Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gone Fishing...And Looking Back Six Years!

Debby Giusti here!

Summer isn’t summer without a trip to the beach. Usually we head to the Gulf Coast, but his year, we changed direction and ended up at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The first morning I rose early, grabbed my camera and left the hotel, ready to snap some photos. The day was picture perfect with clear skies, warm sunshine and blue water that stretched as far as the eye could see.

Seagulls cawed overhead, then swooped low and glided across the water in search of fish. Others forged for mole crabs they swallowed whole, while still others watched the waves, their heads turned into the wind, like tiny statues in the sand.

All around me, sandpipers scurried on stick-like legs. Digging with their long, thin beaks, they searched for tiny, butterfly-shaped clams, called coquinas, buried in the wet sand.

In the distance, I spotted a fisherman standing in the surf. He cast his line then anchored his pole on the beach and repeated the process with a second rod and reel. I raised my camera and snapped a few shots as I walked toward him.

Mid-sixties with a ruddy complexion and weather-worn skin, the man nodded a greeting as I approached, and we struck up a conversation. Originally from New York, he had vacationed at Myrtle for seventeen years and, after retirement, moved south to spend the rest of his years on the beach doing what he loved best, namely fishing.

“What have you caught?” I asked, eager to know about the bounty of the Carolina coastal waters.

“Just about everything over the years. Red snapper, pompano, whiting, flounder. Even a shark.”

Scanning the water, his brown eyes narrowed in the glare from the sun’s reflection. “There.” He pointed. “See the ripples? A school of mullet is heading this way. They’re good bait, and whenever you see the smaller fish, you know the big ones are nearby.”

Scooping up his net from where it lay on the sand, he wrapped the cast line around his wrist and waded into the surf. Patiently, he waited as the churning water, alive with fish, undulated closer.

With one swift swoop, he tossed the net high into the air. It opened in a circle mid-flight and landed atop the waves, visible for only a moment before it dropped below the surface.

Quickly, he pulled the line to trap the fish, but when lifted from the water, the net was empty. Undeterred by his failed attempt, he repeated the process over and over again. The mullet eluded capture, yet he continued on, seemingly unfazed by his lack of success.

Eventually, I walked on, but my thoughts remained on the fisherman with the empty net. In a way, I could see how fishing paralleled the writing life.

I thought of my years of persistence before my first book sold. I wrote six completed manuscripts and many partials and sent them out to contest judges and publishing houses and literary agencies, hoping to garner interest from someone, from anyone.

Yes, I got discouraged at times, but invariably when at my lowest ebb, something unexpected – a request, a contest final, a rejection that included encouragement or a bit of praise – buoyed me to continue on.

As time passed, my writing improved, but the goal to publish seemed even more elusive. I pushed on every door not knowing which one, if any, would open.

God reveals himself through His Word, and one particular scripture passage – John 21:3-7 -- spoke to my heart, especially when I was so close, yet still unsuccessful in fulfilling my writing dream.

You know the story. Peter has fished all night and caught nothing. The Lord calls from the shore and tells Peter to make a change and move his net to the other side of the boat.

In that passage, Christ was talking directly to me. I changed my secular intrigue into a Christian suspense.  Like Peter, my nets had been empty so I tossed them on the other side of the boat, on the inspirational genre side.

My story sold. The Seekers formed. We started this blog, and now, six years later, I can look back and see the Lord guiding me as I learned my craft and honed my skills and eventually transitioned from secular to Christian stories. God’s timing is perfect and, indeed, it was for me.

Retracing my steps that morning at Myrtle Beach, I noticed the fisherman had caught one fish and reeled in a second as I waved and scurried passed, heading back to the hotel.

Once in my room, I settled into a comfy chair to spend quiet time with the Lord. Opening to the day’s scripture, I had to smile. 

Luke 5:1-11 

Another story where the Lord told Peter, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” As usual, Peter groused. “Master, we have worked hard all night and caught nothing,” but he followed the Lord’s promptings and the fish filled two boats almost to sinking.

God had brought me to the beach on this particular day -- in His perfect time -- so I could watch a fisherman cast his net and reflect on Peter, who Christ called to be a “fisher of men.” 

Some years earlier, God had called me to write stories that included his message of love and mercy. He had opened many doors along the way, but that day at Myrtle Beach, I like to think He opened a door of affirmation and confirmation that let me know I was where he wanted me to be. My net still comes up empty at times, but—like the man on the beach—I keep fishing.

Preparing for this blog, I thought of the attributes fishermen possess that compliment the writing life.

H…hard work 
M…management skills 
N…never give up 

WordWeb, an online dictionary, provided the following meanings that fit the writing life as well:

Fortitude: Strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage

Ingenuity: The power of creative imagination

Strength: The property of being physically or mentally strong

Hard Work: (1) Hard: Not easy; requiring great physical or mental effort to accomplish or comprehend or endure; (2) Work: Activity directed toward making or doing something; applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject

Energetic:  Enterprising or ambitious drive; an imaginative, lively style (especially style of writing)

Resolute:  Characterized by firmness and determination

Management Skills: (1) Manage: To  be successful; achieve a goal (2) Skills: An ability that has been acquired by training

Enthusiasm: A feeling of excitement; a lively interest

Never Give Up:  Tenacity; persistent determination

What attributes do you find necessary for this writer’s life? Have you cast your net on the right side of the boat? Are you listening to the Lord’s directions from the shore? What do you see farther down the beach? Have you pushed on any doors recently? Is there a scripture that encourages you to persevere?

Leave a comment to be included in two drawings. I’m giving away a Writer’s Journal, a 2014, 18-month Perfect Planner, and a copy of my latest release, THE SOLDIER’S SISTER, to one winner. A second drawing will be for a 30 minute phone mentoring session. Please let me know if you want to be included in either drawing.

Each comment also enters you in the weekly prize drawing and the mega-iPad Mini giveaway at the end of the month.

In honor of Seekerville’s Sixth Birthday, I’ve brought six cakes for your enjoyment -- German Chocolate, Red Velvet, Pumpkin Spice, Applesauce Raisin, Carrot and Black Forest, along with an assortment of ice cream and frozen yogurt!

Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

By Debby Giusti

Someone wants Stephanie Upton dead. A warning to leave town is just the beginning. Fearing for her life, Stephanie turns to Special Agent Brody Goodman for help and protection. But can she trust him when he’s convinced her own brother is a prime suspect? Torn between her devotion to two men—an estranged brother whose trust she yearns to regain and an agent she may be falling for—Stephanie doesn’t know who or what to believe. As feelings between her and Brody escalate, she’ll have to choose sides to stay alive.

Military Investigations:
Serving their country and solving crimes
 Available now at Amazon.


  1. I'll bring healthy chocolate chip cupcakes. Because birthdays are not birthdays without cake.:) I definitely think it would be really hard for me to ever write a book without a least a mention of my faith. If God is the meaning of life how can you avoid Him in your writing?
    In Intervarsity meeting today we were talking about the story of the paralyzed man who's friends lowered him through the roof. It you think about it those men had so much faith and it ended up saving their friend.
    So could maybe our writing do the same. So far I sometimes feel like God is saying, " Write for Me even if you never get published. It's not about you or how great a writer you are. It's not about awards, contests, reviews or praise. It's about Me and the people you can influence through it."
    But it is so easy to get caught up in that stuff. I remember Julie had a post about keeping your eyes on what is really important which made such an impact.
    Anyway, off to bed to prepare for school.

  2. I saw no mention of Lemon Meringue Cake, my personal favorite! I loved you FISHERMAN acronym! That can be for so many other things, too, like farming, volunteering, living! As I'm a reader, not a writer, the prizes (except the book) would be wasted on me! Happy Birthday Seekerville!

  3. What a beautiful post, Debby. And lovely pictures as well. Thank you so much for this encouragement.

    My family and I are heading to the Gulf shores soon. These pictures are prepping me for "vacation mode." :)

  4. Hi Debby:

    You never fail to inspire! I just love this post. One of my favorite gospel songs is “Fishers of Men” by Rhonda Vincent. I like the below version because of the pictures of fishermen:

    I also enjoyed the fisherman story. What I saw was that the man loved fishing – he didn’t say he loved ‘catching fish’. And I think this attitude makes all the difference. When his net came up empty, he was still fishing.

    Life has a lot of coincidens. I have a sister and sister in law who were both born on October 16th (today’s date). They are both retired career military. They are both named Nancy. So I ordered two of you latest books to give them for their birthdays today. When my wife wrapped the books for me she said in surprise, “This book is even about a sister!” I had not really thought about that until then. You worte a very appreciative comment in the books when you autographed them and now it is your day to host the birthday celebration for the Seekers on my Nancys’s birthday!

    If this were fiction, I would need a lot of foundation to make it believable.

    Thanks, I really liked your pictures even if I thought it was Missy’s post there for a while. 

    Happy Birthday to All!


  5. I don't know which cake to pick but I can tell you, Debby Giusti, I am in such total and blessed agreement with this post that I have nothing to say except I thank God that you listened to that voice within, the nudge of the Holy Spirit and I'm smiling over the thought of that fisherman... and that lesson learned.

    Oh, that God!!!!!

  6. Happy birthday to Nancy 1 and Nancy 2!!!!

    I feel very Seussical, writing that!

  7. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing this!

  8. What an awesome lesson you've shown with the fisherman. I also love what VINCE wrote about how the fisherman said he loved to fish and didn't talk about loving to catch fish. I think most fishermen enjoy the journey just as much if not more than the catch.

    My verse that has steered me through the years is Jeremiah 29:11, " For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    I would love to be entered into the giveaways.

    Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  9. I LOVED this post, Ruthy...and the pictures, too.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  10. Dont enter me I have your latest book.
    I for one are glad you didn't give up as I love your books.
    I actually love how fishermen dont give up and if they dont catch anything it doesn't stop them going out again the next day.
    So the analogy is really good.
    I tried Red Velvet for the first time in the states and its so yummy.

    not thinking straight tonight my head is hurting and I think I need to go to bed.

  11. I just love your blog today. It is so inspiring, especially to me who's net keeps coming up empty. But like you said, there are little things that keep me going. I've learned to be thankful for the little things. I don't think I listen to God enough in my writing journey, asking him where I should "fish." Your blog is definitely a reminder for me to listen. BUT, Debbie, I do look at your Writer's Prayer that you gave as swag at RWA every morning, I read it and internalize those beautiful words. What a blessing! I hope you keep giving those post cards out at every opportunity :)

    I would like to be entered in the prize drawing today.

  12. Debby, As a reader I found your reference to Fisherman and definitions inspiring . This is such an excellent reference to apply to living life and reaching for goals. Thank you. I would also like to be entered for your first drawing. Looking forward to adding your book to my reading list. Thank you.

  13. Loved this post! God leads us if we'll just follow and pay attention. And be patient. Hard things to follow when you know what you want and want it right now. Back in July I had a dream about a job. I was talking with someone and a man looked at me and said this is what your supposed to do. You're to help students. So, the next day I went to work and looked at the jobline. There was a job posted working with students! I applied, but didn't hear anything for weeks (and weeks!). I looked back over that job description and some of the others that I had applied for. I said, Lord that's the one. That would give me the skills to do what I need to do. The next day I got a call for a phone interview with this job! Then I got a call for a face-to-face interview for the next week. Later that week, I was impatient, waiting to hear if I got the job or not. I started texting some friends and I said pray, agree, and believe with me that this job is mine (due to the dream and God telling me this is what I'm to do) and since God doesn't do anything halfway, that this job would also include a pay raise. I went to get a snack out of the snack machine and there was a penny in the change. Snack machines don't take pennies, but a bright, shiny penny was included in my change! I just looked at it and then said that's God telling me He heard and He's moving. The next afternoon, I got the call! God wants to do many things for us. He didn't have to prove to me He was there, but He did when I asked; I have grown some much this summer waiting on His perfect timing. If you feel Him telling you to do something different do it; if you feel like you should say something or put something in one of your books, do it. You never know who might read that book and need that word, or that scene, or that character's problems or faith issues. You just never know; but God does. Thanks for this great post!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

  14. Morning, Seekerville!!!

    The coffee's hot and I added bagels and cream cheese, scrambled eggs and grits to the breakfast bar...along with the six cakes and ice cream and yogurt!

