Thursday, March 8, 2012

Getting Back on the Horse That Threw You...

Ruthy here, giving you a break today! (remember that old McDonald's tune:  "You deserve a break today...") Hear it HERE. Then come back using your page-back arrow!

With our great Speedbo response, I figured the declared and undeclared participants needed a BREAK from my yammering so I called on some friends to yammer at you IN MY PLACE.

You're welcome.  ;)

Because, you know I'm not gonna cut you much slack. I'm not going to get all smiley-smiley, blow sunshine at you Pollyanna-ish even though that's one of my all-time fave movies. No. I would simply KICK YOUR BUTT which is why I was so proud of Connealy on Monday. Did she really call the lot o' youse MAGGOTS????

Ouch. Oy. Oh my stars!!!  And you took that, LOL????  (Ruthy grin here, mostly because my teeth are too big for my mouth....)

Anyway, here are some lovely "from-their-mouths-to-your-ears" tales of climbin' back on the horse that threw ya'.... from some of the most gracious authors I know.

"With excitement and hope, I sent my first manuscript to a contest. Though I knew I had some things to learn, I thought sure I was on the right track. But the judge slammed me hard and basically said I didn’t have what it took, that I should forget about being a writer. Wounded, disappointed, I curled into the fetal position and wanted to quit, but I didn’t. “Suck it up and get back in the game,” is a phrase I often said to my kids. Now, I said it to myself. You can do this. You will do this. If nothing else, prove to yourself that the judge was wrong. It wasn’t easy, but nearly forty books later, I’m glad I got back on that horse and learned to ride." Rita winner Linda Goodnight

"After writing four books for two small New York publishers who did nothing to promote me or my books, I was dropped by the second publisher.  I didn't want to be writing for them anyway, and couldn't believe they were dropping me!  When I decided to write for them, I'd been disappointed, hoping for a better offer from a bigger publisher.  The whole time I was with them I felt like I was at least going to the prom---even though with the ugly, dorky boy.  And now even the ugly, dorky boy didn't want me!

I almost quit writing.  But my good writing friends and my agents didn't give up on me.  They made me keep writing.  And even though I cried just about every single day for an entire year, I kept writing.  I was just shy of my self-imposed deadline for hanging up the towel when I got the call from my agent telling me that Penguin had given me an offer for 2 books.
I tell my kids now that even when it appears that the worst thing that could ever happen to you happens, if you stick around long enough you just might find that it's actually the best thing that could ever happen to you."  NYT bestselling author Karen White

And gentle words of wisdom from NYT bestselling author Robin Lee Hatcher:  "I bought my first horse at the age of 14 and I owned many others in the decades that followed. Although horseless for many years now, I remember well what it's like to be thrown from a bucking or shying or spinning horse.

"Publishing can feel like that sometimes. We think we are safely in the saddle, and all of a sudden we are unseated by unexpected circumstances. The line we write for is cancelled. The editor who loves our work leaves the house and the new editor doesn't care for our style. Our agent becomes ill or passes away and we lose our greatest champion. Or the muse suddenly goes on vacation and our creativity seems to dry up and we feel lost and alone.

"But like all good horsemen, after we dust off our fannies, we must approach that horse again and step back into the saddle. If we don't, we will allow fear to rule our lives instead of faith ruling it. So if something in publishing has thrown you for a loop, it's okay to feel the pain as you hit the ground, but don't lie there for long. Get up and get back to the writing."


"It was September 2005. I was at my second ACFW conference. Every year Barbour Publishing has this great moment when they announce contracts to unpublished authors. They had a book of mine. They'd had it a long time. I'd been through some edits even. But they'd never agreed to buy it.

I'd also sent in a proposal for a second book, but only about a month before conference.
So, I knew I could be a contender. IT COULD HAPPEN.

The announcement night came. I visited with Lena Nelson Dooley just before dinner and she something like, "I know Barbour wants to work with you." I don't remember just HOW she said it but my impression was 'I know Barbour wants to work with you, just not on these projects, keep trying."

In other words, "Forget it. You're rejected." (Please remember that Lena said NONE OF THIS. I managed to make it all up in my fevered brain. Lena is a sweetheart.)

It was like a blow to the head. I was crushed. In the time it took me to get into my seat at the conference dinner — lo and behold I'm sitting at Rebecca Germany's table. Rebecca Germany, acquiring editor for Barbour Publishing.

The dinner goes on. Then speakers. Sitting there, I went from crushed to "As God As My Witness I'll Never Give Up Again!" Insert Scarlet O'Hara and a fist full of onions. Silhouetted against a blazing Georgian sky.  

Then comes THE MOMENT! Tracie Peterson— then the acquiring editor for Heartsong Presents, the division  I'd pitched to—got up to make the announcement. I had completely given up. I was fine. At peace. I'd force onward, pitch again, write a BETTER book. A book so good no one could say no.

Tracie announced—someone else. Kathy Kovack. HEY!  I clapped. I'm a good sport. I was happy for her. I would not be defeated BY THIS!!! And then after that showoff Kathy went up and got her contract, Tracie Peterson said, "And this year we're giving two. We're offering a contract to Mary Connealy."

This moment is somewhat like skidding in a car, maybe doing a 180 turn on loose gravel. No, make it a 360. I was stunned. I'd gone through the whole emotional gamut.  Hope, despair,  defiance, determination…a little side trip into intense (though well concealed, I hope) jealousy, then TRIUMPH.
I had mental whiplash so bad it's a wonder I didn't need an neck brace (well, more likely an ego brace)

But the point here is, I'd already gotten back on that horse before that announcement was made." Mary Connealy, Bethany House and Barbour Publishing author

And here's a message I bet most of us didn't know from multi-published, Rita-winning Irene Hannon who writes for Love Inspired Books and Revell:

"For those of you who haven’t been involved in publishing very long, the
simple truth is it’s a tough, tough business. There are very few overnight
successes. It took me years to sell my first book, and after that line
folded, six years passed before I found a new home. When I stopped writing
for that publisher, I was in limbo for three more years before I sold
again. Meaning one or two sales don’t guarantee future sales. 

Today I write shorter romances for Love Inspired and trade-length romantic
suspense for Revell. I’ve sold 40+ books, achieved bestseller status, and
been blessed with many awards, including two RITAs. My latest book, Deadly
Pursuit, was recently named one of the top 10 inspirational fiction titles
for 2011 by Booklist. Things are good, right?

