Thursday, February 2, 2012



Oh my stars, we are thrilled to announce that one of our finalists in our October "Impromptu Query Contest" with Melissa Endlich of Love Inspired Books has just signed a contract!!!!  Yes, Virginia... There is a BOOK with your name on it!
Hellooooo Seekerville! 

I’m thrilled to pieces to be here, on the other side of the blog fence. Ruthy asked me to share a few words about my writing journey. Prepare yourselves, this will not be Mary Connealy funny, or Sandra Leesmith inspiring, or Tina Radcliffe wise or Debby Giusti smart or a Ruthy pep talk. (Or anything close to the other great ladies here.... Or even a Vince Mooney a-ha post like ‘Rewards Per Page’.) Now that we’ve got THAT out of the way...

If you haven’t heard the story yet, I finaled in the October Seekerville query contest. (THRILL!) Ruthy sent us a tip sheet and asked us to revise (or not, but she thought we should at least give it another look). Melissa Endlich, the senior editor of Love Inspired graciously asked all FIVE of us to send in FULL manuscripts! 

(Now I’m SCARED and THRILLED.)  Ruthy sent along a little tip- take your time. Make it good. Make it count. So, I took another SIX weeks and revised my heart out.  I sent it in December 20th, 2011.
I got an e-mail from Melissa on January 30th. I think I went into shock when I saw her name in my inbox. She wanted to know what was a good time to call and talk about my book. That was good, right?? I wasn’t sure. Was she going to do a lovely phone rejection because I was friends with the nice ladies of Seekerville?? I prepared myself to hear the worst but I was still going to enjoy every second of that phone conversation, because it was Melissa Endlich of Love Inspired. And she was talking to me. On the phone.

She said she liked it.

She said they wanted it.

She asked if November 2012 was okay for a publication date. I wish I could tell you more, but I honestly don’t remember the rest. I think we talked for a bit. I might have told her there were monkeys in the dishwasher. I’m really not sure.
There are revisions to be made, on a deadline. I’m cool with that. I’d write a whole new book in two months if she wanted it.

So, that’s the story!! I love that Seekerville, and all the folks who are so supportive to each other, got me my first sale.  It couldn’t have happened in a better way.  God has plans to prosper, not to harm, right? Here’s a great link to an article on what to do while you wait, because there’s more to that verse... 

But I like to blab so here are some thoughts on the writing life:

I’m notorious among my friends for going overboard on everything, so I thought I’d pick TWO titles for every little bullet point. (You’re welcome.)           

"Joy Suckers" or 
‘Rocks were a lot heavier in my day’

We all know those people: the ones who find fault with everything, who won’t give credit where credit is due. So, when you win or final in a contest, don’t tell THEM. Tell Seekerville! Tell your crit partners! Tell your facebook family that will whoop, HOORAY FOR YOU”! 

Be cautious and check Editors and Preditors, but avoid the nay-sayers. The ones who think agents are out to take advantage of you, or that contests are just stealing your money, or posting on sites will bring spam to your inbox. If you think it might help your career, go for it. I got a whole lot more response to queries when the header included ‘finaled in’ than when it didn’t. Which brings me to...

"Contests" or 
"Please, pick me! Pretty, pretty please!"

I entered contests for the first time in 2011. The comments were invaluable. And painful. And confusing. But I got my stuff out there in front of someone who wasn’t related to me by blood. So, I consider that a win-win.

On the not-so-good end, I got second to last in the Genesis and moped for a week. (Psst! Mary Curry who comments on Seekerville WON the same category! And she’s so humble. I would have changed my name to ‘Genesis Winner’. I can NOT wait to read that book...)

On the better end, I finaled in the TARA and my judges were so overwhelmingly positive, I re-read the comments for days. I called my sister and read them to her over the phone. I taped them to the wall in the kitchen. I grabbed those nice things and held on tight. (Philippians 4:18)  THEN Kelly Gwyn wrote me an e-mail, saying she had been one of the judges and added fuel to my writing fire with MORE nice words! This wasn’t even a book that was sitting on any editor’s desk. I cannot describe the gratitude I felt and still do. Which brings us to...

"Gratitude- It’s what’s for dinner"
or "Six Kids in One Room"

 Back in the olden days when we had just four kids, we were thinking of building an addition to our house. Our plans fell through, my husband’s employer went bankrupt, and we had another baby. And then another. We went from ‘sort of weird’ to all out ‘strange’ in the eyes of the Sunday play-date-in-the-park crowd. I had people tell me it was illegal to have so many kids in one room. I had moms say they would have liked to have had more, but they would never want their kids to share rooms-  it was CRUEL.

You can’t eat gratitude, but it sure can nourish the soul. (1 Thess. 5:18) I’m so grateful for my children. Grateful we have a roof over our heads and enough food to eat. Grateful that God is, and always has been, faithful. And ever so grateful we’re finally starting that addition. (Probably not as grateful as my 10 and 11 year old girls, though. Poor things. I surprised they haven’t moved out by now. Little brothers are a pain.)

"Critiques are fun!" or
"Pass the Chocolate."

I won an anonymous Seekerville critique back when they were still handing those out like they were dime-store suckers. I sent in probably the worst five pages ever written in the English language. I still have the comments. They make me laugh.... NOW. At the time I was sort of confused. How did this person NOT like this work of literary art? Did she not read it? Was there some sort of mix up?

I sent the pages to my sister, Susie. Strangely enough, she said the same thing. With a lot of coughing. And pauses. And lovingly put sister-type words.

Ohhhh. So, it really was bad. But was there hope? I took some time to mope, then I read the comments again. The scene could be saved. If I put it somewhere else. Not in the beginning. And maybe added some action. Or dialogue. Okay, maybe I should just cut it.... So, I did.
Sometimes it hurts to hear the truth. And that’s what friends are for. Really.

"Face the Music" or 
"(Wo) Man up!"

Recently I made a mistake. But I only realized it after the fact. I asked a friend what she thought I should do and she said, ‘Well, you can tell the truth or you can make it into a National Lampoon skit.’ I’ve never been a fan of National Lampoon. I think it’s a pretty dumb movie. So, I could look dumb or I could be dumb.
I decided to WOMAN UP. I admitted I’d made a mistake. All parties were gracious about my dumb move. We all moved on. Sometimes you just have to face the music and hope for the best.

 "Find a Door You Can Lock" or 
"Virginia Woolf Was Right."

My three year old can pick the lock on the bathroom door. And he does. All the TIME. There’s no privacy in this house. So, how do you finish a book when you can’t even finish your bathroom business without visitors? Besides investing in a bank vault, I would say you have to find someplace that is yours. Sometime’s it’s an actual place, like Virginia Woolf’s ‘Room of Her Own’. Sometimes it’s a time, rather than a place. Mine is late at night, because the only privacy I can get around here is when little people are unconscious. And that’s okay. That’s when I can make room to think, to write, to ponder.
   "Look for Heros" or 
"I Am the Elizabeth Gaskell Fan Club President"

 “Elizabeth WHO?” She wrote by hand ( ‘North and South’ anyone?) in the late 1840's, at her kitchen table, with five kids underfoot. Her husband was a minster and social reformer who tutored poor people in their living room. She’s my hero. Because she did it all without a washing machine or electricity and she wrote what God had placed on her heart. Her ROMANCE stories changed lives and made people think. She wrote even when other people told her she couldn’t, shouldn’t.

