Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Part I: How Does Your Speedbo Garden Grow?

Photo by Pam Hillman
Since my novella in the With This Kiss Historical Collection deals with farming, I must have gotten bitten by the farming and gardening bug. And the more I pondered the mess my characters were in, the more I realized that writing is a lot like gardening.

Photo by Pam Hillman

First, I mean NO disrespect to our resident Marys, or to anybody named Mary anywhere. I am sure that most people named Mary are NOT contrary.

So, with that disclaimer in place, let’s talk about your Speedbo garden! I’m so excited to see how many words everyone is planting this month, and I know you didn’t get to this stage of your Speedbo gardening project willy-nilly. There was a lot of preparation ahead of time, right?

Choose Your Plot

First, you had to decide where to plant, or rather, what story you wanted to tell. As is usually the case in the first blush of spring, this is the most exciting part… the part where an idea floods your thoughts like the first burst of sunlight after a long, dreary winter. It’s all you can think about for weeks, until your fingers are itching to start digging in the dirt, or at the very least to grab your laptop and start typing.
Photo by Pam Hillman
Prepare the Ground

Tilling the ground for a garden is backbreaking work, but it has to be done if you’re going to have a successful harvest. So, once you decide where to plant, you know you have to get to work. Now, for some that means mapping out your story very loosely in your head, for others, it means a very detailed synopsis.

Some might write everything on little sticky notes, or in a spreadsheet, or in Scrivener. Whatever method you use to prepare the ground to sow your story words, it must have worked, because here you are, on the FOURTH AND FINAL WEEK of Speedbo, still sowing away. Good job!

Photo by Pam Hillman

Gather Seed, Tools, and Supplies

But I'm getting ahead of myself. If you’re like me, as soon as spring hits, I tend to buy before I prepare the ground. As soon as I see all the rows and rows of flats of bright flowers in the gardening center, I can hardly resist buying a bunch, adding 50 lbs of potting soil, as well as a new shovel (because My Cowboy has absconded with the last one). I usually need a new hoe or least have to get the old one sharpened before I can even begin to think about digging. But none of that stops me from dreaming.

Photo by Pam Hillman

Since we’re on day 24 of Speedbo, and many of you have been merrily sowing away for over three weeks, then it’s safe to say that you had an ample supply of words and ideas to work with. You have your tools on hand: computers, pen and pencil, alphasmart. iPad, dictionaries, thesaurus, character sheets, Pinterest boards. Music! And every farmer or gardener needs nourishment after working all day in the blistering heat of the day. You stocked up on coffee, tea, sodas, and water. You pulled out the ol’ crockpot so that meals would be a snap. (My grandmother would have loved to have such a device while working in the fields!) And, I know, I know, I know as sure as cockles grow, that you have CHOCOLATE on hand, yes???

Photo by Pam Hillman

Planting Days!

What seeds are you planting in March? 


Lots and lots and LOTS of words. Tens of thousands of words. Keep planting, friends. You are so close to the end of planting season. Only seven more days to go. You might have had to weather a few storms that kept you out of the fields this month, but as soon as the sun came out and dried up your cares and worries, like any good farmer, you hooked up your mule and started planting. A bit of rain and mud can’t keep you down.

In a few more days, you’ll look over your field of words, anxiously waiting to see them flourish and turn into an ORGANIZED story. But there’s still work to be done. Stay tuned for next month when we’ll discuss Part II of How Does Your Speedbo Garden Grow?

In the meantime, keep sowing those words!!!

And... today's giveaway is a humongous pack of Wildflower Seeds guaranteed to draw butterflies and hummingbirds to your Spring garden OR if you're not a gardener, an e-copy of With This Kiss, either Contemporary or Historical, winner's choice.


  1. I'm doing more weeding and pruning, otherwise known as editing, than planting. But I've gotten some planting done as well.

    And I've found a bigger coffee pot, since there are so many Speedbo-ers doing late hours. It's brewing.

  2. I feel like my Speedbo garden is being planted with lots of wild dancing! I am delighted each time something new comes up from what small idea sparked before it. I know that I will be only halfway through my story by the time my first foray into Speedbo is over, but I am so excited about being halfway there and learning more every day.

