Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Payoff of Perseverance

with guest Jill Weatherholt. 

Greetings! 

In 2008, when I started stalking reading Seekerville, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be contacted by Tina, to write a blog post. But that’s our God—always full of surprises.



Recently, after reading my old journals, I realized 2008 was the year I began to study posts written by the Seekers. I printed articles and created notebooks. I currently have three, but I’m adding on each day. 

Also during that year, I became obsessed with author websites. I read about their road to publication, books they recommended for writers, anything I could get my hands on…I devoured it all.

It was in 2010 that I’d heard about the National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo. The contest required participants to write 50,000 words during the month of November. Turn off your inner editor, get the words on the page and in the end, you’d have a start to a rough draft. At that time, I’d written a few short stories, but had yet to attempt writing a novel. Fifty thousand words in thirty days….how hard could that be. Sign me up!

Committing to 1667 words per day when you have a day job, family responsibilities, keeping up with housework, health issues and other minor disasters that can spring up any day of the week, was no easy feat. But my stubborn Type-A personality was not going to be defeated.  

These were just a few of the thoughts that swirled through my head during that first NaNoWriMo.

Day 1: “I exceeded my daily word goal of 1667. I love November!”
Day 2: “Why am I torturing myself?”
Day 3: “Who needs an outline, I’m a born panster!”
Day 4: “It’s Sunday, isn’t this the day of rest?”
Day 5: “Ugh, Monday…this story stinks!”
Day 6: “I’m a writing machine. I might finish by November 15th!”
Day 7: “This is so hard, I’ll never finish.”
Day 8: “I’m still on track.”
Day 9: “I’m stuck. Should I have my heroine get hit by a bus?”
Day 10: “What’s the point? This will never get published.”

Well, guess what? That story—the very first book I’d ever written was published by Harlequin Love Inspired, this year. 


Second Chance Romance
So, had I worked on that book for seven years? Heck no!

I tinkered with it off and on. Even a few of the Seekers were kind enough to critique some pages. Then in 2011, an unexpected job loss along with health issues, forced me to put my writing aside. Although that story stayed hidden on my hard drive, Jackson, Melanie, and the Shenandoah Valley lingered in my mind.

In 2015, here on Seekerville, I read about the Blurb to Book Contest sponsored by Harlequin. Initially, I hadn’t planned on entering. What was the point? I’d never advance. But a last minute decision had me writing a blurb and submitting the first page of that old NaNoWriMo project. My only expectation was the opportunity to have a professional editor, provide feedback.

On May 15, 2015, when I got home from work, I checked the contest announcement. I had advanced. With disbelief, I scanned the list again. From that day forward, I wrote like a crazy person to rewrite the entire book by the July 15th deadline.

A month later, on a rainy Monday morning at the day job, I got the call from my lovely editor. She asked if I knew why she was calling. “I think so.” I squeaked. That’s it. That’s all I remembered about the call. Thankfully, everything she’d said after my response was typed in an email, for my review.

I’ll never forget that day. Never—ever!  When I participated in NaNoWriMo, I just wanted to write a book, but God had bigger plans for me. And that’s what I’ve learned during this journey, GOD HONORS PERSEVERANCE.


So, are you ready for your payday? Share in your comment a time when persistence paid off. Today, I’m giving away two copies of Second Chance Romance. Let me know if you’d like your name in the dish. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.



Second Chance Romance

Small-Town Daddy 


Jackson Daughtry's jobs as a paramedic and part-owner of a local café keep him busy—but the single dad's number one priority is raising his little girl with love and small-town values. And when his business partner's hotshot lawyer niece comes to town planning to disrupt their lives by moving her aunt away, Jackson has to set Melanie Harper straight. When circumstances force them to work side by side in the coffee shop, Jackson slowly discovers what put the sadness in Melanie's pretty brown eyes. Now it'll take all his faith—and a hopeful five-year-old—to show the city gal that she's already home.



By day, Jill Weatherholt works for the City of Charlotte. At night, and on the weekend, she writes contemporary stories about love, faith and forgiveness. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., she now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, but her heart belongs to Virginia. She holds a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and Paralegal Studies Certification from Duke University. She shares her life with her real-life hero and number one supporter. Their relationship grew on the golf course, and now they have one in their backyard. Jill believes in enjoying every moment of this journey because God has everything under control.


Day 23 of Speedbo!


204 comments :

  1. Jill!!! Jumping up and down. So happy, happy, happy to see you in the ranks of Love Inspired authors! Congratulations. Hard work pays off!

    P for Perseverance.

    P for Payoff.

    P for Put up or shut up.

    P for Pancakes.

    I brought pecan pancakes with maple pecan syrup!

    Let's get this pahty started.

    Tell us what you are working on now!!!

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    1. Good morning, Tina! Thank you for inviting me. It's so great to be here. You ALL have played a huge role in my journey to publication. Currently, I'm working on my third book, also set in the Shenandoah Valley, in a ski resort area. Book number two has been with my editor for many months. As I patiently wait to hear something, I've continue to press on with book three. Please pray for our Seeker friend, Jackie Smith as she is having back surgery as I write this. I need coffee!!!!!

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    2. That's right. Today is the day for Jackie. Must go get coffee and start prayer time. Back in a bit.

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    3. Love all those P's Tina, espcially the pancakes. smile
      I'm with you. Her FIRST book published. Yay. Super congrats Jill. I know you must be super excited.

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    4. Yes, Jackie's surgery was scheduled for 6:30 this morning, so she should be in recovery.
      Thank you, Sandra! It's been a whirlwind!

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    5. Great P's, Tina. I'll pass on the pancakes unless they're gluten free...my breakfast was a healthy smoothie.

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    6. I had to pass on the pancakes too, LoRee. I've never cared for pancake syrup. Good for you...we've got to take care of our health!

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    7. Praying for Jackie. Let us know if anyone gets an update.

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    8. Look at you, Jill! Already have the gravy writing train in motion! WAY TO GO!!!

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    9. LOL! You're crazy...but the good kind! :)

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  2. Persistence does pay off. I can be stubborn - just another form of persistence really. I tend to work at something until it reaches a natural conclusion.

