Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tony Is A Pony: Making the Most of Your Writing Journey

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Do you ever pause in your busy life to review the journey that brought you to today? I don’t mean looking back to bemoan lost opportunities or rehash disappointments from the past. There’s little value in that. But rather to recognize how far you’ve come and perhaps, how the seed of a talent, maybe a dream you were given, has blossomed over time.
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Recently I was paging through my K-12 school “scrapbook” that my mom so creatively put together in a big binder of top-loading plastic sheets--a condensed collection of my drawings, poems, and stories. A compilation of my growing up years as evidenced on paper.
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I was especially amused by kindergarten and first grade attempts to draw people and horses--my “Tony Is A Pony.” Amused, too, by how in my “child mind” those crayoned images really looked like horses and people looked. But honestly? I can truly say I’ve never seen a real-life horse like my early artistic renderings. (Thank goodness!)
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Yet, what JOY I took in drawing--the freedom of filling a blank page with colorful depictions of the world around me. Being unconfined by the lines in a printed coloring book. By the time I reached junior high my drawings had evolved considerably. Perfect? No. Clearly, though, I’d further honed my fledgling talents. I can’t help but wonder where those unpolished efforts may have led had I persisted in developing my artistic skills.
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During those same growing up years, however, a stronger dream emerged alongside my crayons, sketch pads and water colors--a dream to write stories. Just as with my attempts at art, my writing, too, began with the lowliest of beginner basics.  And again I experienced the JOY of filling a blank piece of paper--this time with a growing repertoire of words fueled by my imagination and the love of Story.
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The journey to publication was a long one for me…I had to pass through many seasons in my life when I optimistically wrote with the dream fresh and alive in my heart…and through just as many others where I wrote very little and the dream lay dormant, gathering dust.
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So, what IS making the most of your writing journey right where you are all about?
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Yes, it’s making an effort to steadily improve your craft—grammar, punctuation, usage, formatting. To learn to apply deep point of view, goal/motivation/conflict, character arcs, effective dialogue and to put emotion on the page. To become knowledgeable about genres and industry trends. Yes, it’s hard work, and all these things are important. We can help you in Seekerville to increase your chances of mastering the nuts and bolts. We can cheer you on.
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But making the most of your journey is all about your choice--a choice not to give up. A choice to enjoy where you're at on the way to where you're going.
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It’s about keeping the dream alive, even when going through seasons when circumstances and life’s blows attempt to convince you that you’ll never attain--or retain--the dream. When little voices in your head tell you you’re not as talented as so-and-so. You’re too young. You’re too old. It will take too much time, too much effort--so what’s the point in trying?
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It’s about looking back and celebrating how far you’ve come--not beating yourself up along the road. How foolish it would have been for me to stop drawing in first grade because I couldn’t sketch like a college art major! Or to have put down my pencil and lined paper early on because self-talk--and feedback--said what I was writing at the time was far from publishable.
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Making the most of where you’re at now is about letting your imagination soar. Feeding your creativity. Looking to God for strength to set aside your fears even if you’re still in the “Tony Is A Pony” stage. It’s focusing on the fun and the JOY of writing wherever you are on the writing journey. Making the most of TODAY.
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Has your dream gone dormant--or lost its momentum? Even if you’re a published writer, you need dreams to move toward in order to keep things fresh. Is it time to brush off the dust and prayerfully revive or revise that dream?
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Where are you on your writing (or other) journey today? Share with us the dream that tugs at your heart--and what you believe may be holding you back from making it a goal, a plan and, perhaps eventually, a reality. What one thing can you do right now to renew your dream and make the most of where you’re at in this current phase of your journey?
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a Kindle copy of Susan May Warren’s informative guide “How to Write a Brilliant Romance,” mention it in the comment section, then check the Weekend Edition to see if you’re a winner!
Glynna
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GLYNNA KAYE treasures memories of growing up in small Midwestern towns--and vacations spent with the Texan side of the family. She traces her love of storytelling to the times a houseful of great-aunts and great-uncles gathered with her grandma to share candid, heartwarming, poignant and often humorous tales of their youth and young adulthood. Her Love Inspired books--Pine Country Cowboy and High Country Holiday--won first and second place, respectively, in the 2015 RWA Faith, Hope & Love Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards. Her November release, The Pastor’s Christmas Courtship, is available for pre-order! (click here)
 
Her Holiday Homecoming.  Jodi Thorpe’s childhood vacation cabin seems the perfect place for her to heal her broken heart…and avoid Christmas cheer. After twelve years, nothing in Hunter Ridge has changed--except Garrett McCrae. The bad boy who was once her secret crush is now the town minister. And Garrett won’t let her miss out on all the hope and joy the holiday brings.  With every day he’s drawn to the vulnerable woman Jodi’s become, even as he’s about to leave for a mission halfway around the world.  But as they grow closer, their plans begin to change. Can Garrett make it a season to remember, with a love they can’t forget?

122 comments :

  1. Oh, you had me with that title,GK. I have been trying to figure out all weekend what Tony is a Pony is. And I didn't peek.

    I love this.

    You are so right. I got my first portable typewriter at 14 and wrote my first romance with it. And kept right on writing!! Never give up! Never surrender!

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  2. I've often looked back at my life to see how far God has brought me. The many trails & tribulations, joys & dreams come true. Has my life turned out the way I imagined it as a youngster? No, but I wouldn't trade it for the world! Because since I've given my heart to the Lord many years ago, He's carved my path and I realize that my life may not go according to my plans (and it often doesn't) but according to His....and I can assure you that His plans are so much better! I've learned to rest in that. It's taken me a long time to come to the conclusion, a LOT of hard lessons to learn, a few hard knocks and a whole lot of prayer! Oh I'm sure I'll still fall into old habits from time to time, I'm human after all, but I've come to know my Savior better and know He has His best interests for me! His plans are good :-) Reflection is (for me anyway) necessary to see how far He's brought me and realize what a blessing my life is now...and most importantly, to rest in His future plans for me!

