Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Myra here, continuing our New Year’s focus on My One Word. This is my first year to choose a word, so I wanted to get off to a good start. I began in December by downloading the book to my Kindle, then journaled on the questions at the end of the first few chapters to discern my word.

The word I chose is COMPLETE.

I’ll be meditating on my word as it applies to all facets of my life, but COMPLETE has many important connotations that relate directly to the writing life.

For example, writers need to COMPLETE their manuscripts.

But that’s too simplistic. Let’s dig deeper by considering several synonyms:

AUTONOMOUS. Acting independently, or having the freedom to be independent. As writers, we work in solitude. Whether our deadlines are contractual or self-imposed, we’d better have the necessary self-discipline to get the writing done without someone constantly cracking the whip.

SOLID. Stable, dependable, reliable. Okay, those terms definitely do NOT apply to a writer’s income! So instead, we need a solid belief in ourselves and our stories. To succeed as writers, we must keep doing the work even when the tangible rewards seem few and far between.

UNDIVIDED. Concentrating on or completely devoted to one object. If you’re alive, your attention is divided. Students, moms and dads, adult children of aging parents, anyone who works outside the home, anyone who works AT home--you know how it goes. Something or someone is always pulling you away from the writing. That’s why we need to carve out some undivided space in our lives where we can write without distraction. An hour at the coffee shop, twenty minutes while waiting in the carpool line at school, a couple of weekend hours when your spouse or an older child can cover the home front.

UNLIMITED. Not restricted in terms of quantity or extent. That’s a hard one for writers. Besides how much writing time we can sneak into our busy lives, we’re also limited by genre standards, publishers’ word counts, market trends, and a host of other conditions beyond our control.

But let’s not be limited by our imaginations or our aspirations. Best-selling author Debbie Macomber was the keynote speaker at ACFW a few years ago, and during one of her talks she handed out note cards to each participant and asked us to write down five big (I’m talking REALLY BIG!) dreams we had for our writing futures. I still have my card pinned to my bulletin board, and it serves as inspiration to keep writing and keep dreaming, because that’s the only way dreams can ever come true.

PERFECT. Having all the required elements or characteristics; free from any flaw. Face it--you will never write the perfect manuscript. No matter how many times you rewrite and revise, you’ll always find something to fix. And if you don’t, your critique group or your agent or your editor will!

But do you have everything you need right now to be the best writer you can be right now? Are you studying craft books? Attending workshops and conferences? Trading critiques with writers whose opinions you respect? Are you keeping abreast of publishers’ guidelines? Reading industry blogs? Most important, are you actually writing and not merely talking about writing? If so, you may not be doing everything perfectly, but you’re definitely doing everything right!

EXTRAORDINARY. Very unusual or remarkably great. So you’re not the next Debbie Macomber, Karen Kingsbury, or (dare I say) Mary Connealy or Julie Lessman. That’s okay. Your job is to write your stories, not theirs. Some say there are only seven basic plots*, and if that’s true, you have only to look at the thousands of novels published over the last couple of centuries to realize how different writers can take entirely different approaches to the same general premise. That’s because each of us is unique. Our culture, faith, family, and life experiences continue to shape our outlook, and thus our stories. So yes, each of us is extraordinary in our own way. Embrace that truth and write the stories you were given to write.

Finally, here are some definitions of COMPLETE.

Used as an adjective it means having all the necessary or appropriate parts; entire; full; finished; to the greatest extent or degree.

As a verb it means to finish making or doing; to make something whole or perfect.

I chose COMPLETE as My One Word because far too often I give in to feelings of inferiority, incompleteness, and worst of all . . . envy. I expend too much emotional energy comparing myself to other writers. Gals like Ruthy, who apparently doesn’t even need to sleep and never runs out of story ideas. Or Mary, who consistently writes 1000+ words a day and could produce enough books in a year for two or three writers. Or Julie, whose bubbly personality and flair for romance have garnered her lifelong fans. Or Tina and Pam, who have launched award-winning writing careers even while working full-time-plus!

To counteract these erroneous self-judgments, I’m leaning on several pertinent scripture verses:

“. . . and in Him you have been made complete . . .”--Colossians 2:10 (NASB)

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”--James 1:4 (NIV)

And perhaps my favorite:

“. . . he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”--Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Are there areas of your writing life where you feel lacking, inadequate, incomplete? What’s one thing you can do today to bring about some meaningful change?

Join the conversation and I’ll choose not one but two commenters to receive a copy of my January release, A Horseman’s Hope.

Grace Lorimer is too busy for a relationship. And love is definitely out of the question while she works her way through college to earn her occupational therapist certification. Besides, her mother’s string of failed relationships and broken promises prove romance is not worth risking her heart—even when she begins to care deeply for single dad Ryan O’Keefe.

Four years after his girlfriend, Shana, became pregnant, Ryan still can’t believe he’s a father . . . and can’t imagine being anything else. His daughter is the light of his life. Now if only Shana could embrace motherhood and the three become a real family. . . .
Then Ryan receives shocking news about Shana, and his world is torn apart as he faces losing his daughter. Suddenly old feelings for Grace resurface, but is a whirlwind marriage of convenience the answer?


 *There are two schools of thought on the Seven Basic Plots:
  1. Overcoming the monster
  2. Rags to riches
  3. The quest
  4. Voyage and return
  5. Comedy
  6. Tragedy
  7. Rebirth
Or . . .
  1. [wo]man vs. nature
  2. [wo]man vs. [wo]man
  3. [wo]man vs. the environment
  4. [wo]man vs. machines/technology
  5. [wo]man vs. the supernatural
  6. [wo]man vs. self
  7. [wo]man vs. god/religion


  1. I love the way you connected all these DEEP thoughts to scripture.

    Coffee will be ready.


  2. Very well done. I actually need to consider a word. But yours is pretty good. I can understand insufficient feelings very well. And don't we all want to be whole, to finish? Complete is great. It wraps things up so neatly.

    Tina Pinson

  3. If you’re alive, your attention is divided. --

    HAHAHA! Love this!

    And I read this post twice, letting it sink in and simmer a bit.

    Such good thoughts and ones that I needed to hear.

