Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day of Rest/Audible.com/Valentine's Day

Sandra here with a steaming pot of chocolate velvet coffee, hot chocolate or a kettle of water on for a variety of teas to choose from.  Grab a cup and let’s chat.  I have three topics I want to discuss.

How is your new year coming so far?

One thing about January, you have made all those resolutions and you have set new goals. You are on your way to becoming the best author on the planet and you’ve written above and beyond your quota for the month.

Start of nine mile hike Picos de Europa National Park, Spain


Is anyone raising their hand?

Yes!  We are smiling just as I’m sure you are smiling.

But let me ask this question--at what cost?

The end of the month is coming up. SpeedBo is on its way. And we’re running at full speed.

But have we forgotten something?

My fervent wish for you is that you haven’t forgotten your first love.

The cross at Fatima, Portugal


And this thought seems to be the club I’m getting hit over the head with lately.

Seek HIM FIRST. Then all else will fall into place.  You know I have heard that so many times, but this month it seems to finally be sinking down from my head and into my heart.

I can write lists, check them off and keep on truckin’ but to be honest, I don’t see results unless I SIT QUIET and LISTEN and WAIT.  Which seems so opposite of what I think I must do.  And the amazing thing is, when I do SIT QUIET and LISTEN and WAIT things go so smooth that it takes my breath away.  And things happen that I don’t even plan for.  Does the story of Martha and Mary resonate with you?

So the wisdom I’m hoping to impart here is to go for your goals, but remember to stop and sit quiet and listen. This is the time to pray and meditate.

Beach at Matacanas National Preserve, Spain


“So God Blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done.”  Genesis 2:3   New American Bible

Now if God needs a day of rest--so do you.

And if you leave a comment relevant to this subject you can be included into a drawing for a copy of JESUS CALLS by Sarah Young.  This is a daily devotional that really helps me stay grounded.




Okay, now for the next topic of discussion.

Audible.com and Audible CX.

I am on such a learning curve with the audio books.  I just finished listening to Mary Connealy’s SWEPT AWAY and loved it.  I have discovered that I really love the audio books.  Mind you, they don’t replace that good time feeling you get when you have a real book in your hand, but I rarely have time for that anymore. And when I do sit down to read, I fall asleep.  Now there’s my age telling on me. chuckle

So audio books are a wonderful solution.  And as you read in an earlier post of mine, I have been in the process of putting my books into audio format.

If anyone is thinking of doing this, you will want this information I recently learned.

Typical of me, I have been learning some aspects of the program the hard way. For example, every time I go into audible.com and look up my first audio book, LOVE’S MIRACLES, it shows for sale for $1.99.  I’m thinking, wow, what a screaming deal. But I don’t know why it is at that price.  Unlike KDP (ebook indie pubbing) I don’t set the price to sell my audio.  AudioCX sets the price.  So I have been afraid to advertise that price because I have no idea how long they are going to offer at that price.  I did put it on Facebook once.  And thankfully only once.  So I thought I better call audio and find out the scoop.  Thankfully I did because the reason I can buy the audio for $1.99 is because I have the ebook.  So any of you who bought or downloaded for free the Kindle version of LOVE’S MIRACLES can get it for that price.  Actually you can get bargain prices on any audio title that you already have the ebook copy as long as you have an audible.com account.



Am I the only dummy out here or is this news to any of you?

The other information I learned is that when an audio book is published, the reviews you have for the ebook or print book do not roll into audible.com.  Audible.com wants their own reviews because not only are you getting a review for the story, but also for the narrator.  In other words the narrator is an equally important element of an audio book as the author’s story. And this is true. I have heard some audio books that might have been great books, but the narrator was so annoying I couldn’t even finish listening to the whole selection.

So when I asked the the support technician (his name was Justin and he, like the rest of his staff, was wonderful) why the reviews weren’t there and he explained the above rationale, he asked me why I didn’t get reviews.  Evidently I was supposed to get 25 free copies to send to reviewers. Because I was in Spain when my audio version came out, I didn’t get them.

Guess what?  I now have 25 codes to give away 25 free audio copies of LOVE’S MIRACLES if anyone wants to commit to writing a review.

And another exciting bit of news.  LOVE’S REFUGE  just came out in audible.com.  Now it will take a couple weeks for the pricing to sync up with Amazon so you won’t see the reduced price yet.  But all of you who downloaded a free copy of LOVE’S REFUGE will soon be able to get the audio at the reduced price also.



And since LOVE’S REFUGE is now available in audio, I have 25 free audio copies to give away to anyone who wants to commit to writing a review of it.  If you didn’t obtain a free download of the kindle version of LOVE’S REFUGE on Christmas or New Year’s it is available for free tomorrow--January 29th.  (Sorry, it was supposed to be free today but there was a glitch so it will be tomorrow-hopefully)

Just for your information, if you’ve already written a review you won’t have to rewrite the review of the story. You can use the same information, but they do want your opinion of the narrator.

Rachel Fuginiti narrated both versions.  We interviewed her on Seekerville in October in the article The World of Audio CX.  So we are both interested in those reviews.

If you would be willing to listen and write a review contact me and I will send you the promo code to obtain the free audio.