    No need to put me in the draw as I'm not a writer, but I sure did enjoy your post Glynna! I gleaned a lot of good stuff from it :-)

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  3. Well this is a timely post for me. My momentum has slowed or stalled for reasons I won't delve into.

    Still I can't bear to walk away so I'm trying to overhaul my writing engine and get back on track.

    Love the title!

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    1. And I definitely need to know how to write a brilliant romance!

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  4. I not exactly happy with how my writing journey is going at the moment. At the same time, if someone asks what I'm up to, I always seem to have an answer that suggests progress. I hope that's good. :-)

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  5. My writing journey is in a season of non-writing right now. I'm waiting on the Lord to release me and am excited about when He does.

    I would love to have my name tossed into your giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  6. I loved this post and your drawings, Glynna. I'm impressed by your artistic ability, I can hardly draw stick people. :) After years of following Seekerville, I believe that I'm exactly where God wants me to be. This is my journey, so I'll continue to press forward, at my own pace and not compare myself to others. I'd love to be entered in the giveaway.

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  7. Good morning! Glynna, thanks so much for sharing your drawings and the inspirational quotes. What an encouraging post.

    So funny you asked. I sat down this morning and read some Psalms, and I reflected on my writing journey. I have a contract for my first novella, and I've had some good contest feedback on one of my stories. My son gets married on Saturday, and my days are full of love and grace. Praise God. His timing is perfect, and I know my stories will get picked up when He thinks they are ready.

    I'd love to be entered in the contest, and congrats The Pastor's Christmas Courtship!

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  8. Good morning, TINA! My first "complete" was a horse story in third or fourth grade. Lined notebook paper. Back & front. (Still have it) By junior high it was a wagon train romance...and so it began! :)

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  9. Beautiful post, Glynna! And I love your artwork. Interesting that writers often are creative in other ways. When "two roads diverged" in your world, I'm glad you chose the writing life. We're all blessed by your stories!

    Your post brought to mind Julia Cameron's book, THE ARTIST'S WAY, which provided encouragement, inspiration and food for thought in my pre-pubbed days. She talks about not harming the "baby steps" we take in the art process, whether the first draft in a contracted story or our first story. If we kill our beginnings, quite literally, we will end up with a blank page.

    Thanks for reminding me to still dream. I'm fast approaching a deadline and don't have time to dream right now. Hmmm, maybe I can make time, just a minute of two, to imagine what the future might hold...

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  10. Hello, TRIXI! I, too, look back and can see things in my life that at the time seemed "bad" -- or actually WERE bad -- but God took them and eventually worked them out for my good and even the good of others. God is amazingly faithful. He gives us dreams and moves us in HIS time toward them--if we, despite our very human blunderings, cooperate!

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  11. TERRI - I hope you can get your "writing engine" overhauled and be on your way again soon. You're in good company-- those slow downs happen to all of us (okay, maybe not Ruthy and Mary). There are seasons in our life and seasons in our writing. Sometimes we have to take a deep breath, ask God if we're going in the direction he wants us to go, then continue on until He tells us "turn here" or "stop."

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  12. Good Morning, WALT! I'm sorry things are bogging down right now. But having an answer that suggests progress--no matter how small--is always good! It's a sign that the dream is still there, its little heart beating, even if it isn't where we want it to be just yet. Hang in there!

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  13. Hi, CINDY W! It sounds as if you're in a "waiting room" season in your writing. Sometimes it's very good to take those times out, catch our breath, let God speak to us, and reestablish the direction we're to go.

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  14. Good morning, JILL! How wonderful to know you're where you're supposed to be at this point in time! That will help keep you going through the ups and downs of your journey.

    I enjoyed looking at my old school papers...at my art work...so it's fun to share some of those childhood efforts here! I definitely started out at the SUPER beginner level--both my drawing AND my writing!

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  15. I love seeing your childhood drawings Glynna. Thank goodness for moms who make scrapbooks of our early days. (which reminds me, I've got a few pages of Guppy's kindergarten year to pocket protect and bind...) You and I both share the drawing and writing bugs it appears. I went the drawing route and satisfied writing with some animation/short film scripts. I'm working on getting back around to being a "real" (read: published) writer. (who says we cannot have both worlds?) Timing with the Gupster isn't helping - but in the meantime I'm getting my wonderful Seekerville education that will make my journey less arduous.
    Thanks for the great post and I wouldn't mind being in the draw for that book. I only have brief flashes of brilliance right now...

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  16. Hello, JACKIE! It sounds as if the timing was right on this post to arrive when you were already in a reflective, praising spot! A novella contract, good contest feedback AND a wedding celebration--all evidence of God's perfect timing so you can have confidence that God will continue to be faithful to His promises.

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  17. Every single post on Seekerville seems to speak directly to me...thanks for the wonderful post, Glynna!

    "Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. -Earl Nightingale" This was the reminder I needed today!

    I will be the first to admit, I have floundered in recent months even though everyone says I'm "so close to getting the call."

    I'm making forward progress, but I've been moving like an inchworm instead of a cheetah. I hit a few stumbling blocks back in December that seemed to deflate me. I know this is a stage where a lot of writers give up on their dream, and I've been trying desperately to push through,

    Now, seven months later, I think I'm finally coming out on the other side. This summer I made it my mission to find my writing groove again. And I did so by surrounding myself with other writers...this summer I was blessed to spend face-to-face time with five different writer friends (some old, some brand new...some published, some still seeking). I didn't make my self-imposed writing goals, but I am motivated to keep working and striving to make that sale.

