Thursday, April 19, 2012

Inspiration for the Oft-rejected with Guest Jane Myers Perrine

When I visited this beautiful blog, I noticed a number of things.  First, I have many good friends and favorite writers here.  Tina, thank you for the invitation to blog with this talented group.

I also saw a good number of recipes that look delicious.   I considered adding a recipe, but mine don’t always turn out well, like the oyster stew when I misread the recipe and an inch of butter floated on top.  Or the cabbage, cinnamon apples and sausage casserole so bad we picked out the sausage to eat.    

No, everything doesn’t turn out as we’d like.  This is really a sneaky way to get into the subject of my bumpy writing career which didn’t turn out exactly as I’d like until recently.

As I’ve mentioned in several bios, my third-grade teacher said I’d be a writer but publication took longer than predicted.  I have a copy of one of my early rejection letters, date 1981.   Yes, thirty-one years ago.

What took me so long?   First, I wasn’t serious about my writing.  Then, I was writing Regencies when those lines were closing.   Finally I sold seven books and thought, “I’m on my way.”  Didn’t turn out that way.  For three years, I wasn’t on contract with any publisher. 

Do you know how depressing that is?

How did I keep going?  Perseverance.  My motto has been and still is:  If you don’t keep writing, you’ll never be published.

I kept writing but worked hard to improve.  How?  Glad you asked.  I didn’t publish during those first years because I didn’t know how to write.  Until I joined RWA in 1993, I wrote in a vacuum, making the same mistakes over and over.

First step: be ready to learn and accept, humbly, the help of others. 

I bought tapes from writing conferences and listened to them of the way to work and back.  Knowing my weaknesses, I repeated the ones I needed until I could almost recite them.

I asked others for help and listened.  Many years ago, a friend read a few chapters, then pointed at one sentence and said, “There’s your voice, Jane.”  I didn’t even know what voice was and certainly didn’t realize I had one. 

Enter contests and learn.  If you are a writer who believes your words are golden and no one has a right to change them, if you enter contests only so people will praise your amazing talent, you might never publish.  Few of us are that good and editors do expect a writer to listen to suggestions and make changes.

And, yes, this is your book and your choice—but the judge could be pointing out the reason it hasn’t sold.   As writers, we learn which suggestions or criticism to accept, but we should consider everything first.  

That’s my first suggestion:  network, share, listen, learn.

Second:  take action.

  In 1997, I realized my career was going nowhere.  I had to do something.   I began a new story, a light paranormal, and gave it a title that really stood out:    Your Love Life Stinks.   I finaled in my first contest—and many more--with that.  No one forgot the title.  I believe this was the true start of my writing career.    It never sold but I gained great confidence and people remembered me.

Third:  Don’t keep writing the same book over and over. 

You’ve probably learned everything you can after a few years on one story.  You’ve redone the action and characters so often, you may be confused about who they are.  Yes, you love them, but let them rest.  Start something new and fresh.   Once you learn more, you may be able to come back and fix the first one.  Many of us have decided that first book was a learning experience, never to be read by anyone.

You might try a different genre.   I know people tell you to stick with the same one until you publish, but I had to find my place.  I adore mysteries.  Drop a body in and fun ensues, but I don’t write them well.  I’ve tried paranormal and romantic short stories  but found my niche in novels about life in a small town.  Could be you need to try something else.

One more thought about publishing:  a lot depends on luck or karma, a blessing  or a window opening.  When I was writing a Regency, all the lines were closing but a friend told me Avalon had just opened a historical line.  I sold.   With Love Inspired, I’d finaled in several contests but the LI editors who judged never asked for a complete.  Then LI decided to become edgier and bought my novel about an ex-con.   My editor for FaithWords had been talking to a friend who said she loved humor.  My manuscript was the next one my editor picked up.   Often, publishing means being on the right desk at the right time.

But you won’t get there if you stop writing.

Jane Myers Perrine has worked as a Spanish teacher, minister, cook, rifle instructor, program director in a state hospital, and been an active volunteer but she’s always wanted to write.   Finally, she found time and has published books with  Avalon Books and Steeple Hill Love Inspired.  Her short pieces have appeared in the Houston Chronicle and Woman’s World magazine.
She’s now writing a three-book series she loves about a young minister in a small town in Butternut Creek in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.  She likes small towns, warm, friendly people and humor. 

