Tuesday, October 9, 2012

“That is SO five years ago!”

My “old” life, that is. Five years ago, in 2007, I was still languishing on Unpubbed Island and trying hard not to wallow in self-pity as that luxury liner carried one after another of my friends over to the glorious mainland of publication.

What a difference five years makes!

Which--along with celebrating Seekerville’s fifth birthday--got me thinking about my writing journey in fives. As it turns out, there have been quite a few stand-out fives along the way.

1985--I received my first-ever magazine acceptance for a short story, the same year I completed the Writing for Children and Teenagers Course through the Institute of Children’s Literature.

2005--Autumn Rains won the RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript. More importantly, this was the year I first connected with the sisterhood of writers who would proclaim ourselves The Seekers.


At my fifth ACFW Conference, which, coincidentally, was five years ago (2007, in Dallas), I was at the end of my writing rope and ready to give up hope of ever becoming a published novelist. Yep, Unpubbed Island was looking like my permanent address, and I just wanted to slink away, crawl inside my hut, and give in to a long and blubbery crying jag.

Many friends prayed for and encouraged me that weekend, however, and it was during a restless night at the conference that I had the mind-blowing dream described on my personal blog here. The message of that dream was enough to keep me holding on, and less than one year later I got “the call” from Barbara Scott, then the fiction editor at Abingdon Press, for my novel One Imperfect Christmas.

2010--Five years after winning the Golden Heart, Autumn Rains, my second published novel, was named an ACFW Carol Award finalist.

As of this year I have five Heartsong Presents novels in print. When you add number six coming out early next year, plus One Imperfect Christmas and the three-book series I’m now working on for Abingdon Press, that “five” doubles to ten contracted novels!

Here’s another random “five”: I turned 55 years old one year after winning the Golden Heart. I admit I’m stretching the “five” thing with this one, but I just wanted to illustrate the fact that in the writing business, age is only a number. There’s a lot to be said for life experience when it comes to creating emotionally riveting characters and plots.

(Okay, go ahead and do the math if you want to figure out how old I am. . . . That’s fine. I’ll wait. . . . Happy now?)

Wherever you are on your writing journey, or whatever you use to define “success” in this business, the most important thing you can do is to persevere. Stay on the path you’re on until you clearly receive other marching orders.


But remember, a rejection--or even a whole slew of them--isn’t necessarily a neon sign telling you to give up. One year, five years, ten years, or--as it happened in my case--25 long years from where you are now, who knows where your stories will take you . . .

IF YOU DON’T GIVE UP!

What are the milestones that stand out on your journey? Let’s talk!



One commenter on today’s post will receive a collection of five inspirational novels, including my latest release, A Horseman’s Gift.

Filipa Beltran is sick and tired of living out her parents' dreams. After years of guitar lessons, she makes a drastic decision to cast aside her studies toward becoming a professional musician, return to her hometown, and start living life on her own terms.

For Nathan Cross, the past year has been nothing but crazy. Once set on becoming a big business mogul, Nathan's plans derail when his widowed mother remarries, moves to Texas, and leaves Nathan in charge of the family's equine therapy center. Determined to honor his father's memory and carry on the legacy, Nathan can't understand how Filipa, his childhood best friend, can simply walk away from everything her parents sacrificed for her.

Even so, neither can resist the growing attraction between them. Can Nathan and Filipa find common ground along with contentment in their God-given gifts?






Happy Birthday Seekerville!

135 comments:

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

can't imagine how five years can make such a difference!!

Congratulations on all your hard work. :)

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Wow! 1985 was a good year, you got your start @ published writing and I got my start @ life LOL! I don't really have any huge milestones right now but I did start my blog in '09, Does that count? :-)

Helen Gray said...

How about FIVE pots of coffee to start the morning!

Inspirational post, Myra.

Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks.

Helen

Raquel Byrnes said...

Its so great to look back and see how far you've come. Especially if you were in a place where you didn't think you had any hope of achieving your dreams.

Melissa Jagears said...

Yeah for 5! I wasn't even writing 5 years ago and I had one new baby I'd waited forever for and she cried ALL THE TIME.

The years are beginning to fly by, heard from a very elderly lady yesterday that the older you get, the faster they go.

And I did the math, and I'd never have guessed, you look great!

Carol Moncado said...

Let's see... five years ago...

I was struggling with a failure to thrive baby. He was a couple months old and refused to grow. He spent half of November in the hospital and had surgery. We spent Thanksgiving eating hospital food...

Er... writ... right.

Five years ago I was writing but just for fun. Nothing that could even be fixed for eventual publication someday. But it started me writing again. And three years ago for NaNoWriMo I wrote my first official novel. I've since written six more. [Which is one more than five... ;)]

So proud of you Myra! I'd love to win!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Wow, Myra, sweetie, I had to take off my shoes and socks to count up how old you are.

Why is there MATH in writing? Not fair!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

PS it's not ACFW if you don't cry.

Mary Connealy said...

(not that I ever cry of course)
Well, maybe once......for about five hours, but other than that, I never cry.

Vince said...

Hi Myra:

You wrote:

‘2005--Autumn Rains won the RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational”.