Yes—but you know what? In this business, that could change tomorrow. So I always remember the two lessons I learned in my early days: never stop believing—and never stop writing. There are a lot of roadblocks in this business, but no one can steal your dream and no can stop you from writing—except yourself. If I
persevered with a pile of rejections staring me in the face, so can you.
The race goes to the people who stay the course.

"My problem was that I didn’t fall off the horse—I got tossed. Far, and repeatedly. I got sick of it and left the arena, brokenhearted and much worse for wear. When I decided to take another shot, I chose a growing market open to new authors: Love Inspired. That leap of faith produced Hometown Family, which comes out this May. For me, the trick was to find the right horse…and hold on tight!"  ... Love Inspired author Mia Ross

Mia's debut Love Inspired novel comes out in April!

"Life can play rough. It can knock you down, throw you off your horse, take you to your knees. The last five months have been the hardest of my life. But I learned something through the drought, the deadly accident, the health crisis. When life knocks you flat, get back up. Keep going. Stay grateful. Don’t quit. The Donnie McClurkin song (which comes from Ephesians) says it so well. It encourages me."  Rita winner Linda Goodnight (yes, twice, because she's that nice... sigh...)

Ruthy note: (and yes, go listen to this amazing song and be blessed. Be blessed. Then come back and have coffee with us. Or sweet tea.)

From award-winning historical romance author Janet Dean:  "As the years rolled by, I'd received enough rejections that when I sent queries and proposals to publishers, I kept my expectations bottom of the barrel low. But then an editor read my proposal and asked for the complete manuscript. No editor had ever done that. My hopes soared! One day, after long weeks of waiting, my d/h came in from the mailbox, calling in this excited voice that I had a large priority envelope from a publisher. With his announcement, my hopes crashed and burned. And my husband found himself in the rubble. I'm not sure what I said, but for a few moments loving wife "had left the building." After all the years I'd been submitting, I couldn’t believe he didn't “get” the business. That he didn’t recognize my handwriting on the SASE. That he didn’t know immediately that this was a rejected manuscript, not good news. In reality I'd taken my disappointment out on him, the man who’d paid for contest entries, supplies, conference expenses...for years. He’d done everything he could to support my dream and I’d just lambasted him. 

Contrite, I apologized and he accepted that apology. We both got a whole lot smarter that day. I climbed back on that horse, sure. He even gave me a hand up. But from that moment on, I kept tight rein on my hopes and tighter rein on my tongue. I learned that when I fall off that horse I needed to be careful where I landed. :-)

And then there's this one!

"I used to joke I was the "Queen of Rejections" because anyone who attended the 2005 ACFW Conference will remember me as the poor slob who waved her hands wildly in the back of the room when Brandilyn Collins asked who had the most rejections in a year. I won hands-down with 19 and went on to garner in excess of 45 (both agent and publisher rejections, including three received AFTER I signed a 3-book contract with Revell Publishing!). Even my agent Natasha Kern blanched a bit when she first signed me, realizing after the ink was dry just how many times I’d been rejected. I believe the word she used was “daunting."

But apparently not too daunting for her amazing skills because she landed a contract for me within six months. Imagine my shock and awe when a few years later I stood on the same stage on which I’d received a booby prize for the most rejections, to receive ACFW’s Debut Book of the Year! A true testimony to God's grace and blessing ... and total confirmation that it only takes one "yes" to trump a sea of "no's. "  Award-winning Revell novelist Julie Lessman

Okay, join me inside for Speed Book Writing updates.... "SPEEDBO!" and a cup of great joe! And everyone leaving a comment will have their name tossed into a hat (or a clean, freshly washed cat dish) for a copy of any Ruthy-Book.

 And, today is another day of our March Speedbo. Find out more about Speedbo and our exciting weekly prizes here. Comment today for a chance to win! Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.


  1. I'll take the sweet tea, Ruthie.

    Thanks for the stories, you fine equestrians.

    I meet with an acquiring editor at conference. She expressed interest in what I had and said send her a proposal. I did. Months later she asked for the complete. Then the line folded.

    That's only the most recent spill from the horse from me. There have been others over the years. And no gold ring yet.

    But I can't seem to let go of this crazy obsession. I keep writing.

    Due to an out of town funeral I lost the first 2 days of March, so I got a late Speedbo start. But I've gotten going since then.

    My goal is not necessarily to finish the wip that I'm in the middle of, but simply to increase my daily output by 50%. So far I'm a little under that, but I'm gaining. Word count is currently at 42,000.


  2. Inspiring, and a little scary, Ruthy! That horse has been a bit feisty with me, but I wear a seat belt. He's gonna have to buck pretty hard to get me off.

    Or maybe he'll just wear me down. I can see feeling a bit discouraged as years go by...

    Speedbo is going great! I've had 5 writing days (I take weekends off to concentrate on my family), and I've written every day and met my daily goal 4 of the 5 days.

    I've also learned I don't write well sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a public place - but I did get 345 words done in 20 minutes that day.

    The big thing is that I've gotten past the middle of my WIP and the end of the book is in sight!

    April will be the month for revisions!

    I'm off to bed, but leaving a thermos full of hot chocolate for the rest of the late nighters. See you all in the morning.

  3. Hi Ruth:

    I have a wonderful and kindly horse. He is a gentle giant who always lets me down softly with grace and dignity. He is so sympathetic that I am sadder for him than I am for myself with each new failing. Again and again, when I look into his sad brown eyes, it becomes even harder to face the challenge one more time. I can face the disappointment but I find it hard to face his. A big bang would be a welcome wakeup call. Pain is a great motivator. But, alas, I fear the world will end with a whimper.


  4. Ah, Vince, it'll end in fire!

    Janet, I loved that story! My husband got one of my rejection letters from the mailbox.

    "Who's this from?"

    I said, "It's from me. Well, not really, just the envelope. But it's a rejection from an agent/publisher/magazine, I can tell."
    He said, "So, when they send a rejection, they use your stamp to do it?"

    I don't usually mind rejections. I have gotten manila envelopes full and a whole e-mail file in Yahoo. But that day, his comment sure made me angry! And then I laughed. Yes, when I get rejected, I make sure it's on MY dime (or .45)! Aren't I nice??

    Sometimes when I get a nice knock-down, I just let it stew for a few days. After a while I can't remember WHO it was that didn't like my writing, and WHY I'm not back at the keyboard fleshing out that awesome plot that is percolating in my head. Short term memory is the first thing to go!