    Today, I'm giving thanks for the people who give me a swift kick in the rear when needed, encourage me with words of wisdom, and pray for my eventual success.

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  18. Good morning, DEBBY!

    So true about not killing our baby step beginnings. Sometime we get in a rush or are disappointed at the pace of our progress and don't allow our dreams, our talents, to grow in God's timing. No parent expects their newborn to walk. Or their toddler to drive a car. We need to take joy in wherever we are on the journey and keep taking those steps no matter how "baby" they might seem.

    I hope you can find a spare minute--or 5--to sit on your shady porch, sip some icy tea, and dream! :)

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  19. Hello, DebH! What a good mom you are to keep a memory book for your Guppy! And so wonderful that you're working your writing into your art world.

    I fully expect, once I'm not working full-time, to be able not only to write, but to again indulge my artistic leanings. I'd like to seriously get into watercoloring. I have a number of beautifully illustrated books on the subject and, when the time comes, hope to take a class so I can learn the basic techniques of that medium. Then once I learn the basics, I can spread my wings and grow in that area, too. I still sketch (and do cartoons of horses & cowboys/girls), but becoming a decent watercolorist has long been a dream.

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  20. Good morning, RHONDA! I'm glad to hear you're making your way across an especially rocky section of your journey road. It can get rough at times, even after publication. Surrounding yourself with like-minded folks can be so energizing and gives you a sense of accountability. Builds momentum.

    I probably wouldn't be published if God hadn't brought my Seeker sisters in to my life when he did--to pray for me, encourage me, critique my writing, deliver an occasional kick in the seat of the pants. That meant so much to all of us, which is why we wanted to share, if only in a small way, some of that energy and encouragement with other aspiring writers in Seekerville.

    I hope you continue to "find your groove" -- it sounds as if you're moving in the right direction!

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  21. Glynna, this post was exactly what I needed to read this morning. I'm feeling discourage with where I am right now. It's been a year full of the unexpected. After I had reconstructive surgery on my ACL in February, I went through times of discouragement in the healing process. God reminded me to look back to where I had been a week before, a month before, two months before. This helped me to see the progress I was making in recovering my mobility. I think I need to be doing this more wtih my writing as well. I need to see where I was when I first began, remember all that I've learned about writing and about God, and let that be an encouragement.

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  22. GLYNNA, WOW!!! Your Tony Pony pix are AMAZING for kindergarten, girl, so it's no surprise your Jr. High pic reflects a gifted artist!!

    AND writer, but then we all know that, my friend. And this post is just another example of your power with words because it's truly inspirational and encouraging, so thank you!!

    You asked: Share with us the dream that tugs at your heart--and what you believe may be holding you back from making it a goal, a plan and, perhaps eventually, a reality. What one thing can you do right now to renew your dream and make the most of where you’re at in this current phase of your journey?

    My dream from the get-go has been to reach women like I used to be -- agnostic; on the fringe of Christianity; one foot in, one foot out; those who struggle with purity in an amoral world -- with romance that is both passionate romantically and spiritually, to hopefully impart God's Word through fiction based on my own spiritual journey and lessons learned.

    What I hadn't counted on was the fact that you can't mix the two in today's book world. You can write spiritual romance, but the passionate romance has to go. Or you can write passionate romance, but the spirituality has to go. Being a very emotional and dramatic person, I thrive on both in large doses, but unfortunately, the ABA and CBA do not. :)

    I do, however, believe there will be a time when there will be what I like to refer to as "Mainstream Inspirational," but it hasn't arrived yet, so in the meantime, I just keep on writing and praying, enjoying God's blessing and peace.

    Great post, Glynna!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  23. I have kept a copy of the stories and poems I wrote while growing up. I dated them. (1967 were the first.)

    I am encouraged with my writing. I am in the polishing editing stage for 3 books and writing my 4th novel. In addition I'm working on a couple of middle Reader books for Children. I realize I am not ready to be published yet, but the goal is in sight, In the mean time I keep plodding away, writing, polishing, reading craft books. I recently read Susan Warren's Book Write a Brilliant Hook. I would love to have a copy of her book Write a brilliant Romance.

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  24. GLYNNA, the title of your post hooked me! I love your drawings and think they're amazing for a child/teen. I'm awed that you still have them and that first romance you wrote! You have a sentimental mom. Mine wasn't. :-) Yet my parents gave me something very special by always believing I could do whatever I set my mind to do. Your inspiring post is a great reminder for all of us to never give up on our dreams. I'm so grateful for the privilege of having books in print.

    I'm also grateful for your wonderful books and all those Seeker and Villager books that have impacted me. We are blessed!

    Janet

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  25. Good morning Glynna.

    My first thought at the childhood drawings that they were good for such a young girl. Then I saw your work in junior high. Definitely good. You are very blessed.

    This was my favorite quote... "Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. -Earl Nightingale"




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  26. Kick in the rear is our specialty. It's in big letters on the Special of the Day chalkboard, Rhonda.

    hehehehe

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  27. Thanks for such an inspirational post! I tried to refer to you by your first name, but my auto correct kept changing it to GLynn a! Or several other unrecognizable words. LOL There's a lesson in there. Don't auto correct your dreams with someone else's dictionary.

    I'd love a copy of Susan's book!

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  28. Utterly charming! Love it, Glynna!!!

    And the face our fears/don't give up theme continues!

    This is wonderful stuff, and I think your wisdom can be taken in such broad strokes. How often do people get pensive, wither, fade or shrink back because they think someone else is either too good, or too lucky?

