Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Writing Life: What's It All About? with Guest Beth Vogt

Why do we do this thing called the writer’s life?

•    Why do we walk around asking “What if? What if? What if?” 

•    Why do we listen to the voices in our head instead of
medicating them into oblivion and getting a decent night’s sleep?

•    Why do we participate in an annual event dubbed NaNoWriMo and fingersprint to produce 60k words during the month of November?

•    Why do we spend hundreds – no, thousands of dollars attending conferences where we sweat through our super-strength deodorant during fifteen minute appointments with editors and agents?

•    Why do we check our inboxes dozens of times a day just to see if “the” agent or “the” editor has responded to our proposal? (Please say yes! Please say yes!)

I know the answer: It’s because (say it with me now) we want to be successful.

But then … we achieve success. Oh, happy day!

 And thus commences a whole new round of whys.

•    Why do we blog and speak at writers groups and pursue the next contract … and the next?

•    Why do we torture ourselves reading reviews, tucking the positive ones under our pillows and running the um … not positive ones through our shredders? 

•    Why do we invest hundreds – no, thousands of dollars updating our websites and printing bookmarks and redoing our professional photos?

•    Why do we tackle the social media beast – twittering and commenting and posting – when none of the words produced matter in the word count tally of our work-in-progress (WIP)? 

•    Why do we gauge our achievements by someone else’s? (The writer’s version of “The grass is always greener” syndrome.)

I know the answer to these questions too: It’s because (say it with me) we want to be successful.

Funny, isn’t it? Different questions but the same answers.

Here’s what I would like to suggest today: We’re answering the question wrong.

 With the debut of my inspirational contemporary romance, Wish You Were Here, I could pick up the (imaginary) stamp of success and hit myself in the forehead with it. But here’s the truth: Before the ink dried, something will happen to make me feel unsuccessful. Less than.  Maybe someone doesn’t like my book. (It happens.) Or maybe someone likes my writing friends’ books better. (It happens.) Or maybe I walk into the local Barnes and Nobles and my book isn’t there. (So far, that hasn’t happened.)

As I wrestled with the whole idea of success, I realized this writing journey isn’t about me achieving certain things. Yes, I would like it to be about that – earning out my advances, receiving awards, being noticed.

Hey, I’m just being honest here. Honesty isn’t always pretty.

But God isn’t in the “It’s all about you, Beth” business. Or the “It’s all about you, __________” business. (Insert your name in the blank.)

God uses all of my experiences to conform me to his image so that I can, in turn, show the world what he is like.

The world’s definition of success is all about demanding “Hey! Notice me!”

God’s definition of success is all about embracing the scriptural command to become “less than” ( Matthew 20:26) as he provides opportunities to say, “Let me introduce you to an amazing God who has changed me in a miraculous way.”

Because I am a writer, God works through my life as I walk the writing road. In his economy – Kingdom living – it’s not about my sales stats or how many stars I’ve accumulated on Amazon. Nope. It’s about how God uses all of this to scrape off my rough edges – the doubts, the jealousy – so that I look less like me and more like him. And it’s about bringing people one step closer to Jesus. I can do that through the stories I write, yes. And I can do that through my words and my actions, day in and day out, as I live the life of an author.

Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.”

Her inspirational contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted May 2012 (Howard Books.) Her second novel, Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013. Beth is an established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International. Visit with Beth at her website

Today Beth is giving away a copy of Wish You Were Here to one commenter. Winner announced in the Weekend Edition!


  1. Wonderful perspective, Beth. Thank you so much.

  2. Good morning, my beautiful friend!!!

    You are so right, but that's not surprising.

    And if you [yes you, the other youse not Beth] haven't read her book yet, you need to.

    Like now.

    Because it has llamas.

    What more do you need? ;)

  3. Welcome to SEEKERVILLE, BETH!!!

    A fellow Coloradoan!

    You post is so right on the mark.

  4. Llamas??



  5. Hello, KC, Carol (aka Beautiful!), and Tina:
    Thanks for the welcome to Seekerville!
    And, yes, there are llamas in Wish You Were Here -- 3 of 'em to be exact. And there's a story to why there are llamas ...
    Tina, my deadline for book 2 is past. It is time we meet face to face!

