Thursday, March 14, 2013

SPEEDBO: UNLEASHED!!!

Ruthy here, and we're staring the fifth-inning of Speedbo in the eye.



How are your goals?

Are you rounding first?

Sliding into second?




Caught in a "hot-box" of indecision, trapped between the bases?



SAFE AT THIRD?????



Rule#1: There are no strike-outs in Seekerville... Because with God, there is always a second chance. And a third. And so on, and so on, we're going with a no-limit pitch for everyone who steps up to the plate!

Did you fall apart the first week because life threw you a CURVE and you sighed and thought "Why am I bothering, this clearly isn't my time?"

DO NOT DESPAIR! Geez, Louise, we all get brushed back, it's like par for the course, so don't let it throw you... Get yourself back in the batter's box and swing for the fences!

God said: Be ready.



And that's my theme today. I'm keeping it short because we should all be writing, but there's a reason the Bible talks continually about being prepared.... "Prepare ye the way".... "Be ready for we do not know the day or time"....

We think of those verses as warnings of death. But what about applying them to LIFE?

Life to the full. Life grasped. Life appreciated.



I know I've talked about this before, about using John the Baptist and "preparing the way" as inspiration. Because it's true, right? But now I'm scrapping my quick talk on fundamentals to share a quick story with youse.

When my September book was turned in and accepted (after some revisions, contrary to popular belief the editorial staff at Love Inspired does not sit waiting in breathless anticipation for Ruthy-work... they read it, advise, make me change things, and then re-assess.... and if you DON'T have to do that, refrain from telling me because I live under the illusion that I'm normal. If you are brilliant and far above my normalcy, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. My ego can't take the hit!)  Anyway, I asked if my next book could be scheduled for Christmas 2013... The conflict and story line in my head just begged a holiday setting, this couple, who should NEVER BE TOGETHER UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, I SWEAR are just perfect together in this book.

Redemption. The prodigal, come home. Little children, needing direction. Needing constancy. Forgiveness. Warmth. Family.  Oh my stars, if any book said "CHRISTMAS!!!" it was this one.

My contract said otherwise, and having raised a lawyer, I understand that contracts are legally binding documents on both sides.... and while I might promise to have a book in on time, my contract time-frame gave me about five weeks too long. So we decided on a non-holiday book, and that was fine and I got to work, but something kept me praying about the Christmas book... As I wrote, I let the Holy Spirit guide my time frame, and while I felt pushed to work, I didn't rush.

And I prayed that if a Christmas book opening emerged, I'd hear about it and be ready. Because God wants his people to be happy... and to be ready.

I remember a famous athlete doing a commercial half-a-dozen years ago, talking about what if he hadn't been ready when the coach called his name to start a game? What if he hadn't prepared and missed that chance?

I did nothing fancy, writing 1000 words/day.... some days 12-1500 and on weekends about 3K/day. Pretty typical tortoise plod, Ruthy work. But within five weeks, I was at 47K and loving the book.

And then one of the gals shared a tweet from Love Inspired... a tweet that said if someone had a great Christmas book ready to be submitted, now was the time because they needed one.




I e-mailed my editor in the middle of the night, offering my book and explaining where I was with it. Not pushing, but knowing I could do this, given a week.

She e-mailed me back with a slew of appropriate questions. Would I be able to have a submission complete and ready for prime time this week? Would I have time to do revisions if necessary? Would I be able to do the Art Fact Sheets for the cover art and handle edits in a timely fashion? All good, pertinent questions, right?

I said yes, if given until the end of this week (March 15th) I could have the book ready, I'd already done my AFS sheets here (Be ready, remember? I had an hour two weeks ago, not enough for writing time, but enough to put my AFS packet together so that the editors and art team can visualize how I "see" the characters, the town, the lake, the businesses, and the CUTE COP!!!!)

Friday morning I got an e-mail offering me the December slot for Rainey and Luke's story.

I wanted it to be a Christmas story. When I knew it couldn't be, I nodded, smiled and wrote the book. What if I'd waited? I still have six weeks before the original book was due. What if I bided my time or wasted my time? This opportunity would not have been possible.

So I prayed and worked.

And the opportunity opened... and now I have three wonderful Love Inspired books coming out in 2013.

I am blessed, yes.

But first: I made sure I was ready.

So whereever you are in SPEEDBO, do not despair. Do not give up. Do not dilly dally or toil in vain. Plan your work, work your plan and let God and self-discipline guide your fate.



God tells us to be ready. Then it's totally up to us to take his command to heart.

Hey, we're giving away 5 (FIVE!!!!) copies of The Lawman's Second Chance today...

NEWSFLASH: "The Lawman's Second Chance" JUST RECEIVED A 4-STAR REVIEW FROM ROMANTIC TIMES MAGAZINE!!!!

And I personally love this story to death, so if you leave a comment, I'm putting your name in the cat dish for the drawing later.

AND.... I'm looking forward to talking to or working with anyone who wins a critique or phone chat with me!!!!

After Speedbo closes, of course! Because with this book done, Peeps?

I've got a new proposal to write.

SUH-WEEEET!

:)


129 comments :

  1. Oh wow! I just love it when a plan comes together! Good job, Ruthy!

    Marilyn

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  2. And wow, I'm first!

    I'll put on the coffee and tea kettle. What kind of muffins would y'all like? Blueberry? Banana nut? I have a really good recipe for zucchini nut bread and I tell myself it's just like eating a vegetable. LOL

    Marilyn

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  3. You're my hero!
    LOVE this story about YOUR story.

    Thank you so much and BIG CONGRATS!!!

    Hi Marilyn! Looks like the night shift showed up and uhmmm Zucchini Nut Bread please. I need some veggies myself. :)

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  4. May the K9 Spy here, Miss Ruthy.