With her minister husband George, she landed in the South after living many years in cold areas of the country.  They decided to give up changing seasons for no snow and have never regretted that choice.  They now live north of Austin where their lives are controlled by two incredibly spoiled tuxedo cats.

The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek is the first book in the Widows of Butter Creek series and releases April 2012 from FaithWords.

From his arrival, Butternut Creek Christian Church's newly-minted minister is met by a welcome committee led by Miss Birdie and her friend Mercedes, a.k.a. "the Widows." Their first order of business, to educate him on how things should be done, quickly gives way to a campaign to find him a wife.

When their matchmaking efforts fizzle, the Widows turn to another new bachelor. Amputee and Afghan vet Sam simply wants to be left alone-- a desire that's as good as a red flag to the Widows! Soon they're scheming to pair him up with Willow, his beautiful physical therapist, a divorced mother of two who is afraid of commitment, Perrine's small-town tale is a big-time triumph of gentle humor, fast-paced plot, and wonderfully engaging characters.

Jane has a copy of her release to give away to one commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition!!  Thank you, Jane!~

P.S. Jane has a beautiful website...check it out here.


  1. Congrats on your FaithWords books, Jane! Can't wait to read them. Excellent words of encouragement on perseverance in this post. Thanks for sharing your journey.


  2. I want to quit all the time. Writing is hard, and it's work! But it'd be kinda silly to have spent this much time on it to abandon it, so I'll keep writing. 31 years? Guess I gotta go until at least 2040!

  3. Melissa, I love your authenticity. I hope you never quit. Hang in there!

    Also dropping back in to say CONGRATS to all of the Friends of Seekerville who semi-finaled in Genesis. Wahoooo!


  4. I went to your site, Jane. Can I say I want that house. Writing isn't for the weak hearted that's for sure. Glad you hung in there.

    Thanks for the post

  5. Hi Jane!

    I love synchronicity so I smiled when I read your topic. I just this evening posted a blog about the poem "Don't Quit".

    I love this part -
    "Success is failure turned inside out–
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far."

    We've been hanging around together a long time (back on those old AOL boards) so I'm particularly happy to see your success.

    No need to enter me for the drawing. I already have my copy of The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek.

  6. Hi Jane:

    Your story is inspiring. I enjoy reading about success for hard work and perseverance. Your story makes me think of Jan Karon’s Mitford series. I just love those books.

    Have you read Karon and is Butternut Creek anything like Mitford? The artwork for your book is enough to make me want to read it. Good luck on your series.


    Vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  7. Jane, a rifle instructor and a fellow Texan? Welcome!
    Thank you for sharing your story and tips. Please enter me for the drawing.
    nancykimball at hotmail dot com

    And I've congratulated all the FB friends I could already, but congrats to all the Genesis semi-finalists. Since I had to enter with my real name, if anyone is wondering who the heck Nancy Diekmann is... that's me! And now you know why I live by my pseudonym in the writer world. LOL. :-p

  8. What a beautiful post, Jane! There are the stories of rejections finally ending when the writer is 'discovered'. And then there are stories like this. You were published, then uncontracted, then cast your nets (and imagination) wide!

    Just love the many ways Seekerville encourages perseverence.

    P.S. Melissa, you made me laugh! Let's see, 30 years for me, when I started writing seriously 4.5 years ago... 2038! It's even scarier when I think of how OLD that will make me...

  9. Coffee pot's on for the morning crowd.

    I read in your bio that you're from my home state of Missouri. What part?

    I really relate to your story. Thanks for sharing.


  10. Thanks for such an encouraging post Jane :)

    It's easy as an unpublished writer to assume that once you'd had seven books published you'd be churning through contracts, sometimes you forget even published authors have to go back to the drawing board too!

  11. Jane, good morning!!! Thank you so much for being our guest in Seekerville today!

    And of course, the congrats will be flying across the board for all of our friends who are Genesis finalists!!!!


    I was so stinkin' excited to see so many people I know and love on that semi-finalist list!


    Okay, Jane, sorry! I knew from your post that you'd understand our delight when our friends spread their writing wings (or tortoise shells, LOL!) and fly....