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    1. I agree, Mary. Being stubborn or "hard headed" as my father refers to it, is another form of persistence. But in the end, it works. Thanks for reading!

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  3. Okay, somehow I missed this very important sentence:

    Well, guess what? That story—the very first book I’d ever written was published by Harlequin Love Inspired, this year.

    This was the first book you ever wrote??? OH MY GOODNESS. WOWZA. Double congrats.

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    1. Yes, Tina. Second Chance Romance was originally titled Capture the Dream. I wrote it during my first participation in NaNoWriMo back in 2010. You, Ruthy and even Camy did a five page critique on it, many moons ago.

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  4. Congratulations Jill! What a great inspirational story! Persistence does pay off, it may take a while but in the end a success is achieved in some form...even it you just learn discipline.

    I would love to have a chance to win your book. I love to read debut novels.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! Yes, discipline is certainly required when it comes to writing. Thanks for reading today. Your name is going in the hat!

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  5. You know how proud I am of you... :) And I love seeing this. But more than that, I love the story idea, the framework you came up with for Jackson and Melanie... because he's the kind of hunky hometown hero, the "Joseph" profile that few authors use, but it's such a great hero-type for us normal women!

    I don't need larger than life billionaires from foreign lands. Or Alphas who are mean because their latte wasn't hot enough. But those solid, wonderful, healing men like your Jackson... they rein me in!

    WONDERFUL!!!!! Ruthy is happy dancing for you... STILL!!!!!!

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    1. Aw...thank you so much, Ruthy! You've been there for me from the beginning and for that, I'm forever grateful to you and the Seeker ladies. Funny story...when I first wrote the book, I'd won a critique from Seekerville. I don't recall who was supposed to read it, but you and Tina both ended up emailing me the critique. That was the best 2 for 1 deal I've ever had!

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  6. Jill,
    Thrilled by your road to publication. A big congrats on getting your first novel ever published.

    Persistence pays off? I sure hope so because I'm slogging along just now.

    Do put my name in the dish for a copy!
    Laura

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! Whatever you do, keep "slogging" because it WILL pay off in the end...I promise. Your name is going in the dish. Thanks for reading!

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    2. Laura, what type of story are you working on? Slogging gets to the finish line. Don't discount it. It is a valid methodology, used by writers since the dawn of man. hehehe

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    3. Tina,
      Category-length contemporary western romance. I have one of yours at home in my save for re-read pile. I love my setting, my animals, my ranch, my wrangler, and the striving young professional who takes a detour down a dusty path.

      My internal editor needs to learn to wait her turn. She interrupts me as I write.

      I appreciate the atta-girls.
      Laura

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    4. Laura, you and I need to put our heads together...I'm an expert slogger writing a similar category-length contemporary western romance. Mine's a secret-baby trope. Ditto on the internal editor.

      Marcia

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  7. Jill, I'm so happy for you! God had honored your hard work! PTL!

    Ladies, I read Second Chance Romance and loved it. Grab a copy and prepare yourself for an enjoyable story!

    It's great to see you on Seekerville, Jill! Congrats on everything!

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    1. Yes HE has, Jackie! Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I truly appreciate your friendship and I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed SCR.

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  8. Hi Jill
    *Kermit the Frog arm flailing* Yay!!!!!!!!!
    So cool to read your journey to publication. Gives me a bit of hope for me. I think I'm in a holding pattern time for writing right now, but the thought that something I've already written can possibly see the light of day again is nice to think about. As is the mutual stalking/visiting of Seekerville. I agree with you that the Ladies of Seekerville are AWESOME!!

    Congrats on your debut book as well as your next two that you've written. Blessings!!!

    oh, and name in draw for your debut story please. Love the blurb. :)

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    1. I love Kermit! Thank you so much, Deb. I appreciate your kind words. Yes, those old stories that are hidden away can be revived and polished. I highly recommend trying to win a critique or two by the Seeker ladies. They are full of wisdom...and they're nice too. :) Your name is going in the dish! Thanks for reading.

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  9. I'm so happy for you, Jill!! So glad you persevered - and that you didn't let Melanie get hit by a bus, LOL. You are such a sweet, talented lady - always encouraging and supporting others. There's no need to put my name in the drawing, I've already read Second Chance Romance, and loved it. I'm praying that you hear something back from your editor soon because I can't wait to read books two and three. Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I'm so happy for you too! What an exciting year it's been and this week, a finalist in the Golden Heart...your book will be in print soon! Knowing you enjoyed SCR makes me happy. I'm glad that I spared Melanie too. :) Thanks for reading today!

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  10. Such a great story, Jill. And a definite lesson for me to persevere. I'm just commenting. No need to enter me in the drawing.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Lin. I hope my story will encourage you and others to never give up on their dreams. Enjoy your day!

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  11. Good morning, Jill! Thank you for sharing your journey of perseverance with us. I have PROOF in my hands that it pays off -- I picked up your first book from Walmart last night and can hardly wait to read it!!

    Congratulations! We're so proud of you--and happy dancing on your behalf!!

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    1. Aw...thanks so much for all of your encouragement and advice over the years. I really appreciate it. I'm honored to have you read SCR. On March 17th, I went to visit my book at our local Walmart and was surprised to see that the April book were already on the shelf. I never got to say goodbye. :) Thanks for reading, Glynna!

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  12. Hey, Jill! I just finished reading that book and it was wonderful! You did a great job with it and although I didn't finish as well as you did, that Blurb2Book contest was one of the times that I didn't give up on something. I got up early, I wrote during a cross country trip to see my grandfather before he died, and it made me realize the power that a goal has. Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Hi Glynis! I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed SCR. Thank you so much for reading. The Blurb2Book was quite an experience, wasn't it? You're right, it did open my eyes to the power of having a goal as well as pressing on, even when circumstances try to interfere. I'm sorry about your grandfather...no doubt he was so proud of you. Thanks for reading today. I can't wait until your book is in print...I know it will be. :)

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  13. Congrats, Jill, on a job well done and the opportunity to have your three book
    Shenandoah series published! You turned off the inner editor and perservered!! I am seeing that for every bump in your road, you used it to continue in grace. Ready to write this morning with renewed fervor.

