Friday, October 1, 2010

Birthday Month in Seekerville

Welcome Everyone to the first day of our 3rd Birthday bash! Can you believe it? Three years old! Of course we think Seekerville is a great place, but it wouldn’t be a fraction as wonderful without all our friends.

I mean really…how can we throw a party without YOU????? For YOU???

So throw open the doors and let the party begin!!!

Cowboys. Yum. How’s that for an introduction into my writing life?

I played with the idea of showing you my writing life through photos of my office, but then visions of the television show Hoarders popped into my head and I quickly dismissed that idea. Old dogs and small children have been known to wander into my office and never be seen again. Besides, how can I justify posting pictures of cowboys when I’m discussing interior design and space planning?

It’s no secret around here that I love cowboys. Oh my goodness, give me Wrangler jeans, a Stetson hat and button down shirt over wool suits, silk ties and fitted tuxes any day of the week! There’s something earthy and real about a man who herds animals and cultivates crops.

Chris LeDoux is the epitome of my inspiration this side of the spiritual realm : )

Country music in general is very inspiring. I love the lyrics and get lost in the low, full voices; the rapid play on words; the emotions that reach into my heart and pull my soul right out of me. Well, maybe not that graphic, but you get the picture. And out of all the phenomenal choices of singers and bands out there, none get my creative juices flowing better than Chris LeDoux.

I wish you could hear the music playing in the background : )

So I have my inspiration in hand, now what do I do with it? That my friends, has been a question I’ve long sought direction for and it turns out according to one ACFW speaker, I’ve been doing it right all along.

At the ACFW conference last month, I had the opportunity to attend a Late Night Chat featuring Joseph Bentz. He entitled his talk Top 10 Strategies to Become a More Productive Writer (actually, he gave us 14), but really, he could have just as easily called it:

Giving Audra Harders permission to write books any bizarre way that feels right to her.

He had me from the first line when he mentioned allowing yourself playtime with ideas before the formal writing. My mind is one big playground. I try to imagine characters in their everyday lives, doing normal things – then twisting it up and sprinkling in chaos. Now, let me state up front, interjecting conflict in the life of my characters is not easy for me. I go through many scenarios in my head and on scrap paper before I hit on something that can’t be resolved with a simple conversation or apology.

He also mentioned how there’s nothing more daunting that looking at the beginning of a chapter or scene and trying to write it right from a formal inciting incident. Isn’t that the truth? I skip ahead and eavesdrop on the conversations stirring in the middle of the chapter. Once I’ve figured out where they’re going with their conversation and actions, I’ll massage it over, primp it up, and only then when the nucleus of the scene is well defined, will I go back and write a lead in.

I find it much easier to flow with the rhythm of the book if I start writing in the middle of the scene where there’s action rather than crafting a pretty build up that totally blows the wind out of my sails of conflict.

I also write myself a note at the end of my writing time leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to remind me where I was going with my thoughts. There’s nothing worse than sitting down at the computer knowing I only have two hours to write and spending precious time feeling my way through a scene, or conflict, or black moment that I had already pretty much worked through. I survive by lists. This is just one more list I post on the edge of my monitor to get me in the mood, LOL!

Working full-time outside of the home is a blessing in disguise. It keeps me from kicking myself at the end of the day when I look back and find out of my 12 to 14 hours of time, I've only written for 2 - 4. I am not the writer who wakes up, grabs a cup of coffee and digs into my manuscript all day long. I’m a hit-and-run writer. I write in 30-minute snips, shuffling in distractions like laundry, walking the dog, talking to hubby and the kids, before disappearing for another 30-40 of work. See why leaving a note reminding me where I was heading with an idea is important? Using this method diligently, I can pound out 1000-1500 words an evening. Double that amount on Saturdays and Sundays.

And yes, armed with gallons of coffee and an array of snacks, I have belted out 18,000 words in a weekend. My mind was fried by Sunday night. Funny what you can do when you push yourself.

I’m probably the least disciplined of all the Seekers. I blame it on my Attention Deficit Disorder. I’m not complaining. I know God had a reason to bless me with this. . .this. . .unique trait : ) And much like the trials of Job, I know I am not alone and the Lord will see me through.

Why in the world He’s made me a master of tangling together the threads of my plots, I can only imagine.

Any other ADD writers out there? Even if you’re perfectly normal : ), what works to organize your bursts of writing genius? Share with us and you might be the lucky recipient of a Barnes and Noble gift card, chocolate, an IOU for my debut Steeple Hill Love Inspired 2011 January release, Rocky Mountain Hero AND a CD of Chris LeDoux’s Greatest Hits.

Blessings to one and all!!
Keep coming back to Seekervile!
We've planned an awesome month just for you!!


