Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Writer's Garden




Even if you don’t have a “green thumb,” it’s very likely that on occasion you’re drawn into a local garden center or nursery by something that catches your attention. Brilliant colors and lush greenery. Earthy or flowering scents. The melody of a waterfall or wind chimes.
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There’s so much to take in--from flats of flowers to racks of packaged seeds to sweet little bushes with root balls nested in burlap. So many varieties to choose from. Plants that thrive in dense shade. Others in full sun. Moist soil required or well-drained preferred.
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And then there are the tools... Shovels, rakes and hoes. Trowels and pruners. Plant stands and caddies. Trellises. Shepherd’s hooks and hanging baskets. Ceramic pots.
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For me, spending time at a local garden shop is akin to Disneyland on a miniature scale. The happiest place on earth. It’s a magical world that stretches the imagination as I envision my patio, porch or garden space along the side of the house as a riot of color, butterflies and hummingbirds dancing happily among the blooms
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But alas, despite the cool tools to admire, the varieties of vegetation to select from and all the dreaming in the world, it’s not going to happen if I don’t get my hands dirty. (Ever notice how even if you wear protective gloves that still manages to happen?)
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Writing toward publication is very similar. From the moment that vision first captures our heart to put words on paper for a reading audience, it will lay dormant--only wishful thinking--if we’re unwilling to do “the dirty work.”
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And what does that involve? Just as with plants, our writing seedling needs attention--plenty of TLC. That requires discipline to “work the soil” of a regular writing schedule, not waiting for “inspiration.” It’s watering and enriching the soil as we endeavor to learn more about the writing craft and the publishing industry. Self-editing prunes away the lifeless scenes, pinches off purposeless dialogue and cuts away dead words that slow down pacing and brings yawns to a reader. Weeding removes negative thoughts that choke our seedling’s progress. Sometimes transplanting is needed--from one genre to another. And always we need the warm sunshine of connecting with those who will encourage us not to give up.
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All of the Seekers are now published. But that’s just the beginning. Our dreams have barely sprouted above the surface, have just started that stretch toward the sky. The possibilities for growth are endless. But now more than ever we must be mindful that to consistently bloom, to bear fruit, we must continue to get our hands dirty. Just as we did when “pre-published,” we must keep learning the writing craft and applying what we learn. We must be diligent to use the “tools” we’ve discovered. One of the great beauties of being a writer is that there’s always room for growth. It’s a never-ending adventure.
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Please share with us what YOU are doing TODAY to nurture the seedling in your writing garden. What’s your next step? To finally put words to paper for the first time? To establish a regular writing schedule? Set a word count goal? Better master dialogue or pacing or deep point of view? Enter a contest for feedback? Whatever it may be, commit to that area of growth with all your heart--partner with God, be willing to get your hands dirty, and watch what happens!
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Glynna
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of my August 2011 release “At Home In His Heart” and a Paperwhite Indoor Growing Kit please mention it in the comments section -- then watch our Weekend Edition for the winner!
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Don't forget...we're giving away a Toshiba Netbook (loaded with Microsoft Office) at the end of the month from a random drawing of all our visitors. Mary Connealy has increased your odds by adding your name in the randomizer for the monthly drawing EVERY time you comment.


Glynna Kaye’s Love Inspired “Dreaming of Home” was a 2010 finalist in the “Carol Award” and “Maggie Award,” as well as a first place winner of the 2010 “Booksellers Best” and “Beacon” awards. Glynna’s most recent release “At Home In His Heart” (August 2011) garnered a 4 ½ start review from national magazine “RT Book Reviews.” Her “High Country Hearts” debuts in March 2012, the fourth set in the mountain country community of Canyon Springs, Arizona.

216 comments :

  1. Line up at the coffee bar. There's plenty to go around.

    Hi Glynna:

    I do believe you gals can create an analogy to anything.

    It's a good thing my efforts are directed at writing rather than gardening, because I have a BLACK thumb.

    I do love the writing process, though. Most of the time. :)

    Would love to get my hands on your book.

    Helen

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  2. My story has found some friendly soil and is busy being pruned and prettied up. I'm busy learning all I can about how to coax the best blooms I can from it so when readers get their first glimpse of it they find it a pleasant experience.

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  3. Hi Glynna! I would love to be entered to win the book or the kit. I'm not really a writer so I don't have much going on in that department right now. I did however just finish, right before I read this post, A Heart Revealed (yes Julie, I finally got to it) and let me say it was simply wonderful. You Seeker ladies sure are a talented bunch. Oh and Mary I just saw the cover for Over the Edge. Cute!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  4. Well, let's say that I'm exposing my little seedlings to the sun. Letting them see the light of day, instead of being hidden in a drawer (or hardrive) says that I'm ready for the hard parts- pruning and steady growth. Done with the plastic plants! Ready for the hard work that comes with a real lant, especially one that may have gotten some bents and twists and (hope not!) fungus or root rot!

    So, the way I've done that this year is contests, and participating in the query contests on seekerville. And sending out partials, etc. But you don't really get feedback that way... So, contests and the Seekers!

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  5. Life has been forcing me to have more indoor days than out, but the indoor garden I've been tending is a special one indeed...my two grandson's and a new granddaughter! They've been training me to be an efficient writer so I have more time to play, lol.
    LyndeeH

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  6. I love the gardening analogy!

    Let's see, what am I doing in my writing garden...

    Pruning - self-editing away!

    Working the soil - my regular writing schedule (7:00-9:00 every morning, and more when I can squeeze it in)

    Watering and enriching the soil - working my way through "The Breakout Novel" and visiting Seekerville every day!

    And weeding, weeding and more weeding - getting rid of Mr. Negative Thoughts by visiting my "Bits of Praise to Pull Out When the Going Gets Tough" file often.

    The next step? Querying agents and entering another contest.

    Of course, my real garden is sadly neglected...

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  7. There is a lot I could do in my writing garden.
    For now, I think I need to accept the fact I need to make a change and start when the character is much farther along in the story.

    I've been told by some professionals in the field that this might be a good idea. It's been hard giving up my original vision of the story's beginning. Actually, just tonight I read about an author's journey to publication in the genre I'm targeting and she was told to start way deeper into her story when she signed.

    I'd love to win a book.

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  8. Hi Glynna:

    A garden should be a living work of art. It should be a joy to see that warms the heart. You should plot your garden as you garden your plot. A panster who plants knows not what he’s got.

    Each week should bring something new to bloom while the colors should change like the phases of the moon.

    A garden should reward with each look that you take. The fragrances should change with each new flower its makes.

    There’s texture and height that you want to get right. There’s even some blooms that come out at night.

    It’s not a flower nor a single great sight; it’s about living God’s plan and getting it right.

    Vince

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  9. Glenna, thanks for making me think. I have a writing schedule, I've always got a writing craft book going, I've been to lots of writing conferences, won a contest, won an agent, lost an agent, will seek another one after a current rewrite.... I think my next step is to shave off time I'm wasting, particularly on the internet. Checking my e-mail is such a temptation, but going online clutters my writing brain and the quiet place where creativity is born.

    I read Second Chance Courtship recently. :)

    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

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  10. I have a problem with Facebook and the internet too Aly. Today I did jot a few more notes on my WIP.
    Nice poem Vince.
    Thanks again Seekers,you inspire me.