    This is a great post about perseverance and change. When we were down to SIX SEEKERS UNPUBLISHED Tina developed a plan...

    Teeeeena's the smart Seeker....

    And called it "Plan B" because plan A wasn't working and Einstein said the definition of insanity was trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...

    So we changed up. Switched genres... kept writing.... Had quiet speakers come on board to give us 'tips' on what to do better, how to get the word out...

    And we didn't quit. And now all 15 are published, so that Plan B... Shaking things up... worked.

    Huge thanks to you for re-enforcing this! Your words are delightful and true and I love the premise of your book!!!

    Laughing, just imagining it, Jane!


    Do you see how many categories have Seekervillager finalists?????

    I love that youse guys hang in there... nevah give up! So very Churchill!!!

    And Vince, the Mitford books are on my keeper shelf... Jan Karon's writing gave me hope that there would be room someday for strange ducks like me.

    I love those books. Father Tim. Cynthia!!!!

    Violet, the cat!!!!!

    Jane, I agree with Vince. Butternut Creek has hints of Mitford. Would you describe it that way?

  13. Jane I love the sound of this series. Congratulations. My first book is up for pre-ordering on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and it's exciting. But it was a change of genre, after I spent years on one book! Thanks for your ideas.

  14. Congratulations on your book, and thanks for the words of encouragement!


  15. I have your book on my list to get pronto.

    "Perseverance" seems to be the word for me this week. It is popping up everywhere, including in your wonderful post. Thank you!

    Yes, Mary Curry, you were one of those nudges.

    Congrats to all the Genesis semi-finalists! I have been keeping tabs on the names I recognize from Seekerville. Must add Nancy to the list AND KEEP COMING HERE! Proof Seekerville is good stuff.

    Peace, Julie

  16. So was Jane booked in for a pep talk on the day after Genesis semi-finalists were announced? Definitely a GOD JOB on that scheduling!

    What an adorable storyline and cover. Thank you for your wisdom today Jane!

    Congratulations to all the semi-finalists. May you all be blessed and encouraged by this regardless of what happens in the next round! You dun good!

  17. Jane, thanks so much for starting my morning out with a smile! Your path and mine are very similar, and it's encouraging to see how well your determination and change in direction have worked out for you.

    Gorgeous website!

  18. This is a very heartening post for lagger-behinders like moi! And love your website, Jane. Going to try the organe cookies for sure. And now I know why you call them the tuxedo cats! :-) Will definitely keep an eye out for your book -- I love the combination of romance and humour.

    My congrats goes out to all the semi-finalists. What fun to see so many names I 'know'!

  19. MEGA CONGRATS to the Genesis finalists and to Melanie for her Christy success! Best of luck to everyone in the finals :)

  20. CONGRATS!!!!! To all the Genesis semi-finalists! I'm quite sure I managed to miss one or two on Facebook... And not just cuz Nancy's in disguise ;).

    Jane -

    Thank you for a wonderful post! I don't know how many times I've wanted to throw in the towel but I haven't. It seems that every time I want to, God comes along and pokes at me with something [this week: great FDK from an editor after another contest and a Genesis semi - with a different MS...] Perseverance is the key to so many things. It's not always the fastest or strongest or best who wins whatever it is, but the one who DOESN'T QUIT.

    I'd love to be entered for a book :).

  21. So true, true, true!

    Thank you, thank you, Thank You for the reminder!

    Congratulations on your success!

    Good luck & God's Blessings!

  22. Congrats to my dear friends who are Genesis semi-finalists!!! :D

  23. Jane, welcome!! I'm so glad to see you here today. I'm really excited about your new series! Congrats on it, and on all the great reviews coming in!

    You made such great points about hanging in there. Persistence is huge in this business.

  24. Congrats to all the Genesis finalists!!! Woo hoo! I was so excited to see so many of our Seekerville friends!

  25. Welcome to Seekerville, Jane! Lovely to put a face with the name. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey, a bumpy road with a happy ending. Just like our novels. :-)

    Love the cover and story line of The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek. Have to read it.


  26. Congratulations Genesis Semi-finalists!! Thrilled to see familiar names on the list!!!


  27. Welcome Jane and thanks for the wonderful encouragment.

    Hills and valleys in our writing are always frustrating...well, maybe not the hills part, but the valleys are really the pits.

