Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Writers on the move: Got some “beachfront property” to sell?

Myra here, your Unpubbed Island moving consultant du jour.

Moving. Oh, boy, can I talk about moving! In case you missed the news, I’ve moved twice since last April--first a cross-country relocation into a temporary apartment so we could be closer to grandkids, then into the house we purchased nearby. (For anyone who’s interested, I’m slowly telling the crazy, sometimes even miraculous, story over at my personal blog.)

Whether it’s a physical relocation, a mental readjustment, or an emotional upheaval, we are “moving” all the time.

And moving always involves change: leaving something behind, adjusting to something new, finding our “center” again.

It’s no different in the writing life. If we’re staying in one place, that isn’t progress. We should be improving our skills. Learning about publishers’ needs and interests. Networking with other writers. Stretching ourselves to make each new manuscript better than the one before.

But the fact is, even when you know it’s time to move on, some things are awfully hard to leave behind. Now that all the Seekers have vacated Unpubbed Island and moved into our swanky new Seekerville digs, I’ve discovered there are many things I miss about island life.
  • Long walks on the beach with no thought for looming deadlines.
  • Building my “sandcastles” (novels) any old way I wanted to, even if the structure was unstable or the inhabitants were not believably motivated.
  • Not worrying if my beach hut was clean, let alone attractively decorated, in case roving paparazzi visited the island.

Now that I’m living and working in mainland Seekerville, life is fraught with adjustments and challenges I don’t think any of us were entirely prepared to deal with.

  • Main Street traffic (in the form of promotional demands and looming book deadlines) doesn’t stop if I’m out of milk, didn’t get a good night's sleep, or desperately need to wash a load of clothes before I’m back to running around in my faded island sarong.
  • No more “sandcastles.” If my stories aren’t solidly grounded with a believable plot and characters, I’ll hear about it first from my agent and (heaven forbid it slips by her!) then from my editor!
  • The paparazzi may not be stalking me (yet), but image is more important than ever. Gotta have a Web site. Gotta blog. Gotta Tweet. Gotta Facebook. Gotta LinkedIn. Gotta be OUT THERE so readers, writers, and publishing professionals can connect!

But would I EVER go back to that hot, sandy, mosquito-infested hut on Unpubbed Island?

Not a chance!

If you’re still waiting to make your big move, here are some ways you can prepare:
  1. Clean out your attic and closets. What old habits do you need to ditch? Waiting for the muse to strike before you write? Ignoring critiques you don’t like? Treating your writing like a hobby instead of a business?
  2. Learn all you can about your desired location. Have a dream publisher in mind? Haunt their Web site, Facebook page, Tweets, etc. Download writers guidelines and study them. Read and analyze the most recent books the line is publishing.
  3. Start packing for the move. Polish grammar, spelling, and manuscript formatting. Join a critique group. Find a writing mentor. Take classes, attend conferences, sign up for online workshops. Read the best books you can find on the writing craft. (Suggestions here.)
  4. Get your financing in order. Don’t quit your day job (if you have one), but be realistic about the investment of time and money required to build a writing career, and budget accordingly. Entering contests, attending conferences, purchasing supplies, and building your home library of writing reference books can put a huge dent in your bank account! Consider submitting magazine pieces and devotionals to help bolster your writing credits while generating a little income. Look for free or low-cost options for building your online presence (but don’t skimp on quality of content or professionalism).
  5. Hold open houses for your property. Enter contests your target editors are judging. Request editor and/or agent appointments when you attend a conference. Submit proposals. When your manuscript is requested, get it in the mail (or cyberspace) before the tide rolls out!
Above all, remember that making the move to published status isn’t just a simple “change of address.” I think I can safely speak for all the Seekers when I say that life after publication is harder and crazier and way more complicated than any of us ever imagined!

But we’ve all learned (sometimes the hard way!) that a huge part of a successful move is informed realism. So as you prepare to move ahead in your writing life, take time to appreciate where you’ve been, enjoy where you are now, and anticipate great things in your future.

And always, ALWAYS trust God to show you the way.

Leave a comment on today’s post for a chance to win a copy of Myra’s latest release, A Horseman’s Heart. You’ll also be included in a drawing at the end of the week for an extra-special Seekerville birthday month giveaway AND our big-bash-blowout superprize of a Toshiba Netbook at the end of the month!

North Carolina’s a long, long way from Texas, but horse trainer Kip Lorimer needs to get out of town fast, because the woman who long ago destroyed his last remnants of trust has just caught up with him—again. 

Special-ed teacher Sheridan Cross has trust issues of her own, so when Kip shows up with a horse to donate to the family’s equine therapy program, she can’t help but be suspicious. A cowboy a thousand miles from home and living out of a horse trailer? What’s wrong with this picture?

When Sheridan’s mother offers Kip a job as barn manager, Sheridan decides she’d better stick close enough to keep an eye on things, never expecting she’ll soon have eyes only for the handsome cowboy. Can they trust their hearts and find true love, or will their troubled pasts come crashing down on their dreams?


200 comments :

  1. Yeesh I'm glad you all got away from Unpubbed Island, it doesn't sound very fun. On the other hand Seekerville Mainland is a blast...you allow guests like me right? :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  2. Thanks for this post! So many things for me considering I'm just starting out. Long road ahead, but I believe I'm up for the challenge :)

    Always a pleasure and a privilege to get the Seeker's insights.

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  3. I'm with you on the moving part, Myra. Our move in April seems like just a few weeks ago!

    And don't even mention unpacking!

    But every move brings challenges, and it's good to be prepared for them. That's where Seekerville plays such a huge part for us on un-pubbed island. If we're unprepared for the move, it certainly won't be the Seekers' faults!

    Meanwhile, I think we all need to invest in big, dark sunglasses to hide from the paparazzi.

    I'm looking forward to reading your book. Is it "just" a coincidence that your main character moves from Texas to North Carolina?

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  4. B-b-b-but....

    Where's Capt Jack??!!!

    Somehow, I don't picture him on the mainland... sandcastles, faded sarongs, beachwalks, umbrella drinks and coconuts... ;D

    Myra - GREAT post. Really nice. Loved that informed realism

    Since we decided to independently publish, it has similar but decidedly different challenges. Each of the Seekers has been such a blessing to me. Thanks for being a superb relocations specialist!!!

    Hey Renee! Hope all is well with you. I'll bet we can find Helen's coffee pot nearby. You ready for a cuppa? Maybe we can go raid the Yankee Belle Cafe for a muffin too!

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  5. Thanks for an encouraging, helpful post. I've done a lot of the things you suggest while unpublished, but I need to study my dream publisher. Thanks!

    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

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  6. Hi Helen W - OOOH just starting out! What are you writing???

    Hey Jan - did you move too? Wow. Great idea on the sunglasses. Grab a pair for me too, would ya? Glad to see the party's started already.

    I'm up polishing the first draft of book 2. UGHHH - it's so awful...

    But May, though rolling her eyes, is helping.

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  7. Hey Aly

    Great tips in this post! Go for it!

    Alrighty, hopefully I can zip outta here. You folks keep posting in between when I write something. Seekerville is hopping tonite!

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  8. I just finished The Horseman's Heart. What a wonderful read, Myra. You know I've got a weakness for cowboys and you came up with a great one, and a trying-to-be-tough, soft hearted heroine.
    Loved it.

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  9. I'm with you on moving, Myra. We're in temporary space now, as of Sept, and looking forward to a permanent move before the end of the year. It's never easy but it often turns out to be a blessing. Still, I'm eager to put down roots.

    Same is true of my writing. Lots of changes this year, mostly to my approach. Will they yield the results I seek? Don't know but they've been good anyway, to get me moving forward.

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  10. I am looking to move sometime in the next 6-9 months to a new city and I am excited....but the whole packing and moving everything just does not sound fun. The being in the new place...fabulous! ;)

    Seekerville Mainland sounds lovely despite the adjustments :)

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  11. What wonderful insights into the changes that actually getting published make. Thanks for the encouragement to move on.