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  11. Hey Glenna,

    What will I do to future my imagination seedlings... watch TV .

    Just kidding.

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  12. Okay I meant nurture. nurture. Nurture

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  13. I'm at the very beginning stage. I feel God is calling me to write. I have a story blossoming in my mind and I've got several books on the craft that I am working through.

    Would love to be entered into your giveaway.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  14. Even though it's been the longest half hour/45 minutes of my day, it's worth it. After just thinking about writing a novel for almost 20 years, I finally started it. All thanks to Debbie Guisti's class, just this morning I reached 10,000 words! I'm so excited and scared. What a glorious day. Thanks Debbie!

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  15. Glynna, God seems to be pulling me back from writing for a bit, though I hope not long. I didn't want to step back. I have new story love going on right now. So I had to grant myself permission to step back. To focus on those other things-some creative-that God wants me to focus on for this short time. I always keep a notebook close by though, because you never know when that perfect first line might pop into your brain. Or a scene might burst to life. Maybe this is akin to when God would tell the Israelites to work the fields and vineyards for six years but to let the land rest for the seventh year. Lord, please don't make me wait a year. You know I'm too impatient for that.

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  16. Good morning, Helen! I'm in your debt for getting that coffee started. I don't care for coffee or tea so have NO idea how to make it! So thank you!

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  17. Hi, KELI! When's your book releasing?

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  18. Hi Glynna,

    As, I've been spending every free hour working on a manuscript with a tight deadline, I've been contemplating a couple of things concerning my writing garden.

    The first is brushing up on comma usage. The second is always having an outline to work from! I'm writing this book by the SOP. The last book I wrote had and outline and it made my writing time so much more productive!

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  19. Good morning, Glynna!

    I love growing things. Plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit trees-- beautiful, useful, enriching to our lives.

    The analogy is a lovely thought between gardening and writing, toiling over the soil from the seed (the first spark of inspiration), to the first sprout as we type our first few words, until maturity, enjoying, and finally reaping.

    I don't write consistently. I don't know why it's such a hard thing for me too. I’m happy when I sit down and get some sort of word count out. But it can’t just be words—I have to feel them to be accomplishing something, helping the story, the characters, serving some sort of purpose. I want to work towards publication. I considered NaNoWriMo, but I start two of my last three classes in November, so I can’t exactly clear my calendar. My goal is to be able to finish and polish my current WIP in time for next year’s Golden Heart.

    Whitney

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  20. Good Morning Seekers, always a treat to stop by and see what you girls are up to, gardening now would be right up my Mom's alley, sadly I did not get a green thumb. I am though and avid reader and would love to be in the drawing for your book and the kitchen kit. Now for a cup of that great tasting coffee you always have waiting. Paula O from Ga

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  21. Good morning, RENEE! I think the garden analogy can be applied to ANY dream God's planted in our hearts, not just dreams to be a published writer.

    I have so much fun reading Seeker books, too. I keep them rowed up on the top shelf of my desk so I can look up and see the evidence of the AMAZING thing God has done for us!

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  22. VIRGINIA--Sounds like you're definitely willing to "get your hands dirty!" As you know, it's through the contests that all the Seekers met--and a number of us sold via that route. Entering contests for feedback was THE prime learning tool for me. There wasn't an internet when I started out--so no helpful Seekerville-type sites, no on-line info of any kind. I'm SO thankful for the many judges who encouraged me and taught me how to better apply the tools of the writing craft.

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  23. I have improved my word per day count this week! I'm not very good at analogies but it's like weeding out the distractions and getting to work. I'd love to win your book.

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  24. Hi, LYNDEE! Oh, my! A houseful of grandkids will certainly keep you on your toes and teach you to make good use of your snatches of "gardening" time!

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  25. JAN -- You're one busy "gardener!" No weeds growing there!

    I'm getting close to having a first draft done of my next book and am eager to get to the "pruning" stage. That's what I love most--it's in that phase that my stories really come alive for me.

    My real life garden is long-gone, nipped by the freeze and early-in-the-season snow (more white stuff expected tonight). The maples that only a week ago were at their brilliant peak are now bare branches. It's really starting to look and feel wintry. In a few months, though, I'll have "cabin fever" and pull out the gardening books and catalogs and begin plotting for NEXT summer's flowers!

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  26. Good Morning, CATHY! It seems many editors and readers like stories to open right in the middle of some kind of conflict, weaving the backstory in gradually.

    You may be amazed that even though your opening as it's currently written now is great, you fall in love with it even more starting at a different place. When I'm starting a book, I often play with different ideas for that first chapter and sometimes even forget that the one I finished with wasn't the one I started with! Yet I'm so much happier with the final one.

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  27. WOW, VINCE! Thank you so much for the VERY fitting poem! Such beautiful lyrics--it reads like a song. I especially like the last line!

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  28. Helen, thanks for the coffee! I'll definitely be visiting the pot so I can wrap my hands around that steaming mug on this snowy day! :)

    Glynna, I loved your garden analogy! Wonderful. I'm in the process of taking the seeds out of the packet (my mind) and sowing them into readied soil as I write my first draft of my story. I am doing my own personal NaNoWriMo this November and I'm so excited to see what the results will be. Thanks for the encouragement to garden our stories. :)

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  29. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 26, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Morning everyone! Glynna what a great comparison. I never thought of comparing gardening to writing but it makes sense. In order to have a beautiful garden or book you have to be willing to not only get your hands dirty but put in a lot of hard work. I already have a copy of your latest release. It's on my TBR pile I just have to dig around to bring it to the top.

    I brought some tea and scones to go with the lovely garden setting Glynna has put in our minds. Enjoy!

    fantum2004ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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  30. Oh, Glynna, will you please enter me for your drawing? Thanks!

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  31. ALY - Sounds like you're another one with a solid "gardening" plan!

    That lost time thing is a constant wrestling match for most of us. If I log on to the internet when I first get up rather than going straight to my writing, I can lose 30-60 precious minutes of my before-work time. Sometimes I set a timer for 10-15 minutes and then tell myself THAT'S IT until tonight!

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  32. Good Morning, MARY! It's so nice to know we inspire other writers and readers to move toward the dreams God's planted in their hearts.

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  33. Whitney, I don't know if this will help, but I have friends who have done their own "NanoWriMo" in a month that works better for them. They have set their goal and worked toward it.

    For me,I'm finally moving forward wtih my wip, and I don't want to start a whole new book. So, I'm holding myself accountable to a few friends and aiming to write 50K words on my current wip. I hope you're able to find time to write. :)

    I hope you're able to meet your personal writing goals. :)

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  34. Hi, TINA P! Oddly enough, sometimes something on TV DOES spark an idea for a scene or a character!

    Believe it or not, I haven't had a TV for a year-and-a-half. Mine conked out and hasn't been replaced. Not because I'm anti-TV, but just because I don't have any time to research and go out and buy a new one!

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  37. Glynna - this was just beautiful. Now we can call the Seekers "Young Sprouts" - hee hah!!!

    I'm working on book 2,in the process of discovering what will work for THIS garden. I'm starting Chapter 11 today, AFTER I go tend the up and running garden.