    I am hoping that the seeds of persistence will continue to blossom along with the story that has grown in my heart and on my laptop. :)

    Thank you for hosting this wonderful event! I feel so much purpose FINALLY in my writing!

    Okay. Bedtime here in AZ. I have a gift drive in the morning at 6 am.

  3. Hi Pam, I love the analogy with gardening. You've almost made me want to go out and garden. My hubby won't let me touch ours. My thumb is nowhere close to green. And I love the idea of gardening as I love the outdoors. Guess its best to leave it to you experts.

    However, I do love writing.

    Congrats to all the Speedbo progress. Yay

  4. Helen, Thanks for the coffee but I hear my pillow screaming my name. Happy writing.

  5. I got Spring fever today! And, I booked Mom and my flight back to Alberta today, too. Felt like I got a lot of little jobs done...and that was b fore 10:00 this morning! By 11;00 this am my spurt of energy had about fizzled out. I would LOVE a copy of either or both WITH THIS KISS! Thanks, Pam for giving me a lovely post today!

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  7. I'm sticking around with mug in hand until Helen's coffee is ready. (You make an awesome brew, Helen!)

    The gardening analogy is so appropriate -- all that planning, researching the right plants for each location and babying them along, revising their positions if necessary.

    There's also a comparison with dead plants -- knowing when to give up and toss out things that aren't thriving. I'll have to keep all this in mind when I get to the revision stage. Thanks, Pam.

  8. My girl would be all over the seed packet giveaway, hopefully she got her thumb from either of her grandmothers, does gardening prowess skip generations, because I definitely did not get it.

    I am halfway through my book editing.....and today, my line edit came in. So, goal change!

    BTW those that know my crit partner Naomi Rawlings who hangs out here too, she's going to be in the hospital for the next few months, the baby has stopped growing, if you'd like to keep up with updates so you can pray for her, I just set her up with a facebook page.
    Grace for Baby Eliana

  9. Can't wait to get my grubby little hands on both of these collections! I'm loving all the novellas coming out of Seekerville. They fun, fast to read and a real bargain. Thanks for giving us so many stories for our entertainment.

  10. Oh Yeah!
    That was me being quite contrary. Wonderful post, Thank you Pam.

  11. Wonderful analogy, Pam, and perfectly timed!

    And I do the same thing, buy first and then rush to get things in because the ground isn't ready. Up here, though, you don't always have dry enough weather in spring to get things ready, and when it's finally time, the garden stores might be picked over. Such a wonderful conundrum to have!!!

    Great post, great coffee!

  12. Carol Garvin, what a great line:

    There's also a comparison with dead plants...

    You're spot on!

    Knowing when and what to prune. God bless editors, they're a huge, "fresh-eyed" help in that department!

  13. Great analogy Pam. The men in my family were always the gardeners. Unfortunately the females in the family didn't grow green thumbs. It's a shame too as my favorite color is green. :)

    I would love to win either of the With This Kiss sets.

    Keep on Speedboing.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  14. Love the garden analogy. This month has given me many seeds to work with. Thank you seekers for all the great articles that will provide fertilizer and gardening tools to shape and weed out my garden. Still hoping to win a critique.

  15. I enjoyed your post so much. Twenty years ago, I took up gardening. I. n that time I've lived in three houses and never once did I get to start with a well-tended garden. I've enjoyed the process and the rewards. Last week on my way home from vacation, my husband and I discussed the possibility of not planting veggies this year and not adding any new flowers. I want to write during the time I'd garden.

    This has been a great month with Speedbo. I've been working on a couple of writing projects, attended a writers' conference, and I think I can still make my Speedbo goal.

    I enjoy coming here in the mornings for inspiration. Thanks for all you do!

  16. I caught the gardening bug from my mom who would plant seeds no matter how long we were going to live in a place. Often she didn't get to harvest the fruits of her labor, but she always left goodies behind for others to discover. I plan on harvesting the crop I've planted this month. It's still growing, but can the end of April be far away? Thanks to Seekerville and Speedbo for "rooting" me on! And I'd love to win anything you have to give.

