Monday, April 16, 2012

Be Brave!

Missy Tippens, here. One of the books I enjoyed reading to my children when they were little was Be Brave Baby Rabbit by Fran Manushkin. In that story, the mother repeatedly tells her young bunny child to be brave. And 20 years later, I still think of that book anytime I’m telling myself to be brave and take a risk. :) I also (much to my kids’ dismay) still sometimes tell them, “Be brave, baby rabbit.”

Uh, yeah, try that one on a 21-year-old or a teenager (when they already think I’m the dorkiest thing alive).

But it’s a message we as writers need to give ourselves.

I’ve been working on a story I sold to Love Inspired in February (Woo hoo! Its new title is Georgia Sweethearts and it’ll be out in the spring of 2013!). This past Thursday, I came to a decision point about a subplot.

The actual subplot came about by (gasp!) flying into the mist (yes, I had a rare pantser moment!). And I was so excited about it.

But that night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I worried that it would be tough to deal with the situation I’d set up. I came up with an easier-to-handle, easier-to-write situation that I could replace it with. In the dark of night, I made the decision to take the simpler route.

Then I sat down to work on it Friday and re-read what I had written. I knew I didn’t want to change it. I told myself (quietly so the kids couldn’t hear and ridicule me!), “Be brave, baby rabbit.”

Sometimes it takes energy and determination to write with deeper emotion. And it may even seem to take more than we have at the moment. But it's always worth it. I promise it's worth the effort.

So now I have this really cool subplot that I think will tie in nicely with my moral premise. As my characters help this teen kid figure out how to take a risk and be responsible, they’ll be learning, themselves, how to take a risk on love.

Isn’t writing fun?!

Some tips I’ve come up with for helping you push yourself:

--Don’t take the easy way out. But don’t get convoluted with your plot either. Often simpler is better. Just don’t be chicken.
--Don’t be lazy. This is so tempting if you’re tired or stressed. So put your best effort forward every time you go to the keyboard.
--On the other hand, don’t be a perfectionist either. You need to get that draft on paper. But don’t avoid tough scenes.
--Use positive self-talk. Don’t tell yourself this is an impossible scene. No, tell yourself that this will end up being a great scene with lots of emotional punch!
--Don’t give in to fears that hit you in the middle of the night!
--Don’t worry too much what readers might think (or complain about). Trust your editor to make those decisions.
--Remember that making the situation difficult for your main characters is a GOOD thing. So don’t shy away from ideas that come to you. Torturing them makes for great reading. :)

I’ll leave you with a new mantra:

Be brave, baby rabbit.

(Now you have my irritating voice in your head, bugging you! You’re welcome.) :)

So…care to share a situation you’re facing now where you need to take a leap of faith and be brave in your writing? Where you need to push yourself?

I’ll be giving away a copy of my most recent Love Inspired, A House Full of Hope, to one commenter today. To be in the drawing, be sure to let me know you’d like to be entered!

Visit Missy at for more info on her books.

Before becoming a Christian, Mark Ryker ran with a bad crowd and broke hearts. Including his father's. Now a successful businessman, Mark has come home to Corinthia, Georgia, to make amends. But no one will forgive him. So when the widowed mother of four renting his dad's run-down house needs help fixing up the place, Mark gets to work. Pretty Hannah Hughes and her sweet kids have him longing to be part of the clan, but Hannah isn't ready to let go of the past. Still, they are working together on a house full of hope—and that's all Mark needs.


  1. Hi Missy:

    Be brave
    Baby rabbit
    But beware
    There could be
    A cat out there.

    Brave does not mean
    Looking for a fight
    Brave just means
    Living a full life.

    I’m going to be brave.

    I am going to rewrite my 55,000 word WIP “Stranded” in Deep Point of View. This means learning everything about DPOV. It is something I feel I need to do. I will be posting what I learn about DPOV on my website.

    How’s that?

    Brave enough?
    Up to snuff?
    Or just too tough?
    This heady stuff?

    I just might muff
    If I’m not
    Brave enough.


  2. All my nightmares revolve around failing - trying to do a cartwheel and not succeeding 100 times, walking close to the edge of something and falling off no matter how far away I stay away--so yeah, that's my biggest fear: failure.

    Couple that with being a perfectionist.....

    I AM going to put my first ready book out there....soon, someday soon, maybe....

  3. Oh, my, this is just what I need to hear. I'm teetering on the edge of a project, and I'm standing on the precipice wondering if I have the skill and moxie to actually write it the way I envision it in my head.

    I think I need a coffee mug that says "Be brave,baby rabbit!"

  4. Ooooooh, I needed this!!

    Thanks for the empathetic kick-start.