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  12. Hmm... I'm reading a book with a cowboy who may or may not have ulterior motives right now! In fact, I just discovered his 'secret identity'*!

    I could actually go for a beach right about now. Pina Coladas... getting caught in the rain...

    And so on.

    Without the kids.

    They were bears today.

    But I still managed to send of to a 'travel agent'** for my [hopefully] eventual trip to the mainland. I'm staying with Ruthy when I get there by the way. At least until she gets tired of me. Then I'm working my way through the Seekers - alternating between high energy ones [/cough/Julie/cough] and more laid back chill Seekers - you know who you are ;). Hanging out with some of youse all will be just what I need.

    I'm saving Audra for last because by then she'll take pity on me having been kicked out of so many other places and I can ply her with cookies until Ruthy is ready for me again.

    Then I'll start over.

    This is my plan and I'm sticking to it.

    I think.

    Unless there's some law in Seekertown about... well something I'm sure to violate. Is there a sheriff? Jail? Are we going to end up like the last episode of Seinfeld? Me, Pepper, and Casey [who is really the mastermind] sitting in a cell while all y'all come in and testify against us?

    Wow.

    It's late and I'm tired. Can ya tell?

    So put me in the drawings, would ya?

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

    *Talk of the Town by Lisa Wingate
    **that's an agent to the rest of y'all :D

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  13. Ohhhh, I liked the blurb so much I almost forgot what your post was about. ;)

    There are times when I feel like I'm constantly moving and others when I feel like my feet are cemented, especially here of late. So, I've decided to chip away the concrete. I'm trying to treat writing like a full-time job, but I still have kids at home and they come first as they should, even after hours. ;) But I have to say that I'm excited with some recent changes and look forward to the next move.

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  14. I've been working at making this my job for a few years now, but I really need to kick the habit of wasting time before writing. I've made it so much of a habit, it doesn't feel right unless I do it before starting. I need to quit and join TWA-Time Wasters Anonymous.

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  15. Haha! Loved the unstable sandacastles! So funny...
    But I read the 'faded sarong' as 'faded thong' the first time and almost fell out of my chair. Yikes! :D
    Patricia- I like how you said you were 'moving' with your approach. This year has been a lot of writing changes for me, too. I used to write mainly contemp but have been trying my hand at historical. So far, a lot easier and better responses. So, we'll see!

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  16. Carol, somehow I don't see you hopping from couch to couch like a college drop out who won't get a job. They're going to build you a little guest house with a rose garden in the back, with a gazebo for good measure. :)

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  17. Moving! Ugh! Four times in ten years. We've been in this house 3 years this month. That's a record.

    TWA - I might have founded that organization if I wasted less time.

    I'm making my way through Seeker works, but I haven't read any of Myra's yet. I'd love to win.

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

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  18. Thanks for your insight about the challenges of new beginnings. Sorta like having kids. You don't know how unprepared you are until it's too late. But as in that, it's nice to have those who have gone before to give advice and show the safest path.

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  19. Loved the analogies, Myra. Thanks for laying it out for us.

    Coffee will be ready at 3 a.m.

    Helen

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  20. As a reader, I have to say I get a thrill whenever I find a new author to add to my "favorites" list ... =) Blog posts like this makes me realize how much work aspiring authors do before they "make it".

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  21. Thank you for a great post. Also, thank you for the link to the post about books for the writing craft. I do need to get some more books on craft.

    Love the cover of your book and would love to be entered to win a copy.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  22. Great post, Myra. the book sounds so good!!! I'll add it to my TBR stack ;)

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  23. I can't wait to get off unpubbed island. Thanks for sharing the unexpected things we might not be including in our published fantasies.

    Your new book sounds awesome. I'm from NC and love books set in my home state. Please enter me in your drawing.

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  24. Thanks for the "informed realism," Myra. When I think of all the underground stuff that needs to be done before my first book releases next April, I hear myself starting to snivel and whine "But I don't wanna do all the other stuff. I just wanna write."

    Can you tell I've been taking whining lessons from my 4 year old?

    You horseman book sounds great, Myra. Okay, back to writing so I can push off all the "I don't wanna stuff for a little longer.

    "See ya" (a direct quote from the 19 month old, who was already throwing a fit because he got left out of this comment while older brother got included).

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  25. Very interesting post! I am so glad you all got off of that island, you complete our lives.

    Your book sounds like a fabulous read and I would love to read it. Loved the excerpt.

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  26. Great advice, Myra!

    As an Army wife, I've moved often. It's never easy! I had a friend who had T-shirts made and sold them when we lived in Carlisle, PA. Hubby was attending the Army War College and the entire class was packing up and moving to new assignments. Her T-shirts read: War is Hell, and Moving is a Close Second. Those shirts were a big seller!

    Although leaving Unpubbed Island was a cause for rejoicing, settling into the new digs of pubbed life requires balancing time and energy, as you mentioned. Thanks for providing great tips for the move.

    Adding my 2 cents about snagging editor/agent appointments at conferences. I attended Georgia Romance Writers' Moonlight and Magnolias Conference at the beginning of this month--a regional conference where expenses for the attendees were kept down, but the lineup of acquiring publishing professionals was amazing.

    Lots of writers pitched. Lots of submissions were requested. My guess, quite a few manuscripts will be contracted because writers attended M&M prepared to make the move to publication.

    My first point? Check out what's available in your local area!

    My second point? Consider attending M&M next year!

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  27. You know, the Island IS fun... It's just a learning curve kind of fun, but I had a blast on the Island... mostly.

    Journeys.... We are companions on a journey, guys and gals! We are movers and shakers and we embrace the paths before us.

    After a bout of whining and pouting, of course!

    Myra, I hate moving. You and I know this. I'm determined that I will NEVER MOVE of my own volition.

    Which might mean an undertaker is involved, LOL! But the thought of moving (because I'm part pack rat) intimidates...

    The thought of selling???

    THE CLEANING REQUIRED?????

    Sooooo not going to happen. I hope.

    Must eat chocolate. Neeeeeed chocolate. Must calm down.

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  28. Myra, thanks for the stellar advice. A lot of the things you mentioned I'm already doing, but there are some places where I need to step up my game.

    Change is hard, but, then, all things worthwhile are.

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  29. Debbie, you are so right about the Moonlight & Magnolias Conference this year! There were an amazing line up of editors and agents this year. I second the shout out for those needing a lower cost conference to attend should consider M&M next year!!

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  30. Written simply and tastefully. It’s pleasant to read. Thank u.

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  31. Thanks for all of the tips and hints. Enjoyed your post very much.
    Please enter me for the giveaway.
    Blessings,
    Trinity Rose
    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

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  32. Oh Myra, you gave some good advice not only for writers but for folks for life in general. Sometimes we all get "stuck in a rut" and need to get up and get moving. I know I do!

    Oh gosh I just got to looking at the times some of y'all are posting. Do y'all ever sleep! Course, I'm on central time - don't know if that makes a difference.

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  33. Coming back later to read your comments, but I want to say that I got so much out of this post! Thank you. I loved how you took the word pic the island to the mainland. :) So fun. One of your points I'm working on now is establishing good writing habits now.

    This was such a practical and helpful post for someone who's waaaay behind you on this journey. Thanks!

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  34. Myra,

    Such valid points. Love this post.
    Especially since now I'm in a crunch to complete the third book in a series. I keep repeating to myself what Julie's husband told her.

    'You're living the dream.'

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  35. KC - I'm actually writing YA! Though being here in Australia, not sure how big the Christian YA market is out here, and I highly doubt a Aussie based book would be sought out in the US. But I've had this story sitting in my head for ages, and I figured it's about time I hop to it.

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  36. LOL Virginia! I'm stayin' in guest rooms, sweetie! No couches for me!