  6. Yeah, but my deadline isn't past lol.

  7. Oh, I love this! So, so true.

    When I told a friend that I signed a contract with Love Inspired, she said, ' Don't worry, I still respect you even though you wrote a romance.'

    Oh, I didn't know I should have been woried I was losing respect. Didn't get that memo. *sigh*

    It IS all about God and His wll for our writing life.

    Thanks for the support and reminder of what success really is.

  8. I'm laughing out loud because Grandma Eichas (a sage, sweet old German woman who loved me to pieces) always said, "Never say never. Inevitably, it will come to pass."

    I think God takes our "nevers' like I take a Tina Radcliffe dare...


    This is probably why I got into more trouble in school. Sigh...

    Beth, I love this! It's all so true. This is such a capricious business that we need to be prepared for anything and (literally) expect nothing.

    And I'm not a pessimist, but we have to Serenity Prayer ourselves through a writing career because we only control so much. The rest, well??? We leave in the hands of professionals and God.

    Oh, that God!

    Hey, muffins this morning. Blueberry streusal (and NOT the ones I ruined a few weeks ago in Yankee Belle and Facebook. Sheesh...) and chocolate chip. Coffee's here, I brought the Keurig along and a host of flavors. Creamers to your left and Oh, look!!! Lacey sent along lemon cookies for us!

    We love Lacey around our house!

  9. Ooohhhh! Beth, this was excellent! I loved this line:

    It’s about how God uses all of this to scrape off my rough edges – the doubts, the jealousy – so that I look less like me and more like him.

    Sooooo true! You are one smart gal, you know?

  10. Good morning! I love this post. God used it to speak to my heart. I am going to take today and see if I can't do things differently to present God and not myself. I had been praying about a way to handle some things at work, and here is the answer. Thank you so much for your insight!

  11. Makes one wary of using the word NEVER, doesn't it?

    A lovely reminder that I need to consider not just in writing but in all I do. Thank you Beth.

  12. Hi Beth,

    Wonderful post! It reminds me of one of my favorite daily prayers.

    "Grant me the grace to live my life in such a way that others may recognize Jesus in me."

  13. How about "why do we continue when our families wonder why we feel compelled to hunch our bodies over a computer and let our eyes grow big as we grind our fingers into typeworn keys?"

    Just asking :-)

  14. Beth, sending military wife hugs to you and a "thanks for your service" shout out to your hubby!

    Loved your post. All so true. If I wrote for my glory I would have given up long ago. :)

    Luckily God knew that so he opened the door to inspirational fiction and invited me to work with Him and for Him. Very cool how God operates when we let Him be in control. :)

    How fun to read about the "nevers" in your life. God does have a sense of humor. I think He laughs at me most of the time, saying, "Deb, lighten up. I've got your back."

  15. Mary C...lovely prayer. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Walt, you have a dream. Dreams feed the soul and give meaning to life. Keep writing! You're so close.

  17. Beth, I loved this posting...Looking forward to reading your novel.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  18. Welcome to Seekerville, Beth. Thanks for the inspiring post!! You nailed the journey we're on and the pitfalls along the way that can make us stumble. The downs of this business, probably more than the ups, polish us to shine for Him.


  19. It's time for the questions we ask all our new guests to Seekerville!

    A peek inside YOUR life.

    Beth, tell us about a day in your writing life.

    How DID you make that first sale? What was your road to publication?

    Finally, what's next?

  20. I enjoyed your post. Great way to start the day with the right prospective. It's all for Him.

  21. Llamas? I love llamas! And alpacas, but that's a whole 'nother story, LOL!

    Welcome to Seekerville, Beth! A fellow Coloradoan? I love it. There can never be too many of us : )

    I love your words of encouragement, too. Isn't it just too depressing when we focus on ourselves and realize how far short we fall of perfection?

    Glad God is always there to smack us upside of the head when we begin to wallow. Trust me, I've got the bruises to show for it : )

    Congrats on your debut! Enjoy the rush!!

