Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Call ... the One You DON'T Want to Miss (and Giveaway!!)

Happy Birthday,


Hi ... Patty Smith Hall here, and when Julie first asked me to write the blog post today, I had just received THE CALL from Love Inspired Historicals about my debut release, Hearts in Flight. I was floating on air (cliché, I know but so true!), and I thought that the story behind my contract would make for a feel-good post. While that may be the case, the closer it came time for me to actually write the article, I felt God leading me toward a different subject. So I hope that Julie and the other Seekers don’t mind if I share the story of a different call.

‘Be strong and courageous; Do not be afraid or terrified for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.’ — Deuteronomy 31:6

The gold and orange flowers around the altar reflected the dismal emotions I felt as I walked down the aisle of the chapel. I took a seat alongside Dan and the girls, far enough back to allow my dad and his siblings room close to the front of the church, but close enough to be included with my cousins. There weren’t many people there, but then most of the folks Granddaddy had known in his ninety-six years had come and gone, like a vapor. My granddaddy had died three days earlier without ever answering my only question to him.

Do you know the Lord as your Savior?

Now, Granddaddy and I were never close. While I was a thoroughly modern girl in my thinking, he was a throwback to a simpler time, a true son of the South. He wasn’t the sort to say ‘I love you.’ He lived with the knowledge that you did what you had to do to get through another day.

But we did have two things in common—a shared birthday and a passion for words. He loved newspapers as much as I do and always saved me his Atlanta Journal after he was finished with it, even if it was a week old. I loved poring over those papers so much so, I always took notes, scribbling along the fringes of anything I thought interesting. He caught me one day and from then on, he made sure there was always a fresh supply of paper and sharpened pencils whenever I came to visit.

The distance between us widened as I grew up. While my life got busy with college and career, marriage and children, his started to fade. In the summer of 1999, we learned Granddaddy had inoperable cancer. I was having a tough time then too. My maternal grandfather had died the year before as well as my great aunt who had led me to the Lord. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing someone else, even an old man who I didn’t have much of a relationship with. So I decided that once a week, I would spend my morning with Granddaddy.

It wasn’t easy. Although he knew his death was coming sooner rather than later, he was ninety-six years old and fixed in his ways which, good for me, still included a morning edition of the Atlanta Journal. So we talked about articles we found in the newspaper, what he thought about state politics, what was his favorite comic strip? A month after I started visiting, two papers began to show up, one for me, the other for him. I had just begun writing then, still too terrified to share anything with anyone else. But as he grew weaker, I took to reading him some of my devotionals along with the news.

A few days before the end, I finally got up the courage to ask him the question that had been troubling me. Leaning over his bed, I whispered,

“Granddaddy, do you know the Lord as your Savior?”

He didn’t answer, just stared at me until a dull ache gripped me around my chest. His silence couldn’t be a denial, could it? I wanted to know, had to know the truth.


He reached out for my hand and patted it. “You’re always sharing your stories with me. You’re just going to have to wait with the rest of the family to hear mine at my funeral.”

I was stunned. Not know until his funeral whether he was saved or not? But it would be too late! Over the next half hour, I tried to convince him to talk to me about it but each time, he told me I had to wait for his story. Troubled, I finally rose to my feet to leave. He tightened his hold on my hand.

“I love you,” he whispered.

A few days later, he was gone.

So as I sat, waiting for the final notes of music to drift away, one thought held me captive. What was Granddaddy’s story?

My cousin walked to the pulpit, a yellow folder tucked under his arm. When he finally stood before us, he opened the folder and lifted a handful of yellowed papers up for us to see. “Several years ago, I asked Papaw if he knew Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He didn’t say anything, just stood up and walked over to his dresser. He pulled out these papers and handed them to me. He said they were his testimony and he wanted me to read it to you today.”

For the next half hour, I listened to Granddaddy’s story; how he met Jesus in the back of an old work wagon when he was sixteen years old; how the Lord had helped him through the loss of his young wife and their two babies. On and on it went, and though I was relieved, a part of me didn’t understand. My granddaddy had a wonderful testimony; why had he kept it from us?

My cousin soon gave an answer. “He chose not to speak about it for fear we wouldn’t understand.”

Fear! What did Granddaddy have to be afraid of?

What do you have to be afraid of?

In an instant, dozens of notebooks and floppy discs with all my devotionals and stories came to mind. But that was different, I reasoned. Granddaddy was afraid to share his testimony.

Aren’t those stories your testimony?

Just like my grandfather, I was afraid. But if his story taught me anything, it was that I didn’t want to be. If I wanted to follow the plan God had for my life, I had to be brave enough to let go of my stories, to learn from rejection, to face the possibilities that my writing would never be published. And I had to learn to cling to Him when I am afraid. Something I’m still doing as I prepare for my first book to be published.

