Thursday, August 13, 2015

WRITER: Under Construction

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. 
Involve me and I learn."  
Ben Franklin

Hi, I'm Ruthy and I'm under construction. I'm a work in progress. I'm a writer, and I'm learning my craft each and every day, just like you.

I get rejected.

My ideas get canned.

I get proposals denied.

I get revision letters.

And here's what I do when that happens:

Rejections: I write something new, as fast and as well as I can.

Ideas tossed out:  I brainstorm with others or go to my idea file and try to see the opposite POV.

Proposals denied: I rewrite/revise/resubmit, and I make that a priority, I mean I start THAT DAY... because I want that editor to know that their line, their readers, their time and their faith in me is appreciated. I had a revision call one afternoon. We went over ideas and content. I worked on that revised proposal all that evening, much later than I usually work. The next morning I went back to it at 4:00 AM and by 11:00 AM I had sent it back.

I got a call later. A very surprised voice said that she saw that revision returned and thought "She hasn't really changed what I asked for, she's paying lip service like so many do..." And then she opened the proposal, read it, and called me to say it was approved.


I'm not yelling at you. Well, okay, just a little! But here's the point.... If you were in a lab and had to run new labs, would you mull what went wrong with the last set or just run the lab?

If you're running a Fortune 500 company and an opportunity to buy a competitor comes across four desks, are you ready with information to bid hard against the other three? Or are you still gathering data?

If you're going to the doctor and they put you off repeatedly, do you keep going to that doctor?

If you want to buy a car and the dealership keeps putting you off and won't firm up an offer, do you buy the car or go elsewhere?

Yes, we're under construction, but when we submit work, we need to be readying our brain for alternative measures. We open our own new roads, our own paths by the daily choices we make.

"Education is what remains after one has 
forgotten what they learned in school."     Albert Einstein

I am self-educated. I might be the only Seeker who never went to college.

Who cares?

No one.

Because no matter what I did twenty or thirty years ago, I'm using the time, experience, jobs, learning curves, family matters, family insanity, faith, fun and fortitude to build a new career.

God has given you a UNIQUE EXISTENCE, ONE OF A KIND.

Use it.

Please use it.

Because you're special. You're beautiful. You're amazing. You're every-grain-of-sand-on-the-beach marvelous.

Only you can tell your story. Only you can write it just that way. So what's holding you back?

1. You think you're not good enough.

2. You're afraid

3. You're scared to commit the time, because if you do and you FAIL, then it's your fault

4. People will think you're crazy if you tell them you're writing a book.

Here's how I handle those points:

1. "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light." (Peter 2:9)

2. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

3. Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (Corinthians 16:13)

4. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
(Timothy 1:7)

So often we look far and wide for answers. We forget that choices can be simple... so simple. Right there in the pages of The Good Book.

Work hard, then work harder than anyone else. 

Play nice.

Smile a lot! If you love writing, it should make you happy, like loving Christ makes you happy! Wear that smile with pride.

Seek to be better, work better, live better. Not higher: better.

God has sent many a wordsmith into the world. You're one of his newest! Be at peace to love and serve the Lord with your work and your joy.

Be a light. 

The coffee is on! Stop in and leave a comment to get your name tossed into Ruthy's construction hat! She's got a $20 AMAZON card sitting on her old sideboard and she's just dying to give it to someone. It might as well be you!



Now, here's the deal, what I need from you (come closer, so you can hear me, okay? I'm speaking softly because I never ask for reviews... but for this book, I covet your review, so only say you want it if you have time to review it, okay??? Now if you hate the book, it is all right to pretend you love it. I am highly sensitive, you know.)

So yes, the $20 gift card is STILL ON THE TABLE... but also, it's time to put "Refuge" in the hands of people. And let me just say I love this book. I love this story. I loved writing it. And editing it. And I'm thrilled with Franciscan Media's work on the book, with me, with the cover, with getting word out there... and it releases in six (6) weeks... so it's time to start talking about it. Chatting it up.

And tell me in the comments if you want to be in the cat dish for the books... or if you don't have reading time/review time, if you want to be in for just the Amazon card.... or if you want to be in the cat dish for both! Your wish is my command, my friends!

And now back to writing... back to dreams and goals... back to you:

Tell us what holds you back. Tell us why you hesitate. Recognize your weak spots, and let's work together to bolster them, like a cracked concrete wall in need of a fix! She brought a bucket of concrete patch, and she knows how to use it!

Cookies for breakfast! Your choice Molasses, Snickerdoodles or Chocolate chip!

Multi-published, best-selling author Ruth Logan Herne loves to pen stories that help women rise up and above what life might have handed them, and give them a sweet romance at the same time. Win/Win!!!

Empowering women to be the best light to the world that they can be makes her really happy! So does chocolate and Poldark, the summer Masterpiece Theater presentation on PBS! Friend Ruthy on Facebook, visit her over at the Yankee Belle Cafe (she's there TODAY, actually!!! Get that, two places at once!) or stop by her website 


  1. Hi Ruth:

    I must say that when I first came to Seekerville and read "Winter's End", I thought you had experience as a college English professor because "Winter's End" has the type of biting realism that academics find so worthy of appreciation.

    Here's a paragraph from that first review:

    “Winter’s End” is written in such a realistically relentless cadence that I felt like I was reading something by Eugene O’Neil, Tennessee Williams, or Arthur Miller. Even after reading ninety percent of "Winter's End" the book could still have belonged to three different genres. With a happy ending, it would be a romance. Add an unrequited love and a suicide and it would be classic romanticism ala "The Sorrows of Young Werther”, "La Dame aux Camélias" or the movie “Elvira Madigan”. And with an inconclusive ending it would be a modern realistic novel like the “Good Soldier”. Hard. Sad. Depressing."

    That was in 2010. You're the Seeker I would have picked to be the college professor. And really, I don't think I would have been wrong from the POV of the quality of your work.


    P.S. Please enter me in the drawing for your book if I can get it as a Kindle otherwise I'll wait until there is a Kindle version.

  2. How do I choose between molasses, snickerdoodle and chocolate chip?! One of each please ;) I really needed to read this post as a reviewer- often I just want to move on to devour the next book on my TBR list and the review post draft is sitting on my blogger dashboard just waiting to be finished... and I know that my reviews are better when written before starting a new book! You've given me the kick in the pants to go finish the two reviews I have in the works so thank you! Please put my name in the construction hat for either prize, I promise I'll review in a timely manner ;)

  3. Cookies!!!!! And Ruthy's new book. What a pairing!!! Congratulations on your new release. The cover is gorgeous and the story sounds marvelous!!! WOO HOO!!! I love new releases. (Cookies too)

  4. I must say that I hesitate because I'm afraid of messing up. The good news is that I worry less than I did. These days I tend more to jump in, have a go and fix things up if need be.

    Count me in for the GC thank you. If you are not in a hurry for the review, the book as well.

  5. I have read everyone of you books and love them all. I'd love to win a gc.

  6. I have read everyone of you books and love them all. I'd love to win a gc.

  7. OMGoodness, it's late at night and I'm craving chocolate cookies thanks to that amazing picture, Ruthy! =P

    What would hold me back from writing is feeling like I can't do the characters justice. I really would want to have Asian American characters featured in my writing, but thanks to the library conference I attended this summer, I'm beginning to realize in other parts of America, AAs are dealing with being in the "minority" and issues that I never have experienced or dealt with. I guess that's where research comes in?

