Monthly Archives: March 2016

Click on the title of the blog post to view the entire entry.


at it again

Like a crazy person, I have started writing a new book, even though I’m in the middle of editing my current book. No details to give yet, but I’m having so much fun writing this one already. Last night, I spent a good amount of time “driving” along the Pacific Coast Highway using Google Street View for research. I really wish Jake and I could just hop on a plane and physically go there to do research, but I’m thankful for technology that allows me to at least see the area in pictures.

I found this beautiful photo the other night of the pier in Malibu and shared it on my Facebook Author page. It is breathtaking. Part of the new story takes place in this area and I’m excited to learn more about it and hopefully do it justice in the book.

Happy Wednesday, all. We’re about to start Spring Break in a couple days! Wish we were on our way to Malibu. ;)

hello, monday


What a nice weekend we had. It was an early Easter celebration at my parents’ farm with our annual egg coloring and cookie decorating on Saturday, then a nice meal with my family on Palm Sunday and a little egg hunt. The kids are teenagers now, but Chloe insisted on doing the hunt. I love that she still wants to do it. So my mom and my brother, Rick, went out and hid a bunch of eggs for the kids to find. It was a gorgeous day with lots of bright sunshine, but the breeze was bitterly cold. My fingers were numb by the time I was done taking pictures.

After all the candy was sorted into bags for each of the kids (seriously, they have like 5 pounds of candy each!), we played a game of Settlers of Catan. Zach won! Chloe and I kept battling for longest road. She snatched it from me more than once. We always have fun when we play that game, but this particular round took us hours, so we were happy when Zach finally built a settlement and won the game.

We hung out for a while afterwards. Jake and Chloe took a walk down the lane. We looked at old photobooks I had made for Mom for Christmas, which made me really want to get out my big camera and take more pictures. I’ve fallen into using only my phone for photos over the past few years, which is fine. It takes nice pictures. But not the same as the Canon. Must challenge myself to carry it along with me more often.

ALSO AROUND HERE:

• Jake has a couple job prospects this week. We are praying that something will come from one of them if this is the direction God wants him to go.

• Zach signed up for his classes for JUNIOR YEAR this past week. What? How is he so close to being done with high school. He’s been getting mailings from colleges all over the place already inviting him to get more information and check out their schools. It’s craziness.

• Chloe is nearing the end of her gymnastics season. She has decided this will be her final season. It’s been so fun seeing her excel in gymnastics over the past four years, but she doesn’t love it like she used to and I’m not going to force her to stay in. I always wanted to be Mary Lou Retton or Nadia Comaneci when I was Chloe’s age, so having a daughter in gymnastics has been a dream.

• I spent a couple late nights working on more revisions of Until Then this weekend after receiving some very helpful feedback. I think it’s very nearly ready (the story anyway). Still have lots of copy editing to do, then the fun of formatting for paperback and ebook. Coming right along for the MAY 24th RELEASE!

• I started reading Anne of Green Gables last night. It’s been many, many years since I last read it. I’m in the progress of reading a couple other books already, but this is sort of research for me. The character in my next book LOVES Anne of Green Gables (as do I), so I thought I might take some inspiration from it before I sit down to start writing her story.

Praying you all have a wonderful week. Only two more weeks until our Spring Break begins. That’s something to be thankful for. ;)

this year so far


It’s been a while since I did my hello, monday posts and shared what’s been happening around here. Most of the time, I’m sharing on Facebook or Instagram (my favorite!) so I don’t take the extra time to post here. But I love my blog. This space has been my little place on the web to share for over ten years now, so while my posts are a little more sparse these days because I’m writing books and editing them, I still want to share here sometimes.

The past couple months have been stressful and calming at the same time. Let me explain.

