Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Secret Life of Seekers

It’s the beginning of August and I'd like nothing more than an ice tea out on the deck and a fully charged battery in my laptop. But, for anyone that’s kept up on my posts over the years, August means I’m smack in the middle of our county fair. Unfortunately (or fortunately, LOL) a full-time day job commands time away from my passion for writing. I can’t complain though, as my daughter reminds me, I get paid for playing 4-H all day. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes all year round, but all our efforts finally culminate in the shining star of our year—the County Fair.

All through June and July, contests and exhibitions are held and placement determines a member’s participation in the State Fair. And it’s not all cows and corn anymore. Technology has become a vital component of 4-H with mapping competitions where kids track around town using handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) units. The robotics entries in this year’s Fair use Legos ™ building systems and are programmed to perform simple commands. A favorite event each year is the rocket shoot which was cancelled this year due to the high fire danger across Colorado.

I help coordinate all these events. From maintaining enrollments, to distributing project information, to creating the monthly newsletter, to helping our leaders and other volunteers with issues that arise, there is never a dull moment working in the county Extension Office.
If you want to add a touch of “small-town” feeling to your books, consider bringing back a little nostalgia as a plot focal point. Need help fleshing out the county agent? The folks in the Fair office? Leaders in charge of livestock, shooting sports, mechanics? I’d be happy to help review your characters and scenarios. The county fair is tons of work, but such a blast at the same time.

Today I helped ultrasound pigs. Nothing like sharing a cold drink on a hot summer day.

I couldn't find a pig stick, so I grabbed a ring rake to help get an ornery swine back into the pen.

Oh yeah, in a prior lifetime, I was an Interior Designer specializing in healthcare and hospital space-planning. That had its high points and challenges, too, but nothing as fun as sipping dairy fresh milk shakes while watching kids be kids.

How about a peek into the lives of some of the Seekers?

Mary Connealy leads a lively life in Nebraska...

In my daily life outside writing I'm a teacher. I teach GED to adult students who've dropped out of highschool. If anyone would like help in their work in progress multiplying fractions I am your girl. I also know what a preposition is, except there are some tricky ones. In my daily life, I live with my very own cowboy hero. My Cowboy is a farmer/rancher with a herd of Angus cattle. We used to have horses but our horse these days is a Kubota, sort of a 4 wheeler ATV only with a bench seat and a back end like a pick-up truck. I think I bring a lot of authenticity to cowboys stories because of my vast cow knowledge. If anyone has cow questions, don't go to strangers, I am here for you!

We all know "multi-task" is Ruthy's middle name...

Diapers, drool, dogs and doughnuts... That pretty much sums up the other side of Ruth Logan Herne! Five days a week she welcomes small, wet-nosed creatures into her century-and-a-half old farmhouse and wipes tears, teaches sharing, wipes noses, teaches silly songs, wipes bottoms, teaches hard life lessons to naughty kids who spill pop on her laptop ($70 to earn, working in the yard) and does a crazy thing called the "Shaky Dance" when serving chocolate milk out of the jug, to make it all foamy, bubbly, delicious-beyond-words. There is no video of Ruthy doing the "Shaky Dance", but thank you for asking!

Sandra is Seekerville's resident athlete...

Sandra Leesmith has may other talents besides writing. Writing is her number one choice of activities, but she is also quite good at pickleball. In fact, she has won two gold medals and a bronze in the past year. Pickleball is a great stress release and good exercise after sitting at the computer all day. To find out more about the sport check out the United States of America Pickleball Association website. There are tutorials and videos of the rapidly growing sport. Pickleball got its name because the creator of the game's dog was named Pickle and he kept stealing the ball. link for pickleball association is

Doesn't Myra Johnson look like an equestrian???

Other life???? Is there such a thing? I can't think of anything currently, but here's something I do know a little about: A truly life-changing experience for my husband and me was volunteering at a therapeutic equestrian center for the last seven years we lived in Houston, Texas. When we first began volunteering, my working knowledge of horses was fairly limited, but during that time I started riding lessons (dressage) and eventually qualified to become a horse leader. I also helped with training and exercising the horses once a week. I'm still certainly no expert, but I have several "horsey" friends back in the Houston area who are more than willing to answer questions. The group photo was taken at our Ride-A-Thon fundraiser. As you're looking at the picture, I'm on the gray horse to the right of the lady on the ground with the red fanny pack.

Janet Dean is a "Jacqueline of all Trades"...

I was an elementary teacher years and years ago. I substitute taught for a few years, years ago. I play golf some, bridge some and rubber stamp greeting cards some. I’ve knitted scarves but not sweaters or socks—anything hard. I like to draw but haven’t in ages. I taught Sunday school for almost 20 years at the first grade level. I’m a wife, mother and grandmother, but that’s not a talent. Honestly, I know a little about a lot, but I’m not an authority on anything.

Tina knows how to squeeze 25 hours out of a 24-hour day...

