Thursday, April 10, 2014

Real Life Research, Staying Open to Possibilities!


So why am I still wearing a coat and scarf?

Aw, you know why, because it's cold up here!  The occasional 50 degree day isn't enough for me to go back to the summer pic... We'll switch back to that in May... but for now, I'm keepin' warm!

Ruthy here, delighted with so many things... First, we had so many folks participate in Speedbo this year, and they ROCKED. Second, a bunch of us finaled in the Killer Voices contest run by Love Inspired, and what a hoot that whole contest is. LOVE IT!!!!!

Third, I'm looking forward to warmer weather and new book challenges! I've just finished my current Love Inspired contract and I'm looking forward to more fun on the horizon... I absolutely positively love what I do. And because of that I'm going to drive Tina and Sandra crazy by offering A LOT OF COPIES of "Loving the Lawman", my 4-Star upcoming release from Love Inspired books!

Do you totally, over the top, oh my gosh it's great, LOVE THIS COVER?????

And it's baseball season again!!!!!

Oh, happy day! Oh glorious day!!!!! Oh.... JETER!!!!!!!!!

Oh my stars, we could skip this writing gig and just sit here.... look.... and sigh.....   :)

But let's talk this real life research stuff, and I'll tell you what inspired this post. A coupon. Dave and I got a coupon package from a co-worker at Christmas and part of it was a $20 gift card to Applebee's Restaurant. And being typical people, we waited until the last day to use it. The restaurant was crowded with other people doing the same thing, but.... none of us could sit down. No one could eat. No one could order. And you know why?

The alarm went off. And when a business alarm goes off, the firemen and police are required to answer and CLOSE the place until they can say "all clear"... So for forty minutes while they tried to decide why the alarm coded and how to clear it and re-set it (the alarm system was most uncooperative) we got to watch.... and listen... and come on, you know me:  Talk!!!!

And all the while I was examining the situation for story possibilities. The manager, staying calm and cool while the decision is being considered by the fire department. You know he's seeing his break-even point about to walk out the door as more and more folks with that Christmas coupon gathered, hoping to grab a fun supper. Is this the bad night that puts his job on the line? Is he going to lose a possible promotion? Is his wife pregnant or did she run out on him and his kid is in the office next to the kitchen, trying to do homework?

And the seating hostess, trying to field the questions of the incoming people and the folks sitting, waiting for the decision. Single mom? Two kids? What did she want to do when she was twenty, was she hoping to be a seating hostess or did she need money two years into college and had to drop out?

The firemen... Oh my stars, it must have been a RULE that only the good-looking guys were on call that night. A cuter group of thirty-ish guys couldn't possibly exist, and there were two wizened forty-somethings that seemed to have things well in hand, very "Gibbs" friendly....

And the cop. Tall. Dark. Square-built, somber but nice. He had the look of a widower, a man who's raising two kids on his own and wondering how to find time for it all. And when he answered  his phone, I'm pretty sure it was the fictional kid's teacher, wanting to call a meeting.... and then maybe fall in love!

(Yes, I love living in my fictional Make-Up-A-Story-A-Day world!!!!!)  :)

Today at a baby shower, I sat with a young, gorgeous Visiting Nurse and as we discussed things, I could see her as a  heroine, helping out the locals as they age, knowing so much about so many and being discreet with her wealth of personal information. I could see her in a Deb Giusti suspense novel, trying to figure out why three seemingly unrelated old people have died, and hunting for a connection at the cost of her own safety...

Or put her in a rural situation doing well-baby visits to indigent families, teaching, counseling, showing folks how to keep their babies safe, happy and healthy... and finding either a real-life mountain hero, a park ranger, a lumberjack or a hunter/gatherer to be her hero.

If you find yourself scarce on stories, look around.

They're everywhere, behind every door, inside every office, and rolling by your house in a squad car.

Borrow from real life....

Or from TV.....

Or your take on a great movie.....

And then make it better!

Hey, Helen's bringing coffee, I've got creamers and sugar, the fancy cups are on the sideboard and we're ready to roll!

