Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Seekerville Welcomes Guest Blogger Jessica Nelson

I Triple Dog Dare You…

To get published.

Will you take the dare? It’s hard, there are probably others watching and as with all dares, there’s risk involved. Disillusionment, loss of time and money, feelings of failure.
As with all great risks though, there can be great reward.

When Tina and the other Seekers so sweetly asked me to post on Seekerville, I was floored. Thank you ladies! I’m so honored to be here. I think I’ve been playing on the warm beaches of Seekerville’s Unpubbed island for three years now. Recently I jumped on a raft and headed toward Seeker Town. I hear there’s good food and one particularly tasty pirate…


Back to risk… after thinking about my experiences, I realized there are D words involved with getting published. And none of them involve cussing, so put the rejection down and bite your tongue.

Below are D words that jumped out at me when I thought about my own personal journey as a writer.


Define who you are as a writer. If you want to be published, you need to know what kind of stories you write. I’m not sure this necessarily means knowing your genre. To me, it’s more of a Who Am I As a Writer thing. Do you write dark stories? Light? Encouraging? Passionate? Deep? What are the themes you find yourself returning to again and again? No matter the genre, the definition of what you write will come through. And in a way, I feel like who are you begins to color your voice. So the more definite you become, the more your voice will shine through. (disclaimer: just my working theory right now and subject to change)


The first book I ever wrote deliberately, with the goal of publication, is the one coming out in April. I had written stories and scenes before that, but one day while on the phone with my newspaper editor (I freelanced) we were discussing journalism and open positions at the paper. He frankly told me that I was a good writer (yay!) and that I should write a book. A lightbulb flickered on in my head. Literally. I had never, ever thought about writing a book for publication. After that call, I picked up books around my house and looked at their publishers’ websites. One of the most helpful websites was Harlequin’s. I devoured the information they posted. One day I saw they were planning to open a historical line. I thought to myself, I like historicals. I could write one of those. And so I started the story of a girl sent west on a train to escape the beginnings of the Spanish influenza hitting her home state. I aimed the book toward Love Inspired Historical. And now, five years later, this book will be published by them.
Do you know which publisher sells what you write? Do you know your audience? Are you being deliberate with your research, with your career, with your words?


When I first started writing toward publication, I had an insatiable hunger to learn more. I absolutely loved call stories. I was encouraged me when I read that the average amount of time it takes to get published was 5-8 years. Or something like that.

You see, I was determined this was a career I could love. Storytelling scratched this itch I’d had inside me since I was a little girl. I feasted on others’ success with thankfulness because I knew if they could do it, I could too.
With help, of course. A lot goes into writing a book and then hoping someone will buy it. Love on the Range, releasing in April 2012 from Love Inspired Historical, was finished in 2007. Or what a new writer considers finished. I submitted a horrible synopsis for it in 2007 and was promptly rejected. The editor stated that she didn’t think my writing was strong enough for Love Inspired.

Ouch, right?

I blew on the owie a bit, pulled out the Neosporin and then decided to send my baby off to Harlequin’s critique service. While it was there, I started a new book. When the HQ critique came back, it wasn’t horrible. I set it to the side and concentrated on my next books.

Contemporaries and not quite as deliberately written as Love on the Range. But I would still play with the story every now and then. One day I reread the Harlequin critique and a line jumped out at me: You have written a beautiful and intriguing novel.
Chocolate to my writer’s soul.

With fresh eyes, I set about revising the story, polishing what I could. I’d had rejections on my second book so I decided I’d query the historical while writing my new WIP. I resubmitted the story to LIH. Many editor-requested edits later, with a better heroine and tighter storyline, I have a book coming out.

You have to be determined. Shake those rejections off. Keep writing. If you’ve revised or rewritten a manuscript, do NOT be afraid to resubmit it. No one else will write your stories for you. No one else will submit them for you.

If one story is rejected everywhere, that’s okay. Write another one. God loves you and gives you desires and gifts. Don’t be afraid to use them and don’t think a rejection is God telling you that your writing is wrong or stupid or not what you should be doing. I believe the feeling inside you, that you must write this story, that someone must read it, is probably God-given. Does it give you joy to write? Peace? Maybe you should determine within yourself to write what you feel God wants you to write, no matter what anyone else says. And then let Him take it from there. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

Do you have the Triple Ds working in your life? How many rejections do you have? How many are you okay with getting before you quit trying to be published? I would love to hear about your journey today. If there was a word you’d choose for your attitude and/or experience, what is it?

While you think of it, I’ll go ahead and pull out the donuts. The majority are chocolate, if you don’t mind.

Jessica Nelson, in keeping with her romantic inclinations, married two days after she graduated high school. She believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.

Love on the Range is an April 2012 release from Love Inspired Historical. Check out the trailer here.

Today Seekerville is toasting Jessica's Double Dog Dare with a double giveaway: A copy of Tina Radcliffe's Oklahoma Reunion and to another winner we offer their Seeker author book of choice if still available on Amazon.com. Print or ebook.

Or if you've read everything we'll happily send you a box of chocolate donuts instead. Just leave a comment. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. I'll take either a Seeker book still in print.

    Or the donuts.

    Either one would work.

    And the 4yo still isn't asleep.


    But if he's up for another twenty minutes, I can start NaNo. :p

    I'd rather be sleeping [odd as that sounds... I'm wiped out!]

    Er, right. The blog.

    There were three words. They all started with D. One was deliberate? Writing to get published. I've been doing that more in the last couple years. Writing with an eye for getting published rather than for fun.

    We'll see if it gets me anywhere ;).

    carolmoncado at gmail dot com

  2. There's coffee to go with the donuts.

    Jessica, thanks for your story. You answered a couple of questions for me.


  3. Welcome Jessica.

    It's so exciting to see friends of Seekerville sell and sale off the island.

    Jessica is such a sweetie too. We wish her continued success!!!

  4. Okay, I'm going to do it,NoNoWriMo. I'm scared.

  5. NOW I want a chocolate doughnut!!!

    Jessica, that was an awesome post. I loved the 'chocolate to a writer's soul'. I had a judge say that I should contact her when my book was published because she wanted to read the rest of it. Maybe she says that to all the entries, haha! But it was a beautiful thing to say. I read and re-read that line...

    I totally agree with the part about determining what you write. I don't think you can 'fake' anything. You write the way you live (or wish you lived)!

    Can't wait to read your historical and LOVED the trailer!

  6. maryCline! Go, go, go!!! It's super fun!!

    Nothing to be scared about. :) I did my first NaNoWriMo last year and it was freeing. Really. To write because you HAD TO, instead of just wanted to... Commitment was good for me.