    Vince, I don't think there's anything you can't grasp, and deep POV is a beautiful way to tell a story so I can't WAIT to hear your take on it. Some days I think I got it, and some days... well, we'll just say I don't.

    You guys do all the heavy lifting around here. Thanks for another great post!

  5. Thank you for the tips for being brave in your writing. I know I need to be brave and decide if I want to go back to one of my works and rewrite a huge section of my story because I don't like where the middle part was going. It's hard when you've spent so much time on it and to have to go back and change a lot of it.

    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for this Missy. I think seeing that your subplot ties in with your moral premise is good conformation that you are going about it the right way.

    A while back I re read a really old story I had started, to see if it had a moral premise, it did. It was written before I knew about moral premise, so I was happy to find it. Now I will be a brave little rabbit and finish it.

    Like my favorite lady preacher says, "sometimes you have to do it afraid."

  7. I would love to be in the drawing for your book. I have had my eye on it for a while.

  8. If you speak from your heart and with human emotion,there are going to be readers out there who deeply identify with what you've written. So even if the emotion is difficult to think about or write about, it will resonate with someone, and maybe many.

    Missy I would love to be in the drawing!

  9. Vince, that's perfect. Love the poem. I'm seeing Elmer Fudd chasin' da wabbit.

    When you're done, tell me what the heck Deep Point of View is, okay???

    I will come to your website and learn. Because I get confused by all the names, the jargon, the beats, the sequences, the GMC's vs. the Flakes...

    My head sees simple action/reaction.

    BUT... having said that, my dear friend, I do write and re-write until it sounds like something I'd want to read.

    So re-write away because my work always does better for a little veg time.

    Kind of like good wine! Or the perfect mango.

  10. Vetsch....


    Go for it. Like.... now.



    I would see what needed to be done, but I wondered if it was worth doing.

    Now I know the answer. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, LOLLLLLL!!!!!


    Go for it. Rip it apart. Pretend it's an online study class, FOR FREE....

    Great experience, chickie!!!!

  12. Mary Cline, good girl! Finding that moral premise...(one of the few things I think I understand from the HUGE WALL OF HOW-TO-WRITE BOOKS that will never be read in upstate New York) and then deepening it, layer by layer is huge.

    For most of us, our original story ideas weren't bad. They were weakly told.

    Now we're more experienced and we have this amazing connectivity online....

    Where we can chat with each other and learn.

    What a wonderful thing!!!

  13. Hi Missy this could be useful for other areas in life like job hunting. I am looking for work and am contemplating in applications offering to do some training before starting the job. although not sure how to word it. One job I am about to apply for needs experience in a program I haven't used but think I could pick up and when saying I am willing to learn the program, I am thinking of saying prepared to do extra work for free to learn the program to see if it can give me a leg up. Its a job for 20 hours a week in a field I am interested in.
    so I need to be brave baby rabbit.

  14. Wonderful Post Missy.

    And Erica, I want a cofee mug. Can you picture a bunny sitting at a computer typing away. :)

  15. Jenny, you can be brave!!! I know it, sweet thing!!!!

    And hey, if y'all are wonderin', Missy's off on a college visit today and unsure how much wifi she'll have so we're keepin' an eye on the shop and the coffee flowin' 'til she gets here!

  16. Vince, thank you for some of you great poetry to kick off my morning!! You're so right about brave leading to a full life (or full story).


    And I'm thrilled to hear you'll be studying deep pov! I'll be looking forward to what you learn. Maybe you can do a post for us here in Seekerville.

  17. Melissa, I have similar dreams!! I've always dreamed of falling off ledges or of my kids falling! And I'm also a perfectionist. So YOU TOO can do this!

    Jump in there and be brave. :)

  18. Erica, don't let fear (or the worry of inadequacy) stop you. You'll never know if you could have done it if you don't try. And I'm betting you CAN!

  19. Virginia, I'm glad it helped. That, and a little caffeine this morning. :)

  20. Cynthia, I agree. It is hard to go back and change things. Just save the first version so you won't worry about losing it. Since you're feeling like it needs to be changed, I bet you'll find that you'll like the new version better. Trust your gut!

  21. Mary Cline, I really like that quote!

    Yes, sometimes a little bit of fear can make us work really hard and do really well. :)

    I hope you go finish that book!