  1. Happy Birthday Seekers!

    I like Chris LeDoux, too! He's the real country deal.

    I'd bring coffee but it would be cold by the time people started showing up! : )


  2. Happy official birthday dear Seekers!

    Please don't ask me about organization. I'm still trying to figure out who let you in with a camera... :)

  3. Happy Birthday, Seekers!!!!

    I haven't been doing much in the way of writing, so I can't say much about my writing genius. I can't seem to function without chaos. I just wanted to drop by and say Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday to Youuuuuuu!!! Wonderful Seekers, I even sang (loudly and with enthusiasm, if not accurate pitch) in your honor! Happy 3rd -- may there be many, many more!!! xo

  5. Happy Birthday Seekers!

    I'll have to look for your books since I love cowboys too!

    quilt938 at clear dot net

  6. Happy Birthday! I'm so glad I found this site before the festivities began.

    I am new to writing but find that I definitely have to let the characters live in my head a little bit, sometimes waking in the middle of the night to jot down an idea. A weekend writing blitz fueled by coffee sounds like standard operating procedure to me!

  7. Yes, yes I am going to bed!! Yes, yes I KNOW I'm up to late! But.....I really wanted to make sure to come by and be one of the first to wish you an official


    I think that many of us would agree that we could NOT live without any of your wonderful Seekers. So thank you for always being here for us in our home away from home. We'll always feel welcome and that is thanks to you ladies!

    So since Vince brought that coffee, I thought I'd drop of pancakes!! We've got them in all kinds today, people! Help yourself there's plain, chocolate, blueberry, with Nutella (YUM-O!) name it, we've got it! Then to add something healthy, I've also got fruit platters with canteloupe, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, and yes even pineapple that I picked from the tree right over there *points to the right*

    So congratulations on all of your hard work! You girls have done us proud *sniffle, sniffle* LOL!

    Enjoy the breakfast and I'll see you later : )

  8. Happy 3rd Birthday!!

    For organizing my stories, I mainly use Excel spreadsheets. I make one line per scene and list it as 1A, 1B etc., list the location, date, a brief sentence about the main plot of the scene and any other important info. Then I make that line a specific color based on who's pov it is. My hero is usually blue and the heroine red. Secondary characters that have a pov scene each have a color. I can just glance at the chart to see who needs more pov scenes, plus I more or less outline the book as I'm writing, so I keep track of things fairly well this way.


  9. I don't know about with writing, but I definitely do have ADD tendencies. And Happy Birthday Seekerville!


  10. Happy Birthday Seekers!

    I really like the idea of PLAYING before getting down to business with a new story. One usually starts "occurring" before I get to the end of a project, so I start making notes on little pieces of paper and sticking them in a "think" folder.

    With everyone in birthday mode, I won't be able to ignore my own that occurs during the middle of this month.


    Timer's set on the coffee pot for the early risers!!

  11. Happy Birthday to all the Seekers!!
    I'm not a writer but then I'm not all that organized either. Are you sure that's not a picture of my spare closet?

    seriousreader at live dot com

  12. Happy Birthday to ya'll! :D How exciting!

    Thank you for a fun post, Audra! I know what you mean about writing in snippets--although I haven't arrived at the point in my life where I can write regularly yet! I really want to work up to that, though, because sometimes I wonder if this manuscript will ever get finished... But I have to trust in God's timing and make priorities. :) It will all work out just fine!



  13. Happy Birthday, SEEKERS!!!

    And Audra - I KNEW we were kindred spirits. Absolutely. Your mind and mine: peas in a pod!! Twix in a wrapper. Arms in a straight jacket.

    I cannot tell you how much I loved meeting you at ACFW. Truly one of the highlights, because you have a beautiful personaity and lovely spirit. (so maybe the straightjacket example wouldn't work so great, eh?) ;-)

    I have to start my scenes with the action and work backwards - sometimes I have to start the entire BOOK in a spot of chaos and work backwards. I don't hurt my characters enough either...and I'm having to 'learn' how to do a better job of that. If I need inspiration, my twelve year old son is always keen to help with exacting torture.

    Seekerville has been such an encouragement to me for a year and a half. You ladies have a wonderful ministry (and loads of fun too).
    Blessings & thanks

  14. Happy Birthday, Seekers!

    Terrific post, Audra. I listen to music when I write, but the characters dictate the artist or genre. For my current book, I'm listening to a lot of Tayler Swift and Chris Daughtry, but I'm not quite sure why. I'm sure my characters will let me know. :)

    I don't have the luxury of writing all day either, so my writing goes in spurts. I allow myself pondering time before I write a certain scene. If I force myself to write, my brain freezes.

    lisajordanbooks @ yahoo dot com

  15. Audra love your office. hehehehehe

    And I love Chris LeDoux as well.