  5. So cool reading all of these testimonials. Thanks for sharing and encouraging those of us still in the beginning.

    I quote Scarlett a lot. And tomorrow's gonna be another day. It's late. Need to get to bed so I can wrap up this WIP. SO close...Will ck in tomorrow.


  6. Oh, Helen, I'm so sorry. :( It's hard when we get our hopes up. Last May I queried an agent with the first five pages of my ms. After a month she asked for the first 3 chapters by mail. I sent them along and two months later (we're talking AUGUST!) she asked for the full, but with a 3 month 'exclusive' reading time. In November, she wrote me an e-mail rejection saying there was something ON THE FIRST PAGE. But I could revise and resubmit.

    This doesn't even take into account postage and printing.


    But it will happen. And probably in a crazy, Seekerville way!


  7. I have been thrown a couple times. And I'm talking horse here. So fun.

    But my writing life has been smooth sailing the whole way....


    Rejection sometimes feels not only like you've been thrown, but you were caught up in the reins and are hanging there with a noose around the neck, as your horse flies across the prairie. you can't breathe, your ribs feel like they've been kicked in and you're not sure whether to scream or cry so you do both.

    Stupid rejection. What idiot would keep at it when it leaves your innards feeling like mush?


    I am now working on some whispering technics so maybe the horse will play nicer. It could work.



    Tina Pinson

  8. I've not been rejected many times, but it hasn't really hurt, since I expect to be rejected. And I will keep on going on expecting it, because if I suit up like the Stay Puff Marshmallow man when you get on the horse, it's kinda fun being thrown, right? It's for kicks!

    Is this reverse psychology working on anybody? :)

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  10. Helen, I had that happen too. Like Irene said, you prepare for the unexpected in this biz, and like you, I can't stop.

    And even if no one paid me, I wouldn't stop because I love making up stories. Fixing things!!! I'm a fixer!

    Here's your tea, darling!

    JAN: Intimidating, yes... Real... Yes, again! ;) But better to see the reality behind the dream so you can really EMBRACE the dream when it happens.

    How much better is a prepared combatant or participant? That's what separates the writers from the might-have-beens. I've heard of people getting three book contracts and not finishing BOOK ONE.

    And I would wring my hands wondering 'sup wi dat????? But we're all different. Writing's tough, but I would not stop. Would not trade it. I love it that much.

    Mega congrats on meeting your goals! YAY YOU!!!! ;) And just think that if you met your goals 80% of the time, that's several books/year.


  11. Ah, Vince, nice story.

    My horse realizes he carries a know-it-all Celtic tiara-wearing princess and DELIGHTS in tossing me to the ground.

    I assess he's humbling me.

    It has worked far better than one would thought humanly possible, for obvious reasons, my friend!

    Happy landings.

    Laughing in upstate!

    VIRGINIA: Ah, yes, I identified with Janet's story too.


    Amazing, right?

    They can be taught.

    Pass the beer nuts.

  12. Ruthy, I got up and wrote 500 words before I allowed myself to come to Seekerville. I am with the grandkidlets again today. You have my utmost respect combining your careers.

    Ah,rejection. I wrote non-fiction for several years and then the editors changed, the magazine went in a different direction, and the wonderful letters with proofs to edit stopped coming. I found other ways to write and be published but still felt used and abused. No one told me that was the life of a writer in this day and age, actually ANY day or age.

    But I never stopped writing. I am just starting to write fiction but the great thing about being rejected before is it isn't a scary animal anymore. I write for me. That lesson took a while to sink in as well but it did sink in. Still freakin' over critiquin' though.

    There, now I can have breakfast!

    Blessings on everyone's day and thanks for the good words,


  13. Melissa, it works for me, honey! Expect to be disappointed. Then when you're not, you are truly pleasantly surprised!


  14. Julie, I couldn't agree more! I was in sales (Tupperware, DO NOT LAUGH, ANY OF YOU!!!!...


    And then as a bridal consultant for 8 years.... and when you hear no that many times, writing rejections get filed the same way...


    That's my mantra. Eventually the wheel turns around and the rung on the bottom comes to the top.

    (I like that better than the FLY at the bottom... really??? Flies???? Oh my stars.)

    You go, girl! And yes, I'm totally reading you on the balance of writing, then grandkidlets, then writing or eating, or laundry or vacuuming.... Dagnabbit, busy days but how fun. How blessed we are.

  15. Well, I shouldn't admit this, but when I was 12, I was thrown from a runaway horse, got tangled in barbed wire and then landed head first on a boulder. Yeah, I was knocked out for about an hour, had a concussion, 48 stitches on my head and arm...and I never got back on a horse.

    Yikes...that makes me a yellow scaredy cat, doesn't it?

    I am pushing through on my writing even though there are challenges...especially this month. I am writing every day, even though some days I have to write longhand. And that is good enough for me. Every little step is progress, no matter how small.

    Thanks for the encouraging quotes. They were all beautiful reminders of perseverance!

  16. I love horses...

    Thanks for this Sgt. Ruth, ma'am!

  17. You've got me feeling all philosophical this morning, Ruthy. We hear about how you have to have that fire for writing, that passion for publication, but the stronger the passion, the harder the rejection.
    I write because I can't not write, so I'm curious about something if people are willing to share. When you "write for yourself" what does that do to your passion for publication?
    I'll be honest. It seems to me that writing for oneself is sort of a protective armor we don, but it can tamper the flames of that passion.

  18. Ack, Sherrinda, my head hurts just reading that!

  19. Loved this post :) Great stories ... motivating and daunting all at the same time!

    Melissa - LOVE your reverse psychology :D

    Well, my goal for Speedbo is to add 20K to my WIP. We are 26% of the way through Speedbo (well, I am ... most of you are a day behind ;)), and I'm 36% of the way to my target. I'm ahead of my game!! But that's the plan, because with tiny tots in the house, chaos and interruptions can happen at any moment. I made allowance for that :)

  20. I've been thrown from a horse and fallen out of a hay loft and landed flat on my back. It hurt both times, but I was a kid then. Of course, I got back up.
    So I guess I'll keep writing and subbing.
    Thanks for sharing!

  21. Wonderful, encouraging post, Ruthy!

    Especially enlightening for all to remember that the publishing industry is ever-changing. In addition to internal changes at publishing houses, reader tastes change. The popularity of genres, settings and story lines wane. We MUST be determined and prepared to adapt. To climb on a NEW horse if the 'old' one's run off!

  22. I'd say discontinuing the Heartsong line was the last horse that threw me, but I'm glad I got back on since they decided to extend the line. My second book releases at the end of this month!