  • Go to my website contact page
  • Fill in Name and email (No need to fill out all the other info)
  • In the comment section put down which ebook you want to review. 
  • I will email you instructions and promo code to obtain free audio 


Now for the last topic of discussion.  

What wonderful romantic holiday is on the horizon?

VALENTINE’S DAY



This is a terrific holiday to give a gift to those special women in your lives. And to request a special gift from Mr. Wonderful. Its traditional to give cards. Also chocolate. And flowers.

But I have another idea.

What better gift than to give a romance novel? Well an autographed romance novel is better.

The advantages of giving that special someone a romance novel:

  • It is romantic and filled with love
  • It costs less than a greeting card and stamp (stamps just went up in price again)
  • It lasts longer than a greeting card and stamp
  • It isn’t fattening like chocolate
  • It doesn’t fade away like flowers
  • It puts your special someone in a good mood
  • It supports your fellow authors
  • It supports your industry


If you comment on this topic you will be in for a drawing of a Seeker book of your choice.  I have some print copies on hand or you can choose an ebook.

The city of Glendale really knows how to celebrate this holiday.  The weekend before Valentine's Day, they put on a wonderful fair called the Chocolate Affair.  The Carerra Chocolate Factory is located in Glendale and they sponsor booths and pass out chocolate. The Valley of the Sun RWA romance writers provide a booth to sell books and feature authors to sign them. They also provide workshops for aspiring authors.  Tina and I will be giving workshops and signing books. So if you are in the area, please stop by and pick up an autographed book for that special friend.
The Glendale Chocolate Affair

Happy writing. And happy resting.




116 comments :

  1. I think one of the things I've been doing more of these days is reading. For me, reading is rest. (Maybe I'm taking too many days to rest to read.)

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  2. I have to say I have the book Jesus Calling thanks to Debby and it has been so helpful this month. One post talked about praying with thanks for a request rather than always asking. this was so helpful I started praying thankyou to God for arranging the appointments I would need for the gall bladder rather than asking for him to do it. I actually felt more peace praying that way. For anyone who doesn't have this book it is a really good book to have.

    (Im not looking forward to valentines day but rather feb 26 my birthday and the day I get to eat cake! and hopefully get my album done)

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  3. Jenny, I too have been blessed by thanking Him for something specific instead of asking for it. It hasn't come to pass, yet, but already I feel more at peace about the situation! Thanking God, too, that you are feeling better. Sandra, You better believe Mom and I will be in Glendale at the Chocolate Affair if both you and Tina will be there!!!!i filled in the form on your web page!!!Whopeee! Thanks

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  4. Gooooooood Morning, Seeeeeeekerville!!!!!!!

    Sandra, that cross in Fatima is gorgeous!!!!

    Hiking nine miles does not make my bucket list, short list, long list, or any kind of list. Ever. I'm so amazed that you did that....

    (whispers softly to self: What on earth were you thinking, girlfriend??????)

    Now back to normal voice: I am a Martha. My Mary moments are few and far between, but I figure that's God's fault. He designed and formed me, clearly he had a plan for this Martha-personality.

    (One that does not include, sadly, Total World Domination!)

    Valentine's Day. Oy. I meant to start dieting two weeks ago.

    FAIL.

    Then last week.

    FAIL.

    Then yesterday!

    FAIL. Homemade Chocolate Fudge brownies screamed to me. With peanut butter, so how could I ignore them????

    We'll see what today brings!

    I love that audios are synced with e-books so that they're affordable. What form of wonderfulness is that and why didn't we know this? Why isn't this on every Interstate billboard so we can listen to audio books while traveling?????

    Somebody call Amazon and tell them!!!! I love this, Sandra!!!!

    Grabbing chocolate velvet coffee and working on edits!

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  5. Rest. It is wonderful when you can get it. I find here in Indiana it is almost impossible to respect Sunday as a day of rest. Seems everyone likes to host their parties on Sunday. Baby showers, wedding showers, family picnics, etc. Many churches in the area hold Friday or Saturday night church services so I guess Sunday is fair game for parties. I however believe we should respect Sunday as a day of rest...

    I enjoy audio books when we travel but I haven't been able to sit at home to listen...I fall asleep.

    Valentines Day...a sweet romance novel will do the trick for me.

    Would love to be entered into your giveaways. Thank you so much.

    Smiles & blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  6. Good morning, SANDRA! I HAVE to have "quiet times" -- and unless I have time when I can step back from the everyday demands, it's very hard for me to come up with solid story ideas for a new book proposal. I need time to pray and to let my mind wander to endless possibilities before I can focus in on one--or three. I try very, very hard to keep Sundays as a day of rest--time for God, family and that rare and precious time to LISTEN.

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  7. Glendale Chocolate affair? The town must smell heavenly that weekend.

    I've spent most of my life working every other weekend. My dad was a pharmacist too and for several years worked every weekend.

    As I began writing, I tried to cram as much writing time as I could into my weekends off.

    I appreciate you tackling the topic of time off. It's something I need to be reminded of frequently because it's a constant battle I fight.

    Thanks for sharing and introducing us to Jesus Calling.

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  8. It is always best to seek Him first! What a great reminder to us today, Sandra. Our lives get to busy and hectic, we sometimes forget that don't we?