    Let's see... I'd say I groan multiple times a day as I discover YET ANOTHER thing I didn't know about publishing and the writing life. I feel like I'll never understand how it all works together... and just when I start to think I've got it figured out, things get switched around. Contracts change, editors move, and publishing houses get sold ro start new lines or go with new concepts. Even in the writing community, everybody's jumping on the wagon of self-pubbing or author pages or blogging or conferences or Amish or shoot-um-ups or erotica... and jumping back off again.

    This post was very comforting in that I can acknowledge there are so many factors out of my control.

    I write and maybe (maybe maybe maybe) it will reach the wide world.

    Or not.

    But my focus is on being a 'complete' writer and telling the story in my unique way.

    Thank you so much, Myra. Beautiful post, one to save and savor!

  4. Myra first of all I love that jigsaw picture of you and how perfect in a blog post about COMPLETE to have an incomplete picture of yourself.

    I love your word.

    I'm not coming up with one of my own. :(

  5. While I am not a writer the comparing ones self with others and feeling inferior or inadequate. I know I do this a lot often feel others are judging me when in fact they probably are not giving me a thought. Its a good reminder that we are all unique and have our own style and quirks.

  6. Oh goodness. If I had to come up with a word for my year, it would be patience. I feel like the older I get, the more impatient I become. Not a good thing!!!!! I thought we were supposed to mellow with age!

    But one good thing about impatience? It forces me to COMPLETE my manuscripts in a timely fashion. :-)

  7. I loved reading your reasons behind your choice of that one word. You make me think I should corral my reasons and get them down on paper. They're so powerful in sight.

    The same with the note card you have front and center stating your dreams--I shall start mine today. It's easy to lose sight of dreams.

    A very thoughtful posting. Thank you.

  8. Hi Myra,

    Thanks for sharing not only your word but the process that led to your word for 2013.

    I came up with a phrase for 2013 instead of a word, and my process is to long for a comment.

    My phrase for 2013 is, "Thy will be done." Believe me this is not easy for me. I like to be in control.

    I hope you have a great 2013.

    Jackie L.

  9. Computer dead. Bad fan. I'm typing on a borrowed little laptop from my daughter....

    and waiting for new computer to come from Amazon and fairly new computer with fan issues to be fixed.

    Oy. I can't play like I'd like because this little laptop takes longer to do stuff. But Myra, what a perfect example of embracing My One Word... I can just see and feel all the "completes" that surround us.

    And what a great word and connotation.

    Hey, dropping off eggs, sausage, toast, and Danish... oh, and home-fries. I figured youse might be hungry and I noticed Mary brought NOTHING yesterday.


    And no word, Mary????? REALLY????? Because, honey, I could give you a LIST I think would help.

    Being your friend, an' all. :)

    Naomi and Mary Virginia.... Publishing is a Serenity Prayer Existence from beginning to end....

    It truly helps, at least it helps me to think about concentrating on being wise enough to know what I can change... and sometimes humble enough to realize I'm not the be-all end-all I think I am.


    Myra, lovely. Just lovely.

  10. Jackie, I love that! You could shorten it to "submit" to be one word, but I can feel that emotion...

    I loved how Father Tim called "Thy Will be done" the "Prayer that never fails!" in Jan Karon's Mitford books...

    Because if it's God's will and we accept that, there's no failure involved.

    Thy Will be Done.

    Love it!

  11. When I first saw the word "complete," I thought about finishing my manuscript!

    Thanks for giving me such a wonderful new way to look at the word and be inspired!

    Peace, Julie

  12. Great post, Myra!

    Completing whatever I have to do gives me such good feelings, especially if it's a manuscript I worked on for a long time. Some things like laundry and dishes never stay completed for long. But with a wip it can be done once and for all -- when it goes to print.

    I have several incomplete manuscripts in my computer. Maybe I should work on them one at a time and not switch around so much.

  13. Myra, your post spoke so deeply to my heart that if I chose a word for this year, I would choose "complete." I'm not sure I would have thought about "complete" as a focus word, but I love it. Thanks for sharing.

    I appreciate you, Myra. Your friendship, your leadership, your encouragement. Can't wait to see you on Saturday.

  14. Myra,

    Great one word, and wonderful blog post. You hit on two points I embraced long ago.

    1) No manuscript is perfect. You can polish it to YOUR perfection but an editor will want changes. Sometimes big, sometimes small.

    2) You can't compare yourself to other writers. It's defeating. I work full-time and need sleep, I can't complete with writer's who write all day or through the night.

    My word this year is diligent.

    Have a good day.

    1. Great post, Myra!!!

      My one word is discipline. I did great yesterday but today I'm going back to bed as soon as the kids leave. Didn't sleep well last night and yesterday my brain felt shaggy. If that's not a sign I need more sleep I don't know what is.

      Complete is such a great word!!! Go Myra!

  15. Gee, i think I could use any one of those words, but undivided is probably the best one for me right now. I'm always being pulled in fifty diffferent directions. I set daily goals for myself and miraculously, I usually achieve them. (Of course, I've learned to set smaller goals so I feel I've actually achieved something.)

  16. Myra, what a beautiful post! You brought so much depth to your one word for this year. Absolutely perfect. I had never thought about the "undivided" aspect of the word before. Such good insight.

    My one word for the year is: Perspective. I have a Bible verse that is helping me, but I'm going to look into synonyms and definitions to gain a better understanding of my one word.

    Thanks, Myra!

  17. CAROL--get some rest, my friend. Sometimes discipline is easier to live out when we are rested. I've been learning this over the last month. :)

  18. Myra, what a great post! I'm still working on my one word. I'm torn between two or three. And now you've gone and gotten me thinking about "complete" as well! Must learn to focus! :)

    I just LOVE that cover on your new book!!

  19. Okay, Myra, you just made a COMPLETE wimp of me when I read this COMPLETELY wonderful post and got to the line:

    “. . . and in Him you have been made complete . . .”--Colossians 2:10 (NASB)

    OH MY ... sitting here blubbering because that hit me SO hard and is SO COMPLETELY true!! Thank you, my friend, for the timely reminder and your sweet comments.

    And speaking of COMPLETE, I am thrilled to say that I COMPLETED my 9TH BOOK on Saturday, book 2 in the Heart of San Francisco series, deadline Jan. 15, so YAY!!!!! I just LOVE the editing phase, which is a lot easier this time since I only have to edit 1l,000 words instead of the 50,000 I was "requested" to cut on A Love Surrendered. :)

    COMPLETELY wonderful and inspiring post, my friend, as always!!