  17. Pam, I like your gardening analogy. :-)

    I can truly say I haven't had a busier month since this time last year! Everything that could happen has happened—without question.

    But Speedbo has taught me that I can do it. I can write at least 1000 words a day and still have a life.

    I've learned the 'sweet spot' for my writing time is from 4:30 to 8:30 am. No phone calls, my mind is rested and functions at it's best. And whatever comes up later I can handle it with peace of mind because I've already got my word count and my bible study for the day.

    I go to bed early. :-)

    Speedbo! Speedbo! Yay!

  18. Thanks for the post, Pam. I'm not much of a gardener. I love beautiful flowers and fresh veggies, but I tend to sunburn and/or get poison ivy, which makes me dislike yard/garden work. I keep hoping when I am able to retire from the day job (seven more years) I'll develop a love of gardening because I'll be able to get out in the early morning hours before the heat of the day.

    At the moment, my Speedbo garden looks sadly neglected. I am one week post-op on my shoulder surgery, and between anesthesia induced brain-fog, physical therapy, and just overall soreness, I've only managed to add a couple hundred words in the past seven days. I did manage to write my blurb and polish my first page to send to the HQN Love Inspired Blurb to Book contest.

    I'm on Spring Break this week, so I'm working to add words to my Speedbo garden in between physical therapy sessions.

  19. Pam, I enjoyed your post. Loved the spring pictures and the analogy. I'm not much of a gardener, but my speedbo garden is flourishing. The kids are on Spring Break. They go to school online, so this week I'll be able to type away.

  20. Pam, love your analogy! And all the words SpeedBoers have planted! Would be fun to know the total.

    My SpeedBo goal was to revise a manuscript. I finished yesterday. Excited to have finished early.

    Praying God will plant a new dream in my heart for the story that He wants told.


  21. Pam,thank you for this analogy. It is so perfect. I have been planting a lot of seeds this month and am nearly through. But now must also do the preparation work for a new one so I can enter the blurb 2 book.

    I would love either of the Seeker collections. Actually I want to have both when they come out.

  22. Melissa, I am so sorry about Naomi's problems with the baby. I will be praying and I will go to the facebook page.

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  24. Love the beautiful pix today, Pam--and the very appropriate gardening analogies for writing our novels!

    From my writing chair I can see the top branches of our backyard dogwood tree. The little buds are just SO ready to pop out, and I can hardly wait!

  25. MELISSA, thanks so much for sharing the link for Naomi's page. Praying for her and for Baby Eliana!

  26. My rototiller is broke. Spent a lot of time trying to fix it. Now I must get the hoe out and do the best I can before planting season is over.

    But alas, we have another beautiful day. I must use my time wisely so I'm going to get busy!

    Thanks for the perfect analogy. I need to get rid of a few dogs (or put out the trusty hotwire fence) before I plant too many things around the house. I have one dane who loves to dig!

  27. Good morning, Seekerville! The birds are chirping, the coffee's dripping, and the sun is shining here in good ol' Mississippi. It's going to be a beautiful day! :)

    Helen, I'm laughing about your pruning and weeding. You must have planted some of those earlier crops. Smart!

  28. Kelly, I love your enthusiasm, and I can just see you dancing in your garden field with words. No, not just dancing...WILDLY DANCING. :)


    YES! Keep those persistence seeds well-watered.

  29. Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Sandra called me an expert gardener. Lady, that is so far from the truth! If you only knew.

    But I'm a fair hand at writing ABOUT gardening...

  30. Carol, great insights. Pruning and thinning encourages growth of healthy plants, doesn't it?

  31. The old gray mule is definitely hitched!

    Wonderful analogies today, Pam. Thank you. I've made a lot of progress getting words on paper, which essentially means sorting out my ideas. Still have a lot lot lot of questions about why this or that will or will not work, but the story has taken shape. Indeed it is exciting!

    Happy Day 24 everypawdy! I brought some lemon pound cake and banana nut bread to share. Enjoy!

