Monday, July 16, 2012

Our Second Annual Beach Retreat!

Missy, here, coming to you with a little more tan and a lot more freckles! Our family just returned from a vacation on the beautiful Alabama coast. Spent a glorious week at the beach with my husband and three kids. Once again, I thought I'd share! Today, you can have your very own mini-writing retreat. :)

First, though, some business. I've found a wonderful app for my iPhone that's a huge help in tracking my work. It's called HoursTracker. ($3.99 in the app store.) I love this for tracking time spent on individual projects. You can easily clock in and out. You can even clock in or out later if you forgot to do it at the actual start time. You can set up multiple jobs (I have one for each manuscript, for blogging, for social media, for critiquing, for judging contests, for time spent on various offices for my RWA and ACFW chapters...)

I'd love to hear of any apps you might know of for keeping track of your work time. Please share!

Now...on to your very own beach retreat...

Good morning! Time to get up and spend some peaceful time on the balcony. A nice cup of coffee, your Bible and a deserted, quiet beach await.

Once you finish breakfast and your devotional, it's time to write! The sound of the ocean waves hitting the shore is the perfect white noise for me. I hope it speaks to you like it does to me! Here's your morning soundtrack.

And a special treat! We saw a double rainbow one morning!

So after a session of writing, the beach is filling and the kids at the pool are starting in on a game of Marco-Polo. It's difficult to concentrate now, so it's probably time to break for lunch on the balcony and a little time at the pool or beach yourself. Here's your afternoon soundtrack...

After lunch, head down for digging your toes in the sand...

...and setting up to read under your beach umbrella! Because remember how much we learn about writing from reading. :)

If you'd like to work for a while down on the beach, here's your afternoon beach soundtrack...

Once you're done, it's time to quit for the day and spend time with the family. Time for a beautiful dinner at your favorite restaurant on the bay, where you can look at all the yachts and dream about how it might feel to own one.

Then back to the condo to watch the glorious sunset...

So do you feel rested? Did you get a lot accomplished on your retreat? :) What's your favorite place to write?

Visit Missy at

Or join her on Facebook and Twitter:


  1. I hope the video links work for everyone! At first I had them listed as private. But I've changed the privacy settings so they should now work.

  2. Trying again. Just lost my whole post. :(

  3. Okay - so what I was trying to say -

    I love the videos and they worked great for me. I did something similar a few years ago when we were visiting our daughter in Maine. I videotaped the waves hitting the shore. Now when I need my ocean fix, I just play the video on endless loop.

    As for writing, I'm coming off a 15,000 word week and I'm pretty excited because that's 1/4 of the book! It will definitely need a lot of revising, but it's starting to gel.

    I'll take you up on the offer of a beach retreat today to get some more words in. Don't even need sunscreen for this retreat.

    I've been enjoying fabulous cherries this week, so I'll bring some along for snacks.

  4. Oh and one more thing - do we have internet on this retreat because at 11 they'll be announcing the CAROL finalists and I can't wait to see whose names are called!

  5. Ahhhhhhh. We have a writers retreat offered in the spring and fall near New Bern at an Episcopal retreat center in a house called The Pelican.

    The retreat property has both sound and beach sides. I am more of a sound side person.

    And you are not allowed to talk. AT ALL.

    Mary Curry, my sister and I were just remarking that the cherry crop this year has been outstanding!

    Missy, thanks again for the mini-retreat! I won't have the Monday blahs.

    Peace, Julie



    I need shade at the beach. So I'm working under the grove of trees off to the left of the picture with a Diet Snapple and thoughts of an amazing grilled fish dinner... With a medium rare steak on the side.


    Or maybe lobster if we're on a northern beach. Yeah, I'm dreamin' lobster!

    Mary Curry, Internet YES... Or I won't be there. And I'm excited to see who gets the nod, too!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! I love the upgrades they've done in the Carols, and did I tell youse that I met Carol Johnson's sister here in Rochester? I had no idea she lived here, so I stalked her and wrangled a Carol Award out of her hands...

    Okay, maybe I just DREAMT that part.

  7. sounds like you have a good time Missy. (wonder if sun and sea air would fix me up quicker) so tired of being tired (now thats an oxymoron if ever there was on!)

