Sunday, May 30, 2010

Relaxing Inspiration

I was exhausted and at loose ends. You know the feeling. It has a way of creeping up on you and body slamming you. So when we found Cheryl Wyatt's newest release, Steadfast Soldier at Wal-Mart when we were there buying lettuce for our lunch salad, I called dibs on it. My girls probably thought I was bluffing, but I wasn't! Even though I have about five things that I needed to do, I took the day off and read Cheryl's book.

I'm only half done with it because I'm savoring it. It's that good. But hers always are. (She's one of my favorite authors and I love the names Ivan and Mary. I get it! hehe) But anyway... We usually end up sitting at church for well over an hour every Sunday evening so the kids can be involved with the activities and today, after I did the one thing I HAD to do, I read. When I walked into church I realized I had found the answer to the question I've been mulling over for a YEAR... How to fix the seemingly psycho heroine of the story I finished working on last year. Reading Steadfast Soldier circled me around so I could see the answer.

I am ecstatic and cannot wait to get to work on that story again!

What I thought would be a wonderful day of nothing but relaxing with a good book turned out to be a wonderful day of relaxing with a good book that left me anxious to get to work again.

After four months of being busy with other writing and discouragement with my fiction, I feel like I've been given a huge gift. Last week I was assured that it's okay to be an SOTPer and now God's shown me how to fix that character so she's presentable. I'm telling ya, God is so incredibly good! Only He could orchestrate those two details like He did! I may actually have something to pitch now.

How long until August?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Milestones?

Okay, so today contained two milestones for me.

My day started with an appointment with the counselor at a local junior college with my two oldest children. They're now enrolled and ready to start COLLEGE classes in August! God really went before us and smoothed out schedules. He did more than smooth the kids' schedules, He dovetailed them beautifully so they can ride together. This was crucial since they'll have one car, and only one driver for the first quarter. Not only that, but some of their classes are online classes and He even saved the last seat in a class for my daughter. They're in the dual credit program for homeschoolers and we're praising God for this opportunity. We have their student IDs, library cards (I still don't which they were more excited about!) and parking decals. And I still can't believe it.

And the second milestone is that I went for a haircut...for the first time in 20 years. ROFL Really and truly. Oh, Mom trimmed it for me until my daughter took over that job, but this was a real haircut, and style! I can still pull my hair back into a barrette or a pony tail for those desperate days, but when it's dry, it just misses my shoulders. If I remember right, Michelle, the wonderful lady who cut it, called it a layered bob...whatever that means.

I've gotta tell ya, I LOVE it!! Jim calls me Shirley because it reminds him of Shirley Temple's 'do, but that's okay. After 20 years of the same style I'm bouncing. hehe. Literally. The curls are... well, kinda on the wild and flighty side.

Kinda crazy milestones, but hey, that's okay! Sometimes not having a typical day is kinda ...fun.

So tell me, what UNtypical thing have you done recently?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Be Strong and Courageous?

Last week I started a Bible study on Joshua, Judges and Ruth. We're using Kay Arthur's study book, Choosing Victory – Overcoming Defeat and I'm loving it. My plan is to blog my way through this Bible study, and I hafta tell ya, I'm excited!

Joshua. What do you think of when you hear Joshua's name? The wall of Jericho? Me too. But there's so much more to Joshua than just those walls! Moses had two right-hand men: Aaron, his brother, and Joshua.

Joshua was a warrior. He was the one doing the fighting when Aaron and Hur held Moses' arms up while Israel fought against Amalek. (Exodus 17:8-13) He was the chosen and appointed leader after Moses' death.

When Moses commissioned Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:7-8) he said “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

God gave Joshua a seemingly impossible task. He had spent 40 years watching Moses closely and helping him as he led Israel through the desert. He knew how well the nation listened, and didn't listen. He knew how Moses struggled and wrestled on behalf of the people, and when he was appointed as leader, I imagine it was not something he cheered over. Joshua spent a lot of time with Moses and I have a feeling the men knew each other well.