  22. Angela, you're right! We need to push ourselves so we can touch lives. It's so worth it!

  23. Ruthy, you're so funny! I love that you don't read how-to books.

    Or maybe I'm jealous and want to hate you just a little bit. ;)

    But, no I won't hate you, I promise. You're just too darn likable! :)

  24. Jenny, you can do it!! And a great idea to offer to learn. I hope they give you this great opportunity!!

  25. Bridgett, I love the idea of the mug, too! I think we all need one. :)

  26. Hey, the ethernet cable wouldn't work. But there is some sort of wifi! So I'm good for a little while--unless someone figures out I'm on their wifi and boots me off. :)

  27. Vince, sounds like a good read!!

    Cynthia, I understand that sentiment to a big degree. I feel like I’m juggling a lot of balls with my WIP and I’m terrified I’m going to drop them one by one. I take a break from writing, I dabble with other stories I’ve started, but my head and heart continue to go back to that one. It’s headed in the right direction, and I’m at a pretty exciting place in it, but I know I have certain paths in the story that need further developed, that need consistency, but that may have some gaps right now. Oh yeah, so-and-so can’t be talking to him. They had a huge fight only last night (or two chapters ago). That is so frustrating!

    Ruthy, you're so funny! I love that you don't read how-to books.

    Or maybe I'm jealous and want to hate you just a little bit. ;)

    Lol! I can’t say I’ve ever read a how-to book cover-to-cover, but I have certainly read at them. I think I’ve pulled out a few very useful nuggets of wisdom from them. But being able to write and write well, just because you’re infused with the gift of storytelling… ahhh, those are the musings dreams are made of.


  28. Be brave...stop tinkering and submit - even when (especially when!) you think the work sucks! Now hear me out.... If your critique partner(s) feel it's ready listen to them! Sometimes we are so close (too close) to our work and sometimes it's just plain fear.

    Hey, a good editor will see that diamond and help you polish it.

    Now that's not to say be sloppy but be BRAVE - especially if it has been a long time since you've submitted anything of substance.

    Be brave....don't take the short cut - if a story will be better fleshed out as a novel - a WF novel or Literary instead of the normal romance you write - do the work! Follow your instincts - flesh it out! (you can always cut later)

    Be brave enough to write the story YOUR way - stay true to YOUR voice.

    Be Brave!

    After nearly 3 yrs of piddling with my writing - I'm learning to let go, be brave and WRITE/Submit again.

    Be Brave - real writers don't quit - we may take a much needed hiatus - especially when life throws us a curve ball (or hand grenade) but we don't quit.

    Be Brave Seekerville Friends...good luck & God's Blessings!

    THANKS MISSY for the encouragement - WONDERFUL post!

    I'd love to be in the drawing


  29. Thanks for this post, Missy. I needed it today. Among other things, I'm feeling like I may just be getting a little convoluted. Simplify is my word for the day. Yes, be brave. Those are my words too. :)

  30. Oh goodie, I have a new mantra that I can apply in every aspect of my life! I even have a cute little bunny that I'm going to nestle up next to my computer holding the sign, Be Brave, Baby Rabbit! and I might just have to add on Vince's poem.

    Phew! I think I need to be brave about doing something with what I've written. That'll be my challenge in the coming months.

  31. Biontic bunny to the rescue.

    If a baby rabbit is willing to learn and keep trying, she can do almost anything.

    I've been busy for several days and need to get writing.

    Love the post.


  32. Thanks, Missy! I did this last night with a contest entry. Felt the fear and did it anyway.

    Today, I officially start editing last November's NaNo project and it's more than a bit scary with the changes that need making. "Be Brave Baby Bunny" is going to have to be my mantra.

    My first completed MS is a story near and dear to my heart but I'm afraid, if it's ever going to see the light of day, it's going to take a total rewrite [as in salvage a teeny bit but not much :/] and the thought makes me absolutely want to cry. But at this point in my 'career' I'm not going to worry about it too much - I'll wait until later - when I'm selling books already and then see if it's worth reworking.

    On a non-scary note - I get to chat with Debby this week :D. On a scary note, my 4yo doesn't want to go to preschool today - gotta go wrestle him ;). I'm pretty sure I've already got the book though I haven't read it yet :/. I'll double check...

  33. Be Brave Baby Rabbit and Vince's poetry.

    What a way to start the morning. smile

    Love it. And thanks Missy. This was a much needed kick in the pants. Not for a writing project but for something else. Still God works in wondrous ways.

    Have a great day.

  34. Whitney, you're probably a natural, too!

    I think I'm a natural storyteller when it comes to oral stories. My kids always tease me about embellishing because I get going and have so much fun in the telling. :)

    But for some reason, putting it on paper is different! I think because it's so much longer! LOL

  35. Pam, you had me over here shouting AMEN! Thanks for being such a great cheerleader today! I love your additions.

  36. Jeanne, I'm the queen of complicated! So I can relate. KISS--keep it simple silly is my motto! :)

  37. Definitely, Kav! You'll have to look for the book at the library. You can photocopy one of the adorable illustrations. :)

  38. Connie, yes! It's always nice to get back to the writing.

  39. Carol, I think the hardest part about getting in and doing all that editing is that it just takes a ton of energy! (which is difficult to scrounge up if you're wrestling 4 year olds!).