Tina Radcliffe spent many years as an R.N., home health, geriatrics and finally as an oncology certified R.N. She worked as the Director of Nurses of Oral Roberts University Village Retirement Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and as a staff nurse at City of Faith Hospital and Cancer Treatment Centers of America also in Tulsa. Currently she works as an order entry tech at a large mail order pharmacy in Denver and is delighted she gets to wear pajamas to work (scrubs) and nobody calls 'code blues' where she works.

Julie Lessman lives "on the edge" in her books, and in real-life...

My "other life" includes biking with my hubby. Sure, sometimes we meander level blacktop or gravel paths that wend around lakes or rivers, but sometimes we’re zipping through mud trails or rocky paths where scrapes and bruises lurk, poison ivy or insects, or heaven forbid—snakes and yawning ravines. In some ways, biking reminds me of the writer’s journey because there are always mountains to climb, rocky paths to maneuver and dangerous ravines that can swallow you whole. The scenery is beautiful and invigorating, true, tempting you to gawk, but there’s a trick. Once I started to wobble on a narrow path over a 30-foot ravine, and Keith said, “don’t look down, Julie—keep your eye on where you want to go.” Where I want to go. Mmm … the bestseller list? The Christy Awards? Nope, the best view is the one Jesus saw when the devil tempted him with all the splendors of the world. “To worship the Lord your God and serve Him only,” He said, a lesson this Christian author learns and relearns every day of her life—to keep my eye on Him, not on myself and where I want to go.

Isn't it amazing what a talented bunch the Seekers are, thus dispelling the notion that all we do is sit around drinking quality coffee, eating scrumptious treats and dreaming up wonderous plots, settings and characters, LOL!! There's a lot of living archived among us and we want to share our experiences with you. Use us as research (does that make Seekerville tax deductable??) We're happy to answer questions and offer real-life perspective on careers and plot points that bring stories to life.

Like I mentioned, I'm running around the Fair today, but I'll try to drop in as often as I can. How about sharing your "secret life?" Share your experience and insight, and be included in a drawing for a Seeker ebook of your choice!


  1. Great to know we have such wonderful resources available. Thanks!

    I once worked for the United Way and organized their yearly parade and campaign. I have also directed band and choir. Ask me questions if you wish. :)

    Now I'm a lowly coffee maker. It'll be ready early in the morning.


  2. My secret life is full of "things I used to do". I used to homeschool my children - until my youngest graduated in May and put me out of a job. Concurrently (isn't that a great word?) I was in BSF for 10 years - as a participant, Children's Leader, Discussion Leader and the Children's Supervisor. Before that I worked part time at our local library (yes, while homeschooling).

    My secret life is full of "places I used to live". I started out in Michigan and moved for the first time at the tender age of six weeks. Here are the rest of the states in order: Ohio, Michigan (again), Kansas, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas (again), and finally (I hope) South Dakota. And no, we aren't a military family.

    And finally, my secret life is full of "things I've studied". I have a BA in English with a creative writing emphasis, I attended conferences at Cranbrook Arts Institute with authors like Paul Scott and Galway Kinnell while I was in college. While homeschooling my children, we studied in the classical style, and I learned Latin, Greek, Logic and Rhetoric - -along with all the regular History, Language Arts, Science and Math. I even remember some of those things I studied...

    But my real secret life consists of hours at my computer, discovering the stories that exist inside my head, enjoying the fantastic huge blue sky in the west, and hiking in the Black Hills whenever I can. I live with my dear husband of 30 years, our 4 grown children, a husky-mix named Wynter and Maggie-cat, the cat who thinks she's a dog.

    That's scratching the surface...I'll be looking forward to getting to know others here at Seekerville!

  3. Me? I'm an ESL teacher (got a degree and everything, so not a church program) I've had students that spoke, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, and Korean. I still teach at my community colleges every now and then.

    But I'm not the most interesting one in the family. My husband has been a bouncer, 82nd Airborne, sniper, competition swimmer, model, dancer, security guard, machinist, remodeled several houses, homeless, an honorary Assiniboine Sioux (or was he a Gros Ventre Tribe? Don't remember), shoe salesman, fly fisherman, the unit armorer (or "weapons dealer" :)), I can't remember what belt he attained in Goju-ryu, janitor, waiter, bamboo flyrod maker.

    Currently he's a knifesmith, blacksmith, airplane mechanic, general aviation pilot, archer, hunter, locksmith, chimney sweep, making longbows from scratch, and grudgingly working on our fixer-upper farm. 11 things....That's about as focused as he gets. I have to keep convincing him to not add anything more to the list....

    You can see some of his knives and blacksmithing stuff at if you're curious. I'm trying to get him to focus on this one the most!!

    He coordinates all my fictional story fights and serves as a weapon and airplane research go-to guy. I will obviously have a blacksmith/knifesmith/gunsmith in future books because my resource lives under my roof. :)

  4. Oh, wow!!

    Loved these peeks. I don't have to skulk around facebook anymore, trolling through everyone's profile pics to see what is in the background. :D

    And the comments! I just love hearing what 'real' things go on behind these little blogger pics.