  15. Lovely words to read this morning, Elizabeth! Always keep your eyes on Jesus, and write for him...which doesn't mean you want to be preachy. But adding faith deepens the impact of the story and makes it a stronger read, IMHO.

    I'm reaching for one of your healthy chocolate chip cupcakes! Yum!

    Have a good day at school.

  16. Lemon Meringue Cake? You got it! Now there are seven cakes to enjoy! Plus chocolate chip cupcakes. So glad we never count calories in Seekerville. :)

    You're so right, Marianne. The attributes I mentioned are necessary for anyone who works hard and has a goal. They're universal. Which one is most important to you?

  17. Natalie, have fun at the beach! May I join you? May all of Seekerville join you?

    Now wouldn't that be fun! A Seekerville beach retreat! I'm there!!!

    The ocean/gulf speaks to me, soothes my soul and brings inspiration...really, it's spiritual. I always feel close to God when I'm by the water.

  18. Hi Vince,
    I just listened to Rhonda VINCENT sing "Fishers of Men." It almost sounds like Sacred Harp music, which I love. The fishing pictures were gorgeous. Lots of photos of casting nets. Thank you for providing the link.

    I see you're reading Julie's Romance-ology 101 today! Always fun to check out your screen pic!

    I'm marveling at the God-incidents with your sister and sister-in-law's birthdays! He does have a sense of humor, doesn't he! Plus, he likes to amaze us. Also I think he likes to see how many of the delightful inner workings of his creativity we can recognize. You've picked up on a lot today. I'm sure he's smiling! Maybe chuckling. Maybe even bowed over with big belly laughter! :)

    Happy Birthday to the Nancys! God bless them for their service to our country! Invite them to Seekerville. We've got lots of cake to share! :)

  19. Oh that God!

    You're so right, Ruthy. Here's what I didn't mention in my post. We almost didn't get to the beach. Hubby ended up in the hospital right before our first beach trip was planned. Scratch those reservations.

    Hubby got well. We visited soldier son newly assigned to Fort Bragg and decided to stop at Myrtle for a few days on the way home. Didn't know the area. Didn't know where to stay. The name of this particular hotel kept popping up, and I kept pushing it aside. Over and over again.

    Fast forward to when we arrived at Myrtle. The place we thought we'd like was in a bad area of town. We had to go to Plan B. Long story short, we ended up at this particular hotel. No doubt, so I could find the fisherman, snap my photos and write this blog.

    Actually, the Lord has given me a lot to ponder with the scripture from Luke. A bit different than the one from John. Both about casting nets, but Luke mentions deeper water. Hmmm....

    Oh that God!

  20. Waving to Virginia who posted at 4:30 AM! Were you going to bed or just getting up?

    Come back later so we can chat! And eat cake.

  21. YUM...German chocolate cake for breakfast! My favorite (and yes, I HAVE eaten it for breakfast!)

    Very inspiring post, Debby.

    Thank you for the cake -- and the post. What a great parable.
    VINCE, good point, he loved the FISHING and not necessarily the CATCHING. Anyone remember Andy Griffith? When he took Opie fishing, it was usually to bond and get in a life lesson or something. If they caught something, it was a bonus.
    CINDY W, Jer. 29:11 is my life verse.
    Please enter me in both drawings.
    Will check in again later.
    Kathy Bailey

  23. What a wonderful devotion! Thanks so much, Debby! I hope to be heading to the beach in a few weeks. And taking Peter's story with me.

    Put me in for the writing journal package. And the pumpkin spice cake.

    Peace, Julie

  24. This is such a beautiful post, Debby.

    Show off.

  25. You know in many ways my writing journey was similar. I wrote for years focused on secular publishing. BUT I was writing sweet romances. I wasn't interested in writing the increasingly racy romances that were getting to be all I could find.
    And then I discovered Christian fiction. And all my books fit. Not perfectly. It took some rewriting. But the faith thread was there, just unspoken. People conducting themselves by Christian standards.

    It was like I'd been writing for years for a line of fiction that I didn't know existed. And then God opened my eyes.

  26. Debby, thank you for the 'walk on the beach' this morning. It was lovely!
    When we seek, we find. Scripture is my anchor as I throw out the net. God's timing is perfect, he knows when we are ready for the 'break load.' :-)

    Enjoyed your post!


  27. The German chocolate cake was wonderful as was your post. Thank you Debby. Analogies like this are everywhere but I'm afraid we often miss them. So encouraging to hear your story of enlightenment. Now, off to check my empty nets. Never know when one of those "sharks" will turn up.

  28. Great, great advice, Debby! I'm so glad you threw your writing net out on the other side of the boat! Just look at the harvest you're reaping.

    Ahh, God is good and faithful. If we would just listen and obey.

    Thanks for the memories of the island. Man I loved that place : ) Glad you enjoyed your vacation!!!

  29. Cindy, your name is in the bag for the drawings! A cute Happy Birthday bag in honor of Nancy 1 and Nancy 2. Not the cat dish! :)

    Jeremiah 29:11! Another favorite verse! "For I know the plans I have for you..."


  30. What a beautiful way to start the morning! Thank you for the encouraging post, Debby!

  31. Handing KarenK a slice of cake...and a cup of coffee! :)

  32. Debby, thanks for sharing your Myrtle Beach memories in this lovely, inspiring post! Like you I once cast my nets into secular waters and came up empty. I'm grateful for that discouraging time in my writing life. God knew where I fit and once I understood that, too, my net was filled to overflowing. Now I get to write stories that reveal the power of faith and trust in Almighty God. I marvel at the wonderful plans He has for us, for our good, and the blessings we've shared here in Seekerville!

    Hard to pick one slice of cake from all the bounty you brought, Debby. So I'm sampling a sliver here, a sliver there. And no worries about calories!

    Happy 6th birthday Seekerville!!!