    I hate to say it but at almost 7pm I am almost ready for bed yet again.

  8. Hey, Missy!!! Here I am in Orlando! I walked my legs off yesterday at the Magic Kingdom. Makes your beach vacation look wonderful and relaxing! LOL! Not that I'm complaining! We had a wonderful time yesterday.

    Today I'm here for ICRS and the Christy Awards tonight. I still can hardly believe I'm here. God is good. Thank you, God!

    And thank you, Missy for the tips on keeping up with your work and getting the writing done! That's what it's all about, getting the writing done. We are writers, after all.

  9. Beautiful pictures, Missy.

    I think my favorite spot to write is in a comfortable in my library. And right now we are in a heat wave, so I don't feel a bit guilty about being inside and writing!

  10. I actually wrote some words on the way down to Orlando, and brainstormed a new series and wrote out a quick outline. Very productive!

  11. I went on a trip last week to Melissa Jagears's house. Neither of us did ANY writing while I was there. That happens when you have a year's worth of visiting to fit into three days. And when you have three adorable kids and their antics to enjoy.

    We had a blast!

    I'm back home this week, and trying to get on the ball again. That means early mornings...those are hard for me.

  12. Oh Missy, what a lovely beach retreat and I LOVE the sound tapes of the waves. Makes me think of my childhood and growing up on the beach.

    Mary, thanks for the cherries. They are yummy this year. And congrats on getting a fourth of the book finishsed.

    Melanie, how fun to be in Orlando and at the awards. Enjoy. (Sounds like you are-smile)

  13. LOL, MISSY ... RESTED??? No! Jealous??? YES!!!!

    What a GREAT time it looks like you guys had, my friend, and if I didn't love you so darn much, I'd be snarling right now. Good thing I can't show YOU a video ... ;)

    SO glad you had fun and SO glad you're back safe and sound!


  14. Oh, I'd love to the beach so bad!

    But I have 2 litters of pups and no money.

    I've only went off one time to write and that was in Beaver's Bend in OK. I rented a little cabin and then went hiking. (Can I say at night I was so nervous being myself I had to sleep on the couch instead of the bed in case a bad guy came in I wanted to have a quick get-a-way?)This was in the fall in the middle of the week so there was almost no one around.

    Honestly, it didn't work so well for me. I went hiking too much and they had this little casino up the road. I was able to plot on my story and thought a lot about it while hiking, but that was it. This was probably 4 years ago.

    If I went now, I would get more accomplished. I've learned to set the timer and make deals w/myself if I get so much written.

  15. That should've been "being by myself", not "being myself". Ha.

  16. Missy!!
    O my gosh, this is just perfect!
    I wish I was physically there. It seems like you had a great vacation, so I'll be happy about that!
    Have a Good morning everyone!

  17. Missy, love the beach sounds and soundtracks! I haven't been to the Alabama shore in over fifteen years. Sounds like you guys had a wonderful time!

    We just got back from a two week vacay driving around the mid-west and visiting parks and friends. Wonderful time. Very little re-writing accomplished. Sigh. ;) But, we had a blast. The kids loved it, and I loved watching them discover new things.

    Now, it's time to really dig in and work! A retreat sounds fabulous. I love writing with mountains or beach nearby, out of the reach of bugs. I don't get there much, but those are my ideals. I love the sound of water--either lapping over rocks or rolling up on the sand.

    MARY CURRY--way to go! I hope your progress this week is as good as last week!

    Thanks, Missy, for the writing retreat!

  18. Mary, congrats on getting your word count in on our FHL Book in a Week!!! You did a great job!!

    And thanks for the cherries. It just hit me this morning that I didn't feed y'all! Will definitely buy some this week at the grocery.

    I didn't remember that the Carol announcement is today! If any of you get a call, you have to come tell us and let us celebrate with you!

  19. Julie, how long is that retreat?? I don't know if I could go long without talking!! LOL But it sounds wonderful!

  20. Oh, and yes, Ruthy (you stalker you) and Mary, we DO have Internet! I have to go to where I can get online and check in at least a couple of times during the week or I'd go crazy.