    But it'll be worth it! :)

  40. Sandra, whatever it is, YOU CAN DO IT! I'll be your rabbit mama. :)

  41. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed to hear and not a moment too soon. I won a critique during Speedbo and every since, when I try to work on my WIP my brain turns to mush. And the story has turned to mush!
    I need to get brave and get on with it! lol

  42. Great post Missy! Please add me to the drawing, I'd love to read your new book.

    I have a brave baby rabbit at my house. Friday evening the twins were racing on their bikes when one crashed and broke her arm. When we got home from the er the first thing she said was 'can I ride my bike?' (and no she can't for a while)She has a splint for now and gets her 'real cast' today.

    But I am proud of her 'get right back up' attitude.

  43. So inspiring, Missy! Being (or at least ACTING) brave is an absolute necessity for success in the writing business--or any other worthwhile endeavor.

    And sometimes just acting brave is enough to get you off dead center so you can step out in faith.

    Jenny, good for you putting yourself out there with the willingness to learn new skills! Praying those job opportunities turn into open doors ASAP!

  44. Donna, don't let the thought of someone else reading your work stifle you! And go ahead and get that critique. It'll seem like a big hurdle, but you'll be stronger once you do it! It won't be so difficult the next time. :)

  45. Oh, Missy, this is such a wonderful post!!! I can remember, when I was just starting The Healer's Apprentice, thinking, I must be crazy to attempt to write a book like this! Can I really write a book set in the middle ages? Can I really write a book with all these plot twists? Am I trying to be too ambitious? I was a little scared, but for some reason, I'm pretty brave when it comes to writing! Maybe not so much in other areas of my life, but I tend to go for it in my books! Of course, I get scared at some point in writing ALL my books. I think everybody does. We can't let fear stop us! Love, love, love this post, Missy!

    And I know what you mean about kids thinking their mom is dorky. I thought my 13-yr-old would think she had the coolest mom ever, since I write young adult novels that some of her friends actually like. But no. I found out recently, she doesn't consider me cool AT ALL. But she reassured me by saying that none of her friends' moms are cool either, so it's okay.

    I should have known better. LOL!

  46. Oh, no, Jamie!! I'm so sorry about the accident. But what a brave girl!

    You know, recently my daughter (who has her learner's permit) was driving us all to dinner. And she pulled out in front of someone. I mean, our lives flashed before our eyes!! LOL It was big time scary. When we came out of the restaurant, she said no way was she driving. But we made her "get back on that horse." And I'm glad we did. I think she'll be more careful now!

  47. My friend Angela came by!!! Hi, Angela!!! Waving wildly

  48. Myra, you're so right. Sometimes in life we just have to act it, and then we'll become it.

    "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (paraphrased)

    Do the action. The heart will follow.

  49. LOL, Melanie! Our kids will definitely keep us humble!!

    P.S. I'm so glad you were brave enough to write your wonderful stories!

  50. Missy, LOVE the baby-book pep talk ... a simpler, gentler version of Nike's "Just Do It!" and exactly what I needed this morning as I tackle edits from my editor on Love at Any Cost.

    RUTHY SAID TO VINCE: "When you're done, tell me what the heck Deep Point of View is, okay??? I will come to your website and learn. Because I get confused by all the names, the jargon, the beats, the sequences, the GMC's vs. the Flakes..."

    LOL ... move over, Ruthy, I'm right there with you!! Can't wait to read it, Vince, since Deep POV tends to put me in deep confusion ... :)


  51. Missy, I know that if you come up with a problem so profound that you can't figure out how to solve it, then you're on the right path.

    But I also know it's really easy to settle into cliches. Some plot choices are just sort of obvious. I try and catch myself doing the obvious and STOP IT. but it's so safe.

    I just bought a copy of Be Brave Baby Rabbit, used, for 1 cent (plus shipping of course). Maybe my grandkids can have this as a mantra now.

  52. I think fear is most writer's greatest nemesis. But we can be brave if we want to live life to the full.


    A Be Brave, Baby Rabbit coffee mug would be awesome!

  53. JAMIE! I'm sorry about your little one's arm. OUCH!
    It sounds like she's a tough little thing. Good for her.

  54. And Vince to me, Deep POV isn't necessary for an entire book. Deep POV is MOMENTS in a book. So you should just find moments to go into it but not necessarily feel like you need to rip the whole book apart doing it.