  20. Hi Myra, Great post girlfriend. And I so relate to it.

    Thanks for sharing and reminding us of what we truly need to do in this crazy business. Like Virginia said, "just when you think you get it figured out......"

    My word is LISTEN. I jump in and do without taking the moment to listen and see if that is what I indeed need to do. Gets one into all kinds of busyness.

  21. Thanks for the grub Ruthy.

    Jackie that was my phrase for last year. Served me well. Not that I obeyed but led me to this year's word.

    Congrats Julie. Way to go girl.

  22. HELEN, I know I can always count on you to be here bright and early to start the coffee! By now, most of our Seekervillagers have figured out I'm rarely early for anything--just can't get my brain in gear much before 9 a.m. (Which doesn't go over real well on Sunday mornings when we have to be at church for choir warmup at 8:15!)

  23. Thanks, TINA P. I'm pretty sure feelings of inadequacy are quite common among writers.

  24. VIRGINIA said: "But my focus is on being a 'complete' writer and telling the story in my unique way."

    Oh yes!!! Wise words indeed! It's smart to figure out exactly what we can and cannot control in this crazy business. Or in life in general. And there's no sense worrying over what is out of our control since we can't do anything about it anyway. We just need to do our best to become the people God created us to be.

  25. MARY, you are a woman of many words!!! I had fun figuring out how to get a puzzle theme going in my photo. Thanks to a YouTube video and Photoshop Elements. ;-)

  26. JENNY, I've struggled with feelings of inadequacy and just not measuring up to the rest of the world all my life. That's one reason I love the Seekers and Seekerville. Here, it's all for one and one for all!

  27. NAOMI, I have to admit I can be pretty impatient, too. I think as we get older, more and more we have the sense of time getting away from us. Twenty-five years seemed like an eternity while waiting and hoping to sell my first book. Now I hate having to have to wait a year or more to see my contracted books come out in print.

  28. CARA G, there really is something about writing down your dreams. I'm looking at my note card right now, and I see one of the five I listed has already (sort of) come to pass. Not as fully as I dream of someday, but it's a start.

  29. "Thy will be done." Perfect, JACKIE! And I know it isn't easy! But just repeating that phrase is a great reminder to release the reins of control, be obedient, and trust God.

  30. RUTHY, thanks for stocking the buffet table! You always bring such wonderful goodies!

    (BTW, I could think of a few words for Mary, too. SLEEP. FLORIDA. PUBLIC SPEAKING. But I'm too nice to bring them up.)

    Hope your computer issues get resolved quickly!

  31. JULIE H.S.!!! Waving to my Carolina bud! Yep, you'd better snap to and complete that manuscript!

    And DORA, another favorite Carolinian! Can't wait to see you again this weekend at our ACFW chapter meeting!

    I have to admit I really agonized over choosing My One Word. But after doing the word study and searching scripture, COMPLETE just wouldn't let me go.

  32. CARA, did you have to remind me about all the chores that get completed one day only to have to do them all over again the next . . . and the next . . . and the next?

    And good thing you added that caveat "when it goes to print," because working on a manuscript through the writing, the rewriting, the edits, page proofs, ad infinitum, can feel endless!

  33. ROSE, I like your word--DILIGENT. You also reminded me I'm still awaiting edits on a book that is supposed to be out next October. I'm really sweating the "will they be big, or will they be small?" question.

    But . . . that's out of my control. I know I'll do whatever I have to do when the time comes.

  34. MISTY, that word UNDIVIDED struck a chord with me, too. That's the interesting part about exploring synonyms. I have felt quite "divided" the last few weeks, having accepted some new responsibilities and trying to wrap up some loose ends on current ones. A few of those are now "complete," and I'm breathing a bit easier.

  35. CAROL, I do not do well at all with poor sleep. I had three nights in a row over the weekend but finally started catching up the last couple of nights. Being tired is not conducive to good discipline, is it? I tend to forgo my already sporadic exercise routine and good eating habits, for one thing. Get some rest, girlfriend!

  36. JEANNE T, I like your word, PERSPECTIVE--something we all need more of at various times. I bet you'll gain a lot of insight (i.e., more PERSPECTIVE) with a word study!

  37. LOL, MISSY, I kicked FOCUS around quite a bit as well. Kind of goes along with UNDIVIDED, doesn't it?

    I'm really happy with my book cover, too! The art department really captured my characters and setting! Thank you!

  38. JULIE, you are COMPLETELY amazing, girlfriend! And an inspiration to me, too! Halfway through A Love Surrendered and enjoying seeing where all those familiar characters are now in their lives. A sweet story!

  39. Hello Myra, I like your word what would life be like if we went around not completing things-a job left askew, a book open and neglected, so much would be chaos.
    I chose Love because of God telling us we should love one another and it is before all else. I kind of think Love and Complete go together...
    thanks for sharing today....

    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  40. BUT MYRA (And RUTHY!) don't you think being terrified of public speaking and a constant space cadet who can barely remember to put pants on in the morning is part of my CHARM!!!????
    Why mess with that by trying to get organized???

  41. SANDRA, isn't it the truth? The publishing world is changing so fast right now that it's hard to keep up! Yep, LISTEN is a great word, and a great reminder to slow down and pay attention. My husband and I used to present Marriage Encounter weekends a billion years ago, and one of the talks we gave was on the subject of listening. One of the ways we sometimes listen is "with our motor running"--thinking about what we need to be doing next or how we'll reply instead of listening with our hearts.

  42. PAULA, you're right--LOVE needs to be the foundation of every relationship and every choice we make. I bet you could do a fascinating word study on LOVE.

  43. CHARM. Yes, MARY, you have found Your One Word. But you will be a lot more charming if you just remember to put your pants on, girlfriend!

  44. Awesome word, Myra, and awesome verses to go with it! I love the thought that God is completing us. We aren't complete yet, but we are headed in that direction, with his help. God bless! I pray you have a wonderful year!

  45. Speaking of organized, part of being a Bethany Hous Author is that every time I've got a book in their catalogue, I get to 'spend' $150 in that catalogue. Part of us cross promoting each other or just a perk.
    I've given a lot of those books away here on Seekerville over the years.