  7. A storm front coming through means I'm up much later than usual...so good morning, everybody!

    Jessica, I thought your three D's were delicious, and I can relate to all of them, even as early in the game as I am.

    My own journey is so much fun - working on editor requested edits right now :) - and I love reading about other people's journey to publication.

    One thing that struck me as I was reading your blog was how active and persistent a writer needs to be. I'm so glad you stuck with it!

    The trailer is beautiful, and I can't wait to read your debut novel!

  8. Wow, tough choice, Books or chocolate donuts....I think I would have to choose a Seeker book still in print.

    Thank you Jessica for stopping by and sharing with all of us. I always learn so much here at Seekerville.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  9. Hi Jessica!
    I enjoyed reading about your journey & wish you all the best. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Here's a question... (And, yes, I could hop on over to eharlequin and find out for myself, but anyway...)

    On the Harlequin critique service, who is critiquing?

    Sounded like you found this service pretty useful. I am curious.

    Thanks & have a great day!!

  10. Congratulations on your success and thanks for posting. I agree that you need to know who you are as a writer before you put yourself out there. I'm still struggling with that a little bit. Thanks for all your advice!

  11. Hi Jessica,

    I love your three "Ds." Everyone was so true.

    The turning point for me was when I realized I wanted this to be a career, not a hobby. And just like my current position it's going to take time, effort, heartbreak and joy to get to the goal. It's a joke between me and my family and friends that I'm no stranger to "No." And I found out "no" doesn't hurt as long as you learn from it and don't give up.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. Your trailer is beautiful.


  12. Mary C!

    You can do it!!!! Buddy me on the NaNo site? I'm carolm :D.

    4yo finally crashed at 1148. I hadn't planned to stay up and do an opening minute write-in but at that point I pretty much had to [plus I posted on my FB Books page debating and Tracey Bateman and my cousin-in-love told me I had to ;)].

    509 in about 12 minutes!!!!

    Keep in mind this was a rewrite of a scene I wrote months ago and has been living in my head every since so it just... flowed. I can write fast, but that fast is unusual :D.

    Okay - off to a very busy day!

  13. Hi Jessica,

    Thanks for sharing with us today and good luck with your book!

  14. Good morning, Jessica! You're a wonderful testimony to the Triple D's you've outlined.

    Please tell us a bit about the storyline of Love on the Range. And how you came up with the idea for it!

  15. Jessica YAAAAYYYYY,

    I'm so happy for you. What a great post. Isn't it fun sailing off the island?

    Best wishes and congratulations.

    Have fun in Seekerville today.

    Best wishes to all of you NaNo folk.

  16. Hi ladies!! Thank you so much for inviting me here! :-) I'm absolutely thrilled!!!

    Carol, I can't believe your 4 yr old kept you up. Eeeek! Kudos to you for seeing the bright side. lol

    Helen, you're welcome, I'm glad it helped. :-) And thank you for the coffee! I think I might have creamer somewhere...

    Thank you so much Tina!!! You're the sweetie though, a thousand times!!!

  17. Mary, you're nanoing??? Woohoo, you go, girl!

    Awww, thank you so much, Virginia for your kind words! And it sounds like you had a wonderful judge. :-)

    Hi Jan, good morning! Another D word I can get behind (delicious). *grin* Thank you for your kind words and WOOOHOOOO on the edits!! That's so exciting! Best wishes to you. :-)

  18. Cindy, I'd have to do the same. Until I finished the book. Then I'd have to hunt up those donuts. lol

    Hi Christy! :-) Unfortunately (to me) I believe Harlequin discontinued their critique service a year or two ago. I think it was a dollar per page and I got about a three page break down of the story. They mentioned the things done well and the things that needed work. At the time I had no clue who had critiqued it and wanted to know so I could send a thank you card. Recently though, I found the little award thingy they send and it was signed with an editor's name at the time (not a LI editor though). So I believe the editors were probably involved somehow. Hope that helps! :-)

  19. Hi Annie,
    Oh no worries, I still struggle too! I definitely don't have it down and maybe never will. We change a lot as we age and it makes sense to me that so will our stories and voice. I think we just have to write in the moment with as clear a voice as possible (lol, does that make sense??)

    Hi Kirsten, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I agree, moving from hobby to career is a turning point. I love what you've said about the word NO though. Very smart!

    Carol, I have NO clue how you wrote 500 words in twelve minutes. *reaching for a donut*

  20. Thank you so much, Rose!

    Hi Glynna! Thanks, but hopefully I'll stick with it and have more books out and not be a one book wonder. lol
    The storyline is about an aspiring journalist who is sent West by her parents to escape the flu hitting her city in a big way. But on the way, she realizes that this secret agent she wants to interview actually lives near where she's going. She determines to use this time away from her restrictive parents to find him and land an interview that will secure her a position at a paper. In the meantime, the agent knows she's looking for him and is doing what he can to keep her at bay while at the same time trying to track down an old enemy who's stalking him. Of course secret agent and writer girl fall in love. *grin* Thank you for asking! That was hard trying to come up with the storyline. LOL

  21. Welcome, Jessica, and congrats! It must feel amazing to have a book coming out!

    I haven't had any rejections on novels, but I submitted a children's story to several publishers about 3 years ago, and received rejections on it. Well, some didn't even bother sending me a rejection memo. But I got the hint. lol. Funnily enough, it wasn't discouraging. I was pretty excited. Would I have rather received a letter telling me they wanted my charming little story? Sure. But, I kept those letters. That story was my first venture into the publishing world. I have since written several other children's stories, though my desire is really to write historical romances. Both would be even better. I think that throughout my ever winding writing journey, the word "hopeful" sticks out.

    Thanks for sharing. : )


  22. Thanks Sandra! It's wonderful to be here and the sailing is awesome!!

  23. I've made a note of your release date, Jessica -- oops that sounds like you're getting out of prison or something. LOL. Anyway, I'll be sure to order your book in the spring.

    How long is the timeline between when it was accepted and the actual publication date?

    What has surprised you most in the process?

  24. Hey Whitney. :-) It feels surreal, actually. I literally want to pinch myself sometimes. lol Hopeful is a wonderful word! And so needed, I think, in our writer journey. Kudos to you for not letting the rejections discourage you. To me, they've always meant I'm moving forward somehow. Best wishes!

  25. Hi Jessica I love your blog!
    Rose M.

  26. Jessica I'm just going out on a limb and telling you I love you as I listen to Billy Currington's Love Done Gone for the fifth time to amuse my breakfast buddies while I type.



    Teach a course wonderful, my dear.

    So proud of your tenacity, and I love the steps you took.

