Monday, February 13, 2012

Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Other Myths


Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
there's a published land that I've heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream,
really do come true.





Congratulations, Dorothy!

Welcome to the Magical Land of the Published Author! Today in Seekerville I'd like to prepare you for your journey, and dispel a few myths. I've invited a few of my friends to help me.  (Let me know if you sense a reoccurring theme in the responses.)



My personal favorite myth is that you can juggle every area of your new life and never miss a beat. Yes, you, new author can manage the day job, whether that's from the home or outside the home, and, simultaneously write those books, become a social media wizard, a marketing genius, and a web guru, and, nurture other writers, volunteer for your local chapter and judge every contest that requests, and, you can also look like a model, morph Donna Reed and spend hours as a spiritual leader, rivaling the Apostle Paul. In reality, Dorothy, you cannot do it all. The road to success requires that you give up much. Well, my little pretty, remember not to wait for a house to fall on you before you figure this out.---Tina Radcliffe




It's a myth that most published authors live lives remotely resembling that of Richard Castle. (Although, who wouldn't want to be as cool as Nathan Fillion, hmm?!) We are rarely independently wealthy. We do not hang out with James Patterson -- and certainly not for weekly poker matches. We are typically not recognized on sight and often not even when we tell people our names. And our publishers do not generally throw us glitzy launch parties with strobe lights and supermodels. Also, I'm pretty sure -- in my case, at least -- the mayor has NO IDEA who I am. But "Castle" is still a great show, isn't it?--Marilyn Brandt



Missy Tippens shares this myth: Once you're in, you're in. She says, "I was under the impression that once you crossed the big hurdle of that first sale that you were now a lifetime member of The Published Author Club. I can remember meeting published authors at my local chapter and excitedly asking them when their next release would be out. Sometimes they had an answer. Sometimes they looked a bit uncomfortable and said they were still trying to sell the next book or that the next one had been rejected and they didn't know. I finally learned a lesson. NEVER ASSUME. This is a tough business. We have to keep learning. We have to keep improving and working hard. I never take a single sale for granted.


Published Author Myth:Editors sit, impatient, eagerly awaiting the next proposal that slips through your velvet fingers. Reality:  There are no free rides. I have easily submitted twice as many books as I've had contracted, and that's okay. That's part of the biz. Going into publication thinking otherwise is like being surprised that ocean salt tastes strangely like sea salt. NaCl is NaCl no matter where you get it.  You will re-write, re-propose, scrap proposals, scrap books, and re-write said books, and you will do so willingly and lovingly and with a smile because it's... oh, wait!.... your job.  My solution:  To write steadily each day and keep proposals going while working on other books. That way your "flow" keeps you in the pipeline. I also let my editors know what I'm thinking via occasional e-mails and phone calls to make sure we're on the same page. And when we're not, I just change stuff because they haven't been wrong yet.--Ruth Logan Herne




Oh, man, do I LOVE watching Mythbusters on TV! But in real life? Not so much. Like the number-one myth that being published would validate me as a "good" writer and all that anxiety and self-doubt would dissipate after I signed on the dotted line? Yeah, more fairy-tale stuff going on there than in Melanie Dickerson's books. No question I felt some better about my writing after publication because to be honest, my confidence was pretty low to begin with, so when a publisher wanted me, I figured I couldn't be all that bad, right? And, yes, my confidence boosted a tad with a smattering of contest wins and decent book sales, but the real myth that burst like a three-inch bubble of Hubba Bubba right in my face was that these superficial things would give me the peace and confidence I was looking for. WRONG!! Not three-book deals, not contest wins, not royalty checks in the mail -- NADA!  It didn't take long to understand that true confidence is not in accolades from your editor or five-star reviews or glowing letters from reader friends, but instead in where your heart is with God, period. Wow, talk about myth busted -- and thank God!!
                                                                                                                                   --Julie Lessman



Myth: Once you sell your first book, selling the rest of them is easy. Wow, doesn't that just sound right in a perfect world? Of course breaking in to publishing is a great challenge, but continuing to attain the high standard of writing that the editor expects is no cake walk. Yes, they want you to continue writing great books. No, they don't have to buy the next one you offer just because it's a sequel to the first one.--Audra Harders


Myths from Myra Johnson: Once you sell your first book, you never have to sweat getting another contract.Winning or finaling in the Golden Heart is a guarantee your book will soon be published.


Myth: Writing books is easy. Some people believe if you have the gift for storytelling--and I concur that is a God-given gift--writing books must be easy. As if you sit down at the computer and the words, the conflict, the story arc, the characterization just flow off your fingertips with either no or minimal effort. NOT.  Perhaps writing is easy for some authors. I hope that the more books I write the easier the process will become, but, I'm not there yet. In fact, the more I learn, the more I realize I’m a long way from perfecting my craft. To please my editor, my readers and myself, I work hard to write my books. Maybe these people hope writing is easy because they have an unspoken yen to write a book. I tell them writing is hard work but where else can you make up people and control their lives? Well, most of the time. The flip side of this coin are those who cannot imagine sitting down and making up people. They’re in awe, far more fun. Or maybe they're just afraid for you. A friend asked if I feared I’d get caught in the fictional world and lose touch with reality. I wanted to say, "What's wrong with that?" but knew that answer would terrify her. Seriously, I can’t imagine losing touch. Though I've talked to my characters, dreamed about them and spent more time with them than some of my friends, I do know the difference between people I create and flesh and blood humans. At least, so far. --Janet Dean