  22. Oh, BETH HONEY, PREACH IT!!!! I've been singing this song for four years now and I STILL can't carry a tune. :(

    Beautifully and honestly spoken, my friend. Now I suggest each one of us do what I'm gonna do -- print this baby off and hang it up, because darlin', I ain't NEVER butted heads with anything harder in my personal walk with Christ. Downright difficult to do, at least on a constant basis, but with Him?? Totally and completely possible and doable ... uh, and forgivable when we don't.

    Thank you for this important reminder -- SO needed, and on a repeat basis!!


  23. Beth,my friend, I love this post and your honest words. :) How did you know I needed these today? I almost read them late last night, but decided to go to bed. I woke up thinking in directions my mind ought not to go.

    These words especially resonated with me: "God uses all of my experiences to conform me to his image so that I can, in turn, show the world what he is like." It goes along with my life verse. Thanks for your encouragements. :)

    And yes, I agree with Carol. You've got to pick up Beth's book--the llamas, characters, story are wonderful!

  24. So simply and beautifully said. Thank you. Can't wait to read your book.

  25. Good morning Beth and Seekerville folks, I love your post of "What if's" I think authors have to write and let out what God has given them to say. As a Reader of your books-I have been given so much by the authors, a magical world absent from my humdrum life,characters that come to life and befriend me for awhile as I read their stories. I used to think authors were so different from the average person until I have had interaction with them on the internet and see them as just like regular folks with dreams-families-bills to pay-walking through this life just like me-Thank God they are just more talanted then I. sorry getting off my soapbox now-Have a great day all....
    Paula O(

  26. Yes, less about me and more about Him. This is good advice for everything in our lives.

    Beth, can't wait to hear how you DO it all, and do it so beautifully! You sound like one extremely busy lady.

    I guess never-never land isn't all it's cracked up to be, huh?


    This bears repeating.

  28. What an encouraging and exhorting post to read before heading to work this morning. No matter what we do in life, we need to remember it's not about us but about Him. How easy it is to forget that in the busy cares of life.

    Llamas + Carol singing the book's praises = Must put this on the to-get list. (My amazon cart is getting full. :-)

  29. Good morning, everyone!
    My Wii awaits, but I had to stop by here first and visit with y'all. Such a friendly bunch of folks.
    Tina: Let me know when your deadline is past.
    Virginia: Oh. My. Word. Someone respects you even though your write romance? That gets filed under the "The Things People Say!" file. I wrote an article for a Christian newspaper & a friend said "Oh, we line our birdcage with that paper."
    Ruth: Thank you for the encouraging words & all the virtual goodies!
    Sherrinda: I hang around smart people. That helps a lot.
    Sally: May things go better for you at work today.
    Debra: "Never" is now one of my favorite words. ;)
    Mary: I am printing your prayer out right now.
    Walt: Adding your "Why" to the list.
    Debby: Thank you for the hugs. I am a hugger!
    Karen, Thank you for joining the conversation!
    Janet: I'm learning lots about walking out the journey along the writing road. Some days I do it better than others.
    Audra: I've got to find out about your thing with llamas. Let's just say with WYWH, it was either llamas ... or aliens.
    Julie: God's forgivenss and his lavish grace: that's what I hold onto!
    Jeanne: Love you friend!Can't wait to see you SOON!

  30. Loved your post, Beth!

    This line really resonated with me: "God’s definition of success is all about embracing the scriptural command to become “less than” ( Matthew 20:26) as he provides opportunities to say, “Let me introduce you to an amazing God who has changed me in a miraculous way.”

    That's what happens all through the gospels - we meet people like John the Baptist, Peter, the Centurion, the Samaritan woman at the well...and what do they do? They point to Jesus. Every single one of those people makes us see what Jesus has done in their lives.

    What a great goal for a story teller.

    I've also learned never to say never. I once said I'd never want to live in Kansas City (while driving through and seeing the endless suburbs). Six months later we moved. Guess where?

    Don't ever say God doesn't have a sense of humor.

    I'm putting your book in my Amazon cart...

  31. Beth, thank you for sharing your perspective. How many times do we forget that it's not about us, it's ALL about HIM. i love your books, and find things that i can use in my own attitude. Keep on keeping on for Him.

  32. And isn't the cover of Beth's debut, gorgeous???

    Did you get alot of input on that cover??