    I hope.

    And by the way...

    HOW 'BOUT THEM CARDS?!

    Anyone see the game last night? El hombre [Albert Pujols to the rest of y'alls] was directly or indirectly responsible for 7! of the 11 runs last night.

    Now back to St. Louis for three. :D

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  37. Great advice this morning Myra and I love the book blurb.

    Every time I post a blog, update my facebook status, enter a contest or submit a query, it's like packing another box for the big move.

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  38. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 11, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Great post Myra! I have moved several times in my life. I think the hardest was cross-country from Ohio to Texas. I love Seekerville and the other blogs that give us all so much information about the complete writer's journey. I never realized all the work that went into publishing a book.

    So if you are all on the mainland where is Captain Jack? I'll buy some beachfront property if he needs company!!

    fantum2004ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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  39. Such great advice, Myra! And I think it helps because it's like making a plan. Anytime we make a plan instead of just letting things happen to us (like our characters should do!), then we'll have success.

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  40. I'm with Ruthy. The worst part of moving is having to deal with all the STUFF!!! And the cleaning. Have y'all ever moved your stove or refrigerator and looked under it??

    Disgusting! (Not to mention embarrassing in front of the repairman!)

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  41. Hi, Myra! Very clever post, and so true. God bless you in your new home, both physical and literary!

    Getting published does involve some emotional upheaval. I'm not sure how one can prepare for it, except to be determined to keep your focus on Jesus.

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  42. Oh my, Myra! Are you sure you don't have a heart for real estate agenting? Wow, what a great post.

    Time and financial budgeting are biggies for me. I don't even want to think about how much money I spent in contest entry fees as an unpub...and now, not only do you have to pay the entry fee, you have to send books!

    Yes, the days of island life are blissful to look back on. I especially miss Orlando...but that's another blog.

    Thanks for insightful post. I loved the analogies and the advice.

    Work. Work. Work.

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  43. MYRA!!! Love, love, LOVE the blog, girlfriend!!! So clever and well done and SOOOO freakin' true!!!

    LOVE your statement:
    "But we’ve all learned (sometimes the hard way!) that a huge part of a successful move is informed realism. So as you prepare to move ahead in your writing life, take time to appreciate where you’ve been, enjoy where you are now, and anticipate great things in your future."

    Boy, that "realism" has a way of smackin' you right in the face, doesn't it, though??? So much so that I actually touch on that tomorrow in my blog called The Good, the Bad and the Really Ugly ... guess which one it is???

    And your final line,"And always, ALWAYS trust God to show you the way"? DEAD ON!!! Talk about the eternal tow truck, AAA and a great Mechanic all in one -- the road to publication would be nothing but a dead end without Him!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  44. Carol, congrats on your Cards winning. We had the Tigers and Rangers game televised here.

    No ties to either team, but man, are those Texas Rangers cute!!

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  45. Carol honey, you just c'mon on over any time and stay as long as you want...

    Cookies from heaven.

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  46. I remember our move from Portland to Atlanta. That was interesting and I know how stressful it can be.

    I'm looking forward to reading your story as I grew up in North Carolina (though I haven't been in Texas for a couple of decades).

    Also, I have to agree with Debbie and Dianna, M&M was wonderful this year. (OK. it's wonderful every year and it's my chapter. :-) )

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  47. Great advice Myra, just what I needed to read before getting back to the work I love! Whooo hooo, I added over 4k words to my wip yesterday. (So long writers block) Your blog's helped keep the momentum going. Gotta go write.

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  48. SUPER advice. Working on ALL that stuff. I'll join you guys in town eventually -especially with your help!

    Please enter me for the book :)

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  49. Morning, Myra! You are now so close and yet so far away! How can an hour and a half drive be so long? Sigh... I think it's called busy mom/ busy grandma. :D

    Thanks for the ... reality check! :-) You have some great tips in there. I especially like the ones about getting to know your target publishers.

    Thanks!

    Not feeling too well, so I may take my cup of tea and go crawl in bed with a good book! Speaking of which, I definitely want entered for a chance to win yours! :D

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  50. Speaking of moving... we moved from a 1 1/2 story house with a full basement (unfinished, but boys don't care about that), 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home in MO to a less than 1000 sq ft, three bed, 2 bath, no basement, no extra room anywhere house in SC. There are six of us. I'm the only girl. My boys are now men sized, except for Garrison and he's 5 going on 16. As crowded as it is in this tiny house, the thought of moving? even if it means more space? Ugh! Not appealing in the least! Well... almost not. I am beginning to reconsider, but it's OH SO NOT FUN!!!

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  51. Wow, Myra, you nailed the writer's life! Anyone's life! Thanks for the cleverly written, savvy post.

    Attitude makes all the difference. Keeping that attitude positive requires trusting God. I'm grateful God is at the helm. Without him, I'd be a shipwreck.

    Julie, love what you said!

    Talk about the eternal tow truck, AAA and a great Mechanic all in one -- the road to publication would be nothing but a dead end without Him!

    Janet

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  52. When I was reading this post in the wee hours, it resonated. Writing is like taking up residence then moving. You have to appreciate and find the good in where you are now before you can appreciate where you will be.

    But for some reason as the day looms, I'm finding writing to be like high school. There are milestones and classes you must pass before you can graduate. You longingly watch those who are more seasoned move on and leave you behind. Some are your good friends, which makes it difficult. It gets harder, particularly around the sophomore and first part of junior year, when you feel as though you've been there forever but the end is still so far away. But then, because you've continued to work hard and hit your targets, before you know it, you're a senior and you too will move on.


    I don't know. Probably in this mindset because my oldest is now a high school junior and I find many of our conversations now filled with college stuff.

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  53. Oh Myra, What a great post. When I was growing up we moved every year. I had to meet new friends at the start of each school year. But guess what? It is easy for me to make friends. So there are blessings. And think of all the new friends you will meet and also you are near your grandchildren. woo hoo

    And you don't accumulate stuff.

    Returning home and unpacking the motorhome each fall and packing it back up in the spring is just like moving. But the advantage is, you get rid of a lot of "stuff". After several estate sales, I am thinking this is a GOOD thing. Hear me Ruthy and Missy???

    Moving off unpubbed island requires getting rid of a lot of stuff as well.

    Get rid of those habits of dawdling on the beach.

    Get rid of those habits of finding other things to do instead of write (like when cleaning toilets sounds better LOL)

    Thanks Myra for such a great reminder. I think I get hung up on that beach. I mean Captain Jack is fun to hang with.

    Where is he anyway?

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  54. I love that, "start preparing for the move"--love that! So very positive while still working hard. :) Thanks for the great post, Myra (and I will be one of those paparrazi's hanging outside your bushes. ;-)

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  55. Helen W - Aussie books are always big in the US. Write away!

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  56. Trail blaze Helen! Write that Aussie YA. I think it sounds WONDERFUL.

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  57. This is so spot on! Love this post!

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  58. Myra,

    Thanks for the advice for those of us still on Unpubbed island. :)

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

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  59. wow...loved this posting, myra...you go girl :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  60. I'm so glad that we are done with moving even though we live 2200 miles away from our grandchildren and great granddaughter. We had moved back to Florida for two years to be closer to them but that is not where G-d wanted us.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladij040(at)aol(dot)com

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  61. CAROL!!! "High energy ones"??? You talking to me??? (Robert DeNiro voice) because if you are, it's ONLY because you sugar me up with chocolate chip cookies, you little brat!! And ... ahem ... look in the mirror, sweetie ... LOTS of "high energy" there ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  62. ROSE SAID:
    "I keep repeating to myself what Julie's husband told her.

    "You're living the dream."

    Yeah, Rose, only he doesn't say that to me too much anymore because he's afraid I'll smack him ... :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  63. Helen, if it's been sitting in your head for a while then I'd think God will make a way for it. Who knows, maybe God will use you to open the YA market in Australia. How exciting!!