    Congrats on your new book Ruthy! I'm currently behind on reviews (I just started J.L. Mbewe's fantasy "Secrets Kept" and I am hooked!) so I'll have to pass on "Refuge of the Heart" for now, but I would love a chance to win the gift card! =)

  8. VINCE!!!! I love you to pieces. What a kind and thoughtful thing to say. I loved the backstory of "Good Will Hunting" ... getting a college education from the public library for a $1.75 in overdue fees. :)

    You are too kind my friend, and yes, you have to wait for the Kindle edition!!! Six weeks... And then I hope you love it. Romance realism, Vince. But I think it's a heart grabber.

    I'm tossing your name (first one!!!) into the Amazon cat dish, and thank you for your kindness, your eloquence, your amazing brains and your attentiveness to detail. These are groundworks of success and goodness, all of which you embody. Here, which kind of cookie would you like???

  9. Heidi, you're in on both, and you said wise words... because it is so much easier when the first book isn't muddied by the next one. Good, I'm glad I inspired you!!! Go get 'em, Tiger!!!!

    And the molasses cookies are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. :)

  10. Mary Preston, you're in! And that hesitation, that fear is what holds so many back. If only we knew in the beginning that it's okay to need work... to write it, then fix it, and it sounds like you're on the right/write path! Go for it, my friend!

    We all need fixing, don't we? So does our work! Like us, a work in progress.

  11. Good morning Ruthy!

    What a wonderfully put 'kick in the pants' your post is. Of your four points I am guilty of all of them. I told one person I am writing and everytime I see her she is on top of me asking how much I have done, when can she read it, etc. etc. I finally told her I was stepping back to study more on the craft at this time. It still hasn't stopped the questions.

    Congratulations on your new book! Yes, I have time to review. I have a blog I review on as well as Amazon, Goodreads, Christian Book Distributors, Facebook, and Twitter. I would be proud to read and review your new book.

    I would like to have my name thrown into the dish for both giveaways! Thank you.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  12. Jen, you're in darling, and here's what I think about minority characters.


    Make it about fear or forgiveness or chances or mean girls or new beginnings... One of my first books had a multi-racial heroine. Caucasian/Indian/African American. No one said a thing, because the book wasn't about Sarah, the multi-cultural woman.

    The book was about Sarah, the North Country shepherd and the way she stepped up to the plate for her dysfunctional family... after they'd been mean to her.

    By making the ethnicity status a non-issue (while including snippets from their culture, of course) it becomes an organically woven part of the plot. No one cares, lots of people buy the book, and it sends a subtle message.

    Maybe that's the key word: subtle. What do you think???

  13. Ruthy, I second what Vince said about you! Lots of great writers never went to college. Who cares? The only thing I remember about Beowulf is the first line because we had to memorize it. Still don't know what it means.

    How many cups of coffee have you had this morning? I need to catch up. I'll take a handful of the chocolate chip cookies, please. After reading your post, I'm inspired, encouraged, pumped up, and ready to hit the keyboard.

    Love your new cover! Please throw my name into the cat dish for both prizes. AND HAVE A GREAT DAY! Not that you know how to have any other kind, friend. :)

  14. Barbara, you're in both cat dishes, and might I add that the cats are SUPREMELY ANNOYED!!!!

    I remember reading once, when I was a younger mother, that writers and broadcasters would never have to worry about that diploma, because it was on-the-job training and took guts and grit and the ability to never quit. I kind of held that article close to my heart, telling myself my time would come. And it did!!! Oh, that God! :)

    I look at Jesus and those simple disciples and I know that what God plants in the heart and mind is the most important gift of all. And then it's our job not to waste it!!

  15. Hey, I'm just going on second cup of coffee. Got my early 1K in... and cold toes because it was 53 degrees here... SO FUNNY!!!!!!


    I had the distinct pleasure to land an advance copy through a reviewer site of Refuge of the Heart and have already written my review. The first two lines say how I feel about it best, so here they are with one additional one thrown in:

    *Ruth Logan Herne's REFUGE OF THE HEART is her crowning glory and best book ever!

    *Refuge of the Heart is my favorite book this year setting a new gold standard in relevant inspirational fiction!

    *At some point the story stopped being a work of fiction and became a spiritual experience.

    I could go on about how I was so captivated I read right through the time I should have left for church, but God was speaking to my spirit through the book so strongly I couldn't even move. Or how when I finished I emailed Ruthy because I had to do something with all my emotions that Refuge of the Heart stirred in me.

    But I'll just leave it there and recommend you pre-order the Ruthy book of a lifetime and then block off the better part of 2 days because you will not be able to put it down.

    Okay, done gushing, I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

    An Amazon card is always a good thing, please through my hat in the dish, thank you!

  17. I SO needed to read this post today! I'm glad God moved your heart to write it!

  18. Ruthy, I can't agree more about what you said: "I look at Jesus and those simple disciples and I know that what God plants in the heart and mind is the most important gift of all. And then it's our job not to waste it!!"

    SO TRUE! It's the Parable of the Talents. It's our job to take the talents God has given us and not bury them in the ground in fear. I'm so glad you multiplied your talents and shared them with us and the world. God bless you!

  19. Good morning Ruthy, and thank you for a wonderful post! You're right on as usual, with words I needed to hear. :-) Love the new cover!

    The cookies look delicious, I'll have several of each!

    And I envy you the 53 degrees—we're still hot, hot.

  20. Aw, Tracey Hagwood, thank you!!! Thank you for your enthusiasm, your kind words, and your love.

    I did not pay her to say this... any of this!!!! :)

    'Member yesterday when I said I don't do contests because I don't care about awards? Tracey just showed why.

    Her words and reaction are the only reward I need. She just made my day!!! And I'm so excited to share this book with you guys!

    Tracey, I'm putting you in for the Amazon card!!! Bless you!

  21. RUTHY,
    I agree with the need for Getting On With It. I haven't yet had any formal revision requests, but I keep in metaphorical shape by applying criticism when it comes in. When I was in a once-a-month critique group that met physically, I would stop at a coffee shop on the way home and edit my hard copy with their suggestions. Now I'm in an e-mail critiquing relationship with one of those writers, and I apply her suggestions within 24 hours after I receive them. I do the same with contest scores and feedback, trying to apply their suggestions within up to a week. Before I send the thank-you notes. These are, of course, suggestions I agree with and that fit the scope of the work. I'm prepping myself for the day when an editor wants changes and wants them ASAP. "Revise and resubmit" are beautiful words, especially when compared with "no."
    Thanks for your post. It's good to be directed back to why we do this.
    I got a witness of the spirit last week that I should be doing this, and that It Will Happen. I wrote it down in my journal for the bleak times. Had a moment of doubt yesterday (okay, a karate chop of doubt) and went back to the Witness of the Spirit. Which is sometimes all we have.
    Put my name in the cat dish if it's a physical book (I still don't have an e-reader), and also for the Amazon card.
    Kathy Bailey

  22. I love Tracey's idea of pre-ordering REFUGE OF THE HEART!!! Blame her, not me, here is the link to AMAZON!

    And here is the link to Christian

    Let's see if both of those work.... Release day is September 25, and I know my friends at Franciscan would love to see preorders flocking in!!!

  23. Rose, most folks would look at you, your beautiful prose, your talent and your achievements and scratch their heads, but I HEAR YOU.

    I understand completely.

    So we'll do this together. :)

  24. Barbara, YES!!! Parable of the Talents and trusting in the one who gave them to us. :)

    I'm reading "Light in the Darkness" right now, by Fr. Jonathan Morris and I love this book. Full of stories and devotionals from people who've been that light in the darkness to and for others.

    It makes me smile, and smiling makes us such good stewards of God! Bring on the smiles!!!

  25. MOLASSES cookies! One you don't see enough of these days. My mom used to make them and I have her recipe. Do you do the design with the fork and then sprinkle them with white sugar?

  26. Kaybee, you're in for both! Got you down, and those smacks upside the head might knock us for a loop, but remember...

