Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

with guest Belle Calhoune.
The road to publication is often filled with flying monkeys, tornadoes and mountains of self doubt.  Fortunately, it's also filled with encouraging Glindas, a supportive cast of characters and moments of triumph.  Much like Dorothy, we authors set forth on a publication path filled with hope, yearning and a desire to find a home for our books.  As authors we have our own journey of discovery as we navigate the rough waters of the publishing world.  

The Four Essential Ingredients on the Yellow Brick Road.

Heart.  Becoming a published author is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a lot of endurance, resilience and a willingness to embrace the process.  Most authors are compelled to write because they can't not write.  Trust me, I've tried.  Writing is so essential to our lives that we can't imagine a world in which it doesn't play a prominent role.  It is deeply engrained in our hearts.  If this is your truth, attack the world of publishing with a passion.  Give it everything you've got, withholding nothing.  Wear your heart on sleeve and proudly proclaim yourself as an author pursuing publication.  I've been in situations where I didn't want to put it out there, just in case it didn't pan out for me.  And even though it's sometimes annoying to be questioned relentlessly about when we're getting published, there's a lot to be said for owning it.  For me, it felt so empowering to lay it all out there and wear that author badge for all to see. 

Courage.  Being a writer is one of the few professions where the solitary aspects of our career can allow fear and doubt to set in.  I'm reluctant to admit how many years I sat on manuscripts out of a deep rooted fear of failure.  What would it feel like, I wondered, if a publisher (or several publishers) rejected my work?  For some reason I held on to my writing dream and clutched it tightly to my chest, allowing no one or nothing to shatter the dream.  But, in doing that, I held myself back.  I wasn't making any forward strides.  I was just treading water.  Only in putting your work out there can an aspiring author truly become an active participant in their journey.  It's inevitable to come across stumbling blocks on the road to publication, but if you arm yourself with courage, you can surmount those obstacles and emerge victorious on the other side.

Brains.  Before I submitted my manuscript to Emily Rodmell (now my Love Inspired Editor) for the Speed Dating Pitch on the Harlequin forums, I did a lot of research on the line.  I read and read and read.  Knowing what is selling in the particular line or imprint you're targeting is crucial.  Having your finger on the pulse of the business is not only a savvy move for aspiring authors, it actually puts you one step closer to publication.  The easiest way to do this is to read newly released books and study them as if you're taking a college course in it.  Writing for the Inspirational Romance Market 101.  Take notes.  Study the rhythms and the dialogue, the character arcs and the black moments.  Watch for pacing of the first kiss and the levels of intimacy that are appropriate for the Inspirational market.  Focus on all the elements that add up to a marketable, entertaining read.  Then write the very best novel you can.

Belief.  This is probably the most important factor in becoming a published author.  This is the ingredient Dorothy possessed the whole time she was in Oz.  As a writer you have to believe that you can accomplish your goal.  Sometimes this boils down to visualizing your name on a book cover, writing the last line in a manuscript or hitting the send button and putting your book out there in the universe.  Believing in your talent and your ability to write and sell a novel is crucial to success.


In the end, we alone possess the power to put words on the page that will move readers and encourage Editors and publishers to want to buy our novels.  Writing can be filled with self doubt and way too much introspection.  In order to overcome these moments of self doubt we have to believe in our talent,  our storytelling ability and the work we've created.  We must be unwavering in our belief that our work is meaningful and will touch the hearts of readers.

While writing my latest novel, “Forever Her Hero,” I had a few moments of self doubt.  Writing a love story involving a grieving widow is a little out of my comfort zone.  In creating the story I was walking a fine line between grief, loss and budding romance.  Was it too depressing?  Could I pull it off? As a way of snapping out of those moments I developed a mantra.  I would ask myself the question, “Why are you writing this? Why does this story have to be told?”   Asking myself that question allowed me to focus on the story, the character arcs and my own belief in the importance of the work.  Every single time I emerged feeling stronger and more determined to see this book on store shelves.

My favorite quote from the Wizard of Oz comes from Glinda the Good Witch when she tells Dorothy, “You had the power all along, my dear.”  As writers, we possess the power to turn words into published novels.  It lies within us.  That's a mighty thing indeed.




Don't forget to comment today for a chance to win one of two copies of Belle's latest release, Forever Her Hero. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.



