Thursday, May 8, 2014

Check Your Mile Marker!

Good morning, Seeeeeeeeekerville!

First, a commercial message: 


And yes, I want you to run over there and buy it if you haven't already, and there's a BUNDLE with me and Belle Calhoune's book and Rebecca Kertz's book..... CLICK HERE FOR THE $9.99 Kindle Bundle!

And now I return you to your regularly scheduled Bossy-Ruthy program!!!!

I love road trips. I love road trips with people best, because then I can talk and we all know I'm pretty darn good at that. But the road trip of life is a little different.

It's easy to get lost.

It's easy to make wrong turns.

"K" turns are not as simple as we'd like because usually there's some collateral damage from taking the wrong turn.  :(

Yield signs are inevitable.

As are STOP signs. I find I'm particularly BAD at stop signs. Go back to the "loves to talk" comment above. (heaves huge sigh and vows to listen more and talk less).

So as we approach life and this chosen career, we need to make use of the rest stops along the way. Check the tires, top the fluids, test the brakes.  It's the beginning of May, 2014. We've just finished the first THIRD (1/3) of the year. Are we still on the path we vowed to take in January?

I'm not talking resolutions because we seem to take guilty pleasure out of breaking them. I'm talking the simple lifestyle changes that make us more productive on a daily basis. Let's look at them:


1. Writing daily
2. Keeping tax records in a single spot so you don't have to clean closets and drawers next January
3. Minimizing clutter
4. Saying 'no' as needed to gain writing time
5. Making Your Life an Alleluia
6. Engage mini-reward system
7. Stop whining
8. I mean it, STOP WHINING. Sheesh.
9. Pray unceasingly for others. Check the world news and beg God's mercy on us.
10. Loving what you're doing?

Simple list, right? The first four are self-explanatory, and you know how important it is to prioritize your writing in YOUR eyes for it to happen. We tend to stumble and get discouraged when we write ourselves into a corner... So if that happens, celebrate the "Do-Over"!!!!!  Learning how to self-edit, and how to DELETE WHOLE CHAPTERS is part of the game, and seriously, it's good practice for when an editors says "I'd like you to do this, and this and this, and put this here, and change the timeline and then if the hero could have a child he didn't know about, and maybe she has a kitten, that would be great!"

And you do it, so practicing now will help you see what they're seeing then!

#5. Making your life an alleluia.  

(Here are four teens from "Enfuego Christian Academy" in the Phillipines with my favorite rendition of this beautiful hymn:  Click here for "Make My Life an Alleluia" 

This is from one of my new favorite hymns, a beautiful, prayerful song about how we live our lives... If you're not letting the joy of Christ shine from your face, then why not? Making your life an alleluia means grabbing the little joys and celebrating them, sharing them, letting God's love shine through you. If you're doing this, praying ardently with your actions, numbers 7 and 8 shouldn't apply.


By following one rule, you will decrease or negate whining ENTIRELY. There is no whining in Alleluia-land!

Pray unceasingly. That goes back to the beautiful Alleluia thingie, right? If your life is a living prayer, then you just bought yourself time.

Life can be frenetic. I know mine is, the little ones need me all day, and I spend hours before they come and after they go home, writing, editing, making fun of Mary Connealy and Tina.... (remember I don't make fun of Missy online  because Missy CRIES.....I can't have that on my conscience.)

But praying unceasingly doesn't mean a cloister or a monastery or a closed, dark room. (Well, it could, but it doesn't have to, that's all I'm sayin'...)  It means think about your words and actions... make them Christ-like. Consider your thoughts and the things you do...  make them Gospel-friendly.  Weigh your choices when you plunk down money.... do you need this or could you send a donation to World Vision or Cross Catholic or the Salvation Army instead?

Minimizing clutter and living simply go hand-in-hand. I see all kinds of people in this biz, on both sides of the ABA/CBA writing aisle, who've forgotten the "live simply" rule of thumb.

Don't forget that rule... It's a good one! And people relate to the "real" us, the person within the author.

#10, love what you're doing.

If you can quit, do it.

I can't. I don't want to. If my stream of contracts dried up tomorrow, I would still write because I waited my whole life to do this. I knew if God gave me enough time on the planet, this was my dream, my goal, and it's come true!!!  HOW STINKIN' COOL IS THAT?????????

But if it doesn't bring you joy, if you're not happy writing, if you're not excited to do it, then why do it?

OR.... Do we just need to go back to #7 and #8 and stop whining?????

Because youse know I'm good at bossing you around!

"No matter how far you've gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around."

Wise words. I retweeted them from "Women of History" a group I follow on Twitter.

We are one-third into the new year. We are one-third into the road you've chosen, my friends. But it's never too late to turn around.

And here is a link to the WONDERFUL NEWS I received this week about the sweet book pictured above:

"Link to Ruthy on Publisher Weekly Bestseller List for Last Week!!!!"