  21. Jenny, I'm sure the sea air is just what you need (along with some more rest and time to heal). So be sure and hang out with us today. I'm sure you'll be energized!

  22. Melanie, I'm SO SO EXCITED FOR YOU!! I can't wait to hear the results of the Christy. We'll be thinking of you and cheering for you!!

    Have a great time in Orlando. When RWA was there, I had a blast. I'm dying to go back with my family sometime.

    By the way, I was watching Food Network last night (like usual, LOL), and saw a show that featured Todd English looking for a new executive chef. It reminded me of eating at his restaurant at the Swan/Dolphin hotel called Bluezoo. It was outstanding!! You have to go there if you get a chance.

  23. Missy, love your photos and the sound of the surf! I'm impressed you know how to do that! I love the beach, the water! I'm just a tad jealous. :-)

    I shouldn't be as we just got back from some time away in Branson, seeing shows and eating too much. Even got some shopping in. Very little writing. As much as I love vacations, I'm always glad to get back to routine.

    Mary C! Congrats on all those words!

    Melanie, so happy for your final in the Christy's and the fabulous time you had with your family in Disney World.


  24. Rose, the library is a great place to write!! I was once stuck on a story and went there just for a change of pace. That story (it was a short story, and was my first sale) just poured out of me there at the library!

  25. Melanie, that's great about the new series proposal! I hope you weren't driving. LOL

  26. Andrea, what a wonderful trip!!! Don't you just love having writing friends you can go visit all over the US (and world!)?

    Andrea and Melissa, we're now officially jealous!

  27. Good morning, Sandra! I can't imagine being so blessed as to grow up on the beach. What a fantastic childhood!

  28. Julie, LOL!!! I wish I could see a video of you snarling at me. :) Of course, I know you're too sweet to ever be truly threatening. But it sure would be fun to watch you try! :)

  29. Connnie, that sounds exactly like something I would do!! LOL I would end up scared to death and sleeping near the door to hear any possible sounds of the bad guys coming in. :)

    Sounds like a fun place, though! You just need to get someone to go with you next time. :)

  30. Ganise, I'm so glad you enjoyed the beach retreat!

  31. Missy, you're much more dedicated than I am! If I had sights and sounds like that around me, I'd close my laptop and not write a single word :)

  32. Jeanne, your vacation sounds wonderful!! We've always wanted to take the kids out west but never have done it. And gosh, they're nearly all grown now. We better start making those plans!

    Glad you enjoyed re-visiting the Gulf!

  33. Janet, I just took the videos on the iPhone. Then uploaded to YouTube (which took forever! About 30 minutes per video!).

    I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Branson! I've never been there. But I've heard they have great shopping! We used to have a group from one of our former churches that would take a trip there yearly for the ladies to shop.

  34. Well, Mia, I should probably admit that this year, since I had just turned in a book a couple of weeks before, I didn't do much writing! I mostly just read. :) But I wanted y'all to have a writing retreat! LOL

  35. You know, a perfect balcony or a lovely beach unbrella, the sound of sea gulls and waves rolling in, it all sounds so wonderful.
    But honestly, I can sit around a place like that for just so long and I start wanting a recliner, a laptop and air conditioning.

    I would never have survived in the cowboy era. I love conditioned air.

  36. Look at that skinny minny picture of you, Miss Georgia. Love it.

  37. Love the sound of the waves... makes me want to go back to Gulf Shores. That had to be our best family vacation ever.

    Thanks for the relaxing post Missy I'll go get some writing in now that I'm refreshed.

  38. Hi Missy,

    Loved this mini vacation! Got me primed for our own beach getaway next week to Wildwood, New Jersey!

    The sound of the ocean is magical, isn't it?

    I don't know how much writing I'll get done, but I will be doing lots of reading!!


  39. Mary (Connealy), the ocean breeze and shade takes care of the heat problem! :) When you're away from the water, though, it can be pretty miserable. I only spent one afternoon by the pool, even though it's right off the beach. Got too hot!

  40. Tina, thanks! But I think it was the angle. LOL

  41. Jamie, I'm glad you enjoyed it! We were right next to Gulf Shores. It's such a beautiful area!

  42. Sue, I agree. There's something about the sound that just lulls me and inspires me. I always see God power and majesty in the ocean.