Look at those things that Moses said to him:
  • Be strong.
  • Be courageous.
  • You'll lead the people into the Promised Land.
  • You'll conquer the land for the people.
  • God will go ahead of you.
  • God will be with you.
  • God will NOT fail you.
  • God will NOT forsake you.
  • Do not fear.
  • Do not be dismayed.
Hmmmm. Interesting. Joshua was a warrior who had been groomed for leadership but these things seem to suggest that Joshua felt that the task God had called him to was far beyond his ability. I don't know about you, but that's something I can relate to! I've often felt that the task God has given me was far beyond my capability.

Israel mourned for 30 days after Moses died, and then the book of Joshua starts off with God speaking to Joshua. In fact, much of the first chapters are God directing Joshua, and Joshua turning right around and relaying God's commands and instructions to the nation of Israel. (Tuck that tidbit away.) One of the first things we read in Joshua is God reaffirming what Moses had said when he commissioned Joshua. Check this out:

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:7-9 (NAS)

That's almost a mirror image of what Moses said to him! In the first chapter, Joshua is told to be strong and courageous 4 times. Sounds like Joshua needed to hear that. It's something that we need to hear, too.

When God gives us a job to do, we don't need to be dismayed or tremble in fear because God will not forsake us or fail us. He will be with us and He will go before us, and for all those reasons we can be strong and courageous.

What a list of promises to hold onto as we stand on the bank of our own Jordan Rivers!

Coming up next: What I learned about success as I memorized Joshua 1:7-9.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Great Campout of 2010

Some of you knew that my kids were out camping this last week. Alone. Well, as alone as five kids can be, so I suppose that means no adults were along. Just them. My oldest is 17 and very handy and the youngest will be 9 this summer. Sprinkled between them is an oh-so-close-to 16, a 14.5 and a 12 year old. Did I mention there were no adults?

You can imagine my fears. Starvation. Fire. Fights. Death caused by any of those three...

Setting out they wagon trained their supplies out to the campsite they chose in our far field (that's been over-run by Russian Olive trees).

Here they are in their original kitchen area. This spot was in the middle of the three younger ones' tents. They called it a cavern and due to the trees, that's how it felt. Comfy and cozy.


That is until the wind died down and the smoke filled the cavern. They said they almost died from smoke inhalation (I hadn't even thought of that one!)

So they moved their kitchen up to the fence row between the two oldest ones' tents.



Naturally, Abby was the camp cook. Huh. I wonder why? They quickly got tired of johnny cake (cornbread pancake thingies) so she made biscuits, and they were quite tasty!

Their food box/counter and bench was an old ammo box. Behind her was the fence row and a farmer's winter wheat crop.



The kids invited us to lunch one day and fixed us chicken stew and biscuits. I was sooo impressed with their set up and how well they were doing!

They had no convenience food, only food similar to what pioneers had, so they were cooking from scratch (which we normally do anyway).






Here's the view the kids had from the fence row right behind their campsite. They loved sitting and watching the wheat wave in the wind and the purple martins catching the insects. They were at the crest of a hill and could see a fair distance. It really was quite peaceful and pretty!

The kids might not have had an adult presence with them, but Gracie, our faithful dog stayed with them almost all the time, watching over them. I felt much better knowing she was with them. Here's one of her favorite spots where she could overlook her domain and keep an eye on the kids and catch all the breeze she could.


To round out the experience (LoL), it rained. Hard. For a long time. It stopped raining long enough for them to get a fire going (they learned they should have listened to us about keeping some wood covered overnight) and to almost dry out the bedding that got wet.

The kids came home to get water when they needed it, but they didn't stay long. It was as close as we could get to packing water from the stream.

Each one had their own tent and here's one of them. This is my dad's tent from when we lived in Ecuador and backpacked and fished in the Andes Mountains. This is the tent a mountain lion circled one night. While we were in it. When I was the only one awake. It. was. scary! Dad laughed at me when I told him the next morning, that is until he went out and saw the prints. *shiver* Which explains a good part of my relief that Gracie stayed with the kids!