James Patterson called to see if we could do lunch because Nora and John were tied up.... I said, "Jim, I'd love to, but I've got to feed the babies!!!"


God bless our readers. Seriously, without readers, none of the rest of this would be possible. I love youse to pieces.

Okay, hey, I've got an Amazon card here with NO ONE'S NAME on it!!! Stop in, grab some coffee or celebratory champagne (provided by Harlequin/Love Inspired offices, thank you Tina and Melissa!!!) and some of those delicious chocolate covered strawberries we made to celebrate at the Yankee Belle Cafe!!!

Oh my stars, don't they look wonderful????


  1. BE STILL MY HEART. YOU WERE THHHIIIISSS CLOSE TO LEE CHILD/JACK REACHER. He is at the top of the list and close enough to touch you and say, hi Ruthy!!!

    WOWZA!!! Ruthy, you and Jack on the same list. Excuse me while I go faint.


  2. Coffee's on!!

    Now for that list.

    Number one: I don't always get MUCH, but I typically get SOMETHING each day, even if it's only editing/fixing.

    Number two is a given for a retired accounting teacher. And I've always told you guys that I may not be too bright, but I'm ORGANIZED, which kind of covers minimizing clutte

    Saying 'no" can be difficult.
    I definitely use mini=rewards to motivate me. And at this point I still love what I do and make prayer an important part of my routine.

    Okay, okay, I'm sure you didn't want a whole rundown. But you got it. Ta ta!

  3. Thanks for this reminder list Ruthy. Its hard to believe a 1/3 of the year has gone by, but it has and we all need a kick in the behind. Congrats on reaching that big list!

  4. Congratulations Ruthy! You deserve it. That book is awesome. I loved it!

    Thank you for the List!

  5. Ruthy, I usually don't write on Wednesday. I have work then bell choir practice. Wears me smooth out! I call it my wild bell choir night. LOL you can tell I don't get out much.

    It is hard to believe a third of the year is gone. Thanks to your kick in the seat of my pants I'll get back on schedule.

    Now who are these kiddos you watch - grandchildren?

    And please don't make Missy cry - she is a sweetie.

  6. Thanks for the post, thanks for the song. Beautiful.

  7. Thank you for the peptalk!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS RUTHY!!! I loved seeing your name on the list! I just bought Loving the Lawman last weekend and it is on the top of the pile of my TBR list. I can't wait!

    Thank you for the kick-in-the-pants post. We can always use reminders. It's hard to believe over 1/3 of the year is gone. Wow...where'd it go?

    Have a blessed day!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  9. I saw Lee Child and Jack on that list, LOL!!!!

    But James said he never invites Lee to his lunches and poker games because Jack's way too popular.

    So my good fortune, right??? I went to virtual lunch with James and Lee got a vendor dog and wrote 15K. :)

  10. Helen, I need constant reminders. I forge ahead and then stop and say DUH.... and backtrack. And I'm always looking ahead, but I had to go back and organize my tax folder this week because I was starting to throw things in ON TOP... and that's just a pain later on.

    I bet your life is an Alleluia regularly, Helen, because just chatting with you makes me smile for God.


  11. PIPER!!!! Isn't that a hoot, to be on there? And fellow LI author Rebecca Hertz BEAT ME!!!! She's #24 and we got a good grin out of being there together. Her Jedidiah's Bride is selling like hotcakes sizzle on a hot griddle.


    Now I'm hungry for hotcakes.

  12. Wilani, thank you thiiiiiiis much!!!!

    You know, I had so much fun on that book aside from the poignancy angle, just putting words to those Italian American characters. Knowing our very own Teeeeena here, and my old friend Michelle, the fun antics of Italian families, get togethers, and the exchange of words, oh my stars....


    But the poignancy of Gianna's situation, of her choices, of her self-doubts, that was harder to write.

    Single mothers need all the love and support we can give them. Single fathers, too, but proportionately there are way more single mothers and they need us.

    I'm so glad you loved it!! You made my day!


    Your review on Amazon made my day! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

    Such kind, wonderful words.

    "Life's short, eat dessert first".

    Love it!

  14. Terri, Terri, Terril....

    I like making Missy cry, but I'm mean that way and Missy cries way too easy, it's ridiculous really, so totally Southern as to be peach ice cream-friendly.

    But that's another story!!! :)

    I understand choir nights! Although I have pinkeye right now (thank you, children!!!) and stayed home last night to avoid infecting the alto section.

    The early morning writing helps me. That way I've got something done before the day starts, and no matter how the day goes, I've got a base completed.

    But it's also okay to give yourself time off to work around your schedule. Otherwise it can be self-defeating.

  15. Cindi, that's exactly why I did it because once you get to 1/2 year, it seems more pointless to make changes... it's not of course, but it can seem that way or it becomes our pesky excuse. :)

    This way???

    2/3 of the year awaits our perseverance!!!!!

    Thank you so much for buying "Loving the Lawman"!!! You put me on the list, Cindi!!! YOU!!!! Hugs and kisses coming your way!