    You are a shining example of perserverance. You brightened my day : )

  28. I came in late last night to comment on the Debby's post and congratulated all our semi finalists friends in the Genesis.

    Felt so good, I want to do it again.


  29. Welcome Jane! I always enjoy reading about authors' journeys to publication, and how perseverance pays off. Your Butternut Creek books sound wonderful (love that cover). ~ Have to add that I was happy to read you have 2 Tuxedo cats--LOVE those! (okay, actually I love ALL cats, LOL). Thank you again for sharing with us today. Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)
    p.s. CONGRATULATIONS to all the Genesis Semi-finalists!!!

  30. Welcome Jane! I always enjoy reading about authors' journeys to publication, and how perseverance pays off. Your Butternut Creek books sound wonderful (love that cover). ~ Have to add that I was happy to read you have 2 Tuxedo cats--LOVE those! (okay, actually I love ALL cats, LOL). Thank you again for sharing with us today. Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)
    p.s. CONGRATULATIONS to all the Genesis Semi-finalists!!!

  31. Jane, what an encouraging post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your experience and what you've learned. :) So helpful for those of us coming behind you. :)

    Mary Curry--loved the stanza of your poem you shared. Great truths. :)

    CONGRATULATIONS to all the Genesis semi-finalists! It was fun to see names on the lists that I knew from here. So happy for you all. :) Keep up the great writing!

  32. Jane, what an encouraging post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your experience and what you've learned. :) So helpful for those of us coming behind you. :)

    Mary Curry--loved the stanza of your poem you shared. Great truths. :)

    CONGRATULATIONS to all the Genesis semi-finalists! It was fun to see names on the lists that I knew from here. So happy for you all. :) Keep up the great writing!

  33. JANE ... a "rifle instructor"???? No WONDER this blog is so on target, girl!!

    WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE!! Your story is VERY inspiring, and I so glad you persisted. And I agree with Vince -- your new series sounds very Mitford-ish, so here's hoping the sales follow suit!!

    SUPER CONGRATS to all the Genesis finalists, including our own Miss Incognito, Nancy!! You guys ROCK!!!


  34. Jane!! Welcome to Seekerville.

    Jane is one of the judges of my past life. Kind and encouraging!

    This new series sounds so enticing! The books alone are delicious!

  35. Welcome Jane to Seekerville from a fellow Avalon author.

    So inspiring to hear your story. We all have such different roads to publication. What we learn from that is what you said. "Don't give up." smile

    Thanks again for joining us.

  36. I didn't even see the Orange Cookies. They look wonderful!

  37. I slept in a little this morning--and look at all the comments--and so early! Thank you. I'm delighted to be here and will start answwering NOW!

  38. First, thank you for showing up so early and leaving such lovely comments. And congratulations to the Genesis finalists--I'm going to look for that list as soon as I finish this first visit.
    CHERYL: Thank you! Hope you love the books. Probably the journey made this moment sweeter--but I still wish it had been shorter.
    MELISSA: Writing IS hard! Best of luck! Everything you write, every day you write, makes you better.

  39. Thank you Jane for your great words of advice and encouragement! 1981 is the year I graduated from High School. Has it really been 31 years? I need to start writing faster.

  40. TINA--I love that house but everytime I think I'd like to live there, I realize I wuld NOT wanty to have to clean it. I'm glad I hung in, too.
    MARY--Hi! Good to see you! I think it's that not knowing if or when it will happen is the hard part. Thank you.

  41. Hi Jane, and welcome to Seekerville!

    And yes, the timing of your visit is certainly a God thing - this business of ours is an up and down journey, isn't it? Where would we be without perseverance?

    I peeked at the covers of your Butternut Creek books - if that title hadn't drawn me in already, I'd be buying those books just for the covers!

    And I do love the title of your new one, "The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek". That opens all kinds of doors! Who are these widows? And who are they welcoming? And will he appreciate being welcomed by them? I have a feeling he won't - at least, not all the time.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement to stick with this writing gig. Not that I would consider quitting - the stories are going to be told one way or another, so I might as well write them down...

    PS - Big congrats to all the Seekerville friends who are semi-finalists! Yayyyayyyayyy!!!!

