Thursday, August 14, 2014

How To Keep Those Plates Spinning (with only the occasional crash to the floor!)

Ruthy here, Gooooooooood Morning, Seekerville!!!!!!

Now you're saying to yourself "Oh my gosh, it's Ruthy again, is she going to yell at us??? I love it when she does that!!!!!"

:)  I am sparin' your sweet feelin's today, dearly beloveds!!!!  There is no berating, chastising or scolding in this post, a possible new RUTHY-RECORD!!!!!  Huzzah! Huzzah!!!

"Or maybe she'll wax sentimental and make me all gooey eyed about my dream of becoming an author????"

Umm... not likely today. Read on.

"Mayhap she'll beguile us with sweet stories of babies and toddlers and teachable moments and how easy it is to fall in love over Gerber baby cereal-stained bibs and dripping sippy cups..."

Touching! But.... no.  :)  Good try, though!

Today we're not even talking work ethic, because heaven knows I've waxed on ad nauseum about that from the beginning of mere mortal time: Write, Write, Write.... or as Nora says, "Butt in Chair".  (She's a bit more direct in her phrasing than I am, but you get the picture!)

Today we're talking time and money management, and because this is serious business, I'm putting on my SERIOUS RUTHY HAT.

Stinkin' cute, right?

Miss Martin, the "Good Morning, Miss Dove" type fifth grade teacher in my kids' elementary school, taught time management as part of her 5th grade curriculum. SHE MADE A LOT OF KIDS CRY. Gosh, I love that about her!!!!  :)

She cut them no slack as the year went on. She was tough, no nonsense, funny, industrious and loved God... Guess which teacher more kids come back to see as adults, more than the rest of the staff combined? Miss Martin. Because she inspired them to be successful at age ten.

We all have to find the timing that works for us, but I'm sharing the strategy that has brought me to the edge of donning my Full Time Writer's Hat... NEXT YEAR... And how stinkin' exciting is that?  Goal setting is where it's at, and to make that successful, I do time-management planning. Honestly? (and I'm being wretchedly honest here....) I never spin wheels. 

If the wheel isn't taking me (or someone I love) someplace, or if the "plate" isn't holding something important? I chuck it. Because focusing on the important things helps me see clearly. Respect for time is something I had to acquire at a very early age, and I've carried it through the years. Ya' wanna' annoy me?

Waste my time. That'll do it! (Wait, I said no scolding, oops!!!!! Back to goals/time/successful strategies).

Short range goals: (current annual goals for 2014, think about the goals you set in January and let's see how far you've come! Mine are below.)

Professional: Expanding my readership, publishing four books, re-organizing the second floor of my house, working my full-time job and soliciting work with my agent to help expand my readership by way of contracted work from varying publishers, writing four books.

Personal: Time with grandchildren, family and friends, to help more charities quietly, and to continue church ministries at my local parish while baking delicious things to share with others because I love baking!

How am I doing? Well...

Four books are being published, a possible fifth if it's not contracted by next month, new contracts with SEVERAL!!!!!! publishers (how cool is that? I love being a hybrid author!!!) an independent novella in the Seekers' "Hope for the Holidays" novella collection, three books and two novellas written, working on fourth book now, the second floor is 80% done (I need to contract a part of one room, that's in the works), I see many of my grandchildren each week, others once/month and the distant ones we're seeing three times this year. (This was a big priority for ol' Dave and me, to be able to get to North Carolina and laugh with these far away grandchildren. Love it!!!)

Still lacking time with friends (sigh...), charity work is going well, I switched from singing in our beautiful choir (practice time keeps me up too late and then I can't write the next morning) to being a reader (Liturgy of the Word) and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.... and possibly starting a pre-school Sunday school, but that's in the air right now.  Baking is done in collusion with watching sweet babies, LOL! So I'm pleased with what's happening, but you're probably saying HOW DID YOU DO THAT?  

Honey, I hired help, that's how, LOL! No one can do all that, and catch a nap. See more about that trade-off below!

Peachy Cheese Pie at YANKEE BELLE CAFE TODAY!!!!!!
Long range goals:  (2015 to 2019, five year goals, this is how I build from year to year. It's like eating a bear, you take one bite at a time.)

To become a full-time writer/author and part-time daycare provider, to publish two indie books each year from 2014 until I can't write anymore, to continue publishing 3-4 contracted books/novellas/year for the next three years (leaving myself open after that), to get a fresh coat of paint on this sweet old house, and to hire someone to fix my yard (don't ask, yes, it's THAT BAD except for the corners I photograph to put on facebook, LOL! I call it strategic positioning.)

I don't separate my personal from my professional goals in real life. They have to co-exist. From the beginning I've had the encouragement of my children and they love that I might be able to fund my own old-age home now! A win/win for all concerned!!!! (laughing, come on, they'll be nice to me when I'm archaic. I hope.) Personal and professional goals go hand in hand for me. If I don't respect my writing time and my work time, no one else will.

When I first got the call from Melissa Endlich five years ago (and it is STILL the first message on my voicemail, I've kept it there for five years!!!! Thank you, Melissa!) I developed a new five-year plan.

I wanted to be a full-time author by the end of the five years. With the quick take-off of my indie books last year, I could see it was time to implement the plan I'd made. Making money is all well and good, but there are only so many hours in a day which meant I needed help to meet my goals. (Asking and/or paying for help should never be considered a bad thing!)

My inspiration for this was the Chinese grandmother "Nyuk Tsin" (aka: Wu Chow's Auntie) in James Michener's "Hawaii". (The first link takes you to a sermon that examples Nyuk Tsin's love for American and freedom. I wasn't the only person deeply touched by this well-drawn character's sacrificial life! The second one goes to Amazon for the book, one of my "keepers":

I loved that character, a poor, plain woman who saw the beauty of freedom and independence and worked tirelessly to build the family's education and fortune by exemplifying her work ethic and frugality. If she spent ten cents to do a job that gleaned her fifteen, she NEVER WORRIED about her hourly wage.... she considered herself .05 to the better. And that example stayed with me all these years. It's not about how much you make, it's about using Return On Investment to strategize what you can do!!!!

1. I hire my covers and formatting done. I love to write beautiful books, I have no burning need to teach myself graphic arts when God made amazingly clever graphic artists BY HIMSELF with no help from me. Oh, that God!!! So I spend about $350/book but I'm happy with the results and readers identify with them. When you subtract that money from the overall sales ("Running on Empty" has been in the top ten (averaging) of its categories for almost a year. The others have been in the top twenty in at least one category and often three) my return on investment is solid.