  43. Missy is it humid at the beach or a dry heat.
    Where we use to go for church picnics was a dry heat. its about a country hour away and fairly calm. Not much in the way of shelter except what you take yourself. We tended to be in the water more than not.
    The last time I was at the beach was Hawaii and would you believe I didn't even go in for a swim. I am more a pool gal. (but we didn't have a pool at my hotel).
    Up in the middle of the night cos I am feeling a little of colour. heading back to bed now. (ps I burn at the beach even with lots of sunscreen).

  44. Jenny, it's a little humid, but the breeze really helps. Constant wind!

  45. Hey!!! I just saw the Carol finalists!! Congrats to Tina Radcliffe and our other Seekerville friends!!! I'll post the list in two posts (it's too long)

    Winners will be announced during ACFW’s annual conference gala in September in Dallas.

    Debut Novel:
    Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell, Editor)
    The Loom by Shella Gillus (Guideposts – Beth Adams, Editor)
    Give the Lady a Ride by Linda W. Yezak (Sky Sail [Port Yonder Press] – Chila Woychik, Editor)

    Long Contemporary:
    Lost Melody by Lori Copeland/Virginia Smith (Zondervan – Sue Brower, Editor)
    The Search by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)
    Larkspur Cove by Lisa Wingate (Bethany House Publishers – Sarah Long/Dave Long, Editors)

    Long Contemporary Romance:
    Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson – Jamie Chavez/Natalie Hanemann, Editors)
    Lilly’s Wedding Quilt by Kelly M. Long (Thomas Nelson – Natalie Hanemann, Editor)
    My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren (Tyndale – Karen Watson, Editor)
    Long Historical:
    Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis (Moody Publishers/River North – Deborah Keiser, Editor)
    Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell, Editor)
    Mine Is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook Press – Laura Barker, Editor)

    Long Historical Romance:
    The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen (Bethany House Publishers – Karen Schurrer, Editor)
    Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman (Multnomah Publishers – Alice Crider, Editor)
    To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer (Bethany House Publishers – Karen Schurrer, Editor)

    Falling to Pieces: A Shipshewana Amish Mystery by Vannetta Chapman (Zondervan – Sue Brower, Editor)
    Died in the Wool by Elizabeth Ludwig/Janelle Mowery (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
    Yesterday’s Secrets by Kelly Ann Riley (Guideposts – Beth Adams, Editor)

    An Accidental Christmas from A Biltmore Christmas by Diane T. Ashley/Aaron McCarver (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
    Reese: All Along from Smitten by Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell/LR Norton, Editors)
    A Star in the Night from A Log Cabin Christmas by Liz Johnson (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany, Editor)

    Romantic Suspense:
    Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble (Thomas Nelson – Ami McConnell, Editor)
    Deadly Pursuit by Irene Hannon (Revell – Jennifer Leep, Editor)
    Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany/Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)

    Short Contemporary:
    The Protector by Shelley Shepard Gray (Avon Inspire/Harper Collins – Cindy DiTiberio)
    Lakeside Reunion by Lisa Jordan (Love Inspired – Melissa Endlich, Editor)
    Oklahoma Reunion by Tina Radcliffe (Love Inspired – Melissa Endlich, Editor)

  46. Short Contemporary Suspense:
    Double Identity by Diane Burke (Love Inspired Suspense – Sarah McDaniel-Dyer, Editor)
    Nightwatch by Valerie Hansen (Love Inspired Suspense – Melissa Endlich, Editor)
    A Deadly Game by Virginia Smith (Love Inspired Suspense – Tina James, Editor)

    Short Historical (four finalists due to a tie):
    Promise of Time by S. Dionne Moore (Heartsong Presents – JoAnne Simmons, Editor)
    Revealing Fire by Connie Stevens (Heartsong Presents – Rebecca Germany, Editor)
    Light to My Path by Erica Vetsch (Heartsong Presents – JoAnne Simmons, Editor)
    The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh (Revell – Andrea Doering, Editor)

    Speculative Fiction:
    The Story in the Stars by Yvonne Anderson (Risen Books – Reagan Reed, Editor)
    The Chair by James L. Rubart (B & H Fiction – Julee Schwarzburg, Editor)
    Broken Sight by Steve Rzasa (Marcher Lord Press – Jeff Gerke, Editor)

    Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins (B & H Fiction – Karen Ball, Editor)
    Fallen Angel by Major Jeff Struecker/Alton Gansky (B & H Fiction – Julie Gwinn, Editor)
    Freedom’s Stand by Jeanette (J.M.) Windle (Tyndale – Jan Stob, Editor)

    Women’s Fiction:
    A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner (WaterBrook Press – Shannon Marchese, Editor)
    When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley (Multnomah Publishers – Jessica Barnes/Shannon Marchese, Editors)
    Dandelion Summer by Lisa Wingate (Penguin Praise/Berkley – Ellen Edwards, Editor)

    Young Adult:
    Wreath by Judy Christie (Barbour Publishing – Rebecca Germany/Jamie Chavez, Editors)
    The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (Zondervan – Jacque Alberta, Editor)
    There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones (Thomas Nelson – Natalie Hanemann/Becky Monds/Jamie Chavez, Editors)

  47. woooHooooooooo Tina! I'm so happy for you!

  48. Fun post, Missy, and thanks for making me soooo envious for some beach time!

    And WOW!!!! What a great Seekerville showing in the Carol finals!!! Congratulations to all, especially our very own TINA RADCLIFFE!!!!!

  49. Popped over to congratulate Tina and Erica and Mellie and all the other finalists!!

    Plus - great post Missy! I've been doing lots of readin... er research recently on writing historicals.

    I was supposed to be on my way back from a writing weekend with friends today but we had to cancel it :(.

    Instead my weekend was spent doing a million other things [okay, okay, including reading Over the Edge by one Mary Connealy - have y'all heard of her?] and having EIGHT kids in my house yesterday [including one who... wowzers! Thought my kids were a handful at times!] and some other stuff.

    Today... back to work...

  50. Hi Missy:

    The videos of your last year’s trip sold my wife on going there. It took a real sell. This January she booked the same condo herself! She wants to go back every year.

    Linda wants to know the name of that restaurant. We’re going she says.

    It was so funny to read that you heard Branson has great shopping! It’s the entertainment capital of the Midwest and you heard it had great shopping. Talk about priorities. : )

    So what was your word count? Last year I could hardly stop writing. In one stretch I wrote 78 pages of outline and notes of my “Stranded” book. Nothing blocks writer’s block like being where you need sun block and the beach keeps trying its best to pull you away from that laptop! There is definitely a perversity in nature where humans are concerned.

    CONNIE: We love going to Beaver’s Bend but that is one scary place at night if you are afraid of being alone in a cabin in the wilderness. You are a brave one, indeed!


  51. Congratulations, Tina, Melanie, and Erica. Yeah, yeah, yeah!! Way to go.

    I like to sit on my carport, with the breeze drifting down the hill, to write. Inside, I curl up in my recliner.

  52. Melanie, wow! Now you have two things to celebrate today. Congrats and good luck tonight!

    Congrats to all the other Seeker friends who are finalists. Erica and Dan. And anyone else I've missed. I think I see different names each time I read the list.

  53. OH, SO EXCITED FOR TEEEEEENA, MELANIE, DAN, ERICA... AND ALL THE FINALISTS! Well done and super kudos to you!

    Bless you all with great hair the night of the awards!!! Because it is, after all, all about the hair, right?

    And the shoes. ;)


  54. Hi Missy:

    I meant to ask if you are going to work that double rainbow into your next story. It’s too good not to use.


  55. Just saw the full Carols list and noticed some VERY familiar names. Congrats to all the Seekers folks who finaled--and good luck in the final round :)

  56. Thank you!! Looking forward to seeing you all in Dallas.

  57. Oh, Wow!!!

    Since our beaches are pretty much rainy and windy, this was awesome!

  58. Myra, you can easily head to Myrtle or HIlton Head now! :)

  59. Carol, I'm sorry you didn't get to make your trip. But I thought for sure you'd mention writing at Panera! :)

  60. Vince, it used to be called Bayside Grille and is now called Shipp's Harbour Grill. It has amazing food and a gorgeous view! Here's a link:

    As for word count... I didn't get much writing done since I'd just turned in a book. I did some work on my new proposal, but that was mostly in my head, daydreaming about the story. :)

    So mainly, it was just vacation time with my family! I only worked in the early morning or late at night.