  42. VINCE, I have read the Miford series and loved them. I one way Butternut Creek is like them: small town. The main difference is that Rev. Jordan is younger and more active that Father Tim. The BNC series isn't influence by Mitford but by the towns we lived in while my husband was a pastor. And I love the covers, too. They remind me a little of the map in Mitford.

  43. Nancy--I haven't been a rifle instructor for years but still know my away around one. We live in the Hill Country.
    VIRGINIA: Thank you! Once when I was discouraged and considered stopping,a fried said, "If you can quit, go ahead." I couldn't.
    HELEN: I brought my coffee, thank you! I grew up in Kansas City, MO. My husband served a church in Dixon, close to Rolla and Ft. Leonard Wood.

  44. Jane, those are wonderful tips. So many nuggets of wisdom in this post. You're right, if we stop, we'll never end up on someone's desk.
    I can't imagine having sold 7 books and then 7 years in the desert. Wow. Kudos to you for keeping at it! Thanks for the awesome post!

  45. KARA: the only differences between a puvlished and unpublished writer is that pubs know people in the industry and have actually books. Other than that, we all are pretty much in the same place when trying to sell a book. Thanks for commenting.
    RUTH--hello! Doesn't surprise me that Tina got you going. You ladies obviously know what it takes.

  46. Congrats, Jane, on your new series....sounds like my kind of books and am anxious to read them! Please count me in the drawing!

    Congrats to all the Genesis semi-finalists!!!

  47. Jane, we always like to ask our guest a few questions to poke into their lives.

    Tell us about your writing day.

    Are you a pantser or a plotter?

    What are you working on RIGHT NOW??

  48. SHIRLEY--so glad you kept with it! We all have to find what works for us. Congratulations.
    JACKIE--glad you dropped it.
    JULIE: Thank you, I hope you love Butternut Creek.
    DEBRA: hadn't been aware of Tina's ability to see the future. Glad to be here.
    MIA: Thanks for visiting my website. I started it when I sold my first book. With every publisher, it's grown. I have a great designer.
    KAY: Let me know how the orange cookies turn out. I hadn't know what a tuxedo cat was until we got our. Now I see them every place.

  49. I love the comment about writing something new. Sometimes that is the best thing for your muse. With my last WIP with two publishers after the umpteenth rewrite, I'm working on a new story. (Granted, I'm also reading books about the time period that I wrote about and finding potential historical errors I need to research. It never ends.)

  50. Great post, Jane! This is some really spot-on advice. Congrats on your three books coming out with FaithWords! And I love the name Jane ... Jane Austin, Jane Eyre, the name Jane evokes all kinds of good feelings! :-)

    Congratulations to all the Seeker friends who semi-finaled in the Genesis! I saw Carol Moncado, Pepper Basham, Melissa Jagears, Casey Herringshaw ... I know I'm leaving some out! Well, you know who you are!!! Congratulations!

  51. Melissa, back at you!
    Ruthy, thank you!!! =)
    Carol, I wasn't TRYING to be in disguise haha. I e-mailed my contest coordinator and asked her if they could use Nancy Kimball but not fast enough. It's all good though. =) So great to see so many of my crit partners and Seekerville friends there too!
    Julie, I learned and do learn SO MUCH here in Seekerville. =)I'm so thankful for the Seekers and friends of Seekerville.
    Jane, that's a beautiful part of Texas for sure. =)
    Walt, I agree. My first MS is getting better after I finished the second one last month in Speedbo. And I started the new WIP last weekend, haha.
    The Seekers say keep writing, so that's what I'm doing!

  52. I've heard that this is a really good book, would love to win it.


  53. Congratulations Nancy Diekmann-Kimball!!! I didn't know that was you!

  54. CAROL, one of my favorite quotes is from hockey player Wayne Gretzky--it's what I'm using on Facebook to bring people here. "You don't make 100% of the shots you don't take. So true about writing as well!
    PAMELA, you are very welcome!
    MISSY: Missy and I have known each other for years! She knows nearly as much about perseverence as I do--and look where she is now!
    JANET DEAN: Good to see you! Yes, it's great when there is an HEA. Hope you enjoy the books.