  23. Sherrinda.




    It makes you smart.

    Oy. I'm just glad you lived and still have great hair! 48 stitches...


    Hugs to your damaged head.

    Yes, every bit of progress is HUGE. It's a wonderful thing and this horse cannot inflict death.

    As far as I know!

  24. I'm allergic to horses -- can I sit in a dog cart instead? I think that's my dream mode of transportation -- two newfoundlands and blue dog car. :-) And it's not so far to fall!

    The rejection that I most loved and am still kicking myself over, was one from a children's publisher. It had hand written comments on it from seven readers. Each comment became more detailed and critical. Changes were suggested but they didn't request to see the manuscript again. One of the last comments said "This author can write but..." -- I just fixated on those first four words. This author can write...It was the first time I'd ever been called an author and somebody in the biz thought I could write! Wow! I was determined to try making those changes but my life imploded/exploded all at the same time and in the chaos I let the opportunity slip by. Still kicking myself over that one.

    Speedbo isn't going as well for me as I expected, but, aside from Mondays when I work both a day job and an evening job, I have written every single day. A lot of it is complete drivel BUT it at least sets the stage for every scene. I end up writing page length notes at the end of each chapter itemizing what has to be put in and changed. LOL. So I think what I'm going to end up with out of this is a very detailed outline of my book. It should make the rewrites as I type it up pretty seamless though, right?

    Ruthy don't enter me in the draw for your books because I have them all. :-)

  25. K.C., I'm thrilled to be counted among the Mary Connealy Drill Team, LOL!

  26. Mary C., great thoughts.

    From a great gal.

    So yeah, rejection is tough. But where would we be if it weren't for tough people who stay the course? Go the distance? You're like the rest of us: I can't not write.

    Unless Mary jails me. And throws away the key. And refuses food and water.

    Yes. She's THAT MEAN. But I'd still write in my head. Didn't we all do that before we could embark on this career? Make up stories? Tell tales?

    And that was for us.

    So now, I just streamline what I do... and dabble with fun stuff for my tween crowd! ;)

    Because I can't not write. Just like you.

    Stay the course.

  27. Just for the record, I CAN NOT IMAGINE landing a contract and then not delivering.


    I think one thing that keeps me going when I get rejections or when I'm in waiting mode is that I know who is in control, and it isn't me. I'll sell when I'm meant to sell, and not before. My job is to be ready when the time comes.

  28. Ruthy, I love it! We never think of all the "big names" experiencing setbacks and rejections, but they faced challenges only the stout of heart could overcome...and we're all glad they did!!

    I remember Mary's big night. WooHoo! You were a mess, girlfriend, but very few people could tell. You just looked, Mary : )

    AND I remember both of your shining moments, Julie. When you proudly announced the number of rejections you'd received, my heart did a flip flop for you. Poor thing. Then skip forward a couple of years and my heart did a flip flog again, only this time in joy and pride at your winning Best Debut Book. So proud of you!

    AAANNNNNDDDDDD, of course our very own Ruthy being nominated for best Debut Book for Winter's End. Wow, what a rush. What a soothing balm to apply to all those saddle sores you'd acquired over the years. Years of perserverance and cheerleading. You're the consummate pick-me-up for all of us!!

  29. Virginia, I actually snorted when I read your comment about paying the postage for our own rejections. Yep, pretty bad.

    I won't even go into the stories I have about my first horse. We had a test of wills from the start. That little cow horse had more tricks up her hoof than you could shake a bale of hay at.

    Much like publishing.

    I loved that horse. I love writing. I know somewhere, there's a link between the two : )

  30. I haven't been "thrown" from the publishing horse mucb because I haven't had much opportunity to. Oh, I got some form rejections on a children's story I submitted, but that didn't bother me. I just want to finish my WIP so I can at least a foot in the stirrup. Ha!

    Thanks for sharing, Seekers. It is discouraging to know that this is such a tough business and can take years to break into. I firmly believe persistance is really the key in getting published. As you work at writing, you get better, and you're submitting all the time. The right editor's desk, the right MS and synopsis, will make it at the right time... if you don't stay sitting in the mud, watching the hind quarters of the horse that threw you.


  31. Ruthy, I haven't been rejected by a publisher yet, but I sure needed these words of encouragement this morning. The mind games are intense this morning, and I'm working to move beyond them. :) Your post is hugely helpful in defeating those mean comments rolling around in my head. :) Thanks.

  32. Thanks for the not-so-gentle kick, Ruthy.

    The lesson I've can't received rejections unless you submit.

    Sooooo, I'm taking time off from speedbo to work on a proposal. :) Wish me luck!

  33. Helen W., yeah, it's a juggling act. Maybe that's the reason we're part clowns, right? ;)

    But that's awesome progress. I'm so proud of you. And 26% done...

    I'm on target as of today. My synopsis is complete... My opening 50 pages done... (I started a few days early because I knew I was in NYC for the weekend)... I've got my blogs done. I have Teeeeena happy.

    I live for that, LOL! :)

    But if we fall behind, or life interferes, we just get it in gear again, right?

    Every page done is a page you didn't have done yesterday.

  34. Keep those rejections. They prove to the IRS that you are a bona fide writer. smile

    Happy writing everyone.

  35. I love mornings at Seekerville. Helen always makes sure we have fresh coffee, and there's plenty of motivation to go around. Thanks for the kick, Ruthy!

    As for me, I'm still on the horse, galloping along. Chapter One done, moving on to a big confrontation between hero and heroine. Fun stuff!

  36. I love reading posts like this. It reminds me that anything can happen as long as I keep working and keep submitting.

  37. A totally inspirational post!!!

    Thank you, Ruthy! The food is also delish.

  38. Kav. KAV. KAV!!!!

    If you ever, ever get this again.

    "Changes were suggested but they didn't request to see the manuscript again."


  39. As a teenager I spent summers with my cousins. They had lots of horses. One day I rode bareback and got too far back on the horse. She started to buck. I grabbed her mane and held on for dear life. My cousins all cheered as I slid down the side and nearly underneath the horse, never letting go as she tried to throw me. They thought I was so brave, I was scared to death. I used her mane like a rope and got back up top.

    I'm a glass half full type person. When a Genesis judge slammed my writing I decided to learn from it. When I got my first rejection letter I read the editors comments and marveled that she took time to show me my strengths and weaknesses. Then my husband looked at it at said "That looks like a form letter." I don't know where they came from but a torrent of tears erupted.

