"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

12/30/11

Finds for Fridays: December 30

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

A Jar of Cotton Balls by Elaine Marie Cooper at Reflections in Hindsight (about a Christmas tradition that brought tears to my eyes)

Maybe by Donna Emery at Jewels of Encouragement (about homelessness and a Christmas miracle)

The Quiet Pause of Christmas at Peace for the Journey by Elaine Olsen (about silence and peace)

I AM... not that guy By Karlene Jacobsen at Jewels of Encouragement (about fathers and trust and God)

Who Did You Learn That From? Know Your Sources by Scott Eagan at Babbles by Scott Eagan (about who you should learn from. A "duh" I definitely needed!)

Enjoy these wonderful posts. You WILL be blessed. Of THAT I am certain :D

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/28/11

Looking Forward: My direction, etc. for 2012

Now that I've reviewed my goals from last year, and reported on how I did (check out Monday's post if you missed it), it's time to look forward into 2012.

One thing that I am planning to change (somewhat, anyway), is my blog. I'm taking on something of a new schedule.
Mondays: A devotional post - connected to Living By Grace , a Christian community on Facebook. Living By Grace is a modern-day, gather at the well experience designed to foster relationship-building while encouraging a closer walk with the Savior. Five amazing women and I each host one day each week.

Wednesdays: God Is So Good - a new weekly series sharing God's work in struggles - mostly written by me with an occasional guest post. Some posts may be stories I've written, though most will be true. If you have a blessing you think might fit, drop me a note (click here to drop me an email)

Thursdays: 3rd Thursday: As of Late (hosted by my dear friend Critty Joy). Another Thursday (not sure which): Writing stuff I've learned (more info below).

Fridays: Finds for Fridays - linkups to my favorite friends'/etc/ blog posts of the week.

Of course, I'll be doing other posts as I am so inspired, but these I'm hoping will be my constants. I'm certain I'll be participating in Patty Wysong's resurrected A2Z4UandMe at least some in the new year, as well as these goal and progress posts once a month. And who knows what else?


Another thing that is changing is my focus. God has given me a new verse for 2012, and a graphic to go with it.

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.(Luke 2:40 NASB)
I know the Child in this verse is Jesus, but I am ALSO the Lord's child. God has impressed on me the need to learn more about the craft of writing - and novel-writing in particular. NaNoWriMo taught me that writing novels does not come "naturally" to me - my writing style is more episodic, and I have trouble extending conflict.

So, I'm taking this year to learn as much as I can about writing in general, and novel writing in particular through classes, blogs, conferences as feasible, craft books, magazines. I will then apply it to what I have written in 2011, and improve it - writing more using that information. PLUS - sharing what I learned in a monthly  blog post (see above :D).

And, to be a bit more specific, here are my four goals for 2012:
  1. Learn as much as I can about writing from various places, applying what I've learned to Handmaiden To A Princess and any other writing I do.
  2.  Restructure my non-fiction book Ailing Body, Nourished Soul into more of a "help" book, and get the new version out to publishers/agents.
  3. Work with Jennifer Slattery to put together the second Story of Faith devotional book (New Testament biblical fiction devotionals for tweens).
  4. Continue to build my name recognition/platform.
So, there are my plans for 2012. With God's direction - and your encouragement - I know I will make much progress this coming year.

Have you set goals for 2012? Have you determined a focus for the new year?


Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/26/11

How'd I Do in 2011?

I'm a goal-setter, as many of you know. And one important part of the whole goal process is looking back and seeing "how you did." And, being as there's less than a week of this year left, I figured now was as good a time as any to look back at those goals I set for 2011 back in January. And I can tell you that it was NOT my best year. But let's get specific. SO - here are my goals, straight from last year's post:
  • Get an agent for my nonfiction MS Ailing Body, Nourished Soul (the professional edit for it is 99.9% done--once it's complete, it's heading to the agent's assistant who requested it. If that isn't enough, I query others)
  • Complete AT LEAST THE SECOND DRAFT of my Biblical fiction, Handmaiden to a Princess
  • Keep my name "out there" - keep building my platform (facebook, twitter, blogging, reading blogs, guest blogging, writing for group blogs, etc.)
  • Keep my "life priorities" in order (spending time with the family, keeping the house clean(er), being more attentive, etc.)
  • Once a month (generally on the first Tuesday of each month), have a technology fast day. No computer. No email. No internet. No texting. (this scares me, but I am SO feeling called to do it, and I probably need MORE than that.)
So, I suppose we should go through these one by one. Agent? Nope. Though it was not for lack of trying. I submitted to nine different agents, with no acceptance, though some gave me INCREDIBLE feedback - including a suggestion to make it more of a "how-to" book - which sounds good to me :)

Second draft of Handmaiden to A Princess? Again, no - but I have made progress, and have learned a LOT about my writing, and what I still NEED to learn. I really HAVE grown in my writing, and know where I'm going - sorta ;).

