Monday, November 30, 2015

A Writer’s Tenacity

With Guest Blogger DiAnn Mills



How vested are you in your writing goals? 


Some writers view their work as a hobby. If it works and they sell, great. If the market rejects their writing, no problem. Nothings vested for them. They can always try something new.
Some writers are afraid to grasp onto their dreams. They are commonly referred to as closet-writers. If they fail, they havent lost anything. Or have they?


Other writers are doggedly determined to make it. Doesnt matter how long it takes to learn the craft. Doesnt matter how many rejections. Doesnt matter how many rewrites. Doesnt matter the intricate nuances of marketing and promotion. They are persistent. Just try to tell them they dont have what it takes to succeed, and their tenacity raises another notch. Those are my kind of writers. Because Im one of them.

I believe the cost of doing everything to reach writing goals far outweighs the cost of doing nothing. Failure is not an option.


Below is a acronym for tenacity. Take a look. Can you incorporate these tips into your writing life?

T  is for Thick Skin. A writer needs rhino skin to survive the publishing world. We must learn the craft, a continuing process. We toughen up to accept constructive criticism and move forward to write a quality story that honors God and entertains the reader.

E is for Entertain. Whether plot driven or character driven, storys foremost purpose is to entertain the reader with unforgettable characters and a unique plot. Stretch yourself to create a memorable experience.

N is for Never Give Up. When a critique points out flaws and weaknesses in our manuscript; or when a friend or family member believes youre wasting your time; or when an agent or editor rejects a manuscript; its easy to walk away. But a successful writer never gives up. I treasure Winston Churchills statement, Never, never, never give up. I also value his quote, If youre going through hell, keep going. In fact, that is how we writers often feel when were struggling with our stories.



A is for Active. An active writer understands her career is not spent behind a desk. She  becomes involved in a writers group and attends writer conferences. Networking within the industry is necessary for professional contacts and friendships. An active writer keeps her body in shape. An unhealthy body means an unhealthy mind, and that means creativity crashes.

C is for Characters. Characters are the lifeblood of a novel. Their roles live in the hearts of our readers. We have a responsibility to fully develop our characters physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Characters reveal themselves in every aspect of our novels, so the reader never forgets them.  

I is for Inspire. One of our goals is to inspire readers to grow and change, and become better people. We accomplish this by showing a character who walked through fire and survived. We want readers to be inspired by our stories and discover ways for them to live triumphantly

T is for Truth. Story is a vehicle to show truth. Its revealed in our premise and theme, surfacing in our protagonists attitudes and motivation. God may not be mentioned in our novels, but His truth reigns in characterization and plot.

Y is for You. Each writer has been given a gift. The writer can choose to ignore it, play with it, give it back, or develop the gift into a beautiful story. I cant do it for you. Its your seed to nurture and grow.

Tenacity. What does it mean to you? Can you grip it firmly and never let go? What keeps you determined to reach your publishing goals?

GIVEAWAY!  DiAnn is generously giving away a signed copy of Deadlock! Let us know in the comments if you'd like to be entered.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of Americas Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

 Available Now!



Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?

That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.

When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.


89 comments :

  1. Mondays are better with Seekerville...and coffee!!!! Thank you, DiAnn and Missy(yes, I noticed you posted it). I would love to win your novel, DiAnn. Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Marianne, I'm always glad to have DiAnn as a guest! :)

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  2. Tenacity to me is going after your goal no matter what....sometimes pushing through obstacles to get there. Sounds kind of like my walk with Christ. I have a goal, and through Him I can push through my own doubt or fear to overcome. I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me.