    (way too many exclamation points, but it's an exclamation point kind of day!)

  16. Janet Kerr, you're welcome!

    And did you grab coffee, dear? Or cookies?

    Because you should.

  17. Congratulations Ruthy!!!! What awesome news!!!!!! Happy dancing up here PLUS spring is finally here! Woot!!!! And I've read Loving the Lawman so I know what all the fuss is about.

    #7&8 are giving me grief. Can't I whine just a bit? I just finished a week and a bit of arduous Scholastic book fairing. My life goes on hold when the book fair hits my library. The set up, the take down the grueling in-betweening of being a bookseller to small people who don't get money. And the joker at the muffin breakfast who handed out fake money to the kids and told them to go to the book fair. We were besieged with primary students who thought they could afford everything in the fair and pulled it all off the shelves! Oops...I'm whining, aren't I? Okay, I'll stop.

    Moving on to #1 because I have the whole day off (after that debilitating book fair..oops, doing it again) so it's write, write, write at my house today.

  18. I just started this book last night. I've loved the whole series. They're set in my neighborhood of Western NY. Those strawberries look yummy.

  19. Congratulations, Ruthy.

    Prioritize. I work hard on this, and my husband is great to help. Have I mentioned he took up golf? Do you know how long it takes to play golf? 18 glorious holes. Plus the driving range, that's at least an hour by the time he drives there, hits, and drives back. Funny thing is, I was the golfer before we got married.

    You must really love those babies to skip out on James.

    Next week I'm going to be on vacation. I've got a Ruthy book and my first Jack Reacher book. I'm going to lay in the sun and read. And I may even play golf with my husband one day.

    Thanks for a great post!

  20. Yikes! May, really?
    AWESOME post, Ruthy! I struggle the most with #4, but I also intend to do better with #5. A huge congratulations on making THE List! So happy for you. :)

    Wonderful news and early in the year, too! Just think what you'll have accomplished by January 2015!:-)

    Thanks for the list of reminders—I need to be reminded about this time of the year, as my normal schedule seems to get lost in the shuffle toward being outdoors so much more than in the cooler months.

    I write everyday—rather I should say I re-write everyday!

    But I NEVER WHINE. Whining is more tiring than moping floors. And so is having to listen to a whiner.

  22. Yikes- the mention of Ruthy and Roadtrip in the same breath almost brought heart failure. Have any of you ever driven with Ruthy? Then you know what I'm sayin.

    But your message dearheart is right on. We so need to stay focused on HIM and then the rest falls into place.

    And congrats on the PW list. woo hooooo girl. Way to go.


  23. Hi Ruthy. My May Bundle Buddy. Congrats on making "the list." Your cover is gorgeous. Are you sure I'm not allowed to whine? I'm doing edits at the moment and whining to myself seems appropriate.

  24. Your enthusiasm is contagious. Great post to read to start my day. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your advice on praying unceasingly and the whole stop whining and alleulia bit.

    And I didn't know you cared for babies during the day. You are busy!

    Chocolate covered strawberries--YUM! Pass them over.

  25. Kav, my dear friend and awesome book lover confidante...

    Let me re-phrase. When we started the Seekers, we put a 24 hour limit on whining.

    So you've got today darling, whine all you want!!!!

    And then tomorrow we start anew.

    I should have clarified, so thank you for that opportunity!!! :)

    And I want to send all the kids back to the muffin lady with the fake money and tell them they can buy ice cream with it... and she's got it.

    That will be a lesson learned. :)

  26. Ruthy, thanks for the great reminders for living life at its best, as God wants us to. You're a wonderful example of getting the work done when you're busier than any bee in my garden.

    Mega congratulations on making Publishers Weekly's list! Woot!! You rock, girlfriend. Gotta get those babies on my TBR pile!


  27. APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE!! for making the PW list, the world at large is just finding out what so many of us already knew, Ruthy is a terriffic author! I've enjoyed everything you've written and have no doubt I'll love reading Loving the Lawman too.
    Love the inventory list, it's always good to assess where you are and where you are headed.

  28. RUTHY!!! FAB post, my friend, and to quote a Ruthy-ism, "SO stinkin' true"!!!!

    Like Tina, I about flipped out when I saw the names on the PW list in front of yours -- HOLY FREAKIN' COW ... hope you took a screen shot, although you may never need it if it becomes commonplace, which I fully expect. :)

    Thanks for the Ruthy kick in the butt -- I was actually quite smug that I could check all the points off with vigor except for #s 1 and 7. Sigh ... I'll work on those, I promise. :)


    1. I loved your post! I'm not a writer, just a reader who loves to check Seekerville out everyday, but your post had many things I can apply to my everyday life. And some I needed to hear today! Please enter me in the amazon drawing.

  29. Cathyann, thank you!!!! Are you in the Southern Tier or over Chautauqua County way? I love those areas, and I'm more upstate, Lake Ontario area, but I love driving your way!!!