  40. May I just say how much I love Seekerville? How did you know I needed that 'get back on the horse' speech. Compared with some of these stories, I have only ridden a 3 foot tall old pack mule and still fear the bounce to the ground. Loved hearing Julie proudly tout the'most rejections' at a conference story. As a preschool teacher, I often think of the Little Engine Who Could trying to get up that huge mountain. I think I can, I think I can, I think I mantra, my prayer, my hope.

  41. Wow, amazing to see all these awesome writers sharing their stories. I hope those struggling to sell will take heart. Thanks for letting me stop by, Ruthie.

  42. Love these stories of gettin' back on!

    Never say never, and never give up.

  43. Jan, perfect attitude! You can't force the issue in any case. Years ago Madelyn Hunter told me, "Keep doing what you're doing. Write. Write. Write. That way when someone falls in love with your work, you'll be ready."

    I believed her! ;)

    And she's a nice lady (besides being an amazing historical fiction writer) by the way.

  44. Great motivation in this post. Thanks so much!
    I'm making progress and close to achieving my daily goals. Yay!
    Thanks for the encouraging words and personal experiences. I'm just starting the journey, so I'm just getting on the horse. (Although I've been thrown from one is real life, so I can sympathize with many of you! Ouch!)
    Keep writing!

  45. Janet! You have Seekers to yell at now, you can give your husband a break.
    Julie I remember you up there. You weren't a slob, you were very tidy while you were discussing (okay RANTING) about your rejections.

  46. Let's just say this is another one of those well timed posts. Had my butt kicked and been hugged repeatedly as I read through. Thanks, ladies. You're the best.

  47. Beautifully inspiring stories, Ruthy! What a great encouragement to everyone who's been thrown, kicked, stomped on, or otherwise brutalized by the publishing biz.

    About 12 years ago, during my adult riding lesson days, I was thrown by a real horse on a very windy January day. The physical damage was a severely pulled muscle in my leg--the pain so bad I could hardly make it to my car.

    Mentally? Yeah, I was shaken. But not so much that I wasn't chomping at the bit (excuse the pun) to ride again as soon as my leg was better.

    It's the same with writing. Rejections hurt like crazy! And then there's the healing time. But if I hadn't gotten right back on that "horse," I certainly wouldn't be where I am today!

  48. Oh, and have you noticed that "riding" and "writing" sound a lot alike? Friends used to ask me, "How's the (riding/writing) going?" and I was never sure which they meant.

    Depending on how I answered, I could get some really strange looks!

  49. OH, MAN, as Tony the Tiger would say, WHAT A GREEEEEAAAATTTT blog, Ruthy-girl!!!

    We soooo need to hear this OVER AND OVER again, at least I do, and I can't think of a better subject for SPEEDBO, seriously, because THIS is the thing that trips so many writers/authors up more than anything, in my opinion.

    This blog is serious proof that no matter HOW long it takes (i.e. Mary with 20 ms.) how many rejections you may garner (i.e. me with 45) or how many falls you take (me with my ACFW booby prize), you can not only get back up on that horse, but your heroine can ride off into the sunset with the hero of her dreams. All it takes is prayer, perseverance and some pretty hard bones to cushion the falls. :)


  50. Thank you for sharing these inspiring stories, Ruthy. What a welcome dose of encouragement. =)

  51. Ruthy, thanks for giving us all these inspiring stories from fabulous authors who were temporarily thrown by this business, yet climbed back into the saddle and met with success.

    I'm proud of the Seekervillagers for hanging on!!!

    Thanks, Virginia, for empathizing and for your hubby story. We pay for rejection and those stamps are the least of it. :-)But rejection develops that rhino skin, an asset with publication.

    Vince, You touched my heart, proof of your talent as a writer.

    Sherrinda, after that horrid experience, you're wise to stay off the flesh and blood animals.


  52. Does it sound perverse to say that all these stories of rejection greatly encouraged me?!? It's true. We all need to know that getting published is usually years and years in the making. No such thing as an overnight success!

  53. Ahem - before I forget - do I need to mention that I want to be in for all of the crits and stuff? Or did I already?

    I don't remember.

    I blame the solar flares.

    For Speedbo... I'm at about 14.5xx. Something like that. Was hoping to be at 25k by Saturday. Dunno that it'll happen but that's okay. I'm plugging along.

    I've gotten a couple of spills, though not as many as some of you. I've almost given up a few times in the couple years I've been writing seriously. It never fails, though, when God really knows I need a word of encouragement, I get it. And I get back on the wagon. Or the horse.

    Or whatever it is.

    Today's plan includes a couple thousand words but also cleaning my office so I can use it to like... write or something ;).

    Imagine that :D.

  54. If you don't get on the horse you can't be thrown.

    Unless you count contests losses w/critical judges remarks, I've never been thrown. ("I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!" was the worst judge's comment I ever received.) You have to submit and query to be in the saddle which I have only a couple of times. Neither time did I really expect to have requested.

    By the national conference I hope to have 2 completed ms so I can officially be seated in the saddle.

    My plan for SpeedBo is 30k for the month and I still on target.


  55. Ah, Glynna! Adaptability. Yes.

    Let's not be DINO-WRITERS....

    We do have to be ready to adapt. Change. Make fire.

    Wait. That last may or may not apply!


    Excellent point, Glynna!

  56. Love all the stories on here. I would feel hopeless if most published authors were easily with no struggles. It would mean you either have it or you don't. And that would leave me out in the cold.

  57. Rose, that was a left turn, wasn't it? But I love having you with me over at Harlequin now!

    We're team-mates, Sistah! :)

    Which means someday we might dance at the Harlequin Party together.

    Suhweeet! ;)

  58. Kav, FIRST: Bless you for having all my books. You humble me.

    SECOND: I love that you're using the time you have to get the thoughts down. Writers all find their own means of production. Whatever yours is, getting thoughts down is a gazillion times better than not thinking, right?

    You rock.

  59. I'll take some sweet tea, Ruthy!

    Those are some REAL testimonies, girls. Amen, and amen. It IS a tough business, and we can't ever assume that just because a person has a lot of books published that they haven't had their share of disappointments and rejections.

    I have a whopping 2,400 words to report for Speedbo. But this book will get finished before the end of the month.