    This makes me want to put 4H in my WIP. Where, oh where, can I squeeze that in???

  5. P.S. Julie, I loved your repsonse.
    Just beautiful. :)

    And prayers for the other Julie (Hilton Steele) who says her nerve block went wrong and now she's in 'intolerable pain'. She has an emergency appointment today. PLease say a prayer for her!

  6. Audra, I have helped out at our local show. I use to help with the cooking. the week before we would clean and organise the display cases. On the Friday Morning collect the entries and set them out for judging and then go with the judges to put out the entries then display them. it was a long day and then on the Saturday afternoon we would be there to help people pick up there entries. Would often help where needed. I was a helper but do know it takes alot to organise and run a country fair or show.

    On Saturday we had a woodchop and we were in a paddock with lots of cows. Needless to say I was happy they moved away when we started working.

    Not sure I have a secret life. I do volunteer at the local bookshop and I now do the church newsletter and the church library. Here we call it a Jill of all trades and I think I am a bit of that.

    At present I am really to tired to do much at all. Started a course this afternoon to relearn publisher in 2010 and left early cos i was just so tired. (i know I am doing better but I really hate being so tired.) See the Dr tomorrow so will she what she says.

  7. I like this!!!
    Believe it or not, this is actually fun... and exciting.
    I don't think we have anybody here who live boring lives, right?
    O I can't wait to see some answers...It's ALWAYS fun getting to know people.
    Audra.. Thank YOU!
    And I simply LOVE the lesson Julie gave in the end... let's just say I need that one today.


  8. What a fun post!!! Love this glimpse into the secret lives of Seekerville! I'm jealous of the 4H stuff. I'm a city girl and I first read about 4H in Trixie Belden books. Been enamored with the program ever since.

    My not so secret life is being a school librarian full time and a college librarian part-time. And a hobby gardener who learns by doing everything wrong the first time round. :-)

    Now if anyone is writing a book with a heroine who is a chambermaid, well I'm your resource person!!! Did that job for way too long back in the day and I could tell you stories that would make your hair curl. I finally graduated to house cleaner for the elderly which is a whole other challenge and then custodian of a school. One word sums that up -- ugh.

  9. Looks like we have a lot of intellectuals in here! I like that.

    Melissa.. Wow!! and amen! I've only heard about 2 people who've done so many things so far...

    Aww.. I've never been to a local show, but it sounds fun!

    Jenny... do you suffer Chronic Fatigue Syndrom? If so, Lord Jesus. I am sending TONS of prayers your way!

  10. Thanks for sharing your other lives with us.
    I get a paycheck for my job as a pharmacist in an independent retail pharmacy. I love my customers, and I hear such interesting stories.
    I have a husband and two sons from which I've learned a lot about sports. Growing up I could have cared less, now I'm pretty fluent in tennis and SEC sports and even college basketball on a national level. Ha!
    Now I have a granddaughter and am learning about girls again.
    Thanks for this fun post!
    Jackie L.

  11. Mornin' all! Glad you liked the peek into our "other" lives. Isn't it amazing how talented and diverse we all are?

    Do you suppose Barbara Cartland ever did anything beyond lounging on her settee? LOL!

    I had fun putting this post together. Couldn't have done it without help. I'm so excited to see what everyone does in their everyday lives...and past.

    I apologize up front for being MIA today. We start livestock shows and there's always drama in the barns.

    Keep me in your prayers, please : )

  12. Helen, we couldn't exist as happily without your dedication to our caffeine additions : ) You rock, girlfriend!

    The United Way is a diverse organization, too. Our county supports their campaign drives, though I'm not part of that committee - whew!

  13. Jan, I'll bet your children received a well-rounded education! Isn't it amazing how much we learn by just studying life?

    My head is spinning over all your moves. Wow. Across the country and back again. The thought of packing up a house that many times makes my head spin. I know who to come to when I need to relocate characters!

    AND, I've got scenes in a book where H/H are roadtripping from Rapid City to Casper, WY. I'll be in touch : )

  14. Melissa J! I can't even imagine having a working knowledge of so many activities, much less participating!!


    You and your husband are amazing. Great website, too. Don't you just love the creativity??

    How do you teach ESL to folks without knowing their language, too? Or are you fluent in Korean? Czech?

    Your husband is an entire library of research all by himself!

  15. Virginia, thanks for the update on Julie (HS). Will be saying prayers all day.

  16. Jenny, I love working the day all the entries come in. I'm always amazed at the wash of talent and creativity within the community.