  33. Welcome to Seekerville Beth and thanks for the reminder of why we write. smile

    My mantra for years has been "Thy will not mine" But you would think it would stick by now. LOL

    Walt hang in there, as Debby said, "You are so close."

    Thanks again Beth, have fun today.

  34. Tina, you are right. That does bear reapeating. LOL

  35. POL: Yep, authors=regular people with both dreams & bills bills to pay.
    Pam: I am thankful God shoved me out of Never-Never Land and into his perfect will for me -- even if I went kicking and screaming at times!
    Jamie: Thank you for the welcome!
    Clari: sounds like you love Carol as much as I do!
    Jan: Ah, you've learned the "Never
    Say Never" lesson too!
    Marianne: Thank you for the encouragement today!
    A day in my writing life:
    I'd love to say it's smooth sailing, but it's more about juggling the interruptions and keeping my focus on the deadlines. Book #2 (Catch a Falling Star) is now with my editor, so I'm waiting for feedback and the next round of rewrites. (There are always rewrites.) CAFS is a stand-alone, not a sequel to WYWH, but it's set in CO too. I'm a wife and a mom, so I'm constantly balancing both ends of the seesaw: real life vs. writing life. And, yes, my house is not the cleanest on the block.
    I detoured to writing fiction thanks to a season of burnout. I said I would never, ever, ever write again (I was that exhausted) and God used the burnout to redirect me to the "Dark Side" of the writing road, i.e. writing novels.

  36. Hi Beth,

    First congratulations on your debut! I've heard nothing but glowing comments about it and so am thrilled to be in the drawing for a chance to win your book!

    Second, your words are SO timely. I've been wallowing in a big ball of confusion, doubt, "my writing's never going to be good enough", "where do I go from here" pit these last few days. Stewing in frustration and getting nothing done.

    Your words have given me a fresh perspective - I need to let go and let God. It will work out as intended.

    Thanks, Beth! And we'd love to hear about your road to publication. Gives us hope!

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  37. Great post Beth, and reminder too. Thank you.

    Jodie Wolfe

  38. Oh, my beautiful friend - promise me we'll spend at least a tiny bit more time together than we did last year at conference ;). One quick hug, while passing cookies off, just won't cut it this time :D.

    640 words on that /gasp/ historical Mellie's makin' me write - while sitting at the doc's office. Time to get some more words in :).

    Cannot wait for the next book, Beth dear, am not pleased it'll be so long :D.

  39. THE DARK SIDE???

    What were you doing before this detour?


  40. And boy does this BEG for questions.

    As a NF writer how did you transition to Fiction?

    Where did you start?

    What resources did you rely on?

    Do you have a critique group?

  41. Before fiction I was a nonfiction writer and editor (GASP!) who tossed the "never" word around all the time about fiction. Hearing voices? Take meds, please! I edited Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, among other things.
    When I first wrote fiction it was just for fun -- I only told one friend. Then I was invited to join a critique group by Donita K. Paul. What a blessing. After meeting Susan May Warren, I attended all of her My Book Therapy retreats -- and shredded my manuscript.
    WYWH was a 3-year process.
    I love the My Book Therapy writing community and I plot all my books using The Book Buddy -- and then I write a fast draft, kind of my own personal NaNoWriMo.
    I' blessed to also have Rachel Hauck as a mentor too. She and Susie challenge me to up my game with every book.

  42. Pardon my typo in my last post.
    "I'm" not "I'."
    The editor in me is cringing.
    Ya'll are such a friendly bunch!
    Sandra: I like your mantra.
    Susan: I pray God blesses the works of your hands. (Psalm 90:17)
    Jodie: Hope you were encouraged.
    Carol: You better believe there will be more than just a quick hand off of cookies this year at ACFW!
    Waving to Paula, my fellow MBT Ponderer!

  43. It appears I have been remiss.

    The coffee pot is empty.

    Apologies all around.

    It is now plugged in and brewing (Rocky Mountain Blend) and we have a fresh plate of sliced peaches from Grand Junction. With pound cake.

  44. I am officially re-filling the pot... and I've brought sweet tea for the lot o' youse!

    I'm seeing in these comments that we're a community of real folks here. And by real I mean that we do whatever Tina says....