So there you have it—that’s my story. Yes, the "call" to write, certainly, and the "call" to be published if and when it comes as well, but most important of all -- the "call" to write for Him, a call you definitely don't want to miss ...

TODAY’S GIVEAWAY!!! Patty Smith Hall has been writing and studying the craft for over ten years and was a professional reader for Harlequin. Her articles of encouragement and hope can be found in Guideposts, Journey and Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. Patty’s debut novel, Hearts in Flight, will be released by Love Inspired Historical in July, 2011. Leave a comment or question for Patty today, and you will be entered into a drawing for a copy of her new book when it comes out and a one-chapter critique. And to whet your appetite for Patty’s book, here’s a sneak peek:

Hearts in Flight

The only girl in a family of military men, Maggie Daniels has had a lifetime of dealing with overprotective males. With her five cousins on the war front, she's finally free to go after her dream—ferrying bombers for the newly formed Women's Army, Special Pilots. And no one, not even Captain Wesley Hicks, can keep her out of the cockpit.

Grounded after the loss of his RAF sister over the skies of London, Wesley has one battle plant—to prove the B-29 Super Fortress is ready for the Pacific Theatre. Training pilot Maggie Daniels wasn’t on his radar. But when the spirited yet tender-hearted woman is the target of friendly fire, he finds himself focused on a new objective—winning Maggie's love.


  1. WOW! This has to be one of the most touching posts I've ever read! I literally had tears in my eyes over your grandad's story. WOW! He sounded like one terrific person. DOntcha just love remembering all those traditions? My grandparents passed away when I was really young and I still remember the Sunday walks with my grandma and stopping at the local bakery for a thumbprint cookie, the Freshen Up gum with the gooey stuff inside and always the wintergreen certs rolled up in her coat pocket for me to look for when I went exploring in the "clothes press" aka closet!


    Great post and I can't wait for the debut novel!

    XOXO~ Renee

  2. I plugged in the coffee for the early risers.

    Patty, such a poignant story about your Papaw! One I will long remember.

    Can't wait to read your debut. I judged it in a contest and thought it was fantastic! Congrats!

  3. Thank you for sharing the story about your grandpa. I have been struggling with whether or not I had what it takes to write - even though the Lord told me to write - and your story was what I needed to hear. "There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Amen!
    Tina Gilbert

  4. What a touching story. In the past two years I have lost my grandparents and my father-inlaw. My grandparents were close to the father-inlaw...I'm not so sure. I had peace when my grandparents passed, I wish I had that with my father-inlaw. You just don't know what's in someone's heart.

  5. Mornin' all ... or maybe I should say "good-night"!!! I scheduled Patty's post for one minute after midnight, but this popped up at 11:09 my time, so I'm not sure what happened -- sorry, Myra, for bumping you!!

    But now that Renee has kicked off the blog as usual (Great job, girl, but uh, Helen ... do you see how Renee has bumped YOU out of first comment just like I bumped Myra???), I guess I'll bring out the midnight snack of hot chocolate and Ho-ho's or hot decaf peach or raspberry tea with white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, hot out of the oven!! So what if I can't sleep after a little caffeine???

    WELCOME PATTY HALL SMITH ... one of my favorite Southern-bell authors (aside from Missy, Deb, Pam and Maggie Brendan, of course)!! Beautiful post from a beautiful lady -- we are thrilled to have you hear to celebrate Seeker Birthday Month!!

    Helen ... I'm putting you in charge of coffee tomorrow morning, and when you get here (because I'll still be in bed), can you pull that platter of little cheese and fruit pastries out of the pantry and put it out along with the chocolate chip banana muffins and peach Kringle?? Thanks, sweetie ... you're the best!!


  6. Thanks for sharing this lovely remembrance of your granddaddy. I love how the Lord used his example--even in death--to give you the courage to use your gift with words. The ones you shared here will touch many hearts!

    (So for all of us who read this, we've already received our gift for today!)

    Blessings . . . reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  7. RENEE ... I'm glad Patty's story touched you like it touched me. I'm sorry your grandparents passed away young, as did mine, but how wonderful to have such tender memories of them!!

    DEB!!! Whoops ... didn't see you plugged in the coffee -- it's decaf, I hope??? Okay, Helen, you get to make the fresh pot of real in the morning, okay?

    WOW, Tina ... sounds like a divine confirmation from the Big Guy to me, so get moving girl and WRITE for Him. It's up to Him what He will do with it ... AND you!! But one you know for sure -- it's gonna be good! ;)

    RAIN MAIDEN ... I know we don't know what's in people's hearts when they pass from this life to the next, but I believe God gives them every chance to call on Him, up to our last breath. I can't help but believe that many a heart meets Christ on the deathbed between consciousness and that quiet drifting away. In fact, a friend of mine once told me she was by her mother's deathbed in a darkened hospital room, when the room seemed to lighten and her mom, who had been in and out of conciousness, sat partially up with a smile on her face and a glow in her eyes, staring towards the foot of the bed. Her mother died right after that, and my friend is convinced she saw Jesus standing there, ready to take her home. :)


  8. That was a three hanky story, Patty. Thank you for sharing.

    Julie, everything's taken care of.
    Morning coffee's on with timer set. Have to see if I can make it up for the snackies.