    I hate the tears. It breaks my heart when projects don't go right or they get damaged in transit. With it being so hot here the last weeks, one girl had her cotton candy clouds melt on the cake she'd prepared for her cake decorating project. Our superintendent was prepared for all crises and helped her reshape clouds out of frosting. Tears turned into smiles and the girl's cake qualified for State Fair : )

    I love happy endings. Guess that's why I write romance : )

  17. Definitely praying for Julie.

    And this was SUCH a fun post.

    MY secret life, eh? Lessee - I help in AWANA (love it!). I was raised Jewish (not sure if you guys know that or not!) - came to Christ in my 30's. Used to teach.

    Can't think of anything else! Will later, I'm sure LOL

  18. Kav, you brave girl. I have a hard time venturing into my son's room much less cleaning it.

    Ugh is right.

    Librarians have always impressed me. They answered all my questions and directed me toward hidden treasures of information I never knew existed.

    You are my hero : )

  19. I'm living on unpubbed island, but I am a professor during the day at Mercer University (Go Bears!) and after yesterday am so proud to say my family is associated with Chick-Fil-A. My husband is Director of Operations for two Chick-Fil-A's. What a wonderful company! Eat More Chicken!

  20. Ganise, I think people keep so many of their talents under wraps. I love digging out details, LOL!

    Glad you like it, too : )

  21. Jackie, for all the activities my kids got themselves into, sports was not one of them.

    Unless you count wrestling between themselves and demo derbies in the house : )


  22. Ooops. I meant sigh, not sign.

    I'm off to work. I'll try and pop in during day to keep up on all the great lives lived here in Seekerville!

  23. Audra, what a busy woman you are and a writer too, all of you "seekers" what versital lives. some funny - some educational- some adventurous-I really enjoyed reading the behind the scenes of all.
    My life has not been so...I grew up in Ky-went to Galveston Tx for couple of years to spread my wings and then got clipped when I married and moved to Ga with him.
    Just a Mom and wife and gad about town who loves to read. thanks for sharing everyone.
    Paula O(

  24. Morning Audra, Wow what a busy bunch we Seekers are and our friends. Goodness, we have a wealth of resources available just by knowing all of you.

    Melissa, your hubby sounds tooo fun. I guess we know where to get a lot of guy stuff info. smile

    Jules, I didn't know you were a biker too. How fun is that? If you and hubby ever get out our way, my hubby knows terrific bike rides out in the desert. Oh and the mountains too when we are traveling.

  25. AUDS!!! LOVE the blog, girlfriend -- soooooo much fun to get peeks into the Seekers' lives AND those of our Seeker friends!!

    Had to laugh at you working with pigs all day ... lots of folks can say that, I'm sure, but they're not talking 4-H, I'm thinking ...

    WHOA, JAN, you're LOADED with secret things, girl, which just HAS to come in handy when writing those books!!


  26. MELISSA, HOLY COW ... hubby is a virtual library of hero attributes and activities from which to draw!!

    Thanks, VIRGINIA, for your kind comment AND for letting us know about Julie H.S. -- saying one for her RIGHT NOW!!

    JENNY, SO glad you are finally feeling well enough to get out and about, but am saying one RIGHT NOW for that nasty fatigue!!


  27. Boy, I'm the boring Seeker, but that's not all bad. LOL Love the post, Audra! Love all you do for
    4H. My mom was the leader of Chummy Chums, my 4H Club. :-)

    Praying for Julie Hilton Steele. Thanks for letting us know, Virginia.

    Jenny, hang in. You are getting stronger.


  28. Thanks, GANISE, and you are right -- it IS fun getting to know everybody a bit better ...

    KAV ... SAY IT AIN'T SO ... CHAMBERMAID??? Oh, honey, if you were cleaning up after people like me, my heart goes out to you!! But the librarian gig??? Sooooo cool. I always think of Marian the Librarian from Music Man ... ;)

    HOLY COW, JACKIE ... a pharmacist??? That's a pretty heavy-duty job, responsibility wise, so you go, girl!!


  29. JOANNE ... I would love to hear a little bit more about AWANA and what it stands for. I have a good friend for whom I am praying who is involved in an AWANA ministry.

    PROFESSOR CODONE!!! Cool profession and cool husband, my friend!! Go Chick-fila!!!

    PAULA ... bite your tongue, girl!!! "Just a Mom and wife" is not "Just" at all, but one of the busiest and most noble professions around. God bless you!!

    SANDRA, LOL ... I'm pretty sure I am NO WHERE CLOSE to the caliber of biker that you are, my friend, but if you and hubby promise to go slow, we'll be happy to join you someday, hopefully. :)


  30. Audra, I have intermediate fluency in Spanish (if you don't know Spanish and hear me speak it you'd think I'm fluent but I sound like the person who murders English but you still understand what I'm saying...most of the time. :)

    I have a working knowledge of how different languages work, and have good language aptitude--that's why some people learn languages faster or not at all, there are people whose brains are just better at it, (hence I will never be a mechanic) so if you had difficulty in your high school Spanish class while someone else breezed through, don't beat yourself up too hard, it's just harder for some than others.