    And thanks for the kudos on the books. Oh my gosh, I'm having the time of my life writing them!!!

  30. Congrats on making the PW list! That is fantastic.

  31. Jackie, your husband has figured out the "disappearing husband trick!!!"

    Good for him. And you!!! :)

    Oh, I love it when an afternoon or a morning stretches clear. That's like a clean kitchen is an invitation to bake.

    A clean schedule is an invite to write!!!! Yay, you and I'm glad I'm hanging with Jack at your place. Hey, we might have a "thing going, me and Jack!!!! :)

  32. Congrats on the making the list!

    I'm having a good year w/only occasional whining.

    And Christmas is just around the corner so I better get busy.

  33. Way to go, Ruthy! :)

    What a great post—upbeat and encouraging as always.

    Yes, prayer. So important. Pray at all times. Pray for others, and pray to invite God into "my" writing process.

    I'm working to reprioritize my writing closer to the top of my list than it has been. Life went a little crazy a couple months ago, and I'm still trying to get all my tasks and to-do's back in place.

    Thanks for the wise words!

  34. Oh, so I was supposed to go out and splurge on a reward for myself for semi finaling in the Genesis???? My mistake. :) I guess I was too busy following rule number one.

    As for reducing clutter, well... yeah, I probably don't do enough of that. At least I don't make a habit of whining.

    Ruthy, big congrats on making the list! You deserve it. I think I could get along well with you on a roadtrip. Because... being from Texas, I'm southern and I like to talk. :-)

  35. I am so good with that list. I will get top honors for keeping Ruthy's ten commandments. Just take out 7 and 8. You can't expect a girl to be perfect.

    Helen's coffee is great, strawberries are wonderful and I am so excited to read Loving the Lawman. I'm a sucker for the twin thing.

    Off to work on that #7

  36. I'm afraid I'm not writing daily. Maybe that's why I'm not making much progress! I guess I'd better start writing. Now.

  37. LOVE the strawberries! Ordered some to ship to M-I-L for Mother's Day last night! Holy Moly Congratulations on #25! That's a huge jump in a week!

  38. Just what I needed to kick-start my day--a BOSSY RUTHY POST!!!!

    Seriously good advice here, Ruthy. And MUCHO CONGRATS on making the best-seller list!!!! How cool is that!!!!!

    So how come Missy gets a bye on crying, huh? Isn't that a whole lot like whining???? Hey, I can cry with the best of them!

    Oh, wait. So I can whine for 24 hours today, and then start anew tomorrow. Okay. So tomorrow can be a whole new 24 hours of whining.

    Got it. Whew!

  39. Ruthy on the best seller list! YAY! Thanks for the enthusiastic post. I'm just back from a mini-road trip and appreciate the analogy. My writing trip has been on a detour, but it's headed back towards the right road. Thanks for the perspective...and the strawberries!

  40. Oh my goodness, thanks so much for these great reminders. I keep catching myself whining--mainly about not having enough time (which is my own fault for taking on so much). I also love what you said about making your life an alleluia...Great stuff! :)

  41. Congratulations, Ruthy!!! Woohoo!

    Love seeing your name on the list. :)

  42. Tina harangued me about #4 until I got good at it...

    And GUESS WHO isn't so good at #4 despite haranguing others?????

    Go ahead and guess, Dora, it begins with "T" and ends with "A".

    She'll yell at me here but I'm clear cross-country and she can't smack me!!!!

    Just virtually and I brought cookies, so virtual smackdowns do not apply.

  43. Mary Hicks, thank you and yes!!! to the no whining agreement!

    Although we do it sometimes, we just have whine police to crack down on repeat offenders. Hey, whatever works!!! :)

  44. Sandra!!!! ROADTRIP!!!!! Aw, come on, it was mostly fun. Do I drive fast???

    Um, New York.

    That's all I can say.

    And do those Texas truckers have nerve trying to cut me off????



    But we met a real cute sheriff and he was adorable.

    Reason enough right there to roadtrip with Ruthy!!!! :)

  45. Belle Calhoune, I love seeing you over here!!!!

    Well, here's the whining thing:

    Yes, to yourself if it doesn't bring you D-O-W-N.

    No, if it does.

    24 hour limit strictly enforced.

    And.... come on, sister, you know you love edits!!!! REaching in and grabbin' hold of the real meat of the story and extricating it like a pro. :)

    And I love that we're bundle buddies with Rebecca Hertz, who BEAT ME on the bestseller's list!!!! But that's okay, to have our category romances break in: SWEET!!!!

  46. one can always tell a Ruthy post - always a kick in the keister with bonus rev you up encouragement.

    i'm a HUGE beneficiary of #9, courtesy of THE Seeker ladies. Bless you one and all.

    i think i'm headed in the write direction on my road trip. i've certainly been kept on track by my "whim" entry into Killer Voices. my trepidation is that i may yet crash and burn because i'm in for a torrid rush a writing to finish my manuscript in time for phase 4 (with the assumption, however misquided, the editors will see promise in my first three chapters).