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Smart lady.

    You hang onto that spiritual nudge. The importance of staying the course... while taking good advice and applying it, like you said!.... is clutch. Hang in there.

  27. Ruth'y,Ruthy,
    It's always such a pleasure seeing you posting here my friend. I'll take some chocolate chip cookies please. Your words are so true and just what I needed to read, we can always use a reminder of things. Your postings always make me smile and so does looking at your new cover. It's beautiful but, congratulations on another new release. Blessings to you my friend and please enter me in the drawing for your book and the Amazon card.
    Thank you.
    Deanne Patterson

  28. Mary Hicks, fist-pumping the air with you!!!

    And thank you for your kind words on the cover... I love it! They did a great job of creating longing, with a promise of peace.

    AND WINTER!!!! :) The story starts and ends in winter, and the cover embraces so much of that!

    Mary, the 53 degrees is awesome, isn't it??? We're due for 90's over the weekend, but for right now, my toes are covered in SOCKS!!! How funny is that?

  29. Kaybee, I don't always do the fork design with molasses cookies, but I do use the bigger grained "medium" sugar crystals, like you find in stores. I love them done that way!!!

  30. Deanne, I love that you meandered over here! Yes, you're in for both drawings, and thank you for your kind words! I'm handing some fresh chocolate chip cookies over the counter, in a white pastry bag! I love white pastry bags... and those cord-handled bags, too! :)

    Coffee and tea is on the dining room table, my friends.

  31. Most encouraging, Ruthy! Thank you for this post and the motivation it gives me. You know I want to read every word you have ever written - and I always write reviews. I can't wait for Refuge of the Heart to come my way. The GC would be great too - I can always use more Seeker books. I'll take the Snickerdoodles, please.

  32. HELLO RUTHY! Thanks for the great post. I wish I had time to read/review your book. Please enter me in the draw for the gift card.


  33. Oh my goodness. I have done all that - felt not good enough, been afraid, mulled things over - over and over again. Thank you for the verses. I do learn, although slowly. :) I will be happy read and review your book.

  34. What a great morning pep-talk!! I needed that! I would love one of the books or the Amazon gift card to purchase the book!

    Lots of exclamation marks after reading her blog ;-) with a smile no less!

    Blessing on your day!


  35. Morning, Ruthy!

    First of all, let me say that seeing on Facebook the title of this post intrigued me, so that's how I ended up here.

    Second, I haven't been on Seekerville in I-don't-know-how-many months.

    Third, you made me cry. Well, I teared up anyway and could have gone full-on bawling while reading this. Why? Because I felt as if you were speaking to ME.

    So much holds me back: fear, definite lack of self-worth (not feeling good enough--that's a huuuuuuge issue in my life)... Those are the two biggies, but they're enough, aren't they? I also have an issue with at least 9 books semi-in-progress and they're all calling to me at once; the characters have all taken up residence in my head and I don't know which one to work on first.

    Thank you for this post, dear friend. I've been feeling a deep restlessness lately, and it might have to do with writing...

    Please toss my name into the cat dish for the gift card (can certainly use that these days!) and the book. Thanks!



  36. Cookies!!!!

    It's my birthday, so yes, thank you, I WILL have snickerdoodles with my coffee.

    Ruthy, this is the bestest post. First you were humble *g*, then cajoling, then inspiring - and always wise.

    But then - I'm reading along and see $20 Amazon card. Okay, nice.

    But then I get to this:



    Oh, please count me in for that. I would be delighted to read and review.

    Of course, you know I'm also happy to buy it if I don't win, but a chance to read it now is an awesome birthday present. *hint hint* Just kidding.

  37. Ruthy, your posts always inspire me. Yes, I needed this post. Yes, I have times where I struggle with some of those lies you listed. The fear of rejection has been there, and I've had to battle it with truth. For me the truth is God gave me a love for writing, and He's confirmed that this is where He wants me, in part with finaling in contests, in others' feedback about my work and in other ways. I can't worry about if my work gets rejected. It's God's to do with what He wants. My role is to write, in collaboration with Him and to the best of the ability He's given me. And to learn more about writing so I can do it for His glory. Okay, I'm rambling. Sorry.

    I'd love to be in the dish for both! :)

  38. Oh my Goodness you gals are playing hard this week. And blessed bunch, it's just what I need. Thank you!

  39. I am conquering my fears this morning.


    Pass the cookies. Chocolate chip fresh out of the oven. Yum!!!!

  40. Morning RUTHY, Love the scriptures. some of my favs. And I'll take snickerdoodles please. My favs also.

    Thanks for reminding us of our job as writers.

    Congrats on the new release. I"m so tickled that Catholic publishers are finally printing Christian fiction. yay Something we've been praying about for a long long time. Right?

  41. Happy birthday Mary ( Cate)

    Have a blessed day. You are a blessing to many so we are thankful you were born.

  42. TRACEY I agree wholeheartedly. That was one of my favorite books too.

  43. Making a list... Notepad in hand:

    Cindy: Either giveaway... gives great hugs and reviews!!!... needs chocolate chip cookies and loves encouragement.


  44. Caryl, you're in and darling, I wish you did, too... but another time, perhaps! And gift cards are such fun things!

  45. Dana, I love the umbrella shot, more than you know. And yes, I'm putting you in the drawings for both....

    Haven't we all felt that way? And aren't the answers at our fingertips? Sure they are, and we're silly and forget to look!

    I think about how rugged and rough those early times were... and then how courageous and faith-filled those original colonists were... and then how the pioneers risked everything to have a piece of God's earth... and I realize our trials are no worse than theirs. And I nod and move on.

    God is sooooo good!

  46. Stephanie, your comment made me smile, so it went both ways!!!! YAY!!!!!!


    You're in, sweet thing!

  47. Oh my goodness, I'm feeling convicted!! :) I bet you pictured ME when you were typing this post. hahaha Thanks for the kick in the pants. I take way too much time recovering momentum when I get rejections. I'll be bookmarking this to read the next time. :)

    I'm so excited your new book is almost out!!

  48. Melanie, you're a ship without a rudder these days, and I know that feeling well. And you've got amazing talent!

    I've often felt like I was speaking to me, too, LOL! Because we all do it. So for you, the first thing, the most important thing is pick one and finish it.

    Just one.


    That would be my first suggestion... the second one goes with it, and it would be scheduling. I know how crazy your life gets, so I'd steal an hour of sleep time... or TV time... and train my body to get by on that one hour less. Just one hour... and then use that to write when no one else is around. That's how my middle of the night thing started, I kept waking up and thinking what should I do at 4:00 AM??? And then I realized I was getting a block of time with NO KIDS and no noise!!! #happy!!!!

    Try it for a month.

    One month.

    See if it makes a difference.

  49. Hi Ruth:

    No doubt about it!

    I'd love the Snickerdoodles!

    I'd also like to fly you to Cleveland to give todays talk to A-rod and boys. The Yankees never have had better pitching for so many games in a row without winning one!


    P.S. I tried to pre-order "Refuge of the Heart" in the Kindle but it is not offered yet.

  50. Tracey, Ruthy told us how touched she was by your email after reading the book. Your words have me VERY excited about reading this book!!!

  51. Cate Nolan/Mary Curry, you're in!!!! I can't wait for you to read it and I hope you love, love , love it!!!


    And I love that you noticed the ramp up from humility on, LOL! Start soft... then move in for the kill!


    I'm tossing your name in both cat dishes, ignoring the baleful looks they're sending my way, and sending you hugs!