    The day I got the call from my agent that Zondervan had said yes to The Healer's Apprentice, I had been praying--and crying--that if Zondervan rejected this book, I would not get too depressed about it. You see, it had been rejected over and over for three and a half years by every publisher in the business, practically, every Christian publisher and even some secular publishers. The Zondervan YA editor was the last, VERY LAST publisher who was going to see it, at least for a while, because my agent and I had agreed to terminate our contract, and I did not have an agent. All publishers had already rejected it anyway. So I was laying there praying and crying and fell asleep. The phone rang and woke me up. It was my agent telling me Zondervan had said yes. My agent thought I was crazy, because I was so in shock, I was just monotone and disbelieving. The thing I asked her was, Is there anything that can go wrong at this point? She said it would be very unusual if something went wrong at that point.

    (I have since found out that yes, things CAN fall apart after the committee says yes and you've been promised a contract, but that is a story I can never tell.)

  60. These. Were. Awesome! :) Thanks for the inspiration, Ruthy and all these amazing authors.

  61. Audra, I think there's a big link between the two.

    Both stubborn.

    Both bigger than we are.

    Both scarcer than you'd imagine.

    But horses or publishing contracts, we've made it over the first hurdle (I have a son who was a college Steeplechaser, so I know me some hurdles, LOL!) and now we're helping others find their way.

    I love that.

  62. When I said I didn't have an agent, I didn't have an agent for future projects, but since my first agent was the person who sent my ms. to Zondervan, she was my agent for that deal. See? You must always be professional and never burn any bridges. Thankfully, we severed our relationship very politely and with no hard feelings, so that when Zondervan actually decided they were interested in it, it wasn't awkward for us to work together. (I don't know if this is making any sense!) And she went on to represent my second book as well.

  63. Connie, you hit the nail on the head:

    "If you don't get on the horse you can't be thrown."

    Okay, who really wants to play it safe? That is NOT an option in the writing biz! No risk, no glory, right?

    Congrats on staying on target with Speedbo, Connie!

  64. Wonderful to read all these encouraging stories! And Janet Dean, thank you for reminding me that my ambition must not make me blind to the feelings of my husband!

    Susan M. Johnson

  65. Jeanne, I'm so proud of you! Don't let those meanies get hold of you.

    You are a daughter of the king.

    He longs for your success, for your happiness.

    So we work toward that goal. And there's not a horse big enough (I'm ignoring Clydesdales, Belgians and Shires, LOL) to keep us down.

    We will survive!

    (Random Rock Tune now coursing through my brain!)

  66. Great post, Ruthy!!!

    All this talk of rearing horses is really close to home. :D Last September, my mom's horse sat and rolled over on her, crushing her knee. This became my getting-bucked-off experience as I went several months without writing anything, all those things we never knew mom did falling to my sister and I.

    I must say God is very VERY good. Because 6 months, 1 surgery, and ongoing therapy later, my mom is walking again!! PTL! And He has used Seekerville encouragement to get me back in the writing chair.

    So far, 5 out of 6 Speedbo days have turned out very well, & the one that didn't I was able to make up for yesterday.

    Oh! I would LOVE to win a Ruthy book!!! Put me in the kitty bowl! Um... My name, that is. :)

  67. Ah, Ruthy-m'lass...

    Bossy as ever...

    But cute. And I can always use a little woman to boss me around the island since the Seekers have left me unfriended and unfettered with their move to the Mainland.

    Although if a few of you came for a balmy island experience writers' retreat, I'd be glad to act as host...


  68. Sherrinda, I broke my arm falling off a horse.
    I was five.
    I got back on later, after the cast came off, but you know what? I never liked the stupid beasts much after that.

  69. Let me add that the comment I made about spinning 360 in a car while traveling at high speed.....I have first hand experience with that. I was twelve.
    I never mentioned it to my mother.

  70. PS Julie, I like the word 'blanched'
    I don't use it enough in my books. It's a great visual word.

  71. Yeah, Susan, the horse is supposed to wear the blinders, not us. :-)


  72. Great inspirational stories, Ruthy, which we all love to read and need to hear.

    Thanks you!


  73. This was fantastic. Seriously.
    I have gone TWO whole days in a row of making daily word count and the little extra is helping make up for my short days.
    There's a scene in one of my fave movies The Rookie where Dennis Quaid goes for a walk to ease his angst over his dream not being quite what he thought. He sees some kids playing little league and it changes his whole perspective.
    The next day with the team, he walks in the locker room grinning ear to ear and says "We get to play baseball today."
    I get to write today.
    Yes, I want to be published. I want to hold a printed book of mine in my hand and hear about how it's touched readers, but at the heart of everything is simply this.
    I get to write.

  74. Mary, you're so right! And my d/h now has writer husbands as friends. Wonder what the Seeker guys say behind our backs? LOL


  75. Mia, you hang onto that horse! No bareback riding for you...

    We'll leave the trick roping to the rodeo stars.

    (If you go looking for DEEP meaning in that, there is none. But if you find some I'll take credit for it.)

    Alison, this is so true. I loved these posts as they came in from these women. Because they show the stoicism needed.

    I'm so there!

  76. Writing, writing, writing!
    And I'm a life-long equestrian!

  77. Last time I saw Captain Jack was yesterday at Barbara Vey's Birthday Bash. But he didn't stay long enough.

    So what's going on with you, Jack? Chasing Ruthy again?

  78. Last time I saw Captain Jack was yesterday at Barbara Vey's Birthday Bash. But he didn't stay long enough.

    So what's going on with you, Jack? Chasing Ruthy again?

  79. Two comments?

    Hmmm...must be those solar flares.

    Couldn't have been my mistake, right?

  80. Great post, and great comments.
    I, too, have added notes, reminders, commentary to the fast 'unedited-as-we-go' writing for Speedbo. And when the time comes to polish, the notes will be there to use or lay aside.
    Two responses: We must keep writing because when the time comes, we need to be ready - the unwritten 'great American novel' will never get accepted or rejected.
    I keep a couple of WIPs going so that when one is out for consideration, I'm working on the next - and when a rejection comes in, my mind is excited about the one currently in work.

  81. What amazing, inspiring stories! Thank you Ruthy and all for the words of wisdom and encouragement.

    And Ruthy, thank you for the snort of laughter over the washed cat dish for the drawing!! LOL We just never know what you might say. I have to wonder if that leaves your family in fear most of the time. ;)

  82. These are great. Thanks so much for sharing everyone!

  83. Whitney, it seems discouraging, doesn't it? But it's not. Not really.

    It's tough, but it's so doable. You've got the right take: Don't quit.