This just goes to show that you can write a really great book, win a top award, and still not have it sell for years. "Autumn Rains" is a very brave book that might have been a little ahead of its time. I think in five more years, it will still seem like a newly published book.

I sure hope it comes out as an eBook so many more people can get to read it. In fact, I need all your books to come out as eBooks so I can make the type big enough to read.

Vince

Christina said...

Congratulations, Myra, on your success. Five years ago I had been writing seriously for a year. I had a 17, 14, 12 and 9 year old. Wow, a lot has changed.

I appreciate the encouragement with your story. I've been positive 96% of the time over the last six years. Now, I'm getting that discouraged feeling at least once every other week. I try not to, but it shows its ugly head. I've been spending a lot of time praying even questioning God as to whether or not I should continue on this writing journey. For the last several months he keeps telling me his timing is perfect. He hasn't told me to quit so I continue trudging forward.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you didn't give up Myra!For me 5 years ago my life was a mess.I also struggled then with a deep depression.I still have some rough days,but now things in my life are going better.Thank you for your inspiring post!


Katie N.

pol said...

Myra so glad you kept on and did not give up, I think that is the key to so many things in life, Just dont give up. Five years for Seekerville and your Five sounds like you were being "primed". I would really enjoy winning five books all at once but hubby would probably shake his head and wonder why I would want even one more when I have bookcases full. I am a reader and cannot pass up a good book. thanks for sharing your journey today with us.
Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

Cathy Shouse said...

Myra,

It's interesting how you looked back on the milestones.
Here's to many more in increments of 5. :)

Cathy Shouse said...

Myra,

It's interesting how you looked back on the milestones.
Here's to many more in increments of 5. :)

Jackie said...

Hi Myra,

Nobody would guess your age by looking at you. Congrats on not giving up five years ago.
Right now that's kinda my prayer. I want to honor God with my writing, but could my time be spent better on other things.

So I'm taking your post today as a sign to keep writing for now.

In my devotionals yesterday, I told God I was moving forward in faith that he had a plan for my writing. Thanks for the encouraging words.

Congrats again!

Jackie L.

Jenny Blake said...

5 years ago I was home from my first ever trip overseas. I went to a retreat in Canada and met some online friends. my first overseas trip, first time to Canada and I got the travel bug. I also got to fulfil my dream of going to Hawaii.
I remember reading Robin Gunn Jones's sisterchick book set in Hawaii and I had to go to Hawaii. Told mum when I finished the book I had to go to Hawaii and she basically said you are going nowhere. Really deflated me but I kept that dream and I made it 5 years ago.

Debra E. Marvin said...

Congratulations on an amazing five years. I'm all about first books after fifty five. Thanks for the encouragement, Myra!

I better get some of that coffee. I am here right now because I am stalling. Working on a 'back cover blurb' which should be easier than a synopsis but each one of those words has to be just perfect...

I've been blessed with three grandchildren in the last five years (and I did the hard work of that thirty years ago - just now reaping the rewards!)

Rose said...

Myra,

I took that same writing course in 1991, and give it all the credit for my marketing skills!

Dora Hiers said...

So glad you didn't give up, Myra. If you had, I never would have been blessed with your friendship. Celebrating five's with you, and Can't wait to see you next week!

Linda Bonney Olin said...

Myra, I sure identify with your post. Five years ago, at age 55, I started writing with publication in mind. There came a day in 2010 when a member of my local writers group brought a copy of her newly printed memoir book to a meeting. I realized that made me the only member who had nothing published.

Sure, I was delighted for my friend. Yes, I knew my writing covenant with the Lord was that he would use my writing for his purposes -- even if it were never published. Still, I was feeling pretty small when I drove home from the meeting.

What did I find waiting there but an email notifying me that my poem/song lyric "My Forever Lord" had won second place in the Christian Publishers Poetry Prize contest! What a gracious affirmation that his eye was still on this particular sparrow!

Blessings,
Linda

Linda Bonney Olin said...

P.S. You can read "My Forever Lord" here: http://www.utmostchristianwriters.com/gallery/gallery465.php

It certainly fit the situation (see my previous post).

Linda

Janet Dean said...

Wonderful post, Myra! Your journey proves that we need to trust God's timing. We humans want everything NOW. Yesterday would be even better. LOL

My debut released five years ago. Looking back, I see that God was preparing my heart to write for Him and a spot for my stories. I'm relieved I didn't sell when I first thought I was ready.

Janet

Julie Steele said...

Myra, this is why I love Seekerville. You all share your downs as well as your ups. And even your age.

Five years ago, I had just found out I was going to be a grandmother. Now I have two with a third on the way. Five years ago, I was reading inspirationals without a thought to writing them. Today I am recovering from my first romantic writer's conference.

This fifty-one year old is very thankful for your message this morning. You have made me look forward to 55!

Peace and continued blessings, Julie

Kav said...

Myra -- this is such an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing. One of my milestones has definitely been discovering Seekerville and visiting with y'all every day!

Audra Harders said...

Myra, your post of 5s is a winner, hands down. I loved your journey and most important of all, your message of everything comes in its own season.

I jumped over and read your blog. Wow. Goes to show God has such special joys planned for you!

Jeanne T said...