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    1. Thank you so much, Oliva! Well, future books being published remains to be seen. Whatever happens, I'll continue to write for the joy it brings. Wishing you the best with your writing. Thanks for visiting today!

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  14. Hi Jill!
    Look at You!!! Posting as a Seekerville guest, I'm smiling from ear to ear at your well deserved success! Your perseverance really did lead to a wonderful payoff! (Excessive exclamation points are allowed today, lol!!!)

    I loved your debut book and passed it on to our dear friend Jackie Smith creating a "sisterhood of the traveling book" thing, who knows how many people will read and enjoy that one book! So cool!

    Jackie's surgery is going on this morning, so I'm joining you in praying everything goes well. But you know what she said the last two times we emailed? She reminded me you were the guest today and how sorry she was to miss your day because of her surgery!

    Which brings us to another one of your gifts, the gift of encouragement! Having had health issues yourself, you are such on encourager to others struggling with issues too, me among them. You, Jackie and Tina have been my cheerleading team, so I persevered, went to PT, joined a water exercise class at the Y and am starting to feel like my old self again. Thanks for all those encouraging words, they made all the difference and paid off in my improved health.

    So this is what Seekerville really is, a community of lovely, caring people who just happen to love to write books and read books and encourage others along the way. I love this community, you're my kind of people Seekerville!



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    1. Tracey, getting to know you has been one of many gifts in this journey. My fellow Virginian...we're definitely kindred spirits. Your kind words mean so much. You've done your share of encouraging me, so I'm only returning the favor. I was so happy when you told me you'd passed my book along to Jackie. Through conversation we learned that she's having the identical back surgery that I've had twice. As for your perseverance...I'm so proud of you! Despite the physical pain you've experienced, you continue to press on with your goal of good health in 2017 and the years to come. You rock!

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    2. Water exercise! Tracey. So proud of you. Brave bathing suit woman!

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    3. Lol on the "brave bathing suit woman". I had to do something, but my knee couldn't tolerate my treadmill walking...yet. I go in the mornings 3 times a week, I felt self conscious at first, but once your in the pool it's easy, and I'm "weightless" and its a really good hour workout!

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    4. I laughed at Tina's comment too, Tracey. Water aerobics is good for people who have previous injuries since it's easy on the joints. Yay you! Three times a week is great!

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  15. JILL!!!! I'm so happy to see you here! And I loved your call story. Isn't it amazing how God works things out. A NaNoWriMo story one year and a few years later a Love Inspired book. You're such a lovely person and I've enjoyed working with your this month. Congratulations on your debut novel! Can't wait to see where God leads you next!

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    1. Thank you so much, LeAnne! A big congratulations to you too on your debt this month. It's been fun working with you, Kate, Tara and Cerella. You all were so kind to take me in under your wings. I appreciate it. Yes, what God has done for me has been amazing. I'm just following His lead and excited for the next surprise. Thanks so much for visiting today...I know how busy you are.

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  16. Jill!! It's so great to read your post! You're just a couple of hours from me lol. Loved reading your publishing journey. Happy writing!

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    1. Hi Sally! My favorite snow lover! Yes, we're not too far away from each other so please keep the snow up your way. :) Thanks for reading today. I have no doubt we'll be reading your first book in the very near future.

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    2. If we ever get snow, I will be sure to keep it lol. Thank you for your encouragement! It means so much!

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    3. Thank you, Sally. Your snow will scare away my hummingbirds! You've worked so hard, it's only a matter of time. :)

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  17. Hi Jill and welcome to Seekerville. What a fun and inspiring post. I love hearing how everyone started writing. We all have such different stories and it is interesting how God works in our lives. Thanks so much for sharing and joining us today. Have fun.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sandra. It's an honor and a pleasure to be here. My story was certainly one that I could never have imagined ending this way, but how wonderful that it did. All of you ladies have played a major part in my journey, so thank you.

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  18. Congrats Jill. Please throw my name in for your book. I'm glad perseverance paid off. You've set a good example for all of us.

    My example of perseverance would be managing to get a master's degree with 2 young children in tow. From taking baby to class to show infant reflexes to volunteering in my child's kindergartner class for methods class hour, I managed to make it work for both worlds. Looking back...I don't know how--only by God's grace.

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    1. Thank you, Bettie! I'm so happy you shared your story of perseverance. Yay you! That truly is quite an accomplishment and one that God certainly had His hand on. I appreciate you reading today. Your name is in the hat!

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    1. Olivia, thank you for prayers for sweet, Jackie.

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  20. JILL, thank you for this encouraging post!

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    1. It was my pleasure, Caryl. I appreciate your visit today!

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  21. Congratulations Jill on being a Loved Inspired author. I look forward to reading this book and I want to throw my name into the dish. Persistence is a much desired quality but it isn't one that we often possess so we certainly need to pray that we can "keep on keepin' on". I think the third P needed is patience and that is also a trait that needs to be developed!
    I wish you continued success and I hope to see your name on a book cover many more times and I am sure I will see you on Seem again!!

    Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD
    Psalm 27:14

    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Tried to say Seekerville but autocorrect thought it knew better :-)

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    2. Thank you so much, Connie. I appreciate your sweet comment. You hit the nail on the head with the other "P." Yes, patience...one that takes many of us years to develop. I think I'm still a WIP in that area, but I've come a long way. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Your name is in the hat!

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  22. Thanks for the great post and encouragement. I have found the same in my own writing career. Love the meme with Dory (that blue fish) on it that says, "Just keep writing, just keep writing." :)

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    1. It was my pleasure, Angela. I'm happy to hear that perseverance has paid off in your writing life too. I love the meme too! It speaks volumes, doesn't it? Thanks for visting today!

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  23. God honors perseverance.

    I really like that, Jill. Great post and CONGRATULATIONS on the book!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mary! I couldn't have done it without you all either...so thank you.

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  24. Congrats!
    I think I persevere every day I choose to sit down and continue working on my wip. Some days, I don't. I think the story is garbage, or I have no clue where to take it next. But every time I choose to continue it, I know God is working in me and on me. He teaches me something every time I write.

