March 23, 2008

Back to the Shire from Mt Hermon

I’m back from Mount Hermon, back to my ordinary world, but, like Frodo, things in the Shire will never be the same.

This conference blessed me in many ways. I connected with people I needed to meet in person, made new friends, learned, gave and received encouragement, laughed, and wept in awe of God's grace.

And then there was that other thing I did not expect.

I won’t go into story mode (this is a blog, not a novel) with the details; I’ll just say that I went to Mt Hermon fully intending to keep my novel to myself and be the late-blooming, knowledge-hungry sponge that I am. I'm not sure how I ended up having my novel requested in full by one house and in part by another two. And I don't know how I ended up sitting next to The Snowflake Guy (also known as the Supreme Dictator for Life) on the flight home and discussing the potential of my work, which he actually mentioned on his blog.

Even though I received manuscript requests and encouraging feedback that I'm still not entirely convinced wasn't a sleep-deprivation induced hallucination, the grand take-away from Mt Hermon---besides the AWESOME Christian writerly people I got to meet in person---was the call to be more than a novelist; to be a communicator. (No keynoter said it; it just came on the breath of one small voice.) I don’t know what variety of forms this will take, but I am excited to see what God will do.

I also came home with a need to finish my novel quickly and very, very, very well.

And I will. And you will want to read it, because you would like an intelligent, faith inspiring love story.



I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.