    Deliberately love 'em!

    We're giving away books or donuts.

    Oh, my.

    Like Carol, I'd want both.

  27. Jessca, what a great, encouraging post! I so enjoyed reading your story and about your stick-to-itive-ness. :) Though I'm not yet at the point where I am ready to submit my writing, I am encouraged to keep at making my story better till it is right where God wants it to be.

    My word is Disciple. This is a word God gave me in January to learn about and learn to live this year. It truly fits for the life of this newbie writer--learnng from those who have gone before me.

    Thanks for your post, and for the donuts!

  28. Hey Kav, you never know with me. *grin*
    Good question on the timeline! That was actually the thing that surprised me because the release was less than a year out. I think the editor offered in July? Or maybe June 2011...Anyway, the release date is April 2012 so that's what, ten months? (my math skills are nonexistent, lol)

  29. Rose, thank you!!! I LUB it too. LOL

    Ruthy, I don't know who Billy is but he's obviously putting you in a good mood and influencing you in ways I like. Heeeheee! Thank you so much for the kind comment. I'm grinning right now just because I'm so thrilled to be here. :-)

    Hi Jeanne, WOW, what a great word! I could definitely use some time studying that one. It sounds like you are deliberately right where you want to be. :-)

  30. Mary Cline, you can do it! I'm doing a sort of revised NaNo this year, and it's my first time attempting 50K words in a month. Let's encourage each other during the month.

    Carol, I'm impressed! How did you get 509 words in 12 minutes? I wrote 1500 words first thing this morning. I'd love any tips on NaNo-ing. :) Okay, I just read the rest of your post. I'm relieved to read you are a "mere mortal" and that that many words that quickly is not the norm. :) I'd still love any secrets you have that help.

  31. Hey, Jessica! I like your D words! And I remember when I heard you were getting published. I was so happy for you! I know you've been working hard, because it takes hard work to get published! Way to hang in there with one of my P words I like to talk about--Perseverance!

    And we must be sisters, because chocolate is always on my brain too! And Krispy Kreme donuts smothered in chocolate ... you just can't go wrong.

    I tried for three years to get The Healer's Apprentice published. For three years I revised it, learned all I could, revised it some more, and wrote two more books. Just when I decided it must be time to give up on it for a while, Zondervan's YA editor said, "Hey, I love this book. If I can talk the Z people into it, we'll publish it." Or something like that. And God bless her, she did!

    Love hearing your story, Jessica! Here's to many more book contracts in your future as you chase those little boys around!

  32. Jessica! Woohoo! Congratulations on Love On The Range. I'm currently working on a WW1 era novel too.

    Love the D in writing. Love the phrase "No one else will write your stories for you."

    Cracking my knuckles and getting ready to buckle down for some NaNo writing today!

  33. And JESSICA!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!
    Hurray for the definite, deliberate discipline.

  34. Hi, Jessica! What a great and inspiring post for writers out there!
    I loved your call story and journey. It just shows that writers need to recognize their God given gifts then really work to cultivate them.
    Great job!

  35. Jessica do not ask about Billy. She sang that song for me. You do not want her to sing.

  36. Welcome Jessica and congratulations on the new book.

    Especiall congrats on your working through the Triple D's! Way to go.

    This resonated with me (and lots of others!): Maybe you should determine within yourself to write what you feel God wants you to write, no matter what anyone else says. And then let Him take it from there.


    Books are good. Donuts are fun too... but egads - after all that b'day cake, better stick with books! ;D

    Go NaNo folks! Cheering you on from the sidelines!

  37. Of course donuts ship well. I send them often. Doesn't everyone??

  38. Melanie, I love hearing your story! The first contest I ever entered (well, it was simultaneous with another) was the Gotcha, and you were one of the finalists with me. Actually, didn't we tie for third? Anyway, you were one of the first writers I came into contact with. LOL Your call story is fabulous and I absolutely love the premise of your Beast book, plus the trailer rocks!

    Mary, I think Godiva donuts would ship quite well. *grin*

    LOL Erica, don't crack those knuckles too hard. Heeeheee! I bet your next book will be amazing. I've heard so many great things about your stories. :-)

  39. Jessica, congratulations on your upcoming release. So very exciting.

    Rejections . . . let's see, I sent a requested full on a first draft back in 2007 only a few months after I started writing. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. Never received an answer. And then in 2009 I received another request at a different publisher for the same manuscript, this time well polished. It made to the 'table' but was ultimately rejected.

    And then there was the rejection on a requested proposal. So, with three completed stories under my belt and one half way finished (the rejected proposal) and five years of writing, I've had three rejections. *g*

    It may please you to know that I do have a full out on submission and I'm getting ready to send off a partial on a different story, today. So, I am getting better at putting my stories out there.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post. I'll take your dare and run with it!

  40. Thanks Mary! :-) But I'm pretty sure Discipline isn't one of my D words. LOL! But it should be, for sure.

    That's so true, Jennifer. :-) Fun to see you here!

    LOL Tina! No worries. No one could sing worse than my hus---someone I know personally.

  41. Hi KC! Yes, leave more donuts for us. :-) I'm so glad it resonated. I think trusting God is a huge thing when writing. Otherwise we'd be even worse nervous wrecks! lol

    Tina, I'm glad you have experience because I actually didn't know you could ship donuts either (contrary to what I said to Mary, lol)

  42. Great Post Jessica. Thanks for sharing your story. And congratulations on your book.

    I'll take a chocolate glazed Krisy Kreme and a seeker book. :)

    Ruthy, I'm singing with you. I love Billy Currington.

    Thanks for the coffee Helen. Please tell me it's from Antiqua, Guatamala. I woke up this morning craving the creamy brew.

  43. Christina, wow, those are good stats though! To have a manuscript make it to the table is huge. Have you queried any agents? It sounds like you have some strong stories/writing. Best wishes and thank you for sharing about your journey so far!

    Thanks Bridgett! Chocolate frosting is delish. I'd love to know what kind of coffee Helen brought too. Mmmmm.

  44. Jessica, it was so fun meeting you at ACFW! And I loved your story to publication :)

    ...Here's (a small part) of my embarrassing publication journey. In 2008, only a year after I joined RWA, I sent off a query for a HORRIBLE book in order to make PRO status. I was instantly rejected (not surprising) but at least I had my PRO status.

    Fast forward three years, and I'm filling out the art fact sheets on the HERS system for Harlequin, and there's the title of my HORRIBLE book listed first.

    So, FYI: Harlequin tracks those things!