    There's a dark side to comparison... and it's never healthy except when we use comparison to honestly improve our own attempts at anything. Bike riding, soccer, reading, writing, etc.

    I always taught my kids to never look around. It's not about "them".

    It's about you, doing your best, aiming high and working hard.

    I believe that.

    Our destiny lies in our hands... and how hard we're willing to work for it at a steady pace.

    We don't have to all be Noras or Taras or Grishams... We can be us, and achieve what we can.

    I've never lusted to have a lot, it's not in me, but I've watched that dissatisfaction tear others down.

    That's never of God, and Glynna, your wise words reminded me of this!

    GO YOU!!!

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  29. Being a writer is its own reward.
    The journey itself is the goal
    while the arrival is the terminus.
    You'll believe this when you see it.
    Visualization precedes realization.
    Tony was a pony
    because Tony was seen
    before he was drawn.
    A lady entered her dog, every year,
    in the famous Philadelphia dog show.
    "That dog will never win anything"
    anyone who knew anything would say.
    And that dog never did win anything.
    However he got to associate
    with a lot of the best dogs
    in the world.

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  30. Hello, JEANNE T! Is sounds as if, like a few others today, you're in a summer slump after expending a lot of energy getting through some rough spots in other areas of your life.

    Since July is the "middle month" of the year, I like to think of it as a fresh start, the first month of a whole second half of the year. So don't look back and what you haven't accomplished in the past six months, but look forward to six (or 5 now, I guess) months to fill with moving toward your dreams. Each day try to take a baby step closer and then "reward" yourself.

    Years ago when I was seriously ill, I could barely walk to the end of the driveway and back. But each day that I did, I put a little smiley face sticker on my calendar. Gradually, I walked a bit farther, and a bit farther--rain or shine. Up to a mile a day through the neighborhood. Two miles. three...

    By the end of the year, I had a calendar full of (rarely missed) smiley faces and had logged in about 500 miles! Just looking back at those daily smiley faces accumulating as I slogged along--especially at the beginning--kept me going--I knew my recovery depended on persistence and I didn't want any "gaps" in my calendar!

    I did the same thing with a writing calendar when, after several years' absence due to the illness, I knew it was time to start writing again.

    As silly as that seems, baby steps and smiley faces can keep me going. I sometimes have to remind myself of that earlier time when I'm feeling discouraged about something, when the effort to get where I need or want to go seems overwhelming.

    Baby steps and smiley faces. :)

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  31. I've always wanted to be an author ever since I was a little girl and my older sister would tell me of the books she was writing at the time (she is an author too). I remember while she was writing books such as Julien and Juliette in kindergarten I was trying to write The Princess in the Sewer. I never got past the first page, because I could not figure out what to fill my book with. Howeve,r the dream did not go away, and I did not give up even though I for the life of me could not think up anything to write. When I was eleven I decided to take a game my sister and I played together, The Blue Butterfly, and write a book off of it for her birthday. I started it and then suddenly it was like a floodgate was opened. All these book ideas washed over me. I never ended up finishing The Blue Butterfly, because as soon as I had other ideas I was off writing other things, but I will always remember it as the beginning of my writing career.

    It wasn't until I was fourteen that I started writing my first book so distracted was I with all the overwhelming book ideas. I published it at fifteen, and I am now trying to get my second book published as well. I am content in my writing and feel that I am right where God wants me to be. Developing and perfecting my ability- practice makes perfect, and all.

    I would like to be entered for the e-book drawing.

    Also I just have to say that those were actually very good drawings. I can hardly draw that well now! And then the junior high sketch... yikes, I think I'll just go hide under a rock from the shame of my inability to so much as draw a stick person.

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  32. Hey, JULIE--my "passion with a purpose" friend!

    Although I know you have bigger dreams for your writing, I think God's using you and your stories here and now to reach hearts that are where you used to be. To come alongside others who are walking the same road you once trod--who need to walk straight into God's loving arms as you did. :)

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  33. Oh Glynna I loved this post. Like Tina, I was curious about the title, but knowing your creativity, I was sure it was going to be fun. And it was. I love those drawings. What fun memories.

    And yes, writing is a journey. And it is so different for everyone. You have helped me through some of the tough times. Thank you girlfriend.

    But right now, I'm really zooming along with my latest wip. I'm so excited about how it is going. And I'm almost finished which is rather exciting also. smile

    Thanks for this reminder that we need to keep those dreams in our hearts.

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  34. Good morning, WILANI! I'm so glad you still have some of your "beginning" work! So fun to look back at it and see where the seeds were planted even very early in your life.

    You're definitely making very good progress--so celebrate! Each step you take moves you closer to the dream.

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  35. GLYNNA, this is priceless! As are all those drawings from your youth! How wonderful that you kept them!

    I was a childhood wannabe artist, too--even took an art course. But--as with you--writing stories won out. My first stories were handwritten. Then I "graduated" to my mom's old Royal portable typewriter. Eventually I got my own cheapo portable, then an electric typewriter so I could write even faster.

    The first short stories I sold were typed on an IBM Selectric. Then came my first computer, a Kapro II with two 5-inch floppy drives and NO internal storage! Hard to believe my current MacBook holds 500 GIGABYTES and I'll probably want even more on my next computer!!!

    That's only one aspect of my writing journey. The real journey has been an unending series of ups and downs, times of joy and times when I was ready to give up. That part really doesn't change, but thankfully the successes far outweigh the disappointments.

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  36. Hi, JANET! Yes, your folks did give your a very great gift -- believing you could do whatever you set your mind to. So many do not have that kind of encouragement from their parents, so what a blessing you and I were given.