    I say this as a person who may not know what Deep POV maybe I should just shut up now! :)

  55. I'm not sure I totally understand Deep POV either, but sometimes I recognize it in a book that's really annoying. LOL!!! I've discovered that I don't want to read an entire book in Deep POV. I have to agree with Mary. There are moments that benefit from Deep POV, but an entire book in Deep POV might get ... annoying. Exhausting for the reader. But that's just my theory. As I said, I'm not sure I totally understand Deep POV.

  56. Missy,

    Now you've got me SO curious about this mysterious sub-plot. I bet it's great.

    And Julie! It wasn't until I read your first book that the light bulb went on for me, and I said "THIS IS WHAT DEEP POV IS!! I finally understand!" So don't worry - you already write that way! Still trying to perfect it in my books.

    Read your book already, Missy! Enjoyed it very much!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  57. I am here before lunch because I have been forcing myself to work on my manuscript all morning before I allowed myself to come here.

    "Dare I?" has been my question all morning!

    What a wonderful post to read after all that struggle!

    No need to put me in the drawing. Loved the book, y'all!

    Peace, Julie

  58. So true, Mary! We've got to really stick it to our characters. :)

  59. To me, deep POV is when you're totally in the character's head, as if a camera is strapped to her eyes and her thoughts form on the pages.

    I love reading it. And I think most authors use it. But sometimes authors slip into a more omniscient pov. For me, that can throw me out of the story (unless maybe it's at the end of a chapter).

  60. Julie, you're right! It's like the Nike slogan. :)

  61. Good morning, Pam! We need to have someone design us a mug and take orders. :)

    Mary, I think one way to be in deep POV is to take out phrases like: she thought, she decided, etc. And just make the character have the thought! It takes out that narrator feel.

  62. LOL, Sue, I think you're right! Mary does write that way. :)

    Thanks for reading! I'm glad you liked it. :)

  63. Julie, we were on the save wavelength all along! I'm so glad you were already being brave. :)

    Thanks for reading! And for your wonderful review.

  64. I love, love, love this.

    Long ago I went to an Anne Eames workshop in Colorado and she said, JUST WRITE THE SCENE. That has stayed with me, forever. So when I am timid I remember her words and just WRITE THE SCENE.

  65. Hi Whitney:

    When you wrote:

    “Ruthy, you're so funny! I love that you don't read how-to books.

    Or maybe I'm jealous and want to hate you just a little bit. ;)”

    …in my mind I immediately saw that old TV commercial where this gorgeous model looks right at the viewer and says:

    “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”.

    That was a very memorable commercial but I could never remember what the product was she was selling. Does any one know?

    I’m dealing with deep point of view and when I came up for air and read your comment, I thought it was the funniest thing.


  66. Oh, something just popped into my head...

    When I was having a conversation with Natasha Kern over whether to use a pseudonym or not, I told her that I had a name in mind that was just PERFECT. It was sweet and fun and made you want to pick up that book. I told her it was "MISSY TIPPENS".

    There was a long pause until she figured out I was kidding.

    I do love your name.

  67. Ruth, I think you should have a drawing and give away all those self-help books you will never read.

    All in favor, say AYE!!

  68. BE BRAVE, LITTLE BUNNY sounds like a sweet story! Thanks for sharing.

    I could so relate with the idea of being afraid in the middle of the night. Don't our fears and self-doubts always loom larger at night?

    If something I want to include in the story doesn't work no matter how hard I try to pull it off, then I have to believe it's not supposed to be included. Conversely, if a moment of inspiration seems to easily flow into the WIP then I know it was meant to be included.

    Often I'll type something that seems to have no bearing on the story. I've learned to leave it in place until the entire manuscript is completed. More times than not, that seemingly-out-of-the-blue tidbit plays a role later in the story.

  69. Here's a Deep POV moment in a scene from Deep Trouble, the last two words--SO TRUE--are, to me, Deep POV. Gabe's POV scene.
    Gabe is trying to convince Shannon to jump from a high cave where she's trapped, while tied to a rope he's holding far below. He's explaining to her why his other ideas aren't going to work and why jumping is what he thinks she should do.