  9. I'm up watching the the miners rescue & decided to stop by here so glad I did. So enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much for sharing it. It definatly bought tears.


  10. I agree...very touching and beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes too. Yep, definitely a message for me in it too!
    Thanks for obeying God's call on what to write for this post. :)
    God Bless!

  11. YAY!!!!!!!!!! Patty!!!!!!!!

    Remember when you hung around with me in Michigan? You and Linda Schaub were like a port to shipwrecked authors, clinging to floating debris while the Titanic went down beside us.

    Well, we were like that except for the shipwreck, and the titanic. And the debris....but other than that we were JUST LIKE THAT.

    Anyway, thanks. I appreciated it.

    So thrilled for you, girl. :)

  12. That's a beautiful and wise story, Patty.

    Fear. It's such a struggle. As writers, going from the alone-ness of writing and aspiring to write to the public-ness of being a published author.

    There's a chance to face down fear almost every day.

    God bless you.

  13. Really great post!!! Loved it!


  14. What a beautiful post, Patty! Thank you for sharing about your calls! Glad you've been answering faithfully!

  15. Hi Patty I have met you at goodreads and I love the sound of your new book but do we have to wait so long!
    Wow what a testimony. Im sorry your grandfather was afraid to share but am so happy it made you share.
    would love to be in the draw for your new book but I dont need a critique
    ausjenny at gmail dot com

  16. Patty, I'm so glad you answered "the call" today.

    Beautiful. May we ALL follow His lead.

    And congratulations to you. Your life and story are a reflection that things happen in God's timing and it's always, always just right. And you book! Right on target!!

    may at maythek9spy dot com

    Would love to win! Thank you for stopping into Seekerville.

    Loving the comments too - seems like we were all deeply touched.

    Agreed Julie. A friend's grandmother told her she was ready to go, she was tired of brushing her teeth! ha! My friend was with her when the time came. The grandmother smiled and raised her arms out and breathed her last breath on earth, and certainly woke up "with Jesus and General Lee" as our pastor says... :)

  17. Mary - also very wise...

    Fear is an insidious zapper...

    No fear, no guilt!!!

    (now pass the food platter please...) :)

  18. What a wonderful post. It brought back memories of my own grandfather. Thank you so much for that.

    My granddaddy's testimony was read at his funeral as well. He lived through an eye being shot out in a hunting accident at 18, losing a son in WWII, and many other things. God spoke to him in a mountain top experience. I had read his testimony but hearing it again at his funeral made such an impact.

    Now that I have grandchildren, it makes me look at my grandparents with different eyes. I also wonder what impact I have on my own grandchildren.

    Congrats on the book. I have it on order so no need to enter me in anything but the kindle drawing.

    Have been staying up off and on during the night as the world prays for the Chilean miners. Would someone please pass the coffee?

    Peace, Julie

  19. Wow! What a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing! Congratulations on your CALL and debut novel too!

    Many Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  20. I'm in love with Grandpa.

    Oh my stars, I'm all verklempt, for real, and this is just a wonderful, wonderful sharing.

    God bless you, Patti, for sharing this.

    And look at you, haranguing the dear sweet man on his deathbed. I'm hoping you think that's as funny as I do.

    What a great testimony of love, of God, of faith and human differences.

    I love grandparents. Where would so many kids be today without willing grandparents to love 'em and raise 'em?

    Thank you, Patti, and HUGE congratulations on your book!

    OH YAY!!!!!! So proud of you!

  21. Patty,
    Bless you for listening to God as He prodded you to change directions for this post. Because you did we have been touched and heard His message loud and clear: SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY WITH OTHERS! JUST LET HIM SHINE THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORDS AND IN OUR CONVERSATIONS!
    May God continue to bless you as bless others through Christian fiction!
    I would like to be entered in the book giveaway.

  22. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Patty! Thank you so much for sharing and for the reminder that when it comes to following Christ and His call on our lives we have nothing to fear.

    Congratulations on "the call" for Hearts in Flight! It sounds like a wonderful story. I've always loved the history of the Women's Army Corps.


  23. Oooh, your book sounds wonderful! Great post about calling and testimony. That's so interesting sad and hopeful about your grandpa.
    Thanks for sharing!

  24. Patty,

    I'm so glad God moved your heart to share this family story with us. It was just wonderful.

    Your book sounds great. Congratulations on the contract.

    RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

  25. Patty -- congratulations on your sale! And thank you for sharing that beautiful story about your grandfather and how it encouraged you to move ahead in the direction God was calling you.