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  64. Excellent post, Myra, and I love the analogy. You've definitely given me some points to ponder. I think I need to go check the attic.

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  65. /snicker/ Julie - blame it on the cookies all you want, darlin'. We know better.

    Audra - thank you! I knew I could count on you!

    I'm at Panera. I now have less than 6 hours to write like the wind. We'll see what my word count ends up being. Hoping for 6K but we'll see.

    I do have fresh muffies and cinnamon rolls for everyone though.

    And I LOVE my Panera! They know me and encourage me and think it's so cool I'm sitting here writing books. Plus I named a fairly important minor character after one of the managers. Because the name is fun. Doyle. Pair it with the last name of an old friend - Dozier - and Deeanne [well, I'd just read a Deeanne Gist book when I named them and it fit...] and you've got...

    Doyle and Deeanne Dozier.

    Fun, no?

    Okay - I should probably write words in the MS now. And not just here.

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  66. Great post! Congratulations to all the Seekers on your new move! Everything looks so nice!

    -Amanda
    amandabarratt33@gmail.com

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  67. Carol, I think we've found one of the perks of unpubbed island - in between writing jags we can pop in here for some refreshment.

    And waste time.

    Getting off the internet and back to the story now!

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  68. Sounds like fun! Can't wait to read your new book!

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  69. Great post, Myra, and one that really lights a fire to get busy. I know my writing took on a whole new aspect when I started looking at as a career instead of something I did in the evenings. It means a lot more work, but I think taking it "serious" has made it more real and added value to it, if that makes sense.

    Can't wait to read the HORSEMAN'S HEART.

    --Kirsten

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  70. Myra - I meant to ask earlier...

    Is this the one before the two you heard about at conference?

    I have extra fry boxes from Chick-fil-A if anyone needs them to help move... They're the best moving boxes ever.

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  71. Oh, Myra, I can relate to the moving.....we did 3 yrs. ago and twice in 3 months (sold, rented while we built)....and MUCH older than you! lol I would love to read your new book...please count me in. Am about to read One Imperfect Christmas! I read Where the Dogwoods Bloom last month and loved it!

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  72. Good post, Myra. I've moved several times (5) in my married life and it's always a challenge. Not only the physical but the mental and emotional. I'm glad you've made it through and are off Unpubbed Island! Great Tips! Even those of us who are readers are interested in "the process"! Always good to know the inside scoop!

    Valri westernaz@msn.com

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  73. Julie, yes lively. And lovely! There is no one like you! You are a special one-of-a-kind lady!!! And I LOVE your liveliness! When I visit the village, you're the first Seeker on my list to stay with!

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  74. Next is a toss up... Yikes! Who would I pick next???

    Missy and I have an unfulfilled rendezvous - Need. That. Tea. Party! and a Missy hug. :D

    And Myra and I... along with the Grammar Queen! we can exchange moving stories and think of all the fun ways we could incorporate it into our writing. :D

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  75. Then, there's Ruthy! who I've been dying to sit at the corner of her kitchen counter while she works her domestic wonders and we talk shop. And I'll take all the Ruthy hugs I can get, too! For all her Ruthyness, there's a huge heart beating inside that woman's chest.

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  76. Tina... well, we talked shop way back and I'd love to pick her brain about military life. But I'd also just enjoy hanging out with a friend. :D

    Debby? Mmm... I'd love to have a chat over scones and tea/coffee and show off my RE conference pics while we talk Ted Dekker! I'd also love to get some awesome suspense advice... and, well, writing advice in general.

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  77. Yes, Linnette! We still need to get together with Lynette!

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  78. Mary? We could share house-keeping tips! *snickering* Yeah, right! She'd be doing all the tipping. ;-) Maybe I could get a few writing tips all in one! Or, we could just sit on the back porch - her with her coffee, me with my hot tea, and watch the sun set in the quiet of the west. Forget the house!

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  79. Audra... for some reason, I'm thinking I could really use an Audra hug. Seriously! *wonders where that came from* *shrugs* Something about her brings out the little girl in me...

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  80. Cara Lynn and I could chat about character development, I think. I'd love to get to know her heart better. I love her characters and want to catch a glimpse into the heart of the author.

    Pam... some good old fashioned heart to heart might be on the agenda... I have a feeling she could teach me a lot about life... you know. The living it part.

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  81. Glynna and Janet I have a feeling we'd have some exciting conversation about life and writing and writing and life!

    Sandra is a mystery to me. Don't know her as well, but I'm still intrigued by the bicycle cover. We could sit in front of the fireplace with our hot cocoa and talk about all her adventures and maybe a few of mine.

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  82. Back to Julie - sweet, loving, wise, hugging, wonder writer extraordinaire! You get my first and last visit. My first and last hug. My first and last tears. My first and last smiles. My first and last adventures in the village of Seekerville! :D

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  83. Myra,I really enjoyed the excerpt of A Horseman’s Heart. I'm moving it to the top of mu must read list. I have a special place in my heart for special-ed teachers. (I think they all deserve their own cowboy!)
    lostie815 at hotmail dot com

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  84. Marji said: Thanks for your insight about the challenges of new beginnings. Sorta like having kids. You don't know how unprepared you are until it's too late.
    LOL, I bet that's exactly what it is like!

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  85. Myra, thanks for this post! I love being prepared, and your tips will definitely help!

    ~Stephanie

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  86. Hi KC...sorry it took so long to reply but I hit the hay after visiting the "Mainland" last night, I was pooped! I'm doing well this week and you're right some muffins would be nice! I'll need an extra cup of coffee today too. I'm dogsitting my friends high-energy Boxer this week. :-P

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  87. Thanks for the words of wisdom and advice on the changes that take place before and after being published. Lots to learn:)
    Would love to be entered for a chance to win!

    Lorna

    lornafaith at gmail dot com

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  88. Helen are you a night owl or are you from a different time zone? LOL you always make the coffee when I'm getting my beauty sleep. :-P

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  89. Hi Linnette, There's no mystery darlin' I'm just a simple gal.

    But come with me for a ride in my motorhome and we can chat about God's creation-one of my favorite topics. He created some gorgeous countryside to see and explore.

    And I enjoy Ted Dekker also so when you sit with Debby, I'll join you.

    Or we could go for a bicycle ride.

    I'd love to meet you too. The best thing about going to a conference is meeting the Seeker friends in person that we've met online. woo hoo.

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  90. Great post, Myra

    So true.

    Moving can be exhilarating, sometimes. As military brat and navy wife moving wasn't so tough. I looked forward to new sites and sounds. I had more energy to deal with it I guess.

    Time passed and I settled in the place hubby and I wanted to retire in when the time came.

    Four months ago, and twenty years in the home of our heart in CO. things changed. after losing our business, and going further into debt we were forced to pull up stakes and move.

    We sorted through years of memories and stuff. Talk about throwing off one's equilibrium... I realize some things needed deep sixed and other things needed to go to others to feed their dreams.

    I tight fished a few things. fought the move. I think my nail marks are on the door jamb. And there are scuffle marks on the floor. But I couldn't hold on. All the duct tape in the world couldn't keep me there.

    So here I am in AZ trying to find the rhythm that God has for my life in this season.

    I'm working on writing, which has been interesting and tough if I'm honest. A lot of things were ripped right out of my hands and my mind has been given a new arena. Change was inevitable and necessary. But I still struggle with fitting this new niche.

    I'm coming along though.

    There are springs in this desert, and I'm speaking of my mind. Okay and maybe AZ too.

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  91. Oh and when you move you get to find new haunts, restaurants, church and friends.

    Sure is nice to have virtual places and friends that anchor me.

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  92. Tina P! Lifting you up. It is so hard. Moving from OK to CO was devastating for me. But on the other side I could see that only when I said Yes, Lord, could he use me.