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    1. Thanks, Toni! Isn't it funny how our feelings toward our story changes from one minute to the next? It sounds to me as though you're persevering each day you sit down to write. God will honor that so keep it up! Thanks for your visit!

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  25. Jill, congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing today and for your words of encouragement.

    Perseverance...yep. Know it well. :-)

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    1. Thank so much, Cynthia! I suppose all writers are quite familiar with perseverance. :) Thanks for reading!

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  26. My memoir in progress is faith-based too, an attitude that you, Tina, and Jill both share. Writing fiction or memoir is not for sissies and I am often beset with negative thoughts: the time-suck of pressing family demands now, my age, and my perception of slow progress overall. God is in control though, that I know. The connection to other writers who struggle is a balm beyond belief. Thank you for the encouragement here. Philippians 3:14 is my mantra too. :-)

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    1. Marian, so delighted to have you in Seekerville. And you are wearing my favorite colors. Praying you to the finish line!

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    2. How great to see you here, Marian! Your comment is spot on. Writing is definitely not for sissies, but you're no sissy...that I know. Keep doing what you're doing and trust that it will all come together. It might not happen as fast as you'd like, but God is much better with the whole timing thing. :) Personally, I can't wait to read your memoir!

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    3. Tina, I met Marian through our blogs. I'm thrilled that she's visited today as Seekerville will be a tremendous support for her.

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    4. Your friends are my friend, Jill. Thrilled to have Marian here.

      Checked out her blog and friended her on FB. I don't mess around.

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    5. Twenty four years as a Mennonite girl in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, I think you'll find her blog quite interesting, Tina.

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    6. Welcome, Marian! We hope you'll become a regular Seekervillager!

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    7. Waving to Marian and nodding about her comment on age. I told my hubby this morning that I should have started this writing gig years ago! :)

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  27. Good morning, Jill!

    You're persistence is an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Congratulations on your book!

    ~ Renee

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    1. Thanks so much, Renee! I'm happy to hear this post has inspired you. Knowing that has made my day! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment.

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  28. Wonderful to have you on the other side of the blog today, Jill! I am awed by your story of perseverance. And incredibly envious that you sold YOUR VERY FIRST BOOK MANUSCRIPT!!!

    Actually, that just displays your perseverance even more, because of how you diligently studied and practiced the craft and learned from other authors even before setting out to write a novel.

    Congratulations on your debut!

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    1. Aw...thank you so much, Myra! Having the first book that I ever wrote published was definitely a God thing, but all of you have helped me along the way. I was just telling my father last night that this blog is equivalent to taking online writing courses. There is SO MUCH knowledge shared here each day. You all are so generous with your time and patience, it's no wonder Seekerville continues to be recognized by Writer's Digest Magazine. Thank you!

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  29. Good post! I found it encouraging.
    Persistence is key. I've been revising the same chapter all week, and I'm not going to give up. I vow to keep wrestling with it until it works.

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    1. Yay, Evelyn! I'm so happy to hear that you're not going to give up. The hard word will pay off. Keep us posted! Thanks so much for reading today.

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  30. Jill, your story is so encouraging! I'm glad I'm not the only one with a Seekerville notebook. :)

    Everytime I think "that's it, I give up" I get that nagging to sit down and keep on typing. It's an addiction. Does that count as perseverance?

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    1. Hi Sharee! I've seen you on Seekerville for quite sometime so I'm happy you're building notebooks as well. I'm getting ready to start #4 with a 3 inch binder. :) The feeling we get when the words flow onto the page is certainly addicting. Keep it up, girl! Thanks for reading.

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    2. Sharee, Jill's journal entries spoke straight to my heart. In fact, I still have days like that. He calls, He equips. In His time, and along for the journey.

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  31. Jill, thanks for sharing your journey to publication. So inspiring. I love reading how God works!

    Perseverance is the key, isn't it? Just as you mentioned. And listening when He speaks.

    I love the blurb for your story. Also love the Shenandoah Valley. We drive through it on our way to visit family in Northern VA.

    I believe we've "talked" about our Virginia pasts. My dad was military, but we returned to VA when he worked at the Pentagon and Fort Belvoir. I'm a MT Vernon High grad...Go, Majors! Lived as a girl in Arlington and throughout high school in Alexandria. Always love going back...except for the traffic!

    So glad you could be with us in Seekerville today.

    Hugs!

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    1. Hi Debby! Yes, we have shared our Virginia pasts with each other. I believe I stalked your website many years ago and sent you an email. LOL! My father was a civilian with the Army. With the exception of a couple of years working at Fort Belvoir, he worked at the Pentagon his entire career. I was an Oakton HS Cougar and I remember playing MT Vernon HS many times in football. Virginia will always be home for me and the Shenandoah Valley is my favorite place. As for the Washington area traffic...it's the worst! Thank you for all of your encouragement over the years...you're a blessing in my life.

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    2. Both Fairfax County schools! We were practically neighbors! Had your dad retired by 9/11? Or was he there that fateful day?

      God bless him for his service to our country!!!

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    3. Yes, good ole Fairfax County! They had a great school system...hopefully that's still the case. Thankfully, my father had retired before 9/11, but he did know some who lost their lives.

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    4. So tragic. Glad your dad wasn't there.

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    5. So am I, Debby. My parents were playing golf on a course near the Pentagon that day. The play flew really low over their heads and my mother asked my dad, "Why is that plane so low?" Then they heard the explosion.

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    6. Oh my gosh! And it was flying so low there at the end.

      Terrible! God protect all of us from harm!

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  32. Congratulations, Jill!

    Persistence pays in so many ways. I think it helps in almost every area of life. Especially prayer for yet to be saved loved ones.

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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    1. Thank you so much, Phyllis! You're right, persistence doesn't only apply to the writing life. It's a valuable trait in so many areas. I appreciate you reading today.