2. I hired two of my kids to come help with little ones,  one day/week each. I pay them to help because I'm getting paid to write. I use one day to write (on top of my early morning, 4:00 AM writing time) and one day to work on the second floor bedrooms. Working on those fun, old, antiquated bedrooms is my gift to myself after years of um... okay, I'LL SAY IT!!!! TOTALLY NEGLECTING THEM!!!!! The bedrooms, not the kids! :)  Anyone who saw the stuff I pulled out of one closet last spring understands that I saved way too much stuff! Oy!

3. I hired an after-school helper because when I go to part-time daycare next summer, I wanted someone experienced to help me with homework and lessons after school. It was worth it to me to hire Casey because maintaining good school habits and homework habits with kids is a huge part of their success in middle school, junior high and high school.

Casey, snuggling Ayden
4. I minimize the pricier social aspects of writing because if I indulge in them too often, they lose their sheen for me and force me to choose between visiting my distant kids and going to conferences. This choice may change someday if money allows, but we're not quite there yet!

So if I go to a conference every few years, that's plenty. I have two kids in Manhattan and one in North Carolina. As much as I love the glitz surrounding the fun of conferences, I have no idea how much time God has in my allotment barrel. Seeing my kids and spending that money on travel has to come first... and doing the major fix-ups this old house needed.

I prioritize everything as part of my planning overview. I'm meeting with my oldest CPA son to set up retirement accounts.... LOL, my kids are planning to retire by my age, I'm just setting up accounts, but that's okay: I'm on target to make my dreams come true!

What do you dream of doing? What have you done today to make that dream come true?

1K1HR is your best friend if it gets your butt in the chair. That's a lot of words in a year!!!

Starting TOMORROW 8/15 "Running on Empty" will be FREE ON AMAZON for the weekend!!!! Grab your friends, call your family send it out on social media, because I love this book and it delights me to see it touching hearts and souls!  HERE IS THE LINK!!!!!   This highly acclaimed book is available on Kindle and anything that takes a Kindle "app".... or you can use Amazon's free "Whisper Net" download to download the book to your computer!

"Cromwell, I charge thee. Fling away ambition. By that sin fell the angels." (Shakespeare)

I agree that unbridled ambition can be a wicked master, but kept in stride, and planned for accordingly, hard work and ambition have built our amazing country. God bless America!

I've got several copies of my current LOVE INSPIRED RELEASE to give away today! "His Montana Sweetheart" is such a lovely story of old wrongs and new beginnings... and dedicated to a man I love very much, my late father-in-law Floyd G. Blodgett.

Stop in, grab some coffee and donuts fresh from the apple store and we'll chat about goals... plans.... using time wisely... God.... food.... chocolate.... and the hope that we're all doing our best to use up every stinkin' bit of talent the good Lord gave us!



  1. Somedays more than one of those plates hit the floor. Today, as I'm traveling(well not now, a bit later) it might be cars crashing, but I trust not. I am taking Mom to see her sister, again. We did the 996 miles in June. At 91, we never know how many times we will still see her. Glad you got to hug your grandnabies

  2. Oh Ruthy! You have no idea how much I needed this post! Since school started my schedule is crazy! Teach school til 4, gymnastics til 6, and college classes on top of that. By the time I get home, make dinner, clean house...I'm pooped and don't even want to think much less write. But I'm taking steps to fix it...I hope. I'm going to hire someone to clean my house and I'm training 2 girls to take over the gymnastics classes. Until I become Nora Roberts, I probably can't quit my day job...bummer. But at least I might be able to get some sleep. I have (and loved) His Montana Sweetheart, so no need to put me in for the drawing. :)

  3. I've got your book, dear. But haven't gotten it read yet. Saving it for the reading binge when I finish the current project.

    Besides the 3 books sold, I have 16 complete manuscripts, one partial, and one novella on my hard drive.

    Coffee aplenty is bubbling.

  4. Tell me when the reading binge time is Helen. I need one too.

    I have Ruthy's book, your first book and many more.

    I need a nap after reading Ruthy's to do list.

  5. Yes, Tina, that to do list kind of boggled me too!

  6. Inspiring is the word that came to my mind as well! I've lately been sad that I haven't made photo albums for my daughter to see all the pictures from her childhood- and your phrase about spinning wheels really struck a chord... since facebook and pinterest are the places my time can drain away :) Thanks for the reminder to go and DO! Please include me in the drawing for your book!

  7. Wow Ruthy, that is AMAZING!

    With a two year-old and a nine month-old my #1 goal right now is survival. But after that it's writing one full length (90k) ms a year. I figure, God willing, I have lots of time to write in my future but my Ninja and Squidge will only be little for a short time :)

  8. Marianne, I love that you're doing that! God bless you for taking the time (and thank you God, for giving Marianne the time needed!) to be able to travel with Mom like that. I'm so delighted to hear that!!!!!

  9. LeAnne with your crazy schedule, you know exactly what I mean! :)

    And I've done it bit by bit, I'm nothing if not patient, trying to assess the best possible time to make changes and then implementing them with people who are smarter than I am and have more experience in their fields.

    The fact that several of these are my children was another tip I picked up in "Hawaii"... as my lawyer son once said when a neighbor wanted my rooster to be quiet "Let them spend $300/hour on their lawyer. You raised your lawyer. You're pre-paid."

    Unfortunately NO ONE BECAME AN AUTO MECHANIC!!!! :) But I have a nephew who did, and he's a sweetheart.

    I love what you're doing. You're preparing for success. Go you!!!!!

  10. Helen, sipping coffee and loving it. Thank you, dear friend!

    I remember when we met in person and you and I talked about that, about finishing the book (s) and keeping on.... and Helen, you are a shining example of that work ethic.

    So stinkin' proud of you!!!!

  11. Tina, here's the pie!

    Mmmm, creamy, peachy deliciousness...


    The to-do list looks daunting, but it's really my turtle pace done daily. Some folks would have to dive into the second floor and do it all at once.

    I can't take time off from both jobs to do that, so the one day/week is plenty.

    I don't usually write in big segments, so the 1K/day and twice that on weekends is almost 10K/week. Which seems like a lot, until you break it down.

    I take little bites and spread them out, but I know not everyone is wired the same way.

  12. Melissa, back atcha!!!!

    You've undertaken a big goal with three little adorable darling, marvelous kids in the house! I'm so glad the opportunity was here for you and other young mothers because it really didn't exist in these veins thirty years ago.

    So this is AWESOME!!!!!!!

    Back then there wasn't a market for Christian romance per se, the sweet romance market was besieged by sex and now that's all turned around and we can celebrate fun, sweet, emotion-driven stories, the kind I love to read. Yay!!!!

