Saturday, May 9, 2015

Peeking at the Process with a Debut Author

I've had a delightful experience I want to share with you...
watching the birth of a book up close and personal.

It started here, with my blog.
I follow some blogs just for entertainment.
I follow some blogs that are authors-agents-editors' blogs, 
hoping to glean valuable tips to help me in my own journey.
I follow a lot of writers that are where I am, hammering out that first manuscript.
And I follow some seeking publication with one or more finished books.

Terri Tiffany was in the last group.

 Terri has been published more times than I can count as a contributing author,
with several stories in the Chicken Soup Books, as well as other inspirational collections.
She is a seasoned writer, but had to wait patiently for that first novel to be grabbed up.

Through following and commenting on our respective blogs,
Terri and I became friends.
One day she asked me if I would be interested
 in reading a chapter of a book she had written, 
and giving her some feedback. 
I eagerly said yes!

In June of 2012, I read the first chapter of a manuscript she called The Mulligan.

The story is quite unique.
The MC is a young girl who decides to go to golf school
to keep her family from falling apart.
What? You say you just read a book about the same thing?
I didn't think so.

In April of 2013, she sent me some revised sections.


And on it went...

We've exchanged a lot of emails since that first chapter.
She has shared a lot of her frustrations,
as well as highs, in the process of publication.

(I think I drove her a little crazy when it came to knowing the actual publication date.)

She had the patience of Job.
I didn't.
I don't know how many ways I can ask,
"Soooo...do you have that date yet?"

I would have been sending emails.
I would have been calling.
But she waited.
And trusted.
And waited.

I've learned a lot through Terri,
but the thing that stands out right now is
that getting published takes a lot of patience.
And talent.
And work.
And perseverance.

Our teen pastor recently spoke about what decides where you end up...
"Direction--not determination--decides you destination."
Although, I think determination can help quite a bit,
we can want something will all our heart,
but if we don't take steps in the right direction,
we will not reach our desired destination.

Terri is a perfect example of someone who kept facing the right direction.
She never lost sight of her goal.
Despite rejections, she kept trying.

So now, I want to officially say...


February 6, 2015
(I know...I'm a little late.)

I really owe a lot to Terri Tiffany.
She has lit the proverbial fire under me!
She not only encourages me,
but she challenges me.

I recently had the privilege of meeting her!
Yes! Face-to-face!
 

This photo doesn't do her justice. She is beautiful inside and out.
Hubby and I drove all the way down south to have dinner with her and her husband.
Yes, we drove 1500 miles just for dinner!
(Okay, maybe we were on vacation.)
We ended up spending several hours talking.
It was like we had known each other for years.
I guess we have.



 
Here comes another good part...
Terri gave me an autographed
copy of The Mulligan!

Of course, I already bought
 the eBook when it released.

But there's something
really special about having
an author hand you
their paperback.


Congratulations, Terri.
Published Author
of
The Mulligan






Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Get 'er done!


If I recorded in a journal each night how I spent my day, it would not look 
anything like what I claim to prioritize.  (You all know what I'm talking about. 
Do you prioritize Facebook? Twitter? Television?)

Maybe we just need daily reminders of our priorities. 

I decided I needed to make dates with my writer self. 

And keep them.

This month I had two appointments on my calendar for updating
my blogs. It worked! Although, I didn't get the task finished, I made major progress.


My mouth dropped open when I really dug in and saw how outdated my pages were. Some of my sidebar links were no longer pointing to anything. A few were still working but quite dated, and better off gone. (Don't investigate yet--I'm not done.)


I spent the most time on my farm blog. A little voice asked me why I would waste time there if my
book was a priority. I thought about it...



Writing a blog is good exercise. Not for the body, but for the writer's brain.
Besides, I have things to write about that don't belong in a novel.
And I enjoy writing.
Anything.

You know the old saying: If you don't use it, you lose it! So I'm using it.

Are you stuck in a rut? Does writer's block have you avoiding your WIP?
Write something else. Write a poem.
Write an essay. Write a blog.



I have a date with my book.

It's on my calendar in April. 

I have given myself advance notice.


Whatever it is you've been putting off, why not mark you calendar?
Do it now.