    I also love your points about characters, inspire & truth. Good strong, well-developed characters always delight my reader's heart! One's I can see myself relating to, and feeling like I'm a part of their lives. I've meet my share of book friends over the years, they are hard to forget if an author develops them well. Inspiring stories, especially those that point me towards a deeper relationship towards God, make me feel a depth that you can't get in a secular book. I need to be prodded in the right way sometimes and I love an author who can help me along my spiritual walk with Christ! Lastly, speaking the truth in your stories. Like you said here, God may not be mentioned, but you can see Him in every aspect of your book. Through your characters or your plot. I admire authors who stick to their faith in their writing, whether boldly or even in a smaller voice. Just as long as I know where the author stands :-) I don't like wishy-washy writers...be bold in your faith in life & it should reflect in your stories!

    Really enjoyed your post DiAnn! I learn something new every time I read an article on Seekerville. Makes me appreciate talented authors even more and their well-crafted inspired books. Please add my name to win a copy of "Deadlock", looks great!

    P.S. I absolutely LOVE that meme "You are a writer, the "normal" ship sailed without you long ago"....it made me chuckle :-)

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  3. DiAnn, welcome back! I really liked your acronym. Some of those items can be ongoing --like developing tough skin.

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  4. Thanks for the inspiring post, DiAnn. To me tenacity means still keeping on going even when it looks like what you're dreaming of is never ever going to happen. Would love to win Deadlock.

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  5. Welcome, DiAnn!

    Now, you're playing my theme song!

    Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

    And our Villagers here in Seekerville are the poster children for that!!!! Thanks for leading us in an end of year rally to keep moving toward that finish line. Gosh and how appropriate for those whose last day of NaNoWriMo is today! :)

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  6. DiAnn,

    DEAKLOCK sounds like an exciting read! I love suspense! Great blurb. Lots of conflict!

    Thanks for motivating us today. I'm nodding at everything you wrote. Those who persevere achieve the goal...for some of us, it takes years but we never give up. I believe positive attitude and determination make the difference. Along with a lot of hard work, of course.

    You're an affirming and uplifting person, DiAnn. That's a beautiful trait. Thanks for sharing your positive attitude with us today. As Tina mentioned, we have lots of determined, hard working folks in Seekerville. They're all winners in my book!

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  7. Thank you DiAnn for your wonderful inspiring post and for being here in Seekerville today. Tenacity to me is a lot like Bulldog Faith, you don't give up and you push through to the finish no matter what little rabbit trails try to deter you from your goal.

    I have already read Deadlock and let me tell you, whoever wins a copy is in for a real treat. DiAnn gives the ready a wonderful edge-of-your-seat suspenseful story that will have the reader guessing until the end. I loved it.

    I pray everyone has a wonderful week!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  8. Okay, I meant to say, "DiAnn gives the reader..."

    Sorry.

    Smiles,
    Cindy W.

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  9. I would love, love, love to win an autographed copy of Deadlock.

    Yesterday I focused on Psalms 25:3. "no one who hopes in (Him) will ever be put to shame."
    I've been writing a while now and once in a while struggle with thoughts of serving God other ways. (Food bank, more church committees, women's church groups.) This verse and today's post encourage me. I'm not wasting my time writing. God has a purpose for the stories I write and the time I spend writing them.

    Today I plan to finish my NaNo goal, and Active has been a struggle this month.

    I hope you all have a great day! DiAnn it's so great to see you at Seekerville. Merry Christmas!

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  10. Hi DiAnn,

    Your post is spot on for writers.

    Tenacity for this writer is the slow and steady pace of completing monthly goals until I've completed my yearly goal. I know I can't write a submittal book manuscript in less than three months.

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  11. Thanks for the great comments! I love Winston Churchill's quote - "Never, Never, Never give up." No matter what our goals, if God purposed it, He'll see us through. But we have to do our part, and that means tenacity.

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  12. DiAnn, I loved the acronym. Very inspiring! For me, tenacity is sticking with it, no matter what. "Keep the Faith," as my favorite Bon Jovi song states :)

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

    Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

    Leslie

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  13. Good Morning DiAnn! Thank you for pushing us to NEVER GIVE UP!

    Please put me in for the drawing.

    Have a MAGICAL MONDAY!