Well, let me wrap this up (or I’ll never stop) with a big thank you to Seekerville and all the Seekers. Thank you for letting me lurk, post, ramble, and join your contests!!!

 And pass the goodies!! I’ve brought hot chocolate chip cookies, ice cream cake, and fresh raspberries (because they’re out of season and cost $300 a pound, but this is cyber food, which costs nothing!)

   Oh, bio. Right. Um, I live in Oregon with my habanero-eating husband Crusberto, where we are raising our six unsocialized home-schooled children who sometimes wear shoes. (Usually not.)  I have dual degrees in linguistics and religious studies from the University of Oregon. I’ve lived in France and Poland, which gave me my fear of cabbage and cold weather. I can be reached on facebook or at the 1K1HR group and a recently signed a contract with super agent  Natasha Kern.



    Go Virginia!!!!


    AND chocolate chip cookies?! Wonderful!


  2. VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is sooo sooo soooo COOL!

    I'm so beyond excited for you.



  3. Way to go, Virginia!!

    So proud of you--and for you.

    Loved your post.


    P.S. Coffee's brewing for the ealry crowd.

  4. Virginia, I am so happy for you!!! I loved reading your first sale story and can not wait to read the book!

  5. What a great way to start the year! Woo Hoo!

    I know which book I'm buying in November!

    Okay, who's bringing chocolate to the party?

  6. SEE? SEE??

    THIS is what I'm talking about! All of you lovely peeps HAPPY for me!

    Ahhhh. It almost makes me feel better about all those typos. Sorry. I was too excited to type. :D

    Carol, take two. They're calorie-free.

    MaryC, isn't it just?????

    Helen, you're always here with the coffee. How could we write without you??

    Jamie, if I can slap this book into something good, I hope you like it! It's a little bit different from the usual LI. :)

    JAN. I forgot to give you a shout-out for your excellent story!! So cute. I hope you bought all the copies at your grocery store. I had about 6 rejections and gave up with WW.

  7. This is what we love.


    And it couldn't have happened to a nicer Cinderella.


  8. Ahhh, I now know why it felt weird calling you Mary on facebook. Which one should I call you, Virginia?

    I kinda wondered if this was what your status updates were about. So, I had to stop by while my littles are "unconscious" and say congrats!!

  9. Virginia!!!!! This is so exciting and it happened so quickly! Congratulations! Now, you made me tear up. I'm so excited for you!!!!!!!!!

  10. Tina, AW! I certainly can get grubby enough for Cinderella. :)

  11. Melissa, ohhhh, the name. I don't know what my parents were thinking (hi, mom!) but they named a few of us... and then called us by our middle names.

    It's handy when I get a telemarketing call because 'MARY' is never home. I know I don't know that person!

    But then a few years ago, working at a big company with sevreal hundred employees, I just let everybody call me MARY. And I made a really good friend. And it's hard for her to make the switch...

    So, we call each other Mrs. Munoz and Mrs. Brower. We sound like proper English ladies.

    My friends and family call me Virginia. Sometimes Ginny.

    P.S. I just lvoe your profile picture. Is that professional? Or are you just really, really photogenic? I took about 596 pictures and got maybe two where I didn't look INSANE. Which tells me something....

  12. Christina, it did happen really fast! I think they have a quicker production schedule than most publishing houses.

    But I knew this story had several things that didn't really fit with the usual LI setting so... I was prepared for a 'no'. And that was okay. I just love the journey!

  13. Congratulations, Virginia!!! :D How awesome and exciting!!!

    Love your double titles, by the way! ;)

    God bless!


    P.S. I haven't read North & South, but I have the movie - and oh my goodness, what a story!! <3

  14. Woohoooo!!! Congratulations! So fun to read your story -- thanks for sharing it. :)

  15. Thanks, Amber!

    Isn't it amazing? North and South was groundbreaking in Gaskell's day, not just for the love-across-class-lines plot, but because the heroine (we just love Margaret!) was strong, intelligent, fiercely protective of her friends, and made every action count. You can't help but root for her.

    I like to think that's what E.G. was like, too.

  16. Thanks, Shari! Love your starfish... My daughter has a collection of those. :)

  17. Congratulations Virginia! Loved your story story. Happy, Happy. Joy, Joy.

  18. Thanks Mary Cline! It's nice to celebrate with all these familiar faces and good friends.

  19. Then, I'll call you Virginia. :) My hubby was named the same way, and I love that I know as soon as I pick up the phone whether or not the person actually knows him or not.

    I have two profile pics that show up depending on what browser and google account I'm signed into, but the one above with
    the blue shirt is me playing with my new camera lightscoop toy in my hallway and a self timer with a 2 year old trying to pull my pants off so I'd stop taking pictures and pick her up, I think I took 6 pictures once I had the camera positioned so it didn't crop my head off.

    The newer brown one is professional, I think it took 130 takes so what does that mean?

    I'm a pretty good photog, you should fly from wherever you live and I'd take your picture!

  20. HAHAHA! So that pic of you in the blue, is that your 'mom' look?? Your 'stop pulling my pants off' look? Too funny!

    And yes, please. I'm hopping a plane and coming to your house for a picture session. We'll throw cookies at the 2 year old and take some quick pics before the sugar rush sets in, at which time I will leave and let you deal with the fall out!

  21. Congratulations!
    Your cover is great!!!

  22. It's definitely a "It would be pretty funny if you could see what all was going on outside of the camera lens" look.

    You anywhere close to Kansas? :) My 2 year old is now a 5 year old, so now you'd have to fight her for camera time, she's already jealous that the one year old gets his photos taken instead of her.

  23. Happy First Sale Virginia and many many more to you! I too am a firm believer in grabbing that good news and holding on tight. I print those positive comments out - I don't care who said them, I'm not picky - I keep them right here. I like to touch them. Especially when I'm up writing at 3:11 a.m., and sneaking a read on Seekerville, and drooling over those M&M cookies ya'll have. Yum.

  24. Happy First Sale Virginia and many many more to you! I too am a firm believer in grabbing that good news and holding on tight. I print those positive comments out - I don't care who said them, I'm not picky - I keep them right here. I like to touch them. Especially when I'm up writing at 3:11 a.m., and sneaking a read on Seekerville, and drooling over those M&M cookies ya'll have. Yum.

  25. Janet, no cover yet! But you know those LI art peeps are GOOD.

  26. Haha, Melissa! and I just bookmarked your blog. So fun! And yes, red totally makes a cover pop. And I'd buy anything with a castle, too.

  27. Stephanie, 3:11?????

    Ow, you're making my head hurt! It's only midnight over here in Oregon. I'm slicing and dicing my revisions. :P

    Are you in the 1K1HR group? It would be nice to have nightttime company for the writing.

  28. In a few days, I should be ready to start writing, so I'll be on the 1k1h thing here soon late at night, Virginia. Would love to see you too, Stephanie.

    All right got to finish off a section of my synopsis and call it a night, or it'll be 3:11 am here too. Not good. Thankfully I get a nap every day.