    So I pick out the books then, as they release, they come to me in the mail.
    So yesterday I got Nancy Mehl's latest, Unbreakable.

    She's writing Amish/Horror.
    No, Mennonite/Thrillers.
    Or maybe it's Quaker Murder Mysteries.
    Or, wow, it could be Dutch Reform/James Bond....

    Anyway, you get the idea and it's so fun. GO NANCY! I know her well and of course I'd pick her book.

    HOWEVER........included in the box is a book called......wow I can't remember what it's called and I just hunted around online and can't find it. Hmmmm....anyway it's called something like Organize Your Home in Five Days.

    Now, here's the question...This does NOT seem like the kind of book I would order...so, did someone just stick it in there because they know I need it? I'll also add it's not unbelievable that I might FORGET I'd ordered it. I do things like that sometimes!!!

    Anyway, I'll find the title and post it here later but I'll have to go home to do it and I may have lost the book. I set it on top of the piles of 'really important' papers on my kitchen table, but if it's sunk below the surface there could be trouble.

    Also, I'll have to remember.

    Here's one word.....idiot.

  46. I always remember to put my pants on, Myra.

    Thanks mostly to the cold weather.
    We can discuss this further in the summertime............

  47. Also, I've got a bad feeling about the FIVE DAYS thing.
    This rises to the level of science fiction, at least at my place......

  48. Mary, that's why I like to wear skirts in the summertime...

  49. I have been thinking my one word should be the opposite of procrastination. What ever that would be. I keep meaning to look it up but...

    maybe tomorrow. :)

  50. MELANIE, thank you! I really like that scripture verse that says “. . . he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” It reminds me it isn't up to me to "fix" or "complete" myself but that it's God's job and He's already at work in me!

  51. MARY. Anybody who can organize their home in five days deserves the Nobel Prize. But if you actually find the book, try out the tips and let us know if it works.

  52. Myra, I love your one word.

    Mine is Discipline (I promise, I had it before I knew Carol had it!).

    Part of that discipline is focus, part is completing goals, and part is being organized. But the biggest part of it is living an orderly, disciplined life focused on God and His call.

    Now, if I can just get off the computer and on to the next thing!

  53. Oh, so did JAN just confess she doesn't wear pants in the summertime??? Wow, Seekerville is getting so racy!!!

  54. (Is anyone else just a wee bit more careful with the grammar and punctuation in their comments when Myra is the blogger - knowing that wherever Myra is, the Grammar Queen is never far behind?)

  55. DONNA, you are too funny, girlfriend! The opposite of procrastination. Hmm, well, I just looked it up for you and guess what. It's . . . wait for it . . .


  56. Well, well, I just received word my name and reputation were being bantered about in Seekerville today by a certain JAN DREXLER. Be assured, Jan and all Seekervillagers, I always have my eye on you!

  57. Hi Myra-
    Love your word and the verses that remind me what is expected. Great post.

    I am taking the plotting boot camp that Mary suggested yesterday, because I need to find a smoother path to storytelling. I have more ideas than lifetime and if I don't learn to lay the plots in a more cohesive way, I'm not going to get to a fraction of what I want to write!

  58. LYNDEE, you brave, brave soul--a plotting workshop! I am going right now to hide under my chair.

  59. Myra,
    great post! And you answered a question I had when the One Word book was mentioned before: how does a book on One Word work? But now I can sort of picture it, and working through a set of questions to arrive at the word seems like a good idea!

    I usually choose my word more intuitively, picking something that I hope will color the entire year ahead. This year it's CONQUER, and it applies to sooo many areas that I can't wait to see how it all pans out!

    Love it that you're so open and honest about your feelings about other writers who can do things you can't. It's such a shame that comparison can make us so unhappy. But just remember: there are a lot of people out there who look at you and think: wow, she's published! I mean, that's an accomplishment in itself. And a total dream for a lot of people, so focus on being published and becoming more complete in your own books. Your post shows you're already heading in that direction. Love to see what's in store for you!

  60. Julie,
    congrats on finishing your ninth book!

    Myra's post made me think of a post you did once upon a time about your debut coming out and you sitting at the computer to look how it did on Amazon and your husband asking how it did and you telling him some other author's book was selling better than yours. That one still makes me smile. I try to think of something I saw in professional cycling once: a guy was racing towards the finish line ahead of all the others. But they were right behind him. So close to the line he looked back. To see where the others were. And someone got past him in a split second, and he lost the win. Since then my motto is: don't look where the others are! Just keep your eyes fixed on your own finish line!

  61. VIV, I'm really getting a lot out of the My One Word book. After you get through the chapters on choosing your word, then the author helps you look deeper at how God can use your word to change your life over the coming year. I've been trying to read a couple of chapters every week for my morning devotions.

    And I like your word, too--CONQUER. It really can apply to many areas where change and growth are needed.

  62. "Don't look where the others are! Just keep your eyes fixed on your own finish line!"

    Perfect advice, VIV, just perfect!

  63. Mary,
    Dutch Reformed/James Bond sounds great to me! Love the James Bond books by Ian Fleming, because of the great sense of humor (just read one where he has to go to this horrible health center where he only gets a little watery soup with three bits of carrot in it and lots of strong tea... oh, and a bad guy tries to tear him apart when he's on a training machine, needless to say the bad guy gets what's coming to him and the whole thing happens to tie into a big scheme by SPECTRE). Don't care for the later ones that are written by other authors (not the real deal and NO humor).

  64. Thank you so much for your timely post, Myra. As I chose the word finish, your thoughts have inspired and will help me to fleshed out a lot from the word complete. I've memorized the scriptures you mentioned and repeat them to myself often. When I have time, I'll go back over it and copy to refer to often. May you and all here have success with your chosen word for 2013. Please place me in the drawing for your newest release.

  65. Wonderful inspiring post, Myra! I especially like that you emphasized each of us is unique and brings that uniqueness to storytelling. We writers are alike in that God has called us to write for him and we have Seekerville to share that love of writing and reading and encourage one another.

    I love the Scripture you mentioned: he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”--Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

    A promise I cling to.


  66. On a sideline, I wonder if the one word you choose also reflects your type of personality. For instance if you're more of a do-er or more of a feel-er.