The myth that I unfortunately believed (in spite of Julie Lessman warning me to the contrary) is that once you are published, nothing can ever get you down again. If discouragement ever threatens, you can easily dispel it with the wonderful words, “Yeah, but I’m a published author now. Ha! So there!” This is a myth. This is what you tell yourself before you get that first contract, but the only thing that can really dispel discouragement is the Holy Spirit and a hopeful, positive attitude. As a published author, you will still get negative feedback, only now the criticism is publicly displayed on Amazon.com, where the whole world can read it, and where it will potentially drive down your sales and keep you from getting another contract, resulting in being forced to get a job as the night shift baker at Atlanta Bread Co. As the night shift baker at Atlanta Bread Co., you will not be able to dispel discouragement by saying, “Yeah, but I’m a published author. Ha! So there!” This is why you need the Holy Spirit and a hopeful, positive attitude when you get that first 1-star review on Amazon.com. And the second, and, (God forbid it should happen to you) the 9th.
                                                                                                                            --Melanie Dickerson



You can't do it all!  Writers are creative and use many marketing strategies to promote their work.  But every writer doesn't use every means available.  So pick and choose the types of marketing that fit your personality, your time allotment and your budget. Marketing and promotion sell books but only if you have a book to sell!  Ensure you spend the majority of your time and effort writing the next book.  When my debut novel was released, I sent six weeks traveling to signings, giving talks, doing online promotion.  What I failed to do was work on the next story. The world doesn't change when you publish. The housework still needs to be done. Kids need to be fed.  Clothes need to be washed, and hubby still needs time and attention.  Silly me! I thought everyone else would pitch in and let me write nonstop.--Debby Giusti


Myths from Glynna Kaye-

EVERYONE will understand how hard it is to write a book--and that everyone can't do it if they "just had the time."

EVERYONE will understand that you didn't self-publish but really did sell to a big New York publishing house.

EVERYONE will understand why you can't quit your day job now that you've sold a book

EVERYONE will understand that the books you give away you had to BUY.

EVERYONE will understand when you get in the already-slow-moving U.S. Post Office  line with two BIG bags of giveaway and contest entry book packages to mail.

EVERYONE will understand why they didn't hear from you on their birthday and why your Christmas letter didn't arrive until mid-February.



The Myth of Happily Ever After. It’s wonderful to be published. I will never ever take that for granted. I have been surprised though that once I kicked my way through that stubborn door to publishing there was a lot of the same stuff as before.In place of bad conference critiques, I get bad Amazon reviews. In place of rejection letters I get  royalty reports that aren’t what I wish they’d be. In place of feeling like a failure because I can’t get published, I feel like a failure because I am not networking enough, not active on social media, not making the contacts I should make.The feelings are so amazingly similar I sometimes wonder if it's not ME. (nah!)

The Myth of the Fragile Writer. I read a quote once, I can’t remember from who, that a writer needs to have the worst childhood they can survive. This gives you the right mentality for the abuse rained down on a writer and the right depth of powerful emotion to tap into. This seems to make sense because why would be put something so personal as a book out for the whole world to see and scorn if we didn’t want to be abused? I think a writer has an amazing mental toughness. To be scorned but still believe in ourselves, still be willing to work hard, try again, learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up and go on.

The Myth of the Message.As Christian writers we’re often asked; What is the theme of your book? What is the Bible verse you’re using as the foundation? You know what? When I’m writing a book, I’m just telling a story. Yes, there are often Biblical foundations, because the Bible is loaded with the best drama of all time and draws so perfectly, deep truths and powerful conflicts between right and wrong. And yes the books tend to have a theme because they just crop up as you're working your way through the character’s conflict. But when I’ve got a story I want to tell, I’m just trying to tell it in the best, most entertaining way I can manage. Any theme or moral or message probably snuck in there by accident.--Mary Connealy.


I'll confess that I believed in the Myth of The Emerald City. I had this idea that all those who arrived at The Emerald City of Publication had reached their final destination. They had found the end of the Yellow Brick Road. They were real, validated, published authors who never again had to wrestle with doubt or fear or feelings of inadequacy. I had the idea that if I just got a contract, if I could just make it to the Emerald City, all the hindrances and doubts would drop away, all mystery would be revealed, and I would know exactly what I was doing and where I was going on this writing journey. (Okay, Seekers, you can stop laughing now.)

What actually happened when I knocked on the door of the Emerald City and gained entrance? I found out that the Yellow Brick Road doesn't end at the gates to the E.C. It keeps on winding through more of the Land of Oz, and the creepy little flying monkeys of writer's doubt still hover, the Wicked Witch known as my Internal Editor would still seek to steal the red, ruby writing shoes of my joy, and that at times, I would rather do a face-plant into a field of poppies than open up my Work In Progress and wrestle with it all.

But I'm glad the journey didn't end there. How boring if it had. There are new Oz-ian vistas to explore, new obstacles to conquer, and new techniques to hone and master. I've learned that while there is a sweetness and sense of accomplishment that comes from being admitted to the hallowed halls of the Emerald City, there is so much more to the writing journey than just that.

There is satisfaction in seeing dreams come to fruition and sustaining those dreams through hard work. I've also learned that there are amazing people to meet along the way. So link arms with a Scarecrow, a Woodsman, and a Lion, and keep hitting the yellow bricks. The Emerald City isn't your destination, it's just another spot on your map.--Erica Vetsch.





Thank you for joining us today in Seekerville. As a special thank you, I'm giving away a 15 page critique of a romance manuscript, and Janet Dean has donated a copy of her recent Love Inspired Historical, An Inconvenient Match. And don't forget that we're giving away Godiva every day this week! Three winners, all announced in the Weekend Edition.





124 comments:

  1. What? You mean once we finally reach the Emerald City, we still have to fight the wicked witch of the west?

    Not to mention those flying monkeys...and the Winkies {{shudder}}.

    But heck, I'll just keep my bucket of water handy!

    Thanks for the reality check, Seekers :)

    Oh, and lest you forget: I WANT CHOCOLATE!!!

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  2. This was great Seekers. I actually knew half way through reading Ruthy's that was hers =)
    I want a chance at everything! The chocolate, and the critique and book please. And I promise to remember all this when I'm published so it's not as big a let down, haha.

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  3. Jan called this a reality check. Did she ever have that right. But I loved reading it.

    Thanks for the extra insight.

    Coffee's ready for in the morning.