    A gentle reminder, unleashed is preferable ANYtime... BOL!

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  5. Ruthy, I honestly don't know if you inspire or intimidate me, but Congratulations on being ready and getting to publish your book for the holidayss.

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  6. Ruthy!! LOVED this post--I have chills (the good kind--NOT the flu, thankfully) from reading this. Thank you so much for sharing and showing us the importance of being ready. And I love the way God orchestrates details and works things out for us--He is SO GOOD! Congratulations on having 3 books out this year--WOW! ~ Please put my name in the cat dish for the book drawing. Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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  7. Way to go, Ruthie.

    I'm still moving along much like the pace you describe. Still hoping to finish by March 31.

    I have some things ready. :)

    I'm late tonight because my guys just got home from a pig hunt. Hubby has to tell his big hunting stories, you know.

    Coffee's already been provided. I'll check in tomorrow and see how the pot is holding up.

    Helen

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  8. Veggies coming right up! ;-)

    In baseball terms, I think I'm safe at third. And under the right circumstances, I might be able to steal home. Oh wait. Maybe not. I have to work a full day Friday so no writing until evening. And I have to hit the sack early Friday night because I have to get up early and drive two hours so I can KEEP MY GRANDDAUGHTERS on Saturday!

    I'm in chapter 10 of 12. Chapter 11 is plotted (loosely). Chapter 12? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Must consult my brainstorming buddy to see just how I'm going to get my hero and heroine out of this pickle.

    Marilyn

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  9. Hey Ruthy, I almost started my day today on Ruthy hours. Thought about it at 4:45 and thought, nah. But your dedication to the dawn writing schedule really does stick with me and I think about you pounding away at those keys while I'm snuggled beneath the quilts. Maybe someday I will see you there again. It's SO much fun to find out the story behind the book. Congrats on the Christmas book and the encouragement.

    I would love to have my name in for a phone chat or brainstorm or brain...wait, did I just write that?

    It's been a hairy week, literally. Pomeranian hair, and my hair - which is washed but standing on end because three days ago my gangbusters word count went out the window with my perfect method of linear writing. How did that happen?

    That snapped my eyes back to the Lord! I am in SUCH PEACE, I can't tell you what a gift of prayer and scripture and believing in God's timing has been over these tumultuous days. I wrote 3,500 today and was shocked when I saw that. Not because I didn't believe, but because I didn't struggle to get those words! Ahhh, blessings behold. The lessons of Speedbo.

    Write on!

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  10. I'll leave the kettle simmering and the muffins on a plate. I'm heading to bed.

    1350 words today -- my best day so far. I'm 4400 words behind my original goal BUT I'm 9563 words ahead of where I was on February 28. I started with a partial manuscript and am a little over 22K now. I need 25K and have no doubt I'll have that by the end of next week. Of course there's still that pesky bit about how this all resolves. Eeep!

    Marilyn

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  11. Ruthy, LOOOOVED this post!! You're such an encouragement and a blessing :) Thanks for rule #1 and for posting those baseball photos. I'm not a sports fan, but I wanted to cheer seeing your message to just KEEP GOING!
    Loved seeing your story as well, congrats on your books for 2013, HOW WONDERFUL! *high five*

    Please enter me for a copy of The Lawman's Second Chance and thanks for the giveaway :) I praise God for writers like you who spread hope and the helpful reminder about the promise of God's plans for our lives.
    Hugs and blessings, Kara

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  12. Okay Ruthy. All I did was scroll past pictures of baseball players and babies.

    I'll read in the morning.

    End of SpeedBo Day 13:
    Today: 8266
    Total: 71306 and "the end"

    The first draft of my tenth completed novel is finished.

    Now I sleep. Tomorrow, I enter Genesis [again ;)].

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  13. What a great motivational story, Ruthy! That's so exciting!!!! Congratulations!!! Wasn't it Henry Hartman that said, "Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity?" You've really proved that saying!!!

    You chose a baseball analogy; mine today was real estate. But either way, we have to recognize that nothing happens unless we make the effort and get moving.

    (Marilyn, if you're baking them from scratch and not using the mix with tiny hardly-big-enough-to-taste mini berries, I would really enjoy a blueberry muffin. I love those wonderfully big, juicy berries... the ones that will inevitably drip on my shirt and leave a stain, but oh my, it would be worth it!) :)

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  14. Now I'm really inspired . . . to be ready!

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  15. Good morning, Seekerville!!!!

    AREN'T YOU JUST SO STINKIN' EXCITED ABOUT, WELL.... EVERYTHING?????

    (Big toothy grin here!!!!)

    Wowza, what a fantabulous start it's been and Marilyn, happy dancing for you and all your hard work...

    And the COFFEE and muffins, huzzah!!! huzzah!!!!!

    Also, loving the word counts as we go because even if we fall short of what we thought we could or should do...

    That pesky life thing!

    We are still way ahead of where we were!!!!

    Oh gosh, that's huge. Ginormous. Marvelous.

    KC I thought May would appreciate being unleashed! I knew she and I were simpatico!

    And MARY CURRY, LOL!!! That's perfect.... Inspiration and intiimidation!!! Laugh factor of "10"! :) Mostly I want to inspire but you know how it is working with kids... A little intimidation can be an inspirational factor, LOL! God bless you and those wonderful kids you work with.

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  16. Patti Jo thank you... Your words bless me and that reaction...

    Well, that's just perfect.

    Be ready. I thought of that again when I saw Pope Francis I step onto that balcony, a man who tossed aside the trappings of greatness and hierarchy, a fisher of men, and now our pontiff.

    He was ready. And that just made me grin.

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  17. Helen, not for nothin'!!!! but that pace gets the job done, right?