    Meaning, May the K9 Spy has an appearance today with her "adoring fans" at the Library. By special request too! ;D

    She is SO excited. She just loves doing this... Which helps. And DH will be accompanying us for the first time. Should be fun.

    So - variety of tools out, sun shining, ready to sell a little "produce" at the "local farmer's market"... It's going to be a PAWSOME day!

    (Special note to Janet: THANK YOU AGAIN!!!)

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  38. and Vince...

    It’s not a flower nor a single great sight; it’s about living God’s plan and getting it right.

    Spot on as usual sir! Thank you for the fabulous poem!

    I love Seekerville!

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  39. Good morning, CINDY W! I'm always excited when budding writers take their first steps out into the sunshine. I hope we at Seekerville can help you nurture that calling!

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  40. CARROLL! 10,000 words is FABULOUS! I'm so thrilled that after 20 years you're putting that story on paper. It IS exciting. It IS scary. And oh-so-wonderful! Isn't Debby the greatest??

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  41. Hey Helen, you're the first one up! (We're lining up for coffee-can't you see us)

    Glynna, you did a great job with the analogy of gardening and writing. Love your writing. And yes, I would love to have your book or kit.

    Count me out of the gardening though. Like Helen, I have a black thumb. Good thing my husband has a green one.

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  42. Good morning, MINDY! Sometimes God does call us to step back for a little while. Several of the Seekers have done that both pre-and-post publication. Your analogy of the ground needing to lie fallow for a time is a good one. And continuing to write down those idea snatches is wise--they'll be waiting there for you when you get the go-ahead to return to your writing.

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  43. HELLO, ROSE! I can relate to that deadline business. I'm on one of my own right now. Of course, once you're published you're ALWAYS living on a deadline, right?

    I used to be a seat-of-the-pants writer, but spent way too many years with way too many unfinished manuscripts so had to come up with a high-level plan to keep me focused and moving in the right direction. I have such a small window of time each day to write that I'm more productive if I have a general idea of where I'm going next. Unlike some of the gifted Pansters, I can't hold an entire story in my head alone.

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  44. Hi Glynna,

    To date I’m pretty proud of my garden, not satisfied as I continue to grow and learn, but the sprouts are growing and reaching for the sun. My word count continues to grow. I’m up to 3000 words a day. I have tossed some seeds out with submissions and am just patiently (or not) waiting to hear back.

    I’ve started branching out and getting a bit more involved by joining the RWA chapter, Hearts through History. And will be teaching online course for them on the early years of the Navy SEALs. This is another branch as I begin plotting a military series that will focus on a whole new kind of cowboy than I’ve been writing about.

    I'm preparing for whatever door may open and enjoying playing in the dirt until they do.

    --Kirsten

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  45. HELLO, WHITNEY! I've never tried the NaNo challenge. I don't think I'd be much good at it as I'm the tortoise in the tortoise and the hare story. But I know some writers who love it--say it really gets their creative juices going and they can get a rough draft down in record time. Don't think I'd want to try it while taking classes either--talk about circuit overload!

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  46. Beautiful post! I've already read your latest book and I LOVED it. Thank you so much for turning me onto Seekersville. I stop here everyday for inspiration.

    What am I doing to nurture my writing today?...well, it just so happens to be my day off from the day job, so I plan on writing ALL day. I also plan on outlining the story I'm going to start on November 1st for NaNoWriMo. Gonna be a great day. Hope everyone in Seekersville has a wonderful day full of lots of writing time!

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  47. Hi, Glynna! I am a terrible gardener. Well, I'm not a gardener at all. But I love beautiful flowers! You make a great analogy.

    My current goal is to write this next book, carving out time each day to write at least a little bit, and meticulously research it at the same time. So far so good.

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  48. GOOD MORNING, PAULA! Thanks for stopping by! Writers AND READERS are always welcome here!

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  49. Beautiful analogy Glynna!! I can tell you are an extremely talented writer!

    I guess after much watering and pruning, I’m finally trying to enter my little seedlings in gardening shows (aka contests) and even letting professional gardeners view them (aka agents and editors). It's such an exciting process!

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  50. Morning Glynna, Loved the analogy of writing to a garden. I'm afraid I'm like Lyndee and others. DH won't let me near the garden. LOL

    But writing--smile

    Have a wonderful day. I brought some trays of cinnabons to go with the coffee Helen made. Enjoy.

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  51. HI DONNA! Congrats on increasing your word count! I'm working on that myself, too. I believe it's Mary Connealy who suggests that you increase it by small increments every few weeks. Push yourself for 100 words more in your alloted writing time until it becomes comfortable and regularly attainable, then increase it another fraction. She says eventually you'll find that "sweet spot" that you can consistently attain. I'm all over the place right now--I want to be able to write 1500 words in 90 minutes. Sometimes I can do that easily--and sometimes I can't, but that's my current goal.

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  52. Everyone should go on over to the Yankee-Belle Cafe. They're talking figs today! Oh, but yesterday was chocolate brownie recipes. Mmmmm boy did they look good.

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  53. GOOD MORNING, JEANNE! And best wishes on your NaNo for November and your march toward completing that first draft! There's nothing more exciting than typing THE END--unless it's getting a call from an editor who wants to buy it! :)

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  54. GOOD MORNING KC & MAY! Hope you have a great day "playing in the garden!" So wonderful to reap the rewards of your hard work--stepping back to smell the roses so to speak! Have fun!

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  55. GOOD MORNING, LAURA! I suppose gardening's probably an odd comparison to be making at this time of year with everything going dormant, but I'm already thinking of next Spring. In fact, I need to get some bulbs planted before we have a HARD freeze here!

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  56. I would like to be entered for the book, please!
    ashley roberts
    flwhizkid@gmail.com

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  57. I like flowers, I just don't like to plant them!

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  58. Vince, I loved your poem!

    And Glynna, I forgot to ask to be included in the drawing...so, please?

    Now, back to my hoeing and weeding - on Chapter 6 of my new WIP this morning. Editing is slated for this afternoon :)

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  59. The gardening analogy was kind of cool!

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  60. HI, PATSY! Thanks for stopping in! I'm glad your hubby is a successful gardener so you don't have to resort to plastic flowers!

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  61. WOW, KIRSTEN! 3,000 words a day! That's incredible! It sounds, too, as if this is a VERY active "growing season" for you!

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  62. Good morning, ANNIE! So happy you checked out Seekerville and are now a part of the family! Best wishes on whole day to write and the NaNo!! All of you will have to report back to us on your word counts, the challenges, and what you learned about yourself and your writing through it!

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  63. May here... Thanks Miss Glynna! WAHOO!!! Fun with the kids today. I'm soooo excited.

    But to your analogy: I have an excellent sniffer for the roses and the insects, moles, etc.)...

    You just NEVER KNOW what I'll dig up! BOL!

    PS - Mom asked to be entered into the drawing please. Thank you!

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  64. HELLO, MELANIE! Seems your writing garden is REALLY thriving right now!

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  65. Today I am watching it snow in Denver. And snow. And snow.

    While my garden is covered with snow is the perfect time to brainstorm a new book.

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  66. ooh the Yankee-Belle sounds good. I've never been there.

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  67. Hello AMANDA! I'm excited for you as you venture out into the writing garden more and more! Sounds as though you've making GREAT progress!