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  14. The more I write and move forward, the more I see, that you have to have tenacity. You have to fight for this dream of being published. It takes time and writing, not listening to the nay sayers. As I have participated in Nano this month, I heard last week that it is not the quantity but the quality. I am thinking you have to have both. I've heard others who are participating in Nano say they have the words but nothing makes sense. I read back through the book I wrote and finished and it makes sense. I saw a lot of punctuation and grammatical errors but that will be corrected. By tonight I hope to have accomplished at least 65,000.

    My next step as soon as I can afford the annual fee is to join ACFW. I have learned of at least 3 writers conferences in 2016 I would love to attend. Living on a fixed income I do not have the money but I have a Savior and I have been praying that if it is His will I attend a conference He will have to provide the money. For me this seems impossible but with God all things are possible.

    I am so grateful for Seekerville and all the help you have given me in learning to write.

    Have a wonderful day and week everyone.

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  15. Hi DiAnn
    Laughed aloud with the meme "The 'normal' ship sailed long ago without you..." And to think there was a time when I told my mom I just wanted to be normal. As a life long artist, I now realize that was NEVER meant to be. (Thank God)

    Love the meanings behind each letter of Tenacity. Gotta print this one out for the reminder. I tend to want to quit when I know I shouldn't. Thank the Lord for Seekerville, the Seekers and Villagers.

    Please place my name in the draw for DEADLOCKED. Sounds awesome.

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  16. DiAnn, I love your acronym. And the aspects of tenacity that you shared make a lot of sense. To me, a part of tenacity is holding onto the determination to accomplish the goal...doing what needs to be done, learning the necessary skills and putting them into practice. And never giving up. Easy? No! Rewarding? Infinitely.

    Please put me into the drawing for Deadlocked. :)

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  17. Thank you, DiAnn. I enjoy your books and your column in Bonnie Calhoun's magazine. We really do need to be tenacious, as the writing and publishing rug can be pulled out from us at any time. That's what I've learned from hanging out at Seekerville, that even established writers can have their book line close, editor leave or agent retire. Or worse. It's worth it, but it's one of the hardest things we do next to parenting and serious illness.
    it's also interesting, though it doesn't happen that often, when contest judges are diametrically opposed on something in your manuscript. For example, there's a section of description in the first chapter of "Trail," my first Oregon Trail novel, and judges have said everything from "great description, I feel like I'm there" to "dump the description already." I've learned to take an average. Nobody knows everything.
    Please enter my name in drawing.
    Kathy Bailey
    In for the long haul in NH

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  18. DiAnn, what a pleasure to see you! And I loved your post, you are my kind of people when it comes to keepin' on, keepin' on!

    We are so blessed to have this opportunity before us, the chance to do good with our time and talent and pay the bills.

    SUHWEEEEEET!

    Congratulations on all of your wonderful accomplishments, and thank you for this perfect Monday reminder of setting goals... working toward goals... and not allowing others to limit us.

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  19. I just sent the Terri Main meme to my writing son....

    :)

    Might as well embrace the truth from the beginning!

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  20. Kara, I agree!

    And Tina, I had forgotten today was the last day of NaNoWriMo!! Y'all check in and let us know how you did!!

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  21. Debby, you're right about DiAnn! She's such a motivated, positive person.

    Cindy W. you've got me even more excited about reading Deadlock! :)

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  22. Jackie, thank you for sharing that Bible verse. It's so true, and something I always need to be reminded of.

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  23. Rose, I agree. It takes hard work, day in, day out.

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  24. How fun! Leslie brought a music quote. :) My husband does that all the time! He's really good with song lyrics. I, on the other hand, am better with the music part (can hum the song) but can never remember the words! :)

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  25. Good morning, Caryl! I'm glad you stopped by.

    Wilani, I'm so thrilled for you with your Nano writing!!! You're amazing. Way to stick with it--that tenacity we're talking about!