  26. Loves 2 Read Romance - LauraOctober 13, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    Thank you Patty for sharing your story and congrats on your first sale!! I have your book on my list of books to buy once it comes out unless I win today's contest. Thank you again!

    fantum2004 AT sbcglobal DOT net

  27. Good morning everyone!

    Thanks for letting me share the story of my calling. Looking back on it now, it's hard to believe it's been ten years since we buried Grandaddy. But like he used to said--once you hit twenty-five, life kinda speeds up on you!

    Seeing how I've shared my story, I'd love to hear yours. If you're a writer, when did you know you had to write for Him? Or if you're not a writer, what was something you knew God was calling you to do?

    I'll answer everyone individually once I'm had my morning caffine--the old brain doesn't fire on all cylinders until then.


  28. Patty, welcome to the posting side of Seekerville! Thank you for that beautiful, touching story about your grandfather and how he impacted your life to answer God's call. Just reading it showed me how wonderful your book will be!
    Can't wait to read Hearts in Flight! Hope one day our LIH books will share a shelf!

    I brought sticky buns for breakfast, warm and gooey from the oven.


  29. What a great story. I know it was hard waiting to her about you grandfather's faith until the end. That would be hard for me too. I'm so thankful for christian writers like yourself.

  30. Thank you for sharing this story, Patty. I deal with the same fear of rejection, and I hate how crippling and controlling it can be! I feel quite encouraged by this story of the circumstances that gave you courage to write, and I will have more courage in my own writing today, thanks to you!

    Death has also been a difficult subject for me since I lost several people last year, and since I've also been watching my Dad's life crawl to a close due to Alzheimer's. So I was moved by the way you brought out the beautiful side of funerals, and the reassuring comfort that comes when we know our loved ones were strong in their faith before passing away.

    Thanks again!

  31. Welcome to Seekerville Patty, What a touching story. I guess the Keenex company will get plenty of business this morning. smile

    I love how your Papaw encouraged you to write. And how he loved you sharing the paper so much that he ordered one for you. That is love.

    My grandparents were so special in my life. In my case it was the other way around. They are the ones who brought the Lord into my life.

    The sticky buns are yummy Janet. Coffee's good too Julie

  32. Hey, Patty, fellow Southern girl!!! I enjoyed sitting with you at lunch one day at the conference and talking about the right way to cook grits and okra and all that great Southern food.

    So happy for you, getting the call! And thanks for this wonderful story. So glad your Grandaddy's story has a happy ending. :-)

  33. Hi Patty –
    Thank you so much for posting today and for sharing such a wonderful story. It is just what I needed to hear today.
    Many blessings,

  34. WHOA, BABY ... you struck a chord, Patty Girl, and why am I NOT surprised???!! The only negative is that our amazing readers canNOT hear your beautiful Southern drawl, which makes me smile every single time ... :)

    And, MELANIE - YIKES!!!! Cannot BELIEVE that I left you out of the Southern-author mix in my comment above, but honey chile, for some reason, I don't see you as Southern despite that cute, little drawl you have. Must be the fact that I just read The Healer's Apprentice, which didn't have a lick of Southern about it!! It was WONDERFUL, by the way, and I hope to write a review soon, God willing ... Poor Mary and Myra had to wait light years for theirs ... :/


  35. thanks for the interesting post.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  36. RENEE, I was blessed to have three really fantastic grandparents! I still have my grandmother(who is 89) and she still carries Juicy Fruit in her pocketbook for her greats and great greats. Grandma continues to be a 'hoot' and an inspiration of faith and love in my life.

    DEBBY, I didn't know you judged Hearts! Boy, can you keep a secret! Thanks for judging those contest--I know how much time and energy goes into each entry. And thanks for having me here on Seekerville.

    TINA, so you're the person the Lord wanted to read this! I'm going to be praying for you as you get started because now that you know what you're to do, satan will throw anything he can in your way--including fear.

  37. RAIN, I'm so sorry for your losses-I know how tough that is. And yes, it's even harder when you don't know if someone's heart is right with the Lord. But as Julie said earlier, God doesn't want not even one of His children to be separated from Him and gives every opportunity to come to Him even in those last seconds.

    HELEN--thanks for coming by--and thanks for laying out such a lovely spread! It's beautiful!

    LOURDES--I'm watching the miners coming up too--Number 12 just came up! Such a miracle! Thanks for stopping by.

  38. Patty asked if we wanted to share when we knew we had to write for the Lord . . .

    After some unexpected changes shook up my life, I decided it wasn't too late to try something new. This summer I joined ACFW and signed on for the course loop. Sharon Hinck taught the first course I experienced. Right off the bat, she asked us, "What is your writing mission statement?"

    Immediately, I pictured missionary Eric Liddell defending his desire to enter races by saying, "God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."

    I knew then I needed to write for Him, even if only on my little blog. Even if it's not His will to develop enough to be published, I feel closer to the Lord as He shapes my thoughts.

    (And BTW, Sharon's lessons were excellent!!!)