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  9. Sandra
    I love the concept of resting and LISTENING for direction. If only I was better at it. I think I'm in for a couple involuntary days of rest because of a forcast of snow in Virginia Beach. Good chance things around town will be closed - including the work place. Little man in the house will be estatic over Momma being home ("No go to work no more, Momma!" is a constant refrain).

    Cool post. Now I must be back to work to finish some stuff before coming weather makes us go home...

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  10. Hi WALT, In my humble opinion there is never enough time to read. And every publisher says to read, read, read. So good for you.

    Enjoy. (I'm trying not to be jealous-smile)

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  11. Hi JENNY, DEBBY is the one who gave me my copy also. Isn't it a lovely book? It has helped me through some tough times so I know it is helping you also.-smile

    And yes, your birthday month is around the corner. yippee.

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  12. Oh MARIANNE, I am so excited to see you and your mom again. How fun is that? You'll love meeting all the authors that will be there.

    Oh good. I"m so happy you offered to review. Thank you. Thank you.

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  13. Hi RUTHY, I just loved that cross. It is huge too. You can tell if you look at the people walking below it. But it is really moving. The whole area is very interesting.

    And I had to laugh when I listened to SWEPT AWAY because Ruthy was obviously you. She was always busy, busy, busy. I bet the Lord does the same thing to you as He does to me. When I wake up in the morning and say "Good morning Lord," He says, "Good morning Martha." Oh I so laugh.

    Hey, did you by any chance leave any of those chocolate fudge brownies? They sure sound yummy.

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  14. Hi CINDY W., Well I count a party as rest activities. I count picnics and reading (like Walt does). I think resting counts as activities that aren't our work. But we do need to sit quiet too. I try to do that daily actually. In the morning before the world steps in.

    I listen to audio now when I'm doing chores, like grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, cooking. You know mindless stuff and I'm awake. (I have same problem lol)

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  15. I am leaving ALL of these insidious brownies and you will love them!!!!

    Oy, they're poison to my resolve, I tell youse!!!

    Yes, Sandra, I know it makes God laugh, and it probably makes my kids shudder.... I used to remind them that I had plenty of ways to cure boredom.... That kept down the whining, for certain!

    God is so good to us. And sometimes we forget to be ever-grateful, ever-gracious. I am the worst at that, but I'm trying harder to be less of a bossy jerk...

    and just smile more.

    :)

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  16. HI GLYNNA, You are my role model for Sundays. I know how you guard that time and even with a full time job and writing deadlines, you honor your Sundays. I know that blesses you. I think of you often when I let myself get too busy. I think, "If Gynna can do this then so can I." And like you said. It really does improve the quality of life and writing. smile

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  17. Ruthy I know a way to go on an enforced diet you wont like it but it does work. Have a massive gall bladder attack and then await to have it out. I can assure you that you will lose weight! (you will have pain too). Irony I am now able to eat most things again hopefully and I have tried ice cream and cheese and not much else.
    I now associate chocolate with massive pain so its a huge deterrent from wanting to eat it. (besides I like that the surgeon called me skinny). Ok back to bed. my room is so hot I cant sleep.

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  18. Hi JACKIE, I know lots of people work their jobs on Sunday. I don't think God cares what day you take off, just so you spend time with HIM. Often it isn't even a whole day I must sadly admit, but I try and find time every day. It may only be an hour, but it makes a big difference.

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  19. Hi ROSE, Yes, it is a constant battle for me. I just like to jump in. But I'm slowly learning that if I check with HIM first, things go much better. And quicker too. smile

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  20. Oh DEB H, we are seeing the reports of snow. You take care and stay warm and enjoy that time with your little one. How precious.

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  21. Sandra -- LOL! I said I TRY to! :) Sometimes when a deadline is looming I HAVE to write my little heart out on Sundays. But I know ideally I need REST if I'm going to make it through another writing and work week. I'm a human being, not a robot, and God recognized that when he told us to set aside weekly time to slow down and step back from the madness our lives can become. To draw closer to Him. I so much need to be reminded of that -- constantly.

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  22. Oh thank you RUTHY, I have so not been watching my calorie intake, so what is another day? lol I really must start doing so, but wait, I'll have a brownie first.

    Enjoy everyone cause RUTHY does make delicious brownies.

    I can't picture you not being bossy-lol but like you said, that is how HE made us.

    You do have a terrific smile. And it makes others smile. Like me.

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  23. Oh JENNY, I think we'll pass on your diet plan. But glad you are getting better.

    Send some of that heat north. Like DEB H. said, they are getting pounded with snow and cold.

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  24. Amen to the resting and listening, Sandra! Very nice reminder to stop getting hung up on the day to day grind and rest in the Lord!

    Loved the pictures of your trip. Luck bucket. Spain is the ultimate, but the thought of ODing on chocolate at the Festival in Glendale is enticing, too. LOL!

    Thank you for sharing the info on reviewing for Audible. Funny how all the aspects of Amazon come together under one umbrella, yet are separate entities. Who knew?

    I'll take a steaming cup of chocolate velvet coffee...my diet thanks you : )

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  25. Sandra,
    Beautiful post!!!

    You know how much I love JESUS CALLING! It always speaks to my heart. Sarah, the author, said she sat in prayer and God spoke to her heart. She wrote what he said. No wonder it is so powerful!!!