  52. Melanie, you can do this! How wonderful that you have 9 projects waiting for your touch. Praying you can pick one that captures your imagination and your attention for now. Promise the others their day in the sun. They'll wait for you! :)

    It's not like you birthed 9 kids at once. ;)

    Ruthy, love the cover of Refuge and the story within has got to be amazing! Can't wait to read it!

  53. Melanie, I'm going to echo Ruthy's sage advice here:

    "So for you, the first thing, the most important thing is pick one and finish it.

    Just one."

    This is me too. I have 15 different projects I want to work on and I paralyze myself. But then I remind myself to focus on the one my editor is waiting for. The others can have their day in the sun (to paraphrase Julie) when this one is DONE.

    Honestly, it's more fun to write a little of this and a little of that, but for me, at least, it's also avoidance of finishing and having to do something with it. I did that for 30 years. Then when I sat down and finished one quickly - I sold it.

    Sending happy deciding vibes to you.

  54. Vince, I have no idea why Kindle preorder takes so long to be activated. Isn't that weird????



    My Yankees.

    Oh, my Yankees. It's like the archangel of hitting has abandoned the team!!!! :)

    Well, they peaked early... but there's time to peak again, Vince!!! I'm heading to Cleveland now!!!


  56. "Person of Interest" Would Make a Great Christmas Gift!

    On Thursday, August 13, Debby will sign "Person of Inerest" at Omega Book Center, Peachtree City, GA. Proceeds from the event will benefit Shepherds of the Meek, a non-profit organization that aids the forgotten and cast aside women of Columbia, South America, especially orphans and victims of domestic abuse and street violence. Phone orders will be taken, and books can be mailed for held for pickup: 770-487-3977.

    I just ordered a couple of these books for Christmas presents for my sister and sister-in-law who are both retired military, both named Nancy, and both with the same birthday!

    I really, really, think these events are a great thing for authors to do and a wonderful way to grace the inspirational romance genre.

    Wishing Debby well.


  57. Hi Ruthy
    I always feel revved up and ready to conquer the world after reading a Ruthy post. You inspire and kick-butt at the same time and in such a way that people appreciate it (well I do, I guess I can't speak for others).

    Lack of discipline is holding me back. That and feeling a tad bit (okay a huge bit) overwhelmed with Life this past year. There's so much I need to do that I don't know where to start even though I know all I need to do is begin with one daily tiny little step. I know I've got family/friends/Seekerville (esp seekerville) support, but I feel alone because I don't think my husband "gets" it yet. yeesh... i'm a basket case. At least I can come here to Seekerville and get educated and inspired daily. I'm hoping my inner Tina or Ruthy will crack that whip and I won't be saying "what... you talkin' to me??"

    would like my name in the cat dish for both book and card. Reviews for Seeker books go up within 24 hours after finishing reading because I'm usually so excited about the books. By the way, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your cover for Refuge of the Heart.

  58. Love this -- and something I definitely need to read -- and often. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I know sometimes I get discouraged when I read a really good book and think 'this author is leagues ahead of me in talent, imagination, word choice, etc.' but then I have to remind myself that the more I write the more experience I'll get and the more chance I have of improving.

    And health issues are definitely messing with my progress these days. I've just about come to terms with the fact that I can still do it, I just have to pace myself differently. Plus, I can't compare myself to what others are doing/accomplishing.

    I'd love to be thrown into the cat dish --- do you think I could borrow the cats for awhile to help with the mouse problem up here?

  59. WOW. What a post, Ruthy, what an absolutely AMAZING post!!

    Not ONLY did you come in at 762 words to my 1,009, but you said THREE TIMES AS MUCH, my friend, every word and Scripture pure gold!

    SUPER CONGRATS ON THE UPCOMING RELEASE!!! It is my favorite of ALL your covers, gritty and real, just like you! Can't wait to read the story.

    Praying it sells like gangbusters!!!


  60. Jeanne, that wasn't rambling. It was absolutely beautiful. Great and wondrous clarity!

    I think sometimes folks think once you've crossed the traditionally published bar, it's clear sailing. It's not, but IT'S PRETTY DARN SWEET. So I'm not going to pretend it's not, and I look at the path and I see it as totally worth it. The ups, the downs, so totally worth it.

    Because what part of life doesn't have ups and downs? What part of life doesn't trip us up?


    There is division along every path... but then there might be really good berries or really great nuts or a beautiful scene of lake/water/field.... so each path will have good and bad.

    And we say "Well, then" and move on.

    You're in!!!!


    Julie's post yesterday was the PERFECT SEGUE into this, wasn't it???

    And we didn't plan it.

    God did.

    Oh, that God!!!

  62. Pam, I've got 'em right here for you, darling. Fresh from the oven, and delicious!!! And those fears are soooo human....

    And not from God. He just loves us way too much for that.

  63. Hi Tracey:

    You wrote:

    "Ruth Logan Herne's "REFUGE OF THE HEART" is her crowning glory and best book ever!"

    Dem's fighting words!

    If "REFUGE OF THE HEART" is better than, "Red Kettle Christmas", "Winter's End" or "The Lawman's Second Chance"… well that would be like a ballplayer being sent down form a higher league to take Mark Teixeira's place on the Yankees!

    If "Refuge of the Heart" really is the best, I better not try and read it all in one session -- my poor old romantic heart couldn't take it all at once! : )

  64. This is the only place I can eat all the cookies I want.....for breakfast....and not gain an ounce. THANK YOU RUTHY!!!!!!

  65. MISSY, I have never read a book quite like it. It won't be all "sugar and spice and everything nice", actually far from it in many respects. For those brave enough to face the reality of humanity, both the good and the bad of it, I can guarantee you will come away changed.
    I've read at least a dozen amazing books this year, but still Refuge of the Heart stands heads above them all, because not only is it a great love story, there's a social and spiritual conciousness you will not be able to ignore. As I said in my upcoming review it reminds me of the the lessons Jesus taught in parable form. Good stuff.

    Sorry, I'm gushing again, can't seem to help myself. (Hoping I'm not embarrassing Ruthy, I'm just this books biggest fan)

  66. You know what I have recently realized about myself?

    You know how there are different kinds of LEARNERS??

    I looked up the list.
    Auditory Learners: Hear
    Visual Learners: See
    Kinesthetic Learners: Touch

    Well, I'm a visual learner. By that I mean I learn by READING.
    I've struggled in the last few years to feel like conferences ever teach me anything and I decided at RWA that the reason for that is.........NO MORE HANDOUTS.
    I know we're killing trees here, but when I just sit and LISTEN to a session it's just all gone. I struggle to even remember the topic later.
    When there used to be handouts I could follow along and retain more of it.
    I'm frowning because I don't know quite what to do about it. They used to at least hand outs we could find online, we'd get a link to a website or something.

  67. Why thank you, Ruthy. I'm quite honored to have a birthday cake from you and with my friends at Seekerville!

    And 39 candles - that must be a product of that new Common Core Math, right? :)

  68. Mary, the handouts are online. I'll email you the link Tina sent me.

  69. Thank you, Mary Curry. I thought they were but I don't think they make it easy for me to know that.

  70. Vince, your comment, "Dem's fighting words!" has me smiling. I accept the challenge, the gauntlet has been thrown down. I've read the three you mention along with most everything else Ruthy's written, but God did something very special with the words He gave her in this story. It's stunning when I really think about it.

    You WILL NOT be able to read it slowly, even if you want to. I didn't think my heart could take it either, but I COULD NOT look away.

    We'll talk again once you've read it and compare notes :-)

    Gushing again, but finding it hard to keep apologizing for it. Just sign me #1 fan.

  71. I love you cheerleader Ruthy!

    I'm so bad! Truly.

    I write like I do everything else in my life.

