One line of an almost too-familiar favorite worship song struck me recently … “every blessing You pour out, I’ll turn back to praise.”
|I love my flowers! Pansies and lobelia.
The first day of a new year is a good time for recapping the blessings of the previous one, especially when said year was so packed with real life that I didn’t take the time to adequately document it.
|And my clematis …
· All year:The incredible peace of knowing that, despite the awful separation from our four older children, that God has them right where He wants them.
|Even the view from my backyard is therapeutic
· March: Defending Truth was a finalist in the RITA, a major national contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. As a result of that, I made the decision to attend RWA’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Both of these were extremely unexpected!
|RITA finalists get to have their book at the store table…wow!
· July, again: The conference in San Antonio wound up being an absolutely amazing experience. No, I didn’t win my category, but to have my humble little inspirational story (that’s the industry’s code word for Christian) up there in a category ruled by some pretty spicy romance novellas seemed absolutely incredible to me, and was a huge honor. I felt absolutely lost sometimes, knowing about a dozen people in a crowd of over two thousand, but God blessed me with an amazing “blind date” roomie and a handful of new friendships … with the sense of His presence overshadowing me in the midst of a decidedly not-Christian conference (and I don’t mean that as a slam to RWA, just a statement of their intent to cover every shade and nuance of romance fiction) … and with my first choice of appointments with one editor and one agent. My editor appointment, with a young man from Kensington, proved an unexpected delight as we discussed everything from colonial history to Charleston in the allotted ten minutes … and he asked for the full on Loyalty’s Cadence. The agent appointment was with Sue Brower, a former editor at Zondervan, who I’d had the honor of meeting informally at last year’s ACFW. Surprise, she remembered me, and seemed honestly delighted on my behalf at my being a RITA finalist. In preparing for that appointment, I’d cheated a bit and cross-referenced the information she had available for the upcoming ACFW conference, and so came prepared with pitch sheets on my various stories. She took them all and promised to be in touch in regards to what she wanted to see, specifically.
|A new phone means a few selfies! With a bestie, of course 🙂
· July (yes, still!): In the meantime 🙂 one of my closest writing friends and critique partners, Beth, was able to attend the RWA awards gala as my guest, spend the night, and tour the Alamo with me and another friend the next day. I fell in love with that little piece of Texas and its history …
|a historic church and the marvel of the St. Louis Arch
· October:… a dizzying series of events beginning with one of the editors at ACFW asking for the full manuscript on Loyalty, which brought the total of moderately to seriously interested publishers to an astounding three, and ending with me signing on as a client with one Susan Brower of the Natasha Kern Agency. 🙂
|My newest cover! Coming May 2015
So, there you have it … in my family life, a cross-country move, new church, new friends and neighbors, heartbreaking medical crises, and the joy of a wedding. In my writing life, an amazing bit of recognition on my debut novella, another contract, an agent, and some seriously not-insignificant interest from editors on a project very dear to my heart. Blessings in the joy … blessings even in the tears and hardships. The Lord has been in all of it.