    It's steady... not fast (I leave that to the beautiful and amazing Carol Moncado....) but not slow....

    Steady progress that piles up in the end.

    You go girl, I'm so stinkin' proud of how well you've worked toward... and surpassed!..... your goals this past year. Helen, you are an inspiration and I love the new picture. I smile every time I see it.

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  18. Lyndee, LOL!!!! You join me in those pre-dawns anytime... Did you know that's how Mia Ross (she's here next week pesterin' youse) got her "second wind"? She started going into work early and writing for an hour a day. Just an hour. Revising old work, and writing new and now she's got 4 books out with LI...

    Tortoise or hare doesn't matter. Production does. You rock, that's an awesome, awesome day!

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  19. Aw, Kara! You got me teary eyed....

    Thank you. I'm smiling and misty, a great mix of emotions! Your words will make me smile all day, and not because of my big front teeth... it's your kindness. :)

    Carol, Carol, Carol I'm proud of you. Beyond proud. I love how you grab hold of a challenge like a half-grown pup, shaking it in your teeth, and not letting go until done. You're amazing.

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  20. Such an inspirational post today Ruthy! I needed it. I started off with a bang but I have been sick over a week and haven't been able to do much of anything. I am getting better though.

    I would love a copy of your book.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  21. Congratulations Ruthy! you rock!
    Oh my. You have positioned yourself to succeed with this strategy. Another Christmas book. Good for us!

    I'd like to be in the drawing for this book. I've fallen behind.

    and now I'm off for a 1k1hr session!

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  22. oh, can I ask a favor of you LOVE INSPIRED authors?

    how often do you switch POVS? Do you have equal number of hero/ heroine POV scenes. Do you have any plan or just pick the most appropriate POV for the particular scene you are in?

    okay now I really AM going to start my 1k1hr

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  23. I just love your posts!! And, for you to put it in baseball terms, was just fantastic. lol. I love baseball. Winning your book would be awesome!! I love your writing!!! Looking forward to reading many more books!! Thanks for the chance to win.
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

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  24. Ruthy, I love starting my day with a little inspiration from you! So proud of you for taking that pitch totally out of the park :)

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  25. Ruthy, isn't it exciting when we trust God and his timing? And then he delights us. Nothing better.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Jackie L.

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  26. Very inspiring story, Ruthy!

    Always be prepared....always!

    I am on track with my Speedbo project even though strep throat knocked me out for three days last week.

    I 'made' up the word count over the weekend and this week I've been getting over a 1000 words a day-to reach my goal I need 850 words a day.

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  27. Your words are good for my soul, Ruthy.

    I keep asking myself why our screened porch construction was delayed until the month of March, timing out exactly with Speedbo.

    I am thinking God knows I needed to pace myself and think as much as write.

    Thanks for sharing your blessings because your words are blessings to us.

    Peace, Julie

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  28. Ruthy, I so loved and needed this post! No, I am not even close to meeting my Speedbo goal this month. I'm stuck on first as life overwhelms me this month. Sigh. We all have months like this, I know. I'm just trying to not compare my lack of progress with other's wonderful progress. :)

    I know I can do this, with God's help. And prayer. Lots of prayer. :)

    I'd love to be in the drawing for your book. Thanks for your words of encouragement!

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  29. Great post, Ruthy. This is just what I needed to kick myself into gear and not feel sorry for myself for not keeping up.

    Thank you for being you!

    Piper

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  30. Great encouragement, Ruthy!!

    I'm trying to steal a few bases today. Hoping and PRAYING the second baseman drops the ball.

    love you BIG and love your story!!

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  31. Very inspirational, Ruthy! I'm so glad you got the opportunity and were prepared. Christmas books are my favorites.

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  32. Ruthy, way to go!!! That's SO exciting! And I'd LOVE for my name to go in the cat bowl. I also wouldn't mind a phone chat with you. I'm so excited about my current wip I could pop.

    I'm only rounding first base, but I'm also working toward making a day where I have a few hours all to myself to just write. This 30 minutes here and hour there and interrupted at that just aren't doing it. Though, I do have nearly 5k, my original plan says I should be at 12k. But I'm NOT GIVING UP!

    Thanks for the pep talk!

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  33. Reminds me of a scene from the movie "Facing the Giants". Haven't watched it in a while, but basically it's not raining, and there are two farmers. One prepares his field anyway, praying for rain. And, of course, the rain comes and he's ready.

    Me, I tend to procrastinate. But you know what? With Speedbo, I've learned that I do still love writing, although it's been ages and ages since I've written at length. Now I've got all sorts of things happening in my head--about the current WIP I'm reworking from years ago (pre-salvation days for me), about all the others I've got ideas for (and have the beginnings for), and about other ideas that have begun to pop in my head.

    So thank you for all this encouragement in your post, Ruthy! Looking forward to reading all 3 new books this year!

    Hugs,
    Melanie

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  34. BTW...

    GO, YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ;-)

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  35. Yay, Ruthy! You're an inspiration. I want to be you when I grow up! (And no, that's not me teasing about being younger than you.) SNORT!

    :)

    I can't wait to read your Christmas story!

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  36. Lyndee, congrats on the huge writing day!!

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  37. I forgot to report yesterday.

    Speedbo Wednesday: 1070

    A lot less than I wanted. But I've had kids home all week! Not easy when they're out of school. Plus normal Wednesday church activities

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  38. I'm really sorry about this, Ruthy but all I got out of your post today was...

    blah, blah, blah PRECIOUS SLEEPING BABY, blah, blah, blah TODDLER WITH PUPPIES!!, blah, blah, blah

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  39. CAROL!!! Congrats on finishing it!!!

    How on earth do you do 8k words in a day???????

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  40. Okay, I read it and it's so true and beautiful I'm a little weepy!!!