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  93. This post is exactly what I needed today, Myra---thank you!! :) Another keeper to add to my Seeker file (and believe me, I really DO re-read these posts---excellent words of wisdom in them). ~ Since it's a rainy afternoon here in my part of Georgia, I figured chocolate is needed. So, help yourself to warm brownies, right out of the oven (made with Ghiradelli chocolate--YUM). Enjoy! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

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  94. p.s. Tina P. -- praying for you as you settle into your new AZ home! ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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  95. JANET ... thanks, sweetie. I ALWAYS love what you say too, my friend ... especially in your books!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  96. LINNETTE SAID:

    "Back to Julie - sweet, loving, wise, hugging, wonder writer extraordinaire! You get my first and last visit. My first and last hug. My first and last tears. My first and last smiles. My first and last adventures in the village of Seekerville! :D"

    Okay, sweetie ... you're my first tears of the day!! What an incredibly kind, sweet, wonderful thing to say, my friend and before Ruthy says anything, can you please confirm that you are not on cold medicine or any strong drugs? :) Seriously, your comments, as hallucinatary as they may be, touched my heart. And you, bet, sweetie ... there's a room with your name on it anytime you need it. :)

    CAROL ... take notes! :)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  97. CRITTY (CHRISTY)!!!

    HOLY COW, GIRL, where are you moving to and why??? I am SO excited for you because I have a feeling in my spirit this will be SUCH a good move for you, my friend. Saying one RIGHT NOW for God's leading and blessing on the entire move.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  98. I enjoyed your post, Myra, and the realistic look at what the move from Unpubbed Island to the Mainland can entail. Changes are inevitable, but our attitude can make the difference in how we view them. I'm adjusting to having more on my plate, but it's so worth it--most days. On the others I just look to Ruthy to put a smile back on my face. =D

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  99. HELEN W!!! Just now saw you are getting ready to embark on the writer's journey for Christian YA!! You go, girl, and I am saying one RIGHT NOW for supernatural creativity, direction and favor. NOTHING is impossible if HE wants you to do it, right??

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  100. Whew!!! Finally blew in after my Tuesday morning Bible study. If you ever move to a new city, seriously look around for a MOAMI class ("Moving On After Moving In"), based on the book After the Boxes Are Unpacked, by Susan Miller. Really, really encouraging and uplifting!

    Anyway, great to see y'all are busy chatting away in my absence.

    And yes, RENEE, you are welcome as a guest in Mainland Seekerville any ol' time!

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  101. Rose, you said it. Keith's right, it's easy to look at publication and see it as the end...

    but it's only a part of the whole journey.

    AND I'M SO GLAD YOU AND MYRA AND THE REST OF OUR BARBOUR BUDS CAN FINISH THE BOOK, SWEET THING!

    That just made my day at conference. Totally. But yeah, now it's hustle time. And having met you face to face, I know you'll have no trouble doing it and doing it well.

    (Let's see if Mary can find something to make fun of in THOSE NICE WORDS, ROSE.) Knowing Mary, she'll try. ;)

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  102. LINNETTE. SHHHHH....

    Once rumors like this spread it's nothing but work work work as expectations rise.

    Girlfriend.

    Please.

    DON'T DO THAT TO ME!!!

    But hey, come anytime, my children are sick-to-death of my lectures!

    And there's always good food.

    (and dusty floors)

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  103. HELEN, we all had to start somewhere. For many of us, it was a long, tiring row in a rudderless raft to escape the Island. For the rest, well, we just drop coconuts on their heads and pour sand in their bathing suits!

    JAN, I didn't remember that you'd also moved in April! And, um, you're right. It's no coincidence my hero moves from Texas to North Carolina. Although at the time I wrote the book, I had no idea our dream would become a reality.

    LOL, KC, I have a feeling Cap'n Jack will sail into port regularly here. What would we do without him!

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  104. JULIE!!! I said LOVELY things about you on Katie's blog today!!!! See if I make you cookies while I'm crashing in your guest room! :D

    I even tagged Ruthy in a pic just now on Facebook - about how great she is with the kids. But don't tell Mary!

    Actually, I think I may skip staying at Mary's house. She may want me to help like, brand cows or something. But she's fun. Who else can blog about finding a refrigerated container of bull... Um... maybe you best go to her blog to read about that [and no, it's not the word all y'all got in your heads! You know you did! Admit it!]

    Myra - you might be better off staying at a Bible study...

    I also notice no one has told me if there's a jail/sheriff in town... That scares me some...

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  105. Hi, ALY! Thanks for stopping in. Glad you are on the right path. It's true, the more you know about your target publisher, the better chance you have of sending them something they just can't say no to!

    Aw, MARY, that's high praise coming from the Queen of Cowboy Romance. Thanks, dear friend!

    PATRICIA, we were in temporary digs for the first 3 months after our move. It felt good to finally get into our house and spread out. AND be able to call it "ours." Hope you can settle in soon and start feeling at home--both in your living arrangements and your writing!

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  106. I feel for you Myra.

    Only moved once as a kid just a couple of miles away when my parents built a house.

    Moved here about 16 years ago and would love to retire right here. I don't like change.

    You're so right about making good habits now. I'm trying, and doing some better, but I still have such a long way too go. I let time-wasters get in my way.

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  107. CRITTY, sounds like you have an adventurous spirit! Hope your move goes well and turns out to be everything you're hoping for!

    BEEMAMA, glad you found some helpful advice here. You're welcome in Seekerville anytime!

    CAROL!!! Yeah, I can just see you, Pepper, and Casey tearing up the town and getting tossed in Seekerville's clink for wild and disorderly conduct! Let's see, I think Tina is our appointed sheriff. (Although she has been known to let Ruthy and Mary get away with murder.)

    CHRISTINA, I started writing when my kids were about 10 and 11. It wasn't easy juggling writing and family responsibilities. You do what you can and keep your priorities straight. God will take care of the results.

    MELISSA, "busy work" can definitely feel like wasting time. But for me, there are some chores that if I just get them done first, I can then focus fully on the writing without constantly thinking about what's left undone. But you have to get to a point when you know you're just stalling and get to the writing.

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  108. Miss Radcliffe and Patti Jo.

    I appreciate the prayer so much. I appreciate you and Seekerville. I can honestly say I'm not crying as much. I've been getting more and more writing done.

    I didn't realize you were uprooted from OK, Tina.

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  109. VIRGINIA, I cannot think of a single Seeker who would dare be seen in public in a thong--faded or otherwise!!! YIKES!!!!! I hope the changes you're making in your approach to writing turn out to be very, very rewarding!

    ANDREA, during the first 7 years of my married life, we moved pretty much like clockwork every 18 months. It got to be very disconcerting, and I was glad to get to stay in one place for the whole time our kids were in school. Moving is never easy, even when it's a move you really want and plan to make.

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  110. MARJI, that's why the Seekers decided to host this blog. We've all learned a lot on this crazy journey, and if we can help and encourage other writers along the way, then we're truly blessed!

    HELEN!!! I just looked at the time stamp on your comment! Good grief, gals! Doesn't anyone ever sleep???

    LADY DRAGONKEEPER (wow!!! Is everyone just dyin' to know how you acquired that moniker???) Yes, writing is LOTS of work. And nonwriters really can't relate. One more thing to be prepared for: blank stares.

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  111. CINDY, if you could see my bookshelves! I've tried paring down my writing reference shelf, but it's just so hard to part with old favorites!

    CHRISTY, thanks for your interest in my book! I'm so glad I'm going to get to write the next two books in the series now!

    ANNIE, nice to meet another Carolinian! We are really enjoying life here so far.

    NAOMI, it was great to meet you at ACFW! Believe me, sweetie, I am totally there with the whining about "But I don't wanna do all the other stuff. I just wanna write." This promotion stuff is NOT what I signed up for!

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  112. VIRGINIA, we may whine and complete, but we are all definitely glad to be off Unpubbed Island.