Keeping name out there? Pretty good, I'd say. Am involved in another group blog and a facebook devotional community, I write for the FaithWriters blog, and my presence on Facebook and twitter have expanded (plus what I was already doing!).

As far as life priorities, you might wanna ask my hubby, but I think I am doing better in general.

My Tech-Free Tuesdays have DEFINITELY been a success. They have been wonderful for me, and I have completely succeeded with "staying away" (with the exception of one month when I fell on my face and needed text message moral support :::roll::: ).

So, not bad. Not great, but not bad. But overall, I think I did pretty well in keeping with my 2011 verse:
clipartNevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever  situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. 1 Corinthians 7:17 NIV (emphasis mine)
I think I DID, generally, bloom where I was planted. :)

And as far as goals for next year? Check out Wednesday's post for that (this one was getting a bit long. Don't you think? ;)).


How did YOU do for any goals you set for 2011?

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/24/11

Joy to the World

The Lord is Come...

Praying your Christmas is merry and Christ-filled.


Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/23/11

Finds For Fridays: December 23

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

You Can Let It Go Now by Lynda Schultz at Jewels of Encouragement (about guilt and His sacrifice for it)

Why Did They Cry? by Dee Yoder at My Heart's Dee-Light (about grace, the Amish, and death)

Being Mary by Linda Yezak at 777 Peppermint Place (about Mary - just beautiful)

What's Your Brick Wall? by Rachelle Gardner at her blog (about obstacles and what they can do FOR us)

Hope you'll enjoy these posts - I know they blessed me :) Be sure to check them out.

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/21/11

To Ponder - Word-Filled Wednesday

Haven't participated in Word-Filled Wednesday in a while - but this verse BEGGED to be illustrated :) A favorite verse of mine - especially for this time of year (for more reasons than one!)



But Mary treasured up all these things, and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Don't forget to treasure and ponder in this season of busyness!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by The Internet Cafe for more Word-Filled Wednesday!
 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/19/11

I'm JoEing today :D

If you're looking for Monday Manna, click here.



Check out my post at JoE today! I'm talking about absolutes - mostly the bad ones - it's a lesson we all need to learn. Come see how I surrendered my never - and be encouraged!



 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

Pondering




Living by Grace
Welcome to the combined Monday Manna with Living By Grace (click here for this new Facebook community). The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. Each Thursday, a Bible verse to ponder will be posted, either here or at my dear friend Vonnie's blog, My Back Door. The following Monday, those participating will post their thoughts on the verse at their own blogs and link up at the bottom of the post in the Mr. Linky  gadget. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another.

AND now, we'll also be discussing the devotional - and thoughts about it - at Living By Grace.

I'm hosting today - and here's the verse:
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
 Looking forward to your thoughts. Mine are below.

**

"Busy."

If you know me more than just in passing, that's the response you're most likely to get from me if you ask me how I am. (otherwise, the answer is "fine. How are you?") And not just today - or during the Christmas season. With two kids in elementary school, a husband on disability, writing jobs and projects and ministries here there and everywhere, and the other stuff I'm not remembering at the moment, my life is full.

And I know I'm not the only one. In today's society, relaxation is abnormal, and free time is an anomaly. If we aren't busy all the time, we obviously haven't taken on quite enough.

But, besides the exhaustion and burnout that come from trying to move at the speed of light (especially this time of year!), there is another huge problem with running about like a chicken with your head cut off.

There's no time to reflect.

God wants us to "be still." We often won't hear His voice unless we are. Remember - when God spoke to Elijah, it wasn't in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire. He was in a gentle whisper - and we have to be still and QUIET if we want to hear.

But maybe we CAN find time, even in our busyness.

Look at Mary. She'd spend days riding (and not in a car, folks) from Nazareth to Galilee. That's eighty miles. And she was pregnant. VERY pregnant. Her mind had to have been spinning. And then, when it was time to give birth? She wasn't in a comfortable hospital - or even a bed. She was outdoors. Her baby had to rest in a manger instead of a bed.