A Time to Heal  

Coast Guard officer Sawyer Trask left  Cape Cod with a big regret—never confessing his true feelings to his childhood friend Ava. Now a widow with two young children,  Ava needs him more than ever. He once promised to watch over her and the kids,  and he's going to honor that—even though he harbors a secret that could tear them apart. Ava could always count on Sawyer through thick and thin, so having him nearby is a huge comfort. But his presence is also stirring her heart in unexpected ways. Can Sawyer and Ava move beyond their past hurts to find their happily ever after?


Author Bio

Belle Calhoune grew up in a family of five children in a small town in Massachusetts. She attended Syracuse University and majored in English with a minor in French.  After graduating from college she became a Federal Investigator with the EEOC in Boston, Massachusetts. She now lives in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters, one mini poodle and a chocolate lab.   Writing for the Love Inspired line is a dream come true.  Working at home in her pajamas is one of the best perks that come with being a writer. Belle enjoys spending summers in Cape Cod, traveling, exercising on the Elliptical machine, watching movies and reading.  She's now working on her fourth book for the Love Inspired line.

113 comments:

Mary Curry said...

What an awesome post, Belle!

I'm sitting here struggling through revisions to my Killer Voices chapters and this is so inspiring. Thanks!

Cheryl St.John said...

What a wonderful post! I especially enjoyed your take on "heart." So true.

Congratulations on your new release!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Isn't this a lovely post?

We're having munchkin donuts for breakfast. Remember to come back in the am.

Marianne Barkman said...

Congratulations on your new book, Belle. It sounds intriguing.
What are munchkin donuts, Tina? I'm familiar with Tim Horton donuts, but haven't heard of munchkin donuts

BelleC said...

Thanks Mary! So glad I could provide a little inspiration. Wishing you the best of luck on Killer Voices. You're doing great so far!

Belle

Terri said...

Belle - I loved your post. Thanks for the Wizard of Oz analogy. I'm hoping I am like Dorothy and have the power within me.

I especially like your comparison of reading the line we are targeting to a college course.

Just one thing. Do you really like that elliptical machine? You're making me feel lazy! LOL

Mary - good luck on your Killer Voices revisions.

BelleC said...

Thanks Cheryl. Heart is very important for us Inspirational romance writers. I consider myself very blessed to write for Love Inspired.

BelleC said...

Thanks Tina! Munchkins? Did someone say Munchkins? I call the chocolate glazed ones.

Cindy W. said...

Good morning Belle! Congratulations on your new release! I loved your post today, I love the Wizard of Oz so it made it extra special.

I would love to be entered to win a copy of your book. Thank you for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

"In the end, we alone possess the power to put words on the page that will move readers and encourage Editors and publishers to want to buy our novels."

Wow. That's it, right there.

When I feel like the "noise" level in the industry has gone through the roof, I have to remind myself that there would be no them (publishers, agents, marketers, booksellers, bloggers, reviewers, magazines, top seller lists) without us. It starts with us and the story we're trying to tell. As much as we try to keep up with all the news, in the end, it all comes down to the story.

Thank you for the absolutely uplifting and affirming post!

And I SAW YOUR BOOK IN A WALLA WALLA, WA WALMART TODAY.

I know you saw the pic on facebook, my friend, but isn't it fun that clear across the country, I picked your book off the shelf? It made me smile.

Jenny Blake said...

Hi Belle, I love the quote about having the power all along. It applies a lot of things in our lives. your book sounds really good too.
I once asked mum if she thought she would ever marry again. She said dad was her only love and she wasn't interested in finding someone else. It was around the time another friend of hers was remarrying and the daughter was so against it.
to be honest I don't know how I would have felt if mum did remarry it would have changed things alot.

Piper Huguley said...

I love this post Belle! So awesome with the comparison to the Wizard of Oz! Please pass the blueberry cake munchkins...:)

Jessica Nelson said...

Great post, Belle!!! Congrats on your release. :-) I'm looking forward to getting it at Walmart.

I love that quote too!!

Jackie said...

Hi Belle,

It's great to meet you. Welcome to Seekerville. Your new release sounds like a great story!

Thanks for this encouraging post!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Love, love, love this post, Belle!

What a way to start the day. Thank you!

And I am loving your book too so no need to put me in the drawing. Go you!