    Current budget constraints do not allow me the joy of owning your current book Ruthy, but it's on my wish list (hmmm, Mother's Day gift hint for hubby... less expensive than flowers and so much more enjoyable and long lasting - lightbulb!)

    LOVE this post, so stinkin' what I need to keep my Spirit up and moving along (even if I discover the need to turn around or change routes).

  47. oh, the post was so cool i sorta forgot to express my snoopy dancing in celebration at seeing Ruthy's name on that list.


  48. Hi Ruth!

    I’m just delighted that you read my review!

    A little bird told me that you didn’t read reviews and considering it took you over two years to read one of my best reviews of one of your books, I didn’t expect you to actually read this one, mostly. : )

    Good news! If you like the review of “Loving the Lawman”, I have a much better review, that I’ve been working on for a long time, of “The Lawman’s Second Chance”. The problem causing my delay is that “The Lawman’s Second Chance” is so good that I’m having trouble writing a review strong enough to do it justice. (Not that there aren’t some really good lines in that review; it’s just not a Vince review yet. :))

    In case you doubt, here is a preview of that review:

    "This is a story close to the author's heart. Ruth Logan Herne is writing from emotional experience. She is writing with love instead of words. The words seem to fall into place as if by magic. Emotions do not need many words to explode into life when the feelings expressed are as genuine as they are in “The Lawman’s Second Chance”.

    By the way, I believe that the cover of “Loving the Lawman” is unique in romance and another great reason why I love epilogues. What you see on the cover is what you get! Better yet: it’s a picture of the HEA! How many romance covers show the reader a glimpse of the hero and heroine living life unmistakably during the HEA period? (I can't think of any right off.)

    There is no doubt, “Loving the Lawman” has a wonderful and truly inspired cover. (See, the old traditional publishers are good for some things.)

    As far as rules for getting writing done, I have but one: the "Vinny the Enforcer" Rule.

    Write like to have to get it done.

    That’s all. No options. No choices. No excuses. There’s a gun being held to your head. Sit down and write like there’s no tomorrow.

    Follow this simple rule and the writing results will be amazing! Time will actually warp to fit your needs! You’ll develop an amazing focus that you would have never thought possible.

    How do I know? Because I just completed a line and content edit on my 53,500 word real estate brokerage law and procedural manual in just three days. Of course, I didn’t do much of anything else during that time but I had to finish this project at once! I have orders for the manual!

    Now, I know that if I worked with this much focus, urgency and motivation on my “Rewards Per Page” book, I could have it finished it in a week.

    The root of the problem is voluntarism. The belief that you have a choice not to write is the pin that pricks the good intention balloon every time.

    Everyone needs a “Vinny the Enforcer” – even me! Especially me!

  49. Vince, this is sooooo true.

    The root of the problem is voluntarism. The belief that you have a choice not to write is the pin that pricks the good intention balloon every time.

  50. Great post, Ruthy! I love your energy and needed that pep talk today in the midst of crazy busy-ness!

  51. Vinny the Enforcer!!!!

    LOL, I love you!!!!

    And I've read all your reviews, unless you're talking one that isn't posted yet, haven't I??? And I probably just forgot to send you a thank-you note because there was some cute baby wiping his/her face on my knee!!!!

    You are such a dear friend and wonderful man. I'm SO GLAD YOU LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! :)

    It was such an absolute pleasure to write. I love honoring tough decisions and maturity, and Gianna and Seth both deserved my very best... I hope they got it!!!!

    Connie and Vince, that phrase is uniquely true: The root of the problem is voluntarism.

    I waited so long that to not write NOW... (contracted or not...) would be heartbreaking.

    So the pleasure I get from it is maximized by having waited until I got those kids raised...

    And finance boy in Manhattan is helping me with a hero's backstory right now, involving hedge funds and Wall Street and suits.... and I love that his hard work and dedication is now helping his mom craft a strong backdrop for a beautiful story.

    Isn't that the coolest? God's perfect timing even when it didn't seem all that perfect from time to time.

  52. Hi Ruthy! Thanks for the kick in the pants. I've been falling behind on my regular writing times, but this is giving me more motivation.

  53. Annie Rains, yes, I have little ones underfoot!!!!

    I think that working with these young families helps me to stay current and fluent on what sort of trouble they're into these days.

    I'm only half kidding!!!!

    And I use my kids as physical models... for book covers, etc. and that's a thrill for them!!! AND... I model behavior after them....

    Skeeter in "Waiting out the Storm" and "Made to Order Family" is based on "Casey" the sweetheart I put on Facebook often now. Casey now works with me, helping me, she's fourteen and wonderful and I get to be part of her life now that she's not a sulky brat, LOL!!!


    I've got little ones from 6:45 AM until 5:30 PM so the 4:00 AM wake-up call is creative time, my gift to me!!!!

    LOVE IT!!!!