    Gee and I like YOU TOO!!

    Happy BIRTHDAY TO US!!!!

  16. Oh yeah, I just realized today starts the every day you comment in Seekerville you get an entry in the drawing for the KINDLE MONTH.

    Woooooot, Wooooooooot!!!

  17. Btw, I listen to music when I write - some country/rock, some classical, some jazz. Whatever fits the mood of the book.
    And if I can't find music I like - well, I'll write it :-)
    No one else might want to listen to my strange concoctions, but it works for me.

    Love the cowboy pics, Audra. VERY nice

  18. Happy Birthday Seekerville! And thanks for all the inspiration and great advice!


    I listen to Chris LeDoux all the time! I love the song "Tougher than the Rest" and even included it in a ms. I saw him perform at Cheyenne Frontier Days a couple of times. Excellent show! Very sad when he passed away.

    As for writing I have to snatch pieces of the day, as well. At work, I keep a zip drive folder open with the named "Possible scenes and ideas" that way in the middle of the day if something comes to mind I hurriedly write it down. If I don't, I'll get home and think, "What was that great scene?"


  19. WooHoo!! Look at all the early birds wishing us Happy Birthday!

    Vince, KC, Renee, Marilyn, Susanna, you guys stay up all night? Glad we have coffee on of everyone and Hannah, you sweet thing, Nutella? I love the stuff!

    Let the party begin!

  20. Happy Birthday Seekerville!!!!

    Cowboys! What a great way to kick off a birthday bash. Audra, I've liked Chris LeDoux since his rodeo days!

    I like your idea of writing the "conflict" part of a scene before writing the build up. For one chapter in my WIP, I knew how I wanted it to end but couldn't come up with away to get there (I'm a pantster) so I just went ahead and used my writing time to write the end...guess what? The next day, I knew how to get to the end of the that scene and wrote the rest of the of it.

    I listen to country music while I write too. Okay, it's my music of choice followed by old stuff from the 60's & 70's.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  21. Vickie, I'm so envious of folks who use spreadsheets. I know Myra's a big fan and bless her heart, she's given more than one blog on how to use them effectively.

    I love learning all the techniques...but can I incorporate them into my life?

    Well, my life isn't over yet! There's still hope, LOL!

  22. Nicole, Holly, Linda stick around! The bulk of our birthday buffet hasn't been unveiled yet and we do have cake at the end of the day!!!

    Thanks for stopping by!!

  23. Good morning, Audra! It's going be so much fun this month to hear what each Seeker shares during our month-long "how I write" posts. Maybe I'll glean some new tips! Like you, I get maybe 90-120 minutes of writing time on a weekday due to having to hit Ye Olde Day Job. Longer, of course, most Saturdays. Can hardly wait for your first book to release -- only 3 more months and it will hit the shelves!

  24. Helen! Where would we be without your morning coffee and cheer? And a special Happy Birthday to you!!

    Quite nice of you to choose OUR birthday month to celebrate your own birthday! Cake and goodies will be flowing all month long!

    I'm with you. I've got to let characters cook in my head before putting them on paper. Feel out the personalities!

  25. Oh wait, Helen! I loved meeting you at ACFW! That very first day, too. Glad we didn't wait until the last!

    Amber, start slowly. The rhythm of writing needs to find its own cadence. You'll be plopping down in your chair and pounding out words on a regular basis when the time is right. Enjoy the reprieve while you can, LOL!

    Lisa, I'm with you all the way on those brain freezes. I stopped fighting creativity a looonnnngggg time ago just to say I put in hours at the computer. Might as well be playing for Mahjong for all the productivity I try to FORCE out of my brain.

    Jazz? Country and classical I can do, but Jazz? Gotta think about that.

  26. Pepper!!

    You little sweatpea!! So glad I was blessed to run into you all through conference!!

    AND, I had the opportunity to watch your gorgeous hair go from straight and manageable to wild and fluffy over the course of 4 days. Unbelievable. I'm soooo envious.

    Two arms in a strait jacket, eh? I'm with you there, babe! I write my scenes backwards so I know how to begin them, LOL!! I'll bet you read the last page of books, too...I do!

    You were such a joy to spend time with during conference. Folks, Pepper was worried we'd think she was stalking us! Hmmm, isn't that what's supposed to happen?? LOL! Dear thing, you just stalk away anytime you want!

  27. Kristen, you actually got to see him in concert?! Luck bucket!

    We had tickets to see Chris at the Colorado State Fair, but he had to pull out at the last minute due to his illness. Bummer. Toby Keith subbed in for him. I like Toby, too, but he's no Chris LeDoux!!

