway - it hit me that along with all the other things we do (wives, moms, teachers, taxi-drivers, caregivers...etc), God has chose us with a very special talent of writing.
From our POV, the pace may be really slow for some. Quick for others. But it's always right on time for God.

And- I plan to the Seekers in the lobby as much as I possibly can.
And cheer VERY LOUDLY for those Seekers who are Carol Finalists!!!

Audra Harders said...

Thanks a lot, Tina. Did I really want to spend my day with Simon and Garfunkel?


Lee Ann said...

I have never been a fan of conferences. i think part of the reason is that I am profoundly deaf and it's tough to be deaf in a hearing world. I hope everyone going has a glorious time!

By the way, I do love that biblical quote "Be still, and know that I am God".

Audra Harders said...

Pepper, how come God poured so much wisdom into one so young?

And you sprinkle it around you with joyful abandon.

Kinda like a fairy.

I like that : )

Naomi Rawlings said...

I'm super excited about conference . . . and super terrified. I'm not thinking about it in hopes that I don't get myself too scared.

Thankfully I don't need to pitch a story, so that takes a little of the pressure off. But I do have a meeting with both my agent and editor on Thursday afternoon. I've never met either of them before. Talk about terrifying!!!

What do you even say at these meetings? Or maybe I'm not supposed to come with anything to say and the agent and editor interrogate me while I scramble to answer their questions? I'll let you all know if I survive. :-)

LOL! I'm sure it won't be as bad as all that. But I'm more than a little intimidated. Looking forward to meeting my greatest ever crit parter (Melissa with the world's cutest baby). And together we can go introduce ourselves to Mary, Julie, and the rest of you Seekers (strength in numbers, you know).

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Ruth. And despite being a little terrified, I still can't wait!

Melanie Dickerson said...

That was so beautiful, Ruthy. And so true and inspiring. I will miss seeing you this year.

Pepper said...

YAY! Audra called me a fairy.
A Pepper Fairy?
That's funny!

Thanks, Audra. I think you share so much wisdom too - and your personality spreads calmness.
That's why I might stick to you like glue in two weeks :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Erica, quick, go check your gmail e-mail and send me info so Tina DOES NOT KILL ME.

Minutes count...

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Thank you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Patty Wysong, while I know it's easy in word, I also know it's not so easy in fact.

Dagnabbit, who ever said life would be easy?

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something."

Princess Bride. Love it.

Knowing stuff doesn't mean I'm not an impatient snot sometimes.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kirsten, I love that you've taken your job and are blending that opportunity to create others.

That rocks, chickie!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Yes, there will be a free puppy giveaway at conference, come prepared with appropriate doggie travel paraphernalia...

Hey, I spelled that right first try. Smack!

Audra, morning, Sweet Cheeks! And yes, yes, yes, I do share, and the calories consumed in St. Louis are real, but then we've got SEASONS of virtual time to fix any conference calorie faux pas

Plenty of time between September and Thanksgiving. Right???

Patty Wysong said...

RuthyDear, that's why I repeat 'God's will in God's way in God's time' at least 100 times a day. Mandatory.

And the verse you used today--Be still and know... tends to soothe the frayed, raveled edges. ;-)

No it's not easy, but the best things in life are NOT the easily won. They're the ones you worked and fought hard for. (This is when being mulishly stubborn is a GOOD thing. LoL)

Jan Drexler said...

I'll be so happy when all of you get back from St. Louis and tell us about everything you learned!

(next year in year in year in Dallas...)

Meanwhile, I'm taking Ruthy's advice and working.

And I think Romantic Times hit it right on the button about Mended Hearts. Love, love, love it!

Jeanne T said...

Ruth, I so enjoyed this post. You chose one of my favorite verses, Psalm 46:10. I can't come to conference this year, but I'm looking forward to attending, hopefully next year. I appreciate your reminder that the work is of my hands. I know that, but it helps me remember God gives inspiration and I give the sweat equity. Thanks!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pepper, why don't kids just LISTEN????


Sigh. ;)

Anyway, can't wait to meet you, hug you and be stalked by you. Which is hysterically funny from our POV,LOL!