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  41. Yay -- I needed a Ruthy cheer to get me going this morning. I'm behind in my word count -- life = stupor of thought = brain freeze.I worked on the same scene for about three days straight before I remembered that this is Speedbo and I could just ignore it and move on! LOL. Now that I have I've discovered that awful scene isn't necessary after all. Grrrrr at me for wasting all that time! I'm so mad at myself!!!!

    I'd love to know the answer to Debra's LI question regarding POV. Plus -- really basic newbie question. How long is a chapter for a LI? Mine are about twenty pages. Too long? Too short?

    Oh -- and guess what? MY Harlequin order came in and I have three new Seeker books to read! How will I choose which one to read first? Such a dilemma!

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  42. RUTHY SAID: "I'm keeping it short because we should all be writing ..."

    LOL ... well, it's "short" for Ruthy, that's for sure!! And look at me, throwing stones from my glass house ... ;)

    LOVE the Christmas book story, Ruthy, and couldn't be happier for you, my friend. You are every publisher's dream ... the way you work, work, work to get the books written in an efficient but excellent manner, ready to do whatever the publisher needs!!

    May all of your books fly off the shelves faster and faster!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  43. thanks Ruthy, for this awesome post. first of all, i'm tomboy, sports chick, so i'm all over the baseball analogy. second, i love your story about being prepared - very inpsirational.

    with SPEEDBO (james earl jones), i'm still in the batter's box, fouling off pitches. toddler in the house who craves momma time/attention.

    i've come to the realization i just need to type SOMEthing, ANYthing. even if it's only a sentence a day.

    i'm also thinking i am so still a writer wanna be. at least i'm soaking in the wisdom of the Seekerville peeps.

    please cat dish me (a Ruthy book? so THERE!!!) and i'd love an opportunity for a crit or phone call with you.(or any Seeker, for that matter)

    thanks for the inspirational post Ruthy - you rock!!!

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  44. Cindy!!! You are the reason for this post. We all get waylaid, fall behind, life happens, and we have to just grab hold of those reins, hang on, ride it out, (YEEEEHAWWWWW!) and start again.

    Just like God is the God of second chances (I love that Veggie Tale song!!!) we can always pick up where we left off or begin anew.

    So stinkin' blessed, right????

    DEB MARVIN, MY FRIEND!!! Okay, LI POV... It's not written in stone and some authors go chapter by chapter, but I generally split chapters (especially if you're doing 20 page +/- chapters) AND...

    When emotions get taut or action gets tight I will up it to quicker back and forth changes. This works when you need quick action, a saving or rescue scene, danger, or rescuing the fair maid from airport or train station to convince her NOT TO LEAVE!!! :)

    Writers that use shorter chapters might alternate chapters, but I'm more comfortable with the longer chapter split. And I think that ups the odds for the H/H. You want to cheer both on, but sometimes you really want to hold a reality mirror up to them and say "Are ya' kiddin' me, Jack????"

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  45. SALLY!!!! Aw, what a great comment, of course you're going to win, darling... Even if you WEREN'T you will now because you stroked my over-inflated ego THIS MUCH!!!! :)

    Mia, Good morning! Aw, thank you, but they already know I PAY YOU to say nice things about me. It kind of off-sets Connealy's knife-to-my-heart jabs....

    sigh.... ;)

    And I'm finally reading A Place for Family.... and LOVING IT! Who knew I'd fall for that youngest Sawyer, John????

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  46. I've studied the photos on thie blog for 20 minutes -- am I just overlooking JETER? If he's not here, I think we have a Ruthy impersonator in our midst!!

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  47. Ruthy, What an encouraging post this morning! One I really needed since I'm stranded on second.

    While reading this post, I heard Tom Hanks from A league of Their Own saying, "There's no crying in baseball!"

    So, I'm stepping up to the plate again. :)

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  48. Blueberry muffins for me, thank you very much.
    I knew I would check this post with Ruth, never get tired of your stories. What an amazing feat, with all of speedBo and the busyness of the month you went with a gut feeling and worked it out, proud of you. congrats on the book coming and the others too in 2013. you sure set a great example for the others as they are writing their little hearts out this month. thanks for sharing today.
    Off to do our taxes this afternoon, wish us luck and hubby has stress test tomorrow so see ya later.
    Paula O

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  49. Jackie, you know it was my fellow Seekers who taught me to trust God's timing...

    And my mother-in-law and Aunt Isabelle who taught me to never quit working. Some might find that boring...

    GRIN!!!

    Not me!

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  50. YOU ROCK, Ruth. and all the rest of you writers. Praying for you for inspiration, stamina and awakeness! i would love to win your book, Ruth. Have a terrific day, readers and writers alike!

    Marianne

    mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

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  51. Sometimes we just know, don't we, Ruthy? What a beautiful example of following your heart (i.e., God's leading), being prepared, and opening the door when opportunity knocks!

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  52. I did read this last night after all though I didn't comment.

    Love love love your story Ruthy!

    I have no clue why this story came so easily. The first draft is very rough. Talking heads and floating body parts abound. But it's DONE. On day 13.

    Why?

    Maybe it's so I have time to work on something else? Maybe it's because I'll need *this* manuscript for some reason. Who knows?

    But it's a total, TOTAL God thing.

    Today I'm writing up a synopsis for it, going over the first two chapters and cutting them to 15 pages and seeing if I can get both in good enough shape to enter Genesis by tomorrow. Maybe that's why? I don't know.

    But I'm trying to be ready for whatever comes :).

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  53. Julie said: "LOL ... well, it's 'short' for Ruthy, that's for sure!!"

    I wasn't going to say anything, but, yeah, I was thinking the same thing! ;-D

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  54. And enter me for any and all giveaways ;).