  32. Thanks Melissa, praying for Naomi and grace for the wee one... How lovely to put out the request. Will do.

    Seeds (the real kind) would be great too, Pam. Spring has sprung here but another freeze is coming later this week. Arg.

    And Pam, you're right. Thousands of words, which is a nice feeling. Need more. Can't WAIT to get pruning!! ;)

    Happy day all!

  33. Blogger froze on me and ate my LONG comment that included FOOD!!!! :(

    Melissa, so sorry to hear about Naomi and the baby. Praying for them both.

    A little birdy over on Facebook (you know who you are, Barbara Scott! lol) said we always have lots of coffee and great food here in Seekerville, so I'm scrambling to fix some stick-to-your-ribs grub since we're all going to be working in the fields today.

    Biscuits, ham, scrambled eggs, cornmeal mush, molasses and butter, ALL fresh from the farm and brought to you with the help of Alaina from my novella in the With this Kiss Collection.

    And don't forget to throw a couple of those biscuits and some ham in a tote sack to take with you. When you're working hard in the fields, lunch is usually a short break beneath a shade tree. No time for a leisurely two-hour lunch break for hard-working farmers and gardeners!

  34. Jan, so glad you're enjoying them. In this day of everything moving so fast, I'm becoming more and more of a fan of novellas myself. They're great reads for when you get a break from day-to-day chores, aren't they?

    Look at that Mary Cline, owning the contrary moniker. Okay, well... :)

  35. Cindy, apparently my hubby didn't inherit the green thumb. He was always off working a construction job with his dad as a young teen and then forever after that. The man can barely shell a purple hull pea, and those are so easy anybody should be able to do it.

    Granted, I do little of it myself, so I shouldn't cast fertilizer at him. :)

  36. LOL ... I'm with Helen ... doing more weeding/pruning than planting, but it's all good, right?

    Great analogy, Pam, and as a former CDQ gardener who once had more than ten (BIG) berms in her yard and won a perennial contest, I am not pumped to dig back in ... both into a new garden AND Speedbo!!


  37. Bettie, so glad you're gleaning something here. Growing up writer-gardeners. That's what we do here in Seekerville.

  38. Hi Pam:

    What a wonderful and perceptive post!

    A farmer is the archetypical plotter. And just like authors who plot, they are often outstanding in their fields.

    But to be fair, pantsers have their own hero: Johnny Appleseed. : )

    Countdown: April 10 I get to read "Meeting in the Middle" and right now it has the pole position in my TBR files! :)

    My Speedbo garden is a little slow. In fact, I am going to Home Depot and pick up some plants. It is too late for seeds. But I did write 75,000 words for NaNo -- so I know I can do it.

    " To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;

    (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8),

    I think my season might be November. : (


  39. Jackie, making time to write is a choice, isn't it? And in your case, you're choosing to put less time in a literal garden, where some of the rest of us might watch less TV, spend less time on the internet, or just reading. We might get up an hour earlier (wait, scratch that! lol) or stay up an hour later, to sow our writing seeds.

    The literal garden might be a bit overgrown and the house might be messy, but we're tidying up those manuscript pages. No, the neighbors can't see it when they drive by, but WE know that our work is getting better and better with each word, each paragraph, each edit.

    The proof is in the final products we take to market. All that other can wait. :)

  40. Ah, Barbara, we're definitely rooting for you. ;)

    You are rooted and well-grounded and an inspiration to us all. So glad you're pursuing your dream of writing. Isn't it FUN??

    I've been following your progress on Facebook and your excitement is contagious. Love it!

  41. tHANKS FOR the disclaimer on the Mary Contrary thing but of all the names I've been called, Contrary???? I can handle that.

  42. Mary Hicks...4:30 in the morning. Ugh. Have you met Ruthy?

    You are two peas in a pod, for sure!

    I'm reminded of my husband's grandfather who used to plant ACRES of peas and beans. I had small children and worked a stressful day job 5 days a week. Sundays were filled with church and other obligations and Saturday was my only day to sleep in for an hour or so.

    But he'd call before daylight, about 5-5:30 in the morning, telling me the peas or beans needed picking. Many mornings I hauled myself out of bed and went to pick peas. He didn't believe in waiting until the sun burned the dew off.