  33. Fishing is a great metaphor for, well, everything. Much better than, say, golf. More romantic and spiritual.

  34. Jenny, I'll save the Red Velvet Cake for you! Get some sleep. Hope you wake up feeling better.

    So happy THE SOLDIER'S SISTER found a home in Australia. That makes me smile!!!

  35. Annie, you're in the drawing. So glad you have The Writer's Prayer. It's been such a blessing to so many ways. I'm always touched when folks say they keep the prayer near their computer! You've probably heard me say that God gave me that prayer shortly after THE CALL because he knew I'd need it. Seems others benefit from it as well. It's not my prayer, it's his. And yours!

    Listen for his voice. He'll tell you where he wants you to cast your net!

    Also, as mentioned earlier, focus on fishing instead of the fish!

  36. Jackie, you're so right. The fishing analogy applies to any goal we hope to achieve.

    Praying God grants you the desire of your heart!

    Sending hugs and love. Your name's in the bag!

  37. Oh, Sally, was a lovely witness you've provided to God's love and mercy. I've got chill bumps!

    Did you know the man who mentioned that you should help students?

    Either way, you listened to where the Lord was leading you. You cast your net over the right job. You believed. You prayed. You asked others to join you in prayer. You waited for God's perfect timing. And you got the job.

    A dream, a man's comment, the friends who prayed, the penny...

    Consider writing this story for one of the Chicken Soup books that have a Christian theme. People need to read your story!!!

    Thanks for sharing it with us today!

  38. VINCENT...

    Did you read Sally's comment?


    As Ruthy wrote earlier, "Oh that God!"

  39. Hi Rose!

    Have a second piece of German Chocolate Cake. After all, we're celebrating in Seekerville!!!

  40. KB, I remember Andy Griffith! Lots of wisdom in those half-hour sitcoms!

    Jeremiah 29:11 touches so many of us.

    I also love John 15:16. "It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit."

    Perhaps another blog...

  41. Julie, I hope your time at the beach is as special as mine was. We plan to head back to Myrtle and take the family. Such a beautiful spot!

    Sorry I didn't have time to call you when we were in SC. Maybe next time we can get together.

    You're in the drawing!

  42. JANET, that's the way I eat cake now too. Since being diagnosed diabetic, I've taught myself that sometimes a taste of something is all I need. What I really love is the IDEA of cake.

  43. I'm nodding my head at the similarity in our journeys, Mary! I didn't do racy either. I killed folks, but the romance was always sweet.

    And, duh, I didn't know there was a market for Christian suspense. Hit me over the head! Which is what God had to do. :)

  44. I really love the passage from Proverbs 16:1-3. This always encourages me to put God in charge of my work because He looks for what is best for us when we would settle.
    Please enter me in the drawing for the call, the book, everything!

  45. Such a beautiful story, Deb! Part of the beauty is that you wanted to hear from God, which allowed you to recognize when He spoke to you.

    Vince's comment about loving to fish rather than just loving to catch fish deserves to be a sticky note above the computer!

  46. Mary Hicks wrote: "Scripture is my anchor."

    Lovely! And it ties in with the water theme today.

    A morning walk on the beach...

    I love how memories can transport us back in time to those special moments that touch our hearts! I'm hearing the caw of the gulls and the sound of the waves lapping on the shore.

  47. Cindy...

    I'm smiling. Hope your nets are full. But no sharks! They're not allowed near the island. :)

    More cake?

  48. Oh, DEB, what a BEAUTIFUL BLOG today, my friend and SO very true!! I'm thrilled you dipped your net in the waters, girl, because your books bless the socks off a A LOT of people, including me!!

    And red velvet cake??? I am SOOOO there!!


  49. Hi Audra,

    Seekerville Island! Where writing dreams come true! We need another cyber retreat.

    Where's Jack?

    Gone fishing, perhaps?

  50. Hi Clari,

    Thanks for stopping by Seekerville this morning! Hope your nets are filled to overflowing today.

  51. Hi Janet...

    Thinking about our similar starts in the secular writing world (Mary's too) made me realize we didn't have ACFW in those days. Times have changed and for the better. Now, most writers know about the CBA.

    Tipping my hat to our own Pam Hillman and all those who have worked hard to make ACFW the voice of Christian fiction!

  52. KB...I'm smiling at your comment about golf. :)

    I bet someone could write an inspiring post about the dew on the fairway, the roll of the green, the danger in the sand trap. Any takers?

  53. Ohhh, those cakes sound yummy!!

    Debby, I loved this post, and the parallels between fishing and writing. And I loved your acronym poem. How appropriate!

    Your pictures were beautiful.

    If I was to add one attribute, I would add "Accurate Perspective." When I have an accurate perspective, I can see the ups and downs of this writing life as opportunities for growing, rather than as affirmations that I am or am not good enough. Does that make sense?

    Oh, and please, PLEASE put me in both drawings. :)

  54. Hi Sherri. Thanks for stopping by. Did you get cake?

  55. Small slice of each, Debby. So glad for virtual calories! LOL!!!

    I grew up in Houston, with family who adore to fish. I can smell the salty air from your descriptions. Ahhh.

    Having just finished book 3, I'm taking a break to recoup. So many things left undone in my "real" life. I'm struggling still to find the balance and cling to the examples you marvelous Seekers continue to give. Thank you all and HAPPY BARKDAY says May! :)

    yes please - would love to be entered. may at

  56. Paula, I've recently been re-reading Proverbs. Such jewels!

    Proverbs 16:3..."Entrust your works to the Lord, and your plans will succeed."

    Love your mention that God wants...and provides the best for us!


  57. Beautiful post! My first effort was secular. However, where God had to nudge me wad I had made a plan of exactly how my writing journey was going to go. Problem was, it was my plan and not God's!

  58. Beautiful post, Debby, both your thoughts and the photos! (I love fishing and love beaches, so a perfect combination.) I know for myself, each time I thought it was surely time to give up (and still think that at times!), God encouraged me to hang in there and throw out that net one more time.

  59. Good morning, Debby! Thank you for the red velvet! That's a perfect breakfast. :)

    I love this post. Loved the photos. Loved how it truly does reflect the writing journey for me. Thanks for great post!

  60. Hi Darlene,

    Thanks for your comment about wanting to hear from the Lord.