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  33. Jill, super congrats! I got the writing bug in the mid-80s and my first contract in 2010 so I know all about the long journey, including the "health issues that forced me to put my writing aside." God gives each of us a unique journey of growth in our personal, spiritual, serving, and "calling" areas. We need to come to terms with "in His time," and keep plugging along.
    Thanks for the encouraging post.

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    1. Thank you, LoRee! I appreciate you sharing your journey with us. It's so easy to grow impatient and frustrated. But as you said, it all happens in His time as long as we continue to follow His lead. Thank you for visiting today! Wishing you the best with your writing career.

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  34. Jill, this post just makes me smile. You did the work. Were teachable. Took open doors. You're living proof that persistence pays off. I'm so proud of you! And totally awed that the very first book you wrote and submitted in a contest was published! Second Chance Romance is on my Kindle. I'm looking forward to reading it!

    Janet

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    1. I'm happy you're sharing that beautiful smile, Janet. Thank you so much for your guidance and encouragement over the years. Seekerville is where everything started for me. Despite being "yelled" at, in a good way, by Tina and Ruthy, their critiques taught me so much. Little did I know when I hacked out that jumbled mess during my first NaNoWriMo participation, it would result in this...but God knew...it was all part of His plan. Thank you for all that you do, Janet!

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    2. Jill, your words have encouraged all of us Seekers who want to help writers get their dreams. We're thrilled you and so many others have! God is good.

      Janet

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    3. You all should be proud of what you accomplish here on this blog, Janet...every day!
      Yes, He is good.

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  35. What a sweet story, Jill! Hard work so often pays off. So happy for you!
    You know, the people who have said jealous/mean things to me probably don't realize how hard I've worked, and even the sacrifices I've made health-wise, to write 9 books in the last 4 years, but we all have to work hard and persevere if we want to succeed. I know very few authors who had an easy road to publication. Enjoy your success!

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    1. Thank you so much, Melanie! Writing 9 books in 4 years is quite an accomplishment. No one has an "easy road" in this life, writer or not. Passing judgment or saying mean things when you have no idea what that person is experiencing is just wrong. Actually, I feel sorry for people like that. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment today, Melanie. Wishing you the best in your future endeavors!

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  36. Praying for Jackie Smith's surgery.

    Janet

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    1. I'm hoping to get an update from her sister. The surgery was moved back from 6:30 to 8:30.

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    2. We've all been praying for her surgery and recovery.

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  37. Tina, I'm replacing the pecans in the pancakes with blueberries. Some of us are nutty enough. :-)

    Janet

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  38. Jill, what a wonderful, inspiring story! And your first published book is the first one you wrote - wow and double wow!

    Somehow I missed the fact that it takes place in the Shenandoah Valley. What a gorgeous area that is. And they have great apples, too :-)

    Best wishes for Second Chance Romance.

    Nancy C

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    1. It was a double wow, Chill N! I'm still stunned by the entire whirlwind experience. Yes, SCR is set in the fictional town of Sweet Gum in the Shenandoah Valley. It truly is a beautiful area, especially in the fall. And you're not kidding about the apples...they're the best! Thanks so much for visiting today.

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  39. Thanks Jill, loved reading your story. Seekerville is my haven for encouragement to try again, my go-to when I need a cheerleader. And my God loves to surprise us, always offering a secon chance.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Cindy. I'm happy you enjoyed my crazy roller coaster story. Seekerville is definitely the most encouraging and educational blog out there. How blessed we are to have discover it!

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  40. Thanks for a great post, Jill. This is so much encouragement. I need to remind myself that I just need to persevere when I get down on myself about the progress on my first book. I have to stop those negative doubts that say I can't possibly write a book that anyone would want to read.

    I could never do NaNoWriMo. November would be a terrible month for me to do something like that. But this is my third year doing Speedbo. March is a pretty good month for me. Right now I am on Spring Break (I'm a substitute teacher.) I am loving these mornings to sleep in (doing that because I seem to have caught my third cold in three months), then relaxing by reading the newspaper and studying Seekerville. After that, on to writing. I have met my goal of 1,000 words a day for 22 straight days now.

    Please enter me in the drawing. I would love to read your book. Congrats on getting your first book published.

    Well, off now to write. Am working on the scene where the father has sent his wife off shopping for the day with her friend while he takes care of his twins. They were born early with many medical problems and he didn't feel capable of handling them, which has created conflict with his wife. The babies have mostly outgrown their issues now, so he thinks he can handle it. He says, "How hard could it be?" Of course, I am now making it really hard for him. That's what I get to write today. But I need to think of something that happens with one of the babies while he's on the phone with work (another issue with his wife.) Trying to decide what it will be that is bad enough to call 911 but doesn't actually turn out to be life threatening. I welcome ideas if anybody has them.

    Have a great day everyone!

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    1. I'm so happy this post has encouraged you, Sandy. Trust me, you are not alone with those negative thoughts. You should read my journal, it's almost comical. There are entries where I'm yelling at myself. Good for you for keeping up with your word count during Speedbo...that's terrific! I'm happy to hear you're enjoying your spring break. It sounds really nice. I took off work today to visit Seekerville and it's been nice watching the birds through the kitchen window as I chat with everyone. Keep up with your writing and you'll reach your goal. I'll be thinking about the 911 call as I'm sure others will too. Have a great day!

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    2. Thanks, Jill. Maybe I should add that this scene with the father taking care of the twins is a turning point toward the end of the story. His relationship with his wife has improved and he has taken off more time to be with the family. But the phone call at the moment something happens when he is watching the kids is the final moment when he realizes that his family should come first.

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    3. You've got me biting my nails, Sandy. Hum...

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    4. Sandy, could the child choke on a piece of hard candy or a small piece of a toy? The dad tries the Heimlich but the candy/food/toy seems lodged. He calls 911 as he continues the Heimlich and finally succeeds in freeing the item before the EMTs arrive.

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    5. Thanks, Debby. That is an idea. I also have to think about how the wife is going to react to this. I mentioned that the parents are at odds about the husband and his work, but I also wanted the wife to realize she has been a little hard on him and hanging on too tightly to what she wants. So I was going to have this event be one where he is beating himself up and she tells him he doesn't need to feel that way because she realizes she has put too much pressure on him. In that case, I could make this an event that doesn't really warrant calling 911 but he thinks it does because he is so inexperienced with them and is so stressed out to do this right.