    The first "Tony is a Pony" was in first grade--based on a classroom visit to a dairy where they also had a pony! Except for that one and the junior high one, the others are kindergarten. :)

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  37. Hi, CONNIE! Thank you for you kind evaluation of my kindergarten and first grade drawings! :)

    I like that Nightingale quote too--but I wonder "had I but known" how LONG it would take me to get published if I would have persisted. Sometimes there are things that we are better off not knowing!

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  38. Yep, TEENSTER, Special of the Day. And "Plan B." :)

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  39. Good morning, BARBARA!

    Ah, a new proverb! "Don't auto correct your dreams with someone else's dictionary." :)

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  40. Hey, RUTHY!

    So true: "It's about you, doing your best, aiming high and working hard."

    I think we too often let ourselves be intimidated, looking at the journey others are on and not the one God has put US on.

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  41. GLYNNA thank you for such an inspirational start to the day! And I love your sweet drawings! They would make awesome illustrations for a children's book. As for my journey, I go back and forth between thinking that I'm making progress and wondering when/if I'll ever get it all figured out. But either way, Seekerville always seem to have just what I need to read. I will pray for those who've commented that they're discouraged or bogged down right now, and I congratulate those who are right on track.

    JULIE, you said: "What I hadn't counted on was the fact that you can't mix the two in today's book world. You can write spiritual romance, but the passionate romance has to go. Or you can write passionate romance, but the spirituality has to go. Being a very emotional and dramatic person, I thrive on both in large doses, but unfortunately, the ABA and CBA do not. :)" I read somewhere that the Gilead Publishing books would feature no premarital kissing. Is that true?

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  42. Good to "see" you this morning, VINCE!

    Visualization precedes realization.
    Tony was a pony
    because Tony was seen
    before he was drawn.

    How very true that is! What a onderful insight for us all to ponder and apply!

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  43. Good morning, NICKY! Another writer at an early age!

    And how wonderful that as you wrote one thing ideas flooded in for future stories. And a story published at 15? WOW! Keep up the good work!

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  44. Good morning, SANDRA! So happy to hear you're sailing right along on this latest story! Such a wonderful feeling when you're "in the zone" and just the right words are coming, isn't it?

    And yes, the journey is different for each of us. While there are similarities in the journey of each of my Seeker sisters, we come from diverse backgrounds and experiences--which culminated in bumping into each other in the winner circles of so many contests and coming together to encourage and pray each other to publication. God's perfect timing.

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  45. Hello, MYRA! Oh, yes, I remember handwriting stories...and pecking away at the old typewriter that belonged to my grandparents and that my dad had taken to college.

    I don't think I would have ever finished a book if word processing hadn't come along. I spent so much time retyping, retyping, retyping as I revised my stories. Such slow going. So that's definitely a BIG praise -- for cut & paste, "undo" and "save"! :)

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  46. Glynna, your childhood drawings express such JOY! The imaginations of children's art alway make me smile. Thank you for urging us to reflect on the paths behind us.

    After I'd submitted my first short story, I was going through some memorabilia my mother had left for me. I was delighted to find she'd kept a story I'd written in the sixth grade, The Mystery of the Diamond Mountain Men, yes, a romantic suspense filled with the names of my girlhood crushes. I've come a long way since then!

    Where am I right now? I'm not sure...writing, learning, struggling, seeking...but celebrating the joy of sharing this journey with others who "get" what I'm drawn to do. Thank you, Seekerville, for all the encouragement along this faith-filled trail!

    Congratulations on your next release, Glynna! Definitely sounds great with a bad boy turned to God and a heroine who needs healing. Please put my name in for How to Write a Brilliant Romance. Yes, that's my dream! ::) Thank you for your post!

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  47. Glynna I love Tony is a Pony!
    The seeds of greatness right there in a scrapbook.

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  48. Hello, LAURA! I think the journey for many of us requires a lot of ups and downs as we learn the craft, grow in the discipline to write regularly and finish something, get the courage to enter contest or submit to an editor or agent.

    As much as anything, God uses our writing journey as a spiritual journey, too --to grow in our trust of Him, to look to Him for direction and answers.

    Thank you for praying for the Villagers who are facing discouragement right now. Prayer is powerful, but we so often forget that.

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  49. MARY -- Tony had no idea those many years ago that he'd inspire a blog post in Seekerville! :)

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  50. Hi, SHERIDA! How precious that your mom kept one of your first stories!

    I think where you are now "writing, learning, struggling, seeking..." is a lifelong journey, one that I'M still on! And having others on the journey with us who "get it" is such a blessing.

    Thanks for the congrats! I thought they gave it a fun cover. )

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  51. Such a timely post for me! I'm at a turning point in my writing career, and change is always challenging! I can't believe how far I've come in the past five years :)

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  52. Hi, SHERRI! Change is ALWAYS challenging--but it can be exciting, too. Amazing the progress we can see when we pause for a minute to reflect on how far we've come.

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  53. I have to step out for a bit, but will be back later!

    Enjoy your day, and happy writing!

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  54. Sherri, a turning point sounds interesting. Can you share?

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  55. Waving to Walt. You're doing everything right. You're also a great dad with a son in college and another in high school. The boys take time and effort! Enjoy the kids and this phase of life. You and Moe will be empty nesters before you know it. Then you'll have lots of time to write. :)

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  56. Sherida, how special to have that first manuscript!!!

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  57. Myra, when I started reading this blog post and saw the horse pictures I thought they were yours! You and Glynna evidently share a love for horses.

    BTW, on our recent beach trip, folks rode horses on the beach each night at sunset. So fun to see.

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  58. Glynna, I just LOVED this post! A recent rejection has me dusting off, ready to jump in and try again. And you gave me so much encouragement today! Thank you.