    Phone call with Ruthy?!

    THAT would be fun :D.

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  55. Dancing away in the Black Hills! Ruthy's doin' a Christmas book!!!

    When I think about all the things I've learned here on Seekerville (many, many things), one that stands out to me the most is this one: BE READY AND RELY ON GOD FOR THE TIMING!

    We have to listen to that still, small voice that nudges us to write a certain story, and then celebrate when it turns out to be the RIGHT story - right for teaching ourselves something, right for touching a person's life, right for publication...it doesn't matter.

    And Ruthy, you listened, you wrote, and now we have the right story for Christmas!


    But there was one other thing that stood out to me in your post: "I'd already done my AFS sheets here."

    It was a light bulb moment! I have a book sitting in an editor's computer and I'm waiting to hear - but there's nothing to stop me from gathering the stuff together for my AFS sheets ahead of time! Because I want to BE READY!

    Speedbo report: Some days have been better than others, but I'm not too far from my goal of 10,000 words a week. End of the day yesterday brought me to 13,746. The biggest part is making the schedule work.


    And please put my name in the cat dish!

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  56. Ruthy, congrats on being prepared!! Looking forward to reading three Ruthy books this year!!!

    Janet

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  57. What an inspiration, Ruthy. I've always believed in being prepared, not that I have been but working toward it. I've had hay fever but managed to get an average of 1000 words a day. Can I revise my goal to 30000 words? I already have 12000, so that's doable. I think I'll finish at 60000, but will have to add at least 20000 more when I revise to fill in "she wore something" and "he went somewhere" and "it looked like something".
    Best wishes to Carole on the Genesis. After this marathon you deserve to win.

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  58. A Rose by any other name IS STILL OUR ROSE!!!! Hi, chickie, and congrats on your steady progress!

    That's what it's all about, climbin' back on the horse...

    Or getting back in the batter's box and swingin' for those fences!!!...

    Whatever it takes. Hey, I brought fresh coffee and some new creamers... and cinnamon milk. Hot or cold, cinnamon milk (sweetened with NYS real Maple Syrup, of course!!!) is amazingly good. And soothing.

    Anybody need to be soothed today????

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  59. Julie, I love how things work out...

    And I love that people of resources.... not money, but thought and reasoning... ride with the punches, go with the flow, make do, use it up, wear it out, move on... that's so "race that knows Joseph" that we work with the opportunities that arise.

    And then make more happen!

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  60. Jeanne oh my stars, I'm so glad you're finding this helpful because some months it's just stinkin' hard to find room to breathe...

    And that can be for so many reasons. I think that's part of the reason I do conferences rarely. When I have to get ready for something... then go... then come back and handle everything that happened while I was gone and catch up on stuff... Oy, I lose too much time.

    Motherhood and fatherhood is sacred time, so you just bop back in as you are able... And know that each move forward is a move, no matter how small or slow it seems now.

    Now passes too quickly sometimes.

    PIPER!!!!! I just finished the final edits (Yes, they were this week also for those of you scoring at home, LOL!!!) for my book "Falling for the Lawman" and the heroine's name is PIPER McKINNEY!!!! And she's one tough cookie, one dyed-in-the-wool farmer and everytime I wrote Piper's name, I saw YOU!!!! :) Gorgeous heroine!

    You know, goals are best written in sand, not stone.

    Always. Flexibility is huge in every enterprise, so when you get tagged at first... or strike out... there's always another at-bat.

    That's baseball. Life. And writing! Hang in there, girl!

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  61. Pepper I've stolen a few bases in my day. And gotten caught stealing once or twice...

    :)

    But it's part of the game, right? You go, girl. Stay focused, keep those submissions rolling and move forward one step at a time. It's when we try to skip toooooo many bases... that the temptation to sell ourselves short comes through.

    Let that talent and smile shine!

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  62. I got up this morning, dropped my son off at work, came back home and gave my 13 yo daughter a haircut--she didn't cry, my 15 yo tough-guy son made chocolate chip cookies, almost bought a vw beetle on ebay from Mass.--lost in the last few seconds--whew! It's 10:30 here.

    Weigh-in this morning-- lost 8 pounds in 1 week on my diet.(Super-duper Yee Haw!!!)

    But I haven't written in 2 days on Speedbo. If I spent half the energy into my writing as everything else, I would have made my Speedbo goal already.

    Ruthy, you're anything by a slow writer. You're very inspiring.

    Question, do you write uncommonly well on your rough draft, or do edit-as-you-go?

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  63. Oh, and please my name in the hat for your book.

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  65. CARA-MIA thank you! :) Grinning at you because I love Christmas books, too, but I'm so stinkin' biased because they never seem quite the same set in palm trees.... or beaches.

    Am I alone in that? That Christmas needs to feel somewhat cold and barren to feel real at times? Or all New England-y, like Frost's "Stopping by a Woods on a Snowy Evening"...

    "Whose woods these are I think I know...

    His house is in the village though.

    He will not see me stopping here

    To watch his woods fill up with snow..."

    I smile every time I repeat that to myself. Of course then there's Mary's calves being born in a stinkin' March BLIZZARD!!! OY!

    LINNETTE! Do not fret, no fretting, no worries... that 30 minutes a day is sweet. Anything that gets us in the habit is easily increased. It's if you have no habits of writing, it gets tough to start. You've crossed the big Rubicon of completing a book... now you can just hustle along at your pace! And whatever that pace is, it's SWEET.

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  66. Melanie my fellow upstater!!!

    I love that you've jumped back in!!! I'm so stinkin' proud of you!

    Huzzah!!! Huzzah!!!!!

    :) Can you see my big, toothy grin from down yonder in them thar hills?????

    Keep up the good work. I'm delighted to have you "playing" in the water with us!

