Monday, April 13, 2015

Unlimited possibilities @ Your Library® … And In Our Writing

Unlimited possibilities @ Your Library® … And In Our Writing

Missy Tippens

Missy, here. I hope you’ll join us this week as we celebrate National Library Week. Here’s a bit of information taken from the ALA’s website: “First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.”

I hope you’ll all thank your local librarians for all they do!

Speaking of celebrations… We’ve just finished a month of Speedbo. Congrats to those of you who typed ANY new words, even if just a few. And I mean that heartily. Those few words are still more than you had in February. Congrats, also, to those who accomplished edits and polishing—anything you did to make your manuscript ready to submit or publish.

You know, most of us raced through that first draft or edits, creating, revising or editing. But now April is here, and I feel myself slowing a bit. Catching my breath.

Let’s not lose the drive that pushed us to increase our word count. But in honor of National Library Week, let’s also take a moment to breathe and look at possibilities.

Unlimited possibilities.

Yeah, I know. Some of you may be thinking Unlimited Possibilities isn’t much different from our Speedbo motto of No Limits. But I think it is. For me, unlimited possibilities means stopping for a moment to look at all the different directions we can go in our writing. That can be at the level of career/publishing decisions, genre decisions, novel decisions, scene decisions and other decisions (like pacing, structure, and word choice). For this post, I’m talking about plot and scene choices.

Sometimes, all those choices can be paralyzing or overwhelming. This time, though, the thought of many possibilities inspired me. I want to share something I tried a week or so ago.

For most of my writing career, I’ve done most of planning before I write. Then I use Scrivener’s corkboard feature to plan each scene. I usually work a chapter or two at a time, planning three scenes for each chapter. Then I go write those scenes. Then I go back to Scrivener to plan some more. (What I mean by “plan” is: Figure out my pov character’s scene goal, the conflict for that scene, and the change that happens whether positive or negative—ie. the temporary high or the disaster.)

But last week as I was doing major revisions on a proposal (following critique), I finished planning a chapter, then lunchtime hit. So I made my plate and came to the family room. I was going to turn on the TV to watch The Chew for a few minutes while I ate, but instead, I started thinking about the upcoming scene.

Sure, what I had planned would work fine. But what else could happen? With the term “Unlimited Possibilities” in my head, I started picturing potential scenes in my mind like a movie. And you know what? I thought of something better that could happen. I ended up going back into Scrivener and re-working my scenes and changing up the chapters. I think it’s better now.

What does unlimited possibilities mean to you?

As I was discussing this with the other Seekers, I asked for their input so I could share it in my post.

From Ruthy Logan Herne:

I look at the emotion of the moment, and how that character might react. Would he get angry first? Disappointed? A combination of the two? Will mixed emotions hassle him? Or, if he's an easy going type, does he start with a bear hug? A gentle chuck on the shoulder? So much of how the next scene goes depends on the character's arc. If he/she is wounded and has trauma in the past, this incident might stir that. And warrior types will react differently (and spin a different thread) than more thoughtful beta-types. When I let emotion drive the scene, it helps it fall into place more quickly!

From Julie Lessman:

Nothing helps me explore the direction of a scene like dialogue, and nothing helps me explore dialogue like the treadmill. Whenever I’m stuck in a scene or plot, once I get on the treadmill, it seems the dialogue/ideas start pumping along with my legs. I keep a pad and pen handy and scratch them down quickly, then continue exercising with that scene in mind. For me snippets of dialogue is key, often taking me directions I had no intention of going. In fact, the treadmill is so effective in accomplishing this, that whenever I’m stuck in my writing, Keith tells me to go downstairs and exercise. Of course I’m hoping it’s because he knows it helps ideas to flow and not that I need to lose weight. :)

From Debby Giusti:

I write a fast first draft and then slow down to revise. Often that means improving dialogue, adding better action tags and upping the emotion and suspense. The first draft gives me a framework on which to build my story. Having words on the page helps me see the holes and gaps and places that need to be reworked. Revising refines the story and leads to the finished product that’s ready for my editor’s review.

Missy again… So what about you? Do possibilities overwhelm you? I’d like to challenge you to take a moment to look at your story. Try to dig deeper. Think of other possibilities and see if you can come up with something unexpected. Don’t be afraid to make changes! You may just end up with something you like a whole lot better.

I’m so excited that I have a new book from Love Inspired coming out soon! I had so much fun with this book! It’s a fish-out-of-water story about a bachelor whose cousin leaves him stuck caring for a nearly newborn baby. He might just have to ask for help from the last person on earth he wants to talk to—the town’s new pediatrician. :)

You can read an excerpt of The Doctor's Second Chance here at my website!