  55. AUDRA: Being called a "shining example" really brightens my morning. Thankyou!
    CATMOM: I too love cats. When we ipcked our two at the animal shelter, George immediately fell in love with Scooters face. He has a black Grocho Marx moustache.
    JEANNE T: I'm so delighted to be ehre! Thank you.
    JULIE: (groan about pun) Library Journal mentioned twice that "fans of the Mitford series may like this" Another site asked if I compared myself to Garrison Keillor. Oh, goodness no--but if other do, that would be fine.
    SANDRA: I loved my Avalon books. They were beautiful and my 1st book with them is one of my favorites. Just wish they had wider distribution.
    JAMIE" Thanks for your comment. It's too early to attempt math.

  56. JAN: What I love about the covers is that they show the characters. One THE WELCOME COMMTTEE, there are the head widows at the corner with a basket and the young ministger moving in. The next cover shows everyone in the courthouse lawn. When my editor said they were going to use the same artist for the 2nd, and rejoiced!
    JESSICA: Jessica was on my blog two weeks ago. So good to see you again! Having fun with your first release?
    WALT: I know what you mean about research. I stgarted writing Regencies; wrote a Western set in 1882; and now contemporaries. All take research. With The Weoclme Committee, I had to research weapons a Marine would use, rehab from amputation--never stops!

  57. Jackie S--thanks for coming by.
    WENDY! Good to see you.
    MELANIE: Thaks for the congratulations. Sadly, the name Jane also bring up thoughts of "Plain Jane"--I hate that one!

  58. did you come up with the name Butternut Creek? It's so evocatively warm (and tasty, lol!).

  59. Tina: To answer your questions:
    I like to get to my office about 8:30, write until noon, swim or walk, then dress for the day, and read or run errands or clean (but the latter only when absolutely necessary!), usually six days a week. However, the promo on this first book took over my life. I'm lucky to get an hour of writing in a day.

    I really thought I was a plotter. Then I discovered that most plotters do a LOT more pre-writing and planning than I do. My preplanning consisted of a fairly full synopsis. I cannot divide the story into chapters before I write them. If I did the hours of work a few of my friends do before I started writing, I wouldn't write. I'd be bored silly.

    Little by little, I've become more of a pantser. FaithWords bought this series based on the 1st book--not even a line about the 2nd or 3rd. I had ideas but they didnt ask, just had faith in my writing. For that reason, I've become a pantser on these 2nd and 3rd books of the series although I know who the characters are and what they will do--in my head.

    I'm trying to work on the 3rd novel, THE WEDDING PLANNERS OF BUTTERNUT CREEK--yes, there is a wedding but also a tornado. My deadline isn't until 10/1 but I've become a slower writer with these novels with multiple threads. I hope there will be a 4th novel because I have ideas for that one.

  60. NOW--about Tina. I judged contests for many years. I enoyed it. I learned from it and felt as if my comments might be helpful. A few months ago, Tina Radcliffe emailed me to thank me for being a judge and told me that I'd helped her. How nice was that! I was overjoyed that a published writer would pass that on. She then invited me to visit here and I've had a wonderful time! Thank you, Tina.
    But I also have another story that I can't tell, a secret about a very generous gift and gesture Tina made to help aspiring writers. I didn't check this out with Tina and we haven't spread it around. I'll leave this as a mysterious event--unless Tina tells me it's okay for me to mention it.

  61. Tina--this is NOT an exciting story. ButterCUP Creek is a street here in Cedar Park. I decided to use that because it sounded warm and small-townish. However, I'm dyslexic. If there's a wrong way to type something, I'll do it. One day, I started typing ButterNUT Creek instead. My agent liked it better so that's what happened.

  62. So glad you could join us in Seekerville, Jane! And how fun your book is set in the Texas Hill Country! I've visited the area often (my two brothers made their home there). The mountain cedar about did me in, however.

    Thanks for making such excellent points about perseverance and finding your own voice. Right on!!!

  63. Jane that IS a beautiful website. Is that your real house? I'm envious just that you have a PICTURE that pretty!!!
    I love the story of your perseverence.

    I also love regency and they're really hot right now, including in LIH. Consider trying them again.

  64. That is so cute, Jane, lol. Buttercup to Butternut.

  65. Tina did something nice????


    Do tell.

    I brought more coffee AND chocolate stuffed croissants with custard filling....

    Think decadence.

    And tell us the story. Pretty please.