    I was a Martha, but some years back spent a year with my focus on becoming more Mary. Actually, a mix is good. Sometimes I have periods of contemplation, then periods of action and hands-on ministry.

    Right now, I'm trying to live in God's perfect time, which brings great peace.

    Love the photos of your trip, Sandra! Dittoing Ruthy about the Fatima cross. I didn't know you stopped there during your travels.

    Waving to Jenny! Another JESUS CALLING friend. :)

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  26. Thanks GLYNNA, I think we all need reminding. I have been getting hit on the head lately, so I'm starting to LISTEN. lol

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  27. Hi AUDRA, yes they have lots of chocolate floating around at the Chocolate Affair. But Glendale advertises it as a romantic event so lots of romance readers attend. Unlike most fairs where people passing by could be reading anything but romance.
    Makes it fun.


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  28. Hi DEBBY, I've thanked the Lord so many times that you gave me that lovely devotional. Yes, it does speak to my heart. Every morning. And like you, I've given it away to so many people.

    Maybe you can write a post on how to become a Mary for all of us Martha's. chuckle. I think we need it, especially in our busy culture and world.

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  29. Sandra, you bring up great, fun points in each of your segments. :) God has been reminding me that keeping Him first in my days is necessary if I want to walk in His peace. I'm pretty good at this,but there are seasons where I end up frazzled because of too much on MY to-do list in a day. I'm working on that. :)

    Please don't put me in the drawing for Jesus Calling. I already have it—great devotional!

    Audible. I have the app, but I haven't done the tutorial yet. Can you transfer Audible books you purchase onto your computer? Just wondering.

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  30. HI JEANNE T, I am glad you already have the devotional. Isn't it marvelous? And best wishes on keeping that quiet time. It so makes a difference. I'm really seeing that now. Why it took so long???

    Yes, you can download an audible onto your computer, ipod, ipad, kindle, phone, whatever media device you want. All you need to do is download the audio app. If you go to audible.com they have a phone number. Call them and they will be happy to assist you. (888)283-5051

    I always download to my computer so that I can then sync it with whatever device I want. In fact, to put it on my ipod, I need to download it on the computer first. I have Apple. I don't know how Windows works it. But they will help you. Or they will download it directly to my kindle and I can plug in earphones and listen to it on that. I did that while I was in Spain.

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  31. Sorry - Glitch with Amazon. The free Love's Refuge won't be available until tomorrow. Good thing I checked. sigh.

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  32. Good morning, Sandra!

    Thanks for the post—it is uplifting, entertaining, informative, just spot on!

    Starting the day with quite time is a must at my house. Seeking Him first and asking His help and council for the day does indeed make for a smoother day. Thank you! :-)

    I'd love to review your book. :-)

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  33. Well, I didn't know audio reviews don't carry over!


    I'm in a huge reading phase, Walt. HUGE. I think we need that as writers.

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  34. SANDRA, what a fun hodgepodge of topics today! We do easily forget the importance--actually, the necessity--of quiet time with the Lord. As my to-do list grows, my quiet time shrinks, and I wonder why God seems distant???

    Interesting what you're learning about audible.com, too! And how exciting to know your books are reaching even more readers through this format!

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  35. And, seriously, did we really need RUTHY to tell us she's a Martha???

    I'm just glad there are both Marys and Marthas in the world, because we need each other.

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  36. Hi MARY H. Be sure and go to my website and email me your email address. Then I can send the promo code and instructions. smile

    Yes, It is amazing how that quiet time at the start of the day makes such a difference.

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  37. Hi TINA, We're always learning. LOL. I'm trying not to be green because you and WALT are doing so much reading. sigh. My idea of heaven.

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  38. HI MYRA, yep we definitely know when we aren't spending that time. The day just doesn't go right and it seems like all your efforts are like spinning wheels in the sand.

    And really, you are right? We all know who is a Martha. chuckle. But also we do need both. However, my Martha moments are much more effective if I've been a Mary first.

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  39. Hello Seeker friends,
    It's been a while since I've been able to stop by. My year so far has been very busy with work, new baby sibling, Spanish classes and two writing projects, but busy-ness is a blessing.

    Sandra, you are so right. Taking time for devotions and quiet time is so important, and I admit that I'm slacking in that area a bit. Thanks for the nudge.

    I have seen the Jesus Calling book EVERYWHERE, but I haven't read it yet. I will have to pick that one up.

    :D

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  40. HI AMBER, Welcome back. We love seeing your sweet smile again. And new baby--understand your busyness. lol. I'm sure your family appreciates your help.

    Como esta? Habla espanol bien? I need to learn how to do the Spanish symbols on blogspot chuckle.

    Enjoy that quiet time.

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  41. "Seek HIM FIRST. Then all else will fall into place."

    WOW ... that pretty much says it all, girlfriend, and EXACTLY what I've been hearing too, so THANK YOU for the confirmation!!

    And, OH ... don't even get me started on "Jesus Calling"... I'd heard about this book FOR YEARS, but never even looked at it till recently and WOW!! I have been buying it like crazy for gifts because it's one of the most anointed devotionals around!!