    Now to see if I can get back to cranking out some word count. It's been a weird week. Started it with a funeral. Then came surgery. Now I'm still wearing that weird shield over my eye at night. And I have a big purple strip under my eye this time.

    Oh, well, it matches my purple foot. That's another story.

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  4. Wow, that's enough pearls of wisdom to make a radiant necklace! LOOOVE the wizard of oz references!!! Thank you for using movies to drive your points across, love the imagination that's put into these posts :)

    It also meant so much to read how Julie Lessman and Melanie Dickerson point out how the Holy Spirit should be the one to keep us centered as we journey through getting published. This should be common sense, but it's always a helpful reminder and greatly appreciated!

    I think I learned more from this post more than usual :) Thank you ALL for pointing out the myths involved with being a writer, I will definitely approach being published with a better perspective with all you have been through and shared.

    Please enter me for Janet Dean's book and of course I WANT CHOCOLATE!! Thank you Seekers, you are all such a blessing :)

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  5. Hi Tina:

    The truth about myths is that no one really believes in them. Not really.

    They are actually little self-delusions that help grease the way over a path filled with too much friction as it is.

    These myths, like Fregie’s dress, hide behind transparent lace. The truth is so easy to see.

    Yet:

    We see what we want to see. We seek encouragement even where it is not to be found.

    “Don’t eat that chocolate. All your problems will be solved if you can just lose that 100 pounds.”

    Myths: how we love them.

    How Helen Gurley told about “Having It All” !

    How Helen Reddy sang “I Am Woman”. (There is nothing I can’t do.)

    Even Gretchen Wilson’s,“Redneck Woman.” can still do it all – Country style!

    Do we love Cupid less because he is a myth? Do his arrows have less sting? Is love not to be desired?

    A Myth is a friend who spares us the truth.

    Vince

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  6. Wow, the second I finished reading this Wizard of Oz post, the wind turned and this huge long gust rattled the house and I was a bit worried for the roof.

    And it's still blowing.

    AND I live in KANSAS!

    Maybe I'll just look on the bright side and consider it an omen that I'm about to be sucked straight to The Emerald City?

    BUT NO! Vince blows that dream into bits with all his philosophizing! :)

    I'm seeing some of these things you've written second-hand as I'm getting to listen in on my crit partner's debut journey. (Her book comes out in April.) So I've read it here, I'm watching it happen, so hopefully I'll be prepared enough when my time comes that I won't succumb to believing the myths.

    Throw me in for all the drawings--that is, if I'm still here. Ah, just checked the weather. 25 mph winds and snow. So maybe a blizzard instead of a tornado!

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  7. Helen, sounds like you need some medicinal tea instead of coffee! a steak for your eye and some chicken soup.

    So on behalf of Helen, I'm setting out tea, ribeyes and homemade chicken noodles.

    Feel better, Helen.

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  8. Ah, Vince, always here to ground us.

    I've been singing the munchkin song all day myself.

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  9. Rib eye steak?? And Helen what did you have done? Good night? You're purple, head to toe??

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  10. I'm watching for falling houses, Melissa. Checking Noaa.gov to see if one is headed my way!! BE SAFE!~

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  11. What a great post, ladies--sobering, if not down right terrifying.

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  12. What a great post, loved the references to "The Wizard of Oz", great insight here into writing. I so enjoy reading your post and realizing that authors are just people too.
    I would love to win this book by Janet Dean, great story there, chocolate would be a wonderful win any day in the week, thanks for sharing your words and your gifts.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  13. Wonderful post, Tina!

    I feel so fortunate that as an aspirting writer I knew several published authors personally (through my local RWA group). Many of the classic myths were blown away before I was published so I went into it with my eyes fairly wide open. I knew I couldn't quit the day job. I knew everyone wouldn't love everything I wrote. I knew writing would still be time & labor & prayer intensive. That each new contract is precious.

    But what was the biggest “reality check” was the explosion in promo expectations through social media like twitter and facebook, blogs, websites that have to be updated, booksignings, contests to enter & judge, etc.

    These kinds of things demand attention during my tiny window of available writing time each day—the same time also allotted to meet book deadlines. There are only so many hours in the day. I CAN'T do it ALL and produce a book anyone would want to read.

    So I’m SLOWLY learning not to beat myself up over all the desirable things I CAN’T get done in a day and to celebrate the ones I do accomplish. I have to rely on God to help me keep it all in perspective and to put into each day the things HE wants me to include.

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  14. Hmmm. "Aspirting" writer -- guess I'm reinventing the dictionary this morning! :)

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  15. LOL, TEENSTER, the pix and slogans are HILARIOUS!!!

    And, WOW, there is NO question that this is one of the MOST important blogs we've ever done on Seekerville, but unfortunately, even though it's written in black and white and we nod and agree, until a flying monkey is breathing down your throat with bad breath to boot, we tend to see it through mythological rose-colored glasses. Because the truth is, our goal of being publishes is SO strong and SO real, that we can't equate with so many of the myths we hear. A lot like a young girl thinking marriage is going to solve her problems, and she will never be lonely again or frustrated or angry because Prince Charming will sweep all the ashes away. Well, yes, Cinderella goes to the ball and win's the prince's heart, only to find that whoops ... those darn glass slippers not only pinch, but sometimes you get shards of glass in your feet.

    GREAT POST, Tina, a definite keeper for the vault.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  16. oooh, count me in for the drawing for the fifteen page critique!

    I love this post and it's not just because Glinda and I have the same hair (seriously, I just cut it shoulder length again and well, it's spooky.

    "You're out of the woods, you're out of the dark, you're out of the night!"
    The Emerald City is just on the horizon!

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  17. Deb, that song will be going through my head all day!

    Melissa, of all the places we've lived, Kansas is the only place we never had a close call with a tornado...and we lived there twice.

    I'm off to make my way a little farther down that Yellow Brick Road - 2 K this morning is my goal (plus laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. etc.)

    Helen, I hope your bruises fade soon! (and we're still waiting to hear the story about the foot!)