    Or cringe, trying.

    Having said THAT.... ;)

    Let me just add that Virginia Carmichael, my new LI buddy, stupid folk abound in this world. Part of the free will loophole I guess, because I gotta tell you...


    And when that signing check comes...

    And those royalty checks....

    And you can pay for that new floor....

    It feels real good. But even more, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that I can envision folks reading a Ruthy-book for $5.


    How wonderful is that when so many books are priced out of current middle-class budgets and then go on sale for $3.99 at your local bookstore.... Tables and tables full of them at my last book signing. The $14.99 and $16.99 was X'd off and $3.99 written over it.

    Looks are deceiving and part of our job as businesswomen is to see beyond the hype and realize our worth. So you just keep on writin' them thar romances, sweetness! And tens of thousands of folks'll be readin' 'em. Guaranteed!

  45. Deb, I love your replies to all...

    You've the heart of a warrior and the smile of a gentle queen.

    Walt, she's right. We dream, we hope, but mostly we work. And we keep on, keepin' on. Hang in there....

    Moncado, I love llamas. And alpacas, too. I keep suggesting to Dave we put a couple of alpacas or sheep in the side yard, a wetlands area. Trust me, they can only improve the bog-like essence. And they won't bother my Peepers and Frogs!!! My plan is to suggest gently and then tell him how much it's going to cost for me to rent him a bush hog to whack the growth out of there...

    I may make the brush hog sound a little more expensive than the fencing for the alpacas.

    Possibly. Because I'm creative that way.

    I will keep you posted! Beth, nice job using wildlife in your book. Wildlife that spits.

    Great minds think alike!

  46. Radcliffe, I'm pretty sure that you don't take my dares because you're a chicken.

    Don't quote me on that.

    " bawk!!!"

  47. Sandra: Um... Hush.

    Hey, hey, hey, though, BIG NEWS.... did we all hear about Amazon buying Avalon and all of those sweet Avalon authors will now have their books our in e-format for Kindles????

    YAYAYAYAYAYAY, SANDRA!!!!! I think the next lunch is on you, chickie!

  48. Sandra: Um... Hush.

    Hey, hey, hey, though, BIG NEWS.... did we all hear about Amazon buying Avalon and all of those sweet Avalon authors will now have their books our in e-format for Kindles????

    YAYAYAYAYAYAY, SANDRA!!!!! I think the next lunch is on you, chickie!

  49. Beth, LOL!!!

    Novels equates Dark Side...

    Oh, that God.

    And here you are.

    Bless you!

  50. Good morning,
    Thank You Beth for this post, I have a couple extra days off work and needed some encouragement (some courage) to get on with my writing stuff.

    Seekervillians, you have said before that you pray for all of us. I am having some trouble getting my blog heading in the direction it is supposed to go. Could you please pray about that for me? You don't have to dwell on it, just a quick word or two to get me going.

    Thank you, all of you.

  51. OK, y'all:
    Here is how you get someone to take dare:
    You say, "I double-dog-dare you."
    How can a person not take that dare?
    (Are you reading this, Tina?)
    Now, to the llamas:
    Whenever I hit an "I don't know what to write next" moment, my husband Rob would always say, "Is this when the aliens show up?"
    My reply: "I don't write aliens."
    (GASP! Wait ... I never said "never.")
    Anyway ... one day we were driving through Estes Park doing research for WYWH and spotted llamas and he said,"How about llamas?"
    And I said,"Llamas sound like fun."
    So, llamas it was.
    And thank you for sweet tea and sliced peaches. Just perfect!

  52. Mary:
    My blog story, to encourage you:
    My first blog was a bust. I loved the idea, but it just never took off. So I stopped it.
    And then I waited. And prayed. And waited. I knew I "should" write a blog, but that wasn't reason enough to start another one.
    Then, during a bout of insomnia, I had an idea:
    I love quotes. People always commented on my FB page when I posted quotes. So, why not marry those two ideas?
    My blog is now "In Others' Words." I highlight a quote and share a thought about it and then ask a question to start the conversation. I keep the post short because there are so many blogs out there.
    My agent loved the idea -- and said I should have insomnia more often.
    Um, no thanks.
    Praying for you -- to discover your blog niche, not to have insomnia.