There are TEN RUTHY BOOKS to give away today, ten lovely signed copies of "Loving the Lawman", so you can win it before you can buy it!!!!

Stop in, grab a cuppa, stay awhile and we'll talk books.... romance.... God..... and swoon-worthy heroes.

I'm all in!

Ruthy is a multi-published author who has lived in an underground rabbit warren for the last six months, rarely peeking out to see anything other than snow... BUT rumor has it the sun is starting to shine in upstate NY and Ruthy has ventured above ground!  She's married, (Bless his heart!!!) and surrounds herself with kids, coffee, chocolate, the occasional dogs, cats and chickens and more than a few wild geese and whitetail deer. She's quite willing to claim credit for good things others do while pretending to be sweet and humble. :) Her newest Love Inspired release "Loving the Lawman" is the fourth book in her "Kirkwood Lake" series and rated 4 Stars by Romantic Times Review.... and she totally loves Seth and Gianna's sweet, lakeside romance, a story inspired by life experiences like the ones noted above... because everybody has a story.


  1. The coffee pot's here--and set!!!

    These are great examples of story sources, Ruthie.

    I also have a big folder of newspaper clippings.

    Whatever will you do when Jeter retires???

    BTW, my youngest son once dated a gal whose last name was Jeter.

    Keep those lawmen coming!

  2. Okay, I can play.

    7 am my cat runs for the window to scare a bird and knocks my coffee into my purse. An entire cup of untouched hot coffee.


    I got home from work at 5:15 my car is nicely in the garage. Well, it turns out, it's stuck in there. The spring on the garage door broke.


    Now that's some story fodder.

  3. Oh, Ruthy...I would love that book. Those babies are just too cute. I need to know.....the story!!!!
    Thanks for the coffee, Helen. And I hope you don't need to be at work before your hubby gets that door fixed!

  4. Good morning Ruthy! Thank you for the way you find story ideas! Oh, and the cover of your new book is absolutely beautiful! What cute babies!

    I would love to have my name tossed in to win a copy of your book Ruthy!

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  5. Helen, I used to have a newspaper file.... and then we stopped subscribing, so it's kind of been replaced by computer news tidbits and People Watching.... I love people watching.

    It's such a hoot.

    I was in a setting the other night surrounded by THEATER MOMS.

    Theater Moms are very similar to Dance Moms and Soccer Moms and Helicopter Moms, because they have their FINGER POISED to fix everything....

    My little friend was trying out for a part in a production.... and she got the part, so it didn't matter that I wasn't fussing over her because I don't fuss.... like, ever....

    But it's so fun to see how casual some moms are and how frenetic others can be....


  6. TINA!!!!!

    Yes, you can clearly play this game, that's exactly how you play it.

    Remember the game of "Life" when we were younger?????

    Same thing only funnier, except the coffee thing is never funny because it's messy and it's my coffee.... and I'm deadly serious about few things, but God and coffee are two of them!!!

    The garage door.....


    We had that happen.

    Enforced solitude.

    But that should give you time for another cup of coffee, right?????

    A late-day one.

  7. Helen, you could have had your own personal Jeter??????

    AND YOUR KID BLEW IT????????

    Oh, sigh.

  8. Marianne, you're in, darling, of course you're in, and why not because you have a true understanding of how fun these sweet books are!!!!

    I love Kirkwood Lake, I love the town, the people, old Mrs. Thurgood, Reverend Smith and the Mrs., and their puppy-now-almost-grown-dog Titus.....

    From the litter of abandoned pups Zach Harrison found in "Falling for the Lawman"..... ♥

    Tucking your name in the catdish!!!!

  9. Cindy, you're in!

    I love babies.

    I love cowboys and lawmen, and flawed heroes....

    and I love eyeing up a situation and seeing story potential!

    LOVE IT!!!!

    Hey, I brought some fresh doughnuts (donuts) from our local Tops Market.... Their donuts are melt-in-your-mouth wonderful and fattening, but so good!!!!