  66. I liked your list of positives, as well as your advice to persevere. And I love the title of your latest book.

  67. Good morning everyone!

    Thank you Jane for those wise nuggets and the inspiring story!

    And thanks for all the kind words and congratulations! It sure made my day yesterday to get that call from the Genesis co-ordinator! So happy for all the other wonderful people who made the first cut!


  68. Wow, Jane! What an encouraging blog post! I know how it feels to go a few years without a publishing contract!

  69. I always do nice things. I just don't tell anyone so as to preserve my reputation.

  70. MYRA: Yes, the Hill Country is lovely but my husband gets really sick with cedar fever every year.
    MARYC: It's not my house but it's lovely, isn't it? My contract with FaithWords is an exclusive so I hope to be writing for them for a long time, but thatnks for the suggestion.
    RUTH: Sorry--I'll need approval from the boss (Tina)
    ALLISON: Thank you!
    SUSAN ANN: I love being called wise?
    CECILIA: RIght--it's not fun not being on contract. TO correct an earlier post (perhaps my error in the blog) I wasn't under contract for 3 years not 7.

  71. Thanks so much! You ladies always offer just what we need to hear! I didn't enter this year, but rejection is a commonality in the journey of writers...or any of us for that matter. You ladies are such a great encouragement to the writing community!

  72. Kitten in my photo is Maggie, litter mate to the cat with the moustache. The two are a fascinating study in genetics.

  73. Tina, sweetheart, you do a WONDERFUL job of concealing the fact that your nice!


  74. Some of us know how nice Tina is :)

    After all, who can like chocolate as much as she does and not have a nice streak a mile wide?

    And Jane, we have a Maggie-cat, too. Who thought a cat with such a feminine name would be such a hellion? We had to add "cat" onto her name in case someone might mistake her for a dog.

  75. Jane, you have permission from the boss to tell all!!! (you fit right in smarty pants hahaha)

  76. How funny, Jan. Our Maggie is the sweet one who hides from people and only sticks up for herself against her BIG brother when fish is involved.

  77. See, Teeeeena admitted to being the boss.

    Who expects the boss to be NICE????


    I'm with Connealy (mark the day and time...)

    Okay, laughing, here!!!

    Teeeeena does unsung nice things all the time, but she LIVES IN FEAR THAT PEOPLE WILL FIND OUT and then the pressure, pressure, pressure!!!

    Who needs more pressure????

    Better to have folks believe we're MEAN and then they may (or may not) get an occasional surprise.

    Perfectly sensible.

    I need some Chick Fil A. I'm so hungry...

  78. Those of us who were GH finalist in 1999 became very close. One of our members, Jeannie Gray--whom some of you know--died of cancer about ten years ago. We set up an essay contest in her memory which gives a scholarship to cover costs for one writer to enter the GH. A few years ago, I got an email from Tina asking if she could contribute to the scholarship fund. That year we were able to award 2 scholarships. I know those scholarships have helped unpubs and Jeannie would be so proud. Tina, with her generous spirit, approached us about giving and made the donation. Thank you!

  79. Yeeeehaw! Congratulations to all the Genisis semi-finalists!

    "Good for you!" to those who entered.

    And cheers for everyone who perseveres and keeps writing.

    Nancy C

  80. Jane, that is a gorgeous website ... And what a great house. I don't want to own it, but it would be a great place to visit. Can you imagine sitting on the front porch in the evening, watching lightning bugs and listening to kids playing in the yard? Excellent decision moving to Texas, by the way ;-)

    I wish your writing road hadn't been quite so bumpy and yet I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences. I'm so glad writers like you persevere. Can't wait to meet the folks in Butternut Creek.

    Nancy C

  81. Thanks for your encouraging post, Jane. I read Mary Curry's last night so am really appreciating the emphasis on persistence. I'm never tempted to stop writing because I love it, but I'm a procrastinator when it comes to querying. I can see my headstone now: "Writer and Stockpiler of manuscripts."

    Congratulations on your FaithWords books. I visited your site and I love the look of that house, too. It has such character (and probably houses a few as well).

    Congrats, too, to all the Genesis semi-finalling friends of Seekerville. That's awesome news!