  53. Here's a theory of mine that works it's way into my books sometimes.

    God's priority is our souls. I don't think God looks down on a decent Christian going through something hard and feels bad for his child if our souls are with him. To God that is triumph.

    We pray for health and career and money and relationships and we should and God is with us, and helps us and gives us the desires of our hearts...if it helps our souls be right with him.
    I think once we start thinking of ourselves as this fiery vivid kernal of an eternal soul, and understand that God sees that and all that surrounds it is infinitely less important, it changes the way we live and the way we believe and the way we treat the world.
    My dad was a strong man of faith and he died a really slow, painful death from cancer. He was 72 and he'd lived a long life, but of course we wanted more. My mom and dad had the most congenial, loving marriage I've ever seen and when he died she was simple, truly broken hearted. It took her four years to say a single word about the future because she wasn't looking forward to a future, other than being in heaven.
    Eight brothers and sisters, spouses, grand children galore and we were all mourning.
    I think God sees that and He only knows that a soul that was committed to Him has come home and that is Victory.
    So this blog, Beth, just rings so true to me. Very encouraging and a great reminder of what is truly of value in this life.

  54. Beth, honey, if you get to a spot where you're stuck, please adopt the Mary Connealy Method of Plotting.

    (everyone say it with me)


    (it's true that this works better in westerns, I acknowledge that and yet I urge you to include gunfire when ever the plot sags, it never fails)

  55. It can be a metaphorical bullet I suppose but real flying lead is usually best.

  56. Virginia, you didnt' tell us the rest of the story, like how your 'friend' looked face down on the sidewalk with your foot on her neck.

  57. Mary, I'm 4600 into this thing and no gunshots yet.

    How many am I behind?


  58. WALT. most of us keep writing for one very simple reason.

    We can't stop.

    If we could, we would.

  59. Carol, I'm not saying you're doing it wrong or nuthin' but, if you ever get to a slow spot, definitely keep the Mary Connealy Rule in mind.

  60. Mary:
    Thank you for sharing your story with us today. It touched my heart so tenderly.

    And, yes, I am now writing the words "SHOOT SOMEBODY" on a piece of paper and posting it near my desk.
    My poor, poor family is really going to wonder.
    Except for my son. He's a writer too.
    I didn't shoot anyone in WYWH.
    But I did break someone' knee.


    And that was based on a true to life incident.
    Wait! I didn't break the person's knee ... but I was there when it happened.

  61. Beth, gasp! What are you doing here??? And lamas, Beth? They spit. And smell. (I lived for 10 years in Bolivia.) But it is indeed unusual!

  62. Mary Cline, yes, yes, and yes. If it's one thing these gals have taught me, it's that asking for prayer and praying for our goals and dreams is NOT A BAD THING.

    I'm such a dork. Hugs to you from upstate and yes, prayers too.

    I'll MAKE Mary pray. She won't like it, but she'll do it.


  63. Sweet tea and llamas.

    Now this is my kind of drama.

    Maybe a random shooting or two. Beth, that's a hoot. I can totally see that happening!

  64. Ruthy, the thing is... I LIKE romances. So, part of me was sort of offended that romance reading was not repsctable. I mean, we're not talking erotica here. I even love the hints of romance in some of the YA, where you know as the character grows up, there are going to be some SPARKS with a certain character.

    Call me a romantic.

    And I love this company Love Inspired, these editors, these sweet people... AND the other authors. So, myself aside, it felt sorta personal.

    Like someone insulting your beautiful, smarty-pants big sister because she's a girl.

  65. Mary Connealy, she's actually a dear friend so... I just put it up next to the tally marks of all the rude stuff that I've said TO HER without realizing it. :D

    We're a bunch of big mouths.

  66. Beth, I love quotes!!! I'll have to check that out.

    And can you tell us your first sale story? How did you find your editor/publisher?

    Those covers are GORGEOUS.