    DEBBY, I think phone company wives move (or at least they did in my day) as often as military wives! Good point about checking out conferences closer to home. You never know what great editors and agents might be coming to town.

    RUTHY, the fact that we have to clean out attics, closets, and garages is one BIG plus to moving regularly. I mean, you can't take any of it with you on your, um, final move. So why haul it all through your entire life?

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  113. DIANNA, you're so right. Change can be so daunting. It's a lot easier to stay put and keep doing what we've always been doing. I have Tina to thank for sharing a quote with several Seekers a few years ago: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

    FLASH TEMPLATE, a commenter of few words but thank you for the compliment. You're always welcome in Seekerville.

    TRINITY ROSE, thanks for visiting with us!

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  114. PATSY, you will notice I am not one of the early risers. See how far behind I am?????

    JEANNE, keep up the great work! Nothing in a writer's life is wasted. Even pausing to eat chocolate is worthwhile.

    ROSE, "living the dream"--oh, yeah! Some days it verges on being nightmarish, but we're not willing to wake up! I'm also in "crunch time" trying to finish a book with a Nov. 15 deadline. Yet here I am partying in Seekerville!

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  115. HELEN W, I'm certainly no expert, but personally I've always been fascinated with stories of Australia.

    BRIDGETT, I like your attitude! Keep packing those boxes!

    LAURA, if you see Cap'n Jack, send him over with a round of drinks, will you? So are you still in Texas? Quite a change from Ohio, huh?

    MISSY, we will not discuss what lies behind refrigerators and washers and dryers. Or under beds.

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  116. MELANIE, that's the best advice yet--just keep the focus on Jesus and let Him handle the details of our "moves."

    AUDRA!!! Yes, where is Orlando??? We haven't seen him in ages! And you know, I did have my real estate license many moons ago. But I just didn't have the go-get-'em outgoing personality for it and didn't last long.

    JULIE, I can't wait to read what you have to say in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." I have a feeling you won't be pulling any punches!

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  117. Renee:

    I've developed some nocturnal habits since retiring. :)

    I love the undisturbed quiet of the late nights. It's my most productive writing time.

    I'm in Missouri.

    Helen

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  118. WALT, I hope to make it down to M&M one of these years. We are loving the Carolinas. It's pretty rainy today, but the sound of raindrops on leaves is so soothing . . . zzzzzzzzz....

    JAMIE--4K??? That's tremendous! Congratulations! I feel good if I write 2K in a single afternoon. Today so far? ZERO.

    JOANNE, just stick with it! And keep coming back to Seekerville!

    LINNETTE, we will cross paths eventually, I just know it! Go curl up with your tea and a good book. With this rainy day here, that sounds simply heavenly!

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  119. Lunch time!

    Broccoli cheddar in bread bowls and mac and cheese for everyone! Panera yummy of your choice for dessert!

    Hit 21K for the MS and am JUST shy of 2K for the day. Hanging out with you guys is so much more fun!

    Myra - Casey's the mastermind behind it all. I promise. Pepper and I are innocents dragged along and caught trying to keep her out of trouble.

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  120. JANET, the writing life would be so much harder and less fun without friends like you! Love you, girlfriend!

    PATRICIA, you are waxing philosophical. ;>D Now tonight I will probably have my recurring nightmare about being back in high school and not being able to find my classroom before the tardy bell.

    SANDRA, sometimes my sweetie and I fantasize about paring down our possessions and living in a motorhome, just going anywhere our whims take us. But I have a feeling in such small spaces we'd soon be on each other's nerves!

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  121. CASEY, LOL, yeah, I can just see you with a camera strap around your neck and an autograph book in your hand! So, so fun getting to spend time with you at ACFW! You are adorable!!!!

    ERICA! Heard you had another great time at a book signing with Mary. So envious!!!!

    JODIE, we're here to help. Always nice to see your smiling face in Seekerville!

    You, too, KARENK!

    JO, we really do have to be open to where the Lord tells us to go. And it isn't always where WE would choose, but He always knows best.

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  122. MINDY, nice to see you here! I've been meaning to tell you since ACFW how much I admire your poise every year when you announce the Carol Awards! You looked simply fabulous!!!

    CAROL. Quit flirting with the Panera staff and write.

    AMANDA, thanks for joining us today! Check out our new digs anytime!

    ASHLEY, thanks for visiting Seekerville!

    KIRSTEN, we can't expect others to take our writing seriously if we don't treat it seriously ourselves. Good going, girlfriend!

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  123. Oh okay Helen, you're a writer that explains it. :-) Thanks for the coffee. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  124. CAROL, yes, A Horseman's Heart was intended to be the first in a 3-book series. I have now received the go-ahead to write the next two books so am writing as fast as I can! (Except just not yet this afternoon.)

    JACKIE S, thanks for your sweet words about my books! BTW, why exactly are you so certain you're that much older than I am? Have I mentioned I have 6 grandkids and the oldest is 16?

    VALRI, I'm so glad you visited with us in Seekerville today! There are lessons to be learned throughout the "moving" process no matter what kind of move it is.

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  125. LINNETTE, there you go, buttering up all the Seekers. But Julie gets TWO mentions???? How fair is that???

    DONNA, you're so sweet! I agree, special-ed teachers deserve some extra gems in their heavenly crowns!

    STEPHANIE, we hope your visits to Seekerville prepare you for some wonderful changes in your writing life!

    RENEE, are you a dog person? Or just a really great friend who dog-sits? ;>D

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  126. LORNA FAITH, thanks for chatting with us today!

    TINA P, I think you would really enjoy this Bible study I'm involved with right now. Look around for a MOAMI group in your area. Or at least pick up a copy of Susan Miller's book, After the Boxes Are Unpacked.

    PATTI JO, thanks for the brownies!! I'm drooling onto my keyboard!!! You are such a dear Seekerville friend!

    KELI, yes, this whole move into publication is quite an eye-opener, isn't it? (I see you've discovered why we keep Ruthy around.)

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  127. Wow Carol. Your word counts puts me to shame.

    Okay, I need to get to writing.

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  128. Speaking of RUTHY...the penultimate cheerleader. (I always wanted to use "penultimate" in a sentence. Not sure I can define it accurately, but I like the sound of it.)

    CONNIE, there's some rule about how many times you have to do something before it becomes a habit. Like, I eat chocolate every day after lunch and after dinner. Whether I want chocolate or not. (But I usually do.)

    CAROL, I totally believe CASEY is the mastermind. Ya gotta keep an eye on that girl!

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  129. Connie - this is more than I've written since, uh, Labor Day. If you combine all the days since then. And most of the words since then were written yesterday...

    Today is a once or twice a month day at Panera to do nothing but write. And refresh Seekerville way too often.

    Today's totals far eclipse what I normally do as well :D.

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  130. I don't even have a move scheduled in the near future - but I dread it. I've got so much stuff - I see a massive yard sale in my future!!

    Thanks for a great post and an opportunity to win your book! Sounds fantastic!

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  131. EDWINA, we used to do garage sales in preparation for a move. But those are so much work that we decided long ago to just haul our castoffs to Goodwill. We keep track of what we give away and note everything on the donation receipts they give us, so at least we can write it off at income tax time.

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  132. Myra(and Tina P.), relocating has been the best thing and worst thing that has ever happened to me. We've done it nine times in 29 years of marriage. We're really hoping that it won't happen again (my dear husband doesn't work for that company anymore), but what God wants for our lives is more important than my stubborn refusal to pack another box.

    :D

    I wrote about our experiences on my blog (before we knew about this most recent move!) and you're welcome to read it here:
    http://classicathome.blogspot.com/2009/12/is-your-home-daylily-or-oak-tree.html

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  133. Oh Myra,
    I'm so scared of the move and excited at the same time.
    Afraid I won't be able to handle the 'big city' when I'm used to the quiet, wind-tossed beaches.

    thanks for the great tips. So excited for Seekerville and your move uptown ;-)

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  134. Casey IS the Mastermind of ALL the trouble making that happens at The Writers Alley.