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  67. I will say something very succinct and direct to MISSY TIPPENS privately... :)

    Be afraid, Missy! My age only means I'm more experienced at GETTING EVEN, CHICKIE!!!!

    And wait, I admit to 47.... didn't you have a MILESTONE birthday not long ago????

    A BIG MILESTONE BIRTHDAY?? :)

    And I have to be nice to the Tippens chick because she was the one who forwarded me the tweet about the Christmas opening. Dagnabbit.

    List:

    1. Be nice to Missy Tippens.

    GROAN!!!

    :)

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  68. CONNEALY!!!! Don't you love those pictures?????

    The first one was precious granddaughter MacKenzie when she was a newborn and that tiny, sweet innocent baby is now a mop-headed, blue eyed tomboy that thinks nothing of doing flips, spins, and karate chops at age 2. She's hysterical. Looks BEYOND INNOCENT and she's as tough as nails.

    So funny....

    And the little boy with the puppies is the cover model for the little boy on the front of "The Lawman's Second Chance".... That's Lisa's little boy Nolan...

    And he's adorable.

    And smart.

    And naughty.

    And she lets me take credit for some of it, LOL! Mostly the BAD STUFF!

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  69. Connealy...

    You really read it?

    Pshaw, you did not, you're writing 20K today and I KNOW you skimmed but that's okay because you don't need me to pat you on the shoulder and tell you you're okay.

    You already know that.

    But THANK YOU FOR PRETENDING TEARS!!!!

    :)

    Although I bet I could get you teary-eyed... If I wanted to.

    What's in your wallet?

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  70. KAV Oh my stars, you have learned the most valuable lesson of all....

    If it feels like it's not working or you can't go on????

    It's not working And it doesn't even mean it's not good or well-written, it's just not write for that book... or that time... or that scene.

    And we learn that the hard way, but at least you didn't write a whole stinkin' book....

    (hangs head, shrugs dejectedly)

    I'm glad you learned that valuable time-saving lesson quicker than ME.

    THREE SEEKER BOOKS!!!!!

    Oh, Hallelujah chorus time! Missy... Tina.... And Janet's historical?????

    I might be wrong on that, but I'm dying to get my hands on all of the above!

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  71. News of your Christmas book is an early Christmas gift to all your many fans!

    Cheering!

    Keeping with the baseball metaphor wasn’t it said that:

    “If you built it, they will come.”

    In PMA talk:

    “You’ll see it when you believe it.”

    We've had Mr. October and now we have Mrs. December!

    Cheering! Fireworks! ♫♪♪♫♫ Organ music!

    Play ball -- get out there and write!

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  72. Hi KC:

    How about a Christmas K9-Spy story? ”An Undercover Christmas” – May finds the terrorists and discovers the true meaning of Christmas for all pets. What grandparent could resist buying this book?

    Vince
    and Aristotle

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  73. Three in 2013, way to go, Ruthy. And the way it played no one could miss God's hand in it.

    My stats are no where near where I hoped they'd be, but i'm still in it.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    Blessings
    Tina P.

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  74. Ruthy, with all the baseball terminology you throw in, I was surprised that you didn't mention that Lou Gehrig got a chance to play only because the player he was backing up decided to take a day off. Mr. Gehrig went 3-for-5 that day and didn't sit again for 2,130 games. He was ready when his name was called.

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  75. Way to go, Ruthy! You are so right, Ruthy!!! So, so right. The harder I work, the more books I can write and get published. It's what I keep telling myself. I plodded on with my first Regency, even while everybody and their sister had already rejected it, and then, when I finally got the contract offer from B&H, I had the book practically finished, and we were able to ask them to bump up the release dates by six months, and they did! I was very excited about that.

    A slacker you are NOT, Ruthy. You can't always say that about me, but, I am plodding on. March has had MANY distractions already. MANY. But I am getting some words written, plodding along anyway, and it's all good. I shall prevail against those distractions, bugs hitting my windshield--no wait, that's a raccoon! Yikes! Here comes a water buffalo! A spotted hyena! NO MATTER! I keep going! Nothing can stop me! After all, this is SPEEDBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOL! :P

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  76. Ruthy!!!

    Isn't God amazing like that???! Your post encouraged me so much! Congrats on your 2013 releases!
    The Lawman's Second Chance looks great. Loving that cover. All those kids, the sweet lady helping them and wait, what?? Is that a hunky lawman in the back carrying garden tools?? I think yes! :))

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  77. BE READY TO WALK THRU EVERY DOOR.

    Love it.

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  78. Marilyn needs to email Yankee Belle Cafe after Speedbo and do a day with that Zucchini Nut Bread.


    PLEASE!!!!!!!!

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  79. WHOA, Walt. Love the Lou Gehrig story. Thank you.

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  80. Ruthy,
    Very encouraging post.
    SpeedBo: I've shifted focus a bit. I'm still working on a MS, but also working on a media platform course (writer related). I'm focused on what I've done, not what went undone.
    Today's words: about 4000, day job tasks, course work (is that cheating)?
    Total word count SpeedBo: 9696

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  81. Plan your work, work your plan and let God and self-discipline guide your fate.

    Love it.

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  82. Thanks for the pep talk Ruthy, and what a sweet reminder to be following those promptings from the Lord. Thank you.

    I know most of you are writing this month. I'm editing instead and am getting close to my half way point. Praying I make it through before the end of March.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

    P.S. I don't know that I want to be in a cat bowl...good thing it's just my name, and not me. :)

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  83. Congratulations, Ruthie! You rock! And you reminded me to get off my royal "highness" and get back to work on the book for which I submitted a book proposal in a contest. Will hear tomorrow if book proposal made cut for top five. Prize: 1 book contract with NY agency.