Peace, Julie

BelleC said...

Thanks for the kind words Marianne. Munchkin donuts are the little round donuts (or donut holes). In this neck of the woods we buy them at Dunkin Donuts. My kids have always loved them. And Mom too.

BelleC said...


Thanks Terri. You absolutely are Dorothy. You are way more powerful than you realize. I think the realization of that is sometimes a little overwhelming. And yes, I do love the elliptical machine. I have a date with it later this afternoon.

BelleC said...


Good Morning Cindy. It's always exciting to have a book hitting the shelves. I love the Wizard of Oz also. Every time I watch it I see more things to love.

Mz.ZeyZey said...

What a wonderful post, and so true! I've lacked in courage for many years. Like the cowardly lion, I played at having courage this year, but a couple of rejections had me cowering again. Sigh. I'm slowly getting the hang of courage and brains. :-)

I've been avoiding my story for a few days (about forgiveness) but a good sermon and a good book using the theme are like God's little nudges for me to get back to work. Love that you ask yourself why you're writing to keep you writing.

I would love to win a copy of your new book. If I don't win, I'll definitely buy a copy!

BelleC said...

Hey Virginia. Yes, I did see your post about seeing Forever Her Hero in Walla Walla. That is so incredibly cool, my friend. I love to imagine a reader picking it up in the store, holding it in their hand and making their way to the checkout line. I love what you said about the noise level in the industry and reminding ourselves that is starts with us. Absolutely!

Sandra Leesmith said...

What an awesome post BELLE. I love everything you said and of course I always loved Wizard of Oz.

Have fun today.

btw I saw your book in Arizona. Isn't it a kick?

And munchkin?? How did I miss those? They sound yummy. Where do you find them?

BelleC said...

Hi there Jenny! You're so right. The knowledge that we possess the power all along does apply to a variety of things in our lives. I have a very close friend who became a widow at a young age. She is very brave and courageous. Recently, she found love again and is engaged. Love finds a way!

DebH said...

Belle
are you willing to share the chocolate glazed munchkins? my faves too.

great, encouraging post. the fact that I, alone can write the story that's been placed on my heart is a very empowering thought (because, of course, if someone wrote the "same" story, it would be completely different from mine). AWESOME! thanks for sharing.

Godspeed Mary Curry on your Killer Voice revision. I'm sending my first three chapters in this eve (still waiting for cp feedback on one last bit).

Mary Curry said...

Munchkins!!! Where were the munchkins when I needed them at 2am, Ms. Tina?

Annie Rains said...

Ohhh, your book sounds so good! Putting it on my to-be-read list right now :) And I love the cover. It looks exactly like a house that one of my very dear friends lived in.

Congrats on living your dream and writing in your pajamas! That's my dream, too. Pajamas all day with unlimited coffee, left to myself and my own imagination for hours and hours.

Happy Wednesday, Seekerville!

BelleC said...

Hey Piper! Thanks for your kind words. Blueberry cake munchkins? Is that an Atlanta specialty? I've never seen those. Congrats as well on your Golden Heart nomination. 2 years in a row...you're on a serious roll.

BelleC said...

Thanks so much Jessica. I did a walk through of the Walmart in the town next door to me. Finally they had the May Love Inspired books on the shelves. I just stood there for a moment and gazed at my book. My daughter had to tell me, "Mom, walk away from the shelf."

BelleC said...

Hi Jackie! Nice to meet you as well. Thanks for your kind words about Forever Her Hero. So far I've received terrific feedback.

Jeanne T said...

Belle, it's nice to meet you here. :) I love how you took the character aspects of each Oz character and showed how important they are in writing. :) Believing in myself is sometimes the hardest one. :)

Piper Huguley said...

Thank you for your kind words Belle. You were much more kind that your DD. Ahh kids. They can be so innocently cruel. I can see(and hear) DS saying the same thing to me....

I thought you lived up there in the heart of Dunkin Doughnut country (or near there anyway)! I've seen blueberry cake munchkins in both Atlanta and Pittsburgh, so I don't know. And then at Valentine's day they have the cherry cake ones and pumpkin ones at Halloween...

BelleC said...

Aww, thanks Julie. You've been so supportive. Thanks for picking up Forever Her Hero. I'm so happy you're enjoying the read.