Here are the kids at the end of their campout. Alex rigged the tarp over the fire so they could cook a meal on that rainy day.

Notice that there are still five kids, alive and smiling. Miracles never cease and God answers prayer!

While the older ones took care of the cooking and tending the fire, the little boys were responsible for rustling firewood, of which there was plenty.


They worked together and came home with smiles.

Or maybe the smiles were because they were home. Home with their computers and mp3 players and microwave and stove that turns on with the twist of a knob. LoL. I dunno. What do you think?



We let them use the tractor to haul their stuff home and for some reason, they really appreciated that thing! It's good to have them home. It's good to have them not complaining about chores around the house! (hehe)



Now, what can we do about the bickering that followed them home?

Friday, May 21, 2010

with Gail Sattler

Patterings



Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
My epiphany moment truly was an epiphany moment. I’d started writing after I decided to stay home with my young children for a while instead of working full time. I’d written a few books, and after a very encouraging rejection from a major publisher, I got an overwhelming feeling, almost like an audible voice, telling me that practice time was over, it was time to write an Inspirational novel. So I wrote one, and submitted it to Heartsong Presents. They bought it, which was my first sale, and I haven’t looked back since.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
My favorite book to write was one of my Heartsong Presents books – A Donut A Day. My “research guinea pig” was a retired RCMP police constable, and every time I asked a question, he answered about ten times more than I needed, and it was an incredible insight to the life of a real-life cop, which made the scenes so much more fun to write. But my favorite character is Ted Wiebe in The Narrow Path. He’s so straight and formal, and when he falls in love with his complete opposite he doesn’t know what hit him. Then he had to figure out what to do about it before it’s too late.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. Or rather, lack of time. Writing is a very time-consuming process, including the writing-related organizations and relationships and workshops that it takes to get better, and work with others as they strive to publication. The only way I can over come it is to decide what truly is important and either ignore the rest, or delegate it to someone else. I love my husband and kids. I haven’t touched the vacuum cleaner for about eight years. I think I know where it is, but I’m not sure.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m not sure how to answer that. There are many things I consider normal that raise eyebrows when I tell people about them. When I tell people I play piano, many are impressed, but when I add that I play upright bass for a jazz band many people consider that quirky because it is rare for a woman to play bass. For a while I worked nightshift so I could work all night and write all day when the house was quiet. Only other authors could understand why I would do such a thing. Some consider my pet lizard quirky, but he’s really very cuddly.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Lois Toewes, the woman of the house were Miranda, the heroine, stayed for the year she lived in the Old Order Mennonite town of Piney Meadows, MN. Lois lives in a small town that strives to maintain their old-world values and traditions, but yet that town, and all the people, still must interact with the modern world. Living in the middle between both worlds, Lois is content and always happy with the life she has chosen for herself.


Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Diet and exercise. Nuff said.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Writing all day with a big pot of coffee beside me.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I like books with a happy ending. I enjoy cozy mysteries but my favorite is romances with a touch of humor. My favorite author is Debbie Macomber, whose writing I enjoyed even from before she switched over to purely inspirational content. It was the thrill of a lifetime when I met her in person at the ACFW writers’ conference in Denver in 2009 and got a picture taken with her. And then when I arrived back home and saw the picture on my computer, my bra showed through really bad, something I didn’t know about this sweater because I’ve never had my photo taken while I wore it before. It spoiled the picture and I was really upset, then my darling husband fixed it for me, gotta love the guy.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Not really. I hate it when I read a book that ends up being a sermon in novel form. I don’t like being preached at, so I don’t preach at people. Rather than hammer out theme at a reader, I like to write stories about how normal Christian people act and interact in the world around them without compromising their morals or spiritual beliefs or falling into temptation, yet still not be looked at as strange by their community around them.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
That He has a plan, and most people don’t know what the plan was until they look back and see that it’s happened. Never in a million years could I have forseen being an author like this. I graduated from high school with 51% in English, which was a mercy pass, I’m sure. I excelled in math and physics, not English, yet I’ve got a lot of books with my name on them, some have won awards. But that’s not the plan, I know it’s not. God has more plans for me and I don’t know yet what they are. I have to trust Him and keep going, and He’ll let me know when I’m there.