    I'm sure you all knew this already, but I just wanted to clarify in case you had some mistaken notion that I was a trouble maker.

    And you'd be very wrong.
    Of course.

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  135. Ooo, if we get tossed in the 'clink' we'll probably see Jack more often.

    YAY - Toss away!!! :-)

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  136. Myra, you are too kind. I'll let you in a little secret. While I'm used to wearing high heels, this year's pair were higher than usual. And thanks to a little space between portions of the stage just big enough for my heel to fit into, I almost went down--TWICE!

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  137. Pepper -

    Which one's Andy and which one's Barney?

    /hides from Seekers/

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  138. JAN, now you've got me counting up our moves in 39 years of marriage...and I think this one was our 10th (counting actually moving in together as husband and wife). The last 3 moves were pretty much our choice, which was a lot easier than the previous ones--all job related. (In other words, "If you want your paycheck, you will now have to pick it up in XXX city.")

    I've also been blogging about our latest move at myra.typepad.com.

    PEPPER, you'll handle the move just fine when the time comes. Remember, you've got gals like CASEY & CAROL to keep you on your toes! (I've already given Cap'n Jack the heads-up that you're looking for him.)

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  139. MINDY, that would be my greatest fear!!! Now I'm triply in awe of your aplomb!

    CAROL, I'm gonna sic Tina and Ruthy on you!!!!

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  140. So does that make Tina Andy? And Ruthy Barney? Because one or both of them might come after you for that...

    :D

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  141. No, CAROL, I'm thinking more like RoboCop meets I Love Lucy.

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  142. Myra we haven't moved around a lot. Been married for 35 years and moved three times. When we got married we moved into a little funished apartment. Then moved to a little rental house for a while. Then built a home and have been there about 26 years.

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  143. PATSY, it sounds wonderful to be able to stay in one place that long and really put down roots! The longest we ever lived in one city (Dallas area) was 14 years (2 homes there). Then we lived in the same house in Houston for 13 years. Then 5 years in our Oklahoma home before we moved here last April. Now I'm hoping we can stay awhile.

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  144. Great advice Myra!

    And I'm still unpacking from my move :) wonder if I'll ever get around to some of the boxes :) I actually did a couple today.

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

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  145. We've been in our current home for 25 years and the thought of moving terrifies me. All those BOOKS!

    I'm trying not to be terrified by the idea of moving off unpubbed island, but I've always wanted to move TO the ocean, not away from it.

    Is there any oceanfront property in Seekerville? I'll be happy to take over the old lighthouse.

    Mary

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  146. Myra I am FOR SURE a dog person. I have two dogs, a collie (in my profile pic) and a sheltie mix. I love all types though and since it's not feasible for me to get more dogs right now I love to watch other people's puppies. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  147. Jan, Tina - thanks for the encouragement! I've just read that Aussie YA doesn't work well in the US because our lifestyle (schooling etc) is vastly different and hard for the US teens to relate to. But I'm still going to write it, and just see where the Lord leads me with it.

    Christina - If God will use me in that way, that would be a very humbling honour. As far as I can tell the Christian YA market here is almost non-existent. I always wanted to write YA, but I figured my "clean" storylines wouldn't find a place amongst all the racy stuff teens are reading these days. Then when my sister introduced me to Christian fiction, it suddenly dawned on me that my stories might have a place there. Plus I have a passion for promoting the good girls in life!

    Julie - Thanks so much for the prayer! Can you add sleep to that list too? The bubs have been playing up on me so much I'm so sleep deprived. I can't do any writing at all at the moment, I'm practically falling asleep on my feet. And yes you are so right, if it's the Lord's will, then anything can happen :)

    Myra - I'm glad you like stories of Australia! It's a great place, such contrasts here. And I wouldn't know how to write about anything else :)

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  148. Sandra, that sounds like an absolute blast! Right down my alley. I'm definitely in! I wasn't able to make the conference this year, but maybe next. :D Don't tell my hubby this, but as much as I'd love to meet agents and editors, I'd be even more excited about meeting Seekers and friends! :D

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  149. Julie, I promise I'm not on any sort of mind altering drugs! And, even though the Lyme does funny things to my mind - like make me extremely forgetful, it doesn't cause me to imagine things. :D I meant every word! (((hugs)))

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  150. Oops! Ruthy! Did I let the cat out of the bag? Hmm...

    *whispers* you might be able to hide your loving sweetness from others, but I see it through and through. ;-)

    I'm looking forward to eating some of your fried dough while we chat about... well, I'm past the stage of chatting about boys, but we can talk about heros. :D

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  151. Myra, thanks! I did have hot tea and read for a while. My feverish five-year-old needed snuggles, so I read while he snuggled with me on the couch. :D

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  152. I'm homesteaded and don't plan to move ever again. But I've only lived in 3 places my entire life.

    And I was at summer camp with my parents moved the 5 miles from the "old" house to the "new" old house.

    And dh and I built our house and sorta moved in piece by piece when we married.

    So I've never actually did the big move thing. I really don't think my spreadsheet could take it!

    Now, the move from Unpubbed Island to the Mainland was HUGE, though. That's one move I was thrilled to make.

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  153. Well, Myra. You see, it's like this. I started with Julie and my first post to her was good, but it was more of an affirmation of what Carol said about Julie.

    Then, I didn't want to leave out my other seeker friends. I love you all! Once I got started I really got on a role with the rest of you. So, I went back to Julie to write my own little something instead of simply affirming what Carol said.

    But, I love every one of you and this was good for me. I get a little depressed sometimes because other people can be so darn funny and, well... I'm not. When I try to be funny, I'm... not. It just doesn't work. So, it was really nice to just be myself with you ladies today and be assured that it's okay to be me... that I'm useful the way I am. God made me serious with an extremely expressive heart that often embarrasses me. What can I say?

    So there you have it. Fair enough? :D

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  154. And Keli Gwyn is being nice to me, too.

    'Sup with everyone today???? Did I miss the sign that said "Be nice to Ruthy today???"

    Because I'd be okay with a sign like that, LOL!

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  155. All right, I'm in total agreement with my buddy Myra when she said that moving helps prevent the garage, basement, etc. pile-up.

    And that's a huge plus, so I'm with you there. And I love that service families are so resilient. So strong. And the same with any job (yup, even those telephone dudes!) who have to re-locate.

    It's a good lesson and builds character.

    (I'm talking myself into this, you know that right??? Just in case????)

    Hey, chocolate dipped strawberries have just arrived! Here, guys. Try some!

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  156. Ooohhh! chocolate dipped strawberries... yum!!!!!

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  157. I love the way you worked the unpubbed island scenario in with the new Seekervillage and your writing. Very good advice.

    I'd also love to win a copy of your latest release. The cover is right up my lane. :)

    Anita Mae. (oops - I'm still using my church acct but I have more changes to the blog and website.)

    My regular email is anitamaedraper (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  158. hi everyone! been busy and now on night shift. havent' had as much time for reading lately as I'd like but oh well I get more than a lot of people I guess!
    I won this book last time - it's in my tbr that I expected to get finish last week but I'm lagging waaayyy behind(not from lack of interest though)!
    Susanna

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  159. I'm trying the waters off Unpubbed Island's coast - sent off my first agent query this afternoon.

    I celebrated with chocolate, of course!

    Now I'm ready to play in the sand for awhile and have some of Ruthy's strawberries -

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  160. EVA MARIE, it always takes time. We're pretty much out of boxes now except for some "junk boxes" in the garage. And I still have some bookshelves and the pantry that aren't as organized as I'd like. Hope you start feeling more settled soon!

