You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Have you ever felt like you don’t belong anywhere? When I was a child, I often thought I must have been adopted. I loved to read and preferred to stay in the house while the rest of my family loved the outdoors and rarely opened a book unless they had to. I was and am very blessed to have a wonderful family, but in some ways, I’ve always been and will always be the odd one out.

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I felt the same way in school. I was smart and respected and had a close circle of friends, but I wasn’t athletic, and boys always liked me as a friend instead of a girlfriend, and I wasn’t a party-er and I didn’t dance because I was a Baptist. I read the Betsy Tacy books and wished more than anything that I would someday be part of The Crowd, but the truth was, I never really fit in. After I graduated, I went to Wheaton College, which might seem homogenous at first glance. But to me, it was a place of great diversity. I met people who were far odder than I, quirky individuals who bucked societal norms, did their own thing and didn’t care what anybody thought of them. Despite the occasional forays into uniqueness, there was still a typical Wheatonite – pre-med, ultra talented, superior intellect, old money or conversely, humbly raised children of pastors and missionaries – none of which fit me.

I got married to an officer in the army after two years of college. Our first duty assignment was in Augsburg, Germany. I won’t go into the mismatched marriage I was in at the time, except to say that in the midst of the ill-conceived mess I was in matrimonially, I felt very at home in Europe, and I found a great deal of acceptance within the military community. For the first time in my life, I started to feel like I belonged. Perhaps it was because the military attracted such a hodge podge of people. There were Okies from Oklahoma, hillbillies from Tennessee, southern belles from Charleston, South Carolina, proper to a fault West Point grads, gentle giants with black skin, and once I got there, a naive Midwest farmer’s daughter. I felt like I’d finally found my niche – and it lasted for all of about 10 minutes. Because the military is one of the most unstable, constantly shifting, always changing things in the world as far as places and spaces go. Command shifts, families transferring to different duty assignments, people staying in and getting out of the military, all set against the backdrop of a topsy turvy world where you’re always on alert, waiting for the next big things to happen – and it usually does.

Cal - Rachel SS

I felt I’d finally found my place in the world, and that that place only existed for a few short months in the space time continuum. Here today, gone tomorrow. When my marriage met a similar fate and poof – one day didn’t exist any more, it was a very hard thing. My ex-husband’s family had become mine, and then suddenly, they weren’t anymore. Disconnecting from the marriage and my role as wife was hard enough, but severing myself from the extended family was far worse.

I’m a farmer’s daughter. I was never a particularly good farmer’s daughter, but I was raised to put down deep roots, to commit for life, to count on people and things being there for a good long time if not forever. But the reality is that the whole world is like the ocean, or the sky – constantly changing, shifting, eroding, becoming more and more unrecognizable with every day that passes. And me?

Blue Belle winter

I’ve gone on to make my way in the world quite nicely. I’ve met with some successes, had a few dreams come true, and done quite well for myself. But in many ways, I still feel like I’m a misfit. I’m not a mother. I wear funky hats. I wouldn’t caught dead in nylons and can usually be found lazing around in Birkenstocks and slouch socks.  I’m a far from perfect pastor’s wife. Each of the walls in my dining room a different color. I’m awake when most people are sleeping, and asleep when I should be awake. If left to my own devises, there are more weeds than flowers in my garden. I play the piano but never the notes that are on the music.

Danish Pancakes - Done

I make round pancakes instead of flat. I write books with steamy scenes and God sightings – in the same chapter. I raise eyebrows, and have my own quirks, and march to my own drummer. I’ve never quite fit in and have finally starting to realize that I kind of like it that way.

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So Merry Christmas from the Island of Misfits. I rather like it here.  If you’re ever inclined to visit, please pick up one of my books… Jensen from Night and Day, Rae from stormy Weather, Michelle from Water Lily, Tracy from Merry Go Round, Hope from Love Notes, and soon, Rose from Wild Rose… characters who are full of foibles, characters who are sometimes a little off kilter or at odds with the world, characters who desire more than anything to find someone to appreciate them and love them just the way they are.

Scotland Duart Castle - Mull

Of course, there’s only one place in the world where we can truly find unconditional love, from someone who certainly knows what it felt like to be a misfit.  That’s what makes Christmas such a grand celebration!

believe

I’ll admit that I occasionally dream that the book I’m writing might just be “The Next Big Thing”.
I’ve known fellow Second Wind author, Pat Bertram, for several years and admired her not only for her storytelling abilities but for her savvy social media and marketing skills. So when Pat offered to tag me in an ongoing blog chain, “The Next Big Thing”, in which authors get to talk about their current Work in Progress, I jumped at the chance.
If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I just took advantage of NaNoWriMo to complete the rough draft of my current work-in-progress and  that it’s set in Scotland – I’ve been posting photos from our trip to Scotland to help get me – and you – in the mood for a visit to one of the most beautiful, intriguing places on earth. Here are a few more details:
What is your working title of your book?
Wild Rose of Scotland
Where did the idea come from for the book?
A few years after I married my husband, who is a pastor, we went on a dream vacation to Scotland, where we stumbled upon a beautiful old church along Loch Awe called St. Conan’s Kirk. I was new to being a pastor’s wife, and having a lot of “eye-opening” experiences. In the midst of my “adjustment period”, Rose’s character came to life.
Scotland - Bagpipes
What genre does your book fall under?
Contemporary Romance
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
My husband, who has read snippets of Wild Rose, thinks Rose should be played by Kate Walsh from Private Practice. Although I’m not wild about her character or the role she plays in that show, she’s stunning, and looks the part. Emma Thompson’s quirky, upbeat personality and accent would make her a good match. I envision Ted as a young Sean Connery or Richard Chamberlain (think Thorn Birds) – or maybe Liam Neeson?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Can the church ladies of St. Conan’s forgive and forget Rose’s ill-advised romp with a common criminal when it’s  captured for all time on Pastor Ted’s surveillance video – more importantly, can he?
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Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My publisher is Second Wind Publishing. Although they haven’t yet read the book or set a release date, I’m told they are eagerly awaiting the completion of my manuscript.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ve played with Wild Rose for the last 3 years and somehow managed to get 40,000 words written here and there along the way. I wrote the last 50,000 words in 30 days thanks to this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Theme-wise, I have no idea. I’m sure there are some, but I don’t know of anything similar. Although my book does not have the paranormal aspects hers does, I hope I’ve captured the Celtic cadence and voice even half as well as Nora Robert did in her Irish Jewels Trilogy – Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, and Heart of the Sea.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Since it was God who led me to my husband and”made me a pastor’s wife when I felt like I was probably the least suited, most unlikely person for the role, I would have to credit Him.  And, since God is also the master designer of this whole forgiving and forgetting concept… well, you get the idea.
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What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Wild Rose is the first of a Wildflowers of Scotland trilogy and will be followed by Blue Belle of Scotland, set in the picturesque  village of Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, and… I’m tossing around Shy Violet or Sweet William of Scotland. We’ll see what happens!
And now, I’d like to tag Maggie Rivers, the writer who’s trying to get you to buy her a shoe! A very big shoe…  Who will be agged next in “The Next Big Thing” blog chain?  Maybe you? Coming soon – more great authors! (How’s that for a cliff hanger?)

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Daybreak – New Release! (Sequel to Night & Day)

Night and Day

Golden Rod

Sweet William

Shy Violet

Blue Belle

Wild Rose

Thistle Down

Love Notes

Stormy Weather

Water Lily

Merry Go Round

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