GIVEAWAY! Lots of excitement this month with The Doctor’s Second Chance coming soon as well as the two With This Kiss anthologies just released! So I’d like to celebrate today by giving away one digital (e-book) copy of each (three winners). Please tell me in the comments if you’d like to be entered.

The Bachelor's Baby...

Jake West's troubled cousin leaves him with a most unusual parting gift—her newborn baby girl! And now the small-town contractor is forced to seek help from the very woman he resents—the new big-city pediatrician who practically stole his uncle's practice, Violet Crenshaw. Violet knows she shouldn't be consorting with the enemy. But she can't resist the adorable baby and her handsome new caretaker. Violet traded her chance at motherhood for her career years ago. But raising a family with Jake could be everything she's ever wanted.

Missy Tippens, a pastor’s wife and mom of three from near Atlanta, Georgia, is the author of eight books for Harlequin Love Inspired and was nominated for a Romance Writers of America 2013 RITA®  Award. Her most recent release from Love Inspired is The Doctor’s Second Chance. Visit Missy at, and .


  1. YAY for libraries!! :)
    Great post, Missy - - and I also enjoyed reading the comments from the other authors. It's fun and interesting seeing what works for other writers (especially authors I love!).

    No need to enter me in the drawing (don't have an e-reader). But I WILL be purchasing your book when it's released (love that cover).

    I'm setting out some Georgia Peach Pancakes if anyone wants breakfast (as I head to bed, LOL).

    Hugs, Patti Jo

  2. My first job was working in the library, and I would still love to do it, though I don't have formal training. I would love any and all books! Both in Ebooks and in print when they release! Thanks, Missy

  3. I love unlimited possibilities. Tomorrow as I begin to tap away at the keyboard, I'll look at things through a new camera angle and see what comes up. I love when I get to read so many perspectives, so thank you for sharing other views, Missy!

    I am a big fan of the library. When I was in first grade, my mom was studying to be a realtor. We went to the library every day so she could study. I would spend hours in the children's section. I can still picture it in my mind's eye. It was full of possibilities. :)

  4. Patti Jo, the pancakes sound amazing!

    Marianne, I think it would be a great place to work. I applied to work there several years ago but didn't get the job. Maybe I'll apply again someday.

  5. I just got home after picking up my son at the airport in Atlanta. We had a tire blowout on the way home! Quite scary, and took forever to get home.

    I'm wiped out. May be a little late checking in in the morning. :)

  6. Kelly, I loved going to the kids section when I was little, too. And especially loved visits of the bookmobile in my neighborhood! I remember it being so nice and cool in the summers. :)

  7. Oh, Missy. I'm so glad you're safe. Scary trip.

    I love this post and the way it makes me reflect on my writing. Minus the treadmill, I do a little of what each of the Seekers mentioned.

    When I'm working through a rough draft, I'll often just sit and play with the scene, toying with some possible ideas until I get one that feels right. I discover lots about my characters that way. My first drafts are peppered with lots of YES! That will work. or What if... or Brilliant!!! (yes, some times I excite myself with the ideas I come up with. LOL)

    Happy Monday. Please count me in for the drawing.

  8. Thanks for the helpful post, Missy! I've always thought I'd like to work in a library. But then I might not work because I'd be too busy peeking at different books. lol

  9. Missy, interesting post! I don't see scenes as a movie, though some of my readers have told me they do. I will try that, as it would surely help to bring the scene alive in my head.

    To look at all the possibilities for a scene, Shirley Jump teaches the Rule of Six where the first ideas that occur to you are tossed aside and you dig deeper, six times. Great idea to try.

    I love libraries and librarians. I don't go as much as I did when our kids were small, but just walking inside energizes me.


  10. Patti Jo, thanks for the peach pancakes! They're yummy in the tummy.


  11. Unlimited possibilities. I love that. I am on pins and needles as I wait for 2:00 and whether I move on to the next round. Even if I don't move one. I am loving this story and and will keep writing it. This morning a couple of my friends from church are cutting my hair. They say they have the perfect style in mind. Then one of them is taking me to see where Tsali is buried. Research for a Historical fiction I want to write. I hope everyone has a great day!

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I cannot live without my library...everything from drawing on their excellent collection of Christian fiction to using their computers when mine is broken to using their Wi-Fi when we have a power failure to holing up in a carrel and red-penciling a hard copy of my ms.
    Good post, Missy. I'll skip the drawing since I don't read electronically. I'm not starting anything new right now, so this is where I'm at on all my MS. How can I make this stronger, more emotional, add tension, make the dialogue "sing" etc.
    Good luck and prayers to everybody who entered the Love Inspired Blurb to Book initiative. I will be On The Road at 1 p.m., so I'll know later if I made it. Or not.