  45. Jessica, wonderful to have you on this side of the post! I identified with your journey to publication and your love of historicals. Your 3 D advice is right on! Congratulations on your upcoming release. I'm looking forward to reading Love on the Range in April!

    I remember the day I read on a loop that Love Inspired would launch a historical line. I had written historicals for years, but they were out of vogue for much of that time so mostly previously pubbed writers got the slots. Yes, this sounds like an excuse but I'm sticking by it. :-) When I read the wonderful news, I told God, if He wanted me to sell, this was the open door and to help me walk through it. I sold Courting Miss Adelaide in 2006 and had a two year wait to see it in print. The 3Ds and prayer got me there.

    Thanks for the donuts.


  46. Mary! You can do it. I've done this for several years now. Some I completed and others I did not, but that's okay. At least you're getting words on the page. I have a list of tips somewhere as I'm sure Carol does too. I'll be doing NaNo (kind of) I have some revisions I need to get done on another story, and I'm half way through another story that I want to complete before the end of the year. AND I haven't quite decided which story I want to work on.

    You can find me under ChristinaKS or under one of Carolm's buddies. ;)

  47. Whoa, Sherri, they do???? That makes me want to go explore HERS a little more to see if they have mine listed. I have a few rejections up my sleave. lol It was wonderful meeting you too! You're such a vibrant person. :-)

    Hello dear Janet! I'm so happy to be on this side of the post. :-) Wow, so you had a two year wait? That's a long time. But you had a truly fab cover. I LOVED Adelaide and that amazing hat. lol

  48. Congrats, Jessica.......and enjoyed your post! I'll take the BOOKS!!!!! Love to read.

  49. Jessica, funny thing about agents. They like to blog, right? Well, a few years ago, a coveted RWA agent and her colleague held some sort of contest. They wanted to see what was out there. We entered our first 500 words. I posted two different stories. The one that was finished didn't even get a mention the one I'd just begun (1 chapter complete) received a request. Uh, yeah . . . that story is still unfinished.

    Then a year later another agent did something similar. I believe we were told. It doesn't have to be finished we just want to see what your working on. Different story, different genre. Biting my nails I hit the send button. Received a request for the first 20 pages. What?! I only had 8 done. I finished those pages and sent. Received a request for 3 chapters. I was a full-time student and schooling my kids. There was no way!

    Something I took away from all that is I can write beginnings usually.

    That last story is currently with an agent. And, yes, I'm getting back to nail biting. As the days go by my nails are getting shorter. ;)

  50. JESSICA!!! "D"-LIGHTFUL ... both the blog and the donuts!!!

    I don't know what makes me happier this morning, knowing you have a book coming out or the donuts (I'm a donut freak, so that's a fair comparison).:)

    Seriously, when someone you know has worked really hard to get published, you want to rejoice with them. But when that someone is a Seeker bud and one of the nicest people on the planet, you just go triple dog ecstatic!!! SUPER CONGRATS, my friend, on a job well done!

    "The majority are chocolate, if you don’t mind."

    LOL, I think you will be hard-pressed to find anyone who minds in this crowd, sweetie, so bring the D-nuts on!!!

    YOU ALSO SAID: "don’t think a rejection is God telling you that your writing is wrong or stupid or not what you should be doing. I believe the feeling inside you, that you must write this story, that someone must read it, is probably God-given. Does it give you joy to write? Peace? Maybe you should determine within yourself to write what you feel God wants you to write, no matter what anyone else says. And then let Him take it from there. But that’s a whole ‘nother post."

    WOW ... POWERFUL WORDS and SO VERY TRUE!!! Gosh, if "a rejection (is/was) God telling you that your writing is wrong or stupid or not what you should be doing," every one of us would be in deep double D (doo-doo). AND there would be a HECK of a lot of wonderful books never published -- such as Gone With the Wind (38 rejections) or Chicken Soup for the Soul (140 rejections on a book that has sold more than 80 million copies in 37 languages).

    And as far as I'm concerned, that advice goes DOUBLE once you are published -- we must NOT "think a (bad review) is God telling (us) that (our) writing is wrong or stupid or not what (we) should be doing" because God knows if you do get published, it's because God believed in us. :)

    "When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story."

    LOL!!! Yep, you're definitely a novelist, my friend -- glazed staring is definitely one of the first symptoms! :)


  51. Hi Jessica,
    Congratulations on the new book! And thanks for the insightful article this morning. All good advice and reminders.


  52. Jess, Jess, Jess....


    But Billy does it better...


    So, Jess, I love quick release dates. Because you don't have time to worry about a thing.... It's like getting ready for the county fair.

    Busy. Busy. Busy.

    Hey, I've got fresh cookies here, I was totally lax on breakfast, but loving on my WIP...

    So stinkin' fun to write, but NOT WORTH STARVING MY FRIENDS, right???

    These are M&M chocolate chip pecan cookies.

    Oh. My Stars.

    Dig in.

  53. Thanks Jackie S!

    Christina, WOOHOOO on the MS being with the agent! I know EXACTLY how you feel because I have a full with an editor and I'm checking my e-mail every day. And it's only been three weeks. lol Too funny about your beginnings but it's actually a great thing. :-) The beginning is what hooks a reader, you know? Best wishes, girl!

  54. Oh Julie, your comment just made me LOL. :-) I think you could write a better D post! Heeheee! Thank you for your enthusiasm and support. You Seekers are wonderful and kind. It's been such a blessing to get to know you all. And of course the experiences you've shared, your advice, that makes this blog one of the best ones out there for writers, imo.

    Hi Lyndee! Thank you for your kind comment. :-) Best wishes with your writing!

    Mmmmm, cookies for breakfast. I'm game! Thank you Ruthy. I'll go ck out that link.

  55. Oh my, Ruthy.
    Just checked out the link and I see why you're in such a good mood. *cheeky grin*

    btw, I'm embarrassed now. Even the hubs knows who Billy is. LOL
    Oh well, I guess country ain't my thing. Don't throw a donut at me. *grabbing a donut before ducking into a Seekertown alley*

  56. Jessica, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Especially related to that part "what a new writer thinks is finished" LOL. That explains the eight rejections up my sleeve haha. That one is almost finished being critiqued, then it gets a good polish with my contest feedback (which I would have paid the fees twice over to have someone tell me I use first names in dialogue too much).

    I've got a great story I'm three chapters into that NANOWRIMO should bring me pretty close to completing and another one in my head ready to go and yet another half finished to pick back up somewhere in all this.

    I love writing too much to ever stop, or miss out on all the friends I've made and are making, but if and when I hit a hundred rejections, I'll need some sort of week long ICU on the island, LOL.