And when she was done giving birth, did she get some peace or solitude? Nope - the shepherds came and interrupted any quiet she might have had.

But still, in the midst of it, she took the time to reflect, to put the busyness aside and contemplate all that was going on. She "treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

Can't you do the same? All the gifts. The family. God's birth as a baby. Even your struggles. They are ALL from the Lord. Treasure them and ponder them in your heart. You won't be sorry you did - and you may even get a message - or a blessing.

**

Thanks for reading. Be sure to link up below with your own thoughts - and stop over at Living By Grace to join the discussion!




Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/16/11

Finds for Fridays: December 16

Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

God Lives Under The Bed By Joy Bach at Life Moments (about faith like a child)

Never Give Up by Kimberly Russell at Roar of a Lioness (about priorities and perseverance)

A Lesson for Writers from Jonah and the Whale by Jeannie Campbell at The Character Therapist (about giant successes, and little failures)

The #1 Gift You Can Give for Christmas by Jessica R. Patch at her blog (about little Jesus getting - and giving - gifts)

Living with a 92% by Elaine Olsen at Peace For The Journey (about striving for perfection and living in our best effort)

Hope you'll take the time to check these posts out, and maybe even follow the blogs. You won't be sorry.

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/15/11

And the winner of Polar Bear Plunge is...

On Tuesday, I got to interview the lovely, funny, and dear Linda Glaz about her debut novel, Polar Bear Plunge. Anyone who commented (and didn't already own the book!) was entered in a drawing. And just now, with the help of random.org, I chose a name to win a free e-copy of Polar Bear Plunge. And the winner is:


SUNNY!

  Congrats, Sunny! Watch your email. :)

And if you didn't win - don't despair. You can pick it up for a dollar or less here or here. A great read - truly!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

As Of Late: December 15

Photobucket

This monthly meme shows up on the third Thursday of the month. It's an opportunity to look back on the past month and see what you've been up to lately - and share it with blogdom. Stop by Christy's blog and check out her post, link up at the bottom, and read others' posts as well. Just plain fun!

And now it's my turn :)

LATELY, I've felt God nudging (okay - maybe RAMMING) me to reexamine my writing goals.


LATELY, I've been spending less time on the computer - and it has been good.


LATELY, I've been longing for a jammie day (and I may just get one in the next couple weeks!!)


LATELY, I've rekindled my love for Philippians 4


LATELY,  I've figured out that my desire for direction is partly an obsession with control (yikes!)


LATELY, I've NOT felt swept up in the madness of Christmas consumerism (praise God!)


LATELY, I'm learning how very, very much I DON'T know about writing.


LATELY,  I've been motivated to figure out how I'll learn more about writing - especially in 2012.


LATELY, I've treasured time with my family.


LATELY, my girlie support system has been working overtime (and they're SOOO appreciated)


LATELY, I have felt especially blessed.


So, tell me, what have YOU been up to as of late?
Stop by Critty Joy's blog for more As Of Lates - and join in yourself - everyone is welcome!

Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

Monday Manna: Verse for December 19


The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. Each Thursday, a Bible verse to ponder will be posted, either here or at my dear friend Vonnie's blog, My Back Door. The following Monday, those participating will post their thoughts on the verse at their own blogs and link up at the bottom of the post in the Mr. Linky  gadget. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another.

I'm hosting this week. And here's the verse!
But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19
Thought this would be a good one for the season :) Don't be afraid to check the context. See you back here on Monday!

 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/13/11

Linda Glaz's Polar Bear Plunge - with a giveaway!

I'm very excited to say that a good friend of mine has her first book out.

Linda Glaz and I met through FaithWriters, when she somehow contacted me about speaking at the 2010 FaithWriters conference (I wasn't the right person to ask, but I knew who was!). We both live in Michigan - though she's on the east side and I on the west. When she was an editorial assistant for agent Terry Burns, she looked over my nonfiction manuscript and recommended it to Terry. Though they ultimately passed on it, she has remained a friend. And now that she's a full fledged literary agent, it's certainly not a bad friend to have. ;) But even if she weren't, she's a dear lady and so very friendly and funny and helpful. Such a doll!

ANYhow, her book, released by White Rose Publishing last Monday, is Polar Bear Plunge. I had the chance to read it, and I have to say I REALLY enjoyed it.