  39. JULIE, Thank you once again for asking me to Seekerville! I always love visiting with you and the other Seekers! (And you know that you're one of my favorite Midwesterners, don't you?)

    RENEE, Thanks for stopping by. I always stand amazed at how God can use any situation for His ultimate good. Why I'm always surprised when He tells us He will(Romans 8:28) I don't know.

    ELIZABETH, I'm beginning to think I should have brought a box of tissues with me! Thanks for coming by!

    MARY, Me a port? Are you kidding? You guys were a lifeboat for me, helping me through a very difficult time. And you, you've become my very own personal cheerleader! Pom poms are in the mail! Love ya, girl!

    TORI LYNN, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

    flchen1, I'm glad you liked my story--thanks for coming by!

  40. What a beautiful story. So glad you came to Seekerville today.

    ericavetsch at gmail dot com

  41. Patty,
    *sniffle, sniffle* What a great post! I totally agree with Renee, very touching.'s amazing how he approached the whole situation, really. Lol, you know!? But at least he found his faith, right? He had it all along, it's just too bad he couldn't overcome it to share with his family and friends.

    This really struck a chord for me today especially because of my grandfather. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer back when I was born in 1992 and I was his reason for fighting (or so the story goes *wink*) He fought and won his battle. He goes for semi-regular check-ups still, but is in remission. However, this summer they found something so he's been going through a lot of tests lately. They were going to start him on chemo or radiation yesterday at his first appointment for the treatment, which would NOT be easy at his spry age of 84 *wink* But I found out from my mom this morning, they decided to go with a new treatment of a pill that he takes for 30 days instead. Hopefully it works because they did find that the tumor has spread to his pelvic region : / So though neither story directly relates to each other, it reminded me of my grandpa SO much and I find it ironic that you woulkd post about your grandpa during all this. Lol....

    Sorry for rambling on and on! I know none of you wanted to really hear that *wink*
    I have to start thinking about heading to Sociology! I'll check back in later, ladies (and a couple guys too),
    P.S. THanks for the chance at the giveaway!! I'd LOVE to read the book, but unfortunately don't have anything for a critique : ( But I'm good at sharing and would be willing to split the prize with someone *grin*

  42. What a great post!


  43. Patty,

    What a beautiful story! How blessed you and your granddaddy were to share those last days together, as well as your love of writing!

    I had been writing for a few years, but one day in church, it just struck me - I need to write inspirationals. So that's what I'm doing now. One day, when the time is right, and I've learned what I need to, I'll have a story published.

    Congratulations on your first sale. Sounds like a unique story! You'll have to come back and tell us about your journey to publication and THAT call!

    Would love to win the critique.

    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

  44. MARY brought up a very good point--Fear is a kicker and something I still struggle with even now. Thank God, He is there in those (very frequent) moments!

    AUSJENNY, HELLO! Loved meeting you over at Goodreads! And thank you for your excitement about my debut release! Yes, July may seem like a while away but from my limited understanding, it usually takes two years from contract offer to publication. I was blessed that LIH had an opening for next July and the revisions were not overwhelming. I look forward to getting to know you better over at Goodreads!

    KC, You are so right. God's timing is perfect! In fact, two years ago, most people were telling me that no one wanted WWII stories. But I just felt I had to keep going with this book and (hopefully) the series. I finished this book in March and sent it to my agent, the fabulous Tamela Hancock Murray. The same day it was delivered to LIH, the WASP (which is what my main character, Maggie is)received the Congressional Medal of Honor and had a memorial open on the Mall in Washington DC. Three months later, I had a contract.

    God's perfect timing!

  45. Hannah,

    Sending prayers for your grandpa!



  46. Patty, thank you for sharing such a touching story with us. You should use your Grandaddy's story as a springboard for a novel.

    I remember my maternal Grandparents for fish fries and Chicken-Dumplins. (I'm a southern Missouri girl) My paternal grandparents, I never knew. They were hit by a drunk driver and killed when my dad was nine. But, the uncle and aunt who raised him were my "adopted" grandparents and I remember them for hogs, fields of corn, pies, cinnamin rolls...I can still sense the warmth and smell of Grandma's kitchen. And of course, both sets had their huge gardens, canning and pickling, etc. I miss those days. I have one surviving grandma - Great-aunt Opal. How I'd love to bite into one of her cinnamin rolls right now!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


    lr. mullin at live. com

    ps...congrats on the contract! I'd love to read your book!

  47. JULIE, Grandparents are so important, especially in today's society. I praise God every day for the wonderful example my grandparents lived out every single day of their lives.

    14 MINERS OUT--I don't know about your guys but the stories of faith and trust in God from these people are just keeping me in tears.

    Hey CINDY, thanks for dropping by--I appreciate it!