  57. This was SO encouraging, you have no idea!
    I've had a rejection from Steeple Hill (it was Love Inspired Suspense) that said she loved the proposal, but didn't think the writing was strong enough.
    I shelved that book (my first novel, cut down for steeple hill) and am writing what would have been book 2 as though it's the first in the series. Also it's now Love Inspired (not suspense, just straight romance). I'm having a lot of fun with high emotions, and the complicated plot it decided to be!
    I'm sad to hear Harlequin doesn't do the critiques anymore. But I'll definitely be submitting this one soon, with the help of my crit group friends!

  58. LOL Nancy, I hope you don't hit 100 rejections, but if you do, The Island is the place for refreshment. :-) Kudos to you for taking feedback and applying it! That's such a big thing for a writer to do. Have fun polishing your baby up!

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. Natalia, that's actually an awesome rejection to have, esp. on a first book! You might end up going back to it someday and strengthen the writing, since the plot sounds solid. Good for you on starting book 2! That's just what we have to do, keep moving forward. :-) I hope you get great news on this one whenever you sub it. Thank you for your kind comment too. I'm so glad the post encouraged you. :-)

  61. Jessica, inspiring post even for those who don't write! I think most posts can translate to life! We all have to have determinate to just "keep on going". We all get rejected for various things in various ways. We all have to take a "leap of faith" in different aspects of our lives.

    I will pass on the chocolate donuts though - I'm allergic! I do want Tina's Oklahoma book though so put me down for that :)

    Valri westernaz@msn.com

  62. Jessica, you are a very good writer. I could wallpaper the Vatican with rejections over the years, yet I plod on with enthusiasm with each story to tell. Like you, I love to weave a story to inspire others.

    I am unaware of the Harlequin Critique Service. How does it work and is it costly????

  63. You know where I am at with my writing Jessica and can I say you have once again encouraged me not to give up!! I am so happy for your success!

  64. Great post, Jessica!

    Where am I at in my journey? Let's see...I'm currently *drowning* in edits, but I'm *determined* to make my story *dynamite* so I can *dazzle* a publisher. :)

  65. So excited for you, Jessica!

    I can't wait for your book...

    I loved the D's!

  66. Elizabeth, Jessica mentioned the critique service has closed. That's really too bad.

    There are quite a few independent editors who critique, Jason Black, Caroline Tolley and Leslie Wanger who is a current editor with Harlequin.

    Above all get a recommendation and make sure they know your market and targeted publisher.

  67. Valri, sorry to hear about the allergy! Chocolate or donuts?
    Great point about writing advice hitting home in life. I totally agree, and vice versa! ;-)

    Hi Elizabeth, thank you for saying I'm a good writing. *grin*
    The critique service was discontinued but at the time I believe they charged a dollar a page and they sent me a detailed critique on various craft/plot aspects of the book. There are other critique services out there though. If you're interested, you might want to check Agent Rachelle Gardner's website. I think she lists some freelance editors. Best wishes with your writing!

  68. Terri!!! Thank you for commenting and I'm glad you're encouraged. You're a wonderful writer. You rock in the non-fiction and I have a feeling you'll be selling fiction in no time. :-)

    Hey Sarah, thanks so much for popping over. Wooohooo on all those Ds! LOL Love them!

  69. Sarah, as long as Death doesn't figure in with the Drowning. LOL

    Thank you Loree!

    Great advice, Tina. :-) An editor who's savvy with category romance is ideal.
    (hmmm, I said Savvy. Heeheee, you think a certain someone heard?)

  70. by the way, Jessica, I'd like to point out that I still like you even if you did sell the FIRST book you wrote for publication.


  71. Hey you snuck this post in after I went to bed. LOL!

    Jessica's book looks really good. I always look forward to reading books by new authors and I'll definitely be looking out for hers. :-)

    Donuts? I love donuts. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

  72. Hello Jessica,
    Glad to hear that you're keeping on, plugging away with your writing. And eating chocolate, most important.

    I understand chasing those boys around. I married my high school sweetheart and had three boys of our own.

    Usually getting D's aren't the best. But your's are worth remembering.


    Tina P

  73. Hi Jessica!

    I think my problem is "Define" because I have so many stories that I want to write that really, have no common thread except they are my ideas! Gotta work on that...

    BTW, your picture is so encouraging, because you look so bubbly and happy in it, and it comes across in your writing.


  74. Jessica,

    Thanks for the inspirational words. I need them as I start my very first NaNo!!! When I get home from work, I will start. Looking forward to it actually.

    Quick question - How long was it after you got your first rejection from Harlequin that you re-submitted your revised manuscript? I have one that is about 2 or 3 years old and now that I've (hopefully) fixed it up, I'm thinking of re-submitting.

    Also, is there a good time of year to submit?

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  75. Yup, yup, yup, just stopped in during a break in my editing and what do I find?

    Billy Currington playing in the background, chocolate Krispy Kremes playing havoc with my appetite, and writing talk.

    This is what keeps me going!

    Back to a sizzling kiss.

    Well, as sizzling as it gets in an Amish romance :)

  76. Susan, resubmit. Tell them in your cover letter you revised per their specifications.

    I have picked the editor's brains about whether the holidays were a bad time to sub and they all consistently say no time is a bad time.

    do it do it do it

    Actually you should have done it long ago if you got feedback.

    I mean unless they say never darken our door, keep on moving.

  77. Great story Jessica! Very encouraging! Glad you kept at it!

  78. Hi, Jessica. Deliberate. One of the words I use in my affirmation: Stay focused. Be deliberate. Believe.

    But I love what you've placed around that, the need to define one's self as a writer, then to be determined. Still working on the first, and well, the latter.

    Great post.

  79. Woohoo! Look at all of these comments for my wonderful and tenacious and talented friend. :)

    Great post, Jessie! But you forgot to list the one final D. Donuts.

    Oh, wait ... there it is. Hee.

    I love that you put a disclaimer on your first point. Wise, that. Since who we are seems to change as we grow. :)

    I'm so proud of how you hung in and didn't give up on that first book. And now look at you. You've definitely kept me inspired along my own journey.

    Okay, now I'm off to find a chocolate glazed donut and watch your lovely trailer again! Congrats, my dear friend.

  80. Hahaaa, Tina! But...it took a long time and TONS of edits. While the main plot never changed, so many other things did. I had to tighten quite a bit and fix my rather unlikeable albeit perky heroine.

    Hi Renee, plenty of donuts here so help yourself. ;-) I actually checked out your blog the other day and liked seeing your honest reviews. Looks like you have a great place there.