    Of course, once you realize that, make sure you have some sympathy on the adult Hispanics in your town still struggling to learn the language. It always irks me when people get disgusted that the Hispanic housewife (who stays home with children) doesn't speak much English after being in the country for awhile as if moving here is magically enough....but I digress.

    I attempt to never speak in their language, especially since I often have different language speakers in the same class. (though I like to learn them in our downtime) But they can use dictionaries if I fail to get them to understand and I don't know their language enough to explain.

    I love the ones that come in with no English, I do a lot of acting and drawing :)

  31. Helen!! Yes, you are an expert coffee maker! :)

    Audra, what a fun post! I actually learned something. I didn't know Julie and Keith are bikers! Of course, at first when I read that, I thought you meant motorcycles! :)

  32. I added a pic. I cannot, simply cannot be the only one without a great pic, so I put a Daycare Nativity pic... Note the shepherd in pink boots...

    He was one year old at the time, LOL!

    And the angel might have had a little somethin'-somethin' goin' for Joseph.


  33. Okay it would not be fair to not join in...
    Here you go, y'all..
    My 'secret' is that I play in a music band. A very good music band that is. (We take a break in summer). But mostly throughout the year, we practice once every week (and sometimes even MORE than that, since it's a program that aims for excellence) and then we go to competitions (where we've won ALOT of prizes), we go camping (In the mountains, in the winter!.) And then we travel.. so fun! Everyone is open to interacting with everyone. I was considering withdrawing this year but writing about it, changed that.. *sigh* miss them already.
    I play the flute (it's those sort of harmonic bands).

  34. What an interesting post today! How fun to learn about all you Seekers and your private lives. Certainly more interesting than mine. LOL.

    Let's see, I'm a retired military man's wife. We moved 3 times in the first 2 1/2 years of marriage. We've since settled down and actually stayed in one place for 8 years.

    I've led bible studies (and stood up in front of people to teach), am currently on a worship team. I've been to the Philippines on a missions trip. Food was placed in front of us that we had no idea what it was (probably just massacred the grammar there!), and yes, I ate it.

    Yesterday, I filmed "movies" with my two boys for Apple Camp, so I guess I can add director to my list of experiences. Don't ask to see those jumpy movies. :)

    Mostly, I love being a wife and a mom and walking the writing journey.

  35. I LOVED this post! Seriously love, how creative, Audra!

    So are you an extension agent? I have a lot of respect for those people, spending 9 years in 4H myself. Great people!

    My "secret" life is working as a nurses' aide in a physician's private clinic. It takes a lot of words to say so little! I work part time, but I'm learning EVERYBODY'S job...except for the doc's. There is nothing boring about what I do two days a week!

    I definitely think I'll be calling on ladies at sometime or another. Ya'll are awesome!! :D

  36. Gee. I dream about having a secret life.

    I've spent nearly 30 years working in business analytics, information systems and finance. I was once a pastor's wife (still married to him, but he's on hiatus at the moment, although he seems to be getting "the call" again). We're raising three very active boys under the age of 18. We're big sports fans so ESPN is probably on a television somewhere in the vicinity.

    I used to be a caregiver for my mom. I used to sing in church choirs--was the director for one back in college-- and more recently, I was volunteer in the four-year-old children's church class.

    Hubby and I walk together from time to time, although it's hard because my short legs have trouble keeping up with his long ones. (I wind up jogging when he decides he needs a "serious workout.")

    I have a serious baking jones, but that's no secret. I'll be gearing up soon for this year's holiday baking season.

  37. I forgot to say I often sit in a booth at Chick-Fil-A, dreaming about my story & pecking at my keyboard. Always with a large Coke Zeo (free refills) but never on Sunday. My pleasure.

  38. Zero. Large Coke Zero. And why don't they charge less for unsweetened tea? With no sugar, shouldn't it be cheaper? Maybe I'll work that into my story somehow.

  39. Aww.. I just the picture of Ruthie's cute little kids. How fortunate are you! (LOVE little children!)

    Julie... I'm looking at your pic and I wish I could join you.. That looks pretty interesting!

    And horses? Ouh, maybe one day.. I applaud you, Myra.

    Tina, Janet (you were a teacher!) and Mary... I AM impressed!

    And congrats, Sandra!

  40. And Have fun, Audra! I wish I could join you too!

  41. Wow,y'all. Thanks for the prayers. I have definitely felt them. Was in the clinic this morning when it opened and was seen immediately. For those who didn't know, I have a central nervous system disorder they have been trying to get a handle on the past two years. Nerve blocks were supposed to help but instead gave me pain at a 12 on a 1-10 scale. I am person who had my babies without any drugs so this has been plenty discouraging, to have pain I can't handle.

    Your prayers are helping! Thanks and please keep them up. They expect this to resolve in six WEEKS.

    As far as a secret life, I have been a high school quiz bowl team member (the reason I love research), a microbiologist, a Christian educator, a pastor, a Congregational Development and church ethics consultant. I have been published in non-fiction.