  13. Heidi Robbins, I hear you...

    I always wanted to be that mother, the one that had it all together.

    I wasn't.

    But I baked cookies and that helped ease the blow of no scrapbooks, etc. I'm right now sorting out the boxes of pictures to hand to each kid, and they can do their own scrapbook, LOL!

    I could wax poetic about a dying mother creating a pictorial masterpiece for the child left behind, and that I'd understand, but with six kids, the younger three were lucky to have PB&J regularly while running the older ones to soccer, dancing, track, baseball, softball, etc.

    That taught me to pick my battles!

  14. Kara Isaac, that's a perfect goal!

    Kids are only little once, and if you can squeeze time out of sleeping time (and I know that's not always possible) that 90K/year is doable.

    Honestly with practice you get quicker, just like with anything and then that 90K might double.

    But yes, realistic goals and devoting some part of your weekly time to working is a huge part of time management.

    I love MISS MARTIN!!!!!

  15. Good morning Ruth,
    I made it a PRIORITY to get up early enough to read your post, as I have a 7:30 a.m. work assignment.
    I agree with all of it. But then "Ruthy is always right." I have a job, a second job, a daughter on disability, and my husband works nights and sleeps days. It's Complicated. I'm not yet up to 1K1HR, but I do SOMETHING on my writing every day and have set measurable goals. That's the only way it is going to happen. Even full-time writers have to set goals. I also constantly heed our friend Mary C's advice, "Be Ready."
    Because it's worth it.
    Please put my name in the cat dish. I was pleased to see your book in Walmart and I told my husband, "I know her!"

  16. I bake too and will NEVER give it up. I can do my chocolate chip recipe from memory. I gave up reading Facebook, just post my own stuff and if people respond they respond...I ABSOLUTELY do not play games on Facebook. I look for hobbies that are not connected to the writing and that leave me refreshed. I've made soe hard choices but it's worth it.

  17. Off to my 7:30, will try to stop in later. Ruth, I enjoy your posts and look forward to them all month.

  18. I'm going back to bed now, thankyouverymuch!

    Marianne, I wish you traveling mercies. We were on the roads yesterday for 8+ hours of the most horrendous driving I have ever encountered. My husband was just saying it was a miracle we didn't see anyone hurt.

    Ruthy, you've given me a lot to digest. Will think on it some, but today, I'm off to visit with my youngest at her new home.

  19. Kaybee, thank you! I'm printing, clipping, englarging and POSTING YOUR KIND WORDS ON MY CUPBOARD!!!!

    "Ruthy is always right."

    Hahahahahaha! Ol' Dave'll love that one, because sigh... he knows better. Thank you, dear friend!

    And you're doing what I've done, making the most of clipping time from a tough time frame. I always worry that writers search for free time too early in their published careers (having been guilty of that with other job changes in the past) and then it's re-scramble to catch up... this time I decided the time frame, I didn't listen to anyone else, I made a list of what I needed to get done, and then what I wanted to get done, and went with it.

    So if something dire happens between now and next year's plan? .... It's not the end of the world.

    The strongest authors I know (The Seekers, Holly Jacobs, Karen White, Lisa Wingate, Virginia Carmichael, Jan Drexler, Deb Smith, Nora Roberts and many more, don't hate me for not listing you!!!! ) roll with the punches and make things happen.

    I believe that's why God made us resilient creatures!

  20. Good Morning Ruthy,

    Your post has my mind spinning (does that count as plates in the air?) :)

    Your quote , "I have no idea how much time God has in my allotment barrel", really has me thinking the same.

    I intentionally slowed my speeding life down 15 years ago. I stopped working outside the home and took care of my newborn grandson full time. He is now almost 15 and still loves to come to my house, asleep in his room right now as a matter of fact. The point is relationships are everything in life to me. My time with my family is my most important goal but your to-do list has my reaccessing my other goals and brainstorming how to ramp them up. I want to use the time left in that "barrel" to be all I was meant to be.

    So THANK YOU for lighting the fire and motivating me.

    I'm glad you are so motivated to write! I'm patiently waiting for my next Ruthy fix!

  21. Thanks for the coffee, Helen!
    Thanks for the pep talk, Ruthy! Do you ever sleep? Didn't mention that in your schedule. I am now and empty-nester with one child across the country (and doing just fine without his mama nearby), one in heaven that gets to sit on the lap of Jesus everyday, and my baby off in college. You'd think I can find time to fit everything in but I still struggle. I've decided its because people I know on Seekerville write books I can't wait to read (waving at Helen and Tina for their company this past week), so I do. Pretty good use of time even if it's not producing my own writing. And Ruthy - I LOVED Try Try Again, no matter what Vince thought and that whole Kirkwood Lake thing with all those hunky heroes. His Montana Sweetheart is next up on my list. Throw my name in that cat dish, please.

  22. I'm heading back to bed now...exhausted after reading about your schedule, plans, life...

    I never learned to make goals or manage time, but I KNOW we are never too old to learn, so will copy and paste yet another post into Word to print out. I need hard copies to read over once in a while.

    Thank you for this, Ruthy. I tend to fritter away my time and flit from one thing to another. I admit it, Facebook eats up a lot of my time. Genealogy eats up even more. I don't have 6 kids--just 2, with one and his family living with us, so sometimes the grandkids can be rather demanding when I crave peace and quiet. This room now has a door on it, and I should be writing instead of doing genealogy research (can someone call my sister in CA and tell her to stop calling me with more genealogy to research, please? LOL).

    And now I MAY be taking on an almost-full-time job, mostly here at home. As another of my sisters wrote, I can write between taking phone calls.

    Please toss my name into the hat dish for your book! Thank you, and blessings, dear lady! :)


    If you say you sent it last year, I'm going to be embarrassed, but oh my stars, that shows how organized I'm not.... even though I'm forward-focused, LOL!

    You know time with family is precious and I've had to work two jobs for a long time, decades... and not by choice, but rough circumstances. I realized that immigrant families had been doing that successfully for hundreds of years so I grabbed their chutzpah and charged ahead.

    I love that you called a halt and took time to do that. I know we can't all do that, options vary, but I'm delighted that your grandson has you! #blessedkid

  24. Oh Ruthy,

    We are so a like! I love, love, love this post and hope everyone takes it to heart.

  25. Whew! An inspiring post, Ruthy. :-)

    'They' say if you want to get something done, give the job to a busy person.

    I guess that's true! :-)

  26. Haha Ruthy, I didn't send the note last year, so you aren't behind in your mail. I wish I was nearby and we could share a coffee and your peach pie and talk of all the things we've learned through the years of life and such.