    Oh boy, Tina! So you know what sweet little munchkins boys are. And rough. No wonder we need chocolate. LOL

  81. Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your comment about my pic. I appreciate it. My wonderful hubs took a bunch of pics and it was hard to pick one I thought looked okay.
    As for definition, I'll bet there is something running through your work that you're not aware of. It could be a theme or a tone...I'd bet anything though that it's there. You just have to find it and polish it. ;-)

  82. Susan, yes to what Tina said! Mine was rejected in the summer (I think) of '07. I resubbed it in the spring of 2010. I don't know what your rejection said, but if you made any of those changes, then do what Tina said and cite that you've revised the story, taking into account any advice on the reject, and feel it's a much stronger work now. There's nothing wrong with pointing out that the editors might remember an earlier version of the work too, since I believe they have a database that shows everything...Submit, submit! And best wishes to you. :-)

  83. Susan, yes to what Tina said! Mine was rejected in the summer (I think) of '07. I resubbed it in the spring of 2010. I don't know what your rejection said, but if you made any of those changes, then do what Tina said and cite that you've revised the story, taking into account any advice on the reject, and feel it's a much stronger work now. There's nothing wrong with pointing out that the editors might remember an earlier version of the work too, since I believe they have a database that shows everything...Submit, submit! And best wishes to you. :-)

  84. Hi Jan, woohooo for the kiss! Even the Amish have sizzles. I mean, didn't they do the whole bundling thing? lol

    Thanks Eva!

    I'm still working on it too, Patricia. We're all WIPs, right? ;-) Love your profile pic, btw! I don't remember seeing that one.

    Anita!!! My bestest!!! :) Thanks so much for stopping by, and of course there are Donuts!! Delicious, decadent donuts. *grin* You have inspired and encouraged me too!

  85. Excellent Ds, Jessica! And a huge congrats on your book coming out! So cool and very encouraging to hear! =]

    Today's word (to go with NaNo) is Determined.

    Thanks for a great post! =]

  86. Awesome post, Jessica! I love reading about journeys to publication. Yours is so encouraging. I can't wait to get my mitts on your book in April!

    I love what you said about defining myself. I've never done that before.


  87. Jessica! Thanks so much for sharing your writing journey today. Your 3 Ds are right on target!

    And three little boys??? You REALLY have to be definite, deliberate, and determined to keep up with them! My older daughter has three boys, so I have a teensy clue what your life must be like!

    Congratulations on your book! Seekerville is blessed to have you as a friend.

  88. Jessica,

    Love your D words and the great advice you provided.

    I'm tuning into your comment about your synopsis. You wrote: "I submitted a horrible synopsis for it in 2007 and was promptly rejected."

    Long ago, I heard someone mention that synopses aren't that important because the chapters sell the book.

    Not so today. A synopsis that doesn't explain the important plot points, conflict, motivation, black moment and climax adequately will cause a manuscript to be rejected, even if the chapters are very, very good.

    Editors put a lot of weight on the synopsis. As writers, we know we'll incorporate all the important elements into our stories, but the editors don't know that. They want it all laid out in black and white.

    So...word to the wise...and all Seekervillagers are VERY wise. Get your synopses in tip-top shape. Ensure each important facet of the story is included. No, you don't have to write 25 pages, but you do need to cover the important elements that drive the story.

  89. Great post Jessica. I'll look forward to getting your book in April! I need to heed your advice on all three D's.

  90. Jessica the ability to learn. To take criticism and make changes based on that. To rebound after you've been rejected and to KEEP WRITING, to turn your attention to the next book, are the hallmarks of a selling writer.

    Good for you, girl.

  91. Debby:

    Your post generated a thought.

    How about a synopsis contest???

    I could sure use help with mine. Others might as well.

  92. Uh... there was stuff I was gonna say... I don't remember what :D.

    But yeah, that whole 500 words in just over 10 minutes thing...

    Not. Normal.

    Wish it was ;).

    There's a Christian NaNos on Facebook [will find the link if anyone wants it]. There's also some stuff going on over on MBT.

    And I've decided I'm doing NaBloWriMo [or something - national blogging month - something new daily] so I'm going to blog about it and I'd love to have some of you join me over on my personal blog to help and encourage - official WriMoing or not [plus it'll make my pitiful blog numbers look a bit better once I hear back [good news I'm sure!!! ;)] on the proposals I've got out :D].

  93. Helen, that's a spectacular idea!

  94. Oh, that doughnut made my mouth water!! :0 So I'll slurp the slobber and say welcome Jessica!! I'm so excited about your upcoming book! And this was a perfect post. It took me about 12 years to sell a novel. So I know firsthand what a journey it can be.

    BTW, you did a great job on the trailer! The story looks fantastic!

  95. Congrats on your first book! The trailer looks good...


  96. Thank you Patty! I hope your Nano month goes fabulously. :-)

    Susanne, thank you! I don't know if you'll like the book or not, but I definitely appreciate that you want to get your mitts on it. :-) Don't worry, defining isn't set in stone. I'm not sure I even know completely what I write, though I know what I want to write, if that makes sense?

  97. Great post Jessica! I'll be watching for your book, can't wait to read it.

  98. Hi Debby!! I heard somewhere that ABA publishers don't care as much about synopses as CBA, though I'm not sure why that is? You're so right about editors looking at synopses. It's important to write a good one.

    Donna, I need to heed it too. LOL

    Oh Mary, wonderful advice! Thank you too for the sweet comment. :-)

  99. Carol, it's pretty cool though that it all flowed out like that. If you can do it once, I bet you can do it again. :-) I can't wait to check out everyone's blogs tomorrow on my blogging day. I'll stop by yours to see how you're doing, but I can't enter Nano. The thought makes me SHUDDER. LOL I hope you have lots of fun though!

    I like Helen's idea too!

    And Missy...my mouth is watering too. I really wish cyber food could be truly tasted. Maybe someday there will be some kind of eating invention where we think we're eating real food, tasting and smelling it, but we're not. I bet that would make tons of money. LOL

  100. Jessica,

    This was a great post. I love the D's. I wanted to add another one, which was a struggle.

    How about Delirious? Here's the definition:
    wild with excitement, enthusiasm, etc. That's how I'm feeling because I made 2011 my year of Decision--thanks to a post on Seekerville!

    I have so much trouble deciding how to take the plot and whether to leave the mystery in or out and what POV should it be in? First is the kiss of death, unless it's a certain type of book. I know, I've heard. :)

    Can anyone relate?

    Well, I have a mss I've been working on forever, in between starting others, and coming back to it--gutting it and improving it, I think, anyway!

    Your post supports my idea, which I became committed to a couple days ago, to finish it, no matter what. And maybe get a paid editor, too.