    And there are plenty to go around!

  10. Your cover is beautiful.

    What a fun blog today. We have the same kind of firemen here. Whenever a fireman comes into the store, the female techs stop working. They want to be the first to help the man. The losers say hi, watch, and practically drool. These are all great men and worthy of hero status.

    Thanks again for sharing! Have a great day!

  11. wow I can actually log in on this computer (until it crashes and leaves me logged out) for some reason google never seems to recognize my username and password combo! not my fault...

    don't enter me in the drawing- I'm an ebooker - need to make the print bigger to read! still a sore spot that wally world and other stores carry the print books early but nook and kindle make us wait til the very last day :-( NOT FAIR!!
    off to do some cleaning since I can't sleep...sigh...

  12. A definite benefit of being a fiction writer is that otherwise lousy experiences can be repurposed into story fodder. :)

  13. Ruthy, You're on top of it today! I love your coat and scarf! I hang on to mine until, hum...around the middle of May, and it's not that cold here...I just get attached!!

    I love the cover of your new book, it's wonderful! :-)

    Tina, I liked that you could still 'hahaha' after getting a cup of hot coffee in your purse—I thought about my purse and the mess I would have—I use honey and half & half in my coffee!!

  14. It is a great cover, Ruthy! How can anyone pass picking it up?

    I do get a lot of story ideas from real life, especially occupations.

    Although with my current contract, I'm writing about rodeo as much leeway there with occupations!

  15. Good morning, Ruthy! I've never minded airport waits as I can sit there and watch people and spin a fictional "back story" for each other them. :)

  16. I MEANT "for each OF them." Way too early here in the West!

  17. RUTHY
    I'm so happy I'm not the only one who sees stories everywhere I look around. I see stuff in the online news feeds and copy/paste notes on the stuff that makes me go "Whoa... story fodder"

    Currently communicating with USCG dude about my WIP. It was spurred from one of those "hmmmm" moments in life. He's not a romance reader, but may make an exception since I've made his rate the rate of the hero. (yep, stroking the ol' male ego).

    Like Helen, I too, wonder what will you do once Jeter is retired after this season. Men in uniform are so swoon worthy. Girardi was my sort of first baseball crush when he was catcher for the Colorado Rockies.

    Please put my name in the ol' cat dish. I can never get enough Ruthy books!!!!!

    my family tends to look at me with some trepidation when something happens, knowing the event is fair game for ideas percolating in my brain.

  18. I LOVE people watching! It's so much fun, and that's where you get the best stories.

    I don't need to throw my name in the hat for Ruthy's book because I already have my copy. I'd hoped that I would be able to read it by now, but life has been too busy. Good thing next week is spring break and I'll have plenty of reading time :)

    Question for the Love Inspired authors. I got a partial request last May during the Happily Editor After pitch. The partial turned to a full request in October and one of the editors has had my full since the first week of November. How long does it usually take to hear back from the editors? I never got a confirmation that my ms was received, so now I'm wondering if it just got lost in cyberspace. Does anyone know? And is it appropriate to email and ask, or does that come off as pushy?

    Happy Thursday, Seekerville!

  19. Good morning Ruthy.
    I have been people-watching all my life, starting with childhood and the ritual known as Friday Night Downtown. My mother didn't drive, so she really worked Friday nights and went in every store on Main Street. My father and I usually finished up first, so we fed nickels to the meter and watched everyone else until she was done. It's a habit I have carried over whenever I am in a public place with nothing to do. And at funerals. What I observe doesn't translate directly to my work, since I'm currently doing historicals, but when you're a writer nothing ever goes to waste. I am a little magpie, building my nest from bright bits of this and that. Also, the human heart is the same, contemporary or historical.
    Please enter me in the drawing. Kirkwood Lake -- I'm a fan.
    Kathy Bailey

  20. I've just decided to add a character to the current story-in-progress and completed her bio but I'm having a booger of a time introducing her to my characters ;( I needed your humor and energy this morning!! Thanks!