    I send myself emails from work with ideas that pop into my mind. Sometimes I"ll come home and see all the stuff I"m sent myself and wonder what exactly I got done at work, LOL!!

  28. Rose, I'm such a pantser, too. I'm trying to break my ways and actually plan my way through a book.

    I'm happy to say, it can be done!

    High Five, fellow Chris LeDoux fan! Gotta love those cowboys!

  29. Hi Audra! I attended that late night chat at the conference, too. It was so helpful! I got some great ideas that I'm trying to implement in my own writing life/schedule. So fun to meet you at the conference! Lunch was one of my highlights!

    Happy birthday to the Seekers!


  30. Tina, I can barely see your cute face around that huge cup of coffee! Hmmm, aren't most writers fueled that way??

    Yay for our birthday! We've got lots of great stuff planned and terrific guests all month long...

    AND Tina is still keeping us in Weekend Editions!! Don't know how you do it with a demanding day job, too.

    Let's hear it for Tina!!!

    "I’m a hit-and-run writer."

    LOL!! Too cute, my friend, just like YOU!!! And at least you write on the run -- I am SO not good at that!

    Fun post, girl, and FUN MONTH ahead for Seekers and friends!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!!! This is one time I don't mind sharing an age. :)

    As far as "organization" of scenes, after writing five books about the SAME family, I have been exiled from seat-of-the-pants-dom and forced into plotter-dom, so like Vickie (but not as organized!), I have a "scene plotting" doc that I actually create after I start the book. Usually about the third chapter in is when I sit down and "plot" (cold chills!!) all future scenes in my head and capsulize them so the flow is even and the story makes sense. I usually do enough to get me through to the last 1/4 of the book and then my free-spirited seat-of-the-pants personality finally kicks in and I finish the book in that mode (thank God!!.

    Happy Friday, all, and I just have one question:



  32. Glynna, Ye Olde Day Job does tend to get into our lunch, doesn't it? Let's hear it for the day when we can stay in our jammies and create from home!

    Hmmm, before that happens, I better become MUCH more organized and disciplined.

    Did I emphasize MUCH enough???

  33. Sara! How great to meet you at conference! AND discover you're from my neck of the woods!! Yep, right here in Denver. It took going to Indianapolis to find friends right here at home, LOL!

    That Late Night Chat was the best workshop I attended! Actually, it runs neck and neck with my CE session of Scene Therapy. Loved them both!

    Glad you stopped by, Sara! You're just in time for the eggs and bacon that are being loaded onto the buffet as we speak. Had to make sure food was covered before I run off to work.

    I'll be back...

  34. WHAT? There's no cake NOW? Wait until end of day? What kind of party IS this? Where is Capt. Jack???

    * ahem *

    Julie - this is a life-saver.

    Usually about the third chapter in is when I sit down and "plot" (cold chills!!) all future scenes in my head and capsulize them so the flow is even and the story makes sense. I usually do enough to get me through to the last 1/4 of the book and then my free-spirited seat-of-the-pants personality finally kicks in and I finish the book in that mode (thank God!!).

    THANK YOU!!! I've been wondering how to start book 2. I think you've given me permission to use my best (?) talents in a way I can live with... AWESOME.

    side note: my word is "twimp" :)


    Wow, I can't believe it has been three years already. What an amazing accomplishment. Just the fact that we've known how to blog for three years is a miracle in itself. I can remember Tina so patiently teaching us. LOL

    Morning Audra. I'm so excited for January to get here to see your book and Tina's.

    I'm with you Julie. What is Nutella? Sounds yummy.

    Thanks for the platter of fruit and the pancakes Hannah. Great way to start the morning.

    Well, Actually Audra started it best with COWBOYS. Yum. Oops. I mean siiiiigh

    Thanks girlfriend. What a way to start the day. Cowboys and western music.

    Have a great day. I can hardly wait to see what the rest of our birthday month brings.

  36. Love your prize list, Audra!!! I hope I win!

    Audra, I admire your ability to write in 30-minute increments! I so totally couldn't do that. I am frustrated with myself right now because I'm so distracted with marketing. It's like I'm in marketing mode and I hate it but I can't break free and get in touch with my creative writer side! But oh, well. This too shall pass.

    But I do relate to what you're saying. Except, when I start feeling ADD, I just go check email for a few minutes, or read Seekerville. If I were being distracted by family members, I would give up on writing and just go be with the fam. I get frustrated if outside things/people are trying to get my attention and I can't concentrate on my story and characters.

    Ugh. I sound like a diva. But I haven't learned the art of writing amid distraction.

  37. OH my goodness - I loved Chris LeDoux. Such a loss to the country music family when he passed. I had the chance to see him in concert a couple of times when friends of mine were on the bill with him. Such a fantastic entertainer.