    Listening for his voice is important, especially since we seem to be so busy and the world is so noisy.

    Walking along the beach, fishing, taking time away from our everyday lives settle the chaos and allow us to focus on him.

    Vince always provides words of wisdom! :)

    Cake? Ice cream? Coffee?

  61. Handing Julie a slice of red velvet cake and smiling...

  62. A beautiful metaphor, Debby! Very inspiring!

  63. Jeanne T...

    Forgot to mention the gluten-free cake baked especially for you! Enjoy!

    "Accurate Perspective!" So important to the writing journey, along with seeing the ups and downs as "opportunities for growth," as you mentioned.

    It's about writing and how to make our stories better. It's about the creative process whether published or not. We're all on the same road or walking along the same beach.

    I'm still learning. I'm not there, wherever "there" happens to be. I'm making my way, casting my net and listening for direction. As I mentioned, I'll keep fishing.

  64. KC, you and May are both entered! :)

    Congrats on completing book 3!!! Three is such a special number!!! Sending hugs and doggie bones!

    Glad you can take time to recoup. Balance is important and difficult to maintain when a deadline looms.

    Take a deep breath. Smell that salt air. I bet May would love a walk on the beach. :)

  65. I love the photo-journalistic way you put this post together, Debby. And surely a God-thing to put you in the right spot with that fisherman. Many people wouldn't have picked up on the analogy so a bouquet going out to you for listening to God's whisper in your ear.

    You're giving away a mentoring session? Are you kidding me?

    Duh - yeah! Oh my goodness, please put me down for that. :D

  66. Hi Terri!

    Sounds as if a lot of us cast our nets initially on the wrong side of the boat.

    Actually, we need to applaud our efforts. We tossed our nets in the water. Some folks hold onto them and never let them go.

  67. Good morning Seekerville!

    Debby, your analogy hit right on the mark. Beautiful pics. I need to take more vacations. Or maybe do some traveling "research."

    Throw my name in the hat mentoring prize please.

  68. Great post Debby. Please put me in the drawing for The Soldier's Sister. Thanks :)

  69. Hi Debby

    Your posts are always so uplifting. Those who belong to God are exactly where they ought to be though we don't always realize it. The messages that comes through my writing sometimes surprises me. Right now I'm enjoying the journey because it doesn't end with publication as you've pointed out.

    I've vacationed at Myrtle Beach many times, once in a tropical storm.

    Please put me in the drawing.

  70. Glynna, so glad you never gave up. If you had, we wouldn't have been blessed with your wonderful stories.

    Thankfully, as you mentioned, God always provides encouragement when we're at our lowest. :)

  71. Waving to Missy...another water person!

    I loved your beach pictures earlier this summer. Wanted to be walking the shoreline with you. :)

  72. Cutting a slice of cake for Myra!

    I know you're busy. Sending hugs and love!

  73. You're absolutely right. A writer needs all those things.
    I'm thinking of it like my spiritual life--sometimes I'm closer to God (my goal), but sometimes I'm not which is discouraging. But there's no way I can quit on God, and thank the Lord, He's still working on me.
    And my writing.


    Don't worry about entering me this time:)

  74. love this post Debby!
    i've got three scripture passages as "my life" verses. Jer 29:11, Psalm 139:13&16, and Isa. 6:8.

    the Psalm one is about God knitting me together in my mother's womb

    the Isaiah one is God asking who He should send and Isaiah saying "here I am, send me".

    sign me up for winning another book of yours. i do have the writer's prayer right next to my "writing chair". i'd love another chat with you, but that would be selfish, especially since that talk became confirmation of the direction the Lord is leading me.

    with what's been happening with my "real" job, it looks like i need to step up a bit in being diligent in following that leading. the gov't shut down hasn't adversely affected our family... yet. all the learning I've gleaned from Seekerville may be prepping me to step out in Faith a bit sooner than I'm ready.

    this post reminds me that as long as it's God's timing, it cannot be a bad thing. THANKS DEBBY!

  75. Hi Anita Mae!

    Thanks for the bouquet and your sweet words today.

    Yes, a mentoring phone call. You're in the bag! :)

  76. Beautiful ministering post, Debby. Thank you.

  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. Hi Connie,

    Short getaways always rejuvenate me. Add water and I'm in heaven! :)

    I hope you can find time for a little R&R. Even a day trip to a local park or garden can provide inspiration. A long walk in the woods works as well.

    We need to refresh our spirits and tune out the daily noise so we can tune in the Lord.

    Traveling research? Love it!

  79. Hi Amy,

    Dropping your name in the bag!

    How 'bout some cake? Ice cream?

  80. It's all about the process, and the journey. If it wasn't, we would all go mad.
    I am off to haul leaves to the landfill. Back later, Seeks.
    Kathy B.

  81. Elaine, love your mention of "enjoying the journey!" So important and something we often forget, especially when we're under a deadline (self-imposed or otherwise).

    Myrtle Beach and a tropical storm. I see a story that needs to be written! :)

    I've outrun a few Florida hurricanes. Beachfront properties quickly lose their appeal when a storm is brewing! :)

  82. Great comment, Courtney.

    I think of our spiritual lives as an arrow heading up at an angle. We're in this oval ellipse that travels around the arrow. Hopefully, we're always moving forward, but sometimes we're not as close to center as we'd like to be.

  83. Hi Debby:

    Yes, I read Sally’s post. It just goes to show that our faith is validated every day in many ways – even if we rarely take notice of it.

    I also read kaybee’s comment: “Anyone remember Andy Griffith? When he took Opie fishing, it was usually to bond and get in a life lesson or something.”

    I sure do remember that and I’m also sure that Trace Atkins had that in mind when he did “Just Fishin’”. In this video the father takes his young daughter fishing and he sings “she thinks we’re just fishin’”. The daughter catches a fish and jumps up and down with pure delight and then at the end they happily let the fish go back into the river. Just as the fishers of men let the fish go back into the water.

    Compare the lyrics in this song to so much of pop culture and it is a wonder how there can be so much difference.

  84. Debby, sure! Everyone's invited! :) A Seekerville beach retreat, DOES sound fun. :)

  85. Hi DebH!

    Loved our phone chat! So wonderful talking to you and getting to know you better.