We celebrated Chloe’s 13th birthday quietly with gift giving and a little cake and ice cream at my parents’ house. She wanted a huge party, of course, but we decided to make this one low-key. After a lot of middle school drama this year, it’s hard to know which of her friends are actually true, loyal friends. This age is difficult to maneuver through, and hard for me as I’m the one who’s had to deal with the phone calls and texts from parents and some hurtful comments made about Chloe online by other girls. It’s unfortunate that Chloe’s 7th grade year has had to be like this, but we’re getting through it with a lot of prayer and conversations with Chloe and support from friends like you. It’s hard to explain to your daughter why not everyone is going to like her. Not everyone is going to get her loud, goofy personality or how much she loves to laugh. Not everyone will understand how she can get mad and roll her eyes one second, but then be over it the next because she doesn’t hold grudges. They won’t care that she’s deeply emotional and sometimes just needs to cry. Or how she’s not afraid to tell someone if she thinks they are being mean or rude or inappropriate. They won’t like that about her, but it’s actually one of the things I’m most proud of. I think one thing she’s learning this year is that God has totally got her. He’s looking out for her. He is bigger than all of this, and she is so special and beautiful and amazing in His eyes. That’s what I want her to remember. Every day as she walks the halls. No matter what people say about her or do to her, she is a daughter of the King, and she is loved beyond belief. Her worth is not determined by what these other girls think about her, but by Jesus alone.

Another thing that’s happened in the new year is that my husband lost his job in January. After 8 years, the company he worked for did away with his position. I really hate the words “corporate restructuring”. It’s sad when huge companies do this and good, loyal employees lose their jobs. :( So we are praying for God’s guidance as we move forward and as Jake seeks a new job. Ever since he found out, we’ve both felt a kind of calm about it. Like this felt right. Like God has a greater plan in place for Jake’s job situation. It’s not easy. We’ve been in this situation before (nearly ten years ago) when another company he worked for closed. But it feels different this time around. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time, but we’re trusting.

I mentioned that it’s been a calming time, too. Writing and editing my latest book, Until Then, has been so good for me. This book has brought me to tears so many times, and I feel like God wanted me to tell Michelle’s story. When I first published Goodbye, Magnolia, I never planned to make it a series. It was a fun, light, romantic story, and I thought that was it. I would just move on to something else. But the more I thought about the character of Michelle, the more I wondered what her story was, who she was before she came to be Maggie’s college roommate, where she came from, and what happened to her after the events of Goodbye, Magnolia. From the time I got the idea to the time I finished the first draft, only two weeks had passed. Seriously, her story just flowed out of me and I was kind of shocked by how fast it came out. After the first of the year, I really started getting serious about editing, and the book has been a place I’ve loved visiting every time I sit down at my computer to work. It’s brought me happiness and times of reflection, and I know I’ve learned a lot more about writing and shaping a story through this whole process.

We’ve had some fun these past months, too. Coffee date with Chloe. Movie night at the farm. Gymnastics meets. Snow days. Reading. Watching movies. Playing games. Lunch with Jen and planning our summer camping trip.

I’ve been addicted to the game 2048 for probably a couple years now and I FINALLY got to 2048. When I reached that number finally, a message popped up that said my goal was now to reach 4096. Argh! I just can’t seem to stop playing it. ;)

This month kicked off with a couple snow days, which then turned into 60-70 degree days that have melted all the snow away. THAT is the best news of all. This winter has been pretty mild, but I am so ready for spring.

How has your 2016 been so far? What kinds of things have you been dealing with? I’d love to hear and pray for you if you need it. Feel free to comment below.

how to make sure you see my Facebook posts

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It seems like they make changes all the time that affect the way we see posts. I’ll ask Jake if he saw something I shared on my Author Page, and he’s constantly telling me it never came up in his news feed even though he “liked” my page a long time ago. I’ve had the same experience with pages I like and people I follow, too, and it’s frustrating – as a Facebook friend, but also as an author trying to connect with my readers. If they can’t see my posts and stay up to date on my book projects, then what’s the point?

A fellow author recently shared this in an author group I’m a part of and I had no idea this was a thing. So I whipped up these images to show you. Do you follow my Author page? Do you wish you would see all of my posts? Well, here’s how you can.

STEP ONE
Go to my Facebook Author Page and click the DOWN ARROW next to “LIKED”.

 
STEP TWO
Turn on “See First” under IN YOUR NEWS FEED and “All On” under NOTIFICATIONS.

Voila! A few quick clicks and you’re all set!

If you haven’t yet followed my author page, click over HERE and do so today. Hope this helps us to stay connected. :)

AJAXed with AWP