  14. When I first started following Seekerville in Jan/2014 I had no idea all the plotting and planning that went into the creating of a book. I naively thought a writer sat down and the story magically flowed out onto the paper, lol. I have always had high respect for those who write, but that respect has notched up to higher level as I've gotten a "behind the scenes" look. It's a gift yes, but hard work too. Kudos to all who spend countless hours perfecting their craft.

    My elementary school provided me with my first library experience. I can still feel the excitement I felt on library day. Double that excitement when the book fair came every spring and you could buy your own books! I still have my copy of Helen Keller I bought one year.

    Would love to read your new book Missy (great cover and I like the Violet model) and the collections
    too. Please enter me in the drawing .

  15. Good morning, everyone! I'm finally back for another serving of Patti Jo's pancakes. :)

  16. Mary Curry, that's great that you play with the scene ideas like that. I love it when we get excited about ideas! :)

    And I'm with you on the treadmill. :)

  17. LOL, Jessica. Yeah, it would be tempting to look through all the new books! I wonder if employees get first crack at the new releases. ;)

  18. Janet, I remember you talking about the Rule of Six that Shirley teaches. Sometimes, it seems it's hard just to get one idea! LOL But you really would get to some creative ideas to force yourself to come up with 6.

  19. I know that there are places in my story that need some major revisions and I'm a little overwhelmed with it! I would love to win one of the books!

  20. Wilani, I'm excited about today's LI announcement for the Blurb 2 Book!!! I know several people who sent in entries. Fingers are crossed for all of you!! I'll try to watch for the announcements and post them here. :)

  21. Kathy, enjoy the edits! I love reading back through the first draft and adding and making it better. Although, I also hate to get to that part if I'm not happy with the first draft. LOL But it's still nice to be able to whip the mss into something I'm happy with. :)

  22. Tracey, the Scholastic Book Fair was always one of my favorite times of the year!! My mom and dad loved to encourage reading so would let us go a little crazy buying books. I can also remember sitting down with that paper and picking books with my kids. Then going to the school for the actual fair. :)

  23. Missy, thanks for this very helpful post! :-)

    I love the library. So did my children. We used to spend many happy hours in the library when school turned out for the summer.

    Enjoyed the comments from the other Seeker girls.:-) You guys are the best!!

  24. Becky, I totally understand the being overwhelmed part. I often sit and agonize over two or three directions I can go. Jotting down all the ideas and then playing with what will happen to the rest of the story with each of them can help. You can pick the direction you like best. :)

  25. Mary Hicks, isn't it great to have the library in the summer? I remember taking my kids to sign up for the summer reading program. Of course, sometimes they didn't stick with it. Especially as they got older. :) I only ended up with one of my three kids who love to read like I do!

  26. Missy, I love your cover. Now who could leave that baby?

    Some of my stories I picture as a movie, others I don't. Strange. My historicals, which is what I'm working on now, I picture the reader reading.

    So I ask myself if she's putting my book down during this scene. Sometimes to help me get a through a scene, I ask what would the reader like to see? That's one of my best make-the-scene better methods. (Hint, she doesn't want to see a tea scene unless it someone gets shot, stabbed, or poisoned.)

  27. What a great post. I love the idea of looking at unlimited possibilities. I'm working to finish up my subplot (still) and then I'm digging into revisions. This may be my opportunity to see where I can deepen my story and see what might make it better.

    Thanks for the suggestions from each of the Seekers. :) So helpful!

  28. Thanks for sharing these great tips, MISSY--and so glad you got home safely after that blowout! Scary!!!

    I'm doing a little more of the JULIE thing with the treadmill lately. Every half-hour or so, I get up from my computer chair to do five minutes of moving around. Often it's on the treadmill in the next room. The movement gives my brain a recharge, and ideas really do seem to flow better!

  29. p.s. Poor Missy - - just read about your blow-out, and I am SO thankful you and your son arrived home safely. Driving to/from the Atlanta Airport is *scary* enough without something like that happening!

    Mary Hicks, is that a new photo? Love that shade of blue! You look lovely in it. :)

  30. Great post Missy! Love the cover of your new book.

    I love libraries. My first job in college was working in the back of the library sorting donated books by category and putting their tag numbers on them.

    My daughters would visit the library every day if we could.

  31. Connie said: "So I ask myself if she's putting my book down during this scene. Sometimes to help me get a through a scene, I ask what would the reader like to see? "

    I love that idea! Thanks for sharing, Connie.

  32. Jeanne, glad you found it helpful! Enjoy digging deeper. :)

  33. Hi Missy:

    The subject of 'unlimited possibilities' reminds me of reading your novella, "His Heart to Hold," in "With this Kiss" late last night. As I was halfway into the story, I had to go back to make sure it was really your story. I thought, "This is not a Missy story. Has she used this novella as an opportunity to step outside of her comfort zone?"