    PS the cover is adorable! I have twin daughters who just turned 21yrs. Seems they were babies yesterday!

  21. Ruthy, you sure got fodder for your creative juices, but did you get anything to eat that evening at Applebees?

    Loving the Lawman's cover is adorable. Know the twins and romance will be just as sweet!


  22. Tina, you didn't have the best of days. Mercy, hope you know how to disconnect or can get someone out to fix that garage door spring ASAP.

    Even worse is a spilled cup of coffee in your purse! Hope your phone didn't get the caffeine jitters.


  23. Annie,

    On the writing community on Harlequin, there's a thread called, "Wondering about the Wait." That's a great place to ask your question. Typically anything over 3 months is not too pushy and definitely after 6 months.

  24. Oh, Ruthy......this is where I am! My hubby is beginning to be concerned about my imaginings. :)

    We just returned from a vacation where our son's family escaped carbon monoxide fumes (Praise our Lord!!!) and we experienced an earthquake! More stories ideas!

    Would love to get your! Thank you for your post!

  25. I always love your posts, Ruthy. And I LOVE your pic and beautiful smile, scarf and all. :)

    I'm still training my brain to find stories in all of the every day circumstances I face. Thanks for giving me an example of how to do this better. :)

    I do have a fireman story, though. About a year ago, when hubby was traveling, our smoke detectors went off for no reason at all. Except perhaps that they were very old. I called the non-emergency number and was told the kids and I needed to step outside. So we did until the handsome firemen came from the station up the street and gave us the all clear. There were four large men tromping around, asking questions. I just KNOW it will go in one of my stories. :)

  26. Well, I'm pretty sure I can play too.

    In January my sister, brother in law, mother, and nine month old nephew took off and moved halfway across the country. Not fun. Then, in February, my grandpa passed away. And that wasn't fun either. I got the news that I have to move. And... Last week my washing machine was murdered. It will not work at all.

    And no swoon worthy heroes were there.


    Well, its life, I guess. Just gotta go with the flow of things. Still, good story fodder. Even for a writer of historical like me.

    Ruthy, please enter me in the giveaway! I love your cover. Aren't babies so adorable?

  27. Ruthy,

    I see the most interesting people at my vet. He a rough, country vet that is wonderful w/animals. People drive for hours to bring their pets in.
    He's in far south Oklahoma and his prices are a lot lower than those in the Dallas area.

    I noticed he charged about half price for Heartguard and asked the tech how he was able to do that. She answered, "Doc says people will take care of their animals if they can afford to."

    Maybe I should add him to one of my stories.

  28. Now I have your blog as proof that I'm not the only one that makes up stories about everyone around me! I can show my hubby that I'm really NOT crazy.
    Tina, I can top your morning (unless of course you had your cell phone or other electrical device in the coffee drenched purse). Our septic backed up so at 5:30 this morning I was outside "snaking" the septic. The thingie that retracts the snake broke, so I had to pull it out and roll it back up by hand. I'm not sure what plumbers make but I'm pretty sure it is NOT enough.
    I needed a couple of showers just to feel better this morning. :}
    Ruthy, can't wait to read Loving the Lawman! The blurb sounds amazing.

  29. Connie,
    Are you in the DFW area? I'm about seventy miles from there.

  30. Yep. I am a biggie on taking any situation and thinking about it. Like the 60 minutes story I saw last week. Or Scotty McCreery. Or the local guy from Wake Forest who was rescued this morning by an elite FBI team after he was kidnapped....

    And on and on.

    PEace and condolences on Jeter, Julie

  31. Thanks, Connie! I'll check out the Harlequin thread!

  32. Crystal, I'm about an hour north of Dallas in Gunter. I try to keep up w/my fellow Texans. :)

  33. What a fun post today! I love people watching. There are so many colorful individuals out there. :)

  34. Super-fun post, Ruthy--really illustrates your vivid imagination and why you are such a great storyteller!

    Oh, TINA! We've had that happen with the garage door. Not funny when the car is inside the garage and you need to get it out.