    Maybe she was starving. But on the good side of that, maybe starving would help convince her to jump. "There’s one sort of long piece of ladder. If I brought it up I might be able to reach you with it if I stood straight below you. If I could get it braced against my shoulder and the wall, you could shimmy down it."
    "Shimmy? What's that?"
    "Well, it’s something my ma called it when we’d sort of wiggle around. I reckon it just means you wrap your arms and legs around the piece of wood and sorta slide down."
    "Collywobbles? Shimmy? Where exactly are you from, Gabe?"
    "I'm from Tennessee originally, we can talk about that later. If you do shimmy, you. . .uh. . .you might get splinters."
    "If my legs are wrapped around the wood those splinters might end up in. . .in. . .in. . .unfortunate places."
    "Well, honestly, Shannon, there aren't any good places to get splinters."
    "Some places are better than others if I want your help pulling them out."
    So true.

  70. How crazy is this? The Merchant's Daughter is a Christy Award finalist! LOL!!! So amazing.

  71. Winners pay for postage of course.


  73. I've been on vacation, and while I was gone a new story started simmering in my head. I've been working on the same series for 2 years, and I'm comfortable with how everything works. I know where the stores are, and I'm friends with all the folks in town.

    My next project was SUPPOSED to be in the same vein, just a different set of characters in a different place. When this new notion popped up, I have to admit it kind of startled me.

    So your advice to "be brave, baby rabbit" was perfect timing for me. Thanks, Missy!

  74. Aye...
    I'll second that aye Radcliffe.

    I am brave, very brave. Yep, that's what I said... You believe me don't you? Sometimes, my being brave is taken with tentative steps.

  75. Butting in again...

    Too deep is annoying, too much of the time.

    Some depth, now and then.

    And Vince, you're so stinkin' funny to talk to that your natural humor is what makes your pov deepen... self-deprecating humor/regular humor and moments of insight are some of the best writing tactics I know.

    Warmth, humor and a gun.


    There's some deep POV for you, honey!

  76. Whitney, Whitney, Whitney....



    Honey, those books make GREAT FIRE STARTERS for winter nights.

    Here's my easy-peasy writing lesson for the day (Missy's away right now so she can't even hardly YELL AT ME!!!)

    Write. Write. Write.


    Come to Seekerville and learn, no charge, baby!!!!

    Write, write, write.

    Check out the writing you LOVE... the kind of author you'd love to be...

    And then work yours (not copy, no, no, no) into that state of grace.

    I need food.

    Anybody else hungry. Did Missy really go off to a college campus and leave us with NO FOOD?????



    Okay, pizza. I'm feelin' carb-friendly today, so thick-crust pizza, half with pepperoni and mushrooms and half veggie with cheese, peppers, onions, shrooms and black olives...

    Now I really AM hungry.

    Do you guys think a Golden Doodle puppy would taste good grilled????

    Just thinking out loud.

  77. MISSY.

    This is SO what I needed to hear. All of it. Thank you.

    It would help if I knew what your voice sounded like though... ;D

  78. Miss Ruth.
    May the K9 Spy here.
    No. The Golden Doodle would not taste good grilled.
    However, something else would, like hot dog, chicken or steak would. You servin'?
    I'm ready to taste-test!!!

  79. Hahaha! Thanks MAY, for clearing that up. I wonder if the Golden Doodle is being prepared or if Ruthy waited for your advice.

    MELANIE!! I just saw that on facebook! SO exciting!

    And I'm bringing fresh baked garlic cheese bread (French bread with garlic and cheese baked INSIDE) and some sparkling cider to celebrate Melanie's final!

    P.S. I love that seen from 'IN TOO DEEP'. I laughed out loud because when I visited my husband's family in Mexico before we got married, they were skinning the stickers off cactus leaves and I wandered over and SAT DOWN in that spot before anyone warned me. I was too embarassed to ask anybody for help so I was trying to find tiny stickers and pull them from parts unseen. It's funny... now.

  80. Sorry, scene. Not seen. Errrr.

  81. Melanie!!! I just heard about your CHRISTY nom!!!!!

    Wow! Congratutions!!!

    How exciting!

  82. Like Julie H S, I buckled down this morning and stayed away from Seekerville and Yankee Belle and Facebook...


    ...and am just catching up. Missy, you're so right. Just get out there and give it your best. Be brave.

    After all, it's my story, isn't it? Shouldn't I go with my gut and give it my all? Throw in that plot twist, kill that character. What's the worst that can happen?

    No one will like it and I'll have to start over?

    Ha - I'll like it! What's wrong with that?

    But more likely that not someone WILL like it, because passion comes through in writing - - playing it safe is boring.


  84. YAY, Melanie!!! Whoo-hoo!!! I'm so excited!

    Did you hear me scream all the way from Georgia?


  85. I like deep POV - but it has to come and go.

    After all, when we're in our own POV (aka, living life), we aren't constantly deep in thought, are we?

    Sometimes we're concentrating on one thought or emotion, but then we get distracted and it pulls us out of that concentration - and suddenly we're aware of how other people see us.