    You tell me if this is a Missy story theme:

    The celebrity ex-wife goes off to Italy for a few months to live with a rich Italian boyfriend, while the rather geeky older hero is left with his spoiled and snobby teenage daughter -- all under the watchful eye of the quirky heroine who exhibits unusual eating habits.

    I think you really thought of some new 'Missy possibilities' with this story! I'm fifty percent into the story now so there could well be even more surprises yet to come! Will there be a return of the missing Missy factor? : )


    The term 'Unlimited possibilities' is meant to me to be taken as literal. You can always think up a new possibility just as you can always add one to any given number and make it bigger. 'No limits', however, is really just figurative. With no limits you could have the heroine murder the hero just before she commits suicide and still call it a romance! Why let an HEA limit you? Of course, this difference would only trouble a philosopher. : )


    "When I let emotion drive the scene, it helps it fall into place more quickly!"
    Ruth Logan Herne

    When emotion drives the scene, the reader is pulled into the story. Yet when the reader actually feels the same emotion that drives the scene, the story is pulled into the reader and becomes a part of that reader. Tell or show but make them feel it!

  34. Missy, I am glad you and your son are okay!

    This was such a helpful post with a lot of really useful information.

    Especially the tips on getting scenes going in the right direction. Even the suggestions in the comments are keepers!

    Please enter me.

  35. Myra, I tried to ignore Julie's advice. LOL But I keep hearing (and read an article) about how moving around helps the brain and creativity. Must try this myself!

  36. Thanks, Patti Jo. Yes, it was scary to be along the side of the highway with cars whizzing by at what felt like 90 miles an hour. We made it as far as the beginning of an exit ramp, but they were still zooming along about 70 mph (the speed limit there).

    My son got the car jacked up and the tire off before the roadside assistance (thank you USAA!) got there. Then that nice man helped put on the spare and pumped it up. The car is 12 years old and that spare had never been used! :) I'm thankful it was still in great shape.

  37. Hi Julie:

    Do you think it is meaningful that the treadmill is often chosen as a metaphor for mindlessly plodding on?

  38. Jamie, how fun that you worked there! And that your kids love it, too. :)

  39. Love the idea about unlimited possibilities -- such a blank slate concept!!!! And great advice from sage Seekers too. The story I'm writing now has lots of unlimited possibilities because there's plenty of conflict both inner and external for both my hero and heroine. Somehow I've managed to go deeper with these two -- at least I hope I'm conveying that (it definitely is in my imagination!) -- and that's fleshing out the story in new ways. I'd love to be entered in either of the novella ebook draws. My bad, I haven't bought them yet. But I have ordered The Doctor's Second Chance from Harlequin already. Can't wait to read it.

  40. Oh how I wish I could work in a library! Although I probably own enough books between my bookshelves and my e-reader to open my own... ;)

    The library in my hometown made me love reading, as did weekly visits to my elementary school's library. There was always something new (to me, anyway) to read, and a growing number of old favorites. Happy National Library Week!

    I'd love to be entered in the drawing, Missy! And I'm looking forward to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt later this week, too!

  41. Vince, I let go and had fun with that story. :) (Didn't even do my usual major story planning. Only had the hero and daughter planned from a rejected proposal.) So yes, it's probably a little different from usual. I guess you'll have to keep reading to see how it ends! LOL I do think you'll feel more of the familiar as you get further in. :) Thanks for reading!

  42. Vince, I also meant to say LOL on the comment about No Limits. :) :)

  43. hi Missy
    love this post. I have great childhood memories of our branch library. I haven't made use of the libraries here in Va Beach since I moved here (with exception of the University library when I was working on my Masters). I did use the main library during my writing binge during the Killer Voice contest last year. A huge blessing. I'm not too thrilled with some of the branch libraries here though.

    I plan to take my little guy to the library more, as I have time. Unfortunately available time leans more towards the weekends. My husband doesn't read much, so I'm not sure he'd be as motivated to take our little man to the library. He thinks I use too many big words as is - he keeps telling me to "speak Gibbs, please" (reference to NCIS).

    would love to be in the draw for any of the offered books. will be putting your latest on my Wish List since abandoned babies is a story line that hits close to heart and a sure fire hook to get me to read the story.

  44. Oh, I love the posts with tidbits from various Seekers! Thank you, Missy, and please put me in the drawing. The covers are gorgeous!

  45. Good morning Missy! Please enter me in the drawing. Like Meghan, I love these tidbits of wisdom from you successful Seeker gals.