I understand you made your own book trailer for this book. Can you tell me a little about what makes it so unique?
I didn’t want to use photos that were openly available for anyone and everyone in the world to buy and/or use. I wanted the trailer’s photos to be a perfect match for showing what the book was about. Therefore, I personally took almost all the photos showing things that are specifically in the book. The photos I didn’t personally take were taken by people I know, specifically for the book trailer, and used with permission. I was especially blessed that the photos of “Miranda” and “Ted” are the same people on the cover, sent to me by Abingdon Press (the publishing house). The end result is that every photo used in the book trailer is either in the book, or directly related to something specific in the book – and that includes the surprise special “guest”, complete with soundtrack. Even the last photo, which is an airport, is from the book – it really is a photo of the Minneapolis airport. Likewise, I made the music track myself and put it together with a computer program. And as a bass player, the background music track has a really great bass line. ;-)

When is this book due out and can you tell us about it?
The Narrow Path is out now – it released for May 2010. It’s about two people living with the clash of cultures – a modern Mennonite woman from a big city moves into a small, rural Mennonite town where she comes head-to-head with an Old Order Mennonite man. They are forced to meet somewhere in the middle of their culture clash with the goal being to open Ted’s old world church to new world people without losing its heart. Visit the book trailer on www.mennonitefiction.com, click on “book trailer” in the index bar and let me know what you think. I invite comments and questions on my blog at www.gailsattler.blogspot.com, or leave a comment in my guestbook at www.gailsattler.com.

Gail is giving away a copy of The Narrow Path. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, May 25th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yikes

A few things that I'm responsible for have decided to go berserk...all at the same time, on days when I'm not home much to deal with them correctly. LoL Gotta love it. I'm posting today at Exemplify. A devotional called Keep Your Spiritual Batteries Charged. One of those lessons God bopped me with early one morning when I tried getting a picture of the sunrise.


I still have Gail Sattler's author interview, and I'm hoping to have that up for tomorrow. She's giving away a copy of her new release, The Narrow Path, and if you haven't entered the drawing yet, just scroll down a bit and leave a comment. ;-) Gail Sattler is one of those authors the girls and I enjoy reading.

It's raining here, so if it's sunny where you are, enjoy the sun for me! ;-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

meet Gail Sattler

Patterings


Gail Sattler is an author, musician, wife, mother, speaker, and pet owner. Gail is a multi-published author who loves to lace a serious plot with love and laughter. When she’s not writing or walking her dogs, Gail plays bass for her worship team, a local Jazz band, and a community orchestra.
Gail Sattler lives in Vancouver, BC, where you don’t have to shovel rain, with her husband, sons, dogs, and a lazy lizard named Draco, who is quite cuddly for a reptile.

Visit Gail’s website at www.gailsattler.com.
You'll also find Gail at her book website – www.mennonitefiction.com and her blog – www.gailsatter.blogspot.com



The Narrow Path
Can two people from different worlds find love somewhere in the middle?

Miranda feels like she’s been transported back to Little House On The Prairie, and Ted’s head spins when Miranda reads her Bible on her cell phone. Yet Miranda Klassen and Ted Wiebe must find a way to make peace to meet their common goal to open the doors of Ted’s Old Order Mennonite church and community. Will they also find love in the process?