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  18. sorry Jan!
    I'm trying to get rid of the Downton Abbey Theme which plays continuously in mine...

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  19. Tina, what a great post today. Of course, I gain something from pretty much every post I read. :) So appreciate the reality check.

    For me, even in having only been walking on this writing yellow brick road, I've learned I can't do it all. My patient husband and kids deal well with leftovers. Again. Or piles sitting on the kitchen counter that I just can't seem to get to. :)

    I so appreciated the reminders that I mustn't find my affirmation and validation in the acceptance or rejections of a manuscript. Those only come from God. The open door (hopefully some day) will be like icing on the proverbial cake.

    I have a friend who will see her debut novel come out in May, and I'm learning lots from her journey. Thanks so much, ladies, for sharing what you've learned and those myths that need busting.

    I'd love to be considered for the book. Do you ever give critiques on women's fiction with a romantic thread? I'll be on the look out for something like that. :)

    Oh, and I WANT CHOCOLATE!

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  20. Because of the writing community I live in (Inktropolis and Seekerville and that big cyberspace we navigate), I feel blessed to have heard many of these messages in very honest deliveries. And because of that, the myth of the Fragile Writer (is that Mary's quote?) really registered this morning.

    I have the UTMOST respect for the Authors in our world here, because of just how they handle themselves. Incredible grace under pressure. You've all shared these thoughts and your wisdom IN ACTION not word.(well, you know what I mean.)

    And we are all clapping and giving you a standing ovation for it.

    Bravo, ladies!

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  21. Flying monkeys...they reside in EVERY dream and dump self doubt where ever they fly.

    Nasty little creatures.

    I bow to the master of terrific blog posts and this one tops the list. Publishing contracts take your dreams and turn them into reality, but just like all the treasures here on earth, they tarnish in time and you must keep your eyes focused upward.

    Sometimes God surrounds you with success like the field of poppies and sometimes you need to pass through the evil forest and dodge rotten apples thrown by evil trees.

    But in the end? Ahhh, the trip down the yellow brick road is well worth it, no matter how many potholes one manages to stumble past.

    Great post, Tina!!!!

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  22. I have Janet's book but would love a crit or chocolate. Or both.

    Kids are out today. Plus I have an extra. While I'm still on some of the good drugs. Yes, I told her mom before agreeing to it ;).

    And because I'm still on the good drugs, reading is the only writing related thing on my agenda. Yesterday, I did revisions to a finalist/contest entry. Had to have two others read it over to make sure I hadn't screwed anything up :p.

    I'm hoping I'll be able to keep my feet on the ground enough that I don't get smacked too hard by flying monkeys ;). When it happens.

    Cuz I'm convincing myself to think positive. This is a huge step forward for me ;).

    Love y'all!

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  23. I think one of the biggest "dangers" with buying into some of the myths is that they cause us to start comparing ourselves to writers who we perceive ARE living the myths.

    But we need to remind ourselves that we can't see "behind the scenes" of their lives. Everyone has only 24 hours in a day. Different people are in different seasons of their lives, have different responsibilities, different priorities. God and individual life situations may be allowing them to "neglect" things that He won't allow YOU to "neglect" -- and vice versa.

    So we need to be very careful about HOW we compare ourselves to others. If it leads to being inspired to work smarter or be more self-disciplined or diligent where maybe we aren't applying ourselves as wisely as we could -- great! But if it leads to frustration and stress (and flying monkeys) because we can't do everything someone else can, we need to step back and ask God to order OUR days, set OUR priorities and give us a peace regarding the things he has given US to accomplish--then tape the mouth of The Accuser shut!

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  24. Wow! Talk about walking into a wall of reality this morning! There is a positive I gathered from this, though. I need to just keep writing. Enjoy my writing/creating stories and worlds and eventually, when the time is right, I will get published.

    Honestly, the world of publishing is a bit scary to me. I think I have more confidence in being able to write than I do in surviving the publishing world. Does that make sense?

    Love the flying monkeys comment! :D

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  25. I discovered writing is a job with all the ups and down, frustrations, and pressures of any other job. Sometimes it's fun, often it's just plain work without much reward.

    On the other hand, it's no myth we often make lots of wonderful friends along the way. Those connections usually make it all worth while.

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  26. Such an insightful, fun, post and great correlations with The Wizard of Oz! I love how each author has a unique perspective to share on their own journey to publication-as well as some myths to bust.

    I think it's so easy in any aspect of life to say, "if only ... happens, I'll be happy," because we're always looking to reach that next pinnacle. Then once we get there, another higher one looms in the distance...

    Thanks for compiling these realistic author myths, Tina! :)

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  27. I love posts that do that talking so I don't have to. What more can I possibly say. These great authors have said it all.

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  28. You're so right Cara -- the rewards outweigh everything else. It's all worthwhile when I receive a letter from a reader who tells me my book touched their heart and entertained them for a few hours when going thru a difficult situation. That it helped them heal. That it encouraged them. That it enabled them look at life and God's involvement in human lives in a fresh way.

    I think the thing to be aware of is that even when God is leading and we're following as closely as we can, He never promised life would be a walk in the park -- but he DID promise that He'd be right there with us all the way.

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  29. Julie, I think it's hilarious that we mentioned EACH OTHER in our myths! LOL! Too funny.

    You guys are all so right. Glynna had some good ones: EVERYONE will understand that you didn't self-publish but really did sell to a big New York publishing house.
    I can't tell you how many people have asked me how I did the cover of my first book. Hello? I could never make a cover like that! Give me a break. And those people who say they'd love to write a book but they just don't have time, implying that you somehow have more time than they do.

    And Debby saying that she thought everyone would start pitching in with the housework so she could write all the time. LOL! I erroneously thought this too!

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  30. Actually Melanie, it's worse than that. They are not saying that you have more time than them, they are saying writing is so easy they just need a spare weekend to whip out a NYT best-seller.

    I feel the same way about brain surgery. If only I had the time.