BelleC said...

Good Morning Mz. ZeyZey. I think we all have our cowardly lion moments. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when they are visiting the wizard and the cowardly lion runs away and jumps out the window. Fear can keep us running. But we can change that. Forgiveness is a wonderful theme. Each of my Love Inspired books has a theme of forgiveness running through it. I think it is a very powerful theme to go with.

BelleC said...

Hi Sandra! Arizona. Wow. I love hearing that. Wish we had some Arizona weather here in Connecticut after our brutal winter. We buy the Munchkins at Dunkin Donuts or in the bakery department at our local supermarket. They are delicious...and slightly addictive.

Angel Moore said...

What an encouraging post! I'm going to look inside today and find the next chapter in my WIP. New mantra: The power is in you. The power is in you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Munchkin donuts are virtual Tiny donuts with zero calories.

The donut holes are even less calories. I think you probably lose weight when you eat them.

Tina Radcliffe said...

2am, Miz Mary Curry? 2am?? Wow.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Today is Love Inspired author Angel Moore's birthday! Happy Birthday Angel and thanks for stopping by.


Happy Birthday, to YOU!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Munchkin donuts are the tiny ones.

Sigh. I fibbed they do have calories.


So Miz Belle, what's next on your writing plate (besides donuts), dear?

Jennifer Smith said...

I love this article, Belle! I think these are all so true...Thanks for posting. I'm saving this one just to read later when I need encouragement. :)

Nadia said...

Amazing article!!!

Great job on articulating the fine points of writing from your own POV. There is nothing here but LIGHT and positive energy. Bravo Cousin!!! A journey indeed.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Belle,

I totally agree with all the points you made here! Great inspiration!

In about a year's time, I expect to see my first Love Inspired book on the shelves, too! Can't wait! My story also deals with grief - a widower trying to get help for his son.

I'd love to be in the draw for your book. The cover speaks to me - it's so pretty.

Have a great day! Good luck, Mary Curry on the next phase!

Cheers,
Sue

Myra Johnson said...

Belle, thanks so much for being our guest today, and what an inspiring post! Self-doubt is so insidious. It doesn't stop torturing us no matter how many successes we rack up.

Loved the line in your bio about going to work in your PJs! Oh, yeah! That is the #1 perk of the writing life!!!

Connie Queen said...

Let the force be with you. No, wait, that's the power is in you.

What an encouraging post! I need to read this at least once a week.

Sometimes I picture editors lying in wait for us to make a mistake (which we will) so they pounce and rip our stories apart. I constantly must remind myself that they are looking for great stories, not trying to pull excerpts out of my book to add to their "101 mistakes your editor doesn't want to see" blog.

Great thoughts, Belle.

BelleC said...

Hi DebH. Yes, your story is uniquely yours. Only you can tell it. That's why it's so powerful. And of course I'm willing to share the chocolate glazed munchkins...let's split the calories.

BelleC said...

Morning Annie! It's 10:38 here in Connecticut and I'm still in my pajamas. When I drop off my 11 year old in the morning no one can see my attire. Lol. I love the cover also. The Love Inspired art department is quite talented. This house really looks as if it could be perched right on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Harbor.

BelleC said...

Hi Jeanne. Nice to meet you as well. Believing in oneself is hard at times. But, I am convinced it is more than half the battle. For myself, once I started believing that I could be an author, everything started to fall in place.

BelleC said...

Piper, I do live in the heart of Dunkin Donut country. I will now be looking for those little blueberry cake munchkins. And I'm not so sure that kids are innocently cruel...lol.

Tina Radcliffe said...

When I was a little girl my family rented a cabin on Cape Cod every year and drove up there from Buffalo, NY. And I got car sick.

My only memory is my mother hiding behind a bush to watch the Kennedy's out on Hyannis Port on one drive by. Sorry I outed you, Mom.

Katie Jo said...

Wonderful post! I just finished "Forever Her Hero" and loved it. I am so glad you persevered!

BelleC said...

Angel. Happy Birthday friend. I had no idea you were celebrating today. Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. You have such a great work ethic. I think you've already received the memo. The power is in you.

BelleC said...