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  59. Sherida, that's so fun to find your old story! :)

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  60. Nicky, I think your journey is wonderful!! So exciting to be doing what you've dreamed. :)

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  61. LOL, DEBBY, I don't think my childhood horse drawings could hold a candle to Glynna's! I have a granddaughter, though, who also loves drawing horses--AND she aspires to be a writer like her grandmother! Makes my heart so proud!

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  62. LOVED this and will have to read her books! Thanks for the interview!

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  63. Glynna
    I like the smiley stickers idea. I use stickers and a calendar for Guppy's goals (usually involving "earning" a coveted toy), so why not one for me? Hmmmm... food for thought for me.

    Seekerville is awesome.

    Just sayin...

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  64. This encouraging post may be God's answer to those of us who've been thinking it's taking too long and maybe we are just not supposed to keep going. Loved Tony the Pony. I too wanted to be an artist first. Used to get in trouble for drawing pictures during class time. I spent a lot of my childhood in dreamland with my pictures and stories in my head. I still have stories-some in the form of novels, 4 of them now. My childhood pastime still keeping me entertained. My frustration is in not knowing what God's purpose for them is. I keep praying He will open that door if it is the right "season". Thank you for this.

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  65. LINDA, I was where you are for a long, loooooooong time! From the time I first got serious about writing novels until my first one sold was 25 years (and over 200 rejections!)! I was blessed with steady encouragement in the form of magazine sales and supportive writer friends during that time, or I don't know if I could have lasted. God does know His plans for you, so hang in there!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts. Please pray with me for discernment and wisdom. I have a lot of confusion right now and I KNOW confusion does not come from God.

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  66. Becky Smith? Her who? What interview?

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  67. I too want more turning point info, Sherri! Can we turn with you??

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  68. Linda, don't stop writing! We've all...well, most of us, have had long and windy journeys to publication. As they say, this business is not for the faint of heart! Lots of rejection and questioning whether we were supposed to continued on, but we did...and we (the Seekers) published.

    Stick with us, Linda! We'll take your hand and support you over the rough spots. Your determination and hard work will pay off.

    Hugs!

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  70. GLYNNA, I realize how fortunate we were to have encouraging parents! It's sad that mine didn't live to see a book in print, but I know they would've been thrilled. The moral: don't wait to pursue your dream.

    For me each book is a journey. There's times when I'm sure it'll never come together, but it does. Persistence is key!

    Janet

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  71. Glynna,

    Such an encouraging post! I love the art work! Frankly, I think your "Tony is a Pony" art work is very well done! I recognized it right away. And coming from someone who can't draw recognizable stick figures - your art work is awesome.

    It's easy to want to give up at times, especially for me, because I'm currently writing nonfiction - in a group of all fiction writers! But I've persisted and I've finished writing the nonfiction and am started back on fiction! YEAH!!

    Please put my name in for the drawing. Since I'm back writing romance fiction - I could really use that book!!

    Blessings,
    Edwina

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  72. DEBBY -- Ridding horses on the beach as sunset sounds WONDERFUL.

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  73. MISSY -- Glad you're getting dusted off. You've had SO MUCH going on this spring, so maybe you can relax now and really enjoy the writing again.

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  74. BECKY -- Thanks for stopping by!

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  75. DebH -- Stickers are so fun--and so VISIBLE. For my writing, I created small month-long calendars - two per page -- with days that were just big enough to hold small smiley faces (you can usually find the stickers at office supply stores). Then I posted them near by desk where I could see them when I sat down. Really motivated me inexpensively!

    So glad you think Seekerville is awesome. We think Seeker VILLAGERS are awesome!

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  76. GLYNNA, thanks for the reminder to log my baby steps. I need to begin doing that. And the reminder that this can be my "new start" month. I'm gonna get on that train and ride it all the way to December 31st. Thank you for your encouragement!

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  77. Hello, LINDA! If you think it's taking too long, just stick around Seekerville and you'll hear about R-E-A-L-LY L-O-N-G Seeker journeys!

    We had so much to overcome -- typewriters before the days of computers, no writing conferences or contact with other writers or editors or agents, no on-line communities or on-line classes. GMC? Deep POV? What's that?

    It was UPHILL, believe me. It was amazing, though, how much faster the ball rolled once some of the things I've just mentioned came about. But we hung in there--hadn't given up. Kept that dream, and now all of us are published--in God's timing. And we love encouraging other aspiring writers who share The Dream.

    Oh, I see Myra's already mentioned her lengthy journey and Debby, too.

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  78. JANET -- Your parents definitely would have been so thrilled to hold one of your books in their hands. I wish my grandmothers could have read my books. They both knew I loved to write, but I lost them long before publication. In fact, remembering that, I got a little teary feeling when I opened the box of author copies for my first book.

    And YES, each book is a journey. I don't think I've written a single one where I didn't at some point doubt that the book would ever get written.

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  79. Hi, EDWINA! "Tony" thanks you for your compliments! He had no idea he'd be a "celebrity" on a blog one day! :)

    I WOULD be challenging to write non-fiction in a group of fiction writers. But I bet you all have been an encouragement to each other. I wish you the best as you take this turn in the road to fiction again! Keep us posted!

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  80. Hi again, JEANNE. Yes, baby steps are the route to go.

    Mary Connealy has often advised when you're starting out -- or getting back into it -- not to set your word count goals TOO high too soon so that you get discouraged right at the start. Work yourself into it gradually so you can have a sense of accomplishment each day--which might mean 250 words, a single double-spaced page. And a few weeks later, shoot for a page and a half or 2 pages. And on the days you don't reach your goal, well, don't beat yourself up. Just keep focusing forward and start fresh the next day. The "trick" is to keep on going.