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  31. So much to glean, but you Seekers help put it into perspective.

    Preacher in church yesterday told us to keep our eye on the prize - the Lord. Sounds like what Julie wrote about true confidence coming from 'where your heart is with God.' Don't you just love when our Father tells us something, then repeats it the next day through totally unconnected sources?

    Side note to Ruthy- Yesterday the Preacher opened his sermon on marriage with that 'Dearwee Be-wove-ed' phrase from Princess Bride! If not for your post last week, I'd have wondered if he was out of his mind. Just another example of God connecting the dots of my life, lol. I'm feeling His synergy...

    Chocolate for breckie, lunch and dinner, pls...

    Now I'm going off to write with that rainbow song running on loop in my mind...

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  32. Wow, Tina, this post is so RIGHT ON!!! What an important eye-opener for aspiring writers in any genre! Writing is hard work, often very lonely work (except for here in Seekerville), and for most of us there's very little glamor...or $$$.

    And Glynna, I particularly loved your EVERYONE list. Oh, man, SOOOO true!!! I do get tired of explaining that, yes, my publisher actually pays ME, not the other way around!

    As for my comparatively succinct contribution to Tina's post, well...I was only following orders. She did request a "short response"! ;>D

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  33. Hi Tina:
    We mirror the characters in myths by following our life's journey. Our successes and failures remain part of God's plot for us.

    I would like to have Janet Dean's historical to add to Ruthy and Tina's to take with me on research/vacation. There are a lot of expats where I'm headed with voracious reading appetites, so I'll leave them behind. Perhaps you'll pick up a few new readers.

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  34. Loved reading everyone's words of wisdom, Tina!! Thanks for including me in your wonderful post ;).

    And to all the Seekers, wishing you a fabulous Valentine's Day!! xox

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  35. The harder it looks the more determined I am to succeed. Oh the long and winding yellow brick road. I've been blessed to meet some amazing people along the way. Each one has given me something that's made me a stronger and better person (and hopefully writer)

    "A Myth is a friend who spares us the truth." Well said Vince! That explains why I want to keep hanging on to them.

    Can you think of any better way to spend a quiet afternoon than reading a Janet Dean book and eating chocolate? Me either...

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  36. As a prepublished writer I struggle with the lack of courage, (editors and agents and contest, oh my!) finding the heart of my characters, and oh if I only had a brain.

    Thanks seekers for the encouragement to keep walking down the yellow brick road despite the witch, the flying monkeys and the apples of discouragement tossed my way.

    Enter me for everything.
    Bridgetthenson(at)Millry(dot)net

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  37. FYI, Erica...it was AFTER the Emerald City that Dorothy and co had to face the flying monkeys. And doesn't THAT just describe the life of the pubished author.

    Only instead of one Wicked Witch to contend with those monkeys can come from a dozen different places.

    And yet, we WRITE ON.

    Mainly cuz we can't stop.

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  38. HELEN SWEETIE, when I told you to get an iPad you must've thought I said EYE PAD.

    I apologize. Get well soon.

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  39. Hey, Diane, sobering is probably good, especially if you're going for a long drive...into the land of publication.
    So, you're welcome.

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  40. and
    btw
    SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!

    I'm home, it's a mess outside. I think the snow is over but it's blowing like mad and my husband had a baby calf born into this frigid weather.

    None of it is too bad.
    27 degrees...almost balmy.
    gusting wind but not too bad.
    2-4 inches of snow...sometimes that small of an amount just blows into the ditch and they don't even need snow plows.
    But somehow it's all added up to deadly.....
    and I get to stay home and sip Earl Grey ... while my husband fights for his life.
    Bummer to be born onto a sheet of snow, soaking wet, huh?

    There's a flying monkey for him, poor baby.

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  41. This was great. I definitely relate (even though I'm not published!) to several of these.

    Janet Dean's Myth: "Writing books is easy." I keep thinking it should be easier than it is. :p

    Julie Lessman's myth about validation after publication, too.

    Thanks for sharing, all of you!

    Sorry about the odd username/identity. Different computer than usual.

    road_to_avonlea_17(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Whitney

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  42. DEBRA honey, you don't take a picture of Glinda with you to the hair dresser do you?
    Hold it up and say, "Can you make me look like this?"

    cuz that's kind of embarrassing.

    Moving on............

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  43. The Princess Bride lives on, Lyndee. Gotta love it.

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  44. Don't HAVE a romance MS, so a chance at the other two would be wonderful.

    Janet Dean's mythbusting was absolutely, exactly, precisely what I needed to hear. RIGHT NOW. Thank you. Great stuff.

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  45. Mary! Does a snow day mean you'll be writing 10K words today instead of just 5?

    I'm tempted to do a poppy-field face plant today, but I'm 10K words from finishing this WIP, so I'm pressing on in spite of flying monkeys, wicked witches, and apple-hurling trees.

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  46. Sending hugs and love and prayers for healing to sweet Helen!!!

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  47. Did you hear me exhale with relief after I read this post?

    Silly me, I thought I might be the only one who struggled along the Yellow Brick Road!!!!

    At least, we're all on the same page...or the same section of pavement. There will always be bumps along the road. Just glad to have wonderful friends to support me when I stumble and encourage me to keep moving forward when I start to tire.

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  48. Love this post, Tina!! Wish I'd read it long before I sold. But perhaps we can't take on all the realities before we must.

    Vince, I love defining myth as a friend who spares us the truth. Self-preservation. I'm into that. :-)

    I brought fruit, fresh peaches are delicous!!

    Janet

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  49. Ouch, Helen! Take care of you.

    Hugs, Janet

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  50. Hey, Joanne, you and I are on the same page! Love that. :-)

    Janet

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  51. Got my fingers in my ears. "Happy thought...happy thoughts...happy thougts."

    It't the myths that help us dream.
    If I had that new car, I'd be so cool! (Doesn't work. I drove a red Mazda Miata before the engine blew. I turned a lot of heads from young people, ALL of whom looked disappointed when they an old lady driving...I'm 44.)
    If I had a boyfriend or husband my life would be wonderful. In some ways this is true, but life still throws us problems.