Also, I'm so thrilled to have finaled with Irene and Linda... And amazed.... And pretty much dumbfounded, but the crux of it is, I don't care about winning, and I'm not fishing or spewing false humility.

Really. Truly. To final and get that nod from professionals?


That's the goal.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Have I mentioned that I love Patyyt Wysong???? ;)

Pep, don't be jealous, dear. Although green becomes you.


Mary Connealy said...

I just finished Mended Hearts, Ruthy. I am helpless against the wonder of it.
Great story.

Mary Connealy said...

HANNAH!!! Hi. How are you. Welcome to Seekerville, girl.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Oh, Jan, I'm so glad you like it! Thank you!

I'll grin all day (even if I had small teeth) because of your kind words.

And Jeanne, I love it too! So maybe next year in Dallas, maybe in Denver, maybe...

who knows? Could be some impromptu meeting like me hugging Boog Powell in Baltimore two weeks ago.



Jeanne, I loved the way Herman Wouk used "Next year in Jerusalem" in War and Remembrance"... I see that phrase as more than geography, but God-searching. Hoping for peace. Ready to believe.

So that's how we'll look at conferences. And they're fun, but you know what?

My best work is done at home, dead of winter, dark. Quiet. Me, God and the snow.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


Connealy got me flustered. I HATE IT WHEN YOU DO THAT!

Mary Connealy said...

Melissa, I have warned you about this. It you throw that baby I will be forced to take the child home with me. I'm considering it anyway. A baby ould liven things up at the ranch.

Mary Connealy said...

And honestly girl, I am the biggest imaginable dork.
I do okay online because it's WRITING. But real human interaction, not so much.
So come and stand by me and bring the baby and we'll have a grand time.
Make sure and wear your name tag.

Mary Connealy said...

I went on YouTube so I could play Simon and Garfunkle while I'm reading comments. Didn't we talk about Simon and Garfunkle yesterday? If that's this month's theme, I didn't get the memo.

Casey said...

Oh my Ruthy, I didn't realize I needed that post! Because my answer so often is WHY ME? Why should I go to this conference and be encouraged or taught or...really anything! What makes me think I'm good enough to deserve this? Those are the questions I didn't realize I was asking.

THANK YOU!! I've got to head to work, wish I could hang out longer, but I'll try and stop by again tonight. :)

Mary Connealy said...

I already got Mended Hearts at WalMart so if you're searching be on your toes. It and Glynna's new release were there together. Like a Seeker Reunion on a shelf.


I mean emotionally touching, the books were actually a couple of shelves apart.

Patty Smith Hall said...

Ruthie, I don't know about you but in that time of being still and knowing Him, God taught me I was settling.

Teaching behavior disorder kids=good.

Girl Scouts=good

Taking care of others=good

But He wanted me (and all His children) to have the GREAT. Does that mean what I was doing was wrong? NO, but I was missing out on the GREAT plan God had for me.

Writing, using the imagination He gave me to witness for HIM.

Now that's GREAT!

Mary Connealy said...

YAY! ROSE!!!!! I haven't seen you forever. Rose has this JOB and she insists on GOING TO IT. When she could be playing with ME!

It pinches but she will not do the right thing.

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Connealy said...

pepper Wow, it was taken away. You are so right. And I'm a lousy singer who hates to sing especially in front of people. (Not THAT crazy about singing alone!) Could God have taken my gift away, like when I was six?

Mary Connealy said...

LEE ANN, you are deaf?
I'm not but I am hearing impaired-ish. I'm serious. In those big rooms buzzing with talk it's a real struggle for me.

One of my standard statements to people is, Wait, let me get my glasses on, I can't hear you.

It's true. I think I'm lip reading way more than I realize.

Mary Connealy said...

Naomi, I'm looking forward to meeting you. Have you got blurbs for your proposed books in hand? Written up? In a pinch you can just hand the paper over.

But you're with Natasha, sweetie, she'll take care of you. Just obey her.

Pepper said...

I got to have a nice long conversation with Mary and Myra last year and Mary WAS NOT A DORK!