    I can work on a quilt from dawn until dusk for a several days loving every second of it. Then I get burned out and exhausted and I hate it. I put it down. One quilt all I lacked was quilting the border. Years later my daughter misplaced that unfinished quilt in a move and lost it forever.It was so pretty too!

    I load the dishwasher and wipe down the counters, but never finish those last few dishes. They may stay in the sink for days until I need them again.

    I try to break the cycle and set new goals for myself. But alas after a few days something else comes along and I get distracted. If my kids acted like this I would fuss at them for sure! My longest writing marathon was last years Seekerville's Speedbo. Wrote EVERY day for 31 days.

    Can you just repost this about every 7-10 days?

    Now I gotta go write. Thanks for kick in the pants.

  72. Isn't she just the best at PEP TALKS!!!!!!!!! :)

  73. Plus it's SCARY not to obey her.

    Drill Sergeant Ruthy

  74. I was thinking that Mary. I'd get so much done if she was here watching me.
    I'd probably break down and cry.

  75. OH RUTHY.....(yes, in ALL CAPS!) - - because this just might be your BEST POST YET!! (and I have L O V E D all Ruthy-posts).
    Wow - - I am about to head out the door on errands, but started reading this post and couldn't stop - - and I'll read it again and again (might even print it out and post beside my computer).
    EXACTLY what I needed today (okay...this year, actually).
    The verse you shared from Isaiah 41:10 is super special to me - - that was the verse I CLUNG to as I entered a major Atlanta hospital for my spinal surgeries in 2010 (what would end up being 4 surgeries in 8 days).
    Thank you soooo much for sharing your heart and your wisdom with us.
    You are amazing - - you really are!

    Please pass the molasses cookies and enter me in your drawing (IF I won a book I'd happily post great reviews, because I know I would love it).

    And just for you I've baked a Georgia peach cobbler this morning - - extra cinnamon sugar to make it extra yummy. :)

    Hugs, Patti Jo

  76. Ruthy!!!!

    I was so in need of a Ruthy post today!!! I turned in my Blurb to Book full and lost all of my mojo. At first I knew whose story was next and where I wanted it to go, then the nerves set in and I stopped. I didn't want to go forward without knowing the fate of the story with the editor. It's taken a while to realize that story is out of my hands and its fate is no longer up to me.

    I'm always interested in how others recover after submitting a new story. My turn around is too big at present. I'm soaking in any helpful tips lobbed my way.

    Please throw me in the cat dish for the gift card. I am already VERY behind on promised reviews. But I will get a copy when it's available!

  77. Wow, Ruthy, what a pep talk! I'm pumped and ready for an entire afternoon (can you believe it?) of writing. Several things that have been in my way are slowly stepping aside, some thanks to Seeker posts :-)

    Please toss my name in the construction hat/cat dish for the Amazon card. I'm looking forward to reading reviews of 'Refuge' and eager for its release. Once again, wonderful cover.

    Nancy C

  78. Great post, always, you are so inspiring!
    Would love to be "in" for your book and the A. card. I will gladly post a review! And pass the cookies....any kind. lol

    Happy Birthday to Mary Curry!!!

  79. Ruthy, you are a LIGHT!! Wonderfully encouraging and inspiring post!! God surely has His hand on this site...Seems like every post hits a nerve, touches a heart, opens eyes, unplugs ears and expands the mind!!! (And the comments and interaction are just SO MUCH FUN!!) Even when I don't have time to comment...I LOVE to get my morning (sometimes it's an afternoon or evening) Seekerville fix!!

    Thank you...thank you!!

    I, too, will pre-order Refuge of the TBR stack is too high to commit to a review in time for your upcoming release!! Are you having a FACEBOOK launch party...with cookies???? Snickerdoodles and tea are made for each other!!


  80. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY/CATE You know, those two names really are very pleasant sounding together :-)

    Nancy C

  81. Hi Mary:

    You wrote:

    "When there used to be handouts I could follow along and retain more of it. I'm frowning because I don't know quite what to do about it. They used to at least hand outs we could find online, we'd get a link to a website or something."

    I've had a seminar company for over 30 years and no handouts or bad handouts were ever allowed from my speakers! I agree with you 100%!

    Here are a few of my rules for speakers.

    Rules for handouts

    Don't include your whole presentation in the handout because then your lecture is redundant. Many will read ahead and then be bored by the time you get to the material they have already read.

    Provide 'teasers' in the handout that will keep the attendees playing attention.

    For example:

    The 5 essential elements of a powerful selling headline are:

    1. Get the attention of the best prospects for your product.

    This approach allows you get to employ all 3 learning modalities. Students hear what you say -- audio. They write something down -- kinetic. They see what they have just written -- visual.

    Also, if there is time to do it, ask the students to guess what the blank answers are. This gets you audience involvement. And if students move around making noise and rising their hands, that involves more senses as well. (It also bothers those who might want to sleep.:))

    In addition, all references and URLs should be included in the handout so the instructor does not have to write them on the white board or keep repeating them over and over using up valuable lecture time.

    Now all you have to do is get this info to the committees that select seminar instructors and have them insist on a similar handout format. Guest speakers actually want to follow the rules and do well.


    P.S. I'm reading "Now and Forever" and it used to be enough for you to have your hero or heroine fall off hundreds of feet of high cliff ("Wrangler in Petticoats") but now, oh no, both your hero and heroine have to take the fall into the worse river in North American. You never cease to amaze!!!

  82. Ruthie, I would love to be entered in both giveaways. Of course I will leave a review of your books.

    I am slowly getting started today. I was up and down all night with a continuing nightmare. I was dreaming of being attacked by demons. So glad the Lord gives peace even in the midst of such horrible nightmares.

    I do have a question. Since I got my manuscript back from an editor. I have saved the original as it was and now have it saved under a new name so if at some time I need to go back to something I have deleted I still have it. Is this the best way or should I do something different.

  83. Sandra, yes! We have been praying for it for years, that someone would take up the call and let us mix Catholic characters right in there with Amish and Mennonite and Protestant... and Franciscan doesn't insist on all Catholic characters, which I love because life, faith and God are not all about one thing except this: that Christ was the Son of God, and he died for us.

    I like to keep things simple. Simple truths, simple faith.

  84. Ruthy!! What a kick-in-the-pants post! (Definitely squashed any inklings of a heading-toward-the-weekend slump!)

    I needed to hear this...What holds me back from jumping all in, beyond that I have way too many commitments already (family, college, job-hunting, volunteering, work/internships...) is that I don't always feel my writing is developed enough or good enough for public eyes. I'm shy about showing it to anyone, even though my family has known my dream for years and is so supportive of whatever I choose to do.

    Of late, I've become more intrigued by the idea of writing children's books. Need to undertake some research into the market and see what's out there.

  85. HOW DID I FORGET RUTHY MENTIONED COOKIES?!?! Chocolate chip this way, please, Ruthy!

  86. I would love to be added to the giveaway today, either gift sounds wonderful! I have a wish list of books I could snap up on Amazon, and your upcoming release sounds great, Ruthy. I will happily review this new book if I receive it!

    So toss my name into the cat dish, pretty please!

  87. Mary! Happy Birthday! August birthdays are so lovely, don't you think? One of the best months to claim ;)

  88. That cover is GORGEOUS, Ruthy! I'm ready for piles and piles of snow, hot chocolate, heavy quilts, sweaters, and candles. (See my Oxford comma there? I'm a rebel. Seriously, I take it out when I have to. :-) ) Please put me in the hat for both prizes. I would love to review your book. And thanks for the kick in the seat of the pants today. I have ideas swirling for the next book, and I need to get serious about it.

  89. MISSY!!!! I didn't picture you, I pictured all of us.... It's like Heidi said, it's so easy to move on to something else, and then coming back to a rejection or "yesterday's news" is such a bummer!