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  81. LINDA -- Don't put any pressure on yourself. Take your time. Try the baby steps.

    One thing I have to constantly remind myself when trying to launch a new story (or wading deep through a muddled middle)is to FOCUS ON THE FUN. Once we set our sights on a goal, sometimes we forget to ENJOY ourselves, focusing solely on the end result, not the beauties of the journey. We forget why we love to write or even wanted to write at all. Yes, writing a book is hard, time-consuming work, but look for the "little joys" in it each day.

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    1. Glynna thank you for your time and this great post today. My journey has been long already... Having started way back in 1984 on a typewriter. I've stopped and started a lot along the way. Worked full time (still do ) and raised two children. So the end has to be near soon because I am getting to the other side of the bridge...lol Blessings.

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  82. Well, I need to step out again. See you in a bit!

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  83. GLYNNA, it's comforting to know I'm not alone when it comes to having doubts.

    My dad was a high school Art teacher. I have always enjoyed dabbling in drawing and painting. My kids got me a coloring book for Christmas. I haven't picked up a colored pencil yet. So instead of relaxing me, it's another thing to get done. ;-)

    Janet

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  84. Glynna, I can't wait for you holiday book! I love the cover! You know how much I am loving this series! I tell you often enough! :)

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  85. Did You Hear The One...

    about the very pious woman who prayed every night for her dreams to come true?

    Well, when her prayers were finally answered, her life became a living nightmare!

    For who would ever risk having what they dream at night become a reality? It's not our dreams we wish were made real but rather our wishes that we wish were fulfilled.

    And thus you have the plot for a paranormal novella. Does anyone think the idea would work? HINT: In, "When All Her Dreams Came True," the hero is a psychologist, who, to stop her nightmares from becoming true, hypnotizes the heroine and plants a post-hypnotic suggestion that none of her dreams will ever become true again.

    I thought of the above this morning at the hospital complex where I came for an EKG. I needed to check to see if my heart chambers were still all beating in sync after my shocking experience last week.

    They were very busy so some kind of support person came over and said, "I'm going to give you the test but don't worry, the nurse will come in and check my work."

    The test however did not go well and the person said, "I'm going to get the nurse to do the whole thing."

    The nurse had no problems at all. I knew that they don't give patients test results as that is the job of the specialists at reading test results. However, I asked anyway.

    The nurse said nothing but the support person spoke right up, "I'm not a nurse but the test looks fine to me."

    It was all I could do not to roll my eyes! Nevertheless, I was very nice to everyone.

    I hope a real doctor will call tomorrow with the real test results.

    BTW: please place me in the drawing for "How to Write a Brilliant Romance". I think of Susan May Warren foremost as a writing teacher and this is one of her books I do not have.

    Vince

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  86. A choice to enjoy where you're at on the way to where you're going.

    Oh Glynna! Oh, oh, oh! There is sooo much out there about setting goals and pushing and getting ahead ... and not enough about looking around and enjoying where we are while we strive for improvement. Thank you!

    Those drawings are delightful. There's such joy, even in the horses' expressions. And how fun is that 'rainbow' skirt.

    Thanks for lots of smiles!

    Nancy C

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  87. This is another Hunter Ridge book! Took me longer than it should have to realize that -- especially considering I already have it on pre-order :-D

    Nancy C

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  88. This was an encouraging post. I've been writing consistently for almost four years now (ever since I first watched Marvel's Avengers...) and I've seen how my craft has grown and been nurtured by God. But I also see how many months have passed by since I started trying to publish one of my manuscripts traditionally. And how many publishers have already turned it down. But maybe someday. Until then I'll enjoy the baby steps. Or at least try not to not loathe them.

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  89. Hi Glynna!

    A wonderful post. And it goes so well with my memory verse for this week (Mark 10:15).

    Why do we always think we either have to do things perfectly or not at all when we're adults? We need to give ourselves the grace to practice. :)

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  90. Great post, Glynna! I think you could easily become a motivational speaker if you ever want another career!

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  91. JANET -- you poor thing...a coloring book added to your To Do List. :)

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  92. Hi, VALRI! You won't have TOO much longer to wait for #3 in the Hearts of Hunter Ridge series. :) I can't believe how fast the summer has gone! We'll be humming Christmas carols and decorating the tree before you know it!

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  93. Hang in there, LINDA! I started and stopped so many times along the way that it isn't even funny. :) Sometimes when I didn't WANT to stop, but circumstances dictated that I had to. No choice. But that dream kept popping up every time I turned around. It just wouldn't let me go.

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  94. Oooooh, VINCE--that's spooky story idea! And what a strange experience for your EKG. Praying for good results when you hear from a REAL doc!

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  95. HI, NANCY! Thanks for popping in today! Truly, we don't stop and smell the roses like we should, do we? I know I'm guilty of that.

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  96. Hi, BOO! Writing consistently for 4 years is an excellent track record that will serve you well. Builds your writing muscles. Often when you're under a contracted deadline and everything seems to be going wrong with EVERYTHING, that's all that keeps you at the keyboard. Faith and "muscle memory" -- the self-discipline you've built over time.

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  97. NANCY! Thanks for pre-ordering my book! I really enjoyed writing Garrett and Jodi's love story! :)

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  98. Hello, JAN! So true--as adults it's hard to allow ourselves to be "beginners" -- to do things less than perfectly so we can grow and develop--and ENJOY what we're doing at every stage of the journey. Too often we self-criticize and don't cut ourselves any slack. How many happy moments and rewarding opportunities have we cut ourselves off from because of that?