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  68. Dang, Kirsten!! You are writing 3000 words per day??

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  69. Hey, there, SANDRA! With such a wonderfully long growing season where you live, I can't imagine that you're letting your hubby have all the fun. Then again, if he's willing to do it all, that let's YOU enjoy it and gives you more time to write!!

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  70. Hi TINA! You're probably like me--you love to WATCH it snow but aren't so thrilled with the shoveling. We're expecting snow here tonight--had a little on the mountain tops yesteday afteroon-- but nothing that should require a shovel. Whew.

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  71. Hmmmm, excellent analogy: I'm struggling to keep up with regular word counts in the face of uncertainty as I await approval on a proposal.

    Those seeds are under the soil, I just have to have faith they're sprouting roots!

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  72. TINA! I just checked NOAA and you're not just getting a dusting of snow, you're under a winter storm warning of up to 6 inches!

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  73. GOOD MORNING, SHERRI! Those waiting games are always tricky--you want to get as far on the story as you can, but also know that feedback on the proposal might change things and require rewrites. I usualy go for the word count as I figure nothing I write is ever lost and sometimes the added word count, even if not used in the final manuscript, helps me know my characters better.

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  74. That's so true, Glynna! I just picked up a chapter of Stein on Writing. I don't want to get lazy in the craft, just because writing feels more natural now. Great metaphor!

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  75. Good morning Glynna, I'm wrapping up all my subplots today. I have a brown thumb so gardening isn't really a good analogy for my writing, but you have a beautiful way with words.

    Tina, You have snow and Hurricane Rina is off the Yucatan Peninsula threatening to enter the Gulf.

    Dontcha just love this crazy weather!

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  76. OH, i LOVE THIS ANALOGY TO SEEDS SPROUTING AND BEING A GARDEN!!!

    Glynna, I love gardens... I do sacrifice mine to write most of the time because I'd rather write.

    So forgive the weeds!

    But my goals are always steadfast: to work steadily and with eyes ahead, allowing God to take me on the journey. My work, his path.

    And I love being a baby sprout! Makes me feel not so old!

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  77. great post, Glynna. I makes me wish I'd watered my philodendren a little more often, may it rest in peace.

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  78. Hi, JESSICA! I have favorite writing craft books that I like to return to time and time again. Seems I learn something new from them every time I read them--or if if it's not something NEW it's a reminder of something I know but have perhaps become lax on.

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  79. GOOD MORNING, BRIDGETT! If you're wrapping up subplots today, you must be real close to THE END!!!

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  80. HEY RUTHY! Another avid gardener! But like you, I'm afraid since I got my first contract my "gardens" have been reduced to bright tubs of flowers and whatever perennials make it through the winter! I used to be big on herb gardening but, alas, no time now. As I gradually learn to write faster, though, I'm hopeful that I'll gain a little gardening time again on down the road!

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  81. HI, MARY! Thanks for starting my day out with a smile!!! :)

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  82. Just logged on and of course the first comment I see is Helen's. (Lovely post, BTW, Glynna--as usual!)

    Oh, girlfriend! I'm with you on the gardening thing! I have a whole deck full of potted plants, but if they weren't natural thrivers, they'd have gone out with the trash years ago. About the most I'm good for is an occasional sprinkle with the hose and maybe topping off the potting soil once a year.

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  83. Glynna,

    first, my deepest apologies for misspelling your lovely name.

    I hear several people say getting rid of their TV was a good move.

    I do like to watch documentaries. There are some awesome ones on Netflix. And I sometimes let Fox news run in the background as I write.

    That might explain the angst in my writing and why my characters are all named after news anchors.

    Tina P

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  84. Ooooh, writing AND gardening. Throw in some chocolate and Helen's coffee and I'm in danger of passion overload.

    Love the analogies in this post, Glynna. Would also love to be entered for the draws :) (ddfencegirl{at}gmail{dot}com)

    I'm committing to entering various contests with my best work. And then revising like crazy with the uber valuable feedback.

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  85. Hi Glynna! I've already read your book and loved it! I've read all your books in this fictional Arizona town! We used to live in Arizona, although it was in Tucson. However, our daughter went to college in Flagstaff so I feel like I can relate to the setting of your books!!! I liked your post today. I am not a gardener at all. I wish I were but have found that it's just not my thing! I defintely have a black thumb!

    Don't enter me in the contest since I've read you book but I wanted to tell you I enjoyed it!

    Valri westernaz@msn.com

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  86. Popping in while folding clothes...

    I have no green thumb. The only thing I can grow is hair.

    And book collections.

    In fact, a book by a certain Myra Johnson is free on Kindle right now :D. One Imperfect Christmas

    Hoping my book has found fertile soil with agents but we'll see...

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  87. Hi, Myra! I have VERY short summers and terrible soil quality where I live so I have an excuse, but you live in "Southern Living" territory!! You know, where you poke something in the ground and it grows up gorgeous overnight!

    Do any of the rest of you read Southern Living? I got hooked on it years & years ago when my Texas Grandma always had a stack of them waiting for me when I'd go to visit her. Great recipes and gardening ideas!

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  88. Er and I forgot to enter for books... Think I missed this one on the shelves...

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

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  89. TINA P -- I laughed aloud at your news anchor character names!

    I'm not much into sitcoms or dramas, but set the remote to the History Channel, TLC and HGTV and I'm a goner for hours at a time!

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  90. Hello DIANA--a gal after my own heart! The contest feedback was invaluable to my growth as a writer. The scores didn't mean too much until I got good enough to start finaling and winning, but the comments that accompanied them or that the judge took the time to put on the manuscript itself were wonderful. So many people willing to show me how I could do things better & better! I can never thank them enough!

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  91. Hi Glynna,

    Lovely post! I have spent the summer pruning and pruning one story.

    Now I am preparing the soil for my next endeavor! I'm going to try the NaNoWriMo!! I'm going way outside my comfort zone and even switching genres to historical for this one!
    Let's hope the seeds sprout well in the soil during November!

    Tina, snow already! Yuck. Although we are getting close. It's cold and rainy here. I miss the sunshine!! Well, more time for writing this way.

    Thanks for the beautiful flowers, Glynna!!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  92. Hi, VALRI! So happy you've enjoyed my books! Music to a writer's ears for sure as you always wonder, when you're working on a book, will anyone like it???? :)

    A 4th Canyon Springs story comes out in March -- "High Country Hearts." It features Meg McGuire's brother Rob and Joe Diaz's cousin Olivia.

    Then I'm taking a break from my Arizona setting to finish up book #4 of a 6-book continuity series that's coming out from Love Inspired in 2012. It's a series with the individual books written by different authors. Set in Texas.

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  93. GOOD MORNING, CAROL M! Thanks for the heads up on Myra's wonderful book! I have it in hardcopy but my Kindle may just need it, too!

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  94. Hi, SUSAN! Another brave soul facing the NaNo!! I bet it will be fun to switch genres for it.

    Definitely, definitely, definitely you all need to report back in and let us know how it goes!

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  95. I love this analogy. Going to get my "have-to" things out of the way and then cultivate my WIP. Thanks for sharing this! :)

    I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks so much.

    Blessings,
    Karen
    klange61(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  96. "I am the vine and you are the branches; he who dwells in me will bear much fruit."

