“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

A Different Nest (at Adding Zest)

Hi folks - just a quick note that I'm over at Adding Zest (a wonderful blog about Christian marriage for wives) today, with a post about keeping love alive when your spouse has a disability or illness. Go see what I have to say about being in A Different Nest. And check out the other posts there. We ALL have things we can do to help add zest to our nest!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

A Broken Dryer As Answered Prayer

A few days ago, our dryer stopped working.

Oh, it still spins, but it doesn't warm up. Not even a little bit. So the clothes, naturally, don't get dry.

Unfortunately, I didn't discover this for sure (yeah, I'm slow) until I had three loads of laundry washed and wet.

So I needed another solution. Now I could have used the clothesline for some of it, but there was some pretty heavy stuff in there that needed more than just air - unless I wanted to wait a week. So I figured I had one other option.

So I checked google, and found out there is one just about two miles from our house (have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE that everything is relatively close to our home?). So I went.

I've been back twice since that day. Besides the regular laundry, that next night our cat puked on our comforter (sorry if that's TMI) - and we were running out of clothes again today.

Each time I got a bit more frustrated and tired of going.

But then I realized something.

For the past  several days, my wonderful, loving, sweet adorable children have been....well...less so. And the noise has been driving me crazy (PLEASE tell me I'm not the only family who goes through this in those weeks right before school starts! Love em, but I'm READY for them to go back). I had just been complaining (yeah - I know I'm not supposed to ::roll::) about my need for peace and quiet with a friend. And she reminded me that in just a few days I'd have it - once the kids were in school.

But God gave it to me early - inside that laundromat. I never would have left the kids home with the hubby unless I had to. And God knew that. So maybe, just maybe, He orchestrated a situation where I needed to do just that. And He gave me some time to recharge.

And those laundromat dryers are amazing. Got three loads of laundry dry in 25 minutes, for less than a dollar. And who won't pay 75 cents for some recharge time - and dry clothes to boot?

So He works EVERY situation for His good. Even a broken dryer.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (and yeah, I know this verse is a lot more profound than what I've shared, but hey - it fits!)
My husband's gonna call someone tomorrow to come fix the dryer. And someone will come - in God's timing. In the meantime, that laundromat isn't so bad. ;)

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

I've Redecorated ;) Have A Peek

I've been wanting a new, more streamlined look on my blog for a while, but have never had/taken the time to do it until now. I had lots of fun (LOL mostly!) over the past couple days tweaking and retweaking and making buttons and headers and other such doodads and gadgets (Thanks Peejers!), and I finally have it just the way I like it (for the moment, anyway!). I also wanted to sync my blog a bit more with my brand (Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence), so I could have a more "syncronized presence" (I may have just made up that phrase).

I'm also planning some more changes here at An Open Book over the next little bit, including, Lord willing, more regular posting on set topics that are important to me and hopefully you. There will be, of course, plenty of room for me to wiggle, but I've found I do better when I know what I'm supposed to do on a certain day. But I think I'll go into that later - perhaps on my goals and progress post coming up in a few days.

In the meantime, I'd love it if you'd stop by (if you're not reading this at the site of course!)and look around and tell me what you think. Would LOVE the feedback - positive or negative.

Oh, and if you're so inclined, grab my button :D

Joanne Sher An Open Book
Grab My Button!

Thanks for stopping by and giving me a look. Have a blessed day. :)

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Frank's Epistle To The Legend: Friday Fiction

Fiction Friday,button,karlene

Welcome to my contribution to Fiction Friday, hosted this week by Catrina Bradley at A Work In Progress! Make sure that you  link up with your own fiction at her lovely blog. Or, if you just want to read some great fiction (ALWAYS great in my opinion!),  check out the links there.
I grew up in a house full of boys, with a "tomboy" mom. In other words, if I wanted to EVER watch TV, I had to pick a sport to follow. Well, that sport, for me, was baseball. I'll admit I've lost my passion for it, especially since my husband isn't really a sports fan. But I still keep my eye on MLB here and there, and if the Dodgers are playing ANYONE, I want them to win. (Kinda getting that way about the Tigers too - kinda)

I wrote this piece for the "Sports or Fitness" challenge at FaithWriters. I had more fun researching this piece than any other one I did for FW. It came together in a very special, and surprising, way. Hope you enjoy it!