Miranda Klassen’s Mennonite church is big and modern and she loves the mixture of faith, action, and activity. But in order to follow her dream she moves across the country to a small town to organize another church’s 25th anniversary celebration. Ted Weibe has been assigned to assist and guide Miranda, feeling good that his church has chosen another Mennonite. But except for sharing the same basic faith and denomination, their churches have nothing else in common. His church embraces old-style roots, so Ted except to find someone similar at the airport – a women who never wears pants, no body piercing – including ears – no makeup, and wearing a head covering as a sign of modesty – someone else who lives in accordance with old-fashioned values. But the woman who acknowledges him is wearing unreasonably high and outlandishly expensive shoes, denim jeans, and makeup including bright red lipstick. As she gets off the plane she’s fiddling with an iPod and yapping on the cell phone. When Miranda enters Ted’s church and community she feels like she’s been transported back into Little House On The Prairie, with cars. Ted is supposed to help Miranda fit in, and Miranda is supposed to help his church reach out into the community. When it’s time to start planning and organizing for the celebration, then the fun really begins. Depending on one’s definition of fun…



You can purchase The Narrow Path from CBD and Amazon:


Gail is giving away a copy of The Narrow Path. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, May 25th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?




One of the things we did when my parents were here was to plant "my garden" and I wanted to show it to you.

Don't laugh. I've wanted to do this for a couple of years.

And here's the third tomato plant. I have two Better Boys for my hubster (and kids) and one Bonnie Grape for my kids that like the lil grape tomaotes.










How do you like my super snazzy garden? Aren't the pots simply... charming? The tomato plants are growing fast and I'm wondering if they don't like their ugly buckets after-all. So, should I just leave them ugly or paint them? I'm thinking about hot pink with purple and green polka dots, but I don't want to ruin a good thing here. LoL







I was so surprised to see blossoms already!

So tell me, would red tomatoes clash with snazzy hot pink buckets planters?



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today's THE Day

THIS is the day I've been anticipating.
Dreading.
Excited about.
Gnawing my fingers over.
LoL--are you sea sick yet? Well, that's how I've been feeling, too. Today I'm speaking for A Woman Inspired's One Marriage Webinar. Heidi and I are sharing a session, and it starts at 11:30. So, ALL prayer is tremendously appreciated! (Read that: Please pray! I desperately need it!!)

I'm a writer not a speaker, but last year, on August 24th, I told God that if He brought speaking opportunities to me I would speak for Him. In February, when Amy asked us to speak, I knew what my reply would be because I had already made the commitment to God. I emailed Heidi (gotta love living on opposite sides of the world from each other!) and when I got her reply it was "Let's pray about it." LoL Poor Heidi. By then it was too late. I'd already said yes. I didn't want to give myself an opportunity to chicken out. =)

So today I'm talking about "Passionate and Purposeful Intimacy: Practical Ways to Put the Passion Back in Your Marriage." I'll also be doing a Q&A time, and unless I'm thinking with my fingers (writing as I think) my brain works on a delay. So pray for clarity of thought and speech for me. When I practiced the other day I caught myself dropping my r's, like a good Mainer... even though I haven't lived in Maine for 30 years. *shock* It'll be interesting to see if I drop them today. ;-)


If you came for the author spotlight I had rescheduled for yesterday and today, I'm sorry. I tried to do it, but I couldn't. I didn't have the info I need, nor could I get it online. The false advertising was not intentional. Next week, though, I'm ready to go with the last spotlight for the summer! And it's a great book! =] Then I'll be on to blogging through Joshua, Judges and Ruth as I do Kay Arthur's study.

A word to the wise: when your husband encourages you to attend Toastmasters with him, don't ever say "I don't need to cuz I'll never speak." If you do, you can be reasonably sure you'll regret it.

Yup, I learned that the hard way. Never say never.
So tell me, what have you said you'll never do?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Changings Coming Soon!

I really and truly did not forget about the winners. =] Really. I was collecting them. =]

Rita is the winner of DiAnn Mills' book, A Woman Called Sage.
Kelly is the winner of Nicole O'Dell's Magna and Making Waves.
Congratulations, ladies!

I left one giveaway open: Jim Rubart's Rooms. Scroll down the page and enter the giveaway, if you haven't already. I'll announce that winner next Tuesday.

Tomorrow I'll be spotlighting and giving away a copy of Vanessa Miller's book Yesterday Promise and next week is Gail Satler's The Narrow Path. (Which I might add, is excellent!! You really, really won't want to miss that one!) =]

After those, I'll be taking the summer off from author spotlights. I'll be doing a Bible study with some of the ladies at my church and I want to have a little more time to focus on it. What study? LoL, I'm so glad you asked! It's Kay Arthur's Choosing Victory - Overcoming Defeat. It's her study on Joshua, Judges and Ruth and I've wanted to do this for years!