  35. Oh, yeah, story is everywhere...

    I live 1/2 mile from the highway and can see cars and trucks whizzing by out my front door across the 1/2 mile expanse of green pasture.

    An extended cab white truck just went by, followed by a small black car. Shucks, I don't even have to SEE the people to make up a story! lol

    Tina: OUCH on the coffee in the purse!!!! Oooohhhh, NOT good. Not good at all!

  36. Another garage story (sort of). Twice in the last couple of weeks, we've gone out to get in the car only to find the battery stone-cold dead. Each time, we could trace it to having taken our grandkids somewhere, and little fingers have reached up to turn on the overhead lights, which stayed on all night long and slowly drained the battery.

    We now have AAA on speed dial. Plus a new battery.

  37. Ruth,

    I love this post. I have often said, Now that would make a good story even before trying to be a writer.

    Tina, I love your scenarios!

    Don't include my name in today's drawing since I already have a copy of the book and I am loving it.

  38. I saw a youtube video of a cabinet with secret drawers and a whole book wrote itself in my head.

  39. My mom one time got a very strange phone call from my sister because my sister had her voice set to make calls with voice commands and when my sister's daughter handed the phone across to someone else she said the word Mom at just the right moment and the call went through.
    My mom was confused.
    But what if....instead of that innocent 'Mom' what if someone lost their phone and it was activated by someone saying some correct word and the recipient of that phone call over hears later, on her voice mail, a MURDER.
    And what if whoever was the murdered realized the call had gone through?
    And now they have to the person who received that call and shut them up before they realize what they've overheard!!!

    All that flashed through my head in SECONDS when my mom told me about that call.

    I probably was ignoring my mother while she talked. It's no wonder no one talks to me.

    Excuse me while I go review the way I conduct my whole life.

  40. I LOVE this post. I do this ALL the time. I'm glad I'm not the only one - haha.


  41. Eavesdropping and people-watching are my favorite hobbies!

    It drives my husband crazy, though, so I keep my musings to myself :)

    Congratulations on finishing that contract! Just in time for spring. We had 70° weather yesterday, and the birds are singing. I even heard peepers on Tuesday. Yay!

    And I was going to say not to put me in the drawing, since I've already won a copy - but I know several people I could give one to, so stick my name in the cat dish!

  42. Oh Ruthy....I've said this before, but I feel ENERGIZED just from reading one of your posts!

    LOVED this (the photos of your book cover and Jeter were icing on the cake)---and I have to admit I've been doing this a lot lately--thinking of everyday things/people, and putting in extra details, situations, etc. ~ Whew! I'm just glad to know that's normal for a writer's brain, LOL.

    I'm grabbing a cup of Helen's coffee and setting out a Georgia Peach cobbler I've just taken from the oven--Enjoy!

    Please enter me in your drawing---I LOVE Ruthy books!!

    Hugs, Patti Jo (who is praising the Lord for our beautiful Spring day today!)

  43. p.s. Oh poor Tina....just read about your crazy day, and I feel for you. BUT I hope your kitty didn't get burned from that hot coffee!

  44. I love reading your posts- you have such a fun voice! I'm going to practice story-finding next time I'm stranded during a long wait :) Put me in the hat for your new book! Can't wait to get my hands on it :)

  45. LOL ... love, Love, LOVE this post, girlfriend, because it's SO uproariously RUTHY!!!

    You heard the old expression, "she's got a bee in her bonnet," well, girl, you've got a whole hive, producing so much wonderful honey, you could go in business.

    WAIT! You ARE in business, writing some of the most heart-warming, down-to-earth, real stories in the CBA, and I love that sometimes it all starts with a coupon to Applebee's!!!

    You are a hoot, Ruthy, and a true asset to Seekerville and everyone who knows (and loves) you!!

    Julie (who is in a sweet mood because she's sitting outside on her lower deck in 65-degree sunny weather FINALLLLLLY WRITING rather than cleaning out cabinets and drawers!!!