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  99. Hi, CARA! SPEAKER? NOT. :) I think even God would shake his head at all the work He'd have to do to pull that one off. LOL

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  100. Way to go Boo!

    So are you writing scifi??

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  101. LOVED (and needed) this post, sweet Glynna - - thank you sooo much.
    I'm so thankful you and the other Seeker ladies (and villagers too) are so kind and encouraging. Sometimes I feel a bit *embarrassed* as I continue working on my writing yet still remain unpubbed. But I know that if I keep learning, working, and persevering it will happen--Lord willing--one day. In the meantime, I am loving each story I write and have a desire to make each story the BEST it can be. Most of all, I truly feel this is what I'm supposed to be doing during this season of my life. (Okay, writing AND taking care of numerous felines *wink*).
    Thank you again for sharing this today - - you are an author I admire greatly - - not just for your amazing books but you're such a sweet person too. AND artistic - - WOW! The horse you drew in junior high is wonderful! Such talent you have! :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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  102. Good evening, PATTI JO! NEVER be "embarrassed" as you work hard and await God's timing for publication. Yes, in the "real world" people don't understand how difficult it is to write a book and even less about God's perfect timing. But here among friends, we all understand. We're either exactly where you are right now or we've been in the very same "waiting room" at some point. We fully understand that deep in your heart you know you're moving in the direction God wants you to go even though you don't yet see that elusive destination.

    God loves you and your faithfulness on the journey even when the road is rocky--loves that you want to write the best story you can for Him (and that you want to take good care of the kitties he's entrusted to your care!!).

    Hugs for you, too, Patti Jo!!

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  103. Dear Glynna, Thank you for sharing your early artwork and for the motivational talk about writing dreams. Right now I'm dreaming of a traditional publishing contract, and I will be going to the ACFW Conference, and I'm so excited to be going to Donald Maass' workshop. So I still have a lot to learn, and I'm hoping to learn more about craft at the conference. Please enter me in the Kindle drawing as I will also be staying for Susan May Warren's talk. Thanks for sharing some of your journey as all of the Seekers are most inspiring in the perseverance you all shared in achieving your dream.

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  104. Hi Glynna,

    Thanks for the great post. I'm definitely in this for the long haul. I would love to win Susan May Warren's book! Thank you for the encouragement!!

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  106. Thank you for your insightful post, Glynna. Please enter me in the draw for Susan's guide.

    My favorite quote about dreams is one by Sheridan Voysey. "Perhaps a greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life's defined by it." I'm trying to follow Sheridan's advice and turn my broken dream into a new beginning in my writing journey.

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  107. Hello, TANYA! Sooo jealous that you get to go to ACFW this year and participate in Donald Maass' workshop, too. I've attended some of Susan May Warren's workshops in the past--be prepared to take lots of notes! I'm hoping you come away from the conference as energized as I always am when I've been to one!

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  108. Hi, JENNY! I'm glad to hear you're in this for the long haul. It truly takes a decision and not just a wish to keep moving in the right direction.

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  109. Hi, RUTH! I like that quote, too. It's a decision, isn't it? To move beyond a broken dream. Wishing you the very best in your new beginnings!

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  110. I'm new to Seekerville and I can't tell you how happy I am to have found you. These posts are so informative and encouraging. I'm chasing my dream of being an author. It's funny how you come to realize these things, isn't it? I was on my way to Costco with my husband and our three kids when I turned to him and said "I'm going to write a book. And I'm going to start as soon as we get home." I did, by the way, after putting away the groceries, of course.

    For years I devoured inspirational romance and other novels, I penned articles and poems (many as a ghostwriter), and I carried beautiful stories and characters in my heart...but it hadn't occurred to me that I could actually do this.

    Thank you for the encouragement Glynna. I'd love a chance to win Susan's book. I have a lot to learn!

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  111. Good morning, JOSEE! We're so happy you've found us, too! :) You've come to the "write" place to find encouragement and coaching on the writing craft as you start your journey.

    Was your husband surprised when you delivered the announcement that you were going to write a book? Or did he see it coming?

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  112. He wasn't surprised...at first. He's astonished that I meant it, I think! I'm blessed that he supports me and that he's an English teacher. It's a bonus to live with an editor. : ) He's gone over the first several pages of my book and his critique is making me a better writer. That said, he admittedly dislikes romance novels so he's strictly my grammar police. Oh, and there's a question I have for you: are sentence fragments completely unacceptable?! I love them, it seems, much to my husband's chagrin!

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  113. JOSEE (love the spelling of your name) -- Sentence fragments are fine. Like anything, you don't want to over do them, though, to where it makes the flow too choppy or irritating to the reader or the meaning unclear. But I often use sentence fragments--people don't always talk or think incomplete proper sentences.

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  114. in complete...not incomplete! :)

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  115. "Tony is a Pony" sounds like it would be a cute picture book! --I've been substituting for a children's librarian, so I think storytime is on the brain. ;-)

    Something I want to get back into is art stuff --I have a couple of paintings I never finished in school, but now that I'm working, it's hard to find time (I'm sure the writers and readers can relate). =)

    I'll read anything by Susan May Warren --sign me up! ^_^

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  116. Good morning, Artist Librarian! How fun to be a substitute children's librarian. I love kid's books. :)

    I totally understand the time element in not being able to get back to your paintings. Some say "you'll MAKE time for what is important to you," but there are only so many hours in a day--and mine is jam-packed as I'm sure yours is, too.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  117. SO adorable!!!

    I'm sure somewhere in a drawer or box are similar drawings.

    Wise words that followed as well.
    Thanks for sharing this. Quite encouraging!!!

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  118. Hi, KC! Thanks for stopping by! Have a GREAT weekend!

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