    Aren't we lucky to have that Seekerville connection with folks from all over the world? Truly a gift from God.

    BTW, we need to thank Tina. She listened. God spoke. She formed this blogspot!

    Tina and God work well together! :)

    Deb, I'll be praying about your leap of faith. Remember God's holding your hand. He won't let you fall.

    Love the verses you shared. Isaiah 6:8 is highlighted in my Bible. A longtime favorite that always inspires me.

  86. Hi Lyndee!

    Hope your day is going well and your computer is running without a glitch! :)


  87. Seeks! Cute, KB! Love it!

    Autumn beautiful when they fall. So much work when they need to be raked up. Our trees are just starting to turn in Georgia.

  88. You know what else we didn't those days.... the internet. We weren't connected. It was hard to find out these things.
    I didn't have internet at the house.
    I didn't have an email address.
    Google didn't exist.

    When did Christian bookstores first appear? I remember going to them but I had to drive to the city and I live a long way from the city and especially back then with four little children we didn't just run to the city for fun very often. It was too much work and too much money to have that kind of fun.

    My idea of FUN was to bring home pizza.

    So it was much harder to discover Christian fiction. I wonder now how long I 'wandered in the wilderness' like Moses and the Israelites. No doubt I needed that time. And I can look back now and see that God provided the perfect season of life for me to raise my children and THEN get published.

    But while I was in the middle of my wandering, it wasn't that easy to see any plan.

    Which brings me to my quote of the day.

    Not all who wander are lost.
    I will add, ...but some of them are kinda tired of the long walk...

  89. PS I'm dieting, so cyber cake is a dream come true.

  90. Good morning, Debby!

    This was a beautiful post, and I loved the fisherman acrostic.

    My writing life has been a whirlwind adventure, but before I wrote my first story, I spent years sitting in the boat waiting for the nudge to throw the net out.

    God uses many different ways to prepare people for His call, doesn't He?

    I'd love to be in the drawings :)

  91. HI Vince...

    You mentioned that often we don't take notice of those validations of faith the Lord provides. Isn't that the challenge? To become more aware, more tuned to his voice, to his direction?

    Thanks for sharing another YouTube link! Seems everyone loves to fish. :)

    Where have you cast your net today?

  92. Natalie!

    Thanks for the invitation! See you at the beach!!! :)

  93. Karen, I'd love to take credit for Debby's post but it's totally her wisdom and grace that flow today! But thank you for even thinking that!

    Hey, I used to not like red velvet cake.

    I've become a believer in red velvety goodness. How has this happened??????

  94. Mary, sounds like we lived in the Dark Ages, doesn't it? But it wasn't that long ago. Really.

    I'm with you.
    No internet!
    Heck, no computer for a lot of years.

    We were the last family in the whole wide world to get technology. Including an answering machine and VHS!

  95. What a beautiful post! It made my day. I have a fondness for Peter.

    German Chocolate is my favorite but I can't have it because of nut allergies. But I can have all of the cyber GC I want!

    Your pictures are beautiful! Please enter me.

  96. Jan, I've been worried about you. How's the weather? Has the snow melted? Even a little?

    What a surprise! Oh that God! He can change things up rather quickly!

    Hope you're doing okay in spite of the snowstorm.

    So you were a boat sitter? I have a feeling lots of folks are as well. Anyone else want to fess up?

    Actually, you were probably waiting for God's perfect timing.

  97. Well said, Debby. It is all about HIS timing. Not ours.

  98. What is Lemon Meringue Cake? Pie yes. But cake. RECIPE PLEASE!!!!

  99. Smiling at Ruthy!

    You ate Red Velvet Cake. You realized your mistake. :)

    How 'bout another piece?

  100. Hi Donna...

    Peter is my hero too. Flawed at first, but he learned from the Master. Such strength in the later portion of his life.

    Have you cast your net today?

  101. Yes to the cake. Clearly I was mis-informed!!! And yes to Peter.

    But I love Paul's conversion, too. It makes me see hope in everyone. Such a perfect 180.

    I love that turnabout!

  102. Is there any cake left?

    Great post Debby, I was right there with you walking along the beach. I love visiting the ocean. There's something inspirational about the sand and waves.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  103. Great post Debby! Especially resonant since I will be at the Sea Islands this weekend for a retreat! Your words of encouragement mean so much--such a great mentor!

  104. And in that same vein, I want to thank all in Seekerville who supported my entry in the SYTYCW contest. I'm in the top 50!

  105. It would be cool to be entered into this giveaway!:)

  106. Have any of you had Hot Fudge Pudding Cake?

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!

    TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!!!!!

  107. I agree, Ruthy!

    Paul rocks!

    Love how the Lord chose broken vessels--cracked pots--to spread his message and grow his church!

    Evidently, there's hope for all of us! :)

  108. Jamie, I thought I saw you!

    Weren't you in the aqua suit and matching sunglasses?

    We're speaking the same language about the sun and surf...inspirational to say the least! Walking the beach is always a religious experience. God is so there, walking with us!

  109. Piper, a Sea Island retreat? We want more info, pretty please? A writing retreat? Church retreat? Family retreat?

    Covering the entire weekend with prayer. Take your net!

    Go you, Piper Huguley! Top 50 finalist in the SYTYCW contest!!! Woot!!! Congratuations.

    Cutting a large slice of cake to celebrate your final!!!!

  110. Mary,

    Hot Fudge Pudding Cake?

    I'm thinkin' low fat and gluten-free. Am I right? LOL

  111. Celebrating with you from the land of commercial fishing...Alaska. You were accurate in your anagram of FISHERMEN, by the way.

    I'd love to be entered in all three contests.


  112. Celebrating with you from the land of commercial fishing...Alaska. You were accurate in your anagram of FISHERMEN, by the way.

    I'd love to be entered in all three contests.


  113. That was so very very nice, Thank you Debby. I am going to think about this article and read it again later today.
    I would love to be in the drawing-- of course.

  114. Debby,

    Thanks for the congrats. And yes, it is a writing retreat, so I hope to learn lots. Will be learning, writing and tweaking at the same time, no doubt!