  29. Virginia, congratulations!
    I'm so happy for you =)




    That's me screaming for joy, dancing in the streets and baking up a storm of stuff for the day.

    Yes, Virginia, there is a book with your name on it! ;)

    Oh my goodness, it's the other side of the moon where I am and you guys are all tucked asnooze in your towns....

    Which is as it should be!

    So proud of you, Virginia! Big Ruthy grin here.

    And let me just say, this band of women, the Seekers, pray for the success and joy for all of you. I don't care if that sounds lame to some, it's just plain true.

    Gotta get back to the ovens!!!!

  31. Congrats Virginia this is so exciting. When your books coming out if you want to be featured on my blog I would love to feature you.

  32. Congrats, Virginia! Such lovely news to read first thing in the morning!

  33. WOW! Congratulations Virginia!!! Thank You Seekerville, for being the vessel!!!

  34. Yayayayayaay!!!!!! SO exciting! And wow, your release is coming soon! I can't wait to see what your book is aout and see a cover. Great bullet points and thank you for the food! Yum!

    You must be walking on air right now. *grin* Congrats on the agent too. :-)

  35. Virginia, SO happy for you!!!!! This is a day we get to use all the capitals and exclamation points we want, right?

    Your advice is marvelous. Six kidlets and writing? You are one of MY sheroes!

    Did I miss a title or is that still in process? Will you have a pen name or use your real name?

    Finally, I had tears in my eyes reading your post. Thanks for starting my morning with a bucket of joy!!!!

    Peace, Julie

  36. well, I was just complaining how much I missed a good First Sale party and here we are. Oh my. Virginia, your post was a hoot (maybe your linguistics degree can explain where that phrase came from? a hoot?)


    Congratulations, Virginia that is too cool. I laughed out loud when you said Melissa asked you if October2012 was 'okay'. Like you were going to say no?

    And oh wow, I'm such a Gaskell fan. How do any of us dare complain about our writing when we consider the books written by hand under such circumstances. I would have gone through so much paper in my editing--well, I simply can't imagine the whole process.

    Sending you hugs and squees. What a blessing. These Seeker gals are the best, aren't they?
    But you, my dear, pulled it all together from painful first five pages to selling a manuscript.
    Now we can all celebrate!


  37. (I hope Virginia is sleeping for a bit before she pops back in to the party)

    This party deserves an omelette bar. I'll cook. Okay, what'll ya have?


    All the very best to you!!!


  39. CONGRATULATIONS, VIRGINIA, and welcome to the Love Inspired family!! A sale AND a fabulous new agent!! Way to go!!

  40. Oooooo, you sold AND got an agent too! Congratulations on the double whammy! Your story inspires me to keep on stepping forward on this writing journey.

    And NORTH AND SOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I may like it as much, if not better, than Pride and Prejudice. Sigh...the movie with Richard Armitage is dreamy.


    Virginia, I'm sooooooo excited for you. My, my, what a great post too.


    You're an inspiration to all of us. I love that you write with all that is going on at your house. You remind me of Ruthy.

    I love a first sale party.

    Debra, I'll take an omelet loaded with mushrooms, peppers, artichoke hearts and jack cheese. yum. and I'll finish it with some of your cookies, Virginia.

    I'm so excited for you. And congrats on getting a super agent besides.

    Have fun today.

  42. Way to go, Virginia! Talk about making the most of an opportunity. You only get one first sale, so ENJOY :)



    Can you tell us about your book?



    Can you tell us about your book?

  45. Deb, yes!!! Omelette.... mushroom, sausage, ham, cheese and green pepper.


    With a side of hash browns!

    And I laughed at your comment yesterday about the first sale party, but WASN'T THIS THE BEST SECRET EVER??????


  46. I saw on 1K1HR that Virginia was up late celebrating (as we saw here!) and revising, so it's only 5 AM there....

    Crazy West Coasters!

    I want to hear more, too.

    Virginia!!!! Virginia!!!! Virginia!!!!!

    Think she'll hear me? My husband thinks it's likely.


    Silly man.

  47. Congrats, VIRGINIA!! I'm always so thrilled for people who finally "make it." Persistence really is the key in this business.

    I think you've definitely given me hope in this club of oddity called authorship.

    Beyond a doubt, you should have a second portion of cyber no-calories cookies!! I think I will, too...

    Thanks so much for sharing, Virginia. : ) And maybe I MISSED it, but... what is your book called?!


  48. okay, Omelettes. YES! artichoke hearts? you girls know how to party!

    Definitely a big secret, Ruth. Who knew so many women could keep it hush hush.

    hash browns? (I might just have to go fix some for myself right now here at home because the virtual ones smell WAY TOO GOOD!)

    Yup, saw Mary Virginia on the 1k1hr too. I think she has found the formula for success. NO SLEEP?

  49. Virginia!!! WooHoo! Melissa Endlich is one smart lady to grab you up!

    What a wonderful post. Very thought provoking and I laughed in all the right places, LOL!!!

    Tell us more about your upcoming book (doesn't that just sound awesome...upcoming book...)

    Let's all say it together UPCOMING DEBUT BOOK. THE FIRST OF MANY!!!

    I'm dancing and eating cookies and it's not even 7am here. It's going to be a great day : )

  50. Wahoo Virginia!! Congratulations!! I'm thrilled for your sale! And love you got The Call from Melissa Endlich, the very same wonderful editor who bought my debut. :-) Can't wait to read your story!

    Your post is chockfull of wisdom and humor, inspiring to boot. Thanks for sharing your journey and your life. And introducing me to Elizabeth Gaskell.

    I brought a huge chocolate sheet cake to celebrate your sale to Love Inspired!


  51. WOW!!! Virginia! I'm so happy for you! Way to go! Thanks for sharing your news and your story! :D

  52. This is so awesome, Virginia!!! I'm so happy for you! You did it, girl. You wrote a publishable book and got it published! Go, you!!!

    What a fun post! And hey, you didn't tell us about your book!!! Maybe you did in the comments. I'll go look.

    Congratulations, girl!!! :-)

    And wow, six kids. You need the escape into the writing world! (I needed it and I only had two!)

  53. Virginina -- I well remember my own "the call" from Melissa 3 years ago -- January 2009. It heralded an October 2009 release and the craziness of getting a website up, doing revisions, bio, reader letter, discussion questions, edits, AA's and art fact sheets! Watching daily during the summer to see when it would come up on Amazon,B&N and CBD. Unbelieveably, by early August I actually had a copy of my book in my hands and was receiving emails from book club subscriber readers! You should have your book in-hand in September -- only 7-8 months from now! Hang on to your hat and enjoy the roller coaster ride during the next few months!!

  54. Virginia, great post! And congratulations on your upcoming release! I can’t wait to read your book!

    And I too am a big North and South fan and love the way Gaskell found time to write. So glad she made the time because her books and movies are so sigh worthy!


  55. Virginia,
    You are so funny...but wise! Your sense of humor reminds me of Erma Bombeck,my favorite comedian. And, I loved the information about Elizabeth Gaskill. She is such an excellent writer. Thank you for encouraging me to keep on keeping on. 2011 was my first year on everything too...contests, blogs, editing, editing, editing etc. Seekerville was the jolt I needed...such a GOD SEND. The advice, the information, the great writing tips have bumped my hope to a Belief. Thanks again for sharing your joy with insight for newbies. I think you have a BIG future awaiting you.