  46. DebH, my husband is the one in our house who gets teased for his large vocabulary. People at church tease him too for using them in his sermons. :)

    I think you'll like the way I worked my new story. You'll have to let me know what you think! :)

  47. Meghan and Terri, I've got you entered! Thanks for stopping by.

    5 minutes till the first Blurb 2 Book announcement!! I'm nervous for all of you! LOL

  48. Oh, Missy! Those moments are so scary. Thankful you are both safe!

    My first thought when I read your post about "unlimited possibilities" was of writing a devotional idea that popped into my head during Speedbo. And I confess, I jotted down some topics during a sermon. But I was inspired. I'm waiting to go in that direction until I revise my Speedbo project. I'll be looking at each scene to see where new possibilities can be added. Thank you!

    Please enter me for your The Doctor's Second Chance book. Love the blurb! I have both With This Kiss collections....and hope to be reading them soon! Thank you!

  49. I wonder how many of us consider our libraries as our second home? I treasure the years I worked in a library :) So happy Library Week!

    And Missy, your post is so timely! I'm in the middle of planning those scenes, one chapter at a time, and Scrivener cork board has become my tool of choice, too.

    I loved hearing from other Seekers, also. I'll have to try Julie's treadmill technique.

    Don't enter me in the drawing! I have the books already :)

  50. Here's the list for LIH entries that are moving on!! Congrats to several of our villagers!!

    Abigail Wilson-- The Heart of a Texas Ranger
    Angela K Couch-- A Mountain too High
    Catherine Carragher-- A Long Way From Home
    Christina Miller-- A Southern Promise
    Cleo Lampos-- Dust Between the Stitches
    Connie Queen-- The Thief's Redemption
    Crystal L Barnes-- An Unforeseen Match
    Erica Vetsch-- The Snowflake Bride
    Gabrielle Meyer-- The Doctor's Redemption
    Jamie Adams-- One Short Detour
    Janette Foreman-- Beneath the Cottonwoods
    Jessica Snell-- Miss Mary's Match
    Judy Rice-- The Long Road Home
    Karen Gaus-- Hearts Engaged
    Lily Wagner-- Mount Haven's Promise
    Liz Tolsma-- More Precious Than Gold
    Lyndee Henderson-- Mending His Heart
    Nancy J. Farrier-- Rilla's Ranger
    Paige Winship Dooly-- Maverick's Babies
    Patricia Iacuzzi-- Miss Harper's Plan
    Rachel Meyers-- Mail Order Groom
    Rivernee Locke-- Wagon Load of Trouble
    Sondra Kraak-- One Plus One Equals Trouble
    Tiffany Amber Stockton-- Wilde Adventure
    Tracy Blalock-- Wed on the Oregon Trail

  51. Kav, it's great that you've set up so much conflict! That's a weakness of mine. But if you set it up well, the book is so much easier to write!

    Thanks for ordering my LI!!

  52. Sarah, my husband would agree with you that I could open a library or bookstore! LOL

    Yes, I'm excited about the Scavenger Hunt! I'll be posting details on my blog later.

  53. Missy, thanks for posting those LIH Blurb to Book names, and a BIG CONGRATS to all those writers!! :)

  54. Wow. I recognize so many of the names on LIH. Happy happy to have villagers on my team.

  55. Sherida, the devotional idea is fantastic!! See, you're an example of the possibilities! I hope you follow up on it. :)

  56. Congratulations Connie!
    Congratulations Erica!

  57. Lots of possibilities today with the Blurb2Book Announcements! Cheering for all our Villagers on the LIH list!!!



    Almost time for the LIS announcement. Fingers crossed for all our entrants.

  58. It was a rough morning waiting to see who moved to the 2nd stage for team LIH. I almost resorted to house cleaning. Congratulations to all who did advance and for those who didn't keep writing!

  59. Missy, what a lovely post on expanding our ideas! I love it! Thank you so much for letting me be part of it, sweet thing!!!


    I'm so proud o' youse! Deeeelighted! Oh my gosh, to see so many familiar and beloved names is doing my heart good! YAY!!!!!!!

  61. Missy, it is hard to come up with six, but I do find that the first ideas are often more clichéd.


  62. And now the next group should be posted!!!!! :) SUHWEEEEET!

  63. I'm so excited to see several familiar names on the list of those moving on in the Blurb to Book with LI!!!

    Congratulations all!