    I remember from the discussion surrounding New Year people also chose words like HOPE or JOY. That's a different angle from fi DISCIPLINE. In the instance of HOPE (or as someone outside this blog shared on her blog HEALING) you also expect this feeling to be breathed into your life, by God. On the other hand, if you choose something more active, you will probably have a strategy how to apply it.

    The more I think about it, the more I love your word, because it incorporates both elements. You will work to complete (books etc :D) but you will also be open to God completing you. That's huge!

  67. Love your word, Myra! And your blog today.

    My word last year was BELIEVE!!! It followed me for 365 days. I thought it would follow me into 2013. But, alas, in prayer the word HOPE came.

    Now HOPE has been tossed around a lot in the last few years. The HOPE I'm talking about comes from the Lord...hope that I can be the woman He has called me to be...hope that I can put His will before my own...hope that I can persevere in whatever it is He has in store for my future...

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

    Hope is close to trust, which is always that half-empty glass, or half-filled perhaps, that is ever ready/open to receive more.

    Perhaps it's because of my concern for our country, our economy, my children and grandchildren's future. God knew I needed hope instead of discouragement.

    A lot to ponder in 2013, the way Mary "pondered all these things in her heart."

    Ponder, another good word. Pondering HOPE in 2013. Amen.

  68. PAT JEANNE, you've zeroed in on another synonym for COMPLETE. The word FINISH had a lot of meaning behind it. Several good scriptures using that word for even more inspiration!

  69. JANET, that's one of my very favorite scriptures, too. And I love that here in Seekerville we can be ourselves (well, our cyber-selves, anyway) and honestly share our joys and struggles.

  70. Wow, talking about timing, Debby, as I post my questions about the different angles you post your comment about your word HOPE. Your explanation shows how it's also a very active word, an attitude of expecting the best of God, even in times where it's getting darker all around. Thanks for sharing this!

  71. Good point, VIV. How we approach our word, both in the choosing and how it plays out in our lives, probably has a lot to do with our personality type. When I do those Myers-Briggs tests, I usually come out borderline between thinker and feeler, so I guess COMPLETE does fit me pretty well!

  72. DEBBY, love your insights into HOPE. Definitely something the whole world needs!

    But . . . when you said "Mary 'pondered all these things in her heart,'" I first thought you were talking about OUR Mary! TOTALLY different picture!!!!

  73. Dear Grammar Queen...I believe you mean your name is being BANDIED ABOUT. OF course maybe it's being Bandered about, also.

    Just give me this moment of being right, Your Highness, even if I'm not.

    If you do, I promise I'll go put my pants on RIGHT NOW.

  74. I mean Bantered, not Bandered. Typos do NOT count as bad grammar.

  75. I gave some thought to using Carol and Jan's word, too. Discipline.
    Because I've got kind of a hectic year coming up and I need to be disciplined to get it all done. Which I will, I"m not even scared (maybe I should be)

    But then I decided the word I'm going with for this year is (brace yourselves) RELENTLESS.

    I've got to never pause. Forward march. Be disciplined, keep my word count moving ever forward to get everything done. Which, honestly, I've done now for a long time. But maybe this year, a bit more than usual.

    So that's my word.

    I am scaring myself.

  76. MARY, GQ is slinking away quietly. She just looked up both words on our handy computer dictionary. Apparently, "banter" is not used with an object, so you--DON'T LET THIS GO TO YOUR HEAD!!!--are correct. A better choice of words would have been "bandied."

    banter |ˈbantər|

    the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks: there was much singing and good-natured banter.

    verb [ no obj. ]

    talk or exchange remarks in a good-humored teasing way: the men bantered with the waitresses | (as adj. bantering) : a bantering tone.

    bandy 2 |ˈbandē|

    verb ( bandies, bandying, bandied ) [ with obj. ] (usu. be bandied about/around)

    pass on or discuss (an idea or rumor) in a casual or uniformed way: $40,000 is the figure that has been bandied about.

  77. Yay!! Mary chose a word! Now we get to watch her in RELENTLESS pursuit of her goal! (Which is probably to write 16 more full-length novels before 2014.)

  78. Yay Mary! I love your word! I may steal it for next year.

  79. Hi Myra,
    First time I've posted with you.
    Another riff on "complete": Having as full a life as God allows you, and enjoying all His gifts. As a younger writer I was very driven, pushy and even cut ethical corners and neglected important things in my life to succeed, which I didn't. God wants us to keep everything, even our beloved writing, in perspective.
    Kathy Bailey
    Unpubbed in New Hampshire

  80. RUTHY--

    "It truly helps, at least it helps me to think about concentrating on being wise enough to know what I can change... and sometimes humble enough to realize I'm not the be-all end-all I think I am."

    Isn't that the same thing?

    You're changing... and knowing you don't know everything?

    I like the idea of NOT changing.

    Not changing at every single gust of wind and whim of the industry.

    Being different and knowing our uniqueness is a gift from God.

    How can we expect readers to love us when they can't tell us apart? They won't even know who we are.

    Just copies of copies of copies.

    Have a little faith in yourself, dear Ruthy.

    Entertain the thought you ARE the end-all, be-all. :)

    I'd like to see what wild beauty comes from that kind of attitude.

  81. JULIE--

    OH MY GOSH. 50K to cut?

    I would have cried my eyes out.

    I always have to cut 5-10K.

    50? Ohhhhh, mercy.

  82. DEBBY-

    Hope is my word, too and I'd been struggling to solidify why.

    Thanks for explaining it so well.

    My word popped up at 3AM as I was laying in bed, worrying.

    Worrying when I was exhausted and needed sleep, but was still worried over the future.

    And your comment is why HOPE fits for me, too.

    Thanks for saying what I couldn't!


    Let's all just pause and bask in the joy of this moment.

  84. Myra...i was wondering how this post would relate to me, because i am anything but complete...however i loved the words connected to it, and i need to be focused. Last year my word was Patience...and i think i need to carry it into this year, but no. i should have had my word already, but with all the talk about what each one has, i can't focus on my own. Helen, i am so glad we can count on you to be first one here...where do you live? Vinc, i always look for your comments. and i faithfully read every one. Thanks for being such a great bunch an so open even to those like Jenny and me who are not writers!