  56. Congratulations on both the book contract and signing with an agent! So great to read these success stories. :)

  57. Eileen, dagnabbit.

    You're getting me teary-eyed.

    Blast you!!! ;)

    Deb, hey throw some of those artichokes in mine, too, okay?

    Thank you!

  58. Virginia, this is actually my second attempt to tell you how terrific and funny you are! I accidently deleted my first prose cause, like you, everything about 2011 is new...blogs, contests, and reading all the great comments on Seekerville to learn how to edit, edit, edit. I can't even figure out how you get those pictures to show up! See how much I am learning? Seriously, your insights, especially about your journey and about Elizabeth Gaskell's challenges (one of my very favorite authors), and about how God got it done for you anyway, is so hopeful. But, may I tell you, if the inspirational line doesn't work out, think about becoming the next Erma really! You are so funny. I am from a large family and my sister has 7 children and she is always getting the "are these all yours?" comments with the tight smile that indicates disapproval.

  59. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to read your book!!!!!!!

  60. Virginia!!!! Woooo-hoooo! I'm happy-dancing for you! I read your story, and couldn't be happier for you! I'm coming back later to read the rest of your post and all the comments. I'm sure there will be LOTS celebrating you!
    Jeanne T
    PS Having computer issues this morning.....

  61. Congratulations and welcome to the LI family! If your book is anywhere near as entertaining as your blog post, girl, you are on your way!!

  62. You're right Melanie, I haven't found the nugget about MVM's book yet?
    She mentioned castles, though :)

    Okay, Virginia Mary Ginny, what is your story about? Here's your chance to make a pitch in case you missed that step by just plain SELLING THE BOOK. (not jealous. No. not at all!)

    You want fries with that?

  63. Many congratulations! What better words to hear than, "We like it, and we want it"! Keep up the good work, and congrats again!

  64. Here's a confession. I went and checked. Um, I read that first 5 pages.

    You are the shining example. Take your critiques and run with them.

    It was November 2010.

    You worked your buns off to improve and you sold. I love that.

    The secret here for all of us to not be always keep growing as a writer. Because you never arrive. You just keep moving along the road (if you're smart!).

  65. Have I been under a rock? I had never heard of Elizabeth Gaskill before today - but now North and South is waiting for me on my Kindle (it's free, too!)

    I re-read your post this morning, Virginia, and have to give another big CONGRATS!!!

    I hope your children are celebrating along with us! And let me guess - a day off of school?

  66. What awesome news, Virginia!!! (I put in two extra exclamation points for you.) :)

    You're amazing to simply get a book written with six kids, let a lone a publishable one! Kudos to you, supermom!

    Loved your post and can't wait to read your story in just a few short months. Looking forward to hearing the title and more details about the plot!

    P.S. I was home schooled and didn't end up a social recluse, so there's definitely hope for your kids. :) Not sure about the shoes though, cause I still prefer bare feet... Lol.

  67. Okay, someone needs to take over the omelette bar as I need to, uh, write!

    I brought some nice black beans and avocados and extra salsa for when the princess Virginia Mary Ginny arrives.

    I have to wonder how many people discovered Elizabeth Gaskell after they discovered Richard Armitage. I can at least say I looked for N&S the movie after I learned about Mrs. Gaskell, as she writes in my favorite historical setting.

    He absolutely found the character of John Thornton fascinating and it shows. (yes, he told me. yup)

  68. Congratulations Virginia!! So happy for you. And I can't wait to read the book.

    Happy Dancing with you!!!

  69. Congratulations, Virginia!!!! And hooray for Seekerville! (are they trying to claim a commission on your book sales? LOL) Speaking of which...
    What's your book about? Contemporary? Historical? Suspense? Inquiring minds want to know so I can keep an eye out in November.

  70. Virginia,

    SO HAPPY FOR YOU! What a great story!

    And how great is Seekerville to enable and encourage all of us along our writing journeys?!

    Thanks for sharing your joy with us today. It sure was a great boost!

    Enjoy the celebrity status!!


  71. I knew Teeeena did that critique and wondered if she'd fess up, LOL!

    Ginny/Virginia, I concur. To take criticism and re-mold is a wonderful thing.

    And Linda Goodnight, thank you for stoppin' by, girlfriend! Isn't it exciting to welcome this gal into the fold????

    Here, honey. Have some Ghirardelli chocolates. I saved your favorites!!!

  72. /backflip/

    That bit of joy was brought to you by May!


    If your writing is anything... Uhm... Like your WRITING - No wonder they wisely bought it!

    Way to GO!!!

    And, as always, thanks to Seekerville. You ladies know how to help others make dreams come true too!

  73. Wow, you guys were busy while I napped! I'm going to go read comments now... :D

  74. Ruthy, that is SO not lame! That's what it's all about, right? because without Him, we're not much anyway.

  75. AUSJENNY, thank you! I would love to come!

    How's the job hunting? Still praying for you!

  76. Yes, Jessica, it IS soon! I know the deadlines, at least, will just FLY by, hahaha!

  77. Julie, for a second I thought you were asking if our six kids were still in progress! Oh, how they are!

    Um, the title... I"m REALLLY not good at titles. It will have to be different. So, it's a WIP title!

    And the name?? I think we talked about this before Miss 'My name is so cool, Ruthy is using it in a book', haha! Um, it's Carmichael (my miaden name)for the working name, and Munoz in 'real' life. I was conflicted. But I think there's a significant portion of the population who has trouble with that name...

  78. DEBRA! *munching omelette* Another Gaskell fan! We should have a club. I'll let YOU be vice president. :D

    Melissa was super nice on the phone, and has been in every note since. I think my incoherent babbling made her a little worried and she's worried I'll lose my mind completely.


  79. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations Virginia!!

    WOW God and WOW Seekerville!! You helped someone SELL!!

    How AWESOME is that!!!!!


  80. GLYNNA and KIRSTEN, thank you!!!

  81. SHERRINDA, do NOT get me started on Richard Armitage! I just love actors who have a sense of humor and I read an interview where he makes fun of his nose. He says he would never change his giant nose because it saves him from the pretty boy roles. Ha!

  82. I am so happy for you! Go Virginia!! I would dance but that would be a bad thing...

    Can you tell us a little about your book?...or a lot? I can not wait to read it!

    I hope you'll take notes of all that goes on between now and when the book comes out. That would be an interesting blog. I really enjoyed this one, so funny & useful.

  83. SANDRA, I'm nothing like Ruthy. See, Ruthy is NICER. She gives her little people CHOCOLATE MILK and lets them cook in her KITCHEN. :D

    Seriously, I can't tell you how many times I've asked for 'just one more minute' and been ignored. And that's the way it should be.

    Right now, there's a baby on my lap, watching letters appear on the comment box. And I wonder why I need a chiropractor!

    YES, Natasha is totally the super agent. I knew it was right because after our first conversation, my head was BUZZING with all sorts of ideas. You can't go wrong with that.

  84. THANKS, MIA!! (I love your name, btw. Are you Italian?)

  85. Virginia!!! So thrilled for you!!!

    And welcome to Natasha's fold. She truly is a SUPER agent!