    I'm originally from Texas so I love real cowboys too - I will defintely be looking forward to the release of your first book! Congratulations!

  38. And I don't organize my stories at all, except in my head. Forget spreadsheets!

  39. Audra,

    I tried the email thing, but sometimes a whole chapter will come to mind and I have to get it down. It's just easier, for me at least, to have the zip drive.

    Sorry, LeDoux had to cancel and you missed seeing him. He had a high octane show. Saw him once with Garth Brooks that show was crazy.


  40. I love Chris LeDoux. Just love him.

    And cowboys in general??? OH YUM.




    Open fields....

    This is how the West Was Won, Chicas!!! ;)

    Audra, I love this glimpse into Audraville. So fun. So cool. And I'm not buying that least-disciplined nonsense, you just FEEL undisiciplined because you zig-zag.

    That gives your stories a wonderful bend, a marevlous thrust.

    I brought a new coffee, blueberry cream which I was sure I'd hate, but I LOVE it. Who'd a thunk? And I made a blueberry crisp to go alongside the coffee, a perfect complement of flavor and texture.

    Sausage bread, too, with extra sharp aged Vermont cheddar swirled within. To die for.

    And giving a Ruthy-nod to all things cowboy.

    Yee haw.

  41. Audra,

    Love learning how you write!!! For being ADD, you certainly are organized and prepared. Thanks for remembering the coffee mate at ACFW and for sharing your stash with me! Made my morning cup so much sweeter!

    Your hoarders pic looks like my office. I need to clean it out from top to bottom...maybe next week.

    I'm packing for Georgia's Moonlight and Magnolias Conference where I'll see Missy this weekend. Fingers crossed for Pam and Glynna's final in the Maggies. Patty Hall too! Other Seeker friends will be at M&M as well. Waving to everyone!


  42. Julie,
    Nutella is a nut-based paste, similar to peanut butter...but different. Sweeter. In Germany, the kids eat it on toast in the morning and as a sandwich at lunch. It's yummy and full of calories. Protein too. :)

    My kids loved it when we lived in Germany. At that time, it wasn't sold in the States. We were all thrilled when it finally appeared on the shelves in our local groceries.

  43. Great post, Audra! Loved the peek at your process. I'm impressed that you can write in 20-40 minute increments. Wish that were me!!!

    I loved the Joseph Bentz workshop! He made me feel normal. LOL

    Happy birthday Seekerville!!! I love the prizes you're offering today, Audra!! And at the end of the month, a Kindle!!! Wahoo!!!


  44. Happy Birthday, Seekerville!

    I'll get the bad news out of the way first. Please don't throw tomatoes at me, but I don't even know who Chris LeDoux is.

    I have skimmed through the comments and am so relieved that I'm not the only writer who is inconsistent with the disciplines of writing. I use various methods of "organization." First, I'm a perculator. I like to sit and think and mull over characters, plots, scenes, and the MO that drives my story. I have emailed myself ideas. I have opened documents and typed out ideas. I type up a list of characters, how they are connected with other characters, their ages, etc. I love the spreadsheet ideal, if only spreadsheets and I got along. I think I need a class on how to use one. I'm in the middle of my novel right now and I'm working at finding those scenes that will pull the beginning and ending together nicely without causing a lull in the story. I'm the kind of writer who has to get the beginning down pat before I move on, because it effects the decisions my characters make later on. I don't do well at backtracking. That's definately not my thing! Once I figure out a good starting point for a chapter (with an ideal of where I want to go with it), it takes off from there. I don't always know how the chapter will end and it makes it fun. I also make lists and it did help me to write a synopsis so I can remind myself where I'm heading with the story. I don't stick to every detail and sometimes I rearrange the details, but it still helps keep me on track.

    Okay! I think that's enough rambling. Loved your post, Audra! Vickie, thanks for the spreadsheet tips. I just might try it. Mary C, thanks for inviting me to Seekerville!


  45. Umm...are we supposed to leave our email addresses? I didn't see anybody else leave one. You can reach me through my website, Of course, I think Mary C. and Tina Radcliffe have my email.

  46. Wow, Audra, how'd you get a picture of my office?

    Oh wait, that's a picture from Hoarders.

    Never mind.

  47. Debby, that's so cool that you guys lived in Germany!! Lol...

    And like she said, Julie and Sandra it's a hazelnut-chocolate spread. A little thicker than peanut butter, but that same idea. Check it out, ladies you will NOT be sorry!!

    Ruthy, you have made me proud *sniffle, sniffle* You're using VERMONT sharp cheddar cheese, woot, woot!!! Yeah, no better way to go because we know how to make some cheese here!!!