    However, "knowing you" through Seekerville is the next best thing! Kindred spirits for sure.

  27. Ruthy, as always your posts inspire me to work harder, manage my time better. Your work ethic boggles my mind. I'm slowing down, but I do have 2014 goals firmly in place that I expect to meet. A five year plan? Nope.

    I'm bypassing the donuts. I'm working toward a goal of better health. More exercise, better food choices. Not much fun but necessary!


  28. Wait -- is the publishing world ready for a full-time writing Ruthy?!

    You are an inspiration, Ruthy --an exhausting one, but inspiring just the same. :-)

    I am much more productive in cool weather and it is freezing this morning so I should get to it. Wrapped in a quilt and sipping hot chocolate all the while.

  29. Ruthy, loved your point about making time for family. Nora once said in a speech that we all are juggling balls, trying to keep them all in the air. And we needed to know which balls were made of glass and be sure not to drop those. God, family... what are our glass balls?


  30. Cindy, many of us know that heartbreak of a child in heaven. I'm so dreadfully sorry that you know that personally.

    But I'm so glad you shared, and that you're looking for ways to figure out the time.

    Grabbing that time can be a great way of sharing those beautiful thoughts, dreams and memories with others!

  31. Rose!!!! :) BIG SMILE!!!!

    I hope so too, because timing is huge here, and so is family.

    And I know that when I semi-retire from torturing small children (laughing!!!!) there will be more time, but I cling to that wonderful Erma Bombeck saying about standing before God at the end of my days and saying, "I used everything you gave me."

  32. Melanie, I know what you're saying!!!!

    It's not easy. It wasn't easy when I first started and there was so much to do and kids in college and two jobs and crazy schedules.... That's when I started with the middle of the night writing. 4-6:00 AM.

    That took nothing from anyone, but gave me a stepping stone toward the dream. And once I got in the habit, I just kept doing it. It was invisible time (some folks do it at night, and that works too if you're a night owl!) but I knew, I just knew that if I wanted this dream, I had to be inventive.


    I'm so happy I did it, Melanie, but I know it's a chopped up road!


  33. Ruthy, it wasn't long ago that I said you were on your way to becoming the poster child for the person I most want to be like. I can still see it, you holding a beautiful pie, wearing some snarky expression with the caption, "Write, write, write!"

    Well, I think you've solidified that position with this post. Though I'm still not too keen on having your snarky mug staring at me from said poster.

    You've convicted me, Ruthy. Made me feel like slug. Which means I need to do better.

    Oh, man...the phrase "What would Ruthy do?" just ran through my brain. This may be enough to send me running out of the house, screaming.

    Okay, so I'm printing this post and kinda sorta promise to look at it every day. There is much in store for my family in the next three years, and that's just the planned stuff. So I'd better whip myself into shape and set some dadgum goals!

    Thanks for the conviction, er, inspiration!

  34. What can I say, Ruthy?
    I love you.
    That is all.
    Watching the time. ;)

  35. Wow Ruthy!! Thanks for sharing, and way to go!

    I appreciate the nudge to look back at my goals.

    My goals were: Finish Kentucky Snow, enter 3 contests and contact 3 agents.

    Kentucky Snow became to depressing for me. It was a romance but the hero's sister was trying to overcome a heroin addiction. The more I researched and wrote the more I pulled back. So I wrote another story and I'm editing it now.
    I entered 3 contests and got good feedback and even placed 2nd in one.
    I've contacted 2 new agents.

    Personal goals: I've lost 13 of the 15 pounds I set. I've been on the Paleo diet for over 3 months. Although I gave myself a couple of days off for 4th of July and the day I ran a 5K.

    This has been the best year for me on meeting goals.

    I'm so impressed with all the goals you and the others have met this year. Very inspirational!

  36. Ruthy, I finished His Montana Sweetheart in the wee hours of Wed. Morning. It was so good! One of the things that struck me was the way you could not tell that in this series it is written by more than one author. The characters seemed to flow the same. Job well done.

    Thank you for this timely post.

    Have a great day!

  37. Mary Hicks, I love that saying! We use that at church often, and at school when I was volunteering for kids' things, or coaching or whatever!

    Maybe it's multi-tasking and shrugging off other stuff? I don't know what makes some people more likely to jump in and take stuff on....

    But LACK OF HOUSEWORK is a huge part around here, LOL! Dust can wait... kids and writing can't!

  38. Great post Ruthy and I certainly had NO DOUBTS that you would achieve your goals. I remember you talking about them when we first met years ago. Way to go girlfriend. You have come a long way baby and you deserve it. I know how hard you work and have worked. You are a gift to all of us.

  39. Ruth, I'd love to win a copy of "His Montana Sweetheart"! and I'll head to amazon first thing in the morning to snag "Running on Empty"... I agree that family should come first; therefore, I'm parting with a bunch of money next month to take my daughter to her very 1st ACFW conference!

  40. Tracey!!!! (wipes sweat from forehead!!!!!) Laughing at myself, but so glad to be kindred spirits.


  41. You are a wise woman, Ruthy. :-) I am skipping the ACFW conference because I had two conferences I was speaking at, one before ACFW and one after. (And getting PAID for those! Hooray!) I just didn't feel like I needed to go this year, and I have to finish my next novel by Nov. 1st! Writing has to come first.

    My dream was to have a CAREER at writing, to write and publish 3 books a year, and to make enough money to take care of my kids. I should write almost 3 books this year, and still hoping I might have 3 books published next year, and definitely will have 2. :-) My spinning plates include two daughters, 16 and 12, and the 12-yr-old is keeping me on my toes with all her health problems. :-( It gets hard, because today I need to be writing, since my deadline is very tight, and I also need to finish reading through my galley for the book that comes out in Nov. AND I'll be getting edits on yet another book either today or tomorrow. Whenever it starts to feel stressful, I remind myself how much I love writing, everything about it, and that I am living my dream! This is what I prayed for, promising God, "I can handle it! I know I can!" Haha. ;-) Now I have to cowgirl up and prove it! :-)

  42. Oh, and I have to take her to the doctor today, an emergency trip, something that just popped up this morning. Did I mention that I am NOT a Type A, high energy, always-loves-to-be-on-the-go type of person? I'm Southern! I like things slow! Ha!

  43. Janet, good girl on skipping the virtual donuts!!!!


    I'm proud of you! I however, am indulging!!!! We do have homemade Boston Creme Pie here, it was kind of an accident, but a good one!