    Loved your thoughts on the writing life. It's a wild and crazy ride but oh so worth it!

  86. Whoo Hoo Virginia! How exciting. Loved hearing your story. Great to hear from another homeschooler. :)


  87. Rose, I always avoided those 'elevator pitches' because I was about as likely to go to a conference as go to the moon. And then I had to describe my other work, on the phone, to agents a few weeks ago... UGH. It's always good to be able to give a few sentences without 'um, it's kind of like the sort of book where...'

    The (bad title redacted) is like the Nick Cage movie 'The Family Man' without the time travel, and with an added faith element. A woman CEO in Denver realizes she has nothing but a passive aggressive Siamese for company so she decides to volunteer at a homeless shelter. (That's what good people do, right?)

    Enter our hero, who is carrying a serious grudge against wealthy peeps, after struggling through his own childhood with an abandoned mother and an MIA dad, who happens to be the richest man in the state.

    It's about 'living abundantly' (John 10:10) and how true abundance is from God.

  88. 1k1HR group, I had to do SOME work while I was clicking on Seekerville every few seconds! :D

    And who knew Ruthy could keep anything to herself?? Now, if she can just keep that picture I sent under wraps...

  89. Whitney, don't ever be discouraged. I think Ruthy wrote something under her picture on fb the other day about never giving up. It was seriously the NEXT DAY OR TWO that I got that call.

    But stubborness is my strong point. I'm not likely to give up ion something I want, and I hope you're the same way.

    Cleaning the kitchen, now, that's a whole other deal.

    P.S. I have profile pic envy. I have always loved yours!!

  90. Audra, thank you! I'm trying to learn as fast as I can. The revision sheets weren't too long... but when you see words like 'pacing' you know you're up for some long hours of slice and dice.


  91. Janet, I have your book just inches from my keyboard. :)

  92. Linette, thanks!!!

    Melanie, Aren't kids the greatest?? But you're so right. A little escape is never a bad thing. I can't always be sure I'll get some good adult conversation during the day, but I can sure MAKE SOME UP in my head!

  93. Glynna, I understood about 1/3 of that comment... But I got the 'book in your hands' part! :D

  94. AMANDA, she knew when to kill people off and when to make them fall in love! I was always upset that Bessy didn't make it. :(

  95. Thanks, EILEEN!

    When I sit down to write, I check Seekerville first. Just seeing other people up and commenting (Helen and her coffee!), or reading a post on craft, got my brain out of the daily sludge.

  96. SHERRI, thanks! I've been following your book from the beginning and can't wait to read it! It looks like my kind of read.

    Thanks, Jeanne T! And sorry about the computer issues. Isn't that a shocker when it doesn't just WORK LIKE IT SHOULD??

  97. Thanks, LINDA! *blushing and stammering* Good thing we're not in person or I might have just stepped on your foot.

  98. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FIREWORKS INDEED!!!!!!!!!!!

  99. PS There are always monkeys in my 'refrigerator' when an editor phones.

  100. AND I spend most of my life with two or three sisters sharing my bedroom.
    I grew up in a three bedroom farmhouse with seven brothers and sister.
    And look how good I turned out.

    (Okay, I'm crazy as a rabid swamp rat, shut up)

  101. DEBRA, I think I just put in a little tidbit about the book, but the castle comment was about Melissa's blog post. I love castles and pretty book covers, but this is a contemporary. :) Love across the tracks, in the adult world of perceptions and misconceptions, wealth and poverty, choices and second chances.

  102. K. Victoria, thank you!!

    (I sense another person who uses their middle name??)

  103. Oh, Eileen, you sister should have some of my friends. We have a SMALL family compared to them, and you should hear the zingers they give back!

    One of my favorites (that I can't use with a straight face)is: 'don't you know what causes that?'
    Answer: Well, we THOUGHT we did, but it can't be that or we'd have THOUSANDS.

    HAHAHA! I just nod and smile. Everybody has to make the best choice for their family. We have friends with two, and friends with 9 or more. Love makes the family!

  104. TINA!!!!


    Is it still lurking around here somewhere????

    Now you have a better bit of blackmail than the joke picture I sent Ruthy.

    Oh, man, my face is actually HOT.

  105. Jan, well, I'm conflicted between giving them huge amounts of work, and letting them celebrate with me!

    But if this morning is any indication, then I think we'll work. Lots of arguing and fussing. *evil grin*

  106. CHRISTINA, what are you doing on the internet? Don't you know good home-schooled children are in the basement, without technology??

    Actually, I tend toward the 'no tech' or 'low tech' life. But we have to keep up, at least, so we don't get run over.

    And the unsocialized comment is because I hear that SOOOOO much. It's funny because it's usually right after I say, 'hey, come to (cool concert, sports show, art exhibit, kids' tour of something) with us' and they say, 'oh, sorry, we can't we have school in the morning.'

    I understand it's important to be social and some kids don't do well with a flexible schedule, but getting out is NOT our problem. :D

  107. Thanks Bridgette!!!

    Kav, it's a contemporary, urban setting, business woman gets a life.

    Weird for LI, huh? :D Not that I'm complaining...

  108. Thanks, SUSAN!

    I think Debra said it best, "princess Mary Virginia Ginny".

    I like it. I claim it.

  109. Ruthy, I swear my critiquer was Mary!!

    Something about, 'please, please make something happen'.

    Doesn't that just sound like she's begging me to SHOOT SOMEONE?

  110. KC and MAY!!!

    Ok, glad you posted because I think of you every time I read the title in caps. It's (TEMPORARILY!!!!) called 'Business of Love' and they keep writing it BOL.

    Barking Out Loud! Every single time, my brain says, 'barking out loud' instead of the title. :D

  111. Thanks, Casey!! How's the writing coming along? I love your blog. :D

  112. Thanks, Donna! I'm sure everything will be engraved on my brain from the FEAR. :D

  113. Myra, I loved Natasha's post in Seekerville.

    And she really pushes me to ask 'what, why, and how'. Which is good with me because I tend to WANDER... in the WOODS... in the DARK, and still think my plot makes sense.

  114. Digging for Pearls! Love your name. :D

    I'm so glad we have the freedom in this country to choose what's best for our families. Freedom ROCKS!!

  115. So, MARY, I should cancel the contract with the contractor? Is that what you're saying? Will they grow up to be funny and famous?? You promise??

    Mercy, rabid swamp rat? Ummmm...

    I keep thinking that, if we build more rooms, I'll have more to CLEAN.

    I grew up with three sibs, we all had our own rooms, plus acres of woodland and a greenhouse and a study. Private school, piano lessons, violin lessons, French lessons, went to live in France at 15 and... You get the picture.

    My husband is the 2nd of 11, grew up in two rooms, no bathroom or running water. His fondest memories are of FOOD. Like getting enough of it. And getting shoes that weren't made out of plastic and were the right size.

    So, sometimes we just look at each other and say, 'I love you, but I really have no idea where you're coming from...'

    He thinks we live in heaven. And I love that. I need that. Gratitude is a beautiful thing!!