  67. Congratulations on your debut, Beth! I've heard nothing but good things about your book. It's on my TBR list.

  68. Great, great advice, Beth--thanks!!!

    I experienced both sides of the "success" coin just this week. I needed to look up some info about one of my books on Amazon, only to discover some "low-star" reviews had been added. Well, I followed Tina's advice and decided not to even read them, but just the knowledge that they existed was enough to gnaw at my spirit.

    Then yesterday I got the sweetest, most positive and complimentary note from the copy editor who's working on my next book to be published. Her words were such an encouragement, a reminder that, yes, I AM a good writer, and my stories do make a difference.

    And that's what we all really want, isn't it? Not so much success and recognition as the knowledge that God is using our stories to touch people's lives and hearts.

  69. Yeah for you for not reading that review. Folks give negative reviews if their order is late. For goodness that's the author's fault. But it all messes with your mind.

    And yeah for the copy editor!!! Nice words are always welcome.

    Tina Radcliffe

  70. Please ignore any and all typos from here on out. I am the world's worst typist.
    About my cover.
    That was quite the wild ride. But the art director at Howard Books ultimately went with a live model, and also bought a wedding gown (the gown is almost a secondary character in WYWH) and even a bouquet to match the one in the book. I love my cover. I love the wedding ring dangling off the title.
    First sale story: Rachelle Gardner, my agent (can you say blessed beyond measure?) sent me a cryptic "Today or tomorrow might be a very good day" email.
    Then, she called me while I was driving through Denver. There were a lot of "Did you say I got a contract?" repeats ...
    I managed to a) stay on the road and b) not get lost.
    My husband took me out to dinner that night to celebrate and then we celebrated with the whole family later that week at Rodizio's Brazilian Grill (which also shows up in WYWH! I believe in weaving real life into my novels.)

  71. I just love first sale stories. It's such a natural high...

    But right now I dragged along a plate of cookies, Beth, just for you and our friends because ya' gotta love a woman who puts llamas in a book.

    These are chocolate chip/peanut butter chip/M&M cookies, and they are to die for.

    There is no limit on cookies in Seekerville, so make yourselves comfy-cozy! Enjoy!

    Beth, it is a great cover. And I'm not surprised that you love writing non-fiction and that fiction has now caught you in its grasp.

    What are your coming projects? Anything you can share?

  72. Beth, I love this post. Hope you're saving these for YOUR book on writing. And I found a better super-strength deodorant in England (made in Japan). Ran out and paid extra to order 6 more on Ebay.

  73. I'm grinning. Llamas, shootouts, mouthy friends face planted on the floor... You all are a hoot, today!

    Thanks, Ruthy. I was getting hungry. And those cookies look Mahvelous!

  74. PS Congrats on multitudinous blog post response comments!

  75. Catch a Falling Star (May 2013) is in the hands of my editor even as I type. (Doesn't that sound ominous?)A contemporary romance, this novel asks the question:
    What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Do you hold onto to that elusive Plan A? Dust off Plan B? Or do you just settle?

    Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn’t just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your “wish I may, wish I might” dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you.

    I'm also perking on several other novel ideas ... and many readers have asked for a WYWH sequel.

  76. 'God uses all of my experiences to conform me to his image so that I can, in turn, show the world what he is like'

    FANTABULISTIC POST! A big amen from Canada to you, dear sister in the Lord because I could NOT agree more!
    Oh my goodness, this just BLESSED me- seriously! These are very precious and wise words
    Thank you!
    I am so glad that I - and You- and everyone else - stopped by!

    Blessings to you Beth,=)


  77. I love your attitude:) enter me! The description of this book sounds really good! Clp1777(at)aol(dot)com

  78. Dee: Thanks for the recommendation of that stronger deodorant. We all should stock up before the round of 15 minute appointments at ACFW, eh?
    (Do we still have plenty of cookies? Has Carol dropped off her gluten-free stash?)
    As y'all can probably tell, I like to write novels that wrestle with questions ... questions like: Can God redeem our mistakes? We say we believe that, but do we truly believe that in our own lives? That was the hidden question behind the kiss-gone-wrong in WYWH.
    With each of my stories I like to nail down the Story Question that drives the story from page 1 to "The End."
    And, yes, each one wrestles with how we think we know what's right ... and what's wrong ... or what's best ...but do we? Have we really listened to God --or have we ignored him or just accepted some preconceived idea of Truth?