    The five year plan is something we've always done, honestly, Janet, it was probably SELF-PRESERVATION or keeping us from killing someone!!! In five years we can do THIS, in five more years this one will be out of college and we can do THAT... so it became a habit. And it's one that my kids use now, too, so it's passed on.

    Now the five year plan is loose, but it gives us an end-game. So for me it's clutch in how to get up the steps I want to climb with no helicopter rescue in sight!

  44. And I really shouldn't be here in Seekerville, leaving long comments, but ... I needed to see some friendly faces and hear--at least in my mind--your friendly voices! Okay, now back to work! And to the doctor!

  45. Kav!!! Amen to the quilt, LOL!

    I'm much better in cooler weather too, so I wonder if that affects the speed and balance of North v. South, the whole "New York Minute" thing.

    But I honestly think I was just born that way, so accident of genetics without homicidal intent... That's a good thing!


    So whether we are born with natural ambitious instinct (which we tame to make family a priority) or we develop the instinct to provide for family (which we push ourselves to do) if we end up at the same end-game, living our dream, I think that's just stinkin' marvelous!

  46. Janet!!!! I've never heard that, but I love it!!!

    Yes, God, family, devotion to helping others... those would be mine off the top of my head. And keeping time to make fun of Connealy and drive Teeeeena mad. So vitally important to the happiness of my everyday existence. :)

    And remember that song/hymn I love, "Make My Life an Alleluia"???

    I see that song as having prayer be the essence of action. Mother Teresa is an "end spectrum" example of that, so what if we do the same thing through our writing (touching hearts and souls in healing and forgiveness) and through our actions (extending ourselves beyond our comfort zone daily) but in our own ways because there's a reason Mother Teresa was so special. She was amazing day and night, so if we clip 10% of her wonderfulness, how much better a world we'd be in???

    Janet, identifying those glass balls! Thank you!

  47. Mindy O, I'm just a bossy snot, do not listen to me!!! What are you thinking, girlfriend????

    I don't mean that, of course, because surely you should listen because you DO have all that stuff coming up! That's the best time to do this because I can look ahead and (by figuring the 1K/day plus a little extra on weekends) see what I can handle without killing people.

    That's clutch!!!! :) Love you, kid and I'm kind of laughing because I think haunting you has just made my egocentric day!


  48. I'm going to quote you..."The dust can wait." Can't wait to try that out on the hubby.

  49. KC!!!!

    Love you right back. We dog folks and writer folks must stick together!!!!

  50. I read this post and now I'm exhausted!!!!

    NOBODY does work ethic like Ruthy Logan Herne!!!!

    Excuse me while I sweep up some broken china.

  51. Uh oh, I'm pretty sure I've wasted Ruthy's time once or twice (or one thousand times)

    Too bad for you, Ruthy!

  52. Love everything you said, Ruthy, and my timing was perfect this morning since I wrote a chapter before opening up social media. Words flow better for me early in the morning, yet I like to sleep late from staying up late. Old Ben would shake his head.

    Time management gets more important the older I get. I've learned to delegate, to reserve time for family, and ignore those rooms in my house screaming for attention. Now I have a new motto. "Get your butt up earlier in the morning."

  53. Excuse me while I go take a nap after reading that post!!


    Ruthy, you amaze me. I aspire to be more like you. Seriously. When I'm feeling sluggish, I imagine you running around like the Energizer Bunny, kicking me in the rear to get going.

  54. LeAnne, what a crazy schedule! But it sounds like hiring help will make a big difference. Good for you!

  55. I have a judge Blodgett in Tried and True.

    just fyi

  56. Ruthy this is so inspiring.

    I'm so glad you LISTENED when I was teaching you how to work.


  57. Very inspiring. Seriously.

    I now feel like a pond scummed with laziness. :( Nice job, Mz Logan-Herne

  58. Sandra, yes!!!! We had lots of long talks, I loved them! And we've both had fun on both sides of the writers/authors playing field.

    I love it!

  59. Melanie!! I can't believe you have a 16 year old now!! I thought your girls were still little.

    My "baby" will be 18 next month. So hard to believe.

  60. DJ, I hope you love Running on Empty! And yes, you're in the cat dish for His Montana Sweetheart, a story I love... Coming home isn't always easy, but it can be an amazing soul-stirring experience...

    Or gut-wrenching. But with God, all things are possible!

  61. Melanie Dickerson, that's my girl!!!!

    You know, I know it's fun to go but you weighed options and made decisions.... and I know it's hard, but girl!!! You did it!

    Health problems with kids are hard, but how wonderful to have a job at home, writing. God's timing is especially perfect in your life, time to be mom and time to make money. Hang in there and stay tough!

    Type B's ROCK TOO!!!!!

  62. Jackie, LOL!!!! "The dust can wait"....

    Ol' Dave knows better than to worry about dust because he tracks in more dirt and dust and kebobble than most mere mortals.

    But I do like a little organization, hence the second floor project.

    And emptying box after box of "Why Did I Save This????"


  63. Connealy, time with you is never wasted. If it was, I'd make fun of you about it. Openly. In a public forum. Like this one.

  64. Yay for five year plans!

    I'm with you, Ruthy - I hate spinning wheels. If something isn't working right or blessing someone, it just isn't worth wasting time on.

    Way back in the early days of my writing (was it only 4 years ago?), I told my husband I wanted a career like Debbie Macombers (BTW - that was before I knew any of you lovely people!).

    My husband's response was less than enthusiastic - "How long has it taken her? Twenty years?"

    But wouldn't we all love to be working toward a lofty goal for twenty years than decide it's too much or too long?

    Long-term goals are what steer our compasses. They're the north star we use to navigate our lives. Without goals - in all areas of our lives - we're just sailing in circles.

    I've been considering hiring someone to clean my house once in a while. My children used to do it, but now that they're all working/school/living, nobody has been doing it! I do think I could convince my husband the value of the return on that investment :)

  65. Hey Ruthy,

    I really need this right now. This is what I've been juggling for the past few weeks:

    Revisions to Love Inspired book, Revisions to Bethany House book (due in a few days), RELEASE OF FIRST BOOK (Yay!) and all the blogs, etc. to promote it, taking my mother to doctor appointments and to see Retirement homes, having my mother-in-law here visiting and making appointments to see apartments here for her, a sick cat, a moth-infested basement, my daughter's 21st birthday, my husband getting injured and stitches in the head!

    To say I am a little stressed is a BIG understatement, but through it all, I'm juggling those plates!!

    Thank goodness I'm starting 2 weeks vacation on Friday. After taking my MIL back home, I will get some much needed R&R, tackle the infestation anew and hopefully WRITE on my new book!