    I think it's the same in fiction - deep POV can be sustained for just so long before something happens to make the character aware there's more going on.

    Here's an example of what I mean from my WIP. The first paragraph is not in deep POV, the second paragraph makes the transition, and then the third and fourth are deeper in Levi's POV. The final paragraph pulls us back out:

    After tucking the two boys into their bed and saying good night to each of the others, Levi steeled himself for the late night visit to check the barn. Braving the bitter cold night one more time was necessary if he was going to be able to rest peacefully tonight.

    He crossed the big front room to the kitchen door in his stocking feet, following a path of light across the dark floor. Someone had left the lamp burning in the kitchen. A waste of good lamp oil when he was scraping for cash to pay his new housekeeper.

    At the doorway, he stopped. She was in the kitchen, her back to him, wearing a white flannel nightgown. The lamp from the Dawdi Haus burned on the counter next to her, its gentle flicker mingling with the sound of her humming in the quiet room. Her golden hair trailed down her back in a thick braid as she worked with the dough trough, setting the sponge for tomorrow's bread.

    Levi’s mouth parched dry as he stared at the lustrous rope. Salome’s hair had been beautiful, brown and fine, falling down her back like silky water when she brushed it out, but that had been before her illness caused her hair to become dry and brittle. It had been a long time – too long – since he had run his hands through a woman’s hair.

    Lamplight glowed around Ruth's white gown with an ethereal light. When she reached up into the cupboard, that golden braid swung across her back, pulling a moan from him that he strangled with a cough. At the noise she turned around.

    At least, that's the way I see deep POV. Am I close to understanding the concept?

  86. Tina....



    They're virtual books. I mean they exist somewhere, right? But not in Ruthy-land. Except "Writing the Breakout Novel"...

    AND IN FULL DISCLOSURE I loved the Michael Hauge article in The Journal this past month...

    It might be an attention span thing. The article made perfect sense and was a great reminder....

    A whole book???

    Then I want to shoot someone. Not Michael.

    He seems nice.

  87. Oh My goodness. I was going to skip Seekerville today because I really have to clean my house (new girlfriend coming from 4 hours away for prom, haven't met her yet, want to make a decent impression her Mom is bringing her) but if I had I wouldn't have learned that Deep POV doesn't have to be the whole thing! Wow, "freedom' thank you. I learn slowly.
    Congrats to Melanie.
    Jan, I can't wait to read that book!

  88. Examples of Seeker Bravery

    Brave: “Winter’s End” – a hospice romance
    Ruth Logan Herne

    Beyond Brave: “The Bossy Bridegroom” – a spousal abuse romance
    Mary Connealy

    Both of the above books may be the author’s best. What do you think? These are what I consider to be 'required reading'.


  89. Missy, I would love to be entered to win this book! I've been wanting to read it because I liked the book with Faith before. I enjoy series books! I've enjoyed all the books of yours that I've read. Enjoyed your post today too!

    Enter me in the drawing!

  90. Hi Missy:

    On the subject of writing and bunny rabbits, have you seen:

    Miss Potter, with Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor? I liked it so much, I immediately went out and bought the DVD.

    Beatrix was a brave lady.


  91. I like virtual books, Ruthy, they don't take up space and don't need to be dusted.

    You can mind meld me one.

  92. LOVED your post, Missy! You've shared some great reminders that I think all writers need (at least this one does*grin*). ~ Ooohhh, am so excited about your new GEORGIA SWEETHEARTS books--CONGRATULATIONS!!! ~ I had to chuckle at your comments about how your kids sometimes view you (I can relate, LOL). I've thought about getting a plaque to display in my home that reads: Embarrassing my children: Just one more service I provide. :) Hugs, Patti Jo

  93. Great post, Missy! It couldn't be more perfect.

    I speed read all my chapters last weekend and wrote down plot beats. I found I have a whole LOT going on in there plus a couple subplots that aren't fully developed. Scared me silly, so the "Be Brave" quote is really helping right now.

    And since "Rabbit" and "Bunny" are among my many nicknames, I felt you were talking straight to me! :) Very encouraging. Thank you!

  94. Carol,
    I'm excited about our chat!!!

  95. Thanks, Vince. The Bossy Bridegroom is newly available on Kindle too. But it's DIFFERENT. so beware. A pretty serious little book.

  96. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!


  98. Very uplifting post, Missy! Any writing takes a huge amount of bravery. You're trusting that you're not wasting your time and energy on something you can't do well. Submitting takes the most bravery!