    Very fun and diverse blog today, my friend, with a little something for everyone!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  42. Hi JULIE, Isn't it amazing? DEBBY gave me that when we roomed together in Anaheim RWA national conference. And I've been giving it away ever since. You nailed when you said it was annointed and you know that because it always seems to be speaking just to you. The Lord has His ways of doing that. smile

    And I know you know what I'm talking about. We both are on that same road. Hugs

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  43. Sandra, I am now addicted to my quiet time in the morning, just me and my hot tea and the Bible. I so look forward to getting my kids out the door to school so I can sit still and listen to God. :-)

    I have hope that 2014 is going to be a great year. I'm hoping to write three books this year. I have set myself a schedule and really hoping it can do it. One of those books is already partially written, so hopefully I can finish it and write the other two. I can do this! For years I've been telling myself I can write three books a year, and now it's time to prove it. :-)

    I'll have to come back and read your wisdom on audible books. I may even put out my first indie book this year. We'll see. ;-)

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  44. Amber, ah, a sweet baby. May I hold the little one for a bit?

    So precious!

    I'm ready for a new grandbaby. :)

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  45. We're waiting for snow in GA.

    I saw a couple flakes a few minutes ago. Does that count?

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  46. Hi MELANIE, I know you can do it. Especially if you stick to that quiet time in the morning. The words will pour out so much easier if you've spent that time. Trust me. I know from experience. smile

    And the world is going to be so blessed by three more Melanie Dickerson novels.

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  47. DEBBY Hard to believe you are getting snow We saw on the news the cold front moving in. Stay warm girlfriend.

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  48. I FINALLY wrote down my new year's goals a couple of days ago. I'm trying to polish a ms and plan to send it in this week.

    THEN Feb 1 I will look at starting back to working out and concentrate on a healthier diet, along w/completing another wip. But one thing at a time. Feels weird because my resolutions didn't start on Jan. 1v this year.

    Is Speedbo really just a little over a month away?

    Thanks for the reminder to sit down and listen.

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  49. Ruthy is laughing at Myra's comment!!!!!

    Oh, yeah, well, I guess it's obvious.

    My kids probably have some really bad memories of me haranguing them.

    Here's my theory on that:

    If I can't take all the credit for their success, I'll gladly not take it for the I-Need-to-talk-to-Oprah moments, LOL!

    Kidding aside, they do love me. I have a checkbook.

    1 + 1 = LOVE :)

    Hey, we're working on the letter "R" here today. My life is Sesame Street in the flesh.

    And with no annoying 3rd person talking puppets!!!!

    The Ruthster is a huge fan of Muppets.... but orange guys and little bears that talk like babies don't make the cut.

    Which means I (yes, this is true...) make Elmo talk right in our house.

    And I'm kinda proud of it.

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  50. Amen, Sandra, to the rest we need! I have six children, and every Sunday we ALL lay down in the afternoon. Our older children read most of the time, but my husband and I get a blessed nap! I don't know how I'd get through the week without it. And I definitely need to start each day with that quiet time, my spiritual centering for the day's (and half the night's) activities. :-)

    I have Jesus Calling, but I would love to be entered in the drawing for a Seekerville book. Thanks!

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  51. CONNIE QUEEN- Congrats on finishing that manuscript. woo hoooooo ANd best wishes on your submission. What an accomplishment.

    Sounds like you are ready for that quiet time. smile Day of rest. Blessings.

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  52. RUTHY I'm so glad I finished my coffee or it would be sprayed all over my computer. You are toooo funny. I can just hear the Elmo talk. Why don't you have the munchkins help you make snickerdoodles and send them our way. After all S comes after R

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  53. oh MEGHAN that nap sounds delightful. I want one now. smile

    You are in the drawing. smile

    Enjoy your day.

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  54. Loved that first part--I often have to slow myself down and remember blessings come in God's timing, not mine.
    And I'm all for getting a romance novel for Valentine's Day! My Amazon wishlist is long.
    Count me in for the Seeker book giveaway, please.

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  55. I've been using My Utmost for His Highest and I've been so inspired by it.

    I've been trying to cut out a really powerful sentence to use and post on Facebook, then link to the website I found with daily devotions http://utmost.org/
    But to pick one sentence is almost impossible. I've just found each sentence has real depth. I'm amazed. I know the devotion is a classic but I can see why after reading it. Every sentence, every word has meaning.
    I've really enjoyed it.

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  56. You listened to Swept Away on audio, Sandra? Cool. I have the CD but I've never listened to it. I just don't spend that much time in my car and honestly, I don't listen to CDs much at home.

    I had no idea how it came out.

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  57. PS, My New Year's Resolution this year (I rarely make them, I don't like failing and I can't seem to change myself so I decided long ago to just accept myself...) but this year I made a resolution to )(it's exciting so brace yourselves) DRINK 8 CUPS OF WATER A DAY.
    Yep, and I'm doing great.
    I'm pretty proud of myself. I need to always make SIMPLE New Year's Resolutions ... that include nothing about dieting and getting in shape.

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  58. Hi COURTNEY, Yes, you are so wise. It is always God's timing. And we get impatient sometimes but hindsight is wonderful. Often when I though God's timing was off, I then realized looking back that of course His timing was right on.

    You're in for the drawing.