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  26. LOL, DebH! I think we just need to accept our abnormality. :)

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  27. Jeanne, you're right. It's not easy. But I'm so glad I didn't give up the many times I wanted to!

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  28. Hi DiAnn, How funny, I was just emailing you earlier about the FHL board. And then here you are with a warm smile for us. Love it.

    I enjoyed the acronym and as Tina said, that is our theme song here in Seekerville. We certainly appreciate and know the value of persistence and hanging in there.

    Thanks for joining us today here in Seekerville. Have fun.

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  29. deb H I'm chuckling at your desire for normalcy and now realizing it is a blessing to not have it. I so relate to that. chuckle. We are so programmed to think we need to be the same. But God loves variety, doesn't He?

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  30. Congrats to all who are finishing up NaNo today. Whoopeeee!!! That is proof of tenacity, isn't it? There's a good definition of tenacity.

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  31. Kathy Bailey, yes, getting into the publishing business is definitely a reality check. :) But so worth it to see our dreams come true!

    Don't you love those contest results that are exact opposite?! It is tough to know what to do.

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  32. Welcome, DiAnn! I loved your acronym.
    To me, tenacity is making a commitment and sticking to it. I've discovered I'm more tenacious with a looming deadline.
    I'd love to be entered in the drawing!

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  33. Thanks for the great advice (as always) DiAnn. I have to work on the "thick skin" part quite a bit. I really liked the acronym to remind me to never give up. Please enter me into the giveaway for Deadlock.

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  34. Thanks for the reminder, DiAnn to keep pressing on no matter what. :)

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  35. DiAnn, welcome to Seekerville! Pubbed or not, I think most writers have times when they get discouraged or question themselves. Your inspiring post is just what's needed to keep on keeping on. Thank you for being with us today!

    Wow, your list of awards is impressive! Congrats on all your success.

    Janet

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  36. Missy, my head is FILLED with lyrics/quotes :) Now,if I could just make money on finding the correct lyric for a situation,I'd be all set!

    Leslie

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  37. Jill, I agree! There's nothing quite as motivating as a deadline and our signature on the dotted line! :)

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  38. Loraine, it sounds like you're with me on the tough skin part. :) I have to admit, though, that I'm much better than I used to be. I think it just takes time…and practice! :)

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  39. Welcome, DiAnn! So much truth here. I hate to consider all I would have missed if I'd let any one of those many bouts of discouragement win and had given up on writing.

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  40. Good morning Sandra, Jodie and Janet!

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  41. LOL, Leslie! Too bad you can't put that gift to good use. :)

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  42. Missy is better on the thicker skin because I make fun of her all the time and then I feel bad and apologize... and then she grows thicker skin because I feel bad for mocking her. My regret helps her, so of course, I keep on doing it!!!!

    She has definitely gotten tougher!!!! The Yank doesn't have to laugh at her nearly as often!!!

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  43. Myra, I agree. I think of the times I almost gave up, and it's scary.

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  44. I just made my NaNo goal. The story is not complete, but I'm so excited to be this far along. Congrats to everybody who participated!

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  45. Tenacity to me is holding on even when I'm begging God to help me let go because it's too hard. It's that annoying part of my personality that just can't give up until I've accomplished the goal.

    I loved this post!! As a new writer, I sometimes wonder if I'm delusional to think I will ever make it as a published author. Then a story will pop into my head and I have to get it out in writing. Thank you to all of you, who have not only written great Christian fiction, but for coming back for those of us still working toward the goal. Thank you for Seekerville and for encouragement like this...you're strengthening your brethren (or sisterthren as the case may be) Luke 22:31 "And the Lord said,“Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

    I am currently reading Double Cross by DiAnn Mills and it's the first of her books that I've read. It's awesome!! So yes, please enter me in the giveaway. :)

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  46. Ruthy! Don't you just love our system??!! LOL Yes, it helps me toughen up. And it also helps me when I get to laugh at you for feeling bad about it. ;)

    Don't y'all let Ruthy fool you. SHE IS A MARSHMALLOW INSIDE!