  85. KATHY! So nice to "meet" you in Seekerville! Good to know you left those unsuccessful strategies behind and are working on doing things God's way and in God's timing. I believe He does reward us for that kind of obedience.

  86. "Being different and knowing our uniqueness is a gift from God."

    Very wise words, VIRGINIA. Exactly what my beloved agent, Natasha Kern, has been telling me since long before she finally accepted me as a client. It's all about writing the unique stories God has given only to us.

  87. My dear Mary, you may have my permission to bask in the moment of your "rightness" when you show GQ you can correctly use lie and lay in a sentence.

  88. Myra - I meant to mention this earlier, but I CAN'T WAIT to read this book!!!!!

    But right now [since I've napped - though my head still hurts some - and my oatmeal is ready] I'm headed back to 1877 to see if I can help poor Myra Jefferson Youngblood figure out how to cook in the fireplace of her new husband's home. She's not a bad cook.


    Silly man.

    Off to spend some time with Myra and Jim but as soon as I see that book, it's gonna jump in my cart. I won't be able to stop it.

  89. MARIANNE, I totally get what you mean. As others have shared their One Word over the last several days, each time I'd think,"Oh! Yes! THAT'S the word for me!!!" And I was definitely confused for a while. But God kept leading me back to COMPLETE. He'll help you zero in on your own word, too. Just trust Him. As the author of the book stated, we can't really choose a wrong word, because with God's help any word we settle on has the potential to help us grow and change.

  90. Aw, CAROL, I'm so flattered. But believe me, the real-life Myra would be pushing Jim to take her out to dinner, not attempting to bake in a nonexistent oven (or even an existent one!).

    See, MARY, someone actually made me a feisty heroine, not an incontinent old woman in a nursing home!!!!! (At least I think Carol's character must be a feisty heroine. Why else would she be attempting to cook in a fireplace?)

  91. She is not incontinent /eye boggle/.

    Her reputation *was* compromised as a teen which is why she's not married before now.

    And I've been informed that she can't get a frozen lasagna either.

    You could cook that on coals couldn't you?

    She also has two little girls to feed [the whole reason they got married] and they're at least an hour's wagon ride from town...

  92. Can't you just get the fan replaced, Ruthy. Too bad you don't live here where the IT guy resides.


    WOE IS MYRA!!!!!

  94. Myra, Virginia is correct. I had to read this post twice to do it justice.

    One. One. One. Is my word. And I am trying to stay linear this year. I am so easily distracted.

    I am not ADD. I am sensory enhanced. I have a sixth sense. I just need to learn to channel it.

  95. Christina Rich, are you out there. Wordle.com

    Is it safe. Won't make my puter blow up or eat things?

    I really want to download it.

  96. Calm would be my word. Then again I'm the nervous type and would like to be calm. I'm not really into meditation, but I've done yoga before.


  97. TINA, what a perfect word--ONE. Kind of like UNDIVIDED. And I think I know what you mean about being "sensory enhanced." Hard to shut out the world and just focus. And you've had plenty of "world" the last few weeks, what with moving and all! If I say "Bless your heart," will you know I meant it sincerely?

  98. MICHELLE, I was just reading the other day about the benefits of meditation. Clearing our minds to focus on the present moment can be prayerful. Hoping CALM becomes a reality throughout every aspect of your life!

  99. Hi Myra:

    First, I’m having a lot of fun doing my Bootcamp Plotter Course. It’s not too late. We’re still on the first lesson. It’s so good.

    I like your new picture. This is the first time I noticed the puzzle pieces. Now every time I see it I’ll be hearing Patsy Cline singing, “I Fall to Pieces”. Talk about a great physical proxy, that’s wonderful.

    Speaking of voices, who is going to be saying, “RELENTLESS” now that James Earl Jones is taken? What’s wrong with Jason Aldean singing “Relentless”?


    Back to point:

    ‘Complete’ is a great word on so many levels but have you also thought of the second spelling of ‘complete’: compleat? (Microsoft Word won’t even take it but it is a good English word.)

    In modern times ‘compleat’ has come to mean someone who has all the requisite skills and qualities of a given craft. I remember one of my first advertising books was titled: “The Compleat Copywriter”.

    The Compleat Writer, the Compleat Mother, the Complete Christian, the Compleat Seeker: there’s no end to the good things that could obtain from this second spelling. In short, complete is not complete without compleat.

    BTW: I just completed a writing class where the professor said there are only two plots! A character takes a journey and a character arrives and upsets the status quo. Every book we covered in the class fit this description but I am not sure “One Imperfect Christmas” does or does it? What was the upsetting or destabilizing event?

    Oh, I read something on yesterday’s post that shows how plotters are from Mars and pantsers are from Venus (forget the man/woman thing: plotter/pantser works much better.)

    The comment was something like this: “How can you write the theme, logline, and premise before you write the book”. This struck me as so odd. I’d just ask the author. Authors are supposed to know this stuff, right? : )


    P.S. I think a perfect ‘one word’ for Missy is “Nurture” to cherish, to cultivate, to take care of – as in her writing, her readers, her family, her friends. At least, that's the word that jumps out of her writing.

  100. VINCE, you always set my head to spinning! I have seen the word "compleat" used before. Here's what my computer dictionary says:

    • (also compleat )chiefly humorous, skilled at every aspect of a particular activity; consummate

    Okay, I don't know about the "chiefly humorous" part. Maybe it's like an exaggeration of skillfulness. But I like it!

    And if you asked me, “How can you write the theme, logline, and premise before you write the book?" I'd have to answer, I CAN'T!!! At least not accurately, until I've written several thousand words to figure out where the story is headed.

  101. Hi Ruth:

    You mentioned how you loved when Father Tim called "Thy Will be done" the "Prayer that never fails!" in Jan Karon's Mitford books. Well, no writer makes me feel better as I read her works than Jan Karon. I must go back and read all her Father Tim books again. I was so happy when Father Tim married. (It’s a good thing he wasn’t Catholic).

    Well, I just read the first chapter of a book that made me feel the same way as Jan Karon does. Now I’ve only read one and a half chapters but I just have to tell you about this book: It’s called: “The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek: A Novel” by Jane Myers Perrine. The first book in a series.

    I really think you’d love this book.