  64. Round two of Love Inspired Suspense! Congratulations, and I love seeing VERY FAMILIAR NAMES HERE!!!!

    Editor Mentors: Emily Rodmell, Giselle Regus & Dina Davis

    Alexa Verde-- Touch of Danger
    Aneke Paulyn-- In Plain Sight
    Angela Ruth Strong-- Twice Removed
    Anna Weaver Hurtt-- Hazardous Conditions
    Anne Stevenson-- Hunting the Law
    Bridget Persson-- Masters of Deception
    Carrie Coffey-- Midnight Caller
    Dalyn Woods -- Exposed
    Elizabeth Parker-- Queen of the Night
    Erin Unger-- Fateful Fall
    Heather Day Gilbert-- Out of Circulation
    Helen Jones-- Fatal Deadline
    Jordyn Redwood-- The Hangman's Noose
    Kavanagh Rees-- A Simple Deception
    Mairibeth MacMillan-- Danger in Eagle Pass
    Mary Nix-- A Promise to Keep
    Megan Oliver-- Hunted
    Megan Zehring-- Where There is Smoke
    Rhonda Herren Starnes-- Hunted
    Ronda Wells-- Heartshock
    Sommer Smith-- Secrets of the Lakehouse
    Suzanne Baginskie-- Dangerous Charade
    Terri Weldon-- Deadly Assets
    Toni Shiloh-- The Proxy Witness
    Victoria Austin-- Her Forgotten Past

  65. Terri!!! Kav!!!!Ronda!!!! Jordyn!!! Anna!!!!! Angela!!!! (I'm sure I'm not recognizing a few pen names, here!)


  66. Congrats Team LIS!!!

    Such an exciting day!

  67. Hi DebH. Took me a bit to figure out who writer2b was. :)

  68. CONGRATS to the LIS Team for Blurb to Book!!
    A special wave and hug to my friend Terri Weldon!! :)

  69. Congratulations to all who made the cut! I am happy for you.

    I didn't make it. I do wish that if you don't make it for the first round that you could be told what to improve on in order to make it. I am holding my head high. The fact that there were so many entrants plus some authors who have books published no wonder I didn't make it. This was my first attempt ever at a contest. I will try again. I like this story so I will continue with it and go from there. I just hope this doesn't discourage me from continuing on. Sometimes I feel like I have no business hanging out with authors because I am not good enough.

  70. Ruthy, thanks or posting!! I'm out getting my tire fixed and can't copy and paste from my phone for some reason. I'm so excited to see more familiar names!!! Woo hoo!!

  71. Congrats to all you Book2Blurb finalists -- and kudos to all of you who entered. That's a major step!

    Nancy C

  72. Thanks Ruthy and Patti Jo! I'm excited, but nervous. Plus I have a ton of work to do.

    Thank you all for the congrats.

  73. Don’t be afraid to make changes! You may just end up with something you like a whole lot better.

    MISSY, totally enjoyed this post. As to making changes, my characters pretty much see to that. I think the story is going one way but then the characters take it another direction. I can't count all the 'yes ... but' situations I've had. Something is resolved but not in the way I envisioned, which brings on a whole new 'something' to be resolved.

    And of course the new twist/change is always better than what I had thought would happen :-)

    Wishing you the best with your new book!

    Nancy C

  74. WILANI, if this was your first-ever attempt at a contest, then don't you dare give up!!!!

    Since Blurb2Book was sponsored by a publishing house, obviously the editors couldn't take time to give feedback on every entry.

    Instead, I strongly advise you to look at entering contests where feedback is expected. There are so many RWA chapter contests with inspirational categories. Just watch for the regular Seekerville Contest Updates and see what is coming up.

  75. Missy,
    Thanks for the post! I can't explain how important my library is to me. What a wonderful resource.

    Congrats on the new book.

  76. LOL, Jamie!! I laughed so hard at your comment about almost having to resort to house cleaning!!! That's so ME! :)


  77. Hey Anna, glad to be on the same team with you!

  78. Wilani, that's a great attitude to have. I'm proud of you for being brave enough to enter your first contest!! And like they said on the site, please feel free to go ahead and finish and submit the books. So any of you who didn't make this round, I encourage you not to give up. Keep at it!