  116. I do promise, Virginia. It's like growing up in a pressure cooker. Everyone gets done in record time and they're very tender.
    (okay that analogy failed, ignore it)
    And, since you're so young I'll be DEAD FROM OLD AGE by the time your children grow up, you can't even make me eat my words.

  117. Yes, Virginia, I am Italian. Good catch on that one :)

  118. Mary, gross. Pressure-cooked kids?:D

    And when I had my last baby, the midwife wrote 'AMA' on my chart. You know what that stands for?? Huh???

    Not 'Awesome Momma Alert', noooo!

    ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE. Ow. Just thinking about it makes me reach for the chocolate.

  119. Mia, I had a roommate in Warsaw, Poland, who was from the South. She was Italian, named Mia, and had a cousin they called Tater. She played the tuba for Duke's marching band and went on to Harvard Law School.

    She totally stuck in my head. Interesting people must have that name!

  120. I'm starting to see a trend here. I home school our three kids and we live in a little two bedroom cabin in the woods.

    I must write or go crazy.

    Some days we don't get dressed till one or two and that's only because we have to run to the store.

    My kids are the most outgoing creatures on the plant. They get that from their dad.

    I'm still so happy for you Virginia! Since Janet's sheet cake is gone (it was sooo good) I've brought some cup cakes.

  121. Mega congratulations, Virginia!!! I'm doing a rather vigorous happy dance for you out in California, one that's seriously scaring our cats.

    When I judged your historical in the Golden Pen, I knew it was only a matter of time before you sold. Your talent leaps from the page.

    I realize from reading the comments that you sold one of your contemporaries, but I'm hoping the LIH folks get a look at the story I read. I want to see it in print so I can finish it. I loved the portion I saw and want to read the rest of the story.=)

  122. WOW! Congratulations Virginia and WHAT a great story!

    Love the monkey's in the dishwasher! You are one funny chick!

    Can't wait to read your book.
    GO GIRL!

  123. Virginia, I've been doing Snoopy dances in Georgia since I learned of your sale. Whoo-hoo!!!

    So thrilled! So excited!! So happy for you!!!

    You did it. You set your sights on publishing and you achieved your goal. YAY, you!!!

    Princess Mary Virginia Ginny, I dusted off the Seekerville tiara and am placing it on your lovely chestnut curls. Wear it with pride and enjoy your special day and party.

    I noticed Deb didn't provide grits along with the omelets, so I've brought cheese grits and shrimp and grits for lunch. Sweet tea and Diet Coke, too.

    Also brought a clown to entertain the little ones while the moms talk writing.

    Okay, so I'm dying to find mentioned having a Eureka moment when you read Michael Hyatt's vision article. Did his words confirm the vision you had for your writing?

  124. When I had my fourth I found out they had in my chart something like Magna Materna (I have those words wrong) but they meant THIS WOMAN HAS HAD A LOTTA KIDS.

  125. Virginia, you really think it was me who said, "Please, please, please make something happen!"
    In the five page critique?

    I have no memory of this, and yet, that kinda sounds like me.

  126. JAN!!!!

    "Beginner's Luck!" Loved your short story in Woman's World. I nearly knocked a lady over when I snagged a copy of the mag off the rack at the checkout aisle today.

    Nice job...and certainly NOT beginner's luck. You're a writer, my dear! And we're all proud of you.

    I see a tiara in your future! :)

  127. In fact, I see lots of tiaras for our Seekerville family!!!

    Didn't we set a New Year's goal to make lots of Seekerville sales in 2012?

    Virginia actually got the call in January, right? So who's going to sell in FEB?

  128. I am so happy for you, Virginia!!! It is so amazing to see God working in your life, and I can't wait to read "Business of Love," or Barking out loud!

    Like Jan, I feel like I've been under a rock, I've never heard of Elizabeth Gaskell. Whenever anyone mentions "North and South" on here, I automatically think of John Jakes' Civil War saga "North and South." Wonderful books, but probably very different :)

    And as for your comment about Richard Armitage, he's playing the dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshied in "The Hobbit," so he's wearing a large false nose. I wonder how he feels about that?

  129. I love coming to Seekerville...reading the comments are always just as good as the daily post, aren't they?

    (and don't pay any attention to my dear husband's noises about "imaginary friends")

    Virginia, you're a daring woman, writing while homeschooling! If I had tried that, my novels would have revolved around whatever period of time we were studying - and I never would have gotten any of them finished! My youngest is a senior this year, so he pretty much ignores me and works on his math and physics at night after I've gone to bed (he has a day job - good preparation for college, right?).

    But homeschoolers rock. Just sayin'.

    Older moms, too - my youngest was a "high risk pregnancy" because of my age. The easiest pregnancy of them all, too.

    Debbie Guisti - thank you so much for your kind words. You made my day :)

  130. Ooh, I HAVE to get off here, but KELI!!!

    Did you judge the Golden Pen, too?

    And I AM SO SORRY I spelled your name wrong. I blame the monkeys in the dishwasher.

    You'll never know how hard I held on to those words on the judging comments.

  131. Uh, Mary, I'm pretty darn sure that there was a cliff involved in that plea for action. That totally sounds like you!

    I thought, 'She wants me to run someone off the cliff? What on earth??'

    Now, I see it's a plot technique. It's called ACTION. Duh.

  132. Hey, girlfriend! Welcome aboard!


    And what a convo we've got going! (Don't I sound like radically cool using words like "convo"???)

    Still dancing for you in upstate!

  133. Stephanie- are you sure that's not his real nose? And how could he play a dwarf?? He's like 6' 6"!!

    But hey, that voice, those eyes... I'd watch him green and in a sumo suit.

  134. JAn, totally not beginner's luck! You know, your story was perfect in all the right places. And that's very, very hard to do in 800 words or less. Seriously

    My first pregnancy at 26 was wayyyy tougher than my last at 36! Maybe because I learned to ask for help and make my husband rub my feet.

  135. P.S. Jan, I swear I've learned way more history while homeschooling than I did in grade school... Probably because I was too busy checking out the boys.:P

    Ruthy, you ARE totally rad! *FIST BUMP*

  136. * adjusts tiara while noshing on my cheese and shrimp grits*

    More Sweet tea, please!

    *waves hand for party to continue while I enjoy the atmosphere*

  137. Congratulations!!!!! Wonderful, wonderful news!

    And Yay for Seekerville for the assist in launching another author!!!

  138. Yay Virginia!! Congratulations!!!

    Welcome to the LI family! I'm a homeschooling mom as well! :)

    Seekerville you are awesome!

  139. Wowzers! Virginia!!!

    A sale to Steeple Hill!!!

    Signing with super-agent Natasha!!!

    AND six adorable kiddos and one hunka-hubby.

    AND, last but certainly not least, a plate of hot chocolate chip cookies!

    You are one BLESSED woman!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! So happy for you and thrilled beyond belief that Seekerville got to be a part of your journey to publication.

  140. Thanks, Erika! I love seeing your posts on fb. They keep me working hard!

  141. Eva Marie, are the home schoolers coming out of the closet or WHAT??

    And yes, Seekerville rocks, but it's because they have some insane urge to mentor and support struggling authors.