By Joanne Sher

4341 State Street
Detroit, Michigan, 48226
Friday, October 8, 1965

Mr. Sandy Koufax
Dodger Stadium
1000 Elysian Park Avenue
Los Angeles, California, 90012

Dear Mr. Koufax,

My name is Frank, and I am 12 years old and in the eighth grade. My English teacher said I need to write a letter to someone I admire, but I probably would have written to you eventually anyway.

I’ve been playing baseball (little league and stuff) since I was in first grade, and I love it. You are one of my
favorite baseball players of all time. I try to pitch just like you do, and I even have your rookie card. I was listening on the radio when you pitched that perfect game against the Cubs last month. It was amazing. I would love to see you pitch in person some day, but since I live in Detroit and the Tigers don’t play the Dodgers, I doubt it will happen. I sure hope so, though.

One of these days, I’m going to be a major league pitcher, just like you. I practice my pitching, fielding and batting all the time, and I’m playing every chance I get. I’m not as good as you are, but I may be some day! Do you have any advice for me? I’d love to be able to pitch a curveball like you can.

My dad told me how you were supposed to start the first game of the World Series against the Twins Wednesday, and you didn’t because it was a big Jewish holiday. Drysdale really did a lousy job for you, and I hate to say you didn’t do much better in game two yesterday. I hope you aren’t taking offense – I know we all have bad days. I just wonder if you wish you hadn’t celebrated that holiday. I think my dad told me you weren’t supposed to eat at all on that holiday. Maybe that’s why you weren’t pitching so well for game two.

I don’t think I’d ever let a holiday – even a big one – stop me from playing in the World Series. Of course, I’m not really religious. I guess I’m a Christian. I believe in God and all, and we go to church sometimes. I’m also gonna be going to Detroit Catholic Central High School next year. They have a great baseball program.

I wanted to say that it surprised me when I heard you weren’t going to play because of that holiday. I’m not sure I care about anything as much as I care about baseball. I guess it’s neat that being Jewish is so important to you. Believing in God sure isn’t for me.

Anyhow, I guess you guys are on your way to Dodger Stadium for game three right now, as I’m writing this! I sure hope the Dodgers win the World Series. Like I said, I’m a huge fan, and the Dodgers are my favorite national league team. I’ll be watching on TV, especially since game three is on Saturday and I won’t have to worry about school or anything.

I hope you don’t get too much grief for missing that game.

Frank Tanana, age 12

Author’s note: The interaction between these two men is fictional, but the men, and many of the details, are real.

Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers ended up winning the 1965 World Series. Koufax won two of the three games he pitched in the seven game series and was named MVP. He is still applauded by the Jewish community to this day for not playing in that World Series game, which fell on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

Frank Tanana was drafted by the California Angels in 1971 and pitched in the majors for 20 years (1973-1993), mostly for the Angels and the Detroit Tigers. His “claims to fame” were striking out 17 batters in one game in 1975 and becoming a Christian halfway through his major league career and ministering to the players. He and his wife live in the Detroit area and are involved in several Christian ministries to professional athletes.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to stop by Cat's blog for more great fiction.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Slaves vs Sons: Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third (note - this month the first and FOURTH) Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the Linky Tools gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

 Here's today's verse, which definitely got me thinking.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:6-7 NKJ
I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Mine are below.


The children of Israel knewquite well what it was like to be slaves. They had spent years under Pharoah in Egypt. They despised their bondage. It embittered them.

But then, along came Moses, who God used to release them from slavery.

And they lived happily ever after.

Oh - you mean you've read the story? You're not gonna let me get away with that, are you?

I tried ;)

ANYhow - the children of Israel were enslaved for hundreds of years, with little hope, or idea, of freedom. Just as the unsaved are enslaved by their sin. Many have no idea they are, and even those who do realize it see no way out.

But we don't have to be slaves. We have a choice.

If we will only accept Christ's sacrifice for our sins, the Lord will break the shackles that bind us to sin and set us free.

But we won't just be free. We will be sons. Sons of the living God. And as sons, we will inherit His Kingdom. His blessings. His nature.

Just as the children of Israel inherited the land of Israel, the heirs of God inherit His eternal kingdom, and His Holy Spirit as a comforter and adviser.

And there is no better gift.