    Thank you, RUTHY, for having me here. Yeah, I harrassed Granddaddy but he knew that if I didn't, I was probably sicker than he was! But Granddaddy was just as determined--one day, right before he died, Granddaddy ordered me to take his suit to the cleaners, get his shoes shined and have a barber come up to the hospital to cut his hair and give him a shave. When I asked why, he informed me that he was going to see Elizabeth soon(this is my grandmother who had died 56 years before) and wanted to look good for her. I thought, WOW, What a love story!

  48. Hannah, I'm glad you shared about your grandfather. I'm sure many of us who read what you wrote will be praying . . .

  49. PATTY ... One of your "favorite Midwesterners," eh?? Standing in the shadow of Mary Connealy, no doubt, and her stack of 200-something published books ... :)

    HELEN ... good job on the coffee, girl -- knew I could count on you!!

    KC SAID: "... and certainly woke up "with Jesus and General Lee" as our pastor says... :)

    GRIN ... LOVE that image AND that story, my friend!! :)


  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Share my story, huh? Well. Okay. Here goes.

    I've had a vivid imagination ever since I can remember. It's no wonder that I'm the percolator type of writer. I spent more time daydreaming than actual writing growing up. But, I did write several penpals. My brother always teased me, saying that I could never write anything without writing a book. I tried my hand a couple times at writing stories, but for the most part, I simply wrote my friends telling them all kinds of details about whatever was going on in my life.

    It wasn't until I feel ill after the birth of my third son than I grew serious about writing. I had a weak body, but busy mind. I finally took an on-line course with DiAnn Mills on characterization about six or seven years ago and she introduced me to Mark Littleton and HACWN. Mark set me on the straight path - the first one to ever teach me about showing instead of telling.

    Between my health issues and fluctuating life circumstances due to my husband's job losses, I chose to set aside my original novel which was filled with telling and decided to start a novel blog. I wanted to continue honing my writing skills, but didn't have much time to write. That was the birth of "Finding Beth." I have several readers who are dying for me to finish Beth's story. (In fact, they've already asked about the possibility of a sequel with one of my side characters.)Now, that I'm home again and things are calmer, I quit putting it on the blog so I can focus on getting the novel on paper. I'm currently at the climax of the story and just over 52,000 words, becoming more excited each day that I've accomplished more.

    So, that's the short version of my story. ;-) If anybody would like to read the first seven chapters of Finding Beth, my website is

    "Beth Gallagher leaves town fearing her fiance` isn't the man she thought him to be. Adam is cautious after being jilted, yet he finds his heart irrevocably entangled with a woman already spoken for...a woman needing protection...a woman living more than seven hundred miles away. Used to getting his way, Kyle determines to make Beth his again - one way or another..."


  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

  54. Sorry for the repeated comments. Blogger was acting goofy. I deleted the repeats.

  55. CHAROTTE KEY, thank you for dropping by and your words of encouragement. I appreciate it.

    KRISTEN, thanks for stopping by. I love the women in the WAC, WAVES, and of course the WASP. So many stories that our generation has never heard concerning these brave ladies.

    JESSICA and ROSE, thanks for coming by!

    GLYNNA, thank you so much for having me here at Seekerville. My friendships with the SEEKERS are so precious to me!

    LAURA, that just tickles me to pieces that you have Hearts on your TBR list! I still get a bit weepy-eyed thinking that it's going to be on bookshelves in the stores next summer. Thank you so much!

  56. /sniffle/

    Love the story about your grandpa. I don't remember my grandparents [two died before I was born - he was an A/G preacher; we weren't close to my Mom's family though they were church goers - I don't even know if my grandma is still alive or not...]

    Thank you for sharing 'the call'.

    carol at carolmoncado dot com

  57. Patty, I loved meeting you at ACFW and what a thrill it was to see you hear again today! Your story was so touching. Thank you for sharing both your and your grandfather's stories. Can't wait to read HEARTS IN FLIGHT.

  58. Patty, thank you for your beautiful story! And mega-congratulations on your contract! Your book sounds wonderful.

  59. JANET, thanks so much for having me here on Seekerville. I loved hanging out with you and all the other SEEKERS at ACFW! One day, we'll share a bookshelf in the store--I'm optimistic! Looking forward to your next book!

    PATSY, that's what my great aunt who lead me to the Lord use to call me! Thank you for stopping by and thanks for supporting Christian fiction! We appreciate you!

    WIDSITH, preach it, sister! The fear of rejection can get me so tied up in knots that my nerve endings actually tingle! In those moments, I remember that any rejection I get is nothing in light of the rejection Christ receives on a daily basis. Puts that rejection letter into prespective.

    And I'm praying for you as you make this journey with your Dad. I was one of my maternal grandfather's caregivers for the ten years he struggled with Alzheimers.

    SANDRA, I'm glad you stopped by! Like you, my grandparents meant the world to me. I'm still blessed to have a grandmother who encourages me to write--she's pushing for a movie deal so that she can watch it on TV. LOL! Got to love grandparents who dream big dreams!