To replace my author spotlights, I'll be writing and posting about what I'm learning in the study. I am so excited about this!

When I read, I've found that I get very distracted by highlighting and anything more than simple underlining, and as some of you know, Kay Arthur uses all kinds of marking in the text. So, I invested some of my "earnings" (so strange after 17 years of no personal earnings! LoL) and purchased a new wide margin study Bible. It's the hardback version of the Bible I've used for several years and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I loooove my Bible but I want to make sure I can still read it without distraction for many years to come, and since I want to do more than just this one study, I invested in a copy I can mark up. Really mark up. Not only that, but once I have it in my hot little hands, I can jump in and start working on the first lesson. =] I know, the logic is a little sketchy, but it makes perfect sense to me. ;-)

And it's special for a couple more reasons which I want to record inside the cover. It's my Ebenezer for these first months of 2010. So much has already gone on this year! Things I never, ever would've imagined! Things that are major for me and totally out of my comfort zone and totally unexpected. But God has been, and IS, soooo faithful. This Bible is my Ebenezer, to remind me of His faithfulness whenever I begin to panic in the future. =]

Do you know what I mean by calling it my Ebenezer? I wrote about just that in May's issue of Exemplify. =] You can read it here, "Rocks in My Pocket" on page 60, but trust me, you'll want to read your way there because Exemplify Magazine is so good! It blesses me every month.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Family Fun!




One of the things the kids did in preparation for my parents bi-annual visit was to practice their wii boxing. You see, my mom has a mean reputation on the wii and they just did not want to be beaten by their grandmother...







I still don't who won those games, but I can tell ya, it sure was fun to watch! And listen to! Oh-my-goodness! My house was soooo noisy the week my parents were here! But that's okay. It was fun! =]












Pappy was talked into bowling by the girls and Grammy was so happy. LoL She said that maybe this summer she wouldn't have wii bowl with another man just to play. Did it work, Mom? =]

Because our tv lives in the closet in the dining room, we found it easiest to leave the tv in it's hole, shove the dining room forward and use the walk-way between the dining room and kitchen as a bowling alley. It worked great! =]









My dad even managed to get some work in on Jim's book. Between trips to Timbuktu, visiting, and splitting wood. Yes, he really did split wood! And he did more than just run the lever. *eye roll*








As much as everyone loved wii, that wasn't all we did. Really. We played cards, worked on the computer (Mom's not mine cuz I was on a computer break. Kinda.), and we played speed Scrabble. Man, but I love that game! =]








Okay, so here's one of me on wii. *eye roll* I was trying my hand at the cow racing game. Whatever the name of that game is, it sure is hilarious. LoL







One of the kids' favorite things is a weiny roast. We make up a huge pot of homemade mac 'n cheese, grab some baked beans and the dogs and head for the hill. Jim put a tractor tire rim up there as a fire pit and circled it with benches he made from old telephone poles. It's so peaceful up there and always a treat.

And there you have it: a week of life with Grammy and Pappy here. It was wonderful and the computer break for me was super. I'm already looking forward to their visit this fall! =]

(Don't forget the author spotlight and book giveaway that's going on!) =]

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

with Jim Rubart

Patterings


Welcome to Patterings, Jim! Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
When I was twelve I wanted to be an NFL quarterback, I wanted to compete in the Olympics and I wanted to be an author. They were all fantasies. I never believed any of them could come true. As the dreams of pro stardom faded the writing dream just increased. I dabbled with writing short stories, subscribed to Writers Digest, even went to a few local writing workshops, but I never showed my writing to anyone.