    Lovely post today, Glynna! :-)

    I'm doing a lot of editing right now, which is a lot like what I'm doing for my rose bushes to prepare them for winter -- pruning out the dead wood and moving the errant branches into better positions in the trellis.

    Have a bloomin' day, everyone! :-)

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  97. Thanks for the heads up on Myra's book, Carol! It's on my Kindle :)

    Snow in the Rockies? We've had snow in the air, but nothing on the ground.

    Glynna - Southern Living magazine. I loved reading it when we lived in the near-south (aka Kentucky). The gardens were always gorgeous in that magazine.

    My garden here in our new home is only virtual so far. I had a hard time leaving my last one behind - the grieving process hasn't gotten far enough along to think about starting over. Again.

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  98. Thanks, EC! Enjoy your editing today!

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  99. JAN -- when I lived in Missouri and Iowa and Illinois, you could practically drop seeds on the ground and they'd grow. But where I live now, it's a WHOLE different story. When I glance thru Southern Living now, it's definitely read it and weep!!

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  100. Hi Glynna! So true!

    I am busy writing my third novel, tentatively titled Highland Midwife which I'm hoping LIH will acquire to go with Highland Hearts and Highland Governess. I'm trying to write 1k per day. So far so good! I feel like I've started NaNoWriMo early :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  101. Well, I have to dash and will be out-of-pocket for awhile. Will return later. Hope you all have a WONDERFUL day in your writing and reading gardens!!

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  102. Loved how you compared working in the garden to our writing, Glynna! Your saavy post reminds us that writers never arrive. We need to keep working, improving craft just as we must keep tending our gardens. For me that means deadheading. Getting rid of the ugly, the stuff that doesn't work that destroys the beauty of the rest.

    Helen, thanks for the coffee.

    Vince, love the poem!

    Janet

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  103. I love it that you Seekers apply life stuff and turn it around to talk about your writing. I'm familiar with gardening so this post clicked real well with me and what you were talking about.

    I've written a few devotional-type stories and shared a couple of them with a friend who (didn't know it at the time)turned out to be someone who critiques and helps writers do better, for money! Since then, my life has taken a turn and I have to spend it somewhere besides those type things. Though, when the Lord put a short story/devotional on my heart, He also put it on paper with little effort and little time.

    You all remind me of the book of Acts, where everyone shared all they had so no one was in need or want. In your case, sharing knowledge and support is amazing!

    I'm just supposing that writing is a never-ending adventure, just like my garden sometimes has a mind of it's own: volunteers pop in unexpectedly and turns the garden into something different than originally planned. At least it has qualities of what I anticipated but with stuff included I didn't.

    I would love to be entered into today's drawing for “At Home In His Heart” and a Paperwhite Indoor Growing Kit. Thanks.

    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

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  104. My seedlings definitely need nurturing. I just completed a plot/characterization workshop in preparation for NaNoWriMo next month. Then, I plan to finish and polish the ms in 2012 while writing something new. The biggest thing I can do, though, is develop a consistent writing habit. I've been working on this, but it's not so easily accomplished. That will be a 2012 focus too.

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  105. You must've seen me working. I just came in from hoeing my garden. The plants look good, they just don't have any fruit. That counts doesn't it?

    One thing that has helped me is I started "reporting in" to a critique partner everyday. I can get by with a day or two of not writing, but then I know she'll fuss at me so I write. It's really helped me.

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  106. So glad you guys are able to grab Myra's book!

    I'm doing NaNo too. I'd try to come up with some sort of witty gardening analogy for starting a new series [same genre] but, yeah. I got nuthin'.

    I'm excited about it though :D. Would love to stay up late Monday night and start at midnight, but alas, I have an early morning the first so I won't be doing that, but I will be writing like a mad woman that afternoon. My daughters will be too. DD10 has a daily goal of 175 words and DD8's is officially 70, but she wants to push it to 100. We'll see :D.

    Back to folding clothes... /sigh/

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  107. I think you're right, Patricia. Cultivating that habit of consistent writing is so hard to do, but so rewarding.

    I'd like to share a little ditty I wrote for my Facebook status today (not trying to rival Vince's literary masterpieces!):


    "In chapter 6 of my next history.

    A bit of fiction mystery.

    The writing is slow, but a little bit every day.

    I'd rather be the tortoise than the hare, anyway."

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  108. I love having a small garden but this year has been really bad for gardens, to wet and then to dry. It was very hot this year so I didn't get to spend as much time outside as I like.

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  109. Hey, GLYNNA, AWESOME POST, girl, and SOOO true!!

    You asked us to share what we are doing to nurture the seedling in our writing gardens and what the next step might be.

    As I finish up the edits for the final O'Connor book, Steven's story, in which my editor asked me to cut 50,000 words, I am REALLLLLY looking forward to the next step in cultivating my garden!! NEVER have I been readier to write a short book, which is good because my next series, The Cousins McClare, will only be 300-350 pages versus my O'Connor saga, which is 480-500+ pages in most cases. Also, the new books will be a wee bit more linear, not so deep and complicated (yeah, good luck with that!), so it's a challenge I'm reallllly looking forward to! Although it's going to be tough to say good-bye to the O'Connors because I've lived with these people for ten years now ... Oh, well, all the more reason to write a Marcy/Patrick prequel, right???

    Whatever the gardening plan, as a former gardener, I have to admit I am pretty excited about the pruning process and ... hopefully ... the subsequent growth! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  110. Glynna, I've dream of having a beautiul backyard with a rock pathway leading to an oasis of all kinds of plants and flowers. Sadly, I don't have a green thumb at all.

    My mother gave my husband a fern for our upholstery shop and it grew, huge! It's in one of the largest pots we could find. I separated it out and brough half home. I killed mine, his grew even larger. He split it and brough half home again. So far it's still alive but it's been outside this whole time until last week. I feel this competitive spirit rising up within me. I want my plant to live. I want it to out grow his. ;)

    My writing is moving along. In the last month is that I've been blessed with a mentor! She's great at encouraging and motivating as well as answering questions I'd typically be afraid to ask.

    I'm almost half way through the first draft of my 4th story. After having a lull, writing 1500 words a day is getting easier. Now if only I could get the revising down.

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  111. RENEE!!! You finished it, really and truly??? And no 1-star to worry about, I hope??? :) Sooo glad you enjoyed it, my friend, and I TOTALLY agree -- the Seeker ladies ARE a truly talented bunch. But, uh-oh ... haven't seen Mary's new cover yet, so will have to scout it out next ...


    VINCE SAID: "A garden should be a living work of art." Oh, AMEN to that, my friend!! I used to have ten huge berms in my yard with every perennial known to man (pre-books, that is), and I saw it as a pallet with an S-curved wooden walkway my hubby built that I lined with perfectly manicured boxwood balls and alternating purple and yellow mums. Soooo fun!! Uh, that is, if you have time to devote to it, which I don't anymore. Sigh.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  112. Hello??? Do you all realize there is also a Kindle Touch winner announced on Sunday from all the comments from 10/22-10/28?

    OMGOSH!!!!!!!

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  113. Hey, CARROLL -- SUPER CONGRATS on the 10,000 words, girl -- you ROCK!!