  60. MELANIE! We had a great time explaining what grits were to folks, didn't we? LOL I'm still hoping we can get together for lunch one day soon.

    CINDY, thanks for coming by. I'm glad God used this to help you today.

    REBEKAH and APPLE BLOSSOM, thanks for stopping by!

    JULIE, I think Melanie and I could tie for the most southern accent. We both twang pretty good!

    RENEE ANN, I'm so glad you decided it wasn't to late to start writing! You're going to LOVE ACFW. If you get the chance to ever go to the conference, DO IT! It's like a mini glimpse of heaven!

    I'm going to take a little break to get somethings done around here, but I will be back later!

  61. Patty,

    Thanks for mentioning the WAVES. We have a couple of their oral histories
    in our archives. Fascinating stories!


  62. WOW!! Definitely brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for telling the story of your call. What a story.


  63. Thank you, ladies, for the prayers. We're hoping this new treatment works because we want him to stick around for a few more years *wink* We're not tooooooo tired of him yet!
    Love you guys!!

  64. great posting...congratulations patty on your latest novel.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  65. Wow (and I am NOT copying Renee is is AGAIN FIRST!), how did you know this is exactly what I needed to read?? Perfect timing, especially since lately I seem to be struggling if I really should be writing, or if I have the stuff to write great fiction, know what I mean? BUT PERFECT POST! God knows doesn't He? I feel I can go write now. :)


  66. Hannah,I'm praying for you and your grandfather.


  67. Patty, what a truly inspiring story--thank you for sharing! I was born very late in my parents' lives, so I didn't have my grandparents around for long. When I think of all the stories that were lost, it makes me sad.

    Congratulations on your debut novel! We have a great air and space museum nearby with a whole section dedicated to those trailblazing female pilots. It's fascinating!

  68. Patty,

    What a joy to hear the whole story. And what an encouragement and challenge to obey His call.


  69. Patty, Patty!!
    What a fantastic post and beautiful testimony to not only your grandfather's faith, but yours as well.
    And all the more reason why his life inspired your writing.
    I'm SOOOOOOO happy for you, Patty. Congrats on your new book. And what a pleasure to meet you at ACFW.
    You truly are an inspiration and encouragement to me and I'm thrilled to see how God has blessed your writing.

  70. Oh my gosh Patty! My grandma used to carry around Juicy Fruit too but I didn't like it as much as the Fresh n Up gum! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  71. Praying for your grandpa Hannah!!!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  72. ERICA, I'm so glad you stopped by. I always love to see another history geek like me in the mix.

    HANNAH, I will keep your grandfather in my prayers. And remember, those spry older members of our society are tough! My grandfather had cancer surgery at 93(the oldest on record in the county) and did great!

    Thanks for swinging by, HOLLY!

    SUE, I'm just going to say this--you need to send your writing out! I've never gotten to the point where I thought my writing was ready--heck, I was still editing this blog post until late yesterday! So just do it! I'm praying for you!

  73. Patty, I LOVED THIS! VERY moving, thanks for sharing. I adore your story concept too.


  74. What a beautiful story, Patty!! But goodness, did you have to smear my mascara???


    Thanks so much for being with us to day and for inspiring us!

  75. LINNETTE, my grandma did help me with Hearts. We were at a family wedding at this beautiful plantation house near where the Bell Bomber Plant was located when she told me these stories of living there as a boarder. Got me to thinking and before I knew it, WHAM, it was a boarding house again!

    JULIE, You and Mary are TWO of my favorite Midwesterners. And I lived there so that's saying a lot.

    CAROL, thanks for stopping by. . .and here's a kleenex.

    LORNA, you're a doll! I knew when I read your first couple of chapters you had IT! So happy I got to spend time with you at the conference.

    CARA LYNN, thank you for having me here on Seekerville. I am SO looking forward to your next book--Love on a Dime was one of the highlights of my summer vacation.

    Hey CHARITY and KARENK, thanks for swinging by.

    CASEY, isn't God GREAT! He always shows up right on time! Thanks for coming by.

  76. That's a lovely but very poignant story. I ask myself the same things.

    I got to face those questions pretty strongly this week. Nit only was the ninth the anniversary of my father's death. Yesterday I was at a funeral for my aunt. And the question arises about a life lived for Christ. Leading me to think about my own death. What will they say about me? how will I be remembered. As writers we leave stories behind as well.

    Will my stories reach people? Will they leave a legacy that speaks of Christ? I want that.

    So why do I get afraid? Probably because Satan likes to see God's people that way, so he feeds lies and I listen more than I should.

    Anyway, thanks for giving us something to ponder


    Tina P

  77. MYRA, thank you so much for having me here today. I love Air and Space Museums! And the guys there are so great--one of the guides at Love Field actually closed down an exhibit so that he could get me into a P-51! Wasn't that sweet?