Thanks for reading. Be sure to share your own thoughts and link up, and read the thoughts of others!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

A Writers' Meme (from FaithWriters' blog!)

This meme started at the FaithWriters' blog - and it looked way too fun to pass over!

OK…here’s how this works.
1. Copy and paste the following to the comments and replace my answers with your own.
2. If you have a blog, copy and paste these questions and your answers to your blog.
3. Challenge your readers to do the same on their blog.
If you don’t have a blog, skip #’s 2 & 3!
All of this week’s questions have to do with writing (hence, the title of this post: A Writer’s Meme)
Here are your questions (and my answers)

What’s your favorite genre of writing? Biblical Fiction
How often do you get writer’s block? On occasion
How do you fix it? Work on something else, or play FaceBook scrabble
Do you type or write by hand? Both - much of my writing (at least during the school year) is while sitting for a few minutes somewhere - often in the car. By hand is handy. I think I have 100 pages of handwritten words on my current fiction WIP. LOVE the puter tho. I'm planning to get all that input soon so I can see what I have - and FIX it!
Do you save everything you write? Most everything.
Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? Yup
Do you have a constructive critic? Patty Wysong (Peejers) and I do that for each other.
Did you ever write a novel? Have written a novel-length manuscript (nonfiction) and have a novel in the works.
What genre would you love to write but haven’t? Thanks to the FW genre quarter, I'm not sure I can say there is one.
What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? Can't think of one really
How many writing projects are you working on right now? Depends on how you define projects - but as far as large-scale, two
Do you write for a living? Do you want to? I'd like to, but don't - partly due to lack of time (don't ask about the other part LOL - or would that be GM?)
Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? Yes - have had a handful of pieces published in magazines, and I worked as a newspaper reporter for a few years.
Have you ever won an award for your writing? Yup
Do you ever write based on your dreams? I've gotten dreams about what I was writing - does that count?
Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? Depends on the story. And my mood.

And now it's YOUR turn! Respond below, put your answers on your blog, or both. Enjoy.
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Abba - Monday Manna for August 23, 2010

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the Linky Tools gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

Heavenly Father. We say it, but how much do we think about what it really means? Hopefully more over this weekend ;)

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:6-7 NKJ

Looking forward to hearing your insights and thoughts! See you on Monday!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

We Have A Winner (and not just in my giveaway)

Thanks so much, folks, for all the support and encouragement about the FaithWriters' conference and pitching and all that fun stuff. My update is below. But FIRST,

It's time to take care of some business.

I had 21 entries :D - and by running it through the random number generator, the winner of my birthday book giveaway of Delivered by Peculiar People (LOL including this peculiar person), signed by six of the contributors (FYI - me, Joanney Miller, Lisa Mikitarian, Amy Michelle Wiley, Dub Wright, and Jan Ross) is...

LYNDA SCHAB (who was AT the conference - and whose giveaway I won last week. But this is not a reciprocal thing. Truly. I used the random number generator. AND, by the way, Lynda is ALWAYS winning things. A-L-W-A-Y-S!!)

So, Lynda, send me your address and I'll mail it out to ya this week (or if I'm really ambitious, drop it by your house)

ANYWAY - the conference. If I hadn't started with the giveaway, I would say that I don't know where to start. The people were AMAZING. The sessions, without exception, were annointed and helpful and funny and  wonderful. I learned so much in EVERY one. I can't even pick a favorite. From trends in publishing to blogging to characterization to agent tips to the proper attitude toward rejection (okay - MAYBE that was the one I got the most out of. MAYBE), I came out of the conference so much more prepared to continue my writing for God's glory than I was when I walked in.

I LOVED working the book table - and WE WEREN'T SHORT MONEY THIS YEAR! (can I get an AMEN, Peej and Scott?) The fudge, the truffles, and the food in general was exceptional. And then, of course, the games after hours. More fun than I've had in a long time (maybe about this time last year??). Where else can you start out with "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and end up with "Squid Love" (you had to be there, I'm guessing)? And let me tell you - there is no better way to find out how crazy and creative your friends are than to play a game of Things with them.

AND, I pitched - and she wants my book proposal! Sending it off THIS week. Exciting stuff (and I may just have picked up a bit of a proofreading for pay job while there too).