  54. Janet, I'm having so much fun it should be illegal.... and maybe is?????


    And there's plenty of time for that reading, dear friend, the long days of summer await us! I have cream cheese brownies in the oven right now, it's nap time, and I'm salivating....

    I should have just eaten the batter!!!!

  55. Hi Ruthy,

    Fellow Love Inspired author! Great tips!

    Just got word that my LI book is releasing in Feb 2015! So I'm busy dreaming up titles and cover art bits! What fun!!

    Have a great day everyone!


  56. I always try to buy your books in stores, Ruthy. But I was in Walmart yesterday and FORGOT.

    So I just ordered it online. I couldn't wait!!!!
    And now....I have to wait!

  57. Lovely post, Ruthy!

    I was just thinking to myself about the goals that I've set for myself this year and worrying that I wasn't living up to them. You're absolutely right; it's never too late to turn around. I just need to start building a few habits.

    Like you, I'm forever talking (even when I should be listening), so I guess the first hurdle for me is to listen to God more and give my lips a rest.

    I'm game for a gift card. And may I just say those cute little babies on your cover? My ovaries about exploded just looking at all the cute.

  58. Wow! Go Ruthy! CONGRATS!!!

    And, I'm working on the list. Doing pretty good, I think.

    No whining. Check

    On the treadmill desk as I TYPE. Check

    Accounting/Tax prep. I'm with Helen. I got this. Check

    Writing. Check

    Giving Thanks/Praise and lifting up prayers. Check

    Now, gimme some chocolate covered strawberries and a cup of coffee! Yum!

  59. Saying no is a struggle because my gut reaction as an introvert is to say NO to everything.

    So, then I have to figure out what the Lord wants me to say yes to, and I think I say yes to more than He wants.

    Either way, I'm guilty. :(

  60. Congrats, Ruthy, on your amazing good news!!! :-) LOOOOOVE IT!!!

    Ruthy, I love what I do. I still can hardly believe I get paid to write books, and that people actually email me to tell me they love my stories. Amazing. How could I ever whine about anything? Somehow, I still manage to whine occasionally. LOL! Love your post, Ruthy.

  61. Susan Anne Mason, Love Inspired and Bethany House = AMAZING AND PROUD COLLEAGUE!!!!!


    Happy dancing!!!!!

    I love to see Seekervillagers strutting their stuff!!!!

  62. My dear little "Loves to Read" you're in, baby cakes!

    And yeah, me, too on all counts. So much of what paves the path to success in a career like this is the very same stuff, the qualities that helps us navigate those curves of life.

    I hear ya!

  63. TRACEY, THANK YOU!!!!!

    Aw, that just made my day! Now when the kids tell me I'm a big meany-pants I'll be able to rest easy knowing someone loves me!!! :)

    So nice to see you here!

    Crystal Ridgeway, thank you!!!! Here, honey, have some cream cheese brownies, still warm...

    Oh my stars, this is not diet food!!!!

  64. Crystal, I'm laughing at your take on the Genesis because I was exactly the same way...

    Contest? Win? Great....

    But writing another book, so chalk it up on the tally sheet and keep working!!! Yes, my kind of girl!!!

  65. Hi Ruthy,

    Good advice all the way. Although "make your hero have a child he doesn't know about" is making me nervous.

    I'd love to have some of those chocolate-covered strawberries and Mother's Day is Sunday. But I only have one child, and she thinks I'm on a diet.

  66. LOL, Ruthy! :)
    That's it exactly. Okay... Be excited over THE CALL for no longer than an hour, be just a smidge disappointed that the other entries didn't make it to the next round, and get back to work!

    Next year if I still qualify, I'll be entering my WIP in contemporary romance. Never would've thought I'd be sayin' that, die-hard historical gal that I am. Still... something about watching the bull riding weekend before last put a story in my head with a bull riding cowboy hero.

  67. And as for the cream cheese brownies, I'm okay with them not being diet food. Eating completely organic foods is great for the waistline. ;)

  68. I read the title and first line of this post, and without scrolling down to see the book picture, I was like, "Ruthy totally wrote this." :-D

    Anyway, I loved your list, Ruthy. Thanks for sharing. And what a gorgeous song! Pretty sure I now have a new favorite.

  69. Ruthy, what a GREAT list!! I love this.


  70. congrats on the new release. you lost me at the strawberries. (I really dislike them ok dislike is not the right word I hate them).

    Cool about the best seller status that's so impressive. I love the cover of this book (I believe this is the book I won back in March or was it April) Not sure where the year has gone.

  71. Great post, Ruthy!


    Sakes alive, those strawberries look scrumptious!

  72. I LOVE Ruthy-posts!!
    If only Ruthy could bottle some of her energy and send it to Georgia. ;)

    I think the biggest one I struggle with on that list is the
    "get rid of clutter" - - I don't try to be a's just in my genes (or from being a teacher for many years, and always thinking of ways to re-use items for craft projects). But I'm really trying hard to's an ongoing process.