  43. Rhonda, so sorry that you had surgery, BUT sounds like it's going well, so that's a blessing, yes? :)

    And we all go through seasons. This season might be for you to rest, think about your story and develop a great plan. This is the rainy season right before planting for you.

    And speaking of being in an anesthesia-induced fog, you DO know that some of the most famous songs and poetry was written while "under the influence", don't you? Just sayin'

  44. Jamie, that's too funny. When MY younger son was home from school, he wanted to hog the computer and play games.

    I imagine your kids avoid the computer like the plague when they're not working. lol

    But GREAT for you to get all that computer time this week. Sow away, friend!

  45. Whoo-hoo! Congrats JANET!!! You met your revision goal. Wonderful!

    Oh, I suspect another idea will grow up soon... :)

  46. Wilani, you can do it!!! It's like learning the steps of gardening. Start at the beginning, just like we've laid out here.

    Even for those of us who aren't very successful gardeners, it seems like we all get that BUBBLY feeling of WANTING to garden every spring. Create a NEW Spring for your next story.... How do you do that? Immerse yourself in the planning and the excitement of spring will come. Guaranteed!

  47. Oh, Connie, this is perfect fodder for PART II of How Does Your Speedbo Garden Grow?


    Foxes that "spoil the vine". Raccoons that get in the corn patch.

    Making notes.... :)

  48. And, KC, she ain't what she used to be either. At least the one on this side of the fence isn't.

    Thanks for the cake and bread!!! These will be perfect for our midday snack. Can't have too much frou-frou foods while working outside.

  49. Julie, I'm SO laughing. There is a reason I don't do much flower gardening, or spring cleaning, or sewing (clothes), or painting, or... well, you get the drift.

    Once I start something, I go at it whole hog or nothing, so better just to leave it alone.

    Hmmm, now this makes me wonder... What DO I do?Okay, well, probably best not to go there... lol

  50. My Speedbo garden is being contrary, but with a little weeding and wrangling, I'm sure to wrestle it into shape in the remaining days.

    I love the pics of your garden and gardening in general. Alas, I have a black thumb. I can kill silk flowers without even trying.

    BUT, my WORD garden is blooming. Attracting bees and butterflies, feeling of spring is upon us!!

    I can't believe we're almost done with Speedbo. I reached my goal of revising my ms yesterday!!! I couldn't ask for more. Well, I guess since I do still have days left in March, I now have time to comb through with a fine-toothed rake...if something like that exists, LOL!

    Loved the post, Pam. Makes me glad winter is over!!!

  51. Kelly, you go, girlfriend!! Wild dancing is similar to frolicking, no?

    Just what every word garden needs : )

  52. Melissa, great progress on all the edits you have surrounding you!

    Thanks for the heads up on Naomi. Prayers are surrounding her and baby Eliana!!!

  53. Jackie! I love hearing of all the progress you've made!!

    Hmmm, veggie are highly overrated when compared to roto-rooting words. Go to the grocery store.

  54. Barbara, I have a friend who can relate to the fruits of other's labors being left behind. When she and her husband bought their house, it came complete with a garden manual on how to tend the 180 rose bushes left behind!!!

    Oy vay!!!!

    She'd never been a gardener in her life, but she felt responsible and now years later, they're still growing strong : )

  55. Great analogy. Certainly a good comparison between gardening and writing.

    Please enter me into the drawing for With This Kiss. I want to read it!

  56. Vince!

    outstanding in their fields.

    This is the best pun of the day!!! Love it! :)

    Nodding my head and Johnny Appleseed. Yes, he could be the poster child for pantsers. Agreed! :)

    There is a season... and March might not be it for everyone. But isn't it absolutely wonderful that this writing gig allows us to start any time of the year, any time in our life, any time in our careers? There's no set date. We don't have to follow the Farmer's Almanac or look to see if it thundered in February, it's going t frost in April (or whatever My Cowboy says!)

    Nope, we can just start when it's OUR season.

    Isn't that just beautiful?