Wow, Myra, the magic of "5" in your life is fun to read about. :) I so appreciate your exhortation to hold on, to persevere. It's tough sometimes.

Five years ago, I was managing a household with two toddlers and getting ready to move from Nevada to Colorado. Hmmm, that was the autumn that God reminded me Who was really in control. And guess what. It wasn't me. :)

I guess a couple of milestones that stand out on my short writing journey are when my first story literally sashayed into my head at a couple's retreat. I never thought I could write fiction, so I never worked up the courage to try. Until that story--main character and the element that would drive the story--popped into my head.

Going to My Book Therapy's retreats have been milestones becaue I've learned lots of craft at them. And attending ACFW for the first time this year is a big mile stone for me. I've entered a few contests, but haven't finaled in any. Yet. :)

Thanks, Myra, for sharing your story and encouragements!

Jeanne T said...

JENNY BLAKE--so glad you got to visit Hawaii. I really enjoy the Sister Chick books. It's fun to see you reference them here. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Good morning, Seekerville!!! I'm actually arriving a teensy bit earlier than usual, thanks to being kicked out of my recliner when hubby scheduled a home improvement estimate first thing this morning.

VIRGINIA, yes, five years can make a huge difference! It's just a matter of sticking with it and trusting God for the results.

RENEE, thank you for that vivid reminder that I am MORE than old enough to be your mother--LOL!

Myra Johnson said...

HELEN, with five pots of coffee brewing, I hope you have cleared paths to the, um, facilities!

RAQUEL, that's the whole reason for sticking with something you believe in, even when things seem utterly hopeless. You never know what's just around the corner.

MELISSA, thank you! And yes, it's true, the older you get, the faster time flies. Enjoy your time as a young mommy. Before you know it, you'll be spoiling grandchildren of your own!

Myra Johnson said...

CAROL, there you go. Five years can bring a world of change in all areas of our lives.

I thought of another "five." Before moving east, I lived in Tulsa for five years, and that's where I met my dear friend Carla Stewart. We received contracts for our first novels very close together so got to "enjoy" the newly published phase of this journey together.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Myra!!! GREAT POST! That is a lot of fives! I took that Writing for Children and Teenagers course too! I started it in 2003, then started my first novel in 2004 (if you don't count the novels I wrote in high school!) and went to my first writers' conference, ACFW, in 2005. Then in 2006 I wrote my second novel and went to my second conference to pitch it. Over the next three years it got 32 rejections from agents and publishers. In May, 2008 I got my first agent. In November, 2009 I got my first "yes" from a publisher. Yay!

Myra, I had one of those amazing dreams too, on the night after I told God, "I am done. I'm not writing anymore, unless you tell me so directly." I went to bed early and cried for a couple of hours before going to sleep. In the middle of the night I had this great dream. The story is on my blog somewhere. Anyway, God told me to keep writing. And that was that. Until the next November, 2008, when I was devastated by a rejection from a publisher who had taken my book to committee and said no. The next November, 2009, I was lying in bed, praying and crying, and fell asleep and was awakened by the phone, my agent telling me Zondervan had said yes.

The NEXT November, I got an offer for my second book. And the NEXT NOVEMBER I got a yes on a two-book contract. So November seems to be the month where big things happen for me! This year I'll be very happy to get more good news in November, but I was also kind of hoping it would happen in October. Does that make me a diva??? Wanting a contract a month early this time??? Truthfully, I just hope it happens for me again. I can't take anything for granted.

Myra Johnson said...

MARY, you sweet young thing. Did you have enough fingers and toes to add up my age? Just remember who LEAPED up on that longhorn in Fort Worth!

VINCE, I should probably count back to when I first wrote Autumn Rains. It had been around awhile in a few different incarnations before winning the GH and later finally being accepted.

BTW, some Heartsongs are coming out in digital format. I just don't know which ones or when.

Myra Johnson said...

CHRISTINA, good for you for sticking with the plan! Yes, God's timing is ALWAYS perfect. We don't always get to know His reasons for delays, but in hindsight we can often see His plan made a lot more sense than ours.

KATIE, I'm so sorry about your struggles with depression. I've had some rough years, too, especially in my 20s and 30s. The problem with depression is that it's so hard to keep believing things will get better. But they do. Somehow, they do, if we just hold on.

Myra Johnson said...

PAULA, if you could see my bookshelves! I have a hard time parting with books I enjoyed. I also like having them around when we have house guests who need a good book to read.

CATHY, sometimes it's important to look backward just so we can rejoice in how far we've come!

Myra Johnson said...

JACKIE, I'm so glad my post today encouraged you. God always has a plan. We just have to be ready to participate. And that means not giving up and turning back even when we can't see more than a couple of steps ahead on the path.

JENNY, congratulations on fulfilling your travel dreams! There's so much in this big, wide, wonderful world I want to see. If things go as planned, next summer we will be going on an African safari with a group from our church--and best of all, visiting our missionary kids living over there!

Myra Johnson said...

DEBRA, welcome to the "over 55" writers club! Yep, back cover blurbs take some thought--just the right balance of "tease" and "sales pitch." Congratulations on the grandkids!