But enough about me! I got a chance to ask Linda some questions, and HHHEEERRREEE are the answers! AND check the bottom of the post for a chance to win a copy of the ebook!

ME: Linda, what is Polar Bear Plunge about? Share the plot with us.

LINDA: Striving to put meaning back into her life after her husband’s death, Aleni Callan immerses herself in hospital work. Angry with God, she finds herself even angrier, when hero, Brice Taylor, author of The Human Shield, arrives in the Emergency Room with a concussion and hypothermia after participating in the Polar Bear Plunge. Aleni wants nothing to do with a man who willingly takes chances with his life.

Brice doesn’t understand how God could bring him through being a captive in Iraq, when he failed his troops so miserably. Writing about his escape brings fame he would rather avoid. And by meeting widow, Aleni Callan, his feelings of failure only increase.

Megan Callan with the help of her three-year-old grandson, Ty, scheme to bring Aleni and Brice together. And while the best laid plans often go awry, Megan isn’t one to accept no.

ME: Where did you get the idea for the story?

LINDA: My oldest daughter who is a nurse always wanted me to write a story about a nurse named Aleni. When the call went out for Christmas novellas, I couldn’t resist. Add a war hero and Aleni’s story came alive.

ME: Which of the characters is most like you?

LINDA: Probably the mother-in-law. I adore my inlaw kids and would do anything to see them happy.

ME: What do you want readers to take away from this story?

LINDA: That no matter what life throws atcha, get up, get going, and know God still has a plan for your life. Sometimes he really does say “yes”.

ME: Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.

LINDA: We are all theatre nuts. The kids were very active in high school and one went on to become an actress. So we see a lot of theatre. I love anything to do with writing/agenting. Give me a super great story and watch me go. But it had better be great. There are so many good ones out there that I have to say no more often than I would like.

ME: How can readers connect with you, Linda?

LINDA: The best way is through my blog. http://lindaglaz.blogspot.com/

ME: Where can we purchase Polar Bear Plunge?

LINDA: From White Rose Publishing or on Amazon. (click on the links to go there) Both are offering the wonderful a buck or less deal for the month of December.

Let me wish everyone a very merry Christmas. Blessings to all, and to all a good night!

Thanks, Linda! With a bargain like that, why can't you buy a copy? But I'm STILL giving away a free copy. Post a comment on this post, and you'll be entered to win an e- copy of Polar Bear Plunge. Winner will be announced Thursday, December 15. Enter by 7am ET that morning to be eligible.


Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/12/11

Truth

Living by Grace

This week, Vonnie is hosting Monday Manna, so be sure to pop over to My Back Door and read the other entries, and link up if you want to participate. And we're also discussing this post at Living By Grace today. Would love to have you join the discussion there!

 Here's today's verse:
"Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." (Proverbs 23:23, KJV)
Believing lies is easy - especially when they seem to benefit us or make our lives easier. "Eat, drink, and be merry." "Look out for #1." "He who dies with the most toys wins." Each of these statements, and hundreds like them, are easy to live out. They take very little sacrifice, and they seem to make life more enjoyable.

They are, in a word, free. And, in the short term anyhow, they can make life lovely. But that is ONLY in the short-term.

What we really need is the truth. And the truth is NOT free. It must be paid for. 

Thankfully, we do not need to go bankrupt to receive it. Christ has already given all that is needed. Two thousand years ago, God bankrupted heaven to pay the price for our sins - to give His one and only Son to His creation - first as a baby in a manger, and thirty-three years later as a sacrifice on the cross.

Living by His truth rather than the world's lies will likely not satisfy our short-term, selfish desires. There is often a cost: a cost of inconvenience, of delayed satisfaction, of dying to self. But that cost is miniscule in comparison to the freedom we are given in return: the freedom to live as the Lord designed us. The freedom to fulfill God's purpose. The freedom to know He is there through our struggles.

And once we have the Truth (John 14:6), it is with us forever. Though we can ignore Him, He will never leave. No matter how we stray - how we try to "sell Him off" - He is always, always there.

**
Be sure to stop by Vonnie's blog for more Monday Manna - and come by Living by Grace to discuss this post.

 
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/9/11

Snow? and Finds for Fridays - December 9



The Barn Door
I'm over at the Barn Door today, talking about an unusually "unwhite" start to the season - and a couple different reactions to it. Love to have you stop by. Check out Waiting For It - what are your thoughts?