Hey, Tina. I'm sticking to the zero calories for the munchkins. I mean, they are small. Next up on my plate is the book I'm currently doing edits for. It's a Love Inspired book called Heart of A Soldier. Coming out in January of 2015. I also have a series I'm self pubbing this summer. It's about seven foster brothers adopted by a loving family in Cape Cod. A take on Seven Brides, Seven Brothers. I should have posted some of the covers. They are lovely.

BelleC said...

Good Morning Jennifer. I'm so happy that you saw something in my post that might inspire you. That makes me feel really good. Best of luck!

Deb Forbes said...

I loved your post and the points about the yellow brick road were awesome. Looking forward to reading your book

Maria Michaels said...

This is a wonderful post, Belle! I will always remember the day you emailed me and said, "Emily wants me to call her back!" We both knew that meant you were about to get "the call". It's been great watching you move forward in your dream.

I will have a munchkin donut, please. I don't know what they are, but I have courage and a sense of adventure!

BelleC said...

Hey Nadia. Thanks for stopping by, cousin. So fun to be on this writing journey together.

Wilani Wahl said...

Thank you for this encouraging post. I am so grateful I discovered Seekerville. All the posts have been so helpful and inspiring.

Lisa Phillips said...

So true!

Thanks Belle :-)

Sybil Bates McCormack said...

Hi, Belle. I'm so thrilled that your writing journey has kicked off with such a bang. Thanks for sharing the encouraging article!

DebH said...

Stray thought: how can a hole have calories?

*munching on the choco glazed munchkins*

BelleC said...

Hi, Susan. Congratulations about your Love Inspired sale. So exciting. It's a great publisher to work for. You have many exciting moments in your future.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, all your pubbing news sound great, Belle!!! Will be looking for that series.

BelleC said...


Hi, Myra. Thanks for having me on Seekerville. I really am honored. Self doubt is a monster. It can pop up at any time. Having the tools to vanquish it is so very important on this writing journey. And working in Pjs is priceless!

BelleC said...

Thanks, Connie. So glad I could provide some encouragement. I know you're one of the Killer Voices participants. Congrats on moving forward. It's funny what you said about Editors. I used to think this also, until I participated in the Speed date pitch. I can honestly say that Emily R pointed me in the right direction when I made some rookie mistakes.

BelleC said...

Tina, it's so funny that you referenced Hyannis. That's where I spent my summer vacations and where my family has had a house for almost five decades. Trust me, your Mom isn't the only one. In the days when John John was walking around Hyannis Port without a shirt on, the paparazzi was in full force.

Meghan Carver said...

Good afternoon, Belle! So nice to meet you! The cover of your book is spectacular, and I love the pitch. I need to go check Walmart! Thanks so much for your encouragement today. The Wizard of Oz gave me bad dreams when I saw it at age five (hello, suspense! :-) ), so I appreciate the good you see and how you've analogized to the writing journey. Thanks for a great post.

Heidi Robbins said...

My daughter loves the Wizard of Oz, so I feel like I've seen the film dozens of times :) What a great metaphor you used! I love the cover of your book- it's gorgeous! Please include me in your drawing! Thanks!

BelleC said...

Thanks Katie Jo. It means a lot to me that you enjoyed Forever Her Hero. Trust me. It never gets old.

Missy Tippens said...

Belle, welcome!! I'm so glad to see you here today. LOVED your post. It's always such a good reminder that God empowers us to use our gifts!

You know, I STILL want some of those ruby red slippers. I just adored them when I was a kid. I would cover my eyes for the first part of the movie, then covet her shoes for the rest of the show. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

See! It is a small world.

BelleC said...

Thanks Deb Forbes. As writers we always talk about the road to publication. I think demystifying it makes it way more accessible. Hope you enjoy Forever Her Hero.

BelleC said...

Thanks Maria! It seems so long ago that we met during that Speed Date pitch. I remember loving your pitch. I'm so happy for you and your contracts with Pelican.

BelleC said...

Hi Wilani. I agree. Seekerville is a wonderful place, full of wisdom and encouragement. We're all lucky to have it as a resource.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Cape Cod.

Belle, you had me at Cape Cod! I had my first visit to the cape last year, and fell in love. Oh my stars, I could live there forever. So stinkin' beautiful. I loved it!!!!

Hey, this is a great analogy! I'm smiling and nodding which means you're making perfect sense! Go, you!!!!

And Syracuse University, girl, is only 90 minutes from me. We were almost neighbors!!!!