ROSE, another ICL alum! We definitely learned about studying the markets in that course, didn't we? Actually, the first thing I learned was single POV--a lesson I've never, ever forgotten!

Myra Johnson said...

DORA!!! Waving to my Carolina bud! Your friendship has meant the world to me as I settled in a new city and searched for new writing connections. See you soon!

LINDA! Oh, honey, I do know what an amazing feeling it is when we're so discouraged and God picks THAT moment to shower us with an unexpected blessing. Those timely gifts were what kept me going through the first 25 years of my writing career as I just kept writing and praying for that first book contract.

Glynna Kaye said...

Wow, Myra, that's a LOT of eventful fives!! Thanks for sharing!

Let's see...five years ago...autumn 2007. That was when I was seriously praying about tossing in the towel on the publishing dream. I was tired, discouraged, questioning if God really wanted me to share my stories with the world. And that's also when Tina recruited the unpubbed Seekers to a prayerful PLAN B. In 2008 I wrote my first manuscript targeted to Love Inspired and got a request that led to a contract for a 2009 release. It's truly sometimes the darkest before the dawn! Thank you for the reminder, Myra!

Myra Johnson said...

JANET, you're so right. God knows what's best for us, and He is continually preparing us for His perfect plan. I'm so very, very glad we're on this journey together, my dear friend!

JULIE S!!!! You've had an amazing five years full of blessings, haven't you? Congratulations on attending your first writers conference. I bet it won't be the last!

Myra Johnson said...

KAV, you know we love having you visit with us in Seekerville! This blog is all about spending time with friends like you!

AUDRA, sometimes I wonder if God held back on His timing just so my L-O-N-G journey could inspire others He's guiding along a similar path.

Myra Johnson said...

JEANNE, isn't it exciting when a story pops into your head and you just know you have to write it? You're also developing some great connections through ACFW and the My Book Therapy group. Way to go!

MELANIE!!! Nice to know someone else gets heaven-sent messages in dreams! Somehow you can just always tell it isn't an ordinary dream but something immensely significant. And no, you aren't a diva for not wanting to wait another month--LOL! Hoping you get that good news soon!

karenk said...

Myra...such an inspirational post...I loved every single word of it :)

I always enjoy visiting you and your fellow seekers

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Myra Johnson said...

GLYNNA, oh, I do remember that timely Plan B "club," but forgot it was exactly 5 years ago! We all prayed and supported each other through a difficult period of discouragement, and look where we are now!

KAREN K, we love having you visit Seekerville, too! I'm so glad you found some inspiration here today!

Marianne said...

Myra...i love how you think...and would love to win your novelsand review for you (right now i am reviewing for Shannon Taylor Vannatter's Rodeo series). Thanks for a great post and chance to win.

reviewingnovelsonline.blogspot.ca

marianneDOTwanhamATgmailDOTcom

Tina Radcliffe said...

Someone shared their age. Not from this corner of the world.

Five years ago.

Well I was much chubbier then.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cathy Shouse, I was just thinking about you the other day. How be you??

Tina Radcliffe said...

Raquel Byrnes, WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Katie N! Welcome to Seekerville. Glad to see your road has taken an upswing.

Lyndee'm said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Myra. And congratulations on your wonderful success.

I've always thought my number was 8, but other than my 8 years in exile (when we moved away from home), I'- currently ahead of that number, or behind that number. Guess it's the glass half-empty half-full thing, lol. As far as a milestone, I think finally winning a contest was a big one for me, considering I cower at the thought of entering contests at all. :)

Lyndee said...

PS, don't know who Lyndee'm is. I'm having typo-itis today!

Mary Connealy said...

Myra's right about the longhorn. She was up on that ragin' bull so fast I barely noticed her leap on.
Where as I practically needed them to bring in a team from Nasa, along with their cranes and winches to hoist me up and get me back down.

As if sitting on a sleepy old bull isn't embarrassing enough.

btw, THANK YOU MYRA AND JANET for not getting any pictures of the mount and dismount portion of our wild west adventure.

Myra Johnson said...

MARIANNE, I'll be in touch--thanks! Glad to have you stop in at Seekerville!

TINA, I did not reveal YOUR age, honey. We all know you are WAY younger than I am. With a cuter smile, too!

LYNDEE, I used to think my number was 4. I think I was wrong. :) Here's hoping for more contest success (and courage!) for you that will lead to even greater things!

Myra Johnson said...

LOL, MARY, that morning with you and Janet was absolutely the highlight of my ACFW conference weekend! We should have had them bring over the longhorn posing down the street and saddle up a third one so we could all ride together in the "stampede" later.

Myra Johnson said...

Well, gang, I need to step out for a bit--a few errands I need to take care of this morning that can't be postponed. Keep the conversation going, and I'll check in around lunchtime. Maybe I'll see what I can pick up at Panera for the buffet table.

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, MYRA, I think you get the prize for the most incorporation of the numeral five in your blog -- I'm impressed, girl!!!

That 25 years to publication STILL blows me away because your books are AMAZING, which just goes to show it's God's timing, not ours.

Soooo grateful that He brought all of us together!!

Hugs,
Julie

Ruth Logan Herne said...

What a wonderful five years after working hard and long, my friend!

Awesome!