Then in 2003 when my wife went on a fast without knowing why God had told her to do it. On day three I said, “I know why you’re fasting. God is saying I need to decide if I’m going to step into this gift He’s given me or refuse.” At that point I jumped in full force.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
ROOMS is my favorite at this point because it’s my first and so much of my heart is in it. My favorite character is Rick. He's wise, strong, kind, focused, passionate, full of mercy and justice at the same time. I wish I could be more like him.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. I have a full-time job, two wonderful teenage boys and an amazing wife. Being an author could easily consume all my time all by itself. I overcome it by writing in batches. I might write for an entire weekend and then not for two weeks. When I’m under a deadline that’s not an option, but I try to balance family time and writing time so both receive the attention they deserve.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
My main protagonist, Micah Taylor. He’s so tortured! But in a good way. He’s full of passion, spontaneous, and I didn’t know what he was going to do. I watched him in my head and simply wrote it down.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m terrified of heights, but jumped out of an airplane at 10,000 feet anyway. I thought I would conquer my fear by facing it. Didn’t work, but it was a rush! I felt like I was outside my body for six hours after jumping.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Yes. Why can’t everything be easy? Oh, we live in a broken world? Shoot, that’s right.

What would a perfect day for you look like?
Connection time with Jesus at 7a. Waterski with my boys at 8a. Long walk with my wife after that. Dirt bike with my boys in the afternoon. Do some writing. Long dinner with my wife. We all watch a great movie together. Sleep.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Everything. Bios, magazines, fiction, non-fiction, Reader’s Digest, trivia books…

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Coffee with almost as much Cream Brule cream as coffee. (Yes, for those of you who have already read ROOMS, Micah gets that trait from me.)

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Absolutely. A friend once told me, “Every Pastor really has one sermon and they keep doing it over and over again using different angles.” So my “sermon” would be freedom, healing, and destiny.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
That He doesn’t care about sin. He wants relationship. Don’t misunderstand. The Father abhors sin. But that’s why He sent Jesus, to take care of it once and for all, past, present and future. It says in the Word we should be, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith,” but so often we focus on our sin and try to fix ourselves. We can’t. We don’t have the power to be Holy. But the Holy Spirit does have the power. We have the Holy Spirit inside us. If we fix our eyes on Jesus, hang out with Him, immerse ourselves in our relationship with Him, focus on the unfathomable depth of His love, and let the Holy Spirit change us, we will become more Holy almost without being conscious of it.

All too often we focus on the wrong thing. Thanks so much for that reminder.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

Book of Days will hit shelves in January 2011. It’s the story of a young man who is losing the memories of his wife who died two years earlier. In an attempt to recover the memories he goes on a quest to find God’s Book of Days—described in Psalm 139—that has recorded the past, present, and future of every soul on earth.

Jim is giving away a copy of Rooms. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, May 11th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

meet Jim Rubart

Patterings




My day job is helping authors and businesses market themselves through my company Barefoot Marketing. I live in the Pacific Northwest with my amazing wife and our two incredible teenage boys.

Want to know more? Here are a few links:

Web sites: www.jimrubart.com and www.barefootmarketing.com
Facebook: James L. Rubart
Twitter: @jimrubart
e-mail: jim@jimrubart.com



Rooms

It was just a letter. Cryptic, yes. Absurd? Absolutely. But Seattle software tycoon Micah Taylor can't get it out of his mind—this claim that a home was built for him, by a great uncle he never knew, on the Oregon coast. In Cannon Beach. The one place he loves. The one place never wants to see again.

Micah heads for Cannon Beach intending to sell the house and keep his past buried, but the nine thousand square feet home instantly feels like it’s a part of him. Then he meets Sarah Sabin at the local ice cream shop. Maybe Cannon Beach can be a perfect weekend getaway.

But strange things happen in the house. Things Micah can't explain. Can barely believe. All the locals will say is the house is “spiritual.” Unsettling, since Micah's faith slipped away like the tide years ago. And then he discovers the shocking truth: the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation. Of his soul.

Will Micah run—or will he risk everything to see what waits for him deep within the house’s ROOMS?

Jim Rubart Rooms Chapter 1




You can purchase Rooms from CBD and Amazon:


Jim is giving away a copy of Rooms. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, May 11th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.

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