She was extremely encouraging and her dry sense of humor came through just fine. Quietly. :-) I can't wait to corner her again :-)

And Ruthy - I'm so magnanimous that I can share.
And Irish lasses should always like green, IMO :-)

Pepper said...

Ooo, I second Patty's response.
Wowsers!! Good stuff.

"I give you life to FULL" is what Scriptures says.

That means GREAT!!!
Awesome, Patty.

Myra Johnson said...

No one says it like you, Ruthy!

WOW--I was typing your name and it almost came out "Truthy"!!!

Fitting, huh?

Mia Ross said...

A little Ruthy-wisdom goes a long, long way. I saw myself in more than one of those descriptions, believe me. But through it all, even when I wanted to give up, TRIED to give up, I knew way down deep in my heart that God gave me this gift intending for me to share it. That's what made me try one more time. Well, that, and Ruthy wouldn't leave me alone 'til I did ;)

Conferences can be intimidating, but you're not the only one who feels that way. Not even close. Just remember one of the Golden Rules of Kindergarten: travel with a buddy. She'll have your back, and you'll have hers. You can meet up and vent--or celebrate--whichever's most appropriate. And the Seekers will be there to steady you when you need it. They did that for me at RWA last year, and I'll always be grateful.

Mostly, just go and have a great time. Whether you've written 100 books or are struggling to finish the first, there's something for you at ACFW. All you have to do is reach out and grab it :)

Mia Ross said...

I'm with Mary on that one, Judy. Writers need readers like crops need rain. Yes, that's a Tim McGraw song, but you get the drift. Kudos to people who choose a good story over cable TV :)

Anonymous said...

hi everyone - been gone with jury duty last week and keeping up with wildfire news this week - was concerned about my dad having fires on all sides of hime(though only one really close) then found out about Bastrop and now my area in Houston has them about 30 miles away. Just scary stuff - it's so dry here. A friend in Bastrop said her home was standing but she has at least 10 friends who have lost everything. And that fire is still 0% contained last I heard.

so...I've been reading to ward off the worry (and praying too) we already smell smoke here at work. Reading takes my mind off things a bit but cant' really do that at work! so I"m eating! :-(

sounds like a good conference..not a writer but I wouldn't mind a good romance convention..missed the big one a few years ago that was here in Houston..wasnt' paying attentiong!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Name tags...

Oh, yes, if you look any bit different than the .5" x .5" I see of you here, then name tags are good/great/wonderful.

And CONNEALY... Stand in line for the baby. Hey, that's my JOB...

Although Ivan would just love the little tyke, wouldn't he?

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, I'm so sorry, Susanna! It would be so awful to be threatened by fire. When it was raining here I was wishing that we could send it your way!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

That amazed me that Dan used that yesterday...

I love Dan.

Patty SH, hey, girl... I worked with behavior disorder kids for 9 years...

Then I needed normal.

But I loved what I learned and did. And you're right, God wants GREAT...

And I was determined to do what Erma Bombeck said and when it comes to my time to stand before the Lord, I wanted to say, "Yes, I've used every bit of talent you gave me"...

Love that quote although I think I messed it up.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

We all obey Natasha. She's not my agent and I obey her.


I learn well and quick.

And you know, Audra has that problem with crowds too. Not being able to hear well. Me?

I'm talking too much to listen.

There may be a correlation there.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Naomi and all, the editors and agents all know you're nervous.

They'll ask questions... Put you at ease...

The nice ones, anyway!


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Did anyone else notice that Pepper said Mary wasn't a dork???

But said nothing about Myra????

Myra, I KNOW you're not a dork, darling, I can't imagine what Pepper was THINKING.

Vince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vince said...


“God can't do it alone.”

That must be some big project!!!

Just shaking my head and hoping you’re still here by the end of the day. : )


P.S. Have you considered a novena?

P.P.S. I wonder what Dan would think of this.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

LeAnn, that's hard, for sure. If you ever want to come and need help, we can make sure you're buddied up with someone for things.

I know there are people who know sign language. Seriously, if it comes to being a possibility, let us know. We'll figure this out. Being deaf is no reason to miss out when you've got friends to help. Really.

Pepper said...