      Otherwise, I could have this be a turning point for the dad, but a further cause of conflict with the wife.

      A lot to think about! Thanks for the input.

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  41. Jill, I LOVE this post! It's encouraging to read about authors' success stories, especially because I *know* you and have been happy dancing since you announced your SALE! And I'm reading your absolutely wonderful story right now. Congratulations!

    Your post let me reflect on my time of perserverance....throwing out my blurb for the Manuscript Matchmaker opportunity....and then.... EEK!...moving on, then writing 70,000 words to submit my manuscript by the deadline. My chance didn't result in publication, but persevering and trusting in our Lord gave me the faith that I CAN write a book!

    Blessings and continued success to you! (Review to be added soon.)

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    1. Aw...that is so sweet, Sherida! Thank you so much for doing the happy dance for me. :) I'm thrilled to hear you're enjoying SCR. Just so you know, my third book introduced a character named Sherida, after you! I've always thought your name is so beautiful. I'm hoping to write her own story, down the road. Yes, you CAN write a book and you did! I hope you'll continue working toward publication. Harlequin is so generous with their contests and they've opened the door to so many, like myself, who could have sat in that slush pile for years. I'm a huge fan of contests and encourage all seeking publication to put their work out there. I can't wait to read your book in the very near future!

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    2. JILL, how fun!!! A character named Sherida!!! Now I'm even more excited for your next books!!!

      And, yes, I'm continuing to advance toward publication, thanks to Seekerville's encouragement.

      I agree with you about the Harlequin editors. All were so helpful and kind. Everyone should grab that opportunity when they offer the contests. Amazing experience!

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    3. I'm happy you're continuing to advance, Sherida. How could you give up now, right? Yes, the Harlequin contests are amazing. When entering, one must be prepared for the ride of your life!

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    4. HA! That's so funny because I told Sherida I am putting her in a book as well.

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    5. I love her name! She's in mine, but sadly, she has Crohn's Disease. :(

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    6. Jill, you have a Crohn's character? The hero in my wip has Crohn's.

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    7. Really, Myra? Sometime ago, while I was getting my infusion, another patient asked if I'd ever write a character with Crohn's since I've lived with it for thirty plus years. She got me thinking, so I decided to give it a try. I'm happy we can both bring attention to the disease.

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    8. Yay, Tina....I love having characters with my unusual name! Thank you!

      If Jill's story increases awareness of Crohn's Disease, that is a good thing. And hopefully the character Sherida is a likeable person. :)

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    9. Of course everyone likes her, Sherida. I wouldn't make you a meanie! :)

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  42. Enjoyed your wonderful post and congratulations! May there be many more books in your future. My perseverance comes and goes. I started great guns with Speedbo and 10,000 words later hubby and I got so sick we could barely sit up. Haven't written a thing in a week but I've lost 8 pounds. :)

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    1. Oh no! I sorry to hear you and your husband were sick. Hopefully you're both feeling better. Even so, 10K words is great progress, Jessica. If you needed to lose those 8 pounds, that's an extra bonus! Thanks so much for reading today and for the congrats!

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    2. Jessica, I hope you and hubby are on the mend. You must have been so sick. I'm sorry? Sounds like the flu that's going around GA.

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    3. Oh, Jess! That flu bug everyone is getting is bad. I am staying away from Joe Public. Praying for relief. AMEN!

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    4. Jessica, we never want to lose weight that way! Praying for you and your dh.

      Janet

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    5. Jess, congrats on your progress. I'm so sorry you've been sick!

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  43. YAY, JILL!!! SUPER CONGRATS ON YOUR DEBUT NOVEL, MY FRIEND -- and to get the first book you've ever written published is huge, too, and not all that common, from what I'm told, so DOUBLE YAY!!

    SO FUN to see you on this side of Seekerville, and I'll just bet that degree in psychology comes in handy with your characters, doesn't it??

    LOVE your story AND your persistence because that's really a major part of what it's all about.

    Your book sounds AMAZING, and I can't believe you're already working on book 3 -- good for you!! Saying a pray for supernatural favor for book 2 as it rests in the hands of your editor.

    Hugs and more hugs!
    Julie

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    1. Thank you so much, Julie! You and the Seeker women and villagers have been so encouraging over the years. This wouldn't have happened without you all. Yes, the psychology background is handy when it comes to my characters and also for the "characters" I meet in real life too!

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  44. Jill, you took off work to answer all the Seekerville comments? God bless you, sweet thing!

    That's above and beyond. No wonder we all love you!

    Hugs...and gratitude!

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    1. I couldn't do this at work...gotta keep the day job! :) Thank you, Debby! xo

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  45. Congratulations, Jill. Super post. Good on the Seekerville folks as well.

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    1. Aw...thanks for much for coming over today, John. I really appreciate it.

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    2. Welcome to Seekerville, John! Great to have you here.

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    3. Hi John! Isn't Jill wonderful! :)

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    4. Aw...thanks, Debby. John's pretty wonderful too. He's a successful multi-published author. Recently my father compared his writing to David Baldacci and James Patterson!

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  46. Jill, I started off reading your post this morning and got a call that pulled me away. I'm so glad I came back! What a great post. So exciting! I've been thrilled about your first sale. :)

    I'm so glad you stuck with the writing! You're an inspiration.

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    1. I'm glad you came back too, Missy! Thank you so much for all of your encouragement and the time you put into Seekerville to make our dreams come true!

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  47. I'm going to spice things up and tell of a time I HOPE my perseverance will pay off. In the past I've written two stories which I entered into a fairy tale writing contest. Both times I lost. The second time some judges for the contest critiqued the stories they judged. I thought, hey, at least they'll tell me where I went wrong and I can fix it. I didn't get a critique (though my sister did- grumble)! So yeah, that was a blow. I didn't win and I wasn't even one of the lucky ones to get a critique.

    But I am determined not to give up. This year I will enter again, and as this is the last year they are doing the contest I really, really hope I win.