    We all do it...

    But I might have thought of you just a TEENSY TINSY BIT at some point. Or another. :)

  90. Mary Curry/Cate Nolan, you hit the nail on the head. It's so much fun to start things!!!! But honestly, there's a really cool feeling in finishing stuff... That puts us in that top 2%, right? 98% of people never finish the book or something like that.

    Just putting yourself in that 2% is a huge step forward!!!

  91. Deb H, I used to be envious of women whose husbands were supportive of their writing. Their husbands cheered them on, they took over chores, they READ THEIR BOOKS...

    And they were like GO TEAM GO partners.

    Dave has never read one of my books.

    I don't think he's ever said "Let me take the kids awhile and you go write something..."

    He's proud of my accomplishments, and he's loving that I get paid now, but he's never been a rah rah guy... hence my waiting and then writing in the middle of the night. But my kids were always cheering me on, and hey, that was SIX OUT OF SEVEN!!!!! They always believed... which makes them so stinkin' happy now! Isn't that funny?

    But I couldn't let his lack of belief or understanding (remember there were years of disappointments) hold me back, because I believed. Learning to believe in myself, and God's plan was a big step... and maybe being stubborn Irish helped, LOL!

    He still hasn't read a stinkin' book.

    And I still love him. :)

  92. Kav, Julie made a great point yesterday, didn't she?

    That we should never compare and we're each made so uniquely. And so wonderfully made!!!

  93. Oops, Kav, I got caught short had to rescue a small child!!! Kid is alive, and freeze pops for all!!!

    The mice thing: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You know that I'm personally acquainted with this problem, and I'd JUST WRITTEN A SCENE LIKE YOURS in my Christmas novella when you posted about your friend (s).

    EEEEEK! I'd send you a cat but they're kind of worthless inside around here. Outside they're wonderful... Inside, they'd just as soon roll over and go to sleep!!!

  94. One more "Kav" point.... I know what you mean about speed and productivity. Julie and I have talked about that, because it's easy to look around and feel:

    1. Stupid
    2. Inept
    3. Rejected
    4. Inferior (go right back to Eleanor Roosevelt's quote, please and thank you!)


    WE'RE US.

    That's part of the reason I don't compete with others on this side of the publishing gig. I compete with me.

    Is this work strong? Is it strong enough? Does it hit the right notes? (Thank heavens for editors!!!) Will it resonate with people. Touch hearts? Touch souls?

    That's all I care about. But that's a lot of self-competition right there!

    My kids were/are runners. We taught them to compete, but not just to win the race. Personal best is a huge benchmark, so each time we push ourselves to make ourselves grow, WE WIN.

    Personal victory! SUHWEEET!


    Thank you for your kind words, and I hope it sells well, too. I want to see Franciscan succeed with this launch because they're putting a lot on the line, and like Sandra said, we've been hoping and praying for a line that at least allowed multi-denominational characters (like Jan Karon's Mitford Series, so fun!!!) I love that real-life feel to works like that. When have you ever seen a small town with one church?? Not around here, anyway, so it's fun to have churches laugh, mingle, and work together to support one another.

    I love that!!!

  96. Vince, I'm calling in my order NOW!!!!!

  97. Vince, I love you so much!!!! :)


    (My heart is beating VERY HARD IN MY CHEST right now!!!!)

  98. Another super-duper kick-in-the-pants Ruthy post! Must reread when things get back to semi-normal next week. Too much grandkid stuff going on right now.

  99. From this moment on I am letting the beautiful and wonderful Tracey Hagwood TAKE OVER TODAY'S BLOG because she's stinkin' amazing!!!!!

    You honor me.

    I might be blushing.

    A little.

  100. Mary Connealy, I can do handouts and learn.

    I can do magazine articles and learn.

    But someone talking at the front (and no handout to reference/read/see....) OR a whole book that can usually be downsized to a well-written bullet-point article....

    They don't work for me, either.

    Give me the gist, let me practice.

    And then it sticks!

  101. Connie Queen, that sounds a little ADD to me.

    Tina is ADD. She is the queen of doing whatever it takes to focus on the task at hand and complete it.

    She is amazing.

    And you can tell it's not easy, she'll TELL YOU it's not easy, but somehow she's mastered it.

    So does that come from desire? Self-discipline? Teaching yourself new tricks and avoiding old triggers?

    I think that comes back to our beautiful Melanie's plight, too: Finish one thing. Just one.

    Don't fret about the other undones in your life, or the misplaced loves, including the quilt. (I misplaced the hand crocheted lace Christening gown my sister made for my kids. I think it got thrown away, wrapped in a bag. I was/am heartsick about it, but we all make mistakes... but I feel your pain!!!0

    Finish one. And then, pick another.... Writing/sewing/dishes, etc.

    Doesn't matter.

    And honestly, housework is always a big fat LAST on the list. :)

  102. A SCARY CHEERLEADER!!!!! Now there's an image for you, Connealy! :)

    I'm thinking Nightmare Before Christmas cheerleader skeleton! EEEEK!

  103. ZEY ZEY!!!!!!

    FIRST: I'm so proud of you getting a full manuscript done and turned in!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!

    That's huge, huge, huge.

    And your question about moving on is a very important one.

    I'd do it. I'd jump right in and get that next book going/done because even if you have to change it, it's great practice for doing revisions/edits later anyway. Why not give it your best shot?

    So if the story isn't coming together mentally, look at "WHY" of the situation.

    Why did she do that?

    Why can't she love him?

    Why does she want to run home/away/anywhere else?

    Why doesn't he trust her?

    Why doesn't he want to be back in town?

    What happened in his past to make him act this way?

    If we can examine the stories behind the characters, we have a much better shot at making the characters 3-dimensional for good reason... and not just "saying" they're unhappy or untrusting or wary....

    See if that helps, but heck, yeah. I'd go for it! The more you have written, the more they have to buy!!!

  104. Ruthy's cookies for breakfast and words of encouragement.......a perfect start for the day!

    Thanks for telling me I can write (if this is God's plan) and for providing a verse to write on my heart. I'm afraid I'm not good enough to express the hope I want to convey to others. This verse: " can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." I do believe this. Now I need to act, knowing I'll always be under construction.

    When your book is available, I'll buy it and review as quickly as I can.

    Thank you for your positive outlook and great post. I'm smiling as I seek to be a better light!

  105. Nancy, what a treat, an afternoon to write!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU RIGHT NOW!!!!

    We just made a mudhole.


    Four children are very happy.

    Soon they will be very muddy.


    You take the gift of this afternoon and run with it, my friend! I've tossed your name in the cat dish shaped like a hard hat!!! (????????) I forgot I was using a hard hat, my bad!


    Well, of course we are! (oh my stars, thank you for saying that, adding it to my September agenda right now, LOL!)


    Isn't God amazing? Isn't He just so good? And I love being part of this community, too, helpful, kind and outreaching.


    But then, that's God too!!!!

  107. .
    Perhaps the problem lies not
    in the handouts per se
    but rather in the hands
    of plot phobic pantsers!

  108. Patti Jo, God bless you! Your kind heart and beautiful enthusiasm help so many... In person, in writing, online... you bless others daily! I love that verse from Isaiah, too... :) We're in this together!

    Courage and bravery in the face of adversity. These are wonderful qualities of a wonderful person, Patti Jo!

    And a good baker besides!

  109. Jackie, you're in!!!! In for both, and I'm so glad you stopped over!!! And the reviews are always a blessing!

  110. Kathryn Barker, I just re-read your words and SMILED AGAIN.


    "You are a light."


    That's when I'm not being Ms. Grumpy Pants!!!!