    : P

    Anyway, I'm not a writer as you guys know, but that doesn't mean I don't have to! I definitely agree with the playing first theory to some extent. I might allow myself to check one or two blogs, for example, then I have to buckle down. But as an incentive for me to actually just do my work, I don't check all the blogs. Then when I'm done, I'll let myself check the rest. You know? I usually need to try and trick my brain : P

    Okay, I confess, I like Linnette, have never heard of Chris LeDoux *arms over head* Don't hit me, don't hit me!! I'm sorry! Lol....I will definitely have to look him up later on YouTube though...does that redeem me...a little at least...????
    Talk to you ladies and gents later, got to head to class!

  48. Happy birthday, Seekers and Seekerville! Not much of a writer, so no tips on organization! Glad God's blessed so many of you with stories to tell and the heart to tell them! As a reader, I'm grateful!

  49. Thanks for the definition of Nutella, Debby. You're right, it tastes GREAT, but loaded with calories (and protein). Have to partake in moderation!!

    Glad I could help out with the CoffeeMate! YOU had your hands full during conference with revisions. Blah! Work and play--not an easy thing to juggle, but you did it soooo well!

  50. *Singing slightly off key*

    Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birhtday to you! Happy birthday dear author friends happy birthday to where's my cake?

    I must say I love cowboys too Audra but I'll admit a guy with a suitjacket thrown over his shoulder with shirtsleeves rolled up and a slight disheveled tie will get me everytime LOL!

    Oh gosh, I'm slightly off track now. Anyways I hope you guys are around for a really long time because this is my favorite place to visit. ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  51. Julie, your books read like a continuing saga...gee, I believe that's what you had in mind, LOL!

    But seriously, all your details are consistent, it seems like all your characters live with you like children! Loved your insight on descriptive writing at conference...writing with a mirror in hand to catch the details of expressions. Awesome!

    Try the'll like it!

  52. Melanie!! I've ordered your book, now you have to fly into Denver and sign it! So much fun hugging you in Indy! Have to start saving for St.Louis--NOW!

    Her debut book, The Healer's Apprentice, sold out before she could sign it at the conference! Disconcerting to say the least, but oh, what a problem to have!

    You keep writing just the way you do. I think you're on to something!

  53. Cindy, any Chris LeDoux fan is a friend of mine.

    AND I just love a girl who'll be watching for my debut release, Rocky Mountain Hero, simply because we're kindred spirits.

    WooHoo! What a birthday celebration!

  54. Hannah, Linnette, Chris LeDoux was a professional bronc rider who happened to sing. He wrote and sang the most heartfelt ballad words to some really rockin' country tunes.

    And his performances on stage were memorable!

    Who knows, maybe you'll win the prize for the day and then get to enjoy Chris at his finest!

  55. Linnette, I love how you describe your thoughts...percolate. I do believe that describes me too. Blasts of ideas with mellow middles.

    I love it!

  56. Ruthy, I'll agree cowboys are yum, but you outdid yourself with a gorgeous woodcrafter who carries all the delicious highpoints of any wrangler around.

    Brooks, gotta love the guy!

    So anybody NOT read Made To Order Family yet? Run, don't walk, to your fave store and buy it before it's too late!!

    Oh wait, grab a mug of blueberry cream coffee and a plate of blueberry crisp on your way. Don't want ANYONE to leave hungry!!

  57. Renee, I love your singing. Especially the tune. Something to stick with you all day long.

    So glad you love Seekerville. We have so much fun here, I'm glad others do too!

    Oh, and the whole suitcoat over the shoulder thing? Yum!

  58. Janet, you're always so busy, I feel like such a slouch next to you. Don't change a thing about the way you create because it works!

    Thanks again for hosting the Seeker pre-conference get together. Great kick off to a great conference. Awesome burgers, too.

    And now look at us. More cake. I'm going to have to re-up my membership with Weight Watchers after this month!!

  59. Mary, it's a secret. You'll never find the camera...

    The party is so exciting!!!
    I'm excited about your daily giveaways!!!!!! THANKS!

  61. What a great birthday month kickoff, Audra! (Glad you volunteered to be our guinea pig!)

    Vickie! Another spreadsheet user! However, I haven't gone so far as to enter ever single scene and POV change--too much like plotting! Mine are more general--mainly memory joggers and a place to keep everything all together and easy to find when I need to refer back to it.

    I find it hard to write with music, though--and definitely nothing with lyrics. About the best I ever managed was when I was working on a story about a woman who loved classical music. And part of the time she was at the coast, so I put in my ocean waves soundtrack. Very inspiring. (When it didn't put me to sleep!)

  62. Happy Birthday Seekerville! :-)


  63. You're so sweet, Audra. I can't wait for you to read my book! So much fun! :-) And can't wait to read yours!!! Ah, the bliss ... :-) I love my "job." Even though I whine a lot, I still love it.