    Here's hoping that this time around my perseverance will pay off.

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    1. Thanks for spicing things up, Nicki! I'm sorry to hear your struggles, but good for you for continuing to persevere. Perhaps when the the Seeker women offer another critique you can throw your name into the hat. Don't give up!

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  48. Does puppy training count for perseverance? Sorry I'm so late to the party, sweet friend, but well...puppy training. Sheesh. So thrilled and excited for you, Jill! And more than a week bit in awe that you wrote a book during NaNoWriMo while working full-time and dealing with health issues. Enjoyed reading about your call AND Second Chance Romance! xo

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    1. Yes! Of course puppy training counts, Dora! No apologies...I'm about on my last leg here...this is fun, but I'm exhausted! LOL! Thank you for all of the support and encouragement you've given me. You're a gem! Good luck with the pups! xo

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  49. Loved your post here Jill - still get amazed every time I read about your story of success. It definitely shows that hard work and perseverance does pay off. So happy for you - congratulations on the success you achieved and all the best as you continue your love of writing.

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    1. Aw...thanks so much for popping over from my blog, Mary! I appreciate all of your support and encouragement. Thank you for keeping me inspired with all of your beautiful art! You're an amazing artist! xo

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  50. By the way, I also meant to say your photo of the notebooks really warmed my heart right when I needed it. It gave me a huge smile. Bless you, Jill.

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    1. Aw...I'm happy to hear that, Missy. Hugs back to you! xo

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  51. What a delightful encouraging post, Jill! Thank you!! Your story of persistence is helpful! Congratulations on your book! I look forward to reading it!

    This month has been a "persistence test." As soon as I signed up for Speedbo, one of our employees got very sick and we had to train someone...then my "girl Friday" was ill for two weeks, and now, my husband is in the hospital. I'm behind in Speedbo word count, but still writing. Moving FORWARD--day by day!!

    Thanks again for sharing your victorious journey!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kathryn. I happy to hear you were encouraged by my story. I'm so sorry that Speedbo hasn't turned out the way you planned, but you can do it anytime and at your own pace. More importantly is your husband. We will all keep him in our prayers. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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    2. Thank you, Jill, for your kind words and your prayers. Wishing you continued success in your writing journey!

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  52. Jill I am so proud of you. It is an encouragement for me to continue to persevere in this dream. I have bought your book. Now to just get to it in the pile of books waiting for me to read. Congratulations

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    1. You're so sweet, Wilani...thank you. I have no doubt that you'll achieve your dream. You've been very persistent despite challenges that have come your way. I appreciate you reading my book. I'm quite familiar with those piles of books...they seem to clone themselves, don't they? Thanks for reading today!

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  53. WHOA! Did you have a day, Jill. It's only dinnertime here but I know you have to go to bed soon.Darn that time difference soon. Thank you so much for being our hostess. Praying for continued success!

    To everyone else..SPEEDBO ON!!!

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    1. WHOA is right, Tina! It's been so much fun. Silly me, I thought I could get some writing in too! Thank you so much for allowing me to visit today. I appreciate the prayers!

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  54. Thank you so much for your post. Perseverance is a word that has come up a lot lately. You know it's something you need to focus on when it keeps popping up! I love your story and your book looks amazing! Congrats on your book!

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    1. Great to see you, Sherrinda! I agree, when a word or phase continues to pop up, I always believe it's God speaking to me. Thank you so much for visiting and the congrats!

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  55. Thanks, Jill, for being with us...the entire day! I loved reading all the comments and your responses. You have such a loving heart!

    Hugs!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Debby! It's been fun, but much more exhausting than the day job! LOL! xoxo

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  56. So happy to read about your journey, Jill, and so happy your perseverance paid off - - Congratulations!! :) No need to enter me in the drawing, because I'm ordering your book. Love that cover!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Thank you so much, Patti Jo! I appreciate you ordering my book and I hope you enjoy it. The cover design crew at Harlequin did a great job, didn't they? I appreciate your visit! xo

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  57. Congratulations on your wonderful book, Jill. I'm enjoying every page and don't want it to end. Such a great story of perseverance. <3

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    1. Aw...thanks so much, Sylvia. How sweet of you to pop over! I'm so happy you're enjoying Second Chance Romance. See you soon! xo

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  58. Perseverance is one of the most important qualities of a writer. Congratulations on sticking with it and on your success in getting your book published. I love your ten days of thoughts while doing NaNoWriMo.

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    1. Hi Nicki! Thanks so much for coming over. I appreciate all of your support over the years. Yes, my thoughts were kind of all over the place which I'm sure you can relate to.

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  59. Congratulations, Jill and it's just wonderful to read about your story to publication! Talk about persistence and perseverance - inspiring to read how you never left the story, how you managed NaNoWriMo with work and family. Isn't it odd how last minute decisions can make all the difference, think if you hadn't decided to enter the blurb to the competition. I'm so happy for you!! ��❤️

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    1. Aw...thanks, Annika! I appreciate you coming over to read my post. You've been so supportive along the way...I appreciate it. You're right, last minute decisions can have a lasting impact. Wishing you the best with your writing endeavors. See you soon! xo

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    2. Having read and LOVED your debut, Jill, I am so happy you persevered. I am happy for you for your dream coming true, and for your readers for being able to enjoy your wonderful story!

      (Please don't enter me in the giveaway.0

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    3. Aw...thank you for your kind words, Kate. I appreciate all of your support! Thanks for visiting Seekerville. xo

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  60. First, congratulations on your debut novel! I purchased it just from the blurb, an fellow Seekers comments.

    Second, thanks for the most awesome inspirational post! It means there is hope for me, too. I've been working on my WIP for four years, and was praying Speedbo would get me up and running again, but the "other P", procrastination, has got me in its grip. Yes, I've managed to get a few thousand words either hand-written, or down in my ms in Word. I'm going to count every one so as not to feel like a total slacker.