    And because of Ruthy's blog months ago, everytime I clean my toilet it reminds me how I will have to continue to clean it after I'm published.

    Enjoyed it Tina and everyone else.

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  52. Um, perfect Monday post, reality check. Maybe I should just live here in my happy editing cave, when I run out of apples and yams I could probably catch bats. They'll have to be the kind of bats vegetarians can eat, but since I'm a spec fic writer that is within the realm of possibility when we're in my world.
    Thanks Seeker Chicas for all the invaluable heads-ups you share. Someday I'll invite you to my cave and bake you sugar cookes shaped like bats.

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  53. I don't know if I've just read too much, but none of this surprised me! LOL.

    I figure I'll deal with it all when it comes. No point in stressing about that stuff now.

    Carol, wasn't that a huge relief to send that entry off? I spent all week on it and I'm sure there are still typos! I kept changing things every time I read it over! ARG!

    Best of luck in the finals!

    Helen, hope you're feeling better real soon! (Eye pad - snicker!)

    Don't enter me in the draw. Have already read Janet's lovely book and have recently had a critique!

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  54. Well, that settles it. I'm never going to write a book if I can't be as cool as Castle! LOL thanks for sharing all your myths and legends about getting pubbed. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee C.

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  55. Susan - Best of luck to you too, sweetie!

    I'm not sure if it's good or bad that I spent most of my week on hydrocodone ;). Way too hard to concentrate on anything so didn't really stress over it too badly. But again, it was the drugs. Otherwise, I would have been stressing big time ;).

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  56. Looking forward to that invite, Stephanie. We can make wicked witch sugar cookies together.

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  57. Frankly, Debby, when I put out the SOS for myths I didn't know what to expect. How funny we were all having the same thoughts.

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  58. Because you're all our buds, I will change up that 15 pager and make it anything that has romance in it. YA, Woman's Fiction too.

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  59. Yes, Mary, I did get mixed up and ended up with an EYE pad.

    But I can SEE!!!

    I now have these Toric lenses that correct astigmatism. I can see at a distance, and I never could before!
    I can't read worth a flip, though. So I guess I'm still going to have to have reading glasses. Need a few more days for this second eye to adjust.

    Uh, the foot. My little toe tangled with the corner of a box of (what else) books when I was making the guest bed. Little toe lost. And the foot turned purple almost all the way back to my ankle. Call me Graceful!

    I did, however, manage to write about 600 words last night. So the wip is back underway.

    I love these myths. I've been chasing my dream for a mighty long time, and the biggest fear for me is the idea of self marketing. That's just plain scary.

    Helen

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  60. I'm now a proud owner of The Princess Bride and can watch it whenever I want!

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  61. Bring on the monkeys. I've got MONKEY CHOW!!!!

    ;)

    Write. Write. Write.

    I got no sage words except: God, chocolate, coffee, fit family in as needed.

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  62. LOL!Those Wizard of Oz quotes had me howling, which caused the grade six class next door to keep poking their heads into the library to see if I was alright!

    Snicker. "There's no place like sold!" Does that mean I need to buy a pair of ruby red slippers and all my authorly challenges will be over? Is that what I've been doing wrong? Nobody told me to click my heels three times and then I'd be published! Is Seekerville starting another myth on the rounds?

    I'd love to be entered in the critique draw, as long as you don't want the 15 pages on Saturday because I'm just starting out fresh but I have been plotting and I have Monday off and maybe Tuesday so I I'd have something ready within a week.

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  63. Yay, Linette! It's coming next on our Netflix list. I thought we had a copy, but my dear husband reminded me it was a VHS copy, and we got rid of all our VHS tapes when the VCR died.

    The copy I was thinking of is owned by my oldest son.

    Who lives 700 miles away.

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  64. Thanks for this down to earth post. It helps to keep reality firmly in check, but still be able to dream a little.

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  65. I agree with my fellow Alley Cat Cindy's comment. It's really great to know how to prepare for the world of publishing. It's a good reality check. :)

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  66. What fun!! Thanks for compiling these, Tina. I definitely notice a theme! :)

    LOL, Erica and Melanie!

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  67. What a wonderful and inspiring post. I love you Seekers! You're able to deliver the not-so-great news in such an uplifting way. As always.

    Thanks to all!

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  68. Lunchtime...

    Fried bologna sandwiches and home-made potato chips.

    With sea salt.

    :)

    And how about cherry/apple/strawberry crisp cobbler for dessert?

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  69. Sigh! Bubble burst yet again. :) I don't know whether its encouraging or not to hear you still face some of the same struggles once you are published. I guess that's the reality of life here on earth until we progress to heaven.

    Great post ladies. I enjoyed each word. Please enter me in all three drawings.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

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  70. Just last night I was thinking about - what if my first proposal gets picked up and one or more of those books gets published? What if this MS proposal we are getting ready to send in now gets published and next year the book is out? And all I could think was - nothing really changes. I still keep writing and doing what I have to do. Maybe more work. Having hung out with authors friends espousing exactly what you all are saying here, I don't have any myths of expectation left. And for that, I thank you. Loved what Julie Lessman said, especially in this post. Thanks for sharing!

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  71. I was rushing when I stopped in earlier, but Tina, those thought clouds with your graphics cracked me up. :) Still mulling over all you ladies shared about Writer's Reality Checks (my name for it. :)). Thanks again for sharing.

    I'd love to be considered for the critique with your revised options, Tina. Thanks!

    I always learn so much over here. :)

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  72. Oh my, I love this! Burst out laughing at "There's no place like sold." LOL!

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  73. WE SCARED DIANNE!!!

    :)

    Well, awesome. ;) Cuts down the competition, my pretty!

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  74. Oy, now my bubble has been burst ;)

    Great advice from one and all. I liked Marilyn's comparison to Castle: is it just me, or are they not showing him writing as much anymore? He's too busy solving crimes!