    But now I get to play. After years of the heavy duty stuff, I can write for FUN.

    Most of you know my husband is Man O (Steele, get it?) and we love to travel. Since I speak French tolerably and read it better, we tend to gravitate to those countries who have a French flair. Trying to get better for Switzerland.

    Thanks for such a fun post today, Audra. I needed it. And thanks again, all especially Virginia, for praying.

    Peace, Julie

  42. My secret life is so secret I never got around to sharing it with Audra! lol

    I'm a purchasing manager for an OEM company. I quote truck loads of stainless steel (did you know that loaded flatbed 18 wheeler you met on the interstate weighed between 80-90 THOUSAND pounds if it was carrying stainless steel?), pumps, blowers, motors, relays, switches, beams, channel, copper, brass goods, insulation. And before that, the various hats I've worn at my day job included Payroll clerk, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivables, Inventory control, Invoicing, Advertising, Switchboard Operator, Receptionist, Sales Tax Returns (multiple states). That's what happens when you work for a "small" company. lol

    I live on farm, and can milk a cow, hitch up the cattle trailer, cut, rake, and bale hay in a pinch.

    I'm also the ACFW Conference Treasurer. Quickbooks, PayPal, Credit Card Merchant accounts. Stuff like that.

    More recently, I've applied my organizational skills to planning my son and his fiancee's wedding.

    What an eye opener! lol A whole industry that I know nothing about!

  43. I have secret life too. On one hand I am a highschool senior on the other hand I write. I knit inbetween times. I like to hike but other than that I am not at all athletic.

  44. Julie Steele! Oh, I WILL be praying! (And you speak french too. Très bien, madame! ) Blessings to you.

    My gosh, Pam. How about I say one for you too? :-) It all sounds fun, though...

    I'm also a student. Nice to see another one.

    And about joigning Audra...uh, let's leave out the feeding animal part, especially the pig. Thanks.

  45. Melissa....

    1) your hubby needs to grow up.

    2) If ANYBODY shares with my oldest son (a gun & knife junkie!), I will hunt you DOWN!

  46. Melissa, there was supposed to be a smiley face where I told your hubby to grow up!

    Seriously!!! :)

    Uh, no smiley face on #2 though.

  47. I hope you all know I'm saving this page so I can tap you all when I need info on your specific areas!!!

    OK, forgot my secret life.

    Uh, degrees in Linguistics (Eastern European languages) and Religious Studies (Medieval Canon Marriage Law). Worked in the University of Oregon LAw Library for four years. Went to grad school in Warsaw, Poland at the Warsaw School of Economics. realized I hate bitterly cold weather and dropped out.

    Worked as librarian at Whtiman College, then head of Umatilla County Law Library. Left with my first child. Returned to work as children's librarian and at Whitman College again. Left to write books. :)

    Not sure what wold be useful to writers, but live with a non-native speaker and we speak Spanish about 3/4 time in the house. We homeschool, but laws or different state to state, so not always good for research.

    I'm trying to come up with something really interesting. I DID spend some time in a large (Missionary Sisters of San Jose) Dominican religious community (before I decided to marry my husband) so if anybody wants to know what nuns do everyday I could probably help. :)

    It was a great time, hugely fun group of women. Almost as much fun as six kids and a crazy hubby.

  48. Ganise, I want to be boring. Please sign me up.

    With the wedding coming up, unexpected major surgery on another family member next week, ACFW, and the ever present deadlines a writer faces, I really would like to have so little to do that I am boring aka bored.

    I don't remember being bored my entire LIFE.

  49. My secret life? Hmm. Kinda boring! I work as a financial analyst during the day. Evening time, I'm a wife and mother. Great blog post, BTW!

  50. Loved the peek into some of the Seeker's "other lives"! Wow--you all are a talented group. ~ Hmmm...I guess my expertise would be cats and teaching kindergarten/first grade. *smile*. Blessings, Patti Jo

  51. Audra, I'm sorry I never got info to you for this blog. Sandra and I kept talking about it while we were at the RWA Conference. Sandra acted...I didn't. Shame on me!

    Loved reading about the secret lives of Seekervillagers!!!

    Jackie, I love my local pharmacists! They're my go-to folks on drug issues relating to my books. I think they get a kick out of my questions. Didn't know I could email you when I need drug info. Ah, may I contact you sometime?

    Joanne, thanks for sharing about your Jewish background. I recently gave a talk to seniors in a continuing ed program held in a Jewish Synagogue in Atlanta. The podium was in a front of the area where the Torah scrolls were kept, which was very moving for me as I see my Christian faith as a fulfillment of the Jewish tradition.

    Julie Steele, sending lots of prayers for your pain to ease and for your condition to improve.

    Virginia, you went to grad school in Warsaw? So interesting!!! Also fascinated with your degree in Medieval Canon Marriage Law. Now how could I work that into a story?