  99. I'm so sorry to have been gone so long! I've been out with my son for a college visit/tour! And now we're about to head out to pick up other son and his girlfriend to go eat. So I'll have to catch up later. I look forward to the comments!

  100. Okay, before I leave again I have to say:


  101. Bravery is so important for a writer--thank you for this post. Piper

  102. Thank you for the advice, Missy. I plan to take full advantage of the critique! I just need to quit being chicken and be...a brave rabbit!
    Please enter me in the contest.

  103. And Congratulations Melanie!!!

  104. MELANIE!!!!





  105. MELANIE, don't take Ruthy's comment personally, she knew me when I was nothing, too.

    Back atcha, Ruthy

  106. I love the title "Georgia Sweethearts"!!!

    And telling your kids to "be brave, baby rabbit" is so sweet. Your kids may hate it now, but I can see them saying it to their "little rabbits" one day :)

  107. Oh man, Missy, I had to laugh.

    --Don’t be lazy. This is so tempting if you’re tired or stressed. So put your best effort forward every time you go to the keyboard. --On the other hand, don’t be a perfectionist either...

    The tips you passed from hand to hand made me feel like a juggler, LOL!!!!

    It is a fine, tight line we walk as we write. Too much of this; not enough of that...don't write when you're tired (heck, that's the ONLY time I get to write) me the emotion...but not too much...

    Oy vay, I've got a headache!

    Great, great post, Missy darling. And listening to your lovely accent is never a chore. It's definitely a treat.

  108. Oh and I've got to tell ya, my kids would've LOVED being told - Be brave, little rabbit.

    Instead, I sang the Barney theme song to them.

  109. Melanie!!Congrats on finalling in the Christys!!! WooHoo, you go girlfriend!!

  110. Okay, I'm finally in for the night!

    Tina, that's great advice from Anne. Kind of like eating an elephant one bite at a time. :)

  111. Aw, you guys are so sweet. :-)

    Don't worry, Mary. You and Ruthy both knew me when I was nothin' but a greenhorn newbie. LOL! Now I'm amazed at how good God is to me. Truly AMAZED.

    Thanks, everybody! Y'all are sweet. :-)

  112. LOL, Virginia!! We could share my name. ;)

    Vince, I remember that commercial, but I can't remember the product either. LOL

  113. Debby, that's so right! Sometimes those things that flow into the story turn out to be little nuggets of gold.

  114. Mia, I'm glad the timing was good for you! Have fun with the new story.

  115. Tina P., I bet you're braver than you think. :)

  116. Jan, lovely writing. I want to

  117. Ruthy fed y'all today!! I'm so thankful! (Unless, of course, the dish was golden in color).

    KC, I hope we get to meet in person sometime! I'd actually love to meet May, too. :)

  118. LOL on the stickers, Virginia!! And before you were married! Even more embarrassing. LOL

  119. Jan, a great point about passion being better than playing it safe!

  120. Jan, thanks for sharing your example!
    Vince, YES! I loved, loved that movie!!

  121. Patti Jo, I love the idea of a plaque! LOL

  122. Oh, Natalie, that's just perfect with your nicknames! :) I'm glad it was helpful.

  123. Eva Maria, I hope they'll pass it along!

    Another one that drives them crazy is when I sing the words of an old favorite song the youth choir did (the group my husband and I worked with while we were dating). The words are, "Let us go in peace and serve the Lord." Every time we leave the house and I'm trying to round everyone up, I'll call (sing), "Let us go in peace!"

    Yes, I sure know how to drive them crazy. :)

  124. LOL, Audra! Yeah, it's hard to offer advice, isn't it? I'm probably showing too much of my own struggle. :)

  125. Missy -- a timely post and just the pep talk I need. Of course,I may need to re-read this post several times before I get there :-)

    Melanie -- great news! Any celebration planned?

    Nancy C

  126. Nancy, you can do it! I'm glad the timing was good. :)

  127. P.S. MELANIE!!!! Just now read your wonderful news on the ACFW Loop digest! (guess I should've read comments on HERE earlier and I would've known *sigh*). CONGRATS to you---I am SO happy for you!! Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  128. Wonderful thank you.

    I would love to read A HOUSE FULL OF HOPE.


  129. Hahaaa, I love that, Missy! I'm going to say it to my kids. lol
    Good for you for diving into that deeper emotion. I think it will make your book even stronger. :-)

  130. Love this encouragement. Thank you! :)

    I'd like to be entered in the giveaway, please!

  131. Thanks for sharing Missy.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  132. Just stopping by to say HI and thank you for the nice post, Missy. I'm late arriving, I know, and don't put me in the hat, as I have your lovely book on my TBR by the bed. Thanks for sharing with us.