  102. Hi Myra:

    You wrote: “And if you asked me, “How can you write the theme, logline, and premise before you write the book?" I'd have to answer, I CAN'T!!!”

    That’s why pantsers are so different than plotters. Doesn’t this make you think of Nancy Pelosi when she said that the congressmen would have to wait to read the bill until after they passed it?

    Pantsers are everywhere.

    That’s why I am working on a three hour seminar that Mary and I will give at the ACFW conference this year. Here’s the tentative outline:

    Fuzzy Plotting: Harnessing the Power of Controlled Pantsering to Obtain Undreamed of Writing Success”.

    First Hour: Flying High on the Wings of Creativity – Unleashing the Best of Pantsering without getting lost.

    Second Hour: How Curiosity Drives Creativity: Hooks come in all sizes & What happens to the curious cat on the first page.

    Third Hour: Doing What’s Never Been Done Before – The Ultimate in Pantsering (Example: a hidden child romance where only the child knows, by overhearing his parents’ handlers, that his ‘foster’ parents are really his biological parents. To tell them would endanger all their lives.)

    I’ve conducted over 3,000 three-hour seminars and I’m sure I can help Mary become the “Queen of the Seminar Circuit”. All it would take is a little relentlessness.


  103. Seriously, VINCE, you and OUR MARY are giving this workshop???

    Mary, what secrets have you been keeping from us??? Or did I completely miss an announcement somewhere along the way, oh ye who despises public speaking???

  104. You know if i could organize my home in five days I would then have to leave otherwise it would be disorganized within one day.

  105. Hi Myra:

    Mary suggested the seminar yesterday. She even came up with names that suggests having a seminar that combines the best of plotting with the best of pantsering.

    Mary is the consummate pantser (with many successful books published) and myself, as a nonfiction writer, established seminar conductor, and trained philosopher, should be able to deliver a very popular seminar.

    I see Margaret Daley all the time at WIN meetings. She knows I have a seminar company. I’m sure there would be no problem getting this course approved.

    I’m very serious. Would anyone out there be interested in such a class? I'm ready.


  106. Grammar Queen, you'll notice that my comment about basking was left at 12:20, your comment about lie and lay was left at 12:47. That is 27 minutes of basking.

    Far more than I expected.
    It. Is. Enough.

  107. OKAY MYRA!!!!!!!!! I've got the next six books proposed and accepted, which means NAMES ARE LOCKED IN.
    But right after that, I SWEAR I'm doing a Myra.
    The man reason I don't do a Myra is because I always ALWAYS misspell it MARY....MYRA....see how SIMILAR???????

    So I will tackle this task because I love you.
    And let the typos fall where they may!!!

  108. Vince,
    you're ready, but is the world ready for three hours of Vince and RELENTLESS Mary? LOL

  109. Jenny,
    I think there's a book there:
    Disorganizing your home without even trying...

    Problem is, nobody would be buying it, because it's a skill most people are born with (just watch toddlers...)

  110. Vince's and my class is news to me, too, but I'm totally in, Vince.
    How about, you teach and I mouth off and make jokes?

    btw, I can co-teach ANY class with this set-up.

    What could possibly go wrong?????

  111. The MAN reason you don't do a Myra???


    And VINCE, I see, is courting Annie's aunt in Julie's latest book. SO EVEN VINCE GETS A CHARACTER NAMED FOR HIM!!!

    Not that I'm upset or holding this against you or anything. Nope. Not even a teensy bit. I've forgotten about it already.

    Excuse me, I must visit the powder room.

  112. MAIN!!!!!!!!!!

    Today is typo tuesday.
    I sent a memo???!!!

  113. VIV, I'm with you--three solid hours of "The Vince and Mary Show"??? We would need a new word for that. How about . . .


  114. This post touches so close to home, Myra! Thank you for laying it out there. I so need to finish the things that I start, which is one reason I chose the word DISCIPLINE. Seems like a popular word around here. :)

    Must. Make. Myself. Write.

    I tend to think I can't write until I've read all the craft books and know all I need to know, but I don't think I'll ever stop learning. So I might as well write.

    I'm going through Susan May Warren's "Kiss and Tell" workbook, which my mom so sweetly bought me for my bday! This book has been so helpful so far. I want to finish it before I write another word, but I probably need to get cracking on the word count. I really wanted to have this first draft done and book 2 plotted so I could work on it for Speedbo. We'll see, I guess. Depends on how much I get COMPLETED. :)

  115. I need to WRITE. (Not that "write" is My One Word...I'm still considering my choices--thinking TRUST is My One Word for this year with all the things going on in my life right now.) I feel my family responsibilities come before writing, but I do fritter some time away. I need to TRUST God that I am able to write and still take care of the other things I need to COMPLETE. I'm committing to "Writing Wednesdays" for me! Thanks, Myra!

  116. Myra Untamed is what my garden is (that is whats not dead)

    I like typo Tuesday but for me its typo month. this typing one handed has whiskers on it!

    I can clean an organise others but come here! Oh the room with stuff belonging to landlords is well organised but then its not mine! I did organise it.

    speaking of cleaning must do some today. the socks dont match themselves!

  117. Hi Myra and Everyone:

    Mary wrote: “Vince's and my class is news to me, too, but I'm totally in, Vince.
    How about, you teach and I mouth off and make jokes?
    btw, I can co-teach ANY class with this set-up.
    What could possibly go wrong?????”

    I don’t think anything could go wrong. I could do a nice formal exposition of the class outline, as you would expect a plotter to do, and, at the same time, you could jump in -- at any point --and ad lib apropos pantser remarks, that while funny, would also act to synthesize the dialectic between plotting and pantsering. It would be like playing progressive jazz on your part. You would not have or even need a script. The pantser advocate should be pantsering. It has been said the medium is the message. In this case, you’d be pantsering your part of the seminar while I would be very happy being the straight man. Wow! Think of it: you would be showing while I was telling. Together there would be a total learning experience. We would be a living example of what we were teaching.

    And to answer Viv’s question: I think the world is not only ready for this seminar, I think such a seminar topic is long overdue. And the two of us are just the two to do it.