  61. Helen, I love to work with my feet propped up, too! :)

  62. Hi Tina:

    Congrats and thanks for making me look good! : )

    From my September 5, 2011 Review:

    “Oklahoma Reunion" -- Winner as the Season's Most Natural “Feel Good” Romance! 5 Stars!

    A Story So Good You Can Almost Taste It!

    Oh, and Congrats to all the finalists.


  63. Oh, Ruthy, that's a great reminder!! Shoes. Dresses...

    Tina gave me an excuse to buy a new dress for conference!!


  64. Missy - had talked about it Saturday evening but ended up with a horrid headache [and Mary's book ;)] and then talked about going most of Sunday but some friends' AC was out so they came over then we watched 2 kids [who lost their mom in April :(] while their dad went to a wedding last night so that didn't happen either. Going to try to get some words in today [I still need to send you my BIAW total - a couple K last week].

    And now that lunch is over I really do need to get to work [and quit trying to figure out if my comforter in college is the same as Kelli Kapowski's on saved by the bell].

  65. I never thought about listening to the ocean while writing. What a great idea.

    Mary, you should be so excited. Way to go.

    Julie, is New Bern in NC?

    Missy, thanks for the great idea and sharing your vacation with us.

    Jackie L.

  66. Vince, I may have to try to use the double rainbow! Although there's a hilarious YouTube video where a guy is freaking out (and maybe drugged out as well) over a double rainbow. So that's all I can think of when I hear the term. I don't know if anyone could ever seriously read about one and not think of that video in the future! :) Especially after someone made a song about it. (34 million views on the original!)

    If you're looking for it, it's Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow.

    Okay, I just found the link. :)

  67. Virginia, you just need to head south! :)

  68. Jackie, after I had a beach writers retreat with my critique group a few years ago, I came home and bought a water soundtrack CD! It has the ocean and fountains and waterfalls, etc. I love it and need to go find it again!

  69. Congrats Teenster!!!!! And Friends of Seekerville!

  70. Vince,

    I don't know which was more scary, sleepy alone in the cabin or hiking in an almost deserted Beaver's Bend Park. I never saw anyone after I left the parking lot. Once I had gone several hundreds yard, I was glad not see anyone. I probably would've screamed. Then I started wondering besides deer, what kind of wild animals do they have out there? The next time I carried my stun gun w/me.

    If only I wrote suspense...

  71. Vince, you called it!

    I'm not a bit surprised, my friend!

    Laughing and happy dancing in upstate....

    And can't wait to hear about the parties in Dallas!

  72. Missy, shoes and dresses.

    "Frocks" for you Southern Belles...

    'Sall 'bout the dress, darling.

    With kickin' heels.

  73. Vince. It was my pleasure. LOL. I think it might be the other way around, pal.

  74. Congratulations everyone!

    Definitely some familiar names... So excited for each of you, and US as you share!

    Wonderful Missy.
    Thank you.

    My 2nd round of edits are coming in tonight so I'm more crazed than usual. But my favorite place to write is either on the screen porch, or where I am now, on the sofa, looking out at the mountain with a dog, or two, or three, beside me. :)

    Wonderful mini-vacation. So glad you had some super family time!

  75. Yay Tina! And congrats also to the Seeker friends named in the Carols. Terrific news all around.

    Missy, I promise I will test your beach sounds a bit later. Love the idea! This week we leave for four days visiting friends at their cabin in Taos, NM. They are turning their deck over to me and I plan on wrapping up edits so I can go to the national convention with an uncluttered mind. I've never gone off-site to write before other than to the library.

    Looking forward to seeing you and other Seekers in Anaheim. :)

  76. Thank you for posting the finalists in the Carol Award, Missy.

    Whoo-hoo, Tina! Go get it, and congrats!

    I'm seeing some familiar names also (books I've read and thought very good): GO, you wonderful authors!!

    And, man, I wish I could come to at least one ACFW conference... I would be star- struck and SOO happy!

    You Christian Fiction authors are so great!