    I'm going to print out GOD HONORS PERSEVERANCE, and this post to remember that his watch over me is constant.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    Marcia

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    1. What a sweet comment, Marcia! Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy SCR. I'm so happy that this post has inspired you. It's so easy for us to procrastinate when it's time to sit down to write. Believe me, my eyes scan the room for dust bunnies constantly. :) I often have a difficult time staying in my chair. So, you're not alone. Please don't get down on yourself for not doing as well as you wanted with Speedbo. A few thousand words is still progress. Keep adding to it and you'll get their. I'd love to hear an update in the future. Thank you again for taking the time to read and comment. You made my day. xo

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  61. Jill, your perseverance brought tears to my eyes. Seriously. I feel it. I dream it. I pray for it. And I remember that God never desserts us. I am praising Him and praising Speedbo for boosting me along my way. Five chapters to go. Praise God! Thanks you, Seekers! (Oh...and your book cover is positively DELIGHTFUL! Can't wait to read it!)

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    1. Oh Rebecca, I'm so happy my experience moved you. Honestly, when I think back on it, I become quite emotional myself. Yay you! Five chapters to go...that is wonderful! I'm so happy for you. Keep it up and we'll be reading your post one day soon. Thank you...the art department did a great job with the cover. I love Rebecca in her tiny jeans. :)

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  62. You certainly did persevere Jill and look at you now! So thrilled for you. I realise that we both blogged about perseverance at the same time...it's catching and certainly not always easy. Faith, hard work and pushing on through all that self doubt, questioning and sky high stress levels pays off. You inspire me not to give up and keep going with my memoir no matter what. I am so proud of you my friend, you are a true inspiration and remind me/us that God is faithful and He certainly never gives up on us! <3

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    1. Hi Sherri! How nice to see your beautiful face on Seekerville. Thank you for your kind words and your constant encouragement. We're quite the pair, eh? But together, we'll keep pressing on. Congratulations on your recent publication! I'm so proud of you! Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself. xo

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  63. What an inspirational journey, Jill. I feel empowered.

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    1. Thanks so much for popping over, Jacqui. I appreciate you reading and I'm happy you feel empowered. When I look at all that you do...I think you're amazing.

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  64. I'm in the middle of reading your sweet story (the published one, Jill, although the one here in the blog is wonderful also!!), so I don't need a book. BUT I need the reminder of the importance of perseverance. I was diagnosed with a seizure disorder when pregnant with my first child. I didn't like the noted side effects of meds, so with perseverance, I taught myself to heal with yoga, mediation, good diet, and to live a life with less stress. My grand mal seizures are few and far between (last one over 8 years ago - when I got the flu - now I take flu shots!!). Perseverance and praying, knowing we are not alone, but that our spirit is always sheltered - that's what gets us through the trials of life.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping over, Pam. I wasn't aware of your diagnosis, but I'm happy to hear the seizures have been under control and without medication...that's even better. I'll keep you in my prayers. Thank you for reading SCR. I appreciate all of the support you've given me. xo

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  65. This is such an inspiring post, Jill. And I love that this is your Manuscript Matchmaker submission! You did it!

    My last project was a novella, and from initial plot idea to contracts, to galley edits, the whole process seems to have flown, though there were a couple "push through" moments.
    Not so my current story. I've had the most second-guessing and reworking in this plot than all my others I think. At least it feels that way, but snippet by snippet, there IS progress. It's the little steps forward I'm grateful for these days. That's what the Speedbo theme is about this year, right? No looking back! Onward and upward!

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    1. Hi Natalie! I'm happy you enjoyed my post. Actually, this book was published through the Blurb2Book contest. I believe Manuscript Matchmaker was offered after, but I may be wrong. Either way, it was an exciting and very generous contest offered by Harlequin. I'm sorry to hear progress has been slow with your current story. I suppose each WIP is different and comes with its own challenges. That said, you've done it before so I have no doubt you'll press on. Wishing you the best, Natalie. Thanks so much for reading!

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  66. Congratulations on your perseverance,Jill Weatherholt. I feel empowered and very inspired after reading your post. A few years ago my perseverance paid off when I was feeding a wild stray cat in my neighborhood. After feeding and softly taking to her for over 4 years the cat let me get closer and closer to her and let her pet her. She turned out to be a real sweetheart that I took inside as my pet. I persevered and it paid off. Yes, please throw my name in the cat dish for a copy of Second Chance Romance. I love Love Inspired and would love to read your book.
    Deanne Patterson

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    1. Thanks so much, Deanne! I'm happy you were inspired by my post. Aw...good for you for rescuing the stray cat. She was fortunate you came along. Yay you! Your name is going into the dish. Thanks for reading today and sharing your story!

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  67. Congratulations on your perseverance,Jill Weatherholt. I feel empowered and very inspired after reading your post. A few years ago my perseverance paid off when I was feeding a wild stray cat in my neighborhood. After feeding and softly taking to her for over 4 years the cat let me get closer and closer to her and let her pet her. She turned out to be a real sweetheart that I took inside as my pet. I persevered and it paid off. Yes, please throw my name in the cat dish for a copy of Second Chance Romance. I love Love Inspired and would love to read your book.
    Deanne Patterson

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  68. Congrats! God really does honor perseverance.

    By the way, I finished my speedbo!

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    1. Yes He does! Hey, congratulations on finishing Speedbo, Boo! That's great news. Thanks for reading!

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  69. Jill, laughing over your thoughts the first 10 days of NaNoWriMo! #9... cracking up. Thanks heavens you kept on persevering! I so enjoy these interviews you do. I enjoyed the comment section here today, too. You already know how happy I am for you but I will say it again... so happy you persevered and Second Chance Romance was published! I don't need a book because I am pretty sure I entered the first time... :) I know one of these days I am going to be typing to tell you how much I love your book. Haven't started on it yet because you know how life gets in the way. Today is the day!

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  70. Hi Pix! Thanks so much for popping over today! Looking back at my journal entries always gives me a good laugh. My thoughts are like a roller coaster ride while I write, but that's what makes it so much fun. Thank you for all of your support over the years. I really do appreciate it. You always seem to brighten my day. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Jill, I am about 3 or 4 pages in on Second Chance Romance on a rainy cold afternoon and I am hooked. It's one of those books I am not going to be able to put down... I can tell! I purchased the Kindle edition.

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