    Mia Ross was at a conference and some big name author (I don't know who it was) said this: "If you CAN quit, then do it."

    Her point was that if you can't quit, you might as well suck it up and work hard.

    If you CAN quit? You're better off reading.

  84. Kav, I'm totally agreeing with Tina on that. If an editor or publishing house gives detailed instructions (as opposed to a "this isn't right for us" blanket statement) that's often a chance to re-submit, even if they don't ask.

    Next time, chickie! Next time!

  85. Jamie, you told me about that letter, right? Last year?

    That was no form letter. If it's what I'm remembering, it was a 'guidance' letter, where the editor was carefully explaining what they liked and didn't like, what worked for them. I never argue with husbands NOT MY OWN.... but that was no form letter, chickie!

    But I totally get the tears.



  86. Eileen, I'm so glad it resonated with you!!!!

    Yeah, Julie's claim to fame is a funny irony, isn't it? And that's what it's all about.

    I love your pack mule. You work that mule, woman! And I love the Little Engine that Could...

    And Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel...

    When that Steam Shovel became the boiler for the heating system, I knew I could adapt to ANYTHING! ;)

  87. Linda Goodnight just thanked me for "letting her stop by..."


    Like I could STOP her. Or she needed permission.

    Inspirational fiction is chock full of wonderful people. I'm just sayin'...

  88. Rebecca, back at ya'! Glad you're finding your way and we're here to help.

    So proud of the lot o' youse!

    (Imagine that last with a Brooklyn accent!)


  90. Mary said Julie ranted...

    I think she ranted more in the room with a sweet unsuspecting editor when she got on her diatribe about PASSION in CHRISTIAN FICTION....

    Well you know what?

    Julie was right! And look at her now.

    But she did kind of rant about the rejections, too. In a cute kind of way.

  91. Patty: You're welcome. Aren't they a great bunch? Gotta love 'em!

    Myra, I love that story! I got thrown or fell off once, I've never been quite sure but I know I was on the ground and the horse wasn't.

    But I got back up and held on tighter.

    There's a lesson for us. Hold on tighter! And yeah, writing/riding...

    Hence the horse metaphor!

  92. Jules: What you said. Couldn't have said it better.

  93. Janet, I think Dale should send the Seekers and edible arrangement for taking your snark off his hands, honey.

    My address would be fine! ;)

    Emily, I feel the same way!!! And that's why I did this, because stories of perseverance and success aren't usually EASY. But they're the ones who hang on for the ride.

    I felt great reading them. Enriched.

  94. I'm not saying Julie ranting is a BAD THING!!! It's fundamental to her charm.

    Where as I am almost Sphinx-like in my utter calm.

    I am like water flowing in a Buddist rock garden.

    I am Zen-ish in my serenity.

    And I'll slap anybody who says I'm not!!!!!!!!!!!

  95. I'm back on the horse, but I think my saddle may be slipping!

  96. CONNIE!!!! Good for you! Way to set the goal and work toward it!

    Yippee Ki Yi dancin' for you!

    But I won't deny that "I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!" wouldn't have been the kind of critique I burned...

    Possibly in a ceremonial burning.

    With incense.

    Sheesh, that's h-a-r-s-h.

    Carol, good for you! Keep up the good work. And yes, you're in for everything, don't you fret.


    Love that word!

    And I think you're doing just fine even with a few near falls of discouragement. Hey, that happens in everything.

    Think motherhood.

    Hey. Right??? Who knew the child you Labored For and Birthed would think you know nothing at age seven?

    Writing's like that. You expect the good eventually and deal with the bad.

    Well, then, to both!

  97. Connie, exactly.

    And you're not in the cold, dear girl. You're right here in toasty warm Seekerville.

    With hot chocolate.

  98. Melanie!

    I'm not laughing. Mary is. I would never do that, but I surely understand that feeling, girlfriend!

    Oh my stars, I'm so glad (since I saw your genius YEARS ago) that others discovered what a delightful storyteller you are. So glad you stuck with it and that Zondervan said YES...

    Yay, Zondervan!

  99. Erica Vetsch...

    I think I just named a character Vetsch.

    Great name.


    You're welcome Toots!

  100. Susan, you are so right. So was Janet, but I'm so glad she shared that story. Because it was so stinkin' real!

  101. Natalie! You're in the kitty bowl! And I love the affirmation story about your mother. That's awesome.

    God love each and every one of you, that's a story in the making right there. Why I could write YOUR story, then your sisters...


    Thank you so much for sharing that!

  102. Jack...



    You're so stinkin' CUTE!

  103. Melanie....

    You are absolutely right.

    Do not burn bridges. Or agents.


  104. Mary, I blanch almonds. Is that good?

    360 degrees in a car.

    That's a head-turning experience. ;)

  105. Anonymous, whoever you are, I'm proud of you for both!

  106. Solar flares... Something's up with my Chrome, so I'm blaming solar flares.

    But I'd love to be seein' me some Northern Lights out of this solar storm! Not tonight, though. Cold. Raining. Drizzle. Dripping.

    A perfect night for nailing this proposal for Katie and the Trooper!!!

    Hey, I saw Jack yesterday, too. He actually looked pretty good. Sandra was trailing after him like a lost puppy...

    Oh, that Sandra!

  107. LOIS!!!!

    I've done that from the beginning and it works for me.

    I love working two projects at once. If one needs to vegetate in my too-small brain, the other can be rejuvenated with a quick read-through!

    Great idea. Thanks for bringing that up.

  108. Missy Tippens, my family would say YES, they live in fear of what I might say...

    Poor babies.

    I say: Some of them are actually a touch thin-skinned for being my children. How on earth did that happen????

  109. Karen, you're welcome! Thanks for coming by!

  110. Helen join the club, honey! My saddle's been side-saddle for years! Dagnabbit.

    Wonder if CURVES would help????

    Mary, I agree. You=Serenity.

    Merriam Webster has your pic alongside the definition.

    Oh, wait. What does "ANTONYM" mean????

  111. Checking in at 9411 words for SpeedBo!

  112. Oh, Ruthy! Mike Mulligan? Now THERE was a guy who knew how to climb back on that horse...

    My Sunday School class loves that story - even the twins who only speak Portuguese and German. Such sweet girls, and we stumble along linguistically, but Mike Mulligan speaks across the cultural divides.

    I'm all refreshed and sunburned - the boys and I couldn't stay inside, so we took the dog up to the Hills for a run and to take Senior pictures. There's a picture up on facebook - -

  113. So far, I have about 22k in for Speedbo! I would love a Ruthy book as a reward--please put me (I mean my entry) in the clean cat dish!