    I think being lukewarm and uncommitted doesn't help. So, I'm going to add delirious to your D's. I'm wildly excited to finish this manuscript and I want to believe an agent will feel the same in seeing it. :)

    Put me in for winning a prize. (There are so many, I'm not sure what it is today.)

  101. Congratulations, Jessica! I'm so happy for you. It's a long, difficult journey to publication for most of us, but it's really worth it. Thanks for your story.

  102. Ahhh...loved this.
    Not sure if you're familiar with the song, DIVINE ROMANCE, by the darling Phil Wickham, but everything you said about a relationship with Christ and how He's the one giving us these ambitions...it was like reading a different spin on that song.

  103. Congrats, Jessica. Your perseverance paid off. That's one book I'm already looking forward to buying. :)

    Well, that's if I don't win it first. LOL

    Anita Mae.

  104. Oh, thanks, Debby! Now, I've got something to worry about. My synopsis writing lacks . . . well, it just lacks everything I guess. Nerves!

    Carol-blog addy? please.

  105. I have Tina's book, so leave me out of the drawing.

    M... I'm eating chocolate...

  106. I'm with Helen on a synopsis contest.
    Would LOVE to see that in Seekerville. I'd even mop the floor of the YankeeBelle cafe for a MONTH for that =)

  107. Christina, remember positive affirmations.

    I can write!
    I can write!
    I can write a good synopsis! :)

  108. Cathy...delirious is good! Darn good! :)

  109. Shhh, Nancy. Ruthy you having you mopping the floor, for sure! :)

  110. Love the idea of the three D's! Great post, Jessica! :)

    The giveaway sounds delightful. I'm in! Thanks so much.


  111. a fabulous giveaway...yummy ;)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  112. I'll need to remember those D words...especially Determined...:-) THanks for the advice and for sharing your story!

    Enter my name for the drawing:)


    lornafaith at gmail dot com

  113. Oh, what a great conversation. Wonderful stuff, all o' youse.

    I'm with Tina on the resubmission unless they use the magic phrase:

    "Good luck placing this with someone else."

    That means.... "Good luck placing this with someone else."


    BUT... if they give you ideas, or reasons why they rejected the story, then by all means re-write.




    Make it SING.

    Editors want to know if you're hard working. Cooperative. Stuck on yourself. A jerk. A sweetheart. Industrious. Lazy. Self-absorbed (as in "It's MY STORY, I COULDN'T POSSIBLY HAVE MY HEROINE DO THAT!!!!"


    I love working for LI. Just love it. And their direction has helped me strengthen every single book.

    That's huge to me.

    Okay, writing night. Ducking out. Loving this new proposal, but I'm leaving hot chicken and gravy with biscuits and peas.

    LOVE THIS. I will not think about the calories.

    Will not.

    Will not.

    Will not.

  114. Wow! 115 comments!?! Go, Jess!
    I'm so thrilled for you and can't wait to have my own (autographed, please) copy on my shelf this spring.

    One thing I love about Seekerville is the continual shot-in-the-arm when it comes to encouragement. You guys are always hosting success stories that encourage the rest of us. :)

    Plus there's always snacks. You can never have enough snacks.

    Thanks for the giveaway. If I win, I want donuts. But I should good with a good book instead.

  115. LOL! Debby, for some reason I knew you'd say that.

  116. Ahhh, Ruthy's hot chicken and gravy will go well with the chicken pot pies I made today. Yum. But I ate too much so I'm bringing the leftovers.

    Can't wait to read your book, Jessica. I love that it's that original one. I have an "original" that I love so much. I still have hope that someday I'll do it justice.

  117. Jessica!! thank you so much for being with us today and for spending so much time chatting!!!

    Tina Radcliffe

  118. Jessica- thanks for sharing your journey. Like you, I've collected rejections over the years, but God has given me those moments of joy, too. It's those moments that push me forward on this journey.

    I'm dancing with you on the release of your first novel. Awesome book trailer. Can't wait to see this one on the shelves!

  119. Thanks for the advice, Tina, Jessica and Ruthy!

    First of all, I have to say I made my word quota for the day!! Woo-hoo. I'm excited to start this new story.Have to brag now while I can, in case I don't keep up. But I plan to make up for it if I have a bad day - so I will make my target!

    How's that for positive thinking.

    And I will re-submit that story!


  120. Coffee and donuts... didn't know you guys built a Tim Horton's in Seekerville. Makes me feel right at home :)

    I like the idea of being deliberately deliberate in how and what I write. That one's going in the bank, alongside defining myself - which I'm sorta afraid to do. Does that make sense?

    Great post. Thanks, Jessica.

  121. Jessica,
    I failed to mention that I can't wait to read your book. Love the Spanish influenza tie in!

    Congrats on your success! Your dream came true because of your hard work and determination. Good for you!

  122. YAY! Jessica!!
    So glad to see you here on Seekerville.
    And such a great post. Thanks for the reminders and the focus.

    Congrats on your publication. Wow, what wonderful news.

    (and Tina, I already have your book, so please do not put me in the drawing)

  123. Oh yes, I think we did final in that contest together, Jessica! I remember when I was finaling, you were too, a lot! I think The Merchant's Daughter won first place and you and I tied for third, me with The Healer's Apprentice! Isn't that funny? And now we are both best-selling, 6-figure advance earning authors!
    Whoops! I may have been prophesying there. At least, I hope so!

  124. Took me a long while to get here today.

    I have enough of a time keeping up with two boys. How do you keep up with three?

    I already have Tina's wonderful book, but I'm in for the book of a choice.


  125. Woo Hoo! What a great post, Jessica! Love it! And I'll take all three prizes. Bring 'em on!

  126. Oooh, Cathy, delirious and decisive are both great words! :-) I think your plan has merit. If it feels right in your gut, I say go with it!

    Hi Cara, I think it will be worth it too. I'm already having heart palpitations thinking about my book sitting on a WalMart shelf. Whew.

    Hi Bethany, that title sounds familiar but the singers name doesn't. I'll have to check out the song. :-)

  127. Thanks Anita! I hope you do win it though. I know I need to do giveaways and stuff, and am so excited to do them!

    Linette, chocolate donuts coming right up. Need extra frosting? Sprinkles? *grin*

  128. Ruthy, your comment struck a chord of memory...Ah yes, here it is. "We wish you all the best in finding the right publishing house for your story"
    Was that the kind of rejection you're speaking of? lol I think if enough time passes and the writing significantly improves, and even better, if you sub to a different editor, it might be okay to resub even if they didn't invite you too. I'm not sure if I mentioned on this post that I'd subbed things after the first book and had a small connection with the editor thanks to a contest final. I think that connection helps since the editor was familiar with my writing and thought it had potential.
    Thank you for the hot dinner! I'm rather hungry and love biscuits!