  46. MARY
    i love the way your mind works. whole stories from an odd phone call and a cabinet with secret drawers... i'll buy 'em.

  47. LOL, TEENSTER ... glad you could laugh at a purse full of coffee, because it is pretty funny (in hind sight only!!).

    At least your cat did it and not you!! I filled my purse with water from a bathroom faucet TWICE within a month's time by setting it on a sink with an automatic hand-sensor water spigot. Never knew what happened the 1st time until I walked up to Keith in a Sam's Club, and he said, "uh, Julie ... your purse is leaking ..." ;)


  48. Jackie, do you think it's like universal????


    Right there with cute cops, of course.

    Maybe it's the uniform? The firemen were wearing those thick suspenders....

    Who'd have thought suspenders had appeal?????????

    Not me!

    It was fun to see them going through their paces, checking things out, testing, watching the customer reaction....

    Jackie, a lot like some of your co-workers!

  49. Suzy, I'll send you an e-book if you win.....

    It's the least I can do, darling! Are you a Kindle gal or another format?

    We know how to take care of our peeps here in Seekerville.... Hey, cupcakes today for a fake birthday party. Yellow with whipped frosting or chocolate with chocolate or buttercream. I'm not afraid to feed youse!

  50. Wow, Ruthy, it's nice to know someone else has a mind that never shuts down. I could sit for hours people watching, wondering about their story, and not say a word to anyone.

    Been out of town for about 5 days having a write-fest retreat with one of my critique partners. Was able to get half of my second novella finished (about 16K words!). Yay! I do miss stopping by and visiting though.

    My current novella was inspired by a combination of movies and my real-life experience working with students w/ disabilities. I've put together the Hero brother of a 'Rainman' character, a heroine with a backstory inspired by 'We Are Marshall, and a NC mountain town that feels like home to everyone who visits. I've never written anything like this, but I'm having a great time stretching my wings. I think it's turning out pretty good. (At least, I hope so.)

    Absolutely put my name in for the drawing. I loooove reading Seeker books, and that cover is so sweet. BTW- You and my husband would get along famously. He's from NY, and he loves the Yankees too! This southern home has lots of Yankees stuff.

  51. Jennifer, yes, exactly that! We can turn lemons into really good lemonade, and all with the turn of a keystroke and plot line! I love that....

    And it's so nice to have fun options to finish the story that begins in front of us.

    I just love that to pieces!

  52. Oh, Mary Hicks....

    Oy, can you imagine that mess with honey????

    Now the nice thing is I'm not afraid to toss a purse into the washing machine....

    Wanna know a secret? I love cute purses and Beth and Mandy hunt them up at garage sales.....

    And buy them for $2/$3 etc.....

    And they're like new, and cute, and so fun!!! It's totally false advertising because the thought of Ruthy + Designer Anything is laughable, but from thrift stores? Salvation Army? Garage sales????

    LOVE IT!!!

  53. Rose, I had so much fun doing my August cowboy book!!!!!

    "His Montana Sweetheart" comes out in August and I had so much fun working with the other continuity gals.... and writing COWBOYS!!!!!

    Ranching/cowboys/cattle/cats/dogs, horses... Did I mention cowboys???


  54. Reading these comments has made me realize this is an official meeting of Writers Anonymous! We're all so glad to hear how normal we are since we're just like Ruthy... who is normal, right? :)

    Loved the post, Ruthy!

  55. Glynna, I love that too! It's always an eye-opener and from that... comes book plotting!!!!

    And on the airplane, too, seeing how folks interact or don't interact. Always interesting!

  56. Deb H, yes, and yes.

    Well, what will I do without Derek next year?????

    (thinks hard....)

    I'll still go to Yankee games but it won't be the same...

    And it's like the end of an era, a time where we watched the team ebb and fall and rise again. So I don't know....

    I love core players! Guys who stick with a team.... Buster Posey and Mike Trout are like young up and coming "Jeter" types.... and I love seeing that!