  111. Myra, I love that hairstyle to death.

    We have a houseful too. They're with us for 5 days while mom and dad are away.


    Or just crazy?????

    Either way, next week: Return to Witch Mountain.

    Wait, no, strike that! Return to Normal!!!

    Whatever that is!

  112. Sherida, you are a light.

    You shine in so many ways, so often. I see snippets of posts, comments, words that show the glow within you.

    A positive force on a sometimes weary world.

    If we can do that... just that.... Well, wow. :) That little light, that beacon of hope.

    (When I'm not being snarky, I have an easier time of being a light, LOL!)

  113. Great post Ruthy. What holds me back is fear that I'm not good enough. I need to work on that. Please enter me for both. I will read the books and review it. I know I will love it.

  114. Wow, another wonderful, spiritual blog post from Seekerville! I love it, Ruthy. Right on the money. I love that my editor tells me I am probably the hardest working writer she has, who works hard and work fast to do my initial edits on all my books. :-) I want my book to be the best it can be--every one of my books!

    One thing that has always scared me to death is worrying that I won't have time to do a good job with each book, that I will overload myself with too many commitments, etc. But I also know that I will be lazy and not get the work done nearly as fast if I do not have deadlines. I need deadlines! And I want to grow my career. So I am writing 2 1/2 books a year, and I am very happy, actually. Sometimes I do get overwhelmed, but that is almost always because of marketing stuff, not writing or editing. Still, anything more than 2 1/2 books in a year, I do not think I will ever attempt, but 2 to 3 books seems like the sweet spot for me. :-) But I'm constantly reevaluating. :D

    Thanks for your great post, Ruthy!!! I am amazed at the writers who just talk about writing instead of writing! Who have talent but stay stuck on one book over the course of years!!! I guess I am just really driven. LOL! But I can't help it. I want to be faithful, always. And I can't stand for anything to go unfinished.

  115. Sandy Smith, that's what smacks all of us. You read someone's story and you think: I'll never be that good.

    You read another story, also wonderful, and you think: I'll never be THAT good, either.

    But what we forget is that the way we tell a story, makes a difference! Our timing, our inflections, our voice, the way we turn a phrase, the way we cite God's word or old wisdom...

    The way we build a character arc and a plot.

    We're as different as those stories we love. Who'd have thought a sweet book about a Baptist kid who chooses to become an Episcopal priest, alienating his family and living a single life for 50 years... would become a beloved romantic series???

    Jan Karon/Mitford and no one on Earth would have predicted that.

    Tell your story, your way. And then keep telling them and keep practicing.

    Like soccer, we have to practice to be able to nutmeg the ball on the opponent. :)

  116. Melanie.



    I loved your talent and voice long before you or I got THE CALL... and I love it still!!!

    GO YOU!

    And yes, that perseverance (and 2-3 books/year is awesome, awesome, awesome!!!) pays off.

    Hooray for your editor, knowing what a jewel of an author she has!!!

  117. Thank you, Ruthy. I needed this. Especially this week!

    What holds me back? Not knowing what I'm doing...I read. I forget what I read. It makes SO much sense when I read it but executing it is like teaching a hippo to dance.

    But then I get a wonderful (read God given) idea for my wip and the characters continue to demand that I follow through. And I do. Thank you for the much needed encouragement.

    Please enter me for both. Reading Seeker's books is the best way to learn the craft in my opinion. Tracey has me chomping at the bit to read Refuge of the Heart. I don't want to have to wait until Sept 25th!

  118. Amazing post! I'm a reader not a writer but these principles so apply to other areas in my life. Thanks - I needed the kick in the boot! Please enter me in the gift card drawing and I would love the chance to read and review your book.

  119. Yes, RUTHY, the main point is our God and His Son Jesus. YAY.

    I'm loving all the comments today. And I agree. TRACEY you've given us some great points.

    I love Seekerville.

  120. VINCE I so agree about handouts. I hate it when they put the whole talk in the handout.

    I do like an outline so I can add notes. And I like references to look up and/or verify.

  121. RUTHY the snickerdoodles were yummy. Do you have any ice cream to go with them?

  122. Don't you love the fact that our Lord LOVES variety?

  123. Donna, you're in!!! And you know what? I've often mentioned I'm not a craft book reader, but I read other people's fiction and then I get ideas, lessons from the way they do things... and then I think "But what if?????" and a story takes hold.

    So you've got that part working for you!!!

    I'm putting your name in both hard-hats/cat dishes!!!!!

    Give yourself permission to NOT read instructions, and write on instinct. I pare it down to this: action/reaction.

    If he's angry about his beautiful, fashionable wife leaving him, leaving their babies, and he gets huffy with the beauty queen who's helping him makes a suggestion, how will the beauty queen react?

    Well: She's trying to prove herself in a new job, she's back home after being dumped by a rich, self-absorbed husband and no one thinks she's got a working brain...

    So she writes him off instantly because the last thing she'll EVER NEED IN HER LIFE AGAIN!!!!!!!! is a man who doesn't put stock in her suggestions.

    I knew what he was going to do.... because he's grumpy and still hurt... but deciding how Emily would handle his rebuff set the stage for how she'd handle him the rest of the book.

    He gets away with nothing!!!!! :)

    So think about that when the lessons disappear from your mind. Just think: How would Sarah react to this?

    And then how will Ryan react to her snark???

    And then we play off that for 215 pages to keep them in character.

    Keeping it simple makes it so much easier for us authors!!!

  124. Loves to Read, I've missed you!!!!!!

    Yes, you're in for both, and you're right, we could all use a kick in the bootie from time to time!

    God bless you for taking the time to come on over!


  126. Sandra, my beautiful buddy!!!

    Yes, Vince is right on about a lot of stuff, but the handouts and bullet points, boy that's my cup of tea.

    Don't bore me with details. That's my job!!! Just the facts, Ma'am. (Dragnet) :)

    And there is ABBOTT'S FROZEN CUSTARD for the snickerdoodles. It's so smooth and perfect, Sandra!!!

  127. Ruthy said, "I pare it down to this: action/reactuon.

    That is so crazy, it just might work. Crazy smart!

    That I can do! And the example hits it home.

    Thank you!

  128. Thanks for the encouragement and gentle shove to get the work done, Ruthy! All so important!

    No grass grows under your feet, Ruthy! We all need to take heed and copy your work ethic. I'm in awe!


  129. I totally agree with Patti Jo and so many others -- Ruthy, this is your BEST post yet, and since Tracey claims Refuge of the Heart is your BEST book yet, I can only assume that you are getting better and better, which I didn't think was possible.

    Like Vince, I tried to preorder on Kindle, but it's not up yet, but I definitely will as I am almost exclusively e-reading this days since it's just so much easier and convenient ... and because I just gave away seven boxes of books before I moved ...

    Tracey's review blew me away, and this line alone sent me to Amazon sooner than I expected, and that is: "At some point the story stopped being a work of fiction and became a spiritual experience."

    CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!!



  130. Thanks for that encouraging post, Ruthy!! Good advice for everyone, writer or not.

    I'd love to have my name entered for the gift card, and also to read/review your beautiful book!!

  131. Hi Ruth:

    The game is still in play! I'm going to wait before I start counting the chickens.

  132. Oh, Ruthy, I really needed this today!

    My school year started back on Monday, and I've not written or worked on my revisions all week. Instead, I've come home each day exhausted, telling myself I'll catch up this weekend. In reality, all I'm doing is sabotaging myself. Deep down, I know that receiving a second r&r on my manuscript is a wonderful opportunity. However each day that I don't write/revise, it gets easier to let doubt in my abilities as a writer take hold.

    I've got to make my writing a priority, or I'll never see my name on the cover.