  77. Wooohooo -- great Seekerville news re the Carols. Congrats to all!!!! It's so exciting when I see authors I 'know' in the lineup! :-)

    And Missy -- alas, my white noise is the sound of the fans blowing the hot humid air around my house. This heat is not nearly as condusive to writing as I had hoped. And my laptop keeps overheating! It shuts itself off and I'm so terrified one day it won't turn back on. Ack!

  78. Hey Kav,

    I was just complaining to my husband the other day that my laptop was way too hot on my lap.

    Did you know you can buy cooling pads to put under the laptop.

    Here's a review site I found.

  79. KC, it sounds like you have a fantastic setting to write!
    Lyndee, enjoy your getaway!! Sounds fabulous! I wish I could say I'd see you in Anaheim, but I won't be at RWA this year. I'll be in Dallas, though! To see Tina up for her Carol Award! :)

  80. Ganise, we'd love to meet you! Maybe someday...

  81. Kav and Mary, I used to have one of those cooling mats. I actually burned two of them out! But the third one lasted longer. They really do work.

    My solution...Macs don't get as hot! :) I don't have to use anything under my Macbook Pro.

  82. Your MacBook Pro doesn't get that hot???? Maybe mine does because it's older. Like, it's going to turn 5 in a couple of months. I definitely need a cooling pad.

  83. I'm so proud of those of you on the Carol Finalists list! Terrific news!!

    Thanks for the videos Missy. I bet people that live on the beach don't have high blood pressure.

  84. Hi Missy:

    Thanks for the Restaurant site. The menu was there and I now know just what I am going to order.

    I saw the two rainbows YouTube video. I’m fine with it. The man kept saying, “What’s it mean?” I think he was serious.

    There hero is on the way to see his old flame after six years of not hearing from her. He is on the way to her house when he sees the double rainbow. This for the first time in his life. Being an inspirational romance, he asks God, “What does this mean?”. When he pulls up to the heroine’s house he is greeted by two five year old boys who look just like him at that same age.
    “Oh, Lord,” he prays, “I didn’t expect an answer this soon!”

    BTW: The Loom is available as a free Kindle book -- if you act fast!

    RUTH: I may have called it but that was like calling an A-Rod homerun before it reaches the third deck!

    BBTW I just read Dan Walsh’s “Deepest Waters” and it’s fantastic. It is based on a little known but documented sea miracle that happened at the time of the story. After you read the book, Dan goes into detail about the real event. It’s like getting hit with a second HEA, totally unexpectedly. Erica, I wish you well.

    BBBTW The other night I checked the temperature in Orange Beach and it was the same as it was in Tulsa: 82 degrees. I feel there is an affinity.

    BBBTW (I’m trying to start a new convention.) Does anyone with ACFW experience know if it is possible to only pay for the Awards Dinner Night if you can’t make the whole Conference? (or if I do make the conference and my wife wants to only go to the awards ceremony). I have to go for sure now…even if it is for only two days. Also my wife wants to root for Tina.

    BBBBTW Missy: if you need new duds for the party, you could drive through Branson, shop, see a show, and I believe Carol lives on the way back to Tulsa and towards the road to Dallas.

    A ton of work just came in the mail. I’m going to be real busy for a while.


    P.S. My wife was sad when she learned that Over the Edge was by Brandilyn Collins and not by her favorite romance author.

  85. Yes, Vince. go to the ACFW conference page. It says you can do the conference parts ala carte.

  86. Congratulations to Tina and all the other Carol finalists!! So excited for you!

  87. LOVED your post, Missy (although now I'm itching to get back to our Georgia coast*sigh*). Every year my family rents a house at Jekyll Island, and I always enjoy doing some writing there. Last year it was perfect--because we had a lovely balcony with an ocean view. There's something about being near the ocean that inspires me, LOL. Thanks again for sharing today (and that photo of you at the beginning of this post is precious!). Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  88. p.s. OOOPS! Got so carried away "being" at the beach I forgot to say CONGRATS to Tina and all the other Carol Finalists!!! Here you go--enjoy this warm Peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream! ~ Hugs, PJ

  89. Missy - yes dear. Vince is quite right. I'm near Branson.

    If you do shop out this way, please do stop in.