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  59. MARY you are toooooo funny. Of course 8 cups of water a day is a wonderful resolution. You really tune into that one when you live in the desert. Its also easy to do when its hot outside. On cold days, you forget. So hang in there. smile

    And YES YES the audio was wonderful. I listened to it while I drove to San Diego to take care of my cousin while she had surgery. And then it was wonderful to listen to while sitting in the hospital and back and forth for all the errands. I even listened to it at the YMCA where I cycled to get some exercise after all that sitting around. YAY. Your narrator was great. I will try and get to a review today. I did one for the print copy so need to do one for the audio. As I learned we need to do. LOL

    Now for the best part. I grew up on that devotional. My grandparents always read it and when I would go visit they would read it to me. You are right. It is a classic. smile



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  60. MARY you know another classic is GOD CALLING. It is published by Barbour. I love that devotional also. I have been reading it for years and years. Hubby's aunt gave it to me. And it is like yours and JESUS CALLING. Every time you read it, it applies to what you are going through. So you know its God inspired because every year is different. Yet it still applies like it was God talking to you that moment.

    That's so like reading the Bible too. Every time I read it I think wow, I didn't know it said that. And sure it did but now you're ready to hear it. smile

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  61. I don't think I've ever had chocolate coffee.

    In fact I've hardly ever had exotic coffee of any kind.

    I'm sort of an Earl Gray Tea girl myself.

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  62. RUTHY!!! Did you steal my motto on children or do we just think alike?

    I say, you KNOW everyone's gonna blame the MOM if a kid ends up messed up. YOU KNOW IT! Therefore we should get to take all the credit when they do good.

    FAIR!!

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  63. mary
    i love your new year resolution. so simple. minimalist. easy to accomplish.

    you rock.

    prepping for snow in VA Beach. the base will be closed tomorrow, so... no work day for me. hopefully the base will be open for work on Thursday. i've really limited vacation time and company policy makes me take vacation time for snow days *sigh*.

    on a bright note. my little Guppy will be thrilled to have momma home so we can take his toys on adventures - and probably go outside to make snow angels. snow angels are a must for him.

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  64. Sandra, I have been toying with the idea of writing a devotional just because I'd like to put down in writing some of my thoughts when I'm reading the Bible and I've wondered if those thoughts might be ones other people might find merit in.

    But now, reading My Utmost for His Highest, I've had second thoughts. I'm afraid mine would be ... first of all... too long. Next I'd try and be FUNNY. Then I'd ramble and ... well, I doubt to keep it interesting you're allowed to SHOOT anyone in a devotional, right?

    So I may just try and slip my thoughts on my Bible reading into my books....I'm doing that already but maybe I could be more INTENTIONAL about it.

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  65. MARY chocolate velvet coffee is to die for. Once you've had it, you won't want any other. It just gives the coffee a smooth feel to it. Takes away the bitter. Not sweet.

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  66. DEB H. You have fun with your little one and making snow angels. I think that is precious. He will be delighted. So a blessing. A treat. A special day with your little one. And I think you should call it a day of rest and not do any chores. smile

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  67. SANDRA
    day of rest will be great. planning on a fire in the fireplace as well. hmmm, i think i'll be picking up some marshmallows for hot chocolate on the way home today.

    if i haven't said it lately... Seekerville is AWESOME! and inspirational. thank you ladies, so much!

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  68. p.s. to RUTHY

    i thought i was the only one who did Elmo's voice for the child units. glad to know i'm not alone *heh*.

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  69. Hi Sandra!

    Welcome back from Spain. I loved following your trip on Facebook - it made me want to go!

    And I'd take that nine mile hike with you. We'll leave Ruthy and the other whiners at home!

    Because when you take a hike like that, what do you have at the end of the day? Okay, sore feet. But much, much more. You know the place where you hiked intimately. You can't see those views from a car, you can't smell that air watching a video, and you can't hear those sounds from a plane.

    To me, that's the perfect re-creation/recreation. There's nothing like it.

    And rest. Yes. You have to be still sometimes. Prayer on the run is one thing, but then how can you listen?

    I have my goals for the year, and deadlines (met one yesterday!). But I always spend the first minutes of the day with my Bible, in prayer, and then planning my day. I find that I'm so much more productive when I do that.

    And Sunday is always a day of rest. No writing. Worship, spending time with family and friends, more worship. It's more of the re-creation that we need so much. :)

    Okay, yes I watch football on Sundays (in case you didn't know, I'm a Broncos fan!!!). But I DVR the games. If they interfere with anything else, I watch them later.

    Even the Superbowl won't interfere with the more important aspects of the Sabbath rest.

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  70. MARY, Try writing a devotional for something time oriented. Like I wrote a thirty day devotional for writers . Or I write devotions for children on my website Children's Books by Sandy

    Then you'll see if you can do it. I think you would enjoy it. It makes me feel closer to God. And no, you can't shoot anyone.

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  71. DEB H, pass the marshmallows. yum. And we think you are awesome too. We are so blessed by our Seeker friends. Thank you.

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  72. Really, MARY? You're an Earl Grey girl? I never knew that about you! I have a couple of cups of Earl Grey Green tea every morning!

    However, I do enjoy a hot mug of mocha cappuccino on a chilly afternoon!