    MARY C, every piece of property in Seekerville has a view of the ocean. We can look out our windows and see the Island. It keeps us humble. Well, some of us anyway. It's really hard keeping Ruthy's ego in check. ;>D

    RENEE, you are my kind of gal! I cannot imagine life without a dog! Ah, yes, if I get a magnifying glass, I can see your doggy in your photo! Those profile pix are so tiny!!! (At least on my laptop.)

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  161. I know all about those cross-country moves, Myra! We moved back to Ohio from Louisiana a little over two weeks ago, and we are still adjusting to the change!

    I know being published must be difficult on time, but so worth it! How can you not love a job as a writer? If it weren’t those day jobs, it would be really nice! :p

    Whitney

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  162. HELEN W, two of my favorite movies are The Man from Snowy River and All the Rivers Run. And isn't The Thorn Birds set in Australia?

    LINNETTE, hope your little guy is feeling a little better this evening! Nice he has Mommy to snuggle with!

    No, PAM, I don't think they make spreadsheets that ACTUALLY help you move. But it sure was party day here in Seekerville when you made the big move to publication!!!

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  163. Ah, The Man from Snowy River! Beautiful movie.

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  164. LINNETTE, you don't have to EVER try to be anyone you're not! Believe me, I go through serious envy sometimes because certain Seekers are, um, so utterly clever and outgoing and naturally funny. But it's our differences that make this whole Seekerville thing work. We all need and appreciate each other!

    RUTHY, it's okay. We won't make you move just so you can clean out your attic. Eat chocolate instead. It's much less stressful.

    ANITA MAE, you had me going there for a minute with that other account! Good to see you, girl!

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  165. Myra, what a great and clever blog! I wish I'd done some of the preliminary work before being published, but I think I really felt it never would happen! But after I signed a contract, I didn't have time to do the promo things I need to do. The writing life is sometimes hard when you have an outside life. And most of us do!

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  166. Thanks, Myra! It's nice having a little guy to snuggle with, too. My others are all teens, now. :D

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  167. Hi, SUSANNA! I can't imagine what it's like to have to work the night shift. I admire medical personnel and just anyone who can adapt to that schedule!

    Yay, JAN! Hoping for good news in response to that agent query!

    WHITNEY, wow, you just moved 2 weeks ago? Oh, honey, my heart goes out to you! Remember, "this too shall pass." I can't believe we've been here six months already! As I've mentioned in earlier comments, look around for a "Moving On After Moving In" Bible study in your area. It's really helpful! (And yes, I do love my job!)

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  168. BTW, y'all who have moved recently, here is the Web site for that class I've been talking about:

    http://www.justmoved.org/index.php

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  169. Thanks for this post! Love the encouragement!!

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  170. CARA, I know what you mean. Sometimes it felt like I'd be stuck on Unpubbed Island FOREVER!!! I did get a Web site and start blogging way before "the call," but beyond that I was definitely not prepared for the changes being published would mean in my life!

    BRANDI, thanks for visiting with us in Seekerville!

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  171. Arrrgh sorry Myra! I forget that not everyone has a widescreen monitor. Here's a link to a bigger pic of me and Coco, it's from the review site I'm a part of. :-)

    http://radiantlit.com/wp-content/plugins/GEDC33812.jpg

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  172. Myra said: LINNETTE, you don't have to EVER try to be anyone you're not! Believe me, I go through serious envy sometimes because certain Seekers are, um, so utterly clever and outgoing and naturally funny. But it's our differences that make this whole Seekerville thing work. We all need and appreciate each other!

    Thanks, Myra! Now I KNOW we MUST get together! :-) I wish that hour and a half were more like half. But, maybe we can work something out. :D

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  173. Oh, precious, RENEE!!!! What a huggable, lovable puppy!!! (They're all puppies to me, no matter how big or how old!)

    LINNETTE, one of these days...

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  174. Tina P, I tried to find your email address. Email me via our email address. Where in Arizona are you? Maybe we can get together.

    There is a local ACFW chapter in the Phoenix area. We have members that travel from other parts of the state to meet. Here is the link Christian Writers of the West (CWOW)

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  175. Linnette the motorhome is packed and ready. Fall leaves to see this time of year.

    Myra, You either kill each other or become closer. Thankfully for us it was the latter. So fun. We love it.

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  176. Coming out of lurk mode to say.... brilliant post. Funny and smart advice.
    Thanks!!

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  177. Great post, Myra! I have so much to learn and I loved reading advice. :)

    Your book cover is great!

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  178. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  179. Sounds like fun!!!
    Rose
    andantespirit08(at)gmail(dot)com

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  180. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

    I FINALLY got Julie's Jots to show up in my feed reader!!!!

    WOOOHOOO!

    Sandra - one of these days I'm gonna make it back to Phoenix and we'll need to get together, my friend. I'll borrow a car if I need to. [Phoenix is in my marketing plan. Because it's such a cool /snort/ place to be. And because I still have lots of friends there :D.]

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  181. Your book, A Horseman's Heart, looks like an interesting read, Myra. Thanks for the chance to read!

    Congrats on the recent release!

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  182. Myra,
    You are so right! I do miss the relaxation and unpressured pace of writing mostly for myself. But I wouldn't go back to Unpubbed Island, either.

    I moved, too, after 28 years in one town. DON'T miss the moving at all....

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  183. That's okay, SANDRA. I think we'll stick with a sprawling 2-story for a while longer.

    JO, nice to see you! Well, sort of. What exactly are you hiding behind???

    NATALIE, thanks! I thought Barbour did a nice job with this cover! And what's not to love about a cowboy?

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  184. Waving to ROSE and KATIE! Thanks for stopping in!

    RACHAEL, like Julie's hubby keeps reminding her, we're living the dream! Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe it's actually real!

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  185. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 11, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    Myra I moved to Texas about 5 1/2 years ago. It has been a change especially with the weather. Plus I went from a city to a small town. But I love it!!

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  186. LAURA, I know Texas had a horrendously hot, dry summer this year! Hope you survived.

    About to shut down the ol' laptop for the night. I'll catch up with any late arrivals in the morning.

    'Nite, all!!!! It's been great visiting with you all day!

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  187. Thanks Myra, she's 3.5 so she's still a puppy to me especially since my other doggie is 14!

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  188. What a fantastic blog. I'm glad to have this to share with my step mom who wants to write. I've been trying to collect things to help her get started and this is something she will for sure want to know what to expect.
    Pam Williams
    cepjwms (at) wb4me (dot) com

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  189. Whew! Almost didn't make it today!

    Just wanted to say I enjoyed your book, Myra! Bought it in the bookstore in St. Louis and finished it on the trip home. Am now passing it on to a friend!! Love sharing good books.

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  190. YAY, CAROL ... WAY TO GO ON THE JOT, GIRLFRIEND!! I'm entering you in the contest ...

    PLEASE let me know if it doesn't notify you when I post my next Jot on Friday, okay?

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  191. Good thoughts to keep us grounded. Honesty is always appreciated and is always the best policy for success. Thanks!

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  192. And the main staples of your diet become coffee and chocolate?

    I'll just hang out on the beach and be a reader.

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  193. PAMELA J, I'm so glad you're finding lots of helpful info here for your stepmom! Wishing her all the best with her writing!

    SUE!!!! Thank you for buying my book, you sweetheart!!!! This made my day!

    KAYLEEN, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    PEGGY, you are missing out on some great coffee and chocolate! Yes, we do eat salads from time to time. But let me tell you, nothing pairs with a good book better than a latte and a package of peanut M&Ms!

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  194. Great stuff! Especially loved the bits about how to prep for a move. And informed realism... so necessary for life changes of all sorts.

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  195. I am loving Seekerville and the people who are living there! I look forward to reading many more of your books! jumpforjoy@gmail.com

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  196. Oh, & by the way.
    I love the new site!

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  197. I've been wanting to read Myra's books for awhile so think I'll try this one!

    I don't need the Netbook so please don't enter my name into that drawing.

    nina4sm/at/gmail/dot/com

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  198. I'm glad you got off unpubbed island!

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