    KC SAID: "Now we can call the Seekers "Young Sprouts" LOL!! That might be stretching it for some of us who are older than dirt! :) And HOW FUN to get a request for May to speak ... er ... bark?


    TINA, NOOOOOOOOO!!!! Snow in Denver????

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  114. Thanks for the great metaphors:) Helps me visualize my book coming to life! I am in the process of learning to fulfill my word count goal everyday:-) Also feel like I get bogged down in research so much(my MS is a historical fiction)...trying to figure out how to write so I can 'save it for later' or something.

    I would love to win your book:)

    Lorna

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

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  115. Glynna! Hey, lady! Great post! I call my writing business, Linnette's Writing Corner. But the place I escape to write (in my imagination) is in a beautiful flower garden with cottage tucked at the base of a wrap-around mountain and gazebo at the edge of a tumbling stream - deep in the heart of the Blue Monkey (writer's) jungle. :-)

    I strive to reach weekly WC even if I can't reach daily. Between chronic illness and four VERY busy boys, some days I want to scream, "GO AWAY AND LET ME WRITE!!!" :D I went a whole week without writing and it nearly drove me insane. Not really, but I was getting pretty desperate.

    My slogan is:

    "Every word written is one more unwritten!"

    This is how I keep from getting discouraged on those days I get little to no word count in. And though I struggle with focus and flow when I only get in 100, 200, 500 a day, I'm always amazed how by the end of such a week how many words ended up on the page. It all adds up!

    So, there is no beating myself up. I mean, it just wouldn't be right to beat myself up over being mom, right?

    Another thing I remind myself is "all in God's time" - "man plans his ways, but God directs his steps." Sometimes God needs to bring an experience into our lives or do a special work in our hearts before we can get a particular part of the story right. So I remind myself to trust it all to God's time.

    In case you haven't picked up on it yet, I talk to myself A LOT!!! :D

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  116. Glynna:

    Please add me to the drawing. :D

    Thanks!

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  117. Susan Anne Mason, I tried a historical last year for NaNo and it was SO fun, it really took off! And then it finaled in two contests, so at the very least it taught me that I can write more than contemporary and have FUN. I don't know if that's what I'll be spending most of time On, but historicals are a lot more fun than they sound from the writing perspective.
    Can't wait to hear about your NaNo results!

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  118. Carol, I love that your girls are doing NaNo! I have an 11 year old who's been writing and re-writing the same 5 chapters for a while. Maybe Nano will help her move past all the self-doubt!

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  119. Connie mentioned reporting in. Out of the workshop I mentioned, which was conducted completely through Facebook, a first for me, we've created a private FB group to keep in touch and we're setting up weekly chats to check in with our progress. There's nothing like a little accountability to help those seeds to grow.

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  120. Julie, will The Cousins McClare feature your usual passionate romance? Sounds like a fun series.

    Tina, most are probably aware of the prizes, but really, it's just fun to hang out here as much as time permits. :)

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  121. JUlie, I can't WAIT to read Cousins McClare!

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  122. Glynna, this post really has me thinking. About what I surround myself with when I write. Usually I'm simply in a chair with the laptop propped up on my knees and life happening all around me. But I'm wondering whether I might have the opportunity, every now and then, to surround myself with beauty when I write, and what that might do to my writing?

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  123. Dear Glynna:

    The poetic description and parallel of a garden shop to a writer's garden with all the rich textures and colors, warms my heart. Looking at the beautiful cover of your new novel, A Home in His Heart and considering the elegance of your writing, I feel every reader will be entranced.

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  124. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  125. LOL Julie--nope no worries about a 1 star review, I really liked AHR and I'm gonna be typing up my review today! I really can't imagine having to cut 50k from Steven's story but I can't wait to read it!!!! Hopefully next year I'll have a clear schedule and will be able to read that one the day it comes out instead of TWO MONTHS LATER! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  126. Glynna that's a great comparison. I'm constantly weeding my 'garden' and it slows me down. I really need to let it grow more before picking the weeds.

    I hope my stories do better than any of the poor plants that came under my care in the past. The only plats I've had were ones my mom sent when I was in college. None of them made it.


    Thank you Carol for the info on Myra's book. Got it :)

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  127. Just signed up for NaNo too. I've never tried it so I'm hoping it will motivate to get complete my wip.

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  128. Glynna, thank you for that wonderful metaphor for writing.

    For me, I'm working on "pruning" my first manuscript that I ever completed. Last night, I ended up cutting a 647-word scene that I think will make the overall story much neater and cleaner.

    I'm also "nurturing" the seeds of a story that has been percolating in my head for a while, but I don't think I'm skilled enough to tackle yet. I'm starting with a rosebush first, then maybe someday I can grow an African violet (notoriously tricky to grow, right?)

    ~Stephanie

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  129. CAROL, how wonderful that your daughters are doing NaNo! I have a kiddo who might be into writing one day. Right now that one is a voracious reader. I'll take that, too. :)

    Best wises to everyone attempting NaNo! I'm looking forward to it.

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  130. Jan, I love that ditty. A few words a day.

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  131. This metaphor reminds me of a plant I got seven years ago as a little six inch seedling. My best friend and I each got one for free from a local gardening shop, and named them Merry and Pippin (because we were obsessed with the Lord of the Rings back then).

    "Pippin," my friend's plant, died right away because she forgot to water him and give him sunlight. This reminds of me letting the writing dream die, or waste away in a corner.

    "Merry," my little guy, did really well for several years (I enjoy growing things). He bloomed and flourished and grew quite tall. (Nurturing the writing dream)

    Then, two years ago, a sudden cold snap damaged Merry quite a bit (I had him in a pot on my deck, and didn't know it was going to be so cold). Leaves started to fall off, he turned brown, and I seriously thought about chucking him, because I thought he was dying and there was nothing that would save him.

    My husband stepped in, and wouldn't let me (probably because he's carted Merry around everywhere we've lived for the past 7 years). He took out his shears and pruned the heck out of my poor plant. One limb was almost devoid of leaves, and the other almost as bad. Merry looked awful and I wasn't sure.

    But a few weeks later, new sprouts started on the stems, growing greener and fuller with each passing day. Today, Merry looks just as good as he did before, and even fuller.

    So, I guess my long, rambling point is that we need to cut out the dying stuff, the things in our manuscripts that are preventing the story from flowing, to let the new, better leaves come through.

    And also, we often need another person to encourage us, and point out what needs to be done, because sometimes, we can't see it ourselves, or are too negative to think it can be salvaged.

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  132. Working at craft for sure - and committing to serious writing next month (e.g. NaNoWriMo - for the fist time!).

    Sooo much growth already - and so much more to go. Fabulous analogy, Glynna :)

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  133. As a former greenhouse owner selling $40K a year in bedding plants, I absolutely related to your post.

    And thanks for the coffee, Helen. I certainly need one today. I need to stay awake.

    Because I'm heading into the city to spend an evening with my writing buddies at Le Macaroon. It's a new coffee shop and I only go for special occasions like this. I live so far from everyone and haven't seen these ladies for months. And one of them's been published by The Wild Rose Press in the meantime and I'd really like to hear her call story. Can you tell how excited I am. :D

    And how am I growing my writing, you ask? Physically. I'm adding 15K words as well as a bunch of other things to make my ms sparkle. At least that's my intent.

    Anita Mae.