    PS. Vince, you've made my day by putting Meeting in the Middle at the top of your TBR pile. :)

    I don't think I've shared the blurb here, so without further ado...

    Meeting in the Middle Available for pre-order now for April 10th release in the With This Kiss Historical Collection. Having lost his young son, widowed cotton farmer Curt Parker is determined to protect his two little girls from harm. His new neighbor, Alaina Garland, needs help to save the farm she runs alone. Can these two meet in the middle to take care of his children as well as work the fields to save their land?

  57. Hmmm, Mary Connealy... what does that C stand for anyway???

  58. Audra said, "I love the pics of YOUR garden..."


    Oh my stars!!!

    I'm dying here!

    You got HALF of that sentence correct. Just flip the words YOUR and THE around...

  59. Sandy, you're IN the fertilize bucket for the drawing.

  60. How fun to talk about the writer's garden!

    Kelly, I love that your garden is planted with wild dancing!! What a fun picture! I love that feeling. :)

  61. Melissa, praying for Naomi's baby. Thanks for sharing the need to pray for her and Eliana.


  62. Pam, I hope you're right. I'm not one of those writers with dozens of stories trying to get out of their heads and onto the page.

    Need more fertilizer! Anyone care to share what you do to grow creativity?


  63. I'll admit it. I love to look at flowers and eat fresh vegetables, but I am definitely not a gardener. Still love your analogies, Pam. Spot on! I appreciate being entered in the drawing for the book collection. Looks fantastic, Seekerville!

  64. I adore gardening and love this analogy. My best plotting happens when I'm plotting in my garden. Alas, it is stull buried under a ton of snow so I'm enjoying the visual of story ideas as seeds sprouting into books. I have a picture in my mind of a luscious bed of flower petals with books in their centres. LOL.

    However, I will admit that I have to be wary of gnarly weeds that might just choke out those precious plants from growing to their full potential. For me one of the most invasive weeds is self-doubt.

  65. I'm with Helen - doing more weeding and pruning than sowing seeds this month.

    But with the edits done and the book back in my editor's computer, I hope to sow a lot of seeds over the next few days :)

    Put me in the drawing, please! I'd love to have the wildflower seeds. We have a creek bank that I'd rather see covered in wildflowers than thistles!

  66. What a great analogy for those of us who love gardening!!! Very creative. Stay strong Speedbo-ers!

  67. Janet, laughing about the fertilizer. This leads us back to last week's post about what we do when we're stuck.

    I'd say... go play in the dirt... figuratively speaking, of course. :)

  68. Kav, so true. Is it any wonder that there are so many references in the Bible that use gardening/farming as a metaphor?

    The wheat the the tares.
    Some sowed on stony ground.
    But... then there's that FERTILE ground, too! :)

    Oh, my, I could go on and on.

  69. Oh, Jan, you're in! I have several packs of passalong plants that I got from a lady a couple of months ago. Stuff that she assures me I CANNOT kill or even ERADICATE!

    Cleome, larkspur, moonvine, morning glory, 4 o'clocks, and CYRPRESS VINE.

    She said Cyrpress vine is VERY aggressive, so a ditch bank where you can mow around it and keep it from overtaking something else might be good.

    The problem is that I haven't taken the time to broadcast these seeds. A couple should have been put in the ground months ago.

    No time!

  70. Heidi, I love to watch others garden. lol


  71. Gardens are one of my favorite parts of spring! Please add me to the drawing :)


  72. This post is great, Pam! Love the gardening analogy!

    I've been doing my seeding.....and can't wait to see how this story grows and blooms....after I do a bit of tending and pruning. :)

    Love your pictures, too!

  73. Praying for Naomi and her precious baby.

    Thank you, Melissa, for letting us know about this.

  74. Got you down, Sarah! :) I heard the birds chirping outside a while ago, drawing me to them. lol

  75. Sherida, the sowing and tending is the hard part. Then when flowers bloom, fruit matures, and books appear as if by MAGIC on shelves and Kindles, that's the FUN part.

  76. PAM, your gardening comparison is lovely (as are the pix). Thinking of this month in that way, I've been weeding one flowerbed, watering another, rewarded with blooms in a flowerbed I planted months ago, and decided another flowerbed will be better off if I ignore it for a while.