    Thanks for sharing this, Ruthy, and I hope you'll keep writing tons of books! Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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  74. Ok, wait. Our options are to quit writing or STOP WHINING??

    But... isn't that what fuels all of our writerly angst? We rail against the babies who interrupt our word flow, the husbands who expect to be fed once a week, and the kids who get tired of talking to our profile while we peck away at the keyboard.


    I think I'll always write. Maybe not always publish, because that's a HUGE job and I get tired of deadlines/ marketing/ commitments/ coming out of my cave but I will always, always quietly write stories. That is joy for me, telling the stories. If others read and like them, all the better.

    But for me, the joy is in the process.

    And the whining. I enjoy the whining.

  75. I'm with CatMom....wish Ruthy could bottle up her energy and send it to GA. Oh well, sooo glad we have her fantastic posts to read......and her them all!
    Thanks, Ruthy!

  76. RUTHY!! Publishers Weekly Bestseller List? Time to treat yourself to a mini-reward ... no, a major reward, don't ya think?


    Nancy C

  77. JULIE!!!!! First, thank you!!!!

    Second, I think my M.O. is that I do better with multiple plates spinning.

    Not everyone is built that way, so I'm blessed, right? What fun to finally be able to channel that energy into what I love... writing sweet stories!


  78. Jeanne T., always a pleasure!!! I love prayer, I love the power of prayer, I steel myself to those unanswered prayers, the ones that don't go my way... Prayer is a great foundation.

    And we all have those seasons where life goes awry. Hang in there, kid!

  79. Cara Lynn James!!!! Well, when life socks you in the jaw, our writing time kind of takes the hit. Sometimes things just aren't in our control, sweet thing.

  80. S., I agree! So exciting!!!! I was just thrilled that the editorial staff at Love Inspired was so proud to have two of us make it onto the list....

    That rocks!!!

  81. Myra, Myra, no, no, no....

    First, I can't make you cry because then I'd be SAD.

    When Missy cries I mock her in public, but then I feel guilty. But it's fun in a mean girl kind of way, so I just might keep doing it!!!!

    The whining rule, you are twisting the rules, chickie.... You get the 24 hours, but the next day we tuck our chins, square our shoulders and attack! Attack!! Attack!!!

    Even if something else happens, there is NO WHINING on the next day. Grab that bull by the horns! Ride 'em high, cowgirl!!!

    You know, it was time for a Ruthy harangue, it's been way too long between harangues!!!! :)

  82. Sherida, Jennifer and Anita....

    Thank you!!!! :) You know it takes most of us a while before the benefits of daily work pay off in this biz, but eventually... if we stick with it... The plan comes together! I'm psyched!!!!

  83. Nancy C., LOL!!!! We'll stick with mini-rewards, that's plenty... But for all that I love folks appreciating my efforts with great reviews, I love the extensive sales we're seeing now. That means the world to us!!!

  84. Dear Ruthy,

    Thank you for the post.

    I have the copy of your book you so generously sent me as a prize from Seekerville on my nightstand.

    This was a timely post. In the past couple of years, I have tried to stay away from New Year's Resolutions saying that if I want to change something in my life to start right then and there and not wait for January 1st, and this is a great reminder of writer's tools with our spiritual toolbox. I was whining a lot while I was cleaning up the dinner dishes, and your post was a timely blessing. Thank you.

  85. Thanks for the reminder. I was just crowing yesterday that I've made it 1/3 of the way through the rough draft of book 5 of my series. Sometimes the progress seems so slow with the day job, and the part time job and the 1000 other things that need my attention.

    Then you reminded me that we are 1/3 of the way through the year which makes me on track for my goal of having the book done by Christmas. I'll stop whining now! :)

  86. p.s. GOOD GRIEF (to quote Charlie Brown, one of my all-time favorites) - - I didn't say CONGRATS RUTHY on being on the Bestseller List - - YAY RUTHY!!! That is such EXCITING NEWS!!

    Sending a hug and a warm Georgia Peach cobbler, Patti Jo :)

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  88. The writing every day, the most important one, is the one that I don't get to do every day. I need to incorporate that more, even if it's only 10 minutes.

  89. Tanya Agler, that's the Holy Spirit at work in our lives...

    We're so delightfully human, and every now and again we get nudged to listen... or in my case it's generally a smack upside the head!

    But I firmly believe that we are prodded to listen... learn.... and deliver.

    You go, girl!!!!! And I hope you love Loving the Lawman when you read it!!!

  90. Sharon Schrock, YES!!! YES!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    People kind of stare at me when I say that generally I only write 1000 words/day.

    Until we do the math. So that tortoise like process becomes a "hare-like" finish at the end of the year.

    With my additional 2K on weekends when I don't have to work my day job that's just under 500,000 words/year.

    And it starts with that first 1000.

    You hang in there, well done!!!!!

  91. I am all over that peach cobbler, Patti Jo!!!! Thank you!!!!!

  92. Walt, get up earlier...

    Or stay up later.