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  134. a great posting...loved it :)

    and thanks for the giveaway, too :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  135. Love the garden analogy and can't resist posting this link to some "literal" literary gardens and the novelists who tend them. : )
    http://novelgarden.blogspot.com

    Always love my visits to Seekerville!

    Deb~

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  136. Hey Julie

    My young sprout exclamation point FURiend!!!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!! (just for good measure) !!!!!!!

    May had a BLAST this morning. Just posted photos to her FB page. www.facebook.com/MaytheK9Spy

    (Incidentally, we're having a drawing too, by November 1 - check it out!)

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  137. Hi again, Glynna,

    You write 1500 words in 90 min? Wow, that's way above what I produce. I can write for 6 hrs and only have 1200 words. Critique partners tell me that I write with a strong self edit, which I don't see when I write, lol. In fact, I feel like I'm really flowing while I'm writing that small amount! So I'm not even aware that I've been editing. Just this past week, two of my friends wrote over 20,000 words in 4 days. It blows my mind. I think I will try Mary Connealy's tip and try to expand some word count every few days. Writing is such an interesting process and so different for all of us. It's such a pleasure to learn what works for others.

    LyndeeH

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  138. Thanks for sharing the word about my book, Carol! Just saw it's #4 on the top 100 free Kindle books list!

    Would you believe I have never read Southern Living? Guess I should start, huh?

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  139. Sigh... Received my first rejection today...

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  140. Love your post, Glynna! I don't do gardens!! Don't enter me for your book 'cause I just read the series and absolutely loved them! I do want to be in for the other offers on Seekerville! Thanks!

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  141. oh joy. Now I get to go to Sex, Violence, & Hollywood class. It would be interesting except the professor is awful!

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  142. we turn in our midterm tonight, so I hope i did okay. :-/

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  143. oh no! Lynnette!!! Keep trtying girl. It will all come together in God's time!

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  144. Thank you Glynna! This is exactly what I needed to read today! And I love how you compared writing to planting (I also LOVE visiting plant nurseries, and for many years have dreamed of having a small backyard greenhouse *smile*). ~ Right now I'm working on polishing a manuscript and submitting it, AND setting a regular writing schedule for myself. I confess THAT is where I struggle the most. *sigh* I "allow" other tasks to eat up my writing time, and then I realize it's almost midnight and my brain is fuzzy. I'm considering putting the word WRITE on my big kitchen calendar (maybe in bright red letters?)to serve as a reminder to myself that most other tasks can and will wait for me. ~ Thank you again for sharing, and please enter me in your drawing! ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

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  145. What am I doing now? Well, I'm finishing revisions on a manuscript so I can fulfill several requests. And, I want to enter the Golden Heart with the same manuscript.

    Would love to be included in the drawing today. Thanks for asking, Glynna.

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  146. p.s. Linnette, so sorry to read your news....Praying that you'll feel brighter soon and will keep plugging away! Be sure and treat yourself to something special SOON. And remember there are TONS of successful published authors who have received TONS of "rejection letters" - - Hugs, Patti Jo

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  147. My word count depends on how my word garden is growing that day.

    I try to keep my gaeden flourishing with the best of seedlings, that I plant in rich soil filled with the breath of imagination.

    I give them water, sun, nutrition and proper pruning and hopefully I'll be able to offer a sweet smelling, colorful story bouquet to readers that fills their memory with a fragrant aroma long after the story is read.

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  148. Linette! Your first rejection! How exciting!

    You know, don't you, that only REAL writers have rejections slips to file? Just ask Julie :)

    (Will be praying for smiles through the disappointment...)

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  149. I'm not a writer, but I wanted to encourage all the aspiring authors out there that us readers are ALWAYS looking for a good story, so ... don't give up and keep tending to your garden. =)

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  150. Hi All:

    I’m just in for a second.

    Be sure to read the Amazon reviews of “One Imperfect Christmas” – lots of star reviewers. : ) (The book spans a year so you can read it with equal enjoyment during any season.)

    Ruth’s “Made to Order Family” has a nice garden on the cover. Does any one else? (Those upper state New York gardens are some of the most beautiful in the world.)

    The December books are now up on eHarlequin for November 1st download. Ruth’s “Yuletide Hearts” is there and will also be available for Kindle on 15 November. (The sooner you read them, the smarter you get.) : )

    Jan: Good for you with your poem. You can ‘say’ and ‘tell’ with prose but you can also ‘mean’ and ‘be’ with verse.

    A lesson from gardening is that you can’t wait and cram-plant your garden during the last week before fall.

    Vince

    P.S. Linda says hello to all the Seekers from her hospital bed. She is already well ahead of her PT objectives. Actually amazing.

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  151. Love the garden analogy, Glynna! My latest little "plant" has blossomed to nearly 50,000 words since June! I think I may be the slowest writer in the world. LOL

    My goal is to have a writing schedule. These days I just pour in 500-1000 words whenever I get the chance. I know it would help to have a set time every day. Thank you for the reminder. I'm going to try that starting tomorrow! :)

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  152. PATRICIA ASKED: "Julie, will The Cousins McClare feature your usual passionate romance? Sounds like a fun series."

    Well, Patricia ... I was planning on toning it down a lot from the O'Connor saga, especially since NOBODY will be married in this first book (the parental figure is a widowed matriarch and the rogue brother-in-law she was engaged to before she married his brother), so that alone cuts down on TONS of bedroom scenes, right? But ... so far the love scenes in TCM are prettttty steamy, so I may have to cut some more ... :| Sigh ... I just can't seem to write love scenes any other way ...


    Hey, ASHLEY, thanks, sweetie! I hope it will be different, but hopefully just as entertaining as the O'Connors!


    KC SAID: "May had a BLAST this morning. Just posted photos to her FB page." Sooooo fun, KC, but then I imagine ANYTIME with May and you around is fun, right??!!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  153. okay.. so I'm back home from wednesday night class (Praise God)

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  154. now to help my sister organize her halloween stuff for her daycare kids, type paper, comment here, and start on 3 book reports.

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  155. Julie, NOOO!!! don't cut down on the love scenes! that is a Julie Lessman signature!

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  156. Thank you for your kind words Glynna. I've already learned so much from visiting Seekerville. I appreciate you all so very much!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  157. Keep writing. Don't stop.

    Repeat former.

    Maintain latter.

    That's my stragey for right now. Thanks Glynna!! :)

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  158. Loved your blog, Glynna! I'm force feeding my garden to get my revisions in on time! I wish I had more time to dig around the soil and let the fertilizer do its magic.

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  159. I can't believe I didn't get by here earlier!! I love your gorgeous photo, Glynna!

    I'm at the digging stage, working on a new idea. :)

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  160. Okay.... I'm b-a-c-k. Didn't intend to be gone so long, so my apologies. But it looks like you've all kept yourself entertained with the the Other Seekers!

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  161. EVA MARIA - 1000 words a day is fantastic! I like your titles!

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  162. You're so right, JANET! Even though we're finally published, we haven't "arrived." I wonder if writers who make the NY Times bestseller list ever feel as if they've arrived? I've always heard it said you're only as good as your NEXT book.

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  163. Thanks for all of the encouragement, girls! :-) (((hugs))) to you all!