  133. Ruthy, you know how God gives us what we need at the exact time we need it? He has given me encouragement through your post today. The thing that holds me back is your #3. I'm prone to "not try something new" if I'm not 100% certain I can succeed. I seriously doubt that is ever possible in the writing world! I finally learned that's a huge form of pride. I still struggle with it. I was reminded of that yesterday as I was reading Julie's post. Someone mentioned in the comments that they use other "projects to finish" to hide their fear of failure. That's me. I'm so under construction. Thanks!

  134. Snickerdoodles for me. 😀

    What holds me back is that I feel I don't try hard enough. I've let myself get distracted for awhile and not focusing on what I need to do.

  135. Hi Ruth:

    The Yankees woke up but the Indians never went to sleep. Also, Alex and Mark are still sleeping. Your work has only just begun. But a win is a start!

  136. Ruthy, when God gave you this post was my image emblazoned in your mind? Cause this was for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  137. Ruthy,
    I too need this great reminder this morning. Trying to balance life with writing and not feeling guilty about neglecting either is always difficult for me. It seems the more opportunities I have to write, the more I pour into it the more my non-writing life gets more complicated.
    My biggest struggle is finding the time to analyze the writer's guides for places to submit all the great article ideas I have. And the second is staying daily on track with writing and editing my novels.
    Please put my name in the hat and the bowl. I always make time to do book reviews for those who ask. And who wouldn't want an Amazon gift card. :)
    Cindy Huff

  138. I love your boldness and natural ability to preserve in the face of rejection. This message hit home and brought back memories of inner doubt and the sadness of rejection. They say you learn from your mistakes and I believe their right. I always ask God to help me accept the things I can't change when I don't make it in a contest, etc. But also to give me the strength to continue on. Great post today, Ruth.

  139. I really enjoyed your post. You never loose when you are highly motivated. People appreciate your willingness to work with them. Thank you for the reminder.

    I would love to win the Amazon card and win a book to review. :-)

  140. Loved this post! Needed that reminder and those scriptures. You listed every excuse to what holds me back. I want to be in for both and will post a review. Thank you for the advice and the opportunity! Thank you for your books and for helping aspiring writers like myself.


  141. The custard was perfect. Thanks RUTHY. Great day and post.

  142. It would always be chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. But this morning we enjoyed CocoWheats and Cream....meaning a chocolate sundae for breakfast? Then I topped it off with a banana/chocolate chip muffin. No wonder my scale is groaning in anguish. Would love to have my name drawn for anything FREE. Hopefully when the winds of winter blanket us before the woodstove there will be time for reading and writing.

  143. What an encouraging post! And motivating! I hold myself back simply by not knowing what to do then NOT doing it: getting up early, making a schedule and setting goals!

    Would love to win! Can't wait to read your book!

  144. Loved the wisdom you shared today, thanks, an encouragement for my day!
    I'd want to be in the cat dish for both! Would love to read your books!

  145. DONNA!!!!

    That was my huge breakthrough.... I never saw what other folks were talking about, but action/reaction made PERFECT SENSE!!!!


    It worked for my analytical side... and that fed the creative side.

    GO DONNA GO!!!!!

  146. Julie, God bless you.

    What a lovely, wonderful thing to say.


    You've made my day!!!!

  147. Bonnie, I'm tossing your name in right now!!!! And thank you for your beautiful enthusiasm!

  148. Vince.... I'm so glad they won at last!!!!

    I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!

    I get to see them in three weeks. As long as they're not rained out, of course... We've managed to meet up with a couple of hurricanes while tracking down ball games!!! Mary Connealy says we should notify FEMA before we travel!

  149. Rhonda, oh man I've been there... So many times. And if Mia Ross was here (WHERE ARE YOU, MIA????) she'd tell you that she was in the exact same boat and tried the using a pre-work hour....

    She couldn't work at home so she went into work an hour early, and wrote. All alone, every day, trying to make the break into LI... and then she did it!!!!

    I always figured that line from Pretty Woman about Edward not needing sleep.... was the best message ever. :) Sure it was fiction, but if he could make millions on 6 hours of sleep each night, I could land a writing contract!

    Sure, it's DUMB but it worked... Just pledging that one hour out of a ridiculously crazy schedule.

    It can't hurt to try it!!!! To do whatever it takes to bridge that gap, dear girl!

  150. Yes, yes, yes! Right on Ruth! Love every little tidbit of advice in your article. Very inspiring!

    As children of God we have to rise up and take what we are given and use them to the best of our abilities every single day.
    No looking to the left or the right to see what others are doing. Only striving and forging ahead.

    And we have to be professional, which means not pouting at notes and rejection, but getting our butts back in the seat and our fingers on the keyboard to write, write, write!

    Thank you for your words today!

  151. Pat W, we're all under construction together! And yes, I believe that God puts things in our paths, those choices, those chances, he is the BEST CONNECT-THE-DOTS-GUY ever!!!! So we follow the road... and we take turns... and we build castles in the sky together.

    Castles of words.

    We can all do this.

  152. P.S. can you please put me in the drawing for the amazon card and book! I've got a wish list a mile long! Thanks Ruth!

  153. Walt, I don't know if it's not trying hard enough, or not scheduling the time regularly enough to keep the flow going.

    And here's the thing. You're working full time, you have a family, and your boys are at crazy busy times in their lives right now. That's why I waited until my youngest was 16. THEY WERE ALWAYS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WRITING.

    And I have no regrets about looking back and not having that time with them. BUT having said that, I had to work two jobs to make ends meet, and so was mine the best decision? Who knows?

    But in 3 or 4 years your life schedule is going to lighten up considerably... and until then, it's okay to cut yourself some slack. But then... I will come down south and KICK YOU personally.

    okay, Cupcake????

  154. Terri, YES!!!!! Laughing, because you can see how many of us saw ourselves in this one!

    "Hi, my name is Ruthy and I'm a writer, under construction."

    We could form our own self-help group! Go us!!!

    Go forth and write, my friend. You know I'm cheering for you!

  155. Cindy, you're in! So good to see you here, and yes, I hear you. When the mind spins in multiple directions, it's tricky to follow the one path that's most important...

    I prioritize.

    Writing first.

    I did that for years before being published, and got up early just to do that. Not housework, not laundry, not bills, not coloring my naturally blonde hair!!!

    Just writing.

    And I'm a list maker: What I have to do, what I'd like to do and I feel so darned good when I check things off my list! YAY ME!!!! :)

    When the mind fragments like pieces of pie, we've got to lasso those triangles together somehow.

    Go for it!

  156. Susanne, the serenity prayer. I have it on walls, I have it imprinted on my heart. We have to choose our battles as women. As wives (don't even get me started on that one, LOL!) as daughters, sisters, moms (EEEEEEK!) as grandmothers, women of the church, sisters in Christ...

    We've got our plates dancin' in the air.

    The rejection thing wasn't as hard as you'd expect.

    I always believed I would make it. If hard work and talent were the ingredients, then the main thing would be Just Don't Quit.

    And I never quit anything. That's not to sound cocky, oh no!!!! It's just that if that's already part of your personality, that's good, right?

    So if folks have a tendency to give up in the face of rejection or failure, this business is one hundred times harder.

    I'm not even kidding one little bit.

    It's tough with a snarks-R-Us attitude! How much tougher it is on folks who have tender spirits!

  157. Jennifer, you're welcome! So nice to see you here, kid!!!!!

  158. Becky, good to see you and thank you for your kind words. They mean so much to me!

  159. Thanks Ruthie!

    I totally agree with subtlty and not making it about the character being a minority --I think that's why I haven't actually begun writing anything. I don't really have a good premise or story that I want to tell ... yet. =)