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  84. Ruthy, I'm thrilled about you being ready and the story being selected as a Christmas release. God heard your prayer!

    Can't wait to read your next story. Congrats on 4 Stars! Fantastic. You know I'm a HUGE fan!!!

    You've driven home a point we all need to take to heart. I'm heading back to my WIP. I will be prepared...

    Hugs and love!

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  85. Ruthy, that's great! Congratulations!
    Your message is loud and clear - write, write, write! Got it :)

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  86. And if I didn't say so earlier in the week, please throw my name in for the phone chat this week.

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  87. Congratulations, Ruthy. I've been waiting for the Ruthy pep talk. Just what I needed since I've been slow to start and near ready to bow out.

    Be ready. God and self-discipline.

    Thanks.

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  88. Great to read about your "being ready" experience! I'm making satisfactory progress on my Speedbo goal of 1K words per weekday...I guess that's a turtle pace...but that pace is working for me!

    I really appreciate all the encouragement here in Seekerville!

    Please put my name in the kitty bowl....thanks!

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  89. Playground Monitor....I'd like blueberry muffins, please. And I looked at your website the other day...Cute! I was intrigued because I was a teacher/playground monitor for a few years. And you know my cousin-in-law, Linda Winstead Jones! Have a fun time with your granddaughers!

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  90. Thanks Ruthy!
    I notice the interactions becoming quicker, too. More back and forth as the stakes are raised.

    What great wisdom today from the cheap seats!
    Loved the Babe Ruth story, Walt!

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  91. Yay, Carol, on the Genesis entries--PLURAL! WOW!

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  92. Today's Speedbo report: 1960 words. Truckin' along!

    How's everybody else doing? Sherida, it sounds like you're staying on track. A thousand words a day is real progress!

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  93. Deb H: I remember how it was hard to find time to write with little ones. My little ones are now 31 and 28. I didn't write much back then. But I think you have the right idea to write even "just a sentence" each day. You WILL have more time eventually. Prayers for you, your little one and your writing!

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  94. With Julie its gone with the wind, with Ruthy I knew it was you cos of baseball!
    Congrats on the christmas book that will be so cool.

    late commenting was to tired last night. have to day I did sleep better last night which is always a plus!

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  95. Okay. I'm a newbie. I've been a poet for years with characters running rampant in my mind asking me to tell their stories. Now my question is for anyone and everyone who would like to respond, do any of you start your novels with naked dialogue or do you layer as you go? I'm finding I can get my story down pretty fast with mostly naked dialogue but I'm not sure that's the best way to get it done.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  96. Thanks for the inspiration and the kick in the behind, RUTHY.

    Love the photos.

    Go get em

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  97. NEEDED this - haven't been here in FOREVER - cuz I'm writing!! (not just on my Speedbo project - cuz I just WON A CONTEST that will lead to my completed nonfiction being PUBLISHED in the near future - and they wanted stuff :)) Not gonna meet my original goal - but it's OKAY. Making progress - and HAPPY DANCING :D

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  98. Connie.... Do I write uncommonly well on my first draft?

    Hmmm.....

    Wait.....

    Let me fall down LAUGHING at that! I've had to revise books... had to rewrite one completely... and I've had a few that didn't need any revising, so there's your answer...

    I don't know. :)

    Sometimes what I think will work, doesn't work for the boss....

    And sometimes it just needs a little tweaking.

    But if you're wondering do I have to struggle and think a lot, well, not usually because I think about the coming scenes before I write them.... So it's in my head. And each day I re-read what I wrote the previous day to get back in the start/stop groove and I mildly edit then....

    I wonder if that's kind of the same for most of us, or are we all different?

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  99. Jan, I'm having so much fun working with you, girlfriend! What a hoot, getting to know you. SWEET! And awesome job on your goals... keep it up but don't make me look bad, okay?

    I'm sensitive, you know. :)

    Janet, thank you! I was tickled pink to have it work out this way... Oh, that God!!!!

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  100. A 4-star review in Romantic Times -- way to GO, Ruthy!

    Terrific inspiration in your post today. I almost gave up on my Speedbo novella because despite all my brilliant planning some big, humongous, not-to-be-ignored bears showed up (remember Tina's post?). Discouragement. Deep sighing. It's not meant to be. But these Seekerville posts gently (okay, sometimes not so gently) encouraged me.

    Yesterday, in a total departure from my usual linear writing, I skipped ahead and wrote the ending. So part of me is on second and part of me is celebrating at home plate :-)

    Nancy C

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  101. Elaine! I like how you're approaching this. That process works for me. I think my first draft is nicely written, but lacks the depth of a good story. So that first read-through (I do hard copy print ups and read through every 100 pages or so) shows me where the weak spots are... and then what needs to be realigned. And is chapter X foreshadowing something in Chapter Y or is it just drivel...

    I will not tell you how often it is drivel and I delete... :) Drivel happens! Your goal is very reachable and adding in the depth later works!

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  102. VINCE, MY BUDDY!!! Isn't it a great story? And I love doing Christmas books THIS MUCH!!!! They just delight me.

    And I like your suggestion for KC to do a Christmas in May story! :) Can't you just see May dragging tinsel around? Hiding stockings? Saving little Christmas mice from death?????

    WALT.... I know you're beating me in the word count, and I'm HUMBLING myself to say you're going to win for the month because I'm working edits and inserts, but I will be your biggest cheerleader as you hit THE END on the next book! After the first one, it's so much easier to punch yourself through the next.. and the next!

    I forgot the Lou Gehrig story, and you're right, it would be perfect for this... Next year!!! :)

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  103. JODIE!!! LOL, I'll keep you out of the dish, and just put your name in!