    ANITA, thank you for stopping by, and for rooming with me at the conference. You're an angel to putting up with me!

    PEPPER, you are such a sweetheart! And your story ideas are so great! I was so happy when you won the TARA--can't wait for that day when you get to announce you got the CALL.

  78. Wow, Patty! What a story. Such a beautiful tribute. I connected with my grandfather (who sounds a lot like yours) by talking about homegrown tomatoes.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Was just what I needed today.

  79. Hey CHERYL! Thank you so much for having me here. I've got to tell you that your blog on plotting rocked my writing world! Myra was mentioning must haves for writing--index cards are on my list!

    MISSY, sorry about the mascara. Never was my intention to make anyone cry(though I balled like a baby as I wrote this blog!) And thank you for introducing me to the Moral Premise! I'm so excited Dr. Williams is going to be here on Seekerville later this week!

    TINA P, so true, every day should be lived with eternity in mind. Thanks for swinging by today.

  80. Hey JULIE, I'm so glad you came by. I thought about you when I was still in my pjs at 1:30 this afternoon!

  81. WOW! Your Granddaddy's life sounded full! Glad you had that special time with him. And congratulations on getting published! Maybe your new guardian angel was looking out for you :)

    Eva Maria Hamilton at gmail dot com

  82. Patty,
    That is such an amazing and moving testimony of your Grandfather's life. And the parallel that was drawn for you is so very applicable to me. Thank you for sharing.


  83. Patty,

    That was a wonderfully touching post. I still have the pleasure of having one of my grandparents around. One of my sons was asking me questions about his great grandfather and WWII recently. I told him he should ask his Granny Rita. It's a joy to be able to do that.

    I won your critique that last time you were on. If it strikes me again, I have something new for you.

  84. Wow, Patty, great story. I was on the verge of tears here, and for me that's big stuff. I'm so happy for you that your question for your granddaddy was answered. So many people are taken away without answering or even knowing the question. I'm so glad you chose to write and share your stories as well as your "call" here today.


  85. Oh my goodness, we need food for the late-day crowd!

    I've got crackers and cheese, pepperoni, salami, olives, green and black and a veggie tray...

    Perfect late-day fare!

    And chocolate. I can't get all ver klempt over grandparents (just love 'em, but I said that already) and not eat chocolate.

    So I brought chocolate pie and chocolate chip cookies along.

    I miss Amber's mother.

    She baked often.

  86. I'm looking forward to your debut novel! Grandparents are such a blessing to us all.

    Mary M

  87. Patty, thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

    I read it this morning before work and didn't know what to say, and I still don't (Mary would argue I just said something)..but truly I am just touched.


  88. Sorry to be chiming in so late, but just got back from the vet with a dog emergency.

    Great story. I never knew my grandfathers, but you made yours come alive for me!

    Huge congratulations on selling the book. I'll be downloading it to my NOOK soon!


  89. Hi everyone, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU! You guys have made my day on Seekerville awesome as usual.

    Patty Smith Hall

  90. Giveaway? I'm there!

    Thank you for your post, Patty. I wish I had closure like that about some people I know.

    May I ask how the success of your debut novel came to be? I'm just starting out and would LOVE any tidbits of wisdom you could share.

  91. Wow! I finally had the opportunity to sit down and read the post for today. Thanks you for the reminder of the call God placed on our lives to write. I guess I never really thought of it as sharing my testimony through it. Good food to ponder.

    Jodie Wolfe

  92. Caitlyn, I heard in one of the writing classes I've taken recently that everyone feels that they have a novel in them but only 30% actually start it and an even lower percentage finish and submit it. So the best advice I can give you is to put your backside in a chair and write. Since this time last year, I've written at least 4 hours a day--finished 2 books and plotting out the third. So time writing is important!

    Thanks for stopping by,

  93. Hi Patti~ Tears streamed down my cheeks as I read your heartfelt story. I relate to it on many levels. Also, it is a reminder to me not to allow circumstances to stifle my writing or testimony. Thank you for your spirit-filled post. I'll take renewed joy to my newbie writers tonight at our meeting.

  94. Hi Patty,

    This was pretty interesting - the title caught me and got me readin'. :)

    I'm curious, though, about your time as a professional reader. I'm always finding out there are jobs that I don't even know exist! I'm wondering what you did as a professional reader and if that type of job still exists.

    Jami Salas

  95. Patty, thank you for your kind comments and prayers! I'll bet being a caregiver for your grandfather gave you another perspective on life, suffering, compassion and grace; it sure has for me! And I'll bet it has influenced your writing too. I'd love to hear about that, if you have time. :)



  96. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEEKERVILLE!! Most importantly, congratulations on your debut, Patty. I can tell you are well loved for who you are and I agree with the sentiment of all here that your interview brought tears. Many of us can relate to your relationship with your grandpa. I've not been acquainted with your name before, but I will be seeing a lot more of it, I'm sure. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win your book. I hope I do!

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com