  118. WOW Myra!! Awesome post today and for me personally the timing was perfect. So often when I work on my ms. I'll "compare" my writing to others and feel really down on myself as a writer....rather than focusing on doing everything I can do to be the best I can be. So thank you for sharing your wisdom with us today (yep, a definite Keeper Post for me). ~ No need to enter me in the drawing as I receive (and LOVE) your books from the Heartsong book club. ~ Hugs, Patti Jo

  119. NATALIE, I do understand what you're talking about. When you're in the middle of studying and learning, absorbing new ideas, you want to make sure you've internalized it all before trying to apply it.

    But even if you put just one element into practice, that's a start. Maybe try limiting your reading and study time to 30-60 minutes each day, then put the craft books aside and write. There's always revision, you know! If in the days ahead you learn something that would improve your story, you can always go back and apply it in the rewrites.

  120. SHERIDA, I like it--"Writing Wednesdays"! Setting aside a day that you know will be devoted to writing frees your mind to take care of everything else the rest of the week so you don't have to think about it on Wednesday. Good strategy!

  121. LOL, JENNY, I had to take a break earlier and match socks (among other things). The laundry doesn't do itself!

  122. PATTI JO, you are such a sweetheart! Comparison is the devil in disguise, I'm certain! When we doubt ourselves, we're doubting the gifts God has given us.

  123. Hi Myra,

    Great post. I like your word.

    I think mine is going to be BELIEVE. Last year it was TRUST and that word served me well. Trust and believe go hand in hand, I think. So seems to fit!

    Happy New Year everyone!


  124. SUE, BELIEVE is a great word! Yes, it's a lot like TRUST, but with a slightly different connotation. I'm sure you'll gain some important new insights as you ponder your word!

  125. Vince said-

    "Together there would be a total learning experience."

    Oh boy, would it. *smirk*!

  126. Mary, relentless reminds me of the word to describe a bounty hunter. Nothing wrong with that. The hero in my wip is a bounty hunter or was. He's settling down.


  127. Vince and Mary, if you teach a class, I will come. Who could miss it?


  128. Swept Away is now on my Kindle.

    After the one by that Hillman gal, I may have to get Swept Away.

  129. A lovely post, Myra. Much to think about ... about which to think :-)

    Nancy C

  130. Okay Myra.

    I haven't written one word today but I'm going to in a few minutes because I want to COMPLETE the ms. I've had a busy day running to the vet twice for my puppy and errands in between. (Errands? HA! Going out to eat is an errand. Right?)If I don't stay on task, I'll never complete anything.

    So I'm off to work on ms.

    Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Connie Queen

  131. This is why i don't teach classes because I panic for months before then batter myself mentally for years after.

    It ain't worth the pain!

  132. I'm late chiming in tonight, but loved your post, Myra. It was the reminder I needed today. Yesterday I was bogged down by a disappointment. In fact I spent too much time stressing over it and lost several hours of sleep in the process. This morning I decided that it wasn't worth the worry. In fact, my hurt over the situation is nothing compared to what Jesus went through for me. I gave myself a good talking to and said (okay, not out loud, so my son wouldn't think I was losing it)it was time to let it go and instead focus on what I know God called me to do - WRITE. So that's what I did, and I finally finished chapter one of my new novel.

    Thanks again.

    Jodie Wolfe

  133. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  134. I loved this post, Myra. Who knew the word COMPLETE could be so creative, LOL!

    I'd love to COMPLETE my ms and maybe another this year. That's my goal with your word : )

  135. COMPLETE is a very good word. I loved how you explained it all here.

  136. Put your focus on God and he will lead you through all your battles

  137. Gotta love hungry blogger.
    Let's try again, shall we?

    Wonderful Myra! Love how you combined with Scripture. An excellent COMPLETE post, as per your usual. :)

    May and I are a little late to the pawty, but we made it.

    Her word for the year is TERRIFIC and mine is TRANSITION. Yes, I cheat and claim two. ("") ("") That's 2 paws up!

  138. Myra,
    Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring insights about "COMPLETE."
    It's a lot more powerful word than "finish."

    Elva Cobb Martin
    Anderson, SC

  139. Aw, thanks, MYRA ... I'm glad I can inspire somebody ... :| Ain't doing real good with myself lately!! ;)

    Thanks, SANDRA -- I'm pretty excited!!

    VIV, GREAT MOTTO, GIRL!!! And I remember that blog well -- it's my Julie Klassen blog, when I prayed for her to go to the bestseller list as a means of countering my jealousy. Apparently I have some pretty powerful prayers ... ;)

    VIRGINIA, YES!! It was like cutting an LI out of my ms., not to mention an arm, but I did it through the grace of God ... and the direction of my editor, who at times, reminds me of God ... ;)

    YES, MYRA ... our very own Vince has been immortalized in one of my books, not only with his name, but with his occupation -- a romance writer!!! ;)

    And the VINCE AND MARY SHOW??? Count me in ... wouldn't miss that one for the world!!


  140. First of all, my apologies for not checking back in last night. I was away from my computer, and for some crazy reason Blogger and my iPad refused to communicate!

    NANCY C, glad I provided you some food for thought. Thinking has no calories, BTW! ;-)

    CONNIE, our puppies are SUCH important members of the family! Hope your little cutie is doing well. And that you got in some writing time yesterday.

  141. JODIE----YAY for finishing the first chapter of your book!!! You are so wise (and brave) to put those hurt feelings aside. In the end, when we hold on too tightly to our hurts, we only make things worse for ourselves.

    AUDRA, SHELIA, and MARY P, thanks for sharing your thoughts. May 2013 be a COMPLETE joy for all of you!

  142. KC & MAY, nice to see y'all again! I hope you recovered from the New Year's Eve bash and didn't stay up too late! TERRIFIC and TRANSITION--great words indeed!

    ELVA, thank you. COMPLETE does give you a whole lot more to consider than simply FINISH, but that's a good word too.

  143. Hi again, JULIE! Yes, I thought it was so cool to find Vince the romance writer in your book! What fun!

  144. I loved this post, but more than the post I loved your picture Myra...I looked at it with my glasses on and then off to see if I was really seeing right...yep...it's a puzzle nearing completion. Love it.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

  145. I loved this post, but more than the post I loved your picture Myra...I looked at it with my glasses on and then off to see if I was really seeing right...yep...it's a puzzle nearing completion. Love it.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.