    Thank you for covering me in prayer--it means so much. And I will do as you say, take my net and help myself to a big ol' piece of the Pumpkin Spice--my fav!


  115. Together Stuck

    Not all who wander are lost.
    And not all who are lost wander.
    So at times we cast a net,
    or play the fish when we forget.

    And those who are lost but wander still
    They may see things the ‘found’ never will
    but it's the ‘found’, who wander still free,
    Who will learn what it means to be.


    For some reason I have an urge to sing, “I’ll fly away”.

  116. What a great metaphor! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  117. Voni...welcome to Seekerville. How did you find us?

    I want to join you in Alaska! I'll bring cake! :)

    Yes, yes, yes! You're in the drawings!!! All of them.


  118. Hi Mary...I need to send you a book. You were Glynna's winner. I'll get it in the mail soon. Promise!

    You're in the drawings!

    You sound thoughtful today. Where's our RWA photographer? At work, perhaps?

  119. Hi (again) Debby,

    That was some blizzard we had! (I blogged about it at the Yankee Belle cafe on Monday, in case anyone missed it.)

    Yes, the snow melted - very quickly. We went from 31" of snow and 8-10 foot drifts to small piles in just a few days - which meant we had flash flood warnings.

    We had more snow yesterday, but it's gone with our bright sunshine today.

    Yes, two snowstorms already, and it's only October. I know you're glad you live in Georgia!

  120. Piper, let us know about the retreat. Take pictures. :)

    How did I manage not to get a pic of us at M&M? I wasn't up to par that weekend. Probably blown away from all Deb Dixon's good info during her two- and three-hour workshops! I thought for sure we had a photo taken together. My loss! Still regretting my mistake.

  121. Be still my heart!!!

    Is is Trace Atkins?

    Or our very own VINCE MOONEY!!!

    Put your song on YouTube so we can sing along, Vince! I didn't know you were an accomplished musician. Is there anything you can't do?

  122. Glad things are better, Jan. Thirty-one inches! Oh my! And so early in the fall.

    I've heard it's going to be a long, cold winter. Even in Georgia.

    Relieved you're okay.

  123. This book looks so interesting! Can't wait to read it. Great post as well.

  124. Debby,

    Maybe because M&M was a little shorter this year...we can fix it at a future GRW meeting! And I will report back on my retreat!

  125. Thanks for stopping by Seekerville, Allison!

  126. Piper,

    Was that it? The shorter time frame threw me off? Maybe! Looking forward to seeing you at GRW!!

    Have a GREAT weekend!

  127. Debby, thanks for sharing your message! How timely!

    ~Cecelia Dowdy~

  128. DEBBY—thanks for the gluten free cake! It's definitely to die for good. :)

    I know I'll never "arrive there," this side of heaven. At least I don't think I will. I know I'll always have more to learn in crafting a breath-taking story. :)

  129. PIPER—Congratulations!! How exciting for you! I keep hearing your name associated with finals and wins and whatnot. So exciting!

    JAN—You got some serious snow. I'm glad it's manageable now. It does sound like it will be QUITE a winter for you.....

  130. Hi Cecelia!

    Glad you could stop by today!

  131. Debby, thanks for helping me put a different perspective on my writing. It's a good reminder of which came first, my writing or God. I should write with Him in my mind as I write, not after I finish..

    God Bless!

  132. Glad you liked the cake, Jeanne! :)

    The "there" I was referring to was writing related, as to knowing everything and being an expert! :)

    I'm so NOT there. Still on the journey...

  133. Jenny, ouch! Hope you wake up feeling better!


  134. Sally, thank you for sharing your experience and for encouraging us to listen and obey when we feel God's speaking to us. Just think what you'd have missed if you hadn't checked the job postings. God is in the details, big and small.


  135. Kathy, you are making smart choices. Cutting back on desserts is hard!


  136. Carroll,

    Welcome to Seekerville!

    Who's the cute pup? Your "baby" needs to meet May, the K9 Spy!!! I know they'd hit it off.

    Just give your writing to God and he'll direct your steps...and your net! :)

  137. Debby what a beautifully evocative post -- the pictures, the way you weave the connections together -- oh my. Hmm. I sound like I'm critiquing :-) You've presented much to consider in stillness. Thank you!

    Nancy C

  138. NOTE: I am posting this for my sister in law who tried to do it directly but Google would have none of it.


    I am Vince Mooney's sister in of the two "Nancys" in his life. The other being his sister. We are both Oct 16th birthday girls. Isn't that a coincidence?

    I am thrilled to receive my autographed copy of 'The Soldier's Sister", today! Thank you for writing with a military influence and for your love of our country.


    Nancy Williams , CDR (RET) USN

  139. Oh Debby....such a beautiful and inspiring post today...thank you, sweet friend. I will certainly be re-reading this one (probably many times!).

    I'm so glad you and your hubby were able to visit Myrtle Beach! I've heard it's a wonderful place to visit (and would you believe---I've never been?! And living in GA my entire life you'd think I would've gone, LOL).

    Thanks again for sharing your heart with us---you're such an inspiration to so many.
    Those cakes your brought sound SO yummy! Please add me to your drawing.
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  140. Hi Nancy...oh, I like your comment about stillness.

    I just left a very busy environment and am enjoying the quiet of my office. :)

    Wishing you a peaceful night!

  141. Vince, let Nancy know that she's made my day! Such a lovely note you passed along.

    If she's online...

    Sister-in-law Nancy, THANK YOU for your service to our country!

    Thanks for your kind words about my story too. Hope you enjoy the book!

    God bless the USA!

  142. Patti Jo, I had never been to Myrtle Beach either until our trip. It's worth the drive.

    You're such a sweetheart!

    I was hoping for something warm from your oven, if you baked today. Something peachy perhaps? :)

    You're in the drawings!!!

    (Oh my gosh! Who's going to win the iPad Mini?)