    Whew. Thanks for letting me share that - although when I read your timetable, I don't feel so bad!


  66. Ruthy, I had no idea you weren't a full-time writer now. Thanks for the great suggestions, which I really need to follow. I had a whole summer with a huge list of writing goals and household projects, of which I did almost none. I don't know where the time went, either. School has started now and I will soon be subbing again no doubt. But I know I can do it just like so many of you write and work full time as well.
    I have to say, though, that my son has been home from college this summer and I have thoroughly enjoyed the time with him. He goes back a week from today and I will miss him.

  67. Cindy, I wanted to say that I also have a child in heaven. I liked the image of her sitting in the lap of Jesus everyday, as you said.

  68. Hey Ruthy. Didn't realize you have family in good ole NC. I live in the Southern Mtns of this beautiful state! Lived in the same town all my life. Hope you think it's as pretty as I do!!

    Hope you'll toss my name in the cat dish!!

  69. Ruthy, you're an inspiration and a whole lot like my own mom, both with learned wisdom (and sharing it generously) and the whole git 'er done - but only the worthwhile tasks thing.

    that said, I'm guilt ridden by the amount of time I know I waste. I'm taking baby steps to rectify it. I'm keeping my little guy and hubby forefront on time priorities and since the Killer Voice contest, I've given myself permission to apply time to writing. I didn't do that before because I wasn't sure about my skill level. (btw, uber revise and resend request, praying for guidance as i work through Shana's notes)

    thanks for posting this as a reminder to take little bites to accomplish the big things. i guess that's the whole being faithful in the little stuff so God can bless with the big stuff process.

    please put my name in the cat dish for a copy of your book. the only downside to your keeping up with your goals is that my budget may not be able to handle getting my hands on all your books to read - but then again, that's what libraries are for, right?

  70. Jan Drexler isn't it funny how the perspective makes all the difference?

    I don't think Dave ever saw the dream in my years of working... but once it started, he's very happy because I'm getting paid, LOL.

    Oh. Men. Oh. My.

    But yeah, I know a bunch of authors who get a little household help in because they'd rather help someone at church or in a mission in their non-writing time, than dust and vacuum. :)

    I'm with you!!!!!

  71. Myra, LOL!!!!

    (rushes south with broom and dustpan in hand!!!!!)

    We all drop some plates. But we've got brooms and our God is the God of second chances!

    Love that!

  72. Elaine Manders, get your butt over to 1K1HR in the AM and work with me!!!!! Even if I've stopped for a bit, jump in and we'll work virtually together!


    I love that most of us are in agreement about the dust factor, LOL!

    We won't become hoarders, but we will only dust rarely. Life is toooooo short!

  73. LOL ... woke up raring to go this morning, but after reading Ruthy's schedule, I AM D-R-A-G-G-I-N'!!! ;)

    Clearly not everyone has the energy and motivational level of Ruthy or Mary, but we DO all have a level to aspire to, and I will say that Ruthy and Mary have inspired me more than authors I know, so THANK YOU, my friends, for cheering us all on.

    Okay ... emails done, Seeker comments done, treadmill/exercises done, Bible/prayertime done, phone calls made and done to daughter, friend, and dentist, so I am NOW heading off to write on my shaded deck with a K-cup of Cinnabon coffee and a Fiber One bar till the sun goes down except for a little thing called dinner ...

    Life is good ... ;)


  74. Missy, Mindy says I'm haunting her... If I'm haunting you too, that just makes my day brighter!!!! :)

    "And this is our haunting friend, Ruthy...." LOL!

  75. Judge Blodgett.... I'm not telling Dave, he'll assume it's him!

    And of course I listened Connealy. You talk.... I jump.

    It's how it is.

  76. Susan, I know! Your case is extreme right now because those contracts landed on you boom, boom! And then the responsibilities (while still writing) of normal life/job, etc. are tough... but you'll get used to them...

    pass the coffee, darling. :)

    Keep up the good work and let me know or e-mail me to kibbitz and we'll laugh and eat virtual chocolate!

  77. Love your vision, Ruthy, and your discipline! You rock!

    Bought HIS MONTANA SWEETHEART at my local Kroger grocery! Can't wait to read.

    I'm big on goals...or was until the last few years. Now, I'm just happy where I'm at. You've spurred me on to have a plan for my next five years. Which I'll do after my next deadline. :)

    Hugs and love! So thrilled about your success.

  78. Ruthy, I forgot to say to throw my name in for "His Montana Sweetheart." It looks good. I am also planning to download "Running on Empty" to my kindle tomorrow. It looks good, too.

  79. "Try, Try, Try"

    Don’t spin your wheels
    Don’t cool your heels
    And never ever retire

    Write, write, write:
    It works so well
    when all those words
    begin to sell

    But smell the roses --
    Take time to love
    And store your
    up above

    Try, try, try
    with six books in the can
    to leave your heirs
    when you go meet the Man.

  80. Sandy
    "Running on Empty" is excellent!

    just sayin'...

  81. Hi Ruth:

    I think you got me into a lot of hot water!

    Last night as I was checking out of Wal-Mart, the matron behind me saw my credit card and grabbed my shoulder and turned me around to face her. She had the meanest look I've seen on a woman since my fifth grade nun held a yard stick and called me ‘Master Mooney’.

    “You’re Vince, aren’t you?”

    “I’m one of them but I’m not exactly like ‘The Donald.’”

    “I want to know why you trashed, “Try, Try, Try!” At this point she started poking my chest with her index finger.

    “It’s “Try, Try, Again.”

    Again means the same thing as a third ‘Try’ so don’t be changing the subject.”

    “I loved “Try, Try, Again.” I gave it the best 5-star review of all the 93 reviews it has on Amazon.”

    “No excuses, Marine!”

    “I’m not a Marine. I’m Air Force; we’re allowed to make excuses. We can fly planes. They need us.”

    “My husband is a Marine and we know where you live. You better explain that bad review, dogface.”

    Dogface is Army.”

    “I meant that literally, now explain.”

    “It was a great review.”

    “No, it wasn’t. I have it from the horse’s mouth that you trashed it.”

    “What horse?”

    “Don’t change the subject again! Do you really think Ruth has never been here to Tulsa?”

    “I drove her around Tulsa to show her the sights when she was here the last time.”

    “You know her! And you still trashed her book…like that?” The woman put her hand to her heart like she was going to die. "Such infamy".

    “I didn’t trash her book. If the review was any better, Amazon would think Ruth wrote it herself and investigate.”

    “Oh, you’re a cute one, your are. But let me tell you this, if you ever write that book of yours, I’m going to give it minus five stars and so are the ladies in my church book club.”