    I haven't accomplished what I hoped to by this point in Speedbo, but I've accomplished. I can see lots and lots of buds, so to speak :-)

    Nancy C

  77. MELISSA, thank you for the link.

    Nancy C

  78. Thanks, Melissa, for the info on Naomi and baby Eliana. I don't do FB but will certainly be praying for them!!

    Speedbo on........

  79. Get More Connealy
    "With This Kiss Historical"


    I just found out that one of my favorite Connealy stories is a bonus in the novella collection featuring your "Meeting in the Middle". It is not listed on the book package picture that "Closer than Brothers" is included at no extra cost. As a marketing guy I would mention this each time the package is displayed in a blog. This mention would surely attract the fans of the "Trouble in Texas" trilogy. And that's a huge pool of potential prospects.

    What's the good book say about hiding your light under a bushel basket?

    Now it will even be possible to write a review on "Closer than Brothers".

    Below is part of the Amazon blurb:

    Four delightful romance novels, and this collection has a special Bonus Feature! Written by Mary Connealy "Closer Than Brothers" will transport the reader into Andersonville Prison, where this prequel sets the stage for Mary's "Trouble in Texas" heroes. How they met, how they survived... all leading to how they become heroes, later on. We hope you love this collection as much as we do!

    BTW: "The Sentinels of Andersonville" by Tracy Groot has been in the top 100 Kindle books for days. I got my copy.

  80. I love all the pictures of flowers, Pam! They are gorgeous! Even though I am a reader, I enjoyed the post! You can use the post as a metaphor for life! I would love to win the ebook so enter my name!

    Continued good luck to all those who are working on Speedbo!

  81. It has been fun to watch my Speedbo garden grow! It is actually feeling real now! I'd love to win With this Kiss!!

    Update: My words continue to get typed and my book gets closer to being complete (Short of edits)

  82. Nancy, I understand COMPLETELY and a successful, long-term gardener wears ALL the hats you just mentioned. Nodding in agreement...

  83. GMC - Get Mary Connealy! Love it, Vince! lol

    Well, the With This Kiss Historical Collection gives all 5 authors equal billing AND Mary's "Closer than Brothers' IS listed on the boxed set as a Bonus Feature.

    Really COOL!!!

    But, you're 100% right, Vince. Any time I can be in the same collection with Mary C, Ruth Logan Herne, Julie Lessman, and Cara Lynn James, I am stoked and should mention all their names EVERY CHANCE I GET! :)

  84. So true, Valri! You're in the drawing. :)

  85. Great post, Pam! (or should I say "Bloomin' good post"*wink*).
    During Speedbo so far I've mostly been weeding/pruning, but have gotten into the 2nd part of my goal so I'll be planting madly til March 31! Determined to meet my goal. :)

    Prayers for Naomi R. and her baby.

    Thanks again for this post, Pam, and I love that first photo with the flowers!
    Hugs, Patti Jo :)

  86. What a good friend you are, Melissa J.

  87. Pam, Even though I'm not a gardener, I love the analogy of persistence in the two fields.

    I am diligently rereading every line, editing every line, deleting whole chunks, and (hopefully) layering elements to my WIP. I'm on chapter 16 of 17 (plus epilogue).

    Please don't enter me in the gardener packet. May someone who loves gardening win those seeds.

  88. I hope I'm not overstepping by adding a second comment, but I wanted to just add my prayers for Naomi and her family. Thank you, Melissa, for letting us know.

  89. Thanks Patti Jo! Bloomin' good show, huh? lol

    The first pic was a cute display at my nieces baby shower last week. It had three little metal boxes with her baby's name written on the chalkboards.

    I just tweaked it a little... :)

  90. Wildflowers everywhere. :) Which means, I've got lots of stuff I like but not especially organized... well, maybe it's not quite that bad.

    I'm doing well, maintaining an average of 1K per day, and getting really close to finishing my novel (which was my goal, so yay me!). Don't know how much of a market there is for Christian YA/NA quasi-zombie love stories, but I guess I'll find out. :)

    I've been reading the daily blogs, just not commenting, not sure why.