It went without saying, Ruthy

Ruth Logan Herne said...

When you're weary...

Feeling small...

When tears are in your eyes.

I will dry them all.

This is how I see God.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Life to the full..

I have come to you...

That you might have life.

Why don't we take him seriously????

We're such dudes sometimes.

Myra, "truthy"... I like it!

Today's Irony:

Snippy Ruthy was once crowned "Miss Congeniality" in the Harvest Queen pageant of 1971...

Yes, permission to gag is given.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Aw, Mia...

You finish that second book yet? And who gave you permission to surf the net??? Hmm?


Thanks, bud. And it works both ways. Mia has managed to save people's lives from time to time because she's CALMER...

Thank God for that. And we had so much fun with her in Orlando last year. Except for the whole coffee thing, um, Julie...


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Susanna, where would we be without readers?

Unemployed, honey.

God bless you, your dad and all of the folks in Texas. Praying for relief from the build up of heat, that maybe Nate or something will stir the tropics and send you rain. Remember Patricia Maclachlan's "Skylark" about the drought?

So hard when there's no rain. So hard when there's too much like people in NY, VT, PA and MD are suffering now. I love mountains, but river valleys can sure become treacherous places.

Bless you, Susanna. Praying for Texas.

Jessica Nelson said...

So that's why I smile so much! My teeth are too big. Makes perfect sense.
Great post! I'm going again this year to ACFW and I'm nervous and excited and eeeek!

Ruth Logan Herne said...



Tripped up by my own words AGAIN.

And yet...

God would probably nod wisely, pat me on the back and say...

"Keep writing, Ruthy-girl. NFL starts tonight in Green Bay and you KNOW I'm a cheesehead."

(I'm not saying I'm privy to that, but it WAS kind of miraculous what they did last year, right?) ;)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jessica, can't wait to see you again! Jess and I got to meet last year in Orlando...

And yes, I was overwhelmed, it was my first RWA... first sale... first experience with tame rabbits lining the sidewalks.

Do you think Disney trains them to be tame????

KC Frantzen said...

Gracious - 10:30 - almost 100 comments... Ruthy's done it again!

This is my fave line lady - "On his timeline."


Wish I's joinin' you, but alas... Not. Y'all have a blast and we're rootin' for all our Seekervillagers up for awards! Can't wait to hear!!!

Love y'all - truly!

Myra Johnson said...

See, Ruthy, Pepper was just so underwhelmed with me while chatting it up with ebullient Mary that she didn't notice my latent and well-concealed dorkiness.

Mia Ross said...

See what I mean, folks? Yes, Ruthy, I'm editing the 2nd book. Going to Melissa Oct. 1. Cookie, please :)

Mary Connealy said...

I think it needs to be mentioned that Ruthy mentions that Miss Congeniality award about three times a week.

Move on, girl. You were sixteen.

Mary Connealy said...

Myra, that is such a nice way to put it.

Others might say, "Mary was so glaringly strange that all around stood frozen, slack jawed, stunned.

Myra, being normal--at least by comparison--seemed lovely (or at least non-dorky--well lovely is okay, go with that)."

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Whereas, Myra, I would call it grace, poise and charm...


And Mia!!! GOOD JOB! That's my girl. Cookie selection for today is old fashioned molasses (from Small Town Hearts) OR chocolate chip mint which are DECADENT, btw.

I'm just sayin'.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

K.C., maybe next time? And if not, we'll just continue the virtual party that began nearly FOUR YEARS AGO...


Better yet, have I mentioned that TODAY??? ;)

Prepare ye the way, authors!

Mia Ross said...

Mmmm...molasses. Thank you!

EC Spurlock said...

Thank you for this, Ruthy. I'm not going to ACFW, but I am about to do something I haven't done in 25 years (put my work on display in a convention Artist Alley) and I am FREAKING OUT!! Thank you so, so much for the reminder that "If God brings you to it, God will bring you through it".

Fresh-outta-the-oven triple chocolate cookies here for your afternoon snackin' pleasure...

Myra Johnson said...

"If God brings you to it, God will bring you through it."

Love this, EC! And congratulations on your showing--how exciting!