  64. Happy Birthday, what a great month you have planned!

    ~Lauri M (lulu)

  65. Happy Birthday!!!!

    Love the cowboys, Audra, and I love Chris LeDoux. My current new favorite is Easton Corbin. Doesn't he sound like a young George Strait????

    I'm looking forward to the birthday bash here on Seekerville, this place is one of my favorite spots on the web!

  66. Hi Char! Great to have you stop by and celebrate with us!

    Angela! So glad you stopped in! So glad I met you at ACFW. Can't wait to read more of your incredibly, unique, intriguing work!

  67. Happy Birthday to every Seeker, one and all!

    Audra, bless you for your honesty about ADD! I was diagnosed last year and suddenly all the chaos in my life has a reason and a name! It brings me really low some times, but I have found these things to be helpful: an understanding family, making an extra effort to have a clean house, and, most importantly, having regular quiet time with God.
    ALso, I'm a big believer in giving myself a break and not being too hard on myself!

    I didn't realize that playtime in the brain was actually work, but now I'm delighted because that means I'm working all the time!

  68. Happy Birthday Seekers!

    Hello Audra. We actually met in the airport when you were helping Mary to catch her flight.

    I happened to be at the same late night chat. I liked the suggestion to leave yourself a note for when you start writing again. I used to leave my sentence unfinished, so I could use that as a starting point. Only problem is now I look at it and wonder, "Where was I going with that?" :)

    I'm in the process of learning how to organize my thoughts for writing. I need to write more things down on paper instead of thinking I'll remember it later. Not been the case lately! :)

    Thanks for the words of advice and wisdom today.

    Jodie Wolfe

  69. I looove cowboys too. And living in a small western town just feeds that desire to someday find my own, throw in a flat brimmed hat and wild rag too and I will be in cowboy heaven. ;)

    I can tend to just sit and stare at the screen too. Worrying about the rest of the mess I need to work through. Just one page at a time has become my motto. Seems to be working so far. :)


    You guys are amazing. :D

  70. Happy 3rd Birthday!! Time flies when you are having fun!!
    I love cowboys. Music is great inspiration to me. It helps make anything I do more productive.

  71. Happy birthday, Seekers! I've been here since about April 2008, so you guys were still 'newbies' then! Look how far you've all come.

    Thanks for being there every day for us! I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't tune in for advice, encouragement, inspiration and general hilarity! You girls are the best!

    Do you know that I have been trying to find Christian romance books in our local bookstores and in our libraries and they're pretty much non-existent! I've got to figure out a way to change that. And we don't even have any Christian bookstores, unless I want to drive 45 minutes into Toronto, which I don't.

    I think a few nicely worded letters are in order!

    Looking forward to a great birthday month with you gals (& guys!)


    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

  72. Happy Birthday, Seekerville. I'm hoping to become a grad of yours someday! Until then I'm studying like crazy!

    An aside to Sue, I'm in Canada too and haven't found many Christian romances in the mainstream bookstores, but we do have a wonderful Christian bookstore. HOWEVER I have been annoying one of the big chain bookstores in the mall close to my home. They carry Harlequin but no Love Inspired lines. I've called a couple of times and when I'm in the mall I stop by and put in a request and lo and behold they've started carrying the Love Inspired line now. Not only that but people are buying them!!!! Who'd have thunk? So it definitely pays to make some noise.

    And your public library will likely purchase anything you ask them to. I put in 5 Christian romance title requests a month (the limit at my library) and so far they've purchased everything I've submitted. I feel like I'm personally developing the Christian Fiction collection in my public library. Interesting to note too that when they come in all the books have long hold obviously we aren't the only two Christian romance readers in Canada!

    Audra, thanks for the glimpse into your creative genius. I have started using clipboards to channel my spurts of creative genius :-)

    I'm notorious for jotting down notes on scraps of paper and then losing them so now I have clipboards for my hero, heroine, the dog, plot, etc. and I attach all those bits of paper to the appropriate clipboard. I have all the clipboards hanging in a row in my office (which is a closet!) and that's about as organized as I get!


    Audra, what a fun blog post to read!

    EvaMariaHamilton at gmail dot com

  74. Happy birthday, Seekerville! Guess this will be no month for lurking.

    The breadcrumbs thing definitely works. Makes it easy to jump back in. I've also learned to forget about everything that came before the breadcrumbs, at least on the first draft. I'm in the ocean, having taken a leap of faith off my boat loaded with ideas. No time for backtracking or dog paddling. Just smooth stokes straight ahead toward the shore.