  82. GenEsis. May I blame the mis-spelling on the fact I 'm using an iPad today? I mean even if the poor iPad isn't at fault, is it okay to pretend it is?

    naNcY c :-)

  83. AND, When Ruthy and Tina and I went on our road trip to Tulsa, Tina brought this stunning chocolate with sea salt. Who'd ever heard of such a thing.
    It was UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS!!! So that was nice.
    She sat in the back and she'd slide this tidy little square of salted chocolate onto the arm rest between me and Ruthy every once in a while.
    I didn't see the pattern at the time but I think she'd feed us if we got growly. Sort of like carefully shoving raw meat between the bars in the tiger cage at the zoo.

    Or, considering it was me and Ruthy, possibly more like shoving a banana between the bars in the lowland gorilla cage at the zoo.

  84. So glad perseverance worked out for you Jane! Very encouraging post! Hope your future perseverance pays off just as well :)

  85. Good to see ya here Jane, you look like you have been a very busy woman wearing many hats... Like Vince your book reminded me of "The Mitford series" which I loved. I have not read any of yours but will be looking for this series. thanks for sharing today of your long journey and your steadfastness in getting to be a published author.
    I would love to be in the drawing for your book.
    Paula O(

  86. NANCY C: I'm joining in with your cheering! Hope you enjoy the characters in Butternut Creek
    CAROL J: Time to start cutting down that pile of manuscripts! Do you realize that 100% of the proposals that are not sent to an editor are never bought?
    MARYC: One little square of chocolate between the two of you in the front seat? I think she was looking for a battle between you 2.
    EVA MARIA and PAULA: Thank you!

  87. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been going through an interesting time in my life, and had actually started to walk away. I decdied to try again, only to be plauged by doubts and fears. This is exactly what I needed to hear!

  88. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been going through an interesting time in my life, and had actually started to walk away. I decdied to try again, only to be plauged by doubts and fears. This is exactly what I needed to hear!

  89. I can attest that Tina is always nice to me. Well when I still lived in Colorado. LOL She laughs at my jokes well, writes LOL signs. Maybe it's because we have the same name. Nah. Maybe she feels sorry for me. Or maybe she is just nice in a secret way.

    Thumbs up for giving like you did, Miss R.

  90. Teacher Michelle: I'm so glad this was helpful. Best of luck, believe in yourself, and get rid of those doubts and fear--you can do it!
    TinaP: Tina R is a really nice person.

  91. I want to that you-all for commenting. I've had a wonderful day. Thanks, Tina, for the invitation. If any of you have any thoughts or questions, please leave me a message
    I love to chat. AND let me know about the orange cookies turn out.

  92. Hi,
    Another Pastor's Wife writer. (Caps out of respect) There are quite a few of us.

    Thanks for your wonderful post on patience and Puurrrserverance. (That's for the cat lovers.)

  93. Hi,
    Another Pastor's Wife writer. (Caps out of respect) There are quite a few of us.

    Thanks for your wonderful post on patience and Puurrrserverance. (That's for the cat lovers.)

  94. Thanks, Mary. We are a special group. I'm also a pastor which makes this a very holy household. : )

  95. Jane, so nice having you in Seekerville. Sorry I arrived late. Loved your post. Especially the advice not to spend too long reworking an old story, but rather to move on with something fresh. Good advice. Usually we can see improvement with the next story...and improvement is always good.

  96. Jane, I was at work on break reading your comments and just cracking up.

    You are so funny!!!

    Thank you for so generously spending the day with us. Come back ANYTIME!!!

  97. Good to see you here, Debbie. Glad the advice about starting fresh at sometime.
    TINA: Most people don't think I'm amusing when they first meet me. It takes awhile. My humor sneaks up on people. Only a very few of my students ever got it. Glad you did! And Thanks for a most delightful day.

  98. I so enjoyed your post. I always find encouragement here even when things aren't going well in my part of the world. Thank you for brigtening my day.

    I love the cover of your book The Welcome Committee of Buttenut Creek and would love to be entered to win a copy. :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  99. This looks like a fantastic book that I would love to read. It reminds me of Jan Karon's Mitford Series which I loved.
    Congrats on your work.
    Trinity Rose

    wandaelaine at gmail dot com

  100. A great post thank you.



  101. I'm a day late, but loved reading your post and your website too. Thanks for the words of encouragement.