  79. Nancy C, I'm the same way. Things pop into the story that I love yet never planned to start with. :)

  80. Lyndee, thanks! And congrats to you!!

  81. Myra, that's a great point. Feedback is a huge help!

  82. Anna and Terri, congrats to you! I hope I didn't miss anyone on the lists who has already dropped by today.

  83. I'm home and can now post the third set of finalists moving to the next round for LI. Congrats to all!!

    3:00 p.m. Team Love Inspired

    Editor Mentors: Melissa Endlich, Shana Asaro, & Giselle Regus

    Amy Clouse—Falling In Love Again
    Amy Lanier—His Rodeo Sweetheart
    Amy Louise Lawrence-- Return to Apple Blossom Hills
    Amy M. Newman—The Fireman's Secret Baby
    Annie Rains—The Marrying Kind
    Ashley Flint—A Sweet Surprise
    Christy Kennard—Riverfront Ranch
    Denise Pysarchuk—Mischief
    Dianna Shuford—Renovated Dreams
    Donna Gartshore--Memories at Silver Lake
    Erica D. Hearns--Always the Last to Know
    Glynis Becker—Hope and Promises
    Heidi McCahan—The Farmer's Daughter
    Jeanne M Dickson-- A Home For Roma
    Jill Weatherholt—Capture the Dream
    Laurel Blount-- A Family for Goosefeather Farm
    Leanne Bristow-- The Rebel's Search
    Liz Isaacson—Second Chance Ranch
    Lorie Taylor-- The Carpenter's Wish
    Nicole Crone-- A Young Mother's Redemption
    Shannon Brown-- The Bachelor Neighbor
    Susan Hollaway-- Abandoned Hearts
    Vera Smetzer-- Yuletide Cowboy
    Vesta Watkins-- Her Cowboy Hero
    Yvonne Weers-- A Home for Hope

  84. This feels like a RITA and GOLDEN HEART announcement day!

    Isn't LI wonderful! Love how they created this opportunity for writers. So proud of all who entered. Excited for all those moving on to the next round.

    We need to celebrate!

    I brought helium balloons and party hats, plus chocolate! :)

  85. Did you say chocolate?! They've still got Easter candy 1/2 priced at Town and Country. I'll be right back ;)

  86. What's better than chocolate?? Why, half-price chocolate, of course!! Thanks, Jamie! :)

    (BTW, my grocery was already out of the half price stuff by the time I got there. Yes, I did look!)


  87. Thanks Missy and Seekers for the great advice today. I am definitely searching out all possibilities for my book. It has a lot of gaps in it and needs a lot of fleshing out. I know there are different ways I could go with it.

    Please enter me in the drawing for any of the books.

  88. Thanks Missy!

    Debby - Thanks for the party, I'll admit I'm hyped - and scared!

  89. Wow! Congratulations to so many Villagers I "know" who are moving on in the Blurb2book opportunity! Cheering for you all!

    I'm not moving on, but I'm so glad I did enter. I appreciate Love Inspired Books for giving us a great experience.

    Celebrating with you all....and helping myself to the chocolate! :)

  90. Congratulations to those moving on. Glad Missy made it safely home. Sign me up for the With This kiss drawing. I already have the LI. Book through their mail order service.

    1. Love the library. ..great place to read, research, explore!

  91. Sherida, I am sorry you did not move on. We can celebrate that we tried.

  92. Yes, Wilani! Entering really is a step for us to celebrate. Happy continuing to write to us all!

  93. Congratulations to all those moving on! I hope I get the chance to read a LIS by each of you!

  94. Sandy S, I hope this method works for you. Enjoy filling out the story!

  95. Sherida, good for you for entering! We'll celebrate everyone who tried. You know how we love entering contests around here! :)

  96. Congratulations to everyone! I haven't stopped shaking since I spied my name. If it weren't for Seekerville, my name would never be on the list. Thank you. xo

  97. Bettie, I've got you entered. Thanks for subscribing to the book club!

  98. Jill's here! Congrats! It was fun seeing your name on there. :)

  99. Terrific post, Missy and I agree, when we take the time to dig deeper our stories reflect that extra care.

  100. Congratulations to all the stage 2 finalists. Wow, so many people I know.

    So many published authors. I LOVE that they are thinking outside the box and taking chances.

    Makes me giddy!

  101. Damian and I are going to the library tomorrow after school and then out to eat. He loves reading and I'm trying to encourage him. I'm a big fan of libraries!

  102. Branching out with my plots always scare me. I have to remind myself I can always fix a wrong turn, but if I never vary from the predictable path, the story will end up...predictable. :)

    Thanks, Missy, for these invaluable tips!
    The Doctor's Second Chance sounds so good!!

  103. Congratulations to all who are moving on to stage two of Blurb2Book!

    We will be cheering you on!

  104. Such a scary driving experience, Missy! I'm glad you're safely home again.

    I love libraries! In the early years our children and I spent a lot of time at them. A few years ago when one of our daughters was teaching in a new school, I was a 'parent assistant' (parent of the teacher!), and worked with her in the school library and computer lab for more than a month, logging in new students, getting $30,000 worth of new books catalogued, and setting up two dozen new computers. I had a blast! In Canada I believe National Library Week is in October, but as far as I'm concerned libraries are more than relevant every month of the year.

  105. Missy, Thank you for your post. As I am in the final stages of plotting, all of these suggestions for how to tap the possibilities in our manuscripts will come in handy. Like Julie, I get a lot of ideas on the treadmill.

    I frequent my local library branches a good bit so I can write. I appreciate them very much.

    Thanks for the post.