    WHY? Who knows. But we love them anyway. :D

  142. Pam, thank you!!

    I'm not sure where those things rank... Probably kids, then cookies, then sale... No, wait. Maybe kids, then sale, then hubby... Wait.... :D

  143. My daughter said we should have a party game, and pass the tiara for the winner. Something like our own Bulwer Lytton prize! He's the guy who wrote 'It was a dark and stormy night.'

    So, how about the silliest line that ever came out of your keyboard?

    I'll start. :D A few weeks ago I was trying to sketch out some conversation and there was this line:

    "Really?," she asked. Her eyes went wide and she grinned.

    YUP. In my defense, that was a cut and past issue... and first draft junk...

    But my almost 12-year-old is my Beta reader and she said, "WHOAH! She sounds INSANE!!"

    We still laugh about it. *Eyes wide, grinning*

    Anyone care to come out and play?? The tiara is really, really pretty. :)

  144. Seriously, any aspiring writers reading can never go wrong having someone dangling from a cliff...or falling off it...or getting shot...or getting blown up...or attacked by a wolf pack.

    This is just common sense.

  145. Mary, I'd only read about 3 million novels and never caught that part. :P

    I had to have someone tell me to my cyber face.

    I think about a week after my critique, someone had a post on it here. I'll look for it... It was exactly what the pros know, and the newbies don't.

  146. I am so inspired.


    I can so relate to the kids and sharing a room.

    We had 8 kids in a 3 bedroom house.
    5 twin beds in one room for the boys. We had company one night and later the mom told me her son had been so excited. He told her, "Mom, they had 5 beds in their room and I jumped on every one!"

    Love the story, especially that it was through a Seekerville contest.

  147. Congratulations Virginia!!! And as a graduated homeschooling mom, kudos! You're going to love being part of the LI family.

  148. Richard Armitage as a dwarf. I so totally get that. Loved the trailer for the Hobbit movie!

    Okay, sorry about the grits. Born and raised on the northern shores of the US I'm practically Canadian. Grits are not an automatic for me, Debby!

    Roasted Red peppers with those Artichokes make an awesome omelette. And I'm shredding more potatoes.

    Did anyone serve Princess Virginia Mary Ginny yet?

  149. Deb, you're forgiven for the grits faux pas! :)

    The princess is enjoying the grits. Bet she'd like one of your yummy omelets, as well.

    The ice cream sundae bar is set up. Lots of toppings, lots of chocolate, lots of whipped cream and cherries and colored sprinkles and chocolate chips and crushed peppermint and...well, you get the idea. It's all there. Butterscotch and caramel too!


    BTW, Virginia goes through the line first.

  150. Princess Virginia Mary Ginny snagged all my cupcakes but I filled ice cream cones with chocolate pudding. We like to find new ways to eat chocolate at our house.

  151. Wooooooo HOOoooOOOOOoooo!!! Wish Blogger would let me make HUGE letters!!

    I'm so very happy for you, Virginia!!! Welcome to the LI family!!! (and Natasha's family!) :) :)

    Big grins in Georgia today!!

  152. Virginia, it'll take me a day to wade through the comments. LOL Did you tell about the story yet? If so, let me know and I'll keep wading. If so, please!


  153. Yay, Mary Virginia!!! What a wonderful story! I lurk a lot here... only pop in to say hi occasionally, but never miss an opportunity to celebrate and congratulate. These Seekerville gals are somethin' special! Congrats on your sale! I'll be looking forward to adding another great read to my pile in November. :)

  154. I'm still laughing and grinning wide eyed! What a glorious day For all of Seekerville and friends and especially for you Virginia !!!

  155. Virinia, quick note. :) Loved the rest of your post. Love your fun voice. Your story sounds intriguing! I look forward to reading it.

    Mary Connealy, I cackled out loud about the monkeys in the fridge comment (I know, Virginia mentioned it in her post), but the visual really hit. :) Please don't send any my way. :)

    Off to write now. :)

    Again, a BIG congrats, Virginia!!!!!!

  156. No more lurking, Carol! We want to chat with you everyday! :)

  157. Connie, my husband made the kids' bunk beds and when I saw them I almost fell over. They're HUGE. They could fit full grown men.

    But it was a good idea because they are totally indestructible!! Sometimes the kids hang blankets or sheets and make forts out of their space, so they can work in peace... or as close to it as it gets.

  158. LOL, yes I heard the "home school kids lack social skills" comment more times than I can count growing up. People were always surprised that we could hold intelligent conversations without running away from the sheer trauma of it. :)

    And like you guys, we got out quite a bit, had cool field trips, plus home school groups we were a part of. I think people naturally assume if you school at home then you must STAY at home all the time... :)

  159. Sandra, whipping off my tiara to you!

    I've seen some hs moms do such a great job and I'm so inspired... then I look at our crazy way and wonder if we'll ever make it! But we'll keep going as long as it works for us. :D

  160. Oh, man, sundae bar???? You guys really know how to spoil a gal!

    But it's true, we can't eat grits and omellette's all day... We need to throw in some sugah!!

  161. yes, CAROL, come out and play!! The Seekervillians hardly ever bite... :D

    And thanks, Jeanne T, for the nice note. Isn't it great there's a market for snark? Oh, how Jane Austen must love us.

    MARY CLINE, you scared me senseless!:D

  162. Christina, when people admit they think home schoolers are weird, I nod enthusiastically.

    "Oh, we are," I say, "we ARE!"

    Better to be upfront about it...

  163. Virginia your 12 year old sounds like a great beta reader. My 15 year old son laughs when he reads my stuff.

    My wonderful crit partner, Jackie who usually checks in here, did catch a funny well more like interesting mistake on one of my chapters recently. I had my heroine knitting her brows.

  164. Missy, it's up in the middle somewhere. But maybe I can try a short version... Nick Cage's "The Family Man", with a woman CEO, a homeless shelter and hero never claimed by his famous father. Oh, no time travel!

    That movie was cool, no? I forgot all about it until Natasha mentioned it...

  165. Jamie! At least she wasn't knitting WITH her brows!!

  166. Virginia no job yet but I am getting replies from some of my letters the latest commended me on my initiative to write a cold canvas letter.
    last weeks lead hasn't resulted in anything as yet. but I am not discouraged.

  167. Virginia,

    This is a fantastic post! I have to laugh that you were marked as Advanced Maternal Age! You weren't even old!

    I got a late start (first at 34) and stalled so my second was was delivered 4 months before I turned 40. I had a C-section and was determined to have a short stay. I was bouncing (almost literally) around the nursery of the hospital, trying to show how energetic I was so they would let me go home.

    One of the nurses actually pointed at me and told another new mother to get going. "Look at her, she's almost 40 and doing great." :) I loved it.

    So, how do you explain how you were able to take a 5-page critique that wasn't good and turn it into a great novel? Did you read books? Join a critique group? Spill! I don't get it! Are you saying Genesis gave you a poor score and that same manuscript got a good rating in the next contest?

    Enough questions. Congrat!!

  168. I love that you pay attention to what I put on facebook, LOL! You and TWO OTHERS!!! ;)

    What a fun party! I popped in a couple of times but couldn't read everything while I was working... So I'm enjoying all this fun, now...

    Lobster??? WHO BROUGHT LOBSTER????

  169. Tina, you send me the critique...

    I'll put it with the picture she sent me....

    Think Home Alone After Shave Shot

    And together we can blackmail her.