I love this 'five' theme... I love birthdays and cake.

And Helen I love that you made extra coffee 'cause I'm workin' extra hard this week.

CAFFEINE!!!!

Pam Hillman said...

What an inspirational HIGH-FIVE post, Myra!

Gimme FIVE! \0/

C.E. Hart said...

First off, A Horseman's Gift sounds like a fabulous story!

It's funny how your mentioning of 5 made the 5's in my life jump out.

I'm one of FIVE children.
I married in 198-FIVE
My children were born of the FIFTH day of the month.
I have FIVE unfinished manuscripts. lol

;)

Pepper said...

Fabulous reminder, Myra
I'm giving you a cyber high-FIVE :-)for all the encouragement wrapped in your post.

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

It was late last night when I read it but did you really say; ACFW stands for “Always Crying Female Writers”? It was something like that.

Vince

Tina Radcliffe said...

Cool fives, C.E.

Now what can we do to get those FIVE unfinished mscs to be FIVE COMPLETED mscs???

Vince said...

Hi Myra:

You wrote:

“…some Heartsongs are coming out in digital format. I just don't know which ones or when.”

I would hope Heartsong would release the books with the most accolades first! You know, lead with your best foot. Be sure to let us know when your books get released!

Vince

Joanne Sher said...

Fun fives! - I graduated high school in 1985. Can't think of any other 5's LOL.

Really enjoyed this psot - plugging away for sure here. I'm willing to wait for God's timing. Whenever it is ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. Great reminder to NEVER give up.

Amy Campbell

Donna said...

Myra, I can't believe Autumn Rains took that long to get published. I've read a lot of HEA that make me sigh but AR's HEA made me cry.
Thanks for such an encouraging post!

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

Myra!

This was so clever, encouraging and informative... *need to think of two more*

uplifting and PAWMAZING!!!

Thanks for letting us join you on this journey.

A milestone for me would be when Dave Fessenden's birthday was celebrated and I first learned about Seekerville!

Milestone.
Definitely.

I'm so thankful to the Lord for guiding me here through Dave's wife. What a blessing y'all have been and continue to be.

Celebrating your successes makes it even better!

Long live Seekerville!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Vince, you know Heartsong is now under the Harlequin umbrella? Right. So they are moving toward digital releases just like LI.

Erica Vetsch said...

So much has happened to you over the last five years! Congratulations on all your success, Myra!

Dianna Shuford said...

Thanks for the boost of confidence, Myra!

I often try to remind myself of the quote, "Those who never give up, never fail." (Don't ask me who said it because at this moment I can't remember.)

This quote helps me keep things in perspective as I wait for that luxury liner myself.

Amy said...

Congratulations and a 'pat on your back' for sticking to it. Five years can seem like an eternity when things aren't going your way, or fly by when things are great. I applaud you for not giving up and reaping the rewards God has blessed you with. Here's to five (and many) more years!

aimmesser@yahoo.com

Digging for Pearls said...

Congratulations on your 10 novels Myra. What an inspiration.

Even though I'm not published yet, (other than a column in a homeschooling magazine) each year brings me closer to my goal. I have grown and improved through the past few years, and pray I continue to grow. One day I'll be receiving that call.

Blessings,
Jodie Wolfe

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Wow I gotta catch up to you guys!

Jenny- That's so awesome that you got to travel and meet some online friends, I wish I could do that. I did get to meet Suzanne Woods Fisher and Mary Ann Kinsinger last Wednesday so that was very awesome. I wish I could meet more of my favorite authors (looking at you Seeker ladies.) :-)

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Myra, LOVE LOVE LOVE the fives. Wow. And how inspirational is your post for all of us??? Love it.

I just had one of those God moments about my writing yesterday. I was going in so many directions and asked HIM to please make it clear which direction I should go and was HE going to help me with all the stuff to get there.

Of course HE will. And HE answered me not while sleeping. I mean, when I sleep I'm out for the count. But when I was swimming in the pool HIS answer came to me so clear. LOVE IT.

Myra Johnson said...

Back from errands and brought some dee-licious Fuji apple chicken salad and a variety of hot soups for the lunch buffet. Also some iced green tea.

JULIE, you are so sweet! Yes, God's timing is always best, including when He brought the Fab Four Golden Girls together!

Myra Johnson said...

RUTHY & PAM, so glad to be on this exciting journey with you! Who's cutting the cake? I'm ready for dessert!

C.E., those are some amazing "fives" in your life! Now obey Tina and go finish those manuscripts.

Myra Johnson said...

PEPPER, high-five back at ya, girlfriend!

VINCE, did Mary really type that? "Always Crying Female Writers"? Probably more accurate than any of us would like to admit! As for the digital HPs, the only one of mine that I know for sure has a Kindle edition is Romance by the Book. Not sure why they haven't digitized any of the others.

Myra Johnson said...

JOANNE, congratulations for "plugging away"!

AMY, thanks for stopping by. Keep the faith!

DONNA, thank you for the sweet words about AR! That story will always be one of my favorites, but I guess I had more to learn about writing a novel before that one finally found a home.

Myra Johnson said...

KC, we're glad you found Seekerville, too! This "town" wouldn't be what it is today without all our wonderful friends who stop in to chat every day!