  57. Annie Rains, I hope you love it!!!

    You know they've been swamped at LI so it's probably in the chute someplace, but it's okay to inquire after three months.... So an e-mail might be in order? What does everyone else think?

    Too early to ask or okay?

  58. S.... if that is indeed your real name, LOL!!!!

    Boy, you can have some fun with intros.... spontaneous, planned, surprising, accidental....

    So it can be someone spotted in a crowd....

    Or another nanny on the playground...

    Or a friend of a friend who needs a hand.....

    I'd love to hear what you decide once you do it!

  59. I often find myself thinking about how a certain situation I witness or over hear could be a part of a story and I would love to win one of your books Ruthy!

    Now, I have a question for you ladies. I have a character in my novel that is a toddler, who doesn't pronounce her r's correctly. How do you writ that so the reader can read it, but it doesn't just look dumb?

  60. Crystal Ridgway, the murder of a woman's appliances is punishable to the highest degree under federal law....

    A dead washer. Our little ones are mud mongers right now, spring in upstate....

    My washer is humming along at the moment, rinsing muddy pants. I'm feeling your pain.

  61. Jon
    my toddler tends to mis-pronounce 'y' as 'l'. making yellow sound like lellow.

    my only thought is to look at lines from The Princess Bride where the lisping Priest is performing the marriage ceremony.

    I think he had issues with "r's"

  62. Ruthy,
    I wish! I'm currently using my bathtub as a make-do washer until getting a new one. But, at least the death of my nine year old washing machine provided a lovely post over on my blog! Gotta look at the bright side. At least the dryer didn't die too. ;-)

  63. Love this post! People always ask where you get your story ideas. I say: "Where do I not get story ideas?" There are definitely stories going on all around you. My family has learned when something happens, they look at me and ask: "Ending up in a story?" I shrug.
    Would love the opportunity to win the book.

  64. Ruthy, you are SO generous....please put me in for a chance to win your book!!!
    Love those Ruthy books!!!!

  65. Kathy Bailey, you're entered, and I think funerals are target rich environments.

    So many people, so much emotion, so little time.

    You get the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad, the angry, the sullen...

    So many emotions in one narrow window of time. That's probably why I love walking graveyards, too. To picture the lost families. The bureaucrats. The money-mongers. The young mothers.


  66. Janet, I didn't even think about what the horribleness could be for Teeeena's phone!!!!

    AY yi yi!!!!!!!!!!

    Eek. The phone.


    Sorry, Tina.

    Anyway, Tina being locked in makes me laugh A LITTLE.

    A smidge.

    Not as much as having Mary locked in, but funny, nonetheless!!!! :)

    But then there's that whole job thing and we do need to get out of the house to work, so I'm really hugging her from afar.

    (and snickering....)

  67. I also lost my grandson in a hay bale today.

    There's a story there!!!

  68. Ruthy, I absolutely LOVE how your mind works! Inspiration at Applebees. Whoda thunk it?? You keep verbalizing how your mind wanders and I'll keep taking notes, LOL!

    I'm glad you're peeking out of your rabbit warren. Snow, we've had enough of it here in Colorado, but spring is making a strong showing so I don't want to jinx it. I'm ready for SPRING; not summer. I like warm; not hot.

    I sound so hard to please.

  69. Mary, I hope you don't wait until it's time to feed the cattle before you dig out your grandson. Go bust open some bales, girlfriend!

  70. Squeeeaaaaalllll! I came home to find a box of Love Inspired books had been delivered and guess what books leapt out at me when I opened the box????? I'll be reading Loving the Lawman this weekend. Woooot!!!!

  71. I hope you got to enjoy the great outdoors today.
    It was gorgeous here today.
    I would love to read your book, Ruthy!

  72. I am glad to know that it's normal to concoct stories with people around us. I don't all the time we go to Disneyland. Thanks for the validation.


  73. You already have a story. Too funny! Start that romance in the middle of an Appleby's shut down.

    And all you wanted was dinner on that coupon.