I was by here earlier but got interrupted, so I'm bringing cookies to make up for my lack of early arrival.

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with M&M's because I had some extra pastel M&M's and needed to use them.

Did youse know that M&M Peanut Candies are made WARM?????

And they say if you've ever eaten a warm M&M Peanut you'll never love the cold ones again.

A friend brought me a bag of fresh M&M peanuts, right from the factory. I've vowed to never buy the holiday-themed ones again, because they're made months in advance. The standard colors, turned out daily????

Oh, yeah. That's where my M&M allowance goes now!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love that Carmichael just said "Walla Walla!!!"

I love the name of that town, it's just so over-the-top Aussie sounding that it makes me smile.

And Cle Elum?????

You guys have some great names in Washington, I'm just sayin'.

BelleC said...


Hey Lisa! We're month mates. Different lines, but who cares, right? Congrats on your Love Inspired debut.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And Belle, WE'RE BUNDLED TOGETHER!!!!!

Belle and Ruthy bundled together, Film at 11:00!!!!

How cool is that????? And I hope our sales are rockin' the big Kahuna, girlfriend!

(That's so "Gidget Goes Hawaiian". :)

BelleC said...

Yes, Ruthy. We are bundled together. I saw that. Very exciting for this newbie. So glad you enjoyed Cape Cod. It is one of the places I love the most in the world. I've never had a bad moment there.

BelleC said...

Hi there, Sybil. Thanks so much. Wishing you much good fortune on your Killer Voices entry.

Angel Moore said...

Thanks Tina Radcliffe and BelleC, but it's not my birthday. I'll just keep your wishes for a couple of months and celebrate then. ;)

Angel Moore

BelleC said...


DebH...I like your style. Holes are air, therefore no calories.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Well, I'm just plain sad because our link doesn't work....

And it's an Amazon thing, not our fault.

So here's the web address if you want to go look at the cool bundling deal (I'm so glad Harlequin and Amazon are doing this!)

Here's the "copy and paste" version: (the bitly link didn't work, either..., but I went and created a new one, let's see if this works:

Belle and Ruthy's Bundling Excellent Adventure!!!

Or here's copy and paste:

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Inspired-May-2014-Lawman%5CForever-ebook/dp/B00I66DSL8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399486138&sr=8-1&keywords=belle+calhoune+bundle

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Nope, still didn't work.

Well.

I think someone has thwarted my efforts to be Belle's new BFF!!!!!

Dagnabbit!

:)

CatMom said...

Oh Belle....I feel you wrote this post for ME! I loved this - - and have a strong feeling I'll be re-reading your words of wisdom a lot.

I'm sorry to say that lately I've been going through one of those "self-doubting" times---with that annoying little voice in my mind questioning me. So YOUR POST today is exactly what I needed--thank you! (and who doesn't love The Wizard of Oz?!).

Please enter me in your book drawing (LOVE that cover) and in honor of Dorothy's ruby slippers I've baked a red velvet cake for an afternoon snack--Enjoy!

Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

BelleC said...

Good Afternoon Meghan. Thanks for your kind words. The cover really is beautiful, isn't it? As a kid I was terrified of the flying monkeys. Everything else I loved. Wishing you continued success in the Killer Voices pitch.

Missy Tippens said...

Belle and Ruthy's Excellent Bundling Adventure! LOLOL!! Love it. :)

BelleC said...

Hi, Heidi. I've seen the movie dozens of times as well. I keep finding these hidden gems in the movie that I didn't notice before. I think we all have a little Dorothy inside us.

Keli Gwyn said...

What a fun post, Belle. I loved your line, "Becoming a published author is not for the faint of heart." So true. Self doubts can batter the best of us. It takes tenacity and talking back to those voices that tell us we're writing drivel--plus a whole lot more.

Congrats on the release of your latest book!

BelleC said...

Hi Missy! You are so right. God does empower us to use our gifts. And we are very blessed to have those gifts bestowed on us. I used to want a pair of red Dorothy shoes also. When my oldest daughter was four I dressed her up as Dorothy for Halloween and bought her a pair of glittery red shoes. I think I was more tickled than she was.

S. Trietsch said...

Thank you Belle for the uplifting words and positivity!! Stephanie

BelleC said...