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  73. Hi JAN, you said it perfectly. Yes, yes, come hike with me. And I agree. It is awesome to see God's creation first hand as you walk the ground, see the cracks, crags, spires, flora and fauna. Although I'm sure Ruthy gets close on her farm. Lots of ways to be close.

    Congrats on getting one of your goals accomplished.

    And aren't DVR's the BEST? I love mine. Most shows come on at times I cant watch and when I like to sit down and kick back (around 4:00 pm) there is nothing on. So the DVR is wonderful.

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  74. MYRA you are making me drool. How about sending over a cup?

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  75. Thank you Sandra---at the beginning of this post, I was thinking: Hmmmm, she must've written this for ME! But I'm sure lots of us need the all-important reminder to Seek HIM first, and take time to rest, and be still and quiet. Soooo vital to our Christian walk.
    Congratulations on your books! How exciting to have an audio book!
    I already have (and LOVE) the book Jesus Calling (thanks to precious Debby G.) and since then I've bought copies to give others. It is an amazing book.
    Thanks again for this post. As I'm typing this comment I'm looking out my window at SNOW!! Yes, here in Georgia that's a BIG deal, LOL!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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  76. Sandra, I love this post! Great reminder about the importance of rest and spending time with the Lord. I love the devotion Jesus Calling! I also have Sarah Young's Jesus Today. Both bless me each morning, along with Scripture and prayer, but I've got to admit staying quiet is hard for me. Anyone NOT surprised? LOL

    Wonderful information about audio books! I have your eBooks and want your audio books. Boy, I'd love to have my books in audio form. To me that's big time! So proud of you, Sandra!

    Janet

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  77. Hi PATTI JO, Oh how fun to have the snow. You stay warm now. I'm heading for the swimming pool myself. Its warm here in the desert.

    And yes, I did write that for you. And me. And all of us. Don't we need that reminder? It always amazes me how simple it is, but how easily we get sidetracked. sigh.

    Give kitty a pat for me.

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  78. Jenny, Glad Jesus Calling is blessing you too!

    Janet

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  79. Hi JANET, So you like JESUS TODAY also? I've been thinking of getting it. Thanks.

    And yes, I am surprised. You always seem to have it together. sigh.

    I really am surprised at how much I enjoy the audio books. I mean it is more difficult to get into them than when you sit and read, but like I said, with audio I can read a book during times when I normally can't so it makes better use of my time.




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  80. Debby, fun to see the domino effect of blessing others with Jesus Calling. I keep a stash to giveaway too. And buying them when they're half price means I can give more.

    Janet

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  81. The main road to our house is closed due to icy conditions.

    Two of my grandchildren are stranded at school...no one can get to their school due to snow/ice/hills. All the children and teachers may have to spend the night. Pls pray the little ones can get home to frantic moms and dads.

    This is fodder for one of my books.

    Missy and I are flying to Tampa tomorrow for the LI Reader Luncheon...if the planes are flying. At this point, it looks iffy.

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  82. I want Glendale weather. And I want chocolate covered strawberries! :)

    Sandra, that's exciting about getting review copies of your audio books!

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  83. Ruthy mentioned brownies. And Mindy Obenhaus is cooking up some at the Yankee-belle cafe today! (link is in the side bar)

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  84. Amber S, we're glad to see you again!

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  85. Meghan, I'm a big Sunday napper as well! We all know I usually can't wait to get home from lunch so I can conk out on the couch. :)

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  86. we have had a cool change overnight 94ish today but back up to over 110 for another 5 days they say so I would gladly send some your way.

    I am not liking this heat. the house hasn't really cooled down fully from the last heatwave,

    Mary mum use My Utmost for His Highest for many years I still have her copy.

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  87. Patti Jo, our snow started about noon. It's so beautiful! I just pray it stops so roads can be clear for me (and Debby and others) to fly out of Atlanta tomorrow for the LI Reader Luncheon!

    Would appreciate prayers.

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  88. Debby, we have at least an inch now! And it's still coming down quite a bit.

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  89. Oh my goodness DEBBY, Didn't they listen to the news? I mean we were hearing about it last night clear over here in California. I am praying for the little ones and the teachers. Oh my, especially the teachers. LOL

    I sure hope you will be able to get to the luncheon. That is such a special event. I so want it to succeed. And I know you do also.

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  90. Sorry, it's been a busy day here in my life. :) I'm just getting back. Thanks, Sandra for explaining this. I have Audible on my iPhone,but I haven't tried to figure it out yet. I think I'll get it on my computer (Mac) and figure out how t sync them. I love listening to audiobooks while I"m prepping dinner. :)

    Have a great day! Sick kiddo is watching a movie so I get some time to write. Yay!

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  91. MISSY come visit us anytime. But you can't come now because you have your lovely luncheon to go to. What a wonderful and innovative idea that Harlequin has for you LI authors. And LI readers to meet you. I so hope you all can travel tomorrow. I'm praying for super road and runway clearing. smile

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  92. Glad that helped JEANNE, You will enjoy it on the phone too because then you can plop it in your pocket and move around. Of course on a computer you can hook it to a speaker and it can fill the kitchen, but in my house I battle TV noise so that wouldn't work. I use earplugs and keep the ipod in my pocket.