    Susan, we love Chick-Fil-A in Atlanta. The head office is in my neck of the woods, and Dan Cathy lives in my county. I have always admired Truett Cathy for closing his restaurants on Sunday! He's an inspriation to many. I had a grilled chicken sandwich yesterday with my Diet Coke. :)

  52. Hey, Audra!!! I was in 4-H once upon a time. My mother still calls or writes the county extension agent when she needs advice about growing things.

    My secret life involves being a mom to two daughters and going to Beth Moore Bible studies. But I was once a missionary to Ukraine for a year, and was a special ed. teacher for three and a half years, before my first daughter was born. I also know all about growing up in the country in the Deep South. I feel like I've had several previous lives.

    And Audra, watch where you step out there!!! :-)

  53. MELISSA--completely forgot to mention how amazing your husband's life has been! I'm sure things are rarely dull at home! :) Between the two of you, your kiddos are guaranteed to live an exciting life. :)

  54. Ganise 5 weeks ago I ended up in hospital due to blood loss. I had 4 transfusions and surgery I am slowly getting back to normal. (what ever that is). I still tire but I think the olympics have a little to do with it as I wake earlier than I want to. I do know I need to pace myself.
    Today will be a long day as I work this morning and 2 medical appointments this afternoon but there is about 1 and a half hours between them. I will see Mum between visits as the second one is on the grounds of the hospital.

    The tiredness makes me feel for people with fatigue issues. I know I am improving but feel for anyone who has it all the time.

  55. Helen, you are the best coffee maker ever. We consider you INDISPENSIBLE!!! Thank you for all you do.

  56. I had NO idea Jules was a biker chick.

    She looks so cute in that helmet.

  57. It is totally so cool to see every one's backgrounds. I'm saving this for my reference library!! You guys are cheaper than reference books. (aren't you??)

  58. Oh, Julie, glad you are on the mend.

  59. Great to hear you're doing better, Peaceful Julie. Not a putdown to our slightly more hyper Julie. :-) But 6 WEEKS??? That's a long time.
    Will keep praying.

    Hugs, Janet

  60. Patti Jo, I taught first grade. Then substitute taught years later in the elementary grades. Kindergarten was the hardest. All that bending down to their level.


  61. Prayers to Julie HS and AusJen!

    Audra, great post! It's so fun to get to know everyone a little better.

    My secret life? I'm a watercolor artist, and I knit sweaters, hats, and scarves for four organizations. I've never gotten over marching band, so I 'march' vicariously by attending competitions held by Drum Corps International. And I love Pomeranians. If I could have a house full, I would, lol.

  62. Lyndee,

    My son marched in the DCI the summer between his junior and senior year. He loved every minute, and the performances were amazing!

    Love that you're a watercolor artist. What can't you do?


  63. Paula,

    I enjoyed your comment about being "a gad about town that loves to read!" So fun!

    Plus, Seekerville loves readers!

  64. My hat's off to Patti Jo and Janet and Melissa and all our Seekerville teachers! You rock!

  65. Pam, my husband asked me to get your son's email address. :)

    I forgot a few things on myself, since my hubby outshines me. But if anyone has a contemporary character who works in a place for mentally disabled adults who can't work. (Not a group home but the place they go during the day to give the group home people a break) I did that for a year. And oh my the stories...

    And I taught at a university in China for a month in the summer.

    I'm over-the-top frugal, so if you have a penny pincher character, I can help you figure out penny pinching things that people are amazed (or appalled) that I do.

  66. Virginia in a convent! Did you do a lot of singing and running around on mountain tops? :) Way cool. I need to put a nun in a story now....

  67. Loved this post and discovering the secret lives of others, or at least what’s been secret to some of us.

    I was a social worker—adult protective services. I’ve been ordered off people’s properties, have had to request police escorts in order to do my job, and I’ve had the windows of my house shot out (fortunately I live far enough off the road that the bullets didn’t penetrate beyond the first layer of windows in my daughters’ bedroom). Policemen have my upmost respect.

    Before that I taught daily living skills to adults with mental and physical challenges. I now run a family business and wonder why I ever worked for others. I like being my own boss even though the hours are endless.

    I’ve won one regional non-fiction writing competition and placed in one national. Some days I ask myself why I think I can write fiction.

    Seekerville is such a joy. I may not always respond, but I always read, even if days late. I can count on the Seekers and guests to send me away with a lighter heart. Thanks everyone.

  68. Gonna scroll through comments later. Maybe ;).

    I taught seventh grade social studies for a whole semester. Yuck. Now I teach American Government and Politics in college [still sometimes yuck :p] and stay home with the 4 kiddos the rest of the time. The youngest starts K this year though. Both happy and sad about that...

    Hmmm... I may need to pick Mary's brain about horse travel since she's done what I'm doing [sort of kind of] in a book already...

    Wish I had more cool stuff to offer for researchy reasons...