Hey Patti Jo. I'm so happy you can relate to my post. And yes, I did write it for YOU. It's for all of us who struggle with moments of self doubt. Honestly, I don't know a single author who didn't at some point let it creep in. So glad I was able to provide you with something that can help you on your journey. And Red velvet cake is one of my all time favorites.

BelleC said...

Thanks so much Keli. The good news is that self doubt can be conquered. And truly, it is part of the journey for most of us. Congrats to you on your sale to LIH and all the grand adventures that await you.

Chill N said...

What a motivating post, Belle! I especially appreciate the part about believing. I need to jot down Glinda's words and keep them handy.

Thanks ... and best wishes with your writing!

Nancy C

Crystal Ridgway said...

Sorry I'm so late to check in. So much to do... So little time.

Belle,
So wonderful to have you here on Seekerville. Your book sounds awesome. The list of essential ingredients on the yellow brick road to publication is so true!

BelleC said...

Hi Stephanie. You're very welcome. It's a pleasure to be on Seekerville today. I've certainly received loads of encouragement over the years, so this is just a little bit of paying it forward.

BelleC said...

Hi Chill N. Best wishes to you as well. That's such a great idea about Glinda's words. I would love to get that quote framed and have it perched on my writing desk where I can't help but see it...and believe it.

BelleC said...

Hi there Crystal. You're right about so little time in the day. I ask myself that question every day. Where did the time go? Thanks for your warm welcome. It's been a wonderful day on Seekerville.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Well, Dorothy, I see you have been busy in Oz while I was at work.

WAVING AT CRYSTAL (Double Genesis Finalist!!!)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Okay Angel. Are we friends on FB? I have a friend on FB called Angel New Moore whose birthday is today. How odd is that???

BelleC said...

Congratulations Crystal! Double Genesis Finalist. Sounds like you are well on your way down the yellow brick road.

Crystal Ridgway said...

Thank you Tina and Belle.

Tina-one of those semi-finalists is the manuscript you critiqued. So a very big extra thank you for that. And all the help.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Even cooler, Crystal, I have a vested interest in you!!! LOL.

Angel Moore said...

Tina, yes, we're FB friends. Angel New Moore and I have crossed paths on a couple of pages. It's funny because I start to post a comment and then see my name. :) It will make you do a double-take.

Anna Weaver Hurtt said...

Thanks so much for the inspirational post, Belle! I needed to read that today. :)

BelleC said...

Hi, Anna. So glad I was able to inspire you a little bit today. Thanks for giving me such a warm welcome.

Mary Preston said...

A wonderful post thank you & that quote at the end speaks to the heart doesn't it?

BelleC said...

Hi Mary. Thanks so much for your kind words. That quote is really powerful, I think, especially when you realize you can apply it to so many things in your life.

Julie Lessman said...

BELLE!!! I am SO sorry I am late ... a day late and more than a dollar short, I assure you!!

WELCOME to Seekerville, and what a FUN post!! Who does NOT love The Wizard of Oz, so this was a truly inspired post, analogizing the yellow brick road of writing!!

Your book sounds wonderful!!

Hugs,
Julie

Kelly Goshorn said...

Belle, thanks for your inspiring thoughts. Every time I get a bit discouraged on this journey, God brings someone along to encourage me. This is exactly what I needed to hear today! Blessings,Kelly

Dee LeRoye said...

Your post is so encouraging. Thank you. And I would dearly love to add your new book to my collection.

Raining in South Dakota. Chocolate chip cookies are baked. Caramel rolls baked at 3 a.m. because they were crawling out of the pan. They were for the cowboys tomorrow when we "work" calves....maybe not...oh well, let it rain. Rolls freeze well.

BelleC said...

Hi Julie. Thanks for having me on Seekerville. It's a great place to be! The Wizard of Oz is really timeless...it never gets old.

BelleC said...

Hi Kelly. You're so very welcome. I'm so happy I was able to bring you some encouragement. Blessings!

BelleC said...

Hi Dee. Thank you very much. It was raining here in Connecticut as well. But I'll take the rain over snow any day. And I love chocolate chip cookies.

Michelle F. said...

Haven't seen the Wizard of Oz in a long time. I do watch Once Upon a Time and the wicked witch has been on that. Also I've seen Oz the Great and Powerful. Please enter me in the drawing.