    Pam Jernigan

  91. Tanya, I know what you mean... I think I could edit FOREVER! It's a good thing I have a hard deadline for all my books or I'd just keep hoeing, planting, and pruning. :(

  92. Oh, Tanya, you are welcome to comment here all you like. You're among friends. :)

    Pam J... I love the visual of all your words being a huge burst of colorful WILDFLOWERS stretching out in all directions. Beautiful! I know you can clean it up and make it cohesive. But a little abandon is a good thing, no?

  93. Love this comparison! It's FINALLY turned spring here! Well, mostly. It's supposed to be below freezing tomorrow night. :(

    The flowers and blue skies do wonders for the mind and body, though! I've got plenty of "weeds" in my Speedbo revision garden. Whacking them out one at a time. It's a bit daunting, and slower than I expected, but every little bit is motivation to do more!

    Thanks for this encouraging post, Pam!

  94. Pam, your photos are awesome! Is that your garden? I love the colors of those flowers!
    It's great to be back after the worst midterms of my life ... long story, complete with an internet outage the day before my projects were due. I'm just glad it's over ... =P

  95. My Speedbo garden is being seeded as we enter the fourth week of writing. The seed packet was a promising contest from Harlequin and I am scattering the seeds of plot, pov and setting with a sprinkling of pantser to make my garden grow! I am not a gardener, but could become one if I can be the winner of those wildflower seeds.

  96. Love the analogy!

    Good luck Speedbo-ers! The end is in sight!

  97. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  98. I've found I am writing during Speedbo the same way I plan a garden. Trying to squeeze another scene in between other scenes. Using Scriviner I can write scenes and compile them later. When I garden I sometimes end up digging up a new area because I bought too many flowers. But unlike a garden once Speedbo is finish I can look over my words move them around or delete them without leaving gapping holes in my manuscript. I am inspired through this journey that I can be more consistent about getting lots of words out on a daily basis. Through my name in teh drawing.
    Cindy Huff

  99. Hi Pam:

    You are so right! I didn’t see the “Closer than Brothers” title on Mary’s book on the picture of the books you posted. However, this morning I can see it very clearly on the larger picture Ruth posted. So you are doing the marketing just right! Great Job.


  100. Natalie, it's supposed to be below freezing AGAIN??? If you still live where you used to live, that means.....


    Well, I guess that means more time inside to work on those WORD WEEDS, then! :)

  101. Artist, isn't that the way things go? No internet, no ink cartridges, computer crashes, etc. etc when you have a project due...

    Yep, it seems to never fail. Glad you got it all behind you.

    And, no, the pictures are of my mother-in-law's garden late last fall. I was trying out my new camera. :)

  102. Olivia!!! Good luck with the HQ "Flower" show! Dazzle 'em with your beautiful arrangement. :)

  103. Waving at Edwina!! So good to see you, lady!

    Cindy, maybe you are a container gardener, then. That way you can move words around, fill holes, fix things. Yes, container gardening is the way to go for us writers. :)

  104. Due to a slowdown called mastectomy and some other health issues as well, I have not yet written one word of my speedbo challenge. However, I'm going to see what I can accomplish this last week.

  105. I'm looking forward to planting Marigolds. Grandmother always had some growing.. Please toss me in for the drawing :
    Wishing you all much success in your Speedbo gardens! !

  106. Patricia, so glad you're on the mend! I think adding to your Speedbo garden is the perfect way to recuperate. :)

    Deanna, Marigolds are hardy, aren't they? I don't even think my dog would dig those up! lol Thanks for stopping by.

  107. Well, if I can't have a plot of dirt and real garden, I guess I can live with an analogical garden, since I do have the tools for that! Of course, with either a real or a writing garden, it's easy to be super-enthused at the beginning and spend tons of time working at it, until suddenly it becomes work instead of fun . . . [sigh]. Time to keep up the joy!

  108. Rachael, well, at least writing doesn't involved bugs and the sun beating down on you, does it. I think the perks are outstanding. lol