Finds for Fridays is my way of sharing some of the wonderful blogs posts I read each week. I am currently following close to 100 blogs and at least scan them as much as I can. Each week, I'll note and "set aside" some posts that especially speak to me for whatever reason. And each Friday that I am able, I'll share them with you. I hope you'll stop by and read the posts, and maybe even follow the blogs if you aren't already. A win-win, right?

And here they are!

What Writers Can Learn from Politicians by Scott Eagan at Babbles from Scott Eagan (about skeletons in the closet)

That X in Xmas - What Does it Mean? By Niki Turner at In Truer Ink (about Christ in Christmas - from a different angle)

Are We Rich? By Rocky Lewis at The Barn Door (about teaching kids about riches and giving)

The Wandering Wise Man by Billy Coffey at What I Did Today (about mistakes and love)

Embracing Plan B by Michael Hyatt at his blog (about dealing with changes in your plans)

Let's Hear it for the Opuscule! by Lisa Mikitarian at Jewels of Encouragement (about focusing on the little stuff)

Hope these posts bless you. Check them out - and the blogs. GOOD stuff!


Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/6/11

Turning It Off

I'm over at the Internet Cafe' today, talking about some of the distractions I had to deal with when I was trying to write my novel last month - and how the most significant one was more spiritual than anything. Hope you'll stop by and check out my post "Turn It Off."

Yet, though I'm there, I'm not - really. Why? It's that time again - and I'm VERY glad. (and what an appropriate title for my cafe post, eh?)

Yup - the first Tuesday of the month is my monthly tech fast - no computer and no texting. I'll be having a date morning with my hubby, and will probably do some cleaning (our pantry is kinda scary at the moment). If you're thinking about a break from that computer of yours, I REALLY cannot recommend it more highly. It has done WONDERS for me.

See ya on Wednesday!


Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/5/11

Only God




Living by Grace
Welcome to the combined Monday Manna with Living By Grace (click here for this new Facebook community). The purpose of Monday Manna to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. Each Thursday, a Bible verse to ponder will be posted, either here or at my dear friend Vonnie's blog, My Back Door. The following Monday, those participating will post their thoughts on the verse at their own blogs and link up at the bottom of the post in the Mr. Linky  gadget. The main purpose is to chew on the same Scripture and learn from one another.

AND now, we'll also be discussing the devotional - and thoughts about it - at Living By Grace.

I'm hosting today - and here's the verse:
For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:11
Looking forward to your thoughts. Mine are below.
**

When I was growing up, I remember some people believing that we were getting closer to utopia - that the world was getting better and better, and eventually would be ideal. Modern technology was making life easier, they figured. Sooner or later, everything would just fall into place and we would live in the perfect society.

That isn't a very common belief anymore. You may find people who believe their life is getting better and better, but I'd wager you would be hard pressed to find very many who believe that SOCIETY is doing the same. From corruption to the economy to abortion to crime to who knows what else, the outside influences on our lives are clearly steering us away from, rather than toward, a perfect society.

But still, we all long for it, don't we? And, often, we work toward it. We wish everyone would just get along. We try to encourage those around us to perform random acts of kindness. We hope for justice. We teach our kids right from wrong. We elect (or try to elect) people into office who hold our beliefs. And sometimes it works for a while. But it doesn't get "all better."

Why not, you ask? Because we're sinners, and this world is chock full of them.

We plant the seeds, we water them and give them good soil, fertilizer and sunlight, but we can't make them grow - without the Lord, anyway. We can have an effect for certain, but were it not for God, nothing good would ever occur,. In fact, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17 NIV)

The only way righteousness will overcome the nation - the only way we will TRULY be able to praise and enjoy a perfect world we all long for - is when the Lord our God brings it. Don't stop wishing for it, or working toward it, but remember...

For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:11

Don't put your faith in politicians, people, government, or programs. Only God can bring about the perfect world we all desire.


**

Thanks for reading. Be sure to link up below with your own thoughts - and stop over at Living By Grace to join the discussion!



Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength

12/2/11

Mind Over Madi - She's Here!