ERICA, I think we started with HP the same month, didn't we? Congratulations on all your successes, too!

DIANNA, I love it! "Those who never give up, never fail." And it's just as true that those who never try don't even have a chance!

Myra Johnson said...

AMY, you're right. Five years definitely feels like an eternity when you're waiting for an answer that never comes. The only thing that helps (besides prayer and faith) is keeping busy and staying on task.

JODIE, that's the spirit! And great that you're already building writing credits. Believe me, that writing experience will make a difference someday.

Myra Johnson said...

RENEE, nice to know the Seekers are among your favorite authors! Watch the "Seeker Sightings" section of the Weekend Edition--you never know when one or more of us might happen to be in your area!

SANDRA, aren't those "God moments" amazing? Sometimes we miss them, though, like when we're too busy working out our own agendas or just don't stop long enough to listen. Glad you got the answer you needed!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Did Mary really say that????

Or is Vince stirring the pot???

And I'm too crankin' here with least un's to go looking, but dying to know!

Beth brought me a CINNABON from Johnson City Mall... Oh my stars, it's three hours away, that is certainly within the driving window for a pecan Cinnamon Roll.

So happy.

Although I was dieting.

Until now.

For like 1/2 a day, I made half a day of salad eating.

The Cinnabon Pecan roll was totally worth it!!!

Okay, back to five...

This is like a Sesame Street lesson.

Where's Count Von Count???? I love him. All his vampire-type ways.

Back to writing. Stream of consciousness. Or unconsciousness, as may be....

I just reached my weekend goal on my book, but still working on blogs.

Clearly I let myself do housework. A little. This weekend.

What was I thinking????

Oy.

Myra, may I have five glasses of water to flush the 500,000 carbs from my belly?

Thank you.

And I'm still wondering if Mary said that.

Surely not.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

RUTHY--

When I was in college, I caught the bus from class at a huge mall. Well, I was usually off the bus schedule so I'd wander in and ge a Cinnabon and a Mochachino or whatever they call their huge drinks.


This went on FOR WEEKS, maybe even months.

I gained a few pounds, like 4. Then someone said I ahd a Cinnabon habit and I was going to die. I checked the nutritional info...


AND ALMOST PASSED OUT. Every day, I'm telling you, I had one of those.

If I did that now I would gain 4 pounds a day.

Oh, for the young metabolism.

Debby Giusti said...

Myra, I can so relate with your blog today. Except for winning the Golden Heart. I never won...ah, never finaled either. :)

Looking back over the last five years has made me realize that everything--at least everything of value--takes time. Yet, we're always in a hurry, aren't we?

Thank goodness God is in control. If I were directing my own career, I would have spiraled out of control by now. Putting each day in His hands takes the pressure off me. Plus, His desire for my life is so much more than I could ever hope to imagine.

Still catching up from the wonderful Georgia Romance Writers' Moonlight and Magnolias Conference.

Waving to C.E. Hart!!! Thanks for stopping by Seekerville.

Also so good to see Cathy Shouse again. How are you, Cathy? We've missed you.

Renee, where's home? What part of the country? We want to meet YOU!!!

Vince said...

Hi Ruth & Myra:

Mary said, and I quote, “…it's not ACFW if you don't cry” . What I ‘heard’ is logically derivable for this statement. I takes a few steps but it’s a QED proof. : )

Got to go. I’m taking dw to see “Don’t Back Down”.

Vince

P.S. Ruth did you notice that last night’s Yankee game had a combined score of 5? Don’t put your faith in numbers.

Debby Giusti said...

There were a few mentions of depression today...

Prayer is powerful, and we're always ready to support anyone who's having a down day with prayer and hugs. So stop by when the sun isn't shining and you need a friend. Seekerville is a place where you can find support and affirmation and love.

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

@ Debbie and Myra- I'm from SW PA. I live an hour south of Pittsburgh, nobody ever comes here. :-( I got to see Suzanne in Cumberland, MD, because I just so happened to have a cousin who went to school there last year. I asked her if she knew where the bookstore was and once she told me she did she couldn't get out of going with me LOL!

Janet Dean said...

I had a terrific time at Moonlight and Magnolias this past weekend! What a joy to meet Seekerville friends face to face! I attended some terrific workshops. I need to type my scribbled notes.

I've never cried at a conference. Actually crying isn't easy for me. I figure one day tears will shoot out of me like a geyser on steroids.

Janet

Janet Dean said...

Mary, I would NEVER take a picture of anyone's backside, climbing on a bull or otherwise. Sitting on that longhorn made me feel empowered. Which just proves what a greenhorn I am. LOL

Janet

Mary Connealy said...

Bless you, Janet. The heart of a true saint...at least photographically speaking.

Jill Weatherholt said...

This is a very encouraging post, Myra. It sounds like five is your lucky number!
Debbie, you said "So stop by when the sun isn't shining and you need a friend. Seekerville is a place where you can find support and affirmation and love." That is lovely, Debbie and exactly the tone this site radiates.

Mary Connealy said...

I thank you, VINCE for quoting me accurately.
AND
Ruthy, the last time I went on the Atkins Diet, I lasted until NOON on the first day. :(

Debby Giusti said...