  143. waving to everyone

    Is there any pumpkin spice cake left? Please tell me there is! Second choice is carrot. Pumpkins, carrots -- they're veggies, right? *grin*

    I've been absent but busy. I'm plotting a new book to write for NaNoWriMo. I've been answering questions my editor at Boroughs has about the short story and full manuscript I've submitted. And I've been sweating the possible termination of my health care benefits because they were processed incorrectly 3 years ago. I'm supposed to have the policy for life but it was processed as a COBRA policy, which is only good for 3 years. So... I've called the agency in Washington to leave messages (pre-shutdown) and written my Congressman to ask for his assistance (post-shutdown). I just have to remind myself the Lord will handle this and it will all work out.

    I also got great news from my son yesterday -- his two part-time jobs have been turned into full-time positions, so he's now eligible for benefits from the University where he works. Yay oh yay oh yay!

    I love your story correlating the fisherman at Myrtle Beach with Peter. None of us like change, but many times change is what allows us to succeed.

    Please put me down for the drawings. I'd sure love to win the iPad Mini. That'd make my month completely fabulous, though without it it's still been a pretty good month. And it will end with a bang when my younger granddaughter turns 1 on the 31st.

  144. Janet, yes, God is in the details!! There's a whole lot more to the story and I almost started not to tell it, but for some reason felt I should. That morning I checked the jobline, I texted my son (he is 19 and everything goes by God first; he's such an inspiration!) and said son, what do I do if there is a job out there? And he told me apply for it mama. I chuckle now...

    Debby, I had chill bumps too! When it happened and every time I've retold it.

    I did not know the man or the student. I sometimes have dreams of people I don't know, or situations, that I feel like God wants me to pray about. Do you know author Cheryl Wyatt? You'll have to ask her about one of my dreams. It was confirmation! I had chill bumps then too!

    I never thought about writing it. Thanks for that idea! A God nudge if there ever was one!

    Thanks for such a great post today!

  145. What a great story, Debby! Thanks for the encouragement.

    For me writing has definitely taken persistence. Since I've started writing conflicts, setbacks, and roadblocks have doubled that have slowed my progress, but I feel like God has given me the desire and calling to be faithful to that which He has put before me.

    I would love to be included in the drawings.

  146. Am back again, sorry I'm later with my baking today (took a friend to lunch for her b'day!). ~ Here's a warm peach pie--right out of the oven (makes a great bedtime snack). Vanilla ice cream too if anyone wants it. ;)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  147. Heaping pumpkin spice cake on your plate, Marilyn! You need it after all your worries over health care. Praying it works out for you!

    So glad about son's full-time job with benefits! YAY!

    And baby's first birthday! On Halloween!

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo! Keep us posted.

  148. Sally, you inspired us!

    Amazing how God used that stranger.

    Consider submitting your story to Chicken Soup in one of their Christian issues. Guideposts. Maybe one of the other Christian magazines. Your story needs to be told.

    I'm so glad you shared it with us today.

  149. You're in the drawings, Dianna!

    I hope you see confirmation that you're in the right place with all your contest finals. As I mentioned in my blog, it's hard when you get close. Don't get discouraged and don't give up!

  150. Thank you, Patti Jo! A day wouldn't be complete without one of your peach delights! :)


  151. Hi Eva!
    Thanks for visiting this evening.

  152. What a great story of faith! That was really interesting (and beautifully written).

    And speaking of beautifully written, I'm already engrossed in The Soldier's Sister.

  153. Thank you on both counts, Walt!

    Hope all is well with you and yours!

  154. Hi Debby! It's been a while since I've been over to Seekerville and I've missed it. I enjoyed reading your post. I must confess that I haven't typed out any words in quite a while...been very consumed with homeschooling, children, health, etc. But it's still fun for me to work that plot out in my mind, daydream about characters and how I could let them live out my wonderings, and enjoy the writings of others. Your post really made me think about not letting my story files get too dusty : ). I'd love to be in the drawing for your new book!
    Thanks and God bless~Stacey

  155. Thanks for sharing, Debbie! I'd love to be entered for either giveaways. :)

  156. Hi Debby,
    What a great selection of cakes! I gained a couple of pounds just reading the list!
    Acronym is so appropriate for life!
    Would love to read your book!


  157. As I read through the post it brought to mind my Father who did love to fish. I miss him.

    I'd love to be counted in for THE SOLDIER'S SISTER thank you.

  158. I love this post -- seriously. Not trying to be a feminist, but I thought of adding this:

    H…hard work
    M…management skills
    N…never give up

  159. Thank you for the inspiring post, Debbie!

    I'd like to be entered for the first drawing (the "I’m giving away a Writer’s Journal, a 2014, 18-month Perfect Planner, and a copy of my latest release, THE SOLDIER’S SISTER, to one winner."). I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to use the second.

    Thanks again!

  160. This was a very encouraging post. I found your fishing analogy to the writing life timely. Recently, I struggle with where to cast my net and what to use for bait. Thank you for your encouraging words. I am interested in both drawings.
    Cindy Huff

  161. Thanks for this encouraging post. Six completed books before you published! I know that must have been hard for you, but it's helpful to hear and help me keep my expectations in line. I love your analogy of Jesus telling Peter to cast his net on the other side, and the parallel of the New York transplant who cast his net many times without results. It all gives me hope to keep plugging along. Or maybe to break out into a jog. :)

  162. Beautiful story. Your descriptions make me yearn for the beach, and your insight encourages me to think about where my own writing belongs.

    I'd love to be entered in the drawings.

  163. I'm not a writer just an avid reader with 2 am bedtime tendancies (I never stop reading at a normal time) but I can appreciate this post. Some of my best days were spent fishing with my Daddy and this post brought back a lot of memories. My favorite scripture is "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13". It reminds me that I do things by His strength, not mine, and as long as I seek Him first the rest will fall into place. Thank you for sharing!

    Wanda Barefoot

  164. I love to watch the fishermen in North Carolina. I've seen them catch many fish including sharks. They always have good stories.

    What a great post today. Thanks for sharing.

    I'd love to be entered in the contests if it's not too late.

  165. Great tips for accomplishing great things! Please add me for the first drawing, thanks.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

  166. Well he did say he would make us fishers of men and that song popped into my head reading your post. That will be my goal in the future, to please God and to cast my net in even with my writing to bring in the folks who love to read and need Jesus.
    So loved reading your post.
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books