    Or let me know so I can meet you in Ozark and you can get food thrown at you.

    Bonus points for anyone [not local] who knows what I'm talking about.

  90. CONGRATULATIONS to all the Carol finalists--and especially to those who have SEEKERVILLE connections!


  91. Oh my. Oh my. I'm a missin' my old home in California about now. The afternoon surf literally made me cry. I miss the sounds, the smells and the overall experience of being near the ocean. Thank you so very much for the videos. They blessed me today.

    Congratulations to all the Carol Finalists!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  92. Myra, it only gets warm when it's charging. So maybe it it because it's a newer model. Mine is about 1 or 2 years old.

  93. Vince, thanks on the headsup on The Loom!

    LOL on all the BTW's. :) I like the idea of a shopping expedition on the way to ACFW! :) Carol, I'm clueless about the food throwing! :)

    BBTW, Vince, I don't know about the awards banquet tickets. I'm sure you could contact the chairperson to ask. Check out the conference web page.

  94. Patti Jo, I LOVE Jekyll!! I hope you get to go soon. We had the best time there when I chaperoned my son's middle school trip. :) We did the ghost tour at night, which was so fun!

  95. Cindy, I'm so glad you enjoyed memories of the beach! We only get to go once a year, and I miss it so badly in between.

  96. Cara, it's home for you, isn't it! Cara lives near where we vacation every year! :)

  97. I was doing research for my book, Missy, and found the town where I want to live - right on the ocean.

    Now to sell the book (and many others LOL) so I can afford to live there.

  98. Great photos Missy. Looks like you had a wonderful trip. Did you get much writing accomplished?

    I'm celebrating today because I typed 'the end' to the requested manuscript. Praise God. Now for a short time off before starting to edit next week. :)

    Jodie Wolfe

  99. Congrats to all Carol finalists.

    Are any here in the runny for a Christy?

    I went to work, did a little sweep and mopping and came home after 45 mins totally exhausted but at least I did a little work dont feel totally hopeless now just totally exhausted.

  100. Thanks, Miss. I've drooled all over my keyboard.

    Gorgeous vacation, you luck bucket!! And thank you very much for including the soundtrack of mind-lulling fantasy. LOL!

    How in the world did you ever leave paradise???

  101. And Missy, the pic is gorgeous!! Look at you ready to flaunt your wonderful figure on the beach and indulge in digging your toes in the sand, pouring on the lotion and resting your tired brain between writing sessions.

    Ooops, sorry, I'm drooling again : )

  102. TINA.

    WooHoo. Congrats on finaling in the Carol!!

    Congrats to all the finalists - Carol and Genesis. So many Seeker Villagers to root for at the conference!!


  103. Wow! I just checked back here after a non-stop day (definitely NOT a retreat sort of day!), and saw all those names on the Carol's finalist list!

    Tina! Melanie! Erica! Dan! Congratulations to all of you! Looking forward to September now!

  104. Mary, I'm with you! I'm ready to make my fortune so I can buy the condo we usually rent. :)

  105. Jodie, congrats on typing The End!!! :) That's great news!

    No, I didn't get much writing done this year. I had just turned in a book so took some time off. :) I spent some time planning my next proposal, though.

  106. Jenny, I'm glad you're able to get back to work. Get some rest. It'll get easier.

    Audra, it was tough to leave! What helped was that it was pouring rain that morning. LOL

  107. Any word from Melanie on the Christy awards??

  108. Missy, checking in late because I've been working on my Seekerville blog for WED. :)

    Loved your pics. I would feel the warm sun and hear the sound of the surf. The Gulf is my favorite place to vacation. So glad you and your family had a fun time.

    Congrats to all the Carol finalists!

    YAY, TINA!!!
    YAY, ERICA!!!
    YAY, DAN!!!

  109. I have to admit. My favorite place to write is a coffee shop, but a coffee shop on the beach would be perfect.

  110. Hey, Debby! Glad you stopped by.

    Walt, that sounds great! I love working at a coffee shop as well. Maybe we need to open one on the beach and have lots of outdoor seating. :)

  111. It all looks just wonderful!! I do love the beach.

  112. Marybelle, I'm glad you stopped by!