Glad you can feel the love, Jill! :)

Myra Johnson said...

Glad to see y'all are keeping the conversation going! Of all days for my Internet to go out! Reading comments & typing on my smartphone is ridiculously hard, but I'll check in and respond to comments as soon as Time Warner gets their act together.

Myra Johnson said...

Whew!!! Just now got Internet back! And of course my email goes crazy downloading weeks of stuff I'd already read.

Okay, where were we???

RUTHY is eating Cinnabons? Be still, my heart! I haven't indulged in that decadence in ages, and now I can almost taste the rich, sugary deliciousness! Thanks, Ruthy, you're all heart.

Myra Johnson said...

Yes, VIRGINIA, thank you for talking some sense into Ruthy about the dangers of Cinnabons.

Myra Johnson said...

DEBBY, one of these years I hope to see you at M&M. Wish it wasn't right on the heels of ACFW!

VINCE, so now you are putting words in Mary's mouth, in a manner of speaking? That's brave, my man. Very, very brave.

RENEE, you just never know. Seekers have a way of showing up where you least expect them. Like, Mary, Tina, and Ruthy showing up in Tulsa AFTER I ALREADY MOVED AWAY, THOSE TURKEYS!!!

Cara Lynn James said...

Myra, you did well with the #5!!!!! You're still a spring chicken, chicky!

You're so right about hanging in there and persevering no matter how discouraging the wait may be. It certainly helped to have others right there for encouragement and prayer.

Myra Johnson said...

JANET, I think this last ACFW is one of the few conferences I didn't cry at. Maybe it was the power I derived from sitting on that longhorn.

JILL, I'm so glad you have found Seekerville to be a supportive and fun place to visit! That's what we strive for.

Myra Johnson said...

CARA, what would we do without this great Seeker family? The writing life sure could get lonely back in the days before the Internet made it so easy to stay in touch.

I mean, really--an hour or two this afternoon when our cable was out and I was ready to climb the walls! Even working on my wip, I kept trying to open my browser so I could research some little detail I needed to know.

Duh.

Debby Giusti said...

Glad you're back in action, Myra!

Terrible how disconnected we can feel when technology fails these days.

At the M&M this weekend, I couldn't get on the NET. GRRRR! The computer in the business office wouldn't let me access Seekerville either. Double GRRRRR!

Happiness is staying connected to Seekerville!

Michelle Dobbins said...

I'm living in unpublished land right now. My writing mentor told me just a few weeks ago to focus on what my life as an author would be like in five years. I've been focusing on that and this post helps a lot to show what can happen in five years! Thanks for the inspiration!

Debby Giusti said...

Michelle,
Big things can happen seemingly overnight in publishing. In five years, the change can be quite dramatic. Let's believe it will be a huge change for you...in a good way, of course.

Glad you stopped by today. Come back often. We're giving away loads of goodies this month. Plus, Love Inspired Associate Editor Elizabeth Mazer will be with us on FRI. Be sure to see what she has to say.

Myra Johnson said...

MICHELLE, visualization can be a very effective motivator. What's crucial is recognizing what we have control over . . . and what we don't.

Sitting down at the computer and pounding out the pages--that we can do.

Studying the craft, joining crit groups, attending conferences--all doable.

So even though we can't control whether an editor or agent will call with that coveted contract offer, we do control how we prepare for the future we hope for. That's why perseverance is essential.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hey Myra,

I remember reading your story when you got "The Call". I think my jaw dropped when I learned you'd been writing for 25 years - but that you'd FINALLY sold! It gave me such hope.

I've been writing for about 10 years now, and this year I have been filled with a peace and a knowing about it - that I WILL be published one day - in God's perfect timing. Now I'm just trying to stay 'tuned in' to the clues as to where to go next. I'm a little dense that way! LOL.

Thanks again for the inspiration! Would love to win your book.

Cheers,
Sue
sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Myra Johnson said...

SUE, isn't it comforting when we get that feeling of peaceful assurance? I'm so glad my experience has encouraged you. And we all get a little dense sometimes, not knowing if we're on the right track and not sure which way to turn. That's when it's extra important to just keep going and trust that the right door will open at the right time.

Tonya said...

Thanks for the encouragement!

Myra Johnson said...

You're welcome, TONYA!

Annie Rains said...

Okay, if I'm trying to be optimistic here, I started writing AGAIN four years ago. The first time I set out to be a writer I was 20 years old and I wrote one novel after another only to receive one rejection after a hundred others. So if I started writing AGAIN four years ago, and 5 apparently is a good number, then I'm due for some success next year, right?

Anyway, I'm so happy for all of your success. 10 contracted books is amazing.

DebH said...

hmmm,
never give up. i wonder what number the Lord has for me as i work towards my dream.

thanks for sharing how you wanted to give up but didn't. that will help me through the struggle times.

Myra Johnson said...

DEB H, glad it helped! We may not know our "numbers" but God does!

Cindy W. said...

Well, this year is a big milestone for me. But we won't talk about it. Time does race by the faster we get so maybe I'll just put things in reverse...then again I would have to start things all over again...been there done that and learned from my mistakes.

I enjoyed reading about your "5's".

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Myra Johnson said...

CINDY, I'm not sure any of us would REALLY want to reverse time and relive parts of our life. Better to keep moving forward. Um, does your milestone have anything to do with a birthday???

Keli Gwyn said...

Myra, thanks for sharing your publishing story. It's so encouraging to see the part perseverance pays.

My biggest milestones were two Christmas presents: an offer of representation from Rachelle Gardner on the eve of Christmas Eve in 2009 and her call the following December with offers on my debut novel. Celebrating its release this past July was pretty fun, too, and made a great birthday present. Oh, and I got to spend my actual birthday here in Seekerville. It doesn't get much better than that!

Ganise said...

Myra! Great to celebrate with you today. Congratulations on your achievements!

AND Great pics for you and Melanie and the 'Village People'!!

:-)

Enjoyed this post. God is faithful for having brought you through after 25 YEARS! Wow.

Smiling at Helen's comment. Five pots of coffee. *grin*

Would you believe I don't even frequently drink coffee in the mornings in real life? But I always look forward to Helen's coffee pots!

Thank you for this, Myra. Good to see you again.

:-)

Myra Johnson said...

KELI, you've had some exciting milestones too! Glad you celebrated with us in Seekerville!

GANISE, I'm not much of a coffee drinker either, but cyber-coffee is a special treat, especially the kind Helen makes. Although I do hope cyber-caffeine doesn't affect us like the real thing, or we'll all be sleepless in Seekeeville tonight!

Walt Mussell said...

My younger son is double five, my older son is triple five. How's that for fives? :-)

I also like Helen's five pots of coffee.

Myra, I did the math in my head this morning, but I've since forgotten. Congrats on your accomplishments.

Jamie Adams said...

Great post Myra! I read this this morning but there wasn't time to reply. It's been a long day and my feet are killing me.

I'm glad 5's been so good for you :) Can't wait to see what you do with the next five.

Myra Johnson said...

WALT, those are very special fives indeed, And thank you for forgetting the math. :)

JAMIE, hope you had a chance to put your feet up and relax!

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Oh Myra it sounds like you have as bad of luck as I do! Well if any of you decide to visit SW PA I'll be here. ;-)

CatMom said...

Great post, Myra! (giving you a "high-FIVE" *wink*). Thanks for sharing your encouraging journey with us, and CONGRATS on your writing success.~ It was fun hanging out with you and other Seekers/Seekervillains in the coffee shop at ACFW (well...I guess we were technically seated in the bar, LOL). ~ I have A HORSEMAN'S GIFT on my TBR shelf, and know I'll love it. (I still get excited when my Heartsong shipment arrives) ~ Enjoy a late-nite snack of Peach muffins---guaranteed to bring sweet dreams! (or at least peachy dreams, LOL) ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

Mary Connealy said...

are you absolutely sure you're not blonde? I'm lookin' right at your picture.

Debby Giusti said...

Renee,
I wish all the Seekers could visit SW PA. I used to live in Carlisle, near Harrisburg. PA is such a beautiful state.

Debby Giusti said...

Patti Jo,
Your peach recipes are always yummy. Thanks for the muffins!

Jan said...

I'm go glad you didn't give up.
godblessamerica.jan(at)gmail(dot)com

Melanie Dickerson said...

Myra, thank you for saying I'm not a diva. :-) And I'm so glad you didn't quit a few years ago at that conference!!! :-)

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

@Debby- I love Carlisle. I've been there a few times for the All Ford Nationals car show they have there and I fell in love with the town! I love all the history of central PA.

Edwina said...

Myra,

Great post of encouragement! Thanks so much for sharing your story!

Blessings!

shelia hall said...

I'm not a writer but have discovered that if you keep trying, you will accomplish what you want to in life!

Ginger said...

Thanks for the encouraging post. There's always hope for those of us still languishing in unpubb'ed land. :) Like someone else posted, I wasn't even writing 5 years ago.

Ginger
ginger dot solomon at gmail dot com

Myra Johnson said...

Checking in this afternoon to catch up with the late arrivals.

PATTI JO, great seeing you at ACFW, too! And those peach muffins sound scrumptious!

MARY, I promise I am not blond. At least not on purpose. I prefer to call my shade "light brown."

MELANIE, this business is definitely not for wimps, but giving up is NOT an option!

JAN, EDWINA, SHELIA, GINGER, so glad you came by, and I hope you always find something to inspire and encourage when you visit Seekerville!

Hope Toler Dougherty said...

Thanks so much for words I needed to hear this week.

Mary Preston said...

Looking back 5 years is one thing, looking ahead is momentous.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

PatriciaW said...

A lot can happen in 5 years. Milestones for me in the past 5 years include publishing an article published in 2011 Writer's Market, my first editing contract, finishing NaNoWriMo with more than 60k words, and pitching to an LI editor. I just have to keep in mind, as Myra said, age is nothing but a number and remind myself to make the most of every day I'm blessed to have.

Myra Johnson said...

HOPE, MARY, & PATRICIA, thanks for dropping in! Great milestones, Patricia, and it's true--age is only a number. Of course, in my case it's a rather larger number than I'd like, but look at all the life experience I have to use in my books!