  75. Happy Birthday Seekers!!!

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  76. Mary, think of ADD as a blessing from God. We know how to mix many ingredients together to come up with a great creation!

    It definitely makes writing a novel a bit of a challenge, but what a fun trip along the way. Do you have any idea how many subplots I've developed because of a word or phrase I've overheard? The problem is sorting the wheat from the chaff, so to speak : )

    If you ever need encouragement, let me know!

  77. Hey Jodie! I remember you! Especially since I met you in an environment different from the hotel, LOL!

    I used to do the whole leave a sentence unfinished until, like you, I'd sit down and spend MORE time trying to remember my thought process!

    Really a downer, LOL!

    I've found it's okay to clue myself in to what I'm doing, ha!

  78. Casey, you go, girlfriend!! Nothing like a cowboy!

    I was never able to get into the journaling thing that's supposed to do at the beginning of the day to help you get the guck out of your brain so you can write. If I'm going to journal, it's going to be for a reason to achieve a goal.

    Muddling around a scene or chapter helps define emotions for me. Funny, sometimes I'm really not in sync with the character moods at all!

    Maybe I shouldn't have said that...

  79. runner10, Eva, Karen!! Glad you stopped by!

    I'm cutting cake, so grab a piece!

  80. Susan! One of our original Seekerville friends! Oh how far we've come, my friend!

    I'm really bummed you are having trouble finding Christian fiction. Talk to your library. They should be able to help you once the need is identified.

    Nice seeing you again -- always!!

  81. Patricia! Another faithful follower!! So honored you're still with us, girlfriend!

    Great job jumping off the safe and familiar and paddling toward the unknown. Isn't that what we were meant to do?

    Keep at it! I'm proud of you!!

  82. Whew, work is over and now I have time to play!

    Time to sing and dance and CELEBRATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. Kav, I love that you've pushed to get books in your area of Canada. Isn't it funny how well they sell if they actually get a slot on the shelves???

    SWEET!!! You rock, kid.

    And Audra, I love the bread crumbs analogy too. I adopted that when I'm doing revisions so I can keep in mind which version/timeline of a book I'm working on because it's really easy to mess that up as you change things to fit your revision notes. I find that the trail of crumbs is a huge help to me to keep things straight.

    And since it IS Friday night and I'm done working (pay no attention to the FOUR kids in the living room doing Wii something, they're here for an invitation only party. No one is watching them. No one intends to watch them.

    I'll keep a listening ear open.

    I'm breaking out the champagne punch to kick off our FIRST birthday weekend of our THIRD BIRTHDAY!!!!

    Have I mentioned enough just how proud I am to know all o' youse????

    Seriously, and without getting ver klempt, meeting all you guys, getting to know you, sharing times, swapping stories.

    Love you guys. And I brought Ruthy-cake to begin tonight's celebration...

    White cake tonight, layered with whipped cream, apple pie filling (homemade of course) caramel drizzle and then repeat the process. The cake is topped with dipped apple slices crusted with crushed sweet almonds.

    Apple time in WNY... Great to kick-off October!

  84. Happy Birthday Seekers!!! Sounds like it's going to be a fun month for all!! to writing. I have lots of ideas, I just haven't yet made the time to write. I've had plenty of life experience packed into the last four months, so that's bound to help when I do get started!!

  85. I'm traveling and came late to the party, but Happy Birthday, Seekers!

    When I'm first getting to know my characters, I question them extensively about their wounds, the lies they believe, the masks they wear, their hot buttons, etc. As I get to know them, they start speaking, and I write down on note pads everything they say. At first I stuff all this in a single file. Later I sort these snippets of conversation into 3 files: beginning, middle, & end. These serve as great prompts when I begin to write the story.

    I began as a seat-of-the pants writer, but now I'm a diehard plotter.

  86. What a humorous post Audra! Like you, I work full time so I have to sneak in the words when I can. That's not to say that during my work day, the characters aren't speaking to me and acting out scenes in my mind.
    Happy Birthday to all the Seekers!

  87. Cowboys, coffee and Chris LeDoux...this is my kind of place.

    Happy b-day seekers.

  88. Happy Birthday, Seekers. Sweet Julie Lessman led me to your wonderful site. I love reading you gals, laughing and always learning something new. As for organization, sometimes I do more of that than writing! Not good, but I'm trying to do better. Thanks to you all.


  89. Happy Birthday, Seekers. Sweet Julie Lessman led me to your wonderful site. I love reading you gals, laughing and always learning something new. As for organization, sometimes I do more of that than writing! Not good, but I'm trying to do better. Thanks to you all.


  90. Happy Birthday Seekerville!

    Chris that's talkin' cowboy!

    Cindy W.


  91. Happy Birthday Seekers!!

    I, too, love cowboys and the music.