  79. Hi Beth! Thanks for the perspective on the writing journey.

    BTW, I heard your radio interview with Ken and Kristen on 100.7 KGBI in Omaha, NE last week and your books sounds great! Kristen's a good friend of mine, so she told me about the interview in adavance so I'd be sure to listen!

  80. Ah, Rodizio's !!! Lucky girl and so deserving.

    Great first sale story and love the bridal gown story too!!!1

    Thanks for sharing.

    Tina Radcliffe

  81. Amazon bought Avalon?? Ruthy, point me to the info pretty please?

    Nancy C

  82. Beth - of course, there's GF cookies when you're around my friend!!!

    I didn't try any last year [was soooooooo over cookies by then ;)] but I may this year so I can compare to my nonGF ones...

  83. >> Beth said: I detoured to writing fiction thanks to a season of burnout.<<

    Wow and double wow! Same experience. I wonder how many others this has happened to.

    A lovely "re-focus" post, expressed so simply. Thank you.

    Nancy C

  84. Hi again!
    Is Amazon going to own everything soon?

    Beth I love the cover of your book! I can't tell if the bride is coming or going. And the blurb doesn't give it away either. I will have to read your book! It's on my list. Maybe the top of my list.

  85. Stephanie, glad you got to hear my radio interview. I only "heard" it when we taped it.
    And Carol, thanks for the GF cookies.
    Anybody else GF?

  86. Here's the link for the Amazon purchase of Avalon Books...

    I'm hot-wiring the link as we speak...(Ruthy climbs under driver's seat, pulls off wire casings with her teeth, reaches up, inside the console, grasps the ignition wire and:

    Amazon Sale Info Here

  87. Shazaam!

    Ruthy hot-links the Amazon Ammo!

    Film at eleven!

  88. Such multi-talented people here at Seekerville!
    Shazaam is right!

  89. Ruthy, sounds like you've hot-wired for real at least once in your lifetime....

  90. Beth, thanks so much for being here. I don't know what the weather is where you are, but in Highlands Ranch we just ended a tornado warning.

    Now just rain. I love rain.

  91. Thank you Beth! I appreciate your honesty and reminding us all of Who we need to focus on in this writing life. Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

  92. Hi Beth! I found a link to your site through the Armchair BEA blog, and was interested to read about you and your book. I would love to be entered for a chance to win a copy.



  93. Loved the interview. Would love to win.

  94. G'night all! Being here was the highlight of my day!

  95. Thank you for the reminder of what success really is. Sometimes I forget!

  96. What a great post - thanks for the reminder that we are to desire and seek God's success for our lives - not man's.

  97. all these Colorado peeps are making me homesick. i'm a Denver native transplanted to Virginia Beach... oh, to get back to the mountains, but my husband has gills (avid scuba diver, ret Navy) so returning to a land-locked state doesn't look like a possibility right now.

    love this post. looking forward to reading the book (so many books, so little time *heavy sigh*)

  98. absolutely LUV your 'success' thoughts! how true and how revelatory... ty for sharing Beth!
    enjoyed meeting you at the debut party online and getting to know you better today! bless you ~
    ty also for the giveaway generosity~ would luv to read your writing!

  99. I love this. What a great reminder to me today that it's not all about me, even on this, my birthday. :)

    Thank you for the giveaway, as well!

  100. Hi Beth,
    It is nice to see you here. I usually see you at MBT. A huge Congratulations on your new book!
    I would be thrilled to win a copy of your book!
    Please enter me in the draw.

  101. really enjoy your books and would love to win this one!


  103. Hi, Beth.

    Thanks for this wonderful and timely reminder. In all the self-promotion and social marketing we as authors are supposed to do, it can be easy to lose sight of the real reason we're in this whole writing 'business'.

    Congratulations on having your first fiction novel published - it looks intriguing!

    God bless

    Sandra Peut

  104. Why indeed!!


  105. Wonderful post Beth. I love the cover of your book Wish You Were Here! Would love to win a copy. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  106. Great post. Absolutely 100% correct! If only we would learn to perform for Heaven, not for man!