  114. I am stunned that these wonderful writers dealt with so much rejection. Congrats to all of you for keeping on keeping on. Readers are the richer for it.

    Nancy K -- What amazing insight you shared with me. "I get to write." That's the way to look at it. Thank you for that.

    Julie S -- Same thing happened to me in non-fiction. I was rolling along, having a wonderful time meeting new people as I wrote about them, enjoying the checks in the bank account. I even made it through three editor changes. The fourth change, though, and redirection of the magazine ... well, that gave me time to pursue my real love of fiction writing. Journalism is a great teacher in many ways, including handling rejection.

    Speedbo update: ten good pages today. I ask not how :-)

    Nancy C

  115. P.S. That was 10 good pages today. Ten and a half if ya wanna get technical :-) I'm looking forward to better tomorrow because I'll have more time.

    Nancy C

  116. BTW doesn't that picture of me look so much like SCARLETT??

    It's uncanny.

  117. Wow, Ruthy, I was totally expecting you to go in a different direction from


    I'M AT 5000. I'm not keeping up but I'm keeping going, so that's progress and I embrace it.

  119. Nancy C, I'm stunned too. I thought it was only ME!!!!!

  120. Hi Nancy,

    Love that line from The Rookie.

    You said -
    "We get to play baseball today."
    I get to write today.
    Yes, I want to be published. I want to hold a printed book of mine in my hand and hear about how it's touched readers, but at the heart of everything is simply this.
    I get to write.


  121. Ruthy says I'm a genius!!! Ruthy always did love me. I'm kind of a pet of hers. How lucky am I???

  122. Love all the stories, Ruthy! My horse is tired and wanted to graze for a while. Me too.

  123. I came back to read the comments AFTER my comment. but I can't find the darn thing.

    For Speedbo, I'm revising/editing like a house a'fire, but I miss my peeps on #1k1hr!!

    What I thought I said in my comment was... great inspirational stories. Thanks for collecting them Ruthy. Very touching. God has such amazing timing!
    and yes, I've been thrown by a horse.

    Hey, it's almost friday!

  124. I'm back. Had a wonderful day today being Grammy. Such a blessing!

    This might sound weird, but rejections don't affect me. I guess it might be because I was in sales for most of my adult career and sales really groomed me for rejection! I grew alligator skin around my heart or something.

    When I switched to freelance writing, I learned to overcome rejection quickly. After all, articles sold translated into paying bills. I didn't have time to cater to a temperamental muse when the gas bill was due!

    So the rejections I've received on manuscripts have no effect. I just tell myself that the publisher made a terrible mistake, ;) and I move on to improve the work or start another.

  125. Ah! Such a good encouraging post.


    I love you!

    No holds barred.

    I think that's how that phrase goes. May MANY Seeker friends leave such comments in a post someday, because they are published!

  126. WOW, Ruthy---thank you (AND all these wonderful authors) for sharing these inspiring stories--a definite keeper post, for certain! (And I'm not HORSING around here, either *wink*). ~ LOVE you Seekerville folks! ~ Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  127. Thanks for the stories. I'll come back and read again as needed.

    Met my word goal today plus. Still playing catch-up because of a couple of missed days. But thanks to SpeedBo I'm making progress.

  128. Thanks for all the different stories Ruthy.
    I would appreciate winning one of your books!

  129. Linette, awesome, chickie!!!! And Jan, I haven't gotten over to fb to see it. Sick little kids....

    Not fb....

    Here. But I'll try today. What a good idea and I'm glad you remember Mike Mulligan. I love make-do-with-what-God-gave-you success stories!!!! ;)

  130. Piper, I had to use the cat dish last night as the cat was hungry...

    Go figure!!!

    But I re-cleaned it and your name is IN.


  131. Nancy C., your story is so understandable. Like Julie S.'s tale, the changes come and go in this biz, fiction, non-fiction, journalism.

    We roll.

    Maybe that's why God gave us these curves. Do they make us roll better????


    I loved these ladies' tales, too. We are not alone on the climb, but writing often FEELS alone.


    NOTE DATE: MARCH 9, 2012



    END OF NEWS BULLETIN................

  133. Melanie, you are a genius. Everyone knows that but you. Go write it on your bathroom mirror. (This will tweak your husband, no doubt, but chance it, honey.) :)

    Jodie, you're most welcome! ;)

    DEB MARVIN! We've had a few disappear this week, BEFORE the solar flare. Poltergeists, per chance? I'm glad this one didn't though, and I figured you have a pretty good horse-experience yourself.

    But we're riders, not fallers.

    We get back up.

    Stupid? Determined?

    I go with DETERMINED 100%.

    MARY CONNEALY-MEISTER... Mary=Peace + Serenity

    I'm following your current Zen trend.

    It's boring, btw.

  134. Lyndee, no, that's true. I was more accustomed to rejection after all my time in sales, too. It's like pre-prep for an operation.

    Some stung. I made it to committee twice and didn't make it through. But I shook it off after kicking a small animal or two.

    (No animals were injured in the filming of this life)

    But it helps, doesn't it?

    Casey, so nice to see your pretty, smiling face! How goes you?

    And I agree! We love seeing/helping friends off the Island, although as islands go, it was nice. A little buggy at times, but not bad!


    I missed my Basmati rice though. The ships from the mainland didn't stop often enough to keep us in Basmati rice, so that's a huge advantage to being on the mainland regularly.

    You keep working, kiddo. Grasp that opportunity. Right now you have a gift of time. That won't always be the case. Grab it. Run with it. Embrace it.

    EMBRACE is my one word for 2012. It's a great word.

  135. Hugs back to you, Patti Jo! And I'm glad you loved their comments...

    Me, too!

    CARA G.... Yes, yes, yes. A keeper. Thank you! And huge thanks to those authors who came on board and let us know that the ship might have to take a new and different tack now and again, but if you hang onto the sail, you can have the ride of your life.

    Or, in this case, the reins! ;)

  136. Sorry I didn't make it here yesterday. But thanks for the great stories and words of inspiration! Always good to hear!


  137. There should be like an annual Writer Inspiration Day where comments like these are posted on blogs everywhere. There are conferences and workshops solely for workshops. Published authors reach out to aspirants.

    Except we probably need the "annual" to happen once a month.

    Thanks for sharing!

  138. As a reader, I don't know how you guys do it. A great post thank you.