I may blog more about it once I've had a chance to let it all meld in my mind. But it was an incredible blessing. Can't wait for the next one!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

As Of Late (August)

One of my VERY favorite websites, Exemplify Online, started a monthly meme on the 15th of each month that is an absolute FAVORITE of mine.  Click here for details.

Check out Kristen's post for more "As Of Lates" - and join in there.

Now it's my turn:

Lately, I've been preparing and preparing for something that was even better than I imagined
Lately, I've spent some amazing time with some amazing friends
Lately, I've learned new ways to be a better wife to my husband
Lately, I've been confused by my emotions
Lately, I've been reminded that my emotions should not be the basis of my decisions
Lately, I've had too much to do - but God has allowed me to get most of it done anyway
Lately,  my heart has been full
Lately, I've been counting down the days until school starts
Lately, I've wondered if "all that time" I'll have when the kids are back in school really WILL be that much more than I have now.
Lately, I've set my goals high

And I've been wondering what you've been doing as of late.

Click here for more "As Of Late"
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Signed SIX times (off to the FaithWriters' Conference!)

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the FaithWriters' Conference in Livonia, Michigan. This is the third time they've had one here in the US - and the third time I've gone. This time, I'm taking a bus so I can have some "alone time" (I know that sounds crazy, but even  if there is noise it won't be MY RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE IT GET QUIETER!). It's about a 3 1/2 hour ride, so not too bad at all.

Most of you know I'm pitching my nonfiction manuscript, Ailing Body, Nourished Soul to an editorial assistant of Literary Agent Terry Burns. Yeah - I'm nervous, but it's all in God's hands, right?

Another thing I'll be doing is "collecting signatures." You probably know I have a book giveaway going on at my blog right now (if you haven't entered yet - CLICK here - deadline is Sunday!). The book is a group novel called Delivered, by Peculiar People books. I am one of 25 authors who contributed to this fascinating book - and at least half a dozen of the authors will be at the FaithWriters' conference! SO, not only am I gonna get them to sign MY copy of the book - but I'll have them sign the one I'm giving away too.

So - have you entered the giveaway yet? Don't forget to go to my birthday blog post and enter (and if you reply to THIS post, that'll be another entry).

See ya after the conference!! (SOOOOO excited!!)

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Thirst: Word-Filled Wednesday

Only FOUR DAYS until my birthday giveaway ends. Have you entered? You'll get a chance to have a signed (by as many as six of the 25 authors!) copy of the group novel Delivered. Click here to enter, and here for more information about Delivered itself.
Welcome to Word-Filled Wednesday, hosted at The Internet Cafe. Be sure to click above for more visual inspiration from scripture.

It's been hot here, and I've been drinking more liquids than usual. If only I would remember to do the same with His living water... :)

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

 Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit The Internet Cafe for more

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Our Precious Blooms

First - have you entered my birthday giveaway? I'm sending a signed (by as many as half a dozen people) copy of the group novel "Delivered." Click here to enter and for more info.
I do NOT have a green thumb. It's not that plants die when I approach them, it's that I often neglect them. If I put my priorities in the right place, who knows? The hanging basket on my front porch might actually have more green than brown.

Plants and our children are a lot alike.  Come see the parallels I found and shared at my post "Children: Our Most Precious Blooms" at the Marriage Counter at the Internet Cafe.

And don't forget to water YOUR plants (and your kids).

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

The Kind of Showing That's Hard for Me

First - have you entered my birthday giveaway? I'm sending a signed (by as many as half a dozen people) copy of the group novel "Delivered." Click here to enter and for more info.
Those of you who are writers know that one of the cardinal rules of good prose is "show - don't tell." You can probably find dozens of explanations of exactly what this means, but in a nutshell, the rule is this: describe what is going on, with detail, instead of simply stating it.

For example, telling: "Sarah was tired."

Showing: "Sarah plodded into the room, her eyes drooping. She yawned and stretched, trying to focus on finding her bed."

People are more invested in, more interested in, your characters if they see what they are doing and know how they are feeling.  Showing like this is the mark of a good writer, especially of fiction. (Journalists don't deal with this much. Just the facts, yanno?)

Generally, I would say I'm pretty good at descriptions and showing the action in my writing. I enjoy getting into my characters' heads and sharing their experiences, struggles, thoughts and secrets. It's part of the writing process that I enjoy.