  74. Connie Queen, that was wonderful advice! And that fits in with what we've seen, too.

    Thank you!!!!

    Sherida, RIGHT?????? Turn those bruised apples into sauce!

    Grab hold of those lemons and wonder if the hero had KNOWN his detector wasn't working and didn't get around to getting it fixed....

    And then.... :(


    Oh, these poor people!!!!! So glad the family was fine!

    The fictional family???? I may have just killed them, Sherida!

  75. Jeanne T, I love that story.... but how weird that smoke detectors go off because they're old????

    Hey, we put in new ones that TALK...



    You don't change their batteries. You throw them away in ten years and buy new ones.

    No more chirps!!!!! Except from my spring peepers!!!!! I love my little frogs!

  76. Connie Queen, that's a great line from the vet tech. I love it.

    I may steal it, it's that good. :)

    I love vets with common sense and great natures. And I know how hard it must be on both sides of that coin, the family with little money for the animal's surgery and the vet who is suddenly doing a "sale" on gut obstruction.

    God bless vets who work that balance!

  77. Hey, LeAnne!!!!! We can be septic buddies!

    Do you have tree roots messing with your outgoing pipes? Spring is the worst for that, which reminds me, I need to treat mine! We have a big silver maple that's kind of planted over the septic system....

    Not by me.... the former owner....

    But if I forget to treat those pipes with root killer, OOPS....

    Thanks for the reminder!!!!!

  78. Scotty McCreery.... What's going on with Scotty McCreery???? WHAT AM I MISSING, JULIE??????

    The kidnapping, I heard a quick blurb, it sounded like a Gibbs' case, not real....

    So glad it came out okay, and there are times when I feel like a JERK for thinking of stories when people suffer.... But that's how a writer's brain works, and there's no turning it off.

  79. Oh, Scotty is from Raleigh!!!!!



  80. Anna, me too! Not like Gladys Cravitz (Bewitched, nosy neighbor...) but like the interested observer

    I once overheard a sketchy political money deal going down at an airport and that one got me an interview with the FBI.... I've gotten good at appearing uninterested.

    And if you're reading, sometimes you turn "invisible" to people.

    Informational gathering session then! :)

  81. Myra, aw, thank you!!!!

    Hey, do you folks know that Myra has a new INDIE book out????? "A Pearl of Great Price"...

    And you can buy it HERE!!!!!

  82. Pam, watching the highway offers a whole different kind of story in its own right....

    Life passing by, the geese flying south, everything, everyone moving on, making changes....

    I remember that being used as a background theme in Skylark, the sequel to "Sarah Plain and Tall" and those words stayed with me.

    About how everything is goin' places, but not Aunt Lu...

  83. Wilani, I'm so glad you love it! Thank you for those kind words... they just make me smile!!!!

  84. Ruthy - it was 85 today in my neck of the woods. Love how your mind works! Isn't it fun to create stories?

  85. Ruthy, I love your picture! You certainly don't look like a grandmother.

    It was 77 degrees here today. I don't envy you your winter/spring, but you wouldn't envy me my hot, humid summer.

  86. It's almost midnight andmi'm just getting here but I can't miss a chance for a Ruthy book.

    I love the way your mind works (and not at all because mine works the exact same way! Did I say that?)

    How about when i was helping my college roomie settle into her brand new apartment and she decided o heat up our pizza in her new oven. Except she thought it was smart to warm it up in its cardboard box. Way to meet the local fire department on the day you move in.

    Or the muddy communion veil I saw lying on the side of the road. You just know my suspense writer instincts were ALL over that one.

  87. You may have had to wait for your dinner, but it seems like the 'show' was entertaining in it's own way.

    I'd love a copy of LOVING THE LAWMAN thank you.

  88. I do not normally pay much mind to dreams, but on two restless nights this past January, I dreamed ideas! Upon awakening I realized I had a story....both times, two different stories. One became "Take A Chance" for Speedbo. Thanks for a great post. I enjoy your writing and wouldn't complain about the newest book if I should win.