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  47. Jackie, that's wonderful!!! Congrats on making your goal!! :)

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  48. Sharee, I'm with you on the stubbornness. :) I often wanted to give up. In fact, one time I had decided okay, this is it, I give up. Thirty minutes later I got a call about being a finalist in the Maggie. And my stubborn streak kicked in once again. I just don't think it's in my nature to give up. :) I believe God made me that way and encourages me right when I need it.

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  49. Loved this post! Congratulations to each one who participated in Nano. Cheering you on if you haven't made it to the end yet. There's still time! Celebrating with those who've finished. I finished with a little over 50,000 words!! Wrote the end so now have to go back and edit. But editing is easier when there are already words written lol.

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  50. Good afternoon, DiAnn! Wonderful post and thank you for the encouragement! I just received my first-ever box of author copies, and it spurs me on to write more-more-more! It's interesting that a little bit of encouragement makes the skin grow more thick. A rejection after I sold is easier to take than the rejections before there was some success. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.... :-)

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    1. Meghan that's amazing!! Congratulations!

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  51. Ahhh!!! Meghan! Congratulations. Did you take a picture??? It NEVER gets old!!

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  52. Thanks for the great reminders, DiAnn. I especially like the ones about entertaining and inspiring readers. I'd love to win the book.

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  53. Cathy Shouse!!!!! I've missed you like crazy!!!!!! Send me a hug, Cathy!!!!!

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  54. Missy Tippens, I am not.

    YOU TAKE THAT BACK!!!!!!! THIS INSTANT!!!!!!

    Why before you know it, folks'll be thinkin' I've got a heart and THEN where will we be?????

    For whatever reason, our system (possibly symbiotic) of scolding, guilt, remorse, and amusement seems to be a winning combo!

    :)

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  55. Meghan Carver, are you just sitting, staring at how cool your book is??????

    SIGH!!!!!!

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  56. Cathy Shouse????? Where have you been???? Good things happen on Monday. Old friends appear!

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  57. Sally, that's so exciting!!! Congrats! Enjoy the edits! Ha! Well, if you don't enjoy them, at least be glad for the opportunity. ;)

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  58. Meghan, that's true! Affirmation helps take the down times.

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  59. Cathy, you're right. That's our job to entertain and inspire!

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  60. And BTW, we're glad to see you again!

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  61. WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, DIANN -- SOOOO GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE!! LOVE the "Tenacity" acronym, my friend -- sooooooooo freakin' true!!

    RUTHY SAID: "Never Give Up. Never Surrender. And our Villagers here in Seekerville are the poster children for that!!!!"

    WOW, you nailed it, Ruthy -- no cowards on this blog, that's for darn sure!!

    SUPER CONGRATS to Jackie and Sally and all who made their NaNo goals -- you guys ROCK!!

    AND, MEGHAN!! Whoo-hoo ... isn't that a GREAT feeling, girlfriend??? THRILLED FOR YOU!!

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Thxgiving and I pray it kicks off the BEST holiday season ever!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  62. Um. That was me. Not Ruthy. Ruthy says, "Pull Up Your Big Girl Panties." I can see how you could get us confused. We're both beautiful Western New Yorkers.

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  63. DIANN, positive vibes radiate from your post. Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration. Thanks, also, for my laughter of acknowledgement at this quote ... "You are a writer, the "normal" ship sailed without you long ago"

    MEGHAN, congratulations on the box of author copies! Thanks for sharing the excitement!

    Nancy C

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  64. I did miss Sally's news. NO SMALL FEAT!!! You are within inches of submission. Congratulations.

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  65. I'm lovin' all your comments. Would we really want writing to be easy? What good would that be? No challenge. No risk-taking. No rewards of publication. And no - TENACITY!
    Keep on writing, ladies. You are special.