Um, Ruthy . . . "grace, poise, charm"??? Boy, do I have you fooled!

Let's just go with . . . lovely.

Silent and lovely.

Like the Mona Lisa.

Sort of.

Anonymous said...

sigh...I'd gladly take the heat if we didn't have to deal with these fires. I have NEVER liked fires - well except for a small one in a fireplace and even those made me nervous. These are really bad here - jumping highways, rivers(not that there's any water in the river so guess they're more like deep creeks)..big highways too, climbing up lightpoles and crossing over.
need to read darn it - I'm out of kitkats AND twix fun bars...all that's left are 3 musketeers and antacids.

your book is up next in my TBR!um, there's no fires in it are there?!


Sandra Leesmith said...

Ruthikens, The ACFW conference is so special to me because our first ACFW conference (in Denver) was when we finally met face to face after a year of critiquing together online.

And look where that led us? We met the other Seekers and started our quest to get off unpubbed island and look where we are now?

We've come a long way Baby.

Can hardly wait to see you again. And meet our Seeker friends. Hugs Sandra who is in the wilds of Utah on her way to Arizona, catching the Internet as she drives through Kanab.

Myra Johnson said...

Susanna, my heart goes out to everyone in Texas during this time of crisis. I learned today that one of my old high school classmates lost everything, and I have several other friends and acquaintances in or near the danger zones. I can't imagine what they're going through! Most definitely praying!

Andrea Strong said...


Just when I think you're all snark and sarcasm, you make me cry!

"Or you might be someplace back at the beginning, testing waters, one toe at a time, getting to know people, joining local groups, finding sites like Seekerville, groups like Faith, Hope and Love and ACFW... You might be in sensory overload, trying to take it all in, wanting to grasp in multiple directions, so many voices, so much advice, so much..."

This is me, exactly. Sometimes it's good to have a reminder that everyone (most everyone?) started out where I am. God knows where I am and will use me here and move me along at his time.


Great post!

Since there's still a book buying freeze on my checkbook, I'm definitely in for the giveaway.

andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

Andrea Strong said...


I saw that same Seeker reunion on my Wal-Mart shelf too. I took a picture and planned to do a blog post on it, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I need to get on that.

travelingstacey said...

I needed that word about being still today! For me, being still is about having peace, and sometimes that's hard in this busy life. In my opinion, way too much go-go-go. But I also want to be still and trust God concerning where He has me (my circumstances). I have wishes and dreams, and I can work towards goals and making some of those dreams come to fruition, but I have to be still at times and accept the closed doors without whining : ). That's hard! So I'm not going to be whiney about not getting to see all of you fabulous folks at the conference...God has a different plan for me this year! Hope all of you have a great time...can't wait to hear about it! : ) Blessings~Stacey a chance to get Mended Hearts..sounds wonderful!

Faye said...

Maybe someday I'll attend a conference. They sound so great :)

So excited for you new book, Ruthy!
Can't wait to read it and find out about Hannah :)

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Project Journal said...

Helen! THanks so much : ) Didn't know anyone would notice that I'd been away lol.

Ruthy, hahahahaha! Thanks in a backwards way? I always get compliments on my smile, but I'm not a huge fan. You did a great job today evidentally : ) Over 100 comments. You just speak such truth and wisdom in a conversastional way we can all relate to. Thanks for that, that's what people need to hear.

Hey Mary!! Haha welcome to Seekerville :P My home away from home! I've returned! Hopefully for reals this time ; ) Might be sending an email your way soonish fyi, you too Ruthy. It's way in advance, but I'm trying not to procrastinate and be on top of things this year :D I've made many goals for myself lol.

Muah! Love you all!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ruth.

Great advice for conference goers and life livers. I so want to go to conference, but circumstances have arisen once more to keep me from joining the fun.

Getting to meet up with people I talk with online and trying to get my nerve up to accosted that editor or agent.


Maybe next year.

Until then, I hope I am diligent with the work of my hands and more importantly the time I spend with the creator of my imagination... God.

Enjoy the conference, those who are going. And enjoy the homefires, those who aren't.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

E.C., darling, I'll get to your art crisis right after I tackle into these triple chocolate decadent cookies...