Those of you know me even a little probably realize it doesn't take much to get me excited. It's just my personality. But when I heard my friend, fellow FWers, and West Michigander Lynda Lee Schab sold her book Mind Over Madi - and then that it was PUBLISHED last month - I was positively giddy. And, of course, I HAD TO be a part of her blog's book tour. So...here I am. And here SHE (and her book) is!
Madi McCall admits her husband lacks a little in the romance department, but all in all, he’s been a good husband, a good father. Now, though, she suspects Rich is having an affair with Fawn Witchburn, the mother of one of his fourth-grade students. To say Fawn shows off her “assets” more than should be legally allowed in public is an understatement, and Madi’s insecurities kick into high gear. When, in a heated moment, she asks Rich to leave and he complies, Madi is forced to deal with her issues. Issues of love and trust she’s tried so hard to avoid. Issues that trail all the way back to her childhood and make her act like a total moron. 
Doesn't it sound GOOD? I've started reading, but must admit I'm only about halfway done (mostly because of my writing frenzy last month!). Enjoying it so far, though!

And now...heeeeerree's Lynda!

What is Mind over Madi about? Tell us a little about the plot. 
 
Madi McCall is a 38-year-old mom of three whose insecurities are destroying her marriage. When she suspects her husband Rich is cheating with the mother of one of his fourth grade students, she kicks him out of the house and he moves in with his bachelor brother. Madi is then forced to take a deeper look at herself and her insecurities. She does this with the help of a counselor, her best friend Sylvie, and a few cartons of Edy’s Dibs. At a 20-year get-together with former high school classmates, Madi runs into “the other woman” and things come to a head. It’s a lighthearted story about taking a true look at ourselves and accepting God’s grace when we think and do dumb things.

On the cover photo, “Madi” is wearing a tiara. What is the significance in that? 

Madi’s therapist challenges her to think of herself as a princess – the daughter of the King. Madi has never thought of herself this way, and throughout the story, there are references to various Disney princesses as Madi tries to figure out which one she most relates to. I had fun with the theme, even giving “the other woman” the fairy tale-ish name of Fawn Witchburn.

What do you want readers to take away from reading Madi’s story?

An understanding of just how infinite God’s love is. That no matter what we’ve done, God will never stop pursuing our hearts or desiring a relationship with us. His mercies are new every morning and His grace covers our weaknesses, our mistakes, our ignorance.

What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

Favorite: The creative process. Thinking a story through from beginning to end and then seeing my vision come to life through the characters and situations I create. Least favorite: Definitely the self discipline it requires. Time management is something I’ve always struggled with. Making myself sit down and focus when I know the basement needs cleaning, laundry is piling up, my office needs to be organized, or I want to watch the episode of Survivor I missed the night before is my biggest challenge.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

That’s easy: Apply the Butt Glue and just write. Discipline has never been my biggest strength, but that book won’t get written unless I park my behind in the chair and start typing. Even when I don’t feel like it. Even when I have a million other things to do. One of my favorite quotes on writing is “You can fix bad, but you can’t fix blank.”

Take a moment to brag about your family:
 
I’ve been married to Rob for over twenty-three years. He works for a dairy company (yes, that means free ice cream sometimes!) and is an all-around great guy. We have two teenagers, who both inherited my creative gene. Zach is almost 18 and will be graduating from high school this year. He will be going into film – editing and directing – and he’s also a talented artist. My daughter Lyndsey is a freshman and plays the cymbals in the high school marching band drum line. She loves to read and is an excellent photographer.


How can readers connect with you?

My website address is www.lyndaschab.com I also have a blog with various writing and reading-related material at www.on-the-write-track.blogspot.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Where can I buy Mind Over Madi?

My book is available right now from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com (click on either link to go right to the page to purchase it!)People can also order it from their local bookstores (any bookstore should be able to order it from Ingram, the largest book distributor in the country)

Thanks, Lynda! You know I'm praying the best for you!

LYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards  (Blue Mountain Arts, Dayspring)  and from there  went on to write  articles and short stories (Mature Living, Christian Home & School)  and in many places online (including www.Examiner.com and  www.wow-womenonwriting.com), but  her passion has always been fiction. 

Mind Over Madi, her debut novel, is near and dear to her heart.  Lynda admits  she has a lot in common with  the character of Madi. Not only are they both  addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and computer games,  they  struggle with the same types of insecurities and continually require a hefty dose of God’s grace.

Lynda works behind the scenes at FaithWriters.com and is a member of ACFW. She is a regular book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com and is the Grand Rapids
Christian Fiction Examiner and the National Writing Examiner for Examiner.com.  Mind Over Madi  received Runner-up in the 2007 FaithWriters Page Turner contest, was a finalist in the 2007 RWA Get your Stiletto in the Door contest, and won second place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, Chick Lit category. Lynda lives with her husband, Rob, and two teenagers in Michigan


Riding God's Grace Over Rough Roads

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