From-the-blog


August Update

Greetings from the Ozarks! It's great to be back with you today. As you may have noticed, this summer I've stepped back from blogging. Other than holiday breaks and a few short vacations, I've blogged steadily since 2011. I decided I was long overdue for a sabbatical. Our college gal's been home for the summer and we've enjoyed reconnecting. Now, the not-so-fun stuff? Last spring, as is common in our area, we met with some seasonal storms. Those included the usual hail and high wind, but thankfully---no tornadoes this time. Still, our home did sustain some damage, and in the last several weeks, we replaced the roof, gutters, downspouts, and garage doors. Whew! Let me just say...the entire process kept me hopping. I almost need a sabbatical from my sabbatical! If you're a newsletter subscriber, I addressed some of this more in-depth, but suffice it to say, this season's been a lesson in patience. To add a little variety to the mix and
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August Update

When Our Story Worlds Come Alive

For writers, there's nothing quite as thrilling as breathing life and love into our characters and stories. Our hearts beat for those creative moments when fact meets fiction in bold, new worlds. We're eager to get words on the page and begin our journey. From the first moment I envisioned the sleepy, little town of Ruby, Missouri, ideas flowed. The Ozarks and her people are my heritage. The way of life here, unique. Modeling my fictional town after the place I grew up and loved seemed only natural. I know these hills and hollows. Where better to glean story fodder, witticisms, and character sketches? Where better to unearth challenges met and hope restored? My story worlds come alive when I consider not only the story but also how the setting makes me feel. Fictional Ruby, Missouri, my down-to-earth niche, embodies warmth, humor, and nostalgia. My imaginary world also strikes a poignant chord regarding faults, foibles and second chances. Toss in a
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When Our Story Worlds Come Alive

Success… Is It Too Late?

There comes a point in life, maybe during a career crisis or a season of self-reflection, our confidence dips. Our belief wilts. Is it too late? Has my chance already come and gone? Has the moment of opportunity slipped past, despite my desire to move forward? For the baby boomer generation, advancing years are a reality. There's no denying the clock's steady beat. No getting around extended pauses. Love it or hate it, those pauses impale our trajectory as time ticks away. As we consider long-held goals, our sense of urgency mushrooms. How'd it happen? When did our hopes and dreams take a backseat to bigger musts? Was it when we worked sixty-hour weeks to put bread on the table? When we wiped snotty noses, sopped up potty, kissed boos-boos, and chauffeured kiddos? Was it when catastrophe called and crises beckoned? When normal met weird in a tug-of-war match? Yes. That. All that and more. While boomers may celebrate freedom from youthful constraints, new patterns emerge. We weigh new options
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Success… Is It Too Late?

Summer Update

  Ahh, how quickly summer goes. It wasn’t always this way. When I was a little girl, the long, hot days of summer stretched before me like a ribbon of taffy waiting to be savored. Sleeping in, lingering over lunch, and reading filled my days. I had some chores, but after I finished those, my time was my own. Often, my sister and I would play badminton for hours. When the days grew too hot, we’d set up camp indoors and lose ourselves to Monopoly, Aggravation, or some other board game that nurtured our competitive side and kept our minds active. (Yes. Simpler times then.) Today, in the busyness of the season, I sometimes forget the carefree days of childhood—those long, delightful weeks of summer vacation and fun. As an adult, the pause seems shorter and fun is more regulated. Now, I have to meticulously budget my time, follow a schedule, and stick to a plan. Since college gal’s home for
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Summer Update

How Do We Keep the Dream Alive?

Often, new writers plunge full steam ahead into their fledgling careers, barely giving thought to everything writing entails. Pursuit of "the dream" and all the glorious fantasies that go with it play out in delightful, creative scenarios because, after all, that's what writers do best---we live in bold, imaginative worlds where anything is possible. It's only when---oh, say, maybe five, ten, or twenty years into the process---we realize anything is indeed possible, but those fantasies we initially had about "making it" within a designated time frame? Psst... I'll let you in on a secret. It rarely happens as we envision. Mature writers (the ones we grow into after scaling a few mountains) realize that writing entails so much more than "the dream." It's more than the ability to write well. It's more than finishing manuscripts, attending conferences, and winning contests. It's more than polishing, revising, and even selling. More than knowing publishing dos and don'ts. More than using the correct lingo and the right writer's-speak. It's more than
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How Do We Keep the Dream Alive?

Meet Cindy

A hopeless romantic, wife, mother, lover of the Ozarks, and passionate follower of Jesus. And that’s just for starters…
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