Back off, Connealy. Don't mess with me and chocolate!

E.C., seriously this is awesome, and wonderful, and marvelous. And yes, if God brings you to it, he'll bring you through it, for sure. And some of my best successes came from really rough moments, so I'm a firm believer that a baptism of fire isn't the worst thing, you know?

But I'm so stinkin' proud of you. This is just wondrous. As are you.

(I've wanted to say "As are you" ALL DAY!! Thanks, E.C.!)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

See, Myra, if the Mona Lisa is really a feminine self-portrait of an egocentric genius, I'm not thinking that analogy puts you in your best light, dear one. 'Cause he was a guy...


But we'll go with whatever you like!

Susanna, Susanna... fires... thinking, thinking. Nope, no fires!

But... um... you might need tissues. Some. Like a few. And I'll send you Kit Kats, honey. Love 'em.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra's in Kanab...

I think that's just East of Somalia.

Sandra, we have come a long way. We don't quit. We do take occasional breaks to avoid murder... And long breaths to avoid saying stupid stuff...

And we consume deadly amounts of chocolate, coffee (me) and cyber food.

I'd say we're normal! Thanks for stoppin' by on your trek through Wifi!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Andrea, you're in and oh, honey, we've been there, done that, and we're back to the building roads, baptism of fire analogies.

The trick according to the greats?


Simple. Simple. Simple.


(I didn't say EASY... You get that, right???) Hugs to you! And we have the same middle name.


Ruth Logan Herne said...


Andee Marie???

No time like the present, chickie!


Hey, grab one of E.C.'s cookies, oh my stars, they're to die for, I'm SO not kidding.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Stacey, you're in, chica! And yes, God's plans, life's circumstances, they change. I NEVER thought I'd get to Denver in May of 2009...

And by September I'd sold three books.

But the years of work, of putting books into the computer, listening to the advice of established authors who just kept saying "Write. Write. Write. Create a backlog and be ready..."

That advice was the forward thrust at the right time. So who knows what next year will bring, right? But as long as we work toward the goal (goals) always, we create opportunities.

Next year in Jerusalem, sweetie!

Helen Gray said...


Went with hubby to a doctor appointment today. Since I was driving home (drops in his eyes), my little ole car whipped into Super Center.

I found all the LI's for the month--EXCEPT RUTHY's. Has to mean it was SOLD OUT!!!

Here's a fresh pot of coffee.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina! I know exactly what you mean. And that's how it is sometimes, but thank you for your blessings, and your homefires comment.

We keep on, keepin' on. And praying for jobs, for financial ease. It's so hard to be stuck between that rock and that hard place. God bless you.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Helen, I love when I hear it sold out, so that makes me happy!

But I'm bummed that you went into the store and missed it. Dadgum.


But you're in, and we LI gals are blowing you hugs and kisses for supporting us. And I mean that so truly, kiddo.

connie said...

I would love to the conference but there's no way this year.

If it's in Dallas next year, I'll be there.

Melissa, I get what you're saying about the humor. Mine doesn't come across very well on the internet. I always figure others are saying, "what did she mean by that?" So I don't even try.

I would love to win a copy of Mended Hearts. If I don't win, I'm going to buy it.

Connie Queen

cynthia said...

I'd love to attend this conference someday. It sounds like it's a great conference with lots of opportunities to meet many different people. I hope to have the opportunity to go.

Pepper said...

Dork? You?
Oh no way! I agree with Ruthy.
You were lovely.
One of those quiet, thoughtful people.
I've always admired quiet, thoughtful people. They are much less prone to embarrass themselves.

Not that I ever had a tendency to do that.
Oh gee, now I'm thinking about me + embarrassment + ACFW...AHHHHHH! I can see it all now

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Marking down:

Connie - Dallas - CHECK!


And you're in the drawing, kiddo. And Internet humor?

Oh my stars, we should take classes. Because until people KNOW you're trying to be funny, they just think you're a jerk.

Hush, Connealy. Just hush.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cynthia, welcome to Seekerville!

And it would be fun to have you at conference one of these days.