You see, just recently, a dear friend who happens to be editing my nonfiction manuscript had a word with me about showing and telling. Basically, the words were not enough of the former and too much of the latter.

I puzzled over this for a while, until I realized why I wasn't describing events and emotions as much as I generally do.
Because they were MY events, and MY emotions.
When I wrote about difficult times in my life (and trust me, these were DIFFICULT), I was subconsciously afraid to have to live through it again. If I showed the anxiety, the confusion, the fear, and the uncertainty I felt through my written words, those very same emotions would return. I would be transported back, and relive some of the toughest times I had ever been through.

But if I'm going to share the hope and encouragement God gave me through this experience, I have to share the struggles He lifted me from. I have to show the pain, so I can show the healing. If I am going to reach people with the nourished soul God created in my husband's ailing body, they have to feel what I felt.

So, with God's help, I'm gonna go against my natural tendency to put the tough stuff under my skin, and put it out there more on the page. I will go through the emotions again - live it again - so I can SHOW my readers my weakness, and God's power.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

"It's My Party, And..." (also a giveaway)

Wasn't sure what to write for today's post.

I went back and looked at my last two posts from this date - and I was actually pretty impressed with them. On August 3, 2008, I wrote about how we should look at Sundays. On August 3, 2009, it was Monday Manna, and I wrote on Philippians 4:9 - and how we should ALL be imitating Christ so well that we could say, as Paul did, that we should imitate him.

But somehow, for some reason, I don't feel like I have any specific words of wisdom for you on August 3, 2010. So, I guess, I'll just share words.

Yeah - if you haven't guessed - it's my birthday today. I'm now a whopping 43 years old. I'm not shy to share my age - never really have been (though I've tried to convince people I was older on occasion - not recently, trust me!). And, in all honesty, I LOVE birthdays. I'm still a little kid that way. LOVE to get cards. LOVE to get phone calls and emails and tweets and FB notes from folks. Presents are nice too - and special meals. And I love to make a big deal about others' birthdays too. To me, it's just plain fun.

But HEY - I just thought of something! Sure, it's MY birthday - but maybe what I should do is give YOU GUYS a present! (some people call it a giveaway - but cuz it's on my birthday, it's a present. Got it?)

And what will it be, you ask? How about...a copy of a book that several of my writing friends and I have a story in? With some of those very stories signed? How does that sound?

An immigrant and her young daughter, struggling to reach their dream…a special needs child, searching for hope…a newly released ex-con, seeking forgiveness. They have one thing in common—they’re about to be touched by God in a way they never imagined.

All through a simple postcard.

Brought up in a strict Muslim home in London, Sulafa has recently experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Now, despite fear of discovery and its consequences, she knows she has to spread the good news. In an act of bravery, she sends out postcards with a single message: Let me pray for you. Her simple postcard request impacts lives and brings hope in the midst of hopelessness. Check out http://peculiarpeoplebooks.com/postcard-project.htm for more info.
This contest will run from today, MY birthday, through Sunday, August 15 - MY HUSBAND'S birthday (yes, I am exactly 12 days older than he is - and do I EVER hear about it! LOL). I'll announce a winner on August 16. I will, by the way, be picking up my copy from the FaithWriters' Writing Conference in Livonia Michigan (still not too late to sign up) August 13 and 14. And some of the writers of the book will be there - and as many as I can find will sign it for you. :) I can pretty much guarantee two - probably more.

To enter, all you have to do is comment on this post, and leave me your email address if I can't get a hold of you through your profile (LOL or if I don't already HAVE your email address!). May come up with other ways to win, but this is it for now :D

OK - now I am feeling better about this post. It may not be profound, but I get to give out a PRESENT--on my OWN birthday! :D

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Even the Tough Stuff: Monday Manna

The purpose of Monday Manna is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word.

On the first and third (note - this month the first and FOURTH) Mondays of each month, anyone who wants to participate can post their thoughts on a specific verse--posted here at my blog on the Thursday before, to allow you to chew on it over the weekend. It doesn't have to be long -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Just post it on your blog on Mondayish (early OR late is fine, by the way!), then come back here and link up in the Linky Tools gadget that will be at the bottom of MY post at o'dark thirty that morning.