    Or do a working lunch.

    My friend Mia Ross was caught in the same thing, two kids home, crazy busy after-school schedule and full-time job so what she started doing was going into work an hour early and spending that quiet time writing at the job. That way she was there on time, had 60 minutes of writing, and got off to a great start each morning.

    And now she's on contract #3 with her "Barrett's Mills" series.

    But I also know that time with kids is precious and fleeting and those boys will be off to college in a few years, so your heart has to help you decide, my friend!

  93. I think you can always find time for things you love, you just need to think laterally sometimes.

  94. Hi Ruth & All Authors:

    Just a point: I don’t believe that an author should read reviews. I don’t intent to read the reviews when my books come out. I do believe that an author’s CP or other knowledgeable friend should read the reviews and pass on any really useful information to the author. This is what I've read that many famous authors do.

    That said, I don’t expect any author to mention any review I’ve written. I also do not expect to be thanked. The review reflects what I truly believe.

    Now about that review that Ruth took two years to comment on, I only learned this fact when Ruth told me herself that she’d just discovered the review and had not seen it when her book first came out. That’s how it happened. I always assume a good review will get back to the author so Ruth’s comment was a surprise that stuck in my memory.

    No author should feel they need to comment on or thank me for any of my reviews.

    In a way a good review is my way of thanking the author for the reading enjoyment she provided. This is why I don’t write one, two or even three star reviews. My enjoyment in writing a review is in pointing out what an author did exceptionally well and how much I enjoyed reading the book.

    Bottom Line: No thank you notes are expected or required. Authors who do want to comment on my reviews anyway are, of course, welcome to do so. : )


  95. Chiming in late...

    But CONGRATS, Ruth.

  96. I'm even later - but if there are any of those chocolate covered strawberries, I could sure use one about now!
    I love what you wrote, Ruthie! Girl, you can motivate me better than anyone I know, except maybe the good Lord. Why I bet you could motivate a herd of turtles to move faster. :)
    Thanks for all the encouragement!
    Think ((())) virtual hugs!

  97. Naomi, isn't that hymn wonderful??? It makes me want to be a better person.... And that's always a good thing!!!!

    Melanie Dickerson... Oh honey, we all whine sometimes, it's putting a lid on it that matters... And I must download your latest because I don't think I have, and I love, love, love that cover to your fall book... Ay a caramba, GORGEOUS!!!!!

  98. Zey Zey, laughing out loud and agreeing on the "give the lips a rest!"

    Oh my stars, that should be emblazoned on my chest!!!!

    Be still....

    Why do I forget that sweet verse so often????

  99. Pinson, thank you!!! Kind of surreal right, like I'm waiting for the phone to ring to find out they COUNTED INCORRECTLY.


    Um, just so youse know, that COULD HAPPEN!!!!!

  100. Oh, Edwina... God love you, you are just an amazing woman.

    Thank you. You made me smile, nay, GRIN!!!!! (of course with big teeth, it's kind of inevitable, right???)

    We keep on keepin' on, don't we???

  101. Vince, old buddy..... I agree wholeheartedly.

    I keep an eye on them/reviews from time to time just to use quotes from them, to tweet and not sound self-serving...

    And that's a problem, I'm a great salesperson but I feel weird selling ME... and yet, I love that my work touches hearts and souls and makes people feel better about the dark valleys life inevitably provides!!! So the occasional tweeting or ringing my horn is because it's not just my horn but the publisher, the editorial staff, etc... and they deserve those shout-outs.

    I'm with you, if a book doesn't appeal to me, I don't leave a negative review. I just shut up because really, no one needs to hear my snark over something.

    Thumper Rule Abounds: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

    (which doesn't mean if I've read your book and haven't reviewed it that I hated it, it simply means I'm a TERRIBLE, HORRID, WRETCHED FRIEND and you'd be better off having any other friend in the world other than me because I forget EVERYTHING.

    I am, essentially, somewhat useless.


  102. I'm chiming in late, but thank you for your post, Ruthy. The song was beautiful and so was the advice. So glad I checked in today. :)

  103. Coffee sounds good and maybe later some of the strawberries. That was a positive post. You're very enthusiastic. Please enter me in the drawing.

  104. Anna Weaver Hurtt, Married Lady!!!! :)

    Love that new name!!!

    I'm so glad you did, too! I love that song, it's now on my funeral list (don't laugh, all choir members have their funeral music picked out. I think. Well. At least they should!!!!:)

    And Michelle F.... Oh, those strawberries, sweet thing! They are amazing and so easy to make. You are entered and I'm glad you came by!

  105. Hi Ruth:


    You just woke me up from having a senior moment! I forgot all about social media. Of course a writer needs to look at all possible reviews (or have someone else do so) and then tweet or whatever the news of the best reviews to the faithful. That’s being newsworthy.

    Just keep doing what you’re doing! Oh, and I love to read another historical like the “Red Kettle Christmas”.