I keep meaning to get time to go to regional conferences, but they're usually a little less expensive and only one or two day affairs. There are Christian ones and romance themed ones.

And that was a TERRIBLE sentence. And I'm not going to fix it.

I get petulant without chocolate.

Missy Tippens said...

Oh my gosh, I'm late to the party, and look at all these comments!!

What a beautiful post, Ruthy!! So touching. So true. BE STILL and KNOW...


Dan Walsh said...

Ruth, great post. I came back to answer any posts from yesterday, and remembered you saying your post also drew on the Bridge Over Troubled Waters theme (folks, that was totally unplanned).

I'd only make one edit to your post, maybe a "find and replace." I can't believe you put me in that list of "greats" people might bump into at ACFW. I'm just the guy who gets to be there with Cindi.

LOVED visiting with you all yesterday.


Susan Anne Mason said...


Thank you for those beautiful words. I'm trying to figure out how to be 'still'. It's easy for my body, but not so much for my mind. Meditation is NOT my strong point!

But I do love that verse!

Can't wait to meet everyone and soak in all the knowledge.

Don't put me in the draw. Your book should be arriving this week! Yay!


Renee Ann said...

Beautiful post! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Missy, yes. Be still...

My hardest thing. Right up there with silence.

Still working on both.

DAN!!!! :) Dude, we loved having you yesterday. The pleasure is ours, and what a fun day it was. Just loved it.

I'm so glad you stopped back, and I think it's a-okay to be both... A cool guy people would love to meet... (written as intimated)

And the guy who's lucky enough to be with Cindi. Both work for me. ;)

Susan, thank you so much for buying it! I hope you love it. It's gotten a lovely reaction from people and that makes me feel good because it's a tough story of healing. And I'm so happy that Love Inspired gives me the chance to tell stories like that. Talk about amazing grace!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Renee, hey, so glad you made it! Listen, there's a fresh batch of sponge candy on the front table, and a cooler of cokes.

Grab a seat. Enjoy. Good to see you!

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY, YES, THEY HAVE COFFEE SHOPS IN ST. LOUIS!!! What, you New Yorkers think you have the market on Starbucks??? There just happens to be one in the lobby of the Hyatt, so na-na-na-na-na!!!

Great post, sweetie, very inspirational!! Sorry I'm late, but would you believe I had the nerve to go off on a long weekend with my hubby??? Haven't had a chance till now to check in, but it's pretty clear that you're doing A-OK on your own, sweetums. :)


Pat Jeanne Davis said...

Loved this very inspiring post, Ruthy. Happy for those who'll be attending the big conference this month. Will be eagerly awaiting the reporting back here. I appreciated the reminder. "The work is work of my hands. The journey is in God's hands." Thank you for that. Always get a large dose of wisdom here. Please place me in the drawing for Mended Hearts, Ruthy, or the first 5 page critique. Many thanks.

Virginia said...

Aw! I loved the sitting with you in a learning room!
But I think I'd probably have to shove a bunch of people to the floor, climb over the crowd at your feet, and then wiggle right inbetween you and your seatmate to get a spot. :)

EC Spurlock said...

Thank you all for the inspiration today. Here's the cookie recipe for anyone who wants it:
Makes A LOT -- which is a GOOD THING!

Anonymous said...

Myra, hope your friends are ok and so sorry about the one who lost everything. I don't think Houston is to the full blown panic stage yet but it's too close for comfort that's for sure plus a lot of us are concerned for those who are in danger and have already lost their homes.

well if Mended Hearts requires tissues I dunno..might have to bump it again. I would've already read it but dealing with my dad not doing well during and after his last treatment and running back and forth to jury duty I would come home and crash. And this trial was a church fighting..why do they call it 'civil court' when nothing is civil?!

Glynna Kaye said...

Ruthy--This brings back so many memories of my first writer's conferences. How scared I was. How excited. How totally out of reality it felt to be sitting at at a breakfast table with Diana Gabaldon. Or chatting in the hallway with Debbie Macomber. Or visiting with Sue Grafton before her workshop started. And even though a little voice kept nagging "what are YOU doing here?" deep, deep inside there was a quiet place that filled with hope, a sense of belonging, an assurance that I was on the path God wanted me to be on.