    Finally the lady left in a righteous huff. Way up near the exit, sitting on the 'bored-to-death-husband' bench, was her six foot six, three hundred pound, bruiser of a husband. He stood and took over rolling the shopping cart out the door. Poor man. I could tell he was used to taking orders.

    Now the bad news: that lady goes to my wife’s church!!!

    I think this is a case where I have offer this whole travail up for the greater glory of the Lord. At least that’s what my fifth grade nun would say as I experienced the business end of that yardstick. : )

  82. Sandy, the time goes crazy quick, doesn't it?

    I do the writing first thing that way no matter what happens through the craziness of the day, the writing is done. I keep it simple. I read the pages I did the previous time, write for ninety minutes +/-, done....

    And then I start my work day. But that way I've paid myself ahead of time! No matter what happens, the writing is done. Sweet.

    Those babies/children in heaven.

    Motherhood isn't an easy road, but God's grace makes us strong.

  83. Lisa Murray, yay for NC!!!!

    They love living there, they love the area, and the kids enjoy it!

    It's a beautiful state, but I've yet to make it into the hills, "Jan Karon's Mitford" country. That's where you are, right?

    Love those descriptions in her books!!!! You're in the cat dish!

  84. Jules!!!! Cinnabon coffee, oh be still my heart! And a FIBER ONE bar, oh that's so funny. What happened to youth?????

    I love the energy we share so freely here, and that's the amazing thing about Seekerville. So many authors, so many villagers, all different, but joined in faith, hope and love.

    This whole thing rocks!!!

  85. Deb Giusti, hello to you my beautiful friend!!!! You know we talk about this, the ups and downs, the speed of life and work, etc... and it's so fine to each find our own way. Isn't that God's plan for us, to gift us with varying talents and time frames?

    I do love a five-year overview with flexible wings, LOL!

  86. Vince, my good friend, LOL, I love it!!!!


    You made me laugh! Oh, how funny that is and true!

    You know these awful kids used to add up which way they made the MOST MONEY BY OUR DEMISE....

    It turns out Dave and I paid out best if we went home to God while the house burned down.

    Callous, cruel kids!!! :)

    They were kidding, I think, but I do hide the long lighters for the grill when they come home!

    Cautionary tale.

  87. Thank you Ruthy for saying time with me is never wasted.

    (Why do I feel like I've gotten a pat on the head?)

  88. Well, a few years back I was in the hospital for gall bladder surgery and my children and husband began circulating a 'do no resuscitate' petition. I understand a few nurses signed!

  89. Oh, Vince, that is not true!!!!! Tell me that's not a true story.


    We/I didn't say you didn't like it... but that you wondered about a hero who cheated on his wife, and who had such a surly past....

    And it was (scans memory, comes up with nothing, so blames TINA!!!!) Tina's fault!


    We were actually wondering how you and Walt see romances. If the hero grabs you first, his predicament, his story, or if it's the heroine's plight that draws a man into the story.

    What say you, big guy?

    And I ultimate: You could have taken that guy. In a heartbeat. :)

  90. Vince!!! LOL!!! Possible best comment in Seekerville ever. Seriously Vince, you should write books!!!!!!!!!!!!

  91. Of course he could have taken the GUY, Ruthy. The guy was probably in full 'kill me now' mode with that old bat for a wife.

    The wife though, you'd have had your hands full with her!!!!!

  92. I've got His Montana Sweetheart on my end table right now.

    HOWEVER, in a slight mixup, (blame vacation) I bought His Montana Sweetheart first, then I got Stranded with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe in the mail when I first got home. (y'all are both writing cowboys now, I noticed, great idea!!! Wish I'd thought of it!!!)

    So it was RIGHT THERE and who doesn't want to be stranded with a cowboy right?
    So I opened it and now I'm hooked and Ruthy's book is LANGUISHING on the end table. Must remember to dust Ruthy's book before reading it!!!!!


  94. Mary, be kind to the woman who gored Vince with her index finger. That's not a big deal. Besides she was on Ruthy's side and is obviously a Villager. I say good for her. Vince is military. He can take it.


  95. Tina, when did your book release? I must have it! Is it on the shelves NOW? I thought September.

    By the way, I love your new photo!


  96. Ruthy, you've got it together, girl! I still don't know how you do it.

  97. Ruthy, I so enjoyed this post! I especially love "LOL, my kids are planning to retire by my age, I'm just setting up accounts, but that's okay: I'm on target to make my dreams come true!" This will have to be printed out and taped to the board above my desk. Makes me feel like I can make my dreams come true too!

  98. True, Janet. True. Vince was heroic. And whatever he said that the woman didn't like she loved Ruthy.

    So it's allllll good.

  99. "So if something dire happens between now and next year's plan? .... It's not the end of the world."

    And thank heavens for that!

    So many of my goals have been derailed this year that I'm a bit wary of setting new ones. Hmm. I wonder ... if I don't set any goals, does that mean I could actually accomplish them?

    Worry if what I just wrote makes sense to you :-)

    Nancy C

  100. I *still* don't know how you do it all, Ruthy! At one point when my children were young and the pages of my calendar were always too full, I had a meltdown of sorts. I felt like I had to do it all but couldn't.

    It took me a long time to come to your "not everyone is wired the same way" realization. Eventually I discovered things about A and B personalities, and determined what I needed in order to function and retain my sanity. I had to stop comparing myself with others, too, and expecting myself to be the perfect pastor's wife, mother, homemaker, teacher, etc., because I simply couldn't handle that kind of stress. I'm a slow-and-steady kind of person. Now I've learned it's okay to say the occasional "Sorry, but no" and to set goals that are realistic for me. Then I plod along until they're reached.

    That's not to say I don't admire (and even envy) the vitality that people like you exhibit, and all that you get accomplished. I wish I could function at your energy level, but I accept that my approach is different. Whenever I start spinning plates, I regularly drop a few. Thank goodness for melamine!! ;)

  101. Carol that is very wise.

    Always remember there is no one right way to write a book. Every author has to find out what works for them.
    All our advise is just us telling you what works for us and you need to find out what works for YOU!

  102. Have you all noticed that Ruthy has VANISHED!!!

    Could it be a crime?

    Has she been TAKEN!!!???

    Her last comment was at 3:22.

    I would be worried if I didn't know that 'Up At 4 a.m. Girl' has a bedtime shortly after 3:22.

    Sweet Dreams, Ruthy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  103. Oh, I admire your discipline. I need to get on track and get with the program. Thanks for the kick in the rear.