  129. Hi Emily, Seekerville rocks, doesn't it??? :-) I wish I could say the comments are alot, but Seekerville has been topping 200 in the month of October. I might've scared some people away. LOL Sorry Seekers!

    Hi Mary C! I hope you're doing well. I bet you could do wonderful things with that book if you wanted to. :-)

    Tina, thank you for inviting me!!! I love chatting with you ladies. This is such a nice place to hang.

  130. Dianna, I know what you mean about those moments of joy. :-) Thank you for liking my trailer! It was so interesting to make.

    Wooohooo, Susan! You go, girl!

  131. Diana, I think that makes sense if you think of defining as a fence. I don't like to think of myself as living in a box, I just think it's good to have an idea of who you are, and maybe definition comes from things that important to us? I don't know...still playing with these D words. *grin*

    Debby, thank you sweet lady!! It came true because of hard work, yes, but also because of God (which I already know you know, lol) and because of authors like you and the other Seekers who share SO much on the industry and craft. I've learned an incredible amount, free college if you will, because y'all's generosity. Thank you!!

  132. Thank you Pepper! It's so weird to me. I have to keep reminding myself that this is for real!

    Hahaaaa! I'll take that prophecy, Melanie. lol

    Hi Walt, sometimes I slip away to my special place. It's inside my head.
    :-) Actually, three is fine most of the time. I mostly have to keep an eye on the youngest, my mischief-maker. lol

    Hey sweet Karla!! Thank you for popping by. :-)

  133. I'm super late getting on today (well, now it's NIGHT!) but had to say THANK YOU to Jessica for this awesome post! Wow, once again this was exactly what I needed to read, so thank you for sharing with us. Love those "3 Ds" (or should it be FOUR Ds? Donuts!!) ~ And CONGRATS to you on your LIH coming out---looking forward to reading it (thankfully my local stores carry most LIH books, which are my faves). ~ Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  134. Jessica,

    Rough is an understatement for my boys. I believe people thought I was abusive just because of all the bruises they gave themselves and one another.

    They had moments where they drove me bonkers, still do, but I wouldn't change a thing. I've come to the conclusion that God gave me boys cause I wouldn't have handled whiny girls at the time.

  135. Great post, Jessica! I almost got a little "D"epressed when I read Love on the Range was the first book you wrote. What? No rejection? So not fair! Oops, I suppose I shouldn't have admitted that...relieved to read further and find you're normal. -big grin-

  136. Got my Winnie Griggs book in the mail today!!!

    Thank you, Seekerville!

  137. Hahaaa, CatMom, I should've just called it a bunch of Ds. LOL I'm glad the post encouraged you though. It's amazing the things that happen that we don't expect. You never know what good things are waiting just around the corner (pardon the cliche). :-)

    Tina, SO true on the bruises. My kids are the same way. And yes, I wonder too about girls since I'm not that great with whining, make- up or shopping.

    Hi Sandra!! How's it feeling up there in Canada? *shiver* And oh yes, that poor book had tons of rejections! I just wanted to wait until it's out before I say how many so my editors don't regret buying it. LOL

  138. Hi Jessica,
    You have had an interesting journey.
    Please enter me in the draw.


  139. Jessica, you are such a blessing!

    I've got two rejections in my pocket so far and just sent out for a possible third. I'm starting to feel like a real writer!

    Can't wait to buy your book, Jessica since I already know I love it!

  140. Okay, Pepper, is that a picture of you wearing Captain Jack's hat???

  141. Hi Jessica! I'm coming in late tonight, but I enjoyed reading your post! That chocolate doughnut seriously has my mouth watering. : ) Can't beat a Krispy Kreme chocolate iced...mmmm. I've honestly loved my writing journey so far, even though I'm not really writing much right now...just letting things brew in my mind while I'm preggo with baby #3. Just this year I've finished a rough draft, done some editing, gotten some critiques, entered a contest, and learned a ton! Of course, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know! I've "met" some great authors and have thoroughly enjoyed the communication I've had with them. It's been a blessing. I look forward to what God is going to do with my newfound joy for writing in the future. I see this being something I'll be involved with for years to come. God bless~Stacey

  142. Cool Jessica! I'm so glad you visited my blog. Thank you!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  143. Congrats on your new book coming out!!! I watched the trailer and it looks amazing!

    I'm still working toward my first rejection. Well, more like working toward "The End" right now. I'm sooo looking forward to those words.

    Reading about your journey was so encouraging. Thank you!

  144. Tina,
    Are you saying I procured Jack's hat?

    Well, he lost at Phineas & Ferb trivia.

  145. You put that trailer together yourself? You rock! Congrats Jessica! Can't wait to read your book!!! :)

  146. Jessica, I can't fully express how much your post has meant to me. Thank you.

    I like define - I am struggling with this a little because God has given me an abundance of stories to write and they are all romance related. I have never read romance before and was surprised to see there is even a Christian romance series out there.

    I like deliberate - I had to make a choice one day that I am going to write and once I did I haven't looked back. I have seven finished and thirty-some started. However, I need to be deliberate in letting the right people read them.
    So I accept your double dog dare even if it scares me.

    I like determined - because it is s skill I need to learn. I'm the kind who would stop after a rejection. But your words of encouragement about how God isn't sending me a message of failure drenched my soul. Thank you.

    "Does it give you joy to write? Peace? Maybe you should determine within yourself to write what you feel God wants you to write, no matter what anyone else says. And then let Him take it from there. But that’s a whole ‘nother post."

    PLEASE write that other post Jessica!! I know I need it and maybe there are others out there who can be inspired to pull God out of the "publishing" box we try to stuff him in. Let Him be bigger than our challenges for His kingdom's sake.

    Here's my additional "d" words.
    Dare to Dream - that is the fuel for our stories and our hope and our future.

    Thank you again and again and again!

  147. I enjoyed the post. I am getting rejections, but I am determined! Congratulations on getting your novels published.

  148. Thanks Janet. I've only got one pubbed though. Crossing my fingers something will happen with the second and then the third....:-)

    Jodi, wow, thank you for your sweet comment! I'm so glad the post touched you. Best wishes in your writing!!

    Thanks Tori! :-) It was fun to do and surprisingly easy.

    Thanks Natalie! You have a great attitude. Think of rejection as stepping stones. As long as you're getting them, you're moving forward, imo. :-)

    Hi TravelingStacy! Keep up the awesome attitude and I hope you always love writing!!

    Thank you Eileen. You're the sweetest. :-)