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  164. PAMELA J -- what a beautiful comparison to the sharing in Acts! And it's so true that writing sometimes has a mind of its own and what you started out thinking you were writing becomes something totally beyond your original concept.

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  165. Hi PATRICIA W! WOW! Another Friend of Seekerville gearing up for NaNo! You're so right that it's hard to find the best time slot for regular writing. It sometimes takes some experimenting. Trial and error until you find that "sweet spot." I'm a morning person, so even though it means getting up earlier than I normally, I'm SO much more productive in the a.m. than I am after work at night.

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  166. CONNIE -- Ah, accountability! Great idea to keep you on the straight and narrow with your writing. My regional RWA is a small group and at each meeting they make themselves accountable for a certain word count they want to reach by the next meeting--and all contribute a dollar. Then whoever met their word count by the next meeting is entered in a drawing and the money goes toward paying for their lunch at the restaurant where they meet. Just a fun competition to meet a goal.

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  167. JULIE--I had to laugh about you cutting 50K from your book. My ENTIRE book is only 60K!! Not so deep and complicated, eh? I'll believe it when I see it. :)

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  168. Glynna, you need to live in the South. I'm ready to buy my winter pansies and get them planted. Their pretty yellow blossoms bring color to my back deck and front porch throughout the cold winter and always make me smile, especially when the temperature dips low and frost or snow is on the ground.

    For my writing...not listening to the Negative Voice. Pushing forward on new projects. Not getting hung up on making everything perfect, which sometimes becomes a stumbling block. Forgiving myself for what I don't have time to do and being grateful for what gets done.

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  169. Linnette! Your first rejection!!!

    I think that makes you a REAL writer. :D Think how many people write and write and never show it to anyone or send out queries or partials. You're way ahead of the game. Make sure you SAVE it!

    Even if you can't look back on the rejection with pride, Lulu.com has a palce where you can get all your rejections printed on four rolls of toilet paper. :D HAHAHAHA!

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  170. I have a beautiful plant that I need to pot in different soil to see if it changes the result. It will be a delicate operation.

    Yes, I'm in.

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  171. CHRISTINA -- Wonderful that you've found a mentor to answer your questions and encourage you. It sounds, too, like you're really making progress on your story!

    And may the BEST FERN WIN! :)

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  172. Anita Mae! Holy smokes! that's a lot of bedding plants. :) I love nurseries and plants, but whenever I invest a lot in actual plants, I forget to do the ahrd work and they die. There is a great online site called Bluestone Perennials that has a gift pack you can order for friends. I've bought 'butterfly gardens' for bdays and other gifts. It coems complete, with plants and planting diagram!

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  173. I really need anew computer. I have had this one for 2 years. We bought it used and it is to the point now that when it loads the internet, I am lucky. I just waited for over an hour for it to load the internet and even then, it didn't load. I had to manually power off my laptop and turn it back on.

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  174. I am having to do my school work at school which is really inconvient.
    I know that God know what I need and he will provide.

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  175. Hi, LORNA! That researching can be tricky. You need to do a bunch of it ahead of starting the book so you have everything in correct historical context, yet you can so easily get bogged down in it when you have a story you're dying to tell!

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  176. it's not that I am ungrateful because i'm not. i have been very blessed to have a laptop to get me through college. it's just that now is not a good time for my laptop to give out because the last month of school is the work-laden. and believe me... my computer has the "death rattle". :-(

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  177. LINETTE -- I'm sorry about the rejection. That's never fun--but you can be proud of yourself as it's a 'medal' that those who don't have the courage to try never get to wear! You can congratulate yourself on being a REAL WRITER.

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  178. CAROL M - So cute that your girls are doing NaNo, too!!

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  179. PATRICIA W - I like your thoughts about surrounding ourselves with beauty when we write. A window open for fresh air or a little bouquet of flowers on the desk might do wonders for our inner creativity.

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  180. Thank you, ELIZABETH B! I guess my love of gardens and gardening shined a little through my post!

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  181. Hi, JAMIE! Yes, sometime you need to get the words down on a page before you get too deeply into the editing. That's something I'm trying to get better at -- getting a DRAFT completed, then returning to prune and pretty it up so I don't get bogged down in that phase before the story "plant" is ready for it.

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  182. Hi, STEPHANIE! Congratulations on completing that first manuscript! That's something many, many, many only DREAM of!

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  183. STEPHANIE -- Wonderful thoughts about the plant's second chance, and how important it is to get a second opinion before we get discouraged and toss out our stories as being hopeless.

    By the way, when I was in college I named my plants, too. I'd forgotten I did that until you mentioned Merry and Pippin. Mine were two philodendrons -- Starsky & Hutch. :)

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  184. JOANNE -- Best wishes on the NaNo. I had no idea so many people I knew did this!

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  185. WOW, ANITA MAY! Selling $40,000 a year in bedding plants! I bet that was FUN! Hope you had a good time with your writer friends in the city! I know how much fun I have when I can get together with a Seeker or two!

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  186. Hi Glynna...I worked one full summer doing grounds work at a historical home to help pay for college...and LOVED it. It was one of my favorite jobs. Going into it, I knew nothing about plants. What I learned was you have to wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty, you have to embrace the dirt and sweat, and you have to be willing to learn and work hard. So I love your analogy! Definitely applicable! Unfortunately, since then my gardening skills haven't done so well! In writing, I feel like I'm sort of dormant right now. The ideas are forming, there are things brewing under the surface, but it's not quite spring yet. I also have a lot to learn about writing so I'm trying to do that some in the mean time. I feel confident things will come to fruition and I'll get busy again in the near future. Thanks for the post...it was very motivating! I'd love to have my name in the drawing. Blessings~Stacey
    travelingstacey(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  187. Hi, DEBORAH! What a beautiful blog--all those writers' gorgeous gardens!! I'll definitely be visiting there again!

    Friends of Seekerville, if you haven't yet read one of Deb Raney's wonderful books, do yourself a favor and get one!

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  188. I just HAD to comment on travelingstacey's comment! I have seen plants sit and look like they are doing NOTHING for quite awhile and all the sudden.... BAM! They take off, start shooting up and out, fill in, blossom and out-do their 'fellow' plants. So, you know what we are doing now?? Watching for you to do your growth spurt, blossom and produce. Can't WAIT to 'taste' your fruit!
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

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  189. LYNDEE--On a GOOD day I can write 1000 words in 45 minutes. On a 'bad' day it takes me 6-8 hours to write 1000 words! Right now I'm averaging about 1000 words in an hour fairly consistently, but I'd like to increase that to 1500.

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  190. JACKIE S -- So happy you've enjoyed my Canyon Springs books! I've really enjoyed writing them--LOVE that part of the country!

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  191. Hi there, PATTI JO! I've always dreamed of having a little greenhouse, too!

    I know how hard it is to work the writing into a day. I have to go straight to my desk when I first wake up as if I let myself get started on anything else, I get distracted by one thing right after another. If I can just set myself down and write my allotted word count for the day, them I'm free to go about doing whatever else the day brings--GUILT FREE! :)

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  192. Hello, DIANA S! The Golden Heart is a GREAT goal -- it means the book is finished!!! Wishing you the best on those requests!

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  193. LADY DRAGONKEEPER -- Thanks for being a reader who encourages us to keep tending our writing gardens!

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