  104. Christina, isn't the irony of that so funny????? I was laughing about that with lawyer boy last week, because I'm arranging for my later years....

    Because clearly I'm no wear near them now, LOL!

  105. I will take a back seat to Tina ANYTIME, Mary....

    And her cover rocks the big kahuna, I love the snowy look and because it is COLD AND WET here, I think my summer respite has been declared officially OVER by mother nature!

    The brat.

  106. I can totally see my family doing that, Mary. They're such brats, I have to count the stainless when they leave.


    You know, I love the support they've given me, all kidding aside. What a fun ride! And I get to spoil them all this weekend and then back to work.... but when you love what you do this much, can you really call it work?

  107. Well, I've always felt the LOVE from my buddy Vince, but I love that my readers are ready to leap to my defense!!!!

    Because I'm trying my best, here, you know the plates spinnin', the ground movin', the earth shakin' and wheels.... Spinnin' them thar wheels is tough!

  108. Terri Weldon, you're welcome, honey!!!!


    Of course Mary taught me everything I know.

    (She's standing behind me, watching my type....)

  109. LOL, Mary!!!! I had to watch little ones in the late afternoon, they only sleep so long!

    And then we had pictures done for our new church directory and we decided "casual" would be fun so that's what we did this evening.... and then a bucket of Kentucky Fried chicken that we wolfed down in proper romantic fashion (laughing!!!!) and Seekerville. I will confess by 8:00 the chicken came first!

  110. Carol Garvin, you've learned the lesson we all need to learn... to do it our way.

    And I know I'm manic when it comes to planning/working/accomplishments but it's not in a bad way because I'm not in JAIL.... so clearly I'm either very, very clever or within the limits of the law...

    But I know folks who are type B who are focused and driven, they just don't fragment well, and that sounds like what you described.

    And what's wrong with that???? Not a thing. I think it's the regularity of working at something that builds our successful platform. And knowing when you need help. So this year, in order to make the leap to new publishers and indie books, I had to put out a bunch of "paycheck" money to buy time. In the end, everyone wins!

  111. Nancy C., I've learned to roll with the punches... And I really don't come unglued over things unless it's well...


    Death does me in, every time. But other than that, I'm pretty calm and flexible. So while I'm dogged about getting my work in daily, I pick a time to do it when it doesn't bother anyone else or take from their time with me so there's a NO GUILT factor. I get guilted easily, so this helps!!! And yeah, if this year hasn't worked out well, we plan for next year.


  112. Jackie!!!!! I just scrolled back up and saw you!!!!

    First, the weight goal: Awesome, chickie!!!! That's so tough in a sit-down job! Go you!!!! I love that you're working on goals and meeting them. That's awesome, Jackie! And Connealy gave me great advice a bunch of years back... Make 'em laugh. You can touch on really raw subjects if you can make people laugh.

    And she was right.

    Please don't tell her I said that!!!! :)

  113. Thanks, Ruthy! Loved your post. Hubby and I just returned from a month long trip along the west coast (living out of our truck camper), and then camping for a few days with our precious grandkids....and first son and Mount Rainier National Park! Great fun! Finding time to do all the important things does mean time management. You, as always, are an inspiration! :)

  114. WILANI!!!!! I swear on a stack of old hand towels you and Jackie weren't there when I was here earlier!!!! I would have never skipped youse guys!

    Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean so much to me, to all of us! I think every author, at least all of the ones that I know, want to please the reader. If you please the reader (like Vince's Rewards per Page idea) then they'll come back.

    And they'll bring their friends!!!

    So glad you enjoyed it and glad you're here!

  115. Sherida, what fun!!!!

    A month.

    And he's not dead????

    What's your secret, honey, come close and tell Ruthy all about it... :)

    I've often wondered if Dave and I would be able to spend long periods of time together.... and survive.

    You've give me hope.

  116. Mary Curry!!!!

    Oh have fun with the move, dear one.... and grab a nice NYC coffee for me, won't you???

    You think on this once the kid is moved because I understand how important/crazy/fun/tiring that is!

    And I got an inside view of how people "move" in Manhattan two weeks back when we helped Zach move... so funny. People were eyeing his stuff on the sidewalk, wondering if someone had just dumped it there even though I was standing guard. It was the funniest thing ever! I had to intervene twice and tell people it wasn't there for the taking.

    Oh, yeah. Story fodder!!!!

  117. Ruthy, this is amazing! And inspiring! I really need to pray about my short term and long term goals, what they are and the steps I need to take to make them happen. Thanks for sharing this with us! I'm so excited about your 4 (or was it 5?) contracted books!!! Yay!

  118. Natalie, good morning and thank you, sweet thing! Praying about goals is huge. Too high and we feel bad when/if we fall short. Too low and we know we're being slackers.

    I should have emphasized that more, because living that prayer is a big part of making this work.


  119. Mary Preston, good to see you! Thank you!!!

  120. My writng time keeps getting gobbled up. My empty-nest is full of adult children and grandkids. My part-time job is emporarily full-time while they try to hire new help. And this week my hubby and a few others in my hosuehold are sick. This month and next aregoing to be jammed full of life. I try at a minimum to devote a whole morning to writing. At elast one early morning before work I get some done. Now that my job took away some of my normal days off it is a real challenge. This to will pass.

  121. RUTHY!!!! Yes, I am a DAY LATE (sooo sorry - - still not sure what happened to Thursday?).
    But wanted to say THANK YOU and as usual...I LOVED your post (honest!) - - it's going to the front of my Keeper Files.
    SO excited I bought your book last week! But Delilah ( my kitty who posed with your book) says I MUST get my proposal finished and sent in BEFORE I get to read my newest Ruthy book. So, who am I to argue with a beautiful calico kitty? ;)
    But I can't wait to start reading it - - very, very soon!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  122. His Montana Sweetheart would be on the top of my pile of "must read"s. Even if I did not find time to read the post until today. My Mom had a plate she called "Ol' Spinny" simply because it was impossible to hold the toddler on your lap and cut your meat...the plate would spin away from the diner. Mom entertained anyway, and one day way down the line she could afford new plates. Miss her immensely.

  123. Wow, I am telling Ruth, if I ever get this van fixed I will bring the kids for a play day and you will just have to make some of your goodies and I will bring out specialties as well. More imperative that I fix the van soon as I now have my 3 grandchildren here with us. Hiring or asking for help. might have to do that since I am starting school myself to finally take up Graphic Design , I love art and always have but put it off to raise kids and be married, live life... So here I am at 50 going to school online.
    Your one amazing woman ! God is so awesome.
    Blessings and Much Love
    Linda Marie Finn
    Faithful Acres Books