    Does speaking toddler count as speaking another language? That might come in handy ;).

  69. I ALWAYS love learning more about our Seekerville pals! Fun post, Audra!

    PAM - Once your family and friends find out what a stellar wedding planner you are, you may end up with another career!

  70. Susan Codone!

    Another CFA family-er! Hubby ended up working about 6 hours yesterday [though he hasn't worked there in 10 years or more b/c the owners are good friends of ours]. They ended up closing about 830 because they were out of food. DH originally was called in to help unload the truck and stayed and helped make sandwiches etc for about four hours after that. I would have sooooo been there except I didn't have anyone to watch the kids - about 10 former employees showed up to help out. We went for lunch today instead ;).


  71. Fun post, Audra! I guess I don't have much of a life besides being a writer and a grandmother! But I'm happy so I guess that's what counts.

  72. Carol -- my husband worked 7am till past 11pm yesterday. Lines were out to the sidewalk. They brought everyone in for the day, and never ran out of food! Little trivia -- Eat, More, and Chicken were actual cows on Truett Cathy's ranch. They were taller than me. Eat and Chicken died, and I think since then More died too. But...Eat More Chicken anyway!

  73. Yesterday was truck day for them [why the owner actually called DH in] so they had everything out/thawed they could but started running out of stuff about 6. All the regular employees were there for very long shifts plus old employees who came in to help out. Fri/Sat were the busiest days ever and this one was about 1/3 higher [would have been nearly double if they hadn't run out of food]. Ditto the nearby mall store. Some friends said two in Phoenix had to close at 730 or so...

    And now... back to edits. Because one of these days I'll know something that's useful to the rest of you ;). If you ever need a restaurant in the Springfield area, you just let me know.

  74. My secret life is a little lame, compared to the rest. I work for a Fortune 100 company in their financing arm. I'm currently in sales (new position), but my work experience is in credit.

    Prior to that, I worked in the banking industry, analyzing large commercial customers. I've also worked audit, small business, and worked in a branch.

    I grew up in the South but have lived in the Pacific Northwest and Japan. I've traveled extensively through Japan and seen parts of SE Asia. I speak Japanese and recently spent some time studying Portuguese.

    I have degrees in physics, finance, and accounting.

    Oddly, whatever job I have, I always end up teaching. I taught physics labs in college and have developed several training programs for employers.

  75. I love Chik Fil A.

    I love Chik Fil A.

    I love Chik Fil A.

  76. Julie, you will be in my prayers. I know you said it will take six weeks. I hope things get fixed sooner.

  77. I forgot to add that during my time in Japan, I taught English for a year at a school in a small town. I used to visit other schools and I particularly enjoyed two schools that were on a mountain. The schools were Grades 1-9 and had about 20 students in each.

    After teaching, I worked for a Japanese machine tool firm for a couple of years and then worked for a Tokyo-based English language magazine, selling advertising. While in Tokyo, I wrote several stories that were read on Radio Japan, Japan's short wave overseas broadcast.

  78. i started volunteering at the local hospital last week and mentioned to my friend i had taught kindergarten for 7 years when i was young. Guess she didn't live in the same community i did, or it was so long ago she forgot i had. i also was a librarian just after graduation from highschool

  79. I enjoyed reading about the secret lives of our Seekerville people! I find that I have my "secret" list as well: I work overnights as a Resident Assistant with Substance abuse clients, I'm a grandma of 6 and mother of 3 and wife to my hubby. Thanks for such a fun post!

  80. You have no idea how disappointed I am to have missed my own post day! I'm still reading through all the comments and I must say I'm so impressed and awed at all the talents of our Seekervillagers!

    I love Chik-Fil-A, too! Longmont just got our very own Chik-Fil-A about 2 years ago and it was an exciting event : )

    Shout out and whoops to all the 4-H alumni!!!! My daughter accepted an Ag-Ed teaching position in eastern Colorado. After 12 years in the 4-H program, she'd now the FFA advisor. Funny how 4-H and FFA showed side by side at County Fairs, yet come from different perspectives.

    [[[don't you just love how Ruthy snuck in while I wasn't looking and inserted her own pic??]]]

  81. JANET SAID: "Great to hear you're doing better, Peaceful Julie. Not a putdown to our slightly more hyper Julie."

    Me, too, "Peaceful Julie," although "Hyper Julie" is a little ticked with Janet ... NOT!! ;) Praying the six weeks becomes far less as you totally recover, and an all-out healing would be really nice ...

    Hyper Julie

  82. So sorry I didn't make it to Seekerville yesterday, but it was a CRAZY day around here! What fun to learn more about all my Seeker sisters' "other lives"--and hear from so many of our Seekervillagers as well! We are a well-rounded bunch, aren't we?

    Great idea for a post, Audra! I hope the fair is going well.

  83. I love the fact that you all allow us to get to "know" you just a little bit better. What fun you must have at the county fair! I love fairs but don't get to them often enough.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.