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  66. Welcome DiAnn! Your post is definitely a KEEPER for me - - thank you.
    You are one of my writing heroes (along with TINA and all the SEEKERS). :)
    On the subject of tenacity - - well, I didn't realize just how much I possessed until I began this writing journey, LOL (and still have a ways to go, I know). The "tough skin" part is what this former kindergarten teacher still needs to work on *sigh*.
    Thank you again for sharing with us today.
    Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo :)

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  67. Glad you stopped by Nancy C and Patti Jo!

    Patti Jo, I would think a teacher would have to develop a tough skin. Although I guess maybe that doesn't carry over to writing.

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  68. SHAREE!!!!! Hi there!
    I'm so glad things are moving along with your book! YAY!
    We need to have lunch.
    Let's pick a day when the snow isn't DEEP and like....the yellow line in the center of the road actually shows!

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  69. Thanks for being here DiAnn. My book group read Firewall. It was hard to put down--loved it. Please enter me for Deadlock.

    Thank you for the acronym for tenacity. I will take this to heart as I need much more tenacity.

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  70. I was reading Julie's quote and thinking... "I wrote that? Today? I don't remember writing that, I remember nothing like that...."


    But I agree with Tina, we look alike, and we both bear snow and ice with grace.... Tina just does it from a DISTANCE.

    The stinkin' brat.

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  71. Mary, I didn't realize you're still snowed under! Of course, I guess that's the norm for you in the winter. :)

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  72. Love your pep talk!!! We can all use it from time to time. Every writer knows that.

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  73. Missy we got Thanksgiving snowed out. Our 40 person meal went to 9. It was actually pretty fun, we really got to pay attention to the ones that were there.
    Then on Saturday here comes Thanksgiving and 40 people at my mom's house.

    Here's a shocker. Her house doesn't hold 40 people. She's in denial though.

    But it was a fun day. We grew up with ten people in a three bedroom house. Crowds feel like home.

    Now today? Snow again. Yeesh. 3 or 4 inches of really heavy wet snow.

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  74. Thanks Mary!! Most definitely on lunch! I'm there. Pick a day! And since Tina wouldn't send oranges we'll have to settle for pizza. ;)

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  75. Hello, Cara!

    Mary, I'm glad you got to squeeze in the Thanksgiving celebration (as well as squeeze into the house!). Goodness, I wish you could come visit about now. It's been so warm and nice here.

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  76. Sharee, I'm so jealous of Tina's fruit!

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  77. Excellent post! Tenacious is what I want to be. And since I love all of DiAnn's books, please include me in the drawing.

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  78. This description of tenacity speaks to me! After so many rejections, there's bound to be some self-doubt. Writing is my Everest, and God answers my prayers with a still, small voice that says things like, "What else are you going to do with this hour?" So. Tenacity. Thank you! And if I'm not too late, please enter me in the drawing.

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  79. Thanks DiAnn,

    Wave to many family and friends in Houston please!

    Love your acronym. Those help me remember what I need to more easily.
    For example, just put a sticker on a letter we're mailing today. Y'all have seen it surely - F.R.O.G. -
    Fully
    Rely
    On
    God

    YAY!
    See?

    I really do use those!

    Thanks for a wonderful post in general and for being inspiring with the kick in the big girl panties too. ;)
    Sorry to be late to the pawty (again)...

    Congratulations on your awards and speaking and engagement. What a blessing!

    Glad everyone had a good Thanksgiving and snow or not, people showed up at Mary's Mom's.
    What fun!

    We're starting to count animals two by two here...

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  80. Great post! I'd love to be enetered n the giveaway!

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  81. i'd love to have another of DiAnn's books! and i loved this post—T-E-N-A-C-I-T-Y!!

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  82. I'd like to be entered to win Deadlock.

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  83. I so needed to read this. Thank you!!! (And yes, please enter me. I'm a HUGE DiAnn Mills fan!)

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  84. Thank you for your encouragement. I've gone over this a couple of times in the last 2 days

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