This week's verse spoke to me when I read it - a lot. And, as is God's way, even more as I thought it through over the weekend.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous things! Psalm 72:18 NKJ
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Mine are below.


When I look outside and see the beauty of God's creation, I often pause in wonder. When I think about the incredible family the Lord has provided for me, I am again full of wonder. And, when I think of the amazing gifts He has given me, I am blown away by how wondrous they are - and He is.

But those are not the only times I should be moved by the wonder of my Lord.

Look at this verse. Closely. The Lord only does wondrous things. Nothing God does is ordinary. Everything about Him is full of wonder. We should be in awe about everything our Lord does- whether it benefits us or not, because it is awesome, and wondrous, and part of His plan.

It's hard to think of, say, a brain tumor, a rejection slip, a death, a natural disaster, or a prodigal as a reason to bless the Lord. But that's exactly what this verse in psalms is asking us to do. Even the tough stuff is wondrous, because, if we look at it through God's eyes, we will know that He will make it all work out in His good, perfect, eternal plan.

And if that isn't wonderful, I don't know what is.


Thanks for reading. Be sure to share your own thoughts and link up, and read the thoughts of others!

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

Eek!! Welcome to AUGUST

I really, truly, and COMPLETELY cannot believe that July is over and done with. And here it is, August 1: the birthday of HALF A DOZEN of my FB friends - and my aunt. And as wonderful as all those events are, that is NOT what this post is about.

No, my friends, this post is about how I did for my goals for July, and what my goals for August are. (But happy birthday anyway, Jill, Leah, Jennifer, Tracy, Terrie, D. Rajan Immanuel, and Aunt Tzippy!)

But, I digress. Back to business. My goals for July were:

  1. Write 10,000 words in my current WIP, Handmaiden to a Princess.
  2. Tighten up/perfect/prepare my manuscript Ailing Body, Nourished Soul for pitching.
  3. Begin putting together the paperwork I'll need (proposal? etc.) to pitch my book.
  4. Post to my blog twice a week
  5. Enter the Faithwriters' challenge in July (though this one will be the first "to go" if I can't handle all this stuff!
Well - there they are. And, yeah, I was afraid of that. Didn't do so great. Guess I'll go one by one.
1 - Made a bit more than half of that - check the counter below to see. But that's okay - cuz my emphasis REALLY needed to be on Ailing Body, Nourished Soul

5360 / 10000 words. 54% done!
2- Worked on it quite a bit. Not done - in fact, there is much to do, partly because of a very dear and well-respected friend looking it over and giving me some EXCELLENT advice that I truly feel called to input.
3 - Now THIS took up a lot of my time. Once I saw how elaborate and in-depth the proposal was, a good deal of my time went here. I am QUITE close to finished with the rough draft of this-need to finish the comparables and add some more to the marketing plan, and that's it.
4 - I am pleased to say that I posted AT LEAST two posts a week - a total of 12 for the month. woo!
5 - I said this would be first to go - and it was. No challenge entry this month.

But July is behind me - time to focus on AUGUST! And that would be the month of the FaithWriters' conference - in Livonia, Michigan August 13 and 14, where I'll be pitching Ailing Body, Nourished Soul. Yeah, I'm nervous. But I MAY have my pitch, my proposal is almost done, and I WILL get at least my sample chapters up to snuff by then.

So...my goals for August are
  1. Write 3,000 words in my current WIP, Handmaiden to a Princess (do NOT wanna stop the momentum!)
  2. Finish my book proposal for Ailing Body, Nourished Soul (no later than August 10)
  3. "Fix" my three proposal chapters of ABNS no later than August 7, and continue working on the remaining chapters until they are done.
  4. Enter Ailing Body, Nourished Soul in the Houston Writers' Guild Fall Novel/Screenplay Contest (deadline is September 3 - and it has to go through snail mail)
  5. Post a minimum of twice a week to my blog
  6. Enter the FaithWriters' Writing Challenge once in August.
Well, there they are folks. I'm REALLY appreciative of your prayer (and am gonna need them especially this month!). And, just FYI, the ticker on my sidebar this month will not be counting words in my WIP, but will, instead, be keeping track of chapters "fixed." Ailing Body, Nourished Soul is 30 chapters - please cheer me on as I plug away!
Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

My One Word: 2016 and 2017

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