    Sorry your little one is sick. Enjoy that writing time. smile

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  93. Oh JENNY that is so sweet that your mum read The Utmost For HIs Highest. What a blessing.

    Glad it cooled a little but will happily take more heat. Hugs

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  94. Debby and Missy, Am praying for you (and any others) who are planning on traveling to FL for the LI luncheon! If you do get to go, please stay safe.
    Hugs, Patti Jo (who is super excited looking at the "winter wonderland" in my yard, LOL).

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  95. Debby, praying for your little ones. Hoping they can get home from school. But if not, that they'll be unafraid, warm and fed.

    Hugs, Janet

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  96. Okay, I got sidetracked. Didn't get to the pool yet. I'm heading there now. I'll soak in some rays for all of you making snow angels.

    Don't you love diversity? Obviously God does. LOL

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  97. Wonderful information, Sandra!!

    I never really thought much about audio books, until last summer when we were driving to Washington, DC and I decided to get something to listen to in the car. From the library, I borrowed Susan E. Phillip's The Great Escape and absolutely loved it! And you're so right about the narrator. Another book I tried once was horrible - couldn't listen to the voice. But this one was perfect!

    Awesome!

    Hope everyone is keeping warm! I'm trying to!

    Cheers,
    Sue

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  98. HI SUSAN ANNE, Thanks for reminding us that we can get audio books at the library. So fun.

    Please do stay warm. Happy writing.

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  99. Sandra,

    You did the generous thing to send me Jesus Calling at a time when I needed it last year. Thank you for that. I like to read that day's selection before I start writing, so I keep it on my writing desk. Thank you for that gift.

    The weather is a mess here in Atlanta. Praying for your plane, Missy and Debby, but more important, for your grand babies, Debby. I hope they get home safely.

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  100. Thank you PIPER, I forgot I'd sent that. smile

    Yes, it will be great to hear from DEBBY that her grandbabies made it home. Snow is so exciting until you have to go somewhere.

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  101. Sandra, you mentioned chocolate so I just had to eat a piece. Dove dark chocolate. Yum.

    I love you pics from Spain! What a wonderful experience.

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  102. Ooooh CARA, I'll have a piece too. Dove dark chocolates is one of my favorite.

    ARe you getting hit with that cold weather too? Hope you stay warm. Hugs

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  103. Praying for Missy and Debby's travel to Florida...and everyone else who is traveling to that event. Hasn't this winter just been wretched? Nasty Polar Vortex. :-(

    Sandra -- I have Jesus Calling too. I LOVE it. Sarah Young was inspired when she wrote it. This is my third year with it. I know she's published another one so I should probably graduate to that, but Jesus Calling really speaks to me. Love the scripture references too.

    As to audio books...I think I could be a fan. I'd choose audio books over ebooks any day. Any idea why audio books are always released after the ebook/print editons?

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  104. Thanks for the prayers for our trip to Tampa!

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  105. HI KAV, Thanks for the prayers. I"m sure DEBBY and MISSY appreciate them. I really hope the luncheon isn't cancelled.

    I don't know why publishers do print and ebook first. Probably because that is their main focus.

    Personally I did ebooks first because I didn't know about audio until I had finished ebook and print. Also the narrator needs something to read so it makes sense that they have the ebook or print book to read. Most producers want an ebook version to send to their actors. My producter read it from her kindle. High tech-right? lol

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  106. MISSY have you heard what the weather is like in Tampa? Is it cold there too? The weather report we saw last night said the storm would touch Florida as well.

    Keep us posted tomorrow. Sure hope all goes well for you girls.

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  107. Sandra,
    I really enjoyed this post.
    I've been finding myself running like crazy to keep up, then all the extreme cold just makes me tired/sleepy, so I find myself falling asleep if I try to just sit quietly.
    I have taken to using my morning subway time as prayer time. It helps center my day.

    Thanks for the reminder to keep priorities straight.

    I would love to be in the drawing for Sarah's book and I'm glad to hear that you like it so much. I had promised myself I would get it to start off the new year, but I forgot all about it.

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  108. HI MARY, Great use of subway time. I used to do that when I commuted to work on the express bus. Great time because no distractions like things sitting around the house demanding to be attended to. lol

    You are in the drawing. Ruthy uses a cat dish, but I use the puppy dish. lol

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  109. Thanks for joining us today in Seekerville.

    Happy writing.

    Happy resting.

    Be sure and check Weekend Edition for winners.

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  110. I'm just about as late as it gets ... thank you, Sandra, for a lovely post. Wishing the best for the Chocolate Festival :-)

    Nancy C

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  111. Thanks for a great post - and for the reminder to rest, listen and wait. Sitting, waiting - so hard for me to do!
    Definitely wish I lived closer - I'd be first in line at the chocolate fair!

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  112. Ouch! That hurt. But you're speaking a truth I really needed to hear. Resolutions and goals mean nothing if we're not keeping Him at the top of the list.
    Sigh. He and I need to sit down for a chat.

    Thanks for the nudge, Sandra. :-)

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  113. Hi EDWINA, It would be terrific if you lived closer so you could come. I love meeting Seekerville friends.

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  114. HI APRIL, We all need a nudge now and then. Why do you think I talked on that subject? Probably all the nudges and whaps on the head I'd been receiving. smile

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