    I'd love to be in for a critique (thanks for opening it up to us not-quite-so-romance writers, Tina!), chocolate or a book!

    And MARY-- it's snowing here, too. :( Unfortunately, I'm at work, but hubby is here, too, so he'll get to drive me home through the howling snows!

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  75. Christina B, I think you nailed the age-old problem of man's/woman's lack of satisfaction.

    No matter how much we have, we long for an itsy bitsy bit more.

    An Amish movie once quoted: "The object should never be how fast you can get somewhere, but to be truly present once you're there."

    I love that because it reminds me to shut up and be simple.

    Being fully present where we are. Now that's a gift from God.

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  76. Lyndee, your pastor and me?????

    We are sympatico!

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  77. Mary Connealy:
    I have to jump in here. All day I've been thinking about a windswept plain where a baby calf emerged into the world. Kansas? Oklahoma? The picture you painted with your words is tatooed on my brain. How neat--you live on a ranch!

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  78. People viewed Dorothy as a success because she knocked off one witch. However, it was a long process and soul searching for her to knock off a second witch.

    I want chocolate and/or a critique. (Janet's book I already have. :-) )

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  79. Ruthy said:

    Bring on the monkeys. I've got MONKEY CHOW!!!!

    ;)

    Write. Write. Write.

    I got no sage words except: God, chocolate, coffee, fit family in as needed.

    Ditto, Ruthy! :D

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  80. WOW, Seekers!! Loved this post--it deserves "ooohs and aaahs" (or is that "OZ"?!). Seriously, each of your postings really spoke to me today--especially Julie mentioning that your true confidence is found in where your heart is with God. Soooo very true! (and Melanie posted something similar--great thoughts!). Yep, this is definitely a keeper post, and I'm sure I'll be re-reading it often. ~ Praying for Helen to heal completely (eye and foot)--and I NEED some of her coffee this afternoon! ~ Recently read Janet Dean's AN INCONVENIENT MATCH and LOVED IT!!! (but I love ALL of her LIH books!). ~ Just baked some fudge brownies to share--Enjoy! ~ Now back to my writing, and hoping one day I'll have a pair of ruby slippers to wear when I visit Seekerville! *wink* Hugs, Patti Jo

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  81. p.s. Meant to also add that THE WIZARD OF OZ has always been my ALL-TIME favorite movie---love it! Hmmm....could be because I can so relate to the scarecrow's song (If I Only Had a Brain)?! ~ And ditto to what Ruthy posted in one of her comments about "Write write write God chocolate coffee Fit family in as needed" (of course I'd have to add "Cats" in there too, LOL). Hugs, PJ ;)

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  82. No, wait, surely one big thing changes after publication? There is a reason I have typed in caves and closets for years, Dear Seekers. Face it, when you spend 60+ hours a week playing with your imaginary friends, people talk. A brilliant writer once said, "You're considered crazy until you make money - then people call you eccentric. I hope you're eccentric very soon!" - Robert Liparulo
    I cling to that.
    Give it to me straight. True or False?

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  83. Straight? Yes, you are going to be eccentric, Stephanie. The cookies will cement that.

    Tina Radcliffe

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  84. Mary, is a cowgirl. She prefers to think of it as married to a rancher. But let's face it. She thinks cows in your front yard are normal. She's a cowgirl.

    And in NEBRASKA OF ALL PLACES>

    Tina Radcliffe

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  85. Yes. Kav that's exactly it.

    Now go polish your ruby slippers.

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  86. Um, that was from Tina. I am away from home and forgot my password.

    Tina Radcliffe

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  87. Only a creative author would put something like this together. It goes to show I am not an author. But you have to have readers for all those creative authors' books!LOVE IT!

    Obviously I would go for Janet Dean's book. Oh, and chocolate? That, too.

    Happy Valentine's Day!!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  88. I've never seen all of Wizard of OZ although I heard enough about through the years to get idea.

    Someone gave us bag of of movies awhile back and it was in there. I really need to sit down and watch it all the way through.

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  89. Connie has never seen the Wizard of Oz???? you go Connie...it was yearly BIG deal at my home growing up....those witches still scare me and all those flying monkeys....so watch it and let us know. great job authors!!!!! sign me up!!!!!
    vrush729@aol.com

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  90. ps if James Patterson asked me to play poker I'd say no. I don't know how.

    It's like I'm not ever TRYING to hobnob with famous people!!!!!!

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  91. I don't THINK cows in my front yard are normal.

    COWS IN MY FRONT YARD ARE NORMAL.

    I'm not saying it's a good thing, just normal

    Sad but normal.

    My cowboy husband just came in, staggering under the weight of winter and asked me if I'd like to see a baby calf be born.

    I thought it over and opted for warmth. But I felt bad about it. I like watching them be born.

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  92. Still, I decided to be born human almost specifically so I could give birth indoors.

    Also so I could eat Doritos, those were the deciding factors.

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  93. Elizabeth B, it's Nebraska. You know we're good cowboy country in Nebraska.

    I need to set a book here.

    Maybe after the snow melts and I'm not so cold and bitter!!!! (or is that bitter cold?)

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  94. LINNETTE Sweetie, you do NOT want Ruthy's monkey chow. Not once you know it's made with chunks of real monkey.

    That took me completely by surprise.

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  95. Mary Connealy:
    Not far from the Land of Oz...

    The next President of China, Xi Jinping is visits Washington. One of his first stops thereafter will be Iowa. Why? US-China Agricultural Symposium. They have little arrable land in China. A billion plus growing population with a hefty appetite translates big bucks for western US farmers. Hang onto your arrable land. It is priceless.

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  96. Helen...you can SEE but you still ran your little toe into a box of books.

    Honestly, that sounds like something I would do!

    And writing 600 words in spite of it all? PRICELESS!!!

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  97. YOU'VE NEVER SEEN THE WIZARD OF OZ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


    Tina Radcliffe

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  98. Linda, you sweet-talker you!!! You are in!!!