    Congratulations to all the Villagers who moved on in the Blurb2Book Love Inspired rounds.

  106. Tina, I loved seeing all the familiar names, too!

    Cara, have a great time tomorrow! I'm so glad you're passing along the reading bug. :)

  107. Natalie, that's a great point. It's always fixable. But I've found if I have a mid-point and ending in mind, I can always head that direction. I can still wander around a little bit as long as I end somewhere near what I have planned. Of course, I've also changed my endings before, too! LOL

  108. Carol, helping your daughter's school sounds like so much fun! After my kids' elementary school had a fire that destroyed the library, I helped log in new books and shelve them (along with a boy I was mentoring). We had a great time.

  109. Tanya, I've gone to the library to work a few times. It's a really nice change of pace (and no phone or doorbell!). :)

  110. Stopping by one more time today, LOL - - CONGRATS to the LI team moving on to the next stage!
    I'm so happy for all of you that are moving on, so I fixed little goody bags (since balloons and party hats were already provided, I figured they needed goody bags too). :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

  111. Missy, great post! I have always loved going to our local library - I've had a library card since I was just old enough to receive one. Before that, my dad used his card so I could check out books.
    Loved the comments by the other Seekers!

    Please enter my name in for the drawing!

  112. Hi Missy,

    I was shocked to discover I missed your post yesterday! But I think God knew I needed to read it today. I've copied your post and pinned the comments on Pinterest. Thanks so much to all of you!

    I'd love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks.

  113. You're right- unlimited possibilities can be intimidating, but also liberating :) It's so interesting how each author you featured has a different method of working through their stories!

    Please put my name in the hat for the drawings! Happy library week!

  114. Dashing in - on deadline!
    But had to comment, Missy.
    Good post and you're right - big diff in #NoLimits and #UnlimitedPossibilities - especially since one starts with a negative. ;)

    Seriously, thinking things through and letting your mind wrap around the "unlimited" concept is free-ing. And then... a cheetah shows up. (True story!)

    Thanks for a thoughtful post!!!

  115. I appreciate Libraries. My kids were so blessed to have a good one close by.
    Please put me in the drawing for the This Kiss anthologies.. I have The Dr's 2nd Chance :)

  116. VINCE SAID: "Do you think it is meaningful that the treadmill is often chosen as a metaphor for mindlessly plodding on?"

    LOL ... uh, yeah, I do, especially in my case, Mr. Moody! ;)

    JAN ... YES, you really should give the treadmill a shot because it does get the creativity in the old brain (uh, a reference to my brain, not yours!) shaking and moving. :)

    TANYA, great minds, my friend, and great treadmills, I guess. ;)


  117. MISSY!!! Sooooo sorry I'm a day late and WAY more than a dollar short!!

    Loved the post, and I really wish I knew how to do Scrivener, but I will admit, it always overwhelms me to learn something new. :(

    MYRA SAID: "The movement gives my brain a recharge, and ideas really do seem to flow better!"

    It realllllly does, Myra, so I think you may just get in the habit ... :)

    LOL, MISSY ... I know what you mean about "ignoring my advice" about the treadmill. Trust me, I want to ignore the niggling feeling, too, but sometimes I just can't.


  118. Jackie, I'm glad you got by today! I often do the same thing. :) I got you entered, too!

  119. Patti Jo, thanks for stopping by with the celebratory items. :)

    Edwina, that's so cute about using your dad's library card!

  120. LOL, KC! I want to know more about this cheetah! :)

  121. Deanna, I've got you entered for the novellas! :)

  122. Julie, I took a Scrivener class that helped a good bit. But I need to go finish reading all the info to figure out how to use it more.

  123. Hi, there, Missy! I almost missed your post because I was still snoopy dancing over making Stage Two of the Blurb to Book contest. I've definitely got my eye on your book to study the line more and figure out how I can craft my story better.

    As for being unlimited possibilities, I have been doing this with the series I am working on. I wanted to start with romance tropes I love and then turn them on their head a bit. For my So You Think You Can write entry last year, I took the enemies to lovers trope and played with it by thinking about what would happen if instead of a business rivalry or perceived slight, the heroine had a legitimate reason to really dislike the hero? I kept making the infraction bigger and bigger until it was so big I wasn't sure I could pull it off...then I started writing :-)

    Sometimes I get overwhelmed by possibilities, but I like the fact that if something isn't working, I'm not wedded to writing the scene that way, from that character's perspective, with the goal of showing this particular thing. It's freeing. I like to know what major things are coming, but I love it when something unexpected crops up and I have to come up with a new way to resolve things.

    Please enter me in the drawing. Either way, I'm going to get my hot little hands on your new book. It's research *cough*

  124. Congrats, Mz Zey Zey!! I'm excited for you!