    I'm totally in.

  170. Hi Virginia:

    Thanks for the nice mention about my post on rewards per page (RPP). Your guest blog today rates very high on my scale of rewards for reading! Humor, emotion, short paragraphs, information, encouragement, inspiration, creativity, sparkles – all with attention getting subheads (very important). Each subhead is a little advertisement for reading the following paragraph. Excellent!

    It’s no wonder you sold your book. (And I expect many more sales to come!) Congratulations! Be sure to let us know the soonest we can buy it!

    Also thanks for the head’s-up on Elizabeth Gaskell. You can get many of her books, novellas, and short stories for free right now on Kindle. I just downloaded “North and South” and “Ruth” (how could I not?) I can’t wait to read her work. I may want to join her fan club, too.


    P.S. Check out Elizabeth G’s Glamour Portrait .

  171. Oh my stars....

    After my first son joined my first daughter, people smiled fondly and said, "Well! The perfect family!"

    When I was pregnant for Seth, people inevitably asked what did I have at home? Boys or girls? (Because why would you have three children unless you wanted one of a different gender?)

    By the time I got pregnant with Bethany, a few close friends congratulated us, and some wonderful people from church.

    Others ignored it.

    For Zach, my fifth? My father didn't talk to me for six months. Really. Truly. Zach's now a Manhattan contract attorney for the Salvation Army of NYC and he's just... wonderful. Obviously my father was, well.. WRONG.

    And by the time I had Luke (finance boy in Boston) people had decided we were certifiable.

    I love a big, busy house. It vitalizes me. And I like that Virginia is nearly certifiable too. That her story is so very evolved and so fun.

    And I'm with Crusberto... Food rocks. ;)

  172. CONGRATULATIONS VIRGINIA! How exciting...your first sale and it was by way of wonderful Seekerville! Awesome! Since it's coming out in November and my birthday is in November I'm pretty sure your book will be part of my birthday presents.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  173. Vince, I "kindled" NORTH AND SOUTH, too. Didn't know about RUTH. I might "kindle" her, as well!

    Cindy, a Virginia Carmichael debut novel for your b'day! How special will that be! VERY!!! :)

    Virginia: It's Carmichael, right?

  174. VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!! WHOO-HOO, girl, I couldn't be happier for you -- this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!

    And WELCOME to the Natasha Kern family -- she ROCKS!!!! Missy, Myra, Mary, Glynna and me all LOVE her to pieces, and you will too.

    WOW, what a way to kick off the new year, girl!!


  175. Congrats Virginia! What an awesome writing journey! Again, Congrats!

  176. Cathy, The Genesis entry and the critique were two different books.

    The critique was for the first five pages... and we all KNOW first 5 have to be 'grab you by the NECK' good!!!

    I had to read a lot - Sol Stein, in particular.

    Genesis was before I read the 'pimp your entry' post here! It was wrong for Genesis. It was probably wrong for any contest!!

  177. Thanks CINDY, Debby and Julie!!

    And Ruthy, I lost a 15 year friendship over our 6th. It still hurts. She just thought it was cruel, and irresponsible, and weird. We'd met when we were young and childless. And I thought we could make our way through our differences.

    But children are a gift, a blessing. End stop!

  178. Hi Faye!!!

    You came out to play!

  179. I love that phrase: "Pimp your contest entry!"

    I'm so naughty.

    Deb, I agree, what a great birthday present for Cindy! Yippee!

    Hey, Deb, can you fix me a hot fudge sundae? I'm totally down with that!

  180. VINCE! There you are!!!

    Thanks for the compliments and the links!

    My oldest daughter is named Isabel, which is Elizabeth in Spanish. Sneaky, sneaky me!!

  181. Congratulations, Virginia! I'm joining the Snoopy dance (and that's slightly dangerous since I'm on the treadmill and typing at the same time. 911 is on speed dial.)

    I'm sooooo excited for you!

    Love North and South - book and the movie. Can I be in the fan club? please, please?

    And I am lovin' the big families and homeschoolers on here! I am the second of six--we grew up in a three bedroom home--my mom had the last three at home--I swear they're smarter than the oldest three--and mom had the youngest when she was 41. It was her easiest, too. The youngest is also slightly brilliant :-/ not fair. Finished HS at 16.

    All of my siblings have moved on to jobs or higher education, and we just grin when people find out we were homeschooled--ABCs to HS. (Didn't expect your librarian, mechanic, ICU cardiac monitor tech, criminology major, horse trainer, or pianist to be homeschooled did ya?:-)

  182. Congrats! And I like calling you "Virginia," since it was my grandma's name and is now my daughter's name! Very exciting for you!

  183. OOOH, and I have to add that I'm a homeschooling mom, too! I like to think I'm saving the environment by not contributing to the gas consumed when the large yellow buses idle...seriously (but that was true!), it's a great job (most of the time)!

  184. What fun to come home and see ALL of these comments celebrating with you, Virginia.
    Hope you're still floating high!

  185. P.S. I have profile pic envy. I have always loved yours!!

    Haha! Yes, who doesn’t love Lizzy?!

  186. Congratulations, Virginia! What a thrill for you and for all of us, too!!!! Celebrate and really enjoy your good news.

  187. Had to drop in and catch up on comments.

    I love Ruthy's label of "certifiable". We only had four kids, but the fourth was adopted, and you should have seen the looks people gave me when they saw me at eight-months pregnant, with a six-week-old in arms! We could have terminated the adoption process when I got pregnant, but why would we? It made for a great story, too.

    I didn't follow the example of others here. I was a school teacher, but I never did homeschool our family.

  188. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceFebruary 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Congrats!! What a great way to start the year Virginia!! I will be looking for your book in Nov. It comes out in time for my Birthday!!

    I have carrot cake to share


  189. Carol, every one of my college friends is a teacher! We laugh about it because I SWORE I could never be a teacher, and they say, but you home school... But it's different.

    TEACHERS ROCK!! Honestly. I could NOT do that job. One of my friends just got her teaching degree and I want to salute every time I see her. You know what age she feels called to teach??? 11-12! I can't think of anything worse!!

    You can't pretend or fake being a teacher. It's a calling. Kudos to you!

  190. Laura, carrot cake is my favorite!!

    Whitney, it's her sly wit and gentle soul!! And that blush, and those eyes, and that long neck. *sigh* If I could choose my own appearance, I wold skip the Cameron Diaz and go with Lizzie....

  191. CDEESBOOKS, I just snorted so loudly! 911!

    Hey, you can't eat a sundae on the treadmill!

  192. HEATHER, I so hear you. I read a great article about how home schooling was the new 'green' movement. Very interesting.

    Have you read 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle'? It's a great book about self-sustaining lifestyles and it really got us started on gardening. It also helped us make the decision to build on rather than move, because we'd be using existing resources and green materials.

  193. P.S. Carol, I love your adoptions tory! Just beautiful!

    I have a friend who was pregnant with their seventh, and a foster child who they'd had for a year (and had been given back to the mother for a year), was offered to them again. It was a really, really tough decision but they said yes, and have never regretted it!

  194. Oh, Heather, I was named after my great grandmother and my aunt. But the name stops with me. Not my favorite, hahahaha!