CatMom said...

Oh Ruthy...Reading your post made me even more excited about this year's Conference, and I'm ready to go and pack my bag right now!! THANK YOU sooo much for sharing this today--your posts always make me smile! And I guess I'm waaaay behind on things, because I just realized you have a new photo---you are absolutely PRECIOUS!! ~ I am super excited about meeting the Seekers in person! (well, I've met a few, but not most of you). ~ Since it's already night time here in Georgia, I brought a "bedtime snack" to share--warm blueberry muffins, with glasses of milk (or mugs of hot cocoa!). Enjoy! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Pam Hillman said...

Shouldering my way through the crowd.

Good grief, Ruthy, 132 comments!

You are one popular lady.

Is this the way it's going to be at the conference? I'll never get a chance to give you a hug or nuthin'!

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy, there is a Starbucks IN the hotel.

It's mandatory for an ACFW conference.

And I'm not EVEN kidding.

Vince said...

Hi Glynna:

“And even though a little voice kept nagging "what are YOU doing here?" deep, deep inside there was a quiet place that filled with hope, a sense of belonging, an assurance that I was on the path God wanted me to be on.”

This is a beautiful piece of writing. I read it twice and then I read it out loud. You have a wonderful voice. You are a light on the right path.

It’s always worth reading every post on Seekerville.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jules, I knew you and St. Louis wouldn't let me down! Mmmm... pumpkin spice latte, here I come! :)

Long weekend with hubby... we tried that two weeks ago and spawned Hurricane Irene which chased us back home. Obviously we've still got the magic goin' on!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pat Jeanne, you're in for both, and thank you! The one nice thing about the passage of time is that there will be more conferences!

We'll hook up then.

And Virginia, that's such a cute picture you paint, but you wanna know the truth???? People who know me edge right and left, creating a distance to protect themselves if I put my foot in my mouth, a Ruthy-habit.

Being still is a lesson I'm working on with my personal trainer/Standard Poodle. her name is Libby and she counsels me for nothing more than the cost of food and veterinary care. WAY CHEAPER than mental health visits.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

E.C., thank you! Will try them and then regret I did, no doubt!

Glynna... :) Yes, it's so weird the first time, isn't it, but there were so many normal authors who just reached out to me... And youse guys. The initial Seeker crew I met in Denver.

Awesome. Well said, my friend.

Susanna, I may just use that civil court line in a book! So true! I was jury forewoman (well, of course!) for a civil trial two jury duties back and it was so interesting. And not too uncivil, but heated at times. Great look at the inner workings of justice and why things take F-O-R-E-V-E-R.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pam, I paid Mary to stop in often to pad the stats. :)

Patti Jo, I'm so excited to meet you at last! And none of this shy nonsense. Really. Just hang with us, shoulder your way in through the thronging masses...

(Hey, Julie's workshop is Thursday night, right, how much fun will that be to CRASH???? Because she's not one little itsy bit nervous!) ;)

We'll have so much fun and thanks for the pic comment. Mandy and Beth (married kids) didn't like my pro-shot so they borrowed a $1000.00 camera...

I get cold chills thinking about it...

And Mandy grabbed some shots last week that made them happier.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

PAM!!! I love that requirement, a Starbucks in the hotel. Now that's a writerly thing, my friend! ;)

Happy dancing, oh joying it in upstate! See, I can still do a jig...

Ooops. Perhaps not. Ouch.

Oh, there will be so much hugging going on that estrogen giggles will fill the air. We'll have a wonderful time.

Ruth Logan Herne said...


You are beloved.

Peggy Rychwa said...

Wow, sounds like it's going to be a fun time in the lounge.

I've been to three conferences so far, and I find they are so worthwhile. This one sounds like a "doer".

Cindy W. said...

Sure wish I could go to ACFW this year, but it just isn't my time. I'm shooting for 2013 as I hear it will be just a couple hours down the road from me in Indianapolis, IN. I will be there and will love meeting all you wonderful ladies of Seekerville. I pray you all have a wonderful blessed time!!!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.