    Tina Radcliffe

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  99. I've had cows in the front yard. They make good weed-whackers. I've had monkeys in the front yard too - no wonder Ruthy puts them in her chow, I can't think of a better place for them.

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  100. Reality check? Yep! Scary really. Thank you for making this information so real to us.

    I would love to be entered to win CHOCOLATE or Janet Dean's book. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  101. Having other people around to let you know you're normal is clutch.

    Mary, shouldn't you be giving mouth to mouth to that baby calf? Or at least keeping him/her in a playpen inside?

    With a two liter nursing bottle? Calves drink A LOT OF MILK.

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  102. Today's post is like a support group - thanks - we all need it :)

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  103. Tina, you never cease to amaze me. Great post and presentation. Love, love, love it.

    The myth that I knew wasn't true, but soooo wanted it to be true was that I could quit the day job. LOL

    I hated whenever anyone told me that.


    So I'm like you Connie Queen, Give me those earplugs. I like my myths. smile But truth is better. And Julie was right on with that one. smile

    And Ruthy, I rarely pass on anything that plops in my mouth and ends up in my tummy. BUT I'll pass on the monkey and the fried bologna sandwiches. aargh. Now the homemade potato chips sound divine.

    Thanks again Tina. Loved this post.

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  104. I loved this post!!!!!

    Julie, that's so true, that peace and self-confidence come from God. Our friends and family can give us a boost, but true peace is from above.

    I just ehard I won the YA category in the Emily contest - but the comments weren't really glowing. Which is okay. I didn't feel very called to that ms. And if I did, the comments wouldn't matter.

    Winning is fun, publishing is great, but being on the 'right track' with God's will is invaluable.

    P.S. This post was TOO funny!!

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  105. RUTH, bless you for posting this. I had to stop back by when I saw TINA's comment about someone not having seen the movie. That is un-American, lol! And thanks, Tina, for your offer of someone receiving a 15 page crit, and that after editing stuff all day. Going to look for my ruby slippers...

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  106. MARY! REAL monkey bits? Umm... yeah. No thank you! Thanks for the warning. Think I'll pass....

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  107. Wow, it's been a busy day in Seekerville!

    Helen, I broke a little toe once and it hurt. Shoes didn't work.

    Janet

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  108. Im late been busy today at the dentist. Interesting post. Oh I dont want chocolate.

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  109. Virginia, congrats on the Emily win in YA!!!! YAY!!!!!

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  110. Virginia, I think your contest win is great!!! Congrats!

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  111. Wow, I just watched Wizard of Oz this weekend with the fam. I have to tell you this is one of my favorite Seekerville posts for sure. I especially love what Julie and Melanie shared about learning about our self-worth through the Holy Spirit...so, so true.

    I would love to be entered for any of these. My MS is women's fiction so I guess I have to be counted out for the crit.

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  112. No, Julia, I made an addendum, Women's Fiction is in the drawing.

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  113. Cool contest! :) Love you girls.

    Ann

    Ann_Lee_Miller[at]msn[dot]com

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  114. Thank you for such a great post. Enjoyable & informative.

    I pass on the critique thank you, but would love the chocolate & delicious read.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  115. I'm not a writer, just a reader, but Julie's post on FB caught my attention and I just had to come read this. I'm glad I did.

    I have to say that I certainly thought many of those myths weren't myths! It opened this readers eyes to the struggles that y'all go through. Thank you ALL for persevering despite the rejections, for keeping your faith and pressing on so that I can have the blessing of reading a good book!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Who doesn't love chocolate?

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  116. Okay, Okay, HELLO?????

    Monkey chow is NOT MADE FROM REAL MONKEYS.

    Is Rabbit Chow made from rabbits?

    No.

    Is Horse Chow made from horses?

    No.

    Is Dog Chow made from dogs?????

    Of course not, you bunch of sillies.

    I stopped putting real monkey in the monkey chow when people started showing signs of prionic brain diseases. I figure it's my way of SAVING AMERICA.

    Hey, I do what I can.

    Mary, you said no to birthing????

    See, that's where my GUILT comes into play and I'd tug on the ugly clothes and trudge to the barn...

    hey, in Skylark, the sequel to Sarah, Plain and Tall??? There was a VERY COOL barn scene where Sarah helped Jacob birth a stubborn bull calf "Moonbeam" in the barn and then...

    Um...

    Let's just say they didn't go straight back to the house to wake up the children. ;)

    Mary, I cannot believe you MISSED A CHANCE LIKE THAT!

    Of course it was SUMMER in Skylark, but really, I don't think that should make all that much difference, honey.

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  117. Thanks for stopping by, Anne and Marybelle!

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  118. Whoops! I'll confess to believing some of those myths. LOL
    I'm crossing my fingers to sell another book but I know it's not a done deal AT ALL. And that makes me sooo nervous. Yikes.

    Those 9 1-star reviews....don't let them get you down! It means your book is making it past your family and friends. I think that's pretty awesome, girl.

    Thank you for the advice everyone! Wonderful post. ;-)

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  119. Yeah - I live in Kansas - you know the place where Dorothy says "there's no place like home? I know plenty more wicked witches are still out there waiting for me to find them with my water bucket.
    Great post. I would love the critique or the book - not to mention chocolate!!

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  120. Cynthia, I love the Kanasas City Airport. Wizard of Oz memorabilia everywhere!!! If I only had a buck!

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  121. I've believed some of those myths. Some I'm still painfully shaking off. All I know now, that I wish I'd known earlier, is that learning to write is a process, one largely self-crafted, and that it doesn't matter how you get to your publishing goal as long as you keep striving for toward it. There are many roads to the Emerald City.

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  122. LoL, thank you for finally giving the nasty internal editor a name. She's now the Wicked Witch--someone I can battle and not feel bad about. =]

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  123. love the wizard of Oz movie enjoyed this post thanks
    I'm a reader not a writer and I love chocolate so would love to win that thanks.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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