    You know what, editing is HUGE. Writing is great, but you know the score. It's only the first step. Then it's editing, splicing, chopping, dicing, etc. That editing job is crazy important. You stay tight with that. They say it's the editing that makes a good movie GREAT.

    I believe it!

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  104. Well... I eeked out 615 today. Only half of what I needed, but at least its something...

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  105. Finally got a chance to pop over! Too many comments to read, but loved the post!

    Congratulations on your Christmas story, Ruthy! You are an inspiration to all of us!

    Love to win your book!

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  106. Ruthy, I can't believe that you of all people forgot the Lou Gehrig story.

    As for my wordcount, it hasn't been great. It's been steady but not great. I did finish a new manuscript and will have to edit it eventually. Have started a third manuscript with Speedbo.

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  107. I'd be honored to contribute the zucchini nut bread recipe to the YBC.

    I've noted on my calendar to contact y'all after SpeedBo.

    And speaking of SpeedBo -- no words written today, but a lot of words thought about. I have almost reached the end of what I have "plotted" out and I was beginning to panic over how to resolve everything and tie it all up in a nice pretty package. So I've spent tonight thinking and jotting things down and even coming up with a couple good sections of dialogue. So actually I DID write, but it's in longhand. I'm happy with the progress I made with the story line so that's what counts. Right?

    Marilyn

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  108. Hi Ruthy,
    Inspirational words about being ready in season and out...you remind me in God's economy and under His care there are no wasted moments. I have not written a thing since Tuesday except to train my iPhone not to complete speedbo as speedboat, but here I am in the back of a van driving down the interstate and I am in the midst of a writer's community learning about my newly chosen craft with so many Christian authors!
    Incredible...

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  109. Hi Ruthy,
    Inspirational words about being ready in season and out...you remind me in God's economy and under His care there are no wasted moments. I have not written a thing since Tuesday except to train my iPhone not to complete speedbo as speedboat, but here I am in the back of a van driving down the interstate and I am in the midst of a writer's community learning about my newly chosen craft with so many Christian authors!
    Incredible...

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  110. I love it! What an awesome, heartwarming story!

    And a great reminder not to dawdle. We need to work and write "unto the Lord" not man's timeframe.

    Good for you writing the book, despite your yearning for a Christmas book. God listens; God hears.

    And now we have a Ruthy CHRISTMAS LOVE STORY to look forward to.

    YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!

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  111. WOW! I didn't know the story behind this!!

    And of course it got 4 stars. Duh.

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  112. Thank you for sharing!! Appreciated.

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  113. Ruth, thanks for an awesome post. I just love those God-given moments when one follows the Spirit's leading, and then something amazing happens.

    Well done!

    Blessings
    Marion

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  114. Loved the encouragement, Ruthy, AND your Christmas story tale. I'm rounding third . . . my hero told me about a secret he has this week, so that created a few new scenes, and I'll need to go back through to write appropriate hints, but that is FUN!!

    Thanks,

    Gail K.

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  115. I like the cover of the book and love-inspired books.

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  116. I would love to win,Enter me!!!
    Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless!!!
    Sarah Richmond
    sarahrichmond[dot]12[at]gmail[dot]com
    N.C.

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  117. Congrats Ruthie!

    I'm almost to second base! But this week has been lagging. Trying to keep up the speed part in SPEEDBO

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  118. Oh Ruthy, your posts are always sooo inspiring!
    Excited about your Christmas book...congrats!
    Please put my name in the "dish" for this book....thanks!!
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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  119. 5th inning already? Almost time for the stretch... But here comes spring break, dedicated 100% to speedbo. Thanks Ruthy! Great story.

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  120. Natalie, I love that cover too... They did a great job on it. It makes me smile every time I see it!

    CINDY!!! I finally got back here and I'm working backwards toward the middle! Lookin' forward to spring break... and EASTER. I just love Easter.

    JACKIE!!!! AS YOU CAN SEE, I DID PUT YOUR NAME IN THE DISH, LOL!!! YOU WON!!!

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  121. Vision Writer!!! :) Hey, second base is halfway home!!!! You rock! Sometimes it's just getting out of the batter's box that's the tough part, isn't it?

    SARAH!!! Okay, I entered you but the cat dish wasn't sticky enough!!! It only clumped 8 names together! :)

    You keep coming back. We love youse!

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  122. Michelle!GAIL.... That's the nitty gritty of writing, isn't it? To insert all those itsy bitsy pieces... Good for you! I love it when heroes talk to us!

    MARION... I love the Holy Spirit... I love the very idea of being blessed in such fashion, being part of the communion of God. And those nudges... Oy, I've rued many a day when I was too busy to pay attention to those nudges. Hopefully I'm smarter now.

    Mary Connealy would ARGUE that, but sheesh, what does she know????

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  123. OLIVIA!!!! I'm so stinkin' glad you found us! I love the image of cruisin' down the highway, chattin' it up on Seekerville! And plotting... planning!

    Oh, those phones that think they're smarter than we are. OY!!!!! :)

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  124. MARILYN Sometimes when I'm not sure what's going to happen at the end or near the end, I just jump in and start. Usually a few chapters in I know my characters enough to see and visualize what they'd do ten chapters later.

    Although I do get surprised now and again!

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  125. WALT I think the biggest purpose and blessing of Speedbo is that we learn to prioritize our writing time... and that's the best present of all for a serious writer. We tend to put everything else first...

    Now, that's understandable with full time job (waves hand in air), family (waves hand in air) housekeeping (puts hand down firmly and laughs out loud!!!)

    We just keep on keepin' on!

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  126. SUSAN!!! I finally got over here and saw you!!!! HI, my friend, happy Speedbo and St. Patrick's lovely day to you!!